* Posts by PunkTiger

129 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Sep 2007


You'd think 1.8bn users a day would be enough for Zuck. But no. Oculus fans must sign up for Facebook


I just managed to grab an Oculus Quest (128gb) back in January, since it was the only VR setup that didn't require dedicating an entire room for it. That said, I'm also one of the 35 people on this planet that doesn't have a Facebook account. Looks like I'll have a couple of years to see if another VR manufacturer (Samsung, Valve, whomever) can create a similar affordable all-in-one unit to the Quest. But if absolute push comes to absolute shove, I guess I could create a Facebook "burner" account under a pseudonym and one-off email address solely for use with the Quest.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Windows 7 holdouts

What also "helps" get Win 10 on more machines is that the new batch of processors and motherboards are hard coded to make installing Win 7 on them either very difficult or impossible -- I believe the terminology is "not compatible with Windows 7." So if you have an aging machine that you want to update but keep the same OS (like what I'm looking to do in the next few months), you'll be SOL.

Waymo van prang, self-driving cars still suck, AI research jobs, and more


Sensationalist luddites

So, let me get this straight... Human Driver #1 runs a red light and Human Driver #2 has to swerve out of the way to not hit them. Human Driver #2 loses control and drifts into oncoming traffic, striking Driver #3. Driver #3 was a Waymo car,

So what's the headline? "Waymo van prang, self-driving cars still suck..."

It's bull-pucky like this that brings out all the luddites yelling and screaming, "self-driving cars will kill us all!! Stop them before they kill again!!" Yes, it was INVOLVED in an accident, but it wasn't the CAUSE of the accident.

You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever


Re: To paraphrase...

Numbers adjusted for inflation.


To paraphrase...

...a million "attaboy"s can be wiped out by one "oh crap!"

No, Microsoft is not 'killing Windows 10 Mobile'


Nokia Lumia or MS Lumia?

Here's an underlying theory about which WinPhones get the update and which don't. The few models that are getting the update are all branded Microsoft Lumia. The ones that aren't are all branded Nokia Lumia... like my 830 (1 GB). A small difference, but one worth noting.

Top of the bots: This AI isn't a cold, cruel killing machine – it's a pop music hit machine

Big Brother

So, just give it a key and a style and it creates pop music. OK. Is there any chance that, perhaps, some of the music the AIs create could be put in the Public Domain? I mean, PD stuff in this day and age is somewhat scarce, as long as copyright houses and lawyers have anything to say about that. AI-generated music could be a boost to other artists who can sample and re-mix with legal material instead of relying on rights that are open to change or regulation.

Yeah, that was unrealistic. Sorry.

20 years to get Amiga Workbench 3.1 update, and only a fortnight to get first patch


Re: @Sloppy

I still have my Amigas, but I sold off my ICD Trifecta hard drive got my A500 shortly after I got an A4000/040 (1994 or so). It was the really good version, it could use both SCSI and IDE drives simultaneously. Managed to get it up to the full 8 Megs ram with those accursed ZIPP chips.

I miss that device.

App proves Rowhammer can be exploited to root Android phones – and there's little Google can do to fully kill it



...another Android vulnerability that can get all the privileges and raise all kinds of havoc, yet I can't even find how root a cheap-arsed Chinese Android tablet to remove the pre-trojaned version of the OS so I can install a clean version. All the help guides out there to do that doesn't seem to exactly cover the tablet I have.

Perhaps someone can make an Android vuln that can root your device so you can actually do something positive with the OS. That would be a switch.

Sorry. Just venting.

Wow, everyone loves our drives, says Seagate sitting on a pile o' cash



I'll just say that Seagate drives have failed me far more often than any other spinning rust I've owned, and leave it at that.

What the world really needs right now is more Comcast: US cable giant mulls wireless service


I wish we had some DECENT competition

I dumped "Bombast" back in 2011 because of ever-increasing prices for basic service. My current Internet service has been Verizon DSL since it was known as Bell Atlantic DSL in 1999. (Yes, my cable TV and Internet services were separate... long story, but it boiled down to billing responsibilities at the time.)

