* Posts by handleoclast

1287 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jan 2012


Rocky has competition as more CentOS alternatives step into the ring: Project Lenix, Oracle Linux vie for attention


Last time I looked (many years ago) the problem was the tool chain. After a major release, the old tool chain was no longer capable of building the new release. And to (easily) make a new tool chain that worked you needed to run it on the new release. If you wanted a hands-clean build you had to do a lot of incremental tool-chain/OS builds to get from A to B.

Nvidia to acquire Arm for $40bn, promises to keep its licensing business alive


Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

I'll let Linus Torvalds explain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYWzMvlj2RQ

Reality Winner, liberty loser: NSA leaker faces 63 months in the cooler


Re: Guilty?

She's as guilty as a puppy sat next to a pile of poo.

One of life's little pleasures, if one is a psychopath, is having a crap near a puppy and waiting for it to get the blame.

White House calls its own China tech cash-inject ban 'fake news'


Fake Comment

Qualcomm still serious about Windows 10 on Arm: Engineers work on '12W' Snapdragon 1000


Re: If ARM is so good

When I was finished with 2 working days, there was still around 20% battery life.

I would advise against going below around 30% on a laptop with Li-ion batteries unless you are sure they have additional circuitry to prevent individual cells being over-discharged.

General (uninformed) advice is not to go below 30% even for single cells. That's not actually a problem. You can go down to 0% on a single cell without significant extra damage above a more normal charge/discharge cycle (although I wouldn't recommend letting it go that far and 10% is as low as I'd want to go).

The problem comes when you have 2 or more cells in a battery. Unless they're very precisely matched, and stay that way then one of them is going to discharge before the others. Which will put a reverse voltage across it, reducing its capacity and making it even less well matched to the others. The more times you have a reverse voltage across a cell, and the higher the reverse voltage, the more likely that it forms copper dendrites that puncture the separator and cause an internal short. Best case is that the cell won't hold charge longer than a few minutes, worst case is that the flames stored inside it escape.

Phones usually have a single cell. Laptops usually have a battery of cells. So don't run your laptop down to 20% charge unless you're very sure it has cell overdischarge protection.

Net's druids thrash out specs for an independent IETF


An excellent idea!

Let's take an ad hoc organization that actually works and encumber it with a formal management structure.

After all, it worked so well with IANA when ICANN was created to oversee it.

What could possibly go wrong?

India tells its banks to get Windows XP off ATMs – in 2019!


I'm confused (again)

The article headline states:

India tells its banks to get Windows XP off ATMs – in 2019!

That seems clear. All ATMs running XP have to be replaced/upgraded to running something newer than XP in 2019. As in no more XP-based ATMs at some point in 2019.

But there's a table in the article that says:

Windows XP deprecation June 2019

That is not, by my understanding of the word "deprecate," the same thing. Time to check my understanding of "deprecate." From Wiktionary:

1, To belittle or express disapproval of.

2. (chiefly computing) To declare something obsolescent, to recommend against a function, technique, command, etc. that still works but has been replaced.

So, depending upon which definition you choose and how you interpret it, India is going to say "Tut, tut" to banks still using XP on ATMs in 2019, or India is going to recommend banks stop installing new ATMs running XP in 2019. It doesn't, to me, read like an instruction to remove ATMs running XP by 2019, just more of the same "you really shouldn't be doing that."

Life is so confusing these days, so maybe I misinterpreted it.

Norwegian tourist board says it can't a-fjord the bad publicity from 'Land of Chlamydia' posters


For shame

So perhaps it's best for those visiting the Nordic land to be forewarned, so they can make sure they're also forearmed.

No mention of being foreskinned. I'm disappointed. Must try harder.

Virtual reality meets commercial reality as headset sales plunge


Re: Same basic flaws as 3D TV...

They got around the problem in 3D films and TV by not showing things that are too close. Beyond a certain point the change in focal length and convergence are so small your brain can't detect them. If the cinema screen/TV is at least that distance away then everything matches up and all is well. 3D films and TV used to have a problem because directors loved objects that seemed to jump out of the screen at you or were about to hit you. You don't see much of that these days.

And that's the problem with VR, because many of the applications are going to be ones which deal with objects that are close and other objects that are far. Not such a problem with HUDs as they are basically close instrument displays that you can mostly see through, so AR on those would be feasible.

