* Posts by Cosmo

201 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Oct 2007


What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave


Make time for yourself - Don't go above and beyond

As a developer, I have been there - That bit of code just won't quite work as expected, so you leave annoyed on a Friday evening. Then, whilst in the shower on Saturday morning, you get that 'Eureka' moment and you realise what you were doing wrong and it'll only take an hour to fix it, and I could just VPN in now and sort it and...

Don't. Don't do this. Make a mental note of what the problem and solution are, and come back to it on Monday. It's similar to Facebook likes (and Register upvotes). In the long run it doesn't really benefit you (unless you're working for yourself) if you bust your guts for someone else. You just get rewarded with even more work.

So take the break at the weekend - Catch up with friends and family. Or even, just have a lie-in. The work can wait until Monday (unless you're working for TSB - Sorry).

UK pub chain Wetherspoons' last call: ♫ Just a spoonful of Twitter – let's pull social media down ♫


I think that more companies will start to do this

Although I don't believe Mr. Martin's reasons for canning the social media accounts, I think that more companies will start to ease back on social media, as some companies appear to have to do more fire-fighting rather than doing anything useful.

I remember last Easter when the Daily Mail went all in at the National Trust for not putting the word 'Easter' in their egg hunt. The poor person running their Twitter account just spent all Easter issuing the same response to the angry gammon who were threatening to boycott the National Trust.

Since more websites now seem to have a live chat feature, I wonder if some companies might feel this was a less time-wasting option for them.

Jack in black: 12 years on, Twitter finally makes a profit from its firehose of memes and misery


I wonder that too. I don't use Twitter all that much, but I probably see one ad per "session" which I just scroll past. I'm more of a lurker, so maybe it depends on how you use Twitter?

If you're one on these people who have posted something like 80k Tweets, then maybe Twitter has more keywords to go on, and then as a result you get served more ads? Who knows.

Talk about a hot mic: Dodgy Pixel mobe audio lands Google in court


$$$ For the lawyers

I forsee a $5m settlement where the lawyers fee total $4.3 million and everyone else gets a $50 rebate on their next Google Pixel phone, as long as they registered their phone between 00:01 and 00:15 on the 8th November 2016

ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t


Poundland pulled a blinder here

Whilst I am not a believer of the phrase "There's no such thing as bad publicity" - Poundland have played a beauty here. I expect that the majority of those that complained have never set foot in a Poundland and never will, so they haven't lost any custom, but got themselves a glut of free advertising just before the Christmas break!

Women beat men to jobs due to guys' bad social skills. Whoa – you mad, fellas? Maybe these eggheads have a point...


Male social skills

As someone who has been an engineer for around 20 years, I would say that the social skills of some of my peers are absolutely appalling.

Engineering nowadays relies on a lot of teamwork and communication - The era of some guy plugging away in his shed / garage for months on end producing something never seen before is pretty much gone. That means that people need to work together and let people know what's going on in their heads.

There are quite a few engineers who regard a part of a project as "theirs" and refuse to share information or communicate or demonstrate what they are doing, which inevitably leads to delays and WTF moments when things don't work as they should.

Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data



It's interesting that, from the report, the access was via valid WordPress login details, even though the version of WordPress itself was vulnerable.

That points to either a disgustingly easy user/pass combo (admin/password) or an inside job where someone was possibly paid to disclose server details.

Phone fatigue takes hold: SIM-onlys now top UK market



This is good news - It's about time that customers realise that they're getting fleeced by the 2 year upgrade bandwagon. Buy your phone outright from wherever you want (with no network lock-downs), go SIM only and keep it for as long as you want.

You can see why Vodafone have branched into flogging broadband...

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars


Re: Horsecrap

Are you missing out on kernel fixes, yes, but it's unreasonable to expect them on a device that cost less than £250 5 years ago.

And this is exactly the problem. If I had bought a less than £250 Windows PC 5 years ago, I would still be getting kernel updates.


Re: Horsecrap

"Android gets monthly patches, delivered in a timely manner to 1st party devices, (if you were stupid enough to buy 2nd party, or even 3rd paty device, that is not Google, nor Android's fault)."

I have a Nexus 4 phone and a Nexus 7 tablet kicking around at home somewhere. They are both 1st party devices. Where are their monthly patches?

