* Posts by theModge

286 posts • joined 3 Nov 2011


Website programming? Pffft, so 2011. Python's main squeeze is now data science, apparently


Re: Re Good job Python isn't a syntax Nazi.

Wait till you see code written by hardware engineers *shudders*

El Reg talks to PornHub sister biz AgeID – and an indie pornographer – about age verification


Re: Meh

Similarly; all Tor usage now means is "well educated student procuring pharmaceuticals", rather than Revolutionary \ Terrorist \ Infosec professional with a point to prove.


Re: This Identity thing is the key

couple of weak prosecutions on soft targets and then forgotten about

However it'll be left on the statute books as a vague threat because no one will dare be seen repealing it, at least for 30 years or so.

DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one


Re: Recipe for success

I don't know; you could do better than that with a bit of marketing:

1. Get Samples

2. Look at origin post mark.

If American, tell them they're Irish with a dash of Native American. I swear pretending they're Irish is the American national hobby and a touch of Native American makes you seem interesting and special.

Northern UK? Tell them they're Vikings

Southern UK? Tell them they're related to the Plantagenet royal line

I'm sure there's some others I could offend with a bit of research.

3. Look at surnames. If they give you an obvious clue, make it up on those grounds

4. Still be more accurate than the existing players

5. Give all the money to company directors and declare bankruptcy before people sue you for fraud.

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?


Re: Go, a scripting language??

I thought that as I scrolled past: you can compile it for quite a few different platforms now, a scripting language it is not.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?


Re: Scary ?

You hadn't perchance annoyed a certain sysadmin, know in these parts as the BOFH had you?

It's been a long time since I did site work, but I generally thought the entire purpose of safety elves was to prevent that kind of thing.

UK.gov to press ahead with online smut checks (but expects £10m in legals in year 1)



Firstly from times when I work with only "slightly" tech people it seems VPNs are a fairly well known solution for general piracy, so there's no reason why they wouldn't think to put them to use for porn. As this is rolled out I imagine the knowledge only spread; soon every child in the playground will be using their mates dad's VPN for their porn needs (because what 14 year old can afford a decent VPN?).

Combine this with the prevalence of Tor for the procurement of all ones black market pharmaceutical needs (again, even amongst by people who work far from the tech sector) and soon every last one of us will look like a terrorist as far as GCHQ is concerned. So many of their potential employees will have used one or both of these things it will be literally impossible for them to recruit enough people to do the spying.

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?


Re: It is a matter of choice

I guarantee there's enough on your PC to steal your identity, lock stock and barrel.

Of course, but whilst I'm not secure against nation state level actors who can e.g. get into the supply chain for my motherboard (who is?) I do take the sort of everyday precautions necessary to exist in this day and age, to the extent that it's possible to be secure whilst relying on the million different 3rd parties that comprise a modern computing environment.


Re: It is a matter of choice

I'd rather be spied on by the foreigners. They are less likely to just wander into my home and arrest me and throw me into jail on trumped up charges.

That would be my preference too.

I however have a far stronger defence: realistically there's absolutely sod-all of interest on my computer. I do research, but unless more effective data integration for your trains is a matter of national security I'm quite safe. Granted cyber attacks on national infrastructure are a thing, but my work would not be a good jumping off point for that.

Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers


Re: UK IT shortage

We can also ignore the fact that a lot of the good quality foreign IT labour has already moved to a better paying locale due to good quality IT experience being in short supply almost everywhere.

The weak pound makes Britain a less attractive place to come deploy your IT skills.

Random anecdotal case study: My Czech friend. He can earn almost as much at home as he does here, but in Czechia he can live like a king whilst so doing; the £35kish he was on here goes a lot further there.

Solid password practice on Capital One's site? Don't bank on it


There's an addon for that

Entitled: "Don't fuck with paste". Exists for chrome and firefox. Also helps with sites that think you'd like to type your email address twice.

BBC websites down tools and head outside into the sun for a while


Re: No comment?

