* Posts by mike2R

232 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2008


WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


What you get when you can't afford peanuts.

Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England


"All for what?"

If you are feeling charitable, you might think that a considerable number of public health professionals think that your wife's life is simply worth sacrificing to realise their plans to "denormalise" smoking.

If you're less charitable, it might occur to you that someone who earns their livelihood from fighting smoking would be out of a job if a true solution was found.


@ Mystic Megabyte

Ones I use in the UK are:




They all sell a wide range of items, so you'll want to check out reviews and forums. But the quality of kit on the market these days is generally excellent compared to when I started - as a beginner, get something that isn't complicated to operate and is in a form factor that suits you. Basically you need a battery of some sort (get at least 2), and something to contain and atomise the juice (get several to make sampling juices easier)

Juices are very much personal preference. Get a wide range of styles and from different manufacturers. Don't prejudge your tastes, many a new vaper has gone into it knowing that they only want tobacco juices, and a few weeks later been predominantly alternating caramel with strawberry. Tobacco juices are likely to be disappointing initially - vapor flat out doesn't taste much like smoke, the best you get out of tobacco flavours is something that tastes like unburnt tobacco.

A few suggestions. These are decent batteries, the ones I use when I don't want to use my larger kit (their a bit long in the tooth now, they were one of the first really decent smaller variable voltage batteries. Some of the more modern stuff may well be better, but these do the job).


You'd need a charger such as this one:


These are some really nice "clearomisers" - you fill them with juice and screw them on the battery and you are good to go - I used to hate early clearomisers since they weren't that consistent, but these converted me from more complicated items. You don't really want to change flavours in a clearomiser, so get several:


You might want to consider a "dripping atomiser" - an atomiser that you manually drip a few drops of juice in the top to use - handy for flavour sampling (purists will say they give the best flavour too):


Then all you need is a selection of juice.


"Not my experience, I recently had my first encounter with somebody vaping and I didn't notice any smell. But then the vaping habits of different people may vary and maybe some inhale and others puff."

Its much more to do with the particular flavour of juice being used. Some are practically unnoticeable, others can dominate a room.

Personally I think its polite for us vapers to be considerate when it comes to smells. Sure, a woman with overpowering perfume might be as noticeable as even a pungent juice. But a woman with that much perfume in a restaurant is being rude, even if its not socially acceptable to call her out on it. It isn't much to ask that we either choose a flavour that doesn't bother anyone, or refrain where it might inconvenience others.

OK, who unplugged the modem? North Korea's internet disappeared for four hours today


More likely try to claim it as their own in a fit of patriotic fervour:


Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem


The money printed without ECB permission would legally be counterfeit. If Greece did that and got caught (and it would be immediately obvious if done in any quantity) the consequences would presumably be catastrophic.

Imagine if the rest of the eurozone declared all Y-serial euros to be invalid. Every Greek note would become worthless outside Greece - essentially a Grexit that redenominated the tens of billions of euros that Greeks have in their mattresses.

WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future


Re: This is so exciting

Posts jokingly complaining about puns, pretty much have to include a pun of their own.

It's practically mandatree.

So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?


Re: Eire

Sounds like a very old map, was a quarter of the world shaded pink on it as well?

The state is called 'Ireland' in English. I don't see any benefit in continuing a 1930s era refusal to use that name on the part of the UK government. There's been a lot of water under that particular bridge since then, and it has implications of denying the legitimacy of the Irish state that I doubt you mean to make, given your comment about looking forward to a united Ireland.

Facebook echo chamber: Or, the British media and the election


My favourite Guardian bit is from here:


Their description of Cameron embracing his wife is:

"Looking genuinely relieved and ecstatic, David Cameron squashes his face against Sam Cam’s cheek, as she grins at the prospect of five years of proper, evil Tory power. "

Don't get me wrong, I *like* having newspapers that have an open agenda rather than pretending to be neutral. I just wish they'd stop hypocritically having a go at other outlets that do the same

E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard


"For those from elsewhere, we use the First Past the Post voting system, with each MP representing a specific geographical constituency. So, a majority of one is enough to win a seat .... "

Just a little nitpick, since you aim that sentence specifically at non-Brits. While its common to talk about the winning margin of an MP within their constituency as their "majority", its actually the margin of their plurality - ie they don't have to get 1 vote more than 50% of votes cast in their constituency. Just 1 vote more than their nearest rival, even if all their rivals added together got many more votes than they did.

