* Posts by Quotes

80 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Nov 2008


Threads versus Twitter: Shouldn't we be happy the wheels are falling off antisocial social media?



Fancy launching a new online service (again) without acquiring the relevant .com

Anyone want an International Space Station? Slightly used


Re: Mir

What happens if they don’t get the funding to de-orbit?

UKCloud acquired: Public sector specialist finally bags investment from current chair and private equity after reporting steep losses


Re: Choosing not to report

Above all else, that sentence stuck out like a sore thumb. Very disappointing.

What will life in orbit look like after the ISS? NASA hands out new space station contracts



It cost a lot of money and fuel/energy to put the ISS modules/components/equipment into orbit. Are they going to recycle any of it?

Server errors plague app used by Tesla drivers to unlock their MuskMobiles


Error Codes

Is a 500 error the best they could come up with? Even the health sector has codes for ‘pecked by turkey’, ‘sucked into jet engine’, and ‘spacecraft collision injuring occupant’.

#PEBCASW (problem exists between chair and steering wheel)

Amazon textbook rental service scammed for $1.5m


...and in just three minutes Amazon recovered all their losses

The unit of measure for fatbergs is not hippopotami, even if the operator of an Australian sewer says so


Devon Fatberg

The Devon Fatberg is listed as an official unit of length by The Register at https://www.theregister.com/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

Which measurement should be used... length or weight?

Restoring your privacy costs money, which makes it a marker of class


Re: cash is king

Every note has a serial number


Re: Privacy is free!

And now we are all implicated because you mentioned it here

Five words everyone wants to hear: Microsoft has 'visually refreshed' Office


Run Fast

"This new version of Office," said Microsoft engineering manager Mike Smith, "is designed specifically for the next version of Windows on Arm. It has been recompiled for the Arm architecture to run fast, bring greater memory availability, offer better support for large documents, and maintain compatibility."

... because it is always such a struggle to find software that will keep up with my typing skills

I was targeted by North Korean 0-day hackers using a Visual Studio project, vuln hunter tells El Reg


Zero Day

"Normally they're most interested in so-called zero-days: previously unknown vulnerabilities that have existed since "day zero" of a program’s lifespan, as Reg readers know."

I prefer the Kaspersky definition of Zero Day - A zero day exploit is a cyber attack that occurs on the same day a weakness is discovered in software. At that point, it's exploited before a fix becomes available from its creator. https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/resource-center/definitions/zero-day-exploit

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify


National Grid Status


The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit


MYOB 1996-2020

I purchased MYOB for Mac in 1996, and upgraded to Mamut Accountedge 2008. There were some file verification issues following the splitting up of the UK vs Australian MYOB business but to their credit Mamut eventually took on the legacy server. MYOB (2008) still works reliably on Mac OS 10.8.5 and iMac 2007 and is free of any running costs.

The shift towards making tax digital means the MYOB software will not be compliant. I considered moving to MoneyWorks but decided it would be better to buy into the annual Mamut support contract which would provide the latest version of Accountedge and add this capability, releasing the legacy hardware. However if the roadmap for their software is a dead end it looks like I have dodged a bullet.

Thank you to The Register for this timely news... I now know my MYOB-2008 is not going to survive another incarnation and I will be looking for a fresh start with another accounts package. Thank you MYOB, it's been emotional.

Backup your files with CrashPlan! Except this file type. No, not that one either. Try again...

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I used Crashplan for years and was very happy with the policy of unlimited data without filters. Then they started getting sniffy about what I could and couldn't back up and put up prices. I moved to BackBlaze. They don’t back up all files either, however they are a bit more sensible about it and just exclude system and application directories. If you really want to back up that data you can always archive them to .zip and put it somewhere else on your disk. BackBlaze online backup is just £5 per month.

