* Posts by BinkyTheHorse

78 posts • joined 27 Jan 2013


Russia admits, yup, the Americans are right: One of our rocket's tanks just disintegrated in Earth's orbit


Re: Elon Musk isn't helping, is he

To recapitulate:

a) any existing observatories should be abandoned and millions spent on moving that infrastructure into orbit - because, as we all know, science is not criminally undervalued in modern times anywhere in the world and always receives adequate funding;

b) all scientists should now rely on His Muskyness and other US-based launcher companies, regardless of not only their budgets, but availability, subject to trade and technology embargoes (maybe this is news to you, but not all people in countries the US has embargoes on are evil) ;

c) similarly, enthusiasts should either crowdsource money for their own space telescopes or just live with Elon's space grafitti. Because there is no value in the sense of wonder produced by tangibly observing space at one's convenience, and definitely not in inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Techbroism is rare here on El Reg forums, but when it shows, oh boy how does it show.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit


You do realize this Team America: World Police crap is exactly one of the reasons why the US patent system is so broken?

In modern times, it is difficult for a lot of businesses, even small ones, not to be obliged to interface with US law in some way. Hell, in IT, it is virtually impossible in some sectors not to rely on some US-based intermediary (credit card companies, the leading mobile app stores, Paypal, Steam, Patreon, etc.). The patent trolls wised up to that - it's much easier to target some small business in a foreign country than a US-based company with billions of VC funding that can potentially very effectively push back. Essentially, this creates a larger hunting ground with more defenseless prey.

So, maybe, instead of futilely frothing at the mouth on an Internet forum, you should be spending that energy on writing to the Congresspeople representing you. Because not everyone here can do that - but you can.

US Homeland Security mistakenly seizes British ad agency's website in prostitution probe gone wrong


.net is controlled by Verisign, same as .com, so, yes. .edu - same thing, just with one degree of separation through a nonprofit. And .org - well, you have been following El Reg lately, haven't you?


Re: WTF?

Two words, Jake: client lists.

Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches


Re: Minimum wage?

So if I someone would come to you and said that an apparition of Virgin Mary spouting fire out of her ass was present in their toilet from 03:15 to 03:30 AM, and they had proof they were indeed at home, and home alone, would you automatically believe them?

Careful with that line of reasoning. Just because there is a sole source doesn't automatically make it immune to critique. What if they cited maximum instead of average rates, would you use the exact same reasoning as well?

Remember those infosec fellas who were cuffed while testing the physical security of a courthouse? The burglary charges have been dropped


Re: "...elevating the alignment between security professionals and law enforcement."

And unless that particular law is fucked up (which wouldn't be a surprise), you would be laughed out of court to argue for a "criminal party" where none exists - not according to any relevant judiciary.

Being arrested is not a crime in itself, nor does it prove criminal intent. So most of the clause proposed by the OP (apart from the jail time and actual crime-related legal sanctions) appears to be sound.

Top Euro court advised: Cops, spies yelling 'national security' isn’t enough to force ISPs to hand over massive piles of people's private data


> For example, the EU ruling that the UK can't expel EU citizens who commit heinous crimes such as rape and child molestation.

So you'd rather they potentially walk off scot-free, instead of getting a proper trial, conviction, and sentencing?

> Or ruling that certain groups can be considered protected minorities even though their customs and practices are considered backwards and barbaric in the UK (No, not the obvious one, think again).

"Barbaric" is relative - case in point: milk in tea. Or, for a less extreme example, blanket state surveillance.

BTW, did you mean to imply that EU somehow forces the UK to render claustration, forced marriages etc. to be legal?

I caught Disco Elysium fever. No, not the Saturday Night kind. I was really quite poorly


Re: proof reading

They're Estonians, not Martians, they certainly know how to use a spellchecker.


Re: Sounds like the Shadowrun games

I'm not sure we played the same games.

While the dialogs are definitely "wordy" at times (but that's by design), they do influence what paths of solving problems you follow, what companions you get, what companions you keep, the availability of any unique items or abilities (yours or the companions'), how you interact with various factions, the possibility of secondary characters assisting you in some missions, and - not spoiling to much - even the possible endings. Certain choices can often take you out of a difficult fight - or into one.

Granted, this was more fleshed out in the second and third games (Returns is by comparison rather short and simple). Also, all three of them eventually got free "Directors Cut" versions, which are much more polished.

Ultimately, however, this comes back to what are your expectations for such games. If you're of a mindset of "clicking through" rather than "experiencing the setting" then, well, no wonder you didn't find it to your taste. And that's of course OK, but that doesn't mean certain design choices are bad.

PS. No, I'm not funded by Harebrained Schemes, I just like the stuff that they make ;).

EU wouldn't! Uncle Sam brandishes 'up to 100%' tariffs over France's Digital Services Tax


Re: Wrong argument

[...] Amazon is a service developed in the US. Even when you buy something in the UK and it is shipped from a UK warehouse, you are using a US service. [...]

And if you buy French cheese, the process could be construed a trivial service, where, for an X one-time payment, you get M days worth of cheese.

That cheese provisioning service is undoubtedly "developed in France", correct? So, by that logic, imposing tariffs for its import is "too simplistic and doesn't work"?

One could even make the same argument about "splitting the company" w.r.t. shipping.

Welcome to cultured meat – not pigs reading Proust but a viable alternative to slaughter



Be nice if they'd printed the list of 12 states so we know where the last bastions of sanity are.....

