* Posts by GBE

459 posts • joined 22 Sep 2010


NASA sets the date for first helicopter flight on another planet – and the craft will carry a piece of history


Re: Penguins in SPAAAACCCCEEEEEE.....

Penguins fly.

They just do it underwater.

Perl-clutching hijackers appear to have seized control of 33-year-old programming language's .com domain


I used to dislike Perl

I used to dislike Perl.

Then I learned PHP in order to maintain a pile of somebody else's code.

And my feelings for Perl faded into insignificance.

Then I met begger who had no feet.

And thought to myself, "at least he doesn't have to maintain PHP code".

What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall


With options you can lose more than you invested.

No, you can't.

You're thinking about either futures or buying on margin.

Tesla axes software engineer for allegedly pilfering secret Python scripts after just three days on the job


Re: Windows 10

It can freeze anything.

Including my laptop. [Three times so far this morning, and it's not even 10AM yet.]

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off


Damn, I must be getting old.

Two paragraphs in, and I've already had to google three things...

Playing fantasy sports to make a living is a fantasy, says Indian government – and ads will have to reflect that


Fantasy sports vs. gaming?

Is this article about what we in the US call "fantasy sports" where you and your friends form a league and draft "players" from real life teams and then you get points for how well your players do? Fantasy sports in the US has been around since way before online gaming. Though most fantasy sports leagues now use a web-site for administrative and score-keeping purposes, I've never heard it referred to as "gaming" and there's nothing inherently "online" about it. For years I knew somebody who administered an online football league, and the only thing "online" about it was that every week he would fax the league standings to everybody involved (neither I nor anybody I knew had Internet access back then, and I was a software engineer).

Or is the article about online gaming? Which, in the US, is completely different than fantasy sports.

Bitcoin value jumps as PayPal says it will accept cryptocurrencies... once it has the kinks worked out


This isn't going to end well.

The interesting part is trying to guess just how this is going to go sideways...

Let’s check in with that 30,000-job $10bn Trump-Foxconn Wisconsin plant. Wow, way worse than we'd imagined


Re: Tech where you need an engine block heater? Are you kidding me?

Engine blocks don't survive long in Wisconsin winters without block heaters.

Nonsense. I've lived in Minnesota for 40 years. Neither I nor anybody I know has a block heater, and nobody I know has ever had an engine block fail.

What is it about McDonald's, cultural black holes, and not being able to make tech work?


Re: They do have a clown as their mascot after all

>>> Yep and, unfortunately, we in the UK have one as a Prime Minister.

>> Not to worry - our American cousins have one too......

> He’s not funny

Neither are clowns. They're just vaguely disturbing, but mostly harmless. Here in the US, our "clown" is deeply disturbing in (many) very specific and concrete ways and by no means harmless. Calling him a clown is an insult to clowns — and I don't even like clowns.

Clowns at least have some skills (juggling, unicycle riding, makeup, knowing when not to talk).

Das Keyboard 4C TKL: Plucky mechanical contender strikes happy medium between typing feel and clackety-clack joy


Re: Numeric key pad?

I've never been sure quite how many people actually use the numeric keypad in day-to-day use.

In my experience: one.

A mechanical engineer I used to work with did a data entry job while in college, and he could (and did) tenkey when entering numerical data.

Apple re-arms the iMac with 10th-gen Intel Core silicon


Re: Eh?

I thought the Osbourne effect was that they announced the new model prematurely. Their sales tanked because nobody wanted to buy the “old” (current) model and the new model wasn’t ready, hence they went bust.

Yes, that's what I and everybody else (except for 1 or 2 people apparently) mean by the "The Osborne Effect".

BTW, I've got an Osborne 1 in the garage if anybody wants to make an offer on it. It booted off 5" floppies and everything worked the last time I powered it up (probably about 5 years ago).

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan


Re: Speaking about the f*ing manual...

I had this issue many years ago, we knew where the manual was, in the locked filing cabinet in the tech support room.

Typical office desk/file locks are almost always cheap wafer locks that are easy to pick — even if all you have to work with is a couple paper clips.

