* Posts by Blitheringeejit

416 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008

Page:

SpaceX pulls off an incredible catch, netting both halves of its Falcon fairing as they fell Earthwards after latest launch

Blitheringeejit

...or

...the slip fielder "standing with his legs apart waiting for a tickle".

TMS just hasn't been the same since Johnners and Blowers departed (or indeed John Arlott, a radio deity for folks of my vintage) - but it's still been lovely to have it back in the last couple of weeks, and Andy Zaltzman is good value. As comforting as the shipping forecast, or a lukewarm pint on the village green (though of course the village green is now a new-build housing development).

Goodness only knows what the leftpondians are making of this thread - or what it has to do with SpaceX...

When you see PWA, Microsoft and Google want you to think Programs With Attitude: Web app release tool tweaked

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

@Deacalion

I've been playing too, and I'm not sure that you're right about the fees - no-one seems to be talking about removing the option to "add to home screen" in Chrome/Safari, which is the old way to install PWAs. As long as this mechanism remains, PWAs *can* remain free of embuggerance by the app stores.

AFAICS as long as this option remains the option to include PWAs in the stores just means wider visibility, coupled with access to the stores' payment gateways - as detailed in the article. I can see how this would be interesting for developers aiming at mass markets - while those of us developing PWAs which are not aimed at the mass market (mine are components in larger bespoke web services) can continue to make them available from our own websites for free.

But if the OS providers start to talk about removing the Add to Home Screen option, and allowing installation *only* via the stores, then you're right and all bets are off.

Better get Grandpa off Windows 7 because zero-day bug in Zoom allows remote code execution on vintage OS

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Down

And the following week...

...the default browser gets set back to Edge by an automatic update.

One map to rule them all: UK's Ordnance Survey rolls out its Data Hub and the juicy API goodness that lies therein

Blitheringeejit

Could this become the official UK postcode and address database?

Since the Royal Mail was privatised and became just another delivery company, I believe that no-one holds a definitive list of address and postcode data for the UK. Does this mean that the OS is now going to take on that role?

The use of lots of different ("competing"!) address databases causes confusion, and occupants of new-build properties are sometimes unable to receive goods by post, or even sign up for utility contracts, because their address doesn't yet exist on the database used by the supplier or carrier. It would be nice if some official gummint-backed organisation could take on the job of providing an official, definitive address database, with a public API or endpoint. The OS is well set up to do this, as (I believe) it maintains the most up-to-date records of what's actually happening on the ground.

When you bork... through a storm: Liverpool do all they can to take advantage of summer transfer, er, Windows

Blitheringeejit
Pint

Am I alone in suspecting...

...that the Reg hacks hacked and borked this screen themselves, specifically so they could make all those "bork on" and "never bork alone" puns in the headline?

Pint -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------^

...because the comment(ard)s above have reminded me that it's been soooo long, and I miss you so much that even an icon on a screen can send my heart (liver?) a-flutter. Please come home soon.

Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop duke it out: Only Electron left standing

Blitheringeejit
FAIL

This is just a Windows user distraction...

...from the main problem with Skype, which (on the basis of a wasted hour of my life yesterday) is that it doesn't work for calls between Windows and linux, Windows and Android, or Windows and my iPhone. Which makes it pretty useless as a communications device. Every call was ended with "xxx is not online", whichever direction the call was made from, even though in all cases the destination device most certainly was online and logged in - because I was holding the bloody thing in my other hand.

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

Re: Nice idea, but

Of course you have to pay more for a product with an ethical supply chain - especially a gadget which uses rare earth metals. I was happy to do that (and lucky enough to be able to afford it) when I bought my Fairphone2 a little over 3 years ago. And I have to say that the software update policy, and the reality of rollouts, is all that I could wish for.

But the problem is that compared to phones whose components are irrevocably welded together, the Fairphone's modular design causes connection problems between the different modules, resulting in unreliability. They've worked really hard to get this as good as it can be, but if (like me) you treat your phone quite roughly (keeping it caseless in your pocketses), reliability can be a real problem - I replaced three modules which failed in the first two years of use, and had to wedge the battery against the case using a bit of cardboard to stop it from disconnecting. It's great that modules are replaceable, and the replacements were cheap - but replacements take about 3 weeks to be delivered (to the UK at least), during which I had no Fairphone. I ended up keeping a spare phone, which made the whole thing rather pointless.

And when the Fairphone developed an intermittent fault with the screen becoming unresponsive, I replaced the screen module (a bit more expensive than the other modules) only to find that the problem persisted because it was a fault with the motherboard / system unit - which isn't available as a module and can't be replaced.

