* Posts by Chris Malme

43 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it

Chris Malme

Re: Outside the UK, our services with TuneIn will continue as is

I'm happy to be corrected, but I don't think a VPN will help you.

At present, at least, Alexa seems to be identifying you location - for TuneIn purposes - not by your IP address or even your device's configured location, but by the voice language being used.

Select English (United Kingdom) as your language, and TuneIn fails to play any BBC Live content.

Select any other English language, and TuneIn works.

Chris Malme

Another work-around.

Go into your echo device settings, and and device options, and pick a non-UK language. For example, English (Australia/New Zealand).

Once the new language has downloaded and your device has switched, you will find that BBC on TuneIn works again.


if you just say "Alexa, play Radio 4", it will still default to BBC Sounds.

But if you say "Alexa, play Radio 4 on TuneIn", it will play on TuneIn.

If you say "Alexa, wake me up to Radio 4 on TuneIn", it will ask you what time, and then wake you up with Radio 4.

If you say "Alexa, play Radio 4 on <name of multi-group>", it will play on the whole group, even though only one device has been changed.

Obviously, this is not ideal, as it may affect other country-specific skills that you use.

But I currently have an English (Canada) Dot running in my lounge, as well as my other devices - normally muted, but available for setting up multi-room playing.

Chris Malme

Re: So stop listening...

But the Infinite Monkey Cage (and most other shows) is still available via TuneIn as a Podcast. Just not Live.

This will be the case for as long as the BBC offer Podcasts via a RSS feed.

Chris Malme

Playing without data

When you enable the BBC skill in Alexa, it demands you link to your BBC account. However...

1. If you already have the skill enabled, disable it. This will also unlink it.

2. Say to Echo device "Alexa play BBC Radio 4" (or similar). It will ask you if you want to enable the BBC skill.

3. Say "Yes". The skill will be enabled and will work. But it won't be linked to your BBC account.

Stiff penalty: Prenda Law copyright troll gets 14 years of hard time for blue view 'n sue scam

Chris Malme

There's more

There was more - as this article says, the plea-deal allowed them to avoid the 16 other charges.

In particular, from an earlier Register article:

After that [uploading to Pirate Bay], the legal eagles allegedly created a sham "hacking" case in which they recruited people who pretended to be some hackers who obtained and leaked the porno movies online. That allowed the Prenda team to convince a court to subpoena ISPs to get the identities of people who downloaded the files as part of the discovery process while prosecuting the stooge hackers.

Also worth noting that they made $3m apiece - the con netted $6m between 2011 and 2014. However, they had already been relieved of a lot of the profits in the civil court. This latest case was about the criminal charges.

Do a search on The Register for Prenda Law, if you are interested.

Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Chris Malme

Mixed results here.

My Show devices are working fine. My Echo and Echo Dot devices are still out.

Container ship loading plans are 'easily hackable'

Chris Malme

Missing the point

While amusing to ponder, the research misses the point somewhat. There is nothing "secure" about the message itself. Security is provided by the method used to send/receive the message. While there are no doubt systems somewhere that still send such data in the clear, all EDI systems I have worked with in recent years use some kind of secure protocol for communications.

As for that "easily hackable" UNT segment. It was never intended as a precaution against intentional manipulation, but simply as a check-sum against communications problems, back in the days where everything was done via modem, and partial transmission of messages was possible should problems occur.

Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

Chris Malme

Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

I started with ebooks during a holiday where I loaded the kindle reader on my phone, for convenience when travelling. I loved it, but on my return, I went out and bought a dedicated Kindle reader. The phone (or, later, tablet) was completely usable, but the dedicated reader wins because it is easier on the eye and has greater battery life.

Years later, and I am now on a Kobo. What I love about both Kindles and Kobos is that you can be reading a book, but if you find yourself out and about withouth your ereader, you can bring up the corresponding app on your phone (which you probably do have on you) and continue reading from the point you left off. Pretty seamless and very convenient.

Relaxed reading, and long trips = ereader. Quick reading breaks while on the move = phone. You can have your cake and eat it.

NHS England tells MPs: 'The state isn't doing dastardly things with GP medical records'

Chris Malme

Re: Fine then.

Now if it was 500K per per patient affected, then that might be something.

But I believe that deliberate circumvention of the intent to keep the data anonymised should get you jailtime - for anyone involved, from the techies to the managers and directors involved.

BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

Chris Malme

Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

So if you don't have a 3D TV, how do you know it is crap?

There is a lot of crap 3D stuff out there, just as there is a lot of crap tv and film.

However, there is also some excellent 3D stuff, including features, documentaries and music video.

