* Posts by Little Mouse

1088 posts • joined 12 Dec 2014


Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it

Little Mouse Silver badge

How untraceable, exactly?

"been run through Bitcoin mixers and tumblers [...] exchanges were on the look out for any signs of anyone trading the coins"

I'm assuming that a mixed & tumbled bitcoin is 100% untraceable, technologically speaking.

Might the investigators somehow have knowledge regarding the newly mixed coins?

More likely that they're looking for signs of the perps being greedy or stupid when it comes to cashing in / keeping their mouths shut / not spending silly amounts of money. That's what happens in pretty much every heist movie ever, anyway.

Algorithm used to predict sepsis in hundreds of US hospitals isn’t as good as maker claims — study

Little Mouse Silver badge

"only right in about 63 per cent of cases"


That figure is barely better than a totally random 50/50 guess.

I wonder how well it compares to a truly educated guess made by a doctor or nurse with knowledge of the patient & their particular circumstances?

Hubble Space Telescope to switch to backup memory module after instrument computer halts

Little Mouse Silver badge

Another stupid question...

I'm guessing there's a waiting list for "Hubble-Time".

What happens to those who've missed their slot due to this downtime? Does the queue get re-jigged, or are the unlucky few who missed their slot just get bumped off?

Whatever you've been doing during lockdown, you better stop it right now

Little Mouse Silver badge

Mental image of "the poor saps" all stood around the last single unraised floor tile.

It must be under this one, Shirley?

'Ring of fire' headed to northern UK – a partial solar eclipse, not the sensation you get after a potent vindaloo

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: blurry shadow

Yup - 10 minutes to go and it's cloudy out.

But I guess the Hot Hail has to come from somewhere...

An actress, an internet billionaire, and Tom Cruise walk into a space station ... not necessarily at the same time

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: ISS is a bit old.

But beware the Vermicious Knids!

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Tom Cruise

"strapped to the outside"? Pfah!

The real Tom Cruise would hang on with just his bare hands, and hold his breath until they dock.

Neural networks give astronomers huge boost in identifying galaxies: 27 million done, 600 million to come

Little Mouse Silver badge

Thank you

It's refreshing to read an article involving Neural Networks that doesn't go all "Machine Learning" and "Artificial Intelligence" on us.

‘Can COVID-19 vaccines connect me to the internet?’

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: The logic of the conspiracy nuts baffles me.

Logic? But it's secret technology. That's enough logic to hand-wave every argument away.


Atheists appeal to higher power for intercession over alleged sins against privacy

Little Mouse Silver badge

My clan of (non)believers is better than yours...

Holy fucking Christ on a bike. Have these people not heard of irony?

Australian ponders requiring multiple IDs to sign up for social media, plus more crypto-busting backdoors

Little Mouse Silver badge

I dimly recall a recommendation from years back (but not too many years back) that the best way to fix the Spam problem would be to impose a charge on the sender for each email sent.

I forget who came up with that one. Probably the department of Haven't-quite-thought-the-details-through-yet.

Scientists stumped by strange X-rays from Uranus

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: *snigger*

As any fule kno - It's pronounced "boom-Hoh-lay".

I've got the power! Or have I? Uninterruptible Phone-disposal Stuffup

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: "Doing an OVH"



Toshiba brings quantum-inspired computer out of the cloud and onto the desktop

Little Mouse Silver badge

Quantum Computing vs Quantum Physics

I don't doubt that they're great machines and do a fantastic job at whatever it is they're supposed to do. But "Quantum Inspired"? Really?

By jumping on the "Quantum Computing" bandwagon, companies have created a meaningless marketing label that no longer has anything to do with the underlying science of Quantum physics.

Scottish National Party members found among list of names signed up to rival Alba Party after website whoopsie

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: "Donald, where's your troosers?"

My aunt lives in Scotland; she says it's quite nice.

Ship stranded in Suez Canal shifts, but not before spawning some choice tech memes

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Memes

It isn't, but then again...

The idea that something that clearly isn't a meme can then become recognised as something that it isn't, is therefore exhibiting textbook memetic behaviour.

(Caveat - I feel your pain, but sadly I feel that battle might already be lost, "hacker"-style)

Rogue elements: Hades and Loop Hero manage to draw on the same legacy while having very little in common

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Roguelike

I heard about Nethack around 3 years ago after it featured in a Reg article, and it's damned-near taken over my life since then. But, blessed relief, I finally ascended for the first time two weekends ago and so now I can finally claim my life back again.

Loop Hero does look tempting though...

What links ML, lasers, and tiny gold-plated micro-bots? Answer: Smart medicines

Little Mouse Silver badge

"The motions of the microswimmer were first modeled in software"

OK, so this button here makes it go up, and that one makes it go down, see? Those two are for left and right, and this button shoots the lasers.