Living on a prayer? Netgear not quite halfway there with patches for 28 out of 79 vulnerable router models


Who give's the bad guys access to their router's web server?

"Multiple Netgear devices contain a stack buffer overflow in the httpd web server's handling of upgrade_check.cgi, which may allow for unauthenticated remote code execution with root privileges,"

Why would the router's web server be exposed to a remote network in the first place?

Podcast Addict banned from Google Play Store because heaven forbid app somehow references COVID-19


Re: Yet again, screwed over by Google

I find the menus a bit obtuse at times also, but it's still way better than the other podcast apps I've tried. I appreciated it enough to cough up the $2.99 to remove the ads. Hopefully Google didn't just screw me out of my three bucks...

Driveway karaoke singer who wanted to lift lockdown spirits cops council noise complaint


Kudos for the Gilbert & Sullivan allusion

a job well done doing nothing much in particular.

That's a nicely done G&S allusion.

AWS rolls out 'Linux 2 Ready' scheme to lure penguins into using its homegrown distro


Scarves are a nice addition.

Love the penguin appetizers. Scarves made out of strips of pickled red bell pepper (AKA capsicum) make a nice addition.

Vivaldi browser to perform a symphony of ad and tracker blocking with version 3.0


Re: I'll be watching out for this

When there was one commercial TV channel in the UK, space was very expensive (Lew Grade's "licence to print money") which meant ads were extremely high quality, and a trip across the Atlantic to where ads were utter shite made it very obvious.

I haven't heard of it for a couple years, but it used to be "a thing" in the USA to pay money to sit in a theater (AKA cinema) for an hour or so to watch the best of the year's British TV ads.

Here in the US, a DVR and a "skip 30s" button is vital for mental survival...

Python 2 bows out after epic transition. And there was much applause because you've all moved to version 3, right? Uh, right?


I still miss fixed-lenght integers

Yeesh, I feel old. I still sometimes miss the fixed-length integer math from Python 1.5.

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle


Re: Lucky he didn't get seriously injured during ejection.

Moving slowly through that differential can kill.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that there weren't good reasons behind the decision to accept a "high" risk of serious injury. When the alternative is certain death, a broken arm doesn't sound so bad...

I suppose that depending on the empennage configuration, there might also be a large metal "blade" that continues moving forward towards you at high speed as the air around you works very hard to stop your forward motion. If you do the math, that may not actually be a serious consideration compared to other issues.


Lucky he didn't get seriously injured during ejection.

Many years ago, back when I worked in the defense industry, I read a long article in Jane's about ejection seats. Part of the article discussed the design requirements for ejection seats and the acceptable rate for an eject causing injuries like broken limbs and compression fractures of vertebra. The "acceptable" serious injury rate was pretty high.

Things that go crump in the night: Watch Musk's mighty missile go foom


Re: Vacuum

Pesky Newtonian physics. I'm not entirely suprised at these failures because it is, well, rocket science! :)

Nah, this isn't rocket science. This is rocket engineering — which is far more difficult than the science. ;)

Where's the best place to add Mentos to Diet Coke for the most foam? How big are the individual bubbles? Has science gone too far?


Re: Been wondering...

Why specifically "Diet" coke?

Based on informal comparisons of side-by-side pouring regular and diet sodas into glasses with ice cubes, I'm convinced that diet soda foams quite a bit more than regular.

I don't know why. Perhaps the high levels of dissolved sugar in regular soda increases surface tension and therefore decreases bubble size? Or perhaps the solubility of CO₂ as a function of temperature differs?

Amazon launches itself into retail IT with 'all the necessary technologies'. Not saying which, but you know...


Nobody is required to accept cash (except the issuer).

This is a problem under US and UK law: shops are required to accept cash.

In the US, that's utter bollocks. Nobody except the US Government is required to accept US currency. A friend of mine who works at "the Fed' used to occasionally have to work in customer service answering phone calls from the public. A consistent portion of calls are from people complaining that some shop, utility, landlord, school, city, state, county, or whatever won't accept cash. The callers are told that nobody except the US Government is required to accept US currency. [Even then, the hoops you have to jump through to pay your taxes in cash would kill a normal person.]

