* Posts by John H Woods

3086 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Now that's a somewhat unexpected insider threat: Zoombombings mostly blamed on rogue participants, unique solution offered

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: How to make the experience worse than Skype

AIUI: you create a meeting in Zoom, it gives you a meeting ID and password which manually copy into a group email and send to the invitees.

Instead of copying the creds from Zoom, why not tell Zoom the list of email addresses to which you need to send invites? Zoom then emails each person individually with a different password based on, e.g., a salted hash of their email address.

Disclaimer: Trying to do multitask with something else so this suggestion may be rubbish

Tech ambitions said to lie at heart of Britain’s bonkers crash-and-burn Brexit plan

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: world-beating

You forgot 3P (Priti Patel Pronunciation): world-beaten

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Re: GOV.UK Leads the way in high tech initiatives

Black Bloody Arrow

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Re: Can anyone here suggest...


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Re: Those who don't remember their history are condemned to repeat it.

and those who do are condemned to stand by aghast whilst they do so.

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: totally above board.

Of course it is.

John Penrose MP, aka Mr Baroness Harding, is the UK's anti-corruption champion

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Universities Well it's kind of a good idea but...

Funding committee...

So, the physics dept. want $100m for this super zappotron thingy. Seems pricey. Why can't they just be like the maths dept.? They only use pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets. Or, even better, the philosophy dept? They only use pencils and paper.

See you after the commercial breakdown: Cert expiry error message more entertaining than the usual advert tripe

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Sigh

There's the other little matter about Sweden - not only is their death rate through the roof but it hasn't bought them anything - their economy is just as damaged as it would have been if they'd locked down.

It's almost as if economies are emerging properties of societies, not mystical deities to whom sacrifices must be made.

Trump gloats, telcos weep, and China is furious: How things stand following UK's decision to rip out Huawei

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re: I for one welcome this

Me too but, like Iraq, it's for the wrong reasons.

There was a time when we could have fully justified an Iraq invasion, on humanitarian grounds, and we did nothing. And we should have been putting economic pressure on the PRC for decades, rather than turning a blind eye to, not just lack of democracy, but human rights abuses. What we did, instead, was allow them to weaponize global capitalism against us when, with a bit more international co-operation, we should have been using global capitalism to encourage China to move in the direction of becoming a modern, democratic state.

It's handbags at dawn: America to hit France with 25% tariffs on luxuries over digital tax on US tech titans

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decent enough job

I'm not sure where you're sitting where it can seem that Mr Johnson is doing a decent enough job.

Cornish drinkers catch a different kind of buzz as pub installs electric fence at bar

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Re: Puntastic

I love the earthy humor on the Reg

A volt from the blue: Samsung reportedly ditches wall-wart from future phones

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Re: Transformer

Am I wrong about this or is it that one person that downvotes every one of my non-anonymous posts?

I thought SMPS had very small high freq transformers and were pretty efficient

John H Woods Silver badge


I should imagine it's a SMPS transformer working in the order of 100kHz and the power dissipation is almost insignificant when not powering a USB device.

Smile? Not bloody likely: Day 6 of wobbly services and still no hint to UK online bank's customers about what's actually wrong

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: one egg in one basket

Not just that - I don't think anyone in my family would be able to phone me on a borrowed or new phone if they lost their phone because I'm pretty sure none of them know my phone number!

Hungry? Please enjoy this delicious NaN, courtesy of British Gas and Sainsbury's

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re: 4 billion virtual serial ports

What happened to the other 864?

Fast as a motorbike, subtle as a brick: Motorola pushes out new Moto G 5G Plus mid-ranger

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Coventry ...

... I must nip up the A46 and try out their network. Mind you, I get nearly 100Mbps on 4G in my village.

Baroness Dido Harding lifts the lid on the NHS's manual contact tracing performance: 'We contact them up to 10 times over a 36-hour period'

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I think it was Lunn University, back in the days when it was just Lunn Poly

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

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Re: DAB Is dead in the water

yep - in my experience 3G/4G internet radio works better in the car than DAB.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

John H Woods Silver badge

makes sense

Targeting probably works best for campaigns, when you can benefit from repeatedly hitting the target with similar messages. Much less useful to advertise an endless succession of crimping tools to someone who has just bought a crimping tool.

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

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re: Except the rubbery ones.

