* Posts by max allan

264 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Mar 2007


Massive energy storage system goes online in UK

max allan

Re: Wave and Tide

> Nothing needs to get wet.

Except wading birds and tidal estuary ecosystems. Which have been confounding the construction of a Severn estuary tidal generator for what feels like 20+ years.

It is starting to come down to : do we care more about a few birds in an eco-niche or the rest of the inhabitants or our energy demanding way of life?

I expect that in 100-200 years, we will be considered like the sailors who killed all the dodos. Except that we will be killing a LOT more than a single species to satisfy our demands for energy.

max allan

Re: Decommissioning?

> such as in summer when heating is more or less un-needed

I used a lot of watts this summer keeping my AC going. And it is looking like it could be even hotter next year the way the climate is going...

On the bright side, I haven't used much heating yet this year.

Any of these long term schemes and predictions needs to consider that literally anything could happen with the weather. As global weather and ocean flows change who knows what will happen.

Next year we might be stuck under a permanent cloud with little wind. Requiring heating in summer and not getting much solar or wind power.

Sovereignty? We've heard of it. UK government gives contract to store MI5, MI6 and GCHQ's data to AWS

max allan

Re: Cloud. Restictions? Sure anything, just sign here.

On the flip side, how paranoid do you need to be that you think your data is so valuable, that a multi billion dollar corporation is going to put their entire business at risk to steal it?

As soon as someone can demonstrate "aws stole our data" their business collapses as everyone goes back to on prem.

Maybe the odd individual would steal data, but it is all pretty well tracked and logged, so the individual can be punished. Just like an individual in your org could steal data. But I have worked for banks and governments and telcos and never seen anything anywhere near as good as the protection/logging/monitoring/etc. that AWS claim to have.

So yes, if you want a substandard solution that doesn't address the most likely risk, help yourself.

max allan

So, government is going to need to employ huge numbers of staff to replace all the outsourced contracts it holds.

No. Never going to happen.

And how far does your "must be government" requirement go?

Do we need government cleaners? Government builders? Government made cars and bus and trains and drivers? If we can't have private companies writing software for government use : we need almost an entire Microsoft's worth of people writing a desktop operating system and apps. Or is it ok to use software from private companies?

And hardware? We need an Intel's worth of people to design and build CPUs and RAM and all the other chips you need for computers. Or is it OK for a private company to make and maintain hardware for government?

If we can use hardware and software from private companies, then we can use AWS.

Despite your opinions of Amazon, this deal is with AWS. Tarring them with the same brush is like saying your fingers are shitty because they're part of the same body as your arsehole.

The only professionals I've heard with bad things to say about aws are people who haven't actually used it "my mate says it is insecure because he had a computer from amazon and got a virus" or people who claim it is bad because <insert reason that boils down to them doing it wrong>. If you can get your AWS config wrong, you can get your on prem deployment wrong too and maybe you just aren't cut out for working in IT?

AWS is extremely secure when configured correctly. But a lot of people have failed to do that in the past because aws made it too easy for people to do stupid things. Now they have made it much harder (in the UI and on the CLI in some areas)

AWS US East region endures eight-hour wobble thanks to 'Stuck IO' in Elastic Block Store

max allan

Re: "Sometimes it's hard to find the silver lining"

The silver lining of cloud is easy to find. You have 5 other zones in us east. Several other regions in the us with at least 3 more zones each. Many more regions in the rest of the world.

If your design is so stupid that it relies on a single zone, you haven't done cloud. You've taken all your existing problems and moved them to cloud. And you deserve all the downtime you get.

And if someone let a manager move on without having run some DR scenarios on the deployment, then the senior managers are to blame for their incompetence. Don't try to push the blame for management incompetence onto the tools they are getting people to misuse.

If a building site had a box of hammers and a manager said "you can only use one hammer" and that hammer broke, would you be complaining about how having lots of hammers was not helping the build. Or would you be calling the manager a total fudging incompetent moron who needs to get the hello off my site without expecting any more salary to be paid?

