* Posts by John Gamble

478 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

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What should password managers not do? Leak your passwords? What a great idea, LastPass

John Gamble

Re: Fuck LogMeIn.

You can never have too much milk.

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This AI stuff is all talk! Bots invent their own language to natter away behind humans' backs

John Gamble

"I am trying to remember if it was Clarke or Asimov who had a giant computer that was hidden underground in a secret location and needed other computers and technicians to translate between it and people."

I believe you're referring to "The Machine That Won The War", by Asimov. Nobody trusted the data coming in, and everyone secretly cooked it.

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Bloke cuffed after 'You deserve a seizure' GIF tweet gave epileptic a fit

John Gamble

Re: What an asshole

"JG tried to rebut the obviously-correct and he utterly failed."

Oh dear. Still didn't read the article.

Read the article. Rebut with evidence and facts. Don't try to impress with made-up scenarios (seriously, not one, but two imaginary cases? You really don't know what a straw man argument is, do you?)

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John Gamble

I'm not certain what there is to question. Yeah, the Reg could have used an alternate headline from "A Confederacy of Dunces", but that doesn't change the facts of the case. It doesn't matter how big a nitwit the victim is, he was still attacked.

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John Gamble

Re: Ignoring the deliberate assault aspects of the case

Nope, but I can go back even further and bring up A. E. van Vogt

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John Gamble
Boffin

Re: What an asshole

"Actually it's a perfectly good counter-example to unlimited free speech."

Didn't read the articles, did you? Start with the first link, the one to the Atlantic article. Your argument is flatly wrong.

If you need a broader historical perspective, I recommend Perilous Times: Free Speech During Wartime, by Geoffrey Stone.

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Hell freezes over: We wrote an El Reg chatbot using Microsoft's AI

John Gamble
Coat

An Handy AI for Bannon

"That said, none of it is very sophisticated. Throw anything more than a short, simple sentence at LUIS, and it will quickly get confused or give up."

Soon to be a White House staff member then.

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

John Gamble
Headmaster

"And that was a nursery (kindergarten for you colonials) where a 3 or 4 year old... "

Minor American English quibble: if the children were three or four year-olds, then over here it's a "nursery school". Kindergarten is (generally) for five year-olds, the class just before first grade.

Good story though.

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

John Gamble
Coat

Re: If you want to start an argument..

Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't have named my machine "Tabs4Ever".

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Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: The two things combine quite nicely

How wonderful that you can make up preposterous scenarios.

(Here's a clue: If you're shot, the first thing the surgeon is not going to do is perform a liver transplant. And oddly enough, matching candidates for livers doesn't require instantaneous matching of genotype. Why, you'd almost think medicine had advanced enough to keep people alive while performing what are now routine tests.)

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If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: 2015?

More accurately, Niven got there in 1971. And of course over four decades earlier Konstantin Tsiolkovsky suggested the idea.

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AMD does an Italian job on Intel, unveils 32-core, 64-thread 'Naples' CPU

John Gamble

Re: @Titter

Pizzeria Uno hasn't been Pizzeria Uno for a couple of decades now (this is true of all of the formerly great Chicago pizza places, as they got bought by "entrepreneurs" and immediately lost all of their individuality and unique recipes.

Plus, deep dish pizza, despite being introduced in Chicago, is hardly what I would call Chicago-style.

(Currently buying my pizzas from Apart, FWIW).

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Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: strictly speaking

" ...tidal forces are simply the result of differential gravitational forces - the force on one side of an object is greater than it is on the other."

And this is where I bring up Larry Niven's Neutron Star, because a) it's relevant, and b) J. P. need to read it.

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This week on GitHub: Facebook's forecaster and a sysadmin CURSE

John Gamble
Stop

Re: don't know about your side of the pond, but...

How can anyone celebrate T-shirt cannons after the horrific tragedy in Springfield (Youtube link).

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Uncle Sam needs you... to debug, improve Dept of Defense open-source software at code.mil

John Gamble

Re: Oh, and pay us?

Shrug. I don't get paid for the contributions to the I make to Open Source software now. I imagine that here, as is true elsewhere, whether you get paid is determined by whether you were actually hired to do a specific task.

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Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

John Gamble
WTF?

Re: -0.8

"The Firefox versioning system was one designed for people like you. Also the reasons I use chrome."

???

Chrome is where that numbering system started, which Firefox slavishly copied, much to my annoyance.

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Haven't deleted your Yahoo account yet? Reminder: Hackers forged login cookies

John Gamble
Coat

Alohanumeric (was Re: Until we fine)

No, wait, that's perfect!

My next password checker will definitely insist on alohanumeric characters. It's just that the password will have to be at least 25 characters long.

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Toshiba chairman quits over $6bn nuclear loss

John Gamble
Stop

Re: That's a real problem in the US; corporations are in control and inflate all earnings

Despite its title, the Christian Science Monitor (founded 1908) isn't a CS house organ. Indeed, whatever one may think of Mary Baker Eddy1, she did manage to found a paper that held journalistic standards better than most papers of the day.

History: it's not just for the non-technical.

