* Posts by S4qFBxkFFg

517 posts • joined 6 Feb 2012


One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Re: Easy get-out?

Does it work the other way too?

(I'm wondering if the anti-FGM laws are inadvertently protecting boys as well.)

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc


Re: Time for a language law?

Then, we can begin the process of dedecimalisation - didn't that silly practice of dividing things into 100s start across the channel also?

(On a serious note, being able to exactly divide a pound by 3, 6, 8, 12, 15, 16, 24, 30, 40, 48, 60, 80, or 120 would be quite useful.)

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


What had they been eating?

These things work with saliva swabs, right?

Does this account for the fact that there is DNA in the things that we eat?

Now I'm not suggesting that someone has received a result claiming they're 5% lettuce or something, but having a small amount of DNA from your last meal, or even just traces of saliva from kissing a partner, could affect the tests in unpredictable ways.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it


This sounds like an ideal opportunity for an all-American solution to present itself - if the kit is light enough to be carried on horseback.

You could probably get several episodes of a comedy series based on this premise - can someone think of a better title than the "Coverage Cowboys"?

Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn


The article says: "At about 1.54 x 10^19 kilograms, they’re less than 20,000 times the mass of Mercury, the smallest planet in the Solar System."

20000 x Mercury's mass is 6.60208×10^27 kilograms

1.54 x 10^19 is indeed less than 6.60208×10^27, so the article is correct, if a bit strangely worded.

Qualcomm axes staff, winds down data center processor efforts ... while China takes the blueprints and runs


Re: You shouldn't trust Google Translate too much

Blame Mr. Finbarr Saunders, who apparently appears in HXT's staff directory.

Remember Misco? Staff win protective award at employment tribunal


Re: Taxpayer?

It might be more effective if HMRC had an unofficial policy of looking deeply into the affairs of the major shareholders when this sort of thing happens.

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate


Re: More detail

"I'm a bit suprised that this happened. An expired cert should have been flagged as a critical risk, if that resulted in a network shutdown."

It should be considered almost as important as filing the annual accounts - what do the tax authorities respond with if someone forgets that?

Doctors join wombats in sh!tting bricks to help parents relax about kids chowing down on Lego


They'll probably get the heads replaced by Lego (if they hear about it); any time I've had a set missing a piece (even when I told them it was second hand) they quickly sent a replacement free of charge.

(Compare with the hoops we have to jump through to RMA a bit of electronics.)

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

Thumb Up

Re: bacon grease

Utter genius - I'll remember that one.

I ship you knot: 2,400-year-old Greek trading vessel found intact at bottom of Black Sea


Re: If it’s intact…

"If it’s intact…

…why is it at the bottom of the sea?"

Hmm, it's getting a bit blowy...

Alexios..., you did get the slaves to put the gold at the bottom of the hold, right?

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?


Re: Only a problem for crew...


It seems to be possible, and Shenzhou 12 is(was?) planned for this year anyway.

TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably


Re: what's the problem?

I agree - but they're not a bank, which may go some way to explaining this situation.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker


Real-Life Ad Blockers

We could have had this, really.

It could have been the killer app for Google Glass - something that detects ads whether on billboards, backsides, or buses, and on-the-fly replaces them with more pleasing images - nice landscapes, beautiful women, specialist pornography, or a combination of all three.

For driving, it could just replace the ads with flat beige, to reduce distraction.

...but no, the word "Glasshole" was too tempting, and our urban views continue to be polluted by idiotic branding and the effluent of marketers' minds.

Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore


Re: Surprised they have any customers left...

Nationwide, up to £2500, for 1 year (then change back).

Fitness app Polar even better at revealing secrets than Strava


Re: Ill

Sans serif - because who needs 52 unique glyphs for the Latin alphabet?

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU


Re: Fgs

"Actually Galileo only operates by the consent of the US military. If they say turn it off, it has to be turned off otherwise they reserve the right to take out the constellation."

This is WAY out there (and not just literally) - see https://allthingsnuclear.org/lgrego/does-a-high-altitude-asat-test-make-sense

Navigational satellites are extremely valuable - "taking out" someone else's invites them to immediately do unto your own satellites (the capability to launch one is not that far removed from the capability to shoot one down). Even if there is no retaliation, you really don't want debris in those nice high orbits.

I honestly think the US would consider using nuclear weapons on someone before they try shooting at Galileo (or GLONASS/Beidou).

GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…


Re: Washington Post

"By the way, I really hope El Reg is raking it in by showing me ads for BooHoo, Miss Selfridge and and PrettyLittleThing against this page: targetting? What targetting?"

Treat it as a suggestion for the weekend.


One thing that amused me is that according to at least one lawyer, geoblocking the EU won't actually absolve an organisation of legal liability if they don't comply with GDPR and someone in the EU uses their service (e.g. using Tor or a VPN).

Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century


I was doing something with java and php where I needed to apply a remove operation to all items where their "expired" date was earlier than "now". Apparently the default date/time formats in java and php were not identical - I was comparing a value in seconds with one in milliseconds, and as soon as someone used the "remove expired items" command, the database was promptly emptied of all its items.