Plus at the end of the day, no-one is forcing anyone to have a 3D TV or watch TV content. It beats me why people who think 3D is crap (which they are perfectly entitled to think) seem to take a joy in pointing out anything that indicates that the market is less than that predicted by overenthusiastic marking types. It's this constant "see, we told you it was crap, and it is" that I find tiresome.

If someone wants to produce 3D content, let them. If someone wants to watch 3D content. let them.

Chris Malme

3D doesn't need the BBC

The 3D Queen's Speech wasn't produced by the BBC, but by Sky, the BBC only broadcast it. Furthermore, most of the footage wasn't shot as 3D, but was the result of post-production processing, and poorly done at that.

I think the sporting 3D broadcasts have been an interesting experiment, but only that, Despite wishful thinking by the naysayers, what the BBC has done for 3D is pretty inconsequential, and won't be missed.

Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

Chris Malme

@Darren Forster - Re: Star Wars is Science FICTION for a reason...

"I can't believe a bunch of clever scientists wasted their time figuring this one out."

*Students, not scientists. Read the end of the article:

"The point of the journal, the university says, is to teach students how to deal with refereed journals."

Steve Jobs backs Amazon from beyond grave in Apple trademark row

Chris Malme
Thumb Up

Re: If I was an Apple iDevice user...

They dont need to see Apple doing stuff like this, the shine is coming off their (anodised aluminium) iToys anyway.

69,000 sign petition to save TV-linker O'Dwyer from US extradition

Chris Malme

Re: Invitation: Stop!

"Let' see: the kid's first website was closed by the order of a UK court".

No, the domain was seized by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Satnav mishap misery cure promised at confab

Chris Malme

Not GPS Error, but human error.

I've used a GPS for years - my first was a garmin black and white model. In that time, I've only once been badly misdirected; it was my fault, and I didn't follow it, so no harm was done.

I'd been in Glasgow for a few days, and was driving back to Peterboroough. On approaching a roundabout, it directed me the wrong way around it. Of course, I ignored the directions. It then appeared to randomly direct me around some roundabouts the right way, and some the wrong way.

When I finally hit the motorway, it immediately directed me back off again. Ignoring that, it then directed me off the next junction, and the next. Thinking something was wrong, I switched off navigation, and for the rest of the journey just used the GPS to tell me where I was.

A couple of days later, I decided to take a look at my "broken" GPS, and soon found the mistake. While in Glasgow, I had used it in pedestrian mode, and had forgotton to switch it back. So it tried to direct me the quickest way (to walk) around a roundabout, and tried to guide "the pedestrian" off the motorway.

Fortunately, I've long had the attitude that I treat my GPS just like a passenger with a map. I listen to what they say, but then decide if what they are telling me to do is safe and appropriate.

Kindle users can 'borrow' an extra book - forever

Chris Malme
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Not if you are in the UK

As far as I can tell, this is another new feature for Amazon Prime users, alongside streaming of video and other goodies. That is, if you are a user of Amazon.com in the United States.

UK users of Amazon.co.uk who sign up for Amazon Prime get neither of these goodies, only free one day delivery on all orders. For that they pay £49, compared to $49 dollars for the feature-laden US Amazon Prime.

So while this is certainly interesting (as indicating the way Amazon UK may go in the future), it really isn't that exciting.

Will News of the Screws reappear as Sunday.co.uk?

Chris Malme

@Alan Firminger

"Who told the press that a Mr A Coulson was to be arrested on the following day ?

Is this going to be standard procedure ?"

It already is. His arrest wasn't a case of a van pulling up outside and them breaking his door down.

Coulson made himself available at a station, by appointment, to be formally arrested, so he could be questioned under caution.

Nothing unusual about that, it happens all the time.

Man nabbed nude pics from women's email accounts

Chris Malme


The problem with giving users configurable challenge/response questions is that too many people would set it up as:

Challenge: What is my password.

Response: *********

BBC workers lose £240k of tech gear in two years

Chris Malme

Misuse of FOI

I agree with Billy Whiz - the FOI is not there to be a marketing tool. Absolute Software hits my list of companies who I would not touch with a bargepole.

It would also be more interesting to see the level of theft/loss expressed as a percentage of kit owned/used by the BBC (including all the various subsidaries).

Besides, is it really the case that the BBC, and therefore the licence payer, would be footing the bill? Surely the BBC has insurance?

Survey outs Britain as nation of tech twits

Chris Malme

And 50 percent of those questioned...

... identified themselves as jokers who lie humorously to stupid surveys.