The REAL amusing part is when Verizon started rolling out their FiOS service, Bombast successfully blocked them from taking it statewide, so only a small handful of towns ended up getting the FiOS service. So, no broadband Internet service for me because I am NOT signing my soul over to Bombast.

So yeah, fark Bombast with a rusty razor-wire dildo and lemon juice. Not that Verizon has been the most gleaming Pillar of Excellence, but at least the DSL service has been pretty stable for as long as I've had it.

Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot


I'll plug one in...

...as long as I take the proper measures to do so.

1. Use an old "junk" laptop with only a working optical drive (no spinning rust or SSD connected).

2. Boot up a live Linux distro off a CD/DVD.

3. Plug in mysterious USB drive.

4. Unless it's some sort of virus that directly screws around with the BIOS, or booby-trapped device that damages your USB ports, freely look at whatever is on the USB drive.

4a. If it DOES mess about with the BIOS, or cause your laptop to go pop and release the Magic Blue Smoke, then console yourself that the laptop was just a kickaround spare that you weren't using anyway, and go get another one for a few bucks/quid at the local computer recycling center/centre.

5. Laugh at the lame-o attempt to write a virus/trojan to a read-only filesystem (if necessary), see if there's any juicy info stored on it, then decide what to do with the drive afterwards (reformatting it, destroying it, etc.)

There! You've just dealt with a mysterious USB device in a relatively safe manner. Go pat yourself on the back and have a cookie/biscuit.

Your unpatchable, insecure Android mobe will feel right at home in the Internet of Stuff era


Re: Android only?

My confusion lie in the sentence "If you've got a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in your Android phone and tablet, make sure you grab its latest security updates – if you can."

"Its" in that sentence could refer to either the Snapdragon chip or the Android OS. It sounded like it was the Snapdragon chip that had a newly-discovered vulnerability that a patch would treat, and that patch was only available on Android systems; leaving other systems out in the cold. Apparently, I had the wrong end of the stick.

Mea Culpa if I seemed naive or ignorant.


Android only?

Are other Operating Systems also affected by this, or is it just Android? For example, my Nokia Lumia 635 uses a Snapdragon 400, but it runs Windows Phone 8.1 (Denim). I would presume since the issue is kernel-based with this processor, my device would also be vulnerable. But, since WP holds such a minuscule share of the phone market, would hackers actively find a way to exploit it?

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade


Well, looks like I'll just keep updating my HOSTS file and have AdBlock Latitude as the secondary defense. Moan at ABP all you want, ad mongers, but my personal HOSTS file is none of your business. Literally.

Squeeze the banana to log into this office Wi-Fi


Re: Fruit?

Botanically speaking, the banana is a berry.

KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims


Re: KFC in China ?

Well, they could bring the argument to the whole stereotypical conclusion and say they're serving cat. That joins in nicely with why they changed their name from "Kentucky Fried Chicken" to "KFC."

ALIEN HUNT: Water similar to life-bearing Earth lakes FOUND ON MOON of Saturn


Life on Enceladus?

One word: Extremophiles.


If Earth has them, who's to say Enceladus doesn't?

Revival of fortune: Mad Catz Mojo Android gaming micro console


I like my Ouya... he says, sheepishly.

Yes, you still need a credit card or a prepaid Ouya card to complete the setup, much like you need a credit card or a prepaid Google Play card when you want to get things on your Android device from the Play store. Ouya cards are sold at Target stores in the US (I don't know about countries outside the US, so I'm sorry if that doesn't apply to you). That said, you could get a prepaid MasterCard or Visa at your local convenience store and use that to set it up if you feel uncomfortable with using your personal card.

Ouya's current selection has grown to well over 1000 games and apps in their store, some even being made by well-known developers (JackBox, Farsight, Square Enix, etc.). The OS has been updated numerous times since you last turned on your system, so there are improvements overall. If your system is just "collecting dust," I suggest you find someone else to give/sell it to who will at least find some enjoyment from it instead of it being a source of irritation.

All that being said, I really like my Ouya a great deal. It just fits my style as a casual gamer who doesn't need the latest and greatest. For that matter, a friend of mine got one of his own after playing around with mine, so there's that.

