* Posts by Pliny the Whiner

118 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jul 2015


When is a patch not a patch? When it's for this McAfee password bug

Pliny the Whiner

WARNING: Hair In Mirror Is Blonder Than It Appears

The ultimate "mitigation guidance," of course, is to not use McAfee products. Ever.

AI beats astroboffins at sniffing out fast radio bursts amid the universe's clutter

Pliny the Whiner

"So they trained their AI on fake FRBs ..."

Yes, well. Any day now, Trump will start Twittering about "fake FRBs." No one will know what the fuck Trump is talking about, but then, no one ever knows what the fuck Trump is talking about anyway.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Pliny the Whiner

Had I been Rick's boss ...

... I would have laughed my ass off, too. Then asked him if he needed to run home to change his underwear. (If he had fresh underwear in his desk drawer, it would sort of make you wonder if this type of thing happened often.)

One thing's for certain: I'll bet Rick never did that again.

US regains supercomputer crown from Chinese, for now

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Recycling

Sez here in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel* (in one of those "It Happened Ten Years Ago" retrospective thingies) that IBM sold a supercomputer for 100-billion dollars that could do "1,000 trillion" calculations per second. Yeah, like any second-rate junkbox of a cellphone can't do twice as much in half the time using a quarter of the energy.

* I sometimes wonder why the newspaper didn't toss in "picayune" and "courier" while creating an already overlong name. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Picayune Courier rolls off the tongue and has a nice ring to it.

Did you even sweat, tho? Plaintiffs told to amend claims in Apple headphones suit

Pliny the Whiner

Now we have to worry about fakes names along with fake news

Judge Richard Seeborg. "Seeborg"? Pfft. Like that's a real name.

Cash-sprinkler Softbank and Alphabet hand over $1.9bn to Manbang

Pliny the Whiner

Okay, what about Huochebang?

I wonder if the parent company's name Huochebang is pronounced who-chee-bang? Yeah. "Hootchie" is an Americanism that means something all on its own.

Are you able to read this headline? Then you're not Julian Assange. His broadband is unplugged

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Simple solution.

"Someone replied to Kim Dotcom's original tweet and said that he'd configured his phone as a hotspot. Apparently Julian should look for an SSID of "cupboard boy" and a password of "hahahaha"

Made me laugh, anyway."

I would have gone with an SSID of "pasty-faced asshole" and a password of "yes,you." Seems much more intuitive.

Boffins discover chemistry that could have produced building blocks of life in space

Pliny the Whiner

It's a sad day in the universe when Mark 85 is the voice of reason.

Silicon Valley tech bro's solution for homeless: Getting himself in the news. Again.

Pliny the Whiner

Re: The thing people ignore about homelessness in SF and a lot of California

"I shitteth thee not - I saw a 20-something 'homeless' kid a while back with a 'Vietnam Vet - Please help' sign."

Thou shitteth me, Shirley? Well, maybe not.

As luck would have it, we have a resident fatmouth who can explain his need to be the center of attention. "Bombastic Bob" should be along shortly. And I'll point out here that Bombastic Bob and Greg Gopman -- B-Squared and G-Squared, respectively -- have never appeared together in the same photograph. I shitteth thee not.

AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

Pliny the Whiner

Re: The last voice command ever

"If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it."

-- Bette Davis

If neither of those broads is named Alexa. I just now asked my Echo if it was all right, and it responded, "Great! I'm ready to stroke your man-parts or whatever!" Um, okay.

I think I speak for all of us when I say that my sympathies go to the poor soul who couldn't order a coffee. OH. MY. GOD. S/he's probably still shaken by the experience.

There's a reason why this nonstop idiocy is called a "first-world problem." The reference isn't meant to be self-congratulatory or a compliment.

Microsoft slaps Apple Gatekeeper-like controls on Windows 10: Install only apps from store

Pliny the Whiner

Re: @Streaky First it's optional...

"FIFI => FIFY. My dog has nothing to do with this."