I can think of only three ways around the problem.

One is a phased-array antenna for light, which could create hologram images (as in Star Wars). It would require hellish compute power even to create a single frame of video. And we don't know how to make phased-array light antennas.

Another way would be an ultra-high res volumetric LCD and some powerful optics to make 5cm of tank depth seem like 5 metres visually. Very ultra-high res. We have no idea how to make one.

Final way is one of the existing 3D technologies that use water mist or a spinning helix with lasers. Along with powerful optics to get the depth of field. We do know how to make those, we just can't make them small and lightweight enough to be usable.

Current state of play is you pay a lot of money to get a headache. Sort of like having a spouse, except you can switch it off, put it on eBay and hope somebody is daft enough to buy it.


VR has a fundamental problem

[May be a duplicate post, there was no confirmation after I submitted it the first time and I was

returned to a blank comment form].

I'm not talking about the fact that, apart from games, there's bugger-all use for it at home and, apart from a few specialist applications, bugger-all use for it at work.

I'm talking about the vergence/accommodation conflict (video. Your eyes converge when you look at close objects and are parallel when you look at distant objects. Your focus changes, too, depending on distance. Your brain expects both those changes to happen in track with each other, so you end up feeling nauseous or get a headache when they don't. 3D films these days get around it by limiting the

distance range of objects, but VR is meant to cope with stuff you can reach to pick up as well as distant objects.

I can't think of any solution that would be feasible, cheap, and not weigh too much to be usable. It seems that nobody else can, either, or it would already be on the market. Unless somebody does come up with something, VR is going to be too painful to use for long periods unless it only displays stuff that's beyond arm's length (at least that far, maybe further). You can use lenses to put the display at optical infinity and then there is no vergence/accommodation clash.

AR isn't so much a problem, as long as it doesn't pretend to show things further away than the display actually is. So HUDs are fine, but AR superimposing objects of varying distances is going to be a pain.

Apple takes $9m kick down under after bricking iPhones


Re: Worse!

Apple were bricking Apple parts!

That, I'll admit, is wrong. Nuke-them-from-orbit wrong.

Unless (and I have no knowledge either way) those phones were different build revisions, using slightly different parts that therefore returned different part IDs because of slightly different behaviour. If they were merely returning different serial numbers for the exact same part, then nuke them from orbit.


Re: Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch,

However, what was installed was a touch sensor that, while not the one made by apple, did the job it was meant to do.

So you admit that it was not the right part. It did not do the job it was meant to do, because one part of the job it was meant to do was give the correct response to a specific query. You might as well have fitted a cabbage.

Yes, it would have been possible for Apple to rewrite the firmware to accept responses from parts that were not fully compatible with the manufacturer's original. Why would you expect them to do that in advance, not knowing what some third-party might fit that was almost compatible?

It doesn't matter that with different firmware, it would have worked. If you fit a part that doesn't work then you've fitted the wrong part. It doesn't matter that it performs most functions just the same, if it doesn't perform all of them then it's the wrong fucking part.

It's not a consumable like an inkjet cartridge, where such practises are questionable. It's a part that should only need replacing as part of a repair, and that repair should use the right fucking part. Otherwise you might as well fit a cabbage.

Now there might be a case against Apple for refusing to supply replacement screens, at a reasonable cost, to third parties. But a case against Apple because the third party fitted the wrong fucking part is ridiculous.


Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch,

It pains me to write this (ouch) but Apple is right.

If the third-party used a touch sensor which was not recognized then the phone was not repaired to its original state. End of story.

Oh, what's that? You're complaining that I replaced the dead CPU in your computer with a cabbage and that's why your computer refuses to boot up? Nah, I repaired it mate. The replacement component doesn't meet the manufacturer's specs for the part, but so what? If you have a complaint, take it to the manufacturer, not me. There's an Australian court that will back me up on this.

Now Microsoft ports Windows 10, Linux to homegrown CPU design


Re: It's been a long time..

Hating on Comic Sans is a strong indicator of someone who knows a little, but not very much more, about typography

Where, on your scale of mastery, does knowing that, in later life, Jan Tschichold recanted on his insistence of using sans-serif faces in body text?

Does the name "Mickey Mouse" come to mind when you think of comics? Would Mickey Mouse Sans be a better or worse name for the face?

