* Posts by Ron Luther

54 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Apr 2007


Corporate execs: Get back, get back, to the office where you once belonged

Ron Luther


30 years ago ... when a work group was located in the same room of the same building ... getting everyone back in the office made sense and did provide that elusive "synergy" the c-suite crowd is so fond of.

But now? After 20 years of bean-counters requiring new hires and backfills to come from "low cost geographies"? There is no "productivity multiplier" in taking conference calls in a corporate cubicle instead of taking them from home.

My boss is over 950 miles away from me. His boss is over 850 miles away from him. If we need to talk, then each of us being in our own local office does absolutely nothing to enhance that conversation.

Is management willing to relocate work groups to a consolidated location so that meeting in person will be 'in person'? No. That costs too much.

Going back to the office is meaningless.

Audio tweaked just 0.1% to fool speech recognition engines

Ron Luther

More Fun

Why punk a friend? Surely it would be a bigger laff to punk the world?

That politician giving the speech to the international audience? Let's have the auto-translators pick up "Good Morning!" as "Today we will be bombing West Ham!"

We're all saved. From the killer AI. We can live. Thanks to the IEEE

Ron Luther


Gee ... murder, theft, and bribery have regulations against them ... and we see how well that works!

Call me when we figure out how to deal with AI that doesn't abide by the regulations.

Human-free robo-cars on Washington streets after governor said the software is 'foolproof'

Ron Luther

Programming for Mechanical Failure?

I realize that a great deal of effort and research is underway attempting to work issues of obstacle identification through low light and glare, or being able to identify the proper course on a three lane road in the Pennsylvania hills at night in the rain.

Just wondering if anyone has seen any work on reacting to mechanical issues? A tire rupture at highway speed? A leaking brake fluid line? Once the cars are on the road there will be pressure to control costs that will lead to 'less than top quality' components ... that will break.

And will they have a special driving mode when college students load them down and lash a mattress to the roof before having them drive to the dorm at uni?

Opposable thumbs make tablets more useful says Microsoft Research

Ron Luther

Just add a damn handle

Seriously. Is it that hard? Put a hand grip on the side with a control or two.

Trump's cartoon comedy approach to running a country: 'One in, two out' rule for regulations

Ron Luther

Re: I like it

I can only assume that you have never read through documents like US federal regulations and attempted to enumerate or count the specific 'regulations'. I think you'll find that it takes quite a bit of [contentious] interpretation to count things. Many clauses and sections are intertwined and reference other sections of the document or even other documents.

While possibly well intentioned, in actuality this is a stupid idea that will only lead to stupider and more complex laws.

Example? Suppose we had a federal regulation preventing the dumping of toxic waste anywhere in the US. If we modify that regulation to allow toxic waste to be dumped at these two addresses: 725 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022 (Trump Tower NYC ) and 401 N. Wabash Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 (Trump Tower Chicago) ... any lawyer could argue that we have eliminated two regulations.

<sigh ?> Expect more silliness to ensue ...

Apple Watch sales go over a cliff: Down 2.8 meellion per quarter in a year

Ron Luther


I think the 'health' market is a bit more fragmented and complex than that. Simplicity is simply not the only driver at work in this market. There are sub-markets that are interested in tracking more than just their daily step count.

Even a back marker triathlete wants a watch like a Garmin Fenix 3 or 920XT that can track their open water swim, time spent in transition 1, link to their power meter on the bike, time spent in transition 2, and their run.

And, of course, link to and upload their split times to Strava and Garmin Connect.

This crowd will gladly dump their current watch once the next gen figures out how to add more complexity and include a power meter for running!

Rupert Murdoch wants Google and chums to be g-men's backdoor men

Ron Luther

Benjy FTW!

Benjamin Franklin once said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

GCHQ's CESG team's crypto proposal isn't dumb, it's malicious... and I didn't notice

Ron Luther

It was *this* close!

Heh. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a Bell Labs engineer 30 years ago ... he was telling me we had gotten the system all wrong. That instead of assigning numbers to telephone lines we should have put phone company reps in every hospital and assigned telephone numbers to people at birth!


Keep your court orders to YOURSELF – human rights chief slaps US

Ron Luther

Re: Gottalottaballs here...

Let me see if I have this right ... (admitting that lag times might get a bit annoying) ... but it sounds like a fairly simple, albeit droll, exercise to repartition my data so that different fields and pointers are stored on servers in different countries ... thereby insuring that, legally, I never have to give any data to anyone? <runs quickly off to the patent office />

Vintage wine laid down in 1600 BC was 'psychotropic'

Ron Luther

Bring in Dogfish Head!

There is an American microbrewer who has already worked with molecular archaeologists to re-created several ancient brews, which they later sell. Like this one:


I've tried several. Unusual, but interesting. Good stuff! And what the hell is science good for anyway if not for re-creating ancient beer?

Report: China IP theft now equal in value to US exports to Asia

Ron Luther

How much ...

... of this 'lost' IP is in the form of faux Oakleys?

Intel ignores Steve Jobs, adds touchscreen to Ultrabook

Ron Luther

Form factor?

Quite right. Because there are no other possible form factors.

