* Posts by b0llchit

240 posts • joined 29 Mar 2011

Page:

Don't beat yourself up for overeating in lockdown. This black hole scoffs equivalent of our Sun every day

b0llchit
Coat

Healthy appetite

One sun per day keeps the doctor away.

Remember that black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth? Scientists queue up to say it may not exist after all

b0llchit
Go

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

Be careful, iron is the final stage at which fusion stops. And that is often accompanied with a big "boom", astronomically speaking. You may find the ripples to be both smoothed and created by the same phenomenon. Talking about divine paradoxes...

b0llchit
Joke

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

No, we're improving how much of the universe we can see faster than they're adding extra compute power to the simulation.

This statement actually bothers me.

If we are being simulated, then there is no "real time" for us. Therefore, adding extra compute power takes no time at all. However, if this is no simulation, then compute power is added to a fictional universe, which we cannot see beyond.

What did I do wrong to deserve this? Oh, yeah, right, if anybody ever were to find out how this universe actually works, then it will be replaced...etc...

b0llchit
Coat

Re: It's called rigour

No, the scientists are not conspiring. It is the universe that is conspiring on a (typical astronomical) scale not seen before. The universe is trying to teach us a lesson. However, due to (typical astronomical) time scale, we need to wait a (astronomical) number of generations for the lesson to sink in.

b0llchit
Coat

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

Yes, yes,... "Where God Went Wrong", "Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes" and "Who is this God Person Anyway?". But, the real kicker is "Well, That About Wraps It Up For God".

So, enumerating all those Nine Billion Names of a non-existent entity called God is a kind of a futile occupation. But then, futility is the basis for most existence anyway, so, if it keeps yourself busy without interfering too much; I guess.

b0llchit
Joke

Who is stealing the stars?

First we have the situation of a star going missing, presumably becoming a black hole without any big bang. Now, a black hole goes missing?

My guess, the aliens are tired of us and are actively interfering with our view of the universe. Next up, galaxies start dancing whenever multiple telescopes look at the same object at the same time (introductory course to improbability research) or things get hidden in plain sight (elementary SEP field theory).

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

b0llchit
Coat

Nah, somebody forget to pay the rent and the power was turned off. Or, the inhabitants of that galaxy's corner were tired of the prying eyes and pulled the curtains.

Surely, an (any) alien explanation is more plausible than the obvious. The question is, when will we pull the curtains? All those eyes looking down on us. Have those aliens no respect for privacy?

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

b0llchit
Headmaster

Re: Full-blown kakistocracy

Well, it states £92m, but that is just a smaller part.

The SI prefix 'm' means milli (factor 10-3). So,... ninety-two milli pounds of monetary exchange is on the books. That means, the cost of the report has been a mere 9.2 pennies! What is not to like about such a deal! Hell, please make me five more of these or the fractional penny may give accounting some problems.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

b0llchit
Meh

Re: Too much arguing = not enough eating

Only purists have the burden of frustration. I just enjoy the result, regardless.

b0llchit
Boffin

Re: Too much arguing = not enough eating

Due to the rotational symmetry of the scone, the whole discussion of ordering is pointless, unless ordering means to get it delivered asap for immediate consumption. So, yes, stop arguing for one side and get my order delivered so I can eat.

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

b0llchit
Pint

Re: Lester would have been proud!

And, please note, this experiment could only have been done because no large groups are allowed in one's vicinity. I sincerely think that a mob would have gathered to end the experiment, just like the weekend was definitely out of the question, when a family mob put a stopper to the fun.

Anyhow, it is a brave experiment. I guess that we all can sympathise with your suffering. My guess is that your family suffered the most. At least they prevented a weekend disaster.

Have a beer with that to wash it all down and kill the spoiled memory neurons to forget (probably required for the next couple of weeks to get the taste working again).

Once again, racial biases show up in AI image databases, this time turning Barack Obama white

b0llchit
Joke

Black keys only

Your point?

A tune in a limited key, of course.

Just as limited as neural networks and often sounds just wrong, like the neural networks.

Facebook accused of trying to bypass GDPR, slurp domain owners' personal Whois info via an obscure process

b0llchit
Unhappy

What do you think it is about

Of course it is about private and personal data. There is only one reason why the asocial media exist and that is for monetizing your data. That is their livelihood. Anything else is a smokescreen to get more information. All those "free" services are there to entice you to give up more information.

Facebook is just one exampe of that business. The other "big" ones do the same thing. However, no one should forget, there are far more smaller players with equally or more aggressive methods to get your data. And then, the big ones are also in bed with those smaller ones. The only safe data is the data that has not been disclosed.