Illumination may come to you. Especially if you contemplate modern modems.


Re: It's been a long time..

They managed to turn Comic Sans into an operating system.

Quote of the month. Maybe quote of the year. Have a pint.

Here's some phish-AI research: Machine-learning code crafts phishing URLs that dodge auto-detection


Re: Clickbait

Why on Earth should one suppose phishers would present a big fat static target for naive pattern-classification?

I would expect exactly the opposite. Phishers achieve a small degree of success with the naive pattern-classification systems running on wetware. The more naive the system, the higher the chance of success.

BTW, is anybody interested in helping me out by setting up a joint bank account I can use to smuggle embezzled money out of Nigeria?

Apple hauled into US Supreme Court over, no, not ebooks, patents, staff wages, keyboards... but its App Store


Apple, Aldi and Tesco

If I go to Aldi, there are a few big-brand products but most of them are brands nobody but an Aldi shopper has ever heard of, such as "Vitacat." Somewhere on the label of each of those unknown brands is "Specially produced in the UK for Aldi Stores Ltd." They are Aldi's own brand (under many different names that don't include the word Aldi in them) just as much as Tesco's own-brand items are. Neither supermarket chain produces the actual item, they buy it in from a supplier, possibly made to their own specifications, and in packaging of their own choice (One says "Vitacat" and the other says "Tesco").

There's not much difference between Tesco own-brand and Aldi's cryptic own-brands except price. For most things they taste close enough (as far as my much-abused sense of taste is concerned) that I probably couldn't tell the difference in a blind taste test. Aldi is usually cheaper; Tesco is slightly more convenient for me to get to.

I have no valid reason to complain that I can't get Tesco-branded stuff at Aldi, or that I can't get Aldi's cryptically-branded stuff at Tesco. I am a tad upset that I can't get many big-brand items at Aldi (I don't buy many) because it means I usually end up paying more at Tesco for their own-brand stuff and a couple of big-brand items just to save me having to shop in two places.

To cover one thing expressed by some commenters, when I do buy a big-brand item such as Dreamies cat treats, I know a large chunk of the money goes to Mars (yes, the choccy bar people also make cat food), but I'm buying it from Tesco. Under legislation and precedent, if I have a problem with a big-brand item my complaint should first be directed to wherever I bought it (Tesco) not Mars.

And here's the reason I brought up Tesco and Aldi. I can't buy the same Apple app elsewhere (I'm not even sure if I could sideload an app from anywhere else since I don't have any iToys). Apple apps are very much like Tesco's own-brand stuff and Aldi's cryptic own-brand stuff. Execpt Tesco and Aldi don't have any lock-in mechanism but Apple does. Aldi won't refuse to sell me stuff because I have a Tesco digestive system (I don't anyway, but you know what I mean). Apple controls what apps people can buy and how much they pay. It very much is a monopoly situation.

And just to be fair (I must be ill) I can also see Apple has a point other than simple profit. If people can load any old crap from anywhere onto their iToy then Apple is going to get more support issues (possibly non-profitable) to deal with when the iToy gets pwned or runs slow because of crapware.

But, in the final analysis, I don't really care because I don't use anything from Apple and probably never will. Maybe if I were so rich I could wipe my arse with £20 notes (not the fiver or tenner because they're plastic and would just smear things around) I'd buy iToys. I'm not, so I don't.

What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++


Bring back the good old days

Those wonderful days when Niklaus Wirth had a strong say in the design of a new language, and of new features to an existing language.

That way it is absolutely guaranteed to be unusable crap. So almost nobody but bondage and discipline fetishists will use it, and the rest of us can safely ignore it.

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android


Open Maps


Were you thinking of OpenStreetMap?

It's already usable in a browser (you can even switch on its GPS location facility). There are several apps which purport to make it even easier to use, although most of them are commercial offerings which mess with the rendering in order to make themselves distinctive, but may give you downloadable maps for offline use (if you pay). Some offer other half-working, half-baked features too.

Just point your browser at http://osm.org. First time you use it you get a lot of gumph, but that goes away on subsequent uses (unless you delete the cookies). Search for a location and away you go. Quality of details varies from place to place, depending on whether or not somebody has bothered to add things to the map.


Here Maps

I just took a quick look around my area.

