* Posts by Rob 5

187 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jun 2009


OMG Captain Skywalker, here comes AMD's new Merlin Falcon doing Warp 9 to the Tardis

Rob 5
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Bird of Prey

Kudos for getting a reference to the old Richard Griffiths TV mini series in amongst the more contemporary ones.

Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood

Rob 5

Re: Faraday cage with a window ...

That's why, when building a Shielded Enclosure, you use two different bits of kit.

A SELDS (Shielded Enclosure Leak Detection System) to check for RF permeability in the welds and a LISN (Line Impedance Stabilisation Network) to look for signals being radiated down the power lines.

I actually own both of those, though I have no idea why. I should probably find a gullible doomsday prepper to sell them to.

Google's Cardboard cutout VR headgear given away GRATIS by OnePlus ... SELLS OUT

Rob 5

Re: Please tell me you are joking.

I prefer the Kornbluth story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons

Why is it that women are consistently paid less than men?

Rob 5

Re: I haven't slept in later than 8am

(a) Many childless people physically can't have kids. Not much choice there, contra those who choose to have them.

(b) By "roll over and accept" you mean "There's more of us than there is of them, so stealing from them is right and proper". The argument of looters throughout history.

There was a time when people paid for their own damn choices, having kids included.

Rob 5

Re: Next question...

Discrimination against non-parents is not limited to the workplace. Those of us without kids get to pay for the tax credits, education etc. of other people's children. Worse, we pay for it with money that we should be saving for our old age, when we'll need it to pay somebody to care for us. Meanwhile, those with kids get cared for by their offspring, who are doing rather well, thanks to all the childless people's money that was lavished on them.

The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found

Rob 5

The byproducts thing is also true of precious metals.

I live near(ish) a Copper refinery that has a vault which is periodically full of Gold, Silver, etc.

It turns out that the ore processed there contains precious metals in such small proportions that, while it wouldn't be worth mining for the other metals themselves, it is most definitely profitable to skim them off from the massive quantities of ore that are being processed anyway for the Copper.

I have no idea whether or not this source is counted in the figures for the global Au & Ag reserves.

US plans to apply export controls to 0-days put out for comment

Rob 5

Re: Starfish bytes?


America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

Rob 5

You may be doing yourself a disservice, then. For example, I pay a small annual fee for one of my AmEx cards. The points that I earn with it pay for hotel rooms, flights etc that are worth much more than that fee.

Rob 5

Spot on.

If you have an AmEx card in the UK, they'll give you a US card based solely on your history with them. What's even better is, they'll report it to the US CRAs as dating from when you first opened your UK account, so you can instantly get several years' worth of credit history.

The program is called AmEx Global Transfer, iirc.

Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

Rob 5

Has it occurred to any of the shouty people...

...that what these folks refusing to do business with Indiana are doing is exactly what the law that they're protesting about protects people's right to do?

Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

Rob 5


I wonder who'll get slash.sucks - the folks at /. or the guitarist?

Tim Cook: I'll give just a THIRD of what Gates gave to charity last year

Rob 5

Is there some new bit of javascript

that I need to give permission to? 'Cos posting doesn't seem to be working with the old permission set. (Disclaimer - I picked a couple of likely looking ones and gave them their head for this post, just to check).

Rob 5

There's charity and "charity"

You spend $20 buying food for somebody who's hungry, that's charity.

You spend $800 buying a (mostly reliable) beat up old car for somebody without one, so's they can get to work and hold down a job, that's charity.

You give $10 million (incidentally getting a tax break off of it) to a corporatised, statist, so-called charitable organisation that's been captured by bureaucrats and serves only to perpetuate the crony crap that is the biggest problem that we face right now - that's "charity".

Ring Roads, After the Crash and The Age of Earthquakes: Guide to the Extreme Present

Rob 5

I liked the picture with the kittens.

That is all.

Big Data shocker: Over 6 million Americans have reached the age of 112

Rob 5

Re: Day of the Jackal etc

Yep. It's called "Ghosting" in the UK and "Tombstoning" in the USA.

Though the US also has a bizarre version, where you get deadbeat parents using their living kids SSNs to run up massive debts.

Rob 5

You chaps have addressed the holes in that story pretty comprehensively. AFAICT, the only one remaining is that there's no such thing as a one-year ban. IIRC it's 3 years, 10 (ish), or life.

