* Posts by McHack

84 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Nov 2013


Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale


But when no one's watching...

You don't need such complexity to simulate on the scales no one is observing. A coin is flipped. It's not needed to compute the twenty quadrillion underlying interactions if all that will be observed and recorded is if it's heads or tails.

The simulation outputs are for the observers, and they can be comfortably oblivious of 99%+ of anything not observed. What game designer simulates every drop of the unseen fountain two towns over?

Panicked WH Smith kills website to stop sales of how-to terrorism manuals


Ban the Archive?

You can download those manuals from the Internet Archive, there are lots of these old public domain military manuals available there. Are they planning on blocking archive.org? The trickiest thing is getting the authentic ones. The one that looks like a bad photocopy with the notation "Poor Man's James Bond"? Take a pass.

Ex: https://archive.org/details/Improvised_Munitions_Handbook_TM_31-210_reduced_file_size

W*nkers of the world unite to save the planet one jerk-off at a time


Re: Mine's the one...

Blue pill or red pill?


Re: Thank you fellow commentards

Has anyone got a tissue?

You only need a tissue?



I have entirely the wrong motion for the long "warm and happy" phase, and would need two for the "hurry over the top" finishing movement. Clearly they did not research enough techniques.

What's next? Charger crotchless panties with woven-in coils, to be excited by a magnitized condom? Keep going, just 5% more juice to make it through the next day...

FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it


Re: Irony

...but then get all upset when you apply their same reasoning to cities' rights vs. states.

Has to be that way for consistency, state trumps local. So a city doesn't set a speed limit above the state max, and there's one even higher next town over, etc.

But the US is closer to the EU, with our original States being former nations. The UK doesn't like what Brussels commands, and the US States don't like what D.C. commands either. Kentucky likes having to do the same as California about as much as Germany likes being treated the same as Greece.


Re: How is it a "threat to the free market"...

...if what is occurring is the removal of regulations...

Politicians lie. Bureaucrats lie. Governments lie.

When was the last time an unelected bureaucrat wanted less power?

There's an unreleased 300+ pg book of changes. Guaranteed there are new "watchdog" agencies to enforce "net neutrality".

Guaranteed there are more regulations coming than are "removed" on paper.

Guaranteed the government will be grabbing more power for their unaccountable apparatchiks, while telling you how government has graciously granted you some additional freedom.

Count on it.


Re: They should compromise

Allow governments to run fiber/copper, but not run the ISP.

There's ice storms, tornadoes, and other things wiping out many lines at once. Private companies bring in out-of-state crews to restore service quickly. Municipalities would add it to the to-do list and prioritize.

I'm sure if some tea partiers had their way, they'd make it illegal for cities to provide water, sewer, trash pickup, or maybe even roads free to the public.

I pay for my municipal water/sewer/flood service. Nearby cities have private companies, noticeably prompt this winter fixing busted water mains.

Several private companies offer trash pickup at reasonable rates, per bag or dumpster. With courteous and quick customer service, and no labor strikes.

Roads aren't free anywhere, according to the gas taxes and vehicle fees I pay.

"Tax dollars shouldn't be confiscated to provide services that private businesses can provide better!"

Sing it, brother! Even for municipal services, private companies can do it better. And right now cellular carriers are cutting some great deals. What'd I pay if I had as many options as in the Ma Bell "public utility" days?

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability


DIY: Demonic Garden Gnome

"Officer, it's been staring at my house for years, at my bedroom. I can see his eyes glowing at night, every night, through the snow, in the rain. It's evil, possessed I tell you! Surely you can see how the only rational way to stop it was with the dynamite!"


Also in US?

"No1 Gadget Store UK" sells them on Amazon.com, for considerably more. Supplies seem rather limited though. "Free" shipping with those high prices. Don't see "UK only".


Limited supply, high prices... Smuggling? Not the worse thing that's been brought in lately. Not like it's drugs, explosives, biological weapons, or radioactive nuclear materials...


