* Posts by R Soles

29 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Sep 2012

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

R Soles

Getting Google to return search results which were actually useful would involve them throwing their entire ad-supported business model out the window and starting again from scratch.

Signs of ground ice found on ancient protoplanet asteroid Vesta

R Soles

A bit late

"Beams of radio waves are sent down to Vesta, and the signals are reflected back and decoded by scientists working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory."

In fact, Dawn left Vesta in September 2012 and is currently in orbit around Ceres

Asteroid Florence buzzes Earth, brings two moons along for the ride

R Soles

Re: What a rubbish artists impression

Agreed - the Earth as pictured is 5 times too big.

Holding my iPad at arm's length, the picture of the Earth is about the size of my thumbnail, i.e. it subtends an angle of approx. 1cm / 100 cm = 0.01 radians. (Using small angle approximation).

The actual angle at closest approach should be approx. 8 000 miles / 4 400 000 miles = 0.002 radians.

I don't suppose my arm is really 100 cm long, but I was trained in physics, so it's close enough.

So who exactly was to blame for Marketo losing its dotcom?

R Soles

On the other hand

According to the quote from Network Solutions, they only stated what their standard protocol is.

They didn't state that they followed it

WannaCrypt outbreak contained as hunt for masterminds kicks in

R Soles

"The NHS's online arm said that Windows XP use within the health service had fallen to 4.7 per cent"

Which sounds very good until you realise that, under some measures, the NHS is the 5th largest employer in the world with some 1.7 million workers.

The large army of cooks, porters and cleaners wont need their own PC of course, but still that's a lot of computers running a more than 15 year old OS.


Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

R Soles

It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

To put my contentious hat on:


everyone uses MS Outlook and has done for the last 20 years. It's what the boss tells them to use, so that's what they do


It's the 21st Century: People use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp &c. Noone has the slightest interest in archiving years of invitations to go to the pub or links to cat videos. It's not even a youth thing: I'm 58 years old and never email anyone, outside of work.

Independent of whether Thunderbird is good at what it does, it is a product noone needs, addressing a shrinking/dying market.

This is also the reason the UI in Gmail and other webmail is so awful: there's simply no return in spending money making it better.

Facebook's dabblings in TV suggest Zuck isn't actually a genius after all

R Soles

The answer is ...

Take as much of the billions of advertising dollars that are currently going to standard TV companies as they can

Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses

R Soles

Re: Sadly very true

"Yet again the fucking bean-counters chose the low cost option"

Company officers actually have a legal duty to operate the company in a financially responsible manner.

Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

R Soles

Re: Oh, JFC...

"Since the costs are sunk and being actively amortized"

Sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered.

Amortisation is the practice of reducing the value of assets to reflect their reduced worth over time.

Ergo, You can't amortise sunk costs.

Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

R Soles


I feel sure that's a picture of Kenneth Williams uttering the immortal one-liner

"Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!"

from one of the Carry-On films (obviously)

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

R Soles

Re: Bull

The letter from the European Commission to Mr Hanff talks about ALL information, not just personally identifiable information.

They even put it in bold to make it easier to see

Bezos defends Amazon culture in letter to shareholders

R Soles

Yes, but ...

Bezos claims:

"Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another."

Select a culture? Unfortunately very few people know what the corporate culture is *really* like until after they've joined the company. And then they're stuck for a year or two, unless they want a dodgy patch in their CV ...

Is iOS 9.3 Apple's worst ever update? First it bricks iThings, now Safari is busted

R Soles

It would be interesting to know

... How many of those having problems have jailbroken (jailbreaked?) their iphone / ipad

ExoMars probe narrowly avoids death, still in peril after rocket snafu

R Soles

Well, there you go:


"For both landers and orbiters, the technique of trajectory biasing is used during approach to the target. The spacecraft trajectory is designed so that if communications are lost, it will miss the target."

R Soles

I have it in the back of my mind (I used to be a real space buff, a long time ago) that Mars probes were deliberately aimed slightly off target, until a later course correction corrected it, to avoid just this problem.

Any debris would follow the wrong path and miss Mars, the probe would be steered onto target.

