* Posts by Barrie Shepherd

407 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Feb 2008


McDonald's pulls plug on Wi-Fi, starts playing classical music to soothe yobs

Barrie Shepherd

Use of Muzak is not a new concept.

British Rail used to play "Uplifting" marching music, Sousa type, at Waterloo Station in the morning rush hour, the objective to make passengers walk briskly along to minimise congestion,

In the evening peak they played soothing music so that commuters were calmed on their way home and would , hopefully, not vent their daily troubles on BR.

By all accounts it worked!

Shag pile PC earned techies a carpeting from HR

Barrie Shepherd

I once 'informally advised' another Department Head that one of our Area Engineers was proposing to carry out an activity that was at best financially dubious and at worst illegal. The guy intervened and stopped the action - even sent me a 'thanks' email..

Unfortunately the person I 'dobbed in' was mates with my Chief Engineer who apparently ranted and raved when given the 'half story' by his mate.

Fortunately I was on leave at the time. When I returned from leave my boss advised me to keep a low profile. After some weeks I got a call to go visit the Deputy Chief Engineer, standing in his office the conversation went like this;

"You know why you are here?

"No idea"

"Well you upset XXXXXX (The Chief Engineer) over that issue about questionable financial matters."

" But ............."

"Don't say anything! just consider yourself reprimanded and we will let it rest there"

"OK, thanks,"

"OK - you can go............by the way it had the right outcome - but I did not say that"

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Hooray for Avoirdupois and pounds, shillings and pence

Don't let a bit of truth get in the way of a Mail story.!

ChatGPT talks its way through Wharton MBA, medical exams

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Maybe now those interfering bosses

Same here. Had a list of 20 odd candidates for 2 jobs. Boss selected four to interview all highly qualified - I selected three who seemed, from their CV, to have practical experience and a broad knowledge base but no relevant degree qualifications.

We interviewed all seven for the two jobs - the Boss agreed, after the first three of his selection, that they were hopeless! Two candidates from my list got the jobs.

8K? That’s cute. This display has 600 million pixels

Barrie Shepherd

The 65 million pixel screen in the ABBA Arena, for the Voyage production, is really impressive if you want to see some remarkable display technology in action.

And no bezels to be seen!

Apple exec confirms iPhones will switch to USB-C because 'we have no choice'

Barrie Shepherd

Apple could make the next iPhone wireless charging only and supply a shiny new charger pad with each phone.

The charge pad can have a fixed wire to the power pack and outside world and the EU Law would be met. Of course the charge pad would need a bespoke handshake protocol before the phone could be charged maintaining the walled garden and protecting accessory revenue.

They could then fit any connector they like on the phone for data connectivity - just so long as it is not for charging.

Shareholders slam Zuckerberg's 'terrifying' $100b+ Metaverse experiment

Barrie Shepherd

Carry on Zac

Zac should continue to develop and invest billions in Meta.

With a bit of luck he will eventually bankrupt the company, Meta/Facebook will be bankrupt and will be wound up and the world can return to normality.

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Speedcam roulette

Notts is also the County of creeping 50's, they seem to have a policy of progressively dropping the National Speed limit of 60 to 50 on all the main roads around teh county.

I'm sure it's designed to create work for the County owned company that erects the speed limit boards.

UK signs deal to share police biometric database with US border guards

Barrie Shepherd

How very convenient for UK authorities, they now have access to the fingerprints of all innocent, never arrested, UK citizen who has ever visited the USA.

Big Tech silent on data privacy in post-Roe America

Barrie Shepherd

Re: US of a holes

But had to drag NI to the party kicking and screaming.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: The right to tell you what to do

They do but IMHO that does not make it right - the United Kingdom should be united in all respects.

Unfortunately with the stupid 'Devolved States' nonsense it will get worse.

NSO claims 'more than 5' EU states use Pegasus spyware

Barrie Shepherd

Hackers of the World Unite

Why don't the hacker groups band together and release a Pegasus hunting APP we can all test our phone with?

Or more to the point why are Google / Apple not digging down and protecting their SW ?

I'd hate to think that collusion was going on at a corporate and 3 letter agency level!

Intel demands $625m in interest from Europe on overturned antitrust fine

Barrie Shepherd

It takes that long to ensure that the "..........lawyers are nothing but money-grabbing con artists"

EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Barrie Shepherd

IHMO the USB C plug body need to be about 1.5 mm longer to give it better retention in the socket.

Just how a USB C socket is going to be fitted to ear buds is a challenge!

