* Posts by MeRp

199 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


Oracle boss's Brexit Britain trip shutdown due to US government shutdown


I believe what he was saying is the latter; his passport had expired or was lost, and so he needed a new one to travel to another country. With the Federal government shut down (including, presumably, those who issue passports) he was unable to acquire a new passport; the question of whether he'd waited until the last "minute" and gotten an expedited passport, or had ordered it with plenty of time is moot, as if it was not yet issued when the shutdown began, he would not be able to get it until after the gov started back up (which hasn't happened yet).

When he said it isn't ordinarily a problem, I took it to refer to the fact that you can normally travel all about the US (which is probably the vast majority of his travels) without a passport. But he could have also been referring to the fact that you can normally get a new passport issued relatively easily and quickly (well, it takes a while if you don't pay for expedited, but even then it is a matter of weeks).

UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy


WiFi coverage

It seems, with mesh wifi tech, that getting him coverage from without, perhaps with an additional single mesh repeater within, would be fairly trivial, if people were so inclined. That is, of course, unless the UK gov would actually go through the effort to kibosh such an attempt. I suppose, though, it may be considered a security concern for the embassy itself.

Billionaire's Babylon beach ban battle barrels toward Supreme Court


To be fair...

Compulsory Purchase in English/Welsh law is the same idea as Eminent Domain (referenced int he article) in US Law.

It still requires a process, and if the relevant governmental entity decides to squash it (as happened here), then it won't go forward.

I think Oregon State did it right WRT this situation; they have a law that not only stipulates that all beaches are publicly owned or have public easments, but any adjacent private property must provide public access to said beaches. If California had a similar law, this case would be open and shut; he's preventing free public access.

Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing


Isn't this just a Chicago-style pizza?

Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn


I think that sends, essentially, the exact right message. Unfortunately it does not send the message that NATO is likely to want to send. Of course, neither does their chosen anthem, so I guess, at least this one is catchy!


Re: To be fair...

The music for that is certainly way more inspirational... but damn those Russians love dire, moribund lyrics! The sound is all patriotic, but that video has subtitles so I get to see about how anxiety is spreading and they're going off to war to die.

I still think AC/DC's Thunderstruck, but performed with classical instruments (and without lyrics) is even better. :D


To be fair...

Geez... that was only 1:32? I listened to it while I read the article and I thought for sure it had been playing for several minutes. So damn slow and depressing.

I think this fine piece would have been a million times better. Though, I guess, it might inspire my son to join up with the military and try to get into a NATO unit, so I guess it is best that they have a dank piece instead.

Chap behind Godwin's law suspends his own rule for Charlottesville fascists: 'By all means, compare them to Nazis'


To be fair...

I'd be all too happy if all the fascists, both those who claim to be and those who claim not to be, just went away. Using violence and the threat of violence to force your opinion on the culture and to suppress the opinion of those you disagree with is totally antithetical to the core principles of the US constitution. Furthermore, two wrongs do not make a right, no matter how wrong the first one is; responding in kind only exacerbates the problem.

I suspect Godwin agrees with that; he says to call them Nazis, since that is what they are. Defeat their ideology. But he doesn't say to go into the streets and utilize violence and mayhem to suppress them.

AES-256 keys sniffed in seconds using €200 of kit a few inches away


Couldn't this sort of attack be defeated simply by putting the processor, memory, power supply, and some sort of UPS (maybe with some sort of randomized power intake algo) inside a faraday cage? Such a cage could be built as a desktop computer case, I suppose. And, if the designers for the UPS were clever enough they could probably combine it with the power supply into a package small enough to fit in the same spot a typical power supply would go.

I suppose one could then read the thermal output of the cooling system, but it seems like that would be pretty easy to randomize by introducing delays and dumps.

IT firms guilty of blasting customers with soul-numbing canned music


To be fair...

Woah, customer service lines in the UK are premium lines? That is crazy, and you must put a stop to it, immediately! In the US pretty much every company has a toll-free customer service line; even if they make you pay for service, you still call on a toll free line and give your CC, bill your account, whatever.

Some sort of call when no longer busy scheme seems to make a lot of sense here. Amazon does it, but other than that it seems pretty rare here as well.

EU set to bin €500 note


Re: The largest note is always 'too big', the 2nd largest is OK.

Meh, $100 notes are pretty much universally acceptable now. Even convenience stores take them int he middle of the night now, for the most part. When you consider that filling up a pickup with diesel (or gasoline/petrol) costs around $100, it makes perfect sense that they'd take $100 notes.

What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?


