* Posts by michael cadoux

46 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jul 2007

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

michael cadoux

Re: The US can't be too careful

How many bankruptcies is it now? Plus the recent judgement about Trump University. And goodness knows why Deutsche Bank, without whom he would probably be panhandling, has kept him afloat - except that they're a bunch of crooks on their own account ...

michael cadoux

Re: Good luck

Also way back by passport refusal/confiscation if you were seen as troublesome, e.g. Paul Robeson because he loudly objected to racism.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

michael cadoux

Re: Good article. Assuming TheRegister is clean with our data.

That was both lazy and unwary! You must have known there are umpteen listings of his porkies.

Cosmoboffins think grav waves hold the key to sorting out the disputed Hubble Constant

michael cadoux


There's no need to invoke something external for the universe to expand into. Our universe is probably finite but unbounded. Imagine 2D creatures exploring the surface of a sphere. Keeping on the same bearing, they will eventually return to their starting point; go where they may, there's no boundary.

We are 3D creatures, perhaps on the surface of a hypersphere, and would experience the same if we tried to cross the universe: there's no boundary for us to find, and a constant bearing would bring us home, but arriving from the opposite direction we started with.

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge

michael cadoux

Watchers are from opposing political parties, so anything that an accredited watchers from Party A might wink at would likely be picked up on by a watcher from parties B or C.

Roskosmos admits that Soyuz 'meteorite' hole had more earthly origins

michael cadoux

Re: Interstellar metal worms

Is that the one where somebody has to put a bumcheek against the hole because the depressurisation is so rapid?

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

michael cadoux

Maybe future phones won't even have the facility to switch off location tracking!

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

michael cadoux

Space race

We developed a technically superb aircraft that had no chance of paying its way, but closed down our successful space programme because Ministers couldn't see any prospect of commercial return, and that just a few years before Telstar. UK satellite Prospero still bleeps forlornly in orbit. Oh well, we're back in the space industry, but only after 40 years of lost opportunities and worldwide competition.

UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'

michael cadoux

Top down or bottom up?

I would like to think that the people tasked with actually coding and implementing the changes had been asked whether that was feasible in the timescale. However, if so, it would sadly be a rarity; usually the managers emerge from a meeting where it's all been sewn up, and the luckless techies are told to be positive and just have it ready it by a prescribed date.

My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

michael cadoux

Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

Indeed! And when I did overnight mainframe support, a modem was as fast as broadband (at least in terms of conveying data effectively to the human eye) because each screenful was only 1,920 8-bit bytes plus a few for header and trailer.

michael cadoux

Re: A solution

After the previous failures of his other advice, he must have worked out that stale electricity was a reason the users would respect and obey

'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

michael cadoux

Wish I didn't

I looked up "felching" recently, then wished I hadn't - enough to put you off your food, let alone off sex. It was much the same when, as an innocent 37-year-old, somebody explained "fisting" to me. Nowt as queer as fowk.

Merry Christmas, UK prosecutors: Here's a special gift... a slap from the privacy watchdog

michael cadoux


It's that managementspeak word! Often misapplied after some snafu, when the organisation claims to have "robust systems in place" - well they obviously weren't robust enough, mate. Also, it's not enough to draw up policies and then (like pointy-hair to Dilbert) say "well I've done my bit, why can't you?"

"Robust" shouldn't be treated like a magical incantation, it must be do-able by the poor sods on the ground, in this case without the time required compromising judicial work.

'It's back to the drawing board...' Innocent axions found not guilty of dark matter crimes

michael cadoux

More ordinary matter found - dark, not Dark

So, semi-undetectable filaments connecting galaxies. Also recently more dwarf galaxies than previously detected. I'm sure there will be more such discoveries of dark non-Dark Matter, hence the "need" for DM - or the size of MOND adjustments - will correspondingly shrink.


michael cadoux

Re: Modified Newtonian Dynamics

Not cesium, I was referring to strontium (optical lattice) clocks, accurate to within 1 second over 15 billion years. This has even shows relativistic differences comparing 2 clocks in the same room, one a few centimetres higher than the other.

michael cadoux

Modified Newtonian Dynamics

There may indeed be Dark Matter, but the only reason to invoke it is to explain observed galactic/stellar rotations that aren't consistent with Newton's inverse-square law. Why are the various MOND theories so unfashionable?

Surely very slight tweaking of low-acceleration gravitation on cosmological scales is more in accordance with Occam's Razor, all the more so as gravity is far harder to measure experimentally than subatomic phenomena, which can give staggering accuracy .e.g. clocks accurate to a few seconds over the lifetime of the universe.

