* Posts by Doctor Evil

146 posts • joined 9 Feb 2013


NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

Doctor Evil

It would be so great if NASA could send a follow-up mission after Spirit and Opportunity -- another rover, equipped with a feather duster and a winch and cable, to extract these guys from their respective predicaments and revive them. Call it ... oh, I dunno, Rosie?

The Apple Mac is 35 years old. Behold the beige box of the future

Doctor Evil

Re: Apple hardware quality

Mea culpa. It IS an inkjet. (Vertical form-factor, so no -- a StyleWriter, not an ImageWriter.)

Doctor Evil
Thumb Up

Apple hardware quality

I have a Macintosh Classic II computer -- the last model with only a black-and-white screen, I think, but it did come with an 80 MB hard drive -- in a box in my basement where it has been sitting, "stored", for a couple of decades. I pulled it out and dusted it off a couple of years ago, just to see if it still worked at all.

It booted up just fine and ran the old software (MacWrite, MacPaint, ClarisWorks, etc.) as if it was still 1992! (No internet access, obviously; no NIC.) To my astonishment, the dot matrix StyleWriter printer that I bought with it still works perfectly too, ribbon and all. Pretty impressive! Makes me feel better about the hefty $$$ I had to fork over for it back then.

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed

Doctor Evil

I'm alright, Jack ...

... so long as barley and hops aren't threatened

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

Doctor Evil

Re: William the Bastard

Also, unless the rules of succession in the 1701 Act of Settlement predate 1701 by quite a bit (and, in fairness, they may), I suspect William wouldn't have been overly troubled about them back in 1066 ...

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Doctor Evil

Best laugh of the morning (so far)

Thanks ed.s!

"The experiment was originally touted as a study into the potential ways astronauts might be able to live in space during long missions. Being able to grow cotton could help clothe space explorers, Liu Hanglong, a professor at the school of civil engineering at Chongqing University, who is leading the bio-experiment, previously told the South China Morning Post."

Hmmm -- might have put my finger on why the experiment per se didn't accomplish very much. Maybe put a plant biologist in charge next time?

Welcome to 2019: Your Exchange server can be pwned by an email (and other bugs need fixing)

Doctor Evil

One more time - with feeling

If you're (still) running Office 2010 on an older 32-bit system, then yesterday's update will break all your Office apps -- again!

Instead of the familiar and desired splash screen, you'll get a little window with a message that says "Entry Point Not Found : The procedure entry point GetDateFormatEx could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll". And then ... nothing.

Same old, same old; this happened a month or 2 ago with KB4461522. This time the offending update is KB4461614; uninstall that and all will be well in your (admittedly somewhat antiquated) world once more.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Doctor Evil

Re: How about a high power laser burst ?

That would be a maser. The technology already exists. Why not?

Watch closely as NASA deploys the world's biggest parachute at supersonic speeds

Doctor Evil


"The probe spiralled at a faster rate than expected, causing the computers onboard to measure the wrong altitude and the parachute was fired prematurely."

I can certainly empathize with this. Firing prematurely rarely turns out well ...

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

Doctor Evil

Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

"Actually a gun is NOT involved in every mass murder. IED's, poison, cars, plains, etc. are often used in mass murders."

Look, I'm all for making a good argument by heaping on the examples, but I challenge you to produce a single instance of a mass murder in which a prairie or grassland or steppe or anything of that genre was ever used as the murder weapon.

Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

Doctor Evil

Re: Where To??

"However, [Bern] is rather boring .."

Altstadt - "Only for people who don't mind party noise after midnight until 4 a.m.". But that was last year; perhaps it has now changed (in that flighty Swiss way) ...

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

Doctor Evil

Re: Don't worry IBM!

"If the data is bad, the results are bad. If there are flaws in the scoring algorithm or query generation (almost certainly in both cases) there is a variable risk of bad results."

@a_yank_lurker -- not limited to AI systems.

How else to explain Donald Trump?

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Doctor Evil

Re: My Comments

"On mobile: I can't really tell the difference."

P-l-e-a-s-e don't dick with the mobile version! It's just fine the way it is.

Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

Doctor Evil

Kudos to the headline writer(s)

+1 for the Blondie lyric -- from one of their best. Have one on me (could even be a blonde).

Nissan 'fesses up to fudging emissions data

Doctor Evil

Holy carp!

Time to unload the old X-Trail before everyone hears about this!

Microsoft might not support Windows XP any more, but GandCrab v4.1 ransomware does

Doctor Evil

"That link does not lead to a patch for Windows XP."

