* Posts by |333173|3|_||3

43 publicly visible posts • joined 2 May 2007

BOFH: Server room secret panels

Dead Vulture


A coherent and relevant post from amamnfrommars! The Universe is about to end!

Dead vulture because when the universe ends, el reg will die with it.

BOFH: The all-clicking, all-whirring Roboboss


@AC - amanfromMars

I suspect a neural net:

The pig go. Go is to the fountain. The pig put foot. Grunt. Foot in what? ketchup. The dove fly. Fly is in sky. The dove drop something. The something on the pig. The pig disgusting. The pig rattle. Rattle with dove. The dove angry. The pig leave. The dove produce. Produce is chicken wing. With wing bark. No Quack.

(For teh story behind that passage, see http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/No,_We_Need_a_Neural_Network.aspx )

EU wants RFID tags turned off


advantages of deactivation

The main advantage of deactivating RFID tags is that if I buy items in one shop, then I go into another with an RFID scanner on the checkout, if they have access tot eh database of tag codes, they will be able to correlate purchases of items in ther shop with other products, and if I pay with credit/debit/EFTPOS, then this enables them to build up a better picture of what I buy. This is a fairly small thing, but some people don't want everyone who cares to find out what I have bought.

One other advantage, which affects everyone, not just the tinfoil-hat brigade, is that if a criminal could use a portable scanner then they could identify people potnetially worth mugging by just walking past them, since even without the database of codes, most RFID-protected items are small or expensive, and that the carrier of many such items is likely to be worth robbing.

BOFH: What GPS is for


@Phil Rigby

The PFY first appears as Simon's replacement late in the old series (when the BOFH is a Manager), and the PFY's uncle is not just the Boss, he is the CEO.

Brown will 'scrap ID cards' for UK citizens, claims paper


Can I see your ID?

Police: can I see your ID please?

Illegal immigrant: I don't have one, I'm a citizen

Police: OK...

Something tells me this is a slightly bigger loophole than nipping in and out of the country.

BOFH: Budget cuts



The humour of your post is probably lost on the non-Aussies here. Just so you all know, VB is the second-worst Australian beer, only trumped by NT Draught. The difference is that VB is sold in stubbies and tastes like fermented cats; piss, whilst NT draught is sold in 2L bottles and is fermented cats' piss

Judge orders football website to name 'libellous' posters

Black Helicopters


Doesn't it have to be believable for it to be libel: if I were to claim that Bill Gates was intent on taking over the universe then it would hardly be libel, since no-one in thier right minds would believe that. Likewise, no-one should believe unmoderated user comments on forums, and especially not troll/flame type posts. This should be laughed out of court by any sane judge.

Blueberry heir loses libel suit against drunken lothario


CDA decision may be wrong

IANAL, but, IIRC, section 230 of the CDA only protects the operators of an unmoderated site, or one in which posts are never deleted. Once posts are deleted by the operator without a court order or some other compulsion, you become responsible for content on your site. Of course, apart from the comment about looking like he was being fisted by a large ape, the CDA is not actually relevant in this case.

Aussie bin Laden penetrates APEC security



The plan, according to one of the Chaser's crew who was not among those arrested, was to, at the first checkpoint, have Chas Liccardello, dressed as Bin Laden, demand entry, on the grounds that he had more influence over Asia-Pacific affairs than Chile, Peru, the Philippines, and so on, and that they were as surprised as anyone that they were let through. When they were arrested, it was not Chas who was arrested, but the other member of the Chasers who was with him, then a second policeman also came over and grabbed the one they already had hold of, before anyone did anything about Chas.

Alexander Downer is possibly better than Costello or Downer. I don't know what he studied, but he handled an audience with a large number of Physicists and engineers at the University of Adelaide very well, far better than others have handled that crowd. Of course, I could be slightly biased, as I am a South Australian (his electorate home is not far from my home).

Boffins issue speeding ticket for FTL photons


Kiwi sheep

Kiwi sheep must be the slowest on earth, since they have a negative velocity and come running whenever they see a naked Kiwi.

I'll get my coat and Akubra.

Click here for the UK's highest-paid IT post



You only need to poses these products (or presumably a licence to them), it says nothing about ever having nay experience using them, or even opening the box and accepting the shrink-wrap agreement. I would therefore suggest buying unopened copies of each (NT4 may be herd to find), and if you don't get the job, returning them for a full refund.

At he lowest hourly rate, assuming a mere 35 hour week, working 48 weeks a year, that gives you GBP 7 200 000. At the upper end, assuming the same number of hours, you get GBP 168M pa. I knew analysts were always over-payed, but it looks like I am studying the wrong subject. Since the CIO and CEO of this company would both be payed more than an analyst, I wonder how much they make.

