* Posts by Charlie van Becelaere

359 posts • joined 3 May 2007


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~

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: The problem with discrete Object detection

"I don't expect self driving vehicles around these parts for a very long time."

As a drive-on-the-right-side-of-the-road driver recently driving in Devon I totally concur with your expectation here.

I was about to head up a road much like the one you describe but decided that discretion would be the better part of valour and turned around and found a different route. Perhaps we'll get a bit of Robin Hood v. Little John action when two autonomous vehicles meet on a single lane?

Cambridge boffins and Google unveil open-source OpenTitan chip – because you never know who you can trust

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: I don't know

You know, we need a turtle icon for our comments.

It's comments all the way down, after all.

Antarctic researchers send an SOS to the world: Who wrote this message in a bottle?

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Quite a trip!

Also note: "Sorry, your search appears to be outside our current coverage area for driving. "

No luck getting directions to the Mountains of Madness either.

Astroboffins rethink black hole theory after spotting tiny example with its own star buddy

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Which would suggest "gravity" as TWO separate strengths.

" isn't the bottom line still we haven't the faintest idea what gravity really is ?"

There is no bottom line. It's turtles all the way down.

Microsoft explains self-serve Power platform's bypassing of Office 365 admins to cries of 'are you completely insane?'

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

"Congratulations, you completed Word Town!

Next stop, Excelville!

Don't want to wait? Purchase a Fast Travel for $2.99!"

- Office 365 Saga

Oh, sorry, you just died of dysentery.

Time to check who left their database open and leaked 7.5m customer records: Hi there, Adobe Creative Cloud!

Charlie van Becelaere
Thumb Up

Re: Only amateurs use cloud editing software

Thumbs up for the Stargate reference!

Slow down, ice-on-Mars fans: Those 'streams' on Red Planet may be caused by landslides

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Pah

Could be Therns, eh?

Remember the 1980s? Oversized shoulder pads, Metal Mickey and... sticky keyboards?

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: ties

I had a coworker get his tie caught in the document shredder, but he managed to kill the power before it went full Fargo on him.

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Tobacco smoke


I once had the misfortune of visiting BAT HQ by Temple Tube, in London, back in the day."

I hope I was not the only one expecting a tale of cleaning bat guano from a keyboard.

One shudders to imagine, yet cannot help but do so.

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Automatic User Name Creation

Said list needs to be shared with the wider readership here ... for research puposes, of course.

When the satellite network has literally gone glacial, it's vital you snow your enemy

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Ah, those laser links....

Or a military coop...



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