* Posts by DelM

46 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jun 2009

Google, YouTube cough up $170m to make that trifling little thing about slurping kids' info without consent go away




Quote: "Whether you're a city planner, a small business owner, or a software developer, gaining useful insights from data can help make services work better and answer important questions. But, without strong privacy protections, you risk losing the trust of your citizens, customers, and users."

Vulture gets claws on Lego's latest Apollo nostalgia-fest


Kids of all ages

I was 8 the day of the landing. And just Monday I built this LEGO model with my 25yo "kid", who probably knows more about space travel details than I do at this point.

We too liked the 'hidden' tank detail. And I wished the LEM legs were foldable, just 'cuz. So much fun.

How much open source is too much when it's in Microsoft's clutches? Eclipse Foundation boss sounds note of alarm


"Microsoft haven't changed - let's just clear that up. What they have changed is there tactics to undermine competition by subversion..."

Hardly subversion; here we do it perforce. (You sccc what I did there?)

Unless you want your wine bar to look like a brothel, purple curtains are a no-no apparently


Botched subtitle

The sub should have been, "Brothel, where art thou?"

You dirty DRAC: IT bods uncover Dell server firmware security slip



El Reg, did you get scooped? Or just missed this for something shinier at the time?


FBI raids home of spy sat techie over leak of secret comms source code on Facebook


Editorial/pedant note: If this is the same company that I used to work for, it's offically "TASC" and not "(The) Analytic Sciences Corporation". "The" was part of the name - and hence "TASC" - very early on in the game. I was there in the Reading, MA, office in the late 80s through the early 90s, departing just prior to the Primark acquisition of TASC.

That the fellow had a clearance until 2012ish isn't surprising. What is surprising is that he was "allowed to take work home" and that *anything* was still in his possession after he was let go. Gads.

Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME


LMDE user here. What more can be said?

Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry


It's turtles all the way down.

Another root hole in OS X. We know it, you know it, the bad people know it – and no patch exists


The no-access guard page

And back in the glory days of [Open]VMS, we had the no-access guard page. The first 512 bytes of your process was not readable or writable - at least for user processes - and so you always quickly saw these problems during run time. Or, if you didn't catch them except in a corner, they just caused your (user level) app to die.


Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style


"Other extensions coming down the pipe include 802.11mc, which will enhance device triangulation indoors between wireless access points, enabling precision indoor location tracking. Quite what that’ll do to technologies like Apple’s iBeacon remains to be seen."

Marauder's map! But, better (if done well) is precision positioning for your Roomba.

JavaScript CPU cache snooper tells crooks EVERYTHING you do online


Re: From what I can tell...

While Oracle may not really care, they are not relevant to JavaScript. I.e, Java is not JavaScript.

Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store


Flagging installed apps?

If we installed a dodgy app from the Play Store, will Google flag it somehow so we can tell? Or perhaps even delete/disable the app?

Google lets users slurp own Gmail, Calendar data


I didn't think the calendar bit was much news. You could import and export calendar data in ICAL and (I think) CSV form before. GMail slurpage is a win for backup I guess.

Meet Shenzhen, tech capital of China


hazier every day?

I was in Shenzhen in 2007 when my company at the time still had offices there. The line-level engineers with whom I worked were sharp and good people. The multiple-layers of managers from them to the "top" were ridiculous. Even then my colleagues were bumming over housing inflation - some could have afforded a condo a year or two earlier, but that day was gone.

The city was not overtly dirty, but was sort of coal-dust-coated grimy. You could tell the age of a formerly-white building by how grey it had become. And the place was friggin' huge. On the streets you'd see "typical" white-collar types heading to work, walking by the straw-hatted laborers who were manually digging trenches for plumbing updates/repairs. The markets were indeed dizzying; I didn't have enough Mandarin nor a translator along, so my foray's were limited to pointing and some guesswork.

Price-wise, even then it was no real deal at the retail level. So different from when I first visited in 2002.

Alan Turing 100: Visionary, war winner ... game maker?


Just a Little Vocational School

"the Ivy Leaguers at MIT" is another error. While there certainly have been folk from the Ivy League who have seen the light and obtained higher level degrees or faculty positions at MIT, The Institvte[sic] itself is not officially part of that group of seven. Instead, we are just that little vocational school down the river from the prep school to the north.

Facebook changes data-use policy despite 87% poll opposition


Re: Censorship alive and well at the Book of Face

If indeed FB removed my post and my friend's without warning then it was censorship. If it was a bug - since my post just reappeared - then it was just a case of untested software.


Re: Censorship alive and well at the Book of Face

And my post just came back. Bug? Censorship? Since I do aspire to "never attribute to malice that which instead can be shown as stupidity", I'll assume it is a bug.


