* Posts by Oldfogey

309 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jan 2008


Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate



If mobile data is crucial to you, why do you not have a plan for maintaining it in the event of problems?

Have a spare mob on PAYG? or

Have a phone not locked to a service, and a spare SIM in your wallet?

A dual SIM phone? (Best option)

If it is REALLY essential, and you have not taken precautions, I find myself very short on sympathy.

Honda pores over in-car navigation software with Alibaba – report



Currently looking for a mid-90's Defender, possibly V8 petrol. No electronics of any sort, not a single processor of any sort. No reason it should evr be unrepairable.

How's this for a stocking filler next year? El Reg catches up with Gemini

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Agenda..... or Organizer?

I still haven't found diary software better than Lotus Organiser (2.11), which I am still using, mainly on Win7, but it works on Win10 as well.

Why does no one want to invest in full fibre broadband, wails UK.gov


Not everybody....

FTTC reached my area a year ago. I looked at the cost, then looked at the performance I was actually getting on basic adsl.

With just a couple of people in the house, no gamers, no Netflix or suchlike, and ads blocked, we find the result quite adequate. It seems that that is a common attitude here (I can't speak for anywhere else), and the take up has been poor.

If the cost margin reduces I will reconsider, but FTTP has no chance.

Perhaps this is why it's uneconomic?

Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access


Reconciling databases

In order to tie together 2 databases, there has to be at least one item of data, unique to each entry, and common to both datasets.

This is not the case for TV Licence and iPlayer.

TV Licence is basically Name and address, iPlayer is an email login id, and a password; ip address is not relevant, as for most users it changes every time the router is re-booted. The email address I use is purely a figment of my imagination.

How on earth can they tie these datasets together?

Funnily enough, when Qualcomm's licensees stop sending in their royalty checks, profits start going south



What puzzles me is who uses modems nowadays? Are they the sort where you push rubber cups over the phone's mouth and earpieces?

Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser


I reckon they'll find a giant statue of Hat, the Vulture-Headed God of Unexpected Guests.

Storms blow away 2017 Solar Challenge field


Much better....

Forget the solar panels - install deKalb receptors!

(Now lets see who gets that)

SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation


Last year after Halloween Lidl were selling off pumpkins for 20p. Bought a stack and made spiced pumpkin wine - time to try it and see whether to do it again this year.

Today saw a store selling pumpkin muffins. Best before 10 October!

Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop


Some breeds can live up to 20 years - so don't give up hope


OK Computer

Several of my computers, still in at least occasional use, would meet the 18 rule in the UK.

Cold callers illegally sold Aussie farmers 1,700 years worth of printer ink


Too polite

If the photo is of an actual involved individual, it seems likely that they suffer from a problem that afflicts the same generation in the UK - they are far too polite! The only response to a cold call, for anything, is to hang up immediately.

Don't say "No thanks". Don't respond in any way. Just put the phone down immediately. They have techniques for trying to hook you in given the very slightest of openings.

Alert! The dastardly Dutch are sailing a 90-ship fleet at Blighty



How about if we surrender? Brexit can't happen if we're part of Holland, can it?

'Completely offended' Sheila calls cops over price-gouging ganja dealer


Re: So if it's decrimmed...



Just make sure it's really good shit Sherlock.

Japan tries to launch satellite on rocket the size of a telegraph pole


Telegraph poles into orbit?

Trivia - lets get the first Albert Memorial to the moon!

Beeb flings millions more £s at Capita for telly tax collection

Black Helicopters

A conundrum

I don't have a telly - not had one for 30 years, and don't get hassled. Just confirm every few years if they send me a prepaid envelope and not otherwise. There is no obligation to say anything, or to let the inspectors who never turn up in without a warrant.

But say I take my laptop round to a friends house who have got a licence, and legally download from iplayer? And then take the laptop home and watch it from the HDD? Does it matter whether the laptop is plugged in or running on battery?

Can't find an answer to this!