Google, Twitter gleefully spew Texas shooter fake news into netizens' eyes


The S*n do it all the time

They post a story that is complete garbage, get called out on it and pull it from their website as if it never happened.

Google's phone woes: The Pixel and the damage done


Bring back Nexus!

I loved my nexus 4. Cheap, well built, no frills and timely software updates. What does the pixel brand offer over the Nexus brand apart from the hike in price?

London Mayor backs talks with Uber after head honcho's apology


Politics at play

A beautiful example of political theatre. It's interesting that this follows a similar pattern to when the London club Fabric got shut down. After a few meetings and an appeal, they were back up and running with some more stringent policies. I'm sure that the same will happen with Uber - Although probably with a few more brown envelopes passed under the table.

Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun


I have enjoyed it

Although I did get distracted a few times with more lightweight things such as Lucifer and The Grand Tour, I have finished the first two seasons of Mr Robot and have found it enjoyable.

Rami Malek plays an excellent hacker and Christian Slater is very good in his role too (I won't spoil). I found Angela's dour expressions a little bit annoying at times, and Darlene's brattish behaviour can be a little OTT at times, but in general is spot on.

Halfway through series 2 it does get a little weird, with one episode starting off as a flashback in the form of an 80's style US sitcom, whilst another episode features Angela, a girl and an old-school telephone..... but stick with it - it is worthit, although it can be a little hard to binge watch as it is very full on.

Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill


Marketing will be interesting

The pixels do look like good phones, but I just can't see them making an impact unless they market them heavily. For a lot of people that don't know a great deal about phones, Android is basically Samsung.

I had a Nexus 4 for about 2 and a half years and it was an excellent phone, but most people had never heard of the Nexus brand. I've hardly seen any main news sites covering the Pixel in the way that the new iPhone or S series Samsung gets covered.

FFS, Twitter. It's not that hard


Be brave - charge for the app

Make it like WhatsApp used to be and charge £0.99 a year. That's £300million a year and less need to worry about advertisers. If trolls get booted off, then they're less likely to keep signing up and paying for it.

But please, please, please keep the designers away. I'm sick of Google Maps and Instagram changing the UI every few weeks and shifting things around that were fine

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies


Floor standing foot measurers

I can't remember now, but weren't those massive floor standing machines that we loved as kids rapidly withdrawn because they were pumping us full of X-rays?

What took you so long, Twitter? Micro blogging site takes on the trolls


Re: Great idea

I generally support the Samaritans, but they royally shot themselves in the foot by attempting to push out an app that scanned posts on Twitter and would automatically alert you about their services if it "triggered" on certain words


Good luck with that...

The big problem that Twitter has, is that the definition of trolling has changed over the years and it now means "that person said something that I don't like/agree with". Is calling someone an idiot bullying or trolling? It's a very blurred line.

I'm concerned that Twitter will become (even more of) a hard left-wing platform where anything that doesn't reflect a certain point of view will be flagged as trolling / bullying and the whole thing will turn into a massive echo chamber of little benefit...

Group rattles tin in bid to snatch TfL licence from Uber's paw


£600,000 in 8 weeks...

Lawyers start your engines!

Star Wars Battlefront: Is this the shooter you’re looking for?


Half finished game - Expensive DLC - typical EA

I was poised to buy this game, but I read the Amazon reviews first, and for all formats the reviews are pretty shocking. The consensus is that this is around £40 - £50 for a half finished game, with an additional "season pass" which will give you more multiplayer maps for another £40!

This is a horrible smash and grab by EA. They know that the Star Wars name will sell this game like hotcakes and it feels like they've deliberately rushed it out before Christmas and the Star Wars release at minimum content and maximum value. I shouldn't be surprised really. I might buy it when it's down to a tenner.

Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup



I got the same e-mail about a week ago about the LoveFilm by post price hike. It's obvious what's going to happen there. Come February, tons of people will cancel en masse. As a result of that, Amazon will say - "Look! Subscriber numbers for the LoveFilm by post have fallen off a cliff! Oh dear, we had better cancel it then!".

Amazon Video is so difficult to use it's unbelievable. Oohh there are 4 seasons of that series I want to watch. But I can only watch the first three. The last series is pay per stream.

Oh you want to watch that film? Well you can either buy it for £x, or stream it for £y. But wait, now that you want to stream it, you can stream it in HD for £z, which is obviously more that the £y that it was listed at. Morons.

Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution


I quite like Argos

In the January sales last year, I was looking for a new camera. Argos had one in stock just down the road from work. I ordered it from my desk and picked it up a couple of hours later on my way home from the station.

I've also used their home delivery on things like mattresses and beds when I bought my house a few years ago and that "just worked" too.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg



Arnold Schwarzenegger is on his way up! You know what to do... *wink*

Anonymous UK 'leader' fined for revealing ID of rape complainant


Sounds like a right charmer

Shagging about, notches on the bedpost, revealing the name of an alleged (at the time) rape victim?

I think even I would vote for Cameron over him!

The Honor's a defo gamechanger, but good luck buying one


Marketing / Brand Recognition is important for the masses

Us tech geeks can look at the specs and price of a phone and use that information to make a decision on the product. But half the reason why Apple / Samsung and Sony hold big swathes of the market is obviously the swanky marketing, but the brand recognition too.

I can guarantee that neither my girlfriend or any of her friends will have even heard of Huawei, and if the Honor 7 isn't available somewhere like CPW or other carrier's stores, then it's not going to get much traction.

As a side note, I did have a Huawei Ascend G300 (and still do as a backup phone) which worked perfectly well when it was my main phone. It started out iwth Gingerbread and did get an upgrade to ICS.

However, in line with other posters, I'm unconvinced about the likeliness of security updates and support. My concern would be, if you attempt to buy this phone directly from Huawei and their website isn't setup to cope with even buying a phone, how would it cope with having to send a phone back, owing to a fault?

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Spider: "I was just looking for a shoulder to cry on"


Ashley Madison continues its web of deceit

Yet another Android app security bug: This time 'everything is affected'


An Omnishambles of flaws

Kinda sums it up

Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style


Moto X Play

That Moto X Play could be the sweet spot for me. My Nexus 4 is starting to die (more like Lollipop is killing it off) so it's time for something new. I already have the Moto E 1st Gen as a cheapo backup phone and I am a fan of Motorola's no-frills approach to both the design of the phone and leaving Android relatively untouched

NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day


Re: Nonce?

It's also a term that Google (at least) use in some of their API calls to indicate a number / string that should just be used once.

It does seem quite odd having nonces in your code, but there you go!

Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE


Sounds like it's broken

Am I allowed to post a link from the INQ?


Who could have possibly envisaged a cashless only system going tits up!

Spanish TV journo leaves subordinates cowering after verbal shoeings


I'm learning Spanish at the moment...

...and it's great to hear some "real world" Spanish with swearing and threats to kill :D It's stuff like this that comes in handy!

Google blames Flash for hobbling Chrome, says it sucks (too much power)


I speak for everyone when I say

Flash. Arrrrrrgggghhhhh! Pain in the arse of the universe

KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims


Re: Centi-Chicken

What about the chicken centipede?

Android M's Now on Tap cyber-secretary is like Clippy on Class A drugs


Nexus 4 not supported?

The Developer preview talk about the Nexus 5,6 and 9. Does that mean that the Nexus 4 won't be supported?

I have loved my Nexus 4, but the update to Lollipop is doing its best to kill it. I frequently get the BSOD (Black screen of death) where the notification LED still works, but nothing else. Also, since updating to Lollipop 5.1 I lose my data connection when moving out of range of the Wifi. I hope that this isn't one of the "deep sleeps" that Google are promoting with Android M, as it makes your phone about as useful as a paperweight.

At this point, I'm not sure whether to hold onto wait until Android M comes out, or revert back to KitKat...

Election? Pah. Here's the REAL question: Who’s the SEXIEST MP?


Penny Mordaunt FTW

Hell yeah!

So tablets, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a laptop


Re: Wrong tablet

I have an iPad Mini 2 and a Tesco Hudl2. Naturally the iPad is a nicer tablet, but I have almost frisbeed it out of the window on numerous occasions due to the very limited syncing that Apple allows you to do.

With the Hudl, I can take the memory card out of my camera, remove it from the adapter and place it directly into the memory card slot, tinker with the pictures and then save them elsewhere. ES File Manager does work very well for that, but I agree with another poster that trying to select a subset of pictures from a large directory is frustrating.

Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC


This reminds me of an old Reg article!

It took me a while to find it, but here it is!


