* Posts by RockBurner

324 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Aug 2010


Boffins find asking ChatGPT to repeat key words can expose its training data


Who was it who first said "With computers you only get out what you've put in" ??

Honda cooks up an electric motorbike menu, with sides of connectivity


Re: NC range

Not sure who started the "modular" production approach to motorcycles but BMW certainly used it with aplomb since the middle of the last century at least.

You could probably argue that NVT (Norton Villiers Triumph) did it too, but that was more a badge-engineering effort (ie produce one bike and slap different brand/model names on them at random).

Brit borough council apologizes for telling website users to disable HTTPS


Is that website still built with Frontpage? (If so, it'll still contain some of my first forays into web-"dev".... it wouldn't surprise me.... )

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater


The Golgafrincham Giant Mutant Star Goat finally arrives and we're (as usual) not ready for it. (Ark production hasn't even reached alpha test stage...)

Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support


Re: Another AI image

Cheaper to ask an AI image generator for a jpb than to pull something from Shutterstock?

Vote now on who should take the lead in Musk: The Movie


Re: Joaquin Phoenix

Seconded, first actor I thought of when reading the article.

Robot mistakes man for box of peppers, kills him


You're right in one way.... however, the human mind needs to be able to deal with unpleasantness in a way that prevents permanent scarring, otherwise it simply would break down and be unable to function after a while. Humour is the release valve that allows the mind to deal with horror.

NASA eyes 3D-printed rocket nozzles for deep space missions


Re: The Seven Ages of Rocketry, or something

Thanks for the correction. :)

Of course I am aware of laser-sintering and other "3D-printing" methods, do'h.


Re: The Seven Ages of Rocketry, or something

I'm no rocket engineer but....

"It also puzzles me why the stuff needs to be weldable when its whole raison d'etre is to do away with a thousand frikkin' welds."

Because aluminium that is "weldable" is aluminium that can be heated up to a liquid state, allowed to flow together, then, when cooled, retains it's original strength (or thereabouts), and the structure is not weakened by the changes of state during that heating/flowing/cooling (ie welding) processes.

Basically it means you can heat it up, flow it through the print nozzle, and when it engages with the already printed material, it bonds properly at a molecular level (instead of just "resting" on top, or, possibly "keying" at a surface level context).

IE - it's possible to use it for 3d printing stuff like this, where non-weldable aluminium would not be as strong.

NASA taking its time unboxing asteroid sample because it grabbed too much stuff



I hope they've all watched "The Andromeda Strain", and none of them have epilepsy...

EFF urges Chrome users to get out of the Privacy Sandbox


Re: WTF?

"What is going in inside that trash can..."

You don't want to know....


UK admits 'spy clause' can't be used for scanning encrypted chat – it's not 'feasible'


Re: When it becomes possible

Define "near".

(in the context of FTL drives, London is slap-bang next to Tokyo, or any other residential area on this little blue dot).

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster


Ah - the benefits of proofing....

I assume that term is banished from current school curricula.

2023 World Solar Challenge entrant welcomes clouds – not the fluffy white ones


They really should start doing this event in other "less clement" countries....

(yes, yes, I know that the main point is gathering data and analysing it for better charging/usage cycle algorithms etc etc)

Microsoft maybe still dreams of bendy phones, judging from 360° folding screen patent


Re: Why???

2 people watching the same movie/youtube whilst sitting opposite each other?

Google opens up Chrome 117 Developer Tools box, drops in a few spanners


"Since Chrome 108, Google has been bringing back the prerendering of web pages that a Chrome user is deemed likely to visit. Much like speculative execution in CPU microarchitecture – the source of a few security issues – the idea is to fetch and load web resources before they're needed to save time."

Isn't this just a (blatant) method of increasing advertisement "link-through" stats?

Have you ever suspected your colleague doesn't hope this email finds you well?*


Re: Hands Free..........

One "boss" (small* company director) I had expected his minions to listen to his calls; well, his half of his calls, said half comprising mostly of single word responses: "yes", "ok", "fine", "no" etc; and then be able to pick up a new project and start running with it, assuming they'd heard (how??) everything the other party had been yammering about.

He tried it with me twice: the first time I told him "I don't listen to other people's calls, it's rude and invasive", and he filled me in on the details with very bad grace **, and luckily I moved desk away from him very soon after.

The second time, (about 10 years later when I'd finally had enough of his utterly moronic bullshit) I quit.

* in both senses

** well - he was Australian too, which didn't help matters.


Re: Or the really annoying

"The best uncensored ( apocryphal? ) story I heard was a reply from an WW2 RAF ground crew sergeant to a Squadron Leader when asked why an aircraft had not been repaired for combat: " Fucking fucker's fucking fucked - Sir. " "

A good example of the adaptability of a great english swear-word.