The real patch for SMB1 under Windows XP is KB4012598 which is described here and can be downloaded from here

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Doctor Evil

Re: Even Canadians that find themselves in the USA...

@J27 -- thanks a bunch for the tip and the link. Right neighbourly of you!

Firefox hooks up with HaveIBeenPwned for account pwnage probe

Doctor Evil

Re: Oh Goodie

""Oh look, FF isn't running slow enough."

I essentially abandoned the ESR stream at about v52.3, finding it bog-slow with multiple tabs/windows, and simply reverted to v50 with updates turned off. I rechecked periodically but found no improvement -- until now, when I tried v52.9.0 ESR and found that to be a huge improvement over its predecessors. It's crisp and snappy again (with all the same add-ons/plugins) and I haven't seen the slowdowns in startup and page-rendering I used to.

Well done, Firefox developers! Seriously.

UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

Doctor Evil

I see the problem!

"UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecaudor embassy"

They've been standing in front of the wrong embassy!

NASA will send tiny helicopter to Mars

Doctor Evil

"More likely we will see complaints from the Martians about the drones invading privacy."

Do Martians have shotguns?

Doctor Evil

Coolest. Video. Ever.

Footage from the first flight over the surface of Mars. Now that will be a moment worth waiting for!

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt

Doctor Evil

Re: You do not need neutrino detector.

"It is a cut down, cheap, semi-automated and semi-autonomous (possibly going autonomous in the future) unmanned hunter-killer submarine."

Possibly a very good idea for our Russian friends, given their track record with manned submarines.

Doctor Evil

"H.M.S Only Slightly Bent" anyone?

No, that one was sold to Canada a few years back ...

Microsoft programming chief to devs: Tell us where Windows hurt you

Doctor Evil

MS reps in general

Why do all MS senior reps come off sounding the same? They all speak in broken sentence fragments with tenses that don't agree with one another, half-finished thoughts left hanging, jargon and acronyms everywhere, and not a coherent thought in there. Not one of them seems to have a consistent, cohesive train of thought. Is is just me, or is this why they always come off all over-hyped and "oh, I'm sure we have a solution for you somewhere in our bag of tricks; let me just rummage around and pull out a few vaguely-related concepts and half-baked notions for you and then you can spend the time to figure out whether or not they'll actually do the job"?

Honestly, I read what these people have to say and am left in no doubt whatsoever as to how they made their way up the corporate ladder. If only Microsoft hired more for development acumen than for an ability to spout catchphrases ...

Programmers! Close the StackOverflow tabs. This AI robot will write your source code for you

Doctor Evil

Re: I think I can summarize what's pissing off the other commentards

+1 for the Feynman reference (although, to be perfectly pedantic about it, he didn't invent the term; there was a great National Geographic article on cargo cults sometime around the end of the '60s or early '70s, and Feynman's reference in his '74 Caltech commencement address was specifically to "cargo cult science")

Doctor Evil

Think Java code-completion on steriods

You guys had an AI robot write that sub-headline, didn't you?

As Zuck apologizes again... Facebook admits 'most' of its 2bn+ users may have had public profiles slurped by bots

Doctor Evil

"Zuckerberg noted that as long as there's money to be made from the data his $448bn business collects, the Cambridge Analyticas of the world will be all too happy to take it.

'We are not going to be able to go out and find every single bad use of data,' he said."

No one is asking you to do that, Mark. It would have been nice if you'd done anything to prevent the blatantly obvious ones, though.

You'll like this: Facebook probed by US watchdog amid privacy storm

Doctor Evil


"You'll like this: Facebook probed by US watchdog amid privacy storm"

Good! They're overdue for a good probing!

(The real question is: will they like it?)

Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin

Doctor Evil

Re: C’mon Elon

"Bet you can spare at least one older model Falcon rocket to send the genius to his final resting place."

And give it a trajectory that will make Prof. Hawking the first man to leave the solar system, forever to wander among the stars that so engaged his imagination and excited his curiosity.

Go park yourself: Brit firm flashes self-parking car tech

Doctor Evil

let's think about this a bit more

"At the advanced level, the driver is able to summon the vehicle back to a pick-up point, rather than wasting the time saved by having to trek around the car park hunting for the auto auto."

I can see exactly the way this is going to go: self-important gits will summon their vehicles well ahead of time so that they don't have to wait even a single second before jumping in and zipping off to their next destination. This, however, will cause a choke at the pick-up point because their vehicle will be sitting and waiting for them to emerge, blocking it and backing up everyone else behind them. Brilliant! (And bloody typical.)