Gentoo cuts key parts of itself from net for its own good


not the main prgrammers

I doubt that the main contributors to the project would have been involved in writing the site. rather, a few people who wanted to help in other ways almost certainly did most of the coding, since Python is a language most programmers don't want to touch with a 20' barge pole.

Doctor Who signs up thinking man's crumpet



Tennant isn't too bad, but he lacks the style of John Pertwee (my favourite Doctor), or the wit of Tom Baker. I would really like to see more stories like teh many involving UNIT, or teh one in which John Pertwee is in a house which gets blown up by resistance forces from teh furture trying to prevent the house being blown up and starting a war which allowed the Daleks to invade Earth, and other such complicated 4-5 episode plotlines.

'Portable' CD player puts MP3 into a spin


Portalbe ripper

It would be useful as a portable ripper, if you were visitng a friend.

'Wild West' internet needs a sheriff


re: Neither the Theory or Reality is suitable

1) mOst are pretty good heuristics, and work well enough. those that do defeat current spam filters for any length of time are usually emails with imagemaps instead of text. Email clients should have "download pictures automatically" turned of by defualt.

2) That would not stop malware-laden attachments sent by scanning address books, adn most people have attachments set to not automatically download to save bandwidth.

3) Microsoft securtiy is what gave us Vista (partly). More of it is not a good idea.

4) ISPs should not do this. It should be part of the National Curriculum for say year 10s, and the manual freely availible from public libriries or somewhere similar.

Like in the Wild West, you should look after yourself, and if you think you can take down a scammer or spammer without getting your sytem wiped out or harming inocent bystanders, then you should be allowed free rein to do so.

Origins of the assault rifle


US Automatic Rifle

THe early US Automaitc rifles were slower than an expert British soldier using a .303 bolt action rifle (a slowly evolving design which originated in teh Crimea War, adn was not finally abandoned until after WWII), although they were faster than raw recruits using Rifle Mk 5's , the final version of the British .303.

Harry Potter and the Virus of Doom


Head Auror

I thought it was mentioned somewhere he becomes Head of the Auror Office, making Ginny his immediate superior. I can see him as a sort of Dirty Harry, blasting his way through walls, pointing his wand at suspects and grinning "Make my F*cking day" at them.

XML upgrade assessments needed for higher ed


Pressure, (La)TeX

If all or even just most, other office suites agreed to respect a XML-dreivative (hopefully one which is an extension of the XHTML standard, rather than a new standard altogether), then sufficient pressure could be brought to bear upon M$ that they are forced to follow the standards (as is the case with IE, where thier support for standards is gradually imporving). The format shoudl also support BibTeX bibiliographies.

The XML-based format should be based on the concept of keeping the structure distinct from the markup, by using CSS to handle all the formatting. This would allow an ODF2LaTeX converter to be used, effectively providing a 3-format world of (La)TeX, ODF, and PDF (or an equivalent open format), and allow simple conversion between the two source formats, thus allowing word processing, typesetting, and fianl documents to be used easily and interoperably.

Remember that LaTeX provides much more power than is available from any word processor, whilst still being easy to use. There are plenty of GUI front-ends, and some provide a word processor like preview, although to use all the power of LaTeX you still need to be able to handle the code. THe code is simple to learn, and very consistent, making it much simpler than writing a static HTML+CSS web page (although I would say that tables are a pain when hand-coding either), since virtually all the "styles" are predefined in templates available for download.

Pentagon chief: no more oil for blood, man


Nuclear future

Hopefully the world doesn't all change to nuclear power, otherwise Australia will need to be "liberated". (About 50% of the world's readily accesible Uraniukm supply is in Australia, with a very large part of that in one site in South Australia, along with a large amount of gold and other metals.)

BOFH: Dodging the auditors


No heart really...

If the PFY got sacked, then think of the difficulties he would have in finding a new one adn getting him trained up properly.

Suit blows £105k in London bar


IS Dubai dry?

IF so, then he could be doing a few weeks worth of drinking at once. Also, as other posters have pointed out, not only would there have been the 18 friends, but also a load of hangers-on and girls.

Anyway, it's better that he goes and spends all that in London than elsehwere, since that improves the British economy by adding a load of forgien cash.

Harry Potter and the Pedant of CIX



The word dumbeldore is used in Tales of Tom Bombadil, which is surely the origin of the name. No doubt re-reading the relevant poem would provide imortant clues about Dumbeldore's fate.

