* Posts by Pete "oranges" B.

108 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jul 2007


Climate change hackers leave breadcrumb trail

Pete "oranges" B.

Free Your Mind

That "fungus" was an attempt to demonstrate the inherent incompatibility of science and government.

Governments deal in absolutes: justice, morality, human rights, etc. (or at least present themselves as if they do, and that such a thing is possible).

Science, on the other hand, is always changing; It is never absolutely "right" nor is it ever absolutely "wrong," it is an open and agile system designed to provide the most comprehensive understanding of reality possible at any given moment.

So, when government goes to science and asks of it "what is right, that we may enshrine it forever and ever in codes of law," they get what was considered most likely to be right at whatever moment they happened to be asking. What they just turned into legislation may be radically different a few hours later, but who gives a flying fish, it gives people something to believe in.

Sort a blind men and an elephant scenario, if you catch my drift. Unless it isn't, in which case you shouldn't. Or possibly not.

Users howl as Fedora 12 gives root to unwashed masses

Pete "oranges" B.

To err is human...

to truly screw things up you need root access!

Liquid electrocar batteries could be replaced at pumps

Pete "oranges" B.
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@How do you price it?

You could use multiple cells in a serial failover system. For instance, the car could have four smaller cells of the same type but only use one or two at any given time, thus allowing 2/4 - 3/4 of the cells to be fully discharged during continuous operation and drained/refilled at the user's convenience.

This is of course dependent on favorable weight/power ratios and the self discharge rate of the cells, among other things.

US commission urges broadband socialism

Pete "oranges" B.

A typical response from Large Entities.

They suggest splurging to replicate more of the high-cost infrastructure, rather than harnessing existing intellectual resources and creating cheaper and more efficient, software and hardware that is better able to exploit the existing infrastructure. Moreover, when this newly built infrastructure is no longer in style, they'll want to build new, different infrastructure, at an even greater cost, and so on and so forth.

And so...

Welcome to AOL Time Warner Taco Bell US Government Long Distance.

Jacques Chirac ditches devil dog

Pete "oranges" B.

Now this is just lazy.

Dog bites man, apparently.

Brown apologises for 'appalling' treatment of Turing

Pete "oranges" B.

I Agree.

I am not sure that there can be any after the fact apologies for such a thing. The burden of our forebearers' transgressions is ours to carry, and to seek absolution in words of regret is ultimately to delude ourselves; The past cannot be unwritten and what absolution there is to find can be found only in the resolve to not only guard against the rise of new evils, but also against the returning of the old ones.

Cruises on ex-Soviet space warships offered

Pete "oranges" B.

The question remains...

Why put a an autocannon from circa 1949 on a modern spacecraft in the first place? Wouldn't some flavor of self propelled missiles be more effective?

Also, I believe andy c is thinking of "Asteroids," as I don't recall there ever being a button for thrusters in "Space Invaders".

Man remanded for extreme porn offences

Pete "oranges" B.

The base of the laws should be shifted to better align with the spirit of the legal system.

Simply put, possession of material the existence of which necessitates the previous commission of a criminal act or acts should not be, in and of itself, a crime. The exception being in the case that it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual in possession of such material conspired directly, regarding the commission of the aforementioned act(s), with the party or parties who actually committed the same.

Police drop case against admin over animal rights comments

Pete "oranges" B.

How... awful?

"Officers were seeking the identity of an Indymedia UK user who had posted the home address of Mr Justice Neil Butterfield and an invitation to 'tell him what you think'."

Well that's just terrible, citizens being encouraged to conduct free and open dialog with their peers in government. What is the world coming to?

Internet junkie detox center claims US first

Pete "oranges" B.
Black Helicopters


@ dunncha:

Don't be so quick to judge, have you seen Project Gutenberg and Archive.org, it's practically the stuff of ST:TNG come to life!


In short, use the power of the net wisely; read, write, study, learn, create, share important knowledge with others and ideas and always strive to better understand the technologies that makes this all possible.

