* Posts by W T Riker

43 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2014

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

W T Riker

Re: Sigh.

Failed my first test for not making "reasonable progress". In mitigation it was 4pm on Christmas Eve in the East End of London and full of black cabs.

LCD pwn System: How to modulate screen brightness to covertly transmit data from an air-gapped computer... slowly

W T Riker

Timex/Microsoft Datalink watch

Sounds a bit like the Timex/Microsoft Datalink watch from 1994, where a series of flashing horizontal lines on a CRT monitor were sensed by an optical sensor on the watch.

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games

W T Riker

Re: AKA Libertarians

When I started as a Software Engineer (yes I have an Engineering Degree - Electronics and a Physics Degree), I applied for a Mortgage and the Mortgage Adviser put "Soft Ware Engineer". I assume that meant I engineered soft wearable clothing like woolly jumpers, socks and scarves.

Bloodhound gang hits 1,010kph, retreats to lab to work on smashing the land speed record

W T Riker

The downhill gravity racer was the best when he got a tank slapper (it was filled with water ballast). He crashed and rolled at about 85mph.

UK Home Office: We will register thousands of deactivated firearms with no database

W T Riker

True story (I was thereat the time)

Frenchman walks into a gun dealer.

I would like to buy a rifle.

Do you have a Firearms License the gun dealer asks.

Yes I have a French License.

Then you cannot buy a rifle as you need a British License. You can however buy an air rifle.

Ok I'll have one of those.

The Dealer casually ask what he intends to use it for.

I want to shoot the pigeons that sit on our roof... I can get a good shot from the street.

The Dealer looked at him and said you will probably need a bullet proof vest then.

The Frenchman asked why - do British pigeons carry guns?

No replied the Gun Dealer, but Police firearms officers do!

Boffins hand in their homework on Voyager 2's first readings from beyond Solar System

W T Riker

Re: Some surprising results (for the layman)

Thank you for finding my Black Hole, I forgot where I parked it! Now, where's that bloody robot Maximilian ?

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament

W T Riker

Re: Regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

Unfortunately, we Brits do not have a codified constitution, but an unwritten one formed by acts of Parliament, the Courts and conventions.

I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court will now lobby for a written Constitution on the back of this judgement.

UK launches online VAT inquiry following fears of Brexit fraudster surge

W T Riker

Lost VAT revenue

I’m sure the management consultants that provided the estimate of £1bn to £1.5bn in lost VAT revenues will be willing to lead the inquiry for a 10% fee.

Sky mobe ad featuring beefcake Tom Hardy banned for being 'misleading'

W T Riker

Sky Misleading - never!

I can't say I'm shocked to find out that the Advertising Standards Authority found the advert misleading. I always read the small print at the bottom of the screen where it says first 6 months £20, must have a Sky Q box and take the Sky Sports Bundle, must be subscribed to Sky fiber broadband at £25 per month, then £90 per month thereafter.

BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

W T Riker

Re: "Tirelessly"?

The correct spelling is crapita

How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

W T Riker

Clearing faults

I once wrote a Fault Reporting system. The system allowed a user to record a fault and then subsequently record information about how the fault was cleared.

I turned up on-site and asked if I could see how many faults had been recorded in the last month. To my surprise - none! So, I asked if there had been any faults. Yes the user replied. So asked asked where they were. The user said that they had all been resolved and cleared. Ok, I said, but surely there would be lots of cleared faults. No, said the user they are all cleared. I stood in confused silence for a little while. Show me, I said. The user then entered a fault with all the details. Ok, now clear the fault (I already knew what was coming...). He then cleared every field on the screen and then deleted the fault.

Suffice to say he was re-assigned a couple of days later. And, I re-wrote the interface to take account of unexpected user behavior.

UK ministers, not judges, to sign off on Brit spies' surveillance

W T Riker

True Judges are not elected, but then government ministers are only elected to serve a short term and then they go and sit on the backbenches or right their memoirs or some such. What arrogance to think that by being elected makes them right.

To become a Judge one must have a relevant legal qualification and practiced in law for a least 5 years. Let me see a part-timer with a political agenda vs a legally trained professional - mmm!

Any time a sitting government removes independent judicial review from a legal process involving its citizens should be viewed as suspect.

VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

W T Riker

Re: re: I still don't understand the irrational fear of nuclear power though.

Fly it up to the moon and build a large nuclear storage facility, the put a moonbase near it (call it Alpha). Now is all you need is a husband and wife team to run it.....

Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping one per cent of EU energy

W T Riker

Wind is not enough - when will Politicians realise!

The report included below is for UK Wind Power Generation from 2008 to 2011.

In summary:

During the study period, wind generation was:

• below 20% of capacity more than half the time.

• below 10% of capacity over one third of the time.

• below 2.5% capacity for the equivalent of one day in twelve.

• below 1.25% capacity for the equivalent of just under one day a month.


W T Riker

Only if the wind blows and the sun shines

Only if the wind blows and the sun shines. On some days it only manages 0.1% of their requirement.

Bloodthirsty Microsoft prepares for imminent 'major' job cuts

W T Riker

Or fixing all of those "features" left over from Word 6 and Excel 4, that they have no interest in tackling.

TfL to splash £400m on networking deal, despite GDS opposition

W T Riker

Re: Radical Option

I think if you look carefully the Fujitsu bods providing network support were originally London Underground bods.

Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

W T Riker

Poor grouping

He didn't group his shots very well. Maybe that's why the Police are charging him.

Soil and sand harden as SPEEDING MISSILES and METEORS SLAM into GROUND – boffins

W T Riker

What! No Video...

Video please.

Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

W T Riker

Re: Methanol

I was only kidding with you guys. Anyway, the lawyers for Methanol have already been in touch and are saying they had prior IP on that frequency. :-)

W T Riker


Has anyone asked Methanol if it can move it's frequency to something else like: 8.123Ghz. Or, maybe the Astronomers could point their radio telescopes at the sky rather than someone's back garden....

By Odin, Parallels thinks cloud service providers should buy Odin

W T Riker

ODIN and Eyeborgs (2009)

Wasn't ODIN (Optical Defense Intelligence Network) the all-seeing network that controlled millions of mobile, robotic surveillance cameras known as "Eyeborgs" that eventually turn on humanity.

Legalising London's bed-hopping economy is POINTLESS

W T Riker

Re: Interesting logic

Ah, but it does get the Government some headlines for fixing a problem (that isn't a problem, because they don't enforce the current legislation).

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

W T Riker

Use, Use Use

You have to look at what most Macbook Airs are used for: News reporting, working on the go, picture editing, quick presentation to clients, editing a document or spreadsheet. For these activities the new Macbook is ideally suited, it's thin and light with a great keyboard and screen. No extra ports are needed.

Blighty quietly signs deal to read giant EU border control database

W T Riker

Re: It seems like only six years ago ...

Indeed it was over six years ago.

And, then the Coalition Government came into power, had a "bonfire of quangos" and slashed project budgets - including SIS II, so that it took longer to deliver.

US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

W T Riker

Re: Maybe they've adopted Agile/SCRUM

I look forward to (running away and hiding on the moon) a drone/weapon system/aircraft system developed using Agile. what about all those Features and Stories still in the backlog, that add no Business Value, like exception handling, navigating around buildings, how to hover.

W T Riker

Go (UK) Navy

I'm so happy that we are deploying these aircraft on our yet to be commissioned aircraft carrier instead of fitting a catapult and using Rafale or Super Hornet (you could buy a couple for the price of one F-35)

What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

W T Riker

due process and the law

Why should a politically motivated person who is at most in office for 5 years be able to sign-off anything to do with accessing personal information. There is a current process that involves a Judge and the Police Authorities convincing the Judge that the reason is valid. The Judge can then ensure that the correct judicial processes are carried out and that human rights are maintained.

Movie industry's evil plan to destroy the internet is going precisely nowhere

W T Riker

Re: Control your media better.

The movie industry should make it difficult to copy content by making 4D movies (otherwise known as smelly-vision) or 5D (add rain, wind, snow etc).

MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for terrorism'

W T Riker

Re: Assuming nothing more material was said on Facebook etc.