Day-of-silence protest hits Net radio



The retroactive fee is legal because the terms of the licence under which US net radio stations operate has a clause in the section regarding royalty rates which allows the rates for the next period to be decided once the period has begun, and made retroactive to the start of the time period.

The radio stations cannot stop broadcasting indefinitely, since were they to do so they would have no income from advertisements and so would go under very quickly.

Some pubs do pay the performers well, but it is definitely true that most do not. Many performers who signed record deals but which did not become major successes end up with enormous debts to the record companies for studio time and so forth.

Telstra in Second Life 'Ayers Rock' kerfuffle


It's a @#*%! rock

Ayer's Rock is precisely that: a big rock. Therfore no-one ca hold copyright on it, and there shoudl be no way that anyone can stop anyone else making a picture of any part of it.

I, as head of the International Reformed Pasatafrian church, declare Mt. Everest to be sacred, and forbid anyone to make images of the north face without paying me for the privilide.\end{bad_joke}

Even if the Aborignial adminsitration hold the title in freehold, (which I don't think they do, the land is crown land and the local council administers it), that would not give them the right to prevent others producing images of part of it, any more than a farmer could prevent a landscape painter from painting his farmlands

Doctor Who faces extermination


Old style Dr Who

What is needed is a return to the old style of Dr who, like it was when John Pertwee (my favourite Doctor) and Tom Baker were Doctors.Long series of episodes, with recurring villans (the Master, Daleks, Cybermen), with continueity between the episodes. Less of the flashy CGi and more stroyline would be good too.

The new cybermen are actually more like Daleks in humanoid shells than the original Cybermen, which were straignthforward robots, although of course a Dalek is a complete creature, whereas a new Cyberman is simply the CNS in a mechanical body.

THe Daleks in the Cult of Skaro episodes are old daleks, from the time war, not the new daleks which appeared in the episode at the end of series 1.

It would be good if a Time Lord refugee ship were found, along the lines of the Void Ship in the Torchwood Institute att eh end of Season 2., Either that or the doctor could land inside an abandoned TARDIS, and travel back in its timeline, to get back to teh version of the past when there were otehr time lords, and so save them. An explanaation fo how he killed off the time lords would be good too.

Mobile blocking helicopter to trail Bush in Sydney


Rumsfeld's visit to Australia

When Rumsfeld visited Adelaide, they shut down streets, including North Terrace, which is the second busiest street in the city centre right outside the Railway Station and Parliament House, and had armed US governement security (Secret Service?) agents acting as protection for him (South Australian Police are not normally armed, and private security may not carry concelaed weapons). The few South Australain police present were outnumbered bt american security. Even some nieghbouring buildings were cleared.

The whole point of this stupidity was to protect a forgien Secretary of State, at an insignificant meeting, in the last city in Australia where any sort of attack would happen. With that sort of stupidity, they should clear out the entirety of Sydney to make sure Bush is safe.

The heliocopter is surely there not to carry a jammer, but to assist the police chase away any undesireable people. I hope that bush is going to pay for all this security for his visit, or the Liberal Party, who want this visit for electoin propaganda. A big protest would be a serious embarrassment to Howard, especially as Labor now are ahead of the coalition in the opinion polls.

Seriiously, a few fantics with molotovs could start a riot amoungst teh protesters, at one end of th eroute, and both kill or wound bush and escape in the confusion.

Jay Peabey, which city?

Euro consumers don't trust IP for TV


The french have it right

THe French have managed to get something set up better than the rest of Europe! Assuming the TV is any good this is probably one of the better deals I can think of, witht eexception of the 2Gbit connections in Shoreditch.

BOFH: The revenge



This was introduced before the BOFH in the Register, when Simon goes back to supervise his old job of Operator in a University. Is replacement is a Pimply Faced youth, whi thinks that he is there to help users. Within a few minutes, he reailses the error of his ways, and promptly orders the Simon out of the office. Shortly after that, the pair get a plum job in the business world, courtesy of the PFY's uncle, and the stories moved to The Register.

London dirty-bomb tests start this weekend


Fear, not deaths

After the post 9/11 anthrax scare int eh USA, someone in one of teh major news companies commented that if someone were to spray a sporrts stadium with water from a crop duster, the panic alone could kill a large number of people and cause a huge amount of chaos.

Net censorship growing worldwide


Not filtered

The internet should not be filtered, rather if somoen posts illegal material in thier own country, that contry's judicial system should punish him in accordance with local laws, ideally making no distinction based on teh mode of distribution. i have already explained my ideas on the governance and regulation of the interenet based on cc-tlds and regional IP address allocations (in short, each cc-tld is only avaliable to IP addresses from that country, the laws of the country from which the domain coems are the laws which apply).

just as it would not be illegal for me to listen to hate speech on a US radio broadcats while in the UK, but would be illegal for me to broadcast hate speach myself, reading and posting on teh internet shhould be considered the same way.

