* Posts by Mike Flex

333 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Mar 2009


NASA's Psyche spacecraft beams back a 'Hello' from 10 million miles away

Mike Flex

NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications received test data from nearly 10 million miles away

That's nice. Any chance of OpenReach providing a fibre optic connection from their cabinet ¼ mile away?

iPhone 12 deemed too hot to handle for France's radiation standards

Mike Flex


"It is measured in watts of power"

There are other sorts of watts?

The Moon or bust, says NASA, after successful SLS/Orion test flight

Mike Flex

Re: That is how it is done

The first crewed flight was Apollo 7. It spent 11 days in LEO.


Philips axes thousands amid financial loss

Mike Flex

Roy Jakobs ... said his "immediate priority" was to "improve execution"

Well, that's one way of reducing headcount. Seems rather severe though.

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS arrives on everything from a 2GB Pi to AWS Graviton

Mike Flex

Alpha, Beta, ...

"Missing, however, is the new Flutter-based installer. Oliver Smith, product manager for Ubuntu Desktop, noted that while development has gone "really well," confidence levels were not high enough"

Presumably code for crashier than a Tesla on autopilot.

Smuggler caught with 256 Intel Core processors wrapped around him in cling film

Mike Flex

I hope the pins were facing outwards.

Otherwise, ouch.

China's Chang'e-5 lands on the Moon to scratch surface

Mike Flex

Re: Miniature Apollo Mission

> a step-by-step retread of the Apollo missions, only in miniature (well, a bit smaller)

And without the people.

Scotch eggs ascend to the 'substantial meal' pantheon as means to pop to pub for a pint during pernicious pandemic

Mike Flex

A soft-boiled scotch egg?

What nonsense is this?

Facebook caves to Australia's call for explanations of News Feed algo changes

Mike Flex

Re: futile anyway

"It is sad how low quality the BBC world news has become."

We're not all keen on the BBC domestic news.

NUC NUC. Who's there? It's Intel, with a pint-sized 8-core Xeon workstation

Mike Flex

Re: Have some Mint instead!

Egg-snow or Eggs-now?

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores

Mike Flex

Re: "throughput of goods is in excess of the usual Christmas peak"

"Ended up coming home with a pillar drill"

They've got pillar drills in? I'd check on their website but I'm too busy trying to find somewhere to store 297 toilet rolls...

Google exiles 600 apps from Play Store for 'disruptive advertising' amid push to clean up Android souk's image

Mike Flex

"An example of a disruptive ad would be one that covers the entire mobile device screen, without an obvious way to get rid of it."

Had one of those today. From the NHS.

Select few to watch World Cup in 4K high dynamic range colour on BBC iPlayer

Mike Flex

Re: 4K?

" UHD1 (NOT 4k, UHD is 3840x2160, 4k is typically 4096x2160) HDR"

4K in digital cinema circles can mean 4096 (or 3996) pixels/line.

4K in TV circles, the subject of the article, only means 3840 pixels/line.


Mike Flex


Well, I've got a solid 55 Mbps BT connection (now that BT have finally stopped angling for rural BB subsidies for a large town location). I just lack a 4K TV or any interest in men kicking their balls around.

BTW, why 4K? It's not even 4k (actually 3.84 k).

Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

Mike Flex

"I hope you pay the dog."

£35, apparently.

Should cover a juicy bone and a decent supply of dog treats.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

Mike Flex

Re: "How difficult can it be?"

"I'm not a huge fan of Jay Leno's act but he could strip down a V8 with his eyes shut."

Stripping things down is the easy bit. The trick is whether you can re-assemble them and have them work afterwards.

Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

Mike Flex

"who speaks excellent English, thanks in part to gaining a masters and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from MIT and 46 years living in the US."

Shouldn't that read "speaks excellent English ... despite 46 years living in the US"?

Gemini: Vulture gives PDA some Linux lovin'

Mike Flex

Nerdtards galore!

"I spent more time than was strictly necessary pretending that the Gemini was an offshoot of Knight Rider's KITT."

This is el Reg; there's no need to tell us where KITT comes from.

Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

Mike Flex

Re: Kellyanne is already on to you

"She fixed the problem of hackers spying on her via her microwave by unplugging it."

She'd be better off solving the problem by purchasing a microwave that wasn't Internet-connected in the first place.

Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Mike Flex

From the article...

"I looked at an eight-year graph of latency from my home logs"

Get out much?

UK NHS 850k Reply-all email fail: State health service blames Accenture

Mike Flex

Reg exclusive?

"At 1545 GMT, NHS sources were telling The Register that emails with 0950 timestamps were only just beginning to arrive in their mailboxes."

What, special sources were telling you privately; or you were just reading it off twitter like the rest of us?

HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

Mike Flex

"However, I was quite displeased the other day when my printer out of the blue printed a page telling me it now had an email address and I could web print."

If you have an IP-addressable HP printer point a web browser at it; it probably has an internal web server.

If you have a fancy-schmancy HP enterprise printer the internal web server may give you access to a hard disk with a cache of everyone's print jobs since installation. Happy browsing!

Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak... don't talk back

Mike Flex

Re: I find what people hate about Ubuntu weird

"With Unity, you never have to touch the mouse. I mean, using the keyboard is actually faster than using the mouse for almost every task."

Well, there's the problem. Unity is a command line interface masquerading as a GUI. It was originally presented as a new GUI needed for a new wave of Ubuntu tablets and smartphones so we come to it expecting a GUI. If I'm going to have to type in the name of the program I want I might as well just type it at a command prompt.

Mike Flex

From the article...

"... Unity 8 is available for testing if you'd like to try it."

Personally, I'd have preferred not to have had to try Unity 1.

The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Mike Flex

Unsound Sound

"Given that we had only three TV channels and the analogue audio was perfectly consistent between them"

Those were the days. In these days of digital wotsits sound levels are all over the place within a single channel. In the case of BBC's Click (supposedly its technology flagship programme in the absence of Tomorrow's World) levels are all over the place within a single programme. (In a bad week, even within a single item.)

GitHubber wants to revive the first Unix in a PDP-7 emulator

Mike Flex

Re: So, is Dennis Ritchie an "un-person" for some reason now?

Dennis Ritchie isn't available to ask for assistance.

These Chicago teens can't graduate until they learn some compsci

Mike Flex

Re: Wrong subject

"Codoing is a useful skill, "

Is co-doing the latest fashionable manglement-speak for team-working?

Manchester 'wins' £10m to test talking bus stops

Mike Flex

Re: Far more useful would be the time of the next bus... too often they just skip a few....

"On the continent? They do in London too. Don't they everywhere?"

They have them in Brizzle. Of course, the times displayed bear very little relation to the times the buses show up.

Mike Flex

talking bus stops?

Did they not learn from talkie toaster?

Windows 10 pilot rollouts will surge in early 2016, says Gartner

Mike Flex

"Windows 10 pilot rollouts will surge in early 2016, says Gartner"

People pay actual money for this sort of "insight"?

Looking for a council house in Sheffield City? Meet your fellow tenants

Mike Flex

Reply to all

"The Register does not know if the residents have begun emailing each other using the "reply-to-all" function"

Is the Pope Catholic?

Every time we had a reply-to-all storm at a former employer you could look forward to a half-day of r-t-a requests to not reply to all, mixed in with requests to "delete me from this list" even, or perhaps especially, for emails that didn't originate from a list server, all enlivened with sarky comments on the internal newsgroups.

Made me wish for Google Wave. Apparently I was the only one.

Shocker: Adobe patches critical Shockwave remote hijack hole

Mike Flex

Re: Who can tell?

"When I check firefox add-ons I have something called Shockwave flash (v19.0 r0). So I don't actually know if this is shockwave or flash or something else?"

Confusing, isn't it?

The Adobe Shockwave Flash product which is at v19.x.x is what's normally just called Flash. While it's buggy there's still a lot of it about, so getting rid of Flash might restrict your ability to see videos.

In Firefox you can set Flash to 'Ask to Activate' so you can turn it on for wanted videos (and see how often you need it) whilst leaving it off for adverts. (Tools->Add-Ons->Plug-ins->Shockwave Flash, choose Ask to Activate in the Activate drop-down.) The ipad/iphone don't support Flash, which drives the growth of alternatives.

Shockwave itself is at v12.x.x. As Psymon noted, it isn't popular now. I deleted the Shockwave plugin the last time it needed updating and I haven't missed it.