I had no idea what FIFI meant, so I plugged it into duckduckgo.com. Here's the very first definition:

"Fifi Rabbit Vibrator Review - About.com Dating & Relationships --

For lovers of rabbit vibrators, Fifi takes dual vibration, and simultaneous clitoral and vaginal stimulation ..."

<rolls eyes> Well, yes, of course that's what it means, for fuck's sake. What else would it mean? And you'd have to really love your rabbit to put yourself through all that shit.

Your future boss? An employee-interrogating bot – it's an open-source gift from Dropbox

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Presumably,

"I suppose you can defeat this chatbot (1) using the now-available source code and (2) using SQL Injection to wipe its own database."

unless (3) your name is Little Bobby Tables, in which case, we'll sanitize the inputs.

People built AI bots to improve Wikipedia. Then they started squabbling in petty edit wars, sigh

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Niels Bohr

"I'd like to know why they fight about him."

Because he's Niels Bohr, of course. What an odd question.

Privacy concerns over gaps in eBay crypto

Pliny the Whiner

"It's only been twenty days since theregister.co.uk started to be available over HTTPS."

Well, yes, and it's bitchy of you to point that out.

Gulp! Drones dodge spray from California's gaping moist glory hole

Pliny the Whiner

'[n]ot to mention my mum's name [of 'glory hole'] for the cupboard under the stairs - such is language."

Then again, your mum might be pulling your leg, i.e., saying something "unintentionally naughty" to cause you brain irritation or some other distress. In any case, a good son would giggle a few times, then recommend to mum that she use "hidey hole" from then on. (Feel free to Britainize it by sprinkling in a completely unnecessary letter "u" or maybe an "ae," e.g., "hydae houle.")

You're welcome.

NZ High Court rules US can extradite Kim Dotcom after all

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Publicity junkie gets another fix

"Oh how I wish that we could be rid of this publicity whore for good."

I'm guessing that your high court feels the same way.

I was thinking. It's going to take a B-52 and a shitload of fuel to get his fat ass into the air and over to his new home here in the Colonies. And he looks like his breath stinks, which can only add to the final cost.

Under Trump's "We Want It, You Pay For It" concept, would you Kiwis be willing to go halfsies on the total cost of the extradition? I mean, things didn't go over so well with asking Mexico to pay for a border wall between our two countries. In fact, the former Mexican president Vincente Fox had this to say in Her Majesty's English:

"I'm not going to pay for that fucking wall! He should pay for it. He's got the money,"

Huffy little thing, but, okay, I get it. We should maybe start small and work up to the bigger things over time.

Smash up your kid's Bluetooth-connected Cayla 'surveillance' doll, Germany urges parents

Pliny the Whiner

With my luck, Cunty Cayla would become self-aware while I was trying to smash her into the afterlife using an old IBM XT keyboard.

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

Pliny the Whiner

When squirrels were squirrels and men were men

"Down vote me all you want, ..."

Well. Hmm. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the Dumpster, didn't they?

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Pliny the Whiner

"Please note, JP from Synology UK has posted twice in here about contacting their Tech Support Team if you have an affected device of theirs. Sounds like they'll make it right. Good on them to be proactive! ..."

To be precise, the JP Here From Synology UK Chatbot 4000 posted twice, and it'll likely post again. And again and again and again. You see, the Chatbot is built around the Intel C2000 family of "Atom" microprocessors, which is thought to be defective.

RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

Pliny the Whiner

Flying While Blonde

"The descent was unannounced so passengers experienced weightlessness, they were thrown to the ceiling and thought they were going to die. This all happened while [Townshend] was alone in the cockpit, the co-pilot managed to get back to his seat and was in fact on the ceiling while trying to gain control with Townshend."

This sounds like most of the commercial flights I've ever been on. Is this incident considered unusual?

UK uni KCL spunks IT budget on 'reputation management' after IT disaster headlines

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Reputation Management

"'After The Register declined to remove its coverage, ...'

How does that work? Do they invite you to their club for dinner, drinks and a chat or do they send a couple of bruisers to your office to tell you how sad their client is feeling?"

Nice pair of kneecaps you have there. It'd be a shame if they were broken.

Would you like to know why I get a lot of action at night?

