* Posts by ammabamma

95 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Mar 2013


Sir, sir, my cloud ate my homework: Google touts grading tool to teachers


Oi! Google! Leave them kids alone!

All in all, you're just another ad in the [cloud] wall...

The Internet of Things helps insurance firms reward, punish


Re: I am so glad

> Some horror like that depicted in this Youtube video will probably be in place by then

Dear $DEITY that was horrifying. It looks so depressingly plausible its not even funny. Certainly gives you a new perspective on the Buddhists' quest for Nirvana...

Icon? Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we will be quantized, monetized, incentivized, and advertised...

Big Brother

I love the smell of bovine scatology in the morning

> "When you use the device and incorporate other healthy habits, you'll earn a variety of rewards and discounts," the Active Track program promises.

What an utter load of wank! I will bet anyone a night of drinks that the current prices will be the new baseline and our "reward" will be not having additional fines and surcharges tacked on.

Tesco to tout its own smartphone – now THAT'S an unexpected item in the bagging area

Big Brother

Re: Far too creepy Tesco

> I avoid other tracking, but shopping at Tescos, what can they actually do which adversly effects me?

I certainly agree. If you fret too much over it, you'll end up a paranoid nutter in your bunker compound, surrounded by crates of ammo and tins of beans and foaming over data tithed to our acronymic lords and masters...

However, I believe the onus should be on Tesco et al to prove that they will not adversely effect us rather that us trying to prove that they do.

AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami


Re: NONE of them are serious about fighting spammers

> After a few people have confirmed that the link is a spammer, then the link would be locked down and repointed. Rather than pointing at the website where the spammer is waiting for victims, it would point at some website that would warn or scare the potential victims. The spammers' bait would become poison to the spammers' own scams--but you need some humans in the loop to help out.

Interesting plan, but this is where it all falls down. Just off the top of my head I can think of the following issues:

1. How do you authenticate the humans helping out?

2. How do you verify that the site in question is in fact a spam site?

3. Who makes the rules for the spam/no spam decision?

4. Who makes the rules to amend those rules?

5. How do you prevent malicious/mischievous users from gaming the system and marking legitimate sites as spam and spam sites as legitimate?

In the end would it be any faster than the spam site take-downs already in place?

Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana


Re: But surely Cortana is limited?

If I recall correctly from the Halo lore (damn I feel young...) AIs like Cortana turn "rampant" once they consume all their processing power and fill up all their available storage space. The AIs steadily bloat, gradually become slower and slower and consume increasingly larger amounts of resources as time goes on. In-game universe suggests that AIs have a maximum usable lifespan of 7 years before they become ineffective and have to be replaced with a new model.

Hang on.

Bloated software? Consumed resources? Degrading performance? Built-in, unavoidable obsolescence? This sounds awfully familiar.

#include <std_antiwindows_fanboi.h>

Maybe using Cortana is more prescient than we think.

The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian


I am disappointed.

No mention whatsoever of "chutney ferret" or "Dutch lobster".

I wonder if we can lobby the Mongolian government to add the names of {politician from opposite party}, {obnoxious tech company}, {unpopular programming language}, and "Patent Lawyer" to the naughty list?

IBM Boffins KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, thanks to Twitter


I'll give you something to track!

They use tweet-time timezone estimation and location names in the tweets as a basis for locating the Twitter Twatter? hmmmm...

Burkina Faso is GMT...

What say all us El-Reg commentards start tweeting from Ouagadougou? That should give Messrs Jalal Mahmud, Jeffrey Nichols and Clemens Drews some interesting data points to correlate.

Mine's the hand-woven bògòlanfini mud cloth one please.

RISE of the LIVING CHAIR: Boffins recruit E coli to build futuristic materials


Re: be afraid

> the next thing you know, you'll be trying to shit a sofa

This gives a new twist to the phrase "shitting bricks".

On a more serious note, has anyone stopped to consider the ramifications of mucking around with bacteria that can survive in and infect a human host? I have this vision of the world ending not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with a "Bio-Ikea Grand Opening!" advert on the telly...

