* Posts by Pat Volk

50 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bryndzové halušky

Pat Volk

Not the halushky I grew up with, but good-sounding upgrade

In my part of the states (Pittsburgh), Halushky is acceptable as wedding buffet fare, but it's very basic. Egg noodles, cabbage sauteed in butter long enough to caramelize a bit, maybe some onions thrown in there.

Bacon is turning the flavor up to 11. Nothing wrong with that. Halushky to me has a volume of about 2 or 3, but it's sublimely good. Fresh noodles, good butter, and the cabbage... awesome. Not the best thing for the waistline... During lent, you can go to any Ukrainian Church here and buy fresh-made pyrohi made by the babushka ladies. Sometimes a fish sandwich is too much.

Sour cream is the usual flavour adjuster.

Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

Pat Volk

Re: Do any of you realize...@Pat Volk @AC

Obama and Holder have what exactly to do with this?

The robbery wasn't known by Wilson, but released by the Ferguson PD for what purpose? That takes away Brown being a suspect. Reports are he was walking in the middle of the street.

Wilson did not file a police report immediate after the incident (advised by his union rep). Narratives weren't pursued.

I didn't notice, I read most of my news, from different sources. I did look into the claims about Wilson getting his orbital bone broken (repeated by many of the sources you name, btw).

PD's that don't have the cameras are in the minority, I hate to tell you.

Your take seems to be the officer was justified because there's a liberal conspiracy? Do you know a grand jury doesn't determine guilt or innocence, just merely if there is enough evidence to pursue charges? There's not a lot of will do pursue charges in Ferguson... elsewhere, yes, but without the evidence.

I don't know how many people I've talked to about this taking the attitude pretty much that Brown was acting above the law, and the officer didn't have a choice, because he fired his gun. Police are above suspicion.

Police are human, are they not? Police definitely are not above the law. What I see here is lack of evidence of a struggle (injuries on the officer, or injuries on the decadent were not shown on autopsy). Did he pull up to the suspect too close, leaving himself in a very bad spot in case there was a confrontation. Why didn't he use the car to get out of immediate danger? Did he have a taser,, or was deadly force his only choice?

If deadly force was his only choice, that's a failure of the PD to me. If they recommend their cops to pull up to suspicious people close enough to get attacked, that's a failure. It's prejudice to think they don't need alternatives because of the neighborhood they're patrolling in.

If you can't get a job, can't get welfare, can't go out of your house unbeaten unless you join a gang, and the police don't think you're worth the time, what do you think happens? Thug life... It's a black thing, just ask Meyer Lansky, Al Capone, or Lucky Lucciano.

Pat Volk

Re: Do any of you realize...

Do you realize you're reaching back almost 50 years to evoke horrors?

Also, when it happened, the Ferguson PD decided to respond heavy. When you dress cops in full riot gear and balaclavas to hide their faces, tear gas at the ready, don't even act surprised if a riot occurs.

If you think about it, does it make sense that Brown tried reaching over the officer's body in an SUV to get to his gun? For our English friends, imagine reaching in a car to get a gun from a left-handed person. You have to stick yourself halfway in the car to get at it.

Finally, no matter what happened in the Brown shooting, the Ferguson PD handled the situation is about the worst way possible. They leaked information trying to sway opinion. They tried to clamp down on the outcome. The reports of what happened were late in coming. Most importantly, why didn't they have video cameras in the cars like the majority of police do? How about a hot mike? That stuff helps to protect your officers and the public.

St. Louis is a growing city, and Ferguson is an island of poverty in it. Amazing some of the responses I've heard. A PD was disbanded because of problems. Treat them like savages, and then everybody points "see, they are savages" when things finally blow up. I guess it's time for another lynching....

DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

Pat Volk

Re: Banks can be worse

When I hear about death and India, I shudder. Being legally dead, and dead dead are two different things there. A legally dead gent won an IgNobel for fighting for the legally dead to rejoin the living. Being walking and talking apparently is not enough to reverse legal death.

