* Posts by Gordon Barret

71 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Dec 2007


Big Four US carriers vow to switch off stolen smartphones

Gordon Barret

Not already done?

I thought that the IMEI numbers of stolen phones were already being blocked for the past few years? Or is that just in the UK, or is it just a "voluntary" (ie useless) code?

BUSTED! Secret app on millions of phones logs key taps

Gordon Barret

USB debugging

My god, I can't believe I actually watched the whole 17 minutes, listening to the most boring, monotonous voice imaginable!

Perhaps I could just point out a couple of things:

1 - when he showed the app properties it said data storage was zero - it can hardly be saving any keypresses, location details, text messages etc in zero bytes?

2 - absolutely NOTHING he is moaning about actually happened UNTIL he turned on 'USB debugging' - this guy has obviously never written any computer program, or tried to determine why some embedded hardware doesn't work as expected, to attempt to fix it you would turn on debugging, log keypresses, log what routines of what programs are run etc etc.

I do not see an problem here, except in the guys head.

Is Apple nobbling iPhones to avoid more patent misery?

Gordon Barret

Not crippled

Erm, the device is hardly "crippled" by not enabling this single minor feature.

Inside WD's flooded Thai factory

Gordon Barret


Erm, your headline states "Inside WD's flooded Thai factory", yet all 3 of the photos - including the one marked "inside the building" - quite clearly show the view outside the factory.

I was looking forward to an inside view :-(

Debt collectors warned off pursuing punters on Facebook

Gordon Barret

Re: Re: Unbelievable

"So how is that any of your business?"

Because you mentioned it in the first place.

Ten... Freeview HD recorders

Gordon Barret
Thumb Down

IceCrypt T2400 - I'd give it 70%

I went for the IceCrypt a couple of months ago - on the whole it is very good, lots of nice features, can record from 2 channels at the same time whilst sometimes allowing you to watch a 3rd (depending on the channels and mux), but that's not really necessary as if you want to watch a 3rd then that's what your tv has its own tuner for.

The guide is very easy to use and programs record correctly even when transmission is delayed.

However - when I first bought it it had the rather annoying habit of losing the sound if you fast-forward the playback. A firmware update seemed to fix that, but then it started again and now has a new problem - often when fast-forwarding it would suddenly jump to say 70% or 86% through the program when you were close to the start, so you have to then go back to where it was, and rewinding playback doesn't work very well at all. That is very very very frustrating.

At least you can very quickly jump to any percentage through the program by pressing, say, 50 to go to halfway.

And when you press stop it shows a message on screen "Playback stopped" ... but it keeps on playing for another 5 seconds. Also very annoying, I stopped it for a reason, it knows instantly that I have pressed stop so why keep on playing?

More transistors, Moore’s Law, less juice

Gordon Barret

Run-time system

No - the whole point of run-time systems and libraries is that they DO NOT get included in your code!

You have one shareable copy of the run-time system stored somewhere, then your dozens of individual little programs would have only the code that you write, and for input/output and everything else in the standard libraries they would load the run-time system, making your code nice and small.

AES crypto broken by 'groundbreaking' attack

Gordon Barret

How Long

If they have reduced the average time taken to break the code then very well done to them and their cleverness.

But I don't doubt that in the future someone else (or indeed the same people again) may have another idea on how to reduce the number of keys to check/total time taken.

Also - those who "estimate" the time taken - what hardware do they consider?

If they only consider a single cpu PC then what about someone who uses the relatively new method of using the hundreds or thousands of computing cores in modern GPUs?

And if they were then to use a zombie botnet of millions of such PCs ...

NotW 'targeted' phone of Sarah Payne's mum

Gordon Barret

That would just be silly

Leaving condolence messages on the voicemail of a dead person.

Who do they think is ever going to hear them?

'Missing heat': Is global warmth vanishing into space?

Gordon Barret

Or ...

... it could simply be that the models are totally wrong.

Gamer claims complete console collection

Gordon Barret


If you look at the actual article then you will find that there is indeed a Sega Master System - called Marter System of course...

Microsoft gives glimpse of Windows Server 8

Gordon Barret

2003 -> 2008

Like a few other people here I find the differences between Windows Server 2003 and 2008 very similar to XP/Vista.

2008 runs much slower on hardware that runs 2003 perfectly well.

2008 tries to be nice - in a folder where you sort things by the filename: when adding a new file it appears in the correct place instead of at the end of the list. Nice. But after another file is added the "sort" column indicator mysteriously disappears, the new file goes at the end of the list and other items seem to appear in the order that they were added to the folder instead of alphabetically. Not so nice.

