* Posts by albaleo

240 publicly visible posts • joined 20 May 2009


Japan's SLIM unexpectedly wakes up on Moon after month-long nap


Re: Ohaiyo gozaimasu


Japan's second-ranked mobile telco to buy convenience store chain from Mitsubishi


Re: "self-serve fuelling facilities"?

I get your point - most convenience stores are on urban streets with little space. But the last three Lawsons I visited in Japan (albeit a few years ago) had petrol stations - one in Sakai (Osaka prefecture), one in Ehime, and one in Saitama. Oddly, I didn't drive to any of them, I was just walking by.

Greenpeace calls out tech giants for carbon footprint fumble


Re: Greenpeace is irrelevant and so is carbon dioxide

Rik doesn't understand that CO2 molecules don't care where their photons come from. So they'll absorb, and almost immediately re-radiate a photon that comes from any direction, from space or from the surface.

CO2 molecules may not care where photons come from, but I understand they have a preference for protons of certain wavelengths.

New information physics theory is evidence 'we're living in a simulation,' says author


Just an experiment

We may be just one of God's many experiments trying to answer its fundamental question of, "How the fuck did I get here?"

Japan's digital minister surrenders salary to say sorry for data leaks


Re: "such offers from execs and politicians are common in Japan as a type of mea culpa"

Not sure where you get your numbers from. I've read that the average income of House of Representatives members is over 22 million yen.


Man sues OpenAI claiming ChatGPT 'hallucination' said he embezzled money


I would probably trust GlasgowGPT over ChatGPT in terms of honesty.


Question: Can AI be trusted to provide accurate information?

Answer: Ha, trustin' AI is like trustin' yer pal wi a gammy leg to lead ye oot the pub - ye might get there, but yer gonna have tae drag him along the pavement on the way. But seriously, AI is only as good as the data that's fed intae it, and we aw know how much bullshit is on the internet. So ye cannae always rely on it tae provide ye accurate info, but it can be helpful at times. Ye just gotta take it wi a pinch of salt and use yer ain brain too, know whit a mean?

Mitsubishi gives up on Japan's first domestically manufactured passenger jet


Thanks. I didn't know that. Having lived in Japan for 15 years or so, I probably should have. (We used Daikin.)


Are you not thinking of Mitsubishi Electric - a separate company from MHI.

This ancient quasar may be the remains of the first-gen star that started us all


Re: Seeing back in time

as light travels at a speed, it is not instantaneous

This often hurts my head. From the light's point of view, is it not instantaneous? Doesn't distance shrink to zero at the speed of light? And so doesn't a photon know its destination when it starts its journey? (i.e. you can't intercept a photon) So how did that photon from the past know I was here?

Gentle answers please.

Girls Who Code books 'banned' in some US classrooms


Perhaps a simple misunderstanding

Is it possible someone read the book's title as "Girls Ho Code"?

Chips still down for Toyota: Low semiconductor supplies dampen output


Re: As expected with Just In Time

JIT is great ... when everything works well.

For the end producers such as Toyota, yes. But for parts suppliers further down the line it can be a problem.

Japan makes online insults a crime that can earn a year in jail


Re: Japan's efforts to protect online rights might therefore harm its reputation for human rights

If you are arrested for an alleged crime in Japan, you are facing a 99% chance of conviction.

That's not quite right. Following arrest, if the prosecutor decides to pursue the case, you face a 99% chance of conviction. Many cases are dropped and don't reach the court.

Microsoft Bing censors politically sensitive Chinese terms


Oh, you are awful

drag queens (who are often unfairly linked to sex work).

You must be kidding, dear. We do that kind of thing for free. Your place or mine?

Japan seeks to decentralize datacenters


"Another 24 percent of Japan's datacenters can be found in the Kansai region, near the cities of Nagoya and Kyoto."

Nagoya is in the Chubu region. Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto are the big cities in Kansai.

IT outage at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University enters second week


I don't know about the kids, but the first time I heard that reference was from a lecturer when I was a student there in the 1970s. He told a story about an Indian gentleman arriving in Edinburgh and asking a woman for help. "Excuse me. I'm looking for Hairy Twat."

JavaScript library updated to wipe files from Russian computers


Re: Any sanctions?

Is it the javascript that's the vulnerability or whatever lets the javascript code run? While there may be many headaches with javascript, it's still just a scripting language. Is it not what lets it wipe files that is the problem?

Threeshiba: Key Toshiba investor opposes firm's split


I wonder what the workers think. There's a lot of them.

Microsoft engineer fixes enterprise-level Chromium bug students could exploit to cheat in online tests


Not always so easy...

"Why would any competent engineer write an education system where the answers need to be in the client source instead of checked during submission?"