The also do 10GB of free cloud storage. You can link this with your backups. Backups are normally kept for rolling 30 days, so if you want to protect old versions of files you can put them into cold storage and it doesn’t cost you a penny. And if you have loads of data and want more cold storage the monthly costs and retrieval fees are cheaper than other cloud services.

Even if you don’t want or need BackBlaze the availability of 10GB of free public/private online storage is worthwhile. If you have good FTP software that might be all you need, and backup for free.

A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Black Helicopters

Eye In The Sky vs Drone (Robot) Wars

The drone doesn’t need an operator for control (it could be pre-programmed) but it does need one for battery charging. So we need an Eye in the Sky military drone to video the entire airfield and surrounding area, and when it appears you rewind the recording to find it’s origin.

Or when it appears we send up a fleet of drones for aerial combat. Drones could be deployed to different areas in readiness, or they could maintain continuous monitoring at close quarters, and follow the thing home.

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you


RFID Blocking

"Keep your debit card in an RFID blocking wallet or sleeve"

Some blocking wallets and sleeves can be bypassed with a stronger signal. To get round this a new generation of blocker cards are available which use the energy from the scanner to generate a blocking signal. Early models used to set off store door security scanners. New ones are okay. Just slip the card into the wallet and you are covered.

New RFID Blocking cards include Blockr Ultimate, and Savisto. Prices are usually around £8 per card but at the moment you can get a twin pack of Savisto from Amazon for £5.95 with free delivery. Orders limited to one per customer but you can re-order. https://amzn.to/2RMpdO9

Namecheap users rage at domain transfer pain, but their supplier Enom blames... er, GDPR?


.co.uk from £4.25 per year

I moved my portfolio to UK Fast, .co.uk from £4.25 per year.

Easiest way to get an account is via enquiry form at https://www.quotes.gb.net/ukfast/

(disclosure: not an affiliate link, no commission for this recommendation)

HostingUK drops offline after losing Farmer vs Fibre competition


Tough break

Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators


Business As Usual

Wileyfox has a new owner and it is business as usual. Despite contacting the news desk there has been no mention of this on The Register but you can find out more on https://www.techradar.com/news/wileyfox-relaunches-with-cheap-phone-deals-including-a-free-amazon-echo-dot

Russia threatens to set up its 'own internet' with China, India and pals – let's take a closer look


Noteworthy IP Address is used by Google for DNS... they are unlikely to change the purpose of this address

But what if it was used for a web site, say and that became the brand?

AI hype surge numbers, robo-radiologists, Apple voxels, and lots more


Huuman Err


Does UK high street banks' crappy crypto actually matter?


Cipher Selection

@Alister mentioned the SSL report from Qualys SSL Labs for HSBC. It does cause concern to see a "B" rating, and inclusion of the TLS_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_SHA (0x5) cipher which is insecure.

I would be mortified to get a B rating. I have always looked at the Twitter and Google reports to see what their cipher selections are like and configured my servers to a similar spec. There are a couple of "weak" ciphers to fall back on but this is still acceptable and they are at the bottom of the list.

But HSBC using an Insecure Cipher - surely that is unforgivable?

And why aren’t they using Perfect Forward Secrecy?

Openreach pegs full fibre overhaul anywhere between £3bn and £6bn


Internet is now a utility

Does anyone remember 28k modem connections and the transition to 56k? Or how Freeserve changed the cost of dialup services? We now have broadband speeds of 1MB, 10MB, 100MB and nobody looks back and says faster speeds haven’t been beneficial.

Just like the new global positioning satellite network, faster Internet access is an enabling technology. But the market is fragmented by the haves and the have-nots. The government needs to lay down a public utility standard - that says fibre to every premises that has an electricity supply within 5 years.

A technology business that delivers services that benefit from faster internet connections is not going to be interested in investing if only 1% of the country can use it. We need a universal standard and the performance has to be improved.

BT's Ryan Reynolds helicopter Wi-Fi ads 'misleading', thunders ad watchdog


Re: Public Wifi Access

Perhaps he could disable the SSID broadcast?

