* Posts by Real Ale is Best

277 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009


Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs

Real Ale is Best

So basically

So this is a system that swaps several minutes trying to work out what is in some fuzzy pictures, with many minutes trying to find your U2F key from wherever you put it after Google last asked you to sign in with it.

Ok... And which of my two keys (and two backups) should I be using?

I'm not completely certain, but I'm sure that leaving the key permanently installed in your computer's USB socket is not secure behaviour.

Still, it's at least better than having to dig out your phone, start the Authenticator app and copy across the six digit code. If you can remember the right one to use.

Chinese rocket plunges into Indian Ocean, still lands sharp rebuke from NASA

Real Ale is Best
Black Helicopters

The easiest way to stop China dropping space junk on other countries is to launch "covert CIA operations" to recover all the pieces.

It would not be long before China modify their rockets to only land in Chinese controlled teritory.

US declares emergency after ransomware shuts oil pipeline that pumps 100 million gallons a day

Real Ale is Best

When will they learn not to connect critical infrastructure to the Internet?

Really this is just asking for trouble.

Listen, son... Monster trucks just aren't cool anymore. Real winners drive Tesla Roadsters

Real Ale is Best

Can I have a red one on top of a model Falcon Heavy, please?

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead

Real Ale is Best


Doesn't SCO still owe Novell (and possibly IBM) some damages awarded by the court?

Or has that magically disappeared in the bankruptcy fairy dance?

Founders of medical science upstart uBiome once likened to Theranos now indicted for, you guessed it, fraud

Real Ale is Best

Alternative "medicines"

I'd like the producers of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy, prosecuted for making unfounded and unevidenced claims about their products.

I'm deeply disturbed that companies such as Boots the Chemist sell these so-called cures to the gullible public, rather than providing educational material on how to improve lifestyle; changes that have proved to improve health.

This developer created the fake programming language MOVA to catch out naughty recruiters, résumé padders

Real Ale is Best


You're good, but are you a Rockstar Developer?

Apple's latest macOS Big Sur update stops cheapo USB-C hubs bricking your machine

Real Ale is Best


I'd just be happy if I could get my Big Sur bricked Macbook Pro back from the Apple store that repaired it.

Due to covid, they've not been open since I took it in at the beginning of December.

Posting it to me was beyond them.

Bill Gates on climate change: Planting trees is not the answer, emissions need to be zeroed out to avoid disaster

Real Ale is Best

If he really cared...

This book would be freely available to download via pdf, kindle* etc.

* Other eReaders are available.

UK watchdog fines two firms £270k for cold-calling 531,000 people who had opted out

Real Ale is Best

> "If you sign up to the TPS, you should not expect to get nuisance calls. It's as simple as that," said Andy Curry

I signed up years ago, but my mother in law still calls every week.

Future astronauts at risk of heart attacks, strokes if radiation allowed to ravage their cardiovascular health

Real Ale is Best

Re: I want(ed) to be an Astronaut

It does depend on the radiation and the material.

I believe polythene is a good shield for some types (lots of hydrogen, apparently). Lead also being useful, if massive.

See here:


Apple drops macOS Big Sur on the world – and it arrives with a thud, sound of breaking glass, sirens in the distance...

Real Ale is Best

Unfortunately, my macbook succeeded to download and install Big Sur.

It rebooted, and all I've seen since is a black screen.

Thanks, Apple.

Windows 10 October 2020 Update has arrived... and so have the fixes. Plus: Fancy a discount on a Surface Duo?

Real Ale is Best

That's great...

... if I could get Windows to update at all.

It tells me there are missing updates, tries to install them, then:

Windows Error 0x800f0988 - I can't be arsed.

Reboot, disconnect hardware, run trouble shooter, make more free space. Nope, not going to work.

Relics of the past to be found in Oxford: A medieval friary, a Saxon wall, and... Windows 7

Real Ale is Best


I think the new centre is rather nice.

Good food options, and the view from the upper level is nice in the summer.

We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses

Real Ale is Best
Black Helicopters

The truth...

