* Posts by BlueGreen

1205 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jul 2008


Yawn, Wikileaks, we already knew about FinFisher. But these software binaries...


Re: BoringGreen Destroyed @Matt Bryant

Matt:to your 2nd point. You backed this up with a reference, which is good. It's difficult for me to evaluate the quality of this as the term terrorist simply means the use of force to oppose an established government. This may be due to there not being an alternative: "In 2011, Bahrain was criticised for its crackdown on the Arab spring uprising. In September, a government appointed commission confirmed reports of grave human rights violations including systematic torture" (<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain#Human_rights>).

If a govt can inflict 'systematic torture' on its people and there is no way for those people to effectively change it then they may see violence as the only way, and correctly they would then be termed terrorists. Whether this is bad is another matter - " Of all groups active in recent times, the ANC perhaps represents best the traditional dichotomous view of armed struggle. Once regarded by western governments as a terrorist group, it now forms the legitimate, elected government of South Africa, with Nelson Mandela one of the world's genuinely iconic figures" (<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4255106.stm>). Should so many of the blacks have put up with their oppression, or not? If not, what legal remedy was there for them?

Should the bahrainis accept 'systematic torture' else be labelled terrorists merely because they don't like their government? Is this ok?

As my time on the reg is nearing an end, I will tell you something you haven't realised. I'm partly middle eastern, part of a traditionally oppressed group. Those moslems you hate and fear? Just some relatives to me. Peaceful, decent people. And some of them have been arrested only for speaking out, put in terrible prisons and tortured. Yes, amnestly has files on at least one of them. People I've actually met. What is an acceptable abstraction for you is a sickening reality for me.


But mainly to your first point, then: "Yes, because those actions [blackmail and imprisonment of human rights activists] are not FinFishers but those of the end use customers. "

Here we differ. I've always believed I'm responsible for my actions and the (reasonably predictable) consequences thereby arising. It's affected my employment prospects. That's a tradeoff I've always chosen to make and I've never regretted it. An axe has multiple uses and I know this because I know how to use an axe. As to FinFisher, in the balance I'd be aware of how easy it was to abuse and therefore how likely, so I would choose not to involve myself in it.

I have been called stupid, to my face, for turning down work in an industry closely linked to weapons development. That's my choice. If it's not what you'd do, perhaps because you see others as solely responsible for the misuse of your work, then there fundamentally is where we depart. In that we cannot be reconciled. Goodbye and best of luck.


Re: BoringGreen Destroyed @Matt Bryant

you say

> The morality of the users of FinFisher's products are irrelevant

Are you saying, quite simply, that "the blackmail and imprisonment of human rights activists" by the users of FinFishers's products is irrelevant?

In simple words, yes or no, please.


Re: Destroyed @Matt Bryant

> All this has done is leave Wikileaks vulnerable to legal actions from FinFisher, who can sue them for loss of business and get them arrested for software piracy

Mebbe. FinFisher isn't likely to be a high-profile company and is likely to want to stay that way. Court = streisand effect. If it's got any sense it'll just quietly let it blow over, especially as it is (supposed to be) knowedgeable about security. Basically it's been made to look a right tool having so much IP etc. snaffled.

And we've previously gone over how some of us believe this power can be abused, whereas you didn't accept that. Well, "...include ‪Bahrain, where use of FinFisher‬ has been linked to the blackmail and imprisonment of human rights activists"

Anyway, Matt, we come yet again to the problem of (questionable) morality and (possible) abuse of power. I wonder if you and I can ever find common ground in this.

Evil mining firms? Please. Obeying profit motive is KINDER to the environment


Re: Ok, how about some calculations Tim

That's a shedload better, maths wise, than mine, ur post duly upvoted. I dropped in a couple of extra zeroes myself. Ok, here's mine, corrected:

600, 000,000 tons of ore (your figures, maybe a bit hight), taken in valemax ore carrier (ore is never AFAIK taken in TEUs) (say 400,000 tonne DWT, let's assume it's all cargo, let's ignore return trips)

= 1,500 voyages

Let's take the Ore Brasil <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Ore_Brasil>, burns about 95 tons/day, slow steams at ~18mph, distance oz/china I'll take to be about 5,000 miles (higher than your 4,000 but it's not crow-flies by any stretch so that's reasonable), so 5,000/(18 mph * 24 hours) ~11.6 days per voyage, so 11.6 * 95 ~ 1,100 tons fuel burnt per voyage, = 1,500 voyages * 1,100 tones =1,650,000 tons fuel burnt annually.

