* Posts by Peter X

374 posts • joined 12 Apr 2008


8-month suspended sentence for script kiddie who DDoS'd Labour candidate in runup to 2019 UK general election

Peter X

Re: F**** it!

I agree with you... but in this case, he was also attacking the democratic process, so personally, I think he's got off lightly considering.

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

Peter X

Re: 1st July, 1st September

and the EU trade war

Fastly 'fesses up to breaking the internet with an 'an undiscovered software bug' triggered by a customer

Peter X

Re: If StackOverflow didn't use Fastly

Flip-side, they could've been call Slowly. So all things considered... ;-)

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing

Peter X

Re: Guru Meditation

I *do* love that there are now considerably more people than ever used an Amiga now seeing this message, and presumably wondering "Guru Meditation? What?!"

This is a good thing. It makes me happy! :D

BMA and Royal College of GPs refuse to endorse NHS Digital's data grab from surgeries in England

Peter X

Re: Let's call it the "GPDPR"

My guess is - they don't care. If it did fall foul of GDPR, then worse-case, the NHS will be fined for leaking data, but that won't affect all the companies that hope to access the data... i.e the same companies that all the people concerned likely have shares in or are on the boards of.

UK's Labour Party calls for delay to NHS Digital's GP data slurp until patients can be properly informed

Peter X

^ This.

I wouldn't be bothered if the NHS was doing entirely in-house R&D, but all this stuff seems to be spun off to private companies just looking to make money and not actually looking to solve problems*

* Private companies will develop drugs/threatments to threat a problem... but there's less incentive to actually fix things. Whereas if the NHS were doing R&D, there would be incentive to fix things simply to lower their own costs.

Dominic Cummings: Health secretary's 'stupid' targets delayed building UK test and trace system to combat COVID

Peter X

Still entertaining though! :D

I do find myself wondering "why now?" and I suspect he's figured out that he (and probably Chris Whitty... or some other medical/science adviser) will be thrown under a bus after the enquiry is completed so he's getting his jabs in (no, not those ones) now whilst he can.

On a dusty red planet almost 290 million km away... NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flies

Peter X

Re: Follow-Me mode

I wonder if you could make it follow Perseverance as it roves?

Because Samsung mobiles were mentioned, I'm imagining some part of the SoC firmware trying to detect a face (and a smile) every time a photo is taken.

So... I suspect the "follow mode" would only work if someone had thought to paint a face on Perseverance!! :D

Peter X

Re: Think of it like a robotic space cow, munching on the earth's atmosphere.

What's hacking got to do with anything? Oh... (getting my coat now)!

Peter X

Re: Think of it like a robotic space cow, munching on the earth's atmosphere.

AFAIK gravity is 0.9G on ISS too... so... it's no distance really! Even the surface of Mars must have less gravity which is kind of crazy.

Peter X

Re: Well done!

As I understand it, the bandwidth issue was between Perseverance and Ingenuity and probably that's only a problem when downloading "big" data like video/photos from the cameras, whereas (I'm guessing here) that the commands and telemetry data are easier to manage?

In part, I suppose I'm just hoping the above is true! If it is, then (hopefully) Ingenuity can be kept within range of Perseverance simply to (1). give data as to the longevity of it's components, and (2). allow the potential of using it's cameras to look a little further ahead than Perseverance can on it's own.

Finger crossed! :)

Peter X

Re: Well done!

I wonder if Ingenuity's own solar panel will be kept cleanish by the rotors?

SAP exec reminds the world that Microsoft is a customer

Peter X

Re: customized food

moded up for use of the word "howler" in this context. :D

UK government may force online retailers to pick up e-waste from consumers

Peter X

ISP supplied Routers

ISPs should not be supplying own-brand routers that:

1. Will not work with other ISPs

2. Are not able to support re-imaging with an open-source OS.

There must be a shit-ton of routers that get dumped every year and they likely work perfectly well. And their power-supply bricks. And cables! And even shipping costs. My first router was an old Netgear DG834G that I bought myself and I got SEVEN-YEARS use out of that - this should be the norm, not the exception.

