* Posts by Joe H.

67 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Feb 2009


RIP: Microsoft finally pulls plug on last XP survivor... POSReady 2009

Joe H.

Re: It will never die!

UAR Totally correct.

Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

Joe H.

I remember 1979...

...and being a 12 year old wanna be astronomer with a telescope and everything, living in Florida and asking my parents a few months before the February '79 solar eclipse if we could travel to Oregon to see the total solar eclipse.

They both looked at me and said "no" at the same time. There hasn't been any other opportunity for me to see a solar eclipse since then until now.

I still live in Florida and will be taking my wife and boys to see the 2017 eclipse in Nebraska. I booked the hotel last April, and the plane flights this March.

At first they didn't want to go, and I think they still are wary, but we are going anyway. After 38 years of waiting, it is the last thing on my astronomy bucket list, I've even seen one of the two recent transits of Venus, and the most recent transit of Mercury. Some astronomers live their whole lives without seeing a transit of Venus. Solar eclipse or bust!

Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

Joe H.

The website is down dude...

The outage reminded me of this,


Pokemon GO-ZILLA: Safety fears after monsters appear in Fukushima danger zone

Joe H.

Oh NO, they say he's got to go...

GO GO Godzilla!


Japan, radiation and monsters, the way it was meant to be.

Drowning Dalek commands Siri in voice-rec hack attack

Joe H.

Re: Ahhh. Well my phone does not have "Automatic Woyce Weckognition".

Welease Weginald!

Physicists confirm X(4140)

Joe H.

Re: Splitters!

How many UP DOWN votes for this comment?

Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

Joe H.

Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

I was just about to mention this too.

Now, if only the meat-sacks could follow the same laws unconditionally as well....

DOOMSDAY still just MINUTES AWAY: As it has been since 1947

Joe H.

Re: Only 5 minutes before the hour?

..."Then there's dangers like this... http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/soviet-doomsday-device-might-still-be-operational/"....

Speaking of Doomsday devices at least this one is no longer a secret,

Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you *keep* it a *secret*! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?

Ambassador de Sadesky: It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.

Joe H.

Re: "There is no point in war unless you believe you are going to win"

Obligatory 'Dr. Strange Love or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb', Quote,

President Merkin Muffley: "Gentlemen. You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"

Mushroom cloud for the same obligation.

Naked Aussie gets wedged in washing machine

Joe H.

From the title of the article...

...I expected to read about some sort of spectacular brief underwear mishap that rendered him naked and stuck inside the thing involving an actual wedgie provided by the washing machine while he was innocently doing laundry, reached for something on the upper shelf and, oh well, whatever.

Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Joe H.

Re: Still working

My beloved Casio fx-7000g is still working, last time I checked a few years ago when I pulled the batteries out, and I still have the manual. Business calculus in 1990 was the last time I really needed it for anything, ah, good times.

Blighty's winter storms are PUNY compared to Saturn's 200mph, 15,000 mile wide HEXACANE

Joe H.

Re: Why a hexagon?


According to the above, it is the most efficient basic structure found in nature, anyone else want to weigh in on this?

Beer because it's Friday!

'Planned maintenance' CRIPPLES nearly HALF of all Salesforce instances in Europe, US

Joe H.


Which makes me wonder if they were successful implementing some aspect of SDN, or after hours of hand wringing, they decided to cut it back to the way it was before.

Either way, the internal shouting will take a few dozen post mortems to die down, pun intended.

Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one

Joe H.

Space Process Asteroid Mining

"the size of 2012 DA14 puts the asteroid's dollar-value in the twelve-figure range, with lots of valuable metals and liquids that could be harvested automatically and fired back to orbit around our planet to be used in orbiting manufacturing facilities."

Manufacturing would be stupid in Low Earth Orbit. There are enough hazardous bits in orbit now without putting a factory up there to spread out even more bits of paint, bolts, hammers, etc.

A far better place for the space lasers and space manufacturing would be at the Lagrange Points. Specifically at L2 solar wind would help push any debris out into the solar system and away from Earth. Shielding, its necessity and its weight, becomes the real issue because outside of LEO, and Earth's protective magnetic field, the full radiative brunt of the Sun requires such to keep people alive long term.

