* Posts by The Flying Dutchman

124 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Sep 2009


First the NYT, now the Wall Street Journal: But are hacking attacks from China new?

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Defense in Depth

During the last two years or so, any obvious malware I've spotted - stuff pointed to by links in phishing emails and such - had an average detection rate of 25% or so on VirusTotal. Which means that if one is stupid enough to click on such links, odds are that he/she will end up with an infected machine despite running one of those resource hogs they call antivirus software these days.

On the other hand, Cisco has just pointed out that advertising on mainstream sites has now become the main vector of infection.

It follows that the single most effective countermeasure these days, is to use an ad blocker. Doing so will deprive online publications of ad revenue and has publishers scream bloody murder - but the publishers should direct their rage to the advertising industry rather than the users and purveyors of ad blockers.

STOP, 'cuz thats what the little icon in the status bar of my browser looks like.

'We are screwed!' Fonts eat a bullet in Microsoft security patch

The Flying Dutchman

Re: @ t.est - The Real Story here...

I currently use Inkscape for artwork, but there's a few font types I nicked from an old CorelDraw CD. Most fonts that came with CorelDraw were yucky "party-fonts" but it was one of the very few software packages I know of that came with Zapf Humanist a.k.a. Optima, a very classy typeface indeed and one of my personal favorites.

Motörheadphönes ears-in review

The Flying Dutchman

Re: what do the earphones sound like?

Being familiar with Lemmy's stage monitor setup, I bet they'll be pretty loud, probably deafeningly so...

How hard is 3D printing?

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Printing multi-layer PCBs

Better still, print the components too. Who needs a silicon foundry? ;-)

Users told: Get rid of Internet Explorer (again)

The Flying Dutchman

Re: on XP some software won't run w/o admin priviledge

I regard such software (exemptions granted of course for software explicitly intended to run administrative tasks) as extremely badly behaved and will refuse to use them.

Moreover, the reason for such behavior is often outright stupid, such as the software wanting to write to some file (usually in the install dir) to which only users in the admin group have write privilege. If the author of the software can't even get this sort of things right, the software isn't worth the diskspace it occupies.

New nuclear fuel source would power human race until 5000AD

The Flying Dutchman

Re: it also turned a $1Bn *asset* into a $2Bn liability

$2Bn? You might want to revise that figure upward, maybe by a factor of 10.

The problem with nuclear is that, when a major accident happens, things can get extremely costly. In fact, no nuclear facility is insured against major accidents - the payout would bankrupt the insurer.

Consider Fukushima: there are three melted down reactors and a damaged spent fuel pool. It's going to take at least a decade, more likely 3 decades, to make everything safe. It's going to be a very demanding and expensive job, and in the meantime, the whole complex has to be guarded and monitored. If you think TEPCO, or its insurer, is going to pick up the tab you're a little naive methinks. The government, and thus the taxpayer, will be forced to.

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Hormesis

Until now, there's no solid case that radiation hormesis (little bit of ionizing radiation is good for you, sorta like radioactive homeopathy) actually exists.

More likely, and more consistent with what we actually know, is that there may be a threshold below which ionizing radiation does little or no harm because living organisms may be able to "repair" the damage caused.

BMW slams ad machine into reverse, screeches out of pirate den

The Flying Dutchman

Speaking of lazy journalism...

...maybe Mr. Orlowsky should spend some time on the road and chat with some real musicians.

I happen to have the opportunity to do so, since I've been working in sound engineering and stage tech for donkey's years. I worked with a myriad of lesser known bands in the indie circuit, and I hear a lot of war stories. Record companies and collection societies still are major bugbears, and the general consensus is that Courtney Love's famous rant (when allowing for a bit of hyperbole) is largely spot on.

A case in point I've mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating: I regularly work with a musician-songwriter who has published his work for over a decade through a (semi-major) record company. His older albums have been out of print for some time, the record company refuses to do a rerun. At his live performances, his fans keep asking for those albums so now he has taken to giving away CD-R copies, and making those albums available on p2p networks, effectively pirating his own work. His latest work is self-published, and high quality audio files are available for free. People *do* buy the CD.

Murdoch pitches battery for renewables

The Flying Dutchman


... I nearly had a cardiocirculatory collapse imagining ol' Rupert involved in serious research.

Hacker-smasher: White hats join forces to build bot-beating weapon

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Chaos Computer Club

If the CCC is categorized as "black hat", the so-called Bundestrojaner was supposedly an all-above-board white hat operation?