Google's FLoC flies into headwinds as internet ad industry braces for instability

max allan

Don't forget the rest of the world

Outside the world of geeks who care about their data, I bet most people couldn't care less about this "problem". And I suspect very few people are in the "care" category.

The real world has accepted their personal data will be bought and sold, and they have moved on.

Why is it that some people seem to be such luddites about this issue and are holding on to a world that no longer exists, rather than figuring out how to live in the one being made. Arguing about floc and ad blockers and "privacy" is like arguing about your engined car not having anywhere to store a haybale for long journeys.

max allan

Re: It's just GIGO

You may have nice things. But you need to pay for them. Would you rather pay with money or ads?

Survey: Techies reckon open sourcery has better prospects than familiarity with a single vendor's cloud wares

max allan

Re: secure in the knowledge that nobody will see his code

I have worked in closed source. And all the really gnarly bits of code get left alone.

"Gary wrote that, he understands it, I don't, it passes some tests : approved"

I spent about 3 days trying to empirically demonstrate a bug. Turned out to be an off by one error. And while they were in fixing it, because it was the first time anyone but the original author had checked it, properly they found a calculation that had been optimised out of the loop that needed to be in the loop.

This on very specialist software selling at 100s of £k per seat. We just released the new version as "optimised and improved accuracy" and never told anyone what was in it.

max allan

Re: One thing people tend to forget about FOSS.

FOSS as a thing will live on. Companies as a thing will live on.

Specific FOSS or comapnies will die. You only have to spend 5 minutes.looking around github at the number of abandoned repos, often for once working software that are now stale and won't even build with supported (eg no glaring security holes) versions of compilers/interpreters/operating systems.

That doesn't even touch the surface of stuff that was never completed or got removed for whatever reason (Truecrypt for example)

Dodgy procedures doomed Arianespace's Vega before it even left the launchpad

max allan

Re: "not picked up in testing"

USB C and 2 pin mains do not have a "right" and "wrong" way. They are designed to work in either direction.

So,.can you think of something that has a defined "wrong" and can still be connected that way without failing?

Intel's SGX cloud-server security defeated by $30 chip, electrical shenanigans

max allan

Re: To be fair.

Yeah, that sort of last century thinking isn't what the marketing departments at aws and azure and GCP and whatever oracle's cloud is called etc.

The whole point of sgx (and Amazon's nitro enclaves- I think thats the only one on offer so far. Apart from enarx, which isn't really ready) is that you _can_ put your secure stuff in someone else's data centre. For Intel to be saying that hardware attacks aren't part of the threat model is like those car emergency braking systems that got confused by being near metal.

Now Nvidia's monster GeForce RTX 3090 cards snaffled up by bots, scalpers – if only there had been a warning

max allan

Re: If it helps...

Make one 20K bid with one account. And then another fake account with a 21k bid. As soon as you can when the auction starts.

And the auction is now blocked and shows as 20k. When it ends, both fake accounts just ignore mail and if anyone did bid lower then it would be offered at like £500 or whatever they bid first, hoping for a bargain. And the vendor thinks "feck that".

Once considered lost, ESA and NASA's SOHO came back from the brink of death to work even better than it did before

max allan

Back then...

I think they were on Dec/Vax VMS on the ground for SOHO. They later moved to Solaris. And as I was leaving ESA about 10 years ago, starting to get some penguins.

I imagine space craft themselves were and always will be very specialised systems.

Although there were always some windows machines around with stuff like Excel for doing non critical stuff.

If you get a chance to work there, do. It is quite unlike anywhere else I've worked. (Darmstadt in Germany is where the operations centre is, so I guess working there will become more challenging when we leave the EU...)

Psst. Hey kid, you want $50 in AWS credit? Great, you just need to fill out this form and sit through these web lectures

max allan

Results will be pretty poor anyway

It felt like the feedback forms had been designed by someone with not interest in the results. How satisfied were you with the content, presenter and subtitles. And do you have a project you want help with.

