* Posts by Robert Simmons

25 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jun 2008

Airplane bomb fears spark America's laptop, tablet carry-on ban

Robert Simmons

This is an entirely fruitless exercise, given miscrients need only reroute via an alternate airport to avoid the ban. This ban will serve solely to interfere with the operations of the affected airlines... or perhaps that was the whole point?

It's also worth reminding everyone that an airline's maximum liability for loss or damage to a checked bag is limited to 1131 SDR (Standard Drawing Rights, about £1240). This is clearly defined in the Montreal Convention.

I look forward to the first complaints of damages to a Macbook, XPS or anyone foolish enough to check-in their DSLR.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Convention

Health and Safety to prosecute over squashed Harrison Ford

Robert Simmons

Re: Hydraulic door?

<Pedant Mode>


</Pedant Mode>

If Amazon can have delivery drones, we want them too, says Walmart

Robert Simmons

Re: No, I don't want to get out of the car

... and the difference between that and the Grocery "Click and Collect" services which supermarkets already offer, instead of delivery, is what exactly?

Tesco does it in the UK, Walmart's already testing it in the US.

Who wants a European Broadband Award? Anyone? *tumbleweed*

Robert Simmons

IFNL gets my vote

I pay £26/pm for 100/20Mbps, on a speed test earlier today I achieved 98/18Mbps.

It's FTTH, and of course I've no complaints about that ;-)

Colossus veteran flies a drone over Bletchley Park

Robert Simmons

Re: Displays and flightradar24

In the UK/Europe only aircraft with an ADS-B transponder will appear on Flightradar24, this is because FR24 don't have any ground based radar stations (purely ADS-B receivers). ADS-B operates without needing traditional radar, and uses GPS to indicate to those listening the aircraft's position.

Most VFR aircraft don't have GPS fitted as standard, because of the relative age of many of the aircraft and due to the cost of fitting a 'glass cockpit'. Many pilots instead just use aero versions of hand-held receivers (think a Garmin/TomTom you'd have in your car) attached to the windscreen.

You tend to only see mid-size corporate jets and above on FR24, since they often come with GPS and IFR rated cockpits as standard... or travel in controlled airspace (or IFR conditions) frequently enough to justify the cost of fitting an ADS-B capable transponder. One of the added benefits for these aircraft is that they can pick up the ADS-B broadcasts made by other aircraft and map their relative positions onto a navigation display (for traffic avoidance/TCAS usage).

From ATC's point of view they are still primarily using radar Mode A, C and S returns to maintain separation, at least in the UK, because ADS-B isn't compulsory (yet).

The Great Windows Server 2003 migration: Where do we go from here?

Robert Simmons

BGP? In Windows? Oh dear god no.

UK air traffic mega cockup: BOTH server channels failed - report

Robert Simmons

Re: "both channels failed at the same time"

The article doesn't, but the linked CAA document does. It was triggered by someone issuing a "Sign Off" command from an unused workstation. This command was then replayed on the second SFS, causing a repetition of the same fault which took down the first SFS.

Google’s dot-com forget-me-not bomb: EU court still aiming at giant

Robert Simmons


"Google representatives at the event pointed out that this was problematic since the information is protected in the US under the First Amendment."

Here's an idea Google, you've already got identification of user based on country through Geo-location. You know, the function which recommends localized Google Search? So how come you can't apply the same as a filter on the search results? Or, dare I say it, enforce a redirect?

Granted, IP Geo-location databases are usually out of date and change frequently, but that doesn't stop you from filtering based on the Issuing RIR, apply the above to any IP issued by RIPE, and you've just covered 95% of use cases.


BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

Robert Simmons

Re: WHY WHY WHY WHY !!!!!!

I live on a new housing development, which was a test-site for FTTH (via Seethelight/IFNL) and there is no copper laid anywhere on the estate (VoIP). A couple of months ago we all received a letter from our local MP, who (ironically) was greatly concerned about the lack of competition since BT had no copper infrastructure there and we had no alternate choice of provider.

