* Posts by 2+2=5

2216 posts • joined 21 Jan 2014

Hi, I'll be your ransomware negotiator today – but don't tell the crooks that

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Where does the money go?

> "If I'm being totally honest, there's just not a lot of discussion of kind of where the funds go after the fact," he admitted.

Drugs, hookers, yachts - no different than if it were in the CEO's bonus package.

GitLab plans to delete dormant projects in free accounts

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Re: Rome meet fire and Violin.

I presume they're hoping that a decent number of users will re-evaluate their usage and switch to a paid account. The number that do switch will tell them if there is any hope of making the business viable or not.

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Re: A year seems a bit too low... Three years maybe?

> Please supply a link to the GitLab repo for this highly useful project.

It's only a one-liner - just 'host' it here in El Reg's comments. They won't mind!

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

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Re: Does anyone know of the "Solchem" project of the mid 70's sponsored by the US Navy?

> All you have to do is surpress (or drastically reduce) all evaporation of the worlds oceans ...

Hmm. I wonder what side-effect that might have? I'll save that thought for a rainy day...

Apple ends corporate COVID mask mandate

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Can't they just tweak one of the employee phone apps...

Can't they just tweak one of the corporate phone apps to listen-out for the sound of a coffee shop and the words "Large skinny soya decaf..." and respond with an announcement played out loud two minutes later, just as they've settled down at a table, saying: "Well, I see you can find the time to go out and visit a coffee shop, but you can't even pop into the office once in a while."

Microsoft extends life of cloud servers from four to six years

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It's great news!

It's great news! No, seriously, hear me out.

It means that Microsoft has to make future iterations of Windows run efficiently on 6 year old kit.

With luck some of that will filter down onto laptops.


Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you

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Re: Anon CVs

> when I wanted to do apprenticeship (completely new area) and mentioned this and that, including ma, I received an honestly brutal assessment

Including the fact that your mother has approved your search for a new job is likely to result in a "brutally honest assessment" from any recruiter.

Lapping the computer room in record time until the inevitable happens

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Re: (for that is not is not his name)

Ben Hur-tling along in a chair chariot.

Scientists use dead spider as gripper for robot arm, label it a 'Necrobot'

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Re: Rise of the machines?

> the way it leaves no sharp edges at all and the lid doesn't fall in is a great improvement on the old kind

Is the top of the can not sharp though? In the sense of covering a half-used can with clingfilm to put into the fridge and finding the can edge cuts through it?

> and the lid doesn't fall in

You need to practice your edging technique: take a traditional opener, work around the rim and just as everything is about to let go - hold back!

Leave the last 2mm and this makes a hinge that stops the lid falling in. When the can is empty, you just fold the lid down into the can and the sharp edges don't slice your trash bags open when emptying the kitchen bin.

The cans I hate are the ones with a ring pull - you have to remove the whole lid; the edges are razor sharp; it needs a lot of force so risks slopping the contents; and if your fingers are even slightly arthritic you have to buy a helper gadget from a disability shop. :-(

[Icon: an example of produce that comes in cans that no one has a problem opening.]

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Black Helicopters

> Sure it's just an insect

Ahem, arachnid if you don't mind. :-)

[Icon: Warning - dangling spiders ahead!]

BT accused of 'misinformation' campaign ahead of strikes

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Re: CEO Philip Jansen got a 32 percent pay rise to £3.2 million

> why can't the people who do the ACTUAL work get pay rises?

If they actually paid you what you are worth to the company then you might start to think about wanting time off to enjoy the money. They can't allow that because then you wouldn't be earning for them.

MIT, Autodesk develop AI that can figure out confusing Lego instructions

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> otherwise why would this research even be happening?

Seems like an excellent practical topic for AI research. It certainly meets the 'testable' bit of SMART because it can be connected up with a virtual Lego app and actually complete the build.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

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No one has yet asked....

Reading through the comments is interesting and enlightening as usual but no one has yet asked the obvious question: why on earth does it matter to Facebook?

They can't seriously be suggesting that they have all their servers time aligned to the nearest picosecond? They'll be using NTP servers like the rest of us so perhaps all they need is a custom NTP client that can be informed when a leap second is coming-up and apply it as it would any other clock change - either instantaneously or spread slowly over a predefined number of seconds - the smear that they are talking about.

