* Posts by Adrian Challinor

220 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Nov 2007


MIT boffins play BUILDING-SIZED Tetris

Adrian Challinor


OK, some prior art, but this is what students should be doing. Intelligent pranks.

Unfortunately, during may days at Durham, we just didn't hand held video cameras, so no proof exists of the pranks. .... Fortunately!

Megaupload case near collapse: report

Adrian Challinor

This is a great move plot !

Its got everything, a villain with a silly name, the FBI in a tail spin, big business baying for blood. Where is James Cameroon when you need him?

Martha Lane Fox hits caps lock, yells at small biz websites

Adrian Challinor

Funded by who?

"Age UK, BBC, Big Lottery Fund (BIG), E.ON, Lloyds Banking Group, Post Office Limited and TalkTalk have all pledged money"

That's BBC My license fee

Age UK Lets hit the pensioners .... again

E.On well, we know where they get their money


Lloyds Owned by the tax payer

Post Office About to do an all time hike on stamps

Well played Miss Fox. You have my vote - NOT

EU-US name-swap deal actually gives passengers MORE privacy

Adrian Challinor
Big Brother

More privacy protection?

Just how does the EU giving the renegade colonials all our travel details improve the privacy of EU citizens?

Dot-London squeaks under ICANN deadline

Adrian Challinor

Re: Proceeds from the sale of .london domain ... fund the international promotion of the capital.

Highly unlikely - Proceeds of the sale of .london domain names will fund the tax free company set up in the British Virgin Isles.

FTW???? London does not even OWN the domain name?

UK.gov to unveil reborn, renamed net-snoop plans in Queen's Speech

Adrian Challinor
Big Brother

Dear UK Gov

Ever heard of TOR?

Trust me, you will do.

LOHAN to straddle meaty titanium rod

Adrian Challinor
Thumb Up

Let it swing

When it comes to launch, the truss assembly will be swaying, and potentially rotating. Will this have an impact on the angle of attack when the rocket fires?

It appears that Lohan will be resting against the sacrificial rubber pad during ascent. Is there any danger she will freeze to the rubber?

How a tiny leap-day miscalculation trashed Microsoft Azure

Adrian Challinor

Oracle has some interesting date calcs

In Oracle DB, the DateAdd function has an interesting little tweak. If you add a month the 29-Feb-2012, you get 30-Mar-2012. It does special processing on the last day of the month to give you the last day of the next month. That can catch people out too.

Brits trapped in confusing council website labyrinths - survey

Adrian Challinor

according to an annual report by Socitm

Some how, before the affine had kicked in, I read that as a report by Scrotum. The whole thing made so much more sense then.

Met Office wants better supercomputer to predict extreme weather

Adrian Challinor

Helps if you actually forecast

Last time I watched a weather report it was all about how cold it was in some god forsaken part of Blighty I wasn't in, and hadn't been in. If I had been there, I would have known because I was there. As it was, I didn't care.

Neither did I care for all the photo's showing me icicles on a fence, or roof. Because, honestly, I have never seen them before.

How about going back to forecasts with real symbols, not these cartoon characters. And isobars - just because the soap-opera watching, day time TV brigade find anything more complex to understand doesn't mean the rest of us can't.

And don't even get me started on how this affects global warming. You are a weather forecasting team. Forecast the weather and leave the rest well alone.

So - Met Office - if you want to get some more toys, get back to your job, do some forecasts about the weather.

Sick of Ubuntu's bad breath? Suck on a Linux Mint instead

Adrian Challinor

...ended up as a survival contest between Unity and my remaining molars...

I feel the pain and agree!

I switched to Docky and its OK. Not great, but better than Unity. I am dreading HUD.

Adrian Challinor

HUD - the spawn of a mad devil?

Just looked at Shuttleworths blog on HUD and watched the video. Not impressed at all.

What it is asking is that I do something (not quite sure what) to get a typing prompt, then take my hand off the mouse, move to the keyboard, type something, move back to the mouse to select the option I want (hopefully I spelt it right and its there, and then click.

I got as far as watching someone type "undo" and lost all interest. Unless your using voice commands, this is madness. As a productivity winner it is just plain wrong. Oh, I admit it is clever, but take a day in a high stress workplace where the goal is minimise key click and minimise keyboard/mouse transitions.