Galileo can't do the fandango: Two Euro GPS nav sats sent into WRONG ORBIT

Pat Volk

Re: "Sometimes wish I never gone up at all"

Also, what about music (the metronome which clicks off the metre of the music)?

Also, is it meter or metre for Shakespeare's sonnets (iambic pentameter)?

Who is Zed, and why is he in your alphabet?

Stupid English speakers who argue the order of letters, but the pronunciation not so much. Prove, Proof, Provide (prostitute and process). Hove, hoof, hover. Wind and wind. Read and read.

(a Yank with Canadian spell check... Colour is ok, color is not. Ok is not ok. Admit it, the ou and -re is a desire to be french...)

Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue

Pat Volk


I don't think this would work at night, with street lights and bugzappers deployed. Mothra would probably fly into the light at the top of the Luxor Hotel in Vegas nowadays

Hollywood star Robin Williams dies of 'suspected suicide' at 63

Pat Volk

The person and the persona

I thought I read somewhere he was concerned about taking medication for depression, because it might impact his comedy. I've heard that about other comics as well. The pain and the success are chained together.

He had a delivery like a rocket. You wondered if he could turn it off, and if he'd explode if he did.

(Depressive/Anxiety Disorder... realized I was close to OCD after getting help. Troubleshooting skills took a bit of a hit, but I don't spin my wheels as much. I'd fall to pieces generally out of view)

You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Pat Volk

Re: Now the only resource left to worry about

That explains a lot. I've put ammonia on my plants, and they turn brown. So I got the strongest nitrogen mixture I could (it's a liquid, must be strong because it smokes, and really smokes if I try and add water), and that made my plants crumble. Also seemed to kill the grubs, which is a plus. I thought about the Nitric Acid, but the brown smoke from it and the stains I got seemed scary. I'll take the white smoke and grey spots on my hands using the pure nitrogen (cheaper than the miracle gro).

The pure liquid nitrogen seemed to work best. Now if you'll excuse me, I just got a call from the fire department. Saying there was an explosion in my shed.I didn't know the stuff was flammable! I got 12 litres of it, used about half, and put the rest in a sprayer. Had to close it tight.. dang thing kept smoking.. I didn't want to lose any. Although if it smokes, maybe I should've known. Wow... my hands are stinging now...

Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

Pat Volk

Oh no, a 'merkin sounds off...

Norway is treating him how they treat anybody. The parallel with the US isn't 9/11, but the Oklahoma City Bombing (domestic terrorist, we executed him). I don't believe he can be rehabilitated, only warehoused.

I think the last execution in Norway was Vidkun Quisling... If you have an exception, that's a good one in my book (ABB is not in that ballpark).

Crime and punishment here in the states, it differs depending on state (which is responsible for most of the laws), and the severity of the crime. We're a fickle lot, especially when it comes to drugs. With higher populations, the prision quality goes down. With a diverse population, that makes prision even more fun to manage. Gangs in Norway? I know they have a Hell's Angels chapter, maybe a skinhead group or two.

It's a chicken and egg thing. Is the system making the criminals in the US, or the criminals making the system? Implementing a Norwegian-style system probably won't work here.

Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest ever recorded, global warming is not eroding it'

Pat Volk

Ah Lewis...

If you wish to make your point, it might be worth pointing out a few other things:

1) The amount of emissions not CO2 have dramatically decreased in the past 50 years. SOx, NOx. Use of CFC's is drastically reduced, even in the 3rd world.

2) Proof by anecdote. Boths sides do this to alarming extremes. It's hot here, but it's record cold there. Ice sheets are disappearing in one place, but thickening in another.

3) Proof by fudge - also done to alarming extremes. The fudge factor comes out mostly as time period, but also location (see above). A little fudge to make the numbers slide down.

