* Posts by Grikath

1497 posts • joined 9 Feb 2012

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps


Not so sure it will be ineffective...

IANAL, but,,,,,

The problem for the big social media platforms may not be that this executive order may or may not be effective in and of itself. Their big problem is that it weakens their protection on one of the more contested powers on their platforms: their ability to edit or even delete self-published material, even though anything published may well not be illegal/obscene/whatever at the location of publishing.

Trump is, by far, not the only one that has run into the rather...haphazard.. and uniquely US-centric morality of "staff editing" that takes place on social media platforms. He's simply one of the top-profile ones, who doesn't have to run the infamously opague and boobytrapped hurdles to figure out what in your post has offended the Powers that Be on your social platform of choice so that it doesn't get published, or even gets you an appointment with the Banhammer.

Between the litigious nature of US society, and the rather sizeable group of people who feel Offended by censorship actions on social media platforms, the indirect effect ( and possibly actual purpose) of this executive order is the threat to open the floodgates to a deluge of lawsuits which up until now were blocked by that lovely little special protection of those social media platforms. Death by Papercut....

Trump himself may be the self-evident embodyment of the "cockwomble", but even while he may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, his handlers are not stupid. And the threat of a ton of lawsuits that cannot be directly attributed to the Presidents' Office is a lovely little crowbar.

And so subtle that most news outlets have missed this implication outright.

5G mast set aflame in leafy Liverpool district, half an hour's walk from Penny Lane


Wasn't a proper Scouser...

Seriously... If one of them would have gotten off his/her arse to down a tower, it would have gone down, not just stayed slightly damaged..

And no self-respecting Scouser would contemplate risking to be seen in public on an electric bicycle... It's just... Nope...

Not going Huawei just yet: UK ministers reportedly rethinking pledge to kick Chinese firm out of telco networks by 2023



This thing has doing the rounds for a bit now, but the whole Huawei Spai Thing™ is getting rather silly...

Especially since any system Huawei may be able to incorporate in their gear to Spy On US runs into the same problem the also much-discussed Three-Letter wishlist item of a government-mandated backdoor into mobile devices in the Land of the Free... It simply doesn't work in the end.

Whether Huawei would use a hardware, firmware, or software approach to accomplish a Phone Home service other than proper diagnostics, it would be found and probably cracked within months if not weeks. It'd simply be a matter of who, not when. Whether "Intelligence", White/Black/Grey Hats, (commercial) vulnerability research, or plain oldfashioned tech-savvy criminal organisations, there's too much glory and $$ to be had from cracking that system if it were actually there. Everybody + Dog that is remotely capable would be all over it.

Yet we still have to see a single shred of credible evidence. And I doubt that Vulture Central would miss the chance to blow up the front page in extra bold capitals if there was, and they could nail an exclusive.

And as yet.... nothing.

Meet ScrAPIr, MIT's Swiss army-knife for non-coders to shake data out of APIs (It's useful for pro devs, too)


Re: our tech team is busy enough as it is

No doubt quickly edited in while IT was checking for "interference in the WiFi Matrix" while helpfully checking the window hinges for Anomalies. Just a friendly service by your local techie...

If American tech is used to design or make that chip, you better not ship it to Huawei, warns Uncle Sam


I can see this going well....

"Essentially, chips manufactured overseas using US software or hardware cannot be shipped to Huawei or any of its subsidiaries without Uncle Sam's permission. That means that even if the semiconductors were commissioned or designed by Huawei and manufactured by foundries outside of the States, the chips will still be subject to export limits if the manufacturing processes use any US equipment or design tools. "

Between the mess that is the USPTO when it comes to patents and its relation (ahem) to other patenting agencies elsewhere in the world, corporate cross-licensing, and corporate presence demands, what exactly is "US software or hardware" ? Or is "the US" trying to Claim it All if there's even a shred of "US technology" in a production/supply line? That'll go down well...