Inmate gets 18 months for thin client prison hack

Chris Malme

More details

A copy of the indictment can be found at http://www.securityprivacyandthelaw.com/uploads/file/Janosko%20Indictment.pdf and has a more detailed description.

Among other things, a piece of paper was found in his cell containing a username and password to the prison management system.

Because it was stated that the servers he accessed were "used in interstate and foreign communications", it became a felony offence.

Philip K. Dick's kid howls over Googlephone handle

Chris Malme

Checking a dictionary...

nexus [ˈnɛksəs]

n pl nexus

1. a means of connection between members of a group or things in a series; link; bond

2. a connected group or series

I think (1) makes a clear case for it to be used as a name for a communications device.

Blogger outs back-end Google tech

Chris Malme


After you've scanned all the world's books, then they can be recycled into bog roll.


German boffins produce sim of 'invisibility carpet' in action

Chris Malme

Try simulating it with a "real world" example

So, in a simulated museum, with clearly delineated edges, and bright colours, the technique fails. Big surprise.

Now try the same exercise with a shed in the middle of the countryside, with a gradation of different surfaces and colours.

After all, if you put a camouflaged tank in the museum, you would probably spot it pretty quickly.

Sacked drugs advisor pledges new expert body

Chris Malme


The important thing to remember is that the role of chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, from which David Nutt was sacked (or told to resign) was UNPAID. He was not paid to sit on this advisory council.

On the other hand, the speech that landed him in trouble was given in his official capacity as head of the Psychopharmacology Unit at the University of Bristol, and holder of the Edmond J Safra chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London. These are his real jobs, for which he gets paid.

So Professor Nutt was sacked from a voluntary, unpaid job, for carrying out the duties expected of him from the work he gets paid a salary for. Then he got slagged off for it. No wonder he is a little miffed.

Guardian in hot water over activist face flash

Chris Malme


"They sacrificed their anonymity by turning up at the protest"

Wrong. There is no guarantee these people were at the protest in question, only that "police intelligence" thought they might be. After all the police spotter card was printed before the arms fair took place.

To show how accurate such police intelligence can be, at the same time he was on the spotter card, as a possible protester at the arms fair, Mark Thomas was actually legitimately *inside* the arms fair, researching a book.

So nothing should be inferred from anyone's image being on the spotter card, with regard to this (or any other) protest.

Addressing the main issue, the Guardian was in the wrong here. They could have easily shown the spotter card with the faces blurred, with possible exceptions of anyone that had given permission, such as (one presumes) Mark Thomas, who has commented on this issue in Guardian's own "Comment is Free" pages

Windows 95 to Windows 7: How Microsoft lost its vision

Chris Malme

Windows 95 to Windows 7

The subject line is a bit ironic, as a straightforward upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows 7 is one thing MS didn't make provision for.

Tabloid hack scum face jail

Chris Malme

Connected government?

So in the same month that prison governors call for the scrapping of short sentences to relieve pressure in the prison system, and a Ministry of Justice spokesman acknowledges the inappropriateness of prison for "less serious offenders"; the government wants to introduce jail time for non-violent offenders such as tabloid journalists.

I am not saying that the offences in question aren't serious - I think they are. But at the same time, given the choice between a mugger and a hack, I know which I would prefer locked inside.

The prison population is at an all time high, why send more people there, where there are more appropriate options such as community service and home detention and/or curfew. Sentence the hacks to a thousand hours of community education, like teaching English to asylum seekers, in order to help them settle in.

Lets face it, by locking them up, all we are doing is giving them material for a year's worth of boring articles about it. Make them sit at home, instead, with an electronic tag.

The Twitter storm that saved freedom of speech

Chris Malme

Why do they do it?

a) Because they get paid by their client if they are successful in obtaining the injunction.

b) Because they get paid by their client if they are not successful in obtaining the injunction.

c) Because they don't get paid for doing bugger all.

Bank sues Google for identity of Gmail user

Chris Malme

Super wheeze!

So if I wanted to find out the identity behind a Google account, all I have to do is accidentally send it some confidential data, then demand that Google puts me in touch with the recipient?

Italian Job sat nav driver cops £900 fine

Chris Malme

No different to a passenger reading a map

I have been using SatNav for years - long before they became popular - and have never had a problem. I have always told people that you should treat the SatNav exactly like a passenger beside you reading map directions. Listen to what they say, and then apply that to what you see ahead of you. If what the passenger/SatNav doesn't make immediate sense to you, ignore it and follow your instincts.

This sometimes mean you *do* drive past the turning you should have taken, and have to go around the block (or to the next motorway junction). But that is far preferable to following the passenger/SatNav instructions slavishly and driving down a one-way street the wrong way, leaving a motorway to "shortcut" through a tiny village or driving down a railway track or off the edge of a cliff.