Earth's night-side gets different kinds of neutrinos from day-side


I would've gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling kids


I think "they" are starting to cotton on to my extra-legal, "off the books" neutrino dumping program.

(Carbon credits? pfffft. Neutrino credits are where its at now!)

NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name


Ideas for names.

I want to add the following to my middle names:

1. "Deceased"

(great for taxes!)

2. "NULL"

3. "0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x07 0x0C"

(bell bell bell bell bell bell bell bell bell bell form feed)

Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!


Re: pile of steaming....

> Just loving the background image of 'obsolete' equipment.

I was wondering that myself.

Was the graphic designer trying to be cheeky? Is Microsoft trying to tell us something about Windows 8.1?

Wireless charging standards war could be over 'as soon as 2015'

Paris Hilton

Re: Please tell me this does not mean what I think it means.

> Walk into room, place mobile on the charge pad and it passes the hotels wireless SSID and key to the device.

Add more functionality for express checkout and other things it could be quite handy.

That is precisely my point. Why should a battery charger have access to/communicate to my wireless devices and shopping cart? Is there something I am missing?

As a side note, if that really is the type of communication they want to bake into the Qi standard, I wonder how long before some clever sod creates a rogue wireless charger that sends a specially crafted packet that causes the phone to leak unexpected privacy related data like SSID and location of last networks joined, device ID and location of last wireless chargers used, cell phone number, ...


Please tell me this does not mean what I think it means.

> it isn’t just about eliminating power cables, but about enabling phones and tablets to communicate with new devices and using personal systems in new surroundings.

Call me a pessimistic neo-luddite, but why in God's green earth does a battery charging standard need to include discovery and communication with new devices in new surroundings? I understand that there needs to be some degree of communication between charger and device to regulate the juice, but the article makes it sound like there is much more communication going on here. This sounds to me like the beginnings of the dreadful USB/CD-ROM autoplay, but for wireless chargers instead.

It seems like the Qi supporters are hell-bent on providing all the nasties out there (both governmental and criminal, but I repeat myself) with more vectors to attack the one device that has become the master key to my digital life.

I sincerely hope I am wrong and merely ignorant and this new Qi standard will dawn upon the world of consumer electronics like Venus from her sea-shell; perfect, sublime, well designed, and above all secure. (pffffffttt!)

A pessimist, however, is seldom disappointed.

X marks the... They SAID there was a mystery planet there – NASA


> WISE was unable to spot any object the size of Saturn or larger

What about less massive planets? Surely celestial bodies in the Neptune-Mercury range can stir the Oort Cloud up a bit. Can WISE not detect smaller objects?

HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans


Bozhe moi...

> HTML is a sexually-transmitted disease

Have you ever had the misfortune of having to maintain an unholy amalgamation of old-world Frontpage and Dreamweaver cruft that has been organically "grown" (like a tumour) through the inexperienced ministrations of 7 years of college interns? I would say this assessment is spot-on.

> Gigabyte being identified as “an insect commonly found in South America” by 27 per cent of respondents

I guess that makes a gibibyte the larval form...

Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base


Re: Bah!

> Not subject to stupid avoidable delays due to "the wrong sorts of leaves on tracks" or the thirty five plus year old "tunnels only signaled in one direction (and it's the wrong direction)" idiocies.

Never fear.

Once daily scheduled flights by the BLID (Bloody Long Island Dirigible) become a reality, management will have a crack team of marketroids standing by to update their excuses to reflect the new reality.

Now we'll have delays caused by "the wrong kind of cloud", "cross-winds blowing in the wrong direction", "possible wake turbulence from a departing flight from the airport".

Thumb Up

Re: "there're plenty of people who'd prefer to take the "cruise" approach" @h4rm0ny

> if that cheaper option is more like a ship (walk around an open space, some tables to sit at, a bar, even a personal cabin) than like a plane (cramped little seat and tiny little aisle you're contorted into for seven hours), then there're plenty of people who'd prefer to take the "cruise" approach to getting there. Especially in an age where if it had decent Internet access, you could still work.

