* Posts by Alistair Wall

64 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Oct 2007


Grant Shapps named UK defense supremo in latest 'tech-savvy' Tory tale

Alistair Wall

Re: Question

It was commonplace in the 1970s - as far back as I remember.

ChatGPT's odds of getting code questions correct are worse than a coin flip

Alistair Wall

"Stack Overflow may want to incorporate effective methods to detect toxicity and negative sentiments in comments and answers in order to improve sentiment and politeness."

Or leave them in, to help readers distinguish them from AI.

BOFH: You can be replaced by a robot or get your carbon footprint below Big Dave's

Alistair Wall

Re: Careful...

Which is why they want to get him on the roof.

San Francisco fog defeats pack of Waymo robo-taxis

Alistair Wall

Was the fog so thick that human drivers should have pulled over and waited for it to clear?

Unbelievably clever: Redbean 2 – a single-file web server that runs on six OSes

Alistair Wall

εxεcµταblε is pronounced more like 'echesmtable' - 'ch' as in 'loch', and 'ble' as a syllable.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... a coding puzzle and it's a doozy

Alistair Wall

You have to log in before you see the puzzle.

Brit firm fined £200k for banging on about missold PPI in 11.4 million nuisance calls

Alistair Wall

Re: 1.75 pence/call - fine not large enough


Royal Yacht Britannia's successor to cost about 1 North of England NHS IT consultancy framework

Alistair Wall

The construction costs won't be confirmed until after delivery. We may never know the operating costs.

Key Perl Core developer quits, says he was bullied for daring to suggest programming language contained 'cruft'

Alistair Wall

Cruft is a feature of Perl - Larry Wall is a linguist, and developed Perl in the same way that natural languages develop.

Boffins examine interstellar comet Borisov to find out what its home was like. Pretty unpleasant, it seems

Alistair Wall

The freezing point of water in a vacuum is about -50 C.

This won't end well. Microsoft's AI boffins unleash a bot that can generate fake comments for news articles

Alistair Wall

Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it: https://www.theregister.co.uk/Tag/twat-o-tron

You like JavaScript! You really like it! Scripting lingo tops dev survey of programming languages

Alistair Wall

Re: Still sucks balls, though.

This is correct. 90 radians = 5156.62 degrees.

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

Alistair Wall

I have used Excel as a browser. Head office at a previous employer banned Firefox. Many sites were unreadable without ad blocking, but rendered without ads in Excel.

Is this the most puzzling DEF CON attendee badge yet on record?

Alistair Wall

The script under 'Lost Boy' looks like Shavian:

if hem ndt

one thing hes


Boffins pump hot, vivid fluid into squidgy robostarfish

Alistair Wall

Re: Hat

To hide the results of a previous experiment with squishy robot cephalopods.

Molesworth and the New Latin

Alistair Wall

Re: Anyway


While I was looking that up, I found a bit I hadn't read before:

"... neither the author(s) nor Apress shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this work."

What's in the box, Windows sysadmin?

Alistair Wall

Yes - use Powershell.

Word and Excel creator: How Gates, Jobs and HAL shaped Office

Alistair Wall

"today, people confuse the homonyms"

"Simonyi was a programming protege "

Steve Jobs had 'personal moral failures', was no role model

Alistair Wall

Proverbs 29:18

is in the Old Testament.

Irish woman doesn't go down after scrotum ripping assault

Alistair Wall

These things come in threes

Also, why did it take four years to come to trial?


Alistair Wall

It's in the <a href="http://www.apress.com/9781590594421">book</a> - page 50.

Apple shares drop after Jobs resignation

Alistair Wall

new CEO

Bill Gates has a lot of time on his hands nowadays.

Brit men descend from mammoth hunters, not farmers

Alistair Wall


It is not just British men who are descended from mammoth hunters. Any women who have fathers will also have a male line of ancestry from this source.

Latest Hubble Snaptastic goodness: Centaurus A

Alistair Wall


The scaled photo shows 8000 light years square, and the dimensions are 1000x1000 pixels, so each pixel covers an area of about 10^23 Wales.

Entire London 2012 Olympics' cultural events database held on Excel

Alistair Wall

experience of managing a large and complex database

and no mention of backup and recovery.

