* Posts by TallPaul

36 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Dec 2007

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told


Re: Dreaming up barriers to adoption...

Given the age demographic on the IoW I suspect they couldn't hit 60% even if everyone with a smartphone installed it.

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade


... and uBlock Origin is available for Firefox on Android so that's ad blocking on my phone sorted out without rooting. Result.

Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..


Widespread cable broadband outage in the Cambridge area yesterday too

I wonder if it was connected?

It started at about 10am and they initially claimed it was planned maintenance (it would have been nice to warn us in advance about that but that's another issue) ending at 3pm but that deadline whooshed by and we didn't actually get any connectivity back until 8pm.

UK Scouts database 'flaws' raise concerns


Re: No shit sherlock!

Quite so, that's the question that I've been asking myself. Historically groups held their own records, on paper. All headquarters required was an annual head count as they charged a capitation fee for providing their services to the groups. Seemed to work out OK for everyone.

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Thumb Up

You've got rid of that annoying scrolling "top five stories" widget at the top

That alone gives the re-design an enormous thumbs up from me as it used to drive me mad. I hate pages which update in the corner of my eye.

BBC clamps down on illicit iPlayer watchers


Re: illicit viewers?

get_iplayer can't use nitro (yet) as the BBC are only releasing API keys to nitro to BBC employees at the moment. However I'm told that there is a fix (not downloaded it yet to try it).


Smart TVs too

I'm a get_iplayer user and, to be honest, I don't expect much sympathy from the BBC but it's wider than that, they've hit people with smart TVs too as this post to their site acknowledges:

"We are aware of reports that some viewers are encountering problems playing programmes on their Smart TV or connected device. We understand that some of the reports refer to the service not loading or the buffering ‘circle’ being displayed on-screen.

"This is currently under investigation and we’ll update this FAQ once we have further information."

-- http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv/smart_tvs_connected_nov2014

Apparently it may be possible to fix some TVs by upgrading the firmware ... which is fine if you understand the concept of "upgrading the firmware" and have the means (PC, memory stick) to do so, but lots of users will be completely baffled. BBC shooting themselves in the foot I fear.

ICO: It's up to Google the 'POLLUTER' to tidy up 'right to be forgotten' search links


90 per cent of the search market in Europe? Really?!

I don't know where you're getting that figure from but for our main site (where we don't use Google Analytics to count the hits so we know it's not them biasing the results) 97% of the search traffic comes from Google. 2% from Bing, the rest are in the noise. Google really is the only game in town.

Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'


TBL invented SMS too apparently

On BBC Five Live this morning they went for it in style. TBL inventing the Internet was just for starters. Then they said "send us a text you wish you'd sent 25 years ago". Errr ...

Brit Bitcoin dev: I lost 'over £200k' when MtGox popped its socks


No, I've no idea either. Wanna buy some tulips?

"Do you know anything about what happened at MtGox? Get in touch and let us know. "

And that, in a sentence, sums up the whole thing really. I read a long article only yesterday which claimed it was going to tell me but turned out just to be a list of things it *wasn't*.

'Maybe we haven't been clear enough about med records opt-out', admits NHS data boss


Kelsey lies

'Kelsey insisted this morning that that argument was flawed. "I'm really pleased we're having the debate, but it's not identifiable," the NHS data chief said.'

Kelsey is simply lying. His very own document "Care Episode Statistics: Technical Specification of the GP Extract"* makes it very clear that they are aware of the dangers of "malicious re-identification of patients from inference (a so-called “jigsaw attack”)" (see page 13, paragraph 3). They are going to attempt to mitigate this by controlling who can get access to enough data to do that, but the danger still remains.

Ultimately their defence (and this is acknowledged in another document I can't lay my hands on again at the moment) is legal, in that it would be an offence to re-identify patients. I can't see that working well if there is sufficient rewards from, say, a tabloid for passing on the information they desire.

