* Posts by Red Bren

1649 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

Version 252 of systemd, as expected, locks down the Linux boot process

Red Bren

Re: For a second....

The English ruling class are descended from compatriots of William the Bastard Conqueror, hence the preference for anglo-french words.

Red Bren
Thumb Up

Re: For a second....

Nice use of "Cromulent", I used it at work today!

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am

Red Bren
Paris Hilton

Re: External memory

I have no short term memory, or long term memory, or short term memory...

Techies take turns at shut-down top trumps

Red Bren

Re: Be careful about differentiating by colour

People with "normal" colour vision get fooled by optical illusions.


I recall a very cold winter's day in the 1980s where the green traffic light appeared to be blue when viewed from a distance.

Facebook's at it again: Internal emails show it knew about Cambridge Analytica abuse 'months' before news broke

Red Bren

Re: Weird science

"Zuckerborg I think it was called"


It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports

Red Bren

Re: Keystone Cops

"I only care about the reason of the crash having been failure to regularly grease the wrong nut..."

Surely failing to grease the wrong nut would not cause an accident, whereas regularly greasing the wrong nut might...

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt

Red Bren

Re: Trident

"There have been over 150 test flights of Trident D5 missiles over the years, nearly all have flown successfully. A few have failed, not a surprise there."

When you're incinerated in a nuclear apocalypse, it doesn't really matter if it the enemy's or your own side's nukes that are doing the incinerating...

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

Red Bren

Re: "Floating"

Surely it's travelling in a straight line through curved space-time?

Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

Red Bren


If we all had the resources to stick to best practises all the time, then we'd all be a lot poorer I expect.

There's money to be made cleaning up the mess after some short-sighted penny pinching!

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

Red Bren

Re: It's not a compass.

If they were off course by inches, then that's the fault of the British. If they had been off course by centimetres, then it would be the fault of the French!

Boffins have fabricated microscopic sci-fi tractor beams for real

Red Bren

Re: using beams of light to manipulate atoms.

"No, quantum mechanics, but the problem with them is that you can never quite be sure whether they turned up"

You can know when they turn up or where they turn up, but not both.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

Red Bren

Moral Decision or Financial Decision?

The AI car's course of action won't be driven by morality, but by money. The car will calculate the value of compensation for the various options and go for the cheapest.

Block me, Amadeus: Falco to perform in CNCF sandbox

Red Bren

Oh, oh, oh, Amadeus

ZX Spectrum reboot scandal: Directors quit, new sack effort started

Red Bren

Re: Is there a point where we get to feel sorry for them?

"chasing them up was just going to make their lives more miserable than any pleasure I'd get from the console."

What about the pleasure you'd get from making their lives more miserable?

Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield

Red Bren

Software not designed for a secondary market

Isn't this a manifestation of the blurring line between hardware that is owned, and software that is licensed?

If you buy a new car that requires you to create an account to access all the features, can all subsequent owners do the same for free? If the new owner of the car tries to break the link with the previous owner's online account, will they be greeted with an extortionate "In order to use the advanced features of this vehicle, please register at www.britishleyland.com" where they will be given an option to pay a fee (double dipping by the manufacturer) or be told "your vehicle is no longer supported"

How do we ensure that exercising your GDPR rights doesn't force you to brick your car?

Red Bren
Big Brother

Re: Not a new problem...

"BMW has a function to delete all user data. Says it can take 15 or 30 minutes"

That's how long it takes to upload the data to base before the actual deletion, which only takes a second or two...

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

Red Bren

FUSE in a plasticky box

If you want a retro experience in your hand, just install an emulator on your smartphone!

ZX Spectrum reboot latest: Some Vega+s arrive, Sky pulls plug, Clive drops ball

Red Bren

Re: Shitty packaging...

"I have had a hammer delivered with better packaging !"

Lucky! Think of how many Vega+s have been saved from damage!

Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

Red Bren

Re: definition of "rape" in this case is a broken condom

@ kyndair

"As for the other case that needs to be tried before anyone can say if he was innocent."

No, he is innocent. He is accused of crimes, but unless he is convicted of them, he is innocent. Doesn't mean he isn't a cock though...

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

Red Bren

Re: ... rounded up ...

Because you're xenophobic and allowing one episode in a nation's history cloud your judgement on it now.


Red Bren


The researchers could have had a bit of fun, programming the robot to say "I'll be back..." as it powered down, or start giggling manically if still switched on as the subject left the room.

The internet's very own Muslim ban continues: DNS overlord insists it can freeze dot-words

Red Bren

Re: How many gTLDs do we need?

Thanks @AC

Red Bren

How many gTLDs do we need?