New Ransoc extortionists hunt for actual child abuse material



To catch these idiots, departments responsible for doing so only need to create a load of files with "suspicious" filenames (they will know from thier work what these should be), and make sure their machines are open to attack - perhaps by surfing some dodgy, but perhaps not illegal, sites. Then track the payment.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Spotify serving malware, no escape from reality


Free service

Just access Spotify through the browser, rather than an app. No audio adverts, and adblock stops any visual ones.

Privacy advocates rail against US Homeland Security's Twitter, Facebook snooping


But FB requires your real details.... (not, actually)

They can have details of my FB, for all the good it will do them. The only correct piece of information is my name, and one post to see how it worked (Hello flowers, hello sky).

China launches quantum satellite to test spooky action at a distance


Short answer...

If you apply a Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction to one, but not the other, would that not break the entanglement?

On the other hand, because of relativety, how do you know which one is moving fastest?

Finally, no Nobel for you, as I will have invented Resublimated Thiotimalene last week - using it's Endochronic properties.

Big Brother

Shutter telegraph

So take a quantitly of entagled photons, display them (or their state) at both ends of your desired link in a grid.

Considered an entangled pair to make their square on the grid white.

Now interfere with selected photons at one end so that entanglement is lost. Those squares are considered black.

Now read the message given by the black squares on the white background.

Then replace the disentangled pairs with new entangled pairs and start again.

Any attempt to interfere would initially make the message dificult to read, then impossible, as more bits were lost.

O2 sales dip 9% as tight-fisted Brits cling to their old handsets

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So how "old" is Old?

I've just repalced the battery in my wifes Nokia 1101. From a choice of supplies, and for a few quid delivered.

Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers



Has anybody tried "User Agent Switcher"?

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report


Re: Easy way to avoid TV ads

Even easier - get rid of the TV!

Those Xbox Fitness vids you 'bought'? Look up the meaning of the word 'rent'

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Don't know about office 95, but 97 still works perfectly well on Win 7.

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack


Re: Storing CC security verification codes

Strictly not allowed to store the security code - but I come across companies that do it all the time. If I realise in time (usually on a phone transaction) I ask if they are doing so, and then cancel the transaction in a very pointed way - including reporting them,

The SHOULD have their card-not-present permission removed, but I doubt it ever happens.

Q. What's the difference between smartphones and that fad diet you all got bored of? A. Nothing


Chain of re-use

Once upon a time you could justify the cost of a new phone by giving your old one to your aging parents. Now they've got one, got used to it, and wouldn't thank you for replacing it with a less familiar one.

And nowadays nobody wants to see your latest ooh shiny. Too booooring.

One million patients have opted out of Care.data


Noel Gordon?

Sounds like the NHS is at the Crossroads.

Your broadband speeds are up by 6Mbps, boasts UK watchdog Ofcom



Regardless of the sub-head, I know several people who arw still on dial up, for the simple reason that there is no broadband and no mobile service where they live - within 5 miles of a cathedral city.

No cable either, obviously

Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries


All that old kit in attics...

I reckon when Skynet goes live, it won't be the latest hot server boxes and such, but all the ancient tat festering in Reg readers attics, sheds, garages, and old office cupboards that will be struck by lightening a creak into life.

But they won't be trying to kill mankind off with flash military hardware, instead they will just bore us to death by going on about how nobody writes assembler any more, let alone proper machine code.

My coat is the one with the Psion II in the pocket.

Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates


Re: while we are on the subject

Thanks for the headsup on KB3123862, whichdoes indeed look suspicious.

Personally, having several machines to update, I find it easiest to use Portable Update. This enables me to scan a PC for available updates, download only those I want onto a USB disk, and install from there to all my machines without having to check the numbers again.

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack


Re: It all about Tax you fools

Fractional freezing is certainly a more accurate term, unfortunately it is not as good at conveying the meaning to the non technical.


Re: It all about Tax you fools

That will have no effect on me - I make my own.

And no, they can't stop or tax it when the ingedients are available from most hedgerows and supermarkets in the country.

In Norway, home distillation is all the rage, and they are well equiped for simple freeze distillation.

