* Posts by Tannin

294 posts • joined 8 Apr 2012

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Australia scraps temporary visas for skilled workers

Tannin

Re: My Take

Meanwhile, Premier Trumble is still hell-bent on maintaining a massive immigration program.

Like others before him, he talks up 457s and illegals (both very minor contributors to the total number arriving every year) and hope that voters will be too stupid to notice that he is doing nothing whatever to get the overall number under control.

Sadly, this dishonest Howard-era policy has worked at elections many times in the past, and probably will work again.

(Though it might not be enough to save him: 10 disaster Newspolls in a row now, and #11 due any day.)

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Tannin

Ground-based fuel storage is required

"Simple reality is that "renewable" aviation is going to have to run on synthetic paraffin. And that is going to be VERY expensive."

The problem here is that the aircraft has to carry its own energy (e.g., in the form of liquid fuel). If you could figure a way to leave that weight on the ground and only transport the payload itself (together with things required to control and protect that payload, such as seats, structure and control surfaces), you'd be home free.

Luckily, there is a way. Simply launch aircraft with ground-based electric capapults.

Naturally, you'd need some serious acceleration in the launch tube - 10g? 100g? lots anyway - but this need not be harmful to passengers or freight provided you have a suitable mechanism to cushion the launch impact, such as a very large rubber band.

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Tannin

Re: Just a matter of timing

"An electric plane doesn't need to be as good as a kerosine one. It just needs to find a niche where it is more competitive than anything else."

Good point. All we need to do now is find a place with hardly any gravity.

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Teenagers think Doritos are cooler than Apple

Tannin

Re: Generation Z

There won't be any need for Generations AA, AB, and AC because, let's face reality here - Gen Z will be too busy "communicating" and "updating" on their pocket gadgets to ever learn the skills required to get pregnant, such as meeting people and possibly even talking to them.

(Yes, yes, there are apps for that. But why would Generation Z nother using them when they can achieve a functionally equivalent result with just one hand, leaving the other free for fondling the gadget?)

(Err ... some ambiguity there about which gadget is being fondled. Not that there is anything wrong with thet.)

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Tannin

Re: Who gives a stuff what teenagers think?

Upvote for remembering Setright.

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'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Tannin

Re: My recollection and the Internet says: July 1980

It cost a lot more than 3.5k, and that was second-hand. A mate and I went halves in it. (Why? I have no idea. We were both in our late teens, earning adult wages with overtime, no mortgage, no kids, not gamblers or big drinkers, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

But after currency conversion and taxes, yep, $US 3.5k would be about right. But no built-in disc drive. That I guarantee. We dreamed about a disc drive.

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Tannin

Re: My recollection and the Internet says: July 1980

Model II had an expansion port in it's own large box. Model III was all-in-one.

In top-of-the-line form, the Model II allowed a massive 64k of RAM, half of it in that expandion box, which was too big to pick up in one hand. The expansion port wiring and/or connector was horribly unreliable, so the machine would just reset randomly from time to time. When the only way to get a program into the computer was to type it in with two fingers, this was a hardship.

We always had a lot of trouble with cassette storage (possibly, having spent quite a few thousand on the computer and the big 64k expansion, we should have spent a few hundred on a better tape machine!) and never did get one of those very expensive newfangled floppy drive things.

Yes, this was the 1970s. Like Mr Wheat, I am often perfectly well aware of what decade it is. Sometimes I even remember what day it is.

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We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

Tannin

Overseas spam calls are easy

Overseas spam calls are easy. Simply require all spam calls originating internationally to unveil, and provde their Facebook and Twitter passwords.

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Australia bins safe harbour, presses ahead with Minister-as-NetAdmin plan

Tannin

Spooky

Once this would have been spooky.

With Brandis in charge ... yes, that same Brandis who crippled an honest Solicitor General in order to stave off public exposure of his own complicity in the $300 million Bell / WA Liberals scam ... yes, the same Brandis who is too stupid to understand what metadata is (even after being repeatedly briefed by his own experts), let alone why it matters .... yes, that Brandis ... it's beyond spooky and out there into horror movie territory.

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'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Tannin

Re: As I have said a million times

The one thing iPads do still have going for them is that they are one of the very few tablets to have a usefully-shaped screen. Nearly everything else is too shallow to be practical.