I found a couple of the talks very unsatisfying because they spent too long on an obscure feature instead of more detail on the thing people use. Maybe everyone else felt the same way. Or maybe they all wanted more time with the obscure feature. Who knows. We were all dissatisfied.

Log us out: Private equity snaffles Lastpass owner LogMeIn

max allan

Any full feature alternatives?

As a corporate user, have been gradually more annoyed with LastPass.

They seem to be deprecating useful features and replacing them with new features that don't work. (See their new SSO replacement for SAML and its total lack of CLI access and that the "SSO Apps" are not in your Vault, like everything else, so you can't search for them from the plugin button.)

I am looking for something that does SAML SSO and can do AWS CLI login. As well as sharing passwords between the team. (so that next time something goes wrong, we aren't stuck waiting for the one person that has the root/admin password to come back from leave)

Anyone know if DashLane can do it?? (Particularly the AWS CLI SAML login!!)

Kiss my ASCII, Microsoft – we've got one million fewer daily active users than you, boasts Slack

max allan

Re: The Internet has gone backwards thanks to walled gardens and proprietary protocols

Well apart from xmpp (jabber) the entirely free and open chat/presence/etc protocol that nobody seems to want to use...

No walled garden here.

Fitbit fitness fans furious following flummoxing flawed firmware float, fleeting feedback, failed fixes

max allan

Battery problems anyone?

Since i upgraded the firmware on my fitbit, the battery life has crashed by at least a half. Sum total of extra features = none.

Also had to update the app on my phone and its a lot useless now.

Should have gone with my gut that said "if it aint broke..."

On the plus side I've not noticed any fail to sync.

It could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Wiltshire or in Bath: Euro cops cuff 6 for cybersquatting, allegedly nicking €24m in Bitcoin

max allan

Re: Wish I understood how it worked

Yes, they do OK because you're paying for the electricity to power the machines (I'm guessing). If you charged them for it, it would be a different story.

In the claws of a vulture: Nebra AnyBeam Laser Projector

max allan

Re: Mom...! Mom, 2009 is on the phone!

Really, you have a focus free projector from 10 years ago that does 720pnative res and get 150 lumens? I just had a quick look on Amazon at pocket projectors and the first one I found is "1080p" with a native res of only 854x480 at 100 lumens and still needs focus. And costs £200. The next one claims 3500 lumens till you look at the proper specs then it says 150 ansi lumens.

And they both have contrast ratios of only 1000:1. Not like this with 80000:1. Neither mention keystone adjustment either.

And that's for £200 projectors today. Not 10 years ago.

So, if you want to sigh about higher res, better contrast&brightness and the focus free technology, because you have something similar but much less good, you must spend a lot of your life sighing. It'd probably be good for your mental wellbeing to be more excited by advances in technology and appreciative of performance increases.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

max allan

Surely it's "correct horse battery staple"?

"correcthorsebatterystaple" misses 3 special characters.

For a decent memorable password pick a phrase with punctuation and type it in exactly.

"I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky"


"I ain't gettin' on no plane fool"


"My wife's birthday is 14/14/14"

Everyone says "don't use a birthday or anniversary" but if you stick in a sentence like that, ain't nobody gonna crack it fool.

Mobile network Three UK's customer details exposed in homepage blunder

max allan

Security? Really.

Hmm. Three seem to not understand security. I had to phone up to get my PAC code today. As it says on the page "Call 333 and have your password and DOB ready" I was expecting to be disappointed.

(On the login page, if you click for password help it says "we'll never ask for your password".)

Sure enough, call them up and the first thing they do is ask for my password. I declined, but I wonder how many people just read out their password over the phone. They then asked for a memorable name or place. I guessed at my place of birth, I don't recall ever giving them that but they seemed happy with it.

I would have put those details from their site with quotes and URLs, but my3 currently says it is down for maintenance. I think they may still be leaking details if they were online.