Wait... someone who actually LIKES the Ouya?? He must be a troll! Let the downvoting commence!

FCC puts AT&T and Comcast gobbles back on the table


This entire thing smacks of a classic way to push through unpopular legislation. A hot-button item is put up for action, there's a groundswell of reaction against the move, then it's put aside for "further review." Once things cool down, they bring it back onto the table for action. If there's another groundswell of reaction against it, they'll take it back off the table again for "further review." When things cool down again, they very quietly put it back on the table, find the negative reaction is not as strong as before, and because this supposed lack of complaining seems to resemble public acceptance (in their own minds), the legislation will pass, leaving the rest of us to deal with the consequences.

I know I sound cynical, but I've seen this happen before. I just really, really hope I'm proven wrong this time.

CBS goes OTT, releases EVERY EPISODE of Star Trek EVER MADE


Re: Netflix UK has a fraction of the selection of Netflix US

I think the lack of content on Netflix UK is more along the lines of why BBC America can't broadcast British shows like Would I Lie To You?, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You, and the crown jewel of panel shows, QI, in the US. Clearing the rights to broadcast specific sounds, music, video, and still pictures in another country can get prohibitively expensive.

I could very well be wrong, but I'm sure that might be some part of it.

OnePlus One cut-price Android phone on sale to all... for 1 HOUR


Meh. I'm still using a 10-year-old Motorola V600 that suits my needs just fine, thank you. Will you be using your current smartphone in 10 years? Will your phone even last 10 years?


I dunno. Priced at over $430, I can't really call it an "inexpensive" phone.

Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS


Oh, for Glob's sake...

Just axe this ridiculous deal and get it over with. Tell them, in big bold letters, "MERGER: NOT YOURS!", then kick them both in the yarbles by making broadband a utility.

Please, FCC, this time, side with the consumers and not the bloated corporations.

You can thank Brit funnyman John Oliver for fixing US broadband policy, beams Netflix


Re: Poacher turned gamekeeper

Tiger something something stripes... leopard something something spots... There's a reference in there somewhere.

I won't doubt that a poacher could become a gamekeeper (it has been done before), but to put an awful lot of trust and faith into someone who has been responsible for getting Big Cable's way in legislation at the cost of the consumer is really very difficult. Time and time again, consumers in the US have been getting the short end of the stick when it comes to these matters. I think we were rightfully wary about his appointment at first. Proving us wrong will be a welcome change to the norm.

PANDA chomps through Spotify's DRM


Re: Use spotify myself

At NO point in the English Language (this also applies to you, rest of the world) does "of" ever follow "would" or "wouldn't".

Would "of" be a necessary word to use when writing recipe ingredients; for instance: "1 kg. of beef"?

Hmmm... It seemed to work there in that perfectly cromulent question.

EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

Black Helicopters

Y'know, the more I read about things like this, the longer I'll hang on to my venerable Motorola V600.

Klingon and Maori roar into 'mutt's nuts' dictionary



I think I'm going to using the term "shansharray" from now on. That sounds pretty damn choodessny!

WTF is Net Neutrality, anyway? And how can we make everything better?


Mutually Assured (Consumer) Destruction

Back in 2010/2011, Verizon was building out its FiOS network in suburban Boston. Comcast, who has a stranglehold of cable TV/Internet service in Massachusetts, didn't like that one bit. (Competition? Not on MY watch!) A deal was then hammered out between Comcast, Verizon (and other cable providers in MA) to halt the rollout of FiOS. Voila! No more competition, and the consumers get the short end of the stick again. Those handful of communities in the Boston suburbs are the ONLY people in MA that has FiOS.


The first paragraph on that page says it all.

That being said, I have a (Sophie's) choice of Internet service. I could either have Satan's... err, I mean, Comcast's overpriced 30Mbps internet service (that goes up in price every year), or I can have what I currently have, DSL from Verizon (they claim I'm getting "up to 3Mbps," but with a top download speed of 580kbps, I doubt I'm getting anywhere near that... being only 1.5 miles from the DSL signal's origin).

Even my fast lane is a back road.

Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival


They can't leave well enough alone

I refuse to use Chrome/Chromium because I just don't trust it. Any browser that "suggests" you "log in" on their opening screen "for a better user experience" is a browser I immediately close and delete from my hard drive.

And besides, Google is in the business of wanting to know your browsing habits so they can sell that information to other "interested" spamme... advertiz... err... parties. So, why in blazes should I use a browser Google created for that very purpose?

Firefox isn't much better (anymore), and this whole Australis interface on their latest version made me see red. (Where did those IE back/forward buttons come from? Why is the bookmark star joined at the hip with the Bookmark editor, and out of the URL bar?? Why is the refresh page icon at the end of the URL bar, and not next to the Back/Forward buttons?? I'm in Customize, but why can't I move those buttons around?! WTF IS THIS $#!+??? "Easily customizable" my left nut! This is all broken!) Thank goodness I found out about that Classic Theme Restorer, I was ready to switch back to Opera (which makes me wonder if Opera fixed that Speed Dial bug that was in every version after 10).

Comcast to dump 3.9 MEEELLION subscribers to quell Time Warner merger antitrust fears


Re: Not be a monopoly?

The problem with that is, in Massachusetts, Comcast strong-armed Verizon to stop rolling out FiOS to the rest of the state. Only a handful of municipalities have FiOS in MA, and Boston isn't even one of those. But that doesn't stop Verizon from advertising FiOS on the sides of their trucks in the area.

Since I don't want to sell my soul to Satan (Comcast), I'm stuck with Verizon's DSL service.

Oh... And Google's fiber internet service? It might get to this area in another 20 years or so, so I'm not holding my breath for that.

Comcast isn't a monopoly, my arse.

Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP


Form and Function

When Windows 95 came out, I was still using my Amiga 4000/040... and Windows was still trying to play catch-up to it... and failing.

Returning a laptop to PC World ruined this bloke's credit score. Today the Supreme Court ended his 15-year nightmare


Black Marks and Credit Ratings

Honest question: In the US, if you keep your credit record clean for 7 years after you've had a credit issue, that bad mark ages off making your record clean again. Does it work the same way in the UK, or are there different aspects that come into play?

I ask because his fight has gone on for 15 years, more than double what would be necessary in the US to right his credit rating by just letting the black mark age off.

Comcast Corp to merge with Time Warner Cable in MONSTER $45bn deal


Where's Teddy Roosevelt when we need him?

"[A] leading technology and innovation company, differentiated by its ability to deliver ground-breaking products on a superior network while leveraging a national platform to create operating efficiencies and economies of scale."

Good Lord! I don't even know where to begin with that steaming pile! It's not even WRONG!! It's such a freakin' delusional statement. Time-Warner's customer service is a joke (putting it VERY kindly), while Comcast is Satan Incarnate. I really can't see anything good coming from this unholy union.

/ex-Comcast customer

One good thing from the Flappy Birds crapp flap: It's a handy 'tech' media rating system


I'd never even heard of the game before all this brouhaha started. *shrug*

Yahoo! Mail users see crying baby who says firm is 'over capacity'


I must be one of the lucky ones, then. I have yet to experience any problems or anomalies in using Yahoo! Mail. I've had the account since the late 1990s, and I still use it every day. Go, as they say, fig.

California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate


Holy cow! A remote control to UNLOCK YOUR CAR DOORS?? What a horrible idea! It might be "convenient," but that technology is just rife to be abused! Hackers will be unlocking car doors left and right and thefts will skyrocket! What's next? Remotes that will START YOUR ENGINE WITHOUT KEYS?? Just hang a big ol' sign in your windscreen that says "STEAL ME PLEASE!" You'll get the same result!

In other words, any technology can be looked at as being a prime choice for abuse; some more obvious than others. But, just because it could be abused in its current (lack of) standard, doesn't mean it's not worth examining, and to find ways to lessen the chances of it being either accidentally or maliciously activated. In theory, remote bricking sounds like a good idea for what is essentially a computer in your pocket. Now, let's see if it can be done reasonably with proper safeguards.

First man/machine nerve grafts restore amputee's sense of touch


Re: Remember

Well, according to the US Inflation Calculator, if it cost $6,000,000 in 1973, it'll cost $31,480,675.68 today.

