* Posts by Allan Dyer

135 publicly visible posts • joined 8 May 2007


Remembering the true* first portable computer

Allan Dyer

@would it never suffer the BSOD?

No, it has the MCOD (Mushroom Cloud Of Death) of course.

Microsoft offers Bing filth quick fix

Allan Dyer
Black Helicopters

psychological underware?

"It's an embarrassing slip that's going to do more for Bing's fortunes than any $100m-TV advertising campaign."

Perhaps more of a Freudian slip?

The return of the diskless PC

Allan Dyer

@Adrian Jones

No, the city of Rhodes will...

Mine's the 30 meter bronze one...

Gov spunks hundreds of thousands on mobe condom clip

Allan Dyer

mobe condom clip?

OK, I can see it's useful to store condoms with your mobile, but the design does seem a tad expensive, and isn't it more of a phone accessory, not a Gov. project?

Oh, you mean video clip? That would be really stupid - whoever heard of a successful Gov. information video?

BBC asks nicely to run second hacking demo

Allan Dyer

@Tony Paulazzo

Yep, that's too simplistic.

Where (anywhere on the internet) and what (vulnerable computers) are easy questions, the critical question is Who?, and getting enough proof for a court case. The BBC didn't track down the crims.

Blocking countries is not a good idea - too much collateral damage, too little effect on the bad guys.

Final Hubble spacewalk done and dusted

Allan Dyer
Thumb Up


Don't forget the support team - when I change a battery, I usually can't find which type it is before pulling it out, then I have to nip down the shops for the replacement. Apparently, the support team had all that figured out beforehand.

Chinese screw sex theme park

Allan Dyer
Black Helicopters

Chinese Sex Taboo?

Yet China is the world's most populous country...


Yorkshire boozer establishes 'smoking research centre'

Allan Dyer

@KnowAll Coward

"Smoking & Whaling equally abhorred"

Does this mean we can harpoon smokers and sell the meat?

Mine's the sou'wester.

Jail for Hong Kong techie who exposed stars' sex snaps

Allan Dyer


USB keychains are easy to loose. The correct approach is to classify your data, and encrypt (in storage and in transit) data that should be kept confidential. The storage medium is then irrelevant.

Perhaps we should demand ISO27001 -certified celebrities?

Mine's the one with the data awaiting classification in the pockets.

Lost jungle tribe research: Nice guys can get the girls

Allan Dyer

Biased sampling

Seems like there were three groups:

A. Warlike bastards

B. Ordinary nice guys

C. Clever nice guys

The researchers do their research after all the killing... group B is pretty much all dead, they don't get the girls, but they also don't get counted. Group C is clever enough to smooth-talk the girls, and therefore scores higher.

Alternatively, the really nasty bastards all lied about being nice guys, and anyone who disagreed had unfortunate accidents...

Fetish club forces ID scanner climbdown

Allan Dyer

Re: Re: ID?

OK, but how's anyone going to check the ID, if you're wearing a mask?

Gov 'smart meter' plans: Sky box in charge of your house

Allan Dyer

secret technology

But, if they get rid of the meter reader, they'll have to write off the investment in "showering consumer detection" technology. That's why they always call when you're in the shower - my meter reader told me.

Is there more information on the "exported" electricity option... like how is it priced? Does the credit for that vary in-line with the tarrif changes for peak/non-peak? That would offer an good incentive for consumers to become producers, perhaps installing solar or wind generators, or getting the kids onto exercise bikes with alternators when East Enders comes on... A greener, fitter Britain?

Mine's the wet towel.

One third of workers open to bribes for data theft

Allan Dyer

@AC 17:40

Can you figure out a way to pocket the bribe AND the reward for turning them in?

Criminals must be nostalgic for the good ol' days, when they could get all the access they needed for a bar of chocolate.

BOFH: Grand Theft Auto

Allan Dyer

Best ever comments, @CTG

We're even getting recursive... though that might not be so desirable with the coffee/nose/keyboard ones.