Except Halloumi, which is both rubbery and excellent

One map to rule them all: UK's Ordnance Survey rolls out its Data Hub and the juicy API goodness that lies therein

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re: proprietary product

Sure W3W is proprietary, but the general principle of being able to convert numerical grid references to words is not proprietary, whatever W3W think (and I'm no fan of their litigious approach). You don't really need maps at all for an address database, you just need a coordinate system.

OS already has a decent coordinate system, AAnnnnnn which gives you a 100x100m box. Maybe we shoud see if there is some way of adding a couple of numbers to a postcode to make it more precise?

I know the biggest outcode is IV27, over 3600km² . I don't know about the size of the incodes (although I know they only contain 70 actual letterboxes) so, if all had an official number (I suspect they don't), that number modulo 70 would tie to an actual letterbox.

Out in the country, though, it's still problematic. UK is about 250000km² so you need to address about 25 billion 10m² boxes. Maybe 8 digit case-insensitive alphanumerics (excluding 1,0,I,O) would do? If we factored enormous postcodes like IV27 we could maybe get down to Outcode + 4 alphanumerics?

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Could this become the official UK postcode and address database?

Have you seen What 3 Words?

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

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re: where to begin

And that is what the greybeards need to spend their remaining working years doing - creating the in-depth documentation, examples, etc that are needed for new talent to get into this field.

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Brexit sat-nav eh?

"Mines the one with the list of prepared jokes in the pocket."

Ah yes, I thought you must have left it in the cloakroom

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Re: £92m

Following the links from the article, it seems to have originated on this .gov.uk page

EDIT: Reading that page it appears the study is of 18 months duration, so if it really cost £92m thats 200 FTEs at £150/hr

John H Woods Silver badge

Re assume...

"the possibility that the government has considered this after consulting experts in the field and may have ideas beyond the obvious"

something something extraoardinary claims extraordinary evidence? Ok, I'm exaggerating, but I don't think it's a fundamentally safe assumption, even if it isn't that out of the ordinary.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: This is why we can't have nice things.

It's not just wild animals - it's other peoples animals. I know lots of cases of horses that have become seriously ill or even died because well-meaning people think that they might like oaty bars or grass clippings. Unfortunately, horses eat tasty things and, unlike dogs, can't vomit.

TikTok boom: Brits spent a quarter of their waking hours in lockdown online – Ofcom

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Re: How do they specify time spent online?

Yep, I should imagine I'm more or less online whenever my eyes are open. E-books count, right?

The state of OpenPGP key servers: Kristian, can you renew my certificate? A month later: Kristian? Ten days later: Too late, it’s expired

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Not just open source...

For instance, I love CodeSector's "Maverick" Android mapping app - but the developer appears to have gone awol. Such a shame.

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez

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Re: I clicked on 'Accept All Cookies'.

No, just cookies

John H Woods Silver badge

hypocrisy ...

... it's so galling, it's always hard to remember that it doesn't invalidate the point. When my fat, alcoholic doctor tells me to excercise more and drink less I know on an intellectual level that it's still good advice, but my instinctive response is to dismiss it.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

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Re: distance and signal strength

"Radio waves in free space travel at the speed of light - approx 1 foot per nanosecond. To be able to tell the difference between a proximity of, say, 3m and 2m, the system would need a timing resolution of 3ns or better."

Yes - but I have a relatively inexpensive laser measure (5% the price of a new phone) that matches my tape measure to 1mm over anything from 1cm to 80m. Presumably that's done by timing? I can't see how it could be done by divergence measurement or anything else. Don't modern chips have highly accurate hardware timing? Don't you need a clock that good for meaningful GPS, anyway?

Again, genuine Qs, just interested.

John H Woods Silver badge

distance and signal strength

Genuine Q

Why are we using signal strength to estimate the differences between devices? Do most phones not have the clock resolution to do it with timing?

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: I didn't know of the triangle badges in the prison camps

Nazis hated Socialists. It's a fact.

No surprise: Britain ditches central database model for virus contact-tracing apps in favour of Apple-Google API

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Re: echo chamber ...

Echo chamber (n): forum where most people disagree with your opinion.

Consensus (n): forum where most people agree with your opinion

John H Woods Silver badge

Re:putting oneself forward as an MP

To get elected round here you have to be the Conservative Party candidate. However, if you are the Conservative Party candidate, you will be elected.

About half of our population live in seats where it doesn't matter how you vote nationally and local power is minimal. That is why voter engagement is so low.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

Well he killed all the communists - just saying.