They may well have APIs that are time sensitive - e.g. which distributed DB change happened first - but then if picoseconds matter I suspect they'll find that there are instances where the client they think came second actually tried to make the a connection first (in the real world) but packet collisions and a retry meant it came second.

Is the Apple car real? These patents suggest yes

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Re: Apple car

> But how will they fit the Genius Garage into the mall?

No need for a garage / dealer network: simply trade-in your previous Apple car for a new one when it starts to run slowly, or exhibits faults.

Cheap cellular data list is out: And US doesn't make top 200

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Re: How??

> I'm surprised so many advanced countries are at the bottom of the list and I think taking into account the above, the real situation is many users have cheaper mobile data than the study shows.

That is because they don't appear to take purchasing power into account. So Senegal, for example, might be very cheap but it's still a week's wages in local terms.

Need baby formula? Buy a pregnancy test at Walgreens

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Re: That's poor targeting

The whole story sounds a bit bogus: I've no idea what the shelf life of "baby formula" is but it wouldn't be needed for nine months, at the very least, so hardly a "timely" present.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

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Re: Don't know if it's just that my coffee hasn't kicked in yet...

> You really couldn't make it up. Too good to be true!

Sadly (for the state of average human intelligence) there's no need to make it up because it's all too likely. I give you this real-life example of a budding-genius from the Isle of Man who thought he could get away with notes that had been copied on one side only.


What are server makers really doing to and for the climate?

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In addition, the number of tokens available is reduced each year, meaning they become steadily more expensive.

Steadily more expensive means that companies unable to reduce their CO2 emissions suffer more and more financial pain until they have to change.

The corollary to steadily more expensive is "steadily more valuable" to companies that are able to reduce their CO2 emissions and are, therefore, able to profit from selling their excess permits. This gives an incentive to keep reducing emissions even after they've met their "target".

It's this double incentive that makes pollution permits very effective.

CP/M's open-source status clarified after 21 years

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Re: Which processors?

> and there was a CP/M-86 that shipped on some NECs I remember (were mainly used for pabx management I think.)

I used Concurrent CP/M on 8086 PCs at the Department of Trade and Industry, as was, back in 1986. These were used for office work: so WordStar and a spreadsheet - presumably Lotus 123 - with Epson dot matrix printers.

There were 30-plus machines on a token ring network around the offices over two floors[1] which worked very nicely. My machine had a "huge" 10MB hard drive and doubled-up as the backup file-server. The only time I noticed other users accessing the disk was when the LED came on. And this was "cooperative" multi-tasking which, as we all know, is supposed to be rubbish. Someone forgot to tell Digital Research that.

Some of the secretaries even worked in pairs, sharing a single PC: one used the normal screen and keyboard while the other used a VT220 terminal connected to the serial port, with both running the word-processor simultaneously.

[1] Of Millbank Tower[2]

[2] That was a very nice place to work because we were on the 20th floor, so we had the same views over London as you get nowadays from the London Eye but for free. :-)

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

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Re: Microsoft phone support (baggy-pants edition)

> nor which song.

Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All?

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Re: It's still going on

> When your keyboard selection is wrong, use the ALT number keypad to enter your special character. [ALT]156 is £ in high-bit ASCII. [ALT]35 is #, which is £ in 7-bit ASCII character sets.

Window Key + Space cycles between the installed keyboards on a system, even on the logon screen.

Weird Flex, but OK: Now you can officially turn these PCs, Macs into Chromebooks

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Chromebook -> Linux -> Chromebook Flex?

Can you put Chromebook Flex on a Chromebook in order to bypass the auto-update expiry date?

Supercomputer pinpoints exact origin of 'Black Beauty' meteorite from Mars

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Re: OK, stupid question time

> I call this the "I'm not an expert but I reckon" fallacy.

Which is closely related to the "But have they allowed for X?" comment, where X is usually blindingly obvious but, somehow, they think they have thought of something the scientists involved have missed.

Watch a RAID rebuild or go to a Christmas party? Tough choice

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Re: You should

Bloody Intel - the long ARM of the law would have been a better choice.

Or help from Canada - the Mounties always, er, mount their disks.

Canadian ISP Rogers falls over for hours, takes out broadband, cable, cellphones

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> It’s always that. Or DNS... Or JavaScript... Or...

Except when it's a beaver.