Have you seen the site airships.net? It is one of the most comprehensive sites out there for all things airship (please let me, and more importantly the webmaster of that site know if you find something with more information).

They have a stunning collection of photographs of the Hindenberg's interior (http://www.airships.net/hindenburg/interiors).

I for one certainly would not mind taking the "cruise" approach with space to walk about, decent chairs, and large windows.

Passenger jet grounded by two-hour insect attack


Re: Balancing Imbalance

> wasps ... snakes ... spiders ... ticks ... sharks ... mosquitoes ... crocodiles ...

Don't forget plants. Mustn't forget the plants!


Icon because it's the only way to be sure when dealing with Australian fauna and flora...

What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK


Re: Camera-onna-stick

> Totally lacking in key nutrition groups (e.g. gristle) for humans and associated species.

I dunno. Let's see here:

Gristle - Does the hand-salsa gunge that collects in the corners and seams of the battery cover/phone body, the exposed ports, and the corners of the case count?

Crunchy Black Bits - Is your phone black? If so, dropping it from a non-trivial height (>15 cm) should do the trick.

Grease - Simply squeegee your screen periodically after using it on a hot, sweaty day.

See? All nutritional requirements met.

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'


It is quite obvious

One of the artists/gaffers/set engineers working on the sound-stage NASA uses to fake Martian rover footage (two buildings down from the old Lunar set) must have forgotten to pick up their lunch wrapper after breaking from tinkering up the rover.

Prison Locker: A load of überhyped malware FUD over... internet chatter


A silver lining to this fetid, fecal overcast

On the bright side, I imagine CryptoLocker et al. will make more people more punctilious about making, securing, and testing their backups.

Facebook to BLAST the web with AUTO-PLAYING VIDEO ads


What the dilly dallying f@#$k is this? I don't even...

Are Facebook trying to raise awareness of ABP et al. with their users? I cannot imagine a more effective way to send the grumpy hordes scurrying to the tranquility of ad-less browsing.

I understand Facebook wants money for their services, but this seems... excessively intrusive.

Reminds me of Leiah's little speech in ANH:

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default


Party like its 2003...

> Sounds a good plan to me, but I can already imagine the wingeing...

"I don't care about all that stuff. I want my lol-cats NOW."

And here is where it will fall down. This may slow down the non-interactive, drive-by exploits, but if Joe Pillock User wants lol-cats, then he (or she) will move heaven and hell to click through, accept, and ignore whatever they deem is standing between them and their funny kitties.

From the article:

> Generally speaking, Mozilla plans to activate click-to-run for all plugins by default, although the Adobe Flash Player plugin has been given a pass so far, owing to the prevalence of Flash content on the web.

Anyone else get a chill and a flashback to the "Click to enable embedded content" hackery from the Eolas patent troll ruling back in 2003?

DARPA seeks game players to join bug-hunt

Black Helicopters

This reminds me of something...

I wonder if I could play these games during one of my interminable meetings (working on a defense contract for DARPA) and then send them an invoice for my "consultancy and code analysis".

Remember the Manhacks from Half Life 2? I seem to recall reading in a developer's commentary somewhere that the original idea was to have them guided in part by civilians playing games in the "Manhack Arcades" across the city. They thought they were playing a state-of-the-art FPS, when in reality they were unknowingly hunting down and killing their neighbours.

If these games are successful, I can see DARPA developing a whole new series of games:

Dude, where's my IP? - a Where's Wally/Waldo style game that involves deep packet inspection for copyrighted content.

3dom Defender - a tower-defense style game which involves identifying "undesirables" via remote sensor and CCTV as they wind their way to your borders.

Stop the Suspicious, Swarthy Stranger - a Papers, Please (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papers,_Please) style game where you help The Intelligence Agency mine and correlate data on persons of interest.