The roads are OK. The rest of the detail is minimal, and about half of what little is there is wrong. There are very few POIs (two out of seven pubs, no banks, no pharmacies, no doctor's surgeries, no library, no hotels, no guest houses, and almost no shops). Of the few POIs that are there, one is for a pub that shut 3 years ago and is a hundred yards out of place from where it was.

Compared to OpenStreetMap of the same area a year ago, Here Maps is crap. Compared to OpenStreetMap of the same area as it is today (after about 8 months of mapping by me) it's so fucking crap as to be ludicrous.


Google cloud VMs given same IP addresses ... and down they went

Thumb Up

Automation for the win!

With servers as pets, you could only fuck them up one at a time, and you might be notified of the problems you'd caused before you fucked up many of them.

With the automation tools for cloud servers you can fuck up the entire lot in one fell swoop. This is a fantastic productivity gain.

Dinosaurs permitted to mate: But what does AT&T Time merger mean for antitrust – and you?


Re: What does it mean to me?

this is still a UK based site isn't it?

You may not have noticed it, but El Reg is multinational. It has journalists in the UK, US and Australia (and possibly more countries than that, because I don't pay much attention to the bylines). The stuff it covers is also multinational, with the biggest players being in the US, then probably China, followed by Japan and Korea, with the UK somewhere below them.

You also appear never to have heard the aphorism "When the US sneezes the whole world catches a cold." The events covered by this article may not affect you directly but they will eventually affect you indirectly. If only because our fucktard of a PM uses the renowned gambit of "monkey see, monkey do."

Perhaps you would like to vote for the UK exiting the rest of the world so that events outside the UK will have no effect upon you.

... Aaaand that's a fifth Brit Army Watchkeeper drone to crash in Wales


Location, location, location

From the article:

the airport, which is about 144km (90 miles) northwest of Cardiff.

A rather strange way of describing it. Some might have said it was 33 miles southwest of Aberystwyth or maybe 5 miles east-northeast of Cardigan, or even 5 miles east-northeast of Aberteifi. Because if you've no idea where Cardigan or Aberystwyth are then you probably don't know where Cardiff is, either.

Or the article could even have given a link to a map.

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project


Re: If not doing something because it was "inconvenient" was the ciriteria for Brexit..

Which begs the question: why bother making such a song and dance about being denied access in the first place?

Here's the thing you apparently do not yet understand about politicians: there's a reason they do something and then there's the bullshit they feed you as an explanation of why they're doing it.

Being denied access to military-grade positioning is what they're telling you. The real reason is that the UK will no longer get juicy contracts to work on the thing. It turns out that if they tell you (and more importantly, the Europeans) that they're greedy fucks too stupid to realize the consequence of their actions and please give us special treatment to which we're not entitled then they'll get laughed at (and maybe even voted out come the next elections). They figured if they fobbed it off as a military thing (we have bigger and better weapons so you need to give us access so we can defend you) that might give them a foot in the door (BTW, we'll only defend you if we also get those juicy Galileo contracts).

I have no great love of the EU. It is, at its heart, an unelected civil-servant-ocracy (there's probably a word for that but I don't know it), so on principle I dislike it. It comes out with some good legislation and some bloody stupid legislation (harmonizing electrical supply voltages and electrical equipment to operate at that nominal harmonized voltage was fucking stupid).

However, having been a part of it for 45 years we are going to be worse off by leaving than by staying in (Galileo is the tip of a fucking big iceberg). This isn't going to end well. But I'm not very worried by it because I reckon I'll be dead before it gets really bad (I don't think it will take a long time to get really bad, that estimate is down to my life-expectancy).

UK.gov online dating tips: Do get consent, don't make false claims or fake profiles


Re: Mad

She's tried a couple of dating sites but just ended up with one-date utter bellends.

I could manage at least two dates.

Still an utter bellend, but it's a step in the right direction.

Hello, 'Apple' here, and this dodgy third-party code is A-OK with us


Re: You're signing it wrong !

Chances are that one person found a way that seemed to "work", and everyone else copy-pasted because they couldn't find anything better.

Copied from StackOverflow, perhaps?

UK! watchdog! slaps! Yahoo! with! £250k! fine! for! 2014! data! breach!


Early payment discount

They should probably also take advantage of the direct debit discount, since they'll probably be paying fines on a regular basis.