Microsoft splits up Windows Beta Channel Insiders

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Of course!

> build 22622.290 released last night introduces suggest actions (where Windows 11 will suggest making a call or creating a calendar event when copying a number or call respectively

Of course! I'm kicking myself: all these years I've been receiving emails from people and I've never once thought about ringing them up.

W3C overrules objections by Google, Mozilla to decentralized identifier spec

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Re: Forgive me if I'm naive…

> …but how does this improve on PGP's web of trust?

It doesn't. The PGP web of trust means you actually trust (albeit indirectly in many cases) the other party.

Because this new system is blockchain driven, you're not actually being asked to trust that someone is who they claim to be, just being asked to accept that they got control over the 'name' they're using first and can prove it via the BC.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

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Re: Ah, the "good old days" ...

> Anyone but me remember "bursting" mainframe print jobs?

Oh yes. My brother worked as an AS400 operator for a small financial services company. They also had a 8-way or something ridiculous de-collator but they only used 2 or 3 copy printouts. So he worked out that if you used alternate bins, rather than adjacent, it could run a bit faster than normal.

One time he set the thing running, slowly turned the speed controller dial up, got steadily faster until the paper was stacking at incredible speed and then ... whammo! ... suddenly it would all go wrong and paper and carbon paper would go everywhere as you raced for the stop button. :-)

He also experienced that classic: set off a batch job; went home to get something to eat; came back later in the evening to finish the job and burst the printouts only to find the cleaner had unplugged something important.

Intel ships crypto-mining ASIC at the worst possible time

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Re: The sooner, the better

> as introduced by Reagan /Thatcher

Hey, I lived through the Reagan / Thatcher years and I can assure you they did not invent crony capitalism - that long predated them.

Running DOS on 64-bit Windows and Linux: Just because you can

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> 2. Release it publicly before anyone could plagiarize so the person who did the work gets the credit. This could be a commercial publishing if you can convince a publisher, but it could be as simple as uploading it to a website. If you don't want to maintain a website, there are library/archive sites willing to do the hosting and presentation

SocArXiv is an ArXiv-like service but covering the Humanities that he could publish his research to.


The work can still be stolen of course but proving plagiarism will be a lot simpler than referencing a book published in a single library.

PowerShell pusher to log off from Microsoft: Write-Host "Bye bye, Jeffrey Snover"

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Re: Enjoy your retirement Jeffrey

> I'm taking the summer off and starting a new gig in Sept.

Perhaps you can persuade Apple to sort themselves out, what with AppleScript being left to languish; then Automator supposedly being a fresh new start, only to also be abandoned; then Shortcuts which is trailblazing only because it's been abandoned on both iOS and MacOS. <sigh>

They must be due a new one by now?

US seeks exascale systems 10 times faster than current state-of-the-art computers

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Power envelope

> Any such supercomputer will be expected to operate within a power envelope of 20-60MW, according to the DoE.

Damn. I have the perfect solution but it only consumes 5MW.... Guess I'll just have to no bid and try selling to $other_country instead.

Not much of this actually from 'China anymore,' says Northern Light Motors boss

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Re: Luggage size?

> I'm not sure of the appeal of the recumbent design

It's a nonsense design - there're plenty of electric bicycles that are either faster, or have longer range, or are more suited to transporting kids/goods/luggage. And there are electric scooters (think Lambrettas, not skateboards with a handle) which are faster and cheaper.

It's just an electric recumbent with a fairing.

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Re: "a 1.5kw hub motor and 48 volt 20AH battery"

> Can you factor elevation and luggage into those calculations?

Yes. Less than about 30 miles round-trip.

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Not much of this actually from 'China anymore'

Not much of this actually from 'China anymore' ... except that 'roof' which is clearly just an upturned wok.

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

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Re: Check you can complete before you start

> *) Hand in your paper to the examiner.

> To get full marks you have to not answer any of the questions.

Also, to get full marks, presumably you have to ask the invigilator where the examiner might be found in order to hand it to them personally?

Cloudflare's outage was human error. There's a way to make tech divinely forgive

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Re: beckups

> Did anyone else stop at that point then read the rest of the article with a posh accent?

I got as far as edge lords of large chunks of web content and started to wonder if there was some Glastonbury-related inspiration to his writing?

Ubuntu Touch OTA-23 is coming: Do you have one of the older model phones that can test it?