Manufacturers of products with tethered leads (e.g. web cams) should be made to supply replacement leads should the USB C Plug / cable connection fail - I have three web cams (one an expensive one) which are useless because the cable has pulled away from the plug body and there is no way to repair it.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

My brother in law, who uses many power tools, has lopped all the cables off his tools about 15 inches from the tool and put IEC male plus on.

He has a selection of power leads of differing lengths, with female IEC plugs, which he can then use as appropriate. Absolutely no issue with the plugs pulling apart other than when needed. Sometimes he just changes the power lead between plugs meaning only one power lead trailing around.

Clearview AI fined millions in the UK: No 'lawful reason' to collect Brits' images

Barrie Shepherd

Re: And the enforceability of this fine is done how?

Extradite the CEO to the UK if the fine is not paid and proof given that our images have been destroyed not just deleted (i.e. moved to an offline backup) - the US do it so what's good for the goose etc. etc.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Please fine them until the pips squeak.

How will the ICO be able to audit that the images have been removed? I doubt Clearview will, it will just move them to some offline backup media to be reinstated later.

The ICO should make it clear to UK organisations that they must not use Clearview services either directly or indirectly through agents or subsidiaries in Clearview friendly countries - and that should include the UK Police and Security Services.

As for "Clearview AI is not subject to the ICO's jurisdiction...." if the US are able to use their laws to chase people across our borders then we should be able to reciprocate.

I'd be interested to know what the US's 3 Alpha organisations do with the data - and I'd not be surprised if they even funded, in some way, Clearview's development, as they would not be allowed to do it themselves directly.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Barrie Shepherd

Re " Don't you know who I am"

I experienced this in reverse once.

I was working on a new installation poking test leads and looking at traces on scopes being careful not to utter any expletives as there was a tour of the site by a load of HQ Directors taking place and management wanted the place to look busy.

A grey suit approached and asked me what I was doing, I described the test activity, in layman's terms, and responded to the fairly detailed return questions honestly.

The suit then thanked me with "Thank you, you seem to be the only person here who does not know who I am so you did not see fit to give me a load of bullshit about what is going on". I must have looked like a deer in the headlights of a car when he said "I'm the Company Chairman BTW",

UK Prime Minister, Catalan groups 'targeted by NSO Pegasus spyware'

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Civil Servents must really hate Boris.

".............but in Australia politicians don't get vetted and/or cleared."

Would be a wate of time and money - they are all criminals anyway and in the some cases are often proud that they can trace their lineage back to criminals of days gone by.

Remember Australia was where the UK transported it's undesirable to - much the same as Priti Patel is doing with the UK current undesirables but using Rwanda.

Google bans third-party call-recording apps from Play Store

Barrie Shepherd

Re: I don't understand

"In the UK all calls and faxes are recorded, unless they are via voip, and even then many are."

Recorded where by who?

The call meta data is certainly logged by the carrier (be it POTS or VoIP) but unless you are a person of interest, covered by an Interception Warrant, I seriously doubt that the ordinary call content is recorded by the authorities. Calls to Emergency Services are of course recorded.

UK Home Office dangles £20m for national gun licence database system

Barrie Shepherd


Early Market Engagement Event Notification

EARLY? Released on 7th March (Monday) Closed 13th March (Sunday) = 5 Working days = someone has been lined up for this.

Further it's only for "Law Enforcement Services across England and Wales." What about Scotland & NI? Are gun ownership laws different there? Will they waste another dollop of OUR money on a Scottish version to "reflect the widely held pride in Scottish Gun Owning History". All the enhanced gun legislation was started by a gun incident in Scotland after all.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Database?

I'm of the view that it should not matter.

Let anyone know where the guns are - if gun owners don't want people to know they have a gun then they must have something to hide.

(that's how the usual argument goes in relation to these matters isn't it?)

The recent failures of guns being returned to clearly unsuitable owners without warnings to those close to them is proof enough.

Top chipmakers ignore India's semiconductor factory subsidies

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Why is there a problem?

"Their parliamentary system is very much based on Westminster ....."

Well we have plenty of examples closer to home as to how effective that is in stamping out corruption!

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Ban software patents.

"If I come up with a likely method to provide a warp drive, or an on-earth teleporter, or whatever takes your fancy from SciFi... then I may well not have the resources to produce a working version."

British Rail was in the same position 'back in the day';



To our total surprise, Apple makes adding alternative payment systems to apps 'painful, expensive, clunky'

Barrie Shepherd

" "These changes will compromise the user experience, ............"

Really? why not ask the users what they would like their experience to be?

UK's new Brexit Freedom Bill promises already-slated GDPR reform, easier gene editing rules

Barrie Shepherd

Re: A Cool Billion ! Roll Up, Roll Up !

