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* Posts by Geekpride

95 posts • joined 9 Feb 2018

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In Space, Still: 20 years since Russia hurled first bit of floating astronaut hostel into orbit

Geekpride

Re: RE: arctic_haze

You can ask the astronauts to wave to Great A'Tuin as they go by.

Bright spark dev irons out light interference

Geekpride

Re: >If you want to parse Reg headlines, you need to learn to read from the tabloids, not Cambridge.

"The average tabloid reader wouldn't have a clue."

About parsing the headlines, or just in general?

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

Geekpride

Re: Science, yes, but

It will weigh the same, provided it's spherical grass in a vacuum.

'Unjustifiably excessive': Not even London cops can follow law with their rubbish gang database

Geekpride

Re: 'We welcome the scrutiny'

That's what I was wondering. Where is the punishment for this illegality? In my opinion, punishment should be more severe for police that break the law.

In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers

Geekpride

Re: not to mention book faires and antiquarian shows

I consider those places to be dangerous. If I get many more books, my home may collapse into some kind of L-space singularity.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Geekpride

Re: Deja vu

I'm generally opposed to mandatory ID cards, but that's a whole separate issue. Suggesting mandatory ID cards to solve the practically non-existent problem of personation a polling stations is just insane.

Geekpride
Thumb Down

Deja vu

This is trying to strip me of my right to vote. I do not have a driving licence or a passport, and there is no legal requirement for me to do so. The version of this ID scheme that requires photo ID would mean I would have to pay for a provisional licence to be able to vote. Doesn't "paying to vote" sound an awful lot like a poll tax? Haven't we been here before?

Instead of capitulating and paying for ID, I'd rather run the risk of incurring much greater costs by bringing a legal challenge for removing one of my fundamental human rights.

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

Geekpride
Megaphone

Constant talking

The initial speed-of-light delay would be most important for the initial "handshake" to make contact. After that, both parties can send information without waiting to be asked, passing on whatever they want to transmit and adding any questions they want answered. This allows much more to be communicated than "ask question.... wait.... receive answer" model that a lot of people seem to be assuming.

Credit to Isaac Asimov short story "My Son, the Physicist": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Son,_the_Physicist

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

Geekpride
Joke

How were they dumped?

It's safe to assume they were taken to that location in some kind of vehicle, but did they stop and open a door or just push them out the Windows?

Sadly, even if the culprits are caught, the law won't allow an attempt to Insert the dumped items rectally.

US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

Geekpride
Joke

Re: Friends

Of course America had friends! There were Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Monica.

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

Geekpride

Re: Define digital skills

Are advanced digital skills being able to count to 1023 using the digits of both hands and a binary system?

41% of Brit biz: Setting up a price-rigging cartel is all good... isn't it?

Geekpride

In othe words

We're all getting screwed. And not in the enjoyable way.

UK defence secretary ponders £50m hit to terminate Capita recruiting contract

Geekpride
Joke

Simple answer

Crapita's screw-up means the army is short of 5000 troops. So conscript 5000 people from Crapita, starting from top tier of management and working down. Yes, they might be as useless as soldiers as they are at everything else, but getting them all killed would still be a net benefit to the country.

As angels, rich dudebros suck: 1 in 5 Y Combinator women tech founders say they were sexually harassed

Geekpride

Scumbags

It's no surprise that scumbags who get power over someone abuse it. This survey identifies the problem, which is a good start, and the anonymous reporting tool is a good idea as well.

NASA gently nudges sleeping space 'scopes Chandra, Hubble out of gyro-induced stupor

Geekpride

Someone who had an egge. Obviously.

NASA chief in Moscow: 'We will fly again on a Russian Soyuz rocket'

Geekpride

I agree also. The Soyuz has shown itself to be reliable and safe, it will definitely fly again. The December date may be a little optimistic, but there's two months to figure out if this was something simple and easily fixable or if it is more complex. No need to make any hasty decisions.

Hate to burst your Hubble: Science stops as boffins scramble to diagnose gyro problem

Geekpride

Not too serious

This doesn't sound like it's too serious yet. A gyro they knew was near to failing has failed, and one of the reserve ones they could have powered up to replace it isn't performing up to standard. Seems like they're keeping things in safe mode while they try to diagnose the problem and sort it, but they do have other gyros in reserve.

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Geekpride

Re: 17.7 billion kilometres from Earth

"some rouge object skipping through the galaxy" - must be Red Dwarf.

Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO

Geekpride

Re: Yes, but...

"Security is our highest priority, and we can reassure the public that the data on this memory stick would not allow any unauthorised opening of pod bay doors."

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

Geekpride

Re: already the de-facto standard

I'd rather have a drone flying near my airport than a bunch of trigger-happy numpties firing guns there.

