* Posts by Peter Simpson

85 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Apr 2007


Engineers are troublesome 'expert loners', says prof

Peter Simpson

Trust me, it's laziness

"Finally, students would procrastinate about actually starting work, leaving a task until the last possible minute and deliberately completing it under severe time pressure. Leonardi says this was not laziness, but rather a form of boasting designed to show off one's competence among other students."

One of the few things I recall in great detail from my school days, is putting work off till the last moment.

Site news: Unique commenter handles coming

Peter Simpson

I'll just mention this

Many people:

- have more than one email

- post from more than one IP

- are adept at masquerading

Good luck!

// mine's the one with several passports in the pocket

Xandros - the Linux company that isn't

Peter Simpson


One word: Synaptic. It will make your life much easier. If you're still confused, I suggest a trip to the local bookstore, or a Google for an introductory Linux user's guide.

And by the way...how'd you manage to install Ubuntu 9.04 and not get Open Office automatically installed? It should have been right there under Applications/Office.

Welsh mum amazed by Marmite Messiah

Peter Simpson

Judging from the picture...

...He appears to be sticking out his tongue at her.

Dutch cat skinner publishes critics' personal details

Peter Simpson

Clever use of the tail

as the handbag strap.

// +1 for ingenuity.

// Mine's the dalmatian fur one

Tram driver crashes while texting

Peter Simpson

@Peter Nuding

"What century are these americans in again?"

Boston's Green Line is the oldest line in the oldest subway system in the US - so that would be the 19th century (parts of it at least).

Riding it is an experience you won't soon forget -- the sounds, the smells, the sights...

Usually, the train stops without the assistance of the one in front of it...

Darth Vader tops movie misquote poll

Peter Simpson

2001 - A Space Odyssey

I'm sorry, Dave...I don't think I can do that

Symantec hit by massive goodwill impairment

Peter Simpson

My antivirus program?

GNU/Linux, of course!

With the added benefit that my system runs faster than XP with an antivirus taking a % of the CPU every time I open a file.

Pink-slipped sysadmin admits to threatening ex-employer's network

Peter Simpson

That should read:

"BOFH-wannabee". Clearly an amateur.

A real BOFH would already be on the beach in the tropics, with the money untouchably in a Cayman Islands bank.

The boss would, of course, be "sleeping with the fishes" in the East River, after a tragic accident when his BMW's computer commanded full speed ahead and right turn, while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

(Mine's the one with the code listing marked "Property of BMW" in the pocket)

It's US vs Europe as world e-car plug standard race nears end

Peter Simpson


"*Never underestimate the stupidity of the public. Especially when the legal system has a habit of rewarding people for doing something mind-numbingly stupid."

...Not if Darwin rewards them first!

Which desktop Linux distribution?

Peter Simpson

@AC - Not yet, but they're working on it

"I have an ooooolllldddd pc in my attic - I think it is branded Vax?? - will Linux run on that??"


UFO fleet menaces east London

Peter Simpson
Black Helicopters

CH-47 Chinook helicopters?

Would be my guess. They'd make quite a racket and the objects do look a bot dog-bone in shape...

Pics show North Korean rocket ready to go

Peter Simpson

Why does NKorea even need a comm satellite?

They don't talk with anyone anyway...

Microsoft: Judge us by our deeds on open source

Peter Simpson

Dear MS:

Here's a deed I would judge you by...open your file formats and allow them to be used by anyone, royalty-free. Do the same with FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.

Then we can talk.


Your Customers

Bletchley Park fires up replica Turing Bombe

Peter Simpson

Notice the drip pan bottom left side?

A remarkable job. I visited BP when I was last in the UK, it's a very worthwhile visit, and remarkable that it has been preserved.

For those in the US, the NCR version of the Bombe is available for your viewing pleasure (though behind a glass shield) at the NSA Museum in Maryland.

Mine's the one with the Enigma rotor in the pocket

Mormons demand ICANN plugs net smut hole

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

This is a great idea!

Because, you know, the whole CAN-SPAM act worked so well to totally prevent anyone from sending us email spam. Why couldn't we legislate porn away as well?

It would be interesting to take a vote and see how many wish to continue receiving porn on port 80 vs how many want it banned.

Paris...who else?

Geo-located malware appears over the horizon

Peter Simpson
Thumb Down

Heh...doesn't work if you have scripting disabled

Just got it. Opened the email on my Linux system with Firefox and NoScript, and it reads as follows:

"Powerful explosion burst in this morning.

At least 12 people have been killed and more than 40 wounded in a bomb blast near market in . Authorities suggested that..."

Nice try.

Scientology spokesman confirms Xenu story

Peter Simpson

The worst thing about Organized Religion...

...is the "Organized" part.

