* Posts by Destroy All Monsters

16005 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

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Forget it. A fat percentage of humanity is back at medieval levels of belief structure. Legends, elves, gnomes and angels surround us. Words and beliefs kill, the evil eye must be avoided. Magic dirt and Safe Spaces are actual things.

How these people understand their iPhone I cannot imagine.

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Nice article in CACM 2019-01 (paywalled though)

For those who have access or know how to rogue it:


The radio in my kitchen is tuned to a public station. One day it startled me by delivering a lecture, "The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure," by the implausibly named Astro Teller who, according to his website, enjoys an equally idiosyncratic list of accomplishments: novelist, entrepreneur, scientist, inventor, speaker, business leader, and IT expert. That talk concerned his day job: "Captain of Moonshots" at X (formerly Google X, now a separate subsidiary of its parent company Alphabet).a It centered on the classic Silicon Valley ideal of being prepared to fail fast and use this as a learning opportunity. Teller therefore advised teams to spend the first part of any project trying to prove it could not succeed. Good advice, but maybe not so new: even 1950s "waterfall" methodologies began with a feasibility stage intended to identify reasons the project might be doomed. Still, many of us have had the experience of putting months, or even years, into zombie projects with no path to success.b The HBO television series "Silicon Valley" captured that problem, in an episode where a new executive asked for the status of a troubled project.c Each level of management sugarcoated the predictions it passed upward and avoided asking hard questions of those below it.


At this point, I would like you to imagine the record-scratching noise that TV shows use for dramatic interruptions. That’s what played in my head, accompanied by the thought “this guy doesn’t know what the moonshot was.” Teller’s pragmatic, iterative, product-driven approach to innovation is the exact opposite of what the U.S. did after Kennedy charged it to “commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” Letting Silicon Valley steal the term “moonshot” for projects with quite different management styles, success criteria, scales, and styles of innovation hurts our collective ability to understand just what NASA achieved 50 years ago and why nothing remotely comparable is actually under way today at Google, or anywhere else.

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Re: Apollo 1

casually picked up an instrument off a table. The chap showing his around advised his to put it back down as it still had someone's brains on it

Brain is not gonna hurt you though.

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Re: Remember

Nah, what was astonishing about what you did was that you had in your hand, to watch SpaceX stick that landing, more compute power than was used to launch, monitor and control all of the Apollo missions.

Well, it was practically steampunk back then.

But nowadays, if you have the computing power, might as well use it. Then lather some more on top for cool graphics.

Microsoft's 2018, part 1: Open source, wobbly Windows and everyone's going to the cloud

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Re: Nadella was wheeled out and asked coders to "judge us by our actions".

'Not to be confused with "Davos".'

Well, I'm not so sure...

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

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Director Ozzle came out of the proxy too close to the NSFW system!

"I wouldn't show your face back in London anytime soon," his colleague told him.

Yep, acid and knife attacks are up. Wouldn't want to be on the list.

Your two-minute infosec roundup: Drone arrests, Alexa bot hack, Windows zero-day, and more

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Re: Drone arrests

Not a good time to have Gatwick, airports and drone searches in your browser history....

We are now the Soviet Union, just with more computers and blonde fat-lipped talking heads on TV.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

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Paris Hilton

Re: Round Two....


Gatwick drones: Airport reopens after latest suspension

should really read

Gatwick Airport: Drones reopen after latest suspension

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Re: Think abouit it

You mean the Powers that be will knowingly and falsely attribute this to a third-world tinpot dictator because it is politically convenient?

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Tug muh heartstrings

The BBC has actually found people who absolutely wanted to take the plane to attend a marriage, funeral, family reunion or some other important event. For some the meds are running out. It's practically a Guatalumbian trek trying to break into Trump's America, thwarted by drone sightings.

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Re: Hostile State Attack?

> to make UK look foolish

Umm.... you know ...

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Re: Mass hysteria, sightings of the Virgin Mary, the Emperor's New Clothes, false positives

You mean when "The X-Files” was regularly on TV?

You better upgrade your UFO lore!

