* Posts by Heironymous Coward

65 posts • joined 10 May 2011


Tor pedo's torpedo torpedoed: FBI spyware crossed the line but was in good faith, say judges

Heironymous Coward

Re: My sympathy meter is broken

I will assume that you live in a western democracy, because otherwise you would not be so upset about someone's rights being trampled on.

I think you need to take this in context. I agree that there are a few people in the police or the courts or wherever (bad guys') who are trying to undermine the rights to unreasonable search and seizure that people currently enjoy. But there are not very many of these bad guys, and there are many more people (both inside and outside the government) who are prepared to fight equally hard or harder to preserve those rights ('good guys'). The good guys are not as visible, and are not as active, until the rights breach gets out of hand - until someone says 'Hey, that's not fair' and enough reasonable people agree with them. Look at the recent Florida anti-NRA movement, or the #MeToo movement, or the fight against the Muslim ban in the US. These situations are driven by a large-scale problem that affects innocent people who are just trying to live their lives, and the movements to stop the 'rights-trampling' are powerful and effective.

Pedophiles downloading kiddy porn movies on the dark web are not in the same initial situation, and are not 'innocent people who are just trying to live their lives'. They are just plain evil people who deserve the full punishment of the law. Not many people are going to defend their right to view illegal pornographic material on the dark web anonymously, just because there is a loophole in the law governing wire taps which was written without regard to current technology.

Idealism has it's place, and certainly when you are in a dictatorship or oppressive regime, idealism serves its purpose. But you have to have some trust in the government and the citizens to 'do the right thing', even if it means that the rule of law is temporarily somewhat weakened. Note that the rule regarding specific location was changed before the case went to trial, so we are only talking a temporal difference - the FBI could have waited until after the rule was changed, and then gone for the warrant. The only difference is that there would have been more consumption of kiddie porn and (presumably) a worse outcome for the kids involved. I prefer catching the pedophiles ASAP.

Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Heironymous Coward

Re: "paying out the nose"

and the pesky armour.

Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'

Heironymous Coward

Re: Stella Awards...

The 'Winnebago incident' is is an urban legend, it never actually happened. Please google 'urban legend winnebago' to check for yourself. The real Stella awards (which are amazing and carefully verified) are at http://www.stellaawards.com/

I feel for the family, but suing Apple is not the right way to get over this. Nor is it the right way to punish the driver, nor the right way to make sure the same type of crash doesn't happen to someone else. I'm glad I don't live in Texas...

Rule #2 Don't repost fake information on the internet - if you are not sure, check it. Twice, like Santa..

Oracle exec quits over co-CEO Safra Catz's promise to assist Trump

Heironymous Coward

Re: "Planned Register of Muslims"

So, according to you, it's perfectly OK if someone (a presidential candidate, say), threatens or plans reprehensible and unconstitutional actions. You will continue to support that candidate fully even after he is elected, and even when he is actually President, as long as he only threatens these actions. You should only start to complain when he actually starts to implement his ideas.

A couple of questions:

1. If nobody complains, how will this candidate with the reprehensible plans know that his plans are, in fact, reprehensible and terrible?

2. How do you know that he will not actually implement his ideas? Why would you encourage someone with this kind of rhetoric, unless you agree with him?

3. Do you not think that stating these illegal ideas and plans is a problem? In your mind, is it OK to threaten to maim or kill someone, as long as you don't actually start to do it?

4. Isn't it too late to start complaining, once the plans are put into effect? Much of the damage to society, and to some of the victims, will have then already been done...

5. What kind of effect do you think this will have on society, when someone in a position of authority (or future authority) can threaten a minority group with impunity, and nobody complains about his threats?

Lester Haines: RIP

Heironymous Coward

Shame, he was still young

Sad indeed when an iconic personality like Lester is taken too early.

Any possibility of making a 'Lester' icon, to mark comments laden with his epic style of humour? Some of the ones on the bottom row are almost never used...

Beware the terrorist drones! For they are coming! Pass new laws!