Only in an organization, do you need a hierarchy, support structure, funding, followers in sufficient number to raise the appropriate funding...and then, of course, you need to "defend your turf", lest the "others" lure your followers to their heretical beliefs (along with their donations). It all goes downhill from there.

Believe what you want. Just don't hurt anyone else.

...Peace, Love and Linux

Peter Simpson

I'm more of a Xinu fan...

...but then, I'm a computer nerd...

Google behavioral ads scare US lawmakers

Peter Simpson

If they show me behavioral ads...

...I won't see them, as I run with AdBlock on.

3D TV by Christmas, hints Sky

Peter Simpson

Likely not a big hit

"Early adopters will have to fork out extra for a new telly capable of displaying the stereoscopic images and special specs to separate out the left- and right-eye views."

So, I need a special TV *and* shuttered glasses for each viewer. Something tells me that this, along with a lack of content (two cameras for each shot?) makes this plan a non-starter.

What are those folks at Sky smoking, and where can I get some?

//mine's the one with the red/blue cardboard glasses in the pocket

Enormous pain-ray patio heater towers erected in California

Peter Simpson

Must be tough

Heating the water in the crops without heating it so much you rupture the cell membranes and turn them to mush.

Microsoft goes retail with own shops

Peter Simpson
Jobs Horns

Only difference is...

...people actually *want* the Apple gear.

Satellites crash over Siberia: Iridium bird destroyed

Peter Simpson

@Evil Auditor

"Some while ago, I started to actually read comments by amanfromMars. But still, it doesn't make much sense and looks more like a semi-random word generator."

...With the EnHanced CapITaLization OPTion.

Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton


"Why don't you FreeTARDS get yourselves more than 1% of the operating system market and maybe you will get more than 1% of the development monies spent in the system dedicated to supporting you!"

I believe the point here is that there is no additional effort required to support Linux/other OS. The effort seems to have been exerted to *prevent* use by anything other than a few OS/browser combinations.

Now, does that make any sense to you?

Geeks.com settles charges claiming its security was crap

Peter Simpson

Hacker Safe - Tested Daily

I always had a feeling those banners were only for show. They only seemed to appear on websites that seemed a bit sub-par.

SCO boss to customers: 'Blah. Blah. Blah'

Peter Simpson

Makes as much sense as anything else SCO says

Maybe they had to lay off their corporate communications guy?

// Tux rules, SCO drools!

Experian sends 'cheap' Lord a-leaping

Peter Simpson


Full marks for inventive and enthusiastic use of the Shift key!

Otherwise, I haven't a clue what you're going on about.

USAF seeks diamond gunports for electropulse ray-cannon

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

2.5" dia diamonds?

No, they won't be having any problems keeping *those* in stock.

// Paris, because she'd like one

Apple gets censory on iBoobs'... ass

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

"like real"?

Maybe "as real as certain individuals will ever see" would be more accurate.

US credit card payment house breached by sniffing malware

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton


FTA: "Heartland is deeply committed to maintaining the security of cardholder data, and we will continue doing everything reasonably possible to achieve this objective."

Apparently, their definition of "everything reasonably possible" doesn't include anti-malware scans or software like Tripwire.

Someone should be asking themselves if this is any way to run a financial business.

//Paris -- because like Heartland's credit card info, she's available to all

Apple joins campaign for real breasts

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

The power of technology!

Bringing virtual experiences to those who will never have them in real life...

//Paris, of course, because she has had *lots* of experiences

Cops taser JCB thief in 'slowest police chase ever'

Peter Simpson
Thumb Up

Taser-proof clothing

There exist conductive fabrics (www.lessemf.com) which will short out a Taser's "zap", allowing you to continue doing whatever you were doing without distraction...

SCO auctions Unix and mobile assets to continue fight

Peter Simpson

Reminds me of a poster

"Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those who never win AND never quit are idiots."


New York mulls terrorist cell phone jamming

Peter Simpson
Black Helicopters

Wouldn't it be simpler

To look at all calls within the period of time of interest, and disallow the suspect phones from the network? That allows police and innocent civilians to continue using the system.

Should be easy enough to identify the culprits' cells...they would be PAYG, calling the same number or small group of numbers. With the surveillance society currently being developed in the US, I should think this is already being done...

Gov aims to extend dead artists' royalty denial

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

Music != Art?

What he said.

Is this the same government that's pushing for copyright extension on audio recordings?

Considering that the artists see only a minute portion of the income anyway, I'm curious as to why the government is even making the effort.

// Paris, because she's a work of art

BT offers £15,000 to catch London exchange burglary gang

Peter Simpson

Look for the buyer

So, these items probably wouldn't be much use to anyone but another telephone exchange, would they? I mean, they don't improve your home phone service, or make your stereo or microwave work any better, right?

