* Posts by Richard 111

26 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Aug 2012

I didn't touch a thing – just some cables and a monitor – and my computer broke

Richard 111

Re: Yeah, sure. Nothing changed. Pinky promise.

I think the issue was with gene names and other meta data rather than the DNA sequences themselves. And it is considered a big issue. A more recent article is pay walled:


Cybercriminals raid BBC pension database, steal records of over 25,000 people

Richard 111

Re: 2 years monitoring services?!

At this point I know businesses, not the BBC, have leaked my identity and important information multiple times. Are Experian and similar services actually worth anything? I don't know what the real costs of clearing up an attempted or successful identity theft are. I don't know what hoops you have to go through to actually claim real damages from Experian or other monitoring companies.

The US government has a pretty detailed guide on what to do in the case of identity theft and a doubt any of the monitoring companies are going to help you much with the actual work of recovering from the fraud.


Health system network turned out to be a house of cards – Cisco cards, that is

Richard 111

Did Tim go to Hortons for his doughnut?

Can't find a doughnut icon, so beer it is.

Tesla owners in deep freeze discover the cold, hard truth about EVs

Richard 111

This is more of a problem for people that are traveling and need to recharge on route or do not have a charger at home, in a garage. Tesla/electric car charge times are normally pretty quick so there are a fair number of owners that charge up once a week at a public charger and don't have anything at home so are in trouble now.

That said I remember being in Chicago during a similar cold snap in the 90's that decharged/reduced the charge a lot of 12V batteries across town. It's a combination of older battery, losing charge and thicker oil making it unable to turn the engine over and start the car. The tow truck drove down the street collecting $10 for every car that it jump started.

Likewise there will be some diesel owners that are having problems with the fuel gelling in areas there the fuel is not winterized with additives and it is far colder than expected or are driving north with a full tank of standard diesel.

It's no surprise that weather extremes cause all sort of issues.

Lenovo halves its ThinkPad workstation range

Richard 111

Re: UPS drained *real* quick.

The P15 range has a number of variations. I remember getting excited about the pricing on the S and W models before noticing their specific limitations (which I no longer remember). The current P15 Gen 2 model is very capable with up to 128GB RAM, RTX graphics cards, an i7, i9 or Xeon processors (but all limited to 8 cores), and 3 SSD drives (one Gen 4 and two Gen 3). That's pretty good for serious number crunching and it's a first time in a while that the new laptop was faster than the daily drive desktop.

Alas, as other have noted fan noise is an issue. I have run it for many hours at 100% CPU with stable CPU speed and temperature without issues along as you can stand the white noise.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

Richard 111
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Re: Full names please.......

This is know as nominative determinism and was originally documented by New Scientist magazine in the mid-Nineties. They had some great examples too.

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution

Richard 111

Re: UPS drained *real* quick.

Microbiologist wash their hands before and after.

I did not know about Karen Wetterhahn, what a tragic story.

Apple's iPad Pro on a stick, um, we mean M1 iMac scores 2 out of 10 for repairability

Richard 111

Re: Thickness

I think the RJ45 plug is in the power supply and hence under the desk. That means there is only one cord running to the device so you keep a nice clean physical desktop. This is unlike the rats nest of cables for my PC with its 2 monitors and peripherals totaling 12 cables plus a bank of plugs and wall warts for power to monitors and other things.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Richard 111

Re: UPS drained *real* quick.

Makes me wonder what the top rated dangerous event is but as you have been working at nuclear power plants you might not be able to tell.

I cannae do it, captain, I'm giving it all she's got, but she just cannae take another dose of bullsh!t

Richard 111

Raman spectroscopy would be another technology candidate

You have to rely on the database of compounds to determine whats in your sample but you can currently analyse simple mixtures and scan across samples although maybe not as large as a plate of food. There are handheld instruments too but the bench top instruments will be more sensitive and accurate. (As another poster notes simple mixtures can be analyzed not complex ones like in a food)

For the horse meat scandal I believe DNA barcoding using the COX1 gene was used along with other methods. Again miniaturization is on going. DNA bar coding wont detect a chemical poison but could be used to detect a bacteria that made the poison in the case of food poisoning.

