* Posts by harmjschoonhoven

608 posts • joined 3 Sep 2012


Danger mouse! Potent rodents 'see' infrared after eyeballs injected with nanoparticles


Re" "and then the mice were killed"

So barbaric. The Byzantine Emperor Basileus II ordered in 1014 AD to have 15000 prisoners of war blinded on both eye, except one in a hunderd who lost one eye so they could lead their brethren back to Bulgaria, in stead of killing them as as was the habit at the time.

I say, that sucks! Crooks are harnessing hoovers to clean out parking meters in Chelsea


Re: Trickle down economy?

@Jellied Eel, In the Netherlands prostitution is legalized (and taxed). According to the Central Bureau of Statistics prostitution added an estimated 520 million Euros to the Dutch economy in 2014. The document stipulates that EU rules require that all illegal activities are tallied in economic statistics.

BTW The linked PDF is in Dutch, but the translation is easy: cannabis=cannabis, prostitutie=prostitution, pooier=pimp.

This image-recognition neural net can be trained from 1.2 million pictures in the time it takes to make a cup o' tea

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Re: You can't make a cup of tea in 90 seconds

A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell

Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.

Watchdog asks UK.gov to reissue freedom of information guidance after councils are told to STFU about Brexit plans


Re: Why worry?

Spam, though, I've got lots of spam. And whisky. Whisky, smuggled from the independent Republic of Islay (EU).

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone


Re: Don't be........

Change to lead osmium foil for gravity assist?

FTFY. I vividly remember seeing an unliftable mass of osmium at the exhibition Het Atoom (1957).

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence


Isn't that part of what it means to be British?

When in Rome, do like the Romans do.

Romford Station, smile! You're in London cops' final facial recog 'trial'


Fortunately the weather will cause lots of scarf-wearing. Many faces will be covered anyway.

Yeah, Cover your head like a Ninja.

Florida man stumbles on biggest prime number after working plucky i5 CPU for 12 days straight


@DavCrav Re: Math is hard

Congratulations, you have proved that large numbers exist.

No, I did not (although they exist), because the proposed large number critically depends on the proposition that the set of Mersenne primes is finite.

BTW, The association of mathematicians with idiots, bumbling or otherwise, is entirely yours.


Re: Math is hard

Computing the n-th Mersenne prime does not add a iota to the the proof that the set of Mersenne primes is finite, infinite or that this is an undecidable conjecture.


Math is hard

If the number of Mersenne primes is finite, there is a largest Mersenne prime, call this Mlargest. This is a prime number from which the number (2^Mlargest)-1 can be derived. Because this can not be a prime, it should be the product of two or more primes. At least one of its factors is expected to be larger than Mlargest.

Happy computing, or better: Do some hard thinking.

Techie basks in praise for restoring workforce email (by stopping his scripting sh!tshow)


Re: Recursion is difficult

Some recursive functions are easy to understand, but hard to execute like the Ackermann function.

Wilhelm Ackermann was a pupil of David Hilbert who was a pupil of Ferdinand von Lindemann who was a pupil of Felix Klein who was a pupil of .... Probably going all the way down to Noah who had just to count to two.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention


@jake Re: Which is better?

Maryn McKenna writes in Scientific American of April 2012 that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2011 that the U.S. (population 2011 311.6 million) sees 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year from foodborne organisms. The Europen Union (population 2009 502.09 million) had 48,964 cases and 46 deaths in 2009.

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit



My Nilfisk vacuum cleaners will probably just blow the VB-M50B from their sockets and spit them out.

BTW The Singaporean government dictators will shortly install surveillance cameras with face recognition sitting atop over 100,000 lampposts in the citystate as part of a broader "Smart Nation" plan.


Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy



In the 1980's our small team had the prestigious task to write (Pascal)software for an exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The idea was that visitors could point at a touch(!) screen and a corresponding incandescent light would lit a 3D scale model.

It was a chaos and no one could find the bug. Finally I discovered that an array was declared with length 5, but documented as length 4 AFAIR. Anyway the crux was that somewhere in the code was a reference to the last but one element of that array. That cured me from excessive documentation.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

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@Ogi: No need to build a Tesla coil yourself

Besides gas lighters that are based on the piezo-electric effect you can also buy gas lighters that work on one 1.5 AA battery. They are in fact Tesla coils with an output of about 6 kV AC.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons


Re: It might just be...

