* Posts by AS1

62 posts • joined 29 May 2012


Parents slapped with dress code after turning school grounds into a fashion crime scene


This is Texas. If your gun fits a holster, it's not big enough.

Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years


It's similar to the effect of an individual's vote on government policy.

Utterly insignificant until the calamity occurs, whereupon it will be blamed wholesale.

From MySpace to MyFreeDiskSpace: 12 years of music – 50m songs – blackholed amid mystery server move

Big Brother

Re: I wonder

They'd use an AI to rebuild your past profile based on your present profile. Similar to Hollywood movie scripts based on past events, deviations may apply, but how would you ever show otherwise?

"He who controls the present, controls the past."

Boeing... Boeing... Gone: Canada, America finally ground 737 Max jets as they await anti-death-crash software patches


Re: "US, Canada finally ground 737 Max jets..."

Dear Mr Dyer, for a $5 surcharge on your ticket, you can elect out of ex-officio board membership for the duration of your flight. [ ] Decline. Kind regards, Deep Discount Airlines Inc.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure


Re: Bamboo and pandas

Had the same idea, similar to catnip though with a stupefying effect.

It would be interesting to see if a panda cub was surrogated by another bear species (so no transfer in uterus) and fed bamboo free foodstuff, its behaviour became a more typical of the genus.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once



It creates a classic skeleton in the closet.

The scenario is working on classified material and being approached for information because, some years earlier, you watched something that transgressed this law. There is little real likelihood of the offense being prosecuted, but the fear of it is something that certain departments are very skilled in exploiting. I've probably been reading too many John Le Carré novels.

I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty


Re: What can you fit in 25kg...

Holy admins! Could we fit one dehydrated?

Mine's the one with heavy water in the pocket.

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic


Master control program

Nothing to do with the MCP being unavailable?

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight


Re: Mixed feelings

I know a comma is supposed to create a pause between words, but 20 years is excessive.

I'll trotter off now.

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite


Duck houses

One can only assume the rapid decision on £92m was reached on the grounds that it covers the anticipated expenses of continuing to fund the Galileo project.

Groundhog Day comes early as Intel Display Drivers give Windows 10 the silent treatment



My Win7 box on 5400 rpm rust has never been internet connected, no updates, Office 2000 from a CD, various other maths based s/w. Starts and shuts down in under 10 seconds each. Why would I want to update it? It boots faster that the M.2 SSD Win10 box mentioned below.

Alas the paired 20 year old HP printer has finally bitten the dust, and I await to see if the new HP printer plays ball.

Alternatively, the Win10 box has auto updates and just this week got a KB that purported to stop Specter Variant 2 (worryingly that was microcode from intel too). It took two attempts to install, the first to a black screen of doom, the second reducing the game frame rate to 2 fpm (yes, minute is intentional). That got rolled back pretty sharpish on the grounds that someone crafting an SV2 exploit on it is unlikely and a lower impact than essentially bricking the PC for its intended use.

Thousands of misconfigured 3D printers on interwebz run risk of sabotage


We're users not SECperts

Outside security professionals who knows what ACL, port forwarding, network segmentation, etc. mean, let alone their effect?

Most likely the user has no idea it's internet connected but "just turned it on and hooked it up to the network to get the license working / firmware updates."

Given tech items need constant updates, practically have to be connected to the internet to even boot past the license and registration screens, and a user base that have little idea what security means beyond yet another email+password login, it's hardly surprising IoT is a cess-pit.

Roskosmos admits that Soyuz 'meteorite' hole had more earthly origins


Interstellar metal worms

We all know it was really an alien infestation and the trampolining is just a cover story for kinetic impulses needed to stir the critters' internals into dust.

(From vague memories of a mid-20th century SF short story. Any one remember it? Couple of astronauts go up to investigate why satellites are failing, and discover tiny cosmos-drifting creatures that feed on refined metal. They're very delicate and the astronauts end up kicking the satellite to shake them apart. It's a take on an unexpected first contact story.)

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV


Re: Low Impact - Really?

"Sometimes I think CE rating just means 'don't run a bare wires outside the box'."

Bob: We were going for an industrial design, inspired by the Lloyd's Building in London, with all the utilities on the outside.

BOFH: Can we put you on the inside? In small chunks.

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim


If I wanted an autonomous vehicle

I'd buy a horse. They've worked just fine for the last 5,000 years.

Mine's the one with a shovel in the pocket.

Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon


Big game hunting

Space exploration's not going to happen unless there's a reason. So far nothing on the Moon or Mars has been tempting, Europa is still a possibility if the Forbes set can put a 30' Exos marius in the trophy cabinet.

Porn parking, livid lockers and botched blenders: The nightmare IoT world come true


Re: Huh

Gigabyte of data is really easy when the UI is written as a web app. If you're really lucky it has the members' pass card information (complete with photo ID, address and CC info); more probably it's cruft like several megabytes for each animated button and transition screen advert.

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech


User story

You have three options:

1. Place document on fax machine, type in extension number, send. ... Get receipt.

2. Place document on scanner, type in email address, send. ... Phone to check they got document (and confirm that pea-soup pdf filename from scanner's pea-soup email address is not Wannacry18).

3. Place document on scanner, scan. Walk to PC, open email, write "here's attached docs you asked for", remember not to click send, browse to network, attempt to find correct document with pea-soup filename on today's random network folder, now send. Delete file on network drive so not everyone can read it.

Yes, I'd pick #1 any day of the week, or night of the weekend for that matter.

Crumbs. Apple has tweaked the MacBook Pro keyboard


Re: other options, or closed shop?

Other boxes should work; there was no lock in High Sierra and Apple's own dev kit comes with a Sonnet eGPU. However, the choice of graphics card is limited (hint: AMD) https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544

The Blackmagic box includes a Radeon Pro 580 8GB, so about half the price of the box goes on the card.

Bankrupt Aussie Hells Angel scoops £750k lottery jackpot


Tax office scam?

Let's get the circumstances right here:

1. Reg owes the tax office 1M5

2. Reg declares bankruptcy, so TO gets nil.

3. TO arranges for Reg to buy a ticket in jail.

4. TO ensures Reg scoops the win.

5. TO clears out Reg's bank account.

6. New duck houses all round.

UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

Paris Hilton

Re: Alternatives

Probably carrier.landing.usswasp.lib is the only package available at the moment, and carrier.landing.hmsqe.lib won't be released until a block 5 of the software. This will, of course, be completely different from carrier.landing.hmspow.lib scheduled for release in block 6, and the two versions will be incompatible, requiring each B to land and be reprogrammed - a six week turnaround - if it takes off from QE and wants to land on POW. Thus ensuring we keep the maintenance contract going for block 7 that adds compatibility for multi-ship missions.

Because even Paris has a better record when ordering aircraft.

New UK drone laws are on the way – but actual Drones Bill still in limbo


Re: Great weight limit

So, my 1:1 scale model Hindenburg is exempt then?

Meet the real spin doctors: Scientists tell H2O to chill out so they can separate isomers


Do dolphins have root access?

Two states of water and so much ocean. You've got to credit Deep Thought for hiding all that compute power in plain site.

NASA will send tiny helicopter to Mars


Re: It's a tough one at 1/160 Earth sea level pressure.

The speed of sound on Mars is around 240 m/s. A bit lower than the 340 m/s on Earth.

Gravity on Mars is about 2/5 that on Earth (3.7 m/s² vs 9.8 m/s²). However, in this case, the mass is important as it's rotational, rather than the weight due to gravity (semantics on the part of the original post). In the same way, a satellite in zero gravity can spin itself apart if the control systems malfunction.

Techies! Britain's defence secretary wants you – for cyber-sniping at Russia


Is there anything left worth defending

Or has it all been sold off to the lowest bidder?

ZX Spectrum reboot firm's shareholders demand current directors go


Re: It's getting boring now...

"Anyone fancy a four-player game of Warlords in a few months time when I've found a bunch of suitable trackballs and put the cabinet together?"

You could post an IndieGoGo campaign for that ;)

X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die


@David Kelly 2

I think Sam Beer's comment was tongue in cheek, implying that if you were daft enough to pay $1000 for a phone you'll also be daft enough to pay $2000. (Thus the sales numbers would be the same.)

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic


Re: Ringworld Calling...

The bacteria is already in the wild, as it was "discovered in a Japanese waste recycling centre."

Using the enzyme is more efficient and, as enzymes cannot reproduce, unlikely to become uncontrolled. We would need to look out for toxic byproducts.

'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark


Re: They're working on this bit...

It shows just how important it is to collect data on non-users "for security".

I mean, were the real recipient's details on the non-mailing list, it would be trivial to cross-check false details before being transferred to the mailing list.

Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design


Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

Agreement from me.

Historically, MS have tried to unify third-party developers' offerings by publishing guidelines. Guidelines which, as the article states, change with each new release. Given the development time for a full application, it seems incredible that Fluent Design (leaked only a year ago) is already on the drop list for non-adoption and the next new thing is around the corner. And very credible that the majority of developers are ignoring it.

As Dan 55 says, it's easier to just keep going with Win32. At least it is consistent, low-risk and almost the IBM of APIs, "No-one ever got fired for choosing Win32." As with most truisms, that will timeout eventually, but at the developers' (AKA customers) pace, not from Microsoft CEO declarations.

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads


If only the tech made a difference.

"Taken together, the correlational and experimental evidence does not offer a convincing case for the general impact of digital technology on learning outcomes." https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/The_Impact_of_Digital_Technologies_on_Learning_(2012).pdf (50 page research report.)

Despite 40 years of research, while the data show small positive correlation between use of technology and attainment, the cause does not appear to be the technology itself but effective teachers able to integrate technology in the lesson.

Technology itself tends to be so unreliable that the teacher has to plan two lessons, one using technology and a backup traditional lesson. Planning only the latter is more efficient and guarantees a full lesson. Using any technology for contact-time teaching, particularly where the students need access, takes far longer to set up and, anecdotally, appears to have a higher risk of failure.

That said, I have observed good uses, for example during a chemistry lesson, the teacher used a short video clip on a topic to keep the class engaged while he collected and distributed the next set of work. This let the lesson continue without interruption and kept the class on task.

Technology for either home study or revision (i.e. short- and long-term recall when the teacher is not available) can be effective, but is dependent on the student being engaged in their learning which, in many ways, is the crux of an effective learning environment, independent of method.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m


Re: and Pigs might fly a.k.a F-35

Is stealth important when the updated Tu-22M's ordnance includes three Kh-32, a hyper-sonic anti-ship missile with an estimated range of 600 miles? This is more than the combat range of the 35B (500 miles) on internal tanks. If the QE class (with dubious independent AWACS capability) saw the Tu-22 coming, could it actually plot an intercept in time to prevent, or even retaliate against, a strike from this range?

Jupiter has the craziest storms seen yet, say boffins


Good grief, even Jupiter is advertising Dyson.

Half the world warned 'Chinese space station will fall on you'


Re: Interesting timing


It's the kernel of truth, exaggerated to "LIKELY TO HIT NORTHERN U.S. STATES" (Newsweek) and "it's going to drop on /your/ head" (El Reg) that makes it fake news. The real facts that the odds are minimal and the US only one of many countries in a wide area are then placed well down the article (below the fold). Unreported, very few outside national space agencies would notice, and only a minority reading the article today will remember in a month. The release could easily wait until the track was better known. The nudge towards anti-China sentiment as tariffs are imposed is classic MiniTru output.


Interesting timing

Nothing quite like running a "Chinese hardware is going to kill /you/" article just when imposing import tariffs. Not, of course, that fake news would have any part in US politics.

Oculus Rift whiffed, VR fanbois miffed

Paris Hilton

Enforced updates?

Just spoke with our signing guru, and most signing tools enable time-stamping on a signature by default; this would prevent the signature expiring when the certificate expires. The signature is checked against that point in time, whereas a non-time-stamped signature checks 'now' against the certificate's valid period. (Apologies if something has been lost in transmission.)

So the expiration is from a, by choice, non-time-stamped signature.

Now, why would a company choose for their signed software to expire?

Because even Paris would use the defaults.

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10


No wobbling here

Never had a problem with RAM pack wobble; maybe I received the only Sinclair pack with a good connector, or maybe because I plugged in the pack once, and never removed it. It even survived being dropped a couple of inches while running a Nightfall clone at the local CUG held in a function room over the local (see icon, for the parents of course).

I miss the manual; everything nowadays is so poorly documented and seems to rely on users helping one another. Cheap but inefficient.

Fender's 'smart' guitar amp has no Bluetooth pairing controls


Re: Jazz 2.0

@Dave 126

Yes, but this experience will be better.

(Just to be clear, I've no issue with a box having easily programmed presets that can be swapped deftly between tracks; I can see this would be useful. My issue is the apparently naive decision to leave the wireless access unsecured.)