4) Slippery slope - if we try alternatives, civilization will end as we know it. Remember the criticisms about catalytic converters, and emissions control? Emissions controls on industry?

Those said, I think man's footprint on the world is a bit overstated. Nuclear power I think is the best way to go for electricity.

On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

Pat Volk

Black Friday, start of deer season.

Be vewy quiet... I'm hunting packages...

Two kites, a net, and an e-bay account. Sorta like drift netting.

What would happen if you ordered 50 items, including a boom box pre-loaded with "Flight of the Valkyries" playing, to a neighbors house, specifying delivery between 11:45 and 12:00. What if that neighbor was nice enough to let you use his yard to dry some wet fishing nets?

(knowing Pennsylvania, you'd need to get a license, and the limit would be 3 drones)

Google's MYSTERY barges floating off US shores: The TRUTH

Pat Volk

They need to come up with a catchier name to slap it on everything.... How about Virgin?

Island-hopping Beardy Branson: I'm dodging rain, not taxes

Pat Volk


Didn't he get started in the record biz by buying non-blighty records to dodge the VAT?

Barmy Army to get Wi-Fi to the seat for cricket's Ashes

Pat Volk

Re: Sport? In Australia?

Ah, but now theyre getting some talent from the GAA. Teams no, players yes. Still have to respect any game where they dribble an oblate spheroid...

Iranian cyberwar chief shot dead. Revolutionary Guard: Assassination? Don't 'speculate'

Pat Volk

Where were these guys

When Spamford Wallace was terrorizing the internets? He's the real mastermind.

'Modern warming trend can't be found' in new climate study

Pat Volk

Small data sets

I'm not so much concerned about GW/CC as I am about cutting down greenshouse gas emissions. I am however concerned about all these danged windmills slowing down the winds. Will be interesting if it's discovered 30 years from now that wind farms cause turbulent air which increases soil erosion. Or by putting a turbulent layer of air allows the upper winds to go faster.

But don't pooh-pooh global warming/climate change data for being spotty, and then using spotty data to refute. The earth is a complex system, and can abosorb much more than we can comprehend. I read somewhere if there are carbon credits, there should be oxygen, nitrogen, and helium credits for openers. Why pick on carbon? And where can I sign up for gold credits?

Great Britain rebuilt - in Minecraft: Intern reveals 22-BEEELLION block map

Pat Volk

I wonder

If he put some minerals in the rock beyond coal. I'd love to see someone digging a hole in the countryside looking for redstone "coz the game 'ad it there". Or diamonds. Might have to d/l it just so I can fill up Old Trafford with some creepers....

New NSA tool exposed: XKeyscore sees 'nearly EVERYTHING you do online'

Pat Volk

Bring back the 50's.

The post wasn't necessarily secure, or telegraphs. But lots of people were employed to make dossiers. The dossiers were ostensibly to track down criminals, terrorists, and to protect the security of the state.

But the powers that be realized that dossiers were useful for their blackmail potential. That helps to track down "criminals", "terrorists", "subversives", "communists", or "imperialists". Ah, the good 'ol days of the FBI^H^H^HStasi, and the paranoid J. Edgar Hoennecker.

A lesson: You don't pay programmers by the bug, or pay spooks by the bad guy. And you sure as hell don't give people whose job it is is to lie their asses off power and expect them to use it responsibility. The politicians really look out for us now, like preventing that all-encompassing PATRIOT act in, and not giving it nefarious powers.

Between the NSA, FBI, and Stasi, I'd rather be followed by the Stasi, namely because I could use the extra furniture.

Dubya: I introduced PRISM and I think it's pretty swell

Pat Volk

Re: Come on you lot...

I like the idea of dissident status. Espionage as I understand it is theft of secrets, and providing it to someone other power for some personal gain or ideology. Manning falls under the UCMJ. But there is no attempt to hide the information taken, and he didn't exactly give it to any one power.