It's not always so straightforward. Tests have different purposes and different procedures. For example, there are tests where the question sequence will depend on the answers to previous questions. In such cases, sending data to the server after each student answer and then waiting for a response can be problematic when many students are taking the test and the school has poor infrastructure.

I work in the school testing field, but luckily in the test results reporting side and not the test delivery side. On the test delivery side, many things have to be considered, especially the importance and purpose of the test. For tests that really matter, the general guidance is that they be taken on school administered equipment.

Apple arms high-end MacBook Pro notebooks with M1 Pro, M1 Max processors


Re: Great but ...

"BBEdit, Transmit, Nisus"

So I'm not the only weirdo around. :-)

Fukushima studies show wildlife is doing nicely without humans, thank you very much


Re: Fukushima is big

Hmm. Peanuts in Fukushima are grown well away from the nuclear plant, or so I'm told. But perhaps no towel factories nearby, so remember to take one, just in case.


Fukushima is big

About half of Fukushima prefecture is further away from the nuclear plant site than parts of other neighbouring prefectures. Yet the word "Fukushima" seems to cause fear. An equivalent in the UK would be an accident at the Hartlepool nuclear power plant, and the problem being labelled "Durham".

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status


Tea biscuits inspire creativity and help develop life skills

My mum used to make something she called Australian Fudge by crushing tea biscuits, mixing various things (butter, sugar, dead flies, etc.), spreading it on a tray, and coating it with chocolate. And when I was about four, I got to do the crushing with a rolling pin - an important life skill.

Tea biscuits also tend to be safer for dunking in your tea - an important lesson we all learned as youngsters.

Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware


Re: Autocratic governments, that's a broad brush nowadays.

I guess as long as the people of Scotland continue to vote in a government that supports a referendum, we'll keep having them. Is that not what democracy's about?

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter


Re: Jumping To Conclusions

You make some good points.

I was an early user. The article talks of LiveCard being inspired by Hypercard. LiveCard was directly derived from Metacard which was originally a Hypercard-inspired program for Unix systems.

Although you can make full applications for various platforms and phones, I've tended to use it for small, personal tasks - password generator, report writing, calculations, name anonymizing, whatever. I tend to think of the LiveCode "stacks" more as clever documents than applications. And I imagine that is seen as an advantage at schools. Drag out three fields and a button on a "card/page". Add code to the button to multiply the content of field 1 by the content of field 2 and put the answer into field 3. Label the button "Multiply". Then take it from there.

I know to some, the English-like language is attractive, but I don't see it that way. Personally, I'd prefer if it was more Javascript-like, but that's just me (I like curly brackets).

Japan's bullet trains replace smoking rooms with Zooming rooms


Re: manga-style illustrations

That advance warning would translate as "going soon" in English. But as I never know whether I'm coming or going, I guess it makes little difference.


Re: Fast WiFi, Zoom Booth, 300km/h train Tokaido to Sanyo

Not quite so expensive. Currently it's about £100 from Osaka to Tokyo (one way - ¥14500).

The last time I rode it (about two years ago) was also with my father-in-law in a wheelchair. The disabled toilets on the train were impressive.

Apple responds to critics of CSAM scan plan with FAQs, says it'd block governments subverting its system


Re: They refused FBI pressure before

It seems I am wrong about this. I've just read that while iCloud files are encrypted, Apple has a key to unlock them.


Re: They refused FBI pressure before

"If it is to protect the cloud service and ONLY ever done on syncing photos, why not scan it there and avoid the whole privacy blow-up as it is widely know the iCloud is not encrypted and has already been handed over on demand"

That's not my understanding. I read repeatedly that everything stored on iCloud is encrypted. My understanding is that's why they are to hash pictures before they leave the device - so they can continue to keep encrypted content on iCloud. Can you point me to something that says I'm wrong about that?

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns


Apple have added a FAQ on their website. I presume this is in response to the various outcries.



Fair point. While Apple may not respond to El Reg's intrepid journalists, they have posted info at the link below. It contains links to a number of technical documents.


America tops ITU's Global Cyber Security Index, UK in tie for second with Saudi Arabia


A good read

Indices ranking national cybersecurity are like buses: none for ages, then two at once

As long as there's some interesting stuff to read at the bus stop while waiting, it shouldn't be a problem.

Green MSP calls on Scottish government to stop spending £4.7m a year with AWS after Amazon 'dumping' allegations


I think the wrong answer to the right problem. Dumping useable stuff seems a legitimate problem to tackle.