Obvious: All the cables cut from the keyboards were used to knit a body armour vest.

Hi there, Hubble, glad to hear you're doing okay


Re: Kepler

Forget a manned mission to Kepler. Its distance to Earth is most of the time larger than the distance to Mars in conjunction.

BTW Kepler is now at over 270% of its intended lifetime.

From today, it's OK in the US to thwart DRM to repair your stuff – if you keep the tools a secret


Screwdrivers, screwdrivers ...

Do you mean a flat, cross, Torx, other hexagonal with or without central boring, triangular, two-pronged flat or watchmakers screwdriver? Or the one that fits the screw but that you and your friendly neighbour unfortunately does not possess?

BTW If you cannot open the box: the last screw is under the label.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...


Re: Important 'cause...

And that child might grow up to be the next Hitler or Nigel Farage, so the car might be doing us all a favour by killing it anyway.

Or the parents of the dead child decide to make another one and that child grows up to be the next Hitler or Nigel Farage.

Good news: Largest, most ancient known galaxy supercluster is spotted. Bad news: It's collapsing on itself


Russian 'troll factory' firebombed – but still fit to fiddle with our minds


Re: Not Molotov?

Or the Paris 1968 variant: half petrol, half sulfuric acid. Eats away marble and circuitboards.

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market


What microwave?

As long as my Primus® burner does not react to the command FIRE, I am safe.

AI beats astroboffins at sniffing out fast radio bursts amid the universe's clutter


Re: Interpretation

https://www.nature.com/articles/4361206a is published in Futures Nature's Science-Fiction section. For real science consult http://search.arxiv.org:8081/?query=FRB&in=.

I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one


I understand

that a robot dog has large eyes to make it look cute, but why does it not have a fur of nanofibres or at least a synthetic shark skin? And if you go for plastic, choose doggy-brown or a Dalmatian pattern.

C'mon, if you say your device is 'unhackable', you're just asking for it: Bitfi retracts edgy claim


Re: This day in history...

May be, John Mcaffee was born in 1945. His great-great grandfather was born four generations earlier. So the old man was between 47 and over 87 years old when the Titanic went down. BTW, my grandfather - no the other one - invested in Russian railway shares ....

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway


Re: It should just work

The solution is evident. When a device with a fixed username / password, like user/12345, rolls from the belt or better at the final acceptance test, it is hooked up to a computer that logs in, sets username and password to a random value and prints a label. This should than be enforced by law to convince the beancounters of the world.

The device can than be marketed as "Now with improved security bla bla bla".

Blinking internets, Batman! O2 trials 5G over lightbulbs


Re: But...

Having sex by candle light is much more fun and for the time being a private thing.

Making money mining Coinhive? Yeah, you and nine other people


Re: Reads like a ponzi scheme

Whereas almost all Ponzi schemes finally give only work to prison wardens, this one also gave work to a team of German academics.

IBM Watson dishes out 'dodgy cancer advice', Google Translate isn't better than humans yet, and other AI tidbits


Research has shown

that medical doctors do not trust the output of a computer-diagnosis (by AI or otherwise), if the result is computed within 30 seconds. So if necessary software engineers inserted a delay.

In an other context I once wrote a Monte Carlo optimization which I let run on a SGI server for 30 seconds before the result was broadcast on public television.

Windows 10's defences are pretty robust these days, so of course folk are trying to break them


Re: Security for Windows 10

May be Rich 11 can take inspiration from my recipe for a safe nuclear powerstation. Encase it in a concrete dome with a radius such that the energy required to build it equals the total output of the powerstation during its lifetime.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled


Re: 'I don't think we should discount the space dildo theory yet.'

In that case at 235M X 35M we really don't want to upset the owners users. FTFY.

Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...


To be honest,

it is not unusual if you point at a brandnew product on show at the IBC and ask whether you can buy it and what it will cost, panic will break out because it is only a (working) prototype. BTW the IBC and funerals are the only venues I visit with suit and (normal resp. black) tie. It helps to get answers.

Mine is the one with the inflatable tank in the pocket.