And with the way this is stated, well after the fact as well.. This would apply to machines/production lines that may well have been built/ordered years ago...

I can see this one turning to Interesting Times if they're really going to put their foot down on this. And not for Huawei or ZTE.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


Redmond Ribbon.

With the possible pictorial of a noose topped by a bow-tie..

Wake up, Neo: Microsoft mulls using your brain waves or body heat to mine crypto-currency while viewing ads


Re: Creepiness factor

In a sense, the technology is already here...

Any of the methods of measurement mentioned in the article , including the brainwaves, are established, if sometimes experimental, technology and have been demonstrated to work. Quite a lot of them actually are used in practical applications and research aimed at the Betterment of Mankind ( and as always, military applications..) . The aim there is usually control/interface, but something has to be measured to be used as an input...

Allowing for maturing of currently experimental/developing control tech, which we will see if this whole AR/VR thing really does become practical one day, and before that in gaming consoles ( of which quite a bit is there already..) it's simply like tracking the mouse cursor and registering clicks. The same kind of data.. Has a very legitimate purpose for the system, can very much be abused...

Which is why I wondered why they'd bother to patent this at all.. Until I realised we're dealing with the USPTO here.. The one allowing for Rounded Corners, and the addition of "on a mobile device" to well-established tech, and....

Fright at the museum: Bored curators play spooky Top Trumps on Twitter over who has the creepiest object


Re: A few years ago in Cornwall

Meh... I know Radboud University in Nijmegen still has its old Pathological collection.

If the Anatomical Museum, showing off what the finest of surgical hands can produce in displays of the human anotomy how it should look, the Pathological Museum has all the Stuff That Went Wrong.... And the usual 18th/early 19thC Curiosa to boot.

You do have to book in advance though, it's only open on appointment.. And... not everyone manages the full exhibit... 3:-)

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?


Bluetooth (alone) won't work.

The granularity of the system is several times larger than the actual direct infection radius of anyone actually infected. Even with bad reception you're talking 5 meter radius, running up to 10 meters. That's a lot of of area where people can be in, and be in the "watchlist". Especially over two weeks, the supposed incubation period of Covid/SARS2

This means that the "alert bubble" is orders of magnitude wider than it needs to be. This also means that the spread of the alert/virtual infection in this system is several orders of magnitudes faster than the Real Thing™. In short, within a week or two everyone using this app will have been "infected". No difference from a total lockdown. This is "basic" math used in modelling, including epidemiology.

So unless a Bluetooth solution also includes mitigation or selection it's practically useless. It must at least consider frequency of contact and proximity to avoid you being "tagged" because of a one-off "contact" two weeks ago. And a lot of other things to give at least a decent approximate of the chance you have indeed been in infectuous contact with someone who has developed Covid/SARS2.

Else it's just a panic-spreader. Well before any issues over privacy, slippery slopes, and a very ..insidious.. introduction of mass surveillance in our "free" society.

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions


Re: Quantum Mechanics?

Ummm... This is stuff at the macro scale. Very much macro.

So definitely not a quantum effect, whichever way you look at it.

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly


Why ever?

So they're proposing locking up the only recyclable nitrogen source by using it for building projects, making it unusable for anything else....

Like that hydroponics plant that scrubs the CO2 and replenishes that precious, precious oxygen...

Well thought out, that plan....

Good luck pitching a tent on exoplanet WASP-76b, the bloody raindrops here are made out of molten iron


Re: Puzzled!

The "it's a gas giant" bit is correct..

Jupiter ( and for that matter, any gas giant) will have Iron Rain somewhere as well. With enough metal content, the inner temperatures will make it inevitable. The difference with WASP is that one side of the planet gets stoked up hard enough that this iron actually reaches the surface layers where we can detect it, instead of being hidden by several 1000's of miles of boring methane, ammonia, and water ice.