Basically, a dad gets narked at his daughter's rant on FaceBook, so he takes the laptop that he prepped for her out the back and puts about 6 bullets into it. Youtube video included!

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains


It would be interesting to see the stats..

Although Reg readers are more likely to be "power users", it would be interesting to see what the stats are for people buying Samsung phones and to see what percentage take advantage of the memory card slot and removable battery.

My GF had an S3 and then upgraded to the S5. She has never removed the battery, and never installed an SD card. If the vast majority of punters are the same, then maybe this is why Samsung have decided to dispense with these options.

I wonder also how many support calls Samsung have received due to someone putting a slow/poor quality/corrupted SD card in their phone and then having a go at Samsung because of it.

I have a Nexus 4, so am used to the no removable battery and no SD card. However, my Hudl 2 does have an SD card, but obviously no removable battery.

Tinder Plus charges oldies MORE to ogle young hotties' pics


Dating apps really hate the over 30s

There was a website called FaceParty (remember them?) who did a similar thing years ago, by deleting the accounts of everyone aged over 35.

I can't imagine any self-respecting over-30 to want to pay hundreds of pounds a year for a hot-or-not swipe app...

Twitter triples abuse team, knocks dox


Tripled the abuse team...

From 1 to 3?

How good a techie are you? Objective about yourself and your skills?



I don't know where you are in Canada. I have been a few times both for business and pleasure and I understand it to be a little bit bigger than the size of the UK.. but if you're not in Montreal, can you move there?

There are a ridiculous amount of tech companies there which cover a wide range of areas in IT

Speaking in Tech: Android 5.0 Lollipop is a TRAIN WRECK


Lollipop - Form over function?

I've put lollipop on my Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 4.

The Nexus 7 struggles, but I thought it would. It was struggling with Kit Kat so that's not a surprise. I am bitterly disappointed with some of the design decisions though.

If you just open up your phone / tablet and gaze at it, then Lollipop does look beautiful - but I feel that some of these form factors make actually attempting to use the thing more difficult.

For instance - notifications on the lock screen. They look great and line up perfectly. But if you're using Google Music you can't skip backwards to the start of the track / a previous track anymore. Plus an mentioned in the podcast, you shouldn't need to have an engineering degree to setup your notifications grrrr

Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop


Nexus 2012

Last weekend I flashed my Nexus 2012 with Lollipop, so all the apps were removed and reinstalled afterwards.

I have noticed a few odd things. Like the poster above, I once did manage to "skip" the password lock screen which is worrying, but I haven't managed to reproduce it

I haven't had any crashes yet. iPlayer works properly now with no stuttering after ~25 mins. However, the tablet in general has slowed to a crawl. I can open the magnetic cover and wait around 10 seconds before I can enter my lock code. What is it doing! It's almost as if the NAND controller has a 5 second sleep built into it

Google begins to roll out Lollipop to Nexus devices


Re: Original Moto G?

Thanks for that link. It looks like the Moto E is getting Lollipop too. That is fantastic news for £89



Apparently Android Lollipop fixes the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) bug that was affecting iPlayer downloads, so I'm gagging to get it ASAP

My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street


Pubs already being converted

Where I live, a big chunk of the old-man's boozers have been shut and converted into either flats, Co-Ops or Spars.

Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices


In my current 16GB Nexus 7 I have:

3.4GB of Apps and app data

4 GB of music

2GB of iPlayer videos

1GB of gallery pictures/videos

With the OS overhead, that is pretty full, and I wouldn't call myself a power user.


I'm not sure about this....

I have an original Nexus 7 that is just over two years old now, and has served me extremely well on my daily ~1hr commute. When I heard rumours of the new Nexus 8/9 I was already prepping my credit card. But hmmmm I'm just not sure.

So this is £319 for 16GB and £399 for 32GB. The iPad Mini 2 is £239 for 16GB and £279 for 32GB and the iPad Mini 3 is £319 for 16GB and £399 for 64GB.

Once you lose ~3GB for the OS, the 16GB version might struggle for space, so if I wanted the 32GB version, I might as well buy a 64GB iPad Mini 3 for the same price?

Or going slightly leftfield, I could by a Hudl 2 for £129 and shove in a 32GB card for a tenner to have a slightly inferior tablet for £139...

If the prices don't drop (and I can't see that happening for a while) then I'm not entirely sure that I can justify it :-/