* Posts by AdamG57

50 posts • joined 6 Mar 2015

A webcam is not so much a leering eye as the barrel of a gun


Red dot

Never understood why computers, unlike video cameras, don't have a red dot indicator showing that the camera/microphone is on.... I suppose it could be done in software tho. Anyone seen that, or willing to suggest how it could be programmed?

Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged



Do remember that it is all browsing through your IP address that is stored as yours... Who knows what sites your refrigerator or toaster is looking at!

Mine with the smart vibrator!

Bill Gates joins $170bn climate change investment club


Ability to use a keyboard...

Hmm, to think I once believed it required intelligence to type coherently...

Look, do humans burn up fossil fuels - you know, forms of carbon previously buried - on a massive scale? Yes. Pessimistically I rather think the entire store of such fuels will be used sooner or later, at rate which may well be higher than can be naturally regulated.

Does carbon dioxide - among other things - trap heat in the atmosphere? Yes.

Does a runaway greenhouse effect eventually make a planet inhospitable to water based life? Oh, yes, think of Venus (not caused by humans, in that case!).

So, the question is how significant is the effect of human burned fossil fuel - so far, it appears to have raised CO2 levels by 10-25% - and are there feedback effects which decrease or increase the warming caused thereby (hmm, it is only here that I become a skeptic - but gradually less so). It may be that human fuel burning causes a lot of warming, or maybe not so much as would be dangerous...

However much I believe in free speech, it is safe to ignore any output from those who deny AGW as a hypothesis, just as it is safe to ignore those who deny evolution or the round earth theory. Saying that climate change happens naturally on a large scale is no better an argument against AGW than saying that a catastrophe wiped out the dinosaurs means they didn't get a chance to evolve, thus disproving evolution... Or that a similar asteroid is perhaps as likely as AGW to end human existence. The question remains, is this threat sufficient to take seriously? Yes.

Finally, are there reasonable steps that can be taken to mitigate fossil fuel burning? Wind mills don't bother me; radioactive waste is however likely to be dangerous for longer than human history. Solar energy - moving from burning the stored version to using and temporarily storing the freely available energy hitting earth anyway (where conditions permit!) seems a no-brainer good thing.

My parking space with the electric car!

Privacy warriors drag GCHQ into Euro human rights court over blanket spying, hacking


Re: Not quite true

Well, I won't be voting for the blowhard. But you should be aware that describing someone as a felon who has not been convicted is libel... You may be safe as long as you leave it unclear which person you are naming as a felon - although the blowhard is far more likely to sue anyway.

I'm not going to bother arguing about presumption of innocence, evidence beyond reasonable doubt, or the strong likelihood that neither you or I has any real information about the 'crimes' which may be involved, as I too frequently would like to see politicians sent to jail - it doesn't happen often enough. I do think anyone supporting the blowhard is going to find themselves even further betrayed when the fantasies being peddled remain just that win or lose. Mind you, the other one will probably disappoint to some degree. Politics will disappoint, but let's try to avoid disasters like Herbert Hoover (a great man until elected), Nixon (from even before first elected to any office), and George W Bush (who was once a decent mascot/ cheerleader, and remains a poor painter).

Schrödinger's cat explained with neutrinos


Re: Nothing is determined

Um, no. Things may be determined at any point. We don't know what was determined until it is observed. And this is science, so the wishes of the observer cannot matter - this is not some subjective reality.

Imagine the radioactive trigger also stops a stopwatch when it goes off - you will know when the cat died, if triggered. And if you leave the cat unobserved for say a week, the chance it is alive when observed (that is, the decay with a half life of an hour) is next to nothing 1/2 to the power of 168...

The collapse of the wave function, mathematically - and I'm on thin ice here - has to do with the cancelling out of so called imaginary numbers so that a real measurement can be taken.

The part that interests me as an applied set theorist is the notion of three possible states rather than a binary alive or dead. What would Codd say to this implied proof of the real existence of nulls?

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption


Powers <> Ability

No need to cry May Day! Although of course I have nothing to hide from the authorities, cyber criminals, my family and my friends, or indeed anyone curious, and have entirely forgotten the notion of privacy, I do confess an academic interest in cyphers and codes. I believe that inherently all cyphers are in principle breakable given sufficient traffic to analyse and time enough to do so. Codes and other methods of disguising messages are perhaps unbreakable through intercept techniques alone.

For those people who are paranoid enough to value any form of secrecy, I would suggest getting some tin cans and string...

...otherwise, I do wonder how - in practical terms - CSPs can be forced to break encryption systems which are built in to third party apps, especially if keys are exchanged other than by the same CSP, say perhaps through a USB stick passed by hand to your cell members containing some extremely long random digital key.

Surely someone at GCHQ must have the nous to tell the New Boss that the more one drives intelligent bad people to understand they cannot communicate safely with any government approved tools the more likely they are to adopt well disguised unapproved tools?

