* Posts by Julian Bradfield

155 posts • joined 19 Jul 2008

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80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

Julian Bradfield

Anybody who produces printed documents should read Bringhurst. Not that he's perfect, but it's the best, and concisest, book I know.

Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back

Julian Bradfield

snap

"snap" is not the most fortunate word to use in this context ... if it was intentional it causes too much pain :)

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

Julian Bradfield

Re: What annoys me intensely ...

I can't decide whether it's sick or wonderful that by googling that, I can get an IBM manual entry and dredge up my (entirely amateur) MVS knowledge of 35 years ago to understand it...

We dunno what's more wild: This vid of Japan's probe bouncing off an asteroid to collect a sample – or that the rock was sun-burnt

Julian Bradfield

It was a 5g tantalum bullet fired at 300 m/s.

We lost another good one: Mathematician John Conway loses Game of Life, taken by coronavirus at 82

Julian Bradfield

Re: Conway in Cambridge

Hi Paul :)

My strongest memory is when he was lecturing about ordinals using a blackboard on an easel, and having earlier written ω^ω^ω^.. (in normal layout, I mean), he then went on to talk about epsilons, and rather than writing ε_ε_ε_... he just picked up the blackboard and rotated it 90°. I give a lecture about ordinals every year or so, and I've always wanted to do that, but I've never had a blackboard on an easel.

Yeah, that Zoom app you're trusting with work chatter? It lives with 'vampires feeding on the blood of human data'

Julian Bradfield

Jitsi?

Isn't Jitsi fairly safe, especially if you host it? (I tried to get my family to use it, but they prefer the easier interface of zoom..)

Hey, friends. We know it's a crazy time for the economy, but don't forget to enable 2FA for payments by Saturday

Julian Bradfield

Eh? It's any old-style one with two sets of mouse buttons, e.g. X301

Help! I'm trapped on Schrodinger's runaway train! Or am I..?

Julian Bradfield

Re: Enquiries

There are things worse than Blackboard?

We live so fast I can't even finish this sent...

Julian Bradfield

Re: On a related topic

"gift" as a verb is common in Scotland, too. It struck me when I first moved up here, but I've got used to it.

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice

Julian Bradfield

Re: lucky you...

The way I remember it is that all times starting 12:...pm are after noon, apart from 12:00:00.00000000... itself, while 12:....am times are all before noon.

Julian Bradfield

lucky you...

if the resident had been in, you might now have a bullet through your chest...

Watch tiny swimming magnetic robots suck up uranium in a droplet of radioactive wastewater

Julian Bradfield

I'm not sure that turning the sea into a 1% solution of H₂O₂ is a very good idea.

We're late and we're unreliable but we won't invalidate your warranty: We're engineers!

Julian Bradfield

Re: I go bang!

My heating system needs a six-way connection from controller/boiler to valves etc., all told. When I needed to replace a valve, I spent two hours very carefully tracing the cables, checking, double-checking, and re-checking. Glad I did, as the installer had used two standard 3-core mains cables, and was using the second earth wire to carry the (mains live) signal from the hot water thermostat to the controller. That cable has a big red flag on it now.

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row

Julian Bradfield

Re: Is this just an English thing ?

Wrong. The final -e was pronounced up until the late Middle English period - if you read Chaucer, you have to pronounce final -e (except before a following vowel) to make it scan. It started dropping from around that time.

Julian Bradfield

Re: Surely it's just a bit of civility

Since you ask..because civility does not require me to tell lies. I speak a language with sexed pronouns - it hasn't had grammatical gender for a thousand years. Referring to something as "she" is a statement that it is female (I'm not a nautical type, so I don't even follow the tradition of making ships female).

Julian Bradfield

Re: Is this just an English thing ?

The statement that gender is a fact of biology is controversial. Usually sex is a fact of biology, and gender is a social construction. If you think our social constructions (girls wear pink, boys wear blue, for example) are biological, that's quite an elastic definition of biology.

For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020

Julian Bradfield

Re: The fork is already out there

But e^i tau = 1 doesn't tell you so much - if e^i 2pi = 1, then you know that e^i pi is +1 or -1, but not which.

Julian Bradfield

Re: The fork is already out there

Probably the reason is that τ is 2π - there are people who think that τ is a nicer fundamental constant than π.

Julian Bradfield

So Python will finally be a stable and reliable piece of software!

Get rekt: Two years in clink for game-busting DDoS brat DerpTrolling

Julian Bradfield

Re: Hackers v crackers v DDoSers

These uses of "cracker" do not seem to be noted in either the OED or Merriam-Webster - they say a "cracker" is A contemptuous name given in southern States of N. America to the ‘poor whites’; whence, familiarly, to the native whites of Georgia and Florida. Quotations claim various etymologies: "a name they have got from being great boasters", or "supposed to have been suggested by their cracking whips over oxen or mules in taking their cotton to the market."

