* Posts by frank ly

6077 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way

frank ly

Re: up to 1,000 kelvin (726.85 degrees Celsius).

If you say it's 700 degC then someone will complain that it's more like 730 degC, etc.

Dutch cops hope to cuff 'hundreds' of suspects after snatching server, snooping on 250,000+ encrypted chat texts

frank ly

Re: Sending a message

"He added that police moved on the criminal operation to forestall “retaliatory action” between members accusing each other of snitching to the cops."

They were worried about damage from many bullets flying?

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

frank ly

Re: What Bargain Is That Then?

I save £25 a month by not buying a dead tree newspaper every day, as I used to do many years ago. Add in the online magazines I read and it does make my monthly broadband cost seem worth it.

Fight AI with AI! Code taught to finger naughty deepfake vids made by machine-learning algos

frank ly

Fake Deepfakes

"Next, they warped and twisted the facial features in the images to mimic the eerie effects often seen in deepfake vids."

So, they made a system that detects their own fake deepfake videos. Did they test the final product with real deepfakes?

Google logins make JavaScript mandatory, Huawei China spy shock, Mac malware, Iran gets new Stuxnet, and more

frank ly


"... Stuxnet was able to physically destroy uranium subterfuges, ..."

I thought it was the Stuxnet subterfuge that destroyed the uranium centrifuges. Have I misunderstood what happened?

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage

frank ly

Re: Reminds me of something I heard a long time ago...

If it took 5 hours it must have been a difficult job with lots of hard work involved, obviously, er ..... as I always told management.

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym

frank ly


Does anyone remember travelleing wave amplifier tubes? They are called 'travelling wave tube amplifiers' now. I remember noticing the change in the literature and brochures many years ago.

The name of a conference doesn't make the attendees behave in a childish or sexist manner; that behavior is already present in them and will find an outlet or expression somehow, someway, anyway.

Jeez, not now, Iran... Facebook catches Mid East nation running trolly US, UK politics ads

frank ly

Re: Security - Now Hiring

I had a mental image of hot air balloons and weather balloons being hijacked and ......... nevermind.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

frank ly

Re: Racist?

You seem to be making fun of a Chinaman. That is not cool dude.

Openreach hacks full-fibre broadband prices for developers... Property developers, that is

frank ly

Put curtains on the windows, a tv antenna on the roof and a number on the door. That should convince them.

Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

frank ly

Just wondering

"...any malicious attacker (even if they get access to a customer's data) cannot also reach other customers or the provider's control plane,”..."

Is there any possibility that Oracle will use the internet to access their control plane for monitoring/controlling their remote cloud corrals?

Excuse me, but have you heard the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Chr-AI-st?

frank ly


"... made burned offerings ..." vs "... burned incense ..."

There is a practical difference but I've no idea if accuracy is important here. That particular difference is probably due to text differences between the two versions and nothing to do with 'style'.

I'd be impressed if it could rewrite an article from El Reg in the style of Revelations, etc.

Break out the jelly and ice cream! Microsoft's Small Basic turns 10

frank ly


"... was first announced back in 2008 although it took until 2011 for the first stable release to make an appearance."

Is anyone surprised by this?

Euro eggheads call it: Facebook political ads do change voters' minds – and they worked rather well for Trump in 2016

frank ly

Re: Gosh

There is a difference between 'advertising your opinion' and making 'better, more persuasive arguments'. It's just that some people aren't aware of the difference and so are easily influenced.

It's big, it's blue, and it'll be raining down on you – it's 3200 Phaethon

frank ly


"Them as it whizzes through Earth’s atmosphere, bits and pieces of the object break off."

I thought that Earth whizzes through the debris trail it leaves behind, which then wizzes down through the atmosphere.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

frank ly

Re: QA Prestige

Everybody hates testers. Developers hate them because they find faults in the developer's baby and managers hate them because they slow down acceptance and release by finding faults. The really 'bad' ones find flaws in the test methodology and make formal reports about it. (I know, I was a software and system tester for many years.)

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

frank ly

Mistakes Happen

Here in the UK, I was told, by a roofer, about another roofer who took off and replaced the roof slates of the wrong house. I seems his clients had arranged for it to be done while they were on holiday and it was the holiday season so the owners of the 'wrong house' were also away on holiday.