Having said that, I looked at the Apple offerings,. liked the screens, looked at the insane prices ... and bought a perfectly functional Android tablet instead (despite the poorer screen). I spent the hundreds of dollars in change, but I could have bought anouther couple of pretty decent tablets with it if I'd a use for more than one.

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In the land of Google, Holocaust denial, death threats – all fine. LGBT? Oh, no, that's sensitive

Tannin

Re: They have a point

"Treat your users with basic respect"

Gosh! What a crazy idea. Next thing some loon will come up with something completely wacko like, just for example, "don't be evil".

Hey, I believe it. Only yesterday I was sitting there swapping medication with my buddies Adolf and Napoleon ... well, he says he's Napoleon but I reckon he's really only Bernadotte, or possibly Mahtma Ghandi pretending ... anyway, we were sitting there making a new hat to keep the starlings out and trying out each-other's medications when Adolf stuck a dose of Napoleon's Penfluridol in his ear and said "Let's treat people like Dr Johnson with basic respect" . Seems perfectly reasonable to me. Wurble worble floop.

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Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash

Tannin

Re: Personal Advisor

"Do not believe that a box made of plasic set up in your living room cares about YOU. If you do, you must be stupid, very stupid."

Newsflash: most people in this world are stupid, very stupid. Google knows this, which is why it is rich, very rich.

You know this, of course, because you are not so stupid. Neither am I. But we and others like us - including many readers of this thread - are a tiny minority, condemned to drowing in a vast sea of endless stupid.

What can we do about it? Many things. Join a wacko religion. Switch off the computer and grow tomatoes in the back yard. Drink heavily. Close your eyes and wait to die. Post grumbles on the Register. Get rich by investing in a company with a business model heavily based on assuming that most people are stupid.

None of these strategies will actually do any good, of course, but they help the time go by.

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This week's top token gesture: Google Chrome chokes energy-hungry background tabs

Tannin

Of Opera still made browsers, they'd be all over this idea.

Open

Open in new tab

Open in background tab

Open in silent tab

Open in low-CPU tab

User options to set defaults for background tabs, such as (for example) "Open as usual but with moderate CPU priority, after (<reasonable time for page layiut and related tasks>), cut resource use to near-zero until aquires focus". Call that "best of both worlds" tab handling. Naturally, you'd also have a way to open a full-power tab (much the way you can open a private tab in current browsers) for when you want to (for example) stream something.

No bugger invents anything useful anymore.

Damn I miss Opera!

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Tannin

Re: Mobiles suck

Sometimes I wish that I could save up all my upvotes for a day and deliver them to just one post.

" Nothing they type on the bus or toilet is of interest to anyone."

Says it all.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

Tannin

Re: I believe...

Well, the obvious answer is that bloggs.com requires a length of 6-10 characters, no dictionary words, no punctuation marks, and at least one number, while jones.com requires 12 or more characters, .mix of upper and lower case, no repeated letters, and at least one non-alpha-numeric character.

But possibly I'm missing the same something here.

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Tannin

Better security questions needed

Never mind the password problem, how about fixing those security questions. The world needs better securtity questions. For example:

What is your favourite recreational drug?

Why were you bullied at school?

What did your granny die of?

What was your most embarrassing disease?

Describe the flavour of your favourite bodily secretion.

Who did you have your first extra-marital affair with?

Not counting masturbation, what was your most memorable sexual experience?

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Cold callers illegally sold Aussie farmers 1,700 years worth of printer ink

Tannin

Re: It's not a new scam

Carbon paper? Remember it well. As matter of fact I still have a little of it. Would you like some? I don't use it much these days so I can easily spare a bit. My brother drives a truck. If you slipped him a slab I reckon he'd deliver it for you.

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee refuses to be King Canute, approves DRM as Web standard

Tannin

Re: All the whining in the world...

Narrow-mindled, blinkered thinking will never get you anywhere. Why do we have to give studios money? Ans: we don't. Content creators and distributors can starve. Or get real jobs. Screw 'em.