1. They're listed in the bloody linked article.

2. You do realize the main push for this was the scare against cell-cultured meat? Calling plant-based protein "meat" is already banned in most sane jurisdictions, so I dare say your criterion actually implies the opposite.

Icon for something I occasionally wish to inflict on those too lazy to read with comprehension, especially before spewing the consequences of that on various comment sections.

Controversies aren't Boeing away for aircraft maker amid claims of faulty oxygen systems and wobbling wings


Or, you know, it could be that there are so many problems with Boeing's planes recently that people started associating all avionics issues with Boeing. But no, it must be because those dirty Europeons are disparaging Great American Enterprise™. Never mind that 2 planes crashed and hundreds of people died.

One day we may have discussions on such topics without the flag waving, but - very clearly - it is not this day.

Black holes are like buses: You wait for one – and three turn up at once in galaxy merger

Thumb Up

Re: A singularity enters an event horizon

What transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that.

-- Academician Prokhor Zakharov

(from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri)

Leaked EU doc plots €100bn fund to protect European firms against international tech giants


Re: Nothing to see here

I understand what you meant to convey, but it is physically impossible for the EU to have "started it", because the US has been playing the trade war game for waaayyy longer than the EU has existed. For you, as an Anglo-Saxon (or as a [possibly unwitting] apologist of that geo-cultural establishment) it may be an academic difference - for me, it's just another label for the same lube dispenser.

Re your 2nd paragraph - fair is fine, but keep in mind the negotiations hang on a very specific case that affects both the EU *and the EEA*. Put yourself in the shoes of the Norwegians - would you want a leaky border of subpar goods because the EU negotiators didn't have the gonads to make a stand where common sense dictates?


Re: Nothing to see here

[...] You're all crazy. Just.. Crazy. [...]

Yes, because blatant protectionism such as very loudly proclaiming trade tariffs, banning foreign suppliers on spurious grounds, and - most relevantly - considering only US-made prior art as "prior art" (which El Reg covered a while ago) is not crazy. Preparing contingencies for such actions of a critical trade partner is, however, crazy.

Icon for how I see people that blindly believe in some markets being inherently "free", while others are not, despite any actual regulations present.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Re: You won't like this.....

> Here is one of many studies you will find - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-studies-link-cell-phone-radiation-with-cancer/

If you'd actually read that article, you'd find that:

- this is actually about two studies,

- the rats in the study, in most of the groups, were exposed to much higher radiation than legally permitted for RF (sounds familar to the infamous aspartame study, doesn't it?),

- the results are considered inconclusive by some quite important experts,

- the article specifically mentions that other studies contradict these ones in conclusions.

Not being able to look at the studies, it also looks as if the researchers were doing some statistical shotgun shooting, the problems with which are described in this XKCD comic.


Re: "concerns that have long since been put to bed" ??

You're confusing photon energy and emission power. If you emit a signal with a given power, it does not become more intense per area because the photon energy/frequency is larger. 1W/kg stays 1W/kg, otherwise we'd be magically getting increased total energy for "free".

The frequency does define harmful effects for given power, but the effect is not linear. In fact, higher-frequency microwave e.g. achieves less body penetration than lower-frequency. And, as Loyal Commander noted, before you get to ionizing radiation you still have visible light along the way.

Amazon backtracks on planned S3 changes that would hamper free speech activists


Sorry for the nitpick, however... Please, be very wary of conflating a fallacious argument and an overtly similar, valid one. A slippery slope fallacy is an invalid argument, because it's based on an unsubstantiated implicit premise of "a slippery slope phenomenon exists here".

If you actually substantiate that premise, than it's no longer a fallacy, and using the shorthand "slippery slope" as a descriptor is IMO confusing at best, and detrimental at worst. It's essentially the same situation as "Professor Z will have his lecture at time T, because he said so yesterday" vs argument from authority, or "no true Scotsman can breathe in space" vs you guessed it*.

* Here's to hoping there's no canon continuity where Bruce Wayne dons tartan...

Mods I have known, Mods I have loved, Mods I have hated: Motorola's failed experiment is now a savvy techie's dream


So the promised article finally materialized...

...shame about the circumstances :/.

Since that wasn't elaborated on in the text, the keyboard mod was called Livermorium. As you can see, it was a horizontal slide-out physical keyboard, which, AFAIK, is an object of great desire of many commentards in these trying phablet times.

Sadly, supposedly due to fabber shenanigans and lack of support from Moto, the project was ultimately cancelled, with only a part of the original backer order shipped.

The team behind it went on to working on a dedicated slide-out modern Android phone. Backers for Livermorium who haven't received their unit had the option to either get a full refund or get credit towards the new phone.

Overall, somewhat of a sad story, and it would be interesting to hear how it went from the Moto side of things.

Google puts Chrome on a cookie diet (which just so happens to starve its rivals, cough, cough...)


Re: Crocodile tears

Adding to DougS' post, take a look at the top-right corner of the RFC in question. Do you really think that Google would propose such a thing if it was going to adversely impact them in the long run?

Monopolies are especially dangerous because a) they arise naturally in an unregulated market, and b) a monopolist will eventually be compelled to try everything to remain one, while c) every other actor on the market suffers, even if the monopolist's actions don't appear detrimental at first.

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

Thumb Up

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

This post has been deleted by a moderator

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

Thumb Up

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?



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020