* Posts by Christopher Reeve's Horse

230 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Stewart Lee agrees.

Unfortunately I can only upvote this once

Choose your own adventure: HP's new Omen 15 gaming laptop offers choice between AMD and Intel processors

Christopher Reeve's Horse


Or probably very hot, being a gaming laptop!

Also, being a gaming laptop, will it look like an 8 year old’s drawing of a Lamborghini engine cover that’s been festooned in cheap Christmas lights? I hope not.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

Christopher Reeve's Horse

I think it’s not the people you happen to have casually passed, but the people you’ve had a more meaningful and longer interaction with?

Ever felt down after staring at your phone late in bed? It's not just you – mice do too

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So it’s the blue light all along

Not the terrifying list of atrocious things that are happening in the world right now. I guess that’s a relief!

UK.gov dangles £400k over makers of IoT Things: Go on, let's see how you'd make a security cert scheme

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: What about our networks?

Yes, that’s what I’m trying to suggest. It should be two things: device security and protected networks. But until your standard ISP supplied router is designed to operate simply in such a way, no one is going to stand a chance.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

What about our networks?

Given the proliferation of IOT tat, its going to be nearly impossible to ensure they’re all constantly updated. On the other hand, why is it nearly impossible for a layman to set up a locked down separate home network where devices can be isolated from each other and or the rest of the network/internet?

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Re: Oh dear!

If I had to bin something due to forced early borkage that entire brand would get blacklisted.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Educate consumers

And which university do you teach at?

Another attempt at a Big Brand Killer: Oppo daddy BBK hits global smartphone market with Vivo X50 series

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Another well-specced Android flagship

Another jumble of random software with short-term update support, if any?

Home Office waves a cool £1bn to outsource handling of British visa, citizenship applications

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Re: A failed State?

I agree, it’s going to be another shift show. Cue future headlines about racist and discriminatory processes ‘accidentally’ effecting people, which will inevitably be blamed on poorly trained contractors. Or something similar...

After all the excitement of Windows 10 2004, Insider builds go back to square one

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Re: It wasn't Blankety Blank that was 3 x 3...

Even Blankety Blank did baked in obsolescence, as all the winners of the famous Blankety Blank cheque book and pen will confirm.

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at International Space Station

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They blew up the other rocket just to threaten this one into behaving. Seems to have worked!

HP's hoping it'll be second time lucky with launch of Reverb G2 nerd goggles

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This looks really interesting

...and would be perfect for driving sims. FOV is really important for getting the look, feel and immersion of driving right, and often getting a good FOV setting on a single monitor means compromising on lateral spatial awareness from the driving position. Just being able to look around at will, and without having the additional faff of base stations setup sounds great. I've never been much tempted by Occulus because it still feels very much like a first generation product that's been stagnant for quite some time now.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

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If it weren't for the fact

it has a easy to use USB port I'd have guessed it was from Apple.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

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Could make a good meme

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses [insert here] as a desktop

Some starters for 10: Underside of desk. Pulped yams. Actual rolling green grass hill and blue sky. The baby eating Bishop of Bath and Wells. Alan Yentob. The hopes and dreams of children. etc.

SD cards hop on the PCIe 4.0 bus to hit 4GB/s with version 8.0 of storage spec

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These speeds and capacities are the capability of the interface, not the actual flash storage on the card. How far behind the curve is the existing tech, even if this interface is used?

At the moment a 1TB Sandisk SD card with a 170 Mb/s interface is more than £460. Scaling linearly for storage alone (I know it's a bad example) your 128TB card is going to cost nearly £60,000. But if this ever does become affordable then paying for Cloud storage becomes a bit pointless, you could be feasibly be running a 0.5PB portable NAS server from your phone over 7G.

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: A few years ago

Now that, I agree, is dumb.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: In my experience

Yes, but the users aren't always doing this out of blind stupidity. A 'corporate' system always crystallises to a particular scope, and inevitably the outputs need to be viewed, or post-processed, or further modelled along with other non-corporate data. Not all the the data can be crystallised into the main system, as - in almost every case - these are the areas where the processes are being actively designed and developed to the needs of the decision makers. Sometimes this just never stops long enough for crystallisation to be feasible.

Excel enables a combination of roles - process design and decision making. This is almost always necessary when the process constantly evolves or never settles to a particular steady state. To separate these roles requires more resources and stability of the process, and comes of the expense of flexibility. And whilst an excel output lacks the control of a more formal system, these controls (validation, repeatability, ISO9001 etc.) can be built into the system by a competent enough end-user.

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Re: Excel excels

Indeed, Excel often is the single source of truth.

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

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Re: About Time

And not only coherent, but also indicative of some form of rational processing of the prior statement. That's the dead giveaway.

Facebook-for-suits puts on a fresh jacket. 'Classic' Yammer is so 2018. Behold, a public preview of 'New' Yammer

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Linked-In is already bad enough

You may mock, but I'm just stating a valid and true opinion. There's a lot of digital transformation going on in my business (amongst other things) and Yammer has been a useful engagement tool for various communities and user groups.