I wonder who owns, or has shares in, those testing houses?

Mobile networks really hate Apple's Private Relay: Some folks find iOS privacy feature blocked on their iPhones

Barrie Shepherd

I never thought I would give Apple credit for anything but in this case they seem to be doing "an acceptable thing".

Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we've changed our code to avoid infringement

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Patent madness

..or what about auditoriums with their multi speaker multi amplifier digital delayed sound systems. US Patent systems is broken.

US distrust of Huawei linked in part to malicious software update in 2012

Barrie Shepherd

After several days, the snooping code reportedly deleted itself, but Australia's intelligence services decided China's intelligence services were responsible, "having infiltrated the ranks of Huawei technicians who helped maintain the equipment and pushed the update to the telecom’s systems."

How convenient that the evidence has mysteriously disappeared 'itself'.

Even more mysterious as Optus denies the event took place;

"........says that Optus, a division of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., had its systems compromised through a malicious update in 2012 – a claim the company disputes."

But hey "Trust us" - "We are collectively the honourable American and Australian Intelligence services and have no reason to not tell the truth"

Sweden asks EU to ban Bitcoin mining because while hydroelectric power is cheap, they need it for other stuff

Barrie Shepherd

Re: How?

"That law will surely pass just after the one restricting lobbying, and the one about getting cushy jobs for your family and yourself..."

LOL - not all countries have the equivalent of the UK Parliament/Politicians.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: How?

"But, I could see instead charging the first x kwh at the lower rate and jacking it up to like 20c/kwh+ for excess usage"

No where near high enough!

Here in the UK the household price per kWh is around the equivalent of 32c/kWh (£0.24)

Barrie Shepherd

Just how will the government enforce a ban?

How will they know that the kWs that went through my meter last night were mining a 10,000 th of some crypto currency or just washing my dishes?

The only way is to stop 'negotiated' energy deals which in the main end up increasing the cost of energy to small users so that whacking big discounts can be given the large users who (innocently) also have political clout.

Barrie Shepherd

Given the current state of play with energy providers in the UK, and the cost of electricity, it's time for some RPM to be mandated. The government should publish three rates per kWh, one domestic, one industrial, one health (hospitals).

Every electricity user, in those groups, should pay that group rate - no discounts for direct debits, economy 7, bulk usage, or car charging - just the fixed rate for all.

Dump the solar feed in tariffs which, for early adopters, are now obscene. If people are lucky enough to have a south facing roof and enough money to put solar cells on it then they can find some money for batteries to reduce their personal load on the electricity supply chain.

After 6 months people will have adjusted to the usage they can afford, the industry will be regulated and we can all stop chopping and changing 'suppliers' - who aren't suppliers they are just men in the middle profit machines which, if profit is not on the horizon, go 'bust'.


Apple sues 'amoral 21st century mercenaries' NSO for infecting iPhones with Pegasus spyware

Barrie Shepherd

""“Thousands of lives were saved around the world thanks to NSO Group's technologies used by its customers,” a spokesperson for the developer told us today."

That's OK then - 'think of the children', 'the end justifies the means', 'collateral damage along the way is acceptable', and NSO should be elevated to Saviours of the World. /s

The fact is NSO Group found a business opening - doing for (any) Government that which that government could not, in all conscience, do it's self. I have no doubt that entities within the UK Government will be using NSO technology as will those in the US, Australia, Canada, ........ etc.

I'm no Apple ambassador, and don't own any iThings, but in this I have sympathy for their plight - not that a US Court determination will stop NSO, Google should join Apple in the action.

Governments will always resort to illegal means when they can't get their way legally - just occasionally they get caught out but then they say sorry and run the "Thousands of lives were saved", "Children were protected", with Minister "I have no recollection" mantras, wash, eat humble pie, and continue as usual. What's the betting Priti Patel's Home Office is using (obviously without 'her knowledge') NSO products to further her draconian ends?

I just hope the hacking community target NSO!

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Here

I much prefer Here maps.

As do I but Google won't let Here into the Android Auto walled garden, so you cannot get the map on the built in (larger) Nav screen.

Barrie Shepherd

Blinkers just lacking fluid

.. ensures the non existent indicators are fully disabled.

BMW blinkers need regular top ups of Blinker Fluid .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6GsXhBb10k

Intel audio drivers give Windows 11 the blues and Microsoft Installer borked following security update

Barrie Shepherd

" and later or and later should do it, according to Microsoft. Slightly confusingly, "for addressing this issue, 10.30.x versions are not newer than 10.29.x versions." The key bit is the last of the version number.