Europe taps Facebook, Google, Twitter on the shoulder. So about those promises to stamp out lies, bots, dodgy ads?

max allan

Re: took down 800m and 754m fake accounts in Q2 and Q3

That's a lot of accounts to have closed. And yet damn near every single ad I see is a scam. "90% discount on this iPhone lens, now only 19.99" for products available on Amazon or eBay for <5. Or stolen content from Kickstarter type campaigns cobbled together to look like it is actually for sale. Over http, and is a tenth of the price anywhere else and for some reason despite having a PayPal logo, only accepts payment by Bank transfer.

It's not just one or 2 of these obvious scams. Literally 90% of the ads I see are like this.

If I was a company wanting to advertise, I would not pay social media for an advert, it'd be like saying "we are scammers". Not likely to be a message anyone wants to send.

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

max allan

Re: Who is to blaim for being taken by scammers?

"by the same token the country where the scammer is working from would loose out if they were generally perceived not to deal with crime to originate there"

I can give you a list as long as you like of Chinese, Russian, American, Dutch, etc... IP addresses who are persistently scanning our web services for vulnerabilities. We know where a lot of it comes from and block them already. The country is already known as a source of badness. *Nobody cares*

And these crims aren't as naive as you, and have heard of proxy services.

Holding suppliers responsible for the crimes of their customers is going to end badly. Pop into a shop, buy a kitchen knife, stab someone and steal their money. Then the shop has to pay reparations to the victim's family. Suddenly shops are going out of business trying to afford their insurance against that.

The _only_ way "carriers" like twitter and ISPs remain in business is the "common carrier" type legislation that absolves them of responsibility for what their customers do. Once you take that away, they go out of business very rapidly.

PS please enable your spell checker in English mode.

max allan

Re: Dirty Scammers

I kept one going for about 10 - 15 minutes. Before he realised I wasn't running windows. And he hung up on me after accusing *me* of wasting *his* time. It was a good job he hung up after that, or I would have had a few choice words along the lines of "which ^%$£ing scam artist called whom?"

max allan

Re: Well?

If it's been released to the police, publicising it would likely put any investigation or conviction in jeopardy.

Amazon shareholders revolt on Rekognition, Nvidia opens robotics lab, and hot AI chips on Google Cloud

max allan

Private security

Hmm, so only private security firms can use rekog. That's so much better. Private security have never employed ex forces nutjobs or people with axes to grind. And they're so much better regulated. Like security guards needing to read people their rights ebfore they shoot them.

Or not. It's a brave new world where private orgs have better tech than the officials.

Hello? HELLO? Major Skype outage hits folk WORLDWIDE

max allan

No voice calls with Skype Web

A colleague and I just tried Skype Web and it failed to connect a voice call.

That may be due to Mac/PC reasons rather than Skype reasons though.

(NB You can't even try to make calls from Chrome on Mac, you have to use Safari. I never tried it before to know if it should work or not.)

Someone is getting fired over this!

BrowserStack HACK ATTACK: Service still suspended after rogue email

max allan

I bet there are a lot of people suddenly wishing they'd spent more time looking at the little documented "-only" option to keep "local BrowserStack" tests restricted to the ports you tell it to access and not giving it unrestricted access. (Kind of makes you wonder why you need to specify the ports in use when it gets all of them anyway)

Is your cloud server in the same bit barn as your DR site?

max allan


I don't get what you're trying to say about Amazon. Their requirements are that you have systems across different availability zones. So you use EU zones a and b. Then because you know what you're doing, you have a DR site in US and your backups get stored in Rackspace's APAC site and mirrored to somewhere else.

What does it matter who else might be using the same datacentres? It's the cloud. It's out there, you don't care where. If you're going to start worrying about exactly where stuff is, you may as well start buying your own datacentres.

Do you pay lots of money for a BMW and then start asking if they've actually installed the side airbags in the car you bought and pulling off the door panels? No, you trust them.

Do you pay some money for AWS and then start asking exactly where they host things and trying to figure out if there are shared datacentres? No, you trust them.

