* Posts by DNTP

726 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jan 2014


MPs slam UK.gov's 'unacceptable' hoarding of custody images


Re: these things are illegal

Well Adam, it appears that you just admitted to having the means, motive, and opportunity to commit any number of serious crimes. You're staying in the picture database mister, we've got you dead to rights.


Well obviously a simple SQL statement like this won't fix the problem, because no one is STATUS=Innocent.

The only allowable values, in terms of the police state, are Guilty, NotGuiltySoFar, and InadequatelyProsecuted. Everyone is guilty of something, and for most people, the cops either just haven't found it yet or simply don''t feel that it's worth the time to do the paperwork.

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened


Re: Changing my name to Cassandra

I had a moment of confusion here: Alexa, Cortana, Siri, wtf is a Cassandra and what device activates by accident when you say that name?

And then I was like, "oh wait."

Black Helicopters

You install a device that records everything it hears

And then it records everything it hears.

Black helicopters because obviously there is a great mystery going on here.

'Clive, help us,' say empty-handed ZX Spectrum reboot buyers


Just disappointed

That they didn't go with CliveHelp.us

Undocumented alien caught stealing orbits in our Solar System


Re: anything's possible

What other posters are hinting at is ultimately the "Interplanetary Transport Network", which is a grandiose way to describe replacing propellant expenditure with computational power. The theory behind the ITN is that due to the transient stability of a Lagrange point halo orbit, a very small dV can define a wide range of exit trajectories. If any of those trajectories intersect a Lagrange point somewhere else, then the spacecraft can jump between points at extremely low cost. This is one of the possible mechanisms for explaining how natural objects (which have, in a human sense, no controllable thrust) wind up in retrograde or other weird orbits to begin with.

The downside: To get between planets might take centuries. Part of this is because possible trajectories don't always intersect a useful destination until planets/moons align in the right place. The other reason is that drifting between points is extremely slow compared to high energy 'conic' travel.


An object in retrograde orbit has so much relative velocity relative to Earth that it might just be one of the most difficult possible destinations in solar orbit to reach. Earth orbits at 30km/sec. Roughly speaking, all that velocity has to be neutralized. Then the probe has to catch up with the retrograde target, however fast that happens to be moving. This is either going to take a huge, massive rocket, probably huger than anything humanity has put into space before. Or a centuries-long journey through, possibly, Jupiter's Lagrange points on a low-energy complex trajectory.

The alternative to all that is a close encounter at a minimum of 13km/sec (~Jupiter distance velocity, probe at aphelion of prograde orbit), with a tiny, cold object that you're passing on a prograde trajectory while it's going the other way. Not much of a mission if all you have time for is a single blurry picture.

You're toxic, I'm slippin' under: SCL, Cambridge Analytica file for US bankruptcy


Re: Poor Cambridge University

My company is in Cambridge (MA) right now. Everything is chaos because of this taint by association. Companies left and right are going out of business. Rioters are in the streets attacking innocents with keyboards and throwing UPS batteries at cars. Cats and dogs are living together. The government has completely shut down all utilities. Finland is not a country. All lines of communication and transit to the rest of the world are being cut off as we speak. Teams of blackops agents are tracking Wi-Fi signals and arresting all remaining

Did you even sweat, tho? Plaintiffs told to amend claims in Apple headphones suit


"lost faith in their ability to rely on... marketing"

What is this magical, legendary ability to rely on marketing for that they speak of.

Astroboffins find most distant source of oxygen in the universe


Only the first 25 elements past hydrogen are produced in stars. All the other naturally occurring elements were made from supernova events.

Still, the early universe must have been a hot, busy place. The only modern phenomenon that approaches this kind of frenetic thermodynamic activity is venture capital money being burned by startups.

OnePlus smartmobe brand modelled on 'a religion', founder admits


Re: Smashed Apple Fanbois

WAY back in 2001, my friend got his foot run over by a mail cart when we were standing in line at the local Apple store for the OSX launch event, does that count?

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb


Have you ever dealt with a younger brother freaking out at you via text message that his phone is almost out of power, he is expecting an important call regarding a law school interview in an hour, and is perturbed that you can't help him recharge his phone from two states away since he doesn't carry a USB cable?