Pliny the Whiner

Re: State of the art

"You youngsters are spoiled rotten. In my day the revolution was the IBM luggable. With a 20MB NEC drive and a quadram Apple ][e emulation card you could demo anything anywhere."

"Luggable" was one of those eye-of-the-beholder concepts. If you think of a fucking wrecking ball as "luggable," then the portable IBMs and Compaqs of the day were, indeed, capable of being lugged from one place to another. I sometimes wonder how many people were killed by those things.

Guess who's suffering an email outage. Go on, it's as easy as 123-Reg

Pliny the Whiner

Re: What's going on with his hair?

Well, it's a towering bouffant, probably with a little bird cage in the tippy-top (complete with live finches). And since he's a male, it's a butch bouffant.

Why do you ask?

Facebook's dabblings in TV suggest Zuck isn't actually a genius after all

Pliny the Whiner

Re: "either creating great content"

"Sorry to Left Pondians/rest of the World for the obscure 70's UK TV references."

Your obscure '70s UK TV references have been forgiven. Go and make obscure '70s UK TV references no more.

The picture accompanying this article is easily among the creepiest stock photos that El Reg uses. They make Marky Mark look like he sharpens his canines (which he may well do).

Goddamned vampires.

Speaking in Tech's Greg accepts dare to moonlight as an Uber driver

Pliny the Whiner

Don't remove your clothing at a "strip mall" (and other idioms)

"The first two threads from the Manchester, UK section of that forum are entitled 'Very low earnings over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Disastrous' and 'Take home only £150 for 40 hours work' respectively, which is pretty much what I expected."

Let's think about this for a second. Let's suppose you're an Uber driver who's making money hand over fist*. Do you:

1. Talk up your experience so that you create more competitors in the Uber ecosystem; or

2. Talk down your experience so that you can keep laughing all the way to the bank?

Altruism or capitalism?

* Go ahead. Make a fist with your left hand and then position your open, right hand over it. How does this mean "big money" to anyone for any reason?

Judge allows plan for Intel to reanimate McAfee. The brand, we mean

Pliny the Whiner

Earth Boys Are Easy

You order a truckload of morons. Assange, Trump, and McAfee are the only people who show up in the delivery. Do you contact Amazon (or bitch at Alexa) to complain of a shortage?

Annoyingly precocious teen who ruined Trek is now an asteroid

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Wesley was okay...

"... it was all the 'Troi has a headache' episodes that used to annoy me."

Oh, god. Or the "My empathic powers are on the fritz again," and that always somehow happened at the worst possible time.

I've long thought that Wheaton was added to attract both the gay and straight teenybopper demographic to the audience. It's not like Gene Luck Pikurd (as "Q" once pronounced it) could ever fill that role.

350,000 Twitter bot sleeper cell betrayed by love of Star Wars and Windows Phone

Pliny the Whiner

Occam's razor versus Trump's razor

"I don't understand this at all. What are these "bots" doing? Why are they a nuisance?

I am not a twitter user and never have been."

AHA! But you're not saying a word about your future Twitter intentions, are you, Alan Sharkey? Eh? Well, eh?

This just in from Urban Dictionary:

Trump's Razor: The stupidest explanation is always the right one." Example:

Guy 1: "Did you hear that Trump said Chinese bees cause global warming?"

Alan Sharkey (via Twitter, no doubt): "Chalk another one up to Trump's razor."


IT team sent dirt file to Police as they all bailed from abusive workplace

Pliny the Whiner

As it so happens, my title at my last job was "IT Cunt." Talk about prescience.

Uber coughs up $20m after 'lying about how much its drivers make'

Pliny the Whiner

This vehicle brakes for blondes

As long as you use the word "disruptive" in, like, every third sentence that comes out of you mouth, you can bypass all laws, regulations, and licensure that apply to everyone else who does what you do. So, the next time you're pulled over for drunk driving, just tell the nice officer that you're being "disruptive." Odds are, s/he'll agree with you as s/he slaps on the handcuffs. WARNING: This one weird trick works only for the monied interests and the self-important. Like, say, Uber.