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Re: Great, and with so much potential

> But, nearly a decade later, I still covet Mark Shuttleworth's dream of Convergence : smartphones are getting ever more powerful, such that we are at a point where it's possible to do desktop processing on them.

Me too. It would be great to just carry a phone to a client instead of a laptop. The failure, as I see it now, was that there was far too much focus on fancy docks that phone manufacturers thought people would queue-up to pay large sums for.

Maybe if they now accept that convergence is a feature that needs to work with nothing more than some sort of USB hub (for the external screen and keyboard) then the idea might take off.

Of course, you'd need to disable JavaScript and Facebook to regain enough CPU power...

If you didn't store valuable data, ransomware would become impotent

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So instead of...

So instead of holding all your customer's data centrally the idea is to store it de-centrally and somehow this protects from ransomeware attacks?

1) Ransomeware will evolve to encrypt the remotely held data.

2) The author assumes that the only valuable data a business has is its customer database. What about payroll, tax payments, bank information, product designs, supplier contacts and details etc.? There's plenty of data that a business needs to survive which is not linked to customers.

Halfords suffers a puncture in the customer details department

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Re: Subhead

Also The Cars:

You can't go on. Thinking nothing's wrong, but now. Who's gonna dox your home. Tonight?

A miserable work week spent toiling inside 'the metaverse'

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But... but... but...

... I've seen Minority Report - surely all you have to do is stand in front of a VR screen, swipe your arm in a dramatic gesture from right to left and your day's work is done?

[Icon: warning sticker to stop you walking into a screen you can't see!]

RISC OS: 35-year-old original Arm operating system is alive and well

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Re: Some features i would like today

> All paths should be of the form

> machine::device:[directory.subdirectory.subsubdirectory.etc]filename.extension;version

> with especial emphasis on the version number.

Close. It should be something more like:


i.e. addressed by a service name and you don't care where or which machine it is on.

Even better would be to give every file a unique id - an inode on steroids - and then the translation of whatever the user wishes to use to represent that file into the uuid can be done by a local service. That service can appear as a traditional hierarchical file system; or it could be shown as a skeuomorphic representation of a library with books on shelves; or even as a messy desk that you have to leaf through. The advantage being that I'll still be able to find a file that I created months earlier, even after various managers and project management office staff have "efficiently re-organised" the project's file system.

Versioning with a 7 - 10 year retention should be enough to deal with most accidental deletions and editing screw-ups. ;-)

Microsoft pulls Windows 10/11 installation websites in Russia

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Re: I resisted for all of 20 seconds

Reminds me of the old joke: What's 100 yards long, has 100 pairs of legs and eats potatoes? Answer: a meat queue in Russia.

Password recovery from beyond the grave

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Re: The Real Hero of the Story

> The receptionist who, as one of their parting thoughts, wrote l down that password.

But also told her friend: only give it to Mark if he turns up to my funeral?!?

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"Bingo!" Mark told us,

> "Bingo!" Mark told us,

That's quite an obvious password, I'm surprised he didn't try it earlier.

If you're using older, vulnerable Cisco small biz routers, throw them out

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Specific input

> A remote user could exploit the flaw "by entering a specific input on the login page of the affected device,"

"Open sesame"?

Bill Gates says NFTs '100% based on greater fool theory' amid crypto cataclysm

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You're all wrong

You're all wrong. I find NFTs are perfect for moving tax losses around my various offshore companies. So easy to create the exact value required without having the bore of actually going to an art gallery and pretending to like the thing you're buying. Even worse is when the artist wants to meet you.

Concerns that £360m data platform for NHS England is being set up to fail

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Black Helicopters

Re: Purpose = profit

> Or simply a hostile state like Russia could buy the database / access and mine to find a weak spot in the population, then create a chemical compound that could exacerbate it and add it to food products or deliver in other ways to create a full blown health crisis.

McDonalds are way ahead of you.

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

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Oi! Big ears...

Under the new rules, manufacturers wishing to sell smartphones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles, and portable speakers (charged via wired cable) in the single market will have to ensure they are equipped with a USB Type-C port.

Those are going to be pretty big earbuds if each has to be be big enough to incorporate a USB-C socket.

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

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Re: Smells and not of whisky...

If there was a leak of liquid oxygen then the bull would be Friesian!!


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