(Having said that: yeah, the article quoted is a little too old for this subject.)

---

1. Not religious myself, in case that's an issue with this thread.

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College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: What ever happened to exit interviews?

You have exit interviews with fired employees?

I've only known exit interviews to happen when the employee's leaving isn't contentious.

Hmm, student population is barely over 3,000 (no undergrads), so the IT department probably isn't much bigger than found in some small businesses. I doubt anyone else had the keys to the castle right when the administration needed them.

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Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

John Gamble
Alien

The alien overlords are extremely busy and wouldn't waste their time on this.

The alien middle management are the ones for this job.

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Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

John Gamble

Re: HARRY LIME

Hmm. It looks like Welles had to improvise a line for timing purposes, but he got the comparison from someone else (possible source: James Abbott McNeill Whistler).

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D-Wave goes public with open-source quantum-classical hybrid software

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: Point?

Minimization techniques rarely guarantee absolute minimums, as they are usually applied to much harder problems than you solved in your high-school (or equivalent) algebra class.

There's a PDF on the github site that basically claims a nearly 2 times speed up in problem solving over quantum annealing. Having never used quantum annealing, I am supremely unqualified to say how the algorithms compare, but the code is there to test.

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IBM staff petition for right not to work on Trump's pet projects

John Gamble

Re: Merit doesn't care about "diversity and inclusiveness"

"Any business owner or manager wants to hire the best person for the job, regardless of sex or color of skin."

Historically untrue, and you'd have to be living under a rock to to make this patently false claim.

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

John Gamble

Re: Thats nothing.....Named meat costs extra...

Because they're said to be quite tasty?

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AI brains take a step closer to understanding speech just like humans

John Gamble
Headmaster

Re: Context is everything

Which shows that the alleged virtues of regular spelling have been highly overstated.

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Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

John Gamble

Re: Organ payments

Yes, I did. The situation need improvement.

Now, how does setting up a kidney market improve things? Can you demonstrate that there'd be an uptick in donations, beyond a money-solves-everything wish fulfillment? And how will your market will treat the people who aren't wealthy who need kidneys?

Convince us without resorting to libertarian fantasies.

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Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea

John Gamble

Re: Shit

Depends on what you use it for. Mine is strictly for 1) being a watch, and 2) notifying me when my phone is set to silent. It works fine for me.

But I imagine there are applications that might leave some disappointed owners.

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How-to terror manuals still being sold by Apple, Amazon, Waterstones

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: NOT terrorist publications

Yeah, I read The Anarchist's Cookbook in high school, and definitely did not know enough then to recognize the flaws in the recipes. Fortunately I had no interest in making them either.

A friend's son once made some nitro glycerine, and my friend (the daughter of a well-known organic chemist) reamed him out both for making the nitro, and for "using that crappy recipe from the Anarchist's Cookbook."

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RIP EarthLink, 1994–2016: From AOL killer to regional ISP's attic

John Gamble

Eh, the only memory I have of Earthlink is when they came in and bought almost all of the local, independent ISPs. Their wannabe-monopolist dreams went nowhere, fortunately.

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Three LibTIFF bugs found, only two patched

John Gamble

In fact I would have sent a FAX out a couple of months ago (first time since 2007) if the connection hadn't failed. After calling the person who was getting the document, I finally went with an encrypted PDF sent by e-mail, with the recipient calling me for the password when she was ready to read it.

I didn't ask if they printed these things out, or just read them electronically.

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Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

John Gamble

Re: That reminds me...

"... we started competing to see who could intentionally make the biggest crater."

Wait... your handle is "Marketing Hack". Are you sure you're not an engineer?

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AI software should be able to register its own patents, law prof argues

John Gamble

Obligitory SF Story

The Venitian Court, by Charles Harness.

Although in that story the AI's inventions were filed under the name of the AI's creator, which led to an interesting legal battle.

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SHA3-256 is quantum-proof, should last BEELLIONS of years, say boffins

John Gamble
Thumb Up

Re: And the two best known SHA-3/256 will still be

But programmers will remember to salt them, of course, so "password" and "123456" will be completely secure!

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Open Sorcerers: Can you rid us of Emperor Zuck?

John Gamble
Meh

Re: Emperor Zuck?

You have to be thirty five to be President of the U. S., so he'll be eligible by the next term. Given the choices for the upcoming election, I'm not sure that that's the worst thing that could happen.

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

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: Why aren't they following the standards ?!

Well, the RFC is nearly nineteen years old, so some of the proposals are out of date.

Having said that, I agree that the "coffee:" URI scheme should be implemented immediately.

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Theranos axes 40% of staff

John Gamble
Stop

Re: If anyone is interested in a bet...

Considering that there's no "right" forty per cent to hang on to, I'm not sure how to decide the bet.

The company's got nothing of value, and no one can save it.

Interesting discussion of culpability here in the Vanity Fair article

(I like the quote taken from the New Yorker interview: "a chemistry is performed so that a chemical reaction occurs and generates a signal from the chemical interaction with the sample, which is translated into a result, which is then reviewed by certified laboratory personnel.").