I really want the Fairphone project to work, but after this latest fault I've switched back to an unethical phone. If Fairphone ever produce a welded-together, non-modular phone whose components are ethically sourced and whose software is regularly updated for years, I would buy back in. But I fear that making the phone easy to repair inevitably makes it less reliable, at least in my experience.

You will find if you look at Fairphone's support forum that I'm not alone in this experience. But to be fair, my better half has had her Fairphone2 for nearly as long as I had mine, and it's behaved impeccably. That one lives in a case, in a handbag, and is probably treated much more gently than mine - even though it has way more hours of use on a typical day. Maybe mine was a Friday afternoon unit - or maybe I just treated it badly.

YMMV.

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Up

"quick hacks that evolved into bigger projects" - that's 20 years of my life right there!

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

Blitheringeejit
Black Helicopters

Re: Any chance

Of course he has some kind of hold over Johnson - he knows where the Brexit campaign money came from, because he arranged the deal. It would be awfully embarrassing for everyone concerned if that came out.

<cough>rubles<cough>

Blitheringeejit

Background listening

Any rightpondians who haven't been paying attention to this astounding piece of corporate fuckery can catch Radio 4's account, broadcast as a series of five 15-minute programmes throughout this week. It's not just a story of poor software design and inadequate testing, but also of senior post office managers telling barefaced lies to their sub-post-people and in court, and innocent people losing huge sums of money, and being fined and jailed, as a result.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jf7j

Somewhere, way out there, two black holes, one large and one small, merged. And here on Earth, we detected the gravitational wave blast

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Up

Re: 1.9bn to 2.9bn light years away from us

Mine too - but the video is stunningly beautiful!

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions

Blitheringeejit
Headmaster

Re: This the register...

Your intellectual arrogance might carry a little more weight if you demonstrated an ability to use the apostrophe correctly. "Who's" above is linguistic knuckle-dragging.

Announcing the official Reg-approved measure of social distancing: The Osman

Blitheringeejit
Headmaster

Re: What would Sheldon do?

>>*Is oddles an official measurement yet?

Yes - a hundred oddles make an oodle!

PC owners borg into the most powerful computer the world has ever known – all in the search for coronavirus cure

Blitheringeejit
Linux

Re: No love for Linux?

>>The F@H Linux software is too old to run on modern Ubuntu and some other distros.

Not my experience - I have it running fine on latest Ubuntu, and a Mint 18.x machine, but when I tried on my old Ubuntu 14.04 box, the Control app wouldn't connect to the Client.

But I would like to know more about platform comparisons - eg is there any difference in performance or usefulness between running it on Windows and linux machines, and would I be better running multiple VMs or a single host on full whack - any knowledgeable folks out there?

Windows 7 back in black as holdouts report wallpaper-stripping shenanigans

Blitheringeejit
WTF?

Office 2016

When I install Office365 from MS's cloud, the Mail icon in the Control Panel reports as Outlook 2016. But I guess that's because the Control Panel isn't really supposed to be the Win10 Way. Shame, as it's the only place I can find most of the Win stuff I need to deal with.

Blitheringeejit
Holmes

@Saruman the White

If you want to be loved by the good guys, maybe you should consider a change of handle..? I'd downvote your every post just for what you did to Fangorn Forest.

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze

Blitheringeejit

Re: Do...While

Of course you can read El Reg on work time - it's called Continuous Professional Development.

If tsoHost is lecturing us on sleep hygiene, Brit outfit really does have hosting back to front

Blitheringeejit
FAIL

Too often for too long...

There have been blacklisting problems with TSO ever since I was sold to them a few years ago - but the last six months, things have become chronic with Microsoft. If you keep an eye on TSO's Status page (https://help.tsohost.com/status) you see a pretty continuous stream of blacklist incidents, which seem to be triggered by their mail servers failing to implement the security requirements which Microsoft set as the minimum for outlook.com and Hotmail to accept incoming connections. I have no idea whether there's any actual spamming going on, but I don't think the blacklisting results from customer complaints to MS - I think it's to do with sender policy and security implementation at the server level.

I'm not sure of the technical specifics, but I know that my own TSO server was blacklisted for over a week before it was even listed as such on their status page, and it took another week for TSO to get it delisted. So that was a fortnight during which some of my customers couldn't send messages to some of their customers - and that was by no means the first time, with incidents like this dating back to July.

So I've decided to move on, and am currently biting the extremely sour bullet of moving everything to another provider. It's a de-crufting opportunity, and I should probably do it more often - but as a purveyor of budget hosting services to SMEs, it's a bunch of unpaid work I could really do without.