Scrunched Street View spymobile spied in India

The Flying Dutchman
Thumb Up

Re: the P90's in my Gibson ES-137P

Single coil rules OK.

LinkedIn shows webtastic social media firms how it's done

The Flying Dutchman

Re: What do people actually do on LinkedIn?

To be honest, I have not the faintest idea. LinkedIn appears to be mostly inhabited by management & marketing types, bureaucrats and similar purveyors of hot air, and spammers.

A fun experiment you can actually do at home: try adding "skills" to your profile: "iPad" (no further qualifiers) is apparently a "skill", while "electronic circuit design" is "not a recognized skill" *. Puah.

To be honest, for me even Facebook has worked out much better as a professional networking tool, than LinkedIn.

* last time I tried

What happens when Facebook follows MySpace?

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Photographs from the U.S. civil war era are not uncommon.

Consider that those glass negatives and silver halide prints of over a century ago are *very* different from today's film negatives and (color) prints.

A friend of mine, when clearing out the attic of an old house in München, found a packet neatly wrapped in kraft paper, containing a stack of glass negatives: early "tart cards" from the 1920's. They were in excellent condition, even after having endured what must have been considerable temperature and humidity swings for maybe 60-80 years. Modern film negatives or slides would have suffered quite a bit under those conditions: the polyester film base is pretty stable, the dyes that make up the image much less.

Same holds for prints: in those old sepia toned prints, the image is made up of insoluble metal salts. As long as the paper doesn't disintegrate, the image will remain. Modern prints are dye based, and while the dyes used are reasonably stable, they will only last if stored under carefully controlled conditions.

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Why not just...

"... use a printer that uses pigment inks ..."

If you want good quality prints that will last, real photographic prints (wet process) are still your best bet. And it may be significantly cheaper. I pay 1.50 euro for a a stunning 12" x 8" print on archival grade paper, matte or glossy according to preference. That's very hard to beat for any inkjet printer out there. Postcard sized prints on ho-hum paper (but still pretty good compared with inkjet) are a mere 15 to 20 cents each.

USB charges up to 100 watts

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Why Not?

People do not have a characteristic impedance. They are not transmission lines. People merely have a (very variable, depending on lots of conditions) impedance. And the reactive component is insignificant in most cases anyway.

And while it is technically correct that (in most cases) it's the current that kills you, it is extremely unlikely that voltages below a certain level will result in enough current to be lethal. Therefore, only voltages above this level (generally set at 48 V) are considered dangerous.

McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Updated to Add

Apparently, not only does McDonalds serve the best food in the world, also its employees can be trusted to always tell the truth.

The correct course of action of course, would be:

* review security camera footage

* have a chat with the employees in question

* check consistency

* have another chat with employees

"Erm, there seems to have been a minor technical problem with the recording of security camera footage... How inconvenient..."

The Flying Dutchman

Re: I draw the line at Whale \ Dolphin meat.

Ever eat shark?

A nice one inch thick slab cooked on a charcoal grille, not bad at all I'll say. A bit like tuna but not quite.

And a lot better than a shark eating you of course. Turning the tables, so to speak.

(and no, it's not a lawyers' joke!)

Build a bonkers hi-fi

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Fell at the first hurdle (almost)

Valve amps are merely a rather inefficient way to add some harmonic distortion to your audio.

I condone, even endorse, their use in musical instrument amplification. But Hifi is supposed to be about accurate reproduction, remember?

Now, I won't be telling anyone to junk their perfectly functional old McIntosh driving their Klipsch horns. Period gear has its place. But if you really need 1kW/ch, a valve amp is merely a case of extremely resource-inefficient dickswingery. Go solid state fer chrissake.

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Landfill in the long run. Technics.

Yeah OK, the SL1200 is not meant to be an "audiophile" turntable. Rather, it's a workhorse, built to resist dire abuse which would instantly wreck any other deck.

Just to make the point: I owned a Thorens TD166 once. It was damaged beyond repair by customs inspectors when I moved abroad. No doubt a SL1200 would have survived.

Retina MacBook Pro nukes Apple's green credentials

The Flying Dutchman

tell us what you think Apple's 4,700 US staff actually do

My best guess at a breakdown would be as follows:

R&D: 50

Slick Design: 20

Bean Counters: 230

Tech Support: 10

Department of Truth: 4,390

'Zombie bullets' fly off US shelves after wave of undead attacks

The Flying Dutchman

Firearms are for wimps...

My old Precision Bass has a decal that says:

"This instrument kills fascists *and zombies*"

'nuff sed.

Smart meters are 'massive surveillance' tech - privacy supremo

The Flying Dutchman

Depends on the monitor you use.