Mine's the one with the loop terminator and tissues in the pocket.

The mobile phone as self-inflicted surveillance

Allan Dyer
Black Helicopters

Hands-free driving


Driving while using a phone is a safety hazard, so *of course* you switch off your phone when you get into the car... it would be irresponsible to do otherwise, right? They can't lock you up for following the rules, can they?... can they?



but then you'll have an IP address, and they can always try traffic analysis. Watch out for a suspicious rise in the numbers of ornithologists... in black helicopters.

HK movie star porn snap thief faces trial

Allan Dyer
Black Helicopters


Blackmail was one suggestion, but it isn't on the charge sheet. They were passed around quietly for a long time, the whole thing blew up when the journos heard about them.

Perhaps the best evidence is that the accused doesn't have the photos on his computer, but does have a secure delete program.

@Chris Hatfield - Sorry, Edison had one girlfriend at a time, no lesbian pics have emerged. The girl's Chinese names are useful search terms.

more comments:


Russian schoolgirl invents inertioid-driven Venus rover

Allan Dyer

I get this...

with an amazing memory - like "Daddy, you said it was bad to use that word..."

a strong desire to live instinctively - like screaming loudly when they don't get their way, and hitting siblings? "Oh, it's OK, he's expressing his desire to live instinctively."

with an evolved consciousness - unlike all those amoeba, with unevolved conciousnesses

help change the vibrations of our lives - its that jazz/rock/punk/(insert new music type here)

and create one land, one globe and one species - environmental destruction, mass extinction and ecological disaster!

They are our bridge to the future - brilliant, so unarguable

@Steve - knowing our luck, you're the other 5%, and you're just about to create a black hole to swallow us all!

Male chimps strike 'meat for sex' deals

Allan Dyer
IT Angle

More like marriage...

two individuals forming a longer-term partnership for the benefit of their offspring.

It was the earlier studies that were looking for prostitution.

British steam car completes final testing

Allan Dyer

It might become a record-breaker...

but it is horribly inefficient. From the vehicle details page:

Horsepower 268 kw 360 hp

Burners 3 Megawatts of heat

I make that 8.9% efficient. :-(

Yahoo! engineer in murder-suicide riddle

Allan Dyer

@(@ ((@ AC @ Bonkers AC.)))

If the family had had guns, then people would still be dead.

Yesterday's front-page news in Hong Kong was about a woman who ran amok, attacking strangers. It didn't make international headlines, guess why? She used a broom, the worst injury was a broken arm. Hong Kong has gun control, and is safe - name me a US city of 7 million where that level of violence would become news.

Westminster forced to switch off digital CCTV cameras

Allan Dyer
Paris Hilton

Cameras cause crimes...

@Nebulo - your figures *prove* that cameras cause crimes... most of those other areas of the world that are entirely uncamered (is that a word? Is now!) have a zero crime rate. I can't remember the last time I saw a news report of a mugging in Antarctica, or graffiti in the mid-Atlantic.

This message brought to you by the Paris Hilton Statistics School.

Women's lust for shopping linked to periods

Allan Dyer

@Jonathan McColl

So we should conclude that supplying Thatcher with shoes could have averted the Falklands War? Next we'll have a Shoe Event Horizon.

"Relax and Enjoy Your Shoes"

Irish boffins tackle cow-fart ecopocalypse with fish oil

Allan Dyer


@A J Stiles, "I thought cows were obligate herbivores?"

I've considered them carnivores since BSE was explained...

@Elmer Phud, "So, we stop cow farts and clog up the seas."

Double win: by allowing plankton blooms, more CO2 is absorbed and remains in the oceans...

which gradually fill up with dead algae sludge. OK, you can't have everything. But just you wait 50 million years, and you'll have new oilfields for the drilling.

icon: maritime occupation involving death.

Software generated attendance letter about dead pupil

Allan Dyer

Doctor's Certificate?

Does SIMS suffer the same problem in cases of long-term illness? Perhaps the school administrator should have entered the death certificate as a Doctor's certificate, after all, that's what it is.

