* Posts by Solo Owl

26 posts • joined 4 Nov 2017

Doctors join wombats in sh!tting bricks to help parents relax about kids chowing down on Lego

Solo Owl

Re: Award-winning research right here.

But it is so obviously written with an Ignobel in mind, it should be ejected.

Big data at sea: How the Royal Navy charts the world's oceans

Solo Owl

Re: I knew that

The reason is in the history. 200+ years ago there were no canals in the US and the roads were crap. So when Congress decided we needed a Military Academy to train officers, they also required the cadets to learn civil engineering. There are other things for cadets to major in now, but the Corps of Engineers is still a big powerful institution doing all sorts of things that have little to do with national defense. (They still build canals and dams, control where you can put bulkheads and seawalls in harbors, and provide the raw material (Potomac water) to the DC Water supply, and I don't know what else.)

'He must be stopped': Missouri candidate's children tell voters he's basically an asshat

Solo Owl

"Ok, the guy is an opinionated, egoistic, coarse, buffoon, but please tell me specifically how Trump has worsen the lives of Americans."

Well, let's begin with the fact that the House of Worship in my block now has to hire 5 to 10 armed guards every day to provide for the safety of the congregation. This was not necessary before Trump.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

Solo Owl

Re: Spooning toner into the copier

Reminds of the fellow working a help desk telephonically. He told the caller to get a clean floppy. There was a long pause. Finally she came back and said, "OK, I washed the floppy."

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

Solo Owl

Re: C

Also in Oregon it is illegal to fuel your own car, last time I was there. In my experience the trigger lock is universal in the US and Canada. They want you to wander into the C-store and buy something more profitable than gasoline.

Fat chance: Cholesterol leads boffins to discover world's oldest animal fossil – 558m years old

Solo Owl

Re: So is this "good" cholesterol

It is HDL (high-density lipoprotein), very high density, like a rock.

Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Solo Owl

Re: Help learning Linux..

You can't replace the hard drive?

You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

Solo Owl

Re: Again,

My main computer at home is set to turn itself on a few minutes before my phone is programmed to make a very loud noise that is intended to activate me. By the time I fininsh ablutions and find breakfast, the computer is ready and anxious to read mail and the papers. Even with the slowest boot time.

Former Detroit IT boss sent down 20 months for bathroom bung bonanza

Solo Owl

It never fails to amaze me that someone with a secure income well into 6 digits would risk it all for just $10,000 a year. That sum would make no big difference in his lifestyle. Even lawyers (and one US Vice President) have been known to be so dumb.

Reminder: Vast majority of serfs toiling away as Mechanical Turks for megabucks Amazon earn less than min wage

Solo Owl

I calculated Amazon's profit at 1.75% of sales. This is not such a bad return on gross sales revenue. Most supermarkets struggle to make 2% on sales.

If I were an investor, I would want to know (among many other things) what is the net profit after taxes as a percentage of the money oroginally invested; and as a percentage of the money that could be raised by selling all of the companies assets. It is not the same thing as a percentage of sales revenue.

(Disclosure: I'm lazy. I invest in mutual funds and index funds.)

Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

Solo Owl

Re: "Why the massive emergency services response?"

You forgot to credit Arlo Guthrie....

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Solo Owl
Black Helicopters

Re: I, for one, welcome our insectile overlords...

@Korev, et al.: It was a moth, and Adm Hopper taped into her notebook. See for yourself:


Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Solo Owl

"And Uncle Sam can get away with it because foreign visitors have no lobby in the US. But if it gets votes, well, hey, I guess that "works" too."

Actually, foreign visitors have a lobby — it's called the tourist industry.

Solo Owl

Re: No need for going to the U.S

El Reg will give special kudos to any of you-all who visit all 10 province and all 3 territories. (Added bonus if you make it to St.-Pierre et Miquelon, a small island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where the official currency is the euro.)

Solo Owl

Re: legal?

"Surely it is illegal to even ask for this under the GDPR?"

Wnat makes you think anyone in the US Govt gives a mouse turd for the GDPR?