Whaddaya mean there's no direct debit discount? My gas supplier offers me a discount for immediate payment and an even bigger discount if I let them take money out of my bank by direct debit (which I refuse to do, I'd need a much healther standing balance to risk that).

AWS Best Practices webinar series: Building security into your environment


Is it just me?

Or does the word "webinar" cause an urge to projectile vomit?

It's not even that I'm biased against the concept (although I find these things generally to be of little value). It's just the word. Blurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggh.

We don't seem to have a vomiting icon.

NASA finds more stuff suggesting Mars could have hosted life, maybe


Re: Suggestive, but nothing more

Homo sapiens are a very recent arrival on the scene - chimps were around for about 2 million years before we showed up. If they were going to evolve any further they would have done so. Ditto all the other animals.

Erm, nope. We share a common ancestor with the chimps. One of its descendants stayed in chimp-type habitats. Another of its descendants found that it could survive in the new savannah, and something about that environment required enhanced intelligence.

We were lucky that we exploted a niche where enhanced intelligence was somehow of benefit. If a plague wiped out all of humanity, one of the other apes could start to exploit new niches and advance towards human levels of intelligence. None of them are so specialized that it would be difficult for them to evolve into intelligent tool users.

Evolution evolves the fittest, not the smartest. If the 2 coincide very occasionally then so be it,, but its not an inevitable outcome.

Our level of intelligence may not be inevitable, but apes, whales and elephants are also intelligent. I think that's a large enough number to say that intelligence isn't a one-in-a-universe thing.

We got there first. That's all that prevented any of the others from exploiting environments where increased intelligence was beneficial.

Did we get intelligence unreasonably quickly or unreasonably slowly? We may never know. This planet spent most of its time in the unicellular stage, but maybe we're the slow kid on the block.


Re: Suggestive, but nothing more


Why does it have to?

Bad phrasing on my part, perhaps, but I was responding to your "humans had to evolve" by pointing out that intelligence had to evolve [as a prerequisite for industrial civilization]. Because whatever the intelligence is, only on one planet in the entire universe is it going to be Homo sapiens. Intelligence (not humans) have to evolve as a prerequisite for a technological civilization that we can detect. Happy now?

As for your argument that none of the other animals have developed intelligence at our level, two things:

1) We don't know how intelligent whales are. We do know that they communicate but we haven't deciphered it. Maybe they encrypt it. :)

2) One of the big reasons no other animal has developed a technological civilization is that we beat them to it and have thoroughly occupied that niche, leaving no room for any others. As you said, "ask the Neanderthals."

Intelligence is, indeed, highly energy intensive. Yet it must be worth it, because we're here. And we're doing well at wiping out many other species so we can make use of their habitats. There once was a path leading to intelligence in a world where high intelligence was not the norm, despite the costs. The only reason that path is no longer there is because we took it first.

The question is not whether intelligence is cost-effective (it quite clearly is) but how likely it is for evolution to stumble upon it. Elephants, chimps (and even corvids) suggest that intelligence is not as highly unlikely as you suggest. Limited intelligence, sure, but the same can be said of Australopithecus afarensis, and look how that ended up.

We don't have anything that other animals do not, we just have it in different quantities. Since you can find species that take various attributes to extremes in order to survive, and intelligence is just one attribute of many, I don't see it as being qualitatively different from the rest.

Your argument seems to boil down to "we're the only really intelligent species on the planet therefore intelligence is unlikely," but it's a flawed argument for many reasons.


Re: Suggestive, but nothing more


1) A planet with an enviroment for suitable chemical reactions to occur

2) Somehow the chemical reactions lead to a self reproducing system

There are over 100,000,000,000 galaxies, each of which has an average of 100,000,000,000 stars (those are old figures, the newer ones are bigger but the old ones are easy to remember). Life has to be astronomically improbable not to occur more than once in this universe.

As it happens, life on this planet happened within around 300,000,000 years of it cooling enough for life to survive. Maybe we were much faster than average, maybe much slower, but the chances are we were somewhere in the middle. The odds look good.

3) Single celled life became multicell

That may be the hard step. It required (for our form of life, that may not be universally true) the formation of the eukaryotic cell by the symbiosis of two bacteria (one became the dominant partner, the other became mitochondria or chloroplasts, depending whether animal or plant). Then again, we have other examples of symbioses like these forming, mainly in protozoa which have cilia that are bacteria. So maybe not so hard.