UKIP doubled price of condoms for sale at party conference

Geekpride

"You don't need this. Go fuck yourself."

Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say

Geekpride
FAIL

Deja vu

Once again, the dreams of Brexiteers meet reality. Once again, the Brexiteers lose.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Geekpride
FAIL

Re: Racism!

This has been addressed numerous times already, but as you are apparently too lazy / stupid to read, I'll spell it out again.

A billboard is potentially visible to anyone.

These job adverts were specifically restricted to be visible to men only.

Denying an entire gender the possibility of seeing a job advert is obviously discriminatory.

Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

Geekpride

Worrying for USAians

"Plaintiffs have shown the threat of real harms to their constitutional interests"

"Defendants introduced substantial evidence from Elections Directors from counties with major populations regarding the fiscal, organizational, and practical impediments and burdens associated with a court order that would require immediate implementation of paper ballot and ballot scanning voting systems"

So it's OK to harm someone's constitutional interests if doing otherwise is impractical. Wow. That seems like a pretty far-ranging call. Vote at risk of being stolen? Tough, it's impractical to take action. I think the USA just gave up any claim to being a democracy.

The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Geekpride
Thumb Up

Great achievement

I can only applaud all those involved with the Voyager program. For what the craft have accomplished and how much we've learned from them, I say they stand among humanity's highest achievements.

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Geekpride
Coat

Re: Y2K all over again

"Immediate disaster" rather depends on whether there is a deal and what areas it covers. If there is a no-deal, there will be an immediate halt to the importation of medical isotopes. That might not be a disaster for you, but it would be disaster for those who need them.

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

Geekpride

Re: C'mon Kieren

@ SImon Hobson "as you have chosen the wrong option, you are going to be punished". Let's have some examples of this, please.

Can you do better than the average Quitling and come up with something that's not

a) complaining about losing access to something that's only available to EU members

b) complaining about being asked to keep our promises

c) complaining that the EU is looking out for its own interests

d) complaining that the EU won't do your homework for you

NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps

Geekpride
Pint

Policing private life?

Disclosing patient data is unacceptable and staff should be disciplined for that, but I'm concerned that the NHS thinks it has the right to police its employees private life. Why discipline staff for gossiping about drinking? I work Monday to Friday, so would they seriously say I can't put anything up about going out on Friday or Saturday? I'll be sober and ready to work on Monday, it doesn't affect my ability to do my job.

Yes, discipline staff for revealing stuff that should be confidential, but don't discipline them for being humans and having a normal social life. That's not acceptable.

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Geekpride

Re: Neverendum

@EvilDrSmith: The referendum was by no means free and fair. The Electoral Commission has now proved that Leave committed "serious breaches of the laws put in place by Parliament to ensure fairness and transparency at elections and referendums." (https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/journalist/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/vote-leave-fined-and-referred-to-the-police-for-breaking-electoral-law)

If you think the result should stand, you support criminals cheating to win votes, not democracy.

First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

Geekpride

Yep - I came here to say that. NHS numbers are supposedly unique. That doesn't mean they're actually unique.

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

Geekpride
FAIL

Re: Just a side note

Science fail alert! Antimatter is not "just an atom, whose core contains the electrons while the orbits are filled with protons". In an atom of antimatter, the nucleus would contain antiprotons, orbited by positrons.

UK.gov: NHS should be compensated by firms using its data goldmine

Geekpride

Translation

"The UK government has said the NHS should be "fairly rewarded" by private firms that slurp patients' data." = "The UK government has said it's not going to fund the NHS properly, forcing it to sell off patient data to avoid going bankrupt."

Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

Geekpride

Sensible ruling

It seems to me that the Internet Archive is basically taking timestamped photographs of the internet. Its primary aim isn't use in trials, but it's something that may be useful as evidence. If a crime was committed in meatspace and someone had a timestamped photo that supported (or refuted) the prosecution case, it would make sense to allow it to be used as evidence unless there was reason to think it had been faked.

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Geekpride

New depths

This story reveals a worryingly poor level of tech skills at company. Usually users can at least figure out how to break stuff on their own.

Don't let Google dox me on Lumen Database, nameless man begs

Geekpride

Meritless nonsense

This complainant is making an argument that is without merit. Strip away all the nonsense, and it seems fairly simple - ABC doesn't want to identify himself for fear of his identity being published. But there's already an anonymity order in place, so the court has already used its powers to prevent ABC's identity being revealed. There's no good reason for ABC not to identify themselves to the court and the defendant.

US government upends critical spying case with new denial

Geekpride

Re: Fair trial?

They can't. But in both the US and the UK, it's been deemed acceptable. The US has this Kafka style ability for there to be no fixed facts to argue against, while the UK has the Orwell-esque Ministry of Justice.