Astroboffin Kurtz ends 40-year quest to find a predicted one-sided vibrating star that was never seen – until now


Re: Why doesn't the red dwarf bulge too?

It will have a bulge.

However.... A red dwarf is several shades more dense than the outer layers of the, much hotter, real star that we see the bulge on. So it'll be there,only very much smaller, probably too small to detect from here.

Exactly how much.... Well , that's why they put a math boffin on it. Napkin-fu won't cut it here.

AMD, boffins clash over chip data-leak claims: New side-channel holes in decades of cores, CPU maker disagrees


All of them should be....

The attack requires the attacker to run his own code on your machine. This means a side channel attack is the least of your worries, since you've been pwned already. Once that happens your flavour of OS or hardware isn't exactly relevant anymore, isn't it?

Raspberry Pi goes 2GB for the price of 1GB in honour of mini-computer's eighth birthday


Re: Better options

"then spend on a case, power supply, disk, USB hub, etc., "

Why? Most people who play around with Pi's tend to already have most, if not all of that stuff... Except maybe the case.. Then again.. Half the fun is making a case for it yourself. Mine's currently posing as an older PS2 while making my "smart" TV actually Do Stuff. I've made several others, in various flavours, for friends. Because it's Fun, and not everyone wants their tech visible.. Hell, one is literally a basket case...

Huawei claims its Google Play replacement is in 'top 3' app stores after Trump turns off tap to the Chocolate Factory


Re: Individual developers not allowed

Just checked the info the App store has on that, and it's not as if they don't allow individual developers.

It's just that they make it pretty clear ( use of services : 7.3 If You wish to use the Services in order to offer Paid Products to Users You must enter into a Merchant Service Agreement with HUAWEI.) that they only allow paid apps if you're a company. Something-something taxes.... It's not as if they're making a big secret out of it. In fact, they're terribly up-front about it, and make the neccessary information blindingly obvious to find.

And honestly, selling apps through an app store is (international) trade, and as far as I'm aware that requires having a company in most jurisdictions. Even if it's just a one-man company. Because something-something-taxes.


Besides the question: "why would you even want most if not all of that stuff on your phone", the answer is "yes".

If any of those apps even work within the Great Firewall, most chinese have no real need for them, given that they tend to use social media apps that are not "USA!, USA!" branded or maintained.

Outside the Great Firewall, you don't need an app store, given that you only have to log in, or sometimes even simply go to, one of those sites through a mobile browser when you haven't got the app installed, and you get bombarded nagged to death forced suggested that their spyware feature-laden app can be downloaded straight from the site at the click of just One Button.

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill


Re: Still use Delphi

I think he was referring to memory usage. 4Gb sounds about right for Win10.

After all, when it comes to running programs, it's the bits that sit in memory that matter, not the bits that sit in storage. Although with the rise of the SSD even that becomes a little fuzzy, given that you can park a lot in virtual memory if cutting-edge performance isn't your main goal, and hardly notice the difference at the user end.

Huawei to the danger zone: Now Uncle Sam slaps it with 16 charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, theft of robot arm and source code


Re: Wow, DC is really out to get Huawei...

What national security card?

These accusations are a tad more specific than the "Dey Haz Spai Chipz In Dere. Cuz We Sez So!" guff we've been tired of hearing about so far. And they all come down to "They spied on us!! ( Poor us.. [cryface] )" , even though industrial espionage is so common and bog-standard you should expect it and account for it.

Huawei certainly isn't angelically innocent, but the DOJ had better come up with some solid, and public, evidence if they don't want to come out of this with a scorched bum and an even less credibility in the "we're not a political tool" department.

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy


Re: Carefull

Welll.. I dived into the the Arxiv article, and noted the estimated distance of 485 million light years...

So accounting for redshift, the original opus would have been done in far-UV or low Gamma.. Now that's proper Vogon poetry for you... Gets you right to the bone..