Wow, I *really* blew that one.


Ok, how about some calculations Tim

Last I heard, movement of iron ore from oz to china alone was 1/3 billion tons. Can you please calculate the fuel used, and therefore pollution emitted, for that? Because I did and I get between 30 million tons and 330 million tons. I'd like an expert's opinion, please (that's you, Tim).

Slough isn't fit for humans now, says Amazon. We're going to Shoreditch


It's a great poem, I probably shouldn't but here you go


(John Betjeman)


Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!

It isn't fit for humans now,

There isn't grass to graze a cow.

Swarm over, Death!


Come, bombs and blow to smithereens

Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,

Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,

Tinned minds, tinned breath.


Mess up the mess they call a town-

A house for ninety-seven down

And once a week a half a crown

For twenty years.


And get that man with double chin

Who'll always cheat and always win,

Who washes his repulsive skin

In women's tears:


And smash his desk of polished oak

And smash his hands so used to stroke

And stop his boring dirty joke

And make him yell.


But spare the bald young clerks who add

The profits of the stinking cad;

It's not their fault that they are mad,

They've tasted Hell.


It's not their fault they do not know

The birdsong from the radio,

It's not their fault they often go

To Maidenhead


And talk of sport and makes of cars

In various bogus-Tudor bars

And daren't look up and see the stars

But belch instead.


In labour-saving homes, with care

Their wives frizz out peroxide hair

And dry it in synthetic air

And paint their nails.


Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough

To get it ready for the plough.

The cabbages are coming now;

The earth exhales.

DUCKCROCZILLA 'alien' dinosaur could emerge from THE SEA


Intellifridge terror: Internet of Stuff kit must fend off hackers of the FU-TURE-TURE-TURE


Re: Security by brick!

> If you want to manage a fridge, all it needs is SNMP

Mate, that is one surreal suggestion. U joke?

But if we go there why not throw in IPtables and allow Aida Brady to configure that.

Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS


Re: Paleontology @Bunbury

Ah, very intersting however a) AC claimed it was the british natural history museum whereas it seems it was an american museum (the peabody natural history museum?), b) this was *well* over a century ago, not that long after the term 'scientist' itself was coined c) in absolutely no modern sense did they act like scientists.

Upvoted, however, as your point and rev were valid, unlike pillock AC's post.


Re: Paleontology

> and really nothing like the "expert of the day " guessed head

reference please.


Re: Paleontology

If you have any paleontological background, please do let us know.

> From one tiny tooth fragment they'll claim a new dino species

I'm no expert but I understand teeth are distinctive and conserve their shape very strongly within species, so a radically different tooth would suggest a new species.

> and make preposterous claims as to its size

Can you give me an example of them doing that? Please? You'll notice from the nice diagram that they actually found a lot more than one tooth BTW.

> Imagine if you took girraffe bones and assumed the animal was more or less deer shaped. You'd end up with completely the wrong idea.

Indeed you would, and even more so if they assumed the animal was more or less mouse-shaped - they'd look right prats! So perhaps they're not that fucking stupid. You, on the other hand...

Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch



Don't normally fuss but just some pickings with your English

"will have thinner profiles" - I'm pretty sure this means "will be thinner".

"price points" - is this something other than an old-fashioned "price" or does it mean something additional or different?

"and promises to securely handle your card data without exposing it to loss or abuse" - Hmm. Surely this is tautological. In contrast, would this make sense "and promises to securely handle your card data while possibly exposing it to loss or abuse"? I don't think so.

As Orwell was wont to say, mutch moar bettar english plz kthxbai

Separately, I don't have nor want a 'smart' phone, so I'm curious whether the eternal promises of thinner, so heavily advertised on every new iteration, makes a whit of difference past a certain point. In fact I suspect if I bought one I'd go for thicker for strength and additional battery life - any thoughts, anyone?

NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine


Re: The numbers don't add up @Buzzword

I'm a little curious about the claim of the messages being 'complex', but to your main point, and I'm just guessing here, a gp could lookup patient details more than once per consultation. In addition, writing a prescription might count as one more, and that may trigger off other internal messages to check for drug allergies or suchlike (and multiple prescriptions might multiply that?), and if a patient were referred to a hospital I can well imagine that too kicking off a little cascade of internal messages.

I repeat, just guessing but it seems possible.


Re: No SQL? @Aitor 1

I'd not have put reliability on the NoSQL list.

Work in the tech industry? The Ukraine WAR is coming to YOU


Re: Hurting russia is easy

I believe russia has some LNG terminals for ships. Don't know the capacity though.