Amazon HALVES cloud storage prices after Google's shock slash

max allan

Re: cheap my ass

Only 6 digits a month for a solution that includes DR which spans multiple continents and has huge amounts of untapped capacity. Sounds like a bargain to me.

I've seen businesses spending that sort of money per month on a single data centre. By the time you've paid your rent/rates, power for running the kit, cooling the kit, maintenance contracts for all the kit, startup cost of getting the local grid to install resilient power and comms, wear and tear and maintenance of the building, a security guard or several if you're 24*7, etc. etc... Even stupid things like paying someone to come in and mow any grass, clear any leaves, keep the car parking free from snow.

If it wasn't a viable economic solution, people wouldn't be doing it. I'm sure there are people who are doing it wrong, but there are also a lot of people doing it right and making huge savings.

Amazon's cloud dwarfs all others, Gartner finds

max allan

Re: amazon the bookstore?

It's baffling why you would be reading the reg and not understand.

I have never seen an outage in the Amazon "bookstore" which suggests to me their infrastructure is pretty reliable. And tell me you don't really think Amazon is just about books now?

With so much flexible compute power available, you can scale your app up or down according to demand. Sure you can do that with Rackspace and others. But how many other providers offer 3 tiers of storage, databases (as a service), DNS, load balancers (as a service), firewalls (as a service), etc. etc.

I like Rackspace, but they aren't set up for an environment with hundreds of instances, that for example, you want to be sure have the same firewall rules applied. (That means an off box firewall, sure I could do it with iptables on the box, but then what stops a deranged developer flushing the rules so he can make something work)

Amazon is the one stop shop for this stuff.

Why should buying compute time be any different from buying a book or any other commodity? If they can sell books, they can sell compute.

I just had a look at the CSC website trying to find their cloud services. Eventually did. Couldn't find a "buy now" button, so followed the "getting started in the cloud" link and got a pile of whitepapers to read. I was hoping for a "click here to create an account" button. Eventually gave up. They clearly don't want customers. Their lack of experience selling books has spilled over into their inability to sell compute.

Aha, I see you switched on your mobile Wi-Fi. YOU FOOL!

max allan


Any ultra-secure location I've been in would have shot you as soon as you walked through the door with wifi turned on. Or even a phone or laptop about your person.

Wifi of any kind I'd describe as only averagely secure.

Hackers break SSL encryption used by millions of sites

max allan

Doesn't NEED Javascript!

For everyone getting het up about the existence of Java in this exploit, that is just an example of how it could be released into the wild. (If you can decrypt SSL, then you can probably add extra text into the connection to include your java)

BUT I don't think you need it.

I suspect you just need a packet sniffer and the code and away you go.

So, for example, sit in a public place with a dodgy wifi AP and everyone surfs through you thinking "haha, I'm safe, I've got a green padlock". In the meantime you've captured all their login/password information etc. Presumably you can decrypt it all at your leisure and then login to their paypal/bank account a few days or weeks later and pay yourself a little bonus.

If it takes java 10 minutes to decrypt, then a bit of nicely written OpenCL with a pile of GPUs will probably crack it realtime. That's something I'd like to see! (not on my connection)

Jeff Bezos patents retro jets, and airbags, for telephones

max allan

Hard materials are harder to use...

When your material gets tougher, then it's probably more rigid, which means if you drop it less deformation and higher G for any connected components. (like the display)

The spongier materials need more thickness/weight to make them man enough not to bend/break in normal pocket environments.

All your case is just keeping a very brittle glass screen safe and dirt off the PCB. (and keeping it in one piece)

I reckon 90% of dead phones I've seen have been display breakages. As soon as someone invents a flexible display panel, this airbag patent is history.

Then the entire phone can be coated in the display instead of having a separate chassis!

(Then just need a method to wire all your internal components together with flexi wires rather than a rigid PCB.)

Will the looters 'loose' their benefits?

max allan

@ Danny 5

The scary thing about reading "Danny 5" is that he seems to believe that himself.

