* Posts by Chris Hance

53 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Mar 2010


Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

Chris Hance


It's quite a let down that Ryan Reynolds wasn't involved in baiting this scammer. It involves Deadpool and Twitter, so it certainly seems like something he'd do.

Having ended America's broadband woes, the FCC now looks to space

Chris Hance

You seem to be having signal attenuation issues.

Are your El Reg posts coming through your satellites? Perhaps you forgot to "super rad harden" the Ascii capitalization bit?

NASA's zombie IMAGE satellite is powered up and working quite nicely

Chris Hance

@TechnicalBen Re: "Why wouldn't they build some sort of deadman switch"

Ok, now I just need to write a program to tell me whether class ever ends.

Crewless dinghy signs to UK Ship Register for Middle East mission

Chris Hance

Re: I'm going to suggest (@Cederic)

Pretty sure US Navy vessels still get wet. Sometimes in rather more places than the manufacturer recommends.

Though from what I read here, the Royal Navy may soon have to resort to canoes. Probably with a BAE contract to supply them for roughly 60 million pounds each, plus maintenance. And paddles.

AT&T, Verizon agree to hop into bed and thrust new erections over US

Chris Hance

Wait, what?

A telco representative saying that "a diverse community of suppliers" and "increase[d] market competition" are good things? Hey, AT&T, we consumers need more alternatives to the traditional cellular network access leasing model with the large incumbents. It’s not cost-effective or sustainable.

Oh, right, logical consistency isn't important. Situational ethics support whatever maximizes corporate profits.

NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

Chris Hance

Was there a shed in their habitat?

I'm trying to figure out why else they'd need a "British science" officer.

Photobucket says photo-f**k-it, starts off-site image shakedown

Chris Hance

Re: Rattlesnake in a pinata... @jMcPhee

"Boss, why are you asking me to break a pinata, instead of just telling me about my performance results?"

US Navy developers test aircraft carrier drone control software

Chris Hance

Re: Really??

It was a transcription error. The drone is resistant to Hackers, the movie. It spends its idle time posting to Twitter and reddit with derogatory comments about the film.

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Chris Hance

Still not sure about the app-controlled part...

Re the Netgear router. "Ok, I'm using my phone to power cycle my router, and being a phone app, of course they route all traffic through their servers. Great, sending the off command now. Let's wait 10 seconds. ... And now to send the on command... huh, 'cannot reach your IoT gateway. Check that it is plugged into your network.'"

After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

Chris Hance

Re: They would solve three problems at once

I'm a little lost on who "they" are.

I was under the impression that "makeshift options that mainly appear to fix the issue but which will either get defunded soon or allowed to wither away" were collectiively called "legislation", and therefore the exclusive provenance of one's government.

US regulator looks at Internet of Things regulation, looks away

Chris Hance

Because Mirai and family haven't done any harm to consumers at all?

Translation: "We're waiting until the IoT vendors have sufficient revenue to send lobbyists and campaign contributions, then we'll threaten them with regulation."

Sh... IoT just got real: Mirai botnet attacks targeting multiple ISPs

Chris Hance

Acronym is almost there

C'mon, reg, it's obviously a Security-Handicapped Internet Thing.

And yeah, routers aren't exactly IoT in that they're supposed to defend against this kind of thong, not be vulnerable to it. But odds are they're going to use the same chips, if they don't already. "Hey, we can save ten pence per unit if we switch to this other chip that's being produced in volume for IoT devices. Sure it only has half the memory, but we can just leave out the firewall and hard-code the admin password to save space."

Paint your wagon (with electric circuits) but leave my crotch alone

Chris Hance


How long did it take to mix the tracks for all the overlapping categories? I can't imagine "mother/father, other family, friends, clients/ customers and fuckwits" are all mutually exclusive groups.

German Govt mulls security standards for SOHOpeless routers

Chris Hance

Re: And? @Smooth Newt

But if all consumer routers have the same score, we're back to picking based on color. "Per government regulation, we are permitted to assert that our routers' color scheme reflects light at a higher frequency than the competition." "We use multiple colors to achieve spread spectrum light reflection."

Denon delivers low-cost DTS:X AV kit. Finally Dolby Atmos gets some competition

Chris Hance

No space left on the disc after they inserted the extra "u"s into the main audio track.

US Congress in cash freeze bid to DERAIL global DNS handover

Chris Hance

Re: Exactly anonymous!