Re: Thanks for the neocon talking points, El Reg! @Destroy All Monsters @Tom Welsh

I regret saying that as I don't wish to give personal details here, with a few exceptions. So I don't wish to give my age. Consider that section retracted. However, in terms of doing stuff, I was the press contact for an independent science organisation, get involved in politics (I have next to me a letter from 10 downing street, delivered not two hours ago, carefully sidestepping my issues raised about injustices in gaza) and generally try to make a difference where I can (including basic stuff like drugs policy). Good enough?

So, what do you do to make the world a better place?


Re: Thanks for the neocon talking points, El Reg! @Destroy All Monsters @Tom Welsh

Yes Tom, we get it, we're not stupid, we're not children, we do understand about self-censorship and the pressure governments and bring when they want their slant. TBH we've probably been around longer than you.

But RT is bullshit and yes, the western press is better (and where it isn't, it's by choice not government control). Stop patronising us and equally, stop devaluing what we do have by pretending "it's all shit, maaan". Your easy cynicism is destructive. Western press aint great but it's surely better than many others.


Re: Thanks for the neocon talking points, El Reg! @Destroy All Monsters @Tom Welsh

> If you believe that RT is any less independent, objective or trustworthy than the US and UK MSM, you have had the wool well and truly pulled over your eyes.

If you are trying to equate national mouthpieces with the BBC and UK press, I guess you've been fooled worse. UK press is not great but better? Yep. Get a journo in russia to speak up and what might happen to them compared to the same situation in the UK. Not good, but better.


Re: Thanks for the neocon talking points, El Reg! @LDS

> Ask yourself why Putin is going to sell gas to Chine at one third of the price he's selling to EU and half of the Ukraine one.

Please provide a reference. I understood that the terms of this deal were not made public, especially the price of energy.


Re: Sanctions @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

Very informative answer, points well made. Not in agreement (yet) but thanks nonetheless.


Re: Thanks for the neocon talking points, El Reg! @Destroy All Monsters

I don't buy your entire attitude (but for the first few lines the article was about the effect of sanctions, not a judgement on them or the de facto war, so "neocon talking points" is not warranted), still less do I buy your 'Russia is only mediating', however this and your other post is very interesting indeed.Thanks.

(However I must say providing a link to RT as you did below wasn't so good, is hardly independent).


Re: Sanctions @Vladimir Plouzhnikov




Sanction regulations are meant to be impenetrable

From what I've seen and heard, if you make it totally unclear where the borders between acceptable and unacceptable sales are, and refuse to say clearly something is exportable, a few brassnecked business people try it with something fairly innocuous which then gets declared dual-use so they get burnt, and the rest of the market is thereby frightened off. You get the effect of broad sanctions without too much explicit legal work. I know it's worked that way with a certain middle-east country.

Looks like it's heading that way for russia, going by the article.


Re: Sanctions @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

It's a shitty situation caused by an arrogant prick (and it doesn't reflect well on the average russian IMO, if the prick Putin's getting more popular).

> I know for a fact that the sanctions are considered by regular Russian people as an insult which must be resisted and retaliated against ... are the Western leaders so stupid as to not know and understand

Of course they understand this. They aren't stupid. Let's lay out options:

1) Russia is in the right, and the war on ukraine is just. We let russia get on with it


2) Russia is not in the right and we do nothing about it


3) Russia is not in the right and we do something about it, choose from the following

3a) we impose sanctions

3b) we do not impose sanctions but we:

3b1) we go to war with russia

3b2) err... something else?

So, Victor, do we pick 1 or 2 or 3, and if 3 then which sub-option of 3?

Because I don't have a better plan.

The IT kit revolution's OVER, say beancounters - but how do they know?


Re: That's not quite what my original said @Tim Worstal

You're rather good at avoiding inconvenient questions.


Re: That's not quite what my original said @Tim Worstal

On 2nd thoughts, the "and yet further" part, though arguably valid, may be beyond the remit of economic investigation so feel free to ignore it. I am most curious for your response to the rest though.


Re: That's not quite what my original said @Tim Worstal

So please let us know what got missed out right here. And let us exactly get into the argument about whether or not it was well spent; you make a claim, you justify it.


> then we splurged way too much on dotcoms

but in a previous missive you said

> The first point to make is that no one can decide what represents value for other people. Other people get to decide what is value for them. I might well have decided, for example, that Facebitch is of no value whatsoever and I might even be right about that. The fact that 1 billion people disagree with me, however, means that it does have value for them

So which is it? Without consistency how can you possibly apply the word 'science' (dismal or not) to economics.