"Stop texting me and put your phone on standby!" is apparently considered an emotionally insensitive response in this situation.

Hacking train Wi-Fi may expose passenger data and control systems


Simple way to break/brake a train using WiFi

Obtain a burner phone or mobile hotspot. Set up a discoverable WLAN named something threatening like "Bonmb on Trian". Wait until someone sees it on their phone. During the chaos of the emergency evacuation, lift some wallets or something.

If a single wifi device can take planes out of the sky, it'll shut down a train. And when somebody does this in a plane or airport out of reckless stupidity or thinking its a great prank, the authorities usually can't even figure out who did it!

Disclaimer: don't actually do this.

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year


Remember that old doctor joke

"Hello! You're my first patient- Ever!"

And that's why I'm flat out not riding in the "first" self-driving car.

Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed


When you're a DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) specialist

And also play DnD.

Or when your technical support number is one digit off from the baby emergency ward and all your calls, computer or postnatal, open with "Hey, this baby's having some problems."

Microsoft reckons devs would like an AI Clippy to help them write code


"Hello it looks like you are writing code...

...let me autocorrect arrays to start at 1 instead of 0, insert a currency symbol next to every floating point number and round the decimal to the hundredths place, every instance of / to a random longform date, and every American spelling to its English equivalent."

The Sun will blow up into a huge, glowing bubble of gas during its death


Re: Star-lifting

I once had a shower thought: "Why don't we just mine hydrogen from the sun and use it for fusion power?" and then realized that we were already doing that and it's called solar panels.


Re: Forestry

Forestry is forbidden under Elven law since everything runs on nature magic and doesn't need your help. For your crimes you are sentenced to be drafted into the Elven Army, 10th Stylist Regiment, the "Beautiful Corps".


Tolkien Elf Warrior Hairstyle Logic:

If you don't get to live forever, at least try to leave a beautiful corpse.

Hacking charge dropped against Nova Scotia teen who slurped public records from the web


I would say recycle those officials and turn them into capacitors and batteries, but unfortunately we shouldn't do that, because these people charge incorrectly and then the charge doesn't stick.


I got the next one

Let's find someone using tee instead of > and prosecute them for terrorism, because when you can see output in stdout instead of just invisibly writing to a file it looks a lot scarier, like something a hacker terrorist would do to scare people. That makes about as much sense as this case.

Mystery crapper comes a cropper

IT Angle

Just another high level government official

literally taking a dump on the public school system.

(IT? badge for emergency downloading)

Edit: I am now going to refer to The 2nd Act as "doin' a DeVos"

Twitter: No big deal, but everyone needs to change their password


Industry Standard

"...This is an industry standard," Agrawal said of the non-functioning security feature.

1: If this was an intentional joke from The Reg, it's freaking genius, because 2: I suspect its mostly true.

45-day drone flights? You are like a little baby. How about a full YEAR?


Re: The important question is

As wide as 2.8 non-articulated city buses are long, 1.1 times the width of a Catalina flying boat, 20.6 Smoots.

Texas residents start naming adopted drains


The Fred Durst Waterway Mangement Research Institute

Just continuing the trend of naming stuff that matters after this dude.

Supercycle to su-'meh'-cycle: Apple iPhone warehouses heave with unsold Notches


Myabe, just maybe, sales analysts should look at the data and then make a prediction, instead of coming up with a prediction and then cherry-picking or hallucinating the data points to support it.

Yes, all these people with dozens of old models of phones purchased in a distribution over the last decade and who mostly seem phone-satisfied (despite tons of opportunities to get new phones with great deals on the market right now), are simultaneously going to upgrade to the new model at exactly the same time because it's a "flagship" or "X" edition that manages to be more expensive than any other phone while bringing nothing really new or novel to the market. And there's a phenomenon for this, its called a "supercycle", which is apparently shorthand for "the only way I can get what I want is by extrapolating far outside reasonable bounds."

Graphene-wrangler Paragraf slurps a cool £2.9m


Your pint is mostly hydrogen and oxygen by mass, though I'll admit that without bits of organic carbon, and inorganic fizzy carbon, it would be just flat, salty water.

North will remain North for now, say geo-magnetic boffins


Re: But even if this would happen...