Uh oh, it's Mobilegeddon! Your site may lose, well, pennies


Seems a slightly blinkered assessment... there are a few businesses out there that use their websites to generate income in other ways than selling ad space... Shocking I know, but logical if you think about it - where do the ads come from after all :P

Anyway, finally got our site mobile friendly a couple of weeks ago, so bring it on.

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH


"I hope that one of them will nurture the Discworld"

Got to say my instinctive reaction to that is not positive. I love the world as much as the next fan, and I did truly want to know where he was taking it, and Ankh-Morpork in particular. I'd be very interested in reading any collections of notes and/or conversations from those who knew him on the subject.

But the reason I love the world so much isn't anything to do with that, it was due to his brilliant writing and wit. Without that, there isn't any point. Any continuation by another author would almost certainly be a pallid imitation. If there is another author who truly does have the ability to write a Discworld novel worthy of the name, I think I'd much prefer to read their own original work, without all the constraints of imitating the style and backstory of Sir Terry's.

VMware sued, accused of ripping off Linux kernel source code


Re: Case..

"GPL is a source code license, VMWare (by the entire case's main objective) isn't redistributing source, they're distributing binaries - things like copyright come into play in those cases - not source code licenses."

Ok, I'm curious. What do you think a "source code licence" is in this context?

Dot-word sensation: Google forks out $25m for a fist of .app-y pills


Re: That's not so much

That's the really sad thing. If they're going to do something as selfish and irreversibly stupid as creating over a thousand unnecessary gTLDs for personal gain, I'd have at least have hoped they'd have done it for truly big bucks.

How much individually are the people who made the decision going to get for this sell out, once it trickles down into their bonuses and benefits? A million each? Less?

Its the pettiness of the whole thing that really irritates me. I mean I'd screw up the internet for a $100 million USD like a shot, but not for a moderately comfortable pension pot.

CHAINSAW HORROR advert earns GiffGaff a slap from regulator


Re: Errr

It seems reasonable for the ASA to deal with the advertiser - its their advert after all. The advertiser can then either pressure the content provider to provide compliant targeting options, or avoid showing it with that provider if they are unable or unwilling to do so.

FBI boss: Sony hack was DEFINITELY North Korea, haters gonna hate


Re: Yeah...

@g e

Ok, but then you're just left with the question of why would the Obama administration aid North Korea's propaganda efforts in this way? It isn't like they couldn't find another excuse for more sanctions.

This is either a complete cock up and they've made a mistake, or North Korea is indeed behind it. In either case I assume they genuinely think that they were behind it, since nothing else makes any sense.

Not "this is evidence of a Machiavellian conspiracy" doesn't make any sense, rather it just literally doesn't make any sense.


Re: Yeah...

Why would the FBI lie about this?

North Korea is absolutely loving this. Even if they didn't do it, they'd want people to think they did. It makes them look relevant and powerful, especially given the initial spineless cave in over showing the film.

What reason would the FBI have to hand a propaganda coup like this to North Korea on a plate? Unless they are pretty damn sure they did do it, and would prefer to at least control the story.

Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'


Re: Much capitulation, such disappointment

@Salts If that was true, surely the theatres could have appealed to the government. Or gone public with the reason and tried to shame the insurers into changing the decision.

I don't want to American-bash here - I'm not entirely sure that Britain is any better - but especially coming on top of the farcical panic over Ebola, it is creating the impression that modern America is pretty gutless. Not perhaps the best image for a superpower.

Brit cops nab six in Silk Road 2.0 drugs sting


Re: 500 times the size of the internet I hear

I've tracked that one down, the BBC and a load of other crapy sites parroting this rubbish got it from the same place. The ultimate source of the 500x larger claim seems to be this paper from 2001: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jep/3336451.0007.104?view=text;rgn=main

It's talking about dynamic vs static web pages, and how the search engine's of the day have trouble indexing the latter (which it calls the "deep web").

Disk drive BIGNESS is back: Seagate revenues and shipments surge


Re: Downvotes

Oh, I missed this: "My problem with Seagate is that any warranty returns have to be sent to the Netherlands"

I don't have a Seagate drive serial number to hand to check, but I'm about 99% sure this isn't correct - there's a choice over where you want to send it back to, including a UK address, I think the Netherlands is the default option. Its a while since I returned one through their site myself, but I'd be shocked if the UK option is no longer there.


Re: Downvotes

Fair enough, I guess I should explain why I downvoted this post - I sell a lot of hard drives.

Hard drives go wrong frequently. All brands, all capacities, they all have a failure rate much higher than most computer parts.