And what would ge the result? Well, nothing really. There will still be new content created and distributed. If you knew anything about history you'd know that there weren't even copyright laws back when the greatest creative geniuses the world has seen were creating wonderful art. Mozart, Shakespeare, Haydn, and Beethoven, for example: they all created great works anyway. No DRM, not even copyright.

DRM. Just say no.

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Tannin

Re: DRM means you don't own your content

Nonsense. Of course, you never own the artistic work, but you do own the physical copy of it. Think of a book: you retain complete freedom to do whatever you want with it: you can read it, paper the walls with it, set fire to it, lend it to a friend, draw naughty pictures on it, whatever you like.

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RAF pilot sacked for sending Airbus Voyager into sudden dive

Tannin

@Lars

Sorry mate, you've screwed the pooch this time. There were three pilots in the cockpit of that aircraft on that flight. (Plus the two children, who were travelling with their father, one of the three pilots.) Don't take my word for it, look it up, Aeroflot Flight 593.

Sadly, you haven't got the number of pilots normally required in old-time western aircraft right either. Up until about 1970, give or take, it was indeed common to have three crew members in the cockpit as routine, but onlt two of them pilots. The third member was the Flight Engineer, who was usually responsible for (obviously) the engines, but also other tasks, notably fuel management. Advances in technology soon made flight engineers technically superfluous, but airlines in some countries retained them for another decade or so largely because of pressure from their union.

Flight Engineers were not pilots, and were not qualified or trained to fly the aircraft, although of course some engineers did flying training at their own expense in the hope of eventually getting a better-paid and more prestigious job at the pointy end.

On very long flights, it was and still is cvommon to have a third pilot, or more typically a complete second crew, to allow the primary crew to get some sleep.

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Tannin

Re: Interesting

"Yes, some of us remember the "Russian" Airbus which crashed in Siberia when the pilot let his son sit behind the stick. ..... But in that case, over Siberia, everything went wrong"

As a matter of detail, the fundamental error was simple. As usual with accidents, there were many errors piled one upon another, and several of them howlers, but the overriding mistake which, more than any other, caused the disaster was the crew's failure to assign responsibility for monitoring the flight to any one of the three pilots on board. All three sat around, assuming that one of the other three was in charge. No-one even bothered to glance at the instruments. Being clear about who has control is fundamental to all vehicles and has been for hundreds, possibly thousads of years. this is why sailors quickly evolved simple, practical rituals such that there is never any possible doubt about who has the watch, and why (as soon as multi-crew aircraft came along) pilots did the same.

(Imagine being in a car with dual control. Three of you are travelling at 100km/h. Just as the thing is about to drive off the cliff and it's too late to do anything, you say "Oh, sorry Harry, I thought you were probably driving. Did you think I was?" OK, not an exact parallel, but you get the rough idea.)

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Tannin

Re: Flying by Joystick

Years ago, a handful of moronic Yanks used to make up ridiculous nonsense about aeroplanes manufactured anywhere other than the US. It used to be rather fun to read their increasingly desperate and always demented rantings. Sometimes, when you could be bothered, you'd point out the laughable flaws in their "evidence" and "logic". But not very often, there wasn't a lot of sport in it. Hey, showing them up as blinkered fools from Fantasyland was about as challenging as peeing without getting more than 50% of it on the floor instead of in the bowl. Sober. With the light on. Sitting down.

Ahhh .... nostalgia.

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Google devs try to create new global namespace

Tannin

Re: Spam Me Senseless

"But if you use Gmail for example spam has been a solved problem"

That's the point, isn''t it. Google has invented a service which forces you to use a different Google service whether you want to or not. Gosh! Who'd ever have expected that?

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Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Tannin

Re: The long term plan

Who is talking about esoteric CTRL-T behaviour? Certainly not me. I just want it to Work As Designed.

Speed of rendering is a non-issue. Any half-sensible page can be rendered by any current or near-current browser in less time than it takes to download the page content on an average domestic connection. Speed in background tabs is even less of an issue. Background tabs are invisible to the user until switched to and (to a first approximation) shuold get zero CPU time. To a second approximation, they should get enough more than that to permit low-priority initial rendering of the page, and (optionally) audio. In short, they should get CPU cycles only when the visible page is idle.