He'd apparently had a complaint from another resident that they couldn't call up and have BT install them a phone line; the suggestion being that BT must be permitted to dig up the estate and lay their ancient infrastructure.

Emotional baggage

Robert Simmons
Thumb Up

Re: I love my Wenger Backpack

+1 for the Wenger.

I'm also a roving engineer, I carry two laptops (and occasionally an iPad) along with various cabling, power supplies, external HDDs etc. Picked up a Wenger Hudson backpack, and its positively cavernous. Even with all my rubbish it's still only 2/3rds full.

Vauxhall prices up Ampera e-car for Blighty

Robert Simmons


Most US prices are quoted exclusive of local sales taxes, and there's import tax to consider too. At least some of that difference will be our 20% VAT (which is included in El Reg's quoted prices).

Course thats not to say there isnt an element of GM cashing in...

Site schools world+dog in browsing history pilfering

Robert Simmons

Not on Safari 4...

This is probably entirely unlinked, but if you attempt to use the startpanic site in Safari - it causes the app to crash....

A new level of protection from Apple perhaps? "We don't like some of the sites you've visited so we're not even going to show them"?

No - most likely another bug. ;-)

Cable-cutting vandals disconnect Silicon Valley

Robert Simmons


Their Twitter feed has now announced the bounty is up to $250,000.

Dunno what they're complaining about though... 15 hours? Thats nothing, I was without broadband for 4 days thanks to those Olympic muppets ;-)

Olympic cock-up knocks East London off Internet

Robert Simmons
Thumb Down


Ah finally some information! I'm with Be, and my broadband is down because of this. Though Be havent said anything about it - and keep posting rediculous recovery times. From the amount of mess this has created, looks like I'll be on the datacard for days...

Irish boffins tackle cow-fart ecopocalypse with fish oil

Robert Simmons


"... burned later as fuel in fart-propelled cars or something."

Ha ha, nice work El Reg. The "or something" is an especially nice touch.

BT names first 29 exchanges for fibre rollout

Robert Simmons


Now there's a first, BT actually putting in a service where I am first, rather than last....

Tweet hackers reopen Twitter vuln

Robert Simmons
Thumb Down

Safari 4...

Unless Twitter or the poster has closed the bug, its not working when viewed with the Safari 4 beta...

Hacking the Apple TV

Robert Simmons

Resetting Volume

I'm a developer of a plugin for the AppleTV myself, working in the AwkwardTV community. This is a bug with the current release of ATVFiles, the developer (EricIII) has posted a workaround for this. Basically go into Settings > Audio/Video and disable Volume Change, if I recall correctly (forums are down at the moment, cant give you the URL with the specifics!).

This stops you from being able to control the system volume (using the + & - keys on the remote whilst playing music) - but also hides this annoying error. Its due to be corrected permanently on the next ATVFiles release - since ATVF 1.2 only has partial support for AppleTV OS 2.3.

Apple anti-virus advice was nothing new

Robert Simmons

Update: Apple have removed the article



Ford to drive green motoring with 'leaves and vines' dashboard

Robert Simmons
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"inform, enlighten, engage and empower"

Ugh, pass me the Marketing sick-bag....

Grim news at Dixons

Robert Simmons


"Like-for-like sales fell 7 per cent for the 24 weeks ended 18 October 2008 and gross margins were down 0.7 per cent."

Oh no, they'll have to put the price of their USB Cables up another £10!

More fool the public for paying it though....

EU orders horsemeat and chips in equine passport scheme

Robert Simmons

Should it not be

the (p)assport?

Mine's the one with an iPhone stitched in the fabric....

Brits get iTunes movie downloads, rentals

Robert Simmons
Jobs Halo

RE: Surround Sound

Since AppleTV OS 1.1 - it has supported surround sound. Apple updated their H.264 MP4 implemenations in Quicktime to support AC3 soundtracks in addition to AAC. Their content also includes both AC3 and AAC, so that even if you don't have an AC3 decoder - the AppleTV will simply fall back to AAC.

Still, glad they finally launched it in the UK even if it isn't all that cheap.