I am less surprised about the riots, if people like Danny, who have at least got enough brains to spell most words, think that they would have joined in the rioters.

I think we need an urgent dose of "community" lessons in school.

I like the book of "Starship Troopers" and the concept that only people who put something into society were able to get anything out of it. It did at least seem to recognise that some people were less able to contribute than others.

$25 toy radio used to knock out feds

max allan

I'll have a couple!

I have no desire to hack FBI radio (don't live in the land of the massively oppressed) but it seems like these things are text based radio comms devices... Which could be quite handy.

Of course, it looks like I'd need to print a new box for it, the one shown looks a bit naff...

Boffins shine 800Mbps wireless network from flashlight

max allan

What's wrong with IR?

So, why do we have to use visible light and disturb people with the light. What is wrong with IR at various frequencies, in the same way as they are using visible at various frequencies?

I know my TV has a much lower bandwidth but it seems to work reasonably well at receiving signal from the remote even when there is stuff in the way. OK, if you block the tx/rx close to the device then it does fail, but "shadows" from objects in mid distance aren't a problem. A couple of tx/rx pairs per room, well spaced should be able to cover most of the room.

BOFH: This buck's for you

max allan


About 2/3rds of this is completely true.

The number of times I hear people recommending sub optimal solutions because they know the customer won't pay for anything more.

You've got to hit them with the gold plated option and when they decline it's their decision.

If you take the decision from them, they sue you for saying that taking a USB disk with all the company's data home every night was a secure off site solution.

Pushing people down a lift shaft for not taking holiday is probably not something I'd immediately link with that policy. Particularly as it's normally me who ends the year with 90% of my holiday allocation.

Boffins demand: Cull bogus A-Levels, hire brainier teachers

max allan


Unless they've changed things recently, kids with highers at scottish unis were expected to do an extra year before the course really got going. So a 3 year course would be a 4 year course.

I went from the England with a-levels to Scotland for a degree and found the first year was about half n half "easy" and "new".

I think degrees are too narrow focussed myself. I found after 2 years of studying electronics to what seemed to be pointless levels of detail, I just wanted to do something different.

I don't work in electronics now, but I can't imagine being able to work out the impedance of a cable from first principles AND how electrons flow through a transistor junction is going to be useful to most people. You might need to know the nitty gritty of some of the areas, where your work is focussed, but not all of it.

I'd suggest more vocational A-levels followed by something like an apprenticeship program in whatever the company want you to do, nationally recognised etc... so you could move jobs and keep your course going. AND continue that through life.

Unlike most companies I work for where you keep getting thrown new technologies and expected to figure it out because it's sort of similar to the old one you were working on. Actually have some sensible budget allocated for training. (One UK wide banking institution allocated about £500 per employee per year and then threw VMware at the Windows admin team. No surprise it was a bit of mess)

2011 Games Preview

max allan

My god, this is like iPhone vs Android...

This argument is almost as good as an iPhone vs Android argument, except here there are 3 sides, PC, PS, Xbox.

PC World website went titsup on Boxing Day

max allan


Asking for service with your computer products is like asking for ketchup with a gourmet meal.

All I want is to slap down some cash and walk out with the item I went in for.

I do not want to be asked if I want an extended warranty. If I wanted an extended warranty I would have picked one up and presented it at the till, but I didn't so I don't please stop trying to second guess me.

What's next? I see you've bought a computer, would you like an extended power lead. You've bought an MP3 player, would you like an extended headphone cable. You've bought an iPad, would you like an extended penis. You've bought a webmail account, would you like an advert for an extended penis

I consider it to be sort of a disclaimer "We realise our product is crap and bet you it will fail within 3 years. Of course by the time it fails (probably only 6 months) it will be worthless so we're prepared to give you a *chuckle* 'new one' when it goes wrong"

max allan

Or get inferior and a mortgage

Apparently your local computer shop will :

"tell you that it is inferior to whatever they have in their PC at home and that they can sell you the best one if you are prepared to mortgage your house"

Unlike PC world who will sell you the inferior model and require you to get 2 mortgages.