*I know ISPs (at least BT) do accept you posting old routers back to them, but most people won't bother, and it's still a waste of energy in that there's unnecessary shipping (both to/from ISP) and then either re-cycling or refurb'ing.

Peter X

Re: RE: extra year's warranty

For £200 I'd make the effort, but I did buy a Philips Wireless Mouse ('cos obviously, Philips are the go-to-brand for mice! ;-) ) largely because it was cheap (I think ~£8) despite a few reviews mentioning that their's had stopped working soon after purchase.

Mine lasted about 9 months; at this point, it's less easy to get Amazon to deal with returns. After some Googling, I found you could go through some convoluted process where you get to talk to a rep (or a bot, I'm not certain) who, did in my case, say they would accept it and refund me and then gave me details of where to drop it off. It wasn't the local post-office though, and was a shop about 20 minutes drive away! So... I didn't do that at the time, and then when I did decide I would be going that way, I noticed that I'd only been given a week to deal with it.

In this case, the money isn't particularly worth it, but I do resent that Philips make products that I'm pretty sure they must've known were defective. So, yet more e-waste.

My local council do take small (up to shoe box sized) electronic waste with the regular recycling collection, so I'll likely dump my mouse in that.

US government jobs report predicts pandemic will lead to boom times for IT industry

Peter X

I saw briefly saw a thing on the news recently with - (from memory) - the CEO of Next PLC, and he was saying how rather than looking at online sales tax, they should move taxation on retail outlets to warehouses. Which did seem to make sense to me. And also seems to agree with what you're saying too.

Linux Mint users in hot water for being slow with security updates, running old versions

Peter X

Or maybe, just enable automatic updates by default *but* provide a method that sys-admins / technically aware users can disable this. I personally don't like automatic updates... but I do usually apply updates as soon as they're available.

Voyager 2 receives and executes first command in 11 months as sole antenna that reaches it returns to work

Peter X

Re: It's a different world

Speaking of helicopters and spaaace, I saw this a couple of days ago; it's from 2019-08-10, so not new, but does describe how hard it is to fly on Mars: https://youtu.be/GhsZUZmJvaM (16 minutes long btw)

Lands on Mars on Thursday I believe?

One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale

Peter X

Re: Time for UK based (and UK nationality) entrepreneurs to step up to the plate

Good luck with any of those duffers. You'd have a bout as much chance as getting money back from the PPE cronies - who, probably do have a few £million spare.

Pirate Bay co-founder criticises Parler for its lack of resilience

Peter X

Re: Geeks versus Politicians

Thanks for your reply - points noted! :D

I should've said what the thumb up/down scores were at time of posting, but it was a surprising ratio where > 50% were thumbs down... which people are entitled to, but given the tone (at least in my head), that was unexpected.

Also, minor point, but I didn't actually use all caps!!! I did use strong-emphasis (aka bold) though, so I might try to use plain italic (plain emphasis) in the future. I am a serial abuser of exclamation marks though- I have no shame!!!!! ;-)

Peter X

Re: Geeks versus Politicians

I wouldn't normally ask why people are down-voting, but in this case, I'd really love to know the reason if anyone is willing to explain.

Peter X

Re: Geeks versus Politicians

You appear to be mistaking racism, sedition, insurrection, violence and death as being "an opinion". It isn't.

The reason Twitter, Apple, etc blocked Trump and/or Parler was not because they're all liberal lefties trying to force their opinion. It's because Trump / Parler violated their (the service provider's) terms & conditions... namely, they'll tolerate most things, but racism, sedition etc are not acceptable. Because of-course, they are absolutely not acceptable!

So your point about what will happen when Twitter, Facebook, etc stop agreeing... I'm not sure they do now. But the idea that one or more of them might some how decide that actually racism/violence/etc is perfectly fine, seems, unlikely. Because, once again, these things are not "opinion" - they are quite clearly wrong.