Report: Underwater net cables are prime targets for terrorists and Russia

michael cadoux

Question: would a high-strength permanent magnet have any effect on a fibre-optic cable?

michael cadoux

Re: Perfectly true

Quite true, look how abandoned fair-sized "ghost ships" can still disappear for months, until they run aground somewhere.

Possible cut to British F-35 order considered before Parliament

michael cadoux

Has anyone noticed that when (or do I mean if?) our aircraft carriers finally get some F 35s, the Pratt & Whitney engines will be serviced in ... go on, have a guess ... yes, NATO country ... no, they'll be serviced in ... Turkey. Friendly, stable Turkey. Think about the possible geopolitics a few years hence when Erdogan either blows his top and stomps out of "the west", or is deposed by somebody even worse, take your pick. YFG.

Users shop cold-calling telco to ICO: 'She said she was from Openreach'

michael cadoux

Re: Another problem is with Number withheld

In fact most places with a switchboard e.g your child's school. I have some sympathy with them, since all public services are financially stretched to breaking point these days. But usually they leave a voice message, so no harm done.

RBS sharpens axe again: 900 IT jobs to go by 2020

michael cadoux

I've seen hollowing out and offshoring. On one system I looked to 3 sysprogs for support, 1 with 20 years' experience, the other 2 about 6; fire the 20-year expensive guy, and surprise! the others then took twice as long to help because no quick guidance for them any more. But managers can't see that. In another shop, all sysprog roles "transferred" (only 2 actually moved) from local to HQ. Rang for some CICS support/tweaks: "I've no idea about any of your systems up there" -and I sympathised, there had been no knowledge transfer to speak of - I told the responsible manager (you can see why I never progressed!) that I had witnessed the final local week with documentation going into black bags and then into the bin to clear the shelves. Boy, was he not interested, but I'm sure "successful transfer" (he'd done zilch) was on his CV.

First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

michael cadoux

As a newbie I was given some JCL to test a program change and specifically assured that it only read a more-than-usually important database, used in thousands (literally, it was a large company) of jobs. After 2 or 3 runs I noticed that the output showed a run number that increased by 1 each time and reported it, only to be told that was impossible as my Dev sign-on didn't have update authority. Oh dearie me. Turned out there'd been a special dispensation for another project to update using Dev sign-ons, and the authorisation hadn't been cancelled.

My supervisor was visibly worrying about whether he'd keep his job! Luckily what I was running didn't update client data, only the run number for audit.

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

michael cadoux

Re: "coffee please"

Echoes of HHG's Nutrimatic Drink Machine!

Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

michael cadoux

This is scarcely even negative INERTIAL mass. We don't know whether negative mass in the sense of bending space in the opposite way from ordinary mass (i.e. gravity) is possible. Which is a shame, as it's a necessity for the Alcubierre drive.

Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

michael cadoux

Re: 6 points on your license

I remember a news item about a woman who did that ON HER OWN DRIVEWAY and some passing youth jumped in the car and drove off. So as well as getting out (possibly in pouring rain) you'd have to take the key out of the ignition.

(All that said, I've always had only manual opening garage doors, but not lived in areas where the bad stuff happens)

Fire alarm sparked data centre meltdown emergency

michael cadoux

Okay this was early 1980s: the Doomsday Button was fairly high on the wall, and surrounded by a casing - but without a front face. Somebody (no really not me, not guilty) still managed to stick his elbow into it ("How did you even manage that without being 7 feet tall?"). Fire suppression system activated, power off, evacuate before room filled with some retardant gas ...

UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments

michael cadoux

Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

Nobody has blocked Brexit, despite the hysterical frothing by Murdoch, Desmond and Rothermere papers lying about the judgement. Brexit won't even be delayed unless May plays silly beggars. She can schedule Parliamentary time for debates on how to go about it, followed by voting on a resolution or by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act.

The principle of the sovereignty of Parliament (now remind me who kept on about "Take Back Control"?) was asserted by chopping off Charles I's head in 1649, then telling William & Mary to mind their Ps and Qs because Parliament was supreme by passing the Bill of Rights in 1689. The Executive should be accountable to Parliament.

CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics

michael cadoux

Re: Next question...

You're right. The experiment - which I fully expect to confirm "fall down" - has not yet been successfully executed. Shouldn't be too long though.

China launches quantum satellite to test spooky action at a distance

michael cadoux

Re: Quantum mechanics for Gnomes.

Not comparable. The shoes are definitely left and right, but neither photon has a definite state. Until one is measured, each is in quantum superposition.

Incidentally, I assume that photons are sent to the satellite, as the first poster's point about entanglement not surviving launch is surely valid?

Thousands cut off from email after EE bungles domain renewal

michael cadoux

as per usual

As an olde-tyme mainframe contractor, I enjoyed the countdown on "Your licence for this product expires in xx days" warnings. Then came a last-minute managerial scrabble for renewal - though too late in one case, so the only organisation I ever worked in that had somebody actually tasked with maintaining licences was AFTER a cock-up.