Sounds like fun. I've written a few similar computer "models" in the past.

Yes, there's nothing quite like braving the M4 into London on the eve of a bank holiday just to eject a non-bootable floppy

Little Mouse Silver badge

HR's Disappearing Data

We spent weeks getting abuse from HR about data regularly disappearing from their shared drive. Of course, they absolutely definitely were not deleting it themselves, it was all the fault of IT. They got all the top-nobs involved, demanding that we fix the "IT Issue". There were borderline threating emails & phone calls from directors & board members, promising dire repercussions if our mistakes weren't immediately identified & rectified, preferably served up with a sacrificial head or two.

We monitored. We logged. We investigated.

All the deletions were done by the same account - a member of HR. File activity even continued when that person was on holiday. Digging deeper, we found that because the HR dept had an annoyingly high turnover of temps and contractors, one user figured out that it was easier to simply share their own login details with them all, rather than get new accounts created. They also intentionally left a desktop unlocked and permanently logged in to that account, so that anyone passing through could sit down and use it without so much as even having to log in.

We passed out conclusions up the chain, and heard literally nothing back. An apology would have been nice, but hey, HR.

ESA gives UK space an £8.5m Boost: Rocketeers eye a 2022 launch

Little Mouse Silver badge

"...and due for a 2022 test flight from a UK spaceport."

Construction of the Sutherland Spaceport hasn't actually started yet, has it? Hopefully it'll be ready in time.

Open Source Initiative board election results scrapped after security hole found, exploited to rig outcome

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: loggers who claim to speak for the trees.

Our wood has to come from somewhere though, so better to keep on taking it from a well managed farm than continually levelling virgin woodland

Driving through New Zealand's Tarawera region was a real eye-opener for the whole family. Eco-daughter was initially aghast at the site of the tree-stumped 'devastation', but then seeing the different vast areas all in different stages of regrowth was a real up-close education in how these places are managed, long-term.

Watch it go: World's smallest self-folding origami bird that reminds us we were promised nanobots at some point

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: And thus ...

If they build a nano-bird that lays eggs, then I'll start worrying...

Holes patched in Russian segment of the ISS though pesky pressure loss continues

Little Mouse Silver badge

Happy to help

My toolbox is full of self-adhesive patches accumulated from assorted air-beds, tents, etc over the years. I'd be happy to donate them to get this problem sorted.

I've also got a few bent-bits-of-metal-with-sticky-out-bits-and-holes-in-that-I-don't-know-what-they're-for-but-will-probably-come-in-handy-one-day that they're welcome to, if that'd help.

Why yes, I'll take that commendation for fixing the thing I broke

Little Mouse Silver badge

Experience is the best teacher

We all know that proper Change Control is Super-Duper-Important, and yet I'd wager that nearly every reader here has felt that same "bowel-loosening realisation" at least once in their career...

Huge if true: If you show people articles saying that Firefox is faster than Chrome, they'll believe it

Little Mouse Silver badge

XX is faster than Yy ?

The relative performance of a browser isn't really a deciding factor though, is it? People tend to chose browsers for reasons other than their "speed".

If you told me Opera is faster than Brave, I might well believe you. But I also wouldn't really care.

State of Maine threatens to tear up Workday HR contract and request $21m refund if it cannot remedy concerns

Little Mouse Silver badge

I'm anecdotally aware of good and bad Workday rollouts.

For things to go well, a company needs to properly model/replicate/migrate its existing processes into Workday, which takes a lot of work.

Some institutions though have treated Workday as off-the-shelf HR software, assuming it will fix their current problems, only to find that it didn't actually mend their bad business processes by magic.

Mobile World Congress seemingly serious about in-person Barcelona event in June, shares safety plan

Little Mouse Silver badge

Two out of four ain't bad

"social distancing, personal hygiene, event hygiene, and training staff"

50,000 tech people in one venue - So I predict issues with all four of those criteria.

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a beer: Beware the downloaded patch applied in haste

Little Mouse Silver badge

I haven't seen a good game of Reply-to-All Tennis in years

Step 1 - Some poor fool incorrectly sends an email to a massive recipient list

Step 2 - Indignant recipient complains via reply-to-all.

Step 3 - More and more and more people Reply-To-All complaining about all the previous Reply-To-Alls.

Step 4 - At least one wag will send a spoof "complaint", taking the piss out of the complainers

Step 5 - Goto Step 3

Happy days. Did we all learn some manners, or what?

The 40-Year-Old Version: ZX81's sleek plastic case shows no sign of middle-aged spread

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Bluto - mysaterious expansion card

MAC address: "00-00-00-00-00-01"?

