* Posts by S4qFBxkFFg

572 posts • joined 6 Feb 2012


Hungry? Please enjoy this delicious NaN, courtesy of British Gas and Sainsbury's


More like "Mortal Dismay"

"an alternative pud option, butterscotch Angel Delight, is a thing of glory"

We all have our preferences, but I can't understand how anyone can even tolerate, let alone like, this - maybe it was ruined by the way our school did it (the pink version, and everyone had to finish, unless they had a doctor's note), but as soon as it was in my mouth I felt the stomach muscles start considering expulsion - it's like it's in the uncanny valley of cuisine - the texture is nearly like food, the flavour is nearly like food... If that wasn't enough, butterscotch - another thing irrevocably ruined, in this case because, somehow, the smell was often present in the dirty nappies I was changing up until a couple of years ago.

It's a good thing I'm trying to lose some waistline, that's put me off lunch, at least.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets


In the long run, pine marten recovery may be the best way to solve the grey problem. Actively being reintroduced in England: https://www.vwt.org.uk/projects-all/pine-marten-recovery-project/

Wired: China's Beidou satnav system, 35th bird in orbit. Tired: America's GPS. Expired: Britain's dreams of its own


Re: And next: commercial positioning

While noting the other replies, a problem would be that I think the ground receivers are too large for use in phones, and apparently depend on things like phased arrays. Fine for buildings, ships, and large aircraft; probably doable for smaller vehicles down to car size; but impractical for anything held or even carried.

Watchdog slams Pentagon for failing – for a third time – to migrate US military to IPv6


Re: What are the security concerns?

"Maybe we should have an IPv4.1 that is exactly the same as IPv4 except that it has more numbers."

Already in the works:


Snapping at Canonical's Snap: Linux Mint team says no to Ubuntu store 'backdoor'


This is why I got rid of Snap - somehow, it managed to break dconf (which is itself a problem, but at least appears to be better behaved) by getting it to attempt to save a user's settings in a file only writable by root:


'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation


Re: git broke English

Don't you mean "unretain rocks at their houses"?

Openreach tells El Reg it'll kill off copper sales in 118 UK locations next year


Re: Educated cable thieves? Shirley knot.

Possibly tall tale:

Company laying cable places thin plastic sheeting printed with "FIBRE OPTIC CABLE - DOES NOT CONTAIN COPPER" message over it before refilling the trench.

Cable thieves pull up the cable anyway, leaving a note saying "sorry - we have to check".


The USA are a bit funny in that respect - over here, it's generally a lot more obvious when you're walking from an OK to not-OK area; over there, not so much - I remember talking to various cab drivers / receptionists / restaurant staff, all appalled and seemingly surprised I was still alive and in possession of my valuables after mentioning where I'd been.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test


Re: This may be a really obvious question.

The obvious answer is existing satellite internet customers (aircraft, ships, and people unable to get fixed line or 3/4/5G mobile internet).

Apparently the military are also interested. Also (once inter-satellite links, whether laser or radio or microwave are available) financial institutions may use it - the latency could be better than cables, allowing superior arbitrage to competitors, etc. (at least until we have through-planet neutrino communication).

Taiwan to develop military exoskeleton because it's not like these things are open-sourced or one-size-fits-all


Re: Aren't.....

I'm just irritated they chose an image of a powered endoskeleton for the story.

Starship bloopers: Watch Elon Musk's Mars ferry prototype explode on the pad during liquid nitrogen test


Re: Unsurprise.

"I will bow to your superior experience of buttplugs."



Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket


Some commentary suggests he only claimed a belief in a flat Earth for fundraising purposes - Wikipedia puts it: "In 2016, Hughes launched a failed fundraising attempt for a rocket that earned $310. After professing his belief in a flat Earth later that year, Hughes gained support within the flat-Earth community. His post-flat-Earth fundraising campaign made its $7,875 goal."

Astroboffins may have raged at Elon's emissions staining the sky, but all those satellites will be more boon than bother


AFAIK, they don't support IP V anything - your packets will get wrapped up into whatever in-house protocol SpaceX have concocted

Remember when Europe’s entire Galileo satellite system fell over last summer? No you don’t. The official stats reveal it never happened


Re: WTF?

"I'm leftanded, so ball-point pens have 75% or less reliability."

You're obviously writing in the wrong direction; several years ago, with a broken shoulder, I tried going left-handed for writing - the results were predictably terrible. However, changing to right-to-left writing sorted it (and was surprisingly easy).