And what's the deal with the [sic] in the last sentence of the article?

Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

Pliny the Whiner

And it's an original colony

"[i]ts miserable hellscape is shrouded in thick sulphur dioxide clouds peppered with drops of sulphuric acid."

This pretty much describes my recollection of the atmosphere in New Jersey.

Hacker publishes GitHub secret key hunter

Pliny the Whiner

Has anyone else noticed that El Reg now uses encryption? Sure, it's 40-bit DES, but still.

No, really. Give it a try:


And remember that Jesus hates encryption. Loves the encryptor, but hates the encryption.

Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

Pliny the Whiner

In the context of criminal behavior that you can't wrap your head around, I was just reading about Esteban Santiago, the 26-year-old who shot up the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airport yesterday. 5 people died and 8 were wounded. Of the 8 wounded, 3 are in intensive care.

There was this in The New York Times story:

"Mr. Santiago, appearing 'agitated and incoherent,' said 'that his mind was being controlled by a U.S. intelligence agency,' the official said."

It occurred to me that pretty much most of El Reg's forum regulars are "agitated and incoherent," so expect a visit from various three-letter agencies. You've been warned.

Dear hackers, Ubuntu's app crash reporter will happily execute your evil code on a victim's box

Pliny the Whiner

Researcher Donncha O'Cearbhaill

Yeah, like that's a real name.

Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

Pliny the Whiner

"'In the meantime, I purchased and installed my own copy of a much better and more expensive

utility, and added the cost to the bottom of my invoice, which was settled as usual.'

And, of course, retained it to use on subsequent contracts."

That's my boy. It's obvious that you understand the Circle of Life.

British politicians sign off on surveillance law, now it's over to the Queen

Pliny the Whiner

We have a similar law here in the Colonies, except it's known by the wildly misnamed PATRIOT* Act. No doubt former vice president Dick Cheney still masturbates himself into a frenzy each time he thinks about it. Although I don't recall that Queen Elizabeth -- a lovely woman -- was dragged into the matter.

Okay, British cousins: What happens if your queen tells Parliament** to go fuck itself on this or any other law?

* A tortured (possibly waterboarded) acronym meaning, "Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism." Yeah, sure.

** Also a cigarette brand made by Philip Morris.

NASA discovers mysterious super-fast electrons whizzing above Earth

Pliny the Whiner

"The Sun flings supersonic electrons out to space, and some fly towards Earth but are deflected away by Earth’s magnetic field."

Goddamned Sun. Even so, I just love the idea that the Earth has its own deflector shield. I don't care what it deflects or how or why, just that we have a deflector shield.

I can't speak for preceding or succeeding generations, but speaking as a baby bummer living here in the Colonies, I can tell you that my generation has warm feelings for NASA. People of extraordinary competence and little or no bravado, saying, "Wow, look at this neat shit that no one ever knew/ever saw before!"

And, it's always nice when you can let the kids out to play.

Former Autonomy CFO indicted in USA for misleading investors

Pliny the Whiner

"The UK's Serious Fraud Office ..."

I find it somehow comforting that the United Kingdom must have a Lighthearted Fraud Office. That's as it should be. I'm guessing that low-level offenders are given a sound smacking with a rolled up copy of The London Times.

This story is an illustration of why Yahoo suddenly remembered the massive data breach they had a couple of years earlier. The guys in the Armani suits don't like to go to prison, so they suddenly remember all sorts of alarming things that they forgot to tell the rest of us.

Recruitment giant PageGroup hacked, Capgemini dev server blamed for info leak

Pliny the Whiner

"We looked at them and their fig leaf was impressive."

And we looked under their fig leaf and were envious.

Russian banks floored by withering DDoS attacks

Pliny the Whiner

Re: @Palpy "Until regulation requires it. Which makes the manufacturers bark with dismay, "

"I do not give a shit what the short term self interest of these companies is, what I do care about is that we may end up in a situation where one of the most important technical achievements that humanity has ever created might be destroyed by cowboy companies who do not care about anything other than the bottom line."

