* Posts by Barely registers

119 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jun 2009


In a galaxy far, far away, aliens may have eight-letter DNA – like the kind NASA-backed boffins just crafted

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Bet you....

somewhere, there's an equivalent of a sandal-wearing beardy going "8 bases?? Ha! I can create a fully functioning ecosystem with 4! //spit Millennials!"

Japan's asteroid-hunting robot Hayabusa2 has its prey within its sights

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Re: Why copper?

From the NASA Deep Impact mission's web page at: http://deepimpact.umd.edu/faq2.html#q2

Spectroscopy, yes, but also because "engineering". My assumption is that these reasons apply to Hayabusa2 too.

<quote>Copper was chosen because it will cause the least interference with the measurements that will be made during the impact, will not leave a residue that would confuse potential future measurements, and can be made into a structurally strong impactor. In particular, all the inner shells of electrons for copper are completely filled. This means that it reacts very slowly with other elements, such as with the oxygen in cometary water, and it will end up producing relatively few bright emission lines in the spectrum of the vaporized materials. Other materials such as aluminum would produce far more and stronger emission lines (mostly due to aluminum oxides). There are only a few materials that satisfy this criterion and copper is the least expensive of them that is structurally sound. The material used to make the impactor is actually a copper alloy with about 3% beryllium to make the copper more stiff.</quote>

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

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"Just a carrier" ?

So if Microsoft is policing the content of the messages sent over their services, does that strip away their insistence that they are "just a carrier" of messages, in effect becoming partly responsible for the content?

UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

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Black Helicopters

Encryption doesn't cooperate


Is this a smokescreen for dissuading tech firms from offering encrypted end-to-end comms?


Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

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Re: it's already doing 17.46 km/hour

@Geniality - you didn't read that link did you?

Money quote: "But at 38 microseconds per day, the relativistic offset in the rates of the satellite clocks is so large that, if left uncompensated, it would cause navigational errors that accumulate faster than 10 km per day!"

So - relativistically tiny speeds still causing 10km per day error.

Pretty meaningful in my book. Your mileage may vary. (Ha! see what I did there?)

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Re: it's already doing 17.46 km/hour

@Geniality "You need to be going very close to the speed of light (299,762 km/sec) for time dilation to become meaningful on a macroscopic scale. "

Tell that to the GPS satellite physicists. They'll set you straight^H^H^H^H^H^H freefall trajectory through curved spacetime.


7 NSA hack tool wielding follow-up worm oozes onto scene: Hello, no need for any phish!

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Re: Kind of like the Darwin awards

More like culling of the weak and infirm....

XP: "I'm not dead!"

Customer: "What?"

Microsoft: Nothing -- here's your next forced update.

XP: I'm not dead!

Customer: Here -- he says he's not dead!

Microsoft: Yes, he is.

XP: I'm not!

Customer: He isn't.

Microsoft: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.

XP: I'm getting better!

Microsoft: No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment....

// you know the rest.

America 'will ban carry-on laptops on flights from UK, Europe to US'

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Blue Riband?

A new golden age of ocean liner travel awaits....

The Atlantic crossing was done in less than 3 and a half days back in 1952.... comfort, no jet lag, satellite-based internet comms.... sounds glorious.

Waiter? There's a mouse in my motherboard and this server is greasy!

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Re: Frog

Was this the Unseen University, maybe the bursar's machine?

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

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I hate advert(iser)s because

* They follow me around the web, and my privacy be damned.

* They show stuff I have no interest in buying.

* They show stuff I've just bought and won't be buying again for ages.

* They support sites that generate otherwise worthless content - quality be damned. If sites made content that is valuable to people, then those people will pay to access it.

* Sites are designed around them, rather than the content the site is providing.

Anything that diminishes their presence on the web is a good thing, imo.

Fireball in Tasmania: Possible CubeSat re-entry sparks alien panic

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According to the linked SatView site, LEMUR-2 NATE has re-entered, but not over Tasmania.

Reentry: (YMD) 2017-02-27 2016 41598U 52� 158 149 88 Reentered! Lat=22 Lon=346.7


Dropbox: Oops, yeah, we didn't actually delete all your files – this bug kept them in the cloud

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Black Helicopters

Encrypt first

Once your data is out of your network, it's not your data anymore.

I use a pre-Dropbox system - anything I want to hold off-site gets dropped into a holding folder, which a task picks up and encrypts the file using 7-Zip (AES-256, and with filename encryption enabled). The task then puts the resulting .7z file into the Dropbox sync folder for uploading to Dropbox.