In case you wanna launch your boss into the Sun, good news: Earth's largest solar telescope just checked and, yeah, it's still pretty fiery


Mayhaps because it is an observatory, not a powerplant?

The telescope is not aimed at the sun as soon as it is visible, and the primary purpose is not power generation, but imaging. The purpose of the cooling system is to get the excess heat away from the optics as fast and efficiently as possible, before it, y'know, melts.

Now, for the sake of argument, it would be possible to do something fancy with the heat with stirlings or other heat-exchange power generation, but it'd run only about a couple % of the time, during actual observations. But for the cost of that kind of infrastructure I'd bet you you could put up a lot of bog-standard solar panels which would also work when you're not observing the sun..

I'd put the money in extra-redundant cooling, personally, and not worry about a couple of "wasted" Joules when that means my equipment won't liquiefy from the heat.

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that


There's just one problem with this scenario...

All the examples used in the article are in nations that are, shall we say.... less than democratic.. with a well-established power block supported by obvious forces, amongst which the military elite. The U.S. , with all its' faults, is not like those nations, nor is it anywhere near into devolving to such a state. Nehemiah Scudder has not (yet) been born, and that particular piece of dystopia that Heinlein painted is almost impossible to come to pass in this day and age.

And yes... any POTUS has a lot of very disturbing and downright dangerous options he or she can abuse, but afaik there are some pretty strict conditions set before those even come into play. Simply lifting out a single phrase from a law and claiming that is the whole of the law is...well.... stupid.

The POTUS can't simply decide to launch a couple of nukes for shits and giggles, nor can any POTUS simply declare a national emergency, and shut down the Internet.

Besides, why would Trump, in this case, ever want to shut down the internet in the US? The happy little echo chambers on Twatter, Crapbook and other places are a perfect diversion for the Shouty People, who would otherwise do their ranting and frothing somewhere less publicly, and be a lot harder to ferret out. And then there's the multitude that doesn't give an airborne turd about anything as long as their dinner is on time, the beer is cold, and they can watch/download whatever they want to see on screen tonight.

Shut that down,and people will suddenly start paying attention to what's going on around them, and that can't possibly be the effect you're looking for if you're out to maintain your status quo.

The whole argument that a provision meant for a national crisis can by used willy-nilly is ... less than well thought out.

Half a billion here, half a billion there – pretty soon you're talking real money: US Congress earmarks $425m for 2020 election security


It's interesting....

When even a half-hearted attempt at encryption is enough to have US "intelligence" agencies scream bloody murder and push for legislation to ban/neuter the technology, and at the same time it seems to be "technically difficult" to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to make the same technology work for sending what need be no more than an annotated CSV file over the interwebs, you need to wonder...

Are those people telling porkers while being busy applying snout to trough, or are they so bloody imcompetent they should be taken to the back of the shed for the good of mankind, because they'd be a waste of oxygen even on the B-Ark..

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators


Now imagine .....

If the big tech companies were actually stupid enough to implement this...

Any bets on how long it would take for the Good Guy™ keys to end up outside control of the Good Guys and into the hands of ...well.. the interwebs being what they are, potentially everyone?

My guesstimate would be about 4 weeks, but I'm regularly accused of being an optimist.

Apple tipped to go full wireless by 2021, and you're all still grumbling about a headphone jack


Re: This makes me glad

Not entirely sure about that...

As far as the insano-priced flagship models are concerned you may be right. Then again, sane people don't buy those things. There's a glut of [$currency]200 range smartphones ( provider-shackle free) around that can and will do all the use-cases for a smartphone quite brilliantly and efficiently. Quite a few models as well in that range that specifically provide [port] because people actually use them.

It's only the Gadget-stricken and the Fashionistas that need to suffer from the vagaries of the Designers' pipe dreams.

Mayday in Moscow as devs will be Russian to Putin mandatory apps on phones, laptops, TVs


"backers of the law believe it will raise public awareness about Russian developers."