PRISM leaks: WTF, you don't spy on your friends, splutters EU

Pat Volk


Countries are a lot like businesses, they like to know what the competition is up to. Are they releasing a new product, or cutting prices, or hiring to expand.

I remember being warned that the largest perps of espionage against the US (mid 90's) was.... France! Understandable, it's what countries do. You like to know what your neighbors are up to, or the folks in the good, or bad part of town.

Throwing arms let humans rise above poo-flinging apes to play cricket

Pat Volk

Technical mechanics...

(I'm a yank). The baseball pitcher does get the benefit of 3 feet of elevation of the pictcher's mound, and the cricket bowler gets a run up. About the best way I can explain it is, a baseball pitcher is a torsion catapault, and the cricket bowler uses a trebuchet action (underhand softball pitches use a messed-up trebuchet motion), with the leg, hip, and arm connected and transferring the force to the ball.

Have to wonder what the maximum speed of a cricket and baseball are. Drag is big at 100mph. Whose throws are more accurate? Baseball has gloves, cricket doesn't. Baseball requires 130m throws, cricket about 70m.

My dad hates baseball (too boring). If he goes to hell, he'll have to watch cricket (not as excruciating as baseball IMHO, but a baseball game is 3 hours generally. Cricket is a commercial every 6 balls, and goes on for five days in its' pure form). I try and explain cricket to folks around here as baseball with 2 bases, and no foul territory. Cricket has grown on me (and I have a couple of nephews who brought their cricket kit), more than baseball.

Forget phones, PRISM plan shows internet firms give NSA everything

Pat Volk
Big Brother

Re: what took you all so long...

The beauty of the American system is the media, and the government give the illusion of choice. Democrat or Republican, it's the same. The PATRIOT act allowed it, and the Dems have taken it and run with it. Protect the second amendment, but throw out fair trial, right to face your accuser, and right to due process.

The assault on the constitution is a bipartisan effort. Yeah, yeah, the Tea Party is the grass roots. The rhetoric is just a smoke screen so you don't notice being bent over and fscked.

Anyway, PRISM is somewhat of a mixed bag. Outrage that information is out in the public can find it's way into data mining shouldn't come as a surprise. The NSA is not supposed to turn it's eyes and ears on its' citizens, but you expect them to monitor international stuff (you expect the FBI to do the domestic stuff).

The internet is mostly a sewer, and the US wants to catalog everybody's shit (unlike the Stasi who just wanted smells). Next time you drop a deuce, don't be a good sheep and just leave a Cleveland Steamer in a nice place where they can pick it out. Make them fish. Make them look at bukkake video as something cleaner than they do. Give them a dirty sanchez trying to pick open your encypted corn-containing brown nuggets of internet musings. Make them add a C to NSA for coprophilia, preferably at the end, then they become N-SACK.

Anonymous threat shutters Gitmo WiFi

Pat Volk
Black Helicopters

Little dirty fact... Some of the 'enemy combatants' were not taken in Afganistan. Or Iraq. Tortured (er, enhanced interrogation techniques), broken, and now we don't know what to do with them. People who were supposed to be disappeared I guess.

Very depressed that the people who scream bloody murder if anybody goes near the second amendment, think that the rest of them are negotiable (citizenship, due process, speedy trail). GTMO isn't about that, but when you play fast and loose with the Geneva Convention et al, it tends to come around. In the name of saving American lives.

I'm an American, and I understand the power of a state to kill its' citizens. But I feel it's very important to make the state go through the hassle of either slapping a military uniform, or prision jumpsuit on me before they do....

Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Pat Volk

Re: Racist factor?

I am reminded of a joke... What's the difference between northern racists and souther racists? Northern racists don't mind blacks getting uppity, as long as they don't live next door. Southern racists don't mind blacks living next door, as long as they don't get uppity. Methinks this girl just got designated as 'uppity'...

Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

Pat Volk

The pig bicture

Global climate is a complex system. There is enough data and variances to be able to pick something, and run either way with it. Pick a gas, pick a location, and a side to the argument. We have the doomsayers, who predict big problems in the next decade or two, and the denialists, who say we're a drop in the bucket.

I guess I look at it from a modified doomsayers position. If we've already tipped the balance, we've already screwed the pooch. If we haven't, we lack the teeth to get the developing world to play along with our paranoia. Decreasing pollution is a good thing, and has benefits aside from 'saving the world' which are tangible to those parts of the world.

Do what we can, and deal with what we can't. Personally, I think we overestimate our foot print on the climate (a natural event can outweigh us), but we do have an effect. But there is a benefit in lightening our footprint. I think nuclear still has less of a footprint than solar or windpower.. there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Antarctic ice sheet melt 'not that unusual', latest ice core shows

Pat Volk

Damn lies, statistics, and the big picture

The relativistic argument can be a bit of a stretch. 4 billion years ago, the earth was 40 C warmer across the board, so it's not 'unprecidented'. Specific areas can be cherry-picked to make either sides' argument, so I take it all with a grain of salt. Many natural events can greatly affect the amount of CO2, making our contribution seem small in comparison. I'm not a big believer in doom and gloom.

That said, amazing things have happened when we try and cut down our pollution levels. It forces us to find better sources of energy, and in the long run it can save money. I'm sure Lewis would've downplayed the role of tetraethyl lead, bituminous coal in London, and the use of solvents in industry and their impacts on the environment, just to name a few. DHMO-based solvents have proven to be much cheaper, and also less polluting. Less NOx and SOx mean less smog, and the engines run fine without TEL. I also know there's no free lunch when it comes to energy (nuclear seems to me still the way to go), but pressure to improve the process isn't bad.

Stroustrup on next-gen C++: I didn't want to let go of my baby

Pat Volk


Program languages to many programmers are like guitars to guitar players... Many will go through a bunch in order to find one they can 'play. It's not the instrument, it's the technique. If you have a problem of 100 tires in your yard, bad C practice is to make 1 stack of 100. Bad C++/OO will make 100 stacks of 1. I have had discussions with people quoting Stroustroup like it was the bible. Just because you can do it doesn't necessarily mean you should.

I've used C++ for embedded, and it's useful (Broadcom has done it well IMHO). I've seen subclassing done backwards more times than I care to (mention scope, they say OO automatically is scoped, as they litter statics through the classes).

The allure of C++, perl, and other languages is you can create a meta-language to describe the problem you're solving. But often it's jargon, ergot, or some other obscure cant that repackages what's already there. I think that's people not trusting the language, or invoking rituals (in OO, everything must be dynamically allocated... why? ... it's not OO if it's not. So, before I bang my head off the rock).

Valve chief confirms Steam-centric console-killing PC

Pat Volk

Re: What was the name of that console system

Steam definitely has the means, and an established path which is much more than Phantom (thanks whoever reminded me) had. They have a good DRM model. Not like Phantom. It's a matter of getting the developers to work on that common denominator.

Iranian nuke plants rocked in midnight 'heavy metal blast'

Pat Volk

Re: What's with the partizan posts?

Yeah, we're bad yanks. We had no business invading Iraq. But we kind of inherited a mess there, with all the divisions, and trying to break majorities by pitting them against each other. I know the Ottomans were there, but there was someone there after that had the place all screwed up by the 1920's. Big colonial power, and thought they were good at it. Weren't they involved in Pakistan also, when it was part of India?

Hmm... WHO could that have been... At least they weren't Dutch, French, or Belgian.

So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down

Pat Volk

Behavoral analysis

You can learn a lot in an operational environment, just by observing. Especially in an informal environment, you can get people talking, and gently steering the conversation you get the information you need. Programmers have favored methodologies, and bad ones will use that for everything. You have the managers who work with their staff, and those who consider it a good day where they don't make a decision, or make a decision which is outside their realm (mgmt - strategy, staff - tactics).