This is dreamt up by someone with far too much time on their hands and who has not studied UI.

Starship Voyager dumped into skip

Adrian Challinor

It's a flat Jim, but not as we know it

That is all.

American search team fails to find women's G-spot

Adrian Challinor

Man fails for find women's g-spot

Move along, nothing new to see here

NASA shuts off Voyager 1's central heating

Adrian Challinor


This is pretty amazing stuff. Voyager 1 was launched in 1977. Good Old Conservative NASA (as it definitely was then) built stuff using well tried and tested technology, so this tech is much earlier, like the use of an 8-track digital recorder. It takes 33 hours for a round trip message to get from Earth to Voyager. So NASA sends a signal, and waits a day and half to see if the space craft has responded.

And today, how long can we keep an "advanced" computer running for (my record is 287 days for the home server- YMMV).

Like I say - built to last.

Big stars give birth to little stars in new WISE pic

Adrian Challinor
Thumb Up


Appreciate the links

Vomit virus drives punters to NHS Choices over Christmas

Adrian Challinor
IT Angle

As predicted by my butcher

When picking up my meat for Christmas, my butcher, the ever helpful John Charles of Blackheath, predicted a spate of post Christmas vomiting.

Normally around Christmas we have very cold weather. People picking up the turkey can safely leave it in their garage, boot of car, etc, because it is suitably cold. Last year, this was colder than most fridges. This year, because it was so warm, this was not wise and it should have been stored in a fridge. However, few people have room in their fridge for a 20lb turkey.

He predicted that people would get sick because of this.

Microsoft mum on leaked Phone OS plans

Adrian Challinor

possible NFC support

That would be NFC as in "No Freaking Chance" ???

So, as an executive, I'm in a conference with other multinational executives and instead of exchanging a business card we touch phones??? I'm sorry, which dip stick thought this was a market winner. Guys? Come on now?

I'm a tech geek and even I think this is stupid.

Quantum computing comes closer as diamonds get spooky

Adrian Challinor

Quantum bitching..

"I am not sure where this particular work will go from here," Andrew Cleland, a rival quantum boffin in California, tells rival journal Nature. "I can't think of a particular use for entanglement that lasts for only a few picoseconds."

I rival in the field tells a rival magazine that work reported has no practical benefit.

As in "Not invented here"? Or, "Oh shit, there's MY funding grant down the swannee".

Teacher investigated over mysluttyteacher smut site

Adrian Challinor

Just think of the educational opportunities

* IT and CompSci: Learn how to navigate, google by keywords,

break the school firewall and filters

* English: Write comments and constructive criticism. Compare and contrast.

* French and Italian: Repeat above in the language of lovers

* Maths: Compute how long she is going down for.

Won't someone think of the children.... ohhhh.

Minds the one with computing for dummies in the pocket

Southampton hampton vice shocker: Exclusive snap

Adrian Challinor

No lego was harmed in the making of this reconstruction

But I think plenty of liquid artistic enhancer was used.

Thank you - Classic

Stripper nicked for 'nicking knickers' with kids in tow

Adrian Challinor
Paris Hilton

Pasty Club

I think I found the club!


Paris - well, if you need an explanation, it probably wouldn't help you anyway!

Bloke gets wedding tackle trapped in ring

Adrian Challinor

Not True

You have to buy the Star to not read this in it.

Here, you can not read it for free.

We don't need to know that you didn't want to read it, didn't see the tag line that it is in Bootnotes, and then wasted yours and everyone else's time telling so.

Ofcom boss warns of low interest in 'superfast' broadband

Adrian Challinor

Stop the download cap

With a superfast broadband, and a cap of 10G per month, I can blow my limit with the first upgrade to an App or OS in minutes.

Whats the use of Superfast Broadband if you can;t use it? Hello, BT Infinity, are you listening?

Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars

Adrian Challinor

Foot shooting for beginners

Mage is correct, unlike previous posts of the form "Unity, live with it".

One of the unspoken goals for Ubuntu was to create a credible alternative to Windows. I run Ubuntu since I had one too many crashes that wiped a complete disk partition under XP. I move the wife to Ubuntu since Vista was just too damn unstable. She is not a fan, but in her mind it is less hassle than Vista was (or "my first computer" as she liked to call it).