Arc: A radical fresh take on the web browser


Re: Off topic

"Power User": someone much more important than you.... mmmkay.

To infinity and beyond, with a swarm of tiny computers costing under $1K each


Re: Von Neumann Effect

Aggressive Hegemonising Swarm Object anyone?

(Mine's the one with the pen terminal in the pocket).

NASA 'quiet' supersonic jet is nearly ready for flight


Re: less-noisy maybe but still un-sound

I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that the later variants of the F-15 can do it now. (and have fuel left over.....)


Re: Sir Arthur Marshall

Small world innit - my dear departed father wrote up the Patent for the 'droop snoot', and was proud to display a photo of said implement in his office.

He also did the Patent for the JIM Diving bell apparatus amongst other oddities.

Ex-Twitter sextet sues Elon Musk for 'stiffing' them on severance


I was under the impression that Musk bought Twitter in order to destroy it. Looks like he's doing a pretty good job.

BT is ditching workers faster than your internet connection with 55,000 for chop by 2030


Re: Did I get this right?


oh, boy you make me laugh.

I live in a postcode with 4 buildings.

We are never going to get FTTP.

By a cunning irony that only modern life could bring...

The Fibre backbone runs directly past the house and there's a junction box (or whatever it's called) less than 20 metres away.

I spoke to the (soon to be made redundant) operative working on it only a week or so ago, and he confirmed that the fibre upgrades going out were for 'yet-to-be-built' estates in the next village/town, but our place (despite being less than 20 metres away, as said), would be highly unlikely to ever get fibre.

Obviously you can't just run a hosepipe from said junction box to the house.... I get that it's more complex than that, but still galling as f***.

Electric two-wheelers are set to scoot past EVs in road race


Yet more data grabbing

"You can actually do a lot with the consumer data, like track the riding behavior, basically understand where they are going and leverage a lot of data monetization, and then do targeted campaigns."

Oh, do please "go away", and take all of those ideas with you.

Logitech, iFixit to offer parts to stop folks binning their computer mouse


Re: Re Not many mice make it past their fifth birthday

Not sure I've ever replaced a mouse because it stopped working.... I tend to replace them because the next new/better/shinier one comes along.

(Having said that, I don't use mice, I prefer Trackballs, and there's a limited number on the market, but they tend to all be reasonably good)

Meta CEO doesn't Zuck at Brazilian jiu-jitsu, apparently


Competition for very public figures, in the US....

Are "you" going to risk a lawsuit by messing up 'that' face?

NASA tweaks Voyager 2's power supply to avoid another sensor shutdown


"... the two craft still have around 300 years of traveling around a million miles a day to make it to the edge of the Oort cloud, the outermost limit of the Sun's gravitational influence.

The icy, comet-like objects that reside in the Oort Cloud will be the Voyagers' last impression of the Solar System as they coast for 30,000 years to reach its far side,....."


“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

UK becomes Unicorn Kingdom, where AI fairy dust earns King's ransom


I bet their thinking is to outsource the development of AI/LLM, probably to some other country where code is fast and cheap* ....... that should work well.

* Like I always said to my boss: you can have 2 of these 3 things: fast, cheap, good.

Balloon-borne telescope returns first photos in search for dark matter


Re: Just wondering

I think someone else has already figured that possibility out....

Facebook puts a price on privacy for US users and it's not enough to buy a cup of coffee


Re: 99c coffee

"Sounds like the only people getting a decent payout from this class action are the lawyers"

That's what the US legal process is for..... putting money in lawyer's pockets, it doesn't seem to server any other useful purpose.

UK government scraps smart motorway plans, cites high costs and low public confidence


Re: The existing ones don't even meet the spec

"we actually taught/encouraged people to use them properly."

A laudable goal, the issue is that if you put mandatory motorway training into the driving test and syllabus, then how to people who live a long way from any motorway pass their test? EG residents of the Scottish Islands (which is the official example used).

That's not my argument.. that's the official stance.

The return of the classic Flying Toasters screensaver


Re: There is only one classic toaster!

Have you setup a JustGiving or Patreon account for that yet?

In the battle between Microsoft and Google, LLM is the weapon too deadly to use


Re: Futile

The problem is not necessarily 'using' these tools to do some thinking or creating for you: the problem is in blindly trusting the results these tools output, without any further cross-examination of the output against known truths.

France bans all recreational apps – including TikTok – from government devices


Re: What about the gander

Government: "the who?"

Potatoes in space: Boffins cook up cosmic concrete for off-world habitats


"StarCrete" ??

Which belatedly impetuous non-entity coined that particular neologism?

We've only made it to one 'star' thus far in our existance as a (relatively) rational species capable of extra-planetary travel, and that's only by proxy.