And yet further:

> Companies are, in general, flush with cash, and money is, compared to recent times, damn near free for corporations to borrow

As ever you measure in solely money, and yes of course it's important, but by far the biggest lever in the IT toolbox is knowledgeable people, not tech kit. Software and hardware is a tool and if you can't use it effectively, it's value is hugely diminished. And it's often underused/misconfigured/misunderstood/neglected and generally wasted. Source: years of working in this industry. Other sources: other commenters here will tell you the same.

Is that a 64-bit ARM Warrior in your pocket? No, it's MIPS64


Re: 384 cores in one memory pool?

is it coherent? If so, how the $%^&*( do they manage to do it?


> The hardware scheduler is better at scheduling tasks than end users

unless I'm being stupid, it's an instruction scheduler, not a task scheduler, and the 'scheduling' is very basic such as instruction interleaving (as the article says).

> but in effect you're just getting better performance out of similar hardware.

Hmm. I've heard this before but it didn't pan out IME. I kicked off some heavy processing work[*]. I ran it repeatedly, steadily upped the number of parallel threads that I allowed for that query, and it scaled linearly up to the number of physical cores. Once it started using virtual cores the rise stopped, and as more virtual cores were used, performance slowly fell. However, that may have been an atypical workload. Perhaps if it had been cache-bound rather than memory-bound it may have done better. It was running on a huge dataset. Dunno.

[*] happens it was in a DB but all memory resident so the disk was never touched.

Cave scrawls prove Neanderthals were AT LEAST as talented as modern artists


Re: Crude scrawl? @breakfast

class. Thank you.

BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV


Re: If you arew going to teach coding @Alfred, @Steve Knox

Yes, I see what you're saying (esp Alfred given his example), I got it wrong.


Re: How do they plan to keep interest

> as to suggest someone typing seemingly random strings of crpytic text into a computer may fall into the category of dull. So I'm struggling to see how they can put together shows that will compel kids to copy the on screen programming that is taking place.

You start with a non-text programming environment. Here's one I've used to teach a total newbie: Scratch. The big problem came after when I had to switch him from Scratch to C. My, that was hard, but it was a colourful and quick-feedback environment.


Re: If you arew going to teach coding

> You are going to have to have at least a primer in logic first.


I have some slight backround in discrete maths and logic and other than De Morgan's law for working out how to express complex conditionals, and occasional expression of logical implication, I rarely if ever use it.

There is a profound link between coding and logic, but humans can go a very long way without logic. Which leads them into the delusion that it (logic, mathematics) is worthless, but, whatever, can't cure stupidity.


Re: Foundations

> But interest has to come first - discipline can follow.

absolutely agree. If any latent interest is killed, the subject's dead. If you tease that interest you can lead them to new places.

The huge advantage of computers IMO is that it's the essential tool to bring maths alive - to take abstractions and turn them into something the kid can see onscreen.

I don't think that coding is actually that important at all, I think maths *is*, and computers can bring them to it better than when I was at school. At least make it less of a dull, bloodless chore - and I had some genuiniely good maths teachers.

Problem is, maths' abstraction is its profound strength but, pedagogically, its weakness.

Weekend reads: Colorless Tsukuru, Kool Korea and strange encounters with IKEA wardrobes


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

Sounds exactly like the tossy shit I'd cross the road planet to avoid.

Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts


I don't buy these kinds of boxes but kudos to the author

It's a very good point that surely extends to other things I do buy. I'll consider that in future.

China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE


Re: I don't get it @Tom 64

> Supercavitation does not vapourise and recondense all the liquid in the path of the "missile", just a relatively small proportion.

See my calculations. A hole in the water (which is often descibed as 'incompressible') a metre or so across and 100 metres long has to be created every second of shkval's movement. That's the bottom line and however you cut it, that's seems to be need a *lot* of energy.

> but due to the very low friction the energy used in pushing the water aside will (mostly) be returned when it collapses back together after the "missile" bubble has passed

Really? Returned where? If to the missile's momentum, then how?


Re: I don't get it @Tom 64

> Shkval was designed for launch from submerged submarines, not from the surface vessels.

In the context of shkval's energy use, I can't see the relevance.

> In supercavitation you are not displacing the water physically - you are evapourating and recondensing it behind you

80 tonnes of water vapourised per second? Given the high quality of your other posts I'm amazed you'd suggest this.

> In this case it is quite simple ...