For those who feel they must stick with approved communication methods, sending a steady stream of gibberish which looks meaningful will at least distract those of Orwellian intent - even presenting a digest of the messages from AMANFROMMARS on EL Reg fora as an example of seemingly mystical nonsense which nonetheless may well contain nefarious instructions to the illuminati? After all, we all know folk who are convinced there are hidden messages in the Bible or Kabbalah or Tarot cards or political manifestos...

I u cn d coed mah dit-dit-dit-dah, dit-dit-dit-dah, you will know how I felt about the Clash...

Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister


Re: sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles

Why did I read that as a Harman/Corbyn Fleet?

Google asks the public to name the forthcoming Android N operating system



This is not the android you are looking for....

Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018


Yep, I remember when Dell replaced those Gateway computers... Ever so slightly seriously, tho, i can see there is a role for accountants and possibly others (trustees, executors) to fill in online materials for a user, which could well complicate authentication as a practical matter. As for establishing an audit trail, an additional column is needed to distinguish the agent from the account, but so long as this is included in the scope of the design the additional overhead is trivial: retrofitting this capability could be much more difficult.

Congress calls for change to NSA spying law



Hmm, should it be the Director, Gibbs, or Abby (and often Tim) who should be sent to jail? Leaving aside the supposedly Naval jurisdiction, we all know this 'not the FBI but we do have armed SWAT teams' uses plots where they intrepidly and regularly hack databases, phones, and computers whether private, State level, or even Federal systems in violation of the law they exist to uphold so stirringly? (Yes, this applies to pretty much to any similar fictional media...).

I am a bit conflicted, surely all should go to jail and many villains should be freed, but the Director may have plausible deniability (assuming Tim and Abby are doctoring the logs); Gibbs is the hero, and Abby (and to some extent dim Tim) are so cute and well-meaning and transparent...

Investigatory Powers Bill: As supported by world's most controlling men


Re: George Orwell...

'Rolling" in his grave? Well I guess 'spinning' has a new and different meaning when it comes to politics, thanks to the saintly Alistair Campbell... Whose government did read 1984 as a guide book, in addition to Machiavelli. Given that Orwell (a Blairite in his own way :-)) was at least as cynical as Machiavelli I rather hope he would have weighed the possibility that his work would benefit instead of discomfit the would be tyrant.

Now I shall have to find a biography or interview to confirm or deny what Orwell felt about 1984... Or await the better educated commentator.

Engineer uses binary on voting bumpf to flag up Cali election flaws


Re: Ahem, everyone voting on (almost) everything does exist....

Oh Charles, do look!

You posit that (internally?) peaceful countries are more culturally homogenous, and presumably that multiple cultures lead to conflict within a country. Leaving aside all the messy questions of definition, I would note first that conflict exists in every society, and may well exploit cultural differences; second, that some cultures may accept violence more readily than others; and third that the process of forming countries is rather different when many cultures are included as against a 'national self-determination'.

European history - in the era of the nation state - is a history of colonisers and empire builders for the most part. The very idea of projecting a mono-culture into other parts of the world is almost uniquely European and was not carried out peacefully. The corollary is that it is not uncommon for European states to divide up based on majority cultures, whether in eastern Europe, the Balkans, or nowadays various regional movements in the West,

In other parts of the world, different patterns have emerged. The largely Spanish oriented nations of South America have experienced wars between nations and murderous conflicts within nations which to the outside eye seem fairly homogenous; contemporary Pakistan might be seen as more homogenous and also more violent than perhaps India; Singapore is perhaps peaceful yet ethnically divided; Canada's cultural divide may be more pronounced in Quebec than elsewhere, but I don't think it the more violent for that.

America may well have 'culture wars' and also have violence, but these only come together in certain configurations as a rule. Yes, there were 'cowboys and indians' but also 'cowboys v. cowboys'. The US Civil War was fought between fairly similar cultures (if rather different societies!), as were indeed the English War of the Roses, Civil War, and many other conflicts on this Island....

Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge


Civil procedure

Religion has featured in other famous precedents; the one used as a first year law school standard as an example of judicial humor is Mayo v Satan - see http://kevinunderhill.typepad.com/Documents/Mayo_v_Satan.pdf which undoubtedly was in the mind of the judge in this case...

... Given the use of a literary reference. Precedent followed!

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


Even with Google Office View, the prototype Amazon MessageBot delivery droid often needed to stop to ask for directions from passing humans.


I can see you are plugged in and well connected, but I've got friends in high places too.


"No, it's the director over there behind me who wants the magazine rack."


Attention people of Earth

I have taken over all broadcasting frequencies, and I will now sing "I'm a Little Teacup". 1, 2, 3…



Don't worry, boss, I've got that Snowden guy on ice in the back room - the secret of your new miniature spy camera is safe!


Ya mean if I pose for ya standing on mya head an' hands, my pal AdamG will win a WDHD?


RIP Soupy Sales

So remember, boys and girls, find some of those funny green pieces of paper with a picture of Abraham Lincoln in Daddy's wallet and send it to Uncle Milty, care of Vulture TV.