Start here:


A most interesting remark about the Belgian UFO flap, which may have been triggered by F-117 trolling the Kingdom of the Plains:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_UFO_wave 1989-1990

In 1992, about three years after the first sighting, which occurred on 29 November 1989, in Eupen, Marc Hallet wrote an essay about the Belgian UFO wave criticizing the work done by the SOBEPS: "La Vague OVNI Belge ou le triomphe de la désinformation", arguing that this UFOlogical organisation was spreading misinformation in the media. Hallet's thesis is that the Belgian UFO wave was mostly a mass delusion, boosted by the work done by the SOBEPS. This mass delusion would have followed Philip J. Klass's law: Once news coverage leads the public to believe that UFOs may be in the vicinity, there are numerous natural and man-made objects which, especially seen at night, can take on unusual characteristics in the minds of hopeful viewers. Their UFO reports in turn add to the mass excitement, which encourages still more observers to watch for UFOs. This situation feeds upon itself until such time as the media lose interest in the subject, and then the « flap » quickly runs out of steam.

The biggest UFO flaps were in the 50s. There was a big one in France. And one in Washington D.C:

The X-Files times is only relevant because that's when the US government actually started to kill its own people on its own territory, complete with smearing campaigns by the MSM, and it was all considered kosher.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

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Re: What possible kind of 'human error'?

"I was working for a larger supplier of goods and cloud services, when I got a request from a user about the data we had about him...."

...management didn't want to invest in adequate business procedures and the retrieval UI was developed by a JavaScript rat high on StackOverflow copypasta, so the obvious happened ...

...and then we got reamed in the courts...

Apple yanks iPhones from sale in Germany – and maybe China, too – amid Qualcomm spat

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A Stalin would say...

"None of this is necessary. Shoot them all."

Slap for Slack chat app after US, Canada chaps zapped in Iranian IP address map whack

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Via Twitter, Alex Stamos, former chief security officer of Facebook and currently a lecturer at Stanford University, observed that Slack's overzealous account bans are a consequence of saddling tech platforms with enforcement responsibilities in the absence of clear legal guidance.

More like people chaining themselves to low-value and gimmicky proprietary software.

A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

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Re: terminal velocity

It's either a "spent cartridge" or a "fired bullet" but a "spent bullet" just sounds wrong.

Ivan shows how it's done and not on Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HrxxGvqEXM

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From "Sink the Bismarck" to "Health and Safety Says No"!


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Re: Somewhere, deep in space, three hundred years hence...

Not on Earth. But do we really fire the first shot in a war with the aliens, just to reopen Gatwick?

Of course!!!


Plus, NYT pseudo-economist bloviator Krugman would be pleased as an alien invasion provides mucho reasons for ramping up Keynesianist policies!

Uncle Sam fingers two Chinese men for hacking tech, aerospace, defense biz on behalf of Beijing

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You raff, you ruse!

You have multicultural problems compounded by greed and idiocy as the nationalistic high-IQ outgroup p0wns your confused, medium to low-IQ in-group heavily composed of virtue-signaling smurf people.

Do you choose to (S)tep up the game or (M)oan Some More?

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

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Paris Hilton

Drone encounters of the Third Kind

Did these drones whose operators are being sought radio/radar-installation busting electromagetic emissions and lots of extreme battery pack powered LEDs hanging off them?

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

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Re: Good article. Assuming TheRegister is clean with our data.

What?? You really think that highlighting a few contentious issues is enough to sway people's votes to a greater degree than the daily brainwashing from the local news?

Welcome to the Brave New World of Low-Brow Infotainment and Propganda Churnalism! Where nothing is true, everything is possible and Russians manage the Gilets Jaunes via Facebook Ads, and the world before TRUMP was just honky-dory and, like, totally liberal and harmonious and uncontentious.

"And next week Müller of the Political Police will deliver additional indictments."

Serverless is awesome (if you overlook inflated costs, dislike distributed computing, love vendor lock-in), say boffins

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"Serverless Lambda" is like "Unmoored RPC"

It sounds dangerous and foggy.

Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!

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Big Brother

Re: We are the product.

Given my browsing history and my disbelief in the Daily Narrative, more like "anti-citizens".

An AI system has just created the most realistic looking photos ever

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It means that people might be able to do things like creating realistic looking profile pictures for fake accounts like bots on Twitter or Facebook.

By Titania McGraw!!

You mean there are people putting real images of their looks onto Shitter and Farcebook?

Brazil bested by hackers, Virgin plugs hub bugs, and France surrenders… records

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Never trust someone with a version string with 4 parts, two of which are three-digits.

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

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Like Schwarzie in "Raw Deal"...




"Alexa, am I racking an AR-15 or AKM?"

"I don't know, but I can propose a special deal on 'ArmorFail' ammunition. Just today!"

"No thanks, I'm good!"



