* Posts by GrapeBunch

825 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2015


Excel's comedy of errors needs a new script, not new scripting


Re: Clueless users

Shirley you mean "wwong".

Draft EU AI Act regulations could have a chilling effect on open source software


"Draft EU AI Act regulations could have a chilling effect on open-source software"

Only if the open-source is struck directly with the tube of frozen sperm.

Uncle Sam sanctions Iran's intel agency over Albanian cyberattack


The Wisdom of MOIS-es

"While these latest sanctions won't be a serious roadblock for the Iranian regime's online army, they do provide another avenue to go after American companies seeking to do business in the theocracy. ® ®"

is the concluding paragraph. My issue, by comparison, is a trivial one. They call the Iranian agency MOIS, an acronym of four or five English words. English is not Iran's national language. Back in my day, scary foreign agencies had acronyms in their own tongue, such as NKVD and KGB. Is using an English acronym a way of belittling the opposition? A sub-issue is that intelligence agencies are prodigious liars. It's part of the job. "That was then, this is now." don't cut it no more. "We are aware of these Mandiant-associated claims. At this point, we do not have any evidence to support their claims. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops." , to slightly edit a statement from one of Mandiant's own press releases.

DoJ charges pair over China-linked attempt to build semi-autonomous crypto haven on nuked Pacific atoll


Music to ears

It's not clear to me why a US internal gov't department is meddling.

Near the end of WW II, USA leaned upon neutral Ireland not to accept ex-NAZI immigrants. Telling Ireland what to do, given the history, was not a classy move. Or maybe it was a class move, but of the wrong sort. Of course, USA did welcome ex-NAZIs, as immortalized by Tom Lehrer in the lyrics of his song "Wernher von Braun"

... "Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?

That's not my department!" says Wernher von Braun

... In German, und Englisch, I know how to count down

Und I'm learning Chinese!" says Wernher von Braun "

which sound curiously apt for this story.

CERN draws up shutdown plans to save energy


Re: Another case of the CART drawing the HORSE

36 downvotes to only 4 ups? Sure, it's offensive. But it isn't that offensive. If Boris were President of Europe, this never could have happened.

I'll tell you the solution, though. Run all the ocean water in the world through a picofabric filter. You'll get millions of tons of microplastic fibre. Then burn it as fuel, without compounding the fossil problem. Sure, you might find other stuff in the ocean. Be flexible. And who wouldn't like a tasty Crevettes-à-l'Orange-brûlées-avec-des-microplastiques?


When I was a kid, circa 1970, fusion power was 15 years away. So that's real progress. By 2074, fusion power should be 3-7 years away.

Let's see, we've got dog years, cat years, pandemic years, fusion power years. Those are real. Stuff like sidereal years, that's made up.

Here, let me prove that the Universe will keep expanding forever. "A parsec is the distance from the Sun to an astronomical object that has a parallax angle of one arcsecond." But in a while, it probably won't be soon, but the actual amount of time doesn't matter, it will happen, the sun will expand to swallow up the orbit of the earth and there will be no parallax because the earth will be inside the sun. The rest is simples. You do the math. I love to say that. I think there should be a special club for people like me. The Parsehole Club. Because we understand parsecs. And the Universe. We're even capable of understanding the Universes. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Nothings get past you, sir. Now, where's my membership card?


Re: CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research

Sports fan, do you belong to that elite group of .000001 % of people whose actions are not predictable? If so, you are suffering from "I'm-the-only-person-everybody-else-is-a-bot Mania". We can help you. Just sit where you are. Thank you. You will soon be a disCERNing but amenable host.


Re: Boring

In days of yore

EinstHeisen did abhor

That their Physics score

Would be nulled by Niels Bohr.

Heat a good round tunnel

While air above is warm and fresh?

It need not thee amaze

Your brain's in a runnel

Next you will be plannin fission

Not outside to catch de rishi'n.

Foam address to Di Johnnehs.

Twonnihilate the cows go moo

They farty like it's 1922

Give me an Exclusion Principle

Or give me Entro pee.

Give me a <br>

Fork Jeavons' sake

Bosons up in 23.

Heat it when you need it

Funnel waste heat to the poor

If it's charged go speed it

There will always be one mooer.

America says banks can now transact using so-called stable crypto-coins. What does that actually mean?



Ah lovely, here's something you can do with those Raspberry Pis, NUC PCs in the bottom of the drawer: Run Ubuntu Appliances on them


Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

Chocolatey pot. Tomorrow's dread double whammy addiction scourge. Way worse than philately with Geraldo.

Forget biz insider threats for a moment – let's talk about partners turning rogue and installing spyware on phones


Re: The Humanity

Thanks for finding those rules, Glen 1. I remember having a badge, but see that my bronze must have been taken away, and fully deserved of course, for relative inactivity in a recent year. But even then I would have been up the creek because of lack of imagination. pre is a perfectly good stand-in for br.