Amazon developed Covid-19 as a final plan to abolish all other retail and become the world's sole supplier.


UK utility Thames Water splashes cash as host of IT consultancies appointed to handle £100m worth of deals

Real Ale is Best


To be honest, I'd be much happier if they spent a bit more cash and attention on reducing the huge number of leaks in their ageing pipes, especially in London.

SpaceX to return NASA 'nauts to Earth with a splash

Real Ale is Best


The booster that launched Dragon has been turned around and flown another mission, complete with a perfect landing, ready to be used again.

How quick can SpaceX refurbish their falcons? Pretty good for something that "couldn't be done".

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

Real Ale is Best


I wonder if this will be superseded by extra-atmospheric flight by reusable rockets.

New York to Sidney in an hour...

Netflix starts 30-day video data diet at EU's request to ensure network availability during coronavirus crisis

Real Ale is Best


I guess I shouldn't have downloaded all 37GB of Doom Eternal...

In the red corner, Big Red, and in the blue corner... the rest of the tech industry

Real Ale is Best


So who owns the copyright on the C standard libraries? Do Oracle use any of those?

I do hope this comes back to bite Oracle hard.

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

Real Ale is Best


I've installed trunking in my home office. Similar number of sockets, but moveable should I need to.

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament

Real Ale is Best

Yubico YubiKey lets you be me: Security blunder sparks recall of govt-friendly auth tokens

Real Ale is Best

Re: And just last month I was suggesting Yubico over Google keys

I received my replacement Feitian (Google) key last week.

Better than that, they are send dual packs to replace single keys, so I have a backup. :-)

Honey, hive had it with this drone: Couple lived for years with thousands of bees in bedroom wall

Real Ale is Best


Those who wish for videos of this sort of thing can watch these videos.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

Real Ale is Best

They evidently forgot that you shouldn't pour petrol near a match.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

Real Ale is Best

Cheaper than HS2.

So it's going to be half the length of HS2 (HS2 ~ 230 km), exclusively in a tunnel, and cost a fraction of the amount.

Could we get them to build HS2 (and Crossrail 2) once they've finished?

Alternatively, get them to build the accelerator as the path of HS2, and share the tunnel with the trains. That would cut down on journey times!

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

Real Ale is Best


Only adults and children with momentary access to their parents' wallet will be able to access porn?

What about audio and text? Is written and audio smut ok?

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Real Ale is Best

They might also be being careful to avoid flight paths to use the defence, if caught, that they were not endangering aircraft.

In my mind, some sort of acoustic triangulation similar to that used to locate gunshots in cities could be effective at tracking the drones as it may not need line of sight.

It might take a while to write the software to pick out a quadcopter from the other noise, however.

Sticking with one mobile provider gets you... Oh. Price rises, big exit fees, and lovely, lovely lock-in

Real Ale is Best

What I'd like...

Is better coverage.

I've been with Orange, then EE all my working life, as the coverage had been pretty good, and I'm just uncertain about anybody else.

I guess I'd never believe the coverage maps provided by operators, so there is no effective way of assessing the competition without the hassle and expense of another phone and sim, then the hassle of moving.

Puts me off far more than cost. :-/

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

Real Ale is Best

Re: Did you accept the USB?

Have a look at this hack.

Even QR codes are dangerous.

Real Ale is Best

It'll only get worse

Once USB-C (3.1) sticks become more common, security threats will only increase.

As you can route PCI over USB-C, goodness knows the sorts of attacks that could then be carried out.

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

Real Ale is Best

Babylon 5 photo with Star Wars references...

Nice photo of the Babylon 5 cast there, alongside references to Jedi and Star Wars.

I think you are confusing your universes.

I'll have two pints of Blockchain Brew and a half of Cloudy Bollocks

Real Ale is Best

Nice and cool here in Olympia!

If you are in London this week, I can confirm that Olympia's air conditioning is working very well, and there is plenty of beer available.

