* Posts by Alister

4211 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of 'Advanced Night Repair' skin cream helping NASA to commercialise space

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“Chronolux™ Power Signal Technology”.

Yeah. Right.

Is that 5G and wireless enabled?

Strap in for the wild ride that is invest.com: A failed legal battle, millions of dollars on the line... and that Yo! app

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Re: "I will claim dominion"

Sounds a bit Game-of-Thrones to me :)

Woman dies after hospital is unable to treat her during crippling ransomware infection, cops launch probe

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Re: Citrix VPN

a known vulnerability in a Citrix VPN product

And suddenly, all the "Shouldn't be using Windows, it's their own fault" types are looking a bit foolish.

We want weaponised urban drones flying through your house, says UK defence ministry as it waves a fistful of banknotes

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So, when are DJI going to put in their bid?

Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer

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It still is used in toy trains. Both Hornby and Bachmann models have had instances of mazac rot causing the frames to expand and distort, and even just break off.

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Re: Loch Motor?

Only available in Scotland?

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Re: Blockchain

In the alleged security of the Bluetooth stack

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Lodge also speculated that the lock was made from Zamak, a zinc-based alloy

Ah, pure Chinesium, that well known robust material.

Ever found yourself praying to whatever deity runs Microsoft Teams? You're not alone

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Re: Hospital Slang

I heard a new one recently - new to me that is:


Patient Reassured And Advised To Fuck Off

Triage Nurses take note.

Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons

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okay with being in a concentration camp by the middle of the century and awakened by the sound of Chinese jackboots in the middle of the night

What utter and complete bollocks. You really think the Chinese are going to invade Europe or the US?

I've never heard such crap. Stop trying to spread such stupid fearmongering.

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A US academic has revealed the existence of 2.4-million-person database he says is compiled by a Chinese company

Oh well that's it, case closed then. Glad to see the burden of proof is so high nowadays.

'Mindset reset' contributes to £1bn extra costs and another delay – 2 years this time – for Emergency Services Network

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Re: What was originally procured is not what will be delivered

Prioritised communication and 'push to talk' were part of the original tender

They may well have been. The fact is that neither of those things were available at the time of the original tender, and still aren't now, properly.

I would like to know what is taking so long.

Tyring to build in functionality which doesn't exist takes time.

They could have added "must be powered by Unicorns and protected by Dragons" to the tender as well.

Personal data from Experian on 40% of South Africa's population has been bundled onto a file-sharing website

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Re: The $64,000 question

Haven't you ever had a credit check? Those are all the sorts of questions they ask you when applying for credit.

Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system

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Beware of caching

We had what we thought was a robust process of visually checking the backups had run every day, by looking at the filename (which contained a timestamp) and the size of the file. We also did test restores every week, of a random three out of about 100 databases.

However, when the inevitable shit happened, and the database server crashed due to a power outage, we found that one of the databases which hadn't been written to for ages, was running entirely from the cached copy in memory, and the actual file on disk was corrupt. Our backups had been dutifully backing up the corrupted copy for over a month, with no outward sign.

Stop asking for Amazon, Google and Microsoft cloud with 'no justification': US Library of Congress told to drop its 'brand-name'-tastic RFP

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Re: Even without RFPs

I don't think that's an especially American thing is it?

We commonly refer to the hoover when in fact it's an Electrolux, and have said, "can you get some kleenex", when we just mean Aldi tissues.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon

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Re: Trumpet

I thought a Trumpette was one of his cheerleaders.

Three middle-aged Dutch hackers slipped into Donald Trump's Twitter account days before 2016 US election

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To be fair, they could have guessed "password1" without having to resort to the LinkedIn breach...

Bork, Beer and Breweries: Three of our favourite things

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replete with giant knobs

Ah, Glasgow...

Microsoft to charge $200 for 32 GPU cores, sliver of CPU clockspeed, 6GB RAM, 512GB SSD... and a Blu-Ray player

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China’s UK embassy calls for probe into 'hack of Ambassador’s Twitter account'

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Yeah, somehow I can't picture how one would "viciously attack" a Twitter account - maybe sledgehammers, pitchforks or other weapons were involved?

Q: How does hydrogen turn into a metal? A: Hang on a second, I need to train my AI supercomputer first

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Re: Neural net predictions

But I don't understand how you can use one to make predictions in this way - how do you verify the results?