Sorry: Nazis=Extreme Left isn't a valid point of view any more than World=Flat. Someone has already made the incorrect assertion that Hitler wanted state control of everything.

1) that isn't the definition of left wing - there are right authoritarian states too. (Saudi Arabia?)

2) let's have one piece of *actual* evidence that Hitler was a Leftie.

PS: there are no end of bad Leftie leaders - Stalin was a pretty good example.

No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

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Re: There is no breach

"The one with the debit card is normally empty"

That's a good strategy, but you usually have a *lot* more comeback for online shopping with a credit card than with a debit card.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

John H Woods Silver badge

I understand the irritation...

I'm a pedant - I'm annoyed that 'begging the question' has come to mean 'raising the question' so I now have to either say petitio principii or use some cumbersome phrase. I'm annoyed that politicians have changed the meaning of 'refute' to 'deny'. I'm annoyed that 'hacking' now seems to mean just the bad sort. I'm annoyed I can't say 'niggardly' even though its etymology is innocent. I could go on but I can almost hear you begging me not to.

However, we have to wonder why some people seem to be more offended by the move from master to main than non-white people actually were about the term master (if they were). I'm sure it can only be because people some kind of implicit criticism: the way that many people in my village are more worried that they might be considered a racist than they are about saying things that might be considered racist. But absolutely no criticism is implied. BLM aren't campaigning for these changes. They aren't campaignining for statue removal. They are campaigning for equality.

Look, I'm no expert - I'm almost a stereotypical gammon - middle aged, fat, bald, married with kids, cis-hetero white male. My best friend, who is of Jamaican decent, isn't offended by anything. He's supremely easy going - if he smoked joints he would be stereotypically Jamaican. But I very clearly remember, when I was 14 and he was 15 and we were looking at family trees, and I was laughing at his very non-Jamaican surname, when I realised that's because it's the name of the plantation owner who owned his male ancestors. That was a shock that I can't get over.

Perhaps its stupid to change master to main. But perhaps it shows we are at least thinking about these things, and maybe that is the most important thing we can do.

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: "......worst death toll in Europe"

Sorry but when criticicising comparisons between NZ and UK, the different national population density is almost irrelevant. I won't bore you with the biology and the maths but just consider 10,000 people in a Lunar base: the moon would make Greenland look crowded, but Covid19 would still be a very serious problem.

Facebook's cool with sharing the President's nonsense on its mega-platform – but don't you dare mention 'unionize' in its Workplace app

John H Woods Silver badge

Please explain *yourself*

"Supporting women is now considered hate speech" - no it isn't

"Twitter removes people whose opinions don't conform" - some non-conforming opinions are removed, but for reasons rather more substantial (whether one agrees or not) than nonconformity.

"Why do you post as anonymous?" - I dunno why they did, and it's of no importance to me. But I would point out that you have also posted as anonymous, so you surely you might have some insight?

"Ayn Rand understood ... " no, she didn't. There's no indication in that execrable ouvre that she had much understanding of very much at all: not even how to write well.

Sony reveals PlayStation 5 will offer heretical no-optical-disk option. And yes, it has an AMD CPU-GPU combo

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re: Hideous waste of resources ...

... not to mention the ensuing unecessary material (largely unrecyclable plastic) waste

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: It's a marketing coup

Yep, if you like Huawei but also like thrift, go for their Honor sub-brand. Son's got an Honor nearly as good as the equivalent Huawei for half the price, and I've got a perfectly servicable smartwatch (Honor Band 5) for less than the price of a bottle of half-decent gin (£30).

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: practically worthless in about 2 years ...

... which will be exactly the right time to consider buying one!

Huawei launches UK charm offensive: We've provided 2G, 3G and 4G for 20 years, and you're worried about 5G?

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Surely ...

... sensitive data is encrypted? Are we just worried about the metadata?

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

"Corbyn wasn't listed as 'unelectable', and replaced, he really did lose a free and fair election by a massive margin, to the point that constituencies which had been labour since WW2 were lost."

Not a Corbyn fan but we have to be clear what you mean by "massive margin" -- it was a massive margin in seats and really not nearly so massive in votes. I personally don't think that the fact there can be such a disparity between votes and seats is hardly indicative of "fair" elections. In fact half the seats in the UK are 'safe seats' so I think we bang on about our democracy at our peril. Our democracy is rubbish.


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