Bon sang! French hospital contracts 6,000 PC-locking ransomware infection

Blitheringeejit

Re: La Guillotine

It's a fair point that health data is a lucrative target - but surely that would be for theft, not ransomware. IIRC when the UK NHS was hit by ransomware a couple of years ago, the post-mortem concluded that it wasn't a targeted attack - just a scattergun malware mailshot which happened to land in a staff member's mailbox and was activated.

Unless someone who's better informed knows different..?

We don't usually sugar-coat the news but... Alien sugars found in Earth-bound meteorites

Blitheringeejit
Coat

Re: Alien Sugars?

Yes he was - which explains why when a meteorite full of Alien Sugars hits the earth, we'll all get "fired"...

/coat

Can't you hear me knocking? But I installed a smart knocker

Blitheringeejit
Black Helicopters

Re: Then there's compatability..

But your heating is ultimately controlled by the BorG - don't you read the conspiracy theorists? Do abbreviations mean nothing to you? They can take over your entire domestic temperature agenda any time they want to! How can you sleep at night?

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

Re: Automatic cat flaps are all the rubbish...

Clearly you are not familiar with cats. The giant dump smack in the centre of your kitchen is your own cat's comment on the effrontery which the human servants have shown by facilitating the ingress of the huge tabby from down the street. Said huge tabby does not crap in his auxiliary snacking spot.

20% of UK businesses would rather axe their contractors than deal with IR35 – survey

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

Re: Dangers of moving from outside to inside IR35

I work a lot in the SME sector, where the problem is slightly different. Good IT people, especially sysadmins and managers, are expensive, and if you want them on the payroll you will need to be finding north of 45-50K. But that level of salary will often put them above senior managers or even directors in a typical SME, which gives them an implicit seniority, because seniority is reflected in salary. It's simply not appropriate for a company to pay someone a board-level salary for doing a mid-level-management job.

And there's a parallel problem in the public sector, eg in schools, where the network admins can't be even paid as much as the teachers. So you get some competent IT folks working for comparatively poor wages because they have a social conscience - and you also get some school networks run by muppets who know less about IT than your average year-10 student.

Thanks, Brexit. Tesla boss Elon Musk reveals Berlin as location for Euro Gigafactory

Blitheringeejit
Paris Hilton

Giga-ty

Yes, we don't want those forriners coming over here and manufacturing their gigas on our already-overcrowded island. We had enough trouble when we ourselves used to have a big manufacturing base for megas.

TalkTalk keeps results under wraps citing 'advanced negotiations' over FibreNation biz

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Down

Great news!

So that's another 3 million people that I won't be able to help out using Teamviewer.

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then

Blitheringeejit
Flame

Re: Scripted

A rather different experience - when me and my dad went to the bank when sorting out the affairs of my recently-deceased brother, who had a business account with the bank, with my dad as co-director and signatory. The aim of the exercise was to make me, as a newly-appointed director, a signatory on the account, for the purpose of winding the company up.

We had made an appointment, and were ushered in to see a customer service person - a middle-aged bloke, who quite properly asked to see the proof of identity which my dad had brought with him. One of these documents was a recent, current-account bank statement. On seeing this (the amount on deposit was substantial), the bloke immediately weighed in with a sales pitch telling my dad that he if he switched his current account to that bank, he would earn significant interest. This to an octogenarian a few days after he had buried his son.

My dad, as his generation tend to be, was perfectly polite in rebuffing the sales pitch - but I could have punched the guy's lights out (and I'm a pacifist hippy).

Banks, eh? Can't live with 'em, can't openly suggest firebombing them on internet forums without risking arrest...

*cough*SantanderStockport*cough*

Handcranked HTML and JPEG japes. What could possibly go wrong?

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

Re: Hand cranked code?

"Lovingly hand-crafted, elegant and cruft-free code"

FTFY

TSO Host no closer to solving customers' email issues as Brit firm pops up on more blacklists

Blitheringeejit
Unhappy

Me too...

5quid were indeed lovely to deal with, unlike any other hosting company I've used before or since.

TSO were actually OK with me at the beginning, when they were still run by the original founders - the migration from 5quid was traumatic, but it was possible to get decent, intelligent tech support when problems cropped up. Though I agree that their billing was a shambles for years after the takeover - they once shut down my VPS for non-payment even though they had taken a direct debit subscription.

But then they were bought by Host Europe, and everything started to go wrong - especially farming out the support to eastern Europe - the quality and availability of support has gradually declined ever since. And the subsequent buyout of Host Europe by GoDaddy can only make things worse in the long run - eventually all your TSO are belong the GoBorg.