US women protest for the right to bare

Pete "oranges" B.


But I think you will need to see radical changes in the societies' attitudes towards clothing and sexuality before you see meaningful rights to forgo the former, to whatever degree. Either men and woman are truly equals, making an individual's sex an adjunct to, rather than a defining element of their identity, or they are quasi-voluntarily non-equal, with identities built on the differences between the sexes rather than similarities.

In a world where the measure of an individual has little or nothing to do with sex, today's highly sexually divided clothing and often rigid socio-economic gender roles would have no place and the exposing of a female body would be no more or less shocking than the exposing of a male body. Sadly, we don't live in such enlightened times as a cursory glance over the covers of the fashion magazines offered up for sale at grocery store checkouts lanes or a stroll through any department store will quickly demonstrate.

In other words, one cannot both posses one's foodstuff and ingest it as well.

Baby-roasting BBQ pulled from Sears site

Pete "oranges" B.

RE: RE: Vulnerabilites.... (sic)

It was never said that the failures were related on a technical level, except that one occurred on the same corp's system and they were both the product of human carelessness.

38% of large US companies have full-time email monitoring staff

Pete "oranges" B.


It really must take a special kind of dunce to transmit stolen data through the networks of the very entity from which it has just been stolen.

Such an act would be like helping yourself to the hardware and then making your escape in a vehicle from the company motor pool!

Stephen Hawking both British and not dead

Pete "oranges" B.

Steady, Gentlemen.

It's the printing of news stories the like of this one that ensure any rational, detached discussion of the affairs of nations is trodden beneath the feet of the panicked masses.

While communal health care is a fine and noble end, a government run insurance program alone is insufficient to serve the needs of the populous in an ethical and transparent manner.

I would have little contention if the there was a realistic plan to build state owned and operated medical infrastructure, both to provide care and possibly to train medical personnel, but sadly there is not. To my mind this is the only way to ensure both maximum efficiency, and to provide the kind of direct and appropriate oversight needed in all public institutions.

Most people would be appalled if the government started handing out FedEx coupons in lieu of running the postal service, or if the armed forces were to be disbanded in favor of hiring operatives from Blackwater, but they are more than willing to stand by and watch as their government shunts off their medical needs onto what amount to private contractors and subcontractors. At best this will turn those private medical institutions into what massive defense spending turned Raytheon and General Dynamics into, and at worst spawn a never ending struggle between medical ethics of medicine and science and the caprices of Washington pencil pushers.

Furthermore (and this is directed at the A/C appearing at 21:34 GMT of Wednesday), Hitler may have been a dangerous, unstable, amoral son of bitch, but he was most certainly not "Dumb."

That is, however, precisely the kind of response I would expect from some gormless troglodyte lacking the ambition even to go by a proper title, let alone wage war on the powers of Europe.

(And before you claim party prejudice, I am most definitely /not/ a Republican, I'm an Anarchist)

Well, I've said my piece, let the confederacy array themselves.

Two convicted for refusal to decrypt data

Pete "oranges" B.

Kickin' It Old Skool

O/S loaded from ROM into RAM with only selective writes to storage.

Remind anyone of the Seinfeld episode in which Cramer attempts to move the arcade machine without losing his high score?

(Grenade as metaphor of the transience of memory.)

English vocab poised to hit 1m words

Pete "oranges" B.


I have no objection to new words to describe new things, or better decribe old things, but I can't stand it when a new composite word is formed from old composite word(s) by means of splitting them and thus obscuring the the meaning of the new word to anyone who wasn't familiar with the exact origin of the original composites.

See greenwashing from the article:

The non-literal meaning of whitewashing is derived directly from its literal meaning, greenwashing takes its literal meaning from the non-literal meaning of whitewashing, which is now obscured due to "white" having been seperated from "washing", which makes it just "whashing" not the latter half of whitewashing.

US judge bars teen 'sexting' charges

Pete "oranges" B.