Chinese unleash autonomous airborne taxi



Wouldn't take much to put some lightweight wheels on so it could be driven for short distances!

Yes, put the rotors up high, also use 5 arms, for greater stability and also for safety if a rotor fails.

The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died


Still in use!

Just across the room is a 770EX, running XP and still in daily use for Office 97, Calibre, and some old school games.

It's not connected to the internet, so no security risk, and it still does what it always did, perfectly well.

Couple more upstairs, and when I have time I am going to try putting Win7 on - supposed to be possible - and some flavour of Linux to play with for the future.

Aircraft laser strikes hit new record with 20 incidents in one night


One Word

Peril-sensitive sunglasses.


BBC encourages rebellious Welsh town to move offshore


Nice little place

I stopped in Crickhowell recently for a spot of lunch, and it is a nice little town with some attractive local shops. Well recommended if you are passing that way.

So what we have here is basically a stunt. The town needs a bit of publicity, the Beeb needs a programme, and HMRC needs a mechanism to try and get the government to do something about tax dodging corporations.

Bingo! Everybody's happy (except Starbucks).

Oh, and there are a couple of nice coffee shops in Crickhowell.

Microsoft offers to PAY YOU to trade in your old computer for a Windows 10 device

Paris Hilton

Re: Wow

You do know that you can get an adaptor for the BNC to connect it to Cat 5?

(Never get rid of anything that still works - and how many WFW viruses are there out there?)

I think Paris is trying to boot CPM.

Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back


Re: Can I get

Easy. Just hook it up to a diesel generator.

So, what's happening with LOHAN? Sweet FAA, that's what


Copenhagen Sub-Orbitals

I believe that this lot fire from a boat (or plan to), and also have a coastal location in Norway. Norway is not in the EU, so there is a fair chance it has its own rules.

Have a word with those guys - they sound as mad as El Reg anyway, and might be able and willing to help for a contribution to their funds.

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts


Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

I imagine that you are not at all interested in portability, with a 13 foot screen size.

I don't expect to find that in my pocket!

Daredevil Brit lifts off in 54-prop quinquaquadcopter


Ducted Fans?

I'm thinking ducted fans would be more efficient, plus a whole lot safer.

Add a Pi to control stability and it could just work.

Spotify updates hated privacy policy ... with exact same policy

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The app is the problem

So just log in through the browser portal. They get no information except the lies you told them when you created the ID, and for some reason it seems to be ad free???????

The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined


Re: Log in

There are a lot of websites out there that think I am 115. Not quite yet!

If they actually cared they would reject such an obvious date as 1-1-1900

Rock reboot and the Welsh windy wonder: Centre for Alternative Technology


Re: I Say Potato and You Say Pot-Ah-To

The Oxford English Dictionary gives both as acceptable spellings.

CAT is pretty much half-way between North and South Wales. The Welsh spoke in the two areas is not exactly the same language.

Blighty tablet sales plunge 31 per cent in saturated market


Loads of excellent stuff for free on Project Gutenberg - not forgetting the English Language Gutenbergs such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and India (yes)

Contactless card fraud? Easy. All you need is an off-the-shelf scanner



In September the contactless payment limit goes up to £30.

If it's 5 uses before a pin is requested, then that could be £150 down the drain.

My coat is the one with the lead lined pocket with a combination lock.

Rise of the swimming machines: US sub launches and recovers a drone


So do they really have them?

Is there any evidence? Has anybody seen an underwater drone?

Perhaps they just want to worry the opposition?

You can't believe it without Playmobile evidence!

Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read


Re: Fantastic projets

As I think I have mentioned before on these forae, the Bond Bug was actually an amazing vehicle. The top model was capable of 115mph (for internal consumption only - never let insurance companies know!), and the factory test drive demonstrated to me that it could do handbrake turns, doughnuts, and 3-wheel slides on corners - all because the COG was barely above the wheel hubs.

Roll up, roll up, for the Meta35: The hybrid snapper's data dumpster


I wonder

just how many years before it is impossible to buy camera film?