* http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ces-tech-spec-gp-extract.pdf

Anonymous means NO identifying element left behind – EU handbook


Re: Always tricky

I was just having the same thought. Even the architects behind care.data acknowledge that jigsaw attacks provide a means on de-anonymising the data, a hole which they intend to plug by making it illegal (and that worked so well for phone hacking didn't it boys and girls ...)

Heart part more art than state-of-the-art: Shine wearable activity sensor


Needs BLE sadly

Someone gave me a heads up for the Shine as they knew I was looking for a truly waterproof activity monitor (one of my main forms of exercise is swimming and most devices don't like getting properly wet) plus the Shine now supports Android ... well, up to a point Lord Copper. It does if you have a phone with Bluetooth Low Energy and Android 4.3. They specifically list Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note III, Google Nexus 4/5, and HTC One.

My phone (Android 4.2, no BLE) doesn't have a chance of connecting. Ho hum.

Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent


Blimey another price rise for broadband only customers, they really do seem determined to drive their customers over to using them for phone and/or TV too. Although they're pretty competitive if you do switch phone to them and (as people have already pointed out) negotiate on price. I did that and also went for annual line rental and we reduced our total comms bill by about £350 a year now. See http://the-hug.org/opus2233.html

Pimoroni PiGlow: Rainbow LED swirls for the Raspberry Pi


Oh that's cute. Going to have some fun with that! Took your advice ordered two: one for me, one for my nephew.

Is UK web speech regulated? No.10: Er. We’ll get back to you

Thumb Up

1% of my turnover? Heh, bring it on.

Apparently "The Board should have the power to impose appropriate and proportionate sanctions (including but not limited to financial sanctions up to 1% of turnover of the publication concerned with a maximum of £1,000,000)" (Schedule 3, para 19).

Well I'm an individual so presumably my "turnover" is my salary. If all I have to worry about is them going for a bite of 1% of that then bring it on. I'm far more worried, as should anyone who is blogging be, about the *existing* UK libel law. And quite right too.

Asus pledges Android 4.2 update for Google Nexus 7


One hand not knowing what the other is doing?

I see Google are already claiming on their web site (see <http://www.google.co.uk/nexus/7/index.html>) that "Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.2, the latest version of the world's most popular mobile platform."

Health minister warns ISPs: Block suicide websites or face regulation


Anyone for helium?

Two grim ironies about this latest shitstorm. First is that apparently there's been a big rise in the use of helium* to commit suicide which has been attributed to knowledge gained from the Web. So if we accept that at face value is it really smart for the people who are concerned to be that specific about the method when discussing it with reporters? Especially because when you're feeling suicidal you can just Google for "suicide helium" and the first hit is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bag

Which brings us on to the second issue: people have talked about having to block Wikipedia because it talks about things being lethal but it's *far* more specific than that.

* other gases are available

Three punts UNLIMITED smartphone package


I hear the sound ...

... of goalposts being moved.

Sure, if you need 3G coverage, if you need unlimited calls and text, if you need phone support (now that one is weird but each to their own) then I'm sure Three is a fine deal at £25 a month. If, like me, you only want unlimited data (and unlimited calls and text to your wife, who's also on giffgaff ;-)) then giffgaff is a *remarkably* good deal at £10 a month. Shrug.


Challenge? Not really

At the risk of sounding like a fanboi giffgaff have consistently offered truly unlimited access for only £10 a month for a long while now. There is a catch: it's "mobile internet" only (i.e. on your phone, not tethering) but I seem to remember Three has the same limitation and it's still an impressive deal significantly undercuttings Three's new "challenging" offering.

Symantec Y2.01K bug still stymies customers


It's not just Symantic ...

... last week SpamAssassin was scoring email dated 2010 as "in the future" (generally a good indicator of spam). The initial "fix" has to change the regular expression such that the bug will come back to haunt us in 2020!