This major internet routing blunder took A WEEK to fix. Why so long? It was IPv6 – and no one really noticed

Julian Bradfield

Re: This actually impacted quite a lot

But as pointed out in the very first two comments, longer prefixes were not impacted!

Julian Bradfield

Why would anybody notice, particularly? Surely the individually allocated IPv6 blocks are all much smaller than /12, so their announced routes will take priority over the /12 route. (APNiC allocates /32s, I think.)

Baltimore hit with more ransomware, ChinaMobile gets the boot in the US, and another (mild) Systemd system-d'oh!

Julian Bradfield

Re: Why are Chinese Products so Cheap?

Slave wages? USD900/month is comfortably more than the salary of a schoolteacher here in Croatia. The average salary here in the capital is €850.

Google Pay tells Euro users it has ditched UK for Ireland ahead of Brexit

Julian Bradfield

Re: @iron

fake news. See

https://fullfact.org/economy/uks-poverty-rate-around-average-eu/

Adi Shamir visa snub: US govt slammed after the S in RSA blocked from his own RSA conf

Julian Bradfield

Re: Correction to popular myth about RSA

Many important ideas in maths have been invented independently by multiple people. We try not to get hung up on who happened to be first, and sometimes the person it's named after isn't the first, but the one who did more with it, or was just lucky to be on this side of the Iron Curtain. If you work for a secret organization, you have to give up on getting things named after you! (And Cocks seems happy with that.)

Microsoft 'welcomes dialog' over HoloLens use by the military, but doesn't have to listen

Julian Bradfield

Re: Lethality

Why? lethality has been around for 350 years, while lethalness doesn't even rate a mention in the OED.

Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020

Julian Bradfield

Barclays' website for personal customers is equally crap. It refuses to run on Firefox on Linux at all. Until recently, it wouldn't run on Chrome on Linux, either...for the last few times, I have been able to use Chrome...just hope it lasts long enough for me to complete the transfer of all my business away from them, and even close the bank account I opened when I was 16 (rather a long time ago)...

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

Julian Bradfield

Drivel. Firstly, once the Swiss have finished their service, they *may* keep their rifle subject to successful application for a permit, but few do - I've never met a Swiss who has a military gun in the house. Secondly, they are *not* allowed to have the ammunition for it - that is issued from the local armory only if an emergency arises. (They can use their weapons for training on ranges, but can't take ammunition away from the range.)

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

Julian Bradfield

No mouse buttons, it seems - is there at least a virtual middle mouse button?

HSBC now stands for Hapless Security, Became Compromised: Thousands of customer files snatched by crims

Julian Bradfield

Re: There's no excuse...

So how many tokens do you carry around with you? I would change banks if I had to carry around a card-reader or token just to do everyday transactions - one reason I'm ditching Barclays, in addition to their appalling SmartInvestor.

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

Julian Bradfield

easydns . Been happy with them for decades now, and they're in Canada, not owned by GoDaddy, and have a robust attitude to most things.

Cosmoboffins think grav waves hold the key to sorting out the disputed Hubble Constant

Julian Bradfield

Timbo - the evaporation time for a galactic black hole is around 10^90 - 10^100 years. Not going to happen for a *very* long time after all the stars are dead;)

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

Julian Bradfield

Re: Calls and Email

Do you never use your phone to tether your actual work device? It's talking about tethering, nothing more.

Julian Bradfield

Re: Calls and Email

Read more carefully. It doesn't do email, it just provides connectivity to your email-reading device. (How I used to do email in about 2002, and still prefer to.)

Iron Mike Pence blasts Google for its censor-happy Dragonfly Chinese search engine

Julian Bradfield

Re: Bing!

I tried, and the Chinese search returns large numbers of pictures of the event including gruesome photos of dead protesters. So I don't understand your claim.

The 2018 ThinkPad X1 Yoga: A bendy-legged workhorse walks into a meeting

Julian Bradfield

I don't think I mean either of those. I think it's called Windows Instant Resume, or something like that. The latest (before this) batch of Yogas ditched (BIOS-advertised) support for S3 sleep in favour of Instant Resume, which is basically S1, I think. My first gen X1 Yoga will happily last me a weekend of light use, being suspended when not in use; that doesn't work according to those unhappy bunnies who got the later ones.

Julian Bradfield

And does it support real suspend-to-RAM, rather than the idiotic Windows thing that still chews through your battery?

Boffins blame meteorites for creating Earth's oldest rocks

Julian Bradfield

Re: Pedant Alert

In British English (and many other sensible languages, including even classical Latin), a collective noun can take either singular or plural concord, according as you're thinking of it as a single entity or the sum of its members.