The fact that all the letters were backwards was a minor inconvenience.

NASA is Boeing to get to the bottom of that Starliner snafu... plus SpaceX preps to blow up a Falcon 9


Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

I have no expertise in Japanese language/culture, but reading the comments from people who are, there is a custom in Japan called Miai, which is a type of matchmaking (so far, I doubt this is deflecting the creep-o-meter any more than online dating). In this case, it's been incorporated into reality TV - probably as a way for Yusaku Maezawa to offset some of his ticket cost (which is probably a bit steep, even for him).

In summary, more gimmicky than creepy, if I'm reading it right.

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


Re: "We have now run out of IPv4 addresses"

"Just tack on four more bytes, and consider that the existing IPv4 space was simply"

Honest question - why can't we do this?

Obviously(?) it would only be possible to use it if everything between clients was doing the same thing, but is it possible to run your own protocol in a similar way to the fact that it's possible to run your own DNS without any reference to the root servers?

Questions hang over Gatwick Airport after low level drone near-miss report


Re: Units

"Magnetic bearings"

With the exception of runways at airfields inconveniently close to the magnetic poles (i.e. Canada, and iirc Greenland, Alaska, and bits of Russia).

Other things in these areas like airways and VORs/NDBs might also be set up with reference to degrees true rather than degrees magnetic, can't remember for sure though.

edit: oops - just noticed someone beat me to that point. By 14 hours.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority asked drone orgs to email fliers' data in an Excel spreadsheet



If the regulations actually specify a weight of 250g (yes, I know what they mean), how long before some enterprising individual combines their drone massing considerably >250g with a suitably sized set of helium / hydrogen / hot air bags with the final result having a weight of close to 0g, +/- depending on whether it's climbing or descending?

Cringe as you read Horrible Histories: UK Banking Sector, sigh as MPs finger cloudy Big 3 as future risk


I thought this was the interesting bit.

The report states: "The case for the regulation of these providers to ensure high standards of operational resilience is therefore considerable. The government should urgently consider how best to regulate cloud service providers. Regulating them as critical infrastructure, while complex, may be necessary."

This implies that if the clouds continue to support retail banking, they're going to get hit with the regulation hammer. Until we know precisely what these regulations are, it's difficult for them to start calculating costs, but it's obvious there will be some sort of hit. This means that if your cloud supplier has consumer banks as customers the prices you pay will probably go up (unless they accept reduced profits from UK customers, or spin off banking services subsidiaries).

It's possible the tipping point when deciding on moving between cloud/local will change in favour of the latter soon.

Reaction Engines' precooler tech demo chills 1,000°C air in less than 1/20th of a second


Re: Here We Go...

"However the reduced air pressure on board the ISS does preclude the making off a proper cup of tea."

That would explain why Mir was kept at atmospheric pressure.

US games company Blizzard kowtows to Beijing by banning gamer who dared to bring up Hong Kong


Re: Blizzard Streisand

"Side note - I successfully copied the Taiwanese flag into this message and can see it in the edit window, but it doesn't show up in the preview and when I try to submit it fails without any error message. Weird."

When I try to include it, the error is "The post contains some characters we can’t support", but it appears to apply to all emoji flags.

Boris Brexit bluff binds .eu domains to time-bending itinerary


Re: Out of curiosity ...

"I'm typosquatting leave,eu"

Very forward-thinking of you - ICANN are still trying to wring all they can out of the dot-separated names, they haven't even started on the comma-separated ones yet.

UK ads watchdog bans Burger King Twitter jibe for condoning chucking milkshakes at politicians

Black Helicopters

Re: Steven Joyce

That reminds me of when Garry Kasparov had a speech interrupted by a well-equipped drone.

(The icon works if you think of it going in the other direction.)

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament


Re: Damning...

"the act was unlawful, ie. illegal"

I think that "unlawful" and "illegal" are not exactly the same, especially when it's the legal profession talking.

To declare that I am the Queen is unlawful, as that is not how (these days) one becomes a monarch according to our laws but it is not, afaik, illegal for me to do so.

Switch about to get real: Openreach bod on the challenge of shuttering UK's copper phone lines


Re: For 2025 read 2075

I take your point, but the article did state that actually removing the copper will be delayed until 2027 (with digital over copper being available in that time).

I expect that date will be far more vulnerable to regular adjustments.

In the bag: Serco 'delighted' to grab £450m ferry and freight deal between Scotland and Northern Isles


Re: Do they have any ferries though?