Since when is being nekkid inherently sexual? I would very much like to know how these politicians expect people to put on a change of clothes, let alone bathe, in a world increasingly filled with photographic devices.

A pox on you fools!

Republican e-chief exits, denounces 'blog-flogging simpletons'

Pete "oranges" B.
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The GOP is just pissed that the Shadow Party decided that it was time to give the Demos a turn.

Come on, we all know that a two party system wherein the candidates are chosen by two secretive private organizations is a farce, right?

Remember, you can elect whomever you like, so long as it's one of the two ApprovedChoices(tm)! *does cheesy wink and thumbs up*

Italians boffins prove plausibility of spam-javelin spam

Pete "oranges" B.

Oh dear...

When I read the description, I was convinced the article was about some form of anti-spam counter-hack.

I seem to have been most grievously mistaken!

Oh-well, back to the lab...

Firefox went ton up in bugs in 2008

Pete "oranges" B.
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I blame marketing people.

Of course browsers are going to be insecure, slow and clumsy; companies have tried to turn them into a bloody interface replacement!

Facebook nemesis sues Google (and wins)

Pete "oranges" B.

@ Charles Manning

Yes and no.

Yes, in the sense of commercial traffic for services.

No, in the sense that you, I, or anyone else can technically still send and receive a mind bogglingly large variety of stuff over a generic connection, with the only money changing hands being between individuals and their ISPs.

Fanbois will abandon iPhone for Palm, says Wikisugardaddy

Pete "oranges" B.

A pity really...

Palm was one of the only companies to really take the idea of the independent handheld platform anywhere commercially. While I'll take a good long look at Palm's Pre in the weeks following release day, it's sad to see their product line go totally web centric and cloudy.

Is it so unreasonable to ask for a good handheld that's useful when it's on its own?

UK boffin: Social networking causes cancer, heart attacks, lupus, dementia...

Pete "oranges" B.
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Well, I'm dead for sure.

I don't even use the Internet for social networking, I'm here in front of the screen all the time because I think that stuff like the w3c XHTML certifier is awesome and I have a dual head setup so I can watch Firefly on hulu whilst simultaneously using said XHTML checker or learning more of the mysteries of Common LISP.

Oh well, we all have to die of something, guess dying of nerdiness isn't so bad, right?

Mobes will save the world - just give us some spectrum!

Pete "oranges" B.
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The banking industry deserves to die the slow, painful death it is undergoing. That's not to say the people who were foolish enough to lash themselves part and parcel to it deserve the same fate, but 20m more certainly don't deserve to be tied to the mast of a rapidly sinking ship.

Satellite-hacking boffin sees the unseeable

Pete "oranges" B.


I had long been aware that it was possible to monitor unencrypted feeds, primarily NASA, but I had no idea so many transmissions were relatively open.

Beta-blocker 'erases' unpleasant memories

Pete "oranges" B.


But let's say I /do/ want to see how far the rabbit hole goes, where's the red pill?

Mines the long, black one with the Micro Uzi's in the pockets.

Italian crooks use Skype to frustrate wiretaps

Pete "oranges" B.

Somewhat missing the point...

Correct if wrong, but a big part of what makes POTS wiretaps so handy is that discovering where the call is going, not just what is being said, is a fairly trivial matter using a man-in-the-middle attack. With a P2P VoIP scheme, you have the whole of the Internet to route your calls through, making it much harder to ever get your hands on more than one caller at once.

So rather than the cops being able to tap Perp. A's house and know that he called Perp B at the payphone behind the minimart, all they know is that a connection was initiated between a computer in Perp A's house to some shell host in Nigeria and from there to another in Switzerland and so on and so forth with each hop adding an additional layer of complexity to actually locating the person on the other end.

Adobe and Nokia pledge $10m for Flash and AIR apps

Pete "oranges" B.


More bloat and unnecessary complexity.

Intel to put internet in your pants

Pete "oranges" B.
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Same old story...

"will deliver the best internet experience while dramatically reducing power - contributing to the development of ultra sleek devices that offer superb battery life."