That's a good point, especially for an organic chemist. Maybe I should mention that the entire planet is populated with individuals and corporations that don't give a shit about anything other than the bottom line? Or that the sole focus on the bottom line comes from stockholders, as well as stock analysts who'd better not raise an eyebrow at your stock performance. And it all boils down to my greed for slicing 50 cents off the cost of whatever by cutting corners I oughtn't, and your greed for buying my crap solely on the basis of price.

Personally, I look forward to the day when every molecule in my body has its own IP address. I'm thinking that "password1" will be sufficient to protect the whole lot.

America's tragedy: Trans-Pacific Express cable repairs delayed

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Pic?

"Source - http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-31829 ... etc., etc." Good grief.

I take it you're unfamiliar with the concept of Too Much Information? I might as well pile on then:

"A PWOP [Note 1] diver, who's probably paid about 30% less than a PWP [Note 2] diver, ..."

Note 1: Person Without Penis

Note 2: Person With Penis

As a personal aside, it's gratifying to see that old Schlitz beer cans and other abandoned junk now serve a higher purpose.

How to avoid DDoSing yourself

Pliny the Whiner

Hair In Mirror Is Blonder Than It Appears

Along the lines of, "Well, what the fuck did you THINK would happen?" Netgear hard-coded a few of its router product lines to use the University of Wisconsin - Madison's ("UWM") Stratum 20* time servers as a permanent, single-source time reference. At its peak, junk traffic reached 150 mbits/sec, effectively leaving Netgear routers DDoSing other Netgear routers via a third party, who could only sit back and marvel at the stupidity.

Without explaining why they landed on UWM's NTP servers or, you know, what they were thinking, Netgear sent a $375,000.00 donation to the university.

* An old bedside alarm clock made by General Electric, complete with a paper face backlighted by an orange neon light (I know what you're thinking: oh my god, the technology). Stratum 20 time servers are used by people who really don't give a damn what time it is, including and especially retirees.

Ecuador admits it cut Assange's internet to stop WikiLeaks' US election 'interference'

Pliny the Whiner

Was blonde, but now I see

"Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans," said WikiLeaks to no one in particular.

A bloated, self-important way to say:

1. We sat down in a circle and wept like little girls; or

2. We'll use the telephone from now on.

Sextortion on the internet: Our man refuses to lie down and take it

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Fourth

"I can't pay my broadband bill without a bunch of security questions and a recaptcha that checks if I am able to distinguish all the pictures that contain donkey balls for however long it decides to show me such things."

It would be interesting to have a CAPTCHA where you check all of the pictures showing child-pornography images. If you succeed, a warrant is issued for your arrest.

Boy, 12, gets €100k bill from Google after confusing Adwords with Adsense

Pliny the Whiner

Re: I'm confused as to how someone can be that confused

"He wouldn't be the first 12 year old to think something sounded like a good plan only for it to get out of hand."

Some children's books and entire Hollywood movies are based on the premise of some whacky 12-year-old (or a whole group of them) being confused about some goddamned thing, with ensuing predictable hijinks.

SETI's mega alien hunt shovels more data onto IBM's cloud

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Waste of time, effort, and money?

There's a hypothesis out there that all intelligent species ultimately destroy themselves, because their science advances to a point where the odds favor unintentional self-annihilation, no matter how benign the species. Or shit happens everywhere, not just here. As well it should.

Microsoft paid me $650 to scrub Windows 10 from my grandpa's PC, says man

Pliny the Whiner

Zero2Dash: "IE 'leave my machine the hell alone'"

Mark 65: "IE is only part of the problem"

I saw what you did there, Mark.


Pliny the Whiner

Re: User name

"My argument is how many body parts are you going to use for your security?"

Don't forget the sphincter scanner. Drop trou, bend over, and think of England. There's your two-factor authentication.

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Pliny the Whiner

Re: Pass...

"Call me antiquated ..."

All right, but I'd rather call you Shirley.

NASA tried turning lost spacecraft STEREO-B off and on again... but it didn't work. True story

Pliny the Whiner

Occam's Razor and STEREO-B

The poor thing was probably overwhelmed by "Upgrade to Windows 10?" nag screens.