I have one of these "plug-through" monitors, it measures instantaneous voltage, current, and phase angle (and thus power factor). Picked it up at the local supermarket for a few quid.

With very light loads (less than say 10VA) it's not that accurate, but otherwise it works well, even with highly non-linear loads such as switching power supplies. Verified that by plugging in an old ATX PSU and applying various loads to its outputs while monitoring voltage and current waveforms with the classical tools of the trade.

Using said monitor on various pieces of electrical equipment has resulted in some interesting observations...

* Power consumption of CRT displays does indeed vary significantly with average brightness;

* So does the power consumption of my P4 desktop machine according to processor load;

* Modest but nonetheless significant (amounts to about 3 quid on a bi-monthly bill of 80 quid) power savings can be had by switching off ancillary equipment such as modems, routers and switches when nobody uses them;

and so on and so forth.

Button batteries burn kids from inside

The Flying Dutchman

Re: Electric burns?

Mercury has been outlawed in consumer batteries for quite some time now (more then 10 years IIRC), at least in the EU.

Demand for safety kitemark on software stepped up

The Flying Dutchman

When I look at any email...

... it will not run absolutely anything whatsoever, since my mail client ignores any scripting the mail may contain, and doesn't open attachments by itself either. And no, it's not some antiquated unix mail client that runs in a terminal window, it's a contemporary GUI based program with all the bells and whistles required, and still in active development.


(of course, I avoid webmail like the plague)

Ocean currents emerge as climate change hot-spots

The Flying Dutchman

re: ductio ad ridiculum...

... is what the so-called "sceptics" (well let's just call them deniers shall we) achieve by pulling out ever more improbable arguments to make their case, now long past the point where serious scientists are willing to waste their time to rip such idiotic theories to shreds.

No wiki required to cook up the above definition.

The Flying Dutchman

Now repeat after me:

There is no global warming, the Apollo 11 moon landings were fake, Elvis is still alive, and everything else generally is a conspiracy of pinko jewish bankers.

The Pirate Bay torrents printable 3D objects

The Flying Dutchman

If the 3D printing industry is going to stick...

... to the same pricing models currently in vogue for 2D printers, a 3D printer will cost less than a pair of sneakers, but using it for printing out a pair of sneakers will cost a fortune.

Ad slingers - obeying EU snoop code is NOT GOOD ENOUGH

The Flying Dutchman

Nice to know...

... that at least someone in the advertising industry reads this forum ;-)

The Flying Dutchman

"advertising tailored to the person's specific interests"...

Yeah rrrrrright.

If this would be the case, the ad-slingers would have realized by now that I'm not in the market for bloody anything: my disposable income is zero, so any advertising would be futile.

Instead, it appears that in these and similar circumstances, what you get is just the bottom of the barrel: advertising for gambling sites and dodgy dating sites. Haven't seen ads for loan sharks yet though :-/.

$deity bless ABP...

Microsoft de-cloaks Windows 8 push-button lifesaver

The Flying Dutchman

Separation of system and user data...

... could be easily done on any windows system as far back as win2k - I've stored my user profiles on a separate partition for donkey's years using said OS.

However, there used to be many applications about that insisted on saving user data in their install dir - but it ain't fair to blame the OS for that.

Seagate backup biz deletes name, restores EVault brand

The Flying Dutchman

So after all...

...they backed up.

(Mine's the one with the 2TB USB drive in the pocket :-)

Facebook shoves your face into creepy 'sponsored stories' in 2012

The Flying Dutchman


... those who are in the habit of 'liking' consumerist crap like cock-a-cola, nike, apple, and such IMHO deserve everything they get.

On the other hand, if my profile pic were to appear next to a 'sponsored story' about the local recording studio or my favourite rock'n'roll hangout where I'm a regular to the point some people think I'm staff, I wouldn't be in the least disturbed :-)

Eyes on stalks: ancient predator a real monster

The Flying Dutchman


... he was on acid while he "intelligently designed" this one.

GCHQ spooks' code-breaking puzzle solved

The Flying Dutchman

"...says prof..."

Shouldn't that read "...says *boffin*..." ?

Facebook, FTC settle over privacy ‘deception’

The Flying Dutchman

"prevented from misrepresenting users’ privacy"

I'll be looking forward to the new version of their privacy statement:

"We'll rat on you to the FBI and the DHS, with or without a court warrant."