The title mislead me... it should be "truancy letter" I was expecting it to be an attendance certificate for the pupil, which could have been funny, if sick, and open up the possibility of accusing the school of "preventing lawful burial of a body", or something. This is just... sad.

Melissa anniversary marks birth of email-aware malware

Allan Dyer

@Graham Cluley

No karaoke? Where's your sense of adventure?

Google Street View hits UK streets

Allan Dyer
Black Helicopters

The Knowledge

@AC: "It's messed up... Berkeley street in Mayfair, where it meets Stratton street... not!"

Nah, it's a time-space anomaly. If you move around, you can see a taxi navigating through it. There's a reason why cabbies study so hard.

Icon: well, it's black

Robo-fish to hunt pollution in Spanish seas

Allan Dyer

If it looks like a fish, and swims like a fish...

how long before the researchers discover that their £20,000 toy has been eaten by a shark (laser headgear optional) or other predator?

Mine's the one with the greasy newspaper of chips in the pocket...

London stab murder rate entirely normal, says top stats prof

Allan Dyer
Paris Hilton

Me too...

I haven't been fatally stabbed in the last seven days, does that count?

Web scam hoodwinks web founding father

Allan Dyer

Simple solutions...

@vincent himpe

"how hard would it be for a provider to close the downstream port when such a packt is detected"

For one specific piece of malware? Not hard. For every piece of malware... very, very difficult. And as soon as a significant number of ISPs start doing that, the bad guys change tactics.

@Ken Hagan

"99% of home users (and a whacking proportion of business users) could block email from all "foreign" addresses without affecting their social or business lives at all"

Sure, just unplug yourself from the internet, won't you! I deal with email for a small business that manufactures resin kits in Hong Kong, a few times, I've had to deal with problems caused by stupid overseas ISPs assuming none of their customers could *possibly* want to get email from Hong Kong. Worse, I'm sure other messages are just getting dropped silently, loosing business. Multiply that by thousands of small businesses, what's the cost to the world economy? Maybe the financial tsunami wasn't caused by stupid ISPs, but they're making it worse.

Blocking bad packets, improving international legal cooperation, cutting off known bad-actors etc. will all be part of the solution, but don't expect it to be easy or quick to fix, and shortcuts will just make it worse.

Science-boosting thickie questionnaire backfires

Allan Dyer

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

@AC 20:21

Sounds like someone missed the lesson on approximation and reasonable accuracy. Would you prefer the option of "one year, plus one day and one second or minus one second"?

Sure, the ancestors of humans existed at the same time as dinosaurs, but they weren't humans (homo sapiens / pans narrans, take your pick).

@Chris C

I know that the earliest humans didn't coexist with dinosaurs for the same reason I know the earth goes round the sun in one year, rain is wet, and politicians lie - evaluation of the available evidence.

@David Pollard

I like your comment. Parroting facts gets in the way of understanding.

Drunk sorority girls quaff booze 'to impress boys'

Allan Dyer

More research needed...

They asked when the students were sober?

So what happens to the answers as the students get drunker...

Where do I apply for the grant?

Mine's the heavy one with the booze in the pcokets.

Dell launches well 'ard laptop

Allan Dyer

designed for...

Brazilian electricians?

Linux-Lego man trumpets OSH revolution

Allan Dyer

Where to start?

A standardised interface for 240V, 50Hz power connections, let's call it BS1363.

Office booze-up battered in CPW cutbacks

Allan Dyer

I have to admit...

a drinking session that lasts a whole month does seem a little excessive., but why not just cut it to two weeks?

UK kids presenter gets online support

Allan Dyer
Thumb Up

Going out on a limb

@DAN*tastik @Child Erosion

"Am I the only one who considered the possibility of that one being a sarcastic comment?"

No, twigged it right away... unless someone's let in a Daily Mail reader!

@LaeMi Qian

"there was a lad in my school with a foreleg missing"

are you sure he wasn't a kid? Human's forelimbs are called arms...

Cool trick he had, though.