4) Life had to make it out of water onto land (not much chance of fish building a spaceship) which was possibly helped by a large moon causing tides

Electronics would be hard. Try making vacuum tubes (valves) or zone-refining semiconductors underwater.

However, our tides have two components: one from the moon and one from the sun. When they act together the result is a larger "spring tide." The sun alone would still produce tides.

In any case, tides would result in life ending up in rock pools that either evaporate long before any evolution could happen, or are swept back out to sea by a later tide. Not much opportunity to get to a land form there. Large rivers, however, produce a salinity gradient at their mouths, allowing a transition from salt water to fresh water. From there, a transition to land may be easier.

So probably not a major problem either.

5) Humans had to evolve - not a given especially if that asteroid had missed 65 million years ago

Intelligent life has to evolve. That, again, seems hard. Then again, both elephants and whales are pretty intelligent. As are chimps. So without that asteroid maybe we'd have ended up with intelligent dinosaurs. Or not.

6) The industrial revolution had to occur. Again not a given - if there had been no coal deposits we'd still be riding around on horses with the most advanced machines being windmills.

Probably true. Although the limiting factor would probably be refining metal ores without coal or oil.

7) The computer revolution had to occur.

We had radio before we had computers. We were pumping out detectable signals without computers. Los Alamos managed to design the atomic bomb with nothing more than a lot of people and mechanical calculators, so I think we could have managed to calculate enough to get to the moon without computers (if we really wanted to).

I'm sure there are plenty of other important points in history that could have led to a very different outcome, but the point is - life evolving may or may not be rare, but a technological civilisation IMO is.

Yes, technological civilizations are going to be rarer than single-celled life. More importantly, those civilizations would have to arise within a narrow time/distance window for us to spot them by radio. And it's possible advanced technological civilizations don't survive long after developing nuclear weapons.

Korean cryptocoin exchange $30m lighter after hacking attack


Re: I'm forever blowing bitcoin

The Labour Theory of Value isn't mainstream economics.

The Labour Theory of Value is as flawed as Intrinsic Value. More so, in fact.

I think that's from Marx, if I remember correctly.

I think you're correct, too. Heinlein used it as an example of something Marx got very, very wrong. Heinlein's example was of apples, sugar, flour and water. In the hands of a good chef you get a delightful pie; in the hands of an incompetent you get an inedible mess. The incompetent may have spent more time than the good chef, so according to Marx the inedible mess is worth more than the pie.

Labour Theory of Cost is workable (not necessarily useful, but you don't get obviously insane answers: it did cost more to produce the inedible mess than the delightful pie). Labour Theory of Value is nonsense (you should pay more for the inedible mess than the pie).


Re: I'm forever blowing bitcoin

People buy bounty bars in order to eat them.

Or to sell them. If I ran a sweetshop I wouldn't refuse to stock them on the basis they make me gag.

The intrinsic value in the fact that you can eat them.

Nope, that's a subjective value, not an intrinsic one. There are people like me, who can't stand them. Others who love them so much they'd happily pay double the asking price. And many others in between, such as some who would buy them if only they were a little cheaper. A diabetic might shun them, unless he/she is hypoglycaemic.

All trade depends upon people having different subjective values for things. It doesn't work, otherwise.

Maybe you personally don't like them, that's fine, but there are enough people that do to make it worthwhile for Tesco to trade in them.

At a price which is not an intrinsic value but one chosen to maximize profits. Too high and the infrequent sales mean they're wasting shelf space; too low and they're selling them at a loss.

As I said, things have intrinsic costs, in terms of the labour needed to produce them, but no intrinsic value whatsoever. Value is subjective so cannot be inherent in an object. There may be a delusion, shared amongst a large number of people, that something has a specific value, but that is merely a delusion. At best the Tesco price is close to an average perceived value.

How often do you buy something you otherwise wouldn't because it's on special offer? How much would you pay for a bottle of water? How about if your water supply is out of action and the water company has just alerted you it will take at least 4 hours to fix it? Surely it's the same item in both cases, with the same intrinsic costs to produce it, but in one case you value it a lot more.

What value does a potato have? Well, if you were trapped on Mars it might be life or death.