Good for homes and computer rooms

Slip on the appropriate key and apply with 2-sided tape above the keyed switch for the generator/UPS/battery supply so you can find it when the power is cut, especially after it was left in the wrong position after the once-monthly test last done sometime last year.

Actually a glob of silicone cement would be better, make someone work to remove it.

Without the ring, you can use the hole to screw one to the door frame to keep the keyhole illuminated. Lots of fun possibilities.

Mozilla's Flash-killer 'Shumway' appears in Firefox nightlies


Re: So which is it?

Shumway. I think it was named after Gordon...


Also on Linux

For now, Shumay also works only on Windows Vista or later versions of Windows, and OSX.

Works on at least some Linux. Debian links to it on their Flash page, click to download add-on.



My experience with Flash first and then Shumway installed, Shumway tries it first. There's an upper-right "Shumway" red box on the Flash. If Shumway doesn't do it for you, either click the little box away or right-click + "Reload in Adobe Flash Player", same effect.

Ex-NASA boffin dreams of PREDATOR-ish tech in humble microwaves


Re: @Kunari 60% Power

Oh yes, there are cheap microwave ovens that are true variable power. Mechanical timers and the power output knob feels like you're rotating a transformer core element, as wth a moveable shunt arc welder transformer. No electronics needed in the ovens, all mechanical.

The first home use microwaves were like that, until recently it was the cheapest small imports, now the electronic ones have replaced even those. Which is a shame, all-mechanicals are EMP resistant.

This looks like an example.




Keeping it clean, please.

When will we have a mobile we can simply run through the dishwasher when it gets... stuff... on it? With the hot water so it's nice and sanitary, please.

ROBONAUT to find feet after Monday ISS supply mission


Not quite a Tour de Force

Robonaut 2 (R2) looks nice, but the next-gen Design 2 (D2) should be better.

Too bad the Soviet Union (CCCP) went away, they could have designed and contributed the Soviet Operations (C3PO) unit. Well, let's give Putin a chance, see what good happens.

US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support


The MS plan advances...

Soon it'll just be Computer as a Service (CaaS), the desktop "PC" will be an ultra-fast terminal linked to the MS cloud, which will already have all the data, so using MS cloud programs for everything is logical. Security will be excellent, since only some encrypted keyclicks and such are sent in, and no files are sent out, only encrypted pictures your terminal displays like a TV, unless sent to the MS-approved "local network" printer.

It'll be a bargain at only $500/yr per desktop, as you'll never worry about upgrades or virii, and your "senior IT staff" is reduced to someone who can swap in a new working Ethernet router or terminal unit as needed.

And if all your data and work disappears into the aether two seconds after you failed to make a timely payment without recourse or backup, it's just CaaS.

Murdoch says Microsoft needs 'big clean out'


Next big tech wave?

That's bloody obvious, for the consumer market. It's already started. They want a tablet for kitchen table to sofa, to Skype and surf. For heavier stuff, they'll grab the wireless keyboard with trackpad from wherever they laid it. They want to see it bigger, like with a show or movie, they'll throw the image on the TV with a Google Chromecast-type thingie. It'll still be showing on the tablet, as that'll be the touch-enabled controller, a fancy remote.

But people don't want a large lump of a PC occupying floor or table space. And users can barely be arsed to reach all the way up to a function key and use a trackpad or mouse for a command instead. Why would anyone think they'd want to lift their arms and reach over the keyboard to touch a monitor?

Thus MS bureaucracy can't see the obvious and still expects users to follow MS blindly. Users didn't follow them across the XP to Vista divide, yet MS didn't get the message. With Win 8 and Surface 1 (RT!), we saw management sit back and wait for the world to follow their piper's tune.

Good clean out urgently needed, indeed.

Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'


Read the details, there's more*

From The Smoking Gun:

FBI Arrests Trio For Microsoft Xbox Hacking

Feds: Men also stole pre-release video games during intrusions

APRIL 10--A group of alleged hackers has been charged with breaking into the computer systems of the U.S Army, Microsoft, and several other firms to steal pre-release copies of popular video games like “Call of Duty,” simulation software for Apache attack helicopter pilots, and confidential data that was used to create counterfeit versions of the Xbox gaming system, The Smoking Gun has learned.

This was going on since at least early 2011, and goes a lot deeper than a CoD hack.

And they also made up counterfeit working "next-gen" X-box consoles, sold one on eBay for $5000. Imagine if they had just sold the info to the Russian or Chinese counterfeiters. MS sure ducked one there.

*assuming this is the same CoD-related hacking and not just a much uglier, much larger one.

ACLU launches user-friendly database of every Snowden doc


@Wzrd1: Re: @AC: Better host it somewhere safe

"Nonprofits are not charities."

Wrong. Nonprofits may or may not be charities.

First off, you quoted me, and I am not AC. But that's par for the course for your comment.

Before the legalese, it was easier to recognize a real charity, like Little Sisters of the Poor. Those involved gave themselves to their work. When those involved wear better clothes, have larger houses, and nicer lives than those who are incessantly asked to donate to their worthy cause, not a charity.

Nonprofits are businesses, not charities.

What is required is that the corporation shall not retain a profit, but must disperse it to its contributors or through its efforts.

Wrong. Nonprofits do have bank accounts, do retain and accumulate wealth, which includes the excess. As long as it belongs to the nonprofit, in the theory it is available for future endeavors, retaining "profit" is fine.

That the rest of your statements are predicated upon your misapprehension on what a non-profit entity in the United States is, the remainder of your complaints are groundless or totally incorrect.

Says the person who may be using a spellchecker but doesn't proofread for correctness and context. "Misapprehension" is clearly the wrong word, yet you've used it three times. Did you click "change all" or trust the automatic setting?

I'm an information security professional.

Thus should know how to make misinformation look like truthful information. I've noticed your skill.

Your misapprehension suggests that if I am engaged as an employee of a non-profit organization, such as my local church, I should either not be paid or be paid a pittance that I'd not be able to pay my bills with!

You have obviously "misapprehended" my supposed "misapprehension". I don't mind people getting paid what they're worth.

What I was originally complaining about was the much-pushed "charity" meme, "Your donations (to the ACLU) will go to helping out others." When what's really happening is the supporting of professional fundraisers and management.


@ Wzrd1: Re: Better host it somewhere safe

It's a shame that you pay as little attention to law as you do to making intelligent comment.

DMCA won't impact any such "order", as the NSA documents are not copyrighted or patented. They're covered under the Defense Secrets Act of 1911.

You are wrong. Wikipedia knows you are wrong. It's bad enough you challenged my off-the-cuff quip to show off your own special brilliance, but you couldn't be bothered to even make a few clicks to confirm your extreme state of correctness.

The Defense Secrets Act of 1911 has been deprecated. Snowden and many others were charged under the Espionage Act of 1917.

You just got pwned by Wikipedia because you didn't spend a few seconds confirming your intellectual greatness. Sad.


@AC: Re: Re: Better host it somewhere safe

The ACLU is a non-profit. The donations they get help protect the civil liberties and civil rights enjoyed by all.

Nonprofits are not charities. Neither are WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc. Scratch the surface, check the records, you find out the shockingly high percentage of donations that goes right out the door as more marketing (aka fundraising) and not providing benefits.

You may also notice nonprofits are businesses. They need what's coming in to be more than or equal to what's going out. "Nonprofits" don't pay out the excess to owners like shareholders, it must be "invested" back into the organization, thus many have grown into gigantic fundraising powerhouses.

They have executives who demand proportionate compensation worthy of their level/skill. Example: (emphasis added)

Despite the austerity measures for its low-level employees, the ACLU’s most recent tax returns report close to $34 million in gross revenue, with $32 million in total expenses. The same documents reveal that Executive Director Anthony Romero earned a base salary of $382,000 and collected an additional $24,000 in other compensation and benefits.