Can I suggest you take the price you would have spent at PC world (check their website!) and quote this as how much something costs if challenged by her indoors/parents/PHB/etc... THEN go to your local shop/cheap internet retailer, buy 2 of the normal performance type and still have money for a bus fare and a pint of beer.

Yes! It's the Reg Top 5 FUTURISTIC GUNS Thanksgiving Roundup!

max allan

So who's trying to look clever now?

Are you trying to look clever by explaining all the faults in the original article?

Does that mean you're stupid or European?

Your post impresses nobody with your intellectual abilites. You couldn't even be bothered to look up the source for your quote.

Can I suggest you go back to reading something .com instead of .co.uk?

And in case you're wondering, in this country it's a "smart arse".

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

max allan

Won't someone think of the trees?

Consider the cost of making real books and what happens if it doesn't sell well. You print a few million copies anticipating some demand and only sell a few thousand. You've got a few trees worth of paper to recycle.

If you print a few thousand and it's popular, then you get told off for restricting supply etc...

I bet a large proportion of the initial cost of a physical book covers the risk. Compare new books costing >£10 with 6 months later when you can pick them up for under 5. I expect 5 is nearer the "real cost". So to inflate the eBook price to match the initial cost of a paper book is effectively susidising the publisher's risk on the paper book.

If they took the plunge and went all E, the prices should fall.

max allan

Direct sales

"Where authors and their agents sell their books directly to the consumers via an electronic marketplace"

That sounds perfect to me. Why do we need the middle men to do all the marketing BS. I very rarely want to buy a book that has been marketed (mass market trashy romance novels etc...)

I would be quite happy to pay the author directly for what they write.

They probably get a lot more cash that way than letting the publisher take their cut.

AV Receivers

max allan

It stops being a receiver then...

If you AV receiver starts streaming video and audio then it kind of stops being just a receiver and starts being a networked media player. It will probably require firmware updates to keep up with all the new codecs etc and generally be a huge PITA for the manufacturers. Who can charge you another few hundred quid for a different box instead.

How I used Space Shuttle tech to insulate the living room

max allan

Price vs performance

Comparing aerogel with K17 you said it's twice the performance and then said with a big discount you did the room for £1500 as opposed to £170 with K17.

I'm all in favour of saving energy but comparing the £1500 with the cost of energy to heat the room, how long before it's cost is offset by the fuel saving?

Or you could loose another 4cm per wall and spend almost a tenth of the money... I think most people would find alternatives to aerogel when the bill came in.

World's most advanced rootkit penetrates 64-bit Windows

max allan

UAC : waste of space

As far as I can tell UAC is completely useless.

"A program would like to make changes to your computer, do you want to allow it?"

What changes, where, why, etc....

There is a lot of apps that are borked by UAC and need to be "run as administrator" to work properly (like inability to create files even in areas you can create files in without being administrator)

And a lot of apps that require UAC confirmation when really they shouldn't need it.

So you get in the habit of pressing "Yes" because if you don't, you don't get to run 90% of what you want.

Next question, why does the MBR actually affect Windows? Surely you can replace the MBR with something else like lilo or grub and I wouldn't expect that to affect Windows' policy on deciding whether to allow unsigned drivers FFS.

Sounds like an easy fix/preventative would be to install lilo/grub and make sure that you see their boot screen before you get into Windows. If the MBR is changed then you wouldn't see them unless it's really f-ing clever.

max allan

Mainly because it was useless...

I had MBR protection turned on and did several tests changing the MBR, none of them were blocked.

I think BIOS writers realised it was useless and dropped it.

Reg reader stitches PARIS right up

max allan

After previous performance....

After the performance of the PARIS chase team, I'd reckon LOHAN could be:

Lost On Highway And Needing beer/tea/cigarette ?

Unless the Reg is just messing with us?