Heironymous Coward


Uh, why is the average flight time and average range of "over 200 commercial drones" meaningful when determining whether a terrorist-piloted drone is a dangerous prospect? 200 commercial models is a very good sample size, great that they found out the parameters of all those models. But then they should look at the drones with the highest values of flight time and range and load, and determine which (if any) of them could be used in a terrorist attack.

The average isn't even relevant if one assumes a terrorist will just go out and buy a random one, since they might pick a model appropriate for their needs...

Outsourcer didn't press ON switch, so Reg reader flew 15 hours to do the job

Heironymous Coward

Re: "...designers know better..."

First the cornflakes and now diet Coke? Getting a little on the side from product placement, heh??? Hint for AndyS: brand is everything....

Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Heironymous Coward

Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

Worse than the fact that few men are willing to go into these areas because of potential accusations of being a paedo, is that a real paedo, intent on grooming children and for possible future abuse, is not likely to be deterred by this potential accusation. Innocent & good men are taken out of the loop (so children lose good role models) but paedos are left in the loop (endangering children).

El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

Heironymous Coward

time travel used wisely

Now THIS I'm especially proud of. It's a 2026 green plum brandy, aged about 400 years. Took me ages to find where I had buried it, your X-Ray glasses would have come in handy...

Boffins' audacious plan to blow up aircraft foiled by bomb-proof bag

Heironymous Coward

Re: My feelings are mixed too... I prefer my intestines

May I respectfully suggest a double-blind test with a control group? I wouldn't be adverse to tossing a few rich budding politicians into the mix too..

Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey

Heironymous Coward

What did they do with the kids??

'Biggest bird ever': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying horror

Heironymous Coward

Could it take off from water?? Otherwise, it would seem like a Darwinian dead-end. Then again, it is extinct...

Our Reg reader 'mutt's nuts' dictionary is le chien's biens

Heironymous Coward


In Czech it's 'psi koule', but it doesn't have any meaning other than the literal one.

Ex-Soviet space gunboats to be FOUND ON MOON

Heironymous Coward

Re: flying backwards

If you shoot it roughly* perpendicular to where the spacecraft's movement vector, it should not affect the orbital velocity (although it will change the vector direction slightly, depending on the mass / velocity of the shell and the spacecraft). Like this:

Pre -shot

movement in this direction


O---> shot


\ movement in this direction


*roughly - using conservation of mometum, you can calculate an angle (slightly less than 90 deg) that will result in the same orbital velocity

Or, of course, have two guns on the thing and shoot both at once in opposite directions...

Facebook shells out $10m for using users faces in adverts

Heironymous Coward
Paris Hilton

Re: So...

Only some parts of her are...

Lard-busting specs trick snack-happy Japanese

Heironymous Coward

Just think...

They could imitate beer goggles, without the need for beer...

Then again, the beer is half the fun...

Windows Phone left on launchpad by Angry Birds in spaaace

Heironymous Coward

Re: Games? Pah!

All^H^H^HBoth of us Windows Phone users are grownups...

There, fixed that for ya...

Musk muses on middle-class Mars colony

Heironymous Coward

Re: sacrifices

Watch it, el Reg. Judging by the above, a significant proportion of your commentards are interested in volunteering to go on a suicide mission...

Tourists follow GPS, drive into sea

Heironymous Coward

15 minutes

These guys have something that most people don't have - something like 15 minutes of fame (more if it's a slow news day).

However, I can't see driving across an unmarked causeway that I can't see on the basis that the GPS tells me it's there.

Did insurance cover loss of the car?

NASA's 5-rocket mission to blast off tonight

Heironymous Coward

"five rockets in five minutes" ... "scheduled for sometime between midnight and 1.30am EST" ... "all five dumping their tracer trails at altitudes of between 53 and 84 miles (85 and 130km), leaving milky-white clouds that should allow the cameras on the ground and the public to "see" the winds for up to 20 minutes"

Won't it be dark out?? Just saying...

NASA: The future of space is public/private partnerships

Heironymous Coward

slight correction...

"exterminating the locals who were living there at the time"

There, fixed that for you

HP hands in-house Android code to TouchPad tablet hackers

Heironymous Coward

ask and you shall recieve

Lets down-vote him again, boys...