Scotland to test mobe signals slammer jammer

michael cadoux

Yes, let's get something useful from GCHQ's expertise! Plus issue warders with scanners.

NatWest 'spam' email cockup got me slapped with late payment fee, says angry Reg reader

michael cadoux


"the problem could only be fixed if he contacted the business and they would then escalate it." I did back-office tech support for many years, and I would never have left things like this - I would contact the business myself and make sure I'd found the right person. But yes, sadly I did come across this attitude.

The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament

michael cadoux

"given the threat the UK faces ..." begins one post above. Why are WE particularly at risk from Iran etc, whereas Spain, Italy, Brazil, Turkey, Germany - to name but a few of the world's non-nuclear nations - don't feel the need? Also I remember being repeatedly and scornfully told in the 70s & 80s that no nation would ever divest itself of nuclear weapons. When the USSR collapsed, every constituent republic - even those with mad dictators like Byelorus and Uzbekistan - swiftly handed the weapons on their soil over to Russia, partly for practical reasons but also realising that they're militarily useless.

'Leccy-starved Reg hack: 'How I survive on 1.5kW'

michael cadoux

1.5 kw? Luxury!

Ask a boater how it's done. But I have to admit to using other people's washing machines!

Boffins boost fuel-cell future with 'nanowire forest'

michael cadoux

co-operate with nature

Rather than nanowires which have to be manufactured from extracted ores (as pointed out above), how about persuading biology to do it for us? A good use of GM.

Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

michael cadoux

0845 not local BT call

0845 is not only "excluded from operator bundles", it's not charged as a local call from BT's own phone kiosks. Poor show!

UK agent leaves secret drugs info on bus

michael cadoux


1) Being as described, how come she was anywhere outside the GCHQ building? As pointed out, other heads should roll. We don't want lovely people on these operations, just grim-mouthed anal-retentives :-)

2) Though I generally believe in open government, this loss should not have been published - if the baddies didn't get the stick straight off, they know about it now and have probably laid hands on it by fair means or foul.

US mums sue anti-sexting crusader

michael cadoux


Yes there's a spectrum, but the foolish children featured surely haven't got anywhere near the criminal offence part. I'm sure the parents do think the girls were wrong, talk about sledgehammer to crack a nut!

Networked radar barrage balloons pass milestone

michael cadoux

blue sky thought

Even in face of a specific terrorist threat, I suppose it's not feasible for these blimps to be tethered as an aircraft deterrent in themselves? Or (even wilder) drop down weighted monofilament netting beneath two or more when a threat is detected?

Teen-bothering sonic device now does grownups too

michael cadoux

mozart, please

The "anti-youth" version almost sounds (!) okay until you start thinking about it - what about dogs, often left tied up outside? And babies?

Barry Manilow is a bit harsh, I'd prefer Mozart but if that fails, Kiri Te Kanawa should see them off. If nothing else works, Mahler - but that would give me seizures, so only as a last resort.

I've read that painting street furniture pink is effective for obvious macho reasons.

British pilots ramp up opposition to ID cards

michael cadoux

The Great and Wondrous Scheme

"...benefits from the Scheme can be realised...”

Note the capitalisation of "Scheme" - a minor but significant step to the Scheme becoming a good and a goal in itself, rather than a means to benefit humanity.

BBC's TV detector vans to remain a state secret

michael cadoux

TVLA myth?

"Although it is technically quite easy to detect a working TV, many people believe the vans only exist as an imaginary deterrent."

Whose comment is that? If true, then surely it's in TVLA's interest to release the info to disabuse "many people", and hence increase deterrence?

Wiggy scuffle pampernaut lawyers back in court

michael cadoux


"antagonist", not protagonist. Oh dear, being precise, that must make me a sad inadequate.

Mobe operators warn of ruin if regulators set roaming charges

michael cadoux

poor lambs

The telcos bleat for sympathy against ruination. Always remember J.K. Galbraith's observation that during WW2 when in charge of US procurement he was constantly petitioned by captains of industry for increased prices, crying they would otherwise be ruined. He always said no, and they never were.

NXP sues to silence Oyster researchers

michael cadoux


Couldn't the uni give NPX an advance copy of its paper with a 3-month deadline after which it will be openly published?

'Suspicious looking' man hauled off translatlantic flight

michael cadoux


Mr Matthews (Screams of Racism) has chosen not to post again. If you've now updated yourself, Mr Matthews, it would be interesting to hear your reaction to the facts that have emerged, and why you still believed persiflage that was initially peddled, but then withdrawn and apologised for, by the police.