A History of (Computer) Violence: Wait. Before you whack it again, try caressing the mouse

Richard 111

Re: Whacksing benefits

Lyrics not safe for work

Office Space - Printer Scene (UNCENSORED)


A quick cup of coffee leaves production manager in fits and a cleaner in tears

Richard 111

A scientific institute where I used to work had a number of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance or NMR instruments which are basically big magnets with liquid helium and nitrogen cooled core. In the 90’s this would probably have been 400 or 500 MHz instruments with a strength of ~9 or 11 Tesla. Needless to say you don’t want to enter the room with anything metal or anything sensitive to magnetic fields like bank cards. The instrument rooms were kept locked and there were signs on the door forbidding entry to all unauthorized persons. The rooms were never cleaned, and this seemed to distress some of the more dedicated cleaners. One night the door was left unlocked which proved to be too much of a temptation to a cleaner and they entered with a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know if they plugged it in or not, but the cleaner went too close to the magnet and the vacuum was caught in the field and stuck to the side of the instrument. It was stuck so well that it was still there in the morning and probably for some time afterwards. I don’t remember if they had to wait until the magnet was de-engergized before the vacuum cleaner was removed or if the staff were able to pry it away with brute strength. The poor cleaner was reported to have been distressed by the incident but otherwise unharmed. When working around strong magnets you generally don’t want to be between the magnet and the metal item as the metal items can move at high speed once airborne.

Just do IoT? We'd walk a mile in someone else's Nike smart sneakers, but they seem to be 'bricked'

Richard 111

Re: Eaiser to do as a group and in the USA

Your'e right, it is an outrageous price for what they are.

Richard 111

Re: Eaiser to do as a group and in the USA

Not sure where the title of my post came from - Ahh! Looks like it was an browser form auto fill from an old post.

Richard 111

Eaiser to do as a group and in the USA

I've not read anything more than about these shoes than this article but surely they just use Bluetooth to connect to the phone rather than to the internet proper./pedantic

Must say that it would be mildly amusing if the phone app was hacked so that shoes could be remotely controlled . . .

I have no plans to purchase these trainers but at $350 they are similar priced to some smart inserts for ski boots from Carv.

According to my teenage son the in crowd kids are all wearing limited edition Yeezy Boosts that start at ~$250 and can go up in price and hopefully value depending on how limited and popular they are. So $350 for trainers with the tech (if it worked reliably) is not an outrageous price for the target market.

The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time

Richard 111

Re: "Ethernet is so much better"

>Kids of today, don't know they're born. Cue obligatory Monty Python sketch :D

Back in my day we used rfc1149 for our network.

OK, OK 10base2 has been around longer. I always kept a cable end terminator handy to stop the bits flowing out of the cable.

Folks are shocked – shocked – that CIA-backed Amazon is selling face-recog tech to US snoops, cops

Richard 111

Amazon Prime Photos a resource for face-recog training?

<conspiracy theory>Do amazon use the tagged photos uploaded by customers to their Prime Photos service as training material for the face-recog software? Unfortunately the "Amazon Drive and Prime Photos Terms of Use" page seems to be down at the moment so I don't know. </conspiracy theory> I guess it comes back to nothing is really "free".

Whats a crim to do these days what with friends and family posting pictures of you to facebook and government photos like driving licenses. Your only hope is that the you don't come up in the top 50 matches. I don't have any particular sympathy for (violent) criminals but I do believe this technology can be misused at demonstrations and civil disobedience events.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Richard 111

Tried to test this as there is nothing more annoying than finding a pintrest page full of tantalizing links that you can not quite access. Alas no pinterest links in the first page of a search for three or four food based test searches. Eventually found a term that brought up the site and the modifier works. Maybe pinterest is already dropping in the google ranks?

Putting on my tinfoil hat I was wondering if google was filtering the results based your previous searches or on your browsing history but it probably just the results being polluted by all the SEO crap.

Post-pub nosh neckfillers: Reader suggestions invited

Richard 111

Bratkartoffelpfanne mit Spiegelei

Lived in Germany for a while and enjoyed Bratkartoffelpfanne mit Spiegelei aka fried potatoes with bacon and onion with a fried egg.

In London I was partial to a kebap from Crystal Charcoal Restaurant on Holloway Rd. Looks like it had a rough spot a few years later. They had a big Turkish Gyros spit was made with slices of meat rather than the compressed sort. In the afternoon they put a fresh one on and by the early morning hours it would be all gone.

Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

Richard 111

Re: I'm the IT manager/tech a neurobiology research lab...