Re: RRS Fluid Displacement, Usually.

It will always displace fluid; the usually comes in on whether it (and its contents) are displacing based on mass or volume. Every captain dreads the prospect of their vessel exchanging displacement based on tonnage to displacement based on m^3.

Oz town suffers hairy panic attack

IT Angle

I know I'm a bit late, but, for those of you wondering what the IT angle is: I work in IT and I regularly encounter tumbleweeds (Russian Thistle/Wild West type) caught on my car or in one of the trees in my front yard. So, there is your link to IT.

Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy


Exited to see sucess

I once applied to work at the LIGO in Washington. It is quite near where I live. The position I applied for was, for all intents and purposes, a very high tech dishwasher. All the parts that go into the vacuum area have to be extremely-high-temperature and low pressure washed to get them to shed as much material as they can so that they don't release that stuff into the vacuum and ruin results. I didn't get the job, but the interview and tour that came with it was very interesting stuff.

Reg reader achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail


Snitches get stitches... non-lurkers get jail time. Got it!

BAD things happen to GOOD robots in America: hitchBot DECAPITATED


Re: NOT indicative of American attitudes

Well, it did go through Quebec city... I've heard that place is kind of crap. Also, notably, it almost immediately entered the US after its departure, travelled through my state (Washington), then re-entered Canada. Apparently the idea that entering the US near-immediately spelled the things death-knell is forfeit.

Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support


Having worked with windows for warships, making a training environment, I know the following things about it:

a) it does indeed use both Windows XP (for workstations) and Windows Server 2003 (for all the servers)

b) it is such a steaming pile that it makes vanilla Windows Server 2003 look like a work of art

c) if they're offering those patches to you, you don't want them

d) the procedures for installing patches are detailed to the idiot level, but don't actually work when followed

Oh, and the civilians who install it and train the sailors on it did not know that it had the nickname Windows for Warships until I told them; they thought it was a very entertaining name.

SHOCK! Robot cars do CRASH. Because other cars have human drivers


Re: "so far caused by human error and inattention"

Note to self; when returning to this Phils this December, absolutely minimize time in Manila. Oh, wait, already do that.

Samsung Electronics' sales go OVER A CLIFF


Samsung shot itself in the foot on the geek/hacker side of things in the mobile space by taking far too seriously the "need" to lock down the devices and prevent rooting/romming them, at least in the US. The hardware is great, but if you can't access that hardware, then there isn't much point.

On the general consumer side they end up costing as much or more than an iPhone, but do not have the chic cachet, so it is a bit of a hard sell.

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin


No LyX.... what an oversight.

'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race


Re: What a handful

"pick any two" - except, don't pick fast charging... because even the fastest charging are not fast charging when compared to refueling an ICE vehicle.

Hacker crew nicks '1.2 billion passwords' – but WHERE did they all come from?


Re: Why protect the companies at fault?

Absolutely agreed: what is the point of letting the hackers know that they've been found out while not letting the users know they've been compromised, so they can at least attempt to change passwords, etc?

Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting


I'm not sure if your comment could be taken to explain it, but I was wondering how Les Claypool fits into the metaphor. Is he like a microchip designer who ALSO does tech writing? Or maybe a tech writer who's articles, while still valid English pieces that are on topic, can also be compiled into micro-chip designs?

Police at the door? Hit the PANIC button to erase your RAM


Surely you would then have grounds to argue that they would need to prove that there is a hidden volume, since it is also capable of NOT making such a thing?


Of course all the section 49 talk is somewhat mooted by the fact that we're talking about TrueCrypt here; you SHOULD have it set up so that you CAN give them the password (to the public part); they can then decrypt the volume, see that it is just tame sort of stuff (legal porn, maybe some legal docs, whatever). Keep the hidden volume key (and password) secret; preferably with a backup of the key somewhere not in your possession and the primary copy getting deleted along with everything else.

As for the laser trip on the door; you could use a Z-Wave (or probably other) security setup on your doors/windows and have it set up so that if it is armed and gets tripped, you computer reacts by activating this software. You just have to make sure the perimeter is armed any time you have your truecrypt volume is mounted and/or you are doing sensitive stuff; you may be able to automate that as well.

'Executed ex' of Norkers' bonkers Kim Jong-un rises FROM THE GRAVE


Nork videos with clapping or walking are always so creepy. Everyone is in exact sync all the time. Even when they stand up for the standing ovation, they all do so at the exact same time. I'm not sure how they do it, even if they are being given direction to do so.