But I may be imagining this (middle age problems, dontcha know)

Researchers find hole in SIP, Apple’s newest protection feature

R Soles

I guess "Apple fixes bug in latest version of OS X, IOS"

as a headline didn't sound quite so exciting

Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

R Soles

I doubt it

"Management cut Terry a break: because he'd been a good worker they deleted the files and kept the police out of it. Their logic? By says “having to tell his wife he was fired and why would be enough punishment.”

It's a nice story but

1. Not even HR managers are stupid enough to think he'd tell his wife the real reason why he was fired

2. No manager would expose their company to such a risk: imagine "Terry" gets arrested in the future for similar activities. The first thing he does is wreak revenge on the company that fired him by revealing all.

The police arrive at company's premises and confiscate all servers and backups, and start interviewing the managers about destroying evidence relating to a criminal offence.

You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

R Soles

Clear desk policy

Way back in 2000 I worked for a computer company where one of the pointy haired bosses decided on the spur of the moment to implement a clear desk policy in a rather "provocative" way.

Returning one morning from an off-site meeting the previous day, I found my laptop had mysteriously disappeared.

This was the opportunity for said PHB to loudly deliver a security lecture to the whole office*, before grudgingly giving me my laptop back.

However, I guess the look I gave him was clear enough, as he didnt try that stunt with anyone else.

*nobody, but nobody, in the entire company locked their laptops away overnight, or used kensington type locks, because there was card-controlled access to the building, and all bags were searched on entering or leaving

No, HMG, bulk data surveillance is NOT inevitable

R Soles

This is not just a UK problem

They are all trying to do it, under one guise or another.

Check the European Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EG

Or if you speak German google "Vorratsdatenspeicherung" to see what Merkel's lot are trying to do.

Man faces 37 years for sarcastic post insulting royal dog

R Soles

Meanwhile, here in the civilised West (Germany), insulting a politician can land you in jail for up to 5 years ( Section 188 of the German Criminal Code)

Google tells iOS 9 app devs: Switch off HTTPS if you want that sweet sweet ad money from us

R Soles

Apple could

Simply refuse to accept any app into their app store that uses Google's trick

and so force the issue, like they did with Flash.

A pause in global warming? What pause?There was no pause

R Soles

Re: Ross McKitrick? Seriously?

Dr McKitrick is professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada.

You can find a list of his peer- reviewed publications here:


Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE

R Soles

"teenagers hogging the phone line "

That's so twentieth century

'The Mystery of the Martian Doughnut' solved by NASA sleuths

R Soles


Are going to give names to every small pebble they come across, they are going to run out of options preety soon. There's a lot of them pebbles out there ...

Icahn slurps another $500m in Apple shares, demands buyback AGAIN

R Soles

Let's keep this in perspective - According to the Daily Telegraph, Icahn's investment represent a share of 0,6 per cent of the total.

Which puts him in the top twenty, but he's nowhere near the most important. He is just making a lot of noise to try and put cash in his pocket right now, rather than wait for the longer term development.

Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

R Soles

Re: Why does anyone expect people to remember?

>," by sharing the encrypted password file on DropBox."

So you're happy with the NSA knowing all your 392 passwords?

Apple's screw-up leaves tethered iPhones easily crackable

R Soles


In addition to the point about the user being able to set their own - longer, randon - passwords, you can also tether over usb or bluetooth, the first of which renders this article meaningless, the second means the attacker would have to be sitting at the next table, or closer.

Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

R Soles

it's going to take some time ...

According to the CIA Factbook, as of 2010 there were 43 983 airports worldwide (of all types). Mr Google claims that 836 of these are international.

According to various manufacturer information, there were worldwide in 2005

312,000 Active General Aviation Aircraft

17,770 Passenger Aircraft

89,129 Military Aircraft

26,500 Civil Helicopters

29,700 Military Helicopters.


Fans revolt over Amazon 'adware' in Ubuntu desktop search results

R Soles

"You trust us not to screw up on your machine with every update."

Mark Shuttleworth said: "You trust us not to screw up on your machine with every update."

Actually I don't, which is why I gave up on Ubuntu.

With every update they managed to delete up my wifi configuration or deprecate the drivers or otherwise screw things up so that I had to start from scratch every 6 months with my wireless network.