Don't buy my new £210 box set - Elvis Costello

The Flying Dutchman

"in a depression, the rich get thin, but the poor go hungry"

If this were true, the current economic situation would not be a depression: as the available data bears out, the poor are indeed getting hungry while the rich appear to be getting fatter than ever.

Randy plods plundered police records just to get a date

The Flying Dutchman

Any guesses...

... about the number of breaches that were detected but not recorded, and/or the overall detection rate?

London Fire Brigade issues voracious tambourine warning

The Flying Dutchman

Yeah spotted that one...

Made it on to a Dutch news site as well. Including video footage.

Pity I didn't happen to be around, I'd have fixed that in a matter of minutes.

"OK, now get your hair out of the way and *don't* * move*..."


The Flying Dutchman

"...to remove a chap's todger from a metal ring"

I dunno but I'd prefer "... to remove the metal ring from a chap's todger".

It sounds less traumatic.

1,000 Chinese workers strike at Apple and IBM supplier

The Flying Dutchman

"They're the *clients*..."

And who do you think were screaming bloody murder when the Chinese government announced plans to tighten up labour law a few years back?

Graphene circuits from an inkjet printer

The Flying Dutchman


...just as with commercial ink jets, more ink will probably be expended in "cleaning the nozzles" than in actually printing something.

Boffin's wall of bees shields farms from stampeding elephants

The Flying Dutchman

One wonders...

... does this particular species of bee posses extensible Titanium stings? Elephants having a certain reputation for being thick skinned and all...

Erotica 2011 stands firm against rise of the sex machines

The Flying Dutchman

No "anatomically correct" ...

... android robots yet?

Fake doc cuffed in concrete arse shocker

The Flying Dutchman


There are appropriate tools for that:


Reg man the most-flamed recruiter in the UK?

The Flying Dutchman

That wasn't Van Halen, but the late unlamented "King of Pop" (ahem) Wacko Jacko, IIRC.

Facebook filth flood – Fawkes Virus to blame?

The Flying Dutchman

Apparently it's an issue of users pasting js code in the browser address bar, which is worse yet.


Dating sites can be haven for sex pests, say cops

The Flying Dutchman

Most dating sites are scams anyway...

... and are populated mostly not with sex offenders, but with non-existing, albeit gorgeous, twentysomething ladies whose mission is to get 50-year-old overweight males to sign up for a Platinum Account, at only $39.95 a month...

Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range

The Flying Dutchman

how loud is too loud ?

Depends on the exhaust note. A small two-stroke (um well, there are no large two-strokes, not any more) at even mildly elevated sound levels will be experienced as rather annoying to the average ear, while a big chunky four-stroke at significantly higher sound levels might not.

Case in point, I live on a moderately busy street, whenever some school kid on his badly silenced moped passes through, I curse. But there's this guy round the corner who has this old Ducati Paso, and when he passes through, the windows rattle and I smile. But YMMV, and I should state that my ear is certainly not the average Daily Mail reader's ear.

On the utility of "loud" pipes in traffic, well they're not going to help to avoid a head-on collision. But they do certainly help in avoiding jerky reactions from car drivers who did not notice you were overtaking them, and often they're a literal wake-up call to car drivers who might be about to turn into your path.

Unless you've clocked some miles on two wheels, you would not realize, nor believe, how distracted car drivers often are. The amount of gadgetry available to them lately (satnavs, mobile phones, car stereos) certainly doesn't help. When you're on a bike, you don't have time for distractions: you constantly keep a tab on anything that moves and the slightest lapse of attention might result in you ending up in a wheel chair or worse.

The Flying Dutchman

Re: hear hear

The thought adding artificial engine/exhaust noise crossed my mind, but if you'd want to use anything that even remotely resembles available hardware you'd be limited to a 125cc two-stroke wail - which can be reproduced at the required sound pressure levels through a horn system of relatively modest dimensions. Forget about imitating a large four-stroke, the exhaust note of such engines have powerful low frequency components which means you'd need a trailer to carry the required subwoofer, and the power consumption might be a liability too.

The Flying Dutchman


Having clocked up more than 150k miles over the years, motorbikes having been my primary means of transport (never owned a car, in southern Europe winters are mild enough to ride year round even if one's not particularly hardy) I must say I do find the idea of a zero emission bike rather appealing.

The lack of an appropriate (rowr!) exhaust note certainly is a point of concern though. Even a Beemer-esque purr would be better than the ghostly silence I'd expect an all-electric bike to "produce". That, plus the range being plainly insufficient for the yearly long haul. Unless they get the battery tech to the point it can get a full charge in the time of a coffee & cigarette break - if you can manage to locate a sufficiently beefy power source.