It is the SNP's goal.

However, it is important to remember that while the SNP may be the most effective single organisation in getting an independent Scotland, it may struggle with governing an independent Scotland.

I am not questioning their competence, but rather their ability to maintain their popularity (and therefore, their ability to win elections) once their primary goal is achieved.

(Analogously, what do you think will happen to Cancer Research's donations if a workable cure for cancer is discovered?)

In summary, both those who support and oppose the SNP should not expect it to be relatively as powerful as it is now if it achieves its primary goal - its post-independence policies are aspirations, which should not be regarded as as deliverable as its election-to-election policies within the UK.

I just love your accent – please, have a new password


Thunderbolts and lightning very, very frightening as loo shatters, embedding porcelain shards in wall


I'm disappointed the headline/article didn't use it.

It's 2019 – and you can completely pwn millions of Qualcomm-powered Androids over the air


Re: Can Google do something...think of the users!

"Seriously, could Google mandate updates be sent out by handset manufacturers (maybe refuse them access to newer versions if they don't)...how many Android's will go unpatched because hardware manufacturers can't...be bothered."

Not 100% sure of this, but Play Services is probably technically capable of arbitrarily modifying what's on the phone - the questions are whether Google wants to annoy the manufacturers and carriers that much, and whether they would be able to do it without falling over some weirdness the manufacturer left in the hardware (resulting in a brick, of whatever hardness).

Fantastic Mr Fox? Not when he sh*ts on your lawn, kids' trampoline and your soul


Re: Foxes and dogs

"It would seem that there are nice middle class urban foxes"

Indeed: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0096fwm

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, where to go? Navigation satellite signals flip from degraded to full TITSUP* over span of four days


Re: Huzzah!

"Alternatively just how do you manage to set up a geostationary satellite that hovers directly over Birmingham?"

Tundra orbits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tundra_orbit

A figure 8 pattern in the sky is possible if you're not fussed about it remaining at a constant altitude - the Japanese do it with their QZSS satellites: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasi-Zenith_Satellite_System

The Sirius radio satellites over North America do the same sort of thing.

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


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

If they increase their launch rate to the point where they need enough landing barges to start running out of names, at some point, we'll see "Meatfucker".


Uh-oh .io: Question mark hangs over trendy tech startup domains as UN condemns British empire hangover


Re: Those who do not learn history...

"A should give some land back to B because B lived there first, but if you accept that then how far do you have to go back to make things right?"

At the very least, if there are 'B' individuals still alive, and it is accepted as fact that their homes were where they said, then they and their descendants should be allowed to return, with healthy compensation for their trouble.

(Yes Israel, I'd apply this to you too.)

Exclusive: Windows for Workgroups terror the Tartan Bandit confesses all to The Register


"we all have different ones"

Indeed, possibly apocryphal tale below:

I recall reading about a tourist from the USA browsing one of the more "upmarket" tartan shops (i.e. the items were made of wool, and there wasn't a powerful loudspeaker just outside the entrance pumping "Scotland the Brave", and similar).

The tourist expressed interest in buying a kilt in "his" tartan, only for the shop assistant to apologise, and start to explain that unfortunately he did not think that the clan Bernowitz had ever got around to designing theirs.

This was the point where the manager/owner speedily takes control of the customer interaction, apologises for his new-and-still-inexperienced employee, and starts extolling the wonders of the Bernowitz tartan, reminding the customer that many tartans have a "hunting" variant, of which his own is a fine example, and that even if one already owns a kilt, why not go the whole hog and gain the magnificence of wearing a "great kilt"?

The shop is, of course, prepared to accept dollars - "the customer is always right", after all.


Re: I changed the start up & shut down sounds.

Another good one was finding the file for "It's now safe to turn off your computer." and changing it to "It's not safe to turn off your computer.".


Re: Changing Wallpaper can have career enhancing effects

There's also the old trick of changing someone's wallpaper to a screenshot of their usual desktop - before dragging all the icons off the screen (which Win10 appears not to support ☹️).

Tesla driver killed after smashing into truck had just enabled Autopilot – US crash watchdog


Re: Autopilot

I take your point that an actual autopilot has an easier job than with what Tesla's is charged, but that is incorrect - even a not-so-modern airliner, for example, will have a number of autopilot modes: https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Automatic_Flight_-_A_Guide_for_Controllers

Buffer the Intel flayer: Chipzilla, Microsoft, Linux world, etc emit fixes for yet more data-leaking processor flaws


Re: Nice explanation but....

