* Posts by Charlie van Becelaere

370 posts • joined 3 May 2007


Co-inventor of the computer mouse, William English, dies

Charlie van Becelaere


"The Mother of All Demos", an event on 9 December 1968 in San Francisco

That demo still amazes - at least as long as one has some concept of what was happening in computing at that time. It's quite amazing.

I'll hoist a pint in English's honour even though I do try to do as much as I can without using the mouse - I'm still keyboard-first.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

"How about "Sent from my quantum computer at CIA Headquarters"?"

Or better, "Routed through the quantum computers at the NSA."

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

Charlie van Becelaere

Over the years

I've used nearly every MS OS from DOS 6 through Windows 10, missing only 2000, Vista, and 8. I think my favourite was 7 (although OS/2 Warp ran Windows better than Windows, and I still have fond memories of that OS).

10 seems basically OK, but to agree with several others here, I'm not really thrilled with automatic updates of the spyware subsystems either. My Mint laptop chugs along quite nicely on a WinXP spec machine.

Google extends homeworking until this time next year – as Microsoft finds WFH is terrific... for Microsoft

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: WFH is also good

So long as Cthulhu doesn't talk back or make useful suggestions, you're probably fine.

As my Dad has said to me many times, "I know the voices in my head aren't real, but sometimes they have such good ideas."

USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: What are they going to do with the heat?

"Back of the fag(*)-packet calculation"

Is there really any space to write out any calculations there? I should think they're filled with warnings and notices of enhanced flavour and whatnot.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: There's more than one way to stop a server room

Thumbs up for "Cowboy and Witless!"

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: We need to get the hat trick on this conspiracy theory!!

Not exactly what you requested, and not exactly current anymore, but here's an "interesting" further development possibility -


51 years after humans first set foot on the Moon, a deepfaked Nixon mourns how Armstrong and Aldrin never made it home

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Alternative fakery


Oh, sorry. Wenslydale's my name. I thought you were talking to me.

Captain, the computer has identified 250 alien stars that infiltrated our galaxy – actual science, not science-fiction

Charlie van Becelaere

“At the LHC, we have incredible simulations, but we worry that machines trained on them may learn the simulation and not real physics," said Bryan Ostdiek

That's one of the wisest things I've heard from a lab in a long time.

NASA mulls going all steam-punk with a fleet of jumping robots to explore Saturn and Jupiter's mysterious moons

Charlie van Becelaere


"Each complete bot is about the size of a soccer ball...."

That's nearly the same as a football, no?

NASA to send Perseverance, a new trundle bot, and Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, to sniff out life on Mars in July

Charlie van Becelaere

Avoiding Contamination

"Scientists are going to be looking for trace chemicals from billions of years ago, and must be careful not to contaminate the vehicle with any material from Earth."

So they're importing materials for its construction from other planets?

Dude, where's my laser?

Charlie van Becelaere

It's always aliens!

Remember that time we used up a whole bog roll in a day? You thought that was aliens as well.

The aliens use it to clean their probes, natch.

NASA renames dark-energy telescope after its first Chief of Astronomy and Mother of Hubble: Nancy Grace Roman

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: "The Coronagraphic Instrument is an exoplanet hunter"

Hardly. Corona has barely enough colour to distinguish it from water.

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll

Charlie van Becelaere

I'm not sure

from reading the article whether GNOME paid anything to the trolls. I'm hoping they didn't, but my very close skimming of the text doesn't give me any certainty. Do we know? Did they pay some kind of permanent protection money, or are the trolls really afraid?

NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and thirteenth man on the Moon by 2024

Nope. Buzz Aldrin is going again.

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

Charlie van Becelaere

Nerd Check

It's not clear from the article whether this fellow was wearing chain or plate. I need to know so I can check his armour class.

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Meanwhile in Bristol....

Here's hoping Banksy will add some artistry to the walls.

There's a world out there with a hexagon vortex over its pole packed with hydrocarbon ice crystals. That planet is Saturn

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: The 7 mists are really 7 veils

Now now, let's try to keep our heads, shall we?

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Charlie van Becelaere


reasons for this one:



Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Paris...

"Is that a less colourful version of CMYK?"

Not really, just less dark.

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: To be clear ...

I have no doubt that I shall be using the phrase "economies of truth" frequently.

Cheers, and have one on me!

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92

Charlie van Becelaere


I've never seen any of the movies (but Depardieu as Obelix does strike me as inspired casting), and I've not read any of the books in years, probably not since school days in French class.

I think my library needs a bit of expansion.

RIP, M. Uderzo.

All roads lead to Bork in Kansas as Windows puts on a show for motorists

Charlie van Becelaere


"Still, it's nice to see that problem being shared with drivers."

Aren't many Windows problems due to shared drivers?

The show Musk go on: Tesla defies Silicon Valley coronavirus lockdown order, keeps Fremont factory open

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Unless you're eating the loo roll . . .

Plenty of fibre there (especially the tasty middle!)...

It's Baaaaaack (or is it?): Microsoft Teams suffers a Tuesday totter

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: We need remote cattle prods ASAP!

Perhaps that could be wired to the "any" key?

Broadcom sues Netflix for its success: You’re stopping us making a fortune from set-top boxes, moans chip designer

Charlie van Becelaere
Paris Hilton

Re: Hopefully...