For a moment, I took your title as a suggestion: let Anonymous run IANA.

I'm not entirely convinced this would be a worse solution than either a US or UN backed organization. It probably would lead to Balkanization when Anon plays with IP assignments "for the lulz", or just removes a domain of whoever some subset of Anon doesn't like today instead of using LOIC. But Balkanization is likely to happen anyway, and I doubt Anon would keep its shenanigans secret, unlike the US government.

Entirely too much thought into a ridiculous proposition, but when the "serious" answers are a joke, sometimes one must take a joke seriously.

US threatened Berlin with intel blackout over Snowden asylum: report

Chris Hance

Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

The US record on human rights is spotless. You merely have to accept the government's current definition of "human". And perhaps "rights" as well.

And we may as well define "record" to include only the information intentionally released to the public while we're at it.

BOFH: Santa, bloody Santa

Chris Hance

@imanidiot Read closely.

All we know is that the ambulance left, not that it had any occupant. Nor do we know whether said occupant, if any, was still roughly human-shaped (note that I am not saying the HR representative was ever actually a human, just human-shaped), or needed carrying out in a bucket.

Not that this post is purely an exercise in pedantry, and does not necessarily reflect my preferences on the final state of said "truffle womble".

The future health of the internet comes down to ONE simple question…

Chris Hance

Re: ITU @Irony Deficient

"no contract would be binding on it"... I thought that was the entire point of having corporate lawyers.

LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Chris Hance

Ex horreum, fugam.

(From the shed [/barn], flight.)

Dreaded redback spider's NEMESIS: Forgotten Captain Cook wasps

Chris Hance

Re: Is that a fingerprint on the lens...

To be fair, it's hard not to get shallow depth of field in macro shots like that. On a 100 mm lens, f/8 at a 30 centimeters from the sensor gives you less than 0.2 cm DOF. Drop it to f/22 and you get a whopping 0.52 cm in focus.

@UnSteveDorkland Twitter satirist faces 4 charges in US court

Chris Hance

Re: That's odd

@AC 16:12

Was that irony? Sorry, I'm American, so I couldn't tell.

Chess algorithm written by Alan Turing goes up against Kasparov

Chris Hance


Impossible. One is readable, and the other doesn't generally exist until after the project is done. And then only as "not this".

SpaceX launch put off for a week

Chris Hance

Right, it's the "don't exterminate the meatbags" code that needs work.

Any self-respecting capsule control program isn't going to take kindly to being grappled and flung about the cosmos. Convincing it not to retaliate is obviously taking longer than anticipated.

Microsoft tech turns any object into a touchscreen

Chris Hance

<-- The reboot "gesture" for the EM tech in the linked article.

With this, we'd have to settle for "Bash head here to reboot." Depression in the wall indeed.

Mars, Europe losers in Obama's 2013 NASA budget

Chris Hance


And "mother Earth" will be demanding tribute, right? Consider the moon's low escape velocity, and what Earth's gravity will do to any object lobbed in our direction.

"I got your taxes right here!" Cue many double-decker buses worth of moon rock going bloody fast.

NASA: Solar system may have alien origin

Chris Hance

@Wombling_Free: Well, yes.

His is the one with the oxygen in it.

T-Mobile hails first 'truly unlimited' smartphone tariff

Chris Hance

Waiting for the left-pondian rollout.

If this is priced anything like software, 35USD / month for unlimited everything might be worth switching.

What's that, you say? Exchange rates? I don't think electronics companies have heard of them.

Apple and Google ramp up proxy war

Chris Hance

See, it's just like the Cold War.

By your spelling, this legal battle is obviously taking place in a "hard-to-pronounce country".

Kiwis collar Megaupload kingpin, Anonymous exacts revenge

Chris Hance

"one of their laws (that no one outside the USA voted for or had a say in)"

You'll find that precious few of us, the irrelevant masses (formerly, "We, the people"), inside the USA voted for or had a say in them either.

Hubble probes star death blast clue to universe riddle

Chris Hance

It's our sitcoms and reality shows!

Obviously "the mysterious dark energy that they posit is propelling matter outwards as a repulsive force". It's not that the universe is expanding. It's just that everything everywhere is trying to get away from us.

The moment a computer crash nearly caused my car crash

Chris Hance

But if they save him now, they can continue to prepare for the coming biocide without the meatbags suspecting anything. Sounds plausible to me.

