* Posts by BinkyTheHorse

58 posts • joined 27 Jan 2013


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


Because that way the probably-considerably-VP-overfunded companies don't get to use their legal war chests to file civil suits under the pretense that they were mislead somehow, and hence the results are some sort of misrepresentation?

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM


Re: This is good.

For USB peripherals that may be true, but a significant number of auxillary components, like sensors, run on 3.3V. Having the same voltage requirement everywhere saves cost and complexity, as the other posts outlined.

Apple web design violates law, claims blind person


Re: ..well in Cal about 90% of ADA lawsuits are straight scams

"Nothing is done about this egregious abuse because the various special interest pressure groups are loath to admit that maybe they might be wrong.[...]"

"Nothing"? I beg to differ. How about assigning the task of monitoring compliance to at least a state-level government agency? Like it's done with other health, safety, and sanitary issues I presume? Sure, it's not perfect, it's prone to inefficiency and corruption - but it's better IMO than leaving people with special needs being essentially unable to improve their situation.

In my mind, the current approach of offloading the responsibility to act on disabled people, due to the actions of some bad apples, sounds like a hilariously grim combination of private law enforcement and Stalinist group responsibility.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage


Does your car also measure the load on its flight surfaces while airborne?

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord


Really, because Python-style whitespace-based control flow is any more difficult for our powerful human visual cortex to process. Maybe that's why there's multiple competing styles on how to write that... oh, wait, no, that's brackets.

I always derive a certain sense of Schadenfreude by imagining how people who complain about whitespace in Python would fare in times when not being able to move your arse out of your comfort zone meant not noticing that new-in-the-area predator preparing to ambush and maul you.

Put WhatsApp, Slack, admin privileges in a blender and what do you get? Wickr


Re: Two small steps

Not only that, if you replace a few more letters, you get "Satan"!

Jet packs are real – and inventor just broke world speed record in it

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Re: Duration?

"Ya cannae beat the laws of physics."

You don't have to.

For example, for the aforementioned Search & Rescue ops, I imagine an option of a highly maneuverable, manned, small-footprint aerial vehicle is still helpful even given the several-minute limit. Drones are nice and all, and would probably be used for the "search" portion, but can't do e.g. first aid yet.

Double so if the jetpack can be refueled from the "mothership", be it a truck, an actual ship, or even - equipped with a tethered docking adapter of some sort - a helicopter.

Intel ME controller chip has secret kill switch


Re: The mind absolutely boggles.

"I had to concede that she was right and that I was speechless."

Nitpick - since there weren't any changes in Earth's gravitational field that we're aware of, your wife obviously tried a *different* way that time, otherwise the bottle would have fallen over as well.

Not that it wasn't a good idea to concede, mind you...

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?


" [...] It's just a string, [...]"

This being spoken in the context of implementation details in a service that translates semi-arbitrary strings to network addresses...

Rap for chat app chaps: Snap's shares are a joke – and a crap one at that


@Yet Another Anonymous coward

Some people may think that's a joke - but that's exactly what they've done with the IPO.

Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

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Crashed Schiaparelli lander's 'chute and shields spotted


Re: What happens

"Attempt" being the crucial word here.

Maybe you should have implemented it in another language.

Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer


One of these thing is not like the other...

"His hacking did not uncover serious security bugs [...]"

"[...] but it would let fellow hackers on the same network as the coffee machine to mess with its firmware without requiring authentication, [...]"

That's literally the same sentence (plus the "access to port 2081 is completely unauthenticated")!

Have security standards changed over the weekend so that "free access on local network" is not a "serious issue" anymore?

Kaminario partners MongoDB


Re: WTF?

If so, I'm claiming Poe's Law Defence.



"NoSQL means YesKaminario."

I understand that these short-form articles have a certain style (and I actually like them), but including obvious PR pap verbatim? Really?

Researchers crack homomorphic encryption


Re: If One-Time Pads could self-regenerate...

If I had a penny for every time people forget the "One" being a critical element of the "One Time Pad", I could afford one more of OP's icon.

And if I had a dollar for every time I saw someone using "OTP" and "XOR" synonymously, I could buy a whole crate.

Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you



A "Faraday Cage" refers to a very specific type of enclosure (usually a mesh to boot).