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references

b0llchit
Stop

to News or not to News

Only no news is bad news in the eyes of politicians.

This is classical trolling and trapping to get attention. Then you can alter the narrative to your own liking and "blame" someone else. Which war was it now? The one with east Asia or the the other one we've always been involved in?

The more attention we give to the "outrage" the more we feed the troll. Not that we should ignore it, but you need to tackle the problem and not the symptom(s). The symptoms are easily mutated and redirected by the troll and can (will) be used to alter the narrative. Tackle the problem and you remove the symptoms without feeding the troll. You simply have to starve the troll of possible narratives.

Adobe about to pull the plug on Creative Cloud freebie 'at-home' access for students

b0llchit
Childcatcher

Habit or addiction?

Or those students will need to dip a little deeper into their student loans in order to fund an Adobe habit.

Is this habit or addiction? How do you tell the difference? Most are using tools without thought. They know the tool but not the principle of the tool. When the tool becomes the target, regardless of cost, then you can establish an argument for the distinction between habit and addiction. If the principle is the target, alternative ways may be used. How do you tell an addict that she is addicted? How do you get an addict to stop their addiction. Good questions until you realize who profits from that addiction.

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

b0llchit
Boffin

Re: Where will this end....

Yes, indeed, a good read and lots of memories.

However, any if() branches. That means it excludes a specific path while it includes a different path. An egalitarian system cannot branch because any exclusion is prohibited. You are not allowed to prefer one path over another path, regardless condition and regardless consequence. Or, you must create code and input that will always take any and all possible path, all the time, at the same time. It is easier to say: the only valid statement is inclusive or and be done with reality.

[edit] just let us forget about Turing completeness, shall we? Since when are humans Turing complete; also, humans encapsulate a continuous and fuzzy halting problem ;-)

b0llchit
Coat

Re: Where will this end....

It ends when the if() statement is outlawed. Quite surely, the if() statement is about excluding, which is not a good thing. We programmers must program inclusive. Therefore, all future-proof programs shall be comprised only of inclusive or statements. No other statements are allowed. No text, no variables, no, only inclusive or. Then, at least, the probability of failure will both be one and complete. We'll all fail, but that is without any form of discrimination and happily ignorant. All hail the inclusive or.

b0llchit
Facepalm

When STONITH falls

Replace all instances of [something] that may offend [somebody]. Let us also do away with humor and sarcasm while we're at it. One reader's merry world is another reader's nightmare. That has always been the case. When will the madness stop? Do we really need to define all possible variations of "unwords" and replace them with new expressions that will be considered "unwords" by another generation? When STONITH falls, which is humorously and actually quite appropriately called STONITH, then nothing is safe. Can you "kill" a computer or are metaphors no longer an acceptable language construct to convey a specific meaning?

Really? Remove "crazy" and "baffling" outliers? But, the checks are there to handle crazy and baffling outliers. Remove "sanity check"? Any programmer knows that the user is not to be trusted to input anything valid. The user is, by definition, not sane, from a programmer's perspective. A user is (probably) human and therefore a non-logical entity. The computer is nothing but logical. The programmer is the intermediate between the logical and the illogical. That perspective is both crazy and baffling.

Fast-forward a few generations... the "blocklist" is not an acceptable term. It is discriminatory and therefore unacceptable. Terminology like "primary" and "secondary" is no longer acceptable because it denotes unacceptable preference and denies the egalitarian view. Any "word" will, at some stage, have multiple meanings in which some may be offended. Maybe we should do an introspective and think about what that says about us?

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

b0llchit
Coat

Re: So using the new ZFS terminology...

I'm offended by the term "mount". Please refrain from using it immediately. Mount must be banned because it has a sexual undertone and is therefore not appropriate. Computers are not like animal copulating pairs.

Also, "male" and "female" connectors must be banned. There is a great need for asexual connectors because we must not discriminate against sexual preferences. And, connectors will always fit when enough pressure is applied.

While we're at it,... "Plug and Play" must be banned too. All those plugs are not to be used for play. Holes must not be stuffed with plugs. It is not a play. It is serious work to procreate.

/s

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh

b0llchit
Coat

Safety is realtive

I'm sure it is all caused by relativism. Let me explain:

Being hit with a blazing fast car will only distort time, ensure certain death and be over in a jiffie and is therefore safe for all intends and purposes. Being grazed by a gentle horse with the mass of a black hole will both distort time, space and cause the burger pusher to celebrate the event for an overly long and prolonged time-dilated period and the burgers will become spaghetti-fied in the process of being in the vicinity of the massive but gentle horse.

So, car: safe, horse: danger.