It would be quite impossible to manufacture a touchscreen half-top - a laptop where the keyboard 'half' is shorter than the screen "half" and that allowed itself to be opened 180 degrees so the whole thing could lie flat on the coffee table. Nope. Can't be done.

It would be quite impossible to manufacture a pad-like thing that had a slide-out keyboard like my phone. Nope. Can't be done.

Yup. We've completely exhausted all possibilities.

Now where's that irony tag?

Enormous orbiting solar raygun power plants touted

Ron Luther

Not to mention ...

... being able to recalibrate to destroy all of those those nasty incoming comets!

Disk prices double after flood - and could 'double again'

Ron Luther

Let Them Eat Cake

Pffft! Just store everything in the cloud. There. That's sorted then.

Judge to music industry: 'Worth trillions? Forget it'

Ron Luther

+1 on Jonathon Coulton!

Enjoyed several of his songs on youtube a year or two ago. Went to his site and bought a few of the MP3s.

Good Stuff!

Don’t Look Now hailed top Brit movie

Ron Luther

Carry On?

Surely the Carry On films are the height of British cinema?

Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

Ron Luther
Black Helicopters


"Accountable ... *and* abide by the law?"

Oh! So basically your dog then?

Mexican woman gets litigious on Top Gear's ass

Ron Luther


Heh. I can hear Clarkson now:

"We're sorry. We apologize. We were wrong. Turns out the Mexicans are actually quite full of feck."

eBay Meg bitchslapped by Governor Moonbeam

Ron Luther

Close ...

More of an own-goal in Meg's case.

List-makers battle to keep football fixture lists protection

Ron Luther

Work for Hire?

In other venues I believe the schedule is produced as a 'work for hire' and owned by the league, conference, or sporting authority which has an interest in making it freely and widely available.

The schedule monkeys cash their cheque for producing the schedule. That's the end of their rights.

Jobsian fondle-slab in SEXY FILTHGRAM CRACKDOWN

Ron Luther

Intercourse, PA

Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Not too far from Bird In Hand and Blue Ball! All three of which are located in Lancaster county of Amish fame.

There is actually a nice wine shoppe in the center of town. I know because my wife made me stop right in the middle of Intercourse and run in for a bottle!

(Mine's the one with the sneaky butler!)

iPhone apps put user privacy at risk

Ron Luther
Paris Hilton

Moi exploit? Never!

Geez! It's not like I could sell you a game with built-in advertising where I also make money selling your personal information to people who could wait until you are a famous celebrity before they inform the world just how many different 'penis enlargement pill' ads you clicked on.

Oh wait? It *IS* like that, isn't it?

Steve Jobs in iPhone bitchslap to creationists, Tea Party

Ron Luther

Teach Both!

I don't understand the problem. We should most certainly teach both in school; Evolution should be covered in Science class, whilst Creationism could be covered in any Literature class that discusses fiction and/or creative writing.

Apple adds 'make the web go away' button to Safari 5

Ron Luther
Thumb Up

Bet it doesn't work ...

.. on apps that use the new ad model!

Which would, of course, mean that any advertiser wishing to reach an audience using St. Steve devices would have to pay St. Steve for that privilege. Wooot. Nice 'feature'.

Ballmer, black turtlenecks, and Microsoft's next big idea

Ron Luther

Yeah, but ....

... you have to admit that announcing "Steve Jobs!" ... and then having Ballmer walk onstage wearing a black turtleneck ... would have been damnably funny!

German boffins develop sharkskin paint for ships, planes

Ron Luther

Units of drag?

Uh, I believe that would be "Chers".

(Perhaps "Eltons" across the pond. Or "Liberaces" for the pensioners.)

Brit firm stops anti-tank warheads with cloth

Ron Luther


I'll wager the vertical stripes could be quite slimming for your armoured kit!

UK police chiefs mull regional cybercrime squads

Ron Luther

Because ...

Because it HAS to be regional!

By having separate regional teams you make it quite easy: (a) to justify the big fooking database you need to 'facilitate co-operation and collaboration' between the regions, (b) to accumulate a bigger budget, and (c) to shuffle the blame when the wheels come off.

D'oh! Clearly an epic 'win-win-win'!!

Microsoft sues family over alleged click fraud

Ron Luther

RE: A question for Player_16

Nearly there. MS is suiing for two reasons: (1) they had to refund the ad monies they collected from the legitimate advertiser in order to keep them happy, (2) if they fail to act then word with get round and they will have more difficulty selling future ads.

It's all about protecting the revenue stream. Hat? Coat? Follow the money.

Ice air con system aims for cool on the cheap

Ron Luther

Good Short Term Idea

A fun little idea! Two questions:

(1) The night leccy rates are lower because capacity exists and the demand is lower. If everyone uses this, then the demand (and the prices) rise and wipe out the savings. Cool idea - but only if it doesn't sell well.

(2) When a worldfull of leccy SUVs are plugged in for the night ... will there be enough juice left (at a decent rate) to mix up these server rack martinis?

Shaken, not stirred.

ISS crew flees flying space junk

Ron Luther
Thumb Up

More overtime pay for Hachimaki!

