* Posts by Comedy of Errors

39 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Oct 2009

Being declared dead is automated, so why is resurrection such a nightmare?

Comedy of Errors

The un-deading command

At one company at worked at it happened so often the IT team built a command line utility that users could run to fix all the problems declaring somebody dead caused when they weren't.

What was the command that had to be run? It was "Easter" because it brought people back to life.

Mars helicopter to take a breather, recharge batteries

Comedy of Errors

Because the atmospheric pressure on Mars is less than 1% of that on earth. Not enough to drive a turbine.

Comedy of Errors

Solar panels are in the wrong place

The problem is the solar panels are above the blades. If it was below then the air wash from the blades in flight would keep the dust off.

The only problem might be shade from the props when not in use, but that could be minimised by setting the resting position of the blades such that they are one above the other and at 90 degrees to the panel.

Like a BAT outta hell, Brave browser hits 1.0 with crypto-coin rewards for your fave websites

Comedy of Errors

Installer works for me

"You can get Brave here, though we hit a curious problem where the installer claims it isn't able to connect to the internet"

Worked fine for me. Maybe they fixed it.

Dropbox reinvents itself as a collaborative workspace – no, not the WeWork kind (phew)

Comedy of Errors

It used to be for me too, but then they quietly introduced a 3 device limit on free accounts at which point I dumped it. I reckoned even if I started paying they would keep degrading the pure file storage side as they aren't interested in that any more.

Robot Rin Tin Tin can rescue you from that collapsed mine shaft

Comedy of Errors

Ignored the victim

The mine floor was extremely flat and it still manage to trip over something minor. I doubt it would manage very well in a tunnel with rubble in it from the supposed cave-in making it highly unlikely it could actually reach anybody trapped inside.

And having reached the victim it ignored him and carried on down the tunnel.

Someone's in hot water: Tea party super PAC group 'spilled 500,000+ voters' info' all over web

Comedy of Errors

Tea Party hypocrisy

The Tea Party? That will be the same people who chanted "Lock her up" about Hilary Clinton's alleged weak email security. I expect they will now all be out on the streets chanting for Tea Party officials to be locked up too?


Garbage collection – in SPAAACE: Net snaffles junk in first step to clean up Earth's orbiting litter

Comedy of Errors

Nobody noticed it almost failed?

Watch the video carefully. At the centre of the net there seems to be a large disc - maybe a cover?

It goes first and hits the target which spins rapidly and almost knocks it out of the path. Fortunately the edge of the net JUST catches it.

I bet if you did the same test 10 times around half would fail

Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway

Comedy of Errors

Dear Rich Bastard email

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the famous "Dear Rich Bastard" email, which surprisingly turns out to be a true story:


Europe fires back at ICANN's delusional plan to overhaul Whois for GDPR by next, er, year

Comedy of Errors

What's the problem?

I feel I am missing something. Just replace all the existing email addresses with an ID number. That ID relates to a list of real emails in a private database. Job done.

They can worry about who gets access to it later.

Baywatch hero drone saves silly struggling swimmers Down Under from going down under

Comedy of Errors

Need to teach the kids how to hang onto a float

One of them eventually gets the idea to drape himself over the float, but the other just tries to hold it with one hand, never seeming to learn even when separated from it by each passing wave.

Antarctica declared world's most volcanic region as 91 new cones found beneath ice

Comedy of Errors

Re: Ocean ridges


Volcanoes: 65 to 319 MILLION tonnes of CO2 per year (min/max estimates)

Man: 34 BILLION tonnes of carbon dioxide per year

Source: https://www.skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming.htm

HipChat SlipChat lets hackers RipChat

Comedy of Errors

Re: seems like quite a professional response to me.


1) They knew about a vulnerability, checked their systems and incorrectly stated they were safe from it.

2) Reset all the passwords then discovered their systems can't handle everybody requesting a new one.

24 hours later I am still struggling to get a new password. About half the people in my company have managed it so far.

Comedy of Errors

Re: Can't reset

Might be more than just high volumes. From their status page (http://atlassian.statuspage.io/):

"We are investigating ongoing problems with Atlassian account preventing users to login to Atlassian services."

I wonder if they took down their password handling programs as a consequence of the breach? What a mess.

Comedy of Errors

Can't reset

The passwords have been revoked but it is currently impossible to reset them and create new ones, presumably due to the volume of requests.

It's kinda unimpressive when they new about the vulnerability and still failed to secure themselves against it.



they said:

"Hipchat Cloud does not have the issue described on this page."

'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe

Comedy of Errors

Hope they remember the heat shield

If the Doppler radar measures distance to the ground and they kick off a big heat shield I hope they don't get a reading reflected off it or the same thing will happen again next time.

Y'know that ridiculously expensive Oculus Rift? Yeah, it just got worse

Comedy of Errors

Everybody used to say the Oculus was cheaper than the Vive

When all the reviews first came out I remember they all said the Vive might be better but the Oculus was cheaper. As I suspected it turns out once you have added all the hardware to bring it up to parity it is more expensive.

But the biggest mistake was not launching it as a single package. Developers will be unwilling to make games using the Touch handsets or Room Scale when only a fraction of the users have one. At least with the Vive they know 100% of the user base has them.

Australian geoboffin discovers 3.7 billion year old fossils after ice melts

Comedy of Errors

Still going

It's impressive the oldest ever fossils ever found are for a species still alive today. Thought once to be long extinct they can still be found in a few locations including Shark Bay in Australia - well worth a look if you are passing.

Revealed: How NASA saved the Kepler space telescope from suicide

Comedy of Errors

So... you just turned it off and on again?

"After rebooting the main computers the readings from the thrusters, wheels and instruments showed all systems were normal... it’s an unknown problem that sorted itself out"

So... you just turned it off and on again and that mysteriously fixed the problem? Even rocket scientists do it.