And, until methods less costly than $10,000 plus per Kg of payload to LEO or beyond come into play, all of this talk of factories and lasers in space is quite frankly just that, talk.

<grabs sides of walker with June 1978 copy of Popular Science tucked under arm and shuffles away from keyboard muttering bitterly about Solar Stirling Engine Generators, gravity wells and whippersnappers>

Ethernet at 40: Its daddy reveals its turbulent youth

Joe H.

3 Com and early Ethernet

Once upon a time 3 Com shipped a customer a whole bunch of 10 meg ISA BUS Ethernet network cards, about 200 if I remember correctly, and these were fitted into shiny new 486 processor boxen and duly connected to 10 meg Ethernet hubs and switches for their data processing folks who were moving into a nice new office.

When it came time to test, nothing seemed to work correctly and even the tier 3 engineers were stumped by the fact that pings and trace routes would go nowhere. Much finger pointing and recriminations ensued until someone brought in a Network General sniffer and did some packet captures.

It turned out that all of the 3 Com network cards had been accidentally burned with the same mac address and that mac address was the only one that showed up in the packet traces.

I was a remote technician on maintenance support for the hubs and switches and was just as amused as everyone on our team that the problem was not ours, good times.

Google and Microsoft relive Joan Collins catfight

Joe H.

Somehow I am worried...

...that I am not the only one who thought this of we commentards.

Insecure adolescents, no matter what chronological age, sums up the usual lot that comments on a piece in El Reg in some ham handed attempt to vaingloriously impart wisdom to the author and their fellow commentard's prodigious spleens.

<spleen venting icon, please>

Microwaved hard disc, run-over PC and other data disasters

Joe H.

Misty water-colored memories

I will usually remind folks that if they don't do backups, they may very well end up singing the blues with Barbra. Most everyone remembers the song and it is good for a chuckle when one of the IT folks is doing something with a boxen and I ask if they have done a backup. The misty water-colored memories as sung by her is particularly heart rending, as is not having a backup of hours of work when "the worst happens"TM. I will sometimes hum this tune when saving a router config to startup after making changes, or backing up my own boxen.

Leslie Nielsen dead at 84

Joe H.

Not sure which Naked Gun this was...

But the scene was the bad guy on a large military style missile crashing into a fireworks factory. Drebin gets to the site, turns his back to the conflagration and starts in with crowd control.

"Nothing to see here folks, move along, there is nothing to see here! Nothing to see here!"

Classic, he will be missed.


Christians vs metalheads in FB flame war

Joe H.


"If I had to choose, I'd opt for being oppressed via HTML rather than via a heavy sharp object to the base of the neck."

I will one day learn not to read the comments section on an article with diametrically opposite viewpoints while drinking coffee. YOMANKB

50m-year-old mystery space object doesn't look a day over 30

Joe H.


/soapbox on

Look here matey, it's already been done by one man who was called Jesus, and look what they did to him. You really up for that then, think about it man! There was only one Jesus, and I have yet to meet anyone who would have wanted to take his place and role he played for the inevitable fate of mankind, whatever that may be.

/soapbox off

On a more serious note, why does it seem to me that everyone is on about Jesus and the fate of our lives these days? Are we about to be bitch slapped by the many arms of Vishnu at any moment? Will wall street collapse? Is a giant meteor headed our way? Will tectonic forces split the Earth and gobble us up? Can we afford 500 plus dollar a barrel oil? Can raising chickens and maintaining our own vegetable gardens release us from dependence on big corporations to feed us? I don't know, and if this computer I am typing this missive upon suddenly goes dark before I can elucidate my inane ramblings then I can ###########..........NO CARRIER...........

How to make boots on Mars affordable - One way trips

Joe H.

Bloody Loonies

"You're all a bunch of bloody loonies!" "Oh, yes, that's what it was."

-Douglas Adams

Reg reader stitches PARIS right up

Joe H.

You mean it must be like...

... a toy inside any other toy box, but, overshadowed by the likely possibility of presence in said toy box being rabidly turned into some sort of international theater entertainment for the masses to disseminate upon by <insert favorite radical liberal/left wing-conservative/right wing media here>

Right, right, that's my coat, yes please I am on my way now, no need to shove.....

PARIS joins the 17-mile-high club

Joe H.

