* Posts by Arthur the cat

1399 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009


Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Another me too

When I was looking into my nephew's diagnosis of dispraxia one line jumped off the screen at me. "They often won't dance, because it feels so awkward." Oh, that's what it is!

I've always thought that was just being English(*).

(*) Speaking from personal experience.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: No problem with most of it, but...

I think those were five "masted" sailing ships.

Nope. From the OED:

master, n.2

A vessel having masts, esp. one with a specified number of masts, as in five-master, seven-master, etc.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: No problem with most of it, but...

It seems to me that "master" is primarily a problem when paired with "slave". I doubt whether any but the most fanatical would wish to get rid of masterpieces, master's degrees or five master sailing ships..

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Words matter...

The term that had me boggling was "dummy value".

As for "master" and "slave", replace them by "dom" and "sub" to be truly inclusive of the BDSM community.

£40m wasna enough for ink and toner cartridges in public sector, says Scottish government

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Nice idea in principle to use public sector economies of scale to drive prices down, but has failed spectacularly.

If it's anything like when I worked for the MoD, a couple of months before the end of the year people will get told "you've not used your full budget yet, better get it used before the end of the quarter or it will get cut next year". That was the point when we'd get out the equipment catalogues and buy a couple more storage scopes and maybe a new vacuum chamber and pumps.

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb

Arthur the cat Silver badge


I'm not sure I wish to get my broadband connection from the government(*).

(*) British understatement.

Capita Consulting ditching more than a quarter of its workforce 45 days after consultations with consultants

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Revenue Below Expectations

It is no use having stonking revenues a 1Bn if you are losing 20p on every pound.

As the old joke goes "What we lose on the margins we'll make up on the volume."

Arthur the cat Silver badge

What do you call Capita shrinking by 25%?

A good start.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

You mean, rather than see adverts about power showers, because they bought one last month?

Amazon seems particularly bad for that. I buy a book on Kindle, and get "you can also buy it in hardback and paperback and the French translation and the film of the book and this other book which is totally unrelated except for the fact someone mentioned the first book in their review …"

Remember that black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth? Scientists queue up to say it may not exist after all

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

What's this? Grand Theft Astro?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

My guess, the aliens are tired of us and are actively interfering with our view of the universe.

No, we're improving how much of the universe we can see faster than they're adding extra compute power to the simulation.

Someone must be bricking it: UK govt website for first-time home buyers snapped up for £40,000 after left to expire

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Cultural issue

When, in the 70s, we decimalised our currency the word "shilling" (5p) was eliminated. It could have been retained, but there was a deliberate effort to stop using it- it wasn't part of the new thinking, but it could have been and a whole generation would have been more comfortable with the new currency. It's just a name for 5p after all. It could have been left to wither naturally.

I still occasionally use florin for 10p, but only to wind up my millennial niece and nephew. Sadly florin didn't even catch on during the 19th century attempt at decimalisation.

Huawei wins approval to plonk £1bn optical comms R&D facility in UK's leafy Cambridgeshire

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Given the reality shone on China recently...

Trump won't let a bit of soil be turned on this project.

Don't be daft. Trump may think he's God, but he's got nothing on a local councillor in full pomp.

Also, it's welly wanging. No 'l'(*).

(*) Christmas starts early these days.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Well at least any kit made by Huawei in the UK will have had some attention paid to it at minimum by someone working for British security whether official or not.

The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre in Banbury is a formal collaboration between Huawei and GCHQ that has existed for 5 years. Its entire point is so that we can be sure about what Huawei's kit does.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Why don't Huawei continue researching on their own as per their massive campus in China ?

One reason is to avoid groupthink. That's one of the reasons I was employed as a researcher by the US Navy in spite of the fact I lived and worked in the UK.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Given the reality shone on China recently...

Why is this allowed

It's a local planning issue, sod all to do with the UK national government, and even less to do with a US trade war disguised as security concerns. South Cambs liked the application so said yes. That's local democracy for you.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Almost mouse free

It finally got fried when it decided to explorer the washing machine.

I had one get in between the outer casing of a gas stove and the oven. As I didn't fancy inaccessible roast mouse I spent the afternoon dismantling the cooker while keeping the cat away.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: chewed wires

Sensitive to magnetic field or to AC?

That's a well known problem with undersea cables and sharks(*), but I don't think sharks and rodents are that closely related, apart from the biting tendencies.

(*) This is a potential problem for any supervillain employing sharks with cranially mounted lasers. If deployed in groups they're more likely to attack each other's power supplies than the victim.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Wow, what did students to do you that was so bad that you want to wipe them out?

In my days as a CS academic there were one or two students who we wouldn't have minded seeing taken by wolves(*). Sadly there were no wolves on campus.

(*) Specifically one idiot who I supervised in 3rd year lab who told me almost every week that his terminal wasn't working when he'd simply failed to switch it on. His pièce de résistance was the time he insisted he had switched it on and it still wasn't working. To be fair he had, but as I pointed out while waving the three pin plug at him, plugging it in to the power is also needed.

You'd think lockdown would be heaven for us layabouts – but half the UK has actually started 'exercising more'

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Bending the elbow

is a form of exercise. I've definitely upped my number of reps.

Internet Society, remember your embarrassing .org flub? The actual internet society would like to talk about it

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Where's Grand Fenwick when you need them?

Get them to go over and sort things out.

Ex-CEO of fintech biz Wirecard arrested over missing money: Vanished €1.9bn may not have existed in the first place

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Wow. €26bn lost in two years

If by value you mean some God's eye view, absolutely all information known and all future events counted in market value then it is unknowable(*) and pretty close to a stock market version of Kant's Ding an sich. Mere mortals have to work with the observables (company filings, stock price, relevant news, etc) so de facto the price is the value at that particular time. When I invest in the market I worry about whether a stock will make me money, not about some abstract quality of "value".