In general, they would have been more correct in just calling the human body an "attenuator".

Also, achievement unlocked - discussing Faraday Cages w.r.t. bodies on a Monday morning. The week is off to a good start...

Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation


A false bottom in all this

Perhaps the most amusing thing is that the "container" reference in the article was a bit misaligned with what the containerization industry strives for.

As the most prominent example, Docker heavily alludes to an ISO shipping container analogy (look at their logo, and then their name!), not a plastic food box.

Now Google backs everyone's favorite trade pact: The TPP

Black Helicopters

"free flow of information"

A Google representative advocating "free flow of information" is like a knife-wielding psycho advocating "free flow of blood".

Great Wall of Minecraft


Isn't it obvious? Contextual censorship!

After every in-chat mention of "democracy" or "censor", a mass of charged creepers will spawn. Same with "Tiananmen Square", but with Withers instead.

How NoSQL graph databases still usurp relational dynasties


No mention of OrientDB?

I find it weird it wasn't at least name-dropped, especially in the context of bridging the "traditional"/relational model gap.

That DBMS has a real killer feature here - the "main" DSL is basically adapted SQL, to the point where simple, "document-oriented" CRUD queries are syntactically valid in a relational DB. Substantially lowers the learning curve, let me tell you.

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript



I dunno, old status page shows the license as BSD:


The author now updated the meta info to WTFPL, which is decidedly non-FOSS-compliant ;), but still works in this case.

Of course the salient point is whether metainformation constitutes a valid license specification. IANAL, but I suspect NPM have a strong case in that regard (not that I condone their general behavior, as stated in the prior post).


Re: Copyright infringement ?

Well, if he published it under one of the FOSS-compliant licenses (or a few of the non-compliant OS ones), as long as NPM had a copy of the package, they were free to republish without violating the license. And in general it's a Good Thing™.

However, fail icon since the NPM folks clearly made an half-assed job PR-wise and acted shittily towards the developer - it doesn't seem likely that the trademark case would hold up in court.

Google DeepMind cyber-brain cracks tough AI challenge: Beating a top Go board-game player


Re: Very Impressive

Oh for fuck's sake...

I wonder how many of those that are saying "it's not an AI!" have spent any time having formal education or doing formal research in the field. I'm saying this as I incidentally do have a related an academic degree, and, well - what I learned about the definition of what AI is and isn't aligns pretty much with what DAM said.

But hey, feel free to disagree because your 5 minutes spent reading up on Turing, or your headcanon about the definition of "hacker" say otherwise. You still basically sound like someone saying "it's not a screwdriver, because it has a flat head, and all real screwdrivers are pozidriv!"

I'm looking forward to seeing how many of you will still be saying "it's not AI, it's clever programming!" when said AI will put you out of your job.

Icon because the Reg readership should know better.

Superfish 2.0: Dell ships laptops, PCs with huge internet security hole


Re: Connection?

"[...] so anyone obtaining it can generate certificates that these Dell PC's will accept as genuine."

Yeah, and if someone here thinks that the private key is not already in the hands of any miscreant that caught wind of the outrage, I've got them a nice bridge to sell.

Icon simply because this is an outrage.


Re: Continuing saga of Microsoft software collapse

"Yes bring back clay tablets, papyrus and reed pens."

Modern Android and iOS tablets are hardly "clay"*, there are more font choices on Linux and OS-X than that one, and the styluses, are "red", with a single "e", as in "seeing the price tag of the Apple Pencil will make your face flush red".

* although the latter's former propensity to stick glass everywhere makes them quite as brittle

The pachyderm punch: El Reg takes just-over-a-ton Elephone P8000 to tusk


Re: It’s easier to list what you do get rather than what’s missing.

"It makes you wonder why none of the big Android names have a similar feature...."

Well, they usually do have it, in fact. The ability to selectively deny permissions is a "hidden" feature of Android since 4.4.something. IIRC there's even a Reg article that covers it.

Custom ROMs, like Cyanogen, often make the feature explicit. I presume Elephone's does the same.

The reason for it being "hidden" otherwise is that non-standardized "empty" value returns from various API endpoints are liable to cause app crashes. Not that it absolves Google for dabbling with this feature only after several years...