It is worth noting that certain "news" outlets such as Fox, and even certain Republican politicians are trying to suggest that this is opinion and that their free speech is being suppressed. These people are lying.

Hope that's cleared some things up! :D

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

Peter X

At the very least, it would seem sensible to *not* allow this to be used after losing an election, since it clearly denies voters their voice and is likely to be abused.

Realme 7 5G: Parents, this is the phone you should have got your kids for Christmas

Peter X

Does it have NFC?

HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

Peter X

Re: Bought bypass chips

Seriously - this!

I absolutely cannot fathom how people actually get paid (I'm guessing quite a lot) to suggest these clearly, utterly stupid ideas. This won't work. Eventually, HP will sell it's entire printing division to ... some company probably in the far-east. And that'll be that. And this CEO will likely get a golden parachute at the end of it.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Peter X

Re: Can you really get a version that says "Bringing on........

I think this is an area they've improved; I've only recently upgraded to GIMP 2.10 (from 2.8), but certainly perspective is different now.

Geekbench stats show Apple Silicon MacBook Air trouncing pricey 16-inch MacBook Pro

Peter X

Finger nail biting time for some

Like, Intel for example?

Missing Alan Turing memorabilia to be returned to Blighty from the US, 36 years after it went walkabout

Peter X

Re: Hmm ...

Or the app?! (I'm assuming there is one)

Peter X

Re: Hmm ...

One hopes that *if* a plaque is legally required, that it is worded with a secret message encoded within; if the wording cannot be changed (due to legals), then encode something into the frame. Or gaps between words/letters. Or something.

Seriously, now I've thought about it, I'll be most disappointed if it doesn't happen!

Boeing puts Loyal Wingman robot fighter jet through its paces... on the ground

Peter X

Camo + hi-vis

I've seen it before, but there's always something rather incongruous about military types in their camo gear, then with a hi-vis waistcoat over the top of it.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets

Peter X

Row / column limits

Going out on a limb here, but maybe the row/column limit on Excel should be far far far lower? E.g. 100?

Then, people would quickly realise, it isn't the tool for the thing that they think it's for. And hopefully they'd then, correctly, use an RDBMS.

Oh, and after a user has watched YouTube videos and (maybe) checked the help information on how to use a pivot table, when they actually try to choose Pivot Table from the menu, it should pop up a message saying "You know this is not some magical thing; it's simply grouping and aggregation which is total piss to do with an RDBMS".

Then - perhaps - they'd know!! They'd understand!!!

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns

Peter X

Re: Fundamentally flawed

They should make the planes even longer and make all the passengers sit at the back to act as a counter-weight to the huge forward-mounted engines! (no, I don't work in engineering... fortunately)

Microsoft will release a web browser for Linux next month. Repeat, Microsoft will release a browser for Linux – and it uses Google's technology

Peter X

So the browser wars were for nothing?!!!

Backup a sec – is hard drive reliability improving? Annual failure rate from Backblaze comes in at its lowest yet

Peter X

Re: It's only been 65 years

I was expecting HDDs to start moving to more of a archiving role (which to be fair, I think they have) and to get bigger again since capacity would then be more important than access speed.

So instead of shingling, why don't we just have 5 1/4 and 8 inch HDDs? (or even 10.5 inch platters)

Pretty wild that a malicious mailto: link might attach your secret keys and files from your PC to an outgoing message

Peter X

Vuln exists on Thunbird 68.10.0/Mint Cinnamon 19.3

I'm super disappointed at that. :(

Trump administration reportedly offers Oracle cheap end to $400m wage discrimination case

Peter X

Re: Wish us luck. We'll need it.

The appointment of Louis DeJoy (Businessman and Republican fundraiser) as Postmaster General in May 2020 was obviously a deliberate move. And oh look, The Post Office Is Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead of the Election

As Senator Patrick Leahy tweeted:

Just to make sure it's not lost: The President wants to slow down mail delivery, such as prescription drugs for seniors and veterans, in order to make sure people can't vote in November.