(University group project, I wasn't popular.)

The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze


Re: Repudiating democratic norms

"Imagine a fuzzy video of naked Donald Trump pissing all over a Russian prostitute. "

If they bring piss to a deepfakes fight, you bring shit.

If they bring shit, you bring animals.

If they bring animals, you bring... (completion is left as an exercise for the reader)

Welcome to the latest race to the bottom (fnarr fnarr), accelerated by the efforts of Nvidia/AMD.

You should find out what's going on in that neural network. Y'know they're cheating now?


"Seltzer cites an example of a model that noticed asthma patients were less likely to die of pneumonia. The model incorrectly assumed that asthma protected pneumonia patients based on that data.

"The problem is that if you show up at an ER and have asthma and pneumonia, they take it way more seriously than if you don't have asthma, so you're more likely to be admitted," she says. These patients did better than average because doctors had treated them more aggressively, but the algorithm didn't know that."

Er - in this case asthma does protect pneumonia patients - through the mechanism of aggressive hospital treatment from doctors when asthma is present.

The model is correct.

Cold call bosses could be forced to cough up under new rules


There could be the unintended consequence that companies start using local gentlemen of the road as directors. "Excuse me sir, would you like this free crate of cider? Just sign here... excellent!"

Do Companies House get perturbed if home addresses on the forms refer to particular cardboard boxes in the business's loading bay?

Shining lasers at planes in the UK could now get you up to 5 years in jail


Re: Overly bright vehicle lights

Agreed - I say we just ban all vehicle/street lights and make all road users (drivers/cyclists/pedestrians/horses/dogs...) wear night vision goggles.

(I know I marked this as a joke - but would it actually be any more expensive, long-term?)

SpaceX Bangabandhu-1 launch held up while Dragon splashes down on time


UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics


For the "...and questioning how the BBFC will identify which sites are most visited by children" part, I seriously wonder how they're going to do it.

Asking schools for records of how often their users tried to visit blocked domains?

Standing outside schools at 16:45 with clipboards? "Excuse me young man, would you mind taking part in a survey? I'll read you a list of websites and you can tell me if you've visited any of them..."

Cash-sprinkler Softbank and Alphabet hand over $1.9bn to Manbang


Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps


My theory is there are too many people leaving, and they're trying to get more out of the ones that remain - I got out about a week ago, after several years (mainly due to lack of signal where needed). The customer service was never great, but trying to get a PAC was frustrating: "...I assure you that you will have similar problems with other networks..." with a generalised bad attitude about me having the effrontery to shun the excellence that is Three.

Imagine you're having a CT scan and malware alters the radiation levels – it's doable


"I'd be highly surprised if the machine itself wasn't capable of keeping track of the radiation delivered at a firmware level"

I'd want there to be a safety feature at a lower level than that:

My idea (based on 5 minutes thought and near-zero levels of medical technology knowledge) is to have some sort of dosimeter in the path of the beam physically connected to the machine's power source - the goal would be that once the dose goes above a certain level, the machine totally loses power - in such a way that some serious thought is required before restoring it (e.g. severing the cable, or blowing a big fuse). This could either be a hard limit, or something the technician has to physically dial in before the procedure starts. Could this be made only using mechanical (and simple electronic - no computation) components?

Danish Navy expert finds no trace of exhaust gas in private submarine


"Realistically, who would want to buy a murder scene?"

Plenty of murders take place in homes; most of them aren't demolished.

If you're satisified with the cleaners' performance, it could be a good deal.

edit: It's irrelevant anyway - in line with the victim's family's wishes the submarine is going to be destroyed once they're finished with it as evidence. (This seemed odd, legally, to me, but there we are.)


Re: Has he ever come up with a story ...

"To "qualify" for detention he has do be declared insane by shrinks - and apparently it is not as easy as most of us lay persons would expect."

Plus, if I'm understanding things correctly, the "insanity" route can result in a longer detention - so they will be checking whether he's faking, but it'll be the other way round.

NASA stalls $8bn James Webb Space Telescope again – this time to 2020


"As it's going to be positioned a million miles from Earth, repairs in space will be impossible so it needs to work right first time and stay working. "

Talk like that is just going to provoke a "Hold my beer!" from Elon.

What's the downmass capability of the BFR going to be anyway?

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough


Re: From the department of bleeding obvious

...you now have no cake.

UK Court of Appeal settles reseller's question: Is software a good?


Re: So....

Is it just me, or do the judge's words: "novel legislative solution" seem like a euphemism for "A barely half-baked excrescence of law that should never have darkened my desk."?

US govt's final bid to extradite Lauri Love kicked into touch


How is jurisdiction actually determined where a crime is committed in one country, and has effects in another?

This isn't a new concept (e.g. an archer several thousand years ago could fire an arrow across a border in peacetime, killing a victim on the other side) so presumably there is precedent?

Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45


The obvious answer is to find some way of poisoning the horn in a way that doesn't harm the rhino, but makes the end product fatal to consume (an alternative acceptable outcome is that it makes the receipient's genitals shrivel up, drop off, or do something else similarly amusing).