Obviously, this isn't suitable for mass sharing. But for off-site storage whilst keeping my data private, I think it works a treat and means that if anyone wants to pry, they're going to have to ask me first.

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

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Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow


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The customer is always.... a cash cow

I dipped my toes into Apple waters, and they are now getting vigorously towelled off and drying by the fire. Not one penny more from me.

The battery on my work Pro Retina is dying - 40 minutes offline max. I thought - I'll ring up the Store (tm), make an appointment in advance. They can have a battery ordered and waiting with my name on it and I can wonder in, watch them swap out the battery, pay, leave and get back to work.

No, no, no, said Apple. Bring it in. We'll do a diagnostic. If it _is_ the battery, we'll order one in. Then you can come back and leave your machine with us, having backed up and erased and confidential data (of course). We'll then replace your battery and it will take some time between 3 and 5 days. DAYS! Then you can come back again and collect your work machine. You'll be happy, because you won't have been working for a week and you'll be all rested. The you can restore everything from your backup and return to work.

3 round trips to a store (100km away), and a week lost. For a fucking battery.

We need some decent WEEE directives that make implementation of such a f**k-awful design economically impossible. Function over form - that's what I need, and Apple can't, or won't do it, and whilst we continue to give them our money, they absolutely will not stop. Ever.

This far, no further. The line must be drawn _here_


Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

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Mort et impôts

@Mr Dabbs - Wish you well in your new surroundings. It's pretty good here.

When I moved out to France, still as a full-time employee of a UK company, that company had to register with the URSSAF tax body and get a Siret number. I pay tax/NI to France, *as does the company*. It was a bit of a runaround.

If that's going to be your situation, check out Titre Firmes Etrangeres - TFE - here: https://www.tfe.urssaf.fr

Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

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The blond^H^H^H^H^H ginger bond

For an operative who works in the shadows.... because he'd burn in direct sunlight.

I hereby nominate Rupert Grint.

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

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@AC Vienna Convention - Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

[[Vienna convention comments]]

Others disagree - http://www.connexionfrance.com/Vienna-Convention-1969-expats-rights-residence-Brexit-17867-view-article.html

Particularly of note to my situation - UK citizen residing in France - is that France opposed the Vienna convention and didn't sign it, so that's not a good start.

The money quote: "The London School of Economics’ professor of EU law, Damian Chalmers, said: “Basically, this argument of acquired rights for expatriates has nothing going for it. " "

Lots more explanation in that article, but their conclusion, to paraphrase, is "don't bet on it".

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Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

>> No-one tilting at the Tory leadership is saying up front and clear "you can stay"

> "I commit today to guaranteeing the rights of our EU friends who have come

> here to live and work," she > said. "We must give them certainty there is no

> way they will be bargaining chips in our negotiations."

> -- Andrea Leadsom, Tory leadership contender

Thank you AC.

Have I missed any other contender's similar pronouncements?

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Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

We can only hope.

IF (caps) deportation comes to pass then we are in the roundup buses and leaving everything we worked for and built here.

Currently, we are seen by Theresa May as no more than a "negotiating point" http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-immigration-eu-citizens-theresa-may-uk-a7116971.html

Colour me not reassured. No-one tilting at the Tory leadership is saying up front and clear "you can stay". Hollande isn't exactly taking the line of someone prepared to defend the position of families like us, especially when Le Pen is finding such support amongst both young and old.

Don't forget. The default fallback position, if all 27 remaining states fail to accept the settlement terms after 2 years negotiation (unless extended), is for all treaties to cease effect. That means no right of residence for any EU families in the UK, and no right of residence for any UK family in the EU.

That's an appealing outcome for the far right in Austria and the Netherlands.

And that means buses.

Very much IF and very much "hope not", but very much not 100% "not going to happen".

Bit of a rant on my part there, but we're the ones currently in the bait box, if not yet wriggling on the hook.

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Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

[[The prospect of UK politicians playing chicken with the EU for as long as they can get away with is good for no one.]]

It's good for me as it brings non-EU status to the UK _after_ I've been resident in France for 5 years and I can take out French citizenship. My family's fate is rather uncertain at the moment particularly if ($deity forbid) forcible repatriation of EU citizens occurs.

Allez les bleus!

Lester Haines: RIP

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X-Clacks-Overhead:GNU Terry Pratchett Lester Haines

Compatibility before purity: Microsoft tweaks .NET Core again

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FFS - hitting a moving project target is difficult enough without having the platform underneath you constantly moving as well.

Can someone at MS just take a deep breath, step away from the kool-aid vending machine and damned well make up their mind what they're actually trying to do, and just deliver a stable platform please?


Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

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I'm done, thanks.

Pusher's purist: Five steps to reaching your DevOps zen

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FIVE steps? I can do it in one....

Do not let DevOps evangelists in the building.

Hey, Atlantis Computing. What the heck is this in your EULA?

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Re: Fighting back

I like that.

"Up to 100% of customers did not say they were satisfied."

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

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Just don't

Waiting for the first person who shoots themselves* through the head when they pick up their gun-phone when their phone-phone rings.

* in the event of such confusion, "themselves" is the better** outcome compared to "someone else".

** but still nobody wins

US govt says it has cracked killer's iPhone, legs it from Apple fight

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Re: Every device being hackable

Hidden messages aren't cryptography - it's stenography, and is ultimately security by obscurity which ultimately isn't security at all.

How long is your password? HTTPS Bicycle attack reveals that and more

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El Reg

What's HTTPS?

Password-less database 'open-sources' 191m US voter records on the web

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Is it read-only?

Also, Bobby Tables.

HPE's private London drinking club: Name that boozer

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HP Instant (Dr)Ink

IOCCO: Police 'reckless' for using terrorism powers on journo sources

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or Police Scotch-land, as attributed to the homeland of the "plod" by the article itself.

Not funny or clever.

Blocking out the Sun won't fix climate change – but it could buy us time

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Re: Utter Tosh @Phil O'Sophical

(correction to withdrawn comment owing to maths fail)

The Total Solar Irradiance measurements taken during the satellite era show a variance in the range 1361 to 1364 W/m2, or about 0.22%

Professor Hunt's comment about mirrors directing "say 2%" away from Earth is therefore some 10 times the effect of Sol's own variability, so I think it justifiable to say that such a scheme would have a measurable impact.

Quite whether it is justifiable to block 27W/m2 of solar energy from all of Earth's plant life is another matter, given how much plants have evolved to compete for sunlight. It's side effects like the possible failure of crops that lead me to want to invoke the precautionary principle on such schemes.

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Re: Utter Tosh

No inference should be drawn on what position this commentard holds re climate change. I believe the following to be an absolute.

No scientific consensus is "overwhelming" - it matters not what, nor how many, scientists think, only what Nature does. To believe otherwise is hubris.

Ask Barry Marshall - Nobel Prize winner for his theory bacterium-induced peptic ulcers, and his experience of trying to advance his theory in the face of a lucrative antacid industry

Ask Daniel Shechtman - Nobel Prize winner for his discovery on the structure of quasicrystals, having been "ridiculed" and "treated badly" by his peers.


Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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From his underground Linux lair, Linus Torvalds explains whose way is the right way.

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"Lens Flare-o-vision camera test roll number one. Subject: Me - J.J. Abrams"

What would you give to create Vulture Sweat?

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May I humbly suggest a second event?

The 24 Hours of Le Mans cycle race.

At the Le Mans circuit.

In Le Mans.

20-21 August 2016 - http://www.24heuresvelo.fr/en/index.html

Enter as a relay team (2/4/6/8), or a collection of solo riders united by a common purpose.....

El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

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The p̶a̶s̶t̶ future is like a foreign country - they do things d̶i̶f̶f̶e̶r̶e̶n̶t̶l̶y̶ exactly the same there.

h/t Douglas Adams

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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Yes, I can do Angular.

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Agile development - you're doing it wrong.

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Now _that_ is Agile development.

Faked NatWest, Halifax bank sites score REAL security certs

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Before I trust someone to validate something on my behalf, I try to make sure that I've got comeback against them if they do a bad job.

What's the comeback on Comodo et al for issuing a fake bank certificate? e.g. How many strikes before Google decides to blacklist a CA certificate in Chrome?

Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

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So you've reached 0.5c...

and you left the energy source behind when you set off to ride a beam of laser light across the heavens.

How do you slow down?

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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2043AD - Lewis Page finds inspiration for his latest "Climate Change isn't a problem" article from the Kentish badlands.

Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

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OK - I'll bite, now reel me in.....

I suspect Zoot means that without CO2, there would be no plant life, hence no food, hence no life.

In that respect, CO2 is a very good thing, but yes, you can have too much.

The last post: Building your own mail server, part 1

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Fixed IP?

Does any of this solution require a fixed IP address from your broadband supplier? If not, how does the rest of the web know how to reach your physical server?

Asking for me, not a friend, out of total ignorance of how Internet routing works.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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"As ideas for 'Post-pub nosh neckfiller' go, it wan't his brightest. Shame." said the PFY.

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Biting the hand that writes IT.