Well done for reminding me of it; I used to read it and indeed it's pretty insightful.

Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost


Re: Easy solution

With good quality sensors (i.e. better than is in a phone) it's possible to be really very accurate with a combination of accelerometers and gyroscopes. ~1m accuracy in the applications for which I've seen them used.

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button


Re: Not quite IT

Lucky he didn't get an impromptu arc welding lesson; I assume this was a CeeForm, not Cam \ Powerlock?

Pulling a fully loaded neutral out of a set of Cam locks is a fuck up I'm pleased only to have read about, not tried, however even a 63/3 isn't rated for disconnection under load.

Hacking train Wi-Fi may expose passenger data and control systems


If you want to talk to bit actually operational bits of train rather than monitoring or customer entertainment you'd be better off with an RS232 or RS485 dongle rather than twatting about with Ethernet. Apart from anything else when most of our current rolling stock was designed the sort of microprocessor that did Ethernet was not the sort of microprocessor you had doing engine control. CCTV and other more recently fitted stuff might use the same connection though..

Skip-wrecked! Boat full o' rubbish scuppered in Brit residential street


Nowadays you get challenged if you are leaving the council recycling centre with the container in which you brought your things there on foot.

Oh but to live in such a liberal paradise where you can bring things in on foot! Here in Birmingham they won't allow you in without a car. The 3 recycling centres for a city of 1 million souls have multiple hour long queues on Saturdays in the summer. We too can pay for it if we don't have a car. They wonder why there's a problem with people fly tipping..

BOFH: Buttock And Departmental Defence ... As A Service


a team player (on the BOFH's side, mind)

She knows what's good for her

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles


Re: Tesla semi?

The issue with regenerative breaking we have found is that you need really, really big super capacitors, which are physical big and expensive. Batteries can't take charge as fast as breaking produces it and a fully laden truck will produce a great deal of current indeed under breaking. You can then charge the batteries off the super capacitors so as to leave them empty for recharging next time you break, if you're doing this for range (as we were) rather than speed (as F1 does). People generally use big resistors (which need cooling) to dump any current that doesn't fit in the capacitor.

Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger


Reasonably priced sausages rolls at that. May or may not contain sausage.


Re: Sausage roll in a manger

I keep the kosher sausages right next to the halal bacon.

My devoutly atheist Iranian friend went through a protracted phase of asking is the [pork product on the menu] halal in restaurants. It was quite funny the first couple of times. Especially when the waitress looked confused and went to ask the kitchen.

What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly


Re: and in the real world

I thought in the real world you only tested people you wanted rid of anyway, in the hope they'd show up drunk and make it easy for you?

Probably less the case with Network Rail (who really don't like there poor employees drinking), but I've heard of it working that way in the private sector, especially banks and the like.

Smartphone SatNavs to get centimetre-perfect GNSS receivers in 2018


Very exciting for the railways

Funky modern signalling systems that actually know where the train is have issues with not knowing which of several parallel lines a train is on, purely from GPS, so there is a need to use Balises on the track for location. If this could be made reliable enough then in 40 years time when it clears all the committees that will need to discuss it, it could be very useful.

Microsoft and Facebook's transatlantic cable completed


Re: A towed Plough???

Sennen Cove.

Beware militant surfers? Sea Lions can be dangerous I guess. I seem to recall the first transatlantic cable landed in Sennen Cove did it not?

Related geeky interest, whilst in that neck of the woods check out the telegraph museum: http://telegraphmuseum.org/

Interesting enough for a visit even on a dry day!


Re: It will be interesting to see

their Five Eyes friends

It does leave from the US of A. So ironically GCHQ can't spy on American citizens for them, but the NSA can still help our government out by spying on us.

Politics is a silly game.

From the Dept of the Bleedin' Obvious... yes, drones hurt when they hit you in the head


Currently, they're tied up with research being conducted at the Vatican

why? there's no bears there /s

Incidentally tied up in the Vatican is a phrase with "problematic" written all over it.

