* Posts by ben 29

26 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Oct 2009

Would you let your car insurer snoop on you for a better deal?

ben 29

If the box has GPS

It will be useless in my car when the stereo is on.... for some reason if you switch the car stereo on any GPS device in range (up to about 1m from the car IIRC) loses lock. Tested on a stand alone GPS receiver bluetooth paired to a PDA, a Garmin Nuvii, HTC Desire (2 off), Motorola Defy, Sony Ericsson W810i

Much fun could be had switching the stereo on and off... more likely they would accuse me of tampering with the box :(

LOHAN rival to inflate bulging orbs with hydrogen

ben 29


@BlueFish1104 Google reveals that it could be nicotine... a substance of which the SPB have considerable experience in handling and use. Apparently.

Reg hack applauds asinine augmentation

ben 29

if the girl is choosing it has to be...

Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis obviously - perish the thought a writer of school wizard stories.... no.... wait....)

Facebook planking game claims its first victim

ben 29


WTF? When I was a lad it was called "Extreme Lying Down", mind you planking lends itself to ease of use doesn't it? "he's a real planker. I was arrested for planking on a police car. I'm going to the park for a quick plank" that sort of thing...

/mine's the one with double entendres for beginners in the pocket

NASA systems dangerously at risk from cyberattack

ben 29


call me thick - but surely mission critical systems aren't connected directly to t'interwebs???? I know my mission critical servers certainly aren't.

Perhaps I should get a job as a security consultant for NASA?

How languages can live together without killing each other

ben 29
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Geordie is pretty much a language - it has much in common with Norweigian - and to a non Geordie a large chunk of the vocabulary is unintelligible (Makems and possibly Smoggies might get by of course).

Scouse, on the other hand, is just unintelligible!

in my book, Basque wins hands down in incomprehension stakes... for a start, IIRC, the nouns are inflected.... "A Basque noun-phrase is inflected in 17 different ways for case, multiplied by 4 ways for its definiteness and number. These first 68 forms are further modified based on other parts of the sentence, which in turn are inflected for the noun again. It has been estimated that, with two levels of recursion, a Basque noun may have 458,683 inflected forms"

/me Boss says "Get back to work, slacker!


The Girl with the NSObject Class Reference tattoo

ben 29
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@Evil Graham

Overall TGWTDT doesn't suck too much.

Techwise, IMHO it does - what novel doesn't? (aside from Mr Stoll's, but then IIRC that sucks as far as writing style is concerned)

Storywise - it is quite readable (even re-readable)

ASSANGE ARRESTED in London - in court later today

ben 29
Black Helicopters

Assange with a dragon tattoo....

Having just (yes I know) read The Steig Larsson Millennium series, which is based around a massive SAPO cover up, the publicly visible parts of the Assange affair bear remarkable similarities to the allegedly fictional Salanader case.

Some conspiracy nuts claim Larsson died of a convenient heart attack because he was getting too close to the truth... with the striking similarities between his trilogy and apparent real life in Assange's case I am not convinced that the nuts are so far from the truth after all...


Inventor only entitled to share of employer's actual patent earnings

ben 29


The £23m was based on the patent in question not for the whole group.

"Unilever said that it earned £23m in licensing fees from the invention"

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

ben 29

nick nick

>>And once a driver has passed the test at 17 he never gets retested unless he commits a serious offence or has a medical problem.

OR joins the police and wants to drive ANY sort of police car.

Hackers hijack internet voting system in Washington DC

ben 29

The title is required, and must contain your voter number

>>Just shows the superiority of paper and a pencil on a string.

If you are referring to voting in good old Blighty.... your pencil and paper vote is not secret for all values of secret. Each ballot paper has a serial number written on it, and each voter has that serial number logged against their name by the returning officer's representatives in the voting hall.

/mine is the one with the unmarked ballot papers in the pocket

DARPA funds Mr Spock on a Chip

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open fire!

"Well that's 0.001% chance it isn't "Open Fire!""

Which is a much better chance than our boys currently get against the crack USAF at the moment...


BOFH: Risky business

ben 29

Create a new account here

Yup Beer is called for - that was a BOFH to warm the cockles of a rather cynical heart.

WD shipping consumer SSDs

ben 29

Finite chips and infinite fish.

>>A three-year warranty means it's -expected- to break. SOON.

NAND breaks down after a few thousand writes per cell. It doesn't have the same problem when reading data.

Unless there is an infinite supply of replacement cells the device is going to fail eventually.

Missile missed in criticism-busting interceptor test failure

ben 29

Pacifc ocean is a well known source of EMI for X-Band Radar

>>interference form microwave ovens, commercial motion sensors and wildly available (albeit illegal) radar jamming devices

All of which are in ample supply in the middle of the Pacific... or perhaps not. Which part of "Sea-Based X-band radar" did you not understand?

FWIW http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/sbx.htm has loads of information about the SBX.

Whirlpool allows old stains to linger on Kitchenaid.com site

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@Sir Tainly

False positives are, in this instance, Kaspersky's friend...


Judge blames RealNetworks for DVD-ripping ban

ben 29


Oh no you are not allowed to make backup copies.... except if the thing you are copying is computer software.


Johnson reveals ID register linked to NI numbers

ben 29

shared secrets #2

If it is a shared secret stored on a government database, how is it secret?

At least with a bank they tend to be a bit careful with passwords etc. however I have no doubt at all - given usual Government IT incompetence that the shared secret answers are stored in the clear, so any person with access to the blunkettcard database will be able to impersonate you.

Two legs good, four legs bad... peace is war... I am not a number...

Microsoft urges Flash makers to pay fat dollar for exFAT format

ben 29


>>Why manufacturers buying FAT/exFAT instead of using free ext2,3,4 or similar ?

Perhaps because windows doesn't have pre-installed drivers for ext2/3/4...

Why reinvent the wheel when for $300k you can have something that is automagically compatible with the vast majority of consumer electronic devices?

Muswell Hillbillies force BT to move broadband boxes

ben 29

40% of properties

Well that accounts for all the major population centres, and the rest of the country can whistle... as we currently do for Cable, LLU etc. etc. etc.

Forgive me, BT, if I am not overflowing with excitement at the prospect of FTTC - especially as I will be paying for it through my land line tax (thank's so much Darling) as well as line rental and definitely not reaping any benefit.

LHC smashes Tevatron record: Humanity enters the unknown

ben 29

LHC Jargon

PCs - Power Coverters

FMCM - Fast Magnet Current Changing Monitor

BLM - Beam Loss Monitor

MPS - Magnet Protection System

WIC - Warm Magnet Interlock Control

/mine is the one with a copy of http://lhccwg.web.cern.ch/lhccwg/Bibliography/UsefulAcronyms.htm in the pocket

Combat games disrespect war laws, report claims

ben 29

One last time people....

repeat after me: video game != real life

Anyone who can't tell the difference (yes even children know when something is 'just a game') probably shouldn't be playing.

Swedish cyborg gets haptic hand

ben 29

@The BigYin

My man, to whom do I send the bill for a new keyboard and screen? Extreme coffee meets technology moment. Keep up the good work - or is that a job for the CyberRabbit?

Geeks play Guitar Hero without guitars

ben 29

Computer/muscle interface

Surely I cannot be the only one to see how this could be applicable to the pr0n industry?

Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone

ben 29

Pedants 'R' Us

>>Aren't timezones defined with an offset from GMT? (or UTC, same thing)

No it is not the same thing at all. UTC is not GMT. End of.



Beeb unveils new Doctor Who logo

ben 29


IMHO its better than the amber lozenge thing...