If the 5quid guys are listening, there's definitely a big hole in the market for UK-based, friendly and intelligent hosting services like what you used to run. I'm sure you had good reasons for selling up, but your departure was a sad day for a lot of folks, and we'd love to see you back.

'Cockwomble' is off the menu: Uncle Bulgaria issues edict against using name in vain

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

Re: CockWomblers Unite

For any anoraks interested - she said it about Jeffrey Archer. Which is the best proof I know that there is no god, as she was taken from us far too early, while he continues to rake in the moolah with his crappy books, unfazed by his two-year sojourn at Her Maj's pleasure.

Though to be fair - said sojourn was a source of great pleasure for a great many people, in addition to Her Maj. Just a shame it wasn't a life term - though we can be grateful that our television screens have been largely Archer-free since his release.

Blitheringeejit
Stop

Re: CockWomblers Unite

Thou shalt not quote the saintly and much-missed Linda Smith without attribution!

Gone in 120 seconds: Arianespace aims for stars, misses, as UAE satellite launch fails

Blitheringeejit

Re: Enjoys?

I was thinking it sounds a bit like a restaurant review...

Those darn users don't know what they're doing (not like us, of course)

Blitheringeejit
Boffin

Re: Focus follows intent

"Always with computers, swearing is one of two possible answers - the other one being a sledgehammer."

FTFY

Blitheringeejit
Mushroom

Scope Creep

But now that manufacturers of coffee machines, microwaves et al insist on making them so feature-rich and user-interface-poor that they might as well be considered fully-fledged computers, you can hardly blame civilians for being baffled by them. Especially as the age of the user manual is long past, and the best you can hope for is a "Getting Started" poster which explains everything in nice simple pictures which <sarcasm> everyone in the world can understand by some mysterious intuition which makes traditional word-based explanations obsolete. </sarcasm>

I recently found it harder to teach my nonagenarian dad to use his new microwave than it was to teach him to use the linux laptop I set up for him so he could see his bridge scores on the web.

Oh I do love a grumpy-old-git-rant on a Friday...

Bug-hunter reveals another 'make me admin' Windows 10 zero-day – and vows: 'There's more where that came from'

Blitheringeejit
WTF?

Not sure if it was a good idea...

...for El Reg to include links to a blog maintained by a self-confessed (indeed self-aggrandised) malware author. Drive-by, anyone?

The Year Of Linux On The Desktop – at last! Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 brings the Linux kernel into Windows

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Down

@Dan 55

Yes, but I found that even if you get it running, it won't update itself. Not even in a VM. So no real-world use at all really.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

Blitheringeejit
Mushroom

Re: Can you blame us?

>>or fags

I wonder if the CIA have any old exploding cigars lying around, which they might sell us...

Hey, what's Mandarin for 'WTF is going on?' Nokia phones caught spewing device IDs to China, software blunder blamed

Blitheringeejit

Re: They mostly come at night...

@Jemma and @AMFM - surely twins separated at whatever the martian equivalent of birth might be. Budding, perhaps.

But now there are two of them, we're going to need a "weird" icon...

Unless you want your wine bar to look like a brothel, purple curtains are a no-no apparently

Blitheringeejit
Coat

>Who sung that folk-song?

Wasn't it one of Rambling Sid Rumpo's?

/coat (mine's the one with a gander-bag instead of pockets)

Starship bloopers: In touching tribute to Tesla shares, Musk proto-craft tumbles – as Bezos' Blue Origin rocket lifts off

Blitheringeejit
Facepalm

Re: What counts?

>Another way of putting it: they're voluntarily taxing themselves!

Nononono - you miss the entire point of my post. Were that the case, they would be stuffing that money into the coffers of the NHS, Plod, local state school or similar. But instead they are putting it into the pockets of assorted branded business bollocks-peddlers, who spirit it away offshore where it escapes any tax liability. Money does not trickle down, it merely trickles out of taxable jurisdiction. Sometimes (eg if you're Russian) "out of taxable jurisdiction" means here - but you still avoid paying any tax, bar the odd few grand in stamp duty on your Kensington mansion.

Blitheringeejit
Coat

Re: What counts?

But haven't you noticed that pretty much our entire economy these days is oriented towards getting rich people to buy over-priced crap which they don't need, but have been trained to aspire to having? It's a multi-layered thing, sure - sub-orbital hops at the top end, Ferraris in the middle, and Pret sandwiches and Costa coffees at the bottom - but it's how modern consumer economics has worked out, thanks to barely-fettered capitalism. No-one makes money from selling cheap but essential shit to the poor any more.