Romero isn’t the only top-level ACLU executive who makes the same wages as President Obama. In fact, the ACLU's top 10 earners all received over $300,000 each between 2011-2012. That was before the same executives gave themselves raises in 2012, some of which represented a pay increase of as much as 12%.

Give them enough more donations, those top 10 earners can give themselves even more.


@Adrian 4, Re: Better host it somewhere safe

You haven't heard of Technology Transfer then ?

I have. There are terabytes of regulations, documents, and case law controlling distribution between countries, between corporations like multi-nationals, even distribution to individuals. Exporters can plan for a product and get approvals for years, only to get scuttled by an administrator's new ruling just a day from shipping. What's your point?

US government agencies are REQUIRED to allow their work (already paid for by the US taxpayer) to be made available for public use. No DMCA possible.

If that was true, then why did Snowden have to liberate that work?

Do you know how hard it is to FOIA internal documents and publications? It's already decided the public has no general right to possess them, and the government can redact until you get a thousand pages of black boxes with a partially-redacted title and fully-redacted distribution list, that you paid a copying fee for.

If you're thinking about the copyright status of work by the US government, generally such work can't be copyrighted within the US, although they may claim copyright elsewhere, and Snowden's stash is often getting published elsewhere. Also,

Unlike works of the U.S. government, works produced by contractors under government contracts (or submitted in anticipation of such contracts) are protected and restricted under U.S. copyright law. The holdership of the copyright depends on the terms of the contract and the type of work undertaken. Contract terms and conditions vary between agencies; contracts to NASA and the military may differ significantly from civilian agency contracts.

As seen, the NSA employs contractors, who generate materials the US government may hold the copyright to.


Better host it somewhere safe

Stick it on a Russian server, they're not concerned about pirated materials.

If it was on a US server and the NSA got serious about managing their documents, they could send out a DMCA take down notice to stop the copyright infringement. The ACLU is expecting to profit off of them with increased donations. Why should others profit from the NSA's hard work?

Microsoft spells out new rules for exiling .EXEs


Repeat in English, please.

The provider of the software has to be clearly identified, you have to be able to close advertising windows, and the software has to be uninstallable “using the same name as shown in the ads [the software] produces”, Microsoft states.

The software is the technically-free Fluffy Mice Dice game, it produces ads for the Fluffy Mice Dice game, and if the software is honestly named FluffyMiceDice.exe and labeled Fluffy Mice Dice, it must be impossible to install the software?


Re: Your Computer is Running Slow...

So you agree I need to dump Windoze and install Linux. Excellent!

Time on WinXP partition after login (root) until I can do something other than click away notifications: 3 minutes.

Time on Debian partition after login to Xfce desktop ready to go: 3 seconds.

Tesla in 'Ethernet port carries data' SCANDAL


Re: "showing a Firefox install running on the console."

"Blacklist that car immediately."

Oh noes! It's a homophobic Tesla!

Keep the gays away, or the car could burst into flames!


"Because ethernet and wireless are the same."

Actually, since they already make small USB wireless adapters and small Ethernet to USB adapters, you can go Ethernet to wireless with off the shelf components that could hide under a blind panel, with a done-up short adapter cable for the "non-RJ45 port".

Oh look, there are Ethernet to wireless adapters available, one less piece.

That port "...only provides access to the benign functions of the centre console and navigation screen – nothing to do with drive control."

So as happens with GPS nav units, the Tesla driver will unthinkingly follow the nav screen "accidentally" into oncoming traffic, up a short driveway, or over a cliff...


NIC finds Ethernet port

Film at 11

The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled



Thanks for the info.

Dang, how many people are doing this "Pics from Space" thing? Must be a lot to nearly get two groups posting simultaneously on just one of the available posting sites.



Then what the hell pictures from space have I been watching come in, real time, from the live feed?