Hasta la Windows Vista, baby! It's now officially dead – good riddance


Re: Embiggen

...to the book depository!


Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules


TalkTalk ISP Privacy Invading Bot - still active

https://www.abuseipdb.com/check/ - This IP address has been reported a total of 58 times. was first reported on 26 Sep 2015. The most recent report was 17 hours ago.

However it looks like the IPs starting with 62.24.* are the ones to be concerned about. Ignore the others.


TalkTalk ISP Privacy Invading Bot

I am not sure if this is still active but TalkTalk have a privacy invading bot. When you make a visit to a web page the URL is passed to the Bot, and then the Bot visits the same page, presumably to scrape the content. I noticed this when I spotted double-hits in my web server logs.

In response I have blocked the following IPs so they can no longer access my server. For this reason, I don’t see them visit any more, and that is why I am unsure if they are still active. I assume they are.

Note: TalkTalk employs a Chinese contractor to do this for them - huaweisymantec

The scenario in the US reminds me of the gold old days of Phorm intercepting UK traffic.

Last Concorde completes last journey, at maybe Mach 0.02


G-BOAF flew to DC

Extract from http://www.concordephotos.com/history-of-concorde.html

7th Nov 2001 - Air France and British Airways restart Concorde services to New York. Air France Concorde F-BTSD, as Flight AF002, departs Paris Charles De Gaulle at 10:30 local time arriving at New York at 8:20EST. British Airways Concorde G-BOAE departs Heathrow Terminal 4, as BA001, at 10:30 local time and it arrives in New York at 9:10EST. Later the same day Prime Minister Tony Blair flies to Washington DC onboard Concorde G-BOAF to meet President George W Bush

WileyFox Swift 2: A new champ of the 'for around £150' market

Thumb Up

Another happy customer

I have an original Wileyfox Swift and I am very happy with it. The dual SIMM is very handy for PAYG - you can keep an existing PAYG number from a previous network and then add another SIMM for PAYG mobile data (Three do 1Mb for 1p). There have been regular system updates and I haven’t experienced any problems using Cyanogen. I agree with the previous comment about the USB connector being set back a bit more than normal, but you get used to it. If something went wrong with this phone I would happily buy another. Well done Wileyfox.

Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate


Re: Guess at Windows 10 specific BIOS

Microsoft added a mandatory hardware requirement for a TPM chip with effect from 28th July 2016 (i.e. two days ago). https://encryption.chat/topic/46-windows-10-requires-tpm-chip-for-encryption/

Cash-strapped English and Welsh cops prepare to centralise all 43 forces' websites


30,000 lines of code

Only the Met could have an home page based on over 30,000 lines of HTML


Forget black helicopters, FBI flying surveillance Cessnas over US cities. Warrant? What's that?


“$100 Whoever Hits The Plane”

20 years ago... Martin Scorsese’s film Casino (1995) features a scene at a golf club where the Feds in a light aircraft have to make a forced landing because they ran out of fuel.


Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat


Distance to Mars

The new value is 66.53 (plus or minus 0.62) kilometers per second per megaparsec (3.26 million light-years). That means in 9.8 billion years the distance between cosmic objects will double.

So, the distance from Earth to Mars is increasing at roughly 5 metres per year.

Is this being factored into the fuel estimates for forthcoming expeditions?

999 What's your emergency: Mega millions Met call handling IT muckup?



Has anyone had a look at the Met’s home page - it’s nothing special is it?


Until you look at the source code... 30,000+ lines of non-minimised loveliness.

Nominet to hike price of UK web domains by 50%


Highway Bandits

I think their Twitter page could do with a revamp

Somehow the moniker “The UK’s Internet Champion” doesn’t seem appropriate anymore


Storm in a teacup: Wileyfox does Android cheapie, British style

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Re: Wileyfox Swift

Thanks - GiffGaff looked good but with Three offering 1p per Mb with no expiry that is just what I was looking for as PAYG data.