So now it's official ransom/spyware, as opposed to the messy and unregulated ransom/spyware from before the law...

"Apple bods have been anonymously quoted as saying the mandate would "be equivalent to jailbreaking, it would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk."" ( emphasis added)

The real pain.. We all know how much a fan Apple is of people breaking out of its walled garden...

"Foreign travelers to install a "Visit Russia" App during their stay?"

Don't need to.. They can always fall back to the Official Guide employment project of the Good Old Days..

Boffins believe it was volcanoes, not just life, that made Earth what it is today – oxygen rich


Re: So what happened to the formaldehyde?

High up in the atmosphere: Joined the natural cycle there.

Dissolved in water: Used as food by bacteria, moving that part of the process into the carbon cycle, effectively making the reaction a one-way trip giving a net O2 yield. Which is why it's considered as an alternative mechanism.

Taxi for Uber: Ride-hailing app giant stripped of licence to operate in London


This may be because the traffic in the obvious-stock-photo is driving on the correct side of the road, and the ladies are indeed looking towards traffic from where they're standing....

Although the photo is admittedly confusing, because from the reflections on the street one would conclude the weather in the photo is definitely British.. How the ladies stayed dry and well-coiffed is another Great Mystery..

From July, you better be Putin these Kremlin-approved apps on gadgets sold in Russia



In true Russian style, people will simply have the State Phone™ on the cheap, while actually using their other phone, helped along by a healthily thriving black market.

It's not as if they haven't dealt with stuff like this for decades in the Good Old Days of the USSofR, comrad...

Found on Mars: Alien insects... or whatever the hell this smudge is supposed to be, anyway


Re: I See Dead People

Not just sceptical, but quite incredulous.

As an entomologist, the professor emeritus seems to have forgotten that the basic body plan of the insect class as we know it here on earth evolved in conjunction with the development of flight in the land-based arthropoda. And Mars, at the best of times, never had much of an atmosphere to fly around in because its mass is simply too low.

Now if any of the things he saw resembled a centipede, he may have been on to something. Those things are basically armored worms with legs and big, BIG, jaws. Their direct aquatic cousins/equivalents are shrimp and lobsters ( also basically armoured worms with legs, and claws to rip you up better..)

And for the minor cost of inventing bilateral symmetry, segmentation, and armor, which does not seem to be too hard as we found that those were already present during Snowball Earth here, we have the basis for something that may have been a higher life form on Mars, as long as it lasted. And $Deity know that both centipedes and shrimps are so adaptible it isn't funny anymore. If they developed, they may have lasted a bit, and we may just find some fossil evidence there someday.

But the body plan of flying insects? Nope...

PSA: You are now in the timeline where Facebook and pals are torn a new one by, er, Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen


Re: the UK will go to the polls amid ongoing disinformation efforts supported by foreign powers

I thought that was the Labour manifesto?

Something about bread and circuses, while fanning the fire...

We don't usually sugar-coat the news but... Alien sugars found in Earth-bound meteorites


Re: Best petri dish

Except for the simple fact that DNA in and of itself is not the basis for life.

RNA is what makes us all tick over like clockwork. DNA is just for storage. For the IT minded: the HDD my be a vital part of a computer, but it is not what makes the computer work. The actual legwork is done by the processor and other electronics. It's a thing that's often forgotten even by molecular biologists, even though they should know better...

The chemistry of making RNA and its components, and the basic amino acids is well understood nowadays, and it's been pretty much conclusively proven that you actually don't need all that much to make it appear spontaneously in an environment like early Earth ( poisonous hellhole to us nowadays..) if you give it a couple million years. It's actually more or less inevitable..

Now if it will organise into what we call "life" , and how often is the question. We may see evidence in our lifetime if the space agencies get a bit of a move on and get probes to the various Suspects in our solar system.