And dont get me started on the server management - they have totally ruined a very useful utility - all items now in one window so you lose loads of screen estate, and boy is it slow. Looking at the list of logged in users and it will start to flash like mad, sometimes it does it for 2 or 3 minutes, ignoring keys/button presses ffor the duration! Ridiculous - it does the same thing on all of our Win2008 servers, and on NONE of our Win2003 servers.

And I think there are 10 times as many events continually being logged, it makes the event viewer totally useless for trying to find that one useful piece of information you need.

Gordon Barret


"Windows 8 Server will pack more than 100 new features".

Hmm, hopefully one of these will be "reliability".

Boffins fix dead satellite using 'dirty hack' in space

Gordon Barret

No Power

This all sounds more than a little "iffy" to me -

do they actually mean the power switches were locked "open" and not "closed" since that would then be in the "off" state? The ESA article mentions "the WEC package on Cluster's number 3 satellite, Samba, failed to switch on".

Then if the power was off:

"all five power switches on the WEC had locked closed" (open) then how exactly was this piece of "dormant software" executed to miraculously turn the power back on?

Quantum crypto felled by 'Perfect Eavesdropper' exploit

Gordon Barret

Message Intercepted

Erm, is it just me, but I thought that the whole point of quantum cryptography was that when sending a message from a transmitter to a receiver, the receiver measures the properties of the single photons it receives and would know if the message had been intercepted.

So, if someone intercepted the single photon and instead substituted a "blinding" amount of photons then the receiver would then detect quite a big difference from what it was expecting and hence know that the message had been intercepted?

Presumably they would then do something else like say "Help, the message has been intercepted, we need a new key now!".

Too obvious?

Save the planet: Stop the Greens

Gordon Barret

Shale Fracking

And that's not good either.

"The main risk and source of public outcry in the US has been the contamination of drinking water. The routes to pollution are multiple, and include leakage from the well, spillage from the site and handling of thousands of gallons of liquid which flows back from the well after fracking.

Also serious threats to locally produced food, and the risk to wildlife and animals is huge."

Quotes from the Save The Ribble campaign http://save-the-ribble.blogspot.com/

Google location tracking can invade privacy, hackers say

Gordon Barret

I'm not in it

My router is not in the database, why have they left me out, boo hoo!

But seriously - google snapped a nice picture of my house for StreetView around 3.5 years ago, and I have been using the same LinkSys router for around 5 years, so why have they left me out?

New Obama-style missile defence scores test goal

Gordon Barret

Brute Force

I can't deny the cleverness of ideas such as this and the high intensity laser-type projects - but they both need high accuracy to send the projectile/radiation exactly on-target, in the case of using a laser the target needs to be maintained for a long period.

But what's wrong with good old brute force?

Surely if an explosive of a large enough yield was detonated just in front of the travelling target then depending on the distance and intensity/type of explosion a lot of damage could be inflicted:

melting/fragmenting the outside casing of the target, including anything used for propulsion and for protecting against re-entry.

It would then (if it hasn't already due to the explosion) enter the atmosphere without it's protective casing and burn up/disintegrate.

If the initial explosion was powerful/close enough it may already have totally destroyed the target.

And all it needs would be for it to be in the general vicinity or directly in front of the target, but without needing to exactly hit it with pinpoint accuracy.

Stitch in time saves 900 support calls

Gordon Barret

"In some countries now, not a single IT person has ever visited"

Erm, no, I seriously doubt it.

They'll still need someone to:

initially install the thin clients/swap out the old PCs, look after the networking, replacing dodgy thin clients/power supplies (it does happen), replace keyboards filled with coffee and biscuit crumbs, replace monitors/leads, add new network points for new employees etc etc etc.

Ok so the list may be greatly reduced but the list of things to do will still exist.

Steven Moffat promises 'darker' Doctor Who

Gordon Barret

Don't split it up

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can't split it up into two sections you fu*ktard!!

There's only one thing more infuriating than these damn celebutards like Katie Price trying to be seen on tv every day and that's when excellent programs in a series are split up into two sections!

They do this with Stargate and Fringe - we don't want it with Doctor Who as well!!

His thinking is flawed in this - just because there is a series of, say, 13 episodes it does not follow that you may think its ok to miss one, but if you have two smaller series of 6 and 7 episodes then you wont think that. Utter coswallop!

It's far more likely to be the opposite - if you've seen the first half of the series and then have to wait for a few weeks you are far more likely to forget about it during this break, and mis the first episode.


Photoshopped image scam used in rogue Facebook app trap

Gordon Barret

Yes it is

It is obviously malware because of what it is doing.

By your definition every other piece of malware/trojan/virus or whatever is "not malware because that's the planned functionality".

You are so wrong.

Gordon Barret

Nope ...

... not me!

Messenger delivers first Mercury orbital snap

Gordon Barret


Wow - sure looks like a LOT of equipment, however being that close to the Sun would really help the solar cells! a bit of a problem cooling in the 'daytime' tho ...