Sure, we can dream up odd-ball circumstances where we want a background tab to do some special-purpose heavy lifting. (For example, some sort of real-time monitoring.) However it is design madness to allow an uncommon, special-purpose task to degrade the primary functionality of any tool. Sensible ways to deal with this sort of challenge include using a different, designed-for-purpose tool in the first place (putting every damn thing through the browser is as dumb as having a different app for every damn thing, only in the opposite direction); using a different browser; using a second copy of the same browser; or providing a way to allow aparticular tasks to be granted greater priority. (Oh, and of course, writing pages that don't make insane demands on the hardware for no good reason. Refer to my earlier comment about Javascript and hanging offences.)

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Tannin

Re: You await some decision?

OK, it's not something to be proud of, but opposing same-sex marriage isn't actually a hanging offence.

Being the part-inventor of Javascript, on the other hand, certainly is.

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Tannin

Re: Thunderbird

Steady on there my man, Thunderbird search is fair-dinkum state of the art stuff. One of the best there is.

Er ... This is 1994 isn't it?

Seriously now, TB search isn't just retarded, the UI moves to get to it are equally so.

With the mouse:

(1) select EDIT ->

(2) click ->

(3) scroll down to find FIND ->

(4) change direction and navigate across to the right ->

(5) now change direction again and navigate down to find SEARCH MESSAGES (and no, you can't just move the mouse to the right place, you have to do three seperate movements at right angles to each other) ->

(6) click.

WTF? The only difference between that ergonomic abortion and 1994 is that most programs did it better in 1994.

And the keystroke alternative is an impossible-to-remember three key job. WTF again? The standard keystroke for SEARCH or FIND is ALT-F3. In Thunderbird, F3 isn't used for anything at all. Why not attach it to the search function? Another couple of common keystrokes for search are CTRL-F and CTRL-S. Guess what they do in Thunderbird? Yep. Nothing. Morons.

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Tannin

Re: The long term plan

It may have to do with what's in those tabs. It varies quite a bit. My guess is that the Moz developers allow Javascript in background tabs to steal to much CPU. Are you running a script blocker by any chance?

Be that as it may, I work on other people's machines on a daily basis and often see it. These other machines can be anything, from a brand new gaming rig with the works right through to ancient iron you practically have to start up with a buggy whip and a bag of oats.

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Tannin

Re: The long term plan

Try it with a reasonanle number of tabs open. Does it regularly. (And that's on any machine I'm familiar with. This one is an i7 with SSD and 16GB.)

Something as basic as a web browser - I'm not saying browsers are simple, but they are a standard, basic tool, not something to be compared with, say, Photoshop - should certainly work properly with the sort of small machine your Granny uses, say an i3 with 8Gb and a rust drive, and by rights ought to be OK even with 4GB.

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Tannin

Re: Thunderbird

Mozilla need to stop buggering around with Firefox -- especially as every change they make seems to lose it users - and start buggering around with Thunderbird -- especially as every change they make will lose it users.

Er ... Sorry. Bit of a bad dream there.

Agree with you. But given their unmatched ability to bugger things up for no good reason, I'd just as soon that they didn't "fix" Thunderbird the way they "fixed" Firefox.

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Tannin

Re: The long term plan

Bahh. Nonsense. Firefox's speed problem isn't thagt it takes too long to render a page. No-one even notices that. It's speed problem is that it doesn't hand you the UI RIGHT NOW when you open a new tab or window.

With any properly designed browser, you type <ctrl>-T my_search_term_or_address.

With Firefox, you type <ctrl>-T rm_or_address.... oh .... it's bloody Fiorefox again. It's just lost the thing I typed in for it to do, now I have to reposition the cursor, delete the mangled half-instruction it managed to catch, and type it again.

FFS! Opera was getting this right a decade ago. Even bloody Chrome does it better. The only browser which is even worse in this respect is IE.

A few milliseconds more or less rendering a page that is probably delayed by bandwidth or latency on your nework connection anyway is irrelevant to anything except developer circle jerks. Mangling commands from the user is unforgiveable.

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You want WHO?! Reg readers vote Tom Baker for Doctor 13. Of course

Tannin

Adder Bean

I don't ujnderstand why no-one has voted for Rowan Atkinson.