Surely the main* point of TLDs is to break up and delegate the work of network addressing? As more TLDs are created, doesn't that slow everything down? I'd appreciate if someone can point out the flaw in my logic isn't it more efficient to for root DNS servers to hand off requests to the approprate server for the domain, who in turn hand off to the authoritative server for the subdomain? The more TLDs there are, the more work for the root servers to track down the authority to delegate to. Where do we stop? Do we all get our own TLD?

* Some people seem to think the main point of TLDs is to keep inventing new ones, milking a constant stream of revenue from organisations who have a trademark to protect, or a desire to protect their customers from legitimate sounding impersonators. I couldn't possibly comment...

Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

Red Bren

Re: One little pill?

Why not just take it in a readily available form, i.e. A glass of wine?

I swear if someone discovered a cheap plant extract that if taken daily, would prevent cancer, heart disease and dementia, but its one side effect was to make you high for thirty seconds, the government would refuse to legalise it.

Red Bren

Feckin' Puritans

A talking head on the BBC was at pains to welcome "the link between excess alcohol consumption and dementia." When challenged about the surprising link between abstinance and dementia, he was very keen to stress "There could be many other factors at play"

I refuse to listen to government health advice that insists that fun=unhealthy.

UK 'fake news' inquiry calls for end to tech middleman excuses, election law overhaul

Red Bren

Re: Beware ...

Perhaps PPE graduates should be barred from public office, unless they also possess a STEM degree? You can still study PPE if it's of esoteric interest to you, not because it's the qualification you need if you want a career as a politician. Indeed, ther shouldn't even be such a things as a "career as a politician"

Red Bren

Re: 'Fake news'


"Don't like the message? Blame the messenger."

I think you've missed the point. When the messenger is motivated to choose what message to convey, they are no longer just a messenger, and are quite rightly in the firing line for some blame.

No big deal... Kremlin hackers 'jumped air-gapped networks' to pwn US power utilities

Red Bren

Re: More detail please

Yeah, but they used to be commies and they're probably still commies really so they're the bad guys and they were infecting US computers with malware and everyone knows that is an ACT OF WAR.

Stuxnet was just a prank that got a little out of hand but it didn't do any harm and even if it did those eye-ranians are bad guys and they deserved it and they were going to attack us so we retaliated in self defence first.

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Red Bren

Re: Never do this

@Sebastian P.

"No equipment is worth more than your health or your life."

You've never bought a macbook pro then...

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

Red Bren

Re: @ wolfetone

The NHS will always need more because it's a victim of its own success. Every life it prolongs now becomes a future patient needing treatment for the degenerative diseases of old age. So what is the solution, is there one?

Do we assess a treatment not only on its cost and effectiveness, but also on its utility? A costly, but life-saving treatment could be considered "worth it" for a thirty-something, but not for a sixty-something, based on tax contributions they are likely to make. It's the thin end of a rather nasty wedge; what other variables do you factor in? Do you prioritise treatment based on income, as that will offer a higher "return"? Speaking as someone who has spent most of his adult life taking medication, which has allowed me to be a well-paid, productive member of society, I don't like the idea of a system that might prioritise my treatment while I'm working, but when I hit retirement, no longer deems me worth it.

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Red Bren

As no one has come up with any objective criteria which could be agreed by both sides of the government as to whether Brexit has even happened, I would say no.

Plans for half of Europeans to get 100Mbps by 2020 ain't gonna happen – report

Red Bren

Is Thanos in charge of this?

What happens to the other half of Europeans?

Brit reseller Aria PC mounts appeal against £750k taxman VAT fiddle ruling

Red Bren

"A gangster that in many ways writes it's own laws, Al Capone owned judges and cops, HMRC often are the judges and cops."

And PwC/KPMG/EY/Deloitte have a revolving door into HMRC. The people writing tax law today, will tomorrow be advising their clients where the loopholes are.

Red Bren

Re: Ignorance of the law is not a defence...

"HMRCs determination however has no more legal standing than an opinion. It is a very highly regarded opinion within government, but it is still simply an opinion."

The level of regard given to HMRC's determination by the government is inversely proportional to the wealth of the the individual/corporation involved. Tax is for the little people who can't avoid it, justice is for those who can afford it.

You've been Zucked: Facebook boss refuses to face-off with Brit MPs

Red Bren

Re: "You can call me a dreamer..."

@Adam 52

"Insert your own Voltaire or Niemöller quote."

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to come for the people that disapprove of what you say, because I did not disapprove of what you said.

UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year

Red Bren

Visas and skills gaps

For every role that an employer wants to bring in a skilled worker on a visa because of a skills gap, they have to sponsor two local unemployed people through the relevant qualifications and training. At the end of the training period, the visa lapses and the role goes to one of the trained up locals, or the employer can choose to renew the visa, but will now have to sponsor four locals through training. Each visa renewal will incur an exponential burden of training. Eventually, it will have to be cheaper to hire a local candidate then bring someone in on a visa and pay for all the incurred training.

UK.gov expects auto auto software updates won't involve users

Red Bren
Black Helicopters

OTA Obsolesence

Gazing into my crystal ball...

My three year old car that I've just finished paying the finance on installs an OTA update without my knowledge or permission. Suddenly, the frequency of needing a recharge goes up and the flux capacitor is more sluggish. Every commercial break on the radio now starts with an advert for the latest model of my car.

My neighbour bought the same car at around the same time, but he's on a 5 year finance deal. His car is still performing as well as it did when it hovered off the forecourt. The only adverts he hears on the radio is for help claiming mis-sold car finance...

Now where did I put my tinfoil hat?

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti

Red Bren

Re: auto-darkening lenses

Peril-sensitive sun glasses

Red Bren

Re: "Not really - you only need to sweep across the cockpit windows"

@Pascal Monett

I thought the same thing until another commenter pointed out that the beam from a hand held laser pointer, isn't that well collimated and will spread out over distances of hundreds of meters, so not that hard to hit the target. In addition, minor imperfections in the cockpit glass cause the beam to repeatedly reflect and refract, so it's not just a little green dot any more.

Can't find the original comment, sadly.

TSB's middleware nightmare: Execs grilled on Total Sh*tshow at Bank

Red Bren

Which bit of his bonus will he lose?

The bit before or the bit after the decimal point?

UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'

Red Bren

Re: "what comes out of a cow's arse"

They had to stop using black horse stuff. That's what caused the trouble in the first place!

Yes, Emergency Service Network will be late and cost more - UK perm sec

Red Bren

Re: we're all going to die!

I've never died, so based on all the evidence available, I'm immortal!

I'll get my shroud...

Red Bren

Bodes well for NI border

So a government IT project that has already been in progress for years, is flagging up a warning that it won't deliver on time, 21 months before the deadline. At the same time, the government is saying it can invent, develop and deliver a technological solution to the NI border issue, in 21 months, even though it hasn't started yet?

Brexit in spaaaace! At T-1 year and counting: UK politicos ponder impact

Red Bren

Re: "Project Fear"


"The death penalty no longer applies..."

After Brexit, the UK can withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and reintroduce the death penalty, specifically to deal with the deceivers that sold out the country to further their own (and the Kremlin's) interests. Then we can apply for a fast-track, hard rejoin of the EU, with Schengen and the Euro thrown in.

Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

Red Bren

Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

Pornography is legal. Maybe you should ask yourself what business it is of your's to judge other people's legal activities, based on whatever intolerant, prudish moral compass you use.

Red Bren

FoI request

Any chance El Reg could request a list of all domains or IP addresses accessed from devices on the networks at the Houses of Parliament?

My employer would treat it as gross misconduct if I managed to access porn from a work device, especially as it would require me to deliberately circumvent the firewalls and proxies.

I assume MPs would face the same challenges to access porn while connected to the parliament network, and would suffer similar sanctions if they succeeded.

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

Red Bren

Re: "after ignoring NTP for 25 years"

@ david 12

Perhaps he's using the MS implementation of NTP to set his calendar?

UK watchdog Ofcom tells broadband firms: '30 days to sort your speeds'

Red Bren

Re: it will make no difference

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. If you can't fix it, I'd like to leave.

Provider 1: it's not our fault it's BT. Cheerio.

30 days later...

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. If you can't fix it, I'd like to leave.

Provider 2: it's not our fault it's BT. Cheerio.

n x 30 days later...

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. If you can't fix it, I'd like to leave.

Provider N: it's not our fault it's BT. Cheerio.

Customer: So how do I actually get the advertised speed?

Providers: You can't. You get what you're given or go without.

Rather than giving customers the option to cancel the contract without, perhaps OFCOM should be forcing ISPs to provide the service the customer signed up to in good faith or suffer a penalty? Perhaps give customers the right to withold payment when the service doesn't meet the minimum standard?

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. Until it's fixed, I don't have to pay!

Providers: Oy! BT! If we don't get paid, you don't get paid, so sort it out!

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Red Bren

Re: Food and booze

Ant hill inside?

-- Out of Cheese Error - Redo from Start --

Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

Red Bren

Re: No rocks here

Betelgeuse might have already blown up in the last 599 years, we just haven't seen it yet...