How to fix your kids' education for $200m



If BBC Jam were a new independent trust, with a charter to act as a portal for all childrens learning for all governemnt trusts, with the individual subject area staff rolled into the seperate museums. Thus the Science and Natural History Museums could cover most of science, each of the major history museums, adn the IWM, could cover history, the arts would be covered by the V&A, major galleries, the National Teatre, and so forth. Teh same staff could cary on doing the same jobs, they would simply be in new offices. Provided thier superiors knew what the score was, everything should work well.

Of course, a better solution would be to simply ignore the ruling,a dn refuse to pay any fines imposed. THe sheer panic caused by the threat of Britain ignoring unwanted instructions and he fact that the UK sends more money to Brussels than it recieves back, would be at least a worry. to Brussels

Illinois baby issued with firearms permit


Time of Emergency

I thought that the US constitution only allowed civiliians to bear arms in a time of emergency. Since most parts of the USA are not in a State of Emergency, guns are not permitted to be borne by civilians in those areas.

By the logic expounded by the gun lobby, it would be reasonable to fit ship which travel through certain parts of the Indian Ocean, where piracy is rife, with perhaps 4" guns (18" RADAR-controlled guns would be a bit excessive, but a 4" gun could make a reall mess of a boatload of men with AKs). (not necessarily a bad idea, not that I come to think of it, excet that then the pirates could easily use them too).

OTOH, if I were allowed to keep a gun (my residency contract explicitly forbids them, along with fireworks and "weapons of any sort", I might get one, if I could afford it. One might come in handy, and the running costs are negligible (ony govt. charges & a little maintenance)

On the whole, I am not against gun ownership, simply against stupid or insanely lax rules. A pistol, shotgun, or bolt-action rifle is oene thing, an M60 quite another.

Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB external hard drive


Good Lord!

What were they thinking when they designed that? Shame it would void hte warranty to cut it open and put it in a nice case which doesn't look like something out of the 80's. A nice, plain, aluminium (or even plain, scratch resisteant plastic) case with a few blue LEDs for power, disk activity and so on would have been prefeeable to this ugly thing. You would ave thought they would make it eitehr a neutra design, so it looks OK with everything, or something which shows at least a vauge resemlence to a closed laptop.

Looks apart, it seems like a reasonable piece of Tech, although not so cheap or good as some of the 3.5" external SATA drive cases with USB and eSATA plugs and a seperate HDD, although they do require you to put it together yourself.

Printing "Hello" on the bags seems like someone just couldn't think of anything better to put there, but wanted to fill the space.

No end in sight for Vista's Long Goodbye



I have not heard about copying problems from the dozen or so vista users where I live, but since it is late at night here, I can't be bothered to wake them up until tomorrow.

I wonder if there has been any code like some from windows 2K comments like "this is my first c program", "I don't really understand this but it seems to work" (this had a reply "I don't know either, leave it alone"), which were all reported to have been in the source code. I think the forst of those was from FDISK, and had been in every 32-bit windows at least up to XP.

From what I have read, some of the problem appears to be from the fooling around generating thumbnails. This seems to be something vista does badly, since both Tiger and XP manges to generate thumbnails for, between them most file types which can have thumbnails, and don't seem to waste huge amounts of time doing so. (I am not a Mac fan, I just use them at Uni. I have used OpenSuse/KDE, XP home and pro, adn Tiger in the lst two months, and they are all better for some things than otehrs, except for XP home). Under XP i have tried to cut down on teh use of Tumbnails, since I have better things to waste HDD space on than pretty pictures to remind me whats in files with stupid names. If I can't figure out what a file is for from its location adn name, that tells me to rename it, not use a pretty picture to remind me.

How Google translates without understanding


not a 1:1 correlation

There are plenty of words for which there is not a 1:1 correlation between two languages, and even concepts for which the words might be shared in one language but not in antoehr. For example, I have heard that in Russian, a common word for "proper" in teh sense of correct behavior is the same as a word for "convienient". thus if i were to ask someone to bribe anotehr for me, and they were to respond (in Russian) that to do so would be improper, a statistical amchine translator would probably translate the response as teh person saying that it would be inconvienint for them to do it. Since it requires a reasonable amount of common sense, it would be hard for a computer to understand the context of the discussion and so figure out which word is correct, especially if the context has to be inferred from a previous paragraph, or a seperate piece of text altogetehr.