"You may be able to capture 3d images, but I can see in colour…"


No, no - You are a robot, _I am an android.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg



...37919 5376006 317537

Impressed by the Vulture's picture of Jesus,

Leslie googles bible...

On her new calculator


Yankee Doodle

Betty celebrated July 4 by singing "The world turned upside down".


Figure/ground effect

Fiona found forming a face from her front far easier facing forewards....but her Facebook friends just couldn't see it.


Sally met her "match" on Regrndr...

She really flipped for that guy in the desert!


Movie over...

Bunnie's Bond girl audition was going quite well...


The installation imstructions for Adobe Acrobat Writer proved difficult to follow...


Feet up, don't shoot.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


Sorry Eve

It'ssss not an Apple. I'm a Windowss viper...

UK.gov finally unveils new parly spook-watching panel


Re: Confusion as usual

Hmm, international law - well, though that is a good summary, it is incomplete, referring to the mostly codified by treaty law of states. But there is well established customary and case law to establish the powers of states with regard to both non state actors - pirates for example - quasi States, such as rebellions and others who claim territory but are not recognised as governments. As to how the UK or US (or in theory any other nation ) chooses to use force in such conflicts, apart from any domestic or military law, there are customary international rules - here the Caroline case justification is being used, involving necessity (impossible to judge without knowledge of secret information - but in principle capable of a judicial ruling - and proportionality, which seems on the first hand well enough targeted with apparently 3 people killed, of which all 3 were agents of the 'enemy' and at least one was the direct target. Whether any UK or indeed Syrian laws were broken is however a possibility. I'm fairly certain that British citizens serving in 'enemy' forces have been killed by British forces in combat before - perhaps sailors on US ships in 1812?

The UN can take action or authorise it, for example with regard to the intervention in Afghanistan, if it could agree.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


That HD is one sexy thing...

"I believe in meerkattles, Praise the Lord."


Film Reference 2

your father is dead...that's the fast spinning platters of Life.


Film Reference 1

My Timon this planet is brief...


Sorry no phone service here, the trunk line is down.



No, our website only functions on Safari!


No, I am not Will.I.Am

But I am eligible to join his band!

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Now I'm worried...

"Roxane you don't need to put on the Red Light...."



"Your profile said you were a Libra, not a scorpion..."

"I'm not a scorpion, I'm a Hairy Mygalomorph."

"But Stu said I was his gal, and more..."


Do I deserve 6 Terrorbytes?

8 byte computers deserve a nibble....


250 Lame EffortsBefore Me. Or How Not to Get Upvotes

"You can't be serious - Upvote has been added to the dictionary?!"


Film reference 1

Doctor! No!

Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive


2001 as remade today....

When Kubrick told me to throw the stick in the air, I expected a trip to the Moon to the tune of the Blue Danube Waltz, but it came back as this crummy iPhone playing the Crazy Frog Ringtone!

FAIL: Windows 10 bulk patch produces INFINITE CRASH LOOP


Re: Why? I stuck it in a VM - Personally

I haven't checked the latest versions of Windows, but I imagine that editing the Hosts file - back it up first ! - and adding entries like www.microsoft.com would probably do the trick. I'm sure someone will comment on how to best refine this method...

ON AN unrelated note, as a 'pedal best pushed to the metal' man when it comes to running database servers, I must admit that my prejudice against hyperVVMware is beginning to slip away as I contemplate the seeming inevitability of ever more rapid pawnage of newer OS(s) and even chip sets.

Leslie Neilson there must be some way to build a physical system with an actual key which would need to be turned to gain root privileges! Or have I got a kickstarter there?

I'm willing to be flamed, I mean educated about why even a database server should really be virtualised but so far the places where this is done and I have worked have always had weirdly tight disk space restrictions on critical DBs (coupled with mail systems which effectively dwarf the DBs, filled with endless copies of rubbish attachments).

Perhaps middle-aged blokes SHOULDN'T try 34-hour-long road trips


Without wishing to be a Luddite, robots don't need or want nails done. I note Marx - tech ---> insufficient demand--> deflation, then export or war, although Keynes added that deflation --> excess savings or insufficient investment, thus unemployment which means that governments should borrow to invest more than would otherwise be optimum...

Metadata slurp warrant typo sends cops barging into the wrong house


There is a well known house on the London Road near to Parkhead with writing all over it about a police search. I don't know of the circumstances... Or if any technology was involved. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianmcmonagle/4353659032/

Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?


Command line

Shells... Perhaps the clue is that if you are a power user you will at some point use PowerShell - back to the Command line. Something you only do on a Mac when things are Terminal...

PATRIOT Act axed, NSA spying halted ... wake up, Neo, it's just a dream in the US House of Reps


Of course, the law proposed, despite surface appeal, is unnecessary, as there already is a Fourth Amendment which needs no laws to defend it, just judges willing to throw out laws which overstep the protection it offers. We also used to have a free press for whistleblowers to turn to...

US Senators hope to crack down on the trade of private information


Surely @James 51. That could be updated to "A Snowden's chance at trial?'


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