Brit expats aghast as Denmark bans Marmite

Alistair Wall

Excess vitamins

Excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted. Vitamins A and D accumulate in the liver, which is why you can get vitamin A poisoning from eating polar bear liver.

BOFH: Attack of the Global Corporate Overlords

Alistair Wall

how long's the PFY ...

Anyone twentyfive years younger than you is a child and always will be.

Fired-up eco-boffin gives it '180 per cent'

Alistair Wall

O level arithmetic (1973)

180% is 70 percentage points more than 110%, but only 64% more.

Moderate boozing good for your heart: Official

Alistair Wall

We should do this for the next G20 summit

<a href="http://xkcd.com/617/>or perhaps not.</a>

Hansard to pulp paper processes

Alistair Wall


"The spokesperson said the system is complicated, as each parliamentary question has a unique identity number and the answer has to be linked to this."

Foreign keys are complicated?

Article deleted

Alistair Wall


Is this a new Reg unit?

Buyer's Guide: all-in-one inkjet printers

Alistair Wall

Linux drivers

How can you do a review of printers without saying whether they work in Linux?

Daily Mail breaks iPhone 4 recall scoop

Alistair Wall

not just the mail


Copyright wally of the week

Alistair Wall

fair use

The copyright notice on the Wind-Watch website does say "This site contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ", followed by the EFF fair use policy.

Tom Stacy's proposal would fit a careful reading of this policy.

Utah Attorney General tweets execution go-ahead

Alistair Wall

given a death penalty it's probably pretty obvious

The lawyers have argued that a case of meningitis at the age of four may have caused Gardner considerable brain damage, debilitating his capacity for empathy and impulse control. He was also sexually abused, used drugs between the ages of six and 11 and had a troubled childhood, with two parents who were both alcoholics and physically abusive.


Boffins snare swollen 'excited giant' in forcefield prison

Alistair Wall

a "ponderomotive force" field

Named after the wizard Ponder Stibbins.

Austrian takes pickaxe to Street View spymobile

Alistair Wall

Kangaroos in Austria


Secret documents: The Truth about MoD's UFO files

Alistair Wall

Dr David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam

distinguishes him from Dr David Clarke of Glasgow, and from a bunch of Americans.

BOFH: The PFY Chronicles

Alistair Wall

spoiler alert

May I be the first to ask whether the BOFH really dead, or whether the PFY has persuaded his LUG to stage a fake funeral while the BOFH is on his annual pilgrimage?

Gas mask bra secures Ig Nobel prize

Alistair Wall


This, Chris Packham (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/panda_death/) is why we need to save the giant panda.

Cosmic flashbulb effect caused by 'black-hole invaders'

Alistair Wall

ccentripetal force battling with the hole's pull?

The centripetal force IS the hole's pull

Cats mix baby 'cry' with purr to score dinner

Alistair Wall

Call youself a sub?

Didn't Death say "CATS. CATS ARE NICE".

Alistair Wall

@Andrew Culpeck

PG Wodehouse: Cats as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by that fact that in Ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods.

It's from one of the Mulliner stories.

Orange UK exiles Firefox from call centres

Alistair Wall

Plug in

Aren't there any plugins for IE to emulate Firefox?

Rogue Atlantis knob removed by hand

Alistair Wall

@Doug Glass


Bloke uses nail clippers to go roundhead

Alistair Wall


He is demonstrating his genetic fitness by his ability to endure pain and recover from injury - nowadays, drinking a lot of beer is not enough to set him apart from the competition.

The girls will be queuing up when he comes out of hospital.

German old timers torture financial adviser

Alistair Wall

@Andy Barber

In German, these are very different: Rufen Sie Polizei/Rufen Sie Grundsatz, so the advisor must have been writing in French, Italian or English, where the captors might have missed a message that was subtle enough for the Swiss bank to miss it.

We need a zimmer frame icon.

OpenOfficers pitch Oracle on life after Sun

Alistair Wall

Collaboration Suite

has been replaced with Beehive. I thought you would know that.

Worm burrows into Church of England email system

Alistair Wall

@AC 15:19

c) Call the Microsoft helpdesk - Science 0, Medieval superstitious bullshit 1

Secret emails reveal sexing-up of Iraq dossier

Alistair Wall


The joke was about a claim that Hussein had <em>assembled</em> experts for his nuclear programme.