Google teases more modular smartphone details in run-up to dev meet-up


I want my LEGO phone

Where I snap the PnP parts I want on the baseplate back cover, which includes the replaceable battery and removable flash memory, add filler blocks as needed, then snap on the front cover display/touchpad (or 2/3 display if using the BB-style keyboard). A quarter turn at the locking post holes with the supplied tool, done.

Anything less just doesn't seem "modular" enough.

Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop



Imagine this as a full-blown grocery store service. With Amazon's power, they can instantly search for all applicable available manufacturers' coupons. Do they need to be printed out, with a store then mailing in the batches so they get paid? Hey look, Amazon can print and ship stuff.

They can also recommend specials, tell you what brands and sizes are cheapest per unit. There could be automatic substitution lists, from different cuts of meat, to either hot chocolate or cocoa, to random assortments of fresh fruits.

For a nominal subscription fee and small delivery charge, you could get your groceries for almost to actually free. Heck, combining all the discounts, Amazon might end up giving you money!

We don't want your crap databases, says Twitter: We've made OUR OWN


Too many acronym repeats

So far, Twitter offers LOCAL_CAS (strong consistency within a single data center) and GLOBAL_CAS (strong consistency across multiple facilities).

First thought during the glance-through: Why are they messing with DRAM timing?

Too late, Blighty! Samsung boffins claim breakthrough graphene manufacturing success


This will not be good

It's also close to transparent, absorbing only 2.3 per cent of light shone upon it, irrespective of wavelength.

Then the MIT and CalTech types will think it's a great idea to stretch a sheet of this "invisible shield" across a bike path at a shady spot. Fun.

Of course soon the researchers will figure out how to wrap small sheets a few atoms wide around into tiny continuous graphene tubes that'll be usable as a single fiber, perhaps considering weaving an impenetrable graphene fabric.

But the military will soon find out those invisible fibers work well against the meatsacks, from a single line strung up at neck height, to a cloud of short pieces dispersed by a mortar shell. I wonder what those short fragments with the impossibly sharp pinpoint ends will do when inhaled, after they slip straight through any respirator mask in existence. And what if you got one in your eye?

If they "graph-bombed" an area, how long until all the fibers get broken down to where it's safe for any breathing animals to enter?

NASA's LADEE: A Great Gig in the Sky, now on a death dive to the Dark Side of the Moon


Crash it where?

Oh please, please, can it "accidentally" hit the Chinese Jade Rabbit rover? It's not doing much, and its death "at the hands of the imperialist capitalist running dogs" would be much more valuable for the PR.

Or perhaps it can take out the old Soviet Lunokhod 2 rover. After it's destroyed, perhaps the current owner "Lord British" could get an insurance claim out of it.

I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door


Re: Tyranny of the minority

oppressed_minority := oppressing_minority


Now boycott Islam

I think it's more serious to kill, flog, mutilate, or imprison a person than to merely deny them marriage with whom they want.

So what shall these brave defenders of equality do next? Shall they insist the US and allies stay in Afghanistan until the Taliban is defeated thus prevented from killing more homosexuals? Shall they demand the continuing and deepening of economic sanctions against Iran until they cease the slaughtering as well?

Shall they at least boycott Saudi Arabian oil and all companies who buy it?

Or are quick and easy symbolic wins the only ones they will fight for?

Tesla cars can now 'do an ET' without hurting anyone's bottom line


We're from Homeland Security, got a simple question.

We just wanted to know why you needed those deeper charges on the way back from Mexico until just after you got to your house. The Tesla techs said it looks like you quickly gained and lost 200 kilos. And that you should adjust the tire pressures.

Driver drama delays deep desert XP upgrade


No screwdriver?

Not even a stamped keyring tool, that's a bottle opener as well as a screwdriver? Forget the computers, without one of those you could die of thirst!

ICANN boss: 'Russia and China will NOT take over interwebs'


Never Happen

Russia won't take over Crimea, China won't claim control over international and foreign airspace. Nor will Germany invade Poland. All nations respect the norms of international law and peace, and believe wholeheartedly in unselfish international cooperation for the greater good.