Brits seek rousing name for polar research vessel

Comedy of Errors

On The Rocks

Alien studs on dwarf's erection baffle boffins

Comedy of Errors

Re: Hmmm..

I agree. Extra material has been added and compressed underground by the impact. It then slowly and steadily headed upwards to relieve the pressure. For example Mount Kinabalu on Earth was caused by a big ball of molten rock cooling then rising to the surface, and still rising at 5mm pa. The low gravity would help a lot.

Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print

Comedy of Errors

CAVE people

A decade ago I remember my guide referring to those against the telescopes as "CAVE people" - Citizens Against Virtually Everything.

The sites are scared only under the old religion which so few people now follow it doesn't even figure in the stats:


I suspect most of the protesters do not follow it either but retain some ill defined and illogical feeling of sacredness over the sites.

There are better things to protest about, such as land rights.

El Reg picked a pack of ace pic-titlers

Comedy of Errors

Windows 10 SP1 introduces gesture based commands. Here our model demonstrates how to startup using the "Hooray for Microsoft" gesture. Programs are opened by waving a credit card enthusiastically at the screen.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Comedy of Errors

I have been following your guide "Simple Steps in Install Windows 10" though some are a little strange. However I do not understand step 94: "Your hovercraft is full of eels".

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Comedy of Errors

And lo Apple sayeth "Let there be God", and then there was God.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Comedy of Errors

2 captions

1) For sale. 1 terror bite laptop. Buyer collects.


2) Labour party spokesman: "It is untrue some people were unable to vote for Jeremy Corbyn online. Everybody was welcome to do so using the laptop provided."

Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones

Comedy of Errors

Premium features?

According to the page El Reg links to you have to pay to get such basic features in Word as changing the page orientation and inserting section breaks. There are other free office apps out there that include such fundamentals.

Sun like it hot: Philae comet probe wakes up, phones home again

Comedy of Errors

Re: Nobody querying the poor comms?

I have uncovered some figures.

A packet is 256 bytes of data + another 20 header = 276 bytes

Max transmission speed is 16kbps

From a quick calc I reckon that means they can achieve roughly 870 packets in 2 minutes (though there may be some overhead establishing the connection). So we are still a long way off that.

Comedy of Errors

Nobody querying the poor comms?

Nobody in any news story seems to have questioned the packet figures:

First contact: One contact for 2 mins, sent back 300 packets

Latest contact: Two contacts for 2 minutes each, but sent back only 185 packets in total.

That suggests very poor comms. Poor angle? Interference from dust? I don't know and nobody seems to be questioning it.

Gartner: Dell nowhere to be seen as storage SSD sales go flat

Comedy of Errors

Chart error

Isn't the X scale on the chart back to front? It has 2014 on the left and 2012 on the right, but the market share % figures quoted seem to be for the figures on the right.


Comedy of Errors


It's where the surface camouflage has slipped off the Death Star. Look carefully and you can even see a huge dish like indentation in the top left where the main weapon fires.

Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

Comedy of Errors

Removing it

Lots of articles say the only way to be sure you have got rid of everything is to reinstall Windows and avoid using the Windows image supplied with the machine.

The problem is that won't work. The version of windows on it is the cut price "Windows 8.1 with Bing" for which Microsoft has never issued a public ISO. Standard version of Windows will not work.

So without buying a whole new version of Windows we are left just trying to fix the obvious stuff and hope we didn't miss anything.

China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

Comedy of Errors

Re: The wake?

Not just a wake, presumably there will be a trail of bubbles pointing like an arrow to your final location, plus a great deal of underwater noise from bubbles and jet engines. All things you don't want in a submarine.

Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

Comedy of Errors

Do volcanoes really chill?

Surely the chilling effects of volcanoes is temporary as they also churn out vast amounts of carbon dioxide?

LOHAN sets clock ticking for explosive climax

Comedy of Errors

accelerometer and turbulence

Nice idea, but remember it can be pretty turbulent. Wouldn't it be better to trigger if the GPS AND (not OR) accelerometer say the balloon has burst.

You don't want a 2 seconds of apparent free fall from a down draft causing an embarrassing premature incident do you?

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss takes to the air

Comedy of Errors


The trouble with 1 balloon is the payload will spin and the video will be nausea inducing.

Why not have 2 balloons with lines from each going to both ends of the truss? This will keep the whole thing level and stable.

LOHAN spaceplane project starting to shape up nicely

Comedy of Errors

Frozen controls

One problem I forsee is frozen control surfaces. That means the rocket will go in circles and the plane stage will not operate until lower altitudes de-ice it - assuming it has not already broken by then pushing against a non-moving surface.

I think you will have to do one of these:

1) provide heating, perhaps using wire through the hinge points

2) use "wing warping" for steering instead, though it would take more power

3) some other novel method of steering such as weight shift (as used by hang gliders) in a heated container. But I don't think it as ever been done in a model and is probably impractical.

MS honeypot research sheds light on brute-force hacks

Comedy of Errors

The author has missed a gift by Microsoft

If you type in #!comment: into Microsoft's password checker it declares it "medium strength"

How could the author have overlooked Microsoft being so dumb as to not include their own list of the 5 most unsafe passwords on their own password checker!!! It's a gift.

Interead Cool-er

Comedy of Errors

New firmware

Since installing the new firmware it now takes me straight back to the page I was reading when I switched it off.

It also adds a very useful feature that the font size can be changed simply by pressing the Volume + and - buttons. So much better than going through the menus.

It also adds a search facilility though the on screen keyboard is too fiddly for it to be of much use.

I would reccommend it as a no-frills stop-gap until better screens arrive, but do install the latest firmware.