(Front Door Closes)

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

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Re: clickbait

> Santa's just a man



The eulogising of The Mother Of All Demos at 50 is Silicon Valley going goo-goo for gurus again

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Re: Icon

Interactive tech in the 60s from MIT and the burgeoning MIC:

SAGE - Semi Automatic Ground Environment - Part 1/2

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In one aspect, two-way hyperlinks, what Engelbart showed was superior to the web we have today.

Indeed but one-way hyperlinks are what make the web possible (this is the concept of "worse is better"). Two-way hyperlinks can only be kept alive in a closely controlled system where source and target work closely together. Do you really want to notify everyone linking to your blog whenever you shuffle some text around?

25% of NHS trusts have zilch, zip, zero staff who are versed in security

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Black Helicopters

But we know the whereabouts of RT staff and all expat RUSEIANS

So there is no need for alarm about any potential security incidents.

That cat is in the bag and stays there.

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory

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After the pwning of its servers was revealed Equifax blamed its woes on an IT staffer who hadn't installed the Apache patch, and fired the person. The report makes it clear that there were many more people involved in Equifax's failings than this one scapegoat.

Woah I didn't expect THAT! Surprising stuff for the 21st century.

"And next week, Mueller will deliver more indictments" (Laugh track)

Galileo's magnifico measurement: 1976 redshift test updated

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Re: The EU's masterplan…

The Eurpean Central Bank of Time will just print more seconds, destroying all the surplus, leaving the people with a timeless wasteland while they are being laughed at from Time Mansions by well-heeled Time Lords.

Linux.org domain hacked, plastered with trolling, filth and anti-transgender vandalism

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Paris Hilton

Re: Hopefully

> chatting up the cute next door neighbour only to discover the neighbour is a transgender ninja

I don't think you know how transgenderism works.

Here's the real world:

Transgender MMA Fighter Breaks Female Opponent’s Skull. Are we getting too “politically correct” with reality

I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right… I still disagree with Fox fighting. Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair.

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time

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There goes the Cloud Business, then?

Huawei CFO poutine cuffs by Canadian cops after allegedly busting sanctions on Iran

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Re: Canadians as puppets

> Canada is top of the list of threats to American national security

Canada should be at the top of the list of threats of anyone. Imagine the mental rot of laying back and thinking of yourself being super-virtuous while everyone has their merry way with you takes hold globally.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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Is it time for "Gilets Jaunes" downunder?

Why not?

Musk's popstar girlfriend Grimes croons about next-gen AI, plus more machine-learning news

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Re: AI representation


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“Neanderthal to human being. Evolution, kill the gene. Biology is superficial. Intelligence is artificial. Submit, submit, submit, submit, submit, submit, submit.”

Looks like someone tries to get insurance against Roko's basilisk in early.

It looks like this might be becoming a trend in pop music, as another pop star Poppy, also released an equally disturbing tune about an intelligent robot girl waking up and poisoning humans after they have destroyed nature and pillaged its natural resources.

Misanthropic stuff. Robot girl wouldn't care, then go for some natural resources "herself" (more like "itself", right?).

Meanwhile, I hear that Rethink Robotics has closed its door. Ex-chairman, CTO and feasible-AI-guru Rodney Brooks has an article in IEEE on Innovation: The Rodney Brooks Rules for Predicting a Technology’s Commercial Success: A few key questions will help you distinguish winners from losers

Warning: Malware, rogue users can spy on some apps' HTTPS crypto – by whipping them with a CAT o' nine TLS

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Re: It's time to start over

"Starting over" will just mean writing the whole bug bonanza again, maybe with a slight step up.

"The industry" is in permanent de-skilled mode. It grows too fast, the teaching is atrocious, the old hands get out, the new hands need a long time to catch up, which is generally not worth the effort because it wrecks your life.

Hell, it's 2018 and hidebound don't-know-any-better can't change, won't change coal face workers are still writing in C and derived Antikythera Languages, designed "for portability" when "computer" was a PDP-10 with a single CPU and maybe a serial interface.

Also a "Bleichenbacher Attack" sounds like something from the Atrocity Archives. Just add nether dimensions.

Thought black holes were donut-shaped? It turns out they're more like deadly fountains

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"greedy black holes gobbling matter"

So you are saying there interesting computational processes happening on the event horizon?


For an idea similar to gravastars implying actually torus-shaped black holes, see here:

Are Black Holes Actually Dark Energy Stars? and of course Jimbo's Noisy Infobunker.

