* Posts by BJS

19 posts • joined 18 Jul 2012

We don't want to alarm you, but PostScript makes your printer an attack vector


Re: Makes me long for...

If your 1403 had a carriage control tape (like this https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/IBM_1403_carriage_control_tape.agr.jpg/1280px-IBM_1403_carriage_control_tape.agr.jpg), you could adjust it so it wouldn't make proper contact even when there were holes in the tape. As a result, the next form-feed command will empty a box of wide fan-fold paper in a matter of minutes, ejecting it in a dazzling shower of paper powered by the 1403's hydraulics.

NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app


To protect and serve

Apparently, the motto seen on many US police cars should have been more explicit: "To protect and serve ... the police". I mean seriously, if you don't like the risk of being shot at, you made a serious career blunder.

Sound and battery: 20 portable Bluetooth speakers


AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Got one of these a while ago, mostly for use in hotels while traveling. Sound (including bass) is pretty good, at least to my jazz tastes, considering the USD 50 / GBP 36 price.

Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer


missing the point

The major contributor to all-cause mortality has little to do with organics. It's all about whether you consume animal products or not. This "study" apparently makes no distinction about that. I suspect that it's just another diversionary attack by the status quo food industry.

Personally, I prefer organic veg and fruit when they're in the "dirty dozen" (look it up) and don't worry so much about the rest. But to really make a difference in my health, the health of others, the environment, and animal welfare, I'm vegan. Argue if you'd like, but the scientific evidence is pretty much overwhelming.

Brit boffin tests LETTUCE as wire for future computers



They should have been investigating mushrooms. They're already networked!

Bad genes? US watchdog halts 23andMe's handy home DNA test kits


In the USA, ONLY the FDA is allowed to give you false positives and false negatives

They have a long history of doing so. And they have the revolving-door money to back it up. They don't want any disruptive competition.

After all, gravy trains should be assigned based on well-established international standards of "public-private cooperation" under a lobbyist's care, and if consumers dare to modify their sources of health information based on the results of 23andMe tests (or anything outside of the medical-pharmaceutical-insurance complex), they could put executives of said complex at risk of serious financial losses, lawsuits, or even imprisonment.

Gates chokes up, WEEPS to Microsoft shareholders amid talk of CEO hunt


Re: End of the Old Guard

Yeah, except that:

- The Internet kind of *is* the home shoplifting network, but while the shoplifters think they are getting away with something, they are actually paying Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for whatever they thought they were getting for "free".

- The IPhone *is* a bit of a sea of icons, Pretty much anything that uses icons, from Macs to Windoze to mobes, ultimately becomes a sea of icons.

- Android is complicated to the point that you would need a CS degree to understand what privacy you are giving up every time you install or update an app. Not that Android is alone in that critique, I'm just sayin'...

- iPads (and tablets in general) are successful, but they are only impressive to the "point-and-grunt" generation.

Younger leadership? How about just *leadership*? Leave the ageism out of it.

Microsoft's EAT-your-OWN-YOUNG management system AXED


A real game-changer

A bell curve approach will naturally encourage team members to game the system in whatever way gets them to the right side of the curve. Those who simply do their job in the best way possible are likely to end up on the short end of it.

Removing the curve and judging performance on teamwork and collaboration, but leaving a fixed budget for rewards, will be a real game-changer. Now team members will be encouraged to game the system in whatever way makes them look like better team players and more collaborative than their peers. Those who simply do their job in the best way possible are likely to end up on the short end of it.

Is it barge? Is it a data center? Mystery FLOATING 'Google thing'


Google's new business model

Advertising revenue is so early 21st century. While Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, et al, fight over dwindling ad revenues, Google is going to build a huge fleet of floating datacenters, float them to thirsty nations, and use their generated heat to desalinate seawater.

BOOGIE BALLMER: Steve Dirty Dances at tearful Microsoft leaving do


Not sure how Ballmer as CEO made anyone into a millionaire. It may have made him into a billionaire, but the rest of the stockholders got this: http://www.businessinsider.com/ballmer-era-stock-price-2013-8

Ellison ditches own cloud keynote for billionaires' America's Cup boat race

Thumb Up

yet another keynote? or sailboats topping 40 knots on hydrofoils?

I hope that mass exodus was to Americas Cup Park to watch the race.

Steve Jobs' boyhood home may become protected historical shrine


Re: They don't

Indeed, the UK has (oops, make that "had") quite a few monuments for Jimmy Savile.

Oz shop slaps browsers with $5 just looking fee


They should feature comparison shopping (and profit from it)

Instead of discouraging comparison shopping, perhaps they should FEATURE it. Put a kiosk in the store through which customers can compare products and prices with online shops. Just set up the kiosk so that if customers prefer to shop online and wait for shipment, their order goes through an affiliate program. Ka-ching.

Amazon puts up CD rack in the cloud, unearths your OLD stuff too


Re: and...

Roll your own server and you aren't beholden to the platform du jour.


Gave up on Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music already

I put about 10,000 tracks on both Amazon and Google about a year ago (I have a lot of CDs and a robotic ripper...), but have since given up on both of them.

They work OK when they do, but too often they ignore the perfectly good metadata and cover art and misidentify what I've uploaded as something entirely different. Believe me, you don't want to be listening to a playlist at the office and having the cover art for "101 Strings Plays Your Favorite Porn Themes" pop up on the screen. And I have no idea what either service would do with digitized copies of vinyl or tapes.

As for AutoRip, that's very nice when I buy something on Amazon. In the US. From Amazon. It doesn't appear to work for Amazon Marketplace purchases. Forget about amazon.somewhere-else. But when it works, it's nice to be able to listen immediately.

It's was easier for me to set up a Subsonic server, "uploads" take close to zero time, I can rip to FLAC and it transcodes to MP3 on the fly, I can only blame myself for bad metadata, and I get to choose what's available to listen to and not Amazon, Google, Apple, or some other company that basically doesn't have my musical interests at heart.

Organic food offers basically no health benefit, boffins find

Thumb Down

Love El Reg, but its science editor has a weakness for crap food

Why is it that the science column in The Register celebrates every time an article appears somewhere in the world that claims "eating crap isn't as bad for you as we thought"?


diversionary tactic

The so-called study finding that organic food is no more nutritious than "conventional" food is about as useful as one that found organic food to have roughly the same weight as "conventional" food.

How about doing a study comparing the neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor content in organic versus "conventional"?

Reagan slams webmail providers for liberal bias


Re: Like father like son

He also managed to transform the US from the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation. Today's "conservatives" in the US prefer fairy tales to history.

iPhone 5 poised to trounce Android, devastate BlackBerry?


what about people who don't have current plans to replace their smartphone?

I wonder how the survey handled people who said "I don't have any plans to replace my smartphone". If they simply didn't count those people in the survey, then the skew toward Apple could easily be explained by:

(1) Android users are more satisfied with their current phone than iPhone users, and thus Android users were not counted in the survey more often than iPhone users; and/or

(2) Apple is better at planned obsolescence (real or imagined) than Android phone manufacturers.


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