Apple actually opens up about something – the R&D behind Siri's voices


Siri came from an academic background

The knowledge management side of Siri came from Tom Gruber, who to this day is the person to quote when defining an ontology. As his website shows he doesn't publish much about that now, but he still does interesting and related research.

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life


Re: People aren't terrible drivers.

Another I read but can't remember the source sadly, but apparently if do do something regularly, such as the drive for your commute, your brain realises you're not learning anything new after a long time doing it and as I understand it stops bothering to store memories.

US Navy suffers third ship collision this year


What do they all do?

There's billions of sailors* on one of those tubs. The tanker will have had 12 men and a dog. How come tankers don't keep driving into things?

I realise someone must press the big red "Fire" button, but that doesn't seem to taxing. I assume the other 275 spend their time polishing missiles.

*276 I asked wikipedia

Foxit PDF Reader is well and truly foxed up, but vendor won't patch


Re: Uninstalled immediately

I'd been holding off doing this because of the bloat, since some of the extra functions are actually quite handy but....this has pushed me over the edge. I've had SumatraPDF installed for ages, so it only needed me to uninstall Foxit and set Sumatra as the default.

Celeb-backed music gambit rebrands as 'Roxi', prays for IPO


It's not the credible-for-cretins idea's that are the problem, it's gullible but rich friends you need. I mean anyway can be convinced you're in a position to sell a bridge, but what's the point if they don't have any money to buy it with? All the rich people I know are either a) just not that dumb or b) got rich by being tight and wouldn't part with cash for anything.

Scary news: Asteroid may pass Earth by just 6,880km in October


Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

I thought the book somewhat glorified the war and the idea you weren't a citizen unless you fought, where as the film was a satire.

I concur. I've heard arguments that Heinlein wrote starship troopers to show us a dystopia and that he wished to show us what a bad idea a society that really venerated the military to that degree was. Maybe I'm just not literary enough, but I just didn't get that feeling from him. He wanted snappy uniforms and synchronised marching and he wanted it now.

The film, conversely, dropped in a couple of little bits of subtle satire (the recruiting adds for example) in-between and otherwise fun action film, which is most fun if not entirely sober.

I've got a verbal govt contract for Hyperloop, claims His Muskiness


rapid repressurisation

I've been at a rail conference where one of his snake oil sales men discussed this, they have to their credit thought about that. The intent is the long pipes stay depressurised, except for maintenance and the trains will be airlocked in and out. No idea if it'll work, but that's the idea.

What he wouldn't tell us all is how they'll do switches (points since we're in the UK) and crossings - he kept saying they had "ideas" for junctions. If you want more than just a stop at each end, and no one wants a pipe that doesn't stop near there town, you need to get the stopped trains out the way of the one behind, or run a very infrequent service.

HMS Frigatey Mcfrigateface given her official name


Re: Towns again....


Might as well go the whole hog and call the thing unsinkable?

UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks


Re: Worthless.

> "Great Firewall of the UK."

I rather assume this is an excuse to implement same


Re: Lucky parliament have got so much time on their hands

"This will later be used as a justification for outlawing / backdooring VPNs because the very obvious next step is to show that VPNs are being used to access "illegal porn". Why is it illegal? Because the government made it so. That is what we are seeing today."

That's certainly how it looks to me, at least for personal use, because as the user above says it would greatly damage business. That said, the current "Europe Thing" we're having proves that the interests of business or the economy can come second to a politician's personal gains.

Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident


Chris Morris is to be fair hilarious, if you haven't yet laughed at him I suggest you start now. The Brass Eye is amazing, the religion special seems appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tGkw6mHxJw

Other, the day to day is also great

Brit teen accused of running malware factory and helpdesk for crims


In a similar vein, all draft reports are daft reports in my mind

Genoans flout terror ban with bumper basil hand baggage policy


Re: I wonder

Indeed not, but they're still banned, mostly to keep people in work, but partially in case you hold it to someone's throat and start making demands.

BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee


I believe the main expense is biscuits

That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly


Re: Who...

Amazon Prime... IDK what that's got to do with your telly, it's just a higher charges / quicker delivery thing isn't it?

Which includes free access amazon's video streaming service, or at least a 'lite' tier there of. Smart telly's have an app to connect, obviously you can watch it via a laptop and a cable, as I had to before I got a smart telly, but if you have to use the VGA out (as opposed to a digital port) then as with several of the legal options you run into HDCP issues.


Re: Who...

I watch virtually no live broadcast TV, aside from the news if I get a chance over breakfast. Beyond that it's a mix of iPlayer, amazon prime and netflix. I struggle to find anything I like live as such not having to plug my laptop into the telly whenever I wanted to watch anything has been a massive bonus since I procured the smart telly. No doubt this means the organisations listed above know my viewing habits (mostly vikings recently for the record) but given they don't even offer porn there's nothing to worrying there. I do worry a little about Samsung spying on me them selves, but logic prevents them employing a human to listen to voice recordings (too many TVs) and anyway what's the point? That leaves some meta data. I can't say it's a price I'm happy to pay, but they will find my data surprisingly low value and confusing, I doubt they can do much with it.

UK Home Office spy powers unit pretended it was a private citizen in Ofcom consultation


Re: Trust

Are you fucking listening Theresa.

Nah, it'll be some king of dated attempt at machine learning on her behalf, almost certainly procured at so many times the market rate you're forced to assume, inaccurately, that it might be good. Afore mentioned buggy piece of software will accidentally be protecting us all from governmental prying by picking up so many false positives that no bugger has time to read them. Assuming that is they follow standard government procurement procedure.

IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again


Re: unpopular comment with daytime tv fans

What are the sweepstakes on how long it take IBM so start encouraging remote working one all the experienced, knowledgeable, high paid workers leave?

My pound says directly after the current board have left, declaring this a resounding success and collect a bonus proportional to the money saved.

New prison law will let UK mobile networks deploy IMSI catchers


Re: Ok...

Now lets campaign for a prison to be built next to the houses of parliament.

Undue expense and disruption. All locks for the house of parliament to be on the outside. Politicians can argue with each other until blue in the face, but can't get out to do any harm

Shocked, I tell you. BT to write off £530m over 'improper' Italian accounts practices


Went better than Marconi's Italian adverture

Despite the Italian name and founder buying companies in Italy worth a lot less than they claimed to be worth was the end of a major British tech firm. I believe Ericsson own some bits of the carcass now but all the factories in Chelmsford have been converted to flats.



The dried frog pills please.

(I still upvoted it though. I enjoy such silliness)

Lloyds Bank outage: DDoS is prime suspect


DDOS as a cover for intrusion?

Sure they could just have been blackmailing the bank. But that would seem lazy wouldn't it? Why not do both?

College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000


Re: Well of course...

You don't put all your eggs in one basket.

You do not. But I've always set up new email accounts just for the job, rather than use a personal one. All very small business of course: I've no doubt big corporates have a better way round this nonsense.

BBC surrenders 'linear' exclusivity to compete with binge-watch Netflix


Re: End of the TV Licence

Equally, I'd like to see the UK version of the BBC website when travelling.

Likewise, I very much miss it when abroad.


Re: End of the TV Licence

I personally don't foresee* either the BBC publishing to the world or the end of the TV license fee. Why?

Because state funded TV channels look, as they so often are, corrupt. Maintaining the hypothecated tax just for the BBC prevents the government threatening them quite so directly, much as they still manage to do so every time the license fee is up for negotiation. I'm not sure the government would choose to look so openly totalitarian when it can still exert a fair bit of control and seem independent. As to publishing to the world: BBC world has been selling UK content abroad for years and I'm sure they'll continue to do so.

*I told all my friends Brexit wouldn't happen and Trump wouldn't get in, so take this with a pinch of salt.


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