Top VW exec blames car pollution cheatware scandal on 'a couple of software engineers'

Mike Flex

Re: Either your entire organization is incompetent when it comes to intellectual property,

"Post more details, perhaps we can help fix your PC for you."

Saw this Cloudflare problem on my Android tablet this (Saturday) morning. Worked again an hour later.

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

Mike Flex

"the corridor chase / shutting door sequence was pinched from Alien3, not from Alien..."

To be fair, Alien 3 is the one we all try to forget.

Mike Flex

Re: The Abyssmal

"The Abyssmal"

I was surprised that The Abyss escaped the roll-call of SF films in the articles - underwater base, alien, even the shot from above of the base all lit up, like the fleet.

Mind you, at least The Abyss was set at sea. This base appears to be submerged in a reservoir. Why do you need an underwater base and a trillion dollars of drilling kit to drill under a reservoir? Rather a bit too much SF running down corridors as well.

11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

Mike Flex

Re: Surely their competitors knew about this?

"VW claimed to have uniquely clever diesel engine design, able to meet emission standards without needing urea."

Needing urea? They appear to be taking the urea.

It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Mike Flex

Oooh, I haven't seen a walled-up server story for yonks and now we have a whole comments section full of them. Of course, back in the day, all these hidden servers used to run Netware rather than Unix.

Shedload of security bugs squashed in iOS 9 – what the hell went wrong with iOS 8?

Mike Flex

Re: Apple employees are super human?

"But Apple has to live up to higher standards?"

They charge a premium price for their products and their software only has to run on a restricted range of hardware so, frankly, yes.

NBN cable rules spark electricity network push-back

Mike Flex

Which Reg Bureau?

It would be helpful if there was some indication of which Register office was filing each story - perhaps a national flag with the date and time or just the name of the office.

I know this isn't a UK story from the mention of 'federal government' in the first paragraph but I need to wade down to paragraph eight to find out this is an Australian story rather than a US one.

Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

Mike Flex

Re: Can't wait

"The service was better before google and has been a pain since google took over."

Indeed, but this talk of integrating third party email solutions suggests we're not getting Blueyonder email back.

PC sales go OFF A CLIFF to under 300 million a year

Mike Flex

Re: WTF?

"Despite the extremely loudly publicised free "upgrade"? Fawn on, Gartner."

Yes, despite the upgrade offer. People, especially ordinary, non-Reg reading people, are quite likely to want to avoid the hassle of:

- performing an OS upgrade (with the risk of everything going pear-shaped if the automation fails),

- sorting out any drivers or bundled software that stop working under Win 10,

- having to use Win 8 whilst waiting for the upgrade.

Once you know Win 10 is on its way, it's easier to carry on with your existing kit a bit longer, let the vendors sort out the integration issues and buy something that does what you want when you buy it.

Enjoying the Spring? Microsoft has 13 ways to fix that

Mike Flex

Re: Windows 10 will be updated like a Linux distribution

" Linux needs no reboot after applying the patches unless you update the kernel itself."

As almost every time I get an Ubuntu update a new kernel turns up there's no difference for me between Ubuntu and Windows in the number of reboots required.

Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

Mike Flex

Re: Rolex Explorer II

"Couldn't you just move your watch arm a bit ?"

It's common for watch collectors to have more self-winding watches than available wrists.

The Apple Watch: Throbbing strap-on with a knurled knob

Mike Flex

Get thee to an optician

"...the first screen after setup animates hundreds of swirling particles; it’s vertiginous, like staring at the Pleiades."

If you find the Pleiades look like a vertiginous cloud of swirling particles I suggest you get to an optician. Or a doctor.

"There are alarms and stopwatches and timers, handier than on your phone."

As, indeed, there are on my £23 Casio watch. As a bonus it has a 5 year battery life and doesn't look like it should only be worn by a 1980s gym bunny.

USA is home to largest number of data perves, study finds

Mike Flex

Re: Umm. They found dumbasses?

"Excel spreadsheet on TOR.

And... You're going to open a *known* virus vector on your pc after downloading what is very clearly labelled "illegal" material in that format?"

You might choose not to open it in Excel, and certainly not in anything with macro execution enabled.

Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Mike Flex

Re: Not Dot Matrix...

"1401 had a 1403 chain printer."

Indeed. It's even shown in the blogpost linked from the article. More details of the 1403 on Wikipedia.