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

b0llchit
Facepalm

Planned or accident

One could argue that this problem is purely accidental because products are pushed out in the name of consumerism. On the other hand, consumerism has the dark side of planned obsolescence. The cynic may argue that the problem of "not updated" or "non updateable" gadgets is a long term plan to get sales up and going.

We'll have to see if this all is stupidity or malice. Significant amounts of stupidity do look a lot like malice. Maybe I'm too much of a cynic to trust the gadget pushers...

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere

b0llchit
Pint

Re: Don't know PHP, but, woudl probably take it over client-side JavaScript hell any day

I must be getting old.

No, not at all. You have become wise my friend. And, welcome to the never ending story of modern fashion.

b0llchit
Happy

Re: Newest prefixes and units to the rescue

And the case is corrected. Much appreciated!

/me is happy :-)

b0llchit
Headmaster

Re: Newest prefixes and units to the rescue

Thanks, I appreciate your correction very much, so do not get me wrong here.

However, to be pedantic, sorry,... it is "kg" (kilogram) and not "KG" (Kelvin Gauss??). Also, it is kiloWatt hour (officially "kW·h" or "kW h", but commonly accepted as "kWh"). Case is important. The difference between 'm' and 'M' is a factor 109 and between 'p' and 'P' is a factor 1027; 's' is seconds and 'S' is Siemens (just to name a few).

I read the numbers in the story and I think of my students mixing it all up and creating lots of confusion. Just like they mix up units and the phenomenon they want to describe (like referring to electric resistance by saying "the Ohm of X is..." instead of "the resistance of X is...", well, I guess "the meter to home is..."... flexible in length).

I suggest that, when you quote, then use the full name (billion) or at least put a [sic] in the correct place to emphasize the error. Otherwise, errors will propagate and more confusion will be certain.

b0llchit
WTF?

Newest prefixes and units to the rescue

Converting the world from PHP 5.0 to PHP 7 would save 15B Kilowatt hours annually and 7.5B less carbon dioxide emissions he said

15B kWh ??

7.5B CO2 ??

So, we're generating random prefixes and use CO2 as a new unit (El Reg, please take note). That will save the world, clearly, when we all use PHP 7 with the NewPrefix extension.

Assuming Billion for 109, then we have Giga-kilo, which is a no-no. That'll be Tera then. So, 15 TWh saved. That is just over 0.05 % saved in electric power with respect to 2017 numbers of world electric energy consumption. At least it is something. Does it have impact with respect to annual growth? You decide.

And then, saving 7.5 billion CO2... molecules? Tons (metric, short, long or volume)? Please elaborate. I'm actually interested in the answer. Maybe we can redefine the meaning such that its impact will be negligible, regardless the number. That'll save the climate a lot of problems.

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

b0llchit
FAIL

Re: It's always fun ...

telling a CEO "I told you so!"

Unfortunately, the CxOs are impervious to critique. It can never be their error. They have done everything right. Even when they are informed, it cannot be the CxO's fault. Some underling must have been sleeping because the CxO cannot fail.

(lesson learned through experience)

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

b0llchit
Facepalm

Re: Please please please...

Ehm, you mean, make 'murica grate again?

/s

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

b0llchit
Devil

We need more options

These modern days require us to have full touch screens with a multiverse of options. I suggest, that mere commercials are no longer adequate. As an example:

Option 1: do you want sugar with your gasoline?

Option 2: do you want windowwiperwash with your diesel?

Option 3: do you want tireair with your super 100 octane?

Option 4: do you want coupons with your mileage?

Option 5: ok

Then, after the free-form options have been burned into our minds, then we will make them a non-voluntary option and make you click through all of these before any drop of gasoline may flow. I'm sure, that "ok" will find its way up the ladder so we can both be done faster and have our pockets picked in an orderly fashion.

Singapore releases the robot hounds to enforce social distancing in parks

b0llchit
Black Helicopters

It'll just shoot

The example scenario has already been designed and simulated in a Black Mirror of Metalhead horror.

Xiaomi emits phone browser updates after almighty row over web activity harvested even in incognito mode

b0llchit
Facepalm

Re: re: White House says no more foreign grid gear

Yes, and it would be a loss to national security if we, the US three letter abbreviations, were no longer able to backdoor our own infrastructure. For the course of national security, of course.

(I'm so sorry, but it is very hard not to be a cynic when the US is talking "national security")

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

b0llchit
FAIL

Hm, not entirely thought through

That means that black-X is now on the deny list and white-X is on the allow list. That means, we have to associate black with deny and white with allow

How exactly is this making things better? Wasn't there a desire to remove the associations?

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI

b0llchit
Pint

Re: Its all binary

Those are reserved for the mirror-universe. Anyway, antimatter numbers annihilate this universe, so having them together in this universe is a zero-sum game.

(for all other intents and purposes, they are represented in complement notation)

b0llchit
Boffin

Re: Its all binary

All my boolean states are held as the ratio of e and pi, and it's inverse.

I hate non-integer number bases. They are a real pain to work with. However, any number-base can be converted in any other number-base. Therefore, 0...2^infinity should keep me safe.

Now I think of it... I just registered complex bases, quaternion bases and octonion bases for all numbers up to infinity. Now, that should do it...

b0llchit
Alien

Re: Its all binary

Us... there is no us. I'm, of course, selfish and do not share. I only own stuff. I collect it all. I'm entitled to own it all. And, if we all live in a simulation, then that simulation is owned by me too. Then again, in a simulation, you do not exist for real, so it does not matter that you do not own anything anyway.

(the part where you think you know that you know what you know is known - its a binary choice with lots of digits)

b0llchit
Mushroom

Its all binary

My wet-ware brain has already registered all binary numbers from 0 to 2^infinity with an arbitrary number of leading zeros. Therefore, all your inventions belong to me. Every file that has been created and that will be created is covered by the set of numbers from 0 to 2^infinity and I own all those numbers. No machine is able to invent those numbers anymore. No other being is able to invent those numbers anymore. Get over it, I own it all.

Now, where is my payment?

/s

Where were you in drought season? Interstellar comet 2I/Borisov dumped 230 million litres of water as it whizzed through Solar System

b0llchit
Alien

Re: 0.1 Bathtubs/second

Just about two blue whales per solar visit. Not the extraterrestrial kind of blue or whale. More like the Antarctic type at TNO objects' temperatures.

Facebook, AWS team up to produce open-source PyTorch AI libraries, grad student says he successfully used GPT-2 to write his homework....

b0llchit
Alert

Re: A new tomorrow for conservatism...

Yay! RoboTrump and AutoBoris can be simple VMs...

Are you sure they are living persons today? I do not think that the present form we see and hear can pass the Turing Test.

b0llchit
Pint

Business school

Well, if GPT-2 can write an essay that passes in an MBA course, then the only viable conclusion would be that MBAs ramble incoherently. And that is, generally speaking, an accepted premise: MBAs are incoherent and ramble about anything. There is a silver lining here, which we all must appreciate. The fears that robots would only replace the working class are no longer true. Management will also be replaced by robots.

So, we do not need any workforce for production. We do not need any management in the corporation. And, beancounters are already replaced by computers tabulating results. That leaves us with marketing,... hm..., no, they are replaced by Google. That means we can do away with HR too. The end result is a new form of corporation ruled by our robotic overlords. We humans shall only consume and the robots will produce. Hm, I guess there is a decimal-error in this economic setup, somewhere, hidden in a software bug. Yay! nothing changed. The MBAs also place decimals wrongly at regular intervals.

Everything is changed and it all stayed the same. You must love progress to appreciate the irony.

Cloudflare is over the moon because its pro-privacy 1.1.1.1 DNS service got a clean bill of health from everyone's favorite auditor – KPMG

b0llchit
Boffin

Not yet, at least

"Cloudflare's business has never been about targeted advertising or selling user data," said CEO Matthew Prince

That would fall in the category famous last words not yet. The problem is never with current management. It is always a problem with who will follow. Either an internal policy change or a big investor, who wants to squeeze the last cent out of it too. But then it is too late. Your infrastructure has been committed and changing it is hard and expensive.

The lesson, that we all should have learned by now, is that a promise is just a promise. It does not say anywhere, how long that promise may last or is applicable. So, yes, good promise but use caution. Do not make yourself (too) dependent.

The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times

b0llchit
Facepalm

R/O FS

When do you want to use read/only filesystems? There, where your system is embedded. You do not log or write braindead (just filling the filesystem) but build an infrastructure. So many things you need to think about and take care of. But that would require experience, which does not come cheap. And that goes for any operating system.

Who has tried a RPi with a writable SD card? It survives about 3 months before the flash wears out. Ah well,...

Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 32, no, 44 million as Windows-slinger platform slides onto home workers' PCs

b0llchit
Mushroom

Free access - with a price

Yes, we will give all of you free access. What we will not tell you is the actual cost. That would be an inconvenient truth.

You will pay, just not with money. We are allowed to read your communications using machines and gather all necessary behavioural data, as we are allowed to do so according to our brilliantly written privacy policy (which has hidden texts through a myriad of websites and hard to find links). Then all of that data will be shared with our valued business partners, who are are interested in doing the best thing for your health(-dataminingcommercialinterestoperation).

Thanks you for using MS - hope to see you again soon!

Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

b0llchit
Joke

Re: Surely,...

Since when does science and facts convince the ignorant? Please, leave us poor souls in our miserably happy state of ignorance.

Also, the ones preying on the ignorant definitely do not concur with your enlightened views. Please keep them to yourself. Making pr{a,e}ying business harder is not good for the economy.

b0llchit
Paris Hilton

Surely,...

A tinfoil hat will disrupt the bioelectric field of the virus in such way that I will be safe. Adding a mobile to the mix can only improve the repelling forces. The mobile radiates, the tinfoil deflects and reflects and the virus is driven away. Its a win-win-win for all.

You may also add some article generating algorithms in the mix with modern AI influencers in the backing room. You may do so in isolation. The spread will be viral, guaranteed; YMMV.

One for the super rich fanbois: Ultra-rare functional Apple-1 computer goes on auction

b0llchit
Joke

Re: Fully Functional ?

Oh Boy! That would be a site; under the hammer in front of an Apple Store.

A smashing example and much better than "Will an iPhone Blend".

How the US-China trade war is felt stateside: Xilinx trims workforce after lucrative Huawei sales pipe blocked

b0llchit
Coat

Re: For The USA...

Like modern accounting: Sow dollar bills, reap pennies.

NBD: A popular HTTP-fetching npm code library used by 48,000 other modules retires, no more updates coming

b0llchit
WTF?

Re: All software is terrible

So, you are suggesting to reinvent the wheel every ten years. However, the wheel is always round and has exactly the same function. Yes, bells and whistles may change, but the core remains. The computer hasn't changed that much either. It still is a simple machine manipulating ones and zeroes. Yes, faster, bigger, parallel, more shiny, more bells and whistles, etc. But the core remains.

Why change a working system? Just for the sake of change? Or are you suggesting the ultimate employment strategy, where each younger generation is forced to abandon the previous generation's knowledge and strategies? Maybe ten years is too long. Hardware is replaced more often. Why then not force each hardware generation to be accompanied by its own software strategies? That'll create the ultimate amount of work. Lets abandon compatibility and let divergence rule... sigh.

b0llchit
Meh

New is not always better

...and the code patterns at the heart of request are out of date

I do understand the urge to do everything in the most fashionable modes all the time. However, if it ain't broken, don't fix it. The JavaScript ecosystem made the same mistake as the Java ecosystem. It has become a complexity and dependency hell. A wakeup call should have been the recent downing of an npm package.

Yes, new paradigms and design patterns are a good thing. But being a bit conservative is also a good thing for longevity and maintainability. Complexity is hidden down the line of libraries and ripple up through the dependency chain. It is a nightmare to inherit unmaintainable old code with a blend of discontinuous paradigms and design patterns mixed. It should have been maintainable. It reminds me of the good old "Good, Cheap, Fast" choice. You still only can pick two, however, the "cheap" part is getting more and more expensive, the "fast" part is slowing down and the "good" part becomes a rather relative expression.

Google Chrome to block file downloads – from .exe to .txt – over HTTP by default this year. And we're OK with this

b0llchit
Alert

The long game

Finally, Chrome is on track to prevent al users from downloading any and all content from the network that has not been provided by Google itself. It took a while, but we're getting to the age of gInternet. Next up will be the browser for fInternet and the last browser for aInternet. The entire ecosystem divided by three firms, at last, as planned.

I'd prefer that we just ban 80% of the users from access to the internet. By my guess, that would improve security by a much larger factor.

They can't collect your bins or fix your roads. They let Google stalk visitors to their websites. Yes, it's UK local government

b0llchit
Black Helicopters

Re: Why do public sector websites have adverts at all?

Because tax is not enough.

The public sector needs entrepreneurial initiative to get ahead in the competition between counties, cities and public service offices. The size of the bonus for the boss always depends on the best way to be creative in generating revenue. In politics it is called optimizing the public sector and reducing bureaucracy.

Then, when elections are about, they ensure the status quo.

Pop quiz: Who's responsible for data protection compliance in the cloudy era? If you said 'dunno', you're not alone

b0llchit
Alien

Re: Point scores based on what?

...gets 27 points. Why 27?

Easy, the marketing department has determined that the dungeons are more valuable than the dragons. If you lock the dungeon, then the dragon will fail to enter. The magician holds the key until the spell of random predictability is cast. Then hell breaks loose and we see the burn-in on the dungeon screen, which the dragon uses to unlock the sword of data trimming. Marketing found that it takes 27 turns to the end of the world.

Therefore, you get a score of 27.

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