OkCupid falls out of love with 'anti-gay' Firefox, tells people to see other browsers


To someone who makes tens or hundreds of millions of dollars a year, a $1000 is the same as the rest of us a couple quarters to something; it is not a major commitment.

The attitude that if you're not with me then you're my enemy pervades so much of society, but it is especially strong amongst "gay rights" advocates, it seems. Even if someone so much as disagrees with a single point, they are thereafter to be considered gay bashers who would be content if the laws advocated unlicensed nuisance hunts on homosexuals.

In case you couldn't tell, that was an exaggeration. But it was only slight. I have a friend who has this exact attitude, and, being that I'm pretty much moderate on the topic (ie gay marriage, to me is just like any other marriage: it shouldn't be any of the Fed's business), she comes off as thinking I'm Satan, only more evil. She uses the same argument; that if one doesn't care enough about gay people to let them marry, then they probably also don't care that there are crimes against humanity (targeting homosexuals) ongoing in Uganda. That is patently false.

As for America bashing; you will not see me doing it.


Fully 8% of the relationships started on OKCupid are homosexual marriages? Not just homosexual relationships, but actual marriages? That's quite a lot.

Or was the OKCupid statement trying to imply that, because this guy was against homosexual marriage that he is also against homosexual relationships and believes that they should be against the law? That is quite a stance to apply to someone based on a single political donation.

Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield


RE: Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Assuming you are referring to one or two specific former colonies (US and Canada), you are incorrect both semantically and in your assumption.

Semantically: in the relevant colonies they are called; baseball field and ice hockey rink. Here pitch is what the pitcher (akin, but not identical, to the bowler in cricket) does.

Problem with the assumption: While ice hock fans and basketball fans generally have some idea of the size of their relevant play environment, baseball fans do not. As a highly irregular shape, with widely varying dimensions, most would never think to try to use a baseball field as a relative measure.

Far more common than any of those, though, is the football field. It is a different size than a football pitch (similar, but not quite the same), and, usually, rather than being used as an area measure, it is usually used as a length measure. Very common for ships.

Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth


I can tell you, from first hand experience, that cul-de-sacs in the US and Canada (and presumably other first world countries) are indeed very very quiet. Even extremely busy main highways are quiet. Of course quiet is always relative; I'm using "typical filipino small city street" for comparison. Nothing in the first world apart from heavy construction or rock concert is "loud" by comparison.

Fancy a little kinky sex? GCHQ+NSA will know - thanks to Angry Birds


Re: Just monitoring you purchases

After watching that movie, my friend discovered that she had several copies of that book (including one in her bed's headboard shelf), but she had never read it. It kind of freaked her out.

Philippine govt to hacktivists: Please don't hit your shiny new site


Re: The Philippines

My wife is from the Phils; every time MILF is in the news in a noteworthy enough way that it bears mentioning to my friends and associates it draws a chorus of snickers and smiles. Everyone loves a good MILF.

Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob


Re: Outrageous

The trademark filing has it covering all kinds of non-software things. Notable in its inclusion is "Headphones," which retroactively makes Skullcandy headphones a violation of this trademark. I'm sure other instances could be found.

Haribo gummy bears implicated in 'gastric exorcism'


Re: coffee straw???

That hot straw thing is not what is usually meant by a Coffee Straw; usually it refers to a "stir-straw"; a straw that is actually not meant to be used to drink with (though it is occasionally used that way), but, rather, to stir your hot beverage in order to incorporate additives into the solution; e.g. sugar and cream or non-dairy creamer. They are typically red and quite thin, often two co-joined small straws in order to increase the surface area of the side.

Here is an example that is white, with a red stripe: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/suffixitem/48550/BX.html

Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly


Re: Waste of time

64K sounds great, but no one will ever need any more than 64K....

Ubuntu desktop is so 2013... All hail 2014 Ubuntu mobile


Re: what a superficial, dumb and negative article

Furthermore: tiling window managers.

US Department of Justice details Kim Dotcom evidence


Re: let me be the first to say ...

RE: "How about we redistribute your possessions against your will?"

If you can make unlimited copies of my possessions, still leaving me with the originals, and redistribute them to everyone who cares to have them, please do! I would love it if I could give my house to every homeless person on the planet, but still own it, that would be awesome.

Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting


I'm not really for or against bullfighting. It doesn't seem entertaining to me, but boxing certainly can be, so who am I to say. Either way, while bulls may be sentient (able to feel, specifically pain in this case), that is not to say that they are sapient. Also, it may be worth noting; other things (apparently) able to feel on some level or another include trees, insects, vegetables, etc. I'm not sure sentience (in the sense of the word that bulls are sentient) really should be a major factor in these (or most) types of decisions.