Shouting lager, lager... Carlsberg's beer AI can now tell pilsners apart

Real Ale is Best

Great British Beer Festival - Olympia

Those who want to spend a day or two sampling and are free at the beginning of August should take a trip to the <a href="https://www.gbbf.org.uk/>Great British Beer Festival</a>.

'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Real Ale is Best

> In practice there's very little difference with FTTC and ADSL2

My connection improved from a flakey 4 Mbit/s to 62 Mbit/s.

I'd say that was a fair improvement, but then we are a fair distance from the exchange.

The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

Real Ale is Best


I always liked the Animaniacs version: I am the very model of a cartoon individual.

A series sadly not only not continued, but also not repeated!

Imagine you're having a CT scan and malware alters the radiation levels – it's doable

Real Ale is Best

Radiotherapy machines

Having just had 30 daily treatments in one of these, I'm interested in the treatment machine's security:


I was dosed with over 50 Gray of radiation over that time, albeit concentrated on an area the size of a golf ball. These machines can easily provide that dosage to large areas as well as small.

Incorrectly programmed, it could easily kill you in one sitting.

Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Real Ale is Best

Re: You're really lucky!

The Commodore 64 joysticks were so bad I eventually built myself a replacement using an industrial microswitch joystick. I still have it.

Airbus warns it could quit A380 production

Real Ale is Best

I've really liked the few times I've been on A380. They are quiet and spacious (at least in Economy on Emirates, Singapore and Malaysia), and have been the nicest flights I have been on.

It's a shame the economics don't work for the airlines.

Guy Glitchy: Villagers torch Openreach effigy

Real Ale is Best

Lies, damn lies and BT excuses

"Templeton is an extremely rural community which makes rolling out fibre broadband much more challenging."

What utter lies. The truth is: Templeton is out of the way which makes rolling out fibre broadband unprofitable, and we won't do it unless forced to.

'The Queen' is showing Geneva how to be polite on public transport

Real Ale is Best

They've obviously never been on the Tube...

Curiosity rover gives Mars the middle finger, prepares to get drilling

Real Ale is Best

Obligatory XKCD: Spirit and Opportunity

Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Real Ale is Best

Re: It really

Aren't gas turbines more efficient? For charging a battery, you would want a constant output, and that would suit a gas turbine much better than using it to power the wheels directly.

BT fined £25,000 over second unsafe London roadworks this year

Real Ale is Best

Seems like a good money spinner for TFL.

Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

Real Ale is Best

Re: A.I.

Depending on whom you use as a measure of intelligence? Not too hard.

Yes, all you need is a mind that is programmed to say "What?" and "Where's the tea?".

Google touts Babel Fish-esque in-ear real-time translators. And the usual computer stuff

Real Ale is Best

Re: No audio jack

What I'm waiting for here is bluetooth headphones that can be charged from the phone via USB-C power transfer. Seems an obvious thing to be able to do....

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

Real Ale is Best

I had one of these calls this morning. Not been with BT for decades.

Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

Real Ale is Best

Re: Obvious question. Could you split the whole grid into smaller sections to be more survivable?

But this is done with the intention of keeping everything running right until the point of a possible CME hit.

If the NOK launched, how quickly could the US disconnect all power stations and open all EHV circuit breakers? Would that help?

Yes, it would be damn inconvenient not to have power, but much better if you could then restart everything with minimal damage sustained.

Got that syncing feeling? Cloud's client-side email problem

Real Ale is Best


Hmm, I thought that Dropbox was supposed to support local syncing to alleviate the problem.

Yeah, it does, albeit with limitations.

Boffin supercharges FPGAs with timing signal tweak

Real Ale is Best

FPGA design

This seems to me to be a consequence of modern design practice. As things get bigger (RAM, processor speed, bandwidth), there's a decreasing need to optimise and thus no pressure to develop an understanding of the architecture.

I used to design FPGAs back when they were small and expensive, and spent lots of time tweaking designs to get them to fit at all. This often meant moving logic around the chip as there were not enough interconnections between the sub blocks.

Nowadays, they're all programmed via VHDL with each manufacturer's compilation tool doing voodoo magic to program the chip. It's not surprising that performance is sacrificed.



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