Facebook, distributor of deceptive political ads, sues registrar Namecheap over deceptive domain names


What's the difference between "good" and "bad" faith deception?

Facebook should be able to force Namecheap to cooperate if it can present evidence in court that the offending domain names represent bad faith attempts to profit through name confusion.

So what's the difference between good and bad faith attempts to profit through name confusion?

Motorola bounds out the G8 with a harder, better, faster smartphone for the thrifty


I love Moto G phones

My first G was under $200 (retail, unlocked, at Best Buy). My current G5+ was a bit more, but still _way_ less than any iPhone or "flagship" Android. I picked out other G models for my parents. I love the "vanilla" Android. Updates are prompt and never seem to cause problems.

I'm also a fan of the Moto X pure. I just replaced the battery in a 5 year old X-pure, and it's working great — though sadly it's no longer getting updates.

Uber takes a downer as ride-sharing app service crashes


Reduced losses for the day?

Since Uber consistently loses money, one wonders if a service outage improves profitability.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband



Perhaps Boris meant that he is just a mock-up of a PM — the real, functional version of which will be produced at some point in the future...

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket


Re: Stupid is as Stupid does

his so-called rocket

Purely out of curiosity — why the "so-called" crack? The guy was crazy, but what he built definitly _was_ a rocket. It got him 500+ meters off the ground. Nobody seriously disputes that. What's "so-called" about it?

Voatz of no confidence: MIT boffins eviscerate US election app, claim fiends could exploit flaws to derail democracy


The name was enough

IMO, the cutesy-mispelled "Voatz" name alone was enough to confirm it should be avoided.

Netgear's routerlogin.com HTTPS cert snafu now has a live proof of concept



I run OpenWRT on my Netgear hardware. And my D-Link hardware. And my TP-Link hardware.

And I don't allow admin connections from the WAN.

And when I want to connect to the router from the LAN, I enter the IP address.

Anybody who trusts manufacturer-supplied firmware on consumer-grade gear is asking for trouble.

Hey GitLab, the 1970s called and want their sexism back: Saleswomen told to wear short skirts, heels and 'step it up'


Is GitLab trying to give me an excuse to stay on GitHub?

Now that Microsoft owns GitHub, I keep thinking I should do something about moving my (admittedly trivial) projects from GitHub to someplace like GitLab. I really don't need one more excuse for not doing that, but GitLab seems intent on providing one anyway. I suppose there are other options...

At last, the fix no one asked for: Portable home directories merged into systemd


Re: Can't defend this one

SystemD should be stripped back to being just an initialisation system ...

and then removed and replaced with OpenRC.



where a user has a PC running Linux in both their home and office, and is able to carry their home directory with them on a portable storage device

> Wow. That must literally be hundreds of users.

Until IT catches them -- then they won't have an office to worry about.

Caltech takes billion-dollar bite out of Apple, Broadcom for using its patented Wi-Fi tech without paying a penny


Re: Patents

"Did they deliberately wait until they could get a big pay day?"

Would that be wrong?

It depends on what you mean by "wrong".

Waiting like that can result in estoppel:



The result is basically that if you decided not to object now, you can't object later.

US court rules: Just because you can extract teeth while riding a hoverboard doesn't mean you should


Re: Sedation for tooth extraction?

That would most likely get you get stuck off in the UK as well as you need an anesthet... anethner.. the person that knocks you out.

The article mentioned IV sedation. That's not general anesthesia. With IV sedation the patient is conscious and responsive the whole time — they're just very, um, "relaxed". Often, the patient has a gap in memory after they sober up. That said, IV sedation still isn't without risk: it suppresses respiration, and you need to keep an eye on O2 saturation.

Big Falcon explosion as SpaceX successfully demos Crew Dragon abort systems


Re: Causality

Frankly, every scenario should be tested at least once anyway, just to make sure things are working as expected.