But what about those of us who want larger devices with beyond "superb" battery life? I have never understood the practice of making already small devices slightly smaller when they could be made at the same size with practical increases in battery life.

Mozilla asks developers to take Bespin for a spin

Pete "oranges" B.
Gates Horns


Which developer will Mozilla be handing over to Microsoft in a block of carbonite?

Cocaine now cheaper than lager

Pete "oranges" B.


" suggest Wacky Jacqui creates a database immediately to count all incoming cocaine shipments so they can be tracked and intercepted whever PC Plod needs to be seen to be doing something. Tag the stuff with rfids and force the drug mules to carry ID cards. That should sort it."

Just make sure there are no apostrophes involved.

Wakefield does a Brum with possessive apostrophes

Pete "oranges" B.
Paris Hilton

RE:Andrew Garrard


More to the point, why would anyone need a shorter way of sending the word "collator"?

Twitter force-fed $35m in venture capital

Pete "oranges" B.


"Twitter is a way of bombarding the world with an endless stream of self-serving mini-messages."

I seem to remember this being called "IRC" and there being a way to get free stuff with it, and with that being illegal, but no one caring very much.

World's nuttiest MP3 player aimed at Acorn fans?

Pete "oranges" B.


I'm pretty sure that "button" is called a "joystick."

Photography rights: Snappers to descend on Scotland Yard

Pete "oranges" B.

The problem is enforcement...

Soon you will see headlines to the effect:

"Police Photographed In Brutal Camera Confiscation."

And there's the rub. Even if you wanted to take cameras off the streets for your own sinister purposes, there will always be some kid with a camera phone and a youtube account watching while you do it. Let's face it, the last decade has turned cameras into even more of a cultural phenomena than ever before. The image of hundreds of people raising their phones up above the crowd to try and get a shot has become inexorably become linked with practically every major event to take place since the common pairing of those two devices.

1888 cabled guys, they want their legislation back, STOP.

Hacking the Apple TV

Pete "oranges" B.


"That's right. DVI and HDMI are pretty much the same thing."

Yeah, evil.

Amazon pulls Japanese rape simulator from shelves

Pete "oranges" B.

Did I wander into some weird parallel universe again?

A US merchant on a US based site sells imported copies of a Japanese video game. Customers of said site dislike the game so much that they complain. The people responsible for running the site decide that it's not really worthwhile to go on carrying said game, since people are complaining about it, and use their veto power over what their merchants may carry to take it down from the site. After the fact, a British paper decides that the incident is apparently of international importance (or are really stuck for interesting stories) and reports on it in Britain.

Now how in the heck does some British politician named Vaz and the entire British Parliament get involved again? More importantly, is there no way to punish people like Vaz for criminal misuse of government time?

Of course, who am I to complain? Members of the US congress decided they needed to take time out a session in order to issue a response to remarks made by some radio talk show host.

Politicians really need to be introduced to blogs. It is, after all, a match made in heaven. Nobody reads blogs, nobody listens to politicians. Blogs would give them a nice, cheap way to have their opinions ignored, so they can do real work during their paid hours. Oh, I see the problem now! ;)

Ugh, it really is Friday, in'it?

American Stereotype™ walks Google's mean Street View

Pete "oranges" B.


You are looking at my example in a way that is much too specific. The entire point of using an entirely improbable scenario, rather than one which might seem plausible such as a flood or invasion, was to prevent a scenario/counter-scenario argument as to when a particular set of tools would or would not be useful or beneficial, since that's really not the issue.

The point I was making was that guns merely exist in a broad spectrum of individual tools that form part of the human experience, and that such objects cannot be fully replaced by collective tools like governments. A society needs a healthy mix of both collective and individual tools to function well. Too much reliance on collective tools fractures a society into many specialized fragments which are helpless on their own, while over reliance on individual tools inhibits a society's ability to tackle challenges that can only be met collectively.