" As bad as Apple. Anyone starts making money, they sue "Only we're allowed to make money!" "

But you've forgotten that Apple have filed a patent on making money. Of course there may be prior art ....

(Paris, because she has prior art as well.)

Meltdown The Sequel strikes Intel chips – and full mitigation against data-meddling LVI flaw will slash performance

Charlie van Becelaere
Paris Hilton

"Just like Meltdown, Spectre, the MSD attacks and the SWAPGS attack discovered in the past, the LVI-LFB attack once again defeats security boundaries enforced at the silicone level," Botezatu said.

At first I thought it was supposed to be silicon, then I remembered Paris.

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

Charlie van Becelaere

This wouldn't have happened

had they stuck with OS/2.

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!

Charlie van Becelaere

Named "Dave" by the increasingly unimaginative Reg-onymiser

So real name Rodney?

No, real name Dave.

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

Charlie van Becelaere

Well done

An extra upvote simply for using the word mendicants.

Now I'm off for a dose of my special mendication.

HP hostile takeover warms up: Xerox queues print job cash_and_shares.pdf, mails it to the board to mull over

Charlie van Becelaere

Why do I get the feeling

that Xerox may find hardware / software / services contracts intermingled in a none-too-transparent way?

Caveat Emptor!

Blow me down with a feather, well, storage server software update gone awry: Nest vid streams go dark for 16 hours

Charlie van Becelaere


Total Inability To Suck Up Privacy.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

Charlie van Becelaere

Didn't have to fix it

but I did use a TI Professional Computer way back when.

That was my first experience with a machine with a hard drive rather than two 5.25" floppy drives. A whopping 5MB drive, and it was stunningly nice to work on with (as I recall) WordStar and Lotus 1-2-3. Ctrl K D anyone!

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Aliens? Or something more prosaic? We're hoping for aliens

It's probably a faux traffic jam.

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Carefull

Sorry about my upvote - it took you to 43. I should have left well enough alone.

Yahoo! hack! payout! nearly! approved! and! the! question! is! how! to! spend! 60! cents!?

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: "Yeah, we're using vague as a verb."

"Verbing weirds language."

And languaging weirds verbs and gerunds.

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Recycling

> vCue Steptoe & Son theme.

Perhaps Quark? A 1970s series following a space garbage scow (or so I remember it) with great hilarity meant to ensue.

We need to make it even easier for UK terror cops to rummage about in folks' phones, says govt lawyer

Charlie van Becelaere


"Americanisation of British Economic Democracy."

Properly, I believe that would be the Americanization of British Economic Democracy. Might as well just go all the way and honor <sic> the correct spelling.

How a Kaggle Grandmaster cheated in $25,000 AI contest with hidden code – and was fired from dream SV job

Charlie van Becelaere

Yes, they did "upgrade" it by adding footnotes explaining many of the cultural references which no longer resonate.

I found it a bit depressing to realise that most of the "humour" in that book now required footnotes. (At any rate, most of the character names did.)

BOFH: You brought nothing to the party but a six-pack of regret

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Learnings


I generally vet my comments with a recent copy of "How to Speak Well English."

Eggheads have crunched the numbers and the results are in: It's not just your dignity you lose with e-scooters, life and limb are in peril, too

Charlie van Becelaere

Drunk or High

All in all, you'd have to be a damn idiot to ride on those things drunk or high, without a helmet.

There, fixed that for you.

It's always DNS, especially when you're on holiday with nothing but a phone on GPRS

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: No Service

I managed to find one spot in the Taquhamenon Falls State Park campground where there was a mobile signal. If I moved a metre or so in any direction - nothing at all. Checked my work email (I know, foolish move) only to find a global "reply all" incident running rampant. Filled my poor Blackberry (yes, this was some time ago) with idiotic messages such as "please remove me from this thread" also replied to all.

Still, some of the best camping, hiking, sight-seeing I've done in a long time.

Want to live long and prosper? Avoid pirated, malware-laden Star Wars free vid streams – and pay to watch instead

Charlie van Becelaere
Thumb Up


for the mixing of franchises!

No doubt it will cause great angst and pain much as the below-referenced shirt:


Valuable personal info leaks from Facebook – not Zuck selling it, unencrypted hard drives of staff data stolen

Charlie van Becelaere

"This theft impacts current and former Facebook employees only and no Facebook user data was involved."

It's good to know that no Facebook employees are Facebook users - makes one feel all the more secure knowing they eat their own dog food as it were.

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Scientific error

Ah, but the clever boffins actually weighed the cans to determine the loss of "beer" rather than measuring the volume. [One assumes they assiduously wiped/dried the outside of each can before weighing, as some (most?) of the lost liquid might well have clung to the can.]

One also wonders how damp the lab coats of said boffins were by the end of this procedure.

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: A quirky investigation into why AI does not always work

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: It's when they're at cat level

I really don't need an AI to knock the things off my tables.

Found on Mars: Alien insects... or whatever the hell this smudge is supposed to be, anyway

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: No oxygen

Professor Quatermass, I presume?

Questions hang over Gatwick Airport after low level drone near-miss report

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: My first thought?

I think I found the footage in an open AWS bucket.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: you still have turnpikes in England?

More pertinent, at least to Gary, is the fact that they still have turnpikes in New Jersey:


Robotics mastermind admits: I pushed over my 1-year-old daughter to understand balance

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: The automated pushover

Thumbs up and a beer on me for the Firesign Theatre reference~



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