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Solo Owl

Re: Dangers of OCR and spellcheckers

Why blame OCR? Too many fonts have inadequate spacing between letters. To me, burn looks like bum and click looks like dick. I have to rely on the context. I wish font devs would improve things.

Also, periods, commas, and colons often disappear into the screen or paper. On high DPI, they need to be bigger than one pixel.

The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Solo Owl

Re: Oh, come on

Why do you need to buy a second license for a machine that already has one?

You cannot re-activate Windows Vista or older; Windows 7 is dicey. In these cases, you must buy a Windows 10 license.

Solo Owl

Re: Oh, come on

To amplify Kain Preacher's remark:

Microsoft Refurbishers do indeed get a discount on the COA. However, there are restrictions. You must buy a minimum number at a time. You must buy a mnimum number each year. There is a maximum number you can use each month. These numbers, and the price of the stickers, vary from one type of refurbisher to another. There are standards: All the hardware must be in good working order; no missing drivers; the case must be cleaned up inside and out, etc.

The minimums are intended to rule out hobbyists who might do 1 machine every month or so. I suppose that means Lundgren's retail customers.

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Solo Owl

No doubt Elon Musk decided it was time to trade in his no-longer-shiny red roadster....

Unlocked: The hidden love note on the grave of America's first crypto power-couple

Solo Owl

So Sir Francis Bacon invented a 5-bit binary code 400 years ago ... nothing new under the sun

Nebula spotted with more super-sized bodies than a gym on Jan 2nd

Solo Owl

Re: alan.green@balfourbeatty.com

But you can see them. Or at least you can see where they are. All the dust and stars that are circling the a black hole, getting closer and closer until too late, emit very high frequency high-energy electromagnetic radiation, which can be "seen" and measured with gamma-ray detectors and radio telescopes and such.

Solo Owl


With 2, 3, or (ideally) 4 detectors, you can locate the source of the gravity wave, by using the same math that your cell phone or the GPS in your car uses to locate you.

For those few of us who remember their 3D analytic geometry:

The difference in timings from 2 detectors puts the target on a curve called a hyperbola. With 3 detectors you can calculate 2 hyperbolas, which have at most 4 intersections. But you have enough data to find a 3rd hyperbola which passes through 1 of the 4 intersections, and you are there! This is enough to know where your phone or car is on a known surface (the Earth), or the direction that a gravitational wave came from. Ordinary telescopes than look for an object out there, and use astronomy tricks to determine its distance.

With 4 detectors, you calculate curved surfaces called hyperboloids and similarly nail down intersections. Then you can calculate the distance to the gravity wave emitter without astronomy. Simple high-school math! (With an assist from a desktop computer, of course, we're IT guys....)

Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Solo Owl

Re: Luxembourg Ministry

Someone at El Reg is drinking more than their quota. A Luxembourg goverment ministry is located in Latvia? Leads me to discount the entire story.

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Solo Owl

Re: KB2952664 - "Is it because Windows is a curate's egg?"

Actually, a bad egg is bad through and through. It cannot have any good parts. The Curate was trying to be polite and subservient to his boss. Which was the point of the original 1895 cartoon. [Wikipedia]

Nowadays, the curate would just say, "This egg is fucking bad. Get me another, will ya?"

Think the US is alone? 18 countries had their elections hacked last year

Solo Owl

Re: Hacked machines?

Paper ballots can be hacked. For example: Crooked politicians counting ballots with bits of pencil lead hidden under their fingernails can cause a ballot to have votes for two candidates for the same office, so the ballot will be invalid.

Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

Solo Owl

Drone shmrone

Two or three surgeons and their usual technician assistants can do this laparoscopically, thru an aperture only a few millimeters wide. The purveyors of the Da Vinci operating room equipment might be happy to modify their equipment to suit the task, in exchange for the free publicity. If in fact a miniature helicopter is needed, it can be assembled, and its batteries replaced as needeed, in situ, by the surgeons, working remotely.

C'mon now, El Reg comments are for high-techies.

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