With a human valet, at least, there's a rate-limiting step involved and a queuing mechanism to regulate this sort of behavior to some extent.

BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

Doctor Evil

mission accomplished

FB announcement:

"Independent forensic auditors from Stroz Friedberg were on site at Cambridge Analytica’s London office this evening. At the request of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which has announced it is pursuing a warrant to conduct its own on-site investigation, the Stroz Friedberg auditors stood down."

In other words, they'd already finished the "auditing" job they were sent in to do.

British clockwork radio boffin Trevor Baylis terminally winds down

Doctor Evil

Re: Maybe not the time to bring it up, so I'll keep it short.

Letters, words - "none of them new, just packaged together."

Shakespeare, Shelley, Byron - just a bunch of repackagers. Nothing new there, merely a "sensible evolution of chucking together existing ideas".

Kudos to Mr. Baylis for his own "repackaging" -- more than the vast majority of his critics could manage, I daresay.

AI racks up insane high scores after finding bug in ancient video game

Doctor Evil

Evolutionary Stategy

So that's what they're calling genetic algorithms now. Huh.

(showing my age too, I guess)

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Doctor Evil

So -- confirmed. Well done, Scott Tilley of Roberts Creek, BC, Canada. Thumbs up from right across the Strait.

Sex robot forum venue 'encrypted in a poem'

Doctor Evil

wrong approach?

"None of the organisers have responded to our messages on email, LinkedIn or Twitter."

I guess maybe you're just not pushing the right "buttons" ...

Merry Xmas, fellow code nerds: Avast open-sources decompiler

Doctor Evil

Awesome work!

Jakub Kroustek and the Threat Intelligence team at Avast -- you guys rock! Thanks!

80-year-old cyclist killed in prang with Tesla Model S

Doctor Evil

Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

To paraphrase a saying about pilots, here are old cyclists and there are bold cyclists, but there are no old bold cyclists.

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Doctor Evil

Users don't have any control?

"The users do not and have not ever had control of the tiller, not at Mozilla and not anywhere else."

Read through the comments above and you'll see all kinds of users voting with their feet. I'm on the ESR branch but when my essential extensions stop working, I'm gone too. Unless a company like Mozilla truly has a death wish, it does need to be responsive to its users. Or die. Jury's really out, this time.

WPA2 KRACK attack smacks Wi-Fi security: Fundamental crypto crapto

Doctor Evil

Re: Mitigation

"Nope. The router isn't involved because the attacker pretends to be the router, as such the router is taken out of the equation."

Sorry, but I think the router IS, in fact, fundamentally involved. If not then why are (responsible) router manufacturers frantically issuing patches for their devices?

IKEA flat-packs TaskRabbit to crack assembly code

Doctor Evil

Re: Not only

@Missing Semicolon

Have an upvote from me just for doing that.

Drunk canoeing no longer driving offence in Canada

Doctor Evil

Re: Ignition locks?

A great little place, the Dinghy Dock Pub, isn't it? I've paddled back in the dark from there myself.

Doctor Evil

Re: How Legal?

That's the plan -- by July 1 2018. "I'll take a two-four of Canadian and two hundred grams of BC Bud, please."

The UK isn't ditching Boeing defence kit any time soon

Doctor Evil

Re: Canada-headquartered Bombardier

"The 220% is of course ridiculous."

Boeing actually suggested "only" 80% duty in their original complaint filing. The U.S. Department of Commerce itself inflated that to 220%.

It would be interesting to know what calculus the DoC used to arrive at this because, according to Bombardier, "more than half of the [CSeries] jet's components are made by U.S.-based companies, and the jet's manufacturing supports more than 22,000 jobs across 17 U.S. states". Someone's foot has a nice red laser dot on it.

Doctor Evil

Re: Pot... Kettle ... Black... hmmm I know there's a sentence in there somewhere...

"Except they have friends in Washington that can block the sale to any chinese investor."

Except that Bombardier is a Canadian company and I don't believe Boeing has many friends left in Ottawa now. So no.

Power meltdown 'fries' SourceForge, knocks site's servers titsup

Doctor Evil

Re /. seems to have recovered

Hmmm - not for me. Got kicked out in the original outage. Now seeing a "404 File Not Found" on my browser tab and a "503 - Service Offline" message on the page when I try to log on again. Message follows:

"Slashdot is presently in offline mode. Only the front page and story pages linked from the front page are available in this mode. Please try again later."


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