* Posts by Imsimil Berati-Lahn

221 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Oct 2010


Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Saint Isidore of Seville

So the Spanish Inquisition / Holy Church of Rome effectively invented Human Resource Department outsourcing then?

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Oooh it's Political Correctness Gone Mad!... or is it?

If it really were Political Correctness gone mad, we would be obliged to use the phrase:

"Political Correctness experiencing non-fault challenges with perception of and reaction to objective reality."

Uncle Sam wants to read your tweets, check out your Instagram, log your email addresses before you enter the Land of the Free on a visa

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Excellent example of a DS-160 question.

Q: Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations or any other illegal activity while in the United States?

A: [ * ] Yes [__] No

Khuuh... you got me there... Tick.

Let's check in with our friends in England and, oh good, bloke fined after hiding face from police mug-recog cam

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Respirator and sunglasses from now on then.

My respiratory distress in urban environments is such that I need to wear PPE to avoid medical problems, officer. Oh, and it's sunny out. Hence the shades. Thank you for your concern, officer. Keep up the good work.

My twopenneth regarding the scene:

The lad's within his rights to wear whatever the hell he wants but in fairness to 'plod, he was being a bit of a gobby twat. Plod don't like twats, particularly gobby ones. I'm trying to bear that in mind with my elaborate ruse.

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

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Definite Darwin Award winner in the making

.22"LR has approx 140 Joules muzzle energy.

In a "real world" context that's similar energy to a 10lb bowling ball dropped from a first floor window. Added to which it is concentrated to a point as sharp as a dog's tooth and spinning like a food blender. BPV or no, I don't want to be downrange of that if I can possibly help it, thanks.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

The Arctic Monkeys know a song about that.


It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

We've got until November.

Given that the main action takes place in November 2019, we've got another eleven months to achieve full alignment with the depiction.

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

GPS optional.

Only need GPS to give location to better than 2 metre precision.

If your phone has a signal, your position (or rather, your range to the cell) is known to a couple of hundred metres precision because the air interface protocol needs that information to synchronise correctly.

Yes, people see straight through male displays of bling (they're only after a fling)

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Really?

It could be legitimately argued that the study was somewhat contrived and its results quite unilluminating. But it got funding AND it got published! Cashback! Off to spend it on some dice-shaped tyre-valve caps :D

Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Since my warranty is probably now worth SFA, I will be taking a similar side-grade route.

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Point of order regarding terminology

Flat Earth is a hypothesis, not a theory.

As the singularity approaches, neural network pens black metal album

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Thought I'd heard this somewhere before.

You know that sound like a set of fucked bagpipes...

Yeah that's right, it's ZX81 tape code.

OpenAI bot bursts into the ring, humiliates top Dota 2 pro gamer in 'scary' one-on-one bout

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Transcendence

I could understand being freaked out by wasting those first two hours just out of good old fashioned curiosity, but to do it all over again, knowing full well how much of a waste of time it will be simply smacks of masochism. Nevertheless, your username has inspired my utmost admiration. Respect.

Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Every part of a swine

is absolutely effin' fine.

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: "are the seamen equipped with oars?"

Oooh, ooh and, of course Planet Claire by The B52s

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: "are the seamen equipped with oars?"

... plus "Wichita Lineman" by Glenn Campbell, "Captain of your ship" by Reparata and the Delrons, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" by Propellorheads and pretty much anything by Alan Parsons.

Fancy buying our aircraft carrier satnav, Raytheon asks UK

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Proceed to highlighted route.


When possible, turn around.

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Book stores. Divide and rule

Politicians have been thumbing that old 'divide and rule' playbook since Spartacus. The logical conclusion of its continued application is an entire population of paranoid sociopaths. Pretty much fait accompli, I reckon.

Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

I'm invoking the common or garden Noam

Manufacturing of consent covers most of this quite nicely already, just transpose from broadcast media to mass targetting and there you go.

The new bits relate to social media analysis tech giving faster feedback on success of chosen techniques and generally quickening the tempo of political campaign messaging.

Fascinating stuff really.

Parents have no idea when kidz txt m8s 'KMS' or '99'

Imsimil Berati-Lahn


+1, for the python reference...