Now, whether any given individual or collective tool is appropriate for any given society is really a matter that only that society can address. Questions as to whether guns, wrenches, chainsaws, senators, members of parliament, presidents etc. are appropriate and if so the exact forms they should take is a matter a best left to the people directly affected by the relative presence or absence of such tools (no pun intended as far a politicians are concerned).

The only thing I object to is when members a society, having determined what is best for their unique case (in any area, not just weapons), come to believe that their ability to make that decision is the result of some universal wisdom or insight and go about making themselves out to be superior to all societies not conforming to their decisions (May I be the first to say that many of my countrymen are guilty of this in spades, however). Yes, it may be all in good fun, but it does represent a serious set of underlying issues in regard to how people all over the world view the right of self determination.

Is it not amazing how, not just now but through out history, it is not our differences that divide us most but rather our similarities? They are the basis for the constant temptation to look at ourselves and in our pride try to mold others to our image.

Pete "oranges" B.


Just a note, that canister bears striking resemblance to the ones used to hold reloading propellant.

I suppose as a much maligned Yank (from one of the original 13 no less) I should address the gun debate. Don't think I can't see the humor in this though, that is a very undignified pose to be caught in while handling a firearm, and most people experienced with firearms would be quick to inform him that he was being a hazard to those around him.

However on a more abstract plane, as I see it, many Americans are just more keenly aware that there have been, and will be, times when the collective bargain just doesn't pay off. Sure, things like government and society are nice as far as they go, and in many cases are well worth paying into, but their ability to give the individual a meaningful return on investment is limited, and not always reliable.

To keep this lighthearted, let's say the zombies come, in lieu of some other unforeseen catastrophe. The bodies of the dead rise and walk the earth seeking human flesh to devour, their victims joining the hard as they fall. Governments crumble and the world is thrown into chaos. In this scenario, it doesn't matter that you voted, obeyed the law, payed all your taxes, and were otherwise a good and loyal citizen; It doesn't matter that you were supposed to receive the support of police forces, armies, a medical infrastructure, and the best research apparatus money could buy; It doesn't matter that you trained for years, at great personal expense, to become a specialist and fill one of society's greatest roles. In this end you are left with nothing but what you can do by yourself and provide for yourself. There is no one else left to intervene on your behalf and ensure that your rights are respected.

That is why I believe people need guns, and why many Americans, as citizens of a younger nation born out of conflict, desire to keep and be practiced with firearms. They aren't to shoot neighbors who wrong us or to stage an overthrow of the government or even to play sports with, they are just tools that help make us a little stronger and a little more independent, in order to help preserve the balance between the collective and the individual, so either way we don't slip through the cracks.

I know that all makes me sound like a survivalist nutcake, but I'm really not. I just don't have the arrogance to believe that my country is so perfect as to be rendered eternal and invulnerable (stereotypical US Right), or that it may be made so by more completely devoting myself to its service (stereotypical US Left).

Flames, since fire is a tool as well.

(I think I just used up my entire run-on sentence quota there :-) )

Pete "oranges" B.


(oops the IW spell check changed "horde" to "hard")

NEC to axe 20,000

Pete "oranges" B.


"NEC joined the parade of tech firms announcing sinking profits, downsized forecasts, and shinking workforces"

I don't know what "shinking" is, but it sounds terribly uncomfortable.

Microsemi CEO slapped for fabricating degrees

Pete "oranges" B.
Thumb Up

Score one for common sense!

Just to be clear:

Lying = Not Good

Proving that high-level Academia is just /one/ means to an end, that it is not the be-all/end-all test of competency, and that it's OK to acknowledge the aforementioned = Good

DEC 'hacker' questions McKinnon political bandwagon

Pete "oranges" B.


McKinnon really /did/ find evidence of aliens and that's why the US wants him back so bad!

Nah, that's just stupid.

Well someone had to say it!

Nintendo inks 'Spring-Summer' DSi launch for Europe

Pete "oranges" B.

Not too shabby.