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My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

John Gamble

Not Really an IoT Problem, Though

... and the "smartness" problem is more about the connection between the thermostat and the smoke detector.

Inter-connectedness between smoke detectors is not a new feature -- First Alert had it for one of their models. And Nest's "speak, don't beep" feature is nice but not really revolutionary.

But the connection with the thermostat is clearly an issue here. As the article states, affecting the air circulation can be a big deal, and this is especially true if you live in places that can get very cold.

Smoke detectors occasionally fail. This is not surprising, and if the smoke detectors were the only Nest product the author had, it wouldn't even be worth an article -- aside from complaining about the expense.

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But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD

John Gamble

You're describing the Physical/Digital media problem which still hasn't really been solved, ...

Oh, it's solved, but it requires hiring someone with a Library Science degree, which companies and firms are no more willing to do than they are willing to hire a system administrator who can handle backups competently, not that I have any bitter experience with either situation, he said glancing over his shoulder to make sure no one is listening.

One of the best places I ever worked at had both, who made sure that decades-old documents were still readable, and who converted said documents when a software or hardware dependency was about to vanish.

I think there was even one situation where a file was actually printed out (diagrams that needed to be referred to).

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

John Gamble
Joke

Pfff. It was only a Sudoku. Now if they tried to "help" you with a Kenken puzzle, I could understand being upset.

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NBA's Golden State Warriors sued for 'mic snooping' mobile app

John Gamble

Also the Lazines Factor

There's also a laziness factor here, both by developers and users.

I've noticed a lot of basic apps (for a typical example, displaying the periodic table) go along with their minor updates with no problem, but then suddenly required e-mail, text message, and camera permissions, which a basic reference app shouldn't require.

It could be evil-doings I suppose, but in my opinion it's more likely (since it happened across many apps at about the same time) that developers changed or upgraded their development platforms, and never bothered to change the default-all permissions of the platform when they ported their code.

I uninstalled a lot of apps at the time1.

The other side of the laziness coin are the users of course, who have been using these apps without incident for so long that answering "yes" to the special permissions requests must seem like a natural progression.

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1. Except for one that had managed to install itself as a system app -- I do attribute that to evil on their part, and will have nothing ever to do with them.

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You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

John Gamble

Re: Replace tape

Or, perhaps because the negative comments on the alleged sacred cow are about as dull as the "will it play Crysis?" comments?

Here's a clue: if the commentard actually uses the term "SJW", you can safely assume too many drugs were consumed during the commentard's fetal development.

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What's long, hard and full of seamen? The USS Harvey Milk

John Gamble

Re: What about Rosemary?

The Secretary of the Navy has the responsibility of assigning names to ships.

The Secretary can rely on many sources to help him reach his decisions. Each year, the Naval Historical Center compiles primary and alternate ship name recommendations and forwards these to the Chief of Naval Operations by way of the chain of command.

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fMRI bugs could upend years of research

John Gamble

Re: USGS manipulating data --

"Will this do to start?"

No, that won't do.

He has a BS in geology from Arizona State University and a Master's degree in electrical engineering from Rice University.

One of Goddard's earliest writings, an article for The Register, asserted that the National Snow and Ice Data Center's (NSIDC) data underlying a chart depicting 2008 Arctic sea ice loss was incorrect and that NSIDC seemed to demonstrate "a consistent pattern of overstatement related to Arctic ice loss." Ten days later, however, Goddard acknowledged that the data on which the graph was based was accurate.

I'd like something from a real scientist please.

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Sterling's post-Brexit dollar woes are forcing up tech kit prices

John Gamble
Boffin

Re: and yet still

Which doesn't have much to do with actual value, at least for the moment. In the usual panic that occurs after a turmoil, people with money (yes, including those people whose preferred currency is the euro) shoved their cash in things like U.S. Treasury bonds, and went stock-picking in the U.S. stock markets.

We really won't know what the actual effects of Brexit are on the euro and pound until things are a lot more settled.

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It's all fun and games until someone loses a rack*

John Gamble

"...except they spelt it right."

Glad to see the sub-sub-sub-editor is on the job.

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Astroboffins discover rapid 'electric winds' blowing on Venus

John Gamble

Re: One for the Electric Universe

"One for the Electric Universe crowd."

What?

[performs web search]

Oh good grief. I note that the originator and the primary advocates are people who are working outside their specialty, which is not irrevocably damaging in and of itself, but it's not a good sign either.

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Fly to Africa. Survive helicopter death flight to oil rig. Do no work for three weeks. Repeat

John Gamble

Re: Take a dip

"He subsequently wrote a not bad comic novel about a latin professor unappreciated by his not very bright students."

That actually sounds interesting. Any chance you remember the title?

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Lester Haines: RIP

John Gamble

I am very sorry to hear this. It was always a pleasure to read anything by him, whether about the Special Projects or the whimsy about home and family.

My deepest condolences to those who knew and loved him.

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Wi-Fi hack disables Mitsubishi Outlander's theft alarm – white hats

John Gamble

Re: WTF kind of idea is this anyway?

You do recall that the B Ark populace are the ones that survived, yes?

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