* Posts by breakfast

1282 posts • joined 24 May 2007


Stairway to edam: Swiss bloke blasts roquefort his cheese, thinks Led Zep might make it tastier


Re: Controlled experments: thats the ticket

Sounds like you want this experiment to be performed more Caerphilly.

AI sucks at stopping online trolls spewing toxic comments


Re: The other way around

But Twitter is full of actual literal nazis. Like you can't criticise a racist for having racist opinions without having hundreds of nazi sockpuppet accounts pile on you and that is apparently fine by Twitter's security systems. Reporting them tends to get a "*shrug* What do you expect? It's just nazis" type response.

It's pretty clear by this point that it is by design and by this point Twitter is a site for nazis and the rest of us who use it are incidental to their core mission.

SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere


More like the I...OH NO... sphere.

Organic battery tech could work better than a woolly hat in the cold


Re: Naphthalenetetracarboxylic

Of course, GUIDs are hard to pronounce, but it transpires practically they are no worse than 60% of the Welsh language.

Twitter cries for help to solve existential crisis of whether it's Good


A dystopian technology

This take on Twitter is one I've found pretty convincing, discussing whether it is a true dystopian technology- "a technology that makes each user better off, but makes the world worse off as a whole."

That seems like a fairly good description of it.

Talk down to Siri like it's a mere servant – your safety demands it


Bad news for those of us who willingly put our voices out into the world, I guess. Or at least we need to start giving our families some kind of codeword to indicate we are for real. Even if this is, as yet, not something anyone has seen in the wild it's a fairly dystopian concept.

Meltdown's Linux patches alone add big load to CPUs, and that's just one of four fixes


So if I recently purchased an Intel-based system on the grounds of it being fast and it is still under warranty, should Intel be sorting me out with a new processor as soon as they have figured out how to security? It seems like it would be the right thing for them to do.

Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'


Re: MF - EMF

EMF??? Unbelievable.

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Paris Hilton

Re: July and August must Go!

You appear not to be in favour of "Sextember" but I have only just discovered that was a thing that might have existed and it's already my favourite month. Perhaps we should just make it last slightly more than two months to celebrate it's greatness, so that the official conclusion of Summer would become the 69th of Sextember.

Did you unwittingly support the destruction of net neutrality rules?


Re: Does this mean the NY DA has evidence of large scale identity theft?

It certainly looks that way, also a new and pernicious variety of identity theft which we can anticipate seeing happening much more in future.

Of course, in this specific case it may be that the emails would all track back to the correct ISP for that user and even to the correct endpoint. Given who the players are in this case it seems a little hazardous to trust anything short of physical letters or in-person meetings.


Re: VERY simple search form

If that is your real name and you aren't working for Monsanto, nominative determinism is dead.

Net neutrality nonsense: Can we, please, just not all lose our minds?


What about that identity theft thing, though?

I'm surprised this doesn't pick on the veracity of the accounts of huge numbers of people's identities being faked to send in the faked messages on the topic. I get that you're looking at the end as more important than the means, but if the reports are correct and potentially thousands of genuine citizens' information was used to create the impression that they supported a political point of view without their knowledge, that seems to me a pretty big story in its own right- possibly the first occurrence of a new kind of identity theft. Also it seems like regardless of the source it probably ought to be illegal.

Certainly something I'd be interested to get a Reg angle on, seeing as most of the reports I have seen have been interesting and strongly suggestive but lacking in that necessary edge and sense of the big picture.

Lock them up and throw away the (don)key


"... until finally the politician let my ass go" is apparently a standard international conclusion to tales of political engagement.

Military test centre for frikkin' laser cannon opens in Hampshire


Re: Perfect climate

Little known history fact: The Romans actually had these weapons. That is why a) they conquered the Mediterranean so easily and b) they were eventually defeated by goths.

FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan


Re: another kind of SEO

This is a genuinely massive story - as far as I'm aware a totally new kind of identity crime. I'm surprised we haven't heard from El Reg on it yet, though I guess they are doing the research to be able to produce something more in-depth when they do a story on it.