If you're a geek, then Unity or Gmome 3 is great. A whole new raft of desk top tools to play with. Personally, I hated Unity and went back to Ubunto 10:04. Some of the device management packages just did not work under 11:04 and Eclipse was a real nightmare.

What would this do in a business? Well, cause chaos. Why have most companies stuck with Win XP? The main reason is the cost of upgrade in terms of retraining. Changing 300 desktops over a weekend and having 300 users complain on Monday is not good for business. Some of the places I know are still on XP. Windows 7 is possible late 2012. They stay on an old OS because they are in business to make money, not to play with some muppet's idea of a new paradigm for a desktop.

Canonical have gone the same way. Unity is too big a change. And with no fall back alternative for Gnome 2 users, who would want to put this in instead of XP or Windows 7? There is a backlash against Unity - its not good on large screens. So will Canonical change again? Many hope so, but its far from a pleasant thought. So business will stay away. IMHO what Canonical should have done is let you choose whether you run the new, super, flash Unity, or the old boring but familiar Gnome 2, or for the uber-geek, you can have Gnome 3. Their problem is that they have forced a change on to their user base, and that has broken the trust.

Some people (eg, my wife) just want to run a computer, do their work, browse the web and send emails. They do not want to have to learn something new. These people simply won't upgrade until something makes them. Like having a new PC. And then, if they have to learn something new, why not go to Windows 7?

I have moved to Ubuntu 11:10, but with Cairo-Dock, not Unity. This means that I am in control of how my desktop works. The family hate it, because they can;t find anything (this is a "good" thing!)

I do agree with the first poster - let the desktop wars begin.

Colossal dead black neo-sphere approaching Earth

Adrian Challinor

New unit of measurement

It seems we have a new UoM. The mass of a Near Earth Objects are measured in terms nuclear aircraft carriers.

YU55, with a NEO with a mass of 1 Gerald R. Ford, will not hit earth.

Mines the one with "Dummy guide to Extinction Events" in the pocket.

Smart meters: Nothing can possibly go wrong, says gov

Adrian Challinor

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

I love the concept that the poor bloody consumer has anything to do with this except to pay up front and suffer when it goes wrong.

Adrian Challinor

Urban Terrorism

The problems with this are just too legion to go into.

The basic aspect that there is some form of key management that needs to be handled on a countrywide scale have never properly been considered, and the DECC are not up to this task. If any of the command and control keys are compromised then the whole system can be forced in to shutdown mode with no hope of recovery.

A radical climate change group decide that the UK needs to adhere to Kyoto, and gets hold of the (or a) control key. If they issue the command to shutdown the supply, and then change the key to something random, we might be faced with a couple of million bricked-meters, which will require someone to manually reboot or reprogram them with a home visit.

Anyone want to bet that this can't happen? What about a well motivated government? One who has the time and capability to crack the key management or break the public key encryption. Scary.

Or worse, UK Plc decide to buy metre technology from a foreign vendor. What's to stop that country enforcing a back-door key in to the meter? How would you know until the country decides to hit its master off switch. You know, just like Russia did with Ukrainian gas supplies a few years back.

I wouldn't trust any UK Government department, of what ever political colour, to get this right at all, let alone first time. And we have not even begun to discuss the implications of a company / government having the capability to shutting of power or gas to individual households.

Shudder - to scary - and this when we already know the country is under cyberattack. Great, we foiled shutting down the FCO, so that must mean we are secure. Here is a bigger threat.

I would say "Will the last one out turn the lights off", but someone might see that as a challenge!

Binned PCs were stuffed with MoD and Sun staffers' privates

Adrian Challinor
Big Brother

Masonry nail and a hammer

Just take out the hard drive, drive a masonry nail through the platter, and try and read it now. Just ware a mask when your doing this.

Who wants these old disks anyway, when storage needs are increasing (just look at any commercial bloatware and you just know that there has to collusion between software companies and dism manufacturers).

Cryptoboffin: Secure boot a boon for spooks' spyware

Adrian Challinor

Legacy PC's

As a Linux user, clearly I'm concerned. But then I build my own PC's and this will simply mean I choose motherboards that allow me to disable UEFI, or at least the signing requirement.