I honestly would have preferred these advancements as a new crop of accessories for the Lite, this ain't a bad deal all things considered. I had, however, hoped that the third iteration would be a slightly taller, hi-res version, which integrated both both screens on one display panel, eliminating the hinge.

Battery drop is a disappointing, hey at least they let you change it out. I wonder if the base level is limitation of the lighting circuit or software imposed.

First 'fully accurate' totally voice-controlled phone unveiled

Pete "oranges" B.

It'll never catch on...

...everyone will want a little triangular one that they can clip to their shirt's left pocket! What's with this in the ear nonsense?

Extreme porn law goes live - are you ready?

Pete "oranges" B.

Random @Sid

"This is all very good advice, but wouldn't it be better just not to down load sick images from malware infested porn sites in the first place?"

Yes it probably would be safer. On the other hand, I suspect that this new state of affairs really adds something playing at Hackers Vs. Spooks, since there is now some real (if small in many cases) risk to someone breaking your (massively over-engineered) encryption scheme.

OK, OK, that was said in jest. Seriously though, if one good thing comes out of this whole mess, it is that (non-cryptogeek) people may start taking serious measures to ensure their communications and stored information are secure from government observation, and thus lead to a somewhat freer society (not government, but society).

I do, however, have the most delightful image of some terribly disappointed government types spending hours cracking a highly encrypted file, based on their own assumption that to be so hidden it must be of an criminal nature, only to discover a certain music video, staring a certain Mr. Rick Astley.

Mines the one with the encrypted PDA full of grocery lists in the secret pocket.

US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet

Pete "oranges" B.

I don't get it.

What's so hard about Linux systems? On all the modern iterations I've used, you type stuff and they do it. The manuals are even built in!

I mean, the CLI can't possibly be more complicated and incomprehensible than all the visual metaphors in used in Windows, with its layers of hidden menus and dialogs.

Virgin Galactic leases itself a spaceport

Pete "oranges" B.
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Amazing. Slightly Stupid, but Still Amazing.

Even though it is just a more-or-less useless novelty for the rich right now, it is still hard to believe that a venture in commercial spaceflight has come this far, period.

I can't say with confidence that if I could tell someone about this, on this day back in 2k, I wouldn't be laughed at.

And, quite frankly, I hope this doesn't fade away like the supersonic jetliner. It would be a great loss if further developments in spaceflight were delayed because the initial venture sank.

Kamikaze ballooning Brazilian soars to Darwin Award

Pete "oranges" B.
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The Thin Line

I think this one is a bit ify as a Darwin. From the account, it seems likely that he knew the risks, and ignored them for the sake of doing something he wanted to do. Now that's an entirely different beast from:

A: not comprehending the risks in the first place (as in checking fuel levels with the aid of a lighter)


B: thinking that it was possible to mitigate those risks in some idiotic fashion (as in wearing dish washing gloves while using your chainsaw-on-a-stick to cut through a high-powered electrical distribution line)

I have always been a bit amused by the whole chainsaw-on-a-stick concept, by the way. They really do look way more like futuristic polearms to be weilded by zombie hunters than anything suitable for use in the backyard.

Cowon iAudio S9 PMP

Pete "oranges" B.
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Don't get it

"The crucial difference is that the Touch is part of a large and growing infrastructure that extends its usefulness in ways the Cowon could never do. WiFi (how did Cowon leave that out? Like the BB Storm...), email, web browsing, the App Store (including turning your Touch into a remote media controller), games, calendar, contacts, etc., etc., etc."

Funny, I remember doing all that with my Dell Axim back in '04. And I could even take the battery out of it.

I don't get the whole fanbase thing. What, because Apple says PDA functions are now "cool" suddenly they're a must have on all PMPs? If you want a PDA, why not just buy a real one instead of Apple's crappy iMitation? An iPaq 111 is 299USD + the cost of your favorite size SDHC card. Not that bad compared to the Touch, particularly when you consider all the freeware programs for WM (MiniMo, PuTTY, KoboDL, etc.), the storage expansion, the better format support, the faster processor, and the replaceable battery.