Censorship alive and well at the Book of Face

I shared on my FB status that you (El Reg) and My Yahoo! were reporting on the "vote". My comment went something like, "Um. I had not heard about this Privacy Policy vote until today via The Register and My Yahoo!, after it was held. No post on my wall. No splash on login to FB. No email. But it sounds like those who heard about it voted against it. Where's my 'Dislike' button? Oh, yeah; it's to stop using FB. Hmm."

I say "something like this" because I just got *this* note from a friend, "Fascinating. The post you put up to the article criticising FBs privacy policy, which I shared, has mysteriously disappeared from both of our walls. Coincidence?"

Indeed, no sign of my post. Nor my friend's.

Love that censorship stuff.


Facebook's Eduardo Saverin: I'm not a tax-dodger

Big Brother

What are *you* worth to FB?

I thought this was fun:


According to the survey I'm worth just $31 - but I lied a little in the survey, since I did play WWF for a short time on an android phone. But I haven't played for months now.

In reality I'm probably worth more like $0.22 to FB since I'm one of those AdBlock-using-freeloaders. FB's site is pretty clean looking when you see it ad-free. Then again I don't have Timeline. Yet. *shudder*

Clouds of Sushi?

Black Helicopters

Oh, dang...

I was so hoping this would be a new twist on the TacoCopter.

Archos 35 Home Connect


I wake to my Chumby every morning

While the controls are a bit fiddly, I like the Chumby One I have. Pandora works fine, as does the general Internet Radio. It has an FM tuner which is so-so. The speaker is meh, but good enough for my needs; the Good Stereo is in the living room.

Some day I might get to hacking it, too, but Real Work intrudes.

AWS takes NoSQL database to the cloud with DynamoDB


attributions on pix

When you post Amazon articles and they are in the top-5 "featured" list, they often have a cute/clever/semi-related picture. The one I keep seeing is the lower-half of a scantily-clad lass obviously in a jungle setting, and while fetching, it is not attributed so that I can go see more. Oh, and tineye doesn't recognize it either.

After hack nightmare, Sony bars lawsuits with new TOS


That settles that

I won't be buying any new Sony h/w that connects to the 'Net.

'Apple is not going to change,' new boss says


The Onion Rulz


"Following the resignation of Apple founder Steve Jobs, incoming CEO Tim Cook called a meeting of shareholders and members of the press Thursday morning to announce that he envisioned printers as the company’s future. ..."

The link has the rest of the hilarity. Of course, PostScript printers today owe a great deal to the Apple of a couple decades ago.

Boffins shine 800Mbps wireless network from flashlight


Already been a TED talk on this

Not really news? Perhaps the speed?


It does mean you have to keep the lights on...

Are you slaving away on the wrong projects?


Simon trolling for new ideas?

Sounds precisely like the stuff of which BOFH episodes are written.

BOFH: CSI Haxploitation Cube Farm Apocalypse


I know that quote...

My sister-in-law is on CSI:NY and I'm pretty sure she had the line, "“So you want me to run up a GUI interface using visual basic to track the killer’s IP Address?”

Her brother and I had a good chuckle at that one.

Dunno' about the rest of the franchise, but the cast and crew of CSI:NY are a bunch of sweethearts. The writers are just as tech-clueless as you might expect, I guess.

Reg reader lost for words over blank HP keyboard

Thumb Up

Das Keyboard

Think Geek's version of this is/was so popular it's out of stock:


Assange: Facebook a ‘spying machine’

Black Helicopters


The only reason I joined Facebook was to spy on my kids. Works pretty well for that.

Park the Mario Kart, and throw your keys in the bowl


blocked in my country

Geesh, "This video contains content from Ubisoft, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds." How annoying is that? And how anti-fair-use?

Perhaps I should move to an open country, like Libya.

DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead


Why are there so many songs about Rainbows?

I still have my working Rainbow 100A+. Got it through a special deal DEC made with my fiance/now-spouse's college. After we married, it got her through grad school, all with floppies and a TI-855 printer. The TI was LOUD at 2am when she'd fire up the final print pass. And had they just put in a real bus, it could have been a contender. They certainly had the know-how to make it so.

Later upgraded it to a 100B with a whopping 10MB harddrive through an owner loyalty sale. My kids have even played SCRAM on it.

I still remember TOPS-20 fondly, and the gnashing of some of my colleagues' teeth when DEC dropped Jupiter. From there on, it was VAX and VMS - golly, the microVAX really was an opportunity too, if they'd priced it as a loss leader - until '97, when it was simply time to move on.

RIP Mr. Olsen. A turkey in every trunk is just one more of your legacies. I raise my glass to you.