Chumby internet-connected alarm clock

Thumb Up

You can get the Chumby One in the UK

Chumby US will now happily ship you one direct. This wasn't the case with the original Chumby when it first came out (presumably for CE marking reasons or similar) but they seem to have got their act together with the Chumby One. Mine is on the way now and, assuming I don't get screwed too badly for import duty, should be somewhat cheaper than buying a Classic from the UK distributor.

Top toy, although I am concerned about the adverts issue. I don't want adverts at all but if they're for things I can't even buy I shall be peeved.

O2 gives birth to GiffGaff in gust of gabble


If they're groaning now ...

I've just ordered a SIM (the free data for six months was just too tempting) and I'm order number 545 so it looks like there's only 544 customers on the forum so far. So Bob alone knows what it's going to be like there later!

Microsoft plays ads-funded Office 2010 Starter gambit

Gates Horns

Internet Explorer all over again

Surely the big issue here is not whether or not users choose to upgrade to the paid for version than that it's making it less likely users will try other Office solutions like Open Office. I wonder what the EU will make of it ...

Gov demand for Governator to terminate PunterNet


Free publicity?

Punternet, not so much slashdotted as Harmanised.

Brit porn filter censors 13 years of net history


Not the same as last time

I'm with VirginMedia (ex NTL). We were caught in the Wikipedia farce but this time around we seem to be OK and I can see sites via Wayback Machine which makes me wonder if this really an IWF problem.

OMFG, what have you done?


And another thing

(more for the information of your developers than for publication)

The "TOP STORIES", "MOST READ", "MOST COMMENTED" tabs are broken on both Firefox 3.0.1 and Opera 9.52 on this Kubuntu laptop - the "COMMENTED" wraps onto a second line. On Konqueror it's worse or better depending on your point of view as both "MOST" and "COMMENTED" wrap onto line 2.


Never mind the quality ...

... but the fixed width sucks. Curiously unlike other posters who are complaining it being too narrow for me it's barely wide most of the time. Which illustrates the point equally well.

Good news about going back to having stories in posting order though: the previous method confused the hell out of me and I was missing stories.

(And at the risk of being drummed out of the regiment I''d have been happy if you'd dumped the posting icons completely - the Paris meme had long since worn a little thin and the others were just a waste of bandwidth and screen space.)

Quantum porn engine foiled by strawberries and muffins


Blog gorn

The original blog posting is no longer online (unsurprisingly). Don't suppose someone's got it cached somewhere?

Windows XP SP3 blame game begins


It's not just AMD

It borked my Celeron based Maxdata PC this morning with the repeated re-booting problem. Luckily it would still come up in Safe Mode (although not with networking, which might be a clue?) so I was able to uninstall SP3 and get on with something more productive.

Tux cos that's the OS on all the other PCs in the house.

Vodafone bundles mobile data


@Ben Norris

I use their "up to 15MB/day for GBP1" option with a PAYG SIM and I use my phone as a modem and I still fall into that tariff ...

HTC applies for multi-keypad sliderphone patent


Not an N810, oh no

You ask "It also begs the question, why not just make the screen as large as the keyboard?"

Perhaps because if you did it would be a Nokia N810 ...

Has your shifty foreign neighbour got 16 mobes?


Never mind the mobile phones - terrorists hire vans you know

Here in Cambridge we've had posters up claiming that we should report anyone hiring a van, using computers, or taking photographs as well as having lots of phones.

See http://the-hug.org/opus353.html for a photo and transcript of the text.

DAB: A very British failure


DAB radios suck

It's sad but true. Never mind "CD quality" we're nowhere near yet having a DAB radio that works with a less than perfect aerial or one where the batteries last more than a couple of days. I've got analogue radios here where the batteries last me a for months (4 C cells) or a couple of weeks on a single AAA. They work anywhere in the house on both MW and VHF. My DAB radio works ... sort of ... when plugged into the mains and carefully positioned - it's like VHF 20 years ago.

Daring Register raid snatches key government URL


We got your name

Perhaps you could get the guys who devised "we got your name/we like donkeys" for a similar exploit to reprise the song ...