I bet that if you translated something using any machine translator into written hebrew, and than back into any western language of your choice, the tenses would be completely mangled, since Hebrew relies on the reader figuring out the tense and putting in the right inflection. (consider the story of Jesus preaching in the Synagouge in Nazareth).

A better means of translation would be to write sentences in some form of internationalised programming language, which unambiguosly describes the relation between concepts, and the tenses involved. Then it would be a far simpler task to compile the text into readable text. Of course, you would still want to have original language text for anything where exact replication fo the text is necesarry, such as poetry, legal document and so forth.



Systems vs. Networks again

Maybe Simon Travilga wants to have some fun with a war between systems and networks again. Remember, when the BOFH first worked for the PFYs uncle, he was only networks, and had to get control over systems. Again, when he and the PFY were headhunted, the same thing happened. Maybe he wants to have another battle between Systems and Networks in a month or two. That could give loads of fun with electrified CAT5, explosives, hacked doors, and so on, before Systems comes back under his control, which could last for a few months, on and off, without loosing such chaacters as the janitor and the security guard.

Schoolboy scammer caught again



He should have worked through a proxy (TOR?) from a public computer which does not keep access logs, t set up a site in some bannana republic where they will not bother to investigate him. Once the site is up and working (all the design and testing can be done from home, before uploading it), all he has to do is sit back and profit, with money going into an overseas bank account.

How do you carry your mobile phone?



Phone on the left, iPod on the right in a clamshell, wallet and key card in the left pocket, USB sticks around my neck, and keys in the right pocket. Aprt from my wallet, which rarely has much money in it, the other items are palinly visible when my shirt is tucked in.

My phone's holster has a swiveling clip on it, so that the phone can be clipped to ones belt in an easily reachable position without it sticking in one stomach. Now I jist wish my iPod's clamshell had one too. I doo sometimes wear my keys and phone on my neck, when I am running/cycling or in the gym,.

ICANN pushes for public participation in top level domains


Internationalised Domain Names

Couldn't there be a prefix to the domain name transmitted to the DNS to specify "this sequence of bytes represents Unicode text, not ASCII", to allow any unicode text to be used as a domain name. Existing ASCII records would need to be converted to Unicode, but that would be a trviial change, except for the added disk space required to store the larger text strings.

Personally, i think that gTLDs hould be scrapped altogether, witht eh exception of .ORG, and .ARPA. a .UN TLD can be used for all UN sites. Every other site would be under a ccTLD, and operates soley under that countrys laws. THus any business which is conducted on a .RU domain which contravenes US law but is legal in Russia is legal no matter where the the person on either end might physically be lcated, because they would be considered to have temporarily teleported to the country where the domain name is registered to sign any contracts made. if goods are purchased, the position should be the same as if I had gone to, Country A to place a contract with a person from Country B to supply me with goods from the Country C, for which I will pay by transferring money from my bank account in counrty D to his in Country E. This solves issues of juristiction in internet crimes and civil matters such as IP violations. It also sorts out taxation and otehr government regulation of web activity.

Moto gives thumbs-up to 'imperial purple' RAZR



Cardinals wear red, not purple. Have you never seen The Three Musketeers?

Lords investigate 'unconstitutional' surveillance society


not FDR, but Thomas Jefferson

The quote above is usually attributed to Thomas Jefferson.

To defeat th facial recognition systems, we should all start a mass campaign to get people to wear bikie beards, balaklavas, big coyboy-type hats, face covering robes or scarves or something similar (not forgetting the tin-foil hat). HTe last option, an arab robe or something of that sort, is perfect, beacuse if anyone tries to get you to take it off, you could threaten to sue him for racial discrimination adn any related offence you could think of. OTOH, I think i will jst wear my big hat.

'IE8 compatible' - the cure for web standards headache?



Who uses frontpage anymore? Coding monkeys would at least be using Dreamweaver. At least we are not seeing the useless Word HTML pages so much anymore.

Maybe the solution to teh MSIE compatability problems would be to use an IE exploit to force download Fx and open the page in that ;-)

Spanish flag flies over Gibraltar



We did give the Soanish back Minorca (as part of the Peace of Aimeins), so they should be happy with what they got.

I would say that it would be fair for the Spanish to have Gibraltar if they give us Madrid, Barcelona, and enough sities that the number of people who want to be part of the UK is as great as it is in Gibraltar. And good luck to the Spanish if they can do it.

Maybe the solution would be to destroy their navy again? We don't need Admiral Hornblower, we ned Lord Nelson adn Sir Francis Drake.