I guess I got five downvotes for allowing a blank line to appear where anyone would want to get rid of it, and five downvotes because as an uppity no-badger I was asking for too much.


The Humanity

Their song is:

Keep your password list furled

'Cause it's a Stasi kind of world.

If they were working for me, I'd say, "Great marketing idea for the Work-at-Home paradigm, but why didn't you deploy it weeks ago?" More importantly, does El Reg support an equivalent for <br>, which doesn't work? I can't get my comments to look the way I want them to. Yes, these are the words that might have spewed from the mouth of a t()tAl n0ob. I've put that, so nobody else needs to.

FYI: There are thousands of Chrome extensions with so, so many fake installations to trick you into using them


La difficulté juste

Maybe it should be difficult to install an extension. Another advantage of Opera and Vivaldi over Chrome. With Opera and Vivaldi, you're not 100% sure where to get extensions. Or at least, in my extended noob-hood (copyright pending ha ha), I am not 100% sure. There's also a role for reviews, and the cordon sanitaire of installing an extension only once it has a century of widespread acceptance.

Take it Huawei, Pai: Senate passes bill to rip 'dodgy' kit from rural telcos


Re: Finger up the arse assassination

At my fave resto, they do that for entertainment.


Re: Americans are dumb

"Americans are dumb

..and Trump will still be re-elected !"

has so far attracted zero upvotes and two down. I wonder if the down votes are because the headline is insulting to the hearing-impaired, or because Americans are smart and Trump will be re-elected or because .... is there a third option?

After being away for a couple of weeks, I've noticed that the number of comments on El Reg posts is much lower than it used to be. Did I miss something? When I did upvote a post about Putin and Trump, I was asked to log-in again and told:

Thanks. Your vote will be recorded, and totals updated, shortly.

which gave me a tiny frisson. I mean, to whom could my vote be recorded? Didn't Mr. Putin already fix that voting problem?

Free Software Foundation suggests Microsoft 'upcycles' Windows 7... as open source


Re: @rcxbb - Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

"Windows 10 is free but so is diarrhea too."

IP freely. Hey, it works on all free levels.

This episode of Black Mirror sucks: London cops boast that facial-recog creepycams will be on the streets this year


Re: If I object to my face being scanned and I pull my jumper up over my face

"What about my right to privacy?"

I don't zinc Kink Tchahn gehff you zat.

Mein hass zee Stasi Pensioners Bonus Holiday Saver Membership Card in ze pocket.


In Churmany, Stasi laugh at you, again.


Life imitates art

I'll have to put on my "face" before venturing out today. It's like those scenes from Game of Thrones where the little but deadly left-handed Stark is under the tutelage of this really scary guy who refers to everybody in the third person. Only scarier.

National Lottery Sentry MBA hacker given nine months in jail after swiping just £5


He got one day for stealing 13 quid, 8 months 29 days for wasting police time by stealing such a paltry amount of money.

Mine's the one with Lancelock in the pockence.

From Soviet to science fiction icon, the weird life of Isaac Asimov 100 years on


Re: asked by Paul McCartney to write a science fiction musical for his then-band Wings

It was an Idea that had Wings but Aught Else.


Re: Asimov was a letcher

Even at the time, I never thought that Carry On movies portrayed people. They flaunted actors--and worse.


Re: Asimov was a letcher

What I want to know is: are you a coward? Or are you a cowardess ?

Thanks. See you next week. Ma'am.

Internet jerk with million-plus fans starts 14-year stretch for bizarre dot-com armed robbery


Re: Ah, the Trump defense!

In some states, a convict is not allowed to vote. But I wonder if a convict could run for President?

He has courage--the courage of his convictions.

Amnesty slams Facebook, Google over 'pervasive surveillance' business model


No, thanks, I already have Ubik by Philip K. Dick.

Redis releases automatic cluster recovery for Kubernetes and RedisInsight GUI tool


"Redis releases automatic cluster recovery for Kubernetes and RedisInsight GUI tool"

Come again?

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing


Re: I, Tonya

"Being a horrible person" I just report all the messages I really don't want to deal with as "Spam". When I can't hear the bagpipes from Sky Pilot.

'Sophisticated' cyber attack on UK Labour Party platforms was probably just a DDoS, says official


Oy, Looks like the victim of a sophisticated attack.h

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is: Nobody can decrypt the Dharma ransomware


Re: Risky

That's too easy. Would never happen.

One man's mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: The tale of Europe's Galileo satellites going dark


Re: It's a glorious metaphor.