But the fact is that the chemistry of the "precursors of life" is so basic that it happens literally everywhere it gets a chance, even in space. Which, in my eyes at least, is a Bloody Big Hint we aren't all as special and unique as we like to think.

Second time lucky: Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation


Re: Weakening Evidence?

Or a host of allegations that crop up decades after the alleged fact whenever there's an election/politics/money is involved in the US....

It's almost as good as Office Bullshit Bingo.

Welcome to cultured meat – not pigs reading Proust but a viable alternative to slaughter


"Because right now, I don't think there's any company that has figured out how to grow [animal cells] at the large scale or at the commercial scale."

We have, for ages, they're called "farms".

As for growing skin... you might want to rethink that.. The organ we call "skin" is a tad more complicated than most people realise. There's a solid reason it doesn't grow back well when damaged..

Astroboffins baffled as Curiosity rover takes larger gasps of oxygen in Martian summers


Re: Can anyone think of a chemical process?

Chemical processes? Several, all part of metabolic pathways employed by current-day micro-organisms here on Earth that happily live in conditions that would be comparable to current-day subsurface Mars if sufficient liquid water ( for a given value of "water". What they like isn't potable, quite often lethal, to use frail oxygen-hardened multicellulars..) is available.

As any biologist who paid attention to his microbiology and cell biology courses could tell you. Or quite a few chemistry majors.. After all, the anaerobic squad does stuff they would love to learn how to do efficiently. Like splitting H2O ( with O2 being actually a poisonous waste product ) , or turning CO2 into CH4 ( with, oh dear, H2O as a by-product).

From a scientific point of view, with what we currently know of the evolution of our planet, and the life on it, life on Old Mars was certainly possible. Some of it may well have evolved to cope over the millennia and still exist, so a biotic origin of the fluctuations described cannot be ruled out. In fact, it's a tantalising match. Now we just simply need to find the critters...

Hopefully using robots first.. Although finding out the hard way that we humans are a very tasty snack for martian microbes would very much clinch the matter. And isn't all that far-fetched.. Things like tetanus and botulism are reminders that anaerobics tend to do very nasty things to our system.

Some fokken arse has bared the privates of 250,000 users' from Dutch brothel forum


Re: Dutch

Little to do with "Bravery"....

I'm of the opinion that it's Good Form to appreciate the fact that El Reg is quite often read in the Workplace, so it makes sense to "bleep out" words that will quite likely trigger the corporate filters.

Or make use of the many, many, many alternatives english has for taboo words, but that simply wasn't possible in this case.



Now why would anyone be interested in the emails of customers of professional independent entrepeneurs, who like any good citizen pay their taxes and VAT without fail? ( yes, sex workers in clogland are classed the same as say... independent plumbers, and are generally thought to give better value for money..)

Double points for the subhead though!

(for those not knowing a shred of dutch: the "ja hoor!" ( yeah..riiight!..) is pronounced "yah wh*re" to the untrained ear.. )

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked


few days?

"But given that Thompson's eight character password hash was cracked in a few days,....."

On modern hardware, using modern algorythms.... I very much doubt that anything they had in the day could have brute-forced that password in any time within a human lifetime. (And remembering the extortive rates for run time in the day, you'd need the budget of a moderately-sized industrialised nation to even try...).

Emergency button saves gamers from sudden death... of starvation


Re: Publicity friendly.

Why? Shall I, in thime-honoureth thrathithion, helpfully point you to the header of the section, oh incredulous one?

As an article this has everything expected of a quality Bootnotes article: the WTF?!!ness, the annotations *, the snark, and the whole serious-but-not-serious overtone. It even has an IT angle.. ** All brought to you by a staple name of Vulture Central.

Sometimes there's no pleasing some people....

* The condiment to a proper Bootnotes snack

** Opinions vary whether this is a good or bad thing, as part of the Art and Joy of Bootnotes is often deducing the possible IT angle in the comments.

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump


Re: And again, the BOFH comes out smelling of roses

I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was "none".