Wires, chips, and LEDs: US trade bigwigs detail Chinese kit that's going to cost a lot more


Every one

may begin a war at his pleasure, but cannot so finish it. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Discourses, Second Book, Ch. X (AD 1531).

Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust


Bah, moondust

I go for the Allende meteorite with real interstellar microdiamonds ****.

New York State is trying to ban 'deepfakes' and Hollywood isn't happy


A08155 Summary: Establishes the right of privacy and the right of publicity for both living and deceased individuals; provides that an individual's persona is the personal property of the individual and is freely transferable and descendible; provides for the registration with the department of state of such rights of a deceased individual; and that the use of a digital replica for purposes of trade within an expressive work shall be a violation.

Good heavens, do these people not value fine eighteen century Japanese erotic prints? NSFW

Russia appears to be 'live testing' cyber attacks – Former UK spy boss Robert Hannigan


Re: Many organised cyber criminal outfits are Russian too

To quote Inside Cyber Warfare by Jeffrey Carr, They (Russian cyber criminals) don't ask who you are and why you are doing this. They 'll just break both your arms.

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

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Re: How in it done in Europe

Dutch Rijkswaterstaat designed sophisticated crash cushions called RIMOBs in the 1980s. They are pre-deformed iron tubes which collapse like an harmonica on impact. At the time we were involved in making high-speed films of crash tests and I remember that my manager had a compressed RIMOB tube on his window-ledge which looked like a piece of abstract art. These and simular infrastructure saved many lives.

PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage


If numbers count

those animal-righters should have themselves infected with malaria or an other Plasmodium species a.s.a.p., because that is the only way to make millions of these parasites happy and let them have sex.

Uh oh! Here's yet more AI that creates creepy fake talking heads


Re: Again?

As Michael Faraday once said to Gladstone: Sir, there is every probability that you will soon be able to tax it!' refering to new and dangerous stuff build for no other reason than that it can be done.

W.E.H. Lecky

BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'


Re: You think we all wear bright orange all day?

No, but Thrianta rabbits have to - WWII and all that, you know.


Church of England will commune with God for you via Amazon's Echo


whois God

No whois server is known for this kind of object.

Get an eyeful of the stunning galaxies near us in ultraviolet light


if mankind Saccharomyces cerevisiae only gets remembered for one thing

this FTFY

North will remain North for now, say geo-magnetic boffins


Re: There is no pole flip.

For the Chinese the compass has always been a south pointing device.

BTW two weeks ago bought a fine antique (19th century) compass made by Gebrüder Fromme G.M.B.H., Wien. ø 100 mm, resolution 20'. Enough to observe the daily variations of the Earth magnetic field.

When tyrants pull on their jackboots to stamp out free speech online, they reach for... er, a Canadian software biz?


Re: Right to information?

@horriblicious: The title of Ch. 3 of Jeffrey Carr's Inside Cyber Warfare PDF is The Legal Status of Cyber Warefare. It mentions

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaties

The Antarctic Treaty System and Space Law



The Law of Armed Conflict

Moreover we have the Geneva Conventions.

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

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All about TESS

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will seek worlds close to home. It is designed to spot planets orbiting nearby bright stars.

Read the story here.

Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good


Re: to say it with that nice song from the South Park movie

To see Zuck as a reincarnation of Caligula is an insult to the Emperor.May be he is rather a reincarnation of Cesare Borgia.

A new Caligula will have his slaves dig at sites clearly marked as Nuclear waste burial site. No do dig here!.

UK rocket-botherers rattle SABRE, snaffle big bucks


ground test

prior art

Birds can feel Earth's magnetic fields? Yeah, that might fly. Bioboffins find vital sense proteins


@DougS: People are sensitive to polarization of light

People with normal vision can see the Haidinger figures. Even the degree of polarization of the blue sky 90° from the Sun is enough to see it, if you know what to look for.

Re orientation in general:

Alice asked the Cheshire Cat "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That dependes a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where --" said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. "--so long as I get somewhere," Alice added. "Oh, you 're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?


Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

@AC: A five sided/pointed shape is in fact very easy to make. Learned that in kindergarten.


Holy helmets, Batman! Bane-like mask lets you 'talk' to computers without making a sound


Utter failure

Not compatible with Google Glass. Wait - we need more ears.


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