The story is an abject example of how the lessons of this day, November 11th, have only partly been learned. Shouldn't we borrow from the Americans and make it "three strikes and you're out" for political meddling?

That's not long division, Timmy! China school experimented on pupils with mind-reading tech


Re: Were you drunk when you wrote this artice Richard?

Butt they don't.

^ what Bart wanted to write on the blackboard a hundred times.

But he didn't. He got the cute girl with the barrette in her hair to do it by tweaking a couple of lines of coge.


"Onward Johnson soldiers,

Marching as to whor ..."


"I'm sorry to inform you that little Timmy's mind wandered during a lesson about fruit when we were discussing bananas and he's now on a register for life."

Sounds like what the kindergarten teacher said about your ob'nt s'rv't "I'm sorry, Mrs. Bunch, your child is retarded. He drools on the toys."

At least, that's been my excuse for six decades. Released from pressure to achieve, I've been free to over-achieve or under-achieve. But why bother? It's too much effort to remember what it is you're supposed not to know. That's a joke, son.

Mother, seeing that there was no point discussing the matter with Mrs. Argue (deliciously named), made a short statement which is not recorded in History, and swept out of the meeting.

Delayed, over-budget smart meters will be helpful – when Blighty enters 'Star Trek phase'

Thumb Down

... in Canada? Pity!

In Canada, smart meters are mandatory. And there are no savings to consumers. The (publicly-owned) power companies save money by laying off (= making redundant) the meter-readers, but electricity rates continue to rise, to pay for boondoggles and executive bonuses (in grateful thanks to the genius execs, who may also have received support from the manufacturers and marketers of the smart equipment, in appreciation of the non-existent savings predicted by smart meter proponents. Predict savings, receive bonus, don't revisit matter when savings fail to materialize). I don't have proof of allegations, just that the publicly-owned power companies, in the most populous provinces, went for smart meters while say in Britain and other places it's taken longer or not gone forward--for the obvious reason that a) it doesn't save money and/or b) insufficient incentives were provided. The utilities commission in New Brunswick (population 776,000) denied in 2018 as an unjustifiable expense smart meters to NB Power, but in bigger provinces the utilities commissions either lack that say or are already smart.

In some jurisdictions, you can get a smart meter with the transmitter turned off, but you have to pay $65 bi-monthly for Hydro to read the meter (even though they were typically estimating or interpolating the bills even before smart meters). In Canada, the electric company is called "Hydro". Oh yes, you see on the digital readout that the transmitter is turned off. I am reminded of an old Irish song.

Yes, I am peeved. Call me a dingbat, but smart meters have not been demonstrated to be safe. They are assumed to be safe because the levels involved do not ionize or cook you. It's a bit like in the 19th century industrial revolution, cigarettes could be deemed to be safe because the air was full of bronchial baddies from the burning of coal anyway. A bit like that. I agree, it's not a precise analogy.

Just take a look at the carnage on Notepad++'s GitHub: 'Free Uyghur' release sparks spam tsunami by pro-Chinese


Re: Bravo

Kate originated as a Linux editor, but a Windows version exists. Always keen to emulate my intellectual superiors here at El Reg, I installed 64-bit Kate on a Windows 7 laptop. I tried two ways of changing the display from black text on white background. But nothing would change. So I tried to uninstall, and was told that the uninstall did not have permission to access the program files directory. These could be different facets of the same bug. Kate, my eternal companion.

For day-to-day text editing, I use ConTEXT v 0.98.3. A later version 0.98.6 was never stable on my machines. The editor seems to have been abandoned. But it works great. My secondary editor (for those times when you want two editor icons active on the task bar) was plain old Notepad. I guess it's time to free the Uyghurs. Let the downvotes resume!

We read the Brexit copyright notices so you don't have to… No more IP freely, ta very much


VHS tapes, for example

IANAL, and I'm afraid that IP and copyright matters bid fair to become impossible to figure out. Maybe the gov't dep'ts are issuing directives because that's what's expected of them, but their directives may have no more rightness than a smelly fart. I'm sure that some people voted Leave because of the level of cussedness implicit in Euro rule, not expecting that their own Brit bureaucrats would invoke the same level of cussedness, or even worse. Blame that on short collective memories?

I do have a question, though. "Fair use" of IP might involve "educational purposes". So, let's say a person has a collection of old VHS tapes, programmes time-shifted from an earlier age of television. If the person then gives the collection to a College or University, for their "Media Studies" department, what happens next? I do understand that the next step might vary between jurisdictions. Feel free to state the jurisdiction(s) that apply. Implicit is that the material has value to the recipient, or to the recipient's students. I'm hoping that will suppress any "bin as worthless" replies.

A funny thing happened on Huawei to the bank. We made even more money. Hahaha. Here till Friday


Re: Far from rosy

There is more to Huawei than meets Huawei.