Oh, interesting! Thanks for this, and to @Nigel 11


Re: I don't get it @Tom 64

> If you want to go supersonic, why not just do it through the air where you don't have to bother with engineering away the water?

Perfect question, and one that has bothered me since I heard about shkval in a new scientist article on supercavitation. I thought it so frigging absurd assumed initially it was a windup.

Here's why: shkval goes at 200 knots, which is about 100 metres a second. Water is 1 tonne per cubic metre (roughly), and if the diameter of the cavity is say 1 metre (shkval's diameter is 21 inches per wiki, so that's not unreasonable) then you're displacing about *80 tonnes of water a second* (assuming I dun skoolboy rithmetic ok). That's a huge energy expenditure unless you can somehow regain some of that - stuffed if I can see how, maybe the collapse behind somehow pushes the bubble forwards, but I don't see how that can work.

Minor note, wiki does not say shkval emitted gas from its nose, only "the torpedo is, in effect, flying in a gas bubble created by outward deflection of water by its specially shaped nose cone and the expansion of gases from its engine". Hard to see how the nose can take that much pressure and friction.


Totally tangential question. It turns out shkval means 'squall' in english. I've noticed a lot of russian words do seem very closely related to english ones and I've no idea why, it's almost as if russian and english are cognates but to my knowledge they're not. Any thoughts?


Re: Something doesn't add up here @Ossi

> This sounds like [...] like, say, a torpedo

You know old bean, I almost think you had it just then.

One step closer to robot butlers: Dyson flashes vid of vacuum sucker bot


Re: This will be great @Kurt 5

> 24lbs / 1.7 stone / 10.9kg

Good god. Main coon?


Re: This will be great

with a sufficiently powerful suction motor, the 'child' will cease to be a problem. Subsequently you will have more sleep and far more money left in your pocket.

(I never quite got this 'child' business meself but some people seem quite fond of them).

Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it


Re: Re "which could potentially bypass missile defences" @Evil Auditor

It's very, very hard to defend against incoming missiles. They are very fast, fairly robust (necessarily to re-enter the atmosphere at speed) hard to impossible to distinguish from decoys, and cheap (cheap, compared to a city they're pointed at). It only takes one to get through. You're looking for a technical solution to a non-technical problem.

Echopraxia scores 'diamond cutter' on the sci-fi hardness scale


@ Destroy All Monsters

Word. And this "more a serious, albeit fascinating, treatise on what exactly a person is if their memories, perceptions and abilities are all as malleable as the way they wear their hair"

is *exactly* up greg egan's thing, and egan does it very well (mostly anyway). I wish he was better known.

Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?


Re: NumptyScrub corestore @Plump & Bleaty

Hi again mein kleine plumpdroid, you're not answering the Nice Mr. Numpty's post, his points seem valid.

Wall Street woes: Oh noes, tech titans aren't using bankers


Re: Wall Street Woes : Oh noooooes, there are new kids in our sandbox. @Alistair

> While I get the concept about raising funds to enable growth in the economy, I'm a firm believer in *real* value rather than market value.

You say this and in some unclear sense I agree with you. Mr. Worstall said this in a previous article of his <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/youre_all_inventing_the_wrong_sort_of_technology/>

> The first point to make is that no one can decide what represents value for other people. Other people get to decide what is value for them. I might well have decided, for example, that Facebitch is of no value whatsoever and I might even be right about that. The fact that 1 billion people disagree with me, however, means that it does have value for them.

This feels wrong but I can't justify why. Yours feels right but I can't justify why. In neither case can I put my finger on the core flaw or killer justification of either. So for the sake of my edification try to explain your claim, please? It might make the merits of Tim's clearer too.

Ta everso

Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim


@Author - Again with the fancy web dev stuff

Very exciting, deeply cool, so much you can do with the new toys.

Now, how do you do the really boring stuff like protect the user from browser-delivered malware? Sorry to be so dull but this stuff matters.

(oh, and BTW gmail works fine without jscript. And any reason to call web front-end for email a 'complex web app'?)

Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game


Re: I'd call it "Spinal Tap"

> And you point is?

I thought you were playing along but I'm not so sure now. Work it out.

(and /pace/ @thomas k.)


Re: I'd call it "Spinal Tap"

Aren't spinal taps very, very painful and unpleasant?

You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference


Re: Ten Summoner’s Tales @Spleen

> If it's ten tales by one summoner then it should be "A Summoner's Ten Tales" or "Ten Tales of a Summoner".

Since when should it?

I wouldn't normally, but this a dabbsy article so when in Rome: ur talking Boll-OCKS