"...I panicked"

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: My wife's aunt

Dead cat? lol!

Nu kbd pls, + coffee, but 10x m8, kk.


MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

I already know how to tie a knot.

What's to blame? Access to the internet? Really?

Not austerity, lack of hope, lack of purpose, lack of social cohesion, alienation, isolation, suspicion, paranoia, exploitation, hateful and divisive everything at all times wherever you go.

Hanging is the most common method used (was according to 2015 stats).

Government's response: Introduce a new Rope Tax.

The proposals suggested for farting around banning websites here and there, besides A: being unworkable and B: being censorship, are simply ineffectual to the point of being beneath parody.

What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Be careful what you wish for...

Ahhh, that explains it. Daleks are Daily Mail journalists from the future. Makes a lot more sense now.

Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: "Ram Packed"???

Perhaps it is a reference to programming the venerable ZX81.

UK military buys third £4m Zephyr drone for 'persistent surveillance' trials

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: managed to stay aloft for 14 days over the Arizona desert

For some reason I read:

Mad Max: Beyond the Planck

Made sense to the neuron or two that're still firing up there.

Ho hum. Okay. Back on your heads, lads.

Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

Always makes me chortle, that one. Reminded of the mindbending paradox I experienced upon reading the sign "The stationary cupboard has moved". Wow! Presumably encountered an irresistible force or something. What other explanation could there be?

'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Seriously...

Having lead us up the strait of Messina to the waters directly between Scylla and Charybdis, our brave captain declared "It's all the fault of the helmsman!" and promptly abandoned ship as the rest of us were drawn into the maelstrom.

It's not just Cameron though. The whole bloody government should be tried for treason for putting the country in harms way like this.

Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

It all just whiffs of publicity

I can't help thinking that there was a deal reached along the lines of:

"Hey Kraftwek guy, we'd like to use a sample off one of your records. That okay?"

"Yah, sure bro. Hey, I've got an idea. If your track doesn't get much airplay / downloads, we could file a copyright suit against you and, hey presto! A bunch more people will know about it."

"Man, that's big of you. What about the legal bills?"

"It's okay. Mate of mine's a judge and it's all deductible anyhow."

"Tidy! Cheers dude."


South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: HHG reminder

"Danger Area" was the name of the band in any of the incarnations I've come across. Hotblack Desiato, their keytar player, was spending a year dead for tax purposes when Zaphod saw him at Miliways.

Docker hired private detectives to pursue woman engineer's rape, death threat trolls

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: How endemic is it?

You're quite right. Given a large enough audience, such heinousness is a simple, sad statistical inevitablity. I think it is incumbent upon the social media industry to give users the option to automatically mute / ignore / delete any messages without traceable provonence. If you're coming in from an anon proxy or similar, we as users should be able to choose to assume that you're up to no good and automatically ignore any (potential) bile that might otherwise come our way.

Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Point of order.

The Praia Grande where this took place is in Santa Catarina, not the one in Sao Paulo.

Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

One question.

Did this chancer have to pay court costs or was this ruling, (and the lengthy research necessary to reach it) funded with public money?

The Register to publish Mindful Sysadmin adult colouring book

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Thank you.

I was genuinely moved by this article.

Most of the spoofs this year have been a bit lame, cynical or both.

This one is really quite sweet, so thank you.

Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: The compensation culture at work!

I'd have thought it's clearly a case of "driving without due care and attention", 3 points and a fine minimum, but what do I know. "SumWon else's fault! Munny PLeez!!!"

US chap sharpens paradigm-busting scissors

Imsimil Berati-Lahn


I'm fairly sure that prior art exists for this idea. Oh yeah, in my garden shed. Edging shears. Okay, not for cutting metal sheet or wire mesh, but the principle is exactly the same.

Intravenous hangover clinics don't work, could land you in hospital

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Don't do needles, kids!

The human part of me can't help but feel sorry for the poor saps that got fubared by these shysters, but if you're going to stick a needle into yourself for non-medical reasons, you're asking for trouble.

For those who haven't figured it out already,

the "secret" hangover cure formula is as follows.