Fun TV Series revolving around a group of space garbage collectors:


Samsung unsheathes screaming phone

Ron Luther
Thumb Up


Naw ... the punks will only set it off on nicked phones!

UFO wind turbine prang site sealed

Ron Luther

None. None More Secret!

How much more secret could it be?

YouTube 'poisoned baby food' hoaxer pleads guilty

Ron Luther


You might want to reconsider your icon. Perhaps after you become better informed about what constitutes free speech?

Defamation and slander is not protected under free speech.

Prosecutors might also make a decent case for 'imminent lawless action', which is also not protected under free speech.

This guy is a tool. He deserves to be fined and to do time.

Nissan to debut anti-prang tech next week

Ron Luther
Thumb Down


Many of the decent automotive technologies have filtered down from racing.

Somehow I'm not seeing this being a desired feature for NASCAR, or even F1.

Hands on with SanDisk's SlotMusic SD-not-CD player

Ron Luther

Target Audience?

Well no, *I* wouldn't particularly want one ... but it looks like a brilliant gift for my 12 year old niece! I'm sure she'd fancy one with the latest Jonas Brothers album and stickers on it.

That's your target, and at this price, it's golden.

McCain begs for YouTube DMCA takedown immunity

Ron Luther
Thumb Up


This really is most excellent news!!

I hope this passes soon. After which I would invite you to join me in sending a notarized letter to your local newspaper announcing your intention to run for some sundry office.

Voila! You is now a politician and free to ignore the DMCA.

My coat? It's the one with the running for office button.

Big Blue bucks the downturn

Ron Luther

@Crappy invertment[sic]

Assuming you mean "investment", you seem to have neglected that you have not lost the original value paid out for the stock.

So if you pay $90 for 1 share, earn an $8 dividend and then sell that share for $90 ... you have made very nearly a 9% return in a single year.

Or are your action figure dolls appreciating at a faster rate?

'Overplayed' privacy concerns rile Symantec boss

Ron Luther


"If someone is searching for cancer treatments there is nothing that links that search to the health status of an individual. They could be running the search on behalf of a friend."

You're entirely right John! And if your wife is found to have searched for information on battered women's shelters? No worries there, mate. There is nothing that links her browser search back to behavior on your part. She could actually be searching on behalf of a friend. I'm sure the media would be glad to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Gormless prat.

Tandberg's RDX blockbuster

Ron Luther
Thumb Down

Bottoms Up?

Links to additional pages in an article need to appear at the 'bottom' of each page of the article. They can appear at the top of each page as well, but that is optional. It's bad UI practice not to have them at the bottom at all.

Old timers rattle zimmers at 'Elderly Persons' sign

Ron Luther

Cash 'n' Carrion?

What an excellent logo!

When will the merchandising be available? ... There are simply too many people I need to send these shirts to!

iPhone apps selling like hot cakes

Ron Luther
Paris Hilton

Won't Someone Please Think of the Data?

Are there any apps that hold or save data anywhere? A calendar app? A ringtone player? Email/Vmail archiving? Personal voice note recorder?

If Apple removes the app, then the data would be lost or bricked wouldn't it?

No, a purchase price refund, or store credit simply would not be enough.

(Paris, because she knows when enough is enough.)

NASA: Mars is good habitat for Terry Pratchett dragons

Ron Luther
Black Helicopters

Perk You Leer 8?

Confidodentially, the 'zec briefing lasted 6 hours just to 'splain the 'nunciation.

There wasn't no time left to talk 'bout any 'dem 'mplicashun thangs.

Google unfurls less laughable Wikipedia

Ron Luther

Simply worthless

No 'anime'?

No 'porn'?

Worthless I tell you. Simply worthless.

BOFH: The PFY wants a reference

Ron Luther

Across the Pond

Darn! I would have liked to have seen how the PFY handled that new assignment running the San Francisco muni system.

Sweden ushers in bugging for all

Ron Luther

Next Week's News!

Misplaced/Stolen Swedish government laptop reported to contain unencrypted data on absolutely everybody.

Experts expect the laptop to become available on eBay shortly ... but remind us not to worry because:

"Hey, it was password protected!"

Google mistakes search for teleportation

Ron Luther
Gates Horns


Odd. They 'give' this feature to Amazon but not Barnes and Noble. Lawsuit anyone?

I wonder how much they will charge the catalog sales folks; Eddie Bauer, L. L. Bean, etc. to add this to their records.

Anyone else amused that they enabled this for Microsoft?

US Army struggles with Windows to Linux overhaul

Ron Luther

@Herbys .... Control

Okay. So the 'bad guys' have found a security hole and people in your military force are dying because of it, right? Which would you prefer? Firing off a sternly worded email to Richmond demanding that they issue a patch as quickly as possible and then assuring your boss and the public and the families of those dying that you really have done everything that is in your power to do ... or spending money on a room full of bearded rent-a-geeks that you can rant and rave and throw pizza at? Which provides the best appearance of your sincere concern to work on and resolve the problem at hand?

Chinese make Olympic weather bow to Party's will

Ron Luther


Silver? Lead? They are planning to use one of those metal things anyway ....