Happy 60th birthday, video games. Thank William Higinbotham for your misspent evenings

frank ly


"However, as his employer, any licensing cash would have headed the government's way."

That's why you get your brother (or similar person) to 'invent' it and then appoint you to the board.

A DeepMind library to help build reinforcement learning bots, and how Google's Pixel 3 cameras handle zoom

frank ly

Re: Who's Pussy Footing Around ....

Something made you resonate. What exactly was it? This could be important.

Haunted disk-drive? This story will give you the chills...

frank ly


The condensation would form when they took the discs out of the cool safe and exposed them to a relatively warm and damp old office full of people breathing.

Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own

frank ly

Re: Higher Power?

Can the downvoters explain why it's a bad/silly/stupid idea?

frank ly

Higher Power?

How about activating the Administrator account (and logging in as Administrator) to remove Edge, etc? Or will it throw a wobbly and reinstall it?

I once had to log in as Administrator to wipe some Wacom tablet drivers that had been borked by a MS update because it wouldn't let me unistall them or delete them while using my normal account.

Ding ding! Round Two: Second annual review for transatlantic data flow deal Privacy Shield

frank ly

Re: Reticence

It's refute vs deny in modern politician speech.

Raspberry Pi fans up in arms as Mathematica disappears from Raspbian downloads

frank ly

Cross Distro?

Am I right in assuming this will only work on the Raspberry Pi, even if you did try to install all dependencies? (I had a quick look at the installation script.)

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

frank ly

Re: Goodnight, Firefox

I use QuiteRSS: http://quiterss.org

It has an internal WebKit browser but you can set it to open and use any external browser instead (Palemoon for me). I've been very happy with it for about two years now.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

frank ly


Why did he try a brand new monitor if his own known-to-be-working monitor didn't work when connected?

Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

frank ly


So called because of how you'd feel if you fell/landed on them.

Apache OpenOffice, the Schrodinger's app: No one knows if it's dead or alive, no one really wants to look inside

frank ly


"... our drivers are mostly of altruistic and hedonistic nature,"

That explains why I can't get it to print properly.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

frank ly


"... when you hold it in your hand it feels like a phone that costs $350,"

Is that a justification for what it can/can't do or a justification for the price?

LinkedIn has a Glint in its eye and cash burning a hole in its pocket

frank ly

"... spank a few million on an acquisition ..."

The expression is '... spunk a few million ..."

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

frank ly

17.7 billion kilometres from Earth

Or, about 118 AU while Pluto never gets more than 49 AU away (from the Sun).

However, The Goblin goes out to 2000 AU so where does our solar system end? Does The Goblin go out into 'interstellar space' before coming back again in its orbit?

Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO

frank ly

@smudge Re: a national newspaper, which recorded the data

The reason the newspaper made a copy was in case HAL then denied that it had ever lost the USB stick. That would not be beyond the bounds of possibility or reason.

Also, it would have been useful if HAL then did lose the returned USB stick and asked for a copy for its investigations.

US Congresscritters discover Wi-Fi, updates on Oz's nbn broadband plan and much more

frank ly

Congressional Wi-Fi Caucus

Spelling correction: Congressional Wi-Fi Circus.

It's over 9,000! Boffin-baffling microquasar has power that makes the LHC look like a kid's toy

frank ly

@diodesign Re: LHC = 27Km circle

We're always happy, especially when we're picking (black) holes in articles.

Hunt for Planet X finds yet another planetoid, just not the right one

frank ly

Re: Planet X?

It's very confusing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planets_beyond_Neptune#Planet_X

"Not to be confused with the hypothetical planet first proposed in 2014 known as Planet Nine, which is sometimes called Planet X."

frank ly

The Goblin is very eccentric


With an orbital period of 34,000 years, it goes out to about 2,000 AU at it's furthest distance so the astronomers were lucky to see it. Also, those distant objects tend to have orbital planes that are quite inclined compared to the major planets and so you need to observe a much larger region of the sky to have a chance of seeing them.

There may be (probably are) many more similar objects out there that are just too far away to see or detect at this time, unless we go exploring or make some amazing detection equipment.