Intrinsic value does not and cannot exist because value is purely subjective.


I'm forever blowing bitcoin

They have no intrinsic value

I'd argue that nothing has an intrinsic value. Economists may use that terminology, but even in that restricted technical usage it is gibberish.

Value is subjective, not objective. Some people love Bounty bars; I, whilst liking chocolate and liking coconut, find that particular combination to literally make me gag. Some people think works of art by Picasso are wonderful, I think they're garbage.

When I say all that, economists counter by saying what they mean by "intrinsic value" is the cost of the labour used to produce the item. Which is still bollocks. That's an intrinsic cost which is not necessarily related to a subjective value. For example, take the Vega Spectrum: if they ever manage to produce even a working prototype that will have been at great cost but the item will have little value.

Anyone who thinks that anything has an intrinsic value, whichever way they define it, is severely deluded. So deluded, in fact, they probably think bitcoin is intrinsically worth a lot of money.

Youth crime falls as kids stay inside to play Grand Theft Auto instead of going out to steal cars


Re: Obesity, Diabetes Type II and so on

Anything else is just fashion nonsense.

I see people wearing jeans with "artful" rips and tears in them. They're considered fashionable. Yet when I walk around with the arse hanging out of my trousers people laugh at me. Somebody please explain the difference.


Re: So basically ...

The resolution may be good but on most levels the design is dull and uninspiring and the special effects are just pathetic.

Worse than that, most of the characters you encounter are so banal and repetitive they get very low marks on a Turing Test and are best avoided.

Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums


Re: Might as well pull it for Win 10 as well.

If they do, one of the popular responses from them is "Why do you want to do that?".

To be fair to Microsoft support (very uncharacteristic of me) that can be a sensible question. Because it is often the case that when a customer asks "How do I do X?" and what they're asking seems bloody stupid it's because what they really mean is "How do I achieve result Y?" and being able to do X wouldn't achieve Y anyway. It's only when you know they're trying to achieve Y that you can say "Do Z, and forget all about X because it wouldn't do what you want even if it were possible in the first place."

And now to drop the mantle of fairness. It's also often the case that's when it's Microsoft support asking "Why do you want to do that?" it's because they don't have a fucking clue about anything and they're stalling for time.

So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?


Re: Wish I could argue

The point is, this guy must have read the recent negative press on FB and privacy, yet not only does he continue to use it, he promotes it!

Would his username be "Zark Muckerberg" perchance?


Re: Competition

Let's imagine the Daily Mail's parent company DMG bought a cable company and delivered cable for, say, 10% less than everyone else.

Let's imagine the Koch Brothers bought Comcast, or Verizon, or...

You've got the basis for a good George Orwell novel right there!

Nope, one of the old Orwell novels made into a reality show.



Google translate, he say

Google translate speak with forked tongue. Google translate say to me:

"Boy, I was the 16th day of the day, perhaps it was probably about it - I sighed."

I sighed.

PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage


Re: Mad Cow Disease

(which is what rabbits and other cacophages do to give the cellulose a second go-round)

Which is one of my arguments against eating lettuce: it tastes no better than rabbit shit (rabbits don't eat any old shit, they eat their own shit) and may taste worse than rabbit shit. Why would I want to eat stuff that has no nutritional value (to humans) and tastes no better than rabbit shit?

It's easy to figure out.

If lettuce tasted better than rabbit shit then rabbits would eat nothing but lettuce, which would not be sufficiently digested, so they'd die of starvation.

If rabbit shit tasted better than lettuce then they'd eat nothing but their own shit. This is not viable long-term, since if it worked you'd have a perpetual motion machine (pun based on an old euphemism for shit is intended). It might be viable short term, since they could eat their own shit until nothing was left to go around the loop one more time, then switch to lettuce. So lettuce tastes no better than rabbit shit, and possibly worse.

So I don't eat lettuce. Not even in salads. And especially not in salads which have raisins in them (for those who haven't seen them, rabbit droppings are around the size and colour of small raisins).

But that's a secondary argument. My main argument against lettuce is that it's a crime against humanity. That, however, is another story. Which I rarely need to tell after I've explained the rabbit shit/lettuce thing, and especially after making the point about raisins.