One of the things keeping satellites, such as the GPS system, functioning is the natural protective effect of the Earth's magnetic field. Most simulations of pole flip events conclude that there will be a lengthy (in human terms) weakening or loss of that protective effect


There is no pole flip.

˙ǝuıɟ sı ƃuıɥʇʎɹǝʌE

Failbreak: Bloke gets seven years in the clink for trying to hack his friend out of jail


Re: I shouldn't be thanking this guy

Well yes that's the other lesson but I'm not going to be going over that with my users.


I shouldn't be thanking this guy

But I will anyway, and here's why: What he did, how it was done, and why he did it are all easily understandable by the working public and can easily be explained to an audience. The how and why of large-scale national news hacks against targets like Equifax or Sony are hard to break down in simple terms for a nontechnical audience, and lets face it- they are boring because finance and corporate espionage are boring.

Opening an educational presentation on IT security with "This is a story about a guy who tried to hack the police to get his friend out of jail, and how he nearly succeeded" gets people's attention. Then they are ready to be taken through how each step was done, how each simple vulnerability was targeted, and how they can recognize these things in the future. Voits deserves to go to prison for sure, but by making the news he gives those of us trying to instill basic computer security measures a great case study.

Mannequin Skywalker takes high ground on Bezos-backed rocket


What are they compensating for

A lack of government interest in developing reusable platforms to low orbit.

Exposing 145m Equifax customer deets: $240m. Legal fees: $28.9m. Insurance: Priceless


"Rebuilding customer trust"

Just a reminder that in this Brave New Business Model these parasitic aggregators are adopting, individual persons with their personal information are not the 'customers'. They/we are the products.

Noise from blast of gas destroys Digiplex data depot disk drives


Re: It's a gas, man

My personal gas cylinder secured next to my lab bench is argon, analytic grade, 1500psi/100bar at full.

On an "off day" I gave my sequencing tech the full and empty tank masses, the speed of sound in argon gas, and challenged us to calculate the ideal delta-v of that tank as a mathematical exercise.

It was around 80mph/130kph. For a five foot tall steel pressure tank. We did not verify the calculation experimentally because we would rather have two jobs and zero new round windows.

AMD CEO Su: We like GPU crypto-miners but gamers are first priority


Re: whether/weather

that's the joke...


Re: Grammar

Please correct the run-on sentence that concludes your comment, by dividing it into two sentences or structuring it with appropriate punctuation. The esteemed company found on these forums shouldn't have to whether such shabby commentating.

When tyrants pull on their jackboots to stamp out free speech online, they reach for... er, a Canadian software biz?


There must be an important distinction

Between producing a piece of software, or technology, that has legitimate useful purpose but can be used to cause harm in the wrong hands, versus a company that develops software specifically for the purposes of bad actors. Encryption and Tor are obvious examples of the former, but anything can be misused- the North Korean government has its own Linux distribution, which presumably they are not using in a purpose consistent with human rights- and no one is calling for Torvald's head because of that.

I'm not actually sure which is the case here with Netsweeper. While in an ideal world we would accept that open access to information is a basic human right, there does seem to be a legitimate use for private parties supplying access to their employees or students to be able to limit content for productivity or safety, and perhaps Netsweeper is simply meeting that need.

Medic! Orangeworm malware targets hospitals worldwide


Re: Windows

Or they include a *nix box that can be networked to many instruments, that locally serves browser pages to users. I like this approach better than the 'one instrument, one PC'. You don't need to screw around with trying to teach Linux to people who barely can handle Win7, and it's easier for the admin (or support engineer) to maintain remotely.


If I had a nickel for every time someone said "why can't we replace this broken PC/run it off a virtual machine", I'd be able to replace every spectrometer in the lab.

Worst case: The physical board inside the PC dates from 1992, uses a completely proprietary connector to the instrument itself, was only ever made by the OEM, was discontinued in 1993, has six soldered connections to the PC's motherboard, and there are no drivers available for anything later than Win XP (which are just buggy ports of the Win95 drivers anyway).

Best case: Replacing a PC yourself would invalidate the support contract on the instrument that costs $17,000 per anum, and the software license isn't transferable between computers anyway.