Therefore there are lots of people out there who have had failed drives. And since there are so many hard drives made, and so many people buy them, there are many people who have had failures that, taken in isolation, make it look like one manufacturer is much worse or better than others.

So there are people out there who have owned a dozen Seagate drives and a dozen WD drives, and all the WDs have failed within a year, and all the Seagates still work. When considered with all the data on all the drives out there, this is to be expected. However its the people who get the statistical freaks who, quite naturally, post about it on the internet.

Which from my point of view means that whenever I get a customer with a failed drive, I have to deal with "I searched on the internet and found that everyone is complaining about $drive_manufacturer". Which is why I downvoted the parent comment - I completely believe the post is 100% truthful, but I know for a fact that it is nevertheless misleading.

'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with two-year sentences for menacing posts


Re: Not necessary

This is very much the computer programmers objection. "We already have a function to do this, modify that one if needed to deal with the new case, but don't just reimplement the same solution elsewhere. You're creating a maintenance nightmare down the road due to your incompetence and laziness."

I'm not sure how good an objection this is to criminal legislation. I presume a large part of this announcement is the announcement itself - getting the idea into the public consciousness that there is punishment for threats of or incitement to violence, even if its done online. The idea is not only to have legislation to appropriately process crimes, but also to deter some of the crimes from being committed in the first place.

Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer


Re: The problem with this article...

Do those sort of uses actually increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere? I'd have thought making some plastic product, and having your customers chuck it in a landfill, would count as carbon capture.

Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM


Re: What are your predictions?

Feeling optimistic, I'm going to say 60% No.

This based on my hopes that No voters have been less likely to declare themselves to pollsters, that some Yes supporters may have more wanted to send a message than actually become independent and will change their mind with the polls so close, and good old in-the-ballot-box cold feet.

But mainly that I don't want the vote to be any closer. A 20 point margin puts the question to bed.

LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms



Airborne Realtime Emergency Orthogonal Log Avoidance

Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay


Re: one trick my employer does.

Shades of Machiavelli in that:

"Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge."

Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?


Re: Little Englander syndrome

Why does it always have to be one extreme or the other in these debates? Those who seem to think leaving the EU will make Britain again a world power are certainly fools, but why do those who argue against them always end up as ridiculously exaggerated in the opposite direction?

Is France just the irrelevant bit on the west of the continent? Germany the middle area that no one cares about? Why then do those who most accuse others of clinging to an imperial heritage, themselves appear to dismiss modern Britain so completely. I think you're as much a prisoner of our past as the most stereotypical Little Englander. If we aren't an Empire, we are nothing?

Britain is a large European nation, and will continue to be so no matter what. We are a mid-sized country on a global scale, gradually declining in relative importance as the world develops, just like the rest of Europe both individually and collectively. And we will continue to be so no matter what.

All else is hyperbole.

Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?


Re: Realism

I have to say, I don't think there is a huge amount of milage in the "EU membership problems" argument against Scottish independence. The whole situation would be disruptive and expensive enough for the UK, without having to deal with Scotland being a non-EU country on top of everything else. So the UK would actually be a supporter of Scottish membership in the event (Cameron has said as much). I find it hard to believe that Spain would insist on vetoing Scottish membership against the wishes of the UK.

The way I see it, there's a certain amount of justification in pointing out that Salmond has been less than honest over the issue, and has provided assurances which he has no power to make good on. But it is more that this is part of a pattern in the yes campaign, where all potential problems are ignored or misrepresented, rather than this actual issue being a major argument against independence. And pushing it as one distracts attention from those issues, like the currency, that the SNP really want to avoid talking about.


Re: Realism

"What's stopping an imdependent Scotland (or any other country) deciding to mirror the value of the UK pound? The only restriction I can see is potentially international copyright laws, but why then couldn't they keep parity but call it (say) the 'ellbie' or something."

There is nothing to stop an independent Scotland (or anywhere else) from simply using the pound without an agreement, though it is generally considered a poor choice, given that its a complete surrender of monetary control.

As far as having a separate currency with its value pegged to the pound, imagine the following scenario: many Scots with savings worry about the peg being maintained, and therefore decide they don't want their life savings in the new currency, and so change them for sterling, dollars, gold, etc. This floods the market with the new currency, and naturally that forces the price (ie the value) down. This forces the Scottish central bank to step in to support (ie buy) the new currency with its reserves to maintain the peg. But these reserves are limited, which everyone of course knows, causing more people and businesses to try to get their money out before its too late. At some point the Scottish central bank has to stop buying, or simply run out of reserves. The currency crashes and the peg is abandoned. And this doesn't even consider speculators who anticipate this exact possibility, place their bets on it, and then work to make it come about - as George Soros forced sterling itself out of a similar arrangement (the ERM) in the nineties, making himself billions.