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

frank ly

Re: Have fun!

"I've never seen so much fuss made about a provision that - by current international standards - is still incredibly mild ..."

Yes, we're not as bad as the worst ones so it must be acceptable.

Robot Operating System gets the Microsoft treatment

frank ly

ROS is permissive FOSS


"The core of ROS is licensed under the standard three-clause BSD license. This is a very permissive open license that allows for reuse in commercial and closed source products."

Stand by for 'embrace, extend and extinguish'.

Facebook: Up to 90 million addicts' accounts slurped by hackers, no thanks to crappy code

frank ly

Re: "using people's cellphone numbers [...] to target them with adverts"

I still have an old Nokia 6310i (a lovely phone) that I've fitted with a PAYG sim card with £10 on it. I intend to use that phone if I ever have to set up 2FA by text for anything and it will only ever be turned on for that purpose.

(Also it has to be turned on at least every six months to make a call to my landline to keep the SIM card active. I don't have to pickup the landline for that to work. That's a calendar event with an alert to remind me every four months.)

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

frank ly

Typing Cleaners

Some years ago, a colleague was developing an application as a user interface to a real time controller/monitor for an industrial process. He ran it overnight (connected to a process simulator box) to make sure it was working and stayed working but it kept throwing up errors the next morning.

Eventually, he figured it out and disconnected the keyboard for his overnight runs. The cleaner was running her duster or cloth over the keyboard.

Australia, US and Japan want Huawei local submarine cable project

frank ly

"Carouso said America is working to take a bigger trade and investment role in this region, but that has been hampered by complex processes and too many private and public sector bodies making PNG difficult to deal with."

That short paragraph gives the impression that it's PNG's fault and PNG's private and public sector bodies complicating things. I assume you mean that the USA's private and public sector bodies are getting in the way?

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

frank ly


Here in the UK too, it's callers who pay, not the callee. I was amazed when I read that the callee pays in the USA. It's almost as if the payments system was designed to benefit robocallers and similar organisations and encourage them to make lots of calls.

Working Apple-1 retro fossil auctioned off to mystery bidder for $375,000

frank ly

He had a terrible cramped handwriting style and it actually asks for $45 in bit-coins.

Some credential-stuffing botnets don't care about being noticed any more

frank ly

Re: The Chinese regularly try and hack my little word press site

I don't have a Wordpress site or anything associated with that, but I do have a little FTP server appliance at home (with an obscure username and password) that is connected to the internet (port forwarding via my router). Soon after I set it up, the logs were full of login attempts and attempts to access folders that had names associated with Wordpress configuration folder path names.

I tried moving it to an obscure port location like 56823 which stopped the attempted accesses for about a week. Then, some port scanning person found it and tried to log in. After a week, he must have told all his 'friends' because the attempts to get to Wordpress types of folder pathnames started up again.

The majority of IP addresses associated with this behaviour came from China, East asia and Eastern Europe. It may be some kind of hobbyist/cottage industry type thing that I assume sells the details of successful attempts to more 'professional' criminal groups.

If it's connected to the internet, somebody will notice it and try to get into it.

No, that Sunspot Solar Observatory didn't see aliens. It's far more grim

frank ly

Wrong way around?

"The statement added that the small number of staff at the remote location made protection difficult."

So, if there had been only one person at the remote location, it would have been very difficult. If there had been no staff there, it would have been impossible to protect them?

Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

frank ly

Re: I love physics

"throw it at the wall and see what sticks"

Same for pasta.

Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

frank ly

"... profits of $197m on revenues of $38bn."

Their accountants are brilliant!

Planning on geeking out at CA World this year? Think again

frank ly

Due Diligence

They want to put all their attention into assessing the amount of goodwill in the balance sheets.

Florence and the Machines: Data centers brace as hurricane smashes into US coast

frank ly


"We start raising awareness to upper management and tracking possible weather events."

That seems to imply that upper management neded to be made aware of what was happening out in the wider world.

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

frank ly

@Steve The Cynic Re: Correct translation

Thank you for a good example of why gender has nothing to do with sex. It's a grammatical thing. The word seems to have been hijacked to mean "How I express my sexuality and how I feel about myself."