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis

Gordon Barret

45 sunlight hours

"efficiently electrolyse the water in the presence of sunlight. In testing, he showed it could operate for a continuous 45 hours without a hiccup"

Wow - where/when did they test it with 45 hours of continuous sunshine?

Spotify apologises for tainted ad kerfuffle

Gordon Barret


Whilst it would be good (for us and for them) for them to distribute some anti-malware in this situation, if "Third party ads are (usually) served from CDNs" then I think that the responsibility for this snafu lies fairly and squarely with the CDNs.

If they are to be allowed to push ads to thousands or millions of users then they must be made to GUARANTEE the ads they server are malware- and virus-free.

It's not like they are serving millions of different random ads, there would only be a relatively small number saved on their site somewhere, it is just so plainly obvious they should actually scan them to make sure they have no problems.

Man Utd sues supporter over corporate client 'data theft'

Gordon Barret

[no title]

Erm ... I think you may mean Ashley Cole, not Wayne Rooney!

Moving to Windows 7: Is it worth it?

Gordon Barret

forthcoming Internet Explorer 9

"forthcoming" ? Nope - it's already out.

There is no reason for an organisation to spend thousands (or more ?) upgrading all of it's PCs from XP to Windows 7, if the PCs and applications are currently working fine then there is no reason for them to "stop" working fine, no reason to justify all of that expense.

And "XP fails to take full advantage of today’s hardware" just doesn't cut it - first of all if a PC had "todays hardware" then it would in all likelihood be a new PC that will have been bought recently with Windows 7 already installed on it, and I'm not aware of much hardware that Windows XP doesn't like, power management works fine with existing motherboards, I've only ever come across a couple of really old laptops where it didnt like the ACPM.

And Duncan is quite correct - there is no genuine reason why IE9 couldn't work with XP unless it was "made" deliberately to NOT work with XP.

Sony wins subpoena for PS3 hacker's PayPal records

Gordon Barret

No Ties

Now that is just plain stupid. I unfortunately have to use eBay when buying/selling stuff on eBay, and the sellers or buyers may be all over the world but that does not mean that I "have ties to" wherever they may be. These are just one-off purchases/sellings, the only "ties" I have are in my home town in the UK.

WTF is... cloud gaming?

Gordon Barret


I'm sorry but there is no way that prices are "going to plummet" just because there are no retailers in the middle - look at the pricing of books/eBooks in a recent Reg articale, where the price for an eBook was actually higher than a hardback.

The games industry will still want as much profit as they can, hell they'll probably increase the prices due to the user getting the benefit of their super-duper hardware rendering back at the game supplier.

TorrentFreak seeking copyright report’s mysterious author

Gordon Barret


Hmm, interesting - according to the registry Sphere Analysis's nature of business is "CONSULTING SERVICES ANALYSING NUMBERICAL DATA".

And they can't even spell.

Boffin demos melon-matching tech

Gordon Barret

An apple is an apple is an apple

What absolute twaddle - no "app" is going to be able to tell where an apple (or anything else) was grown simply by looking at a photo of it, there are millions (billions ?) of apples produced every year, millions of these grown in thousands of places will look almost identical.


NASA's Glory climate-data sat crashes into Pacific on launch

Gordon Barret
Black Helicopters

Re: Sabotaged by the denialists ...

Obviously not - it was sabotaged by the believers before it could prove they are all talking a load of bollo**s. Just imagine all the funding they would have lost out on if the truth be known ...

Faces of the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 revealed

Gordon Barret
Paris Hilton

Not new iPad

Erm, nope - the supposedly new iPad faceplate looks identical to my existing iPad faceplate - one large hole at the bottom for the "home" button and one small hole at the top for the ambient light sensor.

No news here, move along please.

Tainted ads punt scareware to surfers on LSE and Myvue sites

Gordon Barret


I was checking the details of a few movies yesterday on imdb.com and Kaspersky was flagging up all sorts of trojans/malware attempting to install. Damn adverts...

Nokia's 15-year tango to avoid Microsoft

Gordon Barret

Re: Re: Big Battalions

Not sure I agree with that - I've had a few PAYG phones over the years, from Nokia, Motorola and my current Samsung, and I have updated the firmware on each of them pretty regularly when new ones became available (and they DID become available) to me in the UK.

Anonymous hack showed password re-use becoming endemic

Gordon Barret
Black Helicopters

Cracking Passwords Gromit.

"Joseph Bonneau, the Cambridge University researcher who carried out the exercise"

So this scientist has openly admitted to cracking passwords - when is he going to be arrested?

Considering that even some penetration testers have got into serious trouble for doing the job they were employed to do ...