Harry Potter hangs up wand in 2011

Allan Dyer

@R Callan

Sure, Australia & NZ have winter in July, but I didn't know sheep were fans of HP...

Mine's the flameproof one... I'll need it!

The internet is for violent jerks, study finds

Allan Dyer

or it could show...

that net addicts are more honest?

got some browsing to do...

California ban on violent video games killed on appeal

Allan Dyer
Paris Hilton

Population Control

Making people = Bad

Killing people = Good

Well, they've got a strategy to address overpopulation, but wouldn't contraception be less gory?

NASA talks little green men with Vatican

Allan Dyer
Paris Hilton

"Then we need to worry about the proper PH value"

PH, of course, standing for Paris Hilton. Don't get confused with pH, a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration. And it's a little tautological to worry about dessication after you've worked out you need a solvent, "like liquid water".

Speeding, driverless Nissan finally stopped by US bombers

Allan Dyer

new patent...

I'm writing a patent on a "device capable of restarting a autonomous driverless vehicle by means of rotating the ignition key". Actually, how do you normally start this thing, turn the key and jump out quick?

@Aldous "water which is more expensive" - with 2/3rds of the earth's surface water, and the law of supply and demand, I'd have thought land was more expensive.

Mine's the one with the really damp property brochures in the pocket.

Airline pilots told to switch off mobile phones

Allan Dyer

@James Foreman

That's because the right to free speech is enshrined in HK law. In fact, in many circumstances, phone use is mandatory, e.g. when a photo is taken of a group of 5 or more people, and during quiet scenes in the cinema etc.

However, it's not compulsory to use a phone while driving, unless you are having an accident.

Boffin: Earthlike worlds within 30 lightyears of here

Allan Dyer

DACA - Digital Alien Copyright Act

Encrypted communications look the same as noise. We won't be able to pick out the alien transmissions until we buy the decoder...

Prof: Save up fossil fuel reserves to fight the next ice age

Allan Dyer


With financiers that can't see beyond the next bonus, and politicians that can't see beyond the next election, there could be a few difficulties in adopting this plan.

Satellites crash over Siberia: Iridium bird destroyed

Allan Dyer

It's OK...

there's a tool kit floating around there, we just need someone to grab hold of it and put the pieces back together.

Barcelona boffin births swarming microrobots

Allan Dyer


Sorry, I just trod on an overlord...

Norfolk town's schools first to be heated by burning cattle

Allan Dyer

The Goodies

Anybody remember the Goodies episode featuring dogs as fuel in an open fire?

High-slider integrity planned for Windows 7 UAC

Allan Dyer
Black Helicopters

@JP Strauss

"Microsoft's #1 problem IMHO is that their operating systems are too user friendly."

I'd expect a friend to warn me when I was going to do something stupid. Damn newspeak.

You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID

Allan Dyer

Florida nightclub

A bouncer at a Florida nightclub refused to accept my Hong Kong ID card as proof of age, and asked if I had a driving license. I showed my HK driving license, and even pointed out where it had my ID card number (but no photo or age) on it.

Fortunately, her manager was able to figure it out, and let me in. Mickey Mouse outfit.

Anyway, it is an oxymoron to ask you to prove you can drive before allowing you to drink yourself into no fit state to do the same... unless, of course, they forcibly search for and confiscate the car keys of anyone presenting a driving license. That would make the roads safer.

MP wants Welsh text on ID cards

Allan Dyer


"Wales is no more a country that Yorkshire." - Isn't Yorkshire getting a seat on the UN Security Council soon?

@Nigel Callaghan

A good point, well-made, I'm sure, but Babelfish doesn't have a Welsh->English option. Personally, I like Wales, because it's the only country that's passed a law that my name must be displayed in places of entertainment and certain road signs.

Half Life 2 used for firefight fire drill

Allan Dyer


OK, is the co-worker eating the demon, or vica-versa?

Mine's the one with the copy of "Eats, arms and fires" (slightly bloody, with holes) in the pocket.