Guys like the old geezer are worth their weight in gold when dealing with obsolete systems like that.

Plus that that 3.5 grand bill is far cheaper than having to refurbish the whole system with modern stuff, which incidentally also means Having To Do Actual Work and Risking Pesky Audits (both feeding off each other, risking a lack of available carpetry and wear and tear on shovels) and a missed opportunity to re-enforce the notion of quiescent compliance with the Boss for BOFH and PFY.


Re: Ah blood sacrifice

You mean the Linux that at the time had no programs suited for [job/function X] off the shelf, without any formal support or a billable company address for the software? Doubly so for esoteric hardware that had to be hardcoded to work with a single operating system and sometimes even hardware setup?

I know it's Beer o' Clock, but ......

Google engineering boss sues web giant over sex discrim: I was paid less than men, snubbed for promotion


Re: I watched a documentary about that Chocolate Factory the other night...

Because the Chocolate Craving is a predominantly female thing? With anecdotal evidence suggesting that "predominantly" goes up to 95% for the gender bracket once a month...

Makes sense to ensure your flavours match the preferences of that particular half of the population....

Woman sues Lyft, says driver gang-raped her at gunpoint – and calls for app safety measures we can't believe aren't already in place


Re: "The story really doesn't add up"

And I am not claiming it is other than it is. We share the same bafflement, and I am reading this as a Cloggie seeing proof that the world has gone batty..

You also have to agree that given the readership of El Reg, and the shedload of Office Bingo most of the commentards have had to endure in their professional careers when dealing with applying the logic needed to tell the electronic morons we herd versus expectations of Manglement and Commitee Meetings, this story raises a "couple" of warning flags.

If we failed to spot the glaring holes, we would simply not be suited for our jobs.


Re: "Doesn't add up."

Dio, with all due respect, the story really doesn't add up:

A bit of digging shows that ( and I'll be careful..)

- The alledged assailant, according to Uber, fulfilled all the qualifications and licenses necessary for operating a taxi in NYC. In other words, he was at least capable/licensed to also drive one of the Yellow Cabs. Which should make him doubly easy to find.

- The purported victim *did* lodge a complaint with Uber the next day, about the bill.. And went through the mill doing the rape kit experience well within the timeframe necessary. And it was found that it had DNA of two males on her clothes. However, the sequence of events as described in the article only emerged after "months of recollection". Traumatic as rape is, I do believe you tend to remember stuff like that rather acutely, rather than months later. Cognitive dissociation is a thing, but the bill and rape kit experience alone should have given acute flashbacks right then, not months later.

- I cannot believe that both NY(C?)PD and the FBI totally failed to investigate a kidnap/rape first category case where the alledged assailant can be easily tracked down for the primary investigation. The rape kit *did* get processed, so any investigation, given the severity of the charges and the ease with which the alleged assailant *should* have been found should have gotten results. It's a detective's wet dream....

- I very much doubt that Lyft would keep any driver in their active pool when the driver in question is subject to a FBI investigation ( and Lyft would have been involved in any FBI investigation, at least for activity/ride logs..). And while they can try to be "innocent" of any dodgyness in their drivers before any act, they sure as hell would be liable after the fact. And a FBI investigation into the activities of one of "their" drivers is a big hint. Ignoring that would have their legal department in a fit big enough to trigger the San Andreas fault. Yet according to the article they did just that.. And allowed a "name change"..

There's more, but the points above alone would have a defense lawyer salivating like an overbred bulldog presented with a side of bacon. So yeah... it "doesn't add up".


Re: If the accusation would have any merit

Like FF22 I have my reservations about the story. The failings of US law enforcement and judiciary aside, kidnapping + serial rape under threat of a firearm is quite an accusation, and not something that's easily dismissed. Especially when the one accused is not "someone who jumped you in the dark" , but easily identifyable.