P.S. Incidentally, CV's and 'job opportunities' are much more of a Linked-In thing, so at least try and mock on target.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Linked-In is already bad enough

The brief dabble I had with Linked-In some years ago was enough to realise it was all a self advertising and spamming w**k fest. Never again. Yammer, however, has actually been a very useful and productive tool in our workplace.

No, seriously, it has.

FYI: Your browser can pick up ultrasonic signals you can't hear, and that sounds like a privacy nightmare to some

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Re: Surely one answer would be...

Which is wonderful and all very well, and you're clearly in full control - but only of that one single source. But I suppose in the current predicament that may be all you need.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Surely one answer would be...

a tiny little sticker that you put over the phone's mic hole that filters out anything higher than about 15 kH. Kill the possibility at source, permissions be damned. Would this be possible?

It has been 20 years since cybercrims woke up to social engineering with an intriguing little email titled 'ILOVEYOU'

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Re: Plus ça change

Well that's just it isn't it... We always assume that the latest software and patches are reasonable, we did 20 years ago too.

What worries me is - what is this kind of article going to look like in another 20 years? Will the security threats of 2020 be seen as quaint? Will the attack surface always continue to expand, or will a point ever be reached where the problem of reliable computer security has effectively been solved? Answers on a postcard, or preferably in a flash embedded object in an .xls file...

Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and cloud-based IoT gear bricked by vendors. Looking at you, Belkin

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Never buy IoT kit

I completely agree, but aside from the popular manta of avoiding all IOT kit, how is the average consumer supposed to tell if a piece of kit requires an external network to operate? Remembering of course that the average consumer is still smarter than 50% of all the other consumers.

Geoboffins reckon extreme rainfall might help some volcanoes pop off

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Re: The magma's several km deep

Dont' think in terms of the extra volume or weight of water, water content typical has a huge influnce on magma chemisty and behaviour. Ever seen that clip when someone throws a bag of meat into a lava pool?

Microsoft 365 invites users to 'Ask Me Anything' – as long as it doesn't require a clued-up exec to deliver clear answers

Christopher Reeve's Horse

There's just soo much churn

I don’t know what it is with Microsoft these days, there's clearly been huge progress with features, functionality and integration, but there's just so much change, and it's all at different stages for different clients. It feels like features are constantly being re-bundled, re-worked, re-branded and re-named. I'm not saying progress isn't good, but it's the way that it’s done - it's disorientating and un-engaging for end users. Sure, you got used to X, but now X is Y, but not all of X is Y, and some of Z is now Y too, but only if you weren’t subscribed to Y in the first place etc... It's enough to give me the Ballmer sweats.

There are always two sides to every story – except this one, which is just a big billboard borked in all directions

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: wedged in to hot and dusty places with zero maintenance

Anon cos... You're afraid she's on these forums and you'd hurt her feelings?

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Very cunning

These viral adverts from Apple are clever!

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: About Time

Sorry, my mistake. I thought making snide comments on the back of highly selective source material was the very raison d'etre of the El Reg comments board? :)

Aside from that, I feel I have, on occasion, made some arguably useful contributions to various IT themed discussions in places where I can. I'm sure we'd all rather avoid the converse situation where commentary was vetted to only professional opinions from recognised experts - but that's mostly the domain of the articles themselves. And so it comes to the very crux of the problem of democratic free speech; to what degree should the extreme opinions of society be heard, and who could possibly be qualified to vet or censor these? Apologies that I haven't contributed, in your eyes, at the standards of the very best, but in many cases the very best are already saying the right things and all I can offer is a mere upvote. Furthermore, if the quality of my somewhat uncontroversial posts are being brought into question, then I can only assume (admittedly as a limited sample) that the overall health of debate here is generally excellent. Now, it's Friday afternoon already, there's drinking to be done, and more snide comments to be made! Cheers, and have a good weekend.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: About Time

Th Hi-Fi world can far far exceed any cycling madness... A 12 grand bike? Peanuts. Take a look of these cables:


A single 3m pair. If you're planning on tri-wiring 6 monoblocks to your speakers (because at this level, you just should) you'll need 3 sets, running in at a total of £162,180.00 Just for the speaker cables on a two channel stero setup.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Some one has to say it

Congratulations, now take your upvote, and get your coat...

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Re Cycle Wheels

Ah, the universal law of diminishing returns, the arch-enemy of upper-bound performance in any arena.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Let me guess...

They're the only wheels that can connect to the chassis via the proprietary iAxle fitting?

Also, considering the price, they're not very functional. apparently they lack a brake mechanism. If your smooth floor isn't perfectly flat, away rolls your expensive Mac Pro. Needs matching iChocks (a bargain at £199).

Bad news: So much of your personal data has been hacked that lesson manuals on how to use it are the latest hot property

Christopher Reeve's Horse

When there's a gold rush on

Don't join the rush, start selling shovels.

Piffy aphorisms aside, why would anyone trust a guide to fraud that's sold by fraudsters? Honour amongst thieves? Do they have some sort of 5 star ratings and review system? I barely trust reviews on most of the 'normal' internet (the Light Web?).