Google's Inventor gets short shrift



Permit me to be the first to remind El Reg that it's "LEGO(tm)". As a former coach in the FIRST Robotics world, this was drilled into our heads early on and it's hard to forget.

iPhone 4: Perfect for everyone, except humans


Proves Steve isn't from this planet

I think it's obvious that iPhone users with iron in their blood will cause signal problems as they wrap their little Faraday-cage digits about the case-tenna. Copper, however, doesn't introduce quite the same affect, and as such I offer this proves that SJ is actually Vulcan or Romulan. Or something else.

"Zed, we have a bug..."

Apple adds 'make the web go away' button to Safari 5



Yet Another AdBlock Clone :-)

OK, so Firefox's AdBlock also tries to pre-filter, which doubtless annoys the dickens out of any site - including El Reg - that has advertising. But I do wish site owners could see how clean and readable their sites tend to be sans ads.

So: how many sites actively block Firefox with AdBlock enabled? Can they even tell?

PARIS hits the road with live GPS tracker test

Black Helicopters


It's after 2 UK time (I think) and the link in the main article still is pointing to any.url.com. Hrm.

Helicopter because maybe PARIS got caught in the backwash?

MIT profs produce 'Ring of Fire' nanotube superbatteries



OK - I know that beloved Bldg. 20 was knocked down for a Gates-funded monstrosity, but is there some other reason for the M$ logo that adorns this article in its mid-page-trio slot?

Sign me, "puzzled MIT alum".

Microsoft banner ads vanish from Facebook


What ads?

There are ads on Facebook? I haven't seen them since the last big UI reorg...

... and maybe that's why FB does UI changes, just to try to catch AdBlock+. But not this time...

LG: watchphones for all in 2010


Please return your seatbacks and tray-tables to their fully-upright and locked position

Won't it be a PITA to have to turn off your watch whenever you fly on a commercial airline?

Fanbois howl over data-munching Snow Leopard bug


Security the safest way

If you allow guests on your computer, then certainly you want your personal data secure. How to better achieve this than by deleting your personal stuff so prying eyes can't see it? Makes sense to me.

Mine's the one with the holes in the pockets; a thief can't steal from empty pockets.

Most Mac owners getting Windows on the side


Lies, damned lies,

.. and surveys.

*This* household has an (aging) G4 iBook, a couple of mostly-for-work systems running Redmond ware (plus and xbox), and literally countless Linux systems. Why didn't they pick *me* for their survey?

Here's to what Tux thinks of "penetration"!

Facebook turns users into web translation engine


"My hovercraft is full of eels"

And who else immediately thought of this?


Say no more, say no more...

-Del, who has "English (Pirate)" enabled on his FB time waster

Ammo rationing at Wal-Mart as panic buying sweeps US


Colt, Smith&Wesson: Pro Obama/Dems

I can just see it now: the weapon and ammo manufacturers will (silently?) endorse Obama or any other candidate who Right Wingers *think* will take away their guns, just to keep the run on guns and ammo going.

Who says capitalism doesn't create strange bedfellows? The grenade, whose turn is coming I'm sure.

Warning: Showers can seriously damage your health


@Richard 39: Now boarding Ship B

I bet you laugh at phone sanitizers, too. And to think Douglas Adams was one of your own...

Mine's the coat with the Purell and Lysol in the vest pockets.

Google Maps reborn as world's largest Monopoly board

Big Brother

Eeewww - Flash

not to mention particularly loud and pointless music. Geesh.

Now I'm waiting to see how they collect info on your purchases...

Poor porn protection hurt Firefox 3 uptake


It may take all kinds...

... but if you are gonna' be a porn surfer, either cover/delete your tracks or be proud of your personal perversions. I can't think of a time something has shown up in my history that would embarrass me.


FF eating CPU, having such a forest of maybe-incompatible-addons-you-try-to-see, and sucking down memory are all fine reasons to consider other browsers. But keeping track of your history? Geesh.

HDS drive array failure suspected in bank giant's ATM outage


Re: Lessons learned from 9/11

"I referenced 9/11 because after 9/11 many finacial institutions in the US created two separate data centers connected so that if something happened to one, the second site could continue to provide data."

The company I used to work for - Intranet, Inc. - was used by a good many banks. When the first attack on the Twin Towers happened in the late 90s, one of our clients there failed over seamlessly to their backup site (in NJ at the time, I believe). Nary a hiccough. So proper solutions to this problem predate 9/11; in fact, it was a hot selling point of the product/system (the funds-transfer backbone) before I joined in '91.

All running at the time on VAXen and (Open)VMS. They did refactor the whole shebang to move to AIX when it was clear DEC was going to implode. But I have lost track of the technical details in the intervening years, just as I have lost track of whom they have bought or been bought by. But I do take credit for securing the domain name for them, back in the last of the days when you just had to send a letter asking for it: intranet.com