Currency pegs used to be a lot more sustainable, since capital controls could physically prevent people from changing their money, but that isn't how the western world works these days. If Scotland were to launch its own currency it would pretty much have to be free floating - which seems like it would be the logical choice anyway, given how much of the SNP's rhetoric is about escaping the control of Westminster, which is surely only possible with monetary independence. I guess their analysis is that asking Scots to vote to have their savings redenominated is a non-starter, hence their absolute insistence that the UK secretly intends to offer a full currency union in the event of independence.

'Green' Apple: We've smudged a bit off our carbon footprint


"the point is that it takes enormous amounts of resources to produce spare parts for user serviceable stuff. Most of which won't sell"

This might be true for their consumer electronics. But soldering a part like RAM onto the motherboard of most of their laptops and latest iMac is just flat out wrong. Apple don't have to make the RAM for user upgrades any more than they make the RAM they sell with the machines. These parts are made by third parties and will exist whether Apple allows their machines to be upgraded or not. All soldering RAM does is reduce the lifespan of their computers.

REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac


Re: @mike2R

A doubling every 2 years, no I agree not. But the next 5 seems reasonable enough. Personally I think that an iMac bought in 2014 should be as able to deal with 2019 as one that was bought in 2009 can deal with 2014 (any Early 2009 iMac can run 8GB, and any Late 2009 can manage 16GB). I can't think of any reason to permanently attach RAM to the motherboard than that Apple has a different point of view.


Re: All Macs have obsolescence built-in

All iMacs from the Mid 2007 revision onwards can run 10.9. And run 6GB of RAM (officially 4GB, but 6GB works fine in the Mid 2007).


Re: Everyday performance

8GB of RAM is fine now, but I'm yet to be convinced that we have hit some sort of peak where more RAM is going to be pointless down the line. In 5 years time (and many of the people who this is targeted at will want it to last AT LEAST that long) I suspect that this is going to struggle with the tasks the average consumer running the latest OSX will want to throw at it.

Not be impossible or anything, but degraded to the point where they would be more than happy to have the option for a cheap 16GB RAM upgrade. And unhappy that they don't. I hope so anyway, I loath these deliberately non-upgradeable computers.

'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign


Re: Bell Labs

"Also of interest: the # symbol, above the "3" on my keyboard, is replaced by the "script-L pound" symbol on UK keyboards..."

UK Mac keyboard? Alt-3 will give you a hash.

The Force of tax breaks brings Star Wars filming to Blighty


Re: Crony Capitalism

Well it's certainly an argument for a competitive tax rate, and shall we call it flexibility when trying to attract the really valuable companies.

I'm not sure really where the film industry ranks on that - we do a fair bit business with them, but it isn't really our niche - we don't have the expertise needed to cater to them in the areas that are the real money spinners.

But the really valuable companies, say a big car manufacturing plant, that provide lots of high-quality jobs and can form the basis of an entire local economy? I'm sure it isn't as simple as just rating them at 0 for corporation tax, but they'll get a shed load of benefits and incentives and sweetheart deals that probably amount to the same. They're worth it and they know it.


Re: Crony Capitalism

Not really crony capitalism. It isn't politicians doing favours for their mates. Having this here will be a benefit, even with the tax breaks. British people will be employed, and British companies will supply them with products. Sure it would be nice to have the tax too, but so would a pony.

Ok I'm biased, I just checked the order system, and can see a hefty chunk of kit going to Pinewood Studios over the years. But it's in everyone's interest that UK companies get the business, rather than some random Californians who are much less likely to use the money earned to buy anything off you.

Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'


Re: Man makes mistake

If he wasn't cheerleading the latest bit of Nominet extortion, I wouldn't care. But he is.

Pointing out that he is, pretty much in the same breath, demonstrating he doesn't have a sodding idea what he is talking about and therefore shouldn't be listened to on this subject, is perfectly valid.

Heartbleed vuln under ACTIVE ATTACK as hackers map soft spots


Re: foss

"The discussion is about the claim that in "Open Source all bugs are shallow". Is this claim valid, or not?

"This case has shown that that claim is not valid. Nobody has found this defect, even though this particular library is widely used."

I think that misses the point. This is an incredibly shallow bug. How long would it take someone familiar with the code to find the issue, once it had been pointed out? Two minutes? Open source or close source, that isn't really an issue.