You find gaps between people. You find out the users are doing unexpected things. You find a platform stretched enough to where race conditions happen. Woe become you if you tick off a test procedure, and someone else can demonstrate it.

You find out enough about the what happened, and why, blame matters less. A nice valid chain of events leading to failure is very tough to refute, and generally spreads the blame out. As an engineer you want to know those so you don't repeat it. A good saying is there's a name for people too smart to learn anything.... dumb.

Acoustic trauma: How wind farms make you sick

Pat Volk
Black Helicopters

Dubious indeed

I should've gotten a doctorate in epidemiological studies.. Anybody read the paper? There's no info in it, just a defense of the methodology. People have felt so strongly they have left their homes, so there must be an effect. Spent 40 pages explaining why it scientific not to turn to science.

How about finding some students for a few quid who can replicate the results? How about isolating the specific part of the turbines that are causing the symptoms? Have any of these folks heard of science? Reproducability?

Nothing is free, or green. Windfarms have environmental impact, just like everything else. But prove it already. Don't say it's impossible to prove, but it happens because people complain about it. Plausible to me, but dammit, prove it.

'NATO RESTRICTED': The lowest possible classification

Pat Volk

The US still uses Restricted?

US classification, I thought they did away with RESTRICTED a long time ago. They replaced it with SUB (Sensitive, Unclassified, Burn), and even that they replaced with FOUO (For Official Use Only). FOUO isn't classified, but it's not public. They were trying to downgrade a lot of CONFIDENTIAL as well.

The reason was to reduce the number of documents which had to be tracked I thought, and a lot of CONFIDENTIAL information was downgraded for saving money.

It's simplified a lot since I've been in that stuff.

Japanese gov makes Fukushima evac zone compulsory

Pat Volk


I don't think they're looking too hard in the area for radiation. It's probably rained a few times since the event, and the surface stuff has decayed a bit, but also has been concentrated into low-lying areas. Also, the exclusion represents confidence in the containment at the site.

Safe for 99.99% of people, maybe 99.9 depending on how many basements are present.

In order words, you're downplaying, but you're mostly right. The chicken-little press only uses 3-inch headlines for things that are 99.99% safe however.

Mummy, mummy, there's a nuclear monster!

Pat Volk

FUD and the antithesis

My take on increasing the Fukushima disaster to level 7 isn't on the amount of radiation put out exactly. I think their reasoning for going to declaring it level 7 is partly because they are taking responsibility in the face of the rest of the world (face being a key word), and also that they feel they do not have a firm control of the situation yet.

There has been some impacts. That said, I appreciate Mr. Page's take on the media frenzy (uSv isn't media-sexy, but stating that it's x times the normal exposure is. Becquerels, especially when couple with SI prefixes from Mega to Exa make people wonder where all the fallout shelters went). I loved when CNN had an expert and a journo and the journo said how alpha rays penetrate, and the expert said nothing. My wife got an earful.

There are some serious hot zones at the plant. They don't have the dosimeters for individuals. Even around Chernobyl today, people can go around, and find some lichens which will excite the geiger counters. It will have some consequences, for some time. It will probably be a decade before they can get close enough to the reactors to get the fuel out (Not done at Chernobyl, took a decade at TMI).

Assange fights extradition in court

Pat Volk

@Ian Gumby

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for espionage in 1953. U.S.Code does still have the death penalty on the books for espionage (not sure if/when that was changed), but only in times of war. Assange is too high profile I think to be renditioned, and if the US took action, the backlash would likely be more breaches of security.

The irony of this is when dealing with classified information, copies are at the same level, and need to be registered and safeguarded. Someone seriously screwed the pooch here on the security side. The data released shows a lack of compartmentalization, which I think is the rush for DHS to get their grubbies on intel data to legitimize themselves. In the name of security, the basics were disregarded, and now nobody can use USB drives in the DoD. Now they probably won't allow DVD's either.

The US (although I can't speak for my fellow americans) would best be served if he were allowed to slink away, and not be martyred in the process physically, or legally.

Lawyers fear Assange faces death penalty in US

Pat Volk

Death Penalty?

The politicos mentioned treason, but Assange can't be considered treasonous, he's not a US citizen. I don't think the US has much of a case here, They probably want to question him, but they can't disappear him. I think the last execution for stealing secrets (which Julian didn't) was Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

I'm not sure how easy it would be for the US to extradite for a crime which isn't necessarily universal.

Death row inmate claims allergy to lethal injection

Pat Volk

Our good friend irony

Let me get this straight... It's not ok for the state to kill a bad person, but it's ok for the state to put a uniform on someone, tell them to go stand in front of people in other uniforms who are trained to shoot people in that uniform.

And I don't think people get the whole thing about painless capital punishment. The preference is for a method which doesn't necessarily cause discomfort to the condemned, but for the witnesses. Even where beheading is practiced, they draw off most of the blood beforehand to make it less like Mortal Kombat. If they could make it like flipping an off switch on a human being, it won't ever go away, because it doesn't distress people enough. Accidentally decapatate a few people, and there's a shot.

People like to think they're above all that. But the state does retain the authority to kill it's subjects when it deems to be necessary... don't kid yourself. One makes sense while the other does not. At least you blokes don't have conscription.

A country can't do it to bad people by any justification, but they can do it to good people with really good justification. Is that what you're trying to say?

(that said, I don't think it's much of a deterrent. It's used really in only aggravated murder cases here)

Feds open school spycam probe

Pat Volk
Big Brother

The reason as I read

Was he skipped school that day (at least that's what was claimed in the lawsuit). Bueller? Bueller? (although that guy got busted for being a paedo).


Props to El Reg for not going British on the geography on this one (Lower Merion is in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

Scots unleash world's strongest beer

Pat Volk

Whiskey or malt liquor/barley wine

82 proof fizzy whiskey? You don't get that without adding alcohol or distilling. It could sink the Bismark, and remove the oil stain.

Second US man admits DDoS attack on Scientology

Pat Volk

Silly kids...

If you want Scientology to look silly, just let them talk. I know various established critics warned Anonymous to control their zeal. Let them eat caek!

Bono accuses ISPs of 'reverse Robin Hooding' over piracy

Pat Volk

History repeats itself, Ollie...

It's been repeating itself for at least 100 years. New type of media, expansion, consolidation, control, to a new type of media. From film to radio to television, to the internet. The first chapter is the mad scramble. Then people realize how much money there is to be had, and it expands, and then consolidates into the hands of a few. In the past, ecomics has intervened.

To plead that it costs jobs or money is disingenuous. Fewer people work in the industry mainly because of consolidation (how many projectionists does a modern multiplex employ?). Your cries of lost money in reality is unrealized profit. Very difficult to plead lost money when movies make hundreds of millions of dollars (Avatar).

The reality is the same however: a balance will soon be struck once the new media is put to good use. And then it will get turned on its head, and the cycle begins again. I've seen it happen with the software industry, and I've seen how the music and television industry work at the entry level (you need a day job).

The bigger, the fewer, the more complacent. With each new media, a little anarchy creeps in, and it is good. Piracy will always happen, just as sure as consumers will get ripped off. With more opportunity, comes more jobs, and more media. I've increased my DVD library considerably from failed video rental places (used, but cheap, same for CD's).

Pat Volk

The versions of the market

Always in flux. Prior to recordings, people would bootleg copies of sheet music. The consumer wants their music for free. The producer wants the consumer to pay every time they listen to a song, and their adverts (Why do I have to sit through 5 minutes of non-forwardable adverts when I bought the bloody DVD?).

Ah, a free market is a beautiful thing. Charge too much, and you make piracy economical. Make it reasonable, and sales increase.

Bono *never* exploted resorted to being a media whore... Ironically, U2 is one of those 80's groups I don't listen to any more... Perhaps I was force-fed it too many times on the radio and TV.

WTF is this country called America?

Pat Volk

Maybe I'm being Captain Obvious here, but...

The thing I found odd (and maybe missed by the canucklehead) is not the reference to America, but I was wondering where in Virginia. I know Oxford is a collection of colleges like 20 or so, but there are quite a few possibilities in Virginia. For example, Virginia is the home of black helicopters (Langley), the Pentagon (Alexandria), and GWAR (Richmond, VCU I think). There's higher tech in Blacksburg (Va. Tech) and artsy pastoral schools in Fredericksburg. Maybe Dave Matthews was involved.

I wish the Reg would cover the research being conducted at the Slave Pit though, because of the Antartic ice melting.

Fancy dropping into Pitetsbkrrh?

Pat Volk

Could be worse I suppose.

Maybe they drank too much 'Arn. Could be worse... They could've mispelled it Cleveland. Or one that really riles people up, Pittsburg.

Funny. First international trip, land at lovely Heathrow Airport. Have a day room at the Hilton. Asked me my address. Pittsburgh I said.

What was on the receipt? Phishdursh. I did not have any drinks on the flight.

Brit firm stops anti-tank warheads with cloth

Pat Volk

They could integrate the cloth into a rigid matrix

I have this vision of the MOD buying up a bunch of textile-resin plates, and affixing them to the tanks... That's right, they're going to have Trabant armor.

Swoopo - eBay's (more) evil twin

Pat Volk


Very evil setup. They probably don't need shills, they just need to make sure the world is bidding on the items. A larger bidding group also naturally increases the number of snipers, and does a pretty good job of preventing collusion.

I want to say they can sell stuff at 20% of price, and break even (each bid nets .75, and increases the bid by .15).

BBC clarifies location of England

Pat Volk

To us yanks

The map kind of makes sense, because you English types get your princes from Wales. And then they get stoned on scones or something... knowing the Scottish food, that ain't suprising. That would also explain the tooth stereotype if you think about it...

Anatomy of a malware scam

Pat Volk

Excellent article

I saw this not too long ago, and the analysis is nicely done.

DoJ beats up tech firm for H-1B only job ads

Pat Volk

Always struck me as ironic

The irony is that my hometown of Pittsburgh is home to a few universities (Carnegie Mellon, Pitt, Duqesne to name a scant few), and the standard of living is on the cheap side compared to other places. And the lament from just about everybody out of university is "there's no jobs around here".

Well, if the H1-B people do come here, at least they can make sure their meagre dollar goes further here than, say NYC or DC (or abroad, where it's really meagre!). Also, our centres of higher learning provide good opportunities for graduate studies. Good time to come over and buy houses, because us yanks can't afford them!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to yinzer, before my head explodes. Maybe I should have some crisps first... *boom*

Bloody code!

Pat Volk

multiple returns == Coding by Exception

As a reviewer, I'll generally allow an if-else block at the end for returns. Beyond that, I take a very dim view.

Here is why. For any given solution, there are a finite number of rules, and an infinite number of exceptions.

When you start doing extensive data checking, you must consider first whether it's your business to know what information you're handling. If you're a typical Object-Obfucated programmer, you'll have 80%+ of your code checking what it isn't (and what to do). You'll also be sure and include the sanity checks in every class in your 12-layer chain of inheritance.

Now, the constant of gravity changes, or the customer wants another argument in the API. And at that moment, you will be cursed with 3 eternities in maintenance hell for your transgression. Of course, your tester will already have cursed your name to 20 lifetimes on helldesk duty in that case... Of course, the jobu who did it originally has probably spread the love to 10 other places, or writing a book.

This is programming, and not law. Just because there's prior precedent doesn't make it right. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

The Tao of programming states if you're going to make bugs, make them obvious. After all, a tarantula is easier to find than a flea, and not nearly as deadly.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022