Honor MagicBook 14: Nice keyboard and ports aplenty – but with a webcam forever fixed on all of your chins

Christopher Reeve's Horse


It's not clear from the review whether this is a Widows 10 or Chromebook device? I'm guessing Windows from the mention of the games titles played.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: The emergency regulations...

To quote about 60% of Reddit: "Username checks out"

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: In other news...

Yes, it's old news, and yes, it's bleeding obvious - but it's still a problem, and the problem is getting worse not better. And yes, why not Smart TV's too? It if helps the wider public actually understand there's an issue then there's an improved chance that consumer pressure might influence a change in manufacturer (or regulator) behaviour. The environmental damage of wasteful smartphone production is too much of an issue - you're stealing my future, how dare you! ;-)

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Both manufacturers and Google are to blame really. Google's design of the update process put the manufacturers in control, who then have no incentive to apply updates to older hardware. I agree that the Android One system should improve things, but how many consumers even know what that is? And why only 3 years? I get that handsets are more likely to suffer greater wear and tear, but why should there be any limit? Google don't exactly have a good track record here, remember that they are now imposing limited lifespans and expiration dates on Chromebooks.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: And in comparison...

According to 'WikiChip' the i3 was released on the 4th January 2010, so it's entirely feasible to have an i3 laptop that's >10 years old. Would have it made much difference to the context if I'd said around 10 years old? I'll answer that - no, it wouldn't.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

And in comparison...

My >10 year old Core i3 laptop has Windows 10 and all the latest updates. Admittedly it's a bit shit, but it works, and it's reliable and secure. How many Android handsets are usefully operable at the age of 3, never mind 10+ years. If the likes of Samsung et al think I'd splurge laptop prices (and decent laptops at that) on a phone that become obsolete irrespective of how well I care for it, then they've got another thing coming.

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Waaaaaait a minute.....

I wasn't suggesting that overwriting a user selected search engine choice was a good thing, I was suggesting that integrating web search with results from internal business data stored in Office 365 might not necessarily be a bad thing. I'm sorry that you don't necessarily understand threaded conversations.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Waaaaaait a minute.....

This might be controversial, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

If a company is fully bought into the Office 365 services already then all the information is already being indexed - and that's happening because of a policy / choice by the company to use the these services rather than a case of inappropriate data hording. It's effectively sanctioned and expected behaviour.

Bing is, in this case, just one of the search channels an end user could use.

Facebook mulls tagging pics with 'radioactive' markers to trace the origin of photos used to build image-recog AI

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But surely, it's impossible

- to imagine a scenario where someone would be utilising Facebook's data sets inappropriately? It must all be appropriate as Facebook profited from selling them, right?

And don't call me Shirley...

Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Don't mince your words.

Dear El Reg,

For the love of all that is sacred, please don't even stop ever failing your mince words. This is what for came we!


CR Horse

Atari would love to ship its VCS console but – would ya believe it – there's yet another delay. This time, it's the coronavirus's fault

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Oh how I used to love Atari...

Until I eventually realised that the brand has never been able to live up to the nostalgia associated with it. It's now just a paid for label that increasingly shit companies are using in turn, each wringing another drop of blood out of it. Come back Nolan and your Age of Aquarius! Time Warner ruined it initially by not foreseeing the original VCS would become obsolete, Jack Tramiel gave it a reasonably good shot in the ST era, and really, ever since the ill fated Jaguar it's been rather a torrid affair.

I'd be all up for a buying an amazing new Atari device, but this isn't it. What the 'new' VCS ought to be is a nostalgia machine, similar to the mini SNES and Megadrives recently seen. With simple modern hardware you could easily emulate all the various history of Atari machines and back catalogues of popular games - and maybe even as a major differentiator, include creativity software too. A pocket sized Atari ST with a MIDI sequencer anyone?

Things I learned from Y2K (pt 87): How to swap a mainframe for Microsoft Access

Christopher Reeve's Horse

"The main problem" is perhaps the wrong way of looking at it. If all these Access databases and Excel spreadsheets became business critical then perhaps he was doing entirely the right thing!

Going the corporate 'full IT' way with these things can be very difficult and challenging, especially without first having proof of concept or working model. Irrespective of whether the model owner and IT bods are in agreement, there's always at least one, or more layers of management level funding decisions to be made in-between.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Yes, if anything the software enabled the financial wizardry to happen entirely successfully, irrespective of the wetware's ability to understand the consequences for real people in operating in meat-space.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Hey! I can understand some of the hatred for Access, but Excel always seems to be an easy soft target. For all the criticism it gets it actually does a great job for most people in most circumstances.

As for Access or Excel not being 'proper' solutions, show me an alternative that 'ordinary' people can use without specialist IT training? The difference is ownership. Sure, if I contract out building a custom SQL database to run a particular business model or application, then I expect to need IT professional support to operate it. But show me a consumer level equivalent. Most people have other specialisms and responsibilities beyond being DB admins or system architects. These office level tools just let normal people get on with whatever they need to do. If there was a consumer level 'Office' style implementation of a 'proper' database would this solve more problems, or create more problems?



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