There are an unlimited number of possible scenarios, so that's just not possible.

Microsoft enables phone calls from your Windows PC (as long as it's paired with an Android)


Re: Erm

is that because the toilets flush the opposite way?

In NZ when you push the lever "stuff" spews up instead of being sucked down?

That sounds a bit messy...

RISC-V business: Tech foundation moving to Switzerland because of geopolitical concerns



That one took a couple beats to sink in. :)

Sueball claims Tesla solar panels are so effective, they started fires at Walmart stores


Sadly, the Walmarts stores were saved.

Ah, so you're saying you didn't want the Walmarts burned down?

An Army Watchkeeper drone tried to land. Then meatbags took over from the computers


Re: Get a dog

The dog is there to bite the pilot in case he tries to take control.

Q: Then what's the pilot for?

A: Somebody's got to feed the dog...

Florida man pretending to be police pulls over real police, ends badly, claim cops


Florida Man is slipping

I must say that in the ongoing adventures of Florida Man, this was pretty lame.

No explosives or firearms, no dangerous wildlife, no injuries, nobody had to call an ambulance, the fire department, or even the state conservation officers.

C'mon Florida Man, you can do better!

Reach out for the healing hands... of guru Dabbs


Re: Ah, you have "the glare"...

I give it the Blue Steel.

They don't like it up 'em!

It could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Wiltshire or in Bath: Euro cops cuff 6 for cybersquatting, allegedly nicking €24m in Bitcoin


Re: You keep it all in.

Regarding gold:

Once the stuff is on the surface, its value is entirely psychological

Well, not quite entirely. Gold has medical and industrial uses, but they only account for about 10% of consumption. Even if gold had no "psychological" value, it wouldn't be worthless, but it would be worth less.

RIP Dyn Dynamic DNS :'( Oracle to end Dyn-asty by axing freshly gobbled services, shoving customers into its cloud


Re: Time to find another solution

I guess it's well past time to start looking for a replacement service.

I used dyndns for yonks. I used the free service for many years, and then the cheapest paid dynamic service for the last 5 years or so before they shut that down. When researching replacements, I narrowed it down to noip and dynu. I more-or-less flipped a coin and chose dynu, and I have been quite happy with it. The free service doesn't require monthly renewals, and everything "just works". I'm thinking about becoming a paying "member" for a few months as a way to show my appreciation even though I have no need for any of the extras you get for the money.

We've Falcon caught it! SpaceX finally nets a fairing half after a successful Heavy launch


Re: "the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You"

Hardly “characters”. Both are mentioned once in the same throw-away sentence, just to get a laugh it seems.

Ah ha! So that's why I didn't remember them...

Must watch: GE's smart light bulb reset process is a masterpiece... of modern techno-insanity


Re: Designed by SW engineers

Although I do have to give them credit for not embedding a full Linux stack complete with unchangeable firmware containing years-out-of-date web server software, an open telnet port and credentials of admin/admin...

What makes you think they didn't?

Japan on track to start testing Alfa-X, fastest train in the world with top speed of 400kph


Re: It's not only their speed, it's their reliability

The only downside is when I have to come back to the UK and use trains here afterwards...

The last time I was in the UK, I thought the trains were a joy to use. In almost all of the US "using a train" requires hopping into a boxcar. Be careful though, it's far easier to jump onto a moving train than it is to jump off...

UK watchdog slaps 'misleading' Voda ad: Gigafast... maybe so – but not for £23


Re: Seems to contradict the recent CityFibre judgement?

So punters can cope with "Fibre" in the name meaning faster broadband even if there's no fibre,

It's copper fiber! Yea, that's it. We never said "optical" fiber did we?

Two Arkansas dipsticks nicked after allegedly taking turns to shoot each other while wearing bulletproof vests


Re: I was thinking the same...

Justine Diamond

Jury selection is in progress for the cop's trail (he's charged with 2nd degree murder).

Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems


IoT gone too far?

I know we've all laughed at silly IoT products, but a packet-switching pickle really is a bridge too far.



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