It's not the fault of the SatNav - it is the moron using it.

Bloke decapitates horse with chainsaw

Chris Malme

"Demjanjuk Manoeuvre".

Funny, I always understood it was the "Ernest Saunders Strategy". Saunders, it should be remembered is the only man ever known to have recovered from Alzheimer's.

Tory who claimed brother's tech gear on expenses quits

Chris Malme

@Dafydd Lawrence (4 Routers)

"What sort of constituency office is she running there?"

Playing devils advocate. One router providing connectivity for her constituency office, and one for her sister in Dorset, to enable her to do her job as remote secretary. The other two purchased as backups.

I'm not saying that's what happened (I doubt it, in fact), but I don't think that would be unreasonable. Certainly, I have a spare router in my home office, as the expense is far less that the cost of a router blowing and leaving me unconnected.

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

Chris Malme

@AC "Google Squared"

"is google pulling wolfram's leg with this calculator?


I hope it is a joke, as it definitely isn't a calculator. Try using it to square "123456789" - it gives a result 1 less than it should.

Street View forced to reshoot Japan

Chris Malme

Blurring a bit off

Note that although the WPC's face is blurred, it didn't quite work for the other chap. The blurring missed his face, and is over his weapon instead.

Does this mean Google have fallen foul of the pseudo-law forbidding photography of serving officers?

They're a bit casual, though, for a protection detail, aren't they? Leaning against the wall, the WPC with her hat off?

At least the guvnor was in when Google drove past.

Hollywood to totally recall Total Recall

Chris Malme

@Doug Glass

That should be "*We* Can Remember It For You Wholesale", and it was a (long) short story, rather than a book. Not to be mistaken for the novelisation of the film, by Piers Anthony.

You are right that it was far superior to the film (which stuck close to the original for about the first 20 mins, up to the first attempted memory implant). However, it (the short story) was really a bit of a shaggy dog story, so I reckon it would have been pretty much unfilmable in the original form.

Ryanair trades blows with 'idiot blogger'

Chris Malme

I only wish...

... that I hadn't already sworn off of doing any business with Ryanair, so I could say that because of this, I would no longer ever do business with Ryanair.

Entire class fails IT exam by submitting in Word format

Chris Malme

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack is on the list

If Word is not a valid format, isn't it strange that "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack" part of the software authorised for installation on the moderator's computer?

If nothing else, seeing the words "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack" might give some folk the impression that Microsoft Office (including Word) *is* a permissible piece of software to use.

Pipex upgrade causes email snafu

Chris Malme

"some extremely large mail boxes"

Pipex could possibly make life easier by not automatically creating a mailbox for every customer, or allowing customers to delete unused mailboxes.

I quickly came to the opinion my default Pipex mailbox was useless - their practice of naming it after your pipex username apparently made it easy for spammers to harvest them. I have never made proper use of it - I use Pipex for connectivity only, and handle mail through my own domain. This does not stop my Pipex mailbox being continuously filled with unwanted spam - I occasionally clear it down out of the goodness of my heart.

The latest EDI money saver? Paper invoices

Chris Malme
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EDI standards do not change

EDI standards do not change. New standards are certainly developed and introduced, but it is totally up to the companies trading with each other whether to adopt a new standard or stick to the old existing one. In my experience very few companies chose to change an existing working system, without good cause; and many of the requirements I see specified are still based on standards developed 10 years ago, or more

Secondly, speed of payment is seldom related to speed of processing of invoices. It is more likely to be dictated by company policy, terms and conditions, and cash flow.

Swiss strap-on jetplane ace flies Channel

Chris Malme

@ Will Godfrey

"Most of the time it really won't matter, but when the engines are falling off and the landing gear won't come down, he'll be the one with the sheer determination to do whatever it takes to get the plane down in one piece."

No, he'll be the one with an exit strategy.

Rude Tintin pulls out

Chris Malme
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Satire, not racism

The version of "Get Back" that Mark talks of actually appears on at least one Beatles album, the "Let It Be" sessions.

The initial idea of the song was to lampoon the growing anti-immigrant opinions of the day, referencing Enoch Powell's "River of Blood" speech. Unfortunately, there were plenty of folk too ignorant to recognise satire, just as there seems to be today. So it was rewritten to the largely meaningless lyrics we know today.

And rather than having been written before they were famous, the "Let It Be" sessions were recorded leading up to the album "Let It Be", which would have been towards the end of the Beatles time as a band.


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