Please, please stop telling me "PCs are generic/Virtual machine everything." I know how to do those things; if it could be done, I would have done it already; the older and more expensive the instrument the more obstacles it has to simple PC swapping.

Donkey Wrong: Arcade legend Billy Mitchell booted from record books amid MAME row


Re: Original Hardware?


And then you beg one of the Nerd Rules nerds for whatever is their version of a parity check.

UK rocket-botherers rattle SABRE, snaffle big bucks


Re: That's good, but...

SABRE has already been stolen from you guys and successfully commercialized for use by one of the most famous companies in Mexico. I am of course referring to SQUAD and their Kerbal Space Program SABRE knockoff, the RAPIER (Reactive Alternate Propellant Intelligent Engine for Rockets). Then it was ripped off again by myself, personally, in the USA, to produce the JASPRE (Joint Alternate-Sourced Propellant Rocket Engine) for my KSP mod.

Sorry for stealing your stuff Britain, I didn't mean to hurt you that much, if you're in Boston I'll buy you a coke.

What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently


Re: At the risk of becoming tiresome...

Computers are like clotheswashers; you need to be able to figure out what you need to have happen, read a basic bit of information off a clothes tag or manual page, and make some decisions about putting in the correct settings. A mistake will cost a lot of money at worst but generally not death like can happen with cars.

OK, lets poll my laptop's saved Wi-Fi credentials. Parent's WiFi? Verizon default. Work network? Unchanged since 2012. Friend's house? Another ISP default. Yep.

Edit: wow the guy above me posted about washing machines a few minutes before I wrote this.

'Housemate from hell' catches 24 new charges after alleged nightmare cyberstalking spree


Sigh, Newton's in the news again...

Newton MA is one of the best places to live, but every time it makes the national news it's always weird, messed up stuff like this. We had that British nanny shaking a baby to death in 1997, and that messed up senior scavenger hunt prank in 2002... and that's how people think of Newton internationally.

Want to terrify a city with an emergency broadcast? All you need is a laptop and $30


ATI systems?

Should have gone with NVidia.

Imagine you're having a CT scan and malware alters the radiation levels – it's doable


I have been in this exact situation many times- an instrument that costs as much as a house running off a fifteen year old PC running XP, and wondering why we couldn't have a cold standby. It's not as easy as you think, or as it should be, because it's not just a PC.

Sometimes its custom interface boards with proprietary serial connectors that were only produced by the OEM fifteen years ago, no one has made any new ones in the last fifteen years, and no one has spare parts. These days when everything runs off Ethernet or USB (thank god) its more likely to be a software licensing issue.

I wish it were as simple as 'clone hard disk, swap into old Dell, run instrument' but that is really not possible most of the time.

Nope, you're still a transport biz, top EU court tells Uber


Re: Well so much for my latest back of the napkin idea

Edit: I'm redacting this comment after my coworker said, "WTF, don't make that joke."

UK 'wife'-carrying champion named


The only thing I carry

Is my random "World of Tanks" teammates.

That kinda explains why my "has_wife" flag is set to 0, and more or less locked on read-only.

Ass-troplastic! Printing parts from p.. er... human waste


Re: American chocolate

We're used to the important stuff being made out of shit these days so it's perversely comforting. You know, like our private health insurance companies, our chocolate, and our president.


Re: Plopellent

Anything is a rocket propellant if you can fire it out the back door, the faster the better of course. Now that's not as simple as loading the poor astros' up on Taco Bell and having them point ass out the rear airlock, but fermenting waste into methane and other VOCs, introducing oxygen, and letting it go bang in a rocket chamber might be a reasonably energetic chemical mix.

Given the practical size requirements of a spacecraft designed to support extended human life, I don't think the residents could produce enough solid waste to gain useful delta-v. And of course throwing chemically useful material out of a closed environmental system sounds like a waste of, umm... waste.

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs


If you can't say 'fuck'

You can't say 'fuck Microsoft'.

People in the medical field use technically correct words for body parts in a clinical context which of course Microsoft will completely fail to consider. I am reminded of a prospective prenatal medicine student from a 'traditional' Asian culture; he simply couldn't bring himself to use any word associated with the female reproductive system.