That'll be a rather unwieldy title for a TV show, though.

Run for the tills! Malware infected Target registers, slurped 40m bank cards


I'm considering myself lucky

During the time in question (late November through December 15th), I didn't visit a Target store or their website to buy anything.

No point to this post, really, just counting my blessings.

Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April


Re: I want Windows 7 back because I prefer to be slow!!!

I'm really happy for you that Windows 8 was a fantastic experience for you and your acquaintances. That being said, and judging from the responses not only at El Reg, but also on countless other forums, you and yours are the exception.

You could have the fastest OS in the world; lightning quick, open apps before you can tap the application icon, and all that fun stuff. But being quick is worth less than nothing if the interface gets in the way of the user. If the user has to page through screen after screen on a hide-and-seek mission to find the app he/she is looking for; if the interface isn't apparently intuitive to the user, then the experience falls flat and irritations rise. An application that would have taken the user two seconds to launch before on the old interface, now takes the user up to 10 seconds to locate and launch, the speed factor is effectively annulled.

TL;DR, The OS should never get in the way of the user trying to do the task at hand, and for most users, Windows 8 fails in that way.

You DON'T need a new MacBook! Reg man fiddles with Fusion, pimps out vintage Pro


My current MacBook is an iBook G4 running OSX 10.4.11. I don't care how much tweaking and twerking you do on it, I DO need a new MacBook.

Microsoft releases wonderfully loopy experimental GIF-jiggler


Re: JIF?

No, silly, it's peanut butter.

Moto's DIY smartphone Ara to be 3D PRINTED in exclusive new deal


Modular Phones and Modern Art

I hope all the bits and bobs are going to be available in different colours. I want to build a phone that Piet Mondrian would love.

Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)



And I suppose the Proper British spelling for a certain precious metal is "platinium"?

aluminum / aluminium... let's call the whole thing off.



@hplasm - "oddly, neither is Euphonium- the element all 'brass' instruments are made of..."

On that note, I can't seem to find Harmonium on the Periodic table, either.

...nor by the Occasional chair.

/mine's the one with sheet music in the pocket.

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH


Still won't upgrade; even for free

I still use a iBook G4 with OSX 10.4.11 (Tiger) that I refuse to upgrade any further, mainly because of ONE solitaire game (that runs in the Classic environment only) that I am wholly, horribly addicted to: Beat The Dragon 2.5. I can't find a version that doesn't suck like a black hole -- I'm looking at you, BTD 3.0 -- on any other platform. And, since OSX took away the Classic environment in 10.5 and above, I'm not budging.

I know it's silly, but damn it, I love that game.

Forget Wi-Fi, boffins get 150Mbps Li-Fi connection from a lightbulb


Sounds familiar

So... It's a glorified IR connection, then? That's so last millennium.

Everything old is new again.

FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz


Obscured upgrade path

Personally, I think one facet of the slow take-up of Win7 is that there's no clean/clear upgrade path from XP to 7 (aside from ponying up the dosh to get Win7 Professional Ultimate; even then, it's not very intuitive).

Create a utility/tool/program to help Joe Punter upgrade his perfectly capable XP machine to Win 7, or at least make it a more simple procedure to upgrade, and more people might be enticed to do it.

Germany warns: You just CAN'T TRUST some Windows 8 PCs


Only one way to disable TPM

> ...OEMs have the ability to turn off the TPM in x86 machines; thus, purchasers can purchase machines with TPMs disabled...

The thing is, I don't want the TPM chip to be "disabled," I want it REMOVED from the motherboard altogether. That's the only way I know I'll be able to trust my computer to run the OS and software I WANT it to, and not be beholden to some shadowy organization and/or find the chip possibly re-enabled because of a processor change, or BIOS battery replacement.

NORKS prepping glorious People's Smartmobe


The tech reports I've heard mention two interesting "features" about the Arirang: it does not access the Internet /at all/, and it cannot make international calls.

Because, goodness knows, the average North Korean must not communicate beyond the borders of the DPRK. That road leads to madness.

*cues up "One Step Beyond"*