Listed US tech provider bribed Oz bank worker say cops

Rob 5
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Re: A sandwich short of a picnic


Rob 5

A sandwich short of a picnic

"The alleged crime came to light after an Australian bank notified police after an internal investigation that “uncovered some suspicious payments that had been deposited into the bank accounts of two of the bank's senior IT staff, both Sydney-based US nationals”."

So, what's being alleged is, these people took bribes in order to act against the best interests of the bank for which they worked, then deposited those bribes in accounts with that same bank.


Going on holiday? Mexico wants your personal data

Rob 5

Re: PNR Data

I could have mentioned the EU-USA PNR agreement, as somebody downthread did.

Or, I could have observed that, like the person upthread, I feel no pressing need to visit Mexico (despite my living within driving distance of it).

But I didn't do either of those things, did I? Oh, no.

Instead I just had to remark that, at first glance, I read "...the Aztec/Toltec ruins around Mexico City) as "the Aztec Toilet ruins around Mexico City".

And I'm probably going to hell for that.

Give biometrics the FINGER: Horror tales from the ENCRYPT

Rob 5
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That was a great movie - thanks for reminding me about it.

Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

Rob 5

He's right.

Those things are crap. Fair play to him, though, for trousering a wad off the back of it.

Who the fuck drinks only ONE cup of coffee anyway?

Ready to fill out your US taxes? Cool. Got ObamaCare? Not so fast

Rob 5

...while the tax credits listed on the forms were correct, - NOT

We were, briefly, forced into the exchange. Once we got out and cancelled that policy, the insurance company fraudulently claimed two further months worth of subsidies, which have now shown up on our tax form.

There is no mechanism for disputing this, so our options are: (a) take the hit and give our money to some crooks who should be in jail, or (b) get one of our congresscritters to raise a fuss and then get audited by the IRS for the rest of our lives.

This is the kind of crap that we used to laugh at banana republics about, but it's happening right here, right now.

Hi, I'm Larry. I'll be your software vendor tonight. May I take your coat?

Rob 5

It sounds like a hiding to nothing, but...

... there may be something to be said for half-assed automation. I dropped one of my regular hotels (a Sheraton in Albuquerque, fwiw) when the wierdo night manager's unpredictable oscillations between over familiarity and authoritarian standoffishness became too irritating to deal with.

OTOH, perhaps an alternative to automating jobs to the extent that everyone performs them equally badly might be to hire people who are capable of performing them well?

SUPERHANDS! Fossils of early human ancestors reveal a GRIPPING development

Rob 5

On the gripping hand...

That is all.

BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Rob 5
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Re: What's a female BOFH?

I see what you did there, watkin5. Have an upvote.

Online tat bazaar eBay collapses in UK

Rob 5

The US site had problems too.

At around 4AM Central, which would be 10AM in the UK. Seems to be fixed now, though.

Cameron Diaz covers top boffins in gold at Breakthrough Prizes

Rob 5

So Hangar One is "open" again?

I got to go inside it, years ago, but later read that it had been closed, due to Asbestos or something.

Nice to see that it's back in use, in some way.

Want to buy a Woz-made Apple I? If you need to ask the price, you can't afford it

Rob 5

Re: Living Computer Museum- Seattle

They were New Old Stock, rather than new production. A few cases came into our warehouse with some other stuff and it turns out that there's a market for almost anything.

AFAIK, the last place that punched cards were used in the wild was knitting machines, which is kind of cool as it harks back to their origins with Jacquard looms.

Rob 5

Re: Living Computer Museum- Seattle

Did you get a punched card with your name on it? I ask because I sold them the cards that they use for that machine and I'm interested in how their souvenir plan worked out.

Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

Rob 5

Re: The ultimate question of life the universe and everything.

No, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Nominet boss quits after rough patch at helm of dot-UK registry

Rob 5

I bet either Clive Feather or Roland Perry would excel in the role.

UK libraries trial free access to scientific research

Rob 5
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Believe it or not, Texas has cracked this.

Here, anybody can walk into their local public library and obtain (at no charge) a flimsy piece of card, called a "TexShare Card". That card, when presented at any university library, gets you a proper library card and full privileges (again at no charge).

Sure, there's a (thin) layer of bureaucracy and there's probably some behind the scenes accounting going on that means that it's all paid for out of my taxes, but it's still a rather fine approach to the system as it stands.

Apple declares war on PAYPAL: Pay-by-bonk + iTunes = profit, right?

Rob 5

Re: google wallet

Seems a lot like it. What's the betting that eBay will refuse to allow Apple's service as a payment option, just like it blocks Google's?