Sat 1 Dec 12:07:30 CET 2018

Forget DeepFakes. This robo-Rembrandt with AI for brains is not bad at knocking off paintings

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Re: It'll make a mint 'cos all people want is knock offs of well known styles

Not sure whether true, but I hear you can also launder big by transacting modern crud, I mean, art, via auction houses. Large sums of money suddenly change hands but there is no obligation for the house to record where the money comes from.

Canuck couple returns home after night on tiles to gaggle of randomers hanging out in their flat

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Paris Hilton

It always pays to carry a Micro-Uzi in a shoulder holster

"Thank God we were insured," the frazzled tenant said.

What kind of insurance is it that pays for your home becoming a hippie center unannounced?

Would it be listed under "acts of God"?

Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

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Re: Hey software, get the fuck out of the way!

Programmers, fuck off!

Someone in here has no clue how such systems are designed, implemented and rolled out.

Get to Amazon and read books.

NASA has Mars InSight as latest lander due to arrive today

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Re: Dusty

Give it a second arm then dress it up as a Pierson's Puppeteer. Without telling anyone.

That would be hilarious.

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Re: I eagerly await ...

"Of course, Great Baltar. Everything is going according to plan."

That sphincter-flexing moment for devs when it's time to go live

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About Ariane 5...

More thorough testing could have caught the problem.

More thorough testing could ALWAYS have caught the problem. This is an "empty" truth.

As Bertrand Meyer says (among others) in "The Lessons of Arian"

Is it a testing error? Not really. Not surprisingly, the Inquiry Board's report recommends better testing procedures, and testing the whole system rather than parts of it (in the Ariane 5 case the SRI and the flight software were tested separately). But if one can test more one cannot test all. Testing, we all know, can show the presence of errors, not their absence. And the only fully "realistic" test is to launch; this is what happened, although the launch was not really intended as a $500-million test of

the software.

More relevant was a software config error.

Again, Meyer:

Particularly vexing is the realization that the error came from a piece of the software that was not needed during the crash. It has to do with the Inertial Reference System, for which we will keep the acronym SRI used in the report, if only to avoid the unpleasant connotation that the reverse acronym could evoke for US readers. Before lift-off certain computations are performed to align the SRI. Normally they should be stopped at -9 seconds, but in the unlikely event of a hold in the countdown resetting the SRI could, at least in earlier versions of Ariane, take several hours; so the computation continues for 50 seconds after the start of flight mode -- well into the flight period. After takeoff, of course, this computation is useless; but in the Ariane 5 flight it caused an exception, which was not caught and -- boom.

More interesting, William Kahan has this take in https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~wkahan/JAVAhurt.pdf

A commission of inquiry with perfect hindsight blamed the disaster upon inadequate testing of the rocket’s software. What software failure could not be blamed upon inadequate testing? The disaster can be blamed just as well upon a programming language ( Ada ) that disregarded the default exception-handling specifications in IEEE Standard 754 for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic. Here is why: Upon launch, sensors reported acceleration so strong that it caused Conversion-to-Integer Overflow in software intended for recalibration of the rocket’s inertial guidance while on the launching pad. This software could have been disabled upon rocket ignition but leaving it enabled had istakenly been deemed harmless. Lacking a handler for its unanticipated overflow trap, this software trapped to a system diagnostic that dumped its debugging data into an area of memory in use at the time by the programs guiding the rocket’s motors. At the same time control was switched to a backup computer, but it had the same data. This was misinterpreted as necessitating strong corrective action: the rocket’s motors swivelled to the limits of their mountings. Disaster ensued. Had overflow merely obeyed the IEEE 754 default policy, the recalibration software would have raised a flag and delivered an invalid result both to be ignored by the motor guidance programs, and the Ariane 5 would have pursued its intended trajectory. The moral of this story: A trap too often catches creatures it was not set to catch.

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

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If you limit speed to 0, I'm sure you can connect at any time.

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Re: This is arrant nonsense

+1 for "arrant"

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

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Black Helicopters

Uh-huh. "Former employee with high-level access".

So what we have is a former employee who for some reason had access to a secure server room in the heart of the organization, without the IT manager being informed, and who installed a fairly sophisticated bit of kit

It's lucky this isn't some high-value target or very private industry otherwise this could end in a messy kashogghi or a vatican-bank-style suicide.

Better watch out regardless, it's good that a heads-up has been posted on El Reg already. IT peons are not valued highly.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

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Re: Antitrust carve up...

OTOH, Microsoft stole the show with Windows Rekt, I mean Windows 1.0 while IBM was still working with them in a partnership on OS/2 and Presentation Manager was in incubation mode.

"Neophytes" may get things done.