Which is why the US must give up the pretense of controlling the internet, as President O drops the US military to where it couldn't wage a ground war against Bermuda. We can trust Russia and China just as much as they already freely trust us.

Hotmail-gate: Windows 8 code leaker pleads guilty to theft of trade secrets


@AC: Re: @Don Dumb - Russian national?

"The British did that in 1812. Got bored. Left."

Um, that would be Washington D.C. (District of Columbia), not the State of Washington which the British ceded to the US as part of the Oregon Treaty in 1846.

Washington DC, East Coast. State of Washington, Left Coast. Okay?


@Don Dumb - Re: Russian national?

I'm sure he would love to do that. Just a bit difficult when he is in custody without bail.

WHAT?! The US is treating a Russian national like a mass murderer or violent terrorist, for the victimless crime of offending an uber-rich US multinational soulless corporation by liberating their over-hyped over-priced crapware?

You know what this means. To stop the unwarranted persecution of Russian nationals over minor offenses, now Putin will have to annex the state of Washington!


Russian national?

He should immediately get himself back to Mother Russia.

The US will demand extradition, with no small amount of MS prodding.

Putin shall laugh. Repeatedly. While criticizing the quick willingness of the US to punish a hero of the Russian Federation who bravely revealed the arcane misdoings of the NSA's chief lapdog, which has granted unrestricted backdoor access to nearly every PC on the planet to America's domestic and international spymasters.

Then a few months later, Putin shall announce RUSS, the Russian Underlying Secure System, a cheaper-than-MS drop-in Windows replacement. Which will look amazingly like Win 8.1 but without the suck.

But far different from MS, the system will be uncrackable, the security unbreachable. Since half the programming staff will be those professional Russian hackers who have been exploiting every possible byte of Windows for many years, so they know how NOT to write an OS.

Get ready for software-defined RADAR: Jam, eavesdrop, talk and target ... simultaneously


The technology needs further advancement

After all, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun.

We need software-defined weaponry.

SmartTV, dumb vuln: Philips hard-codes Miracast passwords


Re: When my CRT finally dies...

I'll probably end up getting a monitor with built-in TV tuner.

I'm just getting a TV for my next monitor, they all got PC inputs, VGA or better. And look, built in amplified speakers, and streaming over-the-air news and entertainment without Wi-Fi. And a remote control as well! Can't beat that.


What autoplay video with sound?

Noted: Have NoScript running to prevent embarrassing autoplaying internet video on a work computer. And also when around other humans.

AdBlocking Vimeo wouldn't hurt either. And leaving speakers muted unless needed as well, which doesn't require sysadmin privileges.

NSA plans to FREE YOUR DATA with range of cloud services, analytics


Freak out visitors with Danasoft signs

Go here, grab free code, use on your site. They're such an oldie, people stopped mentioning them.

But for those worried about NSA and spyware, seeing those little graphics with their IP, ISP, browser, OS, and perhaps their town or one nearby, really makes them wonder how much they need better security.

Are you trying to get a user or relative to upgrade security, or at least start using it? Show them these signs, let the paranoia set in.

BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower


Re: See you later

"Is there anything other than foolish carp on thereg today?"

Well, Lando Calrissian just gave up on Dancing with the Stars, citing too much back pain from too much dallying with Orion slave girls in copper metal bikinis when last at Disneyworld. The Force was not with him. Neither was his eyesight, as it was hard to distinguish between skin and corrosion.

Maybe that'll be worth a mention later.

Say, if you want, maybe they could dig up some Hilarious Haddock instead. If you ask nice. Or point you to a different Ubuntu release, like Parsimonious Pike.

FCC doubles 5GHz spectrum in prep for one-gigabit Wi-Fi


FCC sez: All Your Hertz Are Belong to US

Somebody set up US Da Bomb.