Facebook will LOSE 80% of its users by 2017 – epidemiological study

Rob 5

@ I ain't Spartacus

Very nicely done, Sir! Have another pint.

Report: Prez Obama kicks Healthcare.gov contractor to curb for web disaster

Rob 5

This is pretty much CGI Federal's MO - trouser the money, fuck up the project, then walk away to repeat the process with the next contract. Just ask the Canadians.

JAILBREAK! US smut spam king Kilbride flees minimum security prison

Rob 5

Re: The good news is

@ Rukario - a recent study found that, if incidents of prison rape are included in the count, more men than women are raped in the USA, every year. All rape is, of course, abhorrent but prison rape (whether of men or women) is doubly so because we incarcerate the victims and then turn a blind eye to it, ensuring that they are repeatedly victimised and have no way out. The last time that I reviewed the literature in any detail, the US prison system narrowly avoided being classified as "State Torture" on a technicality.

That is a disgrace and should shock the conscience. The fact that a mediocre film-maker once made a joke about it does not in any way excuse anybody from the shame that they should feel at repeating that joke today, years later by which time we should all know better.

By way of example: which of these two factors do you think loomed larger in Aaron Swartz's decision to take his own life? The prospect of spending years in prison, or the terror of what might happen to him in there?

Rob 5
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Re: The good news is

"max security pound-me-in-the-ass place for hardened crims".

Is rape funny now? I mustn't have got the memo. Cunt.

Google puts Dr Who's Tardis onto Street View - and you can get INSIDE

Rob 5

All of the old TARDIS control rooms are archived. The Doctor's Wife, IIRC.

WHO was it that TAMED the WOLF? Heel, Rex! No! Aarrghh!

Rob 5
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I'll give you that one. Well played, Sir!

Rob 5

I was expecting something about Doctor Who and Bad Wolf. I am disappointed.

In other news, cats domesticated themselves.

XBOX One SHOT DEAD by Redmond following delivery blunder

Rob 5

Re: Why on earth did he even try to use it?

Yep. Here's one enterprising Target customer - bidding is up to $5,200, with three days left to run.


Rob 5

Why on earth did he even try to use it?

In his shoes, I'd have left it sealed in the box and sold it for multiples of what I'd paid. There are plenty of idiots who'd happily have given him silly money, just to get one early.

To be fair, I suppose his change of Twitter handle might indicate efforts in that direction, but he'd still have done better to leave it unopened.

Economical Indian MOM whips up her eggs en route to Mars

Rob 5

Stranger in a Strange Land.

That is all. Aside from noting that the Iron Maiden song by that name was rather decent.

Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Rob 5

Re: Concealed Handgun License

> Think that YOUR laws/rules apply to everybody, if they question it then threaten

> people, to get your way, if people have problem with that, threaten to sue them ...

The post that you're replying to clearly referenced English law. The AC was the only one threatening violence - I merely pointed out the likely consequences. Finally, it dealt exclusively with criminal law and there was no mention whatsoever of any suit under civil law.

All of which makes your little outburst look rather silly, wouldn't you say?

But what really makes all this anti-American bullshit hilariously funny is - I was born an Englishman. Bet you didn't see that coming. Cnuts.

(I'm not touching the last bit of trolling - the NSA can deal with that as they see fit). :-D

Rob 5

Re: It's the database, dammit!

In the UK, yes. Other countries (eg the USA) do spell it with an "s", however. It follows that the correct spelling depends upon context. If, for example, one was referring to the UK then it would be correct to write "driver's licence". OTOH, when referring to the USA, "driver's license" would be correct.

Though you could probably lose the apostrophe in both nations, since no cnut seems to understand when or how to use it in either place.

Rob 5

Re: Concealed Handgun License

Having a bad day, petal, or are you just a sad little racist?

Incidentally, please do try to detain the next person who shows ID from a country that you don't like. The sentence for racially aggravated false imprisonment should be quite severe.

Rob 5

Concealed Handgun License

Like many here, I object to the trend of every petty little twat demanding to see ID for the most trivial transactions.

For that reason, when I'm asked for ID in shops etc, while visiting the UK, I show my Texas Concealed Handgun License, then smile smugly as the little oik shits himself.

Planet hopper: The Earthly destinations of Doctor Who

Rob 5

Re: How Much Does It Matter

Not even in the top secret studio on Mars, where they faked the Moon landings?