Scrambling for cloud relevance, Oracle hires... 2,000? Yes, that sounds like a nice round number


Re: Big Red Modus Operandi


Maybe they also futzed around with pensions. If you get a pension after x years, then letting employees go after x-1 years for whatever made-up reason is a real magnet to slimy bean-counters. No insult intended towards aquafaba. That's a reason to like national voluntary pension systems, such as Canada's RRSP.

Iran tried to hack hundreds of politicians, journalists email accounts last month, warns Microsoft


Re: Yet another "highly likely" attribution of blame

Phosphorus is the 15th Element, but Phosphorous is also a perfectly good word, and in many instances refers to the Element, say, in the manner of Phosphorus. Neither word is wrong. Now, phos off.

This advisory brought to you in seconds by any search engine.


Re: I object to the lack of apostrophes in this headline


EU's top court says tracking cookies require actual consent before scarfing down user data


Re: Well that ruling has a timespan of about 30 days in the UK

Hey, I have a great title for a song: "There'll Always Be New England". All that's missing is the tune.

Mine's the one with the pond scutum.


Re: Well that ruling has a timespan of about 30 days in the UK

"If the nation is a democracy with a majority of idiots, then it is an idiot nation."

That's why the American official News Agency is called Tass.

Medic! Uncle Sam warns hospitals not to use outdated IPnet freely on their networks


"IPnet freely"

Is that prose, or is it a BART SIM PSONnet?


"IPnet freely" I was expecting an article by Bart Imps-sin.

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google told: If you could cough up a decade of your internal emails, that'd be great

Big Brother


Wouldn't SOP be to make the e-mails sanitary, and have the real policy discussions at a cocktail party or by the water cooler? Or just a wink and a handshake? Politicians ought to be thoroughly conversant with such safety measures. Surely only the 99% put anything interesting and true in writing. This goes back to letters on paper. I remember paper. And watermarked paper. HPE - Autonomy case notwithstanding.

Cash carousel spun between Filetek and Autonomy, Lynch employee tells court


Do I hear four?

I think that another potential reason for a "let's not sweat the shillings" full-list-price barter [bad joke alert: why did the musician go to New Zealand? A: to play in an Auckestra] transaction process would be to establish a high cash value for the product, a ballpark figure. Which cup is the pea under? You can never win, but when you see somebody win, you might be inclined to join in. The difference is that the product (presumably) works, so the process would not be a fraud, it would be Marketing. Why did the customer pay 800 quid for pantaloons? Because he saw a well-dressed man do exactly that, and because the sales rep made him feel appreciated. Regardless of whether an equal or better pantaloon was on sale down the road for 8 quid. Fair game, in the society we have. I am not saying it is a Good Thing.

That makes three reasons for this sort of activity: to inflate bonuses, to make the company look more attractive to a potential buyer, and to make the product itself more attractive to a potential licensee. Do I hear four?

Even the most rudimentary sort of diligence on the part of a potential buyer should reveal this, and allow them to temper their bid accordingly. IANAL. Of course, this is not a legal opinion!

Outlook turned eBay into DD-Bay: Topless busty babe mysteriously fronts souk's emails


The Humanity

Looks like a great way to sell skylights.

Far more commercial impact than the man-with-skylight icon attached >>>

YouTube's radicalizing Alt-right trolls and Facebook's recruiting new language boffins


Re: "Beyond the shores of the USA nope that's not the case."

I'm surprised at that reaction from a purveyor of Vogon poetry.

The story so far: How's that Autonomy High Court battle with HPE looking at half-time?


Re: Dead Parrot?

This article is the first reference I've noticed to the mysterious Bidco. Maybe HPE should be suing Bidco, not the rump of Autonomy, except that HPE's contract with Bidco probably excludes that, and Bidco probably doesn't have assets. Or "enough" assets.

Inspired by the semi-existence of Bidco, I suggest adapting the "Eric The Half-A-Bee" skit.

Wait a minute, we're supposed to haggle! ISPs want folk to bargain over broadband


Everywhere in Canada you say? Pity.

Definitely true in Canada. The major ISPs have ridiculously rich published rates. They want you to haggle. One of the majors had a "no contract" policy, every deal was month-to-month. That just made the haggling more intense. That major has since changed their policy to 2-year deals. Haggling is still a big thing. By contrast, if you tried to haggle the price of an item at a store (unless "price-matching"), you'd be politely laughed at.

I think that the underlying reason for the haggling (which, as Quakers confirmed, is a terribly wasteful endeavour for society) is that ISP majors are required to rent space on their networks to the ISP minors. If the published rates are way high, they can pass along enough costs that the ISP minors cannot compete on price. The ISP majors probably have additional ways to discourage the minors.