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles


Re: K.E.R.S

So we need to create a Wide Area Network of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems? Got it.

'It's back to the drawing board...' Innocent axions found not guilty of dark matter crimes


Re: Axions were not axioms after all...

I mean, they certainly sounded logical.

MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system


A lot of these numbers ignore that even if we can afford these extra amounts of money post-Brexit it will be because £350 million will amount to about 4 euros by then.

Silverlight extinguished while Angular wins fans among developers


Or M?

If my work is anything to go by I think ORM is just a standard thing now for most people, so it may not get separated out from other areas as much as it did. Also with object store type databases, the need to map objects to relational data becomes more limited.

What employs half a million people, just did $44bn in sales, and rhymes with Azerbaijan?


The solution

The answer to the riddle of the headline is: Nothing. Nothing does that. In particular "Amazon" doesn't.

I hear that ale from CAMRA's fun,

And makers of flim-flam are stunned,

Before you put pajamas on

Just put down that hammer, son

I am the one to slam 'er on

And plenty rhymes with Amazon.

In spite of this I have my calm,

Like Alladin why harm

Someone whose rather alarmed

Not one of them is Azerbaijan.

Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang


Re: Simple

"And as the baggage cherub of time tips the packing create of the universe onto the the runway of existence I see that it's time to end the show..."

Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles


Re: Banked with Smile for years

And yet if we use two organisations with basically the same name, it is very hard to avoid some degree of mental conflation - humans simply aren't that rational. If the Co-op electricity constantly do a terrible job and make you feel bad about every interaction with them then the term "co-op" gets tied into that and you start to look for the bad in every other interaction associated with it, in my case that is the banking.

This is the basics of how branding works. It doesn't matter that they are unrelated legally.


Re: electricity provider

Of course, but there seems to be a pattern of being very poorly run. I mean the co-op bank had a drug crazed nutter of a chief executive for ages, the electricity provider have assured us that the only way to resolve a very simple customer query is to go to the ombudsman and you can go into almost any co-op shop of any size and they will not have the thing you want to buy, regardless of what that thing is.

I like the theory of the co-operative movement, but the practice seems to be inept at a very profound level.


Re: Banked with Smile for years

Literally still with Smile only out of pure laziness and because it's hard to find a bank that has any positive qualities. Sifting through looking for the least bad option is not great fun, but I increasingly mistrust Co-op with my money, especially after having them as an electricity provider and they are SO BAD.

El Reg was invited to the House of Lords to burst the AI-pocalypse bubble


Re: Neuroscience

It goes deeper than that - the problems of AI are not just about how brains work, they are about the underlying philosophical questions regarding the nature of knowledge and consciousness. Many of the greatest minds of the last three thousand years have explored this and still not got to any definitive answers, so assuming that we can ram a bunch of information into a big database then run some statistical rules across it and come to any useful conclusions is perhaps a trifle optimistic.

Top of the radio charts: Jodrell Bank goes for UNESCO World Heritage status


And they say public-owned banks are a bad idea.

UK lotto players quids in: Website knocked offline by DDoS attack


Re: Oh well

I think the odds of winning a EuroMillions jackpot ( and lets face it, we don't really care about the chump change smaller prizes ) are so slim that one probably has as much chance of finding a winning ticket lying in the street as buying one.

In fact I think I'm more likely to be crushed by a meteorite than win that Jackpot, although I bet if either of those happened they would happen on the same day. Typical.


Oh well

I sometimes feel that no matter how hard I work at it, I'm never going to win the lottery.

US yanks staff from Cuban embassy over sonic death ray fears


Re: I'd bet my monies on...

Of course the key strategic failing of all the Great Houses on Dune was that they would always attack the most southerly(? I think? It has been almost 20 years .) unit first, so you could put something unimportant at the bottom of the map and build up your troops easily to overwhelm their bases.

Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System


Re: Duck!

I aint going Oort like that!

Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars


Re: Why

Because that is exactly the way Trump wants things to be.

Microsoft: We've made a coding language for a quantum computer that may or may not exist


New Term

Quantumware: Software or hardware that manages to both exist ( in research and marketing papers ) and not exist ( in the hands of any actual developers or users ) at the same time.

