* Posts by Mal Adapted

26 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Giddens, Lawson argue quite sensibly on climate change

Mal Adapted

"We" can adapt?

Orlowski: "No. It just means you trust that we can adapt to whatever comes along, without being panicked into doing something stupid."

What's this "we" business, Andrew? It's self-evident there will be winners and losers as the world warms. It sounds like you'd do nothing and let the weak fall by the wayside, rather than do "something stupid". Are you sure you'll be a winner, then? Are you sure that doing nothing isn't the stupid thing to do?

Prince Charles, Stephen Fry and IBM to save the planet

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It's official: Adobe Reader is world's most-exploited app

Mal Adapted


"Why there's no competition in this market is a total fucking mystery. "

GIMP for Linux is free, and you can inspect the source if you don't trust it.

Opera says bug probably can't commandeer machines

Mal Adapted

Opera on Linux is OK

I'm using Opera on Linux, but only for streaming radio. Not that I think it's only good for that, it's just what I've used it for so far.

Crap Scottish weather favours ginger hair

Mal Adapted

Re: Ginger genes, but...

"If you actually read the article you've just cited,"

Well, you've got some indomitable gall! What makes you think I didn't? Never said they were the same genes, now did I?

Don't talk with your head empty.

Mal Adapted

Ginger genes in Europe a long time

They've been found in Neanderthal DNA:


'Snowball Earth': Glaciers, ice packs once met at Equator

Mal Adapted
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Good piece, Lewis

Another calm, well-informed climate piece by Lewis Page. Please, El Reg, let Lewis write all climate stories, and give gleeful science-denier Orlowski the celebrity beat!

Forgot your ThinkPad password? Get new hardware

Mal Adapted
Black Helicopters

Strong authentication?

Two-factor, e.g: PKI-magcard + PIN? PIN + SecurID token? PIN can be simple, and need not be changed periodically.

Most resistance to 'Aurora' hack attacks futile, says report

Mal Adapted
Gates Horns

Unprivileged mode; also, onion

"Windows machines, the authors also recommend, should only be run in unprivileged mode for the vast majority of users. "

Well, duh. Anything requiring system privileges on Windows can be done with RunAs. Try it, you'll like it (or at least dislike it less).

Also, I wouldn't dismiss layered security solutions, because even though they may be built on 'quicksand', it's the users you're talking about. Nothing will ever stiffen them up, but they're our (well, my) livelihood, so anything we can do to mitigate their weakness helps. A "defense-in-depth security architecture" is necessary, if not sufficient to completely eliminate risk. Our jobs are about risk management, and making the right trade-offs.

Note to Captain Kirk: Warp speed will kill you

Mal Adapted

Tau Zero

I'm surprised only one other person has mentioned Poul Anderson's SF novel Tau Zero, published in 1970 and based on a short story he published in 1967, soon after Robert Bussard proposed the idea.

OTOH, maybe I'm the only other reader old enough to have read that book. That was the Golden Age of Hard SF. Dang, time flies when you're getting old 8^(.

Hubble snaps space conker bonk aftermath

Mal Adapted

New ElReg units

Velocity: "one (two cannon shells fired from supersonic jet fighters hitting one another head on)"; also, "one foxbat".

Only nukes can stop planetsmash asteroids, say US boffins

Mal Adapted


"Hasn't Jupiter been keeping us safe from NEOs for the last 4 billion or more years?"

Hell no:


FBI nicks 22 in classic bribery sting

Mal Adapted


We'll see how the courts rule in the present case, but all of the ABSCAM convictions were upheld on appeal. As Igor Mozolevsky points out above, entrapment hinges on whether the target is induced to do something he wouldn't otherwise do. WRT one of the ABSCAM targets:

'The first to be caught was Congressman Michael "Ozzie" Myers (1943-) of Pennsylvania, who was videotaped accepting a $50,000 bribe and saying, "I'm going to tell you something real simple and short-money talks in this business." '

His entrapment defense was unsuccessful.

US faces critical lack of (mad) computer scientists

Mal Adapted

Cost of a CS degree

If you/your family can't afford the cost, work your way up. Get an Associate's degree at a community college, then get a low-level job with a company that offers education benefits. Or join the U.S. armed services and use their benefits. Those options will cost you more time, but less money.

Dadaist user manuals - a call for submissions

Mal Adapted

A call for risible manuals

"risible" -- I believe that's pronounced "wisible".

NASA infrared survey returns first snap

Mal Adapted

New ElReg unit: one wide-polarbear

That is all.

Karmic Koala RC drops into the wild

Mal Adapted

Re: "??? ?4L4M3rZ?"

"sorry. Cannot parse. Out of cheese error."

I read the alphanumeric part as "For Lamers." I like to be able to tell when I'm being insulted ;^).

'More than ever before' now studying Sci/Tech in Blighty

Mal Adapted

@AC 13:29 GMT

"Understanding how IT works at the theoretical level makes the job a lot easier"

Ditto everything you said, and the other glad CS grads too. I'd only add that assembly language programming may have been the most valuable course I took. Talking to the machine in its own language really helped me understand how it works.

Atheists smite online God poll

Mal Adapted

Re: something smells off here

"this does look like some sort of sting/concerted voting."

Pharyngulated! Heh, heh 8^).

Sun tunes its VirtualBox

Mal Adapted

VBox good, getting better

I'm running WindowsXP in a VBox VM on Fedora 11, and like it. I'd never been able to make USB devices work correctly, however. After upgrading VBox to 3.0.8, the USB problem has magically disappeared.

Prehistoric titanic-snake jungles laughed at global warming

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Newegg hatches IPO

Mal Adapted
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Knowledge base

Ha - I've bought enough gear from Newegg in the last 10 years to open my own parts depot. The best thing about the site is the comments from buyers. What a bunch of smart geeks 8^)! I learned how to build my own PC from them, and haven't bought a pre-built one since 1999. Thanks guys!

No, VMware doesn't own server virtualization

Mal Adapted

Another vote for Sun's VirtualBox

My main home rig (Core2-quad, 8GB RAM) runs Fedora 11, but there are a couple of Windows apps I haven't found the Linux equivalent for, and for which WINE doesn't suffice. I installed WinXP on a vbox VM, and I agree with Keith Smith. Vbox has "just worked" since I first tried it. It uses one core and 2GB RAM, and performance is lickety-split. I'm a little apprehensive about what Oracle will do with VirtualBox, but as long as the current version works on Fedora, I'm happy.

Interoperability eludes Office and OpenOfffice

Mal Adapted
Gates Horns

Re: Why is it MS' fault?

The default assumption of guilt reflects their history. When Sun sued them for attempting to corrupt Java, M$ payed Sun $20 million to settle, then dropped support for their own JavaVM. That's just one example.

Their official position WRT standards is "Embrace and Extend", but that's always meant "Engulf and Extinguish".

NASA promises 'greatly improved' Moon landing footage

Mal Adapted

@ Tom Cooke

You're think of the character Delos D. Harriman, in Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon".

Former top Sun exec mourns end of a franchise

Mal Adapted


I don't know what Frank Gerlach would consider a genuine innovation, but I recall the impact Java had on my users when it was introduced. I was an SA for a lab full of quantum thermodynamics modellers at the time. The reaction when I showed them the "3-d molecule" Java demo on Sun's website (the web itself was only three years old at the time) was most gratifying. As far as these guys were concerned, Java was definitely an innovation.


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