Due process and issue a warrant. Stop blaming someone who provides a social media service for not monitoring everyone and passing on anything suspicious to the appropriate government official, who can sit on it for a month before doing anything about it. If the message was posted as "public" GCHQ can see it anyway. If it was "private" then that is what it should be.....private, just like opening someone else's snail-mail

UK PM Cameron says Internet must not 'be an ungoverned space'

W T Riker

Media Influence

Look at the X-factor, that has managed to make hundreds of thousands of people believe that that can sing and actually make money out of their (lack of) talent. Maybe, David is right after all. The Government through it's industry puppets should decide what we are allowed/not allowed to see, like they do in Syria, North Korea, Iran. I already get lovely messages from my ISP that say "...this search content has be removed to protect....someone or something". Trouble is, I have no idea what was removed and why I shouldn't see it as they provide no URL or sample content.

Sorry about the rant, but censorship to protect the innocent, vulnerable and easily influenced often ends with censorship that subverts: free speech, constructive criticism and disillusion.

Still no start date for UK.gov’s £6bn Tech Products contract

W T Riker


All things considered they appear to be proceeding very well. Once they have had their afternoon nap they should be ready for some finger painting.

In business speak - they should be ready to award and start the contract - following a short delay while they have to explain to all the other bidders why they where not selected.

And, of course before May 2015.

PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY

W T Riker

Re: "Apple seems to be gradually become shittier" - Agree

you need to ask your children what the cartoon character is called - "Yosemite Sam"

'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

W T Riker

Legal process

What happened to the Police presenting their case to a Judge or Magistrate and seeking a Warrant. Currently, only HMRC Officials are allowed to enter your house without a Warrant. The Police may enter with the Customs Official to provide support and protection, but the Customs Official must enter first.

This law allows a Police Officer to enter a home without a Warrant. They have not satisfied a Magistrate that they are justified in entering the property - the current law is there to protect people from un-lawful entry.

I have no issue with my Firearms Liaison Officer arriving unannounced and requesting to inspect my gun safe and general security. To me that is their job. I don't see the need for this draconian law.

Apple flings iOS 8.1 at world+dog: Our AMAZEBALLS 9-step installation guide

W T Riker


Installing iOS 8.1 made my lip bleed. It could have something to do with trying to upgrade to iOS 8.1 while eating a cheese and ham roll and at the same time trying to install Yosemite, But, I'm blaming the upgrade to iOS 8.1 - lipgate or is that lippygate!

Are you a gun owner? Let us in OR ELSE, say Blighty's top cops

W T Riker

Doesn't stop illegal gun ownership

The problem with most of these gun laws is that they only effect the legal gun owner. It doesn't do anything to stop illegal gun ownership. It also gives opportunity to anyone with a grudge to inconvenience the legal gun owner. That inconvenience could result in a £5000 legal bill (High Court, Barrister, Solicitor) to get the firearm back. In my opinion this is another pre-election PR exercise, similar to the The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 by Douglas Hurd.

The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event

W T Riker

Cameron Briefing just a romour

Are you sure David Cameron actually had a briefing about the Apple Event or did he just make a statement about a briefing that may take place after the next election (if he is re-elected).

Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

W T Riker

Re: Not a problem

Did you mean "Geranium". Geraniums are excellent DAB receivers and look nice too. Please don't throw any Nasturtiums my way.....

Apple's iPhone 6 can REVERSE BALDNESS (and cause it, too)

W T Riker

Re: truly a serious problem!

Are you sure they weren't Pimps?

W T Riker

It's been pulling out the hairs on my ears, thus saving me from buying an "ear (and nose) hair trimmer". Thank you Apple for saving me from the embarrassment of using an ear hair trimmer.

Apple 'Genius': iPhone 6? We've had NO COMPLAINTS about our BENDY iThing

W T Riker

Railway track

A case made out of used railway track about 2 inches thick should do the trick. It might be a little heavey and yes dropping it on the floor may cause the floor more damage than the phone (don't blame anyone if you left you foot in the way and please make a youtube video), but the phone wont bend or break.

Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source

W T Riker

Snappy title

I love the snappy title of the paper: "Electron and Positron Fluxes in Primary Cosmic Rays Measured with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the International Space Station"

You can't do any serious science without a bloated title - "Positron Fluxes in Space" is too short.

My smelly Valentine: Europe's perfumers wake to V-Day nightmare

W T Riker

Are we really worried that "... at least 100 people" have been sensitised to these substances - many of which are natually occuring and these people probably avoid going into the woods or anywhere near oak trees anyway. Just another waste of EU taxpayer money.