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Prepare your popcorn: Wikipedia deems the Daily Mail unreliable

Tannin

Pot, kettle

I wouldn't regard The Register as a reliable source either. Unless, of course, it is reporting on the 112th Wikipedia fundraising scam. Or any of several other Wikipedia scandals. Or .... well, quite a lot of things really. But although much improved, El Reg still has a lot of sin-bin time to go before it lives down the anti-science disgrace known as .... Hmmm ... can I mention names? Maybe safer not to. At least not on this Page. As I said, much improved these days, but it will be years yet before I'll trust the science articles.

Oh, and there are those insanely tendentious technical opinion things written by some PR flack or other to spruik his company and its products. You know then ones, they pop up every now and then and stick out like dogs' balls. Which, now that I think about it, says something rather positive about the bulk of El Reg's technical content, which can be and often is very worthwhile indeed. If ever in doubt, the comments pretty much always set one straight.

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Tannin

Re: Lies!

Good points, Big_Boomer. But beware of official statistics too. Yes, obviously they can be slanted by governments with an axe to grind, but even numbers prepared as honestly as possible can be and often are subject to serious error. The classic example usually cited when teaching the benefits and dangers of official statistics is that of Durkheim. Back in the 1890s, Durkheim pioneered the study of suicide. A great deal of careful work with official suicide statistics allowed him, to demonstrate that sociological institutions - notably the church - had a big effect on suicide rates. Catholic societies and families, Durkheim discovered, had significantly lower sucide rates than Protestant ones. He regarded this as a consequence of Catholic teachings about sin. (It was a more subtle and powerful argument than that, but you get the drift.)

Decades later, other socioligists looked more carefully at his work, and soon discovered that, while Durkheim was indeed onto something real, by far the greater part of what he was observing from his careful work with official statistics was not actual differences in suicide rate, it was differences in the way that deaths were reported, recorded, and classified. Depending on their religious background and the norms of their community, families, police, doctors, coroners, and other officials were more or less likely to find ways to define ambiguous deaths as "suicide" or "non-suicide". Most of the effect he discovered, in other words, was differences in the way official statistics were collected and recorded.

(I'm tempted to wonder if Wikipedia has an article about this. But if it did, I naturally wouldn't trust it.)

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USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

Tannin

Re: Am I missing something?

A Spitfire with a turbo-prop engine, contra-rotating variable-pitch props, and fly-by-wire. *That* could be interesting...

It's been done. Well, all bar the fly-by-wire. It wasn't a Spitfire they did it with, but a Mustang, which was pretty much te same thing only a 10-year newer design: same engine, marginally better manouverability, marginally lower rate of climb, much longer range, genrally regarded as one of the best three land-based fighters of the era (alongside the Spitfire and the FW-190).

So, for our purposes, close ernough to a Spitfire. Back in the 1960s the Yanks were trying to flog a turbine-powered Mustang as a heavily-armed, cost-effective ground attack platform for sale to third-world clients and allies. It seemed like a pretty good machine for that purpose but so far as I can remember it never went into production.

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Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Tannin

Re: An addendum

That has been a persistent problem with Chrome for quite some time. As of a couple of days ago it still wasn't fixed. Haven't noticed it on Opera or Vivaldi but I seldom use those two.

(I'd be happy to use either or both if they ever get the interfaces fixed, but so long as they keep on pretending to be Chrome, I might as well just use the real thing or (as I mostly do) Pale Moon (has simple options fo fix interface), Seamonkey (good straight out of the box), Firefox (good provided you have Classic Theme Restorer), and real Opera (truly ancient, can't be used on many sites these days, but still the best browser UI of all time, and still has killer features you just can't get anywhere else).

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Tannin

Not ready for prime time

It's been around for a couple of years now and there is still no single close-tab function. It's a shame as many other things about Vivaldi are great. But it is nuts that they still don't have this simple, useful ergonomic design feature where so many competitors do, including Pale Moon, Seamonkey, Firefox and even the original Opera.

Fair go chaps, you practically invented this useful feature back when Opera was the trendsetting pioneer. Get with the program.

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More tech companies join anti-Trump battle, but why did some pay for his inauguration?

Tannin

Re: Breaking

Nice try but I'm not sure that satire works with Trump. I mean, the thing with satire is that it's supposed to be more ridiculous and unbeleviable than the real thing. No-one seems to have figured out how to do that yet.