PS3 jailbreak judge refuses to rescind GeoHot order

Gordon Barret


"Xerox it" - come on, who actually says that?

I know that photo-copying was invented at Xerox Parc but I thought everyone had called it photo-copying since the 80's!!

Reminds me of the judge in that "Not the 9 O'Clock News" episode, that didn't know anything about technology (digital watch etc) but knew all about blowup dolls - "The one with the real hair!".

Microsoft finally says adios to Autorun

Gordon Barret


Not so - you could click Cancel on the Windows Login screen to get logged in as the previous user, but not so on the Screensaver password prompt - clicking Cancel there just went back into the screensaver.

HMRC warns (again) over tax refund phishing scams

Gordon Barret


I dunno -

generally speaking the "copyright" etc bits that are attached to emails sent from a company go on the BOTTOM of the email not right at the top after the "Dear Sir" or whatever.

And people in the UK generally use "£" and not "GBP".

And the inconsistencies like having both "TAX REFUND ID NUMBER" and "TAX REFUND NUMBER ID".

But you are quite correct - they are usually so obvious mainly due to the ridiculous spellings and grammatical errors!

CSC cost-cutting spreads to Europe

Gordon Barret

No Difference

no comprende - this is going to make exactly zero difference to the company figures.

Over the year there are X working days, some of which will be taken from the employee's yearly allowance of paid leave.

So if there are, say 40 working days from now until April (just a guess, I haven't worked it out) then the employee will get paid (and hence the employer will pay) exactly the same amount, whether the employee works for 40 days, or works for 35 days and has 5 days holiday, or works for 20 days and has 20 days holiday.

So what are they on about?

Tablets be DRAMmed – 9 times as much

Gordon Barret

Not a lot

"Tablet computers are forecast to need 353.3 million gigabits of DRAM this year, on the back of 57.6 million tablets shipped"

That doesn't sound a lot - it's 6.13 gigabits per tablet, or 0.766 gigabytes, the nearest commonly used amount of memory would be 768Mb.

It is apparently "834.7% more than in 2010". That would make the requirement 92Mb in 2010.

Yet my (2010) iPad already has 512mb of DRAM and 64Gb of flash memory.

Microsoft hits autistic Xboxer with cheat evidence

Gordon Barret

Free Month?

He cheated, plain and simple, and was found out. And by the sounds of it his mother already knew that he cheated, but was possibly trying to milk it for all it was worth by going public and claiming mistreatment by Microsoft.

They proved he cheated, and his punishment? Being rewarded with a free month!!


Cameroonians cleared in 'surreal' dyed banknote scam

Gordon Barret


This is ridiculously wrong! It does not matter if the victim was a genius, a person of average intelligence or a dimwit - the intent to defraud is clearly there.

Tech salaries up five per cent in 2010

Gordon Barret


Poor me - my last increase was 3.5% in Jan 2008...

Gamers raid medical server to host Call of Duty

Gordon Barret

Not the employees

Eh - what are you talking about?

Some hackers outside of the company or its users hacked the server obviously - NOT the "doctors, radiologists, nurses and secretaries" that are normally able to access it.

Read the article.

Gordon Barret

Not Encrypted?

Nowhere in the article does it say that the data was not encrypted.

Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

Gordon Barret

Free from a land line ?

I'm still waiting for 0800 numbers to be free from my land line.

"They already are!" I hear you say - but not so from Virgin Media. They may be free per minute but there is an initial cost to connect the call, can't remember off hand but it's something like 8.9p.

First 'cryovolcano' discovered on Titan, ice moon of Saturn

Gordon Barret

Still Old News

Cryovalcanism was discovered when Voyager 2 flew past Triton, a loooong time ago (August 24, 1989):

look here: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/C/cryovolcanism.html

I quote for those who cant be bothered:


The eruption of water and other liquid or vapor-phase volatiles, together with gas-driven solid fragments, onto the surface of a planet or moon due to internal heating. It has been observed on only one world to date: Triton, the largest moon of Neptune. Geyser-like plumes of nitrogen were discovered on Triton during the flyby of Voyager 2. However, there is indirect evidence that cryovolcanic processes may have taken place elsewhere in the outer Solar System and might even be active today on moons such as Europa and Enceladus"

and "One of Voyager's images shows an actual plume rising 8 km above the surface and extending 140 km downwind".

Gordon Barret

Not New

Just discovered? I don't think so - I saw something like this on a series about The Planets (may even have been The Universe) on The Discovery Channel over a year ago.

Sony PlayStation Network vs MS Xbox Live

Gordon Barret

Wired is Free

Nope - you only need that thingie for "wireless" internet/lan access - the 360 has an ethernet socket built in so using a network cable is free (and quicker of course).

Nope - I'm not an XBox fanboi - I much prefer my lovely sleek slim black shiny PS3!