Re: Not biting

Out of the box, the screen protector is already in place. I pulled the tab expecting to remove a protective film and put the plastic down on the table. Then I realised I had removed the screen protector as well. Once speckled with dust I couldn’t get it to go back on without bubbles so I ditched it. An honest mistake but with a bit of user testing Wileyfox ought to have fixed this simple mistake.

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Wileyfox Swift

I didn’t know about Wileyfox until I read about them here on el Reg. On the back of that review I purchased the Wileyfox Swift. I’m using it as PAYG but I’m usually tethered to my desk and most of the time there is Wifi so I don’t have a mobile data plan.

With dual sim I’m still looking for a PAYG mobile data provider for ad-hoc use... I tried EE but they deceived me with a top-up meaning "add-on" instead of top-up + data... so the second slot is now going spare. Any suggestions for PAYG data?

The Wileyfox Swift works well, and I have no complaints although it would be more helpful if Wileyfox upgraded their web site to provide useful hints and tips, such as how to upload your own ringtones.

I supplemented my storage with a "Samsung Memory 32 GB EVO Plus MicroSDHC UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10 Memory Card" so overall purchase price was £142.70 including delivery.

I like the feature that unlocks my phone when location is detected as one of my 'safe zones' and I’m happy that app crashes have so far not materialised at all. Build quality is good. I tend to leave my phone face down because the back is curvy and smooth, and will slide off a surface a bit too easily.

I am happy to recommend this phone.

The Edward Snowden guide to practical privacy

Big Brother


The Wileyfox Swift also allows you to deactivate an installed sim, so you don’t need to drain your battery keeping two mobile networks active.

On a side note, if you have a dual sim with both sims active, different networks, would that improve accuracy of location by triangulation methods?

Time Lords set for three-week battle over leap seconds


Why don’t we adjust the length of 1 second by a tadge?

TalkTalk incident management: A timeline


A TalkTalk customer says...

6 days after the hack, I'm still waiting to be notified.

I had a call yesterday, from someone claiming to be from TalkTalk, asking me to verify my details with them before they continued with the call. I explained I wasn’t going to do that in light of their company being hacked and advice to the contrary - ‘were they aware their company had been hacked?’ The caller then hung up on me.

TalkTalk’s core business is supposed to be **communications**

TalkTalk attack: 'No legal obligation to encrypt customer bank details', says chief

IT Angle

First contact from TalkTalk

TalkTalk contacted me today (caller id = 006690). It is the first contact they have made since they were hacked four days ago. The caller asked me to confirm some personal details before they could continue with the call ! Obviously I declined but I asked them if they were aware their company had been hacked. Their response was to hang up. Says it all really.

El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day


The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades


Blinded by Science

Marty watches as the drinking water at Hinkley self-heats his morning coffee

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


9 out of 10 snakes prefer HP laptops with overheating batteries

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts


Re: I did wonder

Their web site form to register pre-sales interest doesn't work. They didn't reply to a tweet I sent them about that. Unsettling for a pre-sales enquiry.

Mind-blowing secrets of NSA's security exploit stockpile revealed at last


Re: Well.. that article and the PDF was enlightening.

Maybe a yellow marker should be used for electronic documents - that way the printed page would only have light grey boxes and meeilions would be saved.

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


Cupid Stunt

Rebekah Brooks pitches her new concept for Fox News

Pale backside of lovely Luna flits past in imagery from 1 million miles out



“a herd of about 6,000 COSMOCOWS live on the GREEN crater, close to the Mendeleev crater on the FAR SIDE.” ... http://www.cowsgomoo.co.uk/

Brit school software biz unchains lawyers after crappy security exposed


Re: That blackboard is a disgrace.

The lowercase R is playing truant: ‘leaRning objective’