Just had another look here and...

"white knuckle ride for the main payload box:"

Shirley you meant "white knuckle ride for Paris' main payload box"?

Sticks with the format better, 'eh wot?

Joe H.
Thumb Up


Awesome, that is all....

Joe H.

Low Orbit High Above Netherlands

Netherlands, a place to get high?

PARIS laid bare in intimate snaps

Joe H.
Thumb Up

My kids were impressed

I told them about this when my wife asked what I was doing in front of my laptop, and when I told them about a paper airplane that sailed from 89,000 feet above the earth and was successfully recovered in the woods of Spain my boys thought it was cool. My wife reasonably wondered why people would do such a thing and both my boys and I rounded on her to say things like, "because it's cool, and awesome", etc. Good geek entertainment is what the boys and I surmised as was the intention of this, yes?

Good work to all again, thanks for truly inspiring entertainment/achievement.

PARIS in 89,000 ft climax

Joe H.


Followed this from the beginning and am pleased it went so well. This is fine geek entertainment by any standard. Well done, cheers.

Robot goes berserk in Balkan lab: 6 boffins given dead arms

Joe H.

Laws of Robotics

"Rather, Povše contended, he had instructed his metal henchman to attack the other scientists in order to discover better ways to program robots not to hurt people. "

Apparently this is how it starts.

Google data center links shot down by 'bored' riflemen

Joe H.

You forgot...

...a cheap and portable SEP,(Somebody Else's Problem) field generator to go with the weird paint job.

Joe H.

You got to walk?

I had to *wait* for hours in the snow, risking hypothermia in the hope that the internet showed up long enough for me to get a good look at it as it oozed by on its slug-like trail of slime.

If you try to tell them thar young whippersnappers about 9600 baud thing-gummies and third party tcp/ip stack doohickies they still won't realize how lucky they have it.

<grabs sides of walker handles and shuffles away from keyboard, muttering bitterly>

Hackers spoof car warning system

Joe H.


"so we should be thankful that malware infections of vehicle systems have never occurred. "

Just like the terminatrix did in T3?

Man sentenced for DIY gift-card cloning

Joe H.
Big Brother


He succeeded in attracting the attention of the law.

Start-up promises to slash virtual backup times

Joe H.
Thumb Up

Zeros and Ones moving about...


Cool. Inevitably we will be telepathic and all knowing with the proper upgrades, eh?

38 states grill Google on three-year Wi-Fi slurp

Joe H.


Thanks for the info, hope Google's lawyers can explain all that to the state's attorneys.

Joe H.
Big Brother

How not?

If they were collecting SSIDs, how could the "software" not gather all "payload" packets? Special filter forgotten to be activated? Sounds doubtful.

More to the point, ad nauseum, is why did Google see a need to be about collecting SSIDs, or any other wireless information while photographing the neighborhood(s)?

Specifically targeted spam^H^H^H^H Unsolicited Commercial Email.

Just a theory, but if you live in a specific demographic neighborhood, and they *only* wanted your SSID, and then *accidentally* picked up your ISP, and account information, sending you direct email on behalf of <insert name of local or national advertising client here> would fit nicely into a clever plan of advertising revenue generation.

I suspect the theory being that if their client's email gets past our spam filters, we might be persuaded or influenced by the UCE.

(Black Adder reference alert> A plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.

The lawyers will make a deal to drop everything once they know the fix is in, money will change hands. Nothing to see here folks,<except another path for the inexorable stream of spam> move along.

Palin boob-probe Reg hack dubbed an Ass Clown

Joe H.

@Slim pickings

Ah, but the confused logic, a necessity in any good flame, was quite evident. The "your / you're" was bagatelle compared to the complete miss the comment has to the intent of the article.

Caps lock would have put it over the top, I give it a 7 out of 10.

Off to the pub, cheers and have a great weekend.

SA vultures under threat from brain-smoking gamblers

Joe H.


"SA vultures under threat from brain-smoking gamblers"

I would think that smoking *any* part of a carrion eating bird would be a gamble, and thought from the title that was what the article was about, i.e.

"I'll bet you won't smoke that vulture brain..." etc.

PARIS pops down to QinetiQ

Joe H.
Thumb Up

This idea sounds good.