750g H2O

50g C6H12O6

2g MgSO4

1g NaCl

1g KCl

It is taken orally, no needles required.

Follow this up with 1500g H2O to be sipped over the course of the next hour or two.

You'll be right as rain, (well, you will feel a boatload better).

Australian astroboffins reveal hundreds of hidden galaxies

Imsimil Berati-Lahn


Have to admit to rolling my eyes over that rather contrived meta-acronym.

Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-Sky Blind Survey


but then they're not quite so cute and furry, are they?

Wouldn't want to imply they're

Widefield ASKAP Near Ku-band Epiterrestrial Receiver Systems

for such japery. glass houses, stones etc...

Roll up, roll up to the Malware Museum! Run classic DOS viruses in your web browser

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

My favourite

I was rather fond of the URKLE virus.

Silly payload would randomly put the letters URKLE into the keyboard buffer rendering subsequent memos slightly silly.

I remember when nostalgia used to be considered a mental illness.

But that was back in the good old days.

Ah well.

Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Tax take versus turnover

So, 20.4million corp tax implies around 52million profit which is around 1.3% of the quoted 3.8billion turnover. Turnover sufficient to keep f#ckloads of people employed, profit enough to keep the shareholders happy, tax enough to keep the exchequer on side. Don't know what the fuss is about. Yeah thanks for the £130mil bunce, it'll come in handy right about now. Don't do it again though, otherwise keep up the good work.

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: WTF is this "antisemitic propaganda" you keep going on about?

I think he just wants to get in first with the "Godwin's" call.

The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Note for northern readers...

I was scratching my melon for a bit over the diagram... Looking NorthEast??? Rising right to left??? Then I read on ... blah blah Australian blah blah... oh, okay. Got that. Moving on. HEADLINE NEWS: PLANETS APPEAR MORE OR LESS LINED UP ON THE ECLIPTIC!!! errr... yeah, generally they would wouldn't they? Ho hum.

Your taxes at work: Three hours driving to turn on politician's PC

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: This one time...

He had a collection of mammalian genitalia?

Sounds like a load of bollocks to me.

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Time for TrumpTron

As Kevin Flynn prepares for his next trip to the grid, he ponders "Man, I look good! Maybe I should fine-tune the Brylcreem rendering engine this time."

US Navy grabs old-fashioned sextants amid hacker attack fears

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: GPS currently being jammed in Scotland

GPS gets jammed off the coast of Florida to piss the Cubans off, either / or it's the Cubans trying to piss the US off. I think the former more likely, cos if it were the latter it'd meet with short and probably violent shrift.

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: Oh dear oh dear

..but if you don't have the book, then you don't have the celestial body position data so you can do all the spherical trig you like, you'll be missing a third of the data you need to calculate your position line.

Since you need the almanac data somewhere, why not include the sight reduction cheat-sheets in the same volume?

I suppose you can get an approximate fix from a noon-sight of the sun provided you've got a reliable timepiece. That'd be good enough for trans-oceanic intercontinental nav, but good luck if you're aiming for a fly-turd speck of an island somewhere. You're gonna need a taller lookout mast.

Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: @Martin Budden: One of these things is not the same as the other...

"Assume the sheep is a sphere..."

... with zero rest mass, neutral charge and a spin of 1/2.

'Sterile neutrinos' re-ignite 'we found dark-stuff' debate

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Thank goodness for that.

For a moment there I thought we were seeing more of those mutant neutrinos responsible for super-heating the Earth's core causing all that apocalyptic seismic activity we saw a couple of years ago.

Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Gosh durn turnado...

Gunna build me a big ol' wall, keep them pesky durn turnados outta my back yard. Git! gwaan outtahere! Pesky durn turnado. <mumble, grimble>

Oculus seeks partners in drive to get a billion people into virtual reality

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Re: A billion people? Compelling use case

two letters:


David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Imsimil Berati-Lahn

Manx telecom SIM for use as backup.

Get a PAYG SIM from Manx telecom. Isle of Man based network, roams all of the mainland UK networks. Same cost* as a mainland PAYG calls and texts.

*except folks phoning you on that number probably won't get to use their inclusive minutes, but you're only using it for outgoing calls anyway.