This is beyond mere corruption. This is an outright attack on democracy.

Peter X

but I do not believe they are actually corrupt

You should read this: It's taken just 12 months for Boris Johnson to create a government of sleaze

Well, what are we waiting for? Three weeks later, Windows Embedded Standard 7 still didn't have the answer

Peter X

What Windows is waiting for is anyone's guess.

I'm going to go with: lemon-soaked paper napkins

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic

Peter X

I had a costumer in the late 90's that ...

What... suppliers of theatrical or fancy-dress costumes and the like?

US govt proposes elephant showers for every American after Prez Trump says trickles dampen his haircare routine

Peter X

Re: Surely the washing instructions

That particular hamster has to work the controls as well!

Voyager 1 cracks yet another barrier: Now 150 Astronomical Units from Sol

Peter X

Re: Light years

20 minutes hours in 45 years.

But yeah - it does put it in perspective!

And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life

Peter X


First up, +1 to everyone involved in this - it's awesome!

However, regarding "RIMFAX", I guess we have to accept some bits of tech have to be developed years in advance and may actually be a bit out of date by the time they are used; I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping for something a bit better than faxed copies of crater rims... ;-)

Imagine surviving WW3, rebuilding computers, opening up GitHub's underground vault just to relive JavaScript

Peter X

Re: Without kit it's crap

Plus, you've got to code something to read the QR encoded data anyway.

Apple: Don't close MacBooks with a webcam cover on, you might damage the display

Peter X

You're not thinking different enough... behold, the Apple Balaclava!

(...ponders for a few moments... )

Scratch that. What would Steve do? Yes, an Apple Turtleneck... but with an extra long neck that you can roll up to hide your face.

I should work in marketing! :D

Oh what a cute little animation... OH MY GOD. (Not acceptable, even in the '80s)

Peter X

Re: All of these tales and comments...

"Windows can do it properly. Why don't people use these protections?"

So even an idiot can make it work (users happy), but it is - at least theoretically - secure (manglement happy).

If there's a lesson to be learned in these torrid times, it's that civilisation is fleeting – but Windows XP is eternal

Peter X

Re: Not the successor to Windows Me

Also forgetting 98SE

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

Peter X

"dummy value"

It was mentioned a few comments back, but ... and I apologise in advance if I am inadvertently insulting or causing distress to anyone... but what is wrong with "dummy value"?

UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years

Peter X

Re: So start legislation...

^ this.

Also re printers, mandate that they use open-standards for their interfacing. It prolly isn't so bad now, but I was miffed a few years back when I had to replace an old Canon LBP simply because it was a "Win-Printer" dating from ~2000 and absolutely would not work with anything other than Win9x or Win2K/XP. No MS-DOS, no Mac and certainly no Linux. And no way to resolve this... I'd spent waaaay too much time naffing around with VMs to keep it going as long as I did!

Also, routers. They should be user-flashable, and again, document stuff so someone might stand a chance of creating an open-source firmware. And they should use standardised PSUs too... just for good measure.

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

Peter X

Re: A new vLHC? What could possibly go wrong...


In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

Peter X

Re: "......worst death toll in Europe"

I'm totally resisting the temptation to point out that the majority only voted for Brexit in 2016 when the general public (and prolly the politicians too) knew far less about what it actually involved. And I'm not going to mention how in the 2019 election, the Tories + Brexit-party vote only amounted to 47% of votes cast; thus, one _could_ conclude that perhaps there's no mandate for a hard-brexit... which I mention purely because it looks like we might be heading that way. Nope... not going to mention any of that at all! :D

However... I would simply like to point out the amusing-if-it-were-not-so-grim, startling demographic overlap between brexit voters and COVID-19 death victims... in so far as both skew towards the older age groups.

Thus, I am of the opinion, the worse COVID-19 is managed by this government, the more they should reconsider their objectives vis-a-vis brexit. Seem's fair no?



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