Put the plane inside the balloon. When the balloon pops at altitude the plane is free to fly!

Simple, no plungers or mechanical thing-gummies to choke up the works.

Back to QinetiQ and test balloon pop altitudes.

Usenet's home shuts down today

Joe H.

I remember...

... accessing usenet through a netcom unix shell account with a 2400 baud modem and until .html came along it was all we had to communicate. There were many fine ASCII artists that made amazing graphic pictures with nothing but letters and symbols from the keyboard.

<grasps sides of walker handles and shuffles away from keyboard muttering bitterly about how good the whippersnapper facebooking twitterers have it these days>

Drifting zombiesat could disrupt TV programming

Joe H.
Big Brother

How about reading a book instead of watching television?

1984 by George Orwell for starters.

Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

Joe H.


...atmospheric pressure comes from all the gas molecules that are piled near the surface of the earth as they are drawn towards the center of the planet by....oh, wait, never mind.

Cops raid Gizmodo editor in pursuit of iPhone 4G 'felony'

Joe H.

@AC, I'm not a betting man, but I'd say that.. #

50,000 Quatloos on Jason Chen NOT being invited to the 4G launch.

60,000 Quatloos on Jason Chen being charged, convicted and imprisoned by the California authorities.

30,000 Quatloos on Jason Chen escaping the above with only probation.

US Navy plans self-building floating fortresses

Joe H.
Big Brother


First goodthink I had too.

Crims jailed for hiding 'e-detonators' in robot camel jockey

Joe H.

@Beer for Lewis

Indeed, and you beat me to complimenting him for that phrasing. Yet another fine reason provided to love El Reg.

"dastardly droid detonator dromedary-driver delinquents"


Attack code for Firefox zero-day goes wild, says researcher

Joe H.

about getting flack...

"I hope the morons that require scripting to follow a clicky-link are paying attention."

Perhaps they are, and far too closely.

Viking frogmen chase Street View spymobile

Joe H.


I did not know what to expect from the title to this article. I was not disappointed. Thank you El Reg for stellar coverage of this epic event.

Brilliant, cheers.

Giant iPhones invade Florida

Joe H.

I have to admit...

I met both of them at the first costume contest they won at Skipper's Smokehouse here in Tampa Florida. $500.00 and tickets to some local event.

My point for commenting here is twofold. You lot should be aware that up close and personal they seemed every bit the geeks that would do such a thing as this.

And really, where would we be today without this sort?

My first guess says agrarian autonomous collective.

McAfee false-positive glitch fells PCs worldwide

Joe H.

@Alan W. Rateliff, II

I use the AVG on my traveling lapdog, and McAfee on my home pc that the missus uses. When I bought the lapdog, it came with AVG free. When it expired I reloaded it and checked the box to say I would participate in development, so far, so good. It has been 4 months and counting and this thing has not been any trouble at all.

As far as large networked environments go, it is obvious that paying for the right to use comes with much needed support.

As far as the DAT update spitting up a dialog box saying "Your version of the Engine is out of date, and this DAT update is about to destroy your machine, continue, Yes/No?" Is likely something they could have done had they tested it before releasing it.

Terminator, obviously the machines and their programmers are to blame.

Joe H.

5301 engine doing just fine on boxen with DAT 5664

Apparently this is only affecting folks on the 5100 engine. Official support has ended for 5100.

Could McAfee have bothered to test the DAT 5664 with a few boxen running the 5100 engine before forcing it out the door as a sort of a quality assurance initiative? If, and when, they found *something bad*, perhaps a delay in the release whilst sending out stern reminders? For the sake of their own CYA for instance.

That sort of fluff markets to the paying masses better than crippling the systems of anyone who hasn't had a chance to roll out the new engine due to the labors of change control scheduling.

Unfortunately, it appears that lots of folks were running 5100, and on *big* *important* servers no less.

We need a horror story thread here, methinks.

Mozilla's servers wobble as Firefox 3.5 hits interwebs

Joe H.

@BEWARE/WARNING before installing !!!!

No trouble with the bookmarks, or the download speed, however, AVG 8.5.339 safe surfing app is now gone. I was getting used to the green check marks next to my search results, alas.

Of course, this gives me something to do for the next few days, that being looking for the add on support updates.