Which raises the next question: If events transpired as the lady described, how did she end up home, with a receipt/invoice for the ride, and not in a bodybag? Sad statistics prove that cases like this where the assailants can be identified tend to have a rather less happy outcome than a hangover and a bill that's higher than expected for the victim.

The lady in question and her crusade are easily googled, and people can make up their mind about the story for themselves, but the entire story is not quite as depicted in the article.

That said, it is a fact that the likes of Uber and Lyft only seem to comply with even the most basic checks and balances established for their particular type of business unless forced with the legal equivalent of a rectal cavity search with a spiked bat, and not just in the US. Which is something that does need to change.

Whether this particular lawsuit, given the number of question marks it raises, is the best way to go about it? Time will tell.

Time for another cuppa then? Tea-drinkers have better brains, say boffins with even better brains


Re: Smarts drink tea or Drink tea makes smarts

Well, judging by the language used the doctor is suffering from a case of cultural bias. "Strong stable connections" in the brain are, as far as I can remember from my lectures in brain physiology way back when, more a result of regular reinforcement than imbibing magic potions.

But there's an easy control... Someone in the UK pick this up...

As pointed out in the comments, tea is a staple beverage in the UK. As a nation it has both people who live their life as regular and "healthy" as clockwork asians, and people who live their lives less ...regulated. It also has the NHS and, at least in theory, a shedload of brain scans ( with casus/anamnesis) of people who fall in either category ( or any other control you'd like to apply).

It's almost a given that the UK being the UK a hefty portion of those scans fit the "must drink at least 4 cuppas a week for 25 years" criterium mentioned in the article. So there should be no problem getting a large enough sample to test pro/con the doctor's statement.

This, and a couple of other issues re: brains, could keep an entire department happy for years. With pretty decent IgNobel potential as well..

Someone has a cousin looking for a dissertation subject?

Astroboffins baffled as black hole at center of Milky Way suddenly a lot hungrier than before


Re: Are they sure...

Not likely...

The rather mundane probable answer to the blip is : "Hey... we missed a fair bit of mass getting near the damned thing.. Ooops , our bad.."

But that would be a bit embarassing to say in a press conference..

Just what we all needed, lactose-free 'beer' from northern hipsters – it's the Vegan Sorbet Sour


Ummm the belgian fruit beers start with beer.. Quite solid stuff alcohol-wise as well.. In which then fruit is soaked ( traditionally the sour cherries they call "krieken" ), originally to preserve it, the added taste to the beer is a bonus.

Later the added-flavour thing was done with fruit juice added to the still-quite-potent beer. Mort Subite ( sudden death ) and Verboden Vrucht ( forbidden fruit ) come to mind as well-known brands. Handle with care, they tend to trip up the unwary..

I don't know what to call the unholy concoction featured in the article, but beer it is not, nor would it be allowed to be called that in the civilised parts of the mainland. ( The uncivilised parts deal with this hipster shyte in a more time-honoured and more terminal way...)

Required: Massive email fraud bust. Tired: Cops who did the paperwork. Expired: 281 suspected con men's freedom



Now.. Can we finally figure out how extensive the Nigerian Royal Family actually is?

India pokes Vikram with a stick, drill-toting robot lands on Earth, UK plans launch site, and more



A bit of Napkin-Fu applied to the data applied by Vulture Central in their articles tells me that the plucky probe was doing a minimum of around 210+ km/h (130 mph for the imperially challenged) when they lost contact. With friction not applying on the moon, that means slightly less than 30 seconds to go...

I doubt the probe was as smart as Neil Armstrong, nor as lucky as a certain F3 driver hitting a kerbstone last weekend at Monza at roughly the same speed/time constrictions...

If things went really wrong and it didn't throttle down.... What was its vector of approach, how many seconds of fuel did it have to spare, and was there anything significant in the way of that particular extended trajectory ? Not enough data, but a nice exercise for future rocketeers...


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020