Maybe it would be worth seeing if Mr. Putin could be persuaded to take an interest in megafauna conservation?

(After all, he seems to consider being viewed as an animal lover to be good propaganda.)

Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week


Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

"I'm supporting those struggling against oppressive regimes."

AI racks up insane high scores after finding bug in ancient video game


Re: Interesting..

"Now if the game is to 'maximise food stores', the AI might discover the optimum cheat is to kill everything that eats food."

You're overthinking it; anything that eats food is food. A carelessly developed foraging robot would immediately kill its creators, and diligently gut/bone/joint/render/refrigerate them.

Paul Allen's six-engined monster plane prepares for space deliveries


"Air-launched rockets might have a 12 km head-start in terms of altitude but they still have to burn a lot of fuel to reach orbital velocity."

Have a read of a mad (doesn't imply bad) idea to mount a space shuttle main engine on the back of a 747, allowing it to fly (for a short time) at very high speed/altitude before launching a rocket carried on its back:


23,000 HTTPS certs will be axed in next 24 hours after private keys leak


Re: Trustico Statement

I chortled at the extract from Symantec's agreement - who else read it in Ali G's voice?


Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way


Re: "By measuring the escape velocity, scientists have recalculated the galaxy’s mass and size."

Assuming the object doing the escaping is much less massive than the object from which it's escaping, escape velocity is independent of the mass of the escaping object.

So, you can observe the speeds of stars that actually have escaped the galaxy, and those that haven't.

e.g. if star A is going at 1000km/s and has escaped, and star B is going at 500km/s and hasn't, you can say the escape velocity is between 500 and 1000km/s and therefore the galaxy's mass (strictly speaking it'll be a combination of mass and size/density) is between some two values.

Better explanations welcome.

It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet


"So... when will the first case be heard should an innocent person be deepfaked onto a rumpypumpy video which causes said person to lose his/her job?"

Now that this technology is accessible to anyone with a PC + respectable GPU, the question of "guilty" or innocent is going to become irrelevant - people can just say "deepfaked - it wasn't me" when confronted with video evidence of them carrying out any activity they would rather keep secret.

"Reasonable doubt" just got a whole lot bigger.

(Yes, I know the videos produced still have identifiable artifacts - how long will that last?)

Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators


Pity - they must have done a few things right - my Swift is still going strong after 2+ years. (Although I changed CyanogenOS to CyanogenMod, then to LineageOS so it's getting weekly updates.)

Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing


Of course I'll eat that.

If it's a normal-ish Yorkshire pudding with stuff added, it's going to be far too dry imo - that means gravy, but to dunk, not poured - so put it in a ramikin.

As for toppings, add pineapple (for polarising opinions), ham (yorkshire pud needs meat, but beef on pizza is vile), and basil leaves.

To balance out the stodge, serve with Caesar salad, I'd also be drinking some inexpensive red wine it.

For afters, a few chocolate digestive biscuits sandwiching some dairylea (or equivalent) cheese.

Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report


Re: Wow

"but man.. I hope it gets banned."

...after being installed in every cinema/theatre in the land.

I'll torpedo Tor weirdos, US AG storms: Feds have 'already infiltrated' darknet drug souks


Re: Distraction

Indeed. Better a thousand addicts get cheap fixes than one person suffers from treatable pain.

All aboard the Vomit Comet: Not the last train to Essex, but a modded 727 for weightless flight


Re: Nostalgia dreams

"I swear that sometimes the RAF pilots firewalled the throttles and yanked the nose up just so they could punish poor pongos as their livers were garrotted by seatbelts ..."

The occasional (unsure exactly how often it was needed) vigorous leap into the sky was very much a requirement for the VC-10 in the RAF procedures - probably to give the engines a workout. My dad was a navigator on them and described a time when they were stationed at another airfield, where the residents were described as "a bunch of fucking arseholes", or words to that effect. The morning of departure was after a particularly heavy night (for those not about to fly) and one of the pilots mentioned that the aircraft hadn't had a full-power take-off in a while. Fortunately, the airfield's layout allowed a fairly close flypast of the mess, giving them the benefit of four Rolls-Royce Conways at full throttle to start their day.

Elon Musk lowers his mighty erection for test firing: Falcon Heavy preps for maiden voyage


Re: putting a fueling station into orbit

"Q: how many additional boosters can you strap onto a Falcon Heavy before it can't handle the load?"

It's not a question of whether the vehicle can take it; the ground infrastructure (pads, towers, etc.) is not set up for anything more than two strap-ons. *

Unless something seriously bad happens to the BFR plans, Falcon Super Heavy probably won't ever exist.

* apparently - I asked Elon on twitter, unsurprisingly he didn't reply, but a random someone else did - so treat the information accordingly

UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps


Re: No, no and no

Surely there's more to it than that?

What is to stop BT replying "lol no FU" in response to the demand?

(Or more realistically, a quote for £100 x the distance from the property to the exchange in metres.)


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