'Puzzling structures on surface' of YU55 spaceball

Chris Hance

Well, you could intercept.

I'd suggest calling the probe "Plecia nearctica" for all the members of that species that I have to scrape off my car's windshield every spring. Granted, it might not be in terribly useful condition after the impact.

New flash RAM tech promises 99% energy drop

Chris Hance

That's ok, because they did reverse the polarity; it "switches polarity when an electric field is applied to it." We'll have to wait and see if they change the intermix ratio, and where tachyon emissions fit into it.

Elon Musk's SpaceX to build 'Grasshopper' hover-rocket

Chris Hance

It's not the weight.

It's the luggage. We need an entire SUV to carry our kit for a weekend trip to the beach, nevermind into space.

Google Chrome beta turns on native code machine

Chris Hance

Chrome frame

If the user is conditioned to accept all plug-in installation requests (or anything witha Yes/No dialog), the computer probably already has Chrome frame installed. So the penetration may be close to IE levels.

Of course, nobody ever targeted ActiveX when it meant their stuff only runs on IE. Right?

Google erects master API for linking web apps

Chris Hance

XML facilitates blame.

When you're trying to exchange data in the corporate world, where data = money, and your data exchange doesn't work, XML saves the day.

With JSON or binary data, you better have a solid, unambiguous document describing what elements and data types go where, capitalization and all. I've spent hours hunting down issues, even when I wrote both the sender and the recipient. Multi-language debugathons are a great way to spend an afternoon.

With XML, if the data validates against the agreed-upon schema, it's the recipient's fault. If it doesn't, it's the sender's fault.

And knowing [who to blame] is half the battle.

Google waggles free* Android phones at Americans

Chris Hance

Once again, Google sets off scammer sense

First the "your computer appears to be infected" message, now "get something free, really, trust us."

Chinese lecturer demands his students acquire iPads

Chris Hance

Given their respective track records?

Did the developer have anything to do with Vista? Yes? Ok, give me a minute, I'm still trying to decide.

Blow to the head makes people feel good about religion

Chris Hance

Summary: Thinking is unpleasant.

People who don't accept what abook or a preacher say, on the sole authority of said book or preacher, have to think for themselves. And spend most of their time dealing with people who don't think. Kind of like working on a help desk. Not good for one's sense of inner peace.

Speaking of which...

Boffins pull plug on SETI alien-seeking antenna array

Chris Hance

Apparently 2 bankers read El Reg

And I'm just as shocked as you are.

Google pours millions into wind power

Chris Hance

10L/1km, perhaps?

I think you shifted a zero in the wrong direction, particularly if going for hyperbole. I seriously doubt any US(-marketed) car gets upwards of 200 mpg, which is what your math implies.

Amazon jumps the gun on free clouds

Chris Hance

Clueless or clever?

I'm trying to figure out whether you missed the irony, or are just playing along. I believe you'll find Amazon's service uses "American". But being an American, I doubt any of the English speakers here will be able to read this post.

Fire-quenching electric forcefield backpack invented

Chris Hance

In that case, definitely don't cross the streams.

Somehow a high-volume water discharge meeting a high-voltage electric field doesn't strike me as the safest plan for all involved.

Obama to overhaul heinous US patent system

Chris Hance

Prevent the patenting of what?

Surely there's no prior art for common sense. But I think it's already impossible to patent. It'll never be a business method.

Storage sale SHOCK: WD to buy Hitachi GST

Chris Hance

except that RAID-5 writes in parallel

If you're striping, you really want all the drives to be as close to identical as possible, so you're distribuitng the writes evenly. If one has a faster sustained write, but another has a faster seek time, but a third has the highest data density... I think my RAID controller just preemptively let out the magic smoke.

Surrey nudists tossed out into the cold after lease expires

Chris Hance


the blue... oh, it said bells. Nevermind.

Bond 23 back on track for 2012

Chris Hance


You'd think with the budget, they could've made it a little less obvious that Avatar was all CGI.

Zeal Optics Transcend GPS goggles

Chris Hance

I'm shocked!

I thought no El Reg staff objected to getting plastered, particularly when getting paid for it. I guess the beer might get too cold on the slopes, but I don't see what trees have to do with it.

Microsoft shields Russia's refuseniks from police harassment

Chris Hance

But his statement is entirely truthful.

Improper personal gain is a problem. Improper corporate gain is SOP.