If people are equating shallow with unlikely to happen in the first place and consequently more secure then that is the fallacy, rather than the idea that wide access to the source code can help with locating the problem in difficult to pin down bugs, which is basic common sense.

US feds want cars conversing by 2017


Re: Privacy? Easy.

"There are indicators on all non Audi cars that are legally mandated to indicate intended direction changes."

On Audis these have been repurposed to all flash together. They allow the Audi owner to legally park on double yellow lines and in disabled spaces, as long as they are just popping in for a minute.

Drug dealer demands jail to escape 'unbearable' missus after NYE row


Re: Blame?

Looks like some people here might be interested in this:


Oi, bank manager. Only you've got my email address - where're these TROJANS coming from?


Re: Oh really?

Happened to our main domain at work once years ago, vast amounts of email came in to different variants of firstname.lastname@ourdomain.co.uk

But I think the article is right that this isn't a cost effective method of spamming individuals. I assume that whoever it was had (wrongly) identified us as a large company where they could hope to get hundreds or thousands of hits with that sort of sending. Even if you're using a botnet, sending that amount of email is at very least an oppertunity cost, and in reality they are probably being rented for actual money.

Bitcoin cred boosted by $25m cash infusion into Coinbase


Re: Wait until China outlaws the stuff

"Bitcoin is fine, but the choke points are where you convert it into cash. Block those, and you get rid of the ecosystem."

I'm not sure it would be that easy. How do you stop a UK citizen making an online purchase/sale in another country where it is perfectly legal transaction? And Bitcoin is readily changeable to and from other virtual currencies (eg the ones used in MMO computer games). It would be a very tall order.

Going after large transactions with anti money laundering/proceeds of crime legislation perhaps. But criminals with large amounts of money can be a resourceful lot.

MINING in SPAAAACE! Asteroid-scoopers? Nah - consumers will be the real winners


Re: No property rights

There will need to be an incentive to be the first mover. If its cheaper to wait for someone else to make the initial move and then do what they have proved to work, then thats what everyone will do.

Some sort of property-type rights are the obvious solution, same as it is with intellectual property. Random example pulled from my arse: say you want to encourage people to prospect asteroids. You grant a 30 year period of exclusivity for mining prooved and published mineral deposits on asteroids, which can then be sold to mining companies or used by the organisation itself. Perhaps with the stipulation that non-exploited deposits can be licenced by anyone on some kind of RAND terms.

The details will obviously be different, but something that looks a lot like property rights is the obvious solution. Though maybe it is a good thing that no rights exist at present, since that means a new system can be drafted from scratch and tailored to this new situation.


Re: No property rights

"So can anyone explain why this would be a bad thing?"

No one would invest in working it out in the first place.

Server, server in the rack, when's my disk drive going to crack?


Re: … disk-makers' claims for longevity

One year on a Seagate Barracuda? That sounds like an OEM drive - one intended to be sold to system builders, who intend to handle their customer's warranty themselves. The consumer warranty on a Seagate Barracuda is 3 years I think, I'm positive it is 2 years minimum.

If you put the serial number into Seagate's warranty website it should tell you what sort of warranty it has.

I am a recovering Superwoman wannabee



Would this article really have been better if she'd tried to generalise to the point where it applied to everyone.

"For a man/woman/indeterminate who is working/serving in the military/dealing with being severely handicapped while balancing working long hours/being shot at/not being able to move his/her/its legs along with raising children/breeding prizewinng goldfish/feeding their heroine addiction, you can get over stressed (unless of course you thrive on stress, then maybe you don't have enough stress).. where was I?"

Seems more reasonable to me that she wrote about what she knew.

MacBook Air fanbois! Your flash drive may be a data-nuking TIME BOMB


Re: Interesting

You can get the OWC drives from a UK supplier. Not exactly cheap, but not as pricey as buying a new machine either:


US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'


"Why are you called One-man-bucket?"

"...In my tribe we're traditionally named after the first thing my mother sees when she looks out of the tepee after the birth. It's short for one-man-pouring-a-bucket-of-water-over-two-dogs."

"That's pretty unfortunate."

"It's not too bad. It was my twin brother you had to feel sorry for. She looked out ten seconds before me to give him his name."

"don't tell me, let me guess. Two-dogs-fighting?"

"Two-dogs-fighting? Two-dogs-fighting? Wow, he would have given his right arm to be called Two-dogs-fighting."

UK gov dials 999 over Serco prison escort fraud claims


Re: Unintended Consequences

relevant Dilbert