It's official – satellite spots water ice at the Moon's chilly poles

Geekpride
Alien

I'd like to see more human exploration of space, but this isn't really a good argument for it. Satellites and drones don't just reduce risk, they're also a lot less expensive than sending humans. Humans need bigger craft to move around in, additional systems for life support, additional weight for drinking water, food etc - the list goes on.

I'd say to keep sending out the satellites, landers and rovers as a way to find the really interesting stuff, but then think about sending humans to investigate the most promising areas.

Geekpride

New mission

These areas of water ice sound like a good target for a future rover mission. It'd have to be an RTG powered one, maybe similar to the Curiosity rover. Let's investigate and research the ice before trying to exploit it as a resource.

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

Geekpride
Boffin

Awesome if true, but...

This reminds me of when it seemed an experiment had spotted particles travelling faster than light. Like practical-temperature superconductors, it would be an amazing breakthrough if true. But just as the particle speed measurement turned out to be an experimental error, this seems likely to be incorrect.

Let's get trying to replicate this and find out the answer.

Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

Geekpride
Boffin

Simple solution

Someone needs to create a system to evaluate this kind of software and judge whether the training data was biased, meaning the outputs can't be trusted. I suggest something big and impressive with lots of flashing lights, maybe even a Jacob's Ladder or two. It can put on an impressive show, then just print out "BIASED TRAINING INPUTS. SOFTWARE CANNOT BE TRUSTED".

'Unhackable' Bitfi crypto-currency wallet maker will be shocked to find fingernails exist

Geekpride

Hi John McAfee, I didn't know you read The Register.

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

Geekpride

Re: Vogon

"a majority of voters just like wins any other democratic election". Except we now know Leave broke the law to win. Winning by cheating doesn't count.

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

Geekpride

Astonishingly enough, some people go to the beach and swim simply for fun. Yes, swimming shorts aren't the best for swimming in, but they have other advantages. It's socially acceptable to walk through busy areas & shops in shorts, not so much in Speedos. Shorts also tend to have pockets, useful for hanging on to anything that doesn't mind immersion in salt water - coins, keys etc.

Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes

Geekpride

Too lenient

Although I fail to see the attraction of a "sport" that consists of feigning being mortally wounded if someone so much as touches your idiotic hairstyle, I reluctantly concede its popularity and accept that people are going to cheer when a goal is scored or a match won. What I don't accept is people doing this, then deciding to drive round and incessantly use their car horns. The first flush of emotion has passed by then, they should be more considerate of others. Summary execution is a tempting solution, but probably not defensible. Instead, I suggest they've shown they can't be trusted to use their car in a responsible and considerate way, so it should be taken away from them and crushed.

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

Geekpride

Vibrate function?

UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on

Geekpride

@streaky

EU procurement rules allow discretionary exclusion of companies "where they have committed offences or undertaken activities relating to misrepresentation, undue influence on procurement procedures, grave professional misconduct, agreements to distort competition or demonstrated significant or persistent deficiencies in the performance of a public contract". That seems like ample grounds for the UK government to exclude their usual outsourcers; that they choose not to do so is purely the fault of the UK.

As for your suggestion that UK voters will be able to affect this stuff more after Brexit, I have seldom seen such stupidity. In case you haven't noticed, cabinet ministers - who are theoretically responsible for this stuff - tend to get given safe seats where a donkey could get elected if it was standing on behalf of the correct party. That's not going to change.

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

Geekpride

Re: Entering New Zealand

A wunch of bankers.

NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

Geekpride

Return of Star Wars

The cynical side of me thinks that any new anti-asteroid stuff that comes out of this would also be applicable to anti-satellite weaponry and possibly ICBM interception.

Legal tech startup tries to haul 123-Reg to court over 24-hour backup claims

Geekpride

Re: Ah, backups...

Also applies in the medical sector. We've got a nice little fireproof safe full of WORM optical discs. The reader for them disappeared years ago, but we've got to keep the discs just in case anyone ever asks for the original data.

Cardiff chap chucks challenge at chops*-checking cops

Geekpride

It'll be interesting to see the ruling on the right to privacy argument. Taking the photo will be deemed allowable as there's no general expectation of privacy when in public. I'm guessing it will be argued that taking the photo is one thing, but using it in a system that can automatically identify, track and monitor people is different. It's not a slam dunk, but I could see that being ruled an invasion of privacy.

The free expression argument seems more likely to succeed, in my opinion. The police have been deploying this system at protests, and I can't see there being a legal justification for using this system instead of a less intrusive one. The only way they might get away with it is if they can demonstrate the system is only looking for those that have a warrant for their arrest and discarding all other data.

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