These sorts of graphics can always be worse:


Get in line, USA: Sweden reopens Assange rape allegations probe


There may be legal subtleties I have not considered, but this may actually be good news for him - if I ever was unfortunate enough to be facing prison in both Sweden and the USA, I'd definitely hope to end up in the former.

Can he shorten the process by dropping any opposition to the Swedish request, while still fighting the American one?

'Software delivered to Boeing' now blamed for 737 Max warning fiasco


Re: Red herring

"In the old, old days the Boeing flight manual gave a real procedure on how to recover the airplane"

In the old days, the flight engineer could help haul the trim wheel back (or alternatively might have a fighting chance of knowing which breaker to pull to kill the misbehaving system).

In the old, old days the navigator could assist.

If you went even further back and requested the radio man lend a hand too, you're probably not getting out of this one.

We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth


Re: The Royal "We".

I thought that was what you meant, but fool I am, googled to make sure.

'I do not wish to surrender' Julian Assange tells court over US extradition bid


Isn't there still a valid European arrest warrant (from Sweden) out for him, that the UK courts have already ruled legal?

Despite any suspicions about the Sweden-side process that generated it, I thought UK law was clear that he was to be sent to Sweden, after his current sentence, and that the USA would have to get to the back of the queue.

Not another pro-Brexit demo... though easy to confuse: Each Union Jack marks a pile of poo


As a fellow commentard once pointed out, the better solution is to make the offending turds more appetising by generously applying bacon grease or barbecue sauce (depending on availability). The local wildlife will then diligently dispose of the now dressed doings.

Fittingly, if the source animal is regular in terms of location, they may be the one on whom the duty falls.

Easter is approaching – and British pr0n watchers still don't know how long before age-gates come into force


(Downing Street Strategy Meeting Minutes, undated)

Prime Minister: "...so in summary: Brexit is a perpetual clusterfuck, it's likely we shall be annihilated in the next elections, cabinet discipline is almost non-existent, we're crafting policy with a man we have regularly denounced as a Marxist, and we face the prospect of Boris being in charge of it all within months. We need to get ourselves out of this hole, as soon as possible, and a bold, popular, new policy is what will do it - suggestions?"

Advisor 1: "Wanking licences!"

Adviser 2: "Make people buy them at the local corner shop!"

PM: "Get these men on the honours list - immediately!"

Get the smell out of here! Gaming tournament bans players who raise a literal stink


Re: Dont forget to

A considerate shower user always takes care to waffle-stomp.

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


Re: only .22?!?

"...a fucking .22LR, these little bastards have almost as much energy as a 9x19para..."

Source? Most of the numbers I can see with a quick google show that that's a very generous "almost".

(Not arguing about the fact that .22LR is deadly, and underestimated.)

We don't know whether 737 Max MCAS update is coming or Boeing: Anti-stall safety fix delayed


Re: Avoid the MAX AND THE 737NG

"Compare this against the WWII Dakota 3 - some of which are still flying today!"

TOL cycles are less relevant with unpressurised aircraft.


Re: Question for the experts

In addition to the other comments - if I remember correctly, MCAS was not primarily a safety system - its purpose is to make the aircraft's handling characteristics similar enough to previous 737 aircraft that it would not require to be certified as a new type (which is expensive).

The impression I got, was that if it was a new aircraft type, the handling characteristics would be dealt with in the training for that specific type; MCAS would not necessarily have been required because the pilots would be expected to know the particular behaviour of the aircraft, and how to deal with it - including in stalls.

(Not an expert, the largest thing I've ever flown was small enough that I could physically drag it around.)

edit: looks like it (or some other method) would have been required due to the runaway pitch up

FYI: You could make Tesla's Autopilot swerve into traffic with a few stickers on the road


Is anyone else thinking of that Bond film (Pierce Brosnan, BMW) where he's driving the car from the back seat, using his phone?

Pecker-checker Becker's hacker wrecker: Saudi cyber-crew stole Bezos' sexts from phone, fed them to tabloid – claim


Re: House of Saud

If it was only sand, there would be little problem - sometimes I think it would be of long term benefit to the world (including the middle East), if all the oil under the nasty regimes in that region ceased to exist in any economically recoverable form.

In practical terms, it is causing us to transfer large quantities of money in their direction, while they spend their time on many of the same activities as ISIS were bombed for being fond of doing.

As an exercise for the reader - how does one most efficiently put an oilfield permanently beyond economic use, without the cooperation of the locals?



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