Apple's legal bill for Samsung patent fight tops $60m

Black Helicopters

Re: If it costs $60M to prove your case

Not such a bad deal though if you consider it as "purchasing a legal precedent to harm your largest competitor".


How refreshing

> Morrison & Foerster informally refers to itself as "MoFo"

At least they have an honest appraisal about their role as patent lawyers...

Hong Kong Bitcoin miners pour data centre in a fish tank


Bitcoins? What am I supposed to do with these?

I realise I am about to proclaim myself a drooling Luddite ignoramus, but what exactly in God's green earth are you supposed to do with Bitcoins?

I can't use Bitcoins to purchase fruit and veg at the market. I can't use them to pay for fuel and maintenance for my motorbike. My utility co-op will not let me pay my 'leccy bill with Bitcoins. The alphabet soup government agencies take a dim view of buying consumables off of Silk Road. I do not have any ransomware on my computers that needs unlocking. It does not appear that any of the "specialist exotic filmography" websites accept Bitcoins for membership fees. What is left?

Do I collect them in a little box so as to increase the length and girth of my e-willy bragging rights? What exactly do people do with the bloody things?

BOFH: Resistance is futile - we're missing BEER O'CLOCK


Cloudy truth

All advantages and drawbacks of "the Cloud" can be concisely explained simply by replacing "the Cloud" with "someone else's computer".

As for "IT pitfalls", I imagine those comms risers and elevator shafts provide quite a drop...

You THINK you're watching your LG smart TV - but IT's WATCHING YOU, baby


Re: Feed them false info?

Anyone care to whip up some suitable perl or python or whatever the cool kids use these days to pull random media names from catalogues -- or even generate some -- then feed them up to LG to chew on?

I like the way you think. From henceforth, the TV will report chez Ammabamma watching the Weather Station 24/7.

On a darker note, what happens when LG is "forced" to turn over the viewing list to the plod? How do you prove (since you have to bear the burden of proof nowadays) that those files and channels were what you actually watched what with the information being sent in the clear?

Imagine sneaking onto someone's poorly secured WiFi network and seeding LG's reporting site with a few choice titles:

- "A Beginner Jihadist's Guide to Overthrowing Western Society.wmv"

- "Exploited Underaged Models - part 07 of 13.avi"

- "Bomb Making Made EZ - A Video Guide.avi"

- "The Comprehensive Review of Trainspotting.xvid"

- "Gravity [2009] [CAM (Complete)] [pARAD0x_gROUp] [www.torrentmunchermoviebay.ch].avi"

I am not sure about the first three, but those last two pieces of filth will definitely land you in hot water with the authorities.

If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans


Prepare to be (somewhat) impressed

If it returns correct results for "show me pictures of someone else's dog at the beach at sunset", I'm be impressed!


First "dogs at the beach". How long before "resistance members at Cheyenne Mountain"?

Right royal rumpus over remote-control 'RoboRoach'

Big Brother

Re: Yes!....YES!!....

Have a desire to simulate becoming a tin pot dictator? There's an app for that...

I wonder if you can network these together and and get your little army of RoboRoaches to march in lock-step formation? With enough of these you could hold a proper Military Day parade (complete with little roach-sized banners with your likeness as "Dear Leader" natch) from the comfort of your living room.

Or at least until the missus catches wind of your shenanigans...

10 Types of IT managers from hell


Saw this somewhere on the innertubes a while back...

The absolute worst boss is someone who, as pieces of your soul and life fall silently away, makes you feel good about your job shoveling crap.

Indestructible, badass rootkit BadBIOS: Is this tech world's Loch Ness Monster? VOTE NOW


Missing a real money making opportunity here...

Bollocks to the malware. I want those universal drivers that automagically configure themselves to any computer architecture flawlessly and without any user interaction.

I have enough trouble as it is using the buggy, broken shite supplied by the OEM manufacturer. (I'm looking at you Océ!)