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Fears Windows code-signing changes will screw up QA process

Tannin
Coat

There is no novel innovation

There is no such thing as a "novel innovation". Well, OK, there is, but only if you are not very bright and/or English is not your native language (and neither is French, Spanish, or any of several others). All innovations are novel. That's what the word "innovation" means - a new thing. Just look at the word: it has three parts: "in" plus "nova" plus "tion". The "nova" part means "new". C'mon, you know this: "nova" = a new star; "supernova" = a bright new star; "novel" (in literature) a new story; "novice" = someone who is new at some task; "novitiate" = a new priest in training; "novel" (in general speech) = something new.

In fact, the meaningful parts of "innovation" and "novel" don't only mean exactly the same thing (something new), they are essentially the same word and come from the same source: "novus", which is the Latin for .... yep, you guessed it, "new".

What's really going on here, of course, is that corporation PR morons have used "innovation" in so many press releases and speils where it patently does not apply to anything or mean anything that they have forgotten that the word they misuse every working day really does mean something ("a new thing") and when, one shiny day, they actually want to find a word that really does mean "a new thing" they haven't got one 'coz they've worn out the old one so they have to ... er ... innovate ... and say "a new new thing". Or, in moron PR flack-speak, they have to come up with a "novel innovation".

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Boeing's 747 to fly off the production line for the foreseeable future

Tannin

Re: Dual engine 747? Not really. But what's available pre-owned?

Most freighters are converted former passenger aircraft. The extent of and cost of the conversion varies from not much through through to many millions, depending on use case and how much of the required work has alredy been done. (For example, the aircraft my or may not already have a reinforced floor or a large freight door.)

You can buy an old aircraft (for example, an early model 747) for next to nothing. Trouble is, it costs a fortune to run, both in maintanence and fuel.

New aircraft, on the other hand, need little mechanical work, carry bigger loads, and are much more fuel efficient. Over time, airframe manufacturers improve the aerodynamics and lower the structural weight (yes, the shiny new model really is better than the old one - something which isn't always the case in the motor car world!) and have newer desigh engines. Jet turbine engines have improved enormously.

So all up, a brand new 747 costs something like half as much to run per freight-kilometre as an old one. Big, cashed-up freight companies like UPS spend the dollars up front in the confdent expectation of saving more than that in the long run.

Note, however, that Boeing are selling a pitifully small handful of 747s now and the production rate has dropped way below what is usually considered economic. The old girl can't go on much longer, it seems.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of airlines are buying twins. A big twin carries almost as much as a 747 and costs much less to build and run. Or, if you are going to shell out serious dollars for a four-engine airliner, why not get a big one? The 747 is only medium-large these days.

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Mozilla wants infosec activism to be the next green movement

Tannin
Mushroom

Back to the future

The main problem is that we don't design systems to be secure in the first place. Every code wonk in the known universe wants to add features and Do Cool Stuff. Security is an afterthought. This notion that any random website is allowed by default to run unknown code on your computer is stone motherless stupid. And the ability sites have to hand-off code to other sites, ones you have never even heard of, is beyond stupid.

OK, so that amounts effectively to throwing away Javascript and starting again with a better idea.

Good!

(Yes, yes, it's Javascript is not the only problem child. There are various other completely unnecessary scripting honeypots, such as Flash and active PDF documents, various Microsoft proprietary horrors, and so on. A pox on all of them. And if that means going back to 1995 and starting again, only trying to do it right this time, well, hand me the plutonium and switch on the flux capacitor.)

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Unbreakable Locky ransomware is on the march again

Tannin

morons and synpathy

If she's lost 10 years worth of photos, it follows that she has gone 9 years plus without a backup.

That's somewhere out there in the unexplored territory where you go beyond stupid, turn right, and keep going until the wheels fall off. Nine years!

Of course, as all of us here have no doubt seen for ourselves, Beyond Stupid is commonplace, and some remarkably intelligent people do it. Even people who are generally pretty careful about things can surprise you with a complete failure to backup.

So is this unique to computers, perhaps because people don't understand them or are subconsciously hostile to them?