There is a lot of general scientific software that are written just for Mac's. You can find often an equivalent tool, maybe without the nice interface, for Windows. Lots of the bioinformatic tools are written for Linux and most run on Mac's (and Windows) just fine. But it really depends on the field you work in.

In my field, proteomics, all the analytical instruments switched from Mac (or Sun in a few cases) to PC's and Windows in the late 90's. This means all the data is acquired with programs that run on Windows and the vendors libraries needed to open the files also only run on Windows. Any scientist analyzing the actual data would be using the vendors software or third party tools all of which run on Windows. More recently tools have appeared that allow for the opening and processing of data from some vendors on Linux but functionality can be limited. Mac may be used for day to day work as a personal computer plus the further away you are from the raw data the more likely it is that you (can) use a Mac.

In much the same way as the computers used to control microscopes many vendors use exotic or ancient interface cards linked to older operating systems. Your 10 year old million dollar instrument still works fine but the controlling computer is limited to XP and is no longer allowed on the network. Plus you have to buy replacement computer parts on ebay.

Private cloud has a serious image problem

Richard 111

Re: Talking Toasters

All this talk of talking toasters has made me want to read Stray Toasters again. Off to the attic to find them!

As for AWS if you are running licensed software that is restricted to the a number of instances or CPU's and you run those instances 24/7 the cost will eclipse the purchase of a private local hardware within a year. If your software doesn't have these restrictions and can expand dynamically as needed then AWS might be just what you need.

Quid-A-Day kids chow down on foraged weed salad

Richard 111

Re: Mmmmm, foraging.

The forged salad can’t have been that tasty as the kids left quite a bit on the plates. It was more a fun thing to do while I was making pizzas. Last week was colder than normal and it paused a lot of the plant growth. Hopefully things will pick up this week. Vegetables are still very expensive up in the NE of the states. I saw the first Florida corn in the supermarket at 3 ears for a dollar. But most stuff is over $2 a pound.

If we only ate local food we would still be eating root vegetables, kraut, cereals and grains at this time of year.

Currently have lots of food prepared but not much money left so it going to be touch and go on Friday. Cooked too many beans, lentils and meat such that we have plenty of left overs but not much money. Hopefully only need to buy breakfasts and apples.

For pity's sake, you fool! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it worse

Richard 111
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I second the use of AutoHotkey, it can make short work of such annoyances. Although I don't have to translate anything these days I do use its text expansion features to save a lot of typing of the companies product names etc.

El Reg posse prepares for quid-a-day nosh challenge

Richard 111

Eaiser to do as a group and in the USA

We are a family of 4 based in the USA so our budget would work at at $1.50 per a person per Diem or $30 total. Although the exchange rate with the UK £ is close to $1.50 the purchasing power of the dollar locally is far greater. At the local supermarket, which caters for lower income customers, I had a look today and can buy a 4.5lb chicken or 4lb pork loin (rib end) or 2lb minced beef for $5. A dozen eggs are $1.99 and a pack of 8 franks are 79¢. Rice and beans are similarly cheap. Prices for fresh vegetables are a little higher than normal at the moment because nothing local is in season.

A 4.5lb chicken normally lasts us 3 days with the roast, left overs and soup combination. If you are cooking for one and want to make things from scratch most of the packets are too big even when spread over 5 days. A larger group means that you can buy staples in a normal sized packets and still have enough cash for meat and flavorings to perk up the taste.

Good luck to those taking part, I enjoyed the reports from last years challenge and will look out for them over the next week.

Mr Bank Manager, help yourself to my smartphone contents

Richard 111

Re: Video of RFID fraudsters in action.

The 'expert' is a former fraudster who was caught and now runs an anti-fraud consultancy. I agree that there is no evidence that the card reader can really pick up the card numbers through the bags etc. But I think it shows that people are thinking about it and if they get it to work through the layers of material they will be in for some rich pickings. Once you have the card number you can use the normal routes for buying things and converting those goods into cash.

The idea is not new of course and there are far more cards around now than in 2009:


Card encryption may have improved since the first gen cards and it is not until we see a court case come up that we will know for sure that people have been successful.

Richard 111

Video of RFID fraudsters in action.

There is a littler clip of people using RFID scanners in a VICE magazine video:


For the action go to 6:20 till 7:38. Some of the video is NSFW.

I think it's time to buy a RFID blocking wallet.