Android Marshmallow will make this ability "official", with relevant API changes and a graceful degradation for "older" apps. Still, I wouldn't bet on there being no crashes in the early days of its life.

Apple downgrades iPhone 6S with wimpy 1715mAh battery

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Re: I'll take the *2nd* thinnest phone in history, please

"We've doubled the thickness of our phones, and quintupled the battery life!"

Well, not exactly quintupled, but the paradigm shift you describe was already attempted at least once.

I should know, since I have a phone like that - Motorola/Droid Razr Maxx . Noticeably chunkier (I don't mind, it's still much thinner than my first mobile), almost two times the battery capacity of other phones in its category.

When the (non-replacable) battery was new, it easily lasted 3 days of heave "smartphone" use. And more importantly, used as a feature phone, it indeed had the longevity of slightly over a week, like you desire.

Wasn't a big market success 'though - perhaps it was before its time.


Re: Same voltage?


First of all, the voltage of a battery is largely irrelevant, since voltages used in electronics (and in particular, smartphones) are largely standardized - you wouldn't put it beneath Apple to announce if they have changed something as fundamental as that!

Modern lithium phone batteries usually have max output in the range of 3.7-3.8 V. It would appear, given the specs on the linked site (6.9Wh), that the situation with iPhone 6 is the same.

Secondly, voltage for even a LiPo battery is not constant as it discharges, so providing Wh by multiplying maximum output voltage by maximum current is more misleading than just listing mAhs.

Finally, mAhs and Whs don't really tell you the whole story, since for that you need to know the actual power consumption, which is notoriously hard to pin down. However, mAhs are usually listed, since given the same conditions, due to mostly homogeneous hardware setup, the power drain is the same. Admittedly iPhones are visibly superior on that front (and I say that as a long-time Android user), but you can still compare different-generation models - with the same screen size - with sufficient accuracy.

Hacker mag 2600 laughs off Getty Images inkspots copyright claim



Are you sure you aren't confusing copyright with trademarks?

W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

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Speaking of alternative ways of revenue generation

So how about for El Reg to embrace "scheduled" crowdfounding schemes like Patreon? I'd happily throw a buck or three into the pot as a recompense for having my adblocker turned on when browsing the site.

Java jockeys join Flash fans in the 0-day exploit club

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Re: further ignorance

You mean, the version with a long-past EOL and Oracle knows what unpatched browser plugin exploits within it?


Re: Grrr...

Does your employer require the browser plugin, or just the JRE?

If it's the latter, you do realize you're not under any risk of browser exploits, unless you start manually executing random files downloaded off the Internet?

'The server broke and so did my back on the flight to fix it'


Re: I feel your pain (quite literally) (LaeMing)

"Evolution is effective at optimising things but it can only achieve local maxima."

Well, someone slept through their Heuristics 201. Evolution is wholly capable of breaking out of local maxima, if not within a species, then within an ecosystem - that's what mutations are for.

Nobody said it's easy, fast, or guaranteed 'though.

(the rest of your post is spot on)

Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'


Re: Thing is,

in the general case, he's being bloody stupid.

In a sufficiently-sized same-sex lab, you'll very likely get the same effect. So, should we ban gays from science? Institute single-orientation labs as well? Or feed everyone bromium?

I completely understand:

- his need for optimization (hello, Reg reader here after all),

- he didn't mean it completely seriously,

- what he was trying to say.

And I think this is being blow way out of proportion. Still, for a Nobel prize laureate, he shouldn't have said that.

PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs


Re: immersive dev environments?

You don't need AR for that 'though. Plain VR is sufficient.

I would also very much want something like this, but I think the elephant in room is the resolution of the displays used by current-gen equipment. It looks like it is simply too poor to be able to present multiple text-heavy screens.

Well, here's one for the tech to progress quickly.


Also, there are AR goggles running on Android, El Reg mentioned one brand in an article around two years ago.

It's great that Microsoft is putting money behind AR, but I think people are mostly pissed off that MS is trying to sell it as if they invented Augmented Reality. A monopolist in the desktop OS arena making such boasts is bound to resonate poorly with the technically inclined portion of the populace.