Not really. It seems to apply to other seldom-needed but vital tasks too, especially ones that are a little unpleasant, or boring, or cost a small amount of money for no tangible immediate return, or not very easy to understand.

People go for decades without bothering to make a will; somehow manage to avoid the dentist until they have really serious pain, don't quite get around to paying the house insurance .... probably every profession can cite the dumb things people do (or more to the point don't do) which wind up hurting them badly.

But I still reckon that complete ffailure to backup is more common and more difficult to excuse than any of them.

I've spent my working life being polite and sympathetic to people who've just discovered that not having backups is a very bad idea. Sometimes I've been able to get their data back, sometimes not. Rule Clint applies. ("Do I feel lucky?") Win or lose though, I've always, always been sensitive to their feelings and handled them more-or-less the way an undertaker handles a bereaved family member. Underneath all that, of course, there is what I really think. Yes, yes, I do understand how easy it is to not backup, I really do. And I know, I really do know, the horrible sick feeling you get when you realise that you've really screwed something important up through your own carelessness. But you know what I really think, don't you. It's the same thing we techies all think when we see this happen: well what did you expect, you fu*king moron?

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Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

Tannin

Re: I call fake

Good point. But he's 57. He grew up in an era when most people - yes, even poor people towards the lower end of the IQ scale with not too much formal education - could add up well enough to make change without computer aid, and were more-or-less literate. Different story if he was, say, 35.

Alternatively, one might suppose that a literatre journalist or sub-editor corrected his spelling - but only if one happened to believe that there are literatre journalists and sub-editors remaining in the wild.

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Google nukes ad-blocker AdNauseam, sweeps remains out of Chrome Web Store

Tannin

Re: No free ride

Cheers Tim99, that answers my question nicely.

It wouldn't have occurred to me to use .vbs for a task like this (or indeed for anything else much) but I can see the advantages in your context. Me, I'm only just used to these newfangled batch file things, since they replaced the normal .sub SUBMIT file. :)

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Tannin

Re: No free ride

Thanks for that script.I'm sure it will be useful. Forgive my ignorance here, but what is the point of using vbs for it when a perfectly ordinary batch file is faster and easier?

(Possibly I am showing my age.)

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Tannin

Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

Well done on your EE Smith reference - not too many people remember the Doc these days. But - though one should hesitate to mention her in the same paragraph as EE Smith - a rather earlier and utterly compelling insight into advertising is Dorothey E Sayers' Murder Must Advertise. But, of course, she had inside knowledge of the industry.

(What would she have made of Google/DoubleClick? One hates to think.)

2
0

Folders return to Windows 10's Start Thing

Tannin

Re: With the exception of the Master Race...

There are good reasons to use Windows, reasons inbvolving programs which are absolutely positively superior to anything available on 'nix. Office and Outlook are not, repeat not, repeat not amongst them.

1
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Don't pay up to decrypt – cure found for CryptXXX ransomware, again

Tannin

Follow the money.

This scumware only exists because authorities (a) allow quasi-currencies like Bitcoin, and (b) make no attempt to make the quasi-currencies comply with the standard rules that apply to all traditional currencies.

Seriously, what actual use is Bitcoin? What goods and services could not be delivered without it? What would we lose (other than a lot of crime) by simply getting rid of it? (You wouldn't ban it, you'd just legislate to make it difficult or impractical to exchange it for items of genuine value such as currency.)

Follow the money. Always follow the money.

8
20

Don't panic, friends, but the Chinese navy just nicked one of America's underwater drones

Tannin

Re: Truly, the post-truth age.

Just so. A cleansing dose of nuclear winter would rebalance the climate, and with any luck, all the bombs would be nice and far away in the unpopulated Northern Hemiphere.

(Unpopulated by anyone important anyway.)

(In case of confusion, "important" in this context means me, my mum, and the chap who runs the pizza shop.)

6
2
Tannin

Re: Something doesn't add up about that scenario

Nonsense. The Chinese don't own the ocean., It is not, repeat not, territorial water. The "frisbee", in this case, was being thrown in a public park, and the Chinese military simply stole it. There is no excuse in internation law for this behaviour. None.

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1

China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

Tannin

But where is Uncle Clive?

Clive Palmer, that is. Or has he sunk without trace now?

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