Why can't these numbering systems have some clarity for mere mortals?

Any credible reasoning would indicate that should be 'newer' than

Phone jammers made my model plane smash into parked lorry, fumes hobbyist

Barrie Shepherd


""It was suspected by the pilot that 2.4 GHz jamming devices were being operated by some of the companies at the distribution centre to prevent staff from using mobile telephones,""

Don't go for that - 2.4 GHz will not stop people using their mobile phones and a company would not want to also jam up their office and warehouse Wi-Fi.

2.4 GHz on a lorry designed to confuse the GPS tracking systems, that operators spy on their staff with, is more likely - or pilot error!

Cisco requires COVID-19 shots for all US staff – even remote workers

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Get rid of the religious exemption.

"One can live perfectly well in society keeping a 2m distance, wearing a mask indoors and avoiding crowded indoor spaces."

But the same dumb types who won't be vaccinated are the same dumb types who won't wear a mask, keep 2m apart or stay out of cinemas, theatres, restaurants and bars.

US Dept of Commerce sanctions NSO Group, Positive Technologies, other makers of snoopware

Barrie Shepherd

"Inclusion on the Entity List disallows the export of hardware and software in the US to named organizations or individuals unless approved by the Commerce Department. US companies may still do business with named entities, but such transactions are frowned upon: "

So that's OK then CIA/FBI/Homeland Security etc. can all carry on tapping phones and collecting data using NSO 'devices'.

The US government has made a stand! (but one which won't impact US government activities)

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done

Barrie Shepherd

Parallel World

Can virtual avatars be offended/sued/accused of real world 'ism crimes etc.?

I doubt it - so once in this world you are disconnected from the protections (such as they are) of the current real world.

You would look pretty stupid racking up to a real world Court saying "My Meta world character has been offended because I was subjected to virtual verbal abuse because of the colour of my skin, my sexuality and the length of my hair coupled with my body mass and severe BO - and I want damages"

So in the Meta future Zuck can not be accused of all the heinous crimes against society because the society is not real, it is imaginary.

We can only hope the imaginary society disappears up the imaginary virtual A'hole a little like the oozlum bird.

NHS Digital exposes hundreds of email addresses after BCC blunder copies in entire invite list to 'Let's talk cyber' event

Barrie Shepherd

And these are the muppets that we are supposed to trust with our most private health records LOL

Give us your biometric data to get your lunch in 5 seconds, UK schools tell children

Barrie Shepherd

Facial Recognition and Doppler Radar are the biggest technology evils of current times.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: I'd be such a troublemaking rebel if I was at school today.

"Shocking that only 3% objected."

We don't know what the question was that lead to 97% accepting the proposal.

I bet it would have been framed in a manner that obfuscated the underlying technology and emphasised the COVID safety.

It would certainly not have been "Do you agree we can take electronic pictures of your children and store them in a server so they can be accessed to confirm dinner payments." (because we can't be arsed to do anything less invasive)

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram deplatform themselves: Services down globally

Barrie Shepherd


Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Evidence m'lud...

".................then I put it to you that any 'evidence' is planted."

Which is why they want the law - back to stitching up "crims" who they don't have real evidence about.

How easy will it be to slip a few naughty pics into someone's social media / email account and then bang them away for kiddie porn.

You can 'go your own way' over GDPR, says UK's new Information Commissioner

Barrie Shepherd

Edwards had this to say: "What I really want to do is make privacy easy."

Simple make it illegal to collect and store personal data other that justified for the purpose.

Why does TV licensing in the UK want to know my name, age, email and sex?

Technically they only need the address to issue a TV license the rest is unnecessary data mining from CRAPITA.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: proviso

We should go back to cycles per second - far more descriptive.

KayCees is a far better way to describe a radio stations shortwave operating frequency :-)

In the '80s, satellite comms showed promise – soon it'll be a viable means to punt internet services at anyone anywhere

Barrie Shepherd

Re: There's also the antenna technology.

"Phased array "flat" antennas have been around for donkey's years."

Yes right back to the BSB Squarial - but those were to fixed satellites and had to be aimed - the Starlink ones are genuinely fully 'steerable' arrays.

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Can't wait...

That's more or less what I have got.

Virgin dropped a co-ax into my home along with a modem to a RJ connector and that's me sorted.

Added my own router and ported my long held BT/Openreach POTS number to a VSP (not Virgin) and I am sorted - a 4G USB stick is on hand to take my mobile SIM should Virgin go down.

The Openreach cable still enters my property, and still has 'Non Connected' dial tone on it but it does not cost me a penny.