Twitch stitch-up: Gaming vid streamers in data breach hack alert


Re: Easy Peasy

On the Internet, no one can hear you sarcasm.

FCC: A few (680,000) net neutrality comments lost in 'XML gaffe'


Re: "Solr" issue

I suspect that the "issue with Solr" was actually a misconfiguration of Apache Tika, with Solr merely acting as a storage/search backend, but, since the integartion documentation is hosted on the Solr website, that got lost in translation somehow.

A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink


Re: "[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

You do realize that cherry-picking a single point, out of context to boot (since I've explicitly talked about how Eclipse cooperates with Maven on the incremental compilation front), is bad?

You know what's worse? Qouting a two-year-old page, referring to a vastly outdated version of the software in question, without even bothering to verify if the scenario you refer to is reproducible.


Re: "[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

None of the build systems I've mentioned to be working with (Maven, Gradle, SBT) are "monolithic", every one of them has some notion of modularity as one of its base concepts.

In fact, you can answer your question yourself by checking out how e.g. Maven integration is handled in Eclipse - the IDE reconfigures the build process on the fly, taking advantage of the aforementioned modularity, in order to allow for recompiling the code on its own terms, while still allowing Maven to do its job.

Also, incremental builds the "whole point of using an IDE"!? Really? I'd dare say that the "whole point" of an Integrated Development Environment is, well, exactly that!

I'm sorry to say, but it appears you're talking completely out of your ass. I'm slightly concerned that you've managed to sell your misguided, unresearched preconceptions to someone else (your team, your manager, your client), costing them time and/or money. Please, do make the effort to learn how the tools you use actually work, before you continue with promulgating misconceptions about them.

PS. And one more thing - do check out how many of the so called "monolithic" build systems mentioned in our little discussion support incremental compilation by default and out of the box. You'd be surprised.


"[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

Excuse me? Has the author time-traveled to the turn of the century while in the middle of writing the article?

Unless we're talking about legacy projects, I very much doubt that most people use anything else than Maven or Gradle when developing in Eclipse. In fact, I find Eclipse has a better support for Gradle than IDEA, at least at the moment.

The only JVM-based build system I use that IDEA has superior support of is SBT, and by a long-shot - but that is not as popular for Android development as Maven/Gradle.

Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber


Re: The Problem with Lightsabres, is...

Well, you learn something new everyday - thanks to both of you for that piece of info :).


Re: The Problem with Lightsabres, is...

Either that was a Freudian slip from "thwack", or where you live glow sticks have a vastly different structure than what the rest of us are used to.

'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

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Standing on the shoulders of Munroe

Reference #38 in the paper.

Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things


Re: My favorite has been mentioned!

coffee drinkers, ie almost all developers.

Wow, so it's supposed to represent a coffee filter over a drip spout?

Unfortunately, this does not remove the crime.

Witness Exhibit A:

Google Image search for "filter icon"

While, on closer inspection, a small amount of authors do indeed demarcate the two components, an at-least equal number have decided to add a friggin' handle to a clearly contiguous object!


My favorite has been mentioned!

[...] and a funnel.

Let me guess - it was meant to be an ideogram for "filtering"?

Seriously, I don't know who's responsible for the proliferation of that particular metaphor, but I'm betting diamonds against chestnuts they never actually used a funnel - except, perhaps, as a hat.

Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery


Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

"[...]but they don't appeal to the tinkerer's mindset, or the kind of person who enjoys 'fixing' things. Again, fine. I could fix the clutch on my car if I wanted to[...]"

Except the clutch is more equivalent to a button, which is never easily user-replacable, and indeed does not need to be. A closer equivalent to a phone battery in a car would be... yep, you guessed it.


"[...]but I've got better things to do with my time,[...]"

If you need to spend more time changing a phone or car battery in a swap-in swap-out design than writing this post, the problem is you, not the design.

User-serviceability of critical components is simply good usability. Honestly, it pisses me of when someone parrots the corp-line propaganda about "tinkering", especially in the context of Apple - whose big thing is supposedly user friendliness.

Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

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Re: Just me?

It's not just you.

Someone needs to train the interns to not blindly grab the first stock photo in the search results.

Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'


Balls to that!

"1-2-3-4-5? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard of in my life! That's the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!"


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