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Still got one in the loft

Chess in 1K - The computer did play against you.

So you had the graphical display, the rules of what moves are valid, and the decision making algorithm all wrapped up in 1K.

IIRC, the book "Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81", took you through every step of the code in one of the later chapters.

Caveat - It wasn't pretty, it couldn't handle castling, and it wasn't even all that good at winning, so if anyone's up for a real coding challenge...?

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Still got one somewhere

But, but, but... Getting everything working sweetly despite the flaws was the whole point, wasn't it?

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: ZX81 option for Raspberry PI?

As a kind-of compromise, I bought myself a PI-400. Turning the PI into a computer-in-a-keyboard-that-you-can-plug-into-the-TV provides me with the perfect blend of 80's nostalgia & 20's tinkering.

Little Mouse Silver badge

"Some dealt with the RAM pack with..."

An article in the Nov-81 issue of Your Computer detailed a great fix for the Ram pack-wobble problem sent in by reader "P.R. Ainsworth of Swansea".

P.R.A., if you're reading this, Thank-you. It worked a treat.

'Screen access technology has existed for decades': Visually impaired man sues Dell over 'inaccessible' website

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Its amazing..

On the plus side, I haven't seen the phrase "Best viewed in 800×600 on Internet Explorer" for quite a while...

Voyager 2 receives and executes first command in 11 months as sole antenna that reaches it returns to work

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Press any key to continue

"Sleep mode / Safe mode" prevents poor Voyager 2 from jumping to the wrong conclusions when it hasn't heard from Earth for so long...

"Come in! What's going on? Tracking station 43, Canberra, come in, Canberra!"

Looking for the perfect Valentine's gift? How about a week of retro gaming BBC Microlympics?

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Can't Play Elite...

"Dock, Dock, Dock. That's all it is to you, isn't it..."

Australia wants Google to jump higher and sweat before it can buy Fitbit

Little Mouse Silver badge

Google can buy my FitBit if they want it.

Good condition & still in its original packaging. It's been sitting in a drawer for the past year doing feck all.

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum

Little Mouse Silver badge

"I hope El Reg are getting in touch with Women in Tech"

I second that request. Pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top?

It'd certainly be interesting to follow the chain and see how much actual substance lies behind some of these awards, and the organizations that dish them out.

You can be my wingbot any time – US military successfully runs AI system on spy plane

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: If you go down to the woods today

For the purists - just a Crowbar or Wrench

Just let this sink in: Capita wins 12-year £1bn contract to provide training services to the Royal Navy and Marines

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Thats that f88ked then

How? By being contractually obliged to reach certain KPIs/SLAs.

And if they should accidentally exceed those minimum contracted targets, they'll reduce the amount of resource invested to bring them back down again, thus ensuring maximum profits for shareholders.

If you want to be the best fighting force in the world, don't get Capita to train you. If you're happy being in the top 82% of the best, 74% of the time, then Capita is the way to go.

Running joke: That fitness gadget? It's, er, run out

Little Mouse Silver badge

To its credit, Call Me Kenneth was one piece of tech that dealt with fleshy users pretty effectively.

Robot drills hole on Moon, employs robot arm to clean up mess to bring home

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

Moon dust swaps hands for a small fortune. How much is moon vacuum worth?

How much vacuum are they bringing back?

Ever had a bogus call from someone claiming to be the IRS? A tax scam ringleader just got sent down for 20 years

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Who says crime doesn't pay?

Re *sigh*:

He does still have the small issue of a "20-year jail sentence" to deal with though.

And deserves every minute if it too, by the sound of things.

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Inside joke?

Not a rude one, but the name of the first IT dept I ever worked for was RECIT.

They eventually added an "E" onto the end, but the damage was already done.

Little Mouse Silver badge

One of the funniest support calls I overheard was when my colleague had to explain to a local elderly councillor, at her insistence and despite his repeated warnings, exactly what some of the words in her spam email meant (yes, including "c*m")

She was perfectly fine about it, and my poor colleague managed to keep it professional, but he was visibly squirming and very red faced.

Ticketmaster: We're not liable for credit card badness because the hack straddled GDPR day

Little Mouse Silver badge

That email may refer to events prior to their getting caught out, but the tone and content make it perfectly clear what they currently think of their customers.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Stainless steel?

That's an interesting choice of icon (!)

Is it from one of the later Terminator films that I've chosen to avoid?

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: It's an advert ...

That's just Bad Taste.

Little Mouse Silver badge

Re: Plaque

"This plaque marks the population centre of the Milky Way Galaxy, as determined by Galactic Survey 42,373,249."



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