I suppose it is analogous to the intuitive leaps that the human brain is capable of, and therefore the only way to verify the results is rugged testing of any prediction.

This is very much why Artificial Intelligence is so much sought after - getting a computer to have the ability to extrapolate from too little data - but it does make me wonder whether humans will question and verify what a computer comes up with in the same way they would a human, or whether we will be inclined - as we do now - to just say "well the computer said so" and not question it.

Zero. Zilch. Nada. That's how many signs of intelligent life astroboffins found in probe of TEN MILLION stars

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Re: Surprise, surprise...

I agree that at the moment, our use of high powered radio transmission is being supplanted by low powered localised alternatives, however, if / when regular commercial spaceflight gets going, then at present the only way for craft moving between bodies in the solar system to communicate will be by radio signals transmitted at a higher power than most localised terrestrial signals are, so the solar system will be more noticeable as a source of EM radiation.

Job planning, temp staffing: NHS England tosses out £30m for HR and people systems to support new ways of working

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Integrated Care Systems

So having over the last 20 years successfully dismantled the once cohesive NHS and broken it into seperate trusts and entities, they are now looking to try to stick it back together again?


China proposes ‘Global Initiative on Data Security’ forbidding stuff it and Huawei are accused of doing already

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Re: "Spying on me would be of no interest to the Chinese."

That's not a fair comparison.

The UK and US can materially impact my life by spying on what I do online. the Chinese government, not so much.

I too would rather be spied on by the Chinese than by the US.

Upside down, you turn me, you're giving bork instinctively: Firefox flips as a train connection is missed

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Thumb Up

One of these is deserved for the headline, definitely.

Larry Ellison abruptly pulls rug from under philanthropy foundation after two years to 'focus on COVID-19 fight'

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Well he has to be careful with his money you know, can't just splash 2bn around willy-nilly.

Why cloud costs get out of control: Too much lift and shift, and pricing that is 'screwy and broken'

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Re: Cloud is expensive

Not that I condone this or agree with it in any way, but the big point is the move from Capital expenditure to Operational expenditure. To buy and run your own hardware is a big hit of Capex, which re-occurs every three to five years as you refresh.

Beancounters don't like Capex.

Moving stuff to the cloud is an ongoing Opex which makes the beancounters feel all fuzzy and warm.

The fact that the total Opex expressed over a number of years is way more than the equivalent re-occuring Capex doesn't seem to bother them...

'A guy in a jetpack' seen flying at 3,000ft within few hundred yards of passenger jet landing at LA airport

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I can't believe no-one has yet posted:

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? no, it's some guy in a jetpack...

Happy birthday to the Nokia 3310: 20 years ago, it seemed like almost everyone owned this legendary mobile

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For a fleeting period, this bulky handset was the phone to have.

Bulky! Really? compared to most modern smartphones it's tiny. OK yes it's thicker, but it's a lot, lot smaller in width and height.

Sounds like the black helicopters have come for us. Oh, just another swarm of FAA-approved Amazon delivery drones

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Re: "And it carried out a fully automated remote landing on an even larger plane, "

That's a whoosh for Duncan Macdonald...

What the AC was meaning is that as written, the sentence could be interpreted as the autonomous plane landing ON TOP OF a larger plane - i.e an Air Carrier

When Irish screens are borking: Ticketing trip-up for Dublin-based Windows 10 IoT terminal, but at least it's not XP

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Re: Dear God

As I've mentioned before, a lot of the common point-of-sale hardware only has drivers for Windows, so you don't have much choice, unless you can force the vendor to develop Linux drivers, which is unlikely.

You Musk be joking: A mind-reading Neuralink chip in a pig's brain? Downloadable memories? Telepathy? Watch and judge for yourself

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Ok so some of your points have merit. But this:

barely replicating what the Russians have been doing since the ‘60s

Is complete bullshit.

Worried about the Andromeda galaxy crashing into our Milky Way in four billion years? Too bad, it's quite possibly already happening

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Worried about the Andromeda galaxy crashing into our Milky Way?

It's alright we have nice big crumple zones

Here's some words we never expected to write: Oracle said to offer $10bn cash, $10bn shares for TikTok US – plus profit share promise

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Re: Just desserts


Ah, so he could use it for pushing more lies and fear-mongering. Great.

From the above, you appear to be a Trump supporter?

So what's you opinion of giving the Chinese $10bn and a 6% share of Oracle then?