If you call it 'StarCrete' now - what are you going to call the new stuff when actually make it to a different star and come up with something new?

StarCrete 2.0 ??

Reg fashion: Here's what the well-dressed astronaut will wear on the Moon in 2025


Re: Tight fit?

"One size fits nobody"

(to quote some author, who's name escapes me at this moment)

Cancer patient sues hospital after ransomware gang leaks her nude medical photos


Re: an apology, and with a chuckle, two years of credit monitoring

A guffaw?

BOFH: I care a lot ... about onion bhajis


"One of the basic tenets of IT is never testing for an error condition you don't know how to handle. "


Adidas grapples with $1.3B in unsold Yeezy sneakers after breaking up with Kanye West


One problem with this argument....

They're 'not' a "decent pair of shoes". They're fashion sneakers that are made for lounging around in. Actually use them for any other purpose (eg this new fad of 'walking') and they'll fall apart in no time.

You could even argue that by withholding them, he's saving the refugees more anguish.

Brit newspaper giant fills space with AI-assisted articles


" whether it was good enough to publish was decided by an editor."

Given the sorry state of some of the "stories" I've read on local news websites: these 'editors' need to be rounded up and forcefully educated with basic language skills (including 'reading') because the standard of English (let alone the standard of 'journalism') in these 'websites' (read 'advertising canvases') is truly dire.

To explore caves on Mars and the Moon, take a hint from Hansel & Gretel, say boffins


ICE : how many TLAs ?

Internal Combustion Engine

Institute of Civil Engineers

In-Car Entertainment

Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Instructions for conducting examinations

That's just from memory and the first page of google results for "ICE".

anyone got any more?

What's up with IT, Doc? Rabbit hole reveals cause of outage


I did exactly that (drilled a hole directly above a socket), only a few months ago.

In my initial defense, there was obviously another hole pre-drilled just above mine, I assumed therefore that my hole would be safe.

Cue a bang, the lights go out and a lot of swearing.

I'm not really a leccy type, so we got an electrician in to fix it, and in diagnosing "my" mistake, ie cutting the cable out of the wall and inspecting it, we discovered that the OTHER hole ALSO went through the cable, but had been 'repaired' by the simple expedient of stuffing polyfilla into it! My hole was in one of the runs to the socket, the older hole was in the return run, and the drill bit had gone between the live and neutral cores (hence why the run still 'worked'), my drilling had gone completely through the live core (IIRC).

In some ways, I'm kinda glad I DID drill through the cable - we'd never have found other issue if I hadn't!

Truck-size asteroid makes one of the tightest fly-bys of Earth ever recorded



How does that fit into the Register's universal standards?

User was told three times 'Do Not Reboot This PC' – then unplugged it anyway


Re: More Context

Its just like another in-page ad, easily passed over or otherwise ignored.

You'll get used to it.

Punch-drunk Apple Watch called 15 cops to a boxing workout when it heard 'shots'


Re: Hey, Siri


This can’t be a real bomb threat: You've called a modem, not a phone


Re: You can't be to careful

My Godfather (RIP) was relatively high up in the RAF during the '80s and working at Boscombe Down (possibly even as the base CO), but quartered in one of the RAF's 'country houses' nearby, very very nice Georgian pile.

One morning the house received a small package from which there appeared to be a small wire poking out......

Cue controlled military panic, etc etc...

Eventually it was gingerly carried out into the formal, laid gardens, and 'detonated'.

God know what the bill was for the garden renovations...

But - the only thing found in the debris was a small stiff-bristle (guess what was poking out of the package...) wooden handled bootbrush!

They mounted the poor thing in a glass-fronted frame and it lived proudly on his office wall for many years!

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building


what it is about concrete dust?

I might be talking bollocks here, but I 'think' that concrete dust is 'sharper' than most dust. That is, the tiny little individual items have sharper edges than most dust.

A bit like lunar regolith dust, which (again, I believe) is reputed to be one of the finest destructive (to things like seals and polished mating surfaces) materials known to man.

The argument put forward for the lunar dust is that because it never really gets 'moved around' much (due to no atmosphere), all the sharp edges and corners are never rubbed flat.

I'd would imagine that freshly produced concrete dust is similarly sharp edged, and thus more effective against smooth surfaces.

Imagine sliding down a hillside composed of fresh sharp-edge flint, compared to sliding down a hill of smoothly polished river-stones. The second will leave you bruised, but the former will also have you cut to shreds.

Citizen Coder? Happiness Concierge? Here come 2023's business cards


Re: What's in a name?

"Liveware Mangler" Sorry, "Wrangler"

Why would a keyboard pack a GPU and run Unreal Engine? To show animations beneath the clear keys, natch


Call me uneducated....

but don't most 'gaming' keyboards include the numbers-pad?

"I'm oot!"

( I still want one).