But what about the current users out there. I gather from the press that there are a few Windows 7 users, even the off Vista user, and I hear Windows XP users as well. The rumour is that there are quite a few of these users. Are they all going to need to buy a new PC as well as a copy of Windows 8? That is really going to make PC World's day, don't you think?

And then we have all the fun with the users. "I just bought this new PC with Windows 8, and none of my iTunes files are on it. What's more, I plugged by iPad in to the new box and iTunes wiped it for me. WHERE IS MY MUSIC?".

Can't help think that this one needs a bit more careful thought. Then again, it is Macro$haft we are talking about here.

ICANN rescues time zone database

Adrian Challinor

royalties are owned

No, it should read " royalties are CLAIMED".

There is still the issue that Astrolabe are claiming royalty on what is an agreed historical fact - namely that the timezone computation for a specific place was amended on a specific date; and what the old and new calculations are.

Ubuntu's Oneiric Ocelot: Nice, but necessary?

Adrian Challinor


Paul has said it well.

Adrian Challinor

Have they fixed the nVidia issue

Tried NN and reverted back because the support for high end nVidia cards and the fact that the drivers and modules had incompatible builds. Until they fix this, I won;t be updating!

Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

Adrian Challinor

Solved problem - move along now

This is a solved problem. Don't use the DNS resolvers provided by the ISP. Instead sign up for one of the more sophisticated DNS systems, like OpenDNS.

Sign up, select the level of security you want, and you can block, open, log, any and all access. Want a custom message ("Thanks for accessing that gambling site, Dad has been informed") then its there for you. Want to open up access for a specific site (Its Art, not Porn FFS) then is simple with a couple of clicks.

Make the BLOODY PARENT take some responsibility for a change. You make sure your kids are in the appropriate car seats when you go for a drive? Just take the same care when opening up the internet. Its not rocket science.

Major BT exchange titsup in power outage

Adrian Challinor

And in related news

BT confirmed that Business Continuity is a nice to have and will be looking at getting some soon.

Seriously, how can a "power failure" take out half of the BT Broadband network? Single point of failure in a major fashion.

Adrian (O2 Broadband and loving it)

Satellite gives better picture of solar flares' effects on Earth

Adrian Challinor

...the possibility of effects on the Earth's climate.

lumme, you mean to tell me that the Sun, a massive thermonuclear fusion reactor, might have an effect on little old Earth?

Well, who'd have thunk it.

News of the World TO CLOSE

Adrian Challinor

And just wehn I had changed my voice mail greeting...

Thanks for calling, I'm not here at the moment, but if you leave me a message the News of the World will email it to me in 1/ 2 and hour.

Drunken bust-up woman sprays cops with breast milk

Adrian Challinor

Hang onn

>> Robinette is apparently a teacher specialising in "helping children with autism,

>> ADHD and other disorders".

Surely this is the wrong thread. She should be advising Ryan Cleary on how to avoid a length jail sentance ...

... oh !

Feds declare victory over notorious Coreflood botnet

Adrian Challinor
Big Brother

Worrying development

I appluad the way this was done and believe that the intentions were honorable. However, some of the implications make me a little uneasy.

>> Only 24 identifiable victims agreed to let the FBI issue the uninstall command, but the

>> consent still resulted in the instruction being sent to 19,000 computers, Special Agent

>> Kenneth Keller wrote in a declaration filed in federal court last week. None of the

>> machines suffered adverse consequences.

Does this mean that nearly 19,000 computer had the uninstall command issued to them without authorisation?

And how do they KNOW that there were no adverse consequences? Who proved that all 19,000 were fine afterwards?

The problem I have here is that the Feds, however well meaning they are, have interfered with a users computer without their authority. If this was the other way round you would get arrested. The issue I have is that the law is being applied in an unequal manner.

As I say, I applaud the idea, and respect the resolution, and I think we need more of this. But we also need to understand the monster we are releasing when we blindly permit the authorities to decide what software we are permitted to run and allow them to remove it without our consent.

Big Brother icon for obvious reasons

Harry Potter Web-2.0 'Pottermore' offering unveiled

Adrian Challinor

And presumably...

Sony will make all the user login details publicly available for any Harry, Ron or Hermoine to download in clear text. Because thats what Sony are good at.

Sorry, I will not be joining if Sony are involved.