Facebook tests sinister CURSOR-TRACKING in hunt for more ad bucks


Track me via Javascript will you? *I'll give you something to track*

I wonder if I could write a little Greasemonkey script that will override their cursor tracking gubbins with my custom telemetry?

Look for the surprising discovery in FB's 2014 Q4 report that says users apparently use their mouse to draw pentagrams in the lower left corner of the screen...

Hate data fees but love your HD slab? Here's a better way to pay for bytes


It is my duty to report you to the Ministry of Love, MPAA/RIAA division

> Why not download things in advance onto your phone/slab and leave them there for a "rainy day"?

What's this?

Download the files for off-line usage instead of meekly using the streaming services our lords and masters have deigned to bless us with?! You have the galling temerity to even suggest this? What are you, some sort of thieving freetard pirate?

Officer! Officer! I wish to report a thoughcrime!

Play Elite, Pitfall right now: Web TIME PORTAL opens to vintage games, apps


This is my title; there are many like it, but this one is mine

No mention for E.T. for Atari 2600 is complete without an explanation of how to fix the issues:


Ubisoft's Watch Dogs muzzled by delays


They *are* right you know.

People will absolutely get turned on to "hacking" by this game. Since this is Ubi here, people will be looking for ways to disable, work around, remove, or otherwise defeat the odious DRM that will undoubtedly be smeared all over it.

Facebook throws servers on their back in HOT TUBS of OIL


This sounds familiar...

Cooling a data centre in oil... Didn't Simon write something along these very lines?

Ah! Here it is: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/11/bofh_and_the_vax_cluster/

Marshmallows anyone?

Flying in the US? Remember to leave your hand grenades at home


Re: Oh dear

> But replicas? Shouldn't those show

> up as plastic and definitely not

> carrying explosive material?

Not necessarily. Most replica grenades are actually honest-to-god metal body grenades.

They are typically old training versions, and have a 1/2 inch hole drilled through them, filler removed (natch), and the fuze replaced with a inert version.

We have an M67 version in our office. It has a "Blame" tag attached to the pin. We give it to the person who breaks the build...

Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch





Verity's summer songs for programmers: Sing your pals to sleep()

Thumb Up

36 errors, 99 bugs

36 Errors is new (to me a least).

My team and I usually sing "99 Little Bugs in the Code" to the tune of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall":

99 little bugs in the code

99 bugs in the code!

Fix one bug, compile again

101 little bugs in the code!

The healing hands of guru Dabbs


Computers, like dogs and comissioned sales people can detect the weak...

Your best bet is unequivocally show them who is the dominant alpha.

I am reminded of the following quote by Dan Rutter:

"If you simply must persist in the belief that your PC is sentient and behaves like a supercilious waiter who may or may not be spitting in your soup, allow me to suggest a better way of dealing with it.

Have some dead and dismantled hardware lying around. I recommend hard drive platters; they're quite attractive, and look good hanging on the wall.

Buy a big screwdriver. Flat-head. Yes, I know the screws in the computer are all Philips and Pozidriv and Torx. That's not what the big driver's for. It's for prying and pounding.

You see, if your computer must have an opinion about you, I think it should view you as a technological Vlad Tepes.

If you're going to have delusions, you might as well make them fun ones."

Sound advise. (Although I prefer a one-handed masonry maul over a Flat-head...)

Public cloud will grow when experienced IT folks DIE

Black Helicopters

Cloud, schmoud...

All advantages and drawbacks of "the Cloud" can be concisely explained simply by replacing "the Cloud" with "someone else's computer".

SimCity 2000


Easter eggs! Easter eggs everywhere!

I loved all the little Easter eggs in this game (PC CD-Rom version w/ SC2K, SCURK, and Scenarios all bundled together):

1. Nessie eating the little sailboats from the marina.

2. "Maxis Man" superhero flying in to save your city from a disaster.

3. Shooting down the traffic helicopter with the "Center" tool (double plus good!)

On a side note, did anyone else have a problem with the military bases? My bases never constructed, they simply remained a useless piece of land zoned for the military... (unless there was some city condition I did not meet)