NB I'm not saying this is good - it actually presages the end of civilisation, whether that comes in the form of climatic catastrophe, or the poor ganging together and deciding that the best way to get by is to kill and eat the rich. But it's the world we now live in, gawd help us.

/ Coat - mine's the one with the little red book in the pocket

Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Up

Priceless

Hooray for the Stobular return! I shall add "penetranium" to my spell-checker immediately, it is absolutely the correct term for several things which spring to my cess-pit of a mind.

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Blitheringeejit
Headmaster

@ds6

>> How needlessly pedantic of you. If a word is enough to set you off I'd probably not want to be in the same room should someone errornously type out an "armor" or a "color!"

Would it be needlessly pedantic of me to point our that in this context, the exclamation mark should be placed outside the quotation marks rather than inside?

Do you really think crims would do that? Just go on the 'net and exploit a Windows zero-day?

Blitheringeejit
Joke

Re: So classic way to find an exploit.

What's a "manual"?

The steaks have never been higher: Swiss Lidl is selling local cannabis

Blitheringeejit
Coat

Unless you are actually Tesco, in which case....

every Lidl hurts.

Ahem.

/coat

LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Up

"barcronym"?

If deliberate, inspired. If accidental, seriously serendipitous!

B-Ark passengers to control most IT spend from 2019 onwards

Blitheringeejit
Facepalm

Very mixed feelings

Douglas's faultless prescience was funny as fuck then, and still is now. But the inexorable drift of the real world towards his comedic nightmare is scary.

Case in point - yesterday I agreed to answer a telephone survey on business banking, because in a moment of madness I thought maybe giving some feedback to banks on what doing business with them was really like might possibly result in some harm-reduction.

But not one of the questions was about banking - they were all how I "feel" about my bank, how much I "trust" it, whether I feel that I have a good "relationship" with both the bank and my "relationship manager", and (the one which really had me in stitches) which banks I feel "do the most to benefit society in general".

I kid you not, the whole conversation could have been taken verbatim from the script for the B-Ark HH2G scene.

I feel very old and very tired.

Imagine you're having a CT scan and malware alters the radiation levels – it's doable

Blitheringeejit
WTF?

Genuine question

So we have a number of highly expensive mission-critical machines, which are controlled using software running on outdated and unsupported workstation OS platforms.

Why exactly is it hard to write new control software which talks to the machine in exactly the same (hopefully well-documented) protocol/API, but runs on a modern, maintained (and ideally non-proprietory) platform? Is there a technical problem with this, or is it something to do with developers not being allowed to see the docs or reverse-engineer the APIs for legal/licence reasons?

Since the cost of the hardware is the biggie, surely there would be enough commercial benefit from such an update project to make it worth everyone's while..?

Or do the manufacturers expect healthcare services to buy a whole new CT scanner just because they won't update their XP control software?

Don't want to alarm you, but defence bods think North Korea could nuke UK 'within a few years'

Blitheringeejit
Flame

Lies, damn lies, and lawyers

"I don't believe Blair was a war criminal based on the evidence provided to date ..."

I do, on the basis that he treated Parliament like a courtroom, delivering a case for the prosecution exactly as if he was engaged by one side in an adversarial encounter. This is what happens when you allow lawyers to enter Parliament - and why we desperately need more MPs with a scientific background.

Lawyers are trained to argue the case for their side, and therefore to disengage any objectivity or sense of natural justice which they might otherwise possess. Once Blair chose to be effectively retained by the Bush/Cheney axis on Iraq, it was inevitable that he would argue the case for the war they wanted using every scrap of evidence which supported his case, but carefully ignoring, or seeking to discredit, every scrap of evidence which might count against it. This enabled him to ignore the highly public and well-evidenced findings of the UN on the issue of Saddam's WMD (or lack thereof), while asserting the truth of his "dodgy dossier".

I'm no expert on war crimes law, but he was definitely guilty of lying to Parliament by any meaningful definition of the term, and by doing so he obtained authorisation to order lethal military action against a foreign power. That's a criminal offence under UK law, if not at The Hague - and I don't particularly care where he stands trial, as long as it happens somewhere.

@Lucrolout: you are not the only one with champagne waiting in the fridge - but I have two bottles. My own Labour constituency MP, for whom I voted in 97, wrote in a letter to me that she "would have the greatest difficulty" supporting a vote in Parliament for military action in Iraq without a second UN Security Council resolution to back such action. Two weeks later, after Blair had failed to obtain a second resolution, she did exactly that. So the other bottle awaits her demise.

There are 10 types of people in the world, but there is only one Melvyn

Blitheringeejit
Thumb Up

...and..

Wot, no mention of the Digital Human? Aleks Krotowski rocks!

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020