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Julian Bradfield

Re: Only cracking I have done is

Last year I was at a conference on a Californian university campus, staying in shared dorms, the apartments of which had hotel style card door locks. Late at night, I went out to look for Perseids. As I shut the door, I realized I had the cafeteria card in my hand, not the door card. My roommates were all drinking the night away with their buddies in other rooms.

Just before resigning myself to a night on the doorstep, I thought, ok, why just try the old credit card trick. Five seconds with the nice flexible cafeteria card, and I was back in...

Can't imagine how any lock can yield to that these days!

Epyc fail? We can defeat AMD's virtual machine encryption, say boffins

Julian Bradfield

Re: Snake-oil anyway

It was Craig Gentry who developed fully homomorphic encryption. He may work for IBM, but that doesn't mean they take all the credit!

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

Julian Bradfield

Re: Of all places

Er, there have been mass shootings in Australia since. And the mass murder rate is unchanged before and after the big massacre - there are more killings by arson now than before the firearms restriction, and fewer by shooting.

For some reason, you lot love 'em. So here are the many ThinkPads of 2018

Julian Bradfield

Re: Yoga

I bought an X1 Yoga "just because" a couple of years ago, and I've used it as a tablet about twice:)

Brit Lords start peer-to-peer wrangling over regulating the internet

Julian Bradfield

The Commons can force through (almost) any bill against the Lords, and have been able to do that since 1911. Before that, there was a convention that the Lords didn't interfere with finance bills.

Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

Julian Bradfield

The OED says: The form colour has been the most common spelling in British English since the 14th cent.; but color has also been in use continually, chiefly under Latin influence, since the 15th cent., and is now the prevalent spelling in the United States.

And if you're talking about the original spellings, here's the OED's list of recorded forms:

ME coleour, ME coleure, ME colewre, ME colovre, ME coulur, ME culur, ME kolour, ME–15 collore, ME–15 colowr, ME–15 colowre, ME–15 culoure, ME–16 coler, ME–16 coleur, ME–16 colore, ME–16 coloure, ME–16 colur, ME–16 colure, ME–16 cullour, ME–16 culour, ME– color (now U.S.), ME– colour, lME clour, lME (in a late copy) 15–16 collor, 15 colloure, 15 collyr, 15 cooler, 15 cooller, 15 coollor, 15 coollour, 15 coollur, 15 coolore, 15 cooloure, 15 coullar, 15 coulloure, 15 coulore, 15 cowler, 15–16 coller, 15–16 coolor, 15–16 coolour, 15–16 couler, 15–16 coullour, 15–16 coulor, 15–16 couloure, 15–16 culler, 15–16 cullor, 15–16 culloure, 15–17 collour, 15–17 couller, 15–17 coullor, 15–17 coulour; Sc. pre-17 coiller, pre-17 coller, pre-17 colleur, pre-17 collor, pre-17 collour, pre-17 colloure, pre-17 colore, pre-17 coloure, pre-17 colowr, pre-17 colowre, pre-17 colur, pre-17 couler, pre-17 couller, pre-17 coullour, pre-17 coulour, pre-17 culler, pre-17 cullor, pre-17 cullour, pre-17 culloure, pre-17 culour, pre-17 17–18 color, pre-17 17– colour.

And lo! Crypto-coins came unto the holy land. And the wise decreed they must all be taxed

Julian Bradfield

Re: To update scripture for our modern age...

Rope rather than thread - threads *do* normally pass through needles! Although everywhere else it appears, the Aramaic word gml, when it doesn't mean camel, means (roof-)beam. The idea that it means rope goes back to Syriac lexicographers, but why, nobody seems to know. [Thanks to the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon!]

UK data watchdog whacks £300k fine on biz that made 9 million nuisance calls

Julian Bradfield

Good Omens

I imagine that Hastur's telephonic visit to a call centre will raise loud cheers if it's included in the film. Unfortunately, I don't think he was tech-savvy enough to know what to do with pre-recorded auto-diallers...

Two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches and crafty URLs like ғасеьоок.com

Julian Bradfield

Re: Facebook FAIL

Voyna i Mor: ь follows vowels in some orthographies, e.g. Chechen in Cyrillic. But even there, it doesn't follow e.

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Julian Bradfield

Re: My keyboard stupidity.

You can't break off the caps lock key - where else does Control go!

Voda customers given green light by Ofcom to ditch contracts

Julian Bradfield

It's £6 a day now, since gov.uk has decided the charge is VATtable.

Archive of 1.4 billion credentials in clear text found in dark web archive

Julian Bradfield

How did you find out?

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