UK man charged with attack that shut down SOCA site

Adrian Challinor

Rule 1 - think before uttering garbage

He is held in custody pending a magistrates hearing, which will take place on Thursday. The magistrates will then decide whether to release him on bail or remand him in custody (possibly in Police custody if they wish to question him further).

No different to any other criminal.

Adrian Challinor


oh really? I guess that's why his spending time with SOCA, explaining how clever he was.

The smart one's don't get caught, they lead people like him to get arrested and carry the can.

Quantum crypto felled by 'Perfect Eavesdropper' exploit

Adrian Challinor

deja vu

I think, given the uncertainty in quantum mechanics, you meant to say:

hasn't this already been reported next year.

Mine's the one with the dead/live cat in the pocket.

Bitcoin collapses on malicious trade

Adrian Challinor

Sounds Greek to me

The post is required, and must contain letters.

British Library hands 200 years of history to Google

Adrian Challinor

Too true

I have documents on my computer that I can't read. They were created in an early version of some Apple word processonf 22 years ago. They are intact, but unreadable in any modern programme I have available.

I have tapes (35 years old), on 6250 BPI reels, that I cant read now. Bye Bye University final year project.

My DAT tapes may well survive the century the company claims. Doubt the DAT reader will (I have been through three in 10 years), and they are now becoming like hens teeth for the tapes I have. Yes, its fine to upgrade, but what about the tapes I have in the safe stpre?

As the BL shows, documents last several 100 years and are still readable. Stone tablets even longer. Now thats technology built to last.

Mine's the one with the stolen Rosetta Stone in the pocket, yes the heavy one.

Adrian Challinor

Does the BL get any money from this?

After all, its my Tax Pound that has gone in to maintaining this library for the good of Fun Factory, it seems.

Met Police confirms ICT outage but plays down attack fears

Adrian Challinor

Not true

My HP PSC woke up on Saturday and asked if it could download an update from HP. Spooky, as I thought it was just a printer.

Man says he lost $500,000 in virtual currency heist

Adrian Challinor

You are missing the point

The whole basis of Bitcoin is that it is virtual, untraceable and unattributable. There is deliberately no trace. Its not a flaw, its a design axiom.

It not like cash, or credit cards or PayPal. Its more like barer bonds - the person with the bond has tottal title to it. If you had a bond that you bought for 10,000 and it became worth 500,000, would you keep it in full view on the table next to your open front door? Probably not. You might pt it in a safe deposit box, because that way you can keep it but still not declare it for tax. Thieves can still break in, but its harder to do.

The point here is that no-one can prove he did have the money in the first place, and no-one can show who has it now (assuming it has been stolen). That is what untraceable means.

For anyone else who does not understand this, as has been said previously, go read Cryptonomicon.

Mines the one with the barer bonds in the pocket.

Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

Adrian Challinor

Oh great

Having had the IPCC make up the science as they go along, now we have policy based on a Holywood movie. We deserve to be doomed.

For the record: as a scientist and a Fellow of the Royal Astronimical Society, I don't accept the MMGW arguement. I do think that the great nuclear reactor in the skies is responsible for a lot more than is currently thought (though that does seem to be changing).

What I do believe is that pushing CO2 in bulk (or any gas of any sort) in to the atmospher is Not a Good Thing (c). If its Not a Good Thing, then we should take steps to stop it. These steps do not include panic by a munch of muppets who stand to make a lot of money selling bulbs that don't light and putting a wind farm on every hill.

4G interference will knock out Freeview

Adrian Challinor

What a stupid idea

We get everyone to switch over from analogue to digital TV (DTT). They get to change their sets or buy a freeview box. Once you get there, you find that the signal is corrupted because some mobile phone operator wants to sell the FanBoi's a report how many other FanBoi's are within shouting distance so that they can call them.

Fantastic. Nice one, Ofcom. Just what is your purpose, because supporting customers sure ain't part of the job remit.

So, what happens when I refuse to pay my TV license because I am no longer getting the serivice I used to get? Can we tell the TV Licensing authority to kindly ask Ofcom to hand it over?

Or what happens when I complain that my signal has degraded? No-one can prove whether it has or it hasn't. But if I press my case, will the FanBoi mobile operator poney up for a new receiver or even a FreeSat dish?