(please check the icon)

Ten exabytes wedged into a rather large box by Cleversafe

Heironymous Coward

We could store the awards digitally, on some kind of big storage array...

E. coli turns seaweed into ethanol

Heironymous Coward

What on earth is a "gratutous", Mr. Coward? Or do you mean "gratuitous". If you're going to be a pendantic grammer / spelling nazi, at least get your own spelling right...

Oh, sorry, I forgot, it's Monday again. Never mind...

Hold on a sec - leap seconds granted a last-minute reprieve

Heironymous Coward

Second the three clock system

and add one (between WifeClock and SolarClock in importance) - a stomach clock, which tells me it's lunchtime / dinnertime / pubtime.

'Why would I make any more Star Wars movies?'

Heironymous Coward

Idiot kids...

"I've worked with kids who will urinate in a bottle in their room, rather than leave the screen."

WTF? Wouldn't diapers be both easier (hands-free, eyes can stay on the screen), more risk-free (no bottle to knock over or fill up), and solve more problems (can handle a bowel movement).

Foreign sabotage suspected in Phobos-Grunt meltdown

Heironymous Coward
Paris Hilton

They've lost fewer cosmonauts getting into &out of space than the Americans. And on a much tighter budget.

Just curious - did you have the same attitude about NASA when Challenger and Columbia didn't perform as planned.

OT: Nice troll...

BTW, I think you're missing a "days" in there somewhere.

Need about 4 icons for this. Damn. Paris, as default, for no good reason...

Nokia: There will be NO smartphone division selloff to Microsoft

Heironymous Coward


"We have firmly scotched rumours of the smartphone division being sold to Microsoft," he said. "We have knocked them on the head time and time again."

Nothing in that statement says that there are no plans for the division to be sold. All he said was that they tried to quash rumours about it being sold - which they would do if they wanted the share price to be lower.

And I agree with Alex that the name needs to be changed. Preferably to something without the words "Windows" and "Microsoft". I wouldn't buy it anyway...

RIP Nokia. You can always go back to wellies...

Mozilla, Google extend 'sweethearts' browser deal for 3 years

Heironymous Coward

Chrome popularity irrelevant

The popularity of Chrome makes no difference to this deal, only the popularity of Firefox has some bearing on it (i.e. how many browsers / eyes have Google as their default search engine).

ALL US pro basketball to be played by topless strippers

Heironymous Coward


"..ball-handling skills, as well as both shooting and dribbling.. "

I suspect some of the audience will also be dribbling at some point, if not downright drooling. A 'select' few may even be ball-handling and shooting. Make sure you get a top-row seat...

Yeah, the mac..

SHARKS tempted by BIKINI CLAD Thanksgiving BABES

Heironymous Coward

Wrong group

I have nothing against attractive young women working while wearing bikinis, in fact I am all for this practice becoming as mainstream as them wearing sandals. However, I can't help but think that this project is putting those few who are already genetically pre-disposed to working in bikinis at some risk, thus reducing the likelyhood of them passing down their genes to future generations.

Wouldn't it be better to safeguard them? I would prefer, say, to find these young ladies work wearing a biniki in an office downtown somewhere, perhaps in or next to an IT department.

And let a group of young, male, attractive bodybuilders work with the Great Whites, thus raising MY odds of passing my genes along - perhaps with one of the aforementioned bikini-clad beauties...

P.S. is it Friday already??

Not so fast: Italian boffins say neutrinos not faster than light

Heironymous Coward

nice try, but no..

There's no tunnel, the neurinos are going thru solid rock because they can and do.

Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

Heironymous Coward

Why didn't he just

have an accident in the workplace? Probably less painful than eternal damnation (though there is some doubt, I guess).

World's only twin jet-engine bike drives onto eBay

Heironymous Coward


beware :-)

Mars, Moon, solar system could be littered with alien artifacts

Heironymous Coward

Basic maths

If there is one "advanced" civilization per 100 solar systems, and each of these civilizations puts out 10 000 interstellar probes over it's lifetime, and 1% of these probes happen to find a useful resting place (i.e. not a star) in another solar system, that means on average that there is one extraterrestrial probe somewhere in each solar system. Fancy searching the surface of Jupiter or Saturn? Those are the most likely resting places..

And IMHO, my assumptions are wildly optimistic - assuming 1 civ per 10 000 systems, 1000 interstellar probes, and a 0.1% chance of finding a useful resting place, you get a 0.01% chance of a probe in any one solar system.

And we haven't begun talking about the fact that a probe landing on earth even just a few million years ago would be buried, just like a fossil.

SETI has a much better chance of finding anything IMO... If a civ wanted to show it existed and find other civs, and had the capability, why wouldn't it send out vast numbers of probes, each with a radio sending out messages and some kind of atomic battery to ensure long life.

'Puzzling structures on surface' of YU55 spaceball

Heironymous Coward

That's no asteroid!*

It's a space station!

*Yeah, moon, I know, but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

US Navy in new electromagnetic railgun milestone

Heironymous Coward

two words

1000 tries

Darth Vader mounts defence of doomed empire

Heironymous Coward

The second death star was intentionally designed to look as if it was still under construction, but when the rebels attack, the Emperor says something about "witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station".

So both death stars were completed (at least according to Mr. Lucas, who is I believe the authority on these matters). I won't try to comment on the timeliness w.r.t. scheduled completion time but reflecting on the incentives that Mr. Vader is able to put into operation I very much doubt they were far behind schedule...

CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

Heironymous Coward


It's like they get weekend off or something... WTF??

Heironymous Coward

flogging a dead horse

18 responses and counting, all with minor variations on the theme "neutrinos pass thru anything and are hard to detect", without any non-topical interruptions - got to be an El Reg record. Sorry to break the chain, guys :-)

Safe as Windows: Smartphones' security nightmare

Heironymous Coward

I think WE just DDOSed Poor Rob Cottingham. oops

there, fixed that for you.

El Reg in email address blunder

Heironymous Coward


I didn't get it - could you please resend.


Cable employee admits replacing Superbowl feed with porn

Heironymous Coward


a porn film IS a sporting event.

Gulf of California terrorized by ONE-EYED MUTANT SHARK!

Heironymous Coward

Um, yes.

Ever hear of Baja California? It's in Mexico, the long peninsula next to the Gulf of California. South of the US state of California.

Laptop shoots spike into owner's hand

Heironymous Coward

just four words: RoTM

Why do these traders get billions to play with, unchecked?

Heironymous Coward
Paris Hilton

long-winded transaction?

Maybe you're not talking to the right girls ;-)

Nigerians panic over killer calls

Heironymous Coward

No title is needed...

"We can only hope that 419 scammers will be among them" - you mean among the gullible people who believe the rumour? Or among the people who died when receiving a call from 09141?? I know which I hope for (happy icon)

Perhaps this would be a good telephone number for a 419 baiter to give to a scammer.

Lincs bloke fined in deceased hedgehog outrage

Heironymous Coward


I'm all for non-IT stories - Paris, size 72 airbags, drunk moose in trees, Mr Bean prangs McLaren, etc.. This story was probably meant to fit in with the above mentioned and others in the same vein.

But this just isn't news. It isn't interesting, it isn't funny, it isn't memorable, and although it does involve 'naughty bits', the use of them is mundane and standard, and the visualization (in the absence of a decent picture) downright unpleasant.

Speakin of picture, itwas, IMHO, seriously subpar even for this below par story. No frogmen, playmobile people, cheeks, or silicon(e) anywhere. Can we please pick up the pace a bit, it can't be THAT slow a news day....

Oh, and I probably need to add a gratuitous FUCK YOU IDIOTS or similar for FOTW purposes (yes, I agree, a seriously sub-par attempt but the story deserves it...).

Jeff Bezos' spaceship self-destructs in test flight

Heironymous Coward

Prior art...

Microsoft invented this for their Windows product - I believe the common term is "Blue Screen of Death".

DNS hijack hits The Register: All well

Heironymous Coward
IT Angle

power cycle cult

Anyone who isn't familiar with the term "Did you try turning it off and on again?" doesn't deserve to be allowed to read el Reg..



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