Jazz 2.0

With original Jazz, the audience could only follow passively, but now with Jazz 2.0 control has passed to YOU, the audience. Now you can upload settings and hear how the band responds. You can even upload your own tracks and see, in real time, how an audience responds to your personal awesomeness. Jazz 2.0 - where YOU are more important than the band.

Mine's the one with a very non IoT penny whistle inside.

Worldwide smartphone shipments DOWN for first time ever


Re: As predicted ...

Confirmed Luddite here. The feature phone has several advantages over the smartphone:

1. Discrete, unlike the current smartphones that make the n-gage look svelte.

2. Long battery life.

3. FM radio for data free streamed music all day long.

4. Cockroach reliability. Only one I've broken so far was used as body armour in a motorbike accident; severely crushed, it lost several dozen pixels but soldiered on. It was replaced more from the deformed battery (the case's internal structure could be seen in the battery's casing) than loss of functionality.

5. £15 to replace.

Google's robo-CTRL-ALT-DEL failed, hung networks and Compute Engine for 90 minutes


SkyNet Post-implementation review

A small number of survivors were included in the disaster recovery plan, and caused unexpected race conditions.

Disengage, disengage! Cali DMV reports show how often human drivers override robot cars


Re: Override Idiotic Wetware Drivers Option Please

At a very minimum, automatic speed limiters would improve compliance and reduce driver stress (especially if the proposal for prosecution at +1 mph is taken forward). Given the turnover of cars, within five years traffic would be self-regulating as regards speed.

It would be a first step towards full automation, along with lane following and dynamic cruise controls that are already available.

On yer bike! Boffins teach AI drone to fly itself using cams on bicycles, self-driving car


Re: Great!

In the future, you won't need to go outside to shop. Your every desire will be provided direct to your treadmill by One-Glance™ where simply looking at an advert triggers the purchase (funds allowing, you have 87364 steps remaining to achieve the next Buyers' Level).

I thought there'd be more Instagram: ICT apprenticeships down 20% in five years


Recruitment bias

Regarding offshoring, typically India in our case, we should also consider that an EU-based applicant is probably applying as an individual, whereas the overseas applicant has considerable support from their corporate consultancy HR department that has long experience crafting applications to match UK companies' needs and provides guidance during the (remote) interview stage.

The contrast between what the manager has interviewed and what we receive is stark.

Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo


Re: Just shows how special we all are...

Alternatively, the LGM Empire hasn't bothered visiting yet because their AI looked at the data and decided that such an unusual system couldn't support a habitable planet, let alone higher lifeforms.

How fast is a piece of string? Boffin shoots ADSL signal down twine


Caffeine high?

Salt water is OK for a marine environment, but in an office environment, coffee would be more easily obtained. (Schools could use energy drinks as the students always seem to have a Red-y supply of that.)

Once again, UK doesn't rule out buying F-35A fighter jets


Re: Bearly keeping up


I should have put, "while the stealth..." as I certainly did not intend to suggest the SeaFury had any stealth capability. I was attempting to convey that the QE class is neither useful in a large conflict, nor justifies the cost in the gunboat/ambassadorial diplomacy where, I hope and assume, it will spend most of its operational hours. In the latter case, pretty much any fixed-wing aircraft that could fly from a non-cat deck would suffice and I happen to like the SeaFury.


Bearly keeping up

The problem is, with the Typhoon fleet aging, what will the UK use for intercepting the Tupelov Bears that have resumed their flights near our airspace? Aside from escorting uncommunicative airliners is there another national air defense role? Ironic that our RAF's antagonist is something designed in the 1950s, admittedly with subsequent upgrades.

Flippantly, the proposed carrier roles (bombing iron-age natives, with no capability to sink the carrier, back into the stone age, and airshows in friendly harbours) could be performed by a SeaFury squadron. Surprisingly, it has similar range and bomb capacity (cf. the 35B's internal bay) and the stealth, 10km vs 15km surface ceiling and speed differential are irrelevant in either scenario.

I agree with a previous comment that, against any third generation jet capable power, the QE class would need to be embedded in a larger US task force where an addition dozen F35Bs are a token. In this case the RN squadron may well be supplemented by USM squadrons; this would allow F-35As squadrons for home defense to be allocated without impacting the carrier's use in a larger deployment.

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'


Re: USB mice are fun...

@Binky (USB + NT4 = 0)

Yes, but that's something you don't tell the intern until after its coffee's cold.

Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots


Any difference between this and the EASA discussion paper for March 2017?




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