I've tried refusing lettuce by saying I don't like it, to which I get the "You've only eaten crappy lettuce, not wonderful lettuce like this." I've tried refusing lettuce on religious grounds, but then I have to make up a religion and dietary restrictions on the spot to justify it. I've tried saying I'm allergic to lettuce, but nobody believes that. So it's either the rabbit shit/lettuce thing or screaming at the top of my voice I HATE LETTUCE and being thrown out of the restaurant.


Re: They aren't fish.

I think they stopped when people started graffiti-ing on the billboards, "I love cats---they're delicious!"

From what I've read, cats aren't that great. Dogs are a lot better.

Again, I emphasise, this is what I have read. I have not performed taste tests, and never would.


Re: "vegan fish"

Hardly surprising - cats are pure carnivores. Amongst other things, they don't have the ability to create taurine

Fun fact one: tuna meat contains almost no taurine. So if you see a bargain on tinned tuna and buy caseloads figuring to save on cat food, your cat is fucked. It's usually the heart and retinas that suffer irreversible damage, and the heart damage can lead to death.

Everybody with a cat is going to point out that you can get tuna-flavour cat food, so I must be wrong.

Fun fact two: on those cat foods that list the ingredients, the flavour ingredient (beef, chicken, tuna, rabbit or whatever) is present at around 4%. Enough that when you open the can it smells vaguely of the flavour. For all I know it may even taste vaguely like it. The rest of the protein is anonymous, but makes up for the lack of taurine in the 4% tuna.

Fun fact three: Aldi chew sticks for cats, such as Chicken and Liver, contain 16% of each of the flavours. So 16% chicken, 16% liver. Which might explain why, if you can persuade your cat to eat the first one, it is likely to go mad for the things.

Fun fact four: the Aldi chew sticks don't have a strong aroma. But what there is remains trapped in the wrapper, so scrunch the wrapper under the cat's nose as you squeeze the stick out. That will often persuade a cat that it really is edible.

Fun fact five: the Aldi chew sticks are significantly cheaper than the Tesco "cheap shit" ones, which are significantly cheaper than the Tesco "own brand" ones, which are significantly cheaper than the "big name" ones.

Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft


@Dave K

Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?

By "normal" PCs I assume you mean PCs sold to ordinary consumers as opposed to business PCs.

The explanation is simple. Ordinary users are Microsoft's gamma testers so MS can deliver reliable s/w (at higher prices) to businesses.

Nominet throws out US corp's attempt to seize Brit domain names


Re: Did anyone else immediately expect something about hotels?

Like you, hotels was the first thing to come to mind on seeing that domain name.

For me it was motorway services.

Apple hit with another faulty hardware lawsuit – this time it's the Watch


Re: Apple's not alone...

and relatively high current usage compared to capacity (>1C)

Do you wish to rephrase that?

1C is the current which discharges the battery in one hour. It also happens to be the way the battery capacity is defined (the rate at which it can be discharged for 1 hour). If the Apple watch discharges the battery at a little greater than 1C that is not a high current, since the battery rating is measured at that current. 10C would be a high current. Depending on the internals, even 5C might be a high current. What it does mean, if correct, is that the watch has to be charged more than once an hour.

I'll ask again: do you wish to rephrase that?

Tor-forker Joshua Yabut cuffed for armoured personnel carrier joyride


Re: Drug-fuelled rampage?

not som much on the financial side though.

Donald J Trump said "Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars." And, for once, it appears that he's right.

Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon


Re: What will happen during a war?

It is often credited with having staved off World War III and the nuclear holocaust during the Cold War, so who can argue with that?

I use the same argument to justify my masturbation. I only do it so that WW III never happens. I'm getting old, though, and my libido is diminishing. One day in the near future, I shall stop. And then the thermonuclear shit will hit the fan. You mark my words.

Or, to put it another way, there is no proof that MAD prevented WW III, only mere conjecture. It seems like a plausible conjecture, but there was a time the flat earth seemed plausible.


Re: What will happen during a war?

About 30 seconds thought would convince the stupidest of politicians that launching thermonuclear weapons - against anyone at all - could only make matters vastly, and suddenly, worse.

You appear to be the only El Reg commentard not to have heard of Amber Rudd.

Japanese fashion puts the oo-er into trousers


Re: But where's the technology angle?

Wang Laboratories went bust in 1992

Anyone remember their slogan? "Wang cares."