* Posts by censored

244 publicly visible posts • joined 2 May 2007


It's more than 20 years since Steps topped the charts. It could be less than that for STEP's first fusion energy


It'll definitely be a spherical tokamak.

It'll definitely be connected to the National Grid, since they'll want heating and lights in the offices.

The producing net energy bit? I remain skeptical but excited.

Signal boost: Secure chat app is wobbly at the moment. Not surprising after gaining 30m+ users in a week, though



That phone number isn't linked to a name, a location, a username or any other kind of indentification

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a


Re: more convenient that having it on the front.

I've had front and back, and in a car holder.

Back still works better. Getting the angle of my arm right to hit front bottom (hehe "front bottom") is much more awkward. In the car holder I just curl my finger around. The angle is just easier.

UK mobile operator Three launches Superdrug Mobile MVNO


Re: Rubbish Coverage

Funnily enough, it completely depends where you live.

Three are pretty much the best in the Cotswolds, for some reason. EE aren't bad. Vodafone and O2 barely exist.

It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!


I might be wrong, because I don't know

But I read somewhere that dictionary attacks brute force whole words. So if you use two words from a dictionary, you may as well use two letters as they're treated as a unit?

sublimehorse therefore is two units not 12

UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT


Strong and stable network

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes


As I understand it, the rational veggie/vegan choice is "I do not want any part in killing or hurting an animal" (with definition of hurt being very much up for debate). I actually don't mind so much: if you don't want animals to be killed because of you, fine. Go for it.

If there's a by product that would exist anyway, by using the fivers you are not in any way killing or hurting the animal, since no animals have been killed or hurt specifically to provide that material. In other words: no extra animals die as a result of fivers. Their consciences are therefore completely clear.

(Of course, then you get to the "none shall pass my lips" brigade who insist on different ovens/plates/forks. That's entirely different and completely irrational, because accidentally imbibing a trace amount of fat does not increase the number of animals killed or hurt for your lifestyles. "None shall pass my lips" is more of a religious point of view than a practical, logical, rational or ethical one).


"You don't have to be vegan to think that unnecessary cruelty should be avoided"

I'm a meat-eater, but I'd take issue with this.

If you accept other people eat meat (they do) then there's no unnecessary cruelty involved in fivers. Because no animal was killed for it's tallow. The animals were killed for meat or fabric, the tallow is a by-product.

If the animal has been kiilled, far better to make use of it than waste anything.

Post-outage King's College London orders staff to never make their own backups


My company has axed all backups...

I work for an educational establishment. They want us to use Sharepoint/OneDrive for Business, under the misapprehension that

a) cloud storage = file backup


b) it's perfectly acceptable to create a ludicrous mess of a 'shared folder' which in the past two months now numbers 100s of files available online only, instead of just emailing the document you want

To this end, we are no longer given backup drives for our laptops. Wonder what Microsoft will do if everything is deleted? My guess is bugger all.

Tesla's big news today:
sudo killall -9 Autopilot


Sadly, they're unlikely to ever 'talk' to each other, because every manufacturer is sinking money into a proprietary system and no-one is working on a unified protocol.

LG’s V20 may be the phone of the year. So why the fsck can’t you buy it?


Re: "a 32-bit DAC, part of a burgeoning partnership with Bang & Olufsen"

Useless compared to a decent DAC. But sadly DACs in phones tend to be pretty lacklustre. So while they perhaps didn't need to up the spec that much, by upping the spec at all they might just have made a phone that sounds great rather than one that sounds ok.


Re: LG

I bought the G4 last year, which is a superