* Posts by Steve Crook

609 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


Elon Musk considering 'drastic action' as Twitter takeover in 'jeopardy'

Steve Crook

Re: Burn

> follow some bots because they provide useful information

Yes, but who is the information useful to and which direction is the flow?

Netflix to crack down on account sharing, offer ad-laden cheaper options

Steve Crook

Adverts Yaaaaay!

Guys 'n' gals, we have a problem with declining subscriptions. What can we do? What's that? Adverts? Yeah that's bound to work, people are never going to end their subscriptions because we slap a few adverts into the programming. Easier than providing programmes people want to watch. Such an outdated concept!

DARPA says US hypersonic missile is ready for real world

Steve Crook

Re: What the heck was Pershing II then?

Largely because it's not even close to what was deployed in the 70's and 80's.

We can't assume that the US has only just built these. Think stealth fighter or bomber. They were around for years. The U2 would have been kept under wraps had Powers not been inconveniently knocked out of the sky.

More interesting is what the parallel development there has been of anti missile systems. Are we back to very big lasers or rail guns as the only things that'll knock something like this out of the sky.

Newly discovered millipede earns its name by being the first to walk on one thousand legs

Steve Crook

Re: So. many. legs.

That it has few predators is a factor. There's no pressure to be small and nimble to run away from things.

If it's carnivorous is there a chance it might start to eat its rear end without realising and come over all ouroboros? Or tie itself in a knot it can't get out of...

Anyone remember the 'centipede' from a Piers Anthony novel? One of Orn, Omnivore and Ox IIRC but don't remember which one.

Steve Crook

Drill hole habitat.

> Discovered in the resource-rich Goldfields-Esperance region, [it is] threatened by encroaching surface mining, documentation of this species and conservation of its habitat are of critical importance

Clearly this one was not unhappy to use a drill hole as habitat. Perhaps there's a chance that the 'damage' done by mining is actually providing new habitat the millipedes can use.

Shocking: UK electricity tariffs are among world's most expensive

Steve Crook

Re: 70's electricty

The problem with turbines+bats is that no-one really has a good handle on the flight paths that bats are using. It's very easy to site turbines in the wrong place.

Next problem is that ground scavengers quickly remove carcases.

Next problem is that wind farm operators are reluctant to allow large scale studies of the problem.

Next problem is denial that there's a problem, any problem, with wind turbines.

But you can see the turbine companies think there's a problem because of the different things they're experimenting with to make turbine blades more obvious to stuff that flies. I'm assuming they wouldn't be spending this money if there wasn't a problem to fix...

Cats. Yup, wouldn't argue that belling is the best solution. But, ironically, it's probably going to be easier to sort out the turbine issues than to get a majority of cats owners to care one bit about what their cat is doing when it's out and about...

Steve Crook

Re: 70's electricty

They do harm wildlife. Particularly, but not exclusively, bats. The rarest are migratory and particularly affected, but it's a fairly general problem. As they get near the blade tips the rapid pressure change causes their internal organs to rupture.

They're also an issue for birds that're scavengers because they try to get to the stuff the turbines have already killed.

But, apparently, foxes do very well out of them...

Theranos' Holmes admits she slapped Big Pharma logos on lab reports to boost her biz

Steve Crook

Which is just another way of saying "I wish I'd done it differently because I'd probably never have been caught"

SpaceX flings another bunch of humans into orbit in reused capsule atop reused booster

Steve Crook

Chewing gum

Capsule re-use is OK, but how long before someone finds chewing gum stuck under the armrests by earlier passengers...

Cherry on top: Dell shoves MX keyboard into its Alienware m15 R4 ultrabook

Steve Crook

Desktop keyboard

The laptop is a bit pricey but I'd be interested to try them out in a TKL keyboard for desktop use. Might make for something small, light and low profile and ideal to stuff in a bag.

Tesla to build cars made of batteries and hit $25k price tag about three years down the road

Steve Crook

Every accident will be a write off.

Because the battery storage will be stuffed and unserviceable. It'll be interesting to see how this plays with the EU wanting to have things made more repairable.

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village

Steve Crook

Re: More to the point

If that's all it takes to knock out broadband in the UK it should be possible to make a powerful unit, fit it to a van, and kill off large chunks of UK infrastructure in a fairly anonymous way.

US Air Force shows off latest all-electric flying car, says it 'might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie'

Steve Crook

It's carrying a man in his underwear.

Not a squaddie with a 20kg pack and all the other stuff they have to lug around....

Remember that black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth? Scientists queue up to say it may not exist after all

Steve Crook

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

The Nine Billion Names Of God. It's what supercomputers were made for...

OpenJDK lands on Windows 10 for Arm: Not 100% there yet but enough to start tinkering

Steve Crook

It SEEMS??? It **IS** A long time ago.

I was there, plugging away with Kawa and and pre Swing JDK and still thinking it was bucket loads easier to write a Windows application with Java/AWT than using MFC... There was a time when I wondered if embarrassment was what drove Microsoft to try and fork Java.

Did anyone ever use J++ for anything serious? Imagine being a person who devoted a year to help write it...

Germany prepares to launch COVID-19 contact-tracing app 'this week' while UK version stuck in development hell

Steve Crook

That's the plan

IIRC if you're contact traced, you'll be offered a test. But. It doesn't get you out of jail if it's negative. You still have to do the quarantine. I guess they're wary of false negatives, though that doesn't exactly fill me full of confidence if the Test part of Test, Track and Trace.

Steve Crook

Which is why...

> _Any_ amount of uptake will help. The more the better obviously, but any uptake helps.

Clearly that's not true.

Which is why Singapore, where they have the control, are looking at deploying compulsory wristbands that aren't subject to the constraints of other devices.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

Steve Crook

It's more common than you think.

Well, around 50% of the population are female. So that's them covered. Then there's religion and skin colour. Some will be one or more of: old, short, fat, have red hair, be a goth, a hippie, homeless, disabled. They could be European immigrants, English living in Scotland Ireland or Wales, or vice versa.

In modern terms of reference, I suspect that those who've **never** been the subject of discrimination, hardship or oppression are probably in a fairly small minority, the subject of discussion is the **extentt**. Which, I guess, is why someone thought up intersectionality.

Nervous, Adobe? It took 16 years, but open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape now works properly on macOS

Steve Crook

Who cares about business?

This sort of stuff brings useful, powerful software to anyone that wants to use it regardless of the depth of their pocket. If children grow up using it they'll be advocates for it in their work environments and for most normal people, this, Libre Office, Thunderbird and others are good enough.

As for Adobe's subscription model, it's been a boon, have you seen the number of alternatives to Adobe product who're making a big thing out being non subscription alternatives to Adobe. It looks like they've generated an entirely new industry :-)

Some companies have at least seen sense and offer free, un-crippled, non commercial versions. But not Adobe. Yet.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Steve Crook

Re: Co-traveller

True, battery saving algorithm nonsense can even affect Foreground services. Never investigated the possibility of an app switching off attempts to stop itself being 'battery optimised'. I do know that having disabled battery saving for the apps I've written, their foreground services continue to run unimpeded.

So in theory I'd have thought that aspect of the UK app would work. But I'm not an Android expert, hence the original question.

Steve Crook

Possibly dumb question, but...

On Android I thought this was what a foreground service was intended to do, to chuck out a notification that persisted for the duration of the foreground service and that the service continued to run when the app is backgrounded. The sort of thing you'd use for downloads or to run a media player.


GCC 10 gets security bug trap. And look what just fell into it: OpenSSL and a prod-of-death flaw in servers and apps

Steve Crook

Re: El Reg (or the readership) really has changed

I've been reading this particular red-top since at least 2007 when I posted my first comment, and it just seemed to highlight the changes there have been both at El Reg and in the base of the readership. It intended to be an observation, *not* a criticism. But I could have phrased it better to minimise the whiff of snark.

As you say, the IT business has shifted, technologies have moved and, naturally El Reg has moved with them because what floats the readerships boat has also changed. So there *was* a time when GCC would have been assumed knowledge, now it'll be other stuff.

Nothing wrong with that. Evolve or die.

Steve Crook

El Reg (or the readership) really has changed

> GCC is the GNU Compiler Collection, a free software suite of tools that compile source code written in C, C++, and other languages, into applications and other executables.

When did article authors start to think the readership wouldn't know this?

You can wipe those smiley faces off: Unicode technical website is going to be out for 'a couple of weeks'

Steve Crook

I'm looking forward to Eamonn Holmes

telling us that COVID is transmitted by UNICODE in text messages sent over 5G.

Crypto AG backdooring rumours were true, say German and Swiss news orgs after explosive docs leaked

Steve Crook

Explosive docs?

So Q has been at it again?

Meet Clippy 9000: Microsoft brags about building Earth's largest AI language model, refuses to let it out of the lab

Steve Crook

So parameters are the AI

equivalent of camera megapixels.

Boss planning to tear you a new one? Google Glass is back: Weird workwear aimed at devs, but on sale to all

Steve Crook

Re: Privacy of others

It gives a whole new meaning to Google Streetview

Protesters backing Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou during her US extradition hearings were 'duped paid actors'

Steve Crook

Re: Great ...

It's a wormhole. Best not to travel down it, any nation that's ever been able to exert significant power has shat on its rivals and weaker neighbours whenever it could.

Oh, the other characteristic they all share is that they claim that *their* people are uniquely blessed and that, if the rest of the world had any sense, they'd all live like the people of <England, The US, The USSR, Sweden, Holland, France, Germany, Japan, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, The Ottoman Empire, The Roman Empire, ...>

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail

Steve Crook

You got my age wrong.

I'm 63 not 73. Oh, wait...

Elon Musk gets thumbs up from jury for use of 'pedo guy' in cave diver defamation lawsuit

Steve Crook

Re: Pedo-guy?

Why not. Or, perhaps, Elon 'pedo guy' Musk

Move along, nothing to see here: Auditors say £100k grant to Hacker House was 'appropriate'

Steve Crook

Re: So many independent whitewash reports around lately

It would be because that's the way of the world.

One side doesn't want people to know where the bodies are, the other is keen to discover them. The trouble is that *all* of them are magicians, keen on making sure you're not looking where the trick is being done. They're all guilty, charities, political parties, businesses.

Tesla has made a profit. Repeat, Tesla has made a profit – $143m in fact

Steve Crook

Re: Leasing versus sales

> In 20 years there won't be Tesla cars but a whole solar capture and storage industry.

Yes. He has plans to destroy a particularly nice part of Kent (Seasalter) with an enormous solar array and battery based storage facility as part of his world domination plans.

Chemists bitten by Python scripts: How different OSes produced different results during test number-crunching

Steve Crook

Re: Fixing the symptom…

> Great that you do have time to do all this. Those people would rather have code that works now, and get back to the real science.

Great that you do have time to do all this. Those people would rather have code that **looks like it** works now, and get back to the real science.

There, fixed it for you.

If the only way you've got of sharing your results is through your code & data then the code is *part* of the science. By sending out buggy code you're distracting all the other scientists who each find discrepancies, can't use your data, then have to refer back to you to find out WTF is going on. So you're probably preventing even more science from being done by wasting their time...


Seagate, WD mull 10-platter HDDs as pitstop before HAMR, MAMR time

Steve Crook


Things have moved on a bit since I started programming on ICL mainframes. They had 20MB drives. The covers for the removable disc packs made excellent garden cloches....

I keep looking at these increasingly arcane schemes to squeeze more onto a disc and wondering how resilient they are. Evidence says not so much, so thank heavens for raid arrays and cheaper SSDs.

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date

Steve Crook

Re: That's Chromebook right out of my buying list then

Years ago (2010) I purchased copilot for my then spiffy HTC Desire smartphone. Been receiving free app and map updates FOC since then. This after a brief and painful TomTom experience.

I've been amazed they've not fallen to the whole subscription thing...

Brit couch potatoes increasingly switching off telly boxes in favour of YouTube and Netflix

Steve Crook

Re: Brilliant?

BBC science and nature documentaries have declined in bitrate in the last couple of decades to the point where I couldn't watch them live any longer, the urge to FF through the filler is too strong.

I don't watch soaps or reality TV, and, recently, even the drama has started to test my patience. The little sport I'd like to watch has been on satellite for a decade or more.

Couldn't see the point in sticking with it.

Radio's going the same way. If I want to listen to music, there's the stuff I own, and plenty of opportunities to stream to listen to new stuff. So, no R1, R2, R3, R5. News, current affairs from R4. Occasional drama. But there's little that's worth the time and the 'Sounds' app is *still* not as good as the iPlayer Radio.

To me, the BBC isn't quite dead, but it gets a little closer every year....

Steve Crook

Re: Not as comoplex as you might think

Ditched TV License about 2 years ago, and subsist on Prime and Netflix for the little I want to watch.

Can't say I miss much of BBC TV or commercial channels except occasional docs, rarely drama and some of the news/political coverage. I'd rather pay for the Economist.

Can't see anything is likely to make me pay for a TV License again.

Neuroscientist used brainhack. It's super effective! Oh, and disturbingly easy

Steve Crook


In other developments, people report that vegan sausages, bacon and cheese have, overnight, become better tasting than the meaty originals...

Virgin Media promises speeds of 1Gpbs to 15 million homes – all without full fibre

Steve Crook

The Spanish

> "If the Spanish can do it, why can't we?

They string the cables on the outside of buildings where existing power and phone cables are already routed. Seen guys up ladders stringing them up in Motril and the village where I stay. It's cheap and quick to do.

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a

Steve Crook

Phone case???

> If you stick a case protector on it, as you should with any phone

Dumb question, but if we're all supposed to be doing this, why don't manufacturers just make the phone with them integrated and save us the trouble...

After all, what's the expensive shiny back for if the phone spends it's entire life in a protective case...

Not another pro-Brexit demo... though easy to confuse: Each Union Jack marks a pile of poo

Steve Crook

Cats have arses too.

And like to shit in gardens. But not *their* gardens. Dog shit on the shoes is one thing, cat shit on the hands while weeding is something else entirely.

Amazon throws toys out of pram, ditches plans for New York HQ2 after big trouble in Big Apple

Steve Crook

BoJo Solution

Perhaps they'd like to part fund Boris Island, then Bezos could have an entire airport to land on and have special access to the proud new UK as it sails into a proud buccaneering future post Brexit...

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

Steve Crook

Re: Why not just

You mean the button that says "Whatever you do, please don't listen to anything I'm going to say because it could be used against me"?

That's a bit like "trust me, I'm not a spy. No, honest, guv, I won't listen to a thing, no really, really I won't. Sorry, how many nipple clamps did you say you wanted. Oops..."

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

Steve Crook

Pi Hole

Works quite well, perhaps they could cooperate with the extension writers to let the extensions clean the UI by detecting the as slingers etc,while pinhole blocks the requests themselves

Who cracked El Chapo's encrypted chats and brought down the Mexican drug kingpin? Er, his IT manager

Steve Crook


to publish a photo of the guy and put his life at risk. not only that, I see he looks a lot like the guy from "the it crowd" so I hope the register will be paying for a personal protection team for him as well.

I would have typed this in upper case to emphasise my outrage, but the shift and caps lock keys are broken. But here are some !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

Steve Crook

2001 - ish

Part of the film is co-credited to Trumbull Studios...

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

Steve Crook

Re: Overlords

It's not like we'd do that sort of thing. Certainly not at Christmas. Oh, wait....

STIBP, collaborate and listen: Linus floats Linux kernel that 'fixes' Intel CPUs' Spectre slowdown

Steve Crook

Re: He should hug off and mind his own business

Perhaps he meant "fug". I'd go for Flip, it worked well in the censored version of the original Repo Man. Or Frak.

Or, perhaps, not be a dick, and leave things as they are.

We're getting worse than the Victorians lobbing the genitals off statues. I always wondered where they stored them afterwards. In a big hanger like the one from Raiders Of The Lost Ark, but crammed full of cocks and balls cut off statues...

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

Steve Crook

Re: Cancel HS2

Assuming it can be delivered anywhere near budget and on time, and there's precious little evidence that either will be the case. Also, there's the question of whether it's high speediness is actually bringing anything to the party other than cost.

Intel eggheads put bits in a spin to try to revive Moore's law

Steve Crook

Re: Amazing stuff

They're both amazing too.... Just tell me you not looked at either one and not been amazed...



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