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills



I don't think these have been mentioned yet (a salt-pickled plum/apricot thingy). They are considered a standard hangover cure in Japan, and are a common breakfast accompaniment. Some will describe their nutritional benefits, but I think the big thing is their alkali content. The main benefit is that you can eat one or two when you wake up rather than wait a couple of hours for the black pudding and bacon. It makes the wait more comfortable.

Russia spoofed AIS data to fake British warship's course days before Crimea guns showdown


Re: Just a FYI

"Only Russia thinks it's Russia."

And the residents of Crimea I think.

AWS wins yet another UK public-sector contract – this time to provide £15m health data system for NHS Scotland


"whilst at the same time contributing significantly to the death of the High Street"

Is it not us plebs that are contributing more to that? We have a choice, and we choose to buy online (sweeping generalization).

But anyway, AWS is a little different from the Amazon shopping setup, at least in terms of target customers.

Average convicted British computer criminal is young, male, not highly skilled, researcher finds


It's not the average person we should worry about

I work in the education field - test results, etc. We give access to teachers and administrators. But recently, we give access to students. I point out possible issues and suggest that student access be completely separated from other users - different servers, different database, etc. I'm told not to worry - our students are not that clever, etc. Right, I think. The average student may not be that clever, but there are more of them than us. It takes only one clever bugger.

Their 'next job could be in cyber': UK Cyber Security Council launches itself by pointing world+dog to domain it doesn't own


Re: This information is grossly out of date

It's folk like you that put people like me out of business.

Scottish National Party members found among list of names signed up to rival Alba Party after website whoopsie


Re: Shocker

"free to turn Scotland into a cold facsimile of Cuba"

So somewhat more interesting than South Shields or Runcorn. Who wouldn't vote for that?

John Cleese ‘has a bridge to sell you’, suggests $69,346,250.50 price to top Beeple's virtual art record


Coming soon

may have to revive our infamous invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall to pay for the artwork

That day is not so far off.

Brit Conservative Party used 10 million people's names to derive their country of origin, ethnicity and religion according to ICO report


Re: Accuracy

I take it you're referring the use of "Nationalist" instead of "National" in the SNP's name. It's a fair point.

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations


Re: Polish Air Force War Memorial

I think the Italian community in Scotland mostly arrived long before World War II started. Many were interned during the war (and many died on the Arandora Star sinking).

Regarding Italian POWs, my mum used to tell me of a POW camp for Italian soldiers near where she lived in Kendal. No locks on the premises, and many girls cycling up there in the evening (for the cultural enhancements no doubt).

There are also many Polish descendants in Scotland from during the war.

As promised, Apple will now entertain suggestions from the hoi polloi on how it should run its App Store


Re: hoi polloi

"Another example is the distortion of the word "literally".

I'd say that's quite different. The complaints about the usage of "decimate" typically refer to its original meaning in Latin. (But even there, the original meaning is not so clear. Some say it was Latin slang.) In English, it has generally been used to refer to extensive damage or destruction of people or places. How many other words do we use in English with a meaning somewhat different from that in the original language? Century, ovation, forum, missile, toilet, ...


Re: hoi polloi

Please tell that to those who constantly rant on about the so-called misuse of "decimate".

Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles


Re: Not the robot edit I'd expected

I'm not sure what that says about me, but I found your version easier to read than the fucking original.


Re: Enough

I've always considered Scots and English as dialects of Geordie. They even have an army.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data


Re: User Error

"It amazes me that some readers of this august forum seemingly expect the tool to read the mind of the user"

I think it's the opposite. By changing data without any express instruction, Excel does try to read the mind of the user. It wouldn't be so bad if it only changed the appearance of the data, but kept the original data intact behind the scenes.

Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...


Re: Nobody wanted it..

"There wasn't any use case for doing both .Net and PHP on a single site I was ever requested of."

I work on a web project that uses both PHP and .Net on IIS. The PHP is used mainly by myself for one web application, and is used mainly to retrieve data from an MS SQL database. It works fine. I know there are those who would like to ditch the PHP element, but development work with .Net seems to take longer.

After 84 years, Japan's Olympus shutters its camera biz, flogs it to private equity – smartphones are just too good


Re: OM1

Thanks for that. It stirred memories. I also got an OM10 to replace a Zenit (forget the model). I couldn't afford on OM1. I eventually added a 100mm lens. Then I decided to move to Japan and sold the camera to pay for the air fare. But I held on to the extra lens. In Japan, after my second-or-so pay cheque, I bought an OM2. 40 years later, my son is still using that OM2 and the 100mm lens.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word


Re: Your PC is not a typewriter

Just to stir things up even more, I believe the original title was "The Mac is not a typewriter".

Don't be fooled, experts warn, America's anti-child-abuse EARN IT Act could burn encryption to the ground


as AG Barr announced

That company keeps getting weirder.