That's really sticking it to them, isn't it...

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Re: In summary

Exactly. If further proof were needed to refute Trump's claim to be the bestest businessman evah, look right here. No wonder his businesses went bankrupt.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Keeping it local

It doesn't make them right.

So you think those that question the wisdom of selling off our national infrastructure are wrong, do you?

The Viking Snowden: Denmark spy chief 'relieved of duty' after whistleblower reveals illegal snooping on citizens

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It’s easy to see parallels between this situation and that of Edward Snowden,

However, the difference is, that Snowden knew that in America there was no truly independant oversight within government, and had to take the step of releasing information publicly to journalists to get anything to happen.

In the Land of the Free, if he had contacted the Intelligence Oversight Committee, he would have been quietly disappeared, and his information not acted on.

US Air Force shows off latest all-electric flying car, says it 'might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie'

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Re: Oddly Enough...

short low level stealth trips across a border,

You must have heard how noisy a normal quadcopter drone is, so how loud do you think 18 rotors are going to be?

Stealth is not an option.

Crack this mystery: Something rotated the ice shell around Jupiter's Europa millions of years ago, fracturing it

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Re: Arthur C. Clarke predicted it:

18 hours too late.

FYI: Chromium's network probing accounts for about half DNS root server traffic, says APNIC

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classic example of the law of unintended consequences.

You there. Person, corp, state. Doesn't matter. You better not shoot down or hack a drone. That's our job – US govt

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Using radar, electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR) or acoustic methods is probably fine, but radio frequency (RF) is a different matter given the tight controls there are over use of bandwidth to prevent interference.

Umm, you do know that radar is RF, don't you?

Someone please have mercy on this poorly Ubuntu parking machine that has been force-fed maudlin autotuned tripe

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Re: Huh?

Och: general interjection of confirmation, affirmation, and often disapproval.

You'd think 1.8bn users a day would be enough for Zuck. But no. Oculus fans must sign up for Facebook

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Re: Not so fast

And one-off mobile numbers are rather not available.

For 11 quid you can buy a SIM with credit, bung it in a feature phone to register and and then forget it.

'Get out of my office, you're being a pest!' Yes, son. Toymaker releases work-from-home-themed play sets

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My Home Office

I was so disappointed, I thought it was so the kids could set themselves up as Priti Patel and manage immigration, security and law-and-order for the neighbourhood.

US senators: WikiLeaks 'likely knew it was assisting Russian intelligence influence effort' in 2016 Dem email leak

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Re: Is this news?

I think the telling point is that the committee in this instance is Republican led, and therefore even rabid republicans can't just pass this off as more Democrat propaganda.

Former HP CEO and Republican Meg Whitman – who split HP with mixed success – says Donald Trump can't run a business

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Re: Asset stripper

Just for once, party above country.

I think (I hope) you meant that the other way round.

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!

Alister Silver badge

Re: For those that are not aware of who Gimlet is .....

Very good, but for those who don't know, the phrase "a gimlet stare" references a small hand tool similar to a bradawl used for making holes in wood, and is an alternative to the phrase "a piercing stare".

Both Gimlet King and Gimlet the dwarf were called that because of their steely gaze. (And in Gimlet the dwarf's case, because it sounded like Tolkien's Gimli, son of Gloin).

Snortical warfare: Wild boar launches amphibious assault against German beachgoers

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A friend of mine farms wild boar in Derbyshire. He had to go through all sorts of regulatory hoops to get permission to keep them, and there are regular inspections of the 6 foot high security fencing used to keep them contained. If one escapes, he has to notify the police immediately, as they are classed as dangerous animals.

This is node joke. Tor battles to fend off swarm of Bitcoin-stealing evil exit relays making up about 25% of outgoing capacity at its height

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Re: I continue to be surprised

Is there an excuse for not using encryption on every website?

I didn't downvote you, but there doesn't have to be an "excuse".

If all you are serving is informational pages, with no requirement for user interaction or logins, then why not use HTTP, it's a perfectly valid protocol if used correctly.

Steve Wozniak at 70: Here's to the bloke behind Apple who wasn't a complete... turtleneck

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Re: Apple

Woz didn’t do anything particularly special.

Right. Like reducing the chip-count on an Atari game console by designing the board to use DRAM instead of shift-registers, or designing and building the Apple 1 hardware, and writing the software, all by himself.


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