Travel much? DON'T buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Lame, guess it is one more thing to make me hesitate on this, since there's a not-insignificant chance that I'll want to take my phone to the Philippines during its lifetime.

Apple iOS 7 remote wipe: Can it defeat the evil scrumper scourge?


Needed for android

Unfortunately for something like this to happen on Android it would have to be implemented by each individual hardware manufacturer. Currently, at least with TWRP custom recovery, you can lock down both the OS itself, as well as the recovery mode, however you cannot lock down the bootloader. For samsung this is "Odin mode" or download mode, but it varies for each manufacturer. If they added the ability to specify a pin for that mode (that you needed to enter on the device when you put it into that mode), then this would give coverage for Android phones.

The biggest problem with Android not having this is; without the majority of smartphones being immunized to being stolen, then you cannot really get the herd immunity that Apple is looking for here; just because it is worthless to steal an iDevice doesn't mean that thieves won't grab any and all devices that appear to be smart phones and just toss the worthless ones into the local canal/sewer/etc.

Your encrypted files are 'exponentially easier' to crack, warn MIT boffins


Re: Always wondered if this is true

The second application of a decoder ring would have no additional benefit. Decoder rings are purely transitive, so 1st transform plus 2nd transform is equivalent to some 3rd (single) transform. I believe that even the 3DES method would not help; 3DES does DES, then reverses the output of that, and DES again on that, then reverses that and does DES one more time (thus: triple DES). Reversing it each time does improve its encryption for DES, but, I believe, it would not for decoder ring style encryption.

Latvian foreign minister speaks out against giving up alleged Gozi writer to US


Wait, wait, wait! Now how does Dr. Victor von Doom play into all of this again?

Ubuntu boss: I want to make a Linux hybrid mobe SO GIVE ME $32m


This seems perfect for my wife, if only I can convincer her that the sapphire screen is like jewelry. Being able to go phone to desktop for the stuff she does (web stuff), seems like a no-brainer for her use case.

It would eb cool for me too, if only I could run eve-online on it.

Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded


My representative, like most of the rest, is a terrible pork-barreling protectionist, double-dealing, corporate whore. I vote for someone else every time, and he wins over and over; 18 years and counting. Of course his opponents all seem just as slavishly corrupt, so perhaps that is why no one bothers to elect someone else.

Pyongyang Photoshop tomfoolery shows wet Norks, skirts blown up


Holy sweet mother of Jesus

They got to get a handle on that crack problem in North Korea.

Oh, you're saying these weren't produced by people smoking some tainted crack cut with draino and LSD? Well, ok.

Facebook to filter angry comments in site tweak


@David W

Er, you agree with your friends on everything? How boring.

SanDisk cops to malfunctioning Micro SDs in Galaxy S3s


Damn.. I think I threw mine away; why hang onto a burnt-out worthless sdcard?

iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: inch makes all the difference, says Apple CEO


Re: Re: Nooooo....

That gizmodo article is kind of enlightening; I tried it with my Galaxy S3, and I could reach the whole screen when I held it with thumb in center (as the article shows), or all except an icon's size on the upper right if I held it in a natural way. That explains why the iphone feels so awkward for me; it is too small for my hands. I must have the hands of a 7ft human (according to the article); I use my phone one handed all the time.

I guess it just goes to show: there is no one right size for everyone, a variety of sizes and price ranges is better for the consumer than a very limited one, who woulda thought the economists were ever right?

Liquefied-air silos touted as enormo green 'leccy batteries


@imanidiot Re: @proto-robbie

Speaking from first hand experience (ie, I have both a nuclear power plant AND a crap ton of windmills in my "back yard"), I have to agree that the nuclear plant is far less impactful on the aesthetic of the area. Windmills, when installed, have to be everywhere; every ridge of all of the surrounding hills/mountains (highly variable term based on the altitudes that you are used to) has to be covered in the windmills. If you happen to like the hills/mountains or the overall horizon, then, with windmills, you are out of luck.

Having lived next to two different nuclear plants, I can say; they need not be any more aesthetically unpleasant than any quirky architect's grand design.

Solar, wind, landfill to make cheapest power by 2030


Re: Gas?

The only Nuclear decommissioning I've any personal experience with is the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in Oregon. It's decommissioning cost is estimated to be roughly $230 million (they still have some non-nuclear related buildings to remove, and of course the spent fuel to continue to store). Construction costs were roughly $500 million.

It seems that your rough estimate is inverted in this case; decommission costs roughly half of construction.