So who's buying them? And I assume they have serial numbers on them, so any maintenance calls would pop up a red flag at the manufacturer's service facility.

Firm touts anti-radiation chip for phones

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

Of course it works!

For the definition of "works" which is "creates 29 Euro profit for Omega Pharma for each and every sticker sold".


//Paris, because she knows how to make money off of stuff...

What if computers went back to the '70s too?

Peter Simpson
Dead Vulture

Data General

deCastro left DEC, the story goes, not because Olsen didn't want a 16-bit minicomputer, but because Olsen didn't want *his* 16-bit mini. deCastro's team's design was passed over for the design that was to become the PDP-11.

The story continues that deCastro took the failed design, allegedly a 16-bit extension of the PDP-8 architecture, and went off to start DG, the design becoming the first NOVA. The story's probably not completely true, but there was a lot of bad feeling between Olsen and deCastro.

Though I worked at DG doing communications hardware, I always preferred the PDP-11 architecture.

//tombstone for dead minicomputer market

Hotmail holdouts grumble about 'pathetic' new interface

Peter Simpson
Jobs Horns

I suppose

"just leave it alone" isn't an option for MS? Hotmail was fine for years. It was a good, basic, web mail service. Now that MS has bought them, it's one "improvement" after another. You'd almost think they're *trying* to break it in as many ways as possible...

Halliburton seeks patent on patent trolling

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

They forgot the last step


//sorry, it was just so obvious

//Paris, because she knows how to profit

The True Confessions of an Election Official

Peter Simpson
Thumb Up

Well done, PEO Pete!

As I get ready to go and vote, you remind me of the importance of the act. I cannot thank you enough, even though I'm in MA, for doing *more* than your part to make sure everyone who's eligable to vote, gets to vote.

Keep up the good work, and sleep soundly tonight, knowing that your work is appreciated.


El Reg launches Bletchley fundraising t-shirt

Peter Simpson
Thumb Up

Well done, Reg!

Mine's ordered. Nice artwork, and for a good cause. I made it a point to visit when I was last in the UK and it was well worth the trip.

Revealed: The golden rules of managing software projects

Peter Simpson

Read Brooks' _The Mythical Man Month_...

...if only for the quaint terminology: "secretary", "card punch", "typewriter", etc.

Seriously, though, it's an excellent book, and contains some timeless advice for managing large software projects (and software developers)

// mine's the one with the chads in the pocket

Peruvian football team has really bad day

Peter Simpson


...as a Red Sox fan (down 3-1 in the playoffs), getting beat pretty badly by Tampa, our situation doesn't seem so bad in comparison to these poor guys.

In any case, (say it with me, Sox fans) "there's always next year".

// Nice to have our old Sox back

/// But then again, it's not over, till it's over...

Verity's further education

Peter Simpson
Paris Hilton

Thank you for exposing the emperors' lack of clothes.

I have been following your tribulations and your four point plan for OU makes complete sense. If OU were sensible enough to follow your suggestions, they could only come out ahead in this.

Who would have thought that "publish or perish" might lead to junk papers...

//Paris...currently doing this course as well

Stob latest: It was a cunning trick, says Open University

Peter Simpson

A skeptic would say

There appears to be a subculture of "universities" that cater to those trying to acquire a degree while working. There are several around me here in Boston. I have always suspected that they (a) attach themselves (or are spun off from) universities that have a good reputation for traditional (full time) undergraduate programs, and (b) know that employers are paying a portion of the fees.

The true skeptic would say that they see a market and exploit it. A good example is a well known university in this area which has long emphasised a co-operative education, sending its undergraduates out for a semester or two working in industry. It has an excellent reputation. However, its evening and part time division has a reputation which is not quite as stellar. This organization hires part-time instructors (who often work a day job and are picking up some extra cash by working nights as part-time instructors) and somewhat more lax standards (both for instructors and course content). Suffice it to say that the evening courses are nowhere near the standard of the day, full time, ones. But they cost the same (or more, as you're taking them a-la-carte, if you will, rather than as a 4-year integrated program). Degree requirements can almost be guaranteed to change during the time you spend trying to get enough evening courses taken to finish. This means more courses than you had planned, and, of course, more of your time and money.

Swiss strap-on jetplane ace flies Channel

Peter Simpson

Lateral control is by...

...shifting the weight of his extremely large ones.

Impressed, but not standing in line for an opportunity to try it.

Illuminati spook fails to disarm Soviet cow nuke

Peter Simpson

In the police report

"Drug related: No"

I find that difficult to believe.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: Further poster outrage

Peter Simpson

Well done!

And a tip of the nautical cap to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for having a sense of humor about the whole thing...

//Arrrr...Talk Like a Pirate Day is only a few weeks away, matey!