Chap tames Slack by piping it into Emacs


Re: EMACS. Is there anything it cannot do?

Philosophically, no. Emacs is a simple pure text editor that allows one to extend it in various directions but is, at heart, easy enough that anybody with the ability to instantly memorise 8000 keystroke sequences could master it in only a couple of decades.

Excel, meanwhile, is really complicated.

Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

Thumb Down

Re: citizen infractions of rules can be prevented?

Something that weirds me out is that politicians have a desperate authoritarian hunger for data about all their citizens, but they resentfully reject the outcomes of any research performed on their behalf. How will they react when their systems start giving them the same suggestions that their data scientists have been doing for the last fifty years?

Dear rioters: Hiding your face with scarves, hats can't fool this AI system

Big Brother

Re: Not forgetting...

Do you mean the cameras in the automated passport control queues where you go in and it fails to scan your face three times then a human customs officer lets you through but it's still worth it because it is quicker than the queue for the regular passport?

Those can't even recognise my face from a photograph of my face. I don't think there's a great risk of them identifying anybody in any kind of disguise.

China's cybersecurity law grants government 'unprecedented' control over foreign tech


Re: bye bye china

You know who is making the investment in all sorts of parts of the developing world? China.

Living in space basically shoves a warp drive into your blood stream


Re: This is some really useful medical science

Obligatory reminder of the problems related to this.

Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!


Would it work for shipbuilding too?

If so, it could constitute... NOAH'S ARC.

Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home


Re: The Greats have gone

Surprised I have got this far with nobody mentioning Adrian Tchaikovksy's Children Of Time one of the most enjoyable SF novels I have read lately.

Also weird that everyone has apparently forgotten Neal Stephenson - Seveneves is pretty hard sci-fi and a lot of fun with it.

Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit


Re: Just wondering

I only regret that I have but one like to give.


Re: 1400?

The good news is that we have slightly over 18 months to prepare and large public sector IT projects created here have a great record of arriving well ahead of deadline, working well and costing surprisingly little.

Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting


Re: You call that a quiz?

Ah but if you enable Javascript you will find that false, 0, "", NaN or null will also all mean false.


This does remind me of the classic NPR April Fools from a couple of years ago.

To be honest it is hard to see much value in most comment sections- 80% of them are simply a habitat for trolls, ideologues and credulous chumps. Not the erudite Register commentards, obviously, we barely break 50%.

Alien 'lava lamp' with dying magnetic field orbited Earth a billion years ago – science


Re: When is the last time you used yours?

I heard an account of an office where they were used on everyone's desks, activated whenever they broke the build.

I suspect the story was completely spurious, but I rather like the idea because it gives you a brief window of opportunity after your build break to get it fixed before it becomes super obvious...

Please virtualize my reality before asking me to goggle at a fake one


If your house is that small it's no wonder the conveyancers weren't able to find out much about it.

Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH


The clear litmus test for futurist bollocks

I assumed this story was overblown future-panic bullshit, but then when it was covered on Radio 4 who should pop up on my radio but Professor Kevin Warwick. No further evidence required.

'App DDoS bombs' that slam into expensive APIs worry Netflix


Re: Repulsive attraction

And how do they even work? Can we get some first rate science juggalos on this?

Hackers can turn web-connected car washes into horrible death traps


Just invite Fran Healy over.

Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident


Re: Jesus!

They would learn to do that eventually, but until then they would probably get cross.

JavaScript spec gets strung out on padding


Re: broken by design?

The functional side of Javascript is exactly the thing that makes it powerful and perhaps my favourite part of the language, but functional programming is hard to grasp conceptually, hard to learn and - in my opinion at least - harder to write in a way that is easy for other developers to follow.

Most developers see a language that looks a bit java-like and assume they can write java ( or C or C# ) with it, which is understandable, and then desperately try and squidge the language into their expectations. That makes for cumbersome code that eventually gets the job done and is fairly easy to read.

Of course as you say most people using Javascript aren't programmers at all by training and just keep poking at the code and pasting from StackOverflow until it works.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021