(*) Unless you're the aforementioned deity(**).

(**) Other types of deity are available(***), depending on supply.

(***) Consult your spiritual advisor for advice on what sort of deity would suit you best.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Wow. €26bn lost in two years

Just because investors are delusional, doesnt change a firms ACTUAL value...

Interesting philosophical debate. I'd argue the value of a company is exactly what investors will pay for it. Of course, it might not keep that value as events unfold and true asset values are revealed.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Funny that their auditors did not pick this up earlier

Auditing companies, especially the big ones, have got fat and lazy. A savvy (and bent) CFO can usually run rings round them for a few years.

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Maze raged against victims who refused to play its game

This sort of entitled idiocy by crooks amazes me. I got the same thing when I played along with "Microsoft" who had phoned me up to tell me they'd detected a virus on my computer in a thick Indian accent. After about half an hour I got bored and pointed out that I don't actually have any Windows boxes in the house, at which point they complained vehemently about me wasting their time.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: 5 violent burglars on a BBC one programme yesterday and they all had "the look@

I share the view that there are people you meet first time, passing, etc, and your internal bell just rings for no apparent reason

Confirmation bias means you don't remember the times you got it wrong.

Some decades back I worked with a guy who everybody thought was gay - man bag, thin leather tie, seriously fashionable clothes and he could accessorize(*). Nope, wife, three kids, straight as a very straight person. Looks can be very misleading.

(*) I'm trying to remember which film that joke came from.

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: 1 TeV

I'm sure there is a definitive guide to animal flatulence available on the web.

There is but it doesn't mention bees.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: 1 TeV

Can we have a new Register approved unit, the bee fart?

Arthur the cat Silver badge
Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Meh

If you gave everyone who is homeless a free house, it wouldn't solve homelessness

See the Cobra Effect.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Cool tech

I so want a bright muon beam generator

Is a bright muon beam one that can do the Times crossword in under 5 minutes?

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Where will this end....

Quite surely, the if() statement is about excluding, which is not a good thing.

The abstract programming language introduced in Dijkstra's A Discipline of Programming(*) enforced fully inclusive ifs(**), so programmers had to consider every possible code path.

(*) Still worth a read 44 years on.

(**) And fully inclusive case statements.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Where will this end....

Next? They find out maths exists and demand that ‘perfect number’ must be replaced because it imposes an unrealistic standard of beauty…

And weird numbers are renamed as non-mathotypical.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: When STONITH falls

I'd replace 'Methinks' with something less archaic. 'I think' perhaps?

Forsooth, the incognito poltroon hath it aright.

US senators propose $22bn fund for new fabs on American soil because making stuff is better than designing stuff

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Meh

If the US wants to try and bring back low value jobs its up to them.

Just how many people work at a fab anyway, and what skill level(s) are needed? I've never managed to find any information on this in spite of much Googling.

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Delivery?

At least you got your delivery. I've just had two DHL deliveries go totally AWOL without any response to my queries from the bastards. Fortunately the shippers had the decency to do the right thing.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Someone over there - bare chested and riding a horse

If he did that in space I'd be mightily impressed.

Lettuce Encrypt, Encrypt We Must: Hobby projects change name after Let's Encrypt fires off trademark complaints

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: US "defend your rights" Requirement?

Added to which we don't want crooks and scammers to be able to use the name to con people.

Scottish cops dangle £6m for help understanding 160TB treasure trove of structured and unstructured data

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: a single rack

The number of hard disk errors on police computers is a weird and inexpiable anomaly,

It looked at me funny, so I Tased it.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: That may be true

One swift Google later:

From Statista, 22% of households don't have a landline, 3% have an incoming only landline.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: He used the wrong excuse

three years may seem a little harsh for the crime of being a stupid fuckwit


Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Never understood this

My cat is large white and really doesn't like strangers.

Is your cat called Arthur?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Yep, this need legislation

you had better have in writing that you're going to support all of its functionalities until the fridge dies.

Certainly sir. The fridge is engineered to die 1 day after the warranty expires, so we will have no problem supporting its full functionality until then.

Mortal wombat: 4 generations of women fight for their lives against murderous marsupial

Arthur the cat Silver badge

It's a shame Ed Wood is long departed. Killer Wombats from Outer Space! could have been a classic.

Amazon declined to sell a book so Elon Musk called for it to be broken up

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: "Unreported truths"..like a euphemism for "false allegations and downright lies"

Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

It always worked for me?

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: z-fold?

miles and miles of green and white striped paper

Very attractive to cats, especially when you're trying to read the output.

[Why no cat icon?]

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021

Arthur the cat Silver badge

El reg is becoming a member of the ipv6 club.

Which really has nothing to do with web redirection. You can have AAAA records on a .co.uk just as easily as on a .com.

The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Cheddar why?

I came down to London early 80s … almost very single one was a variety of Cheddar.

This may well be because of the Milk Marketing Board, which was the big cheese(*) in charge of dairy products until the 90s. Monopolistic quangos are not known for useful innovation. For useless innovation however, see Lymeswold.

(*) Sorry.

We spent billions building atom smashers – and now boffins think nature's doing the same thing for free?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

The universe is weird, we want a refund

Sorry, your two year extended warranty ran out a while back.

Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

Arthur the cat Silver badge

So because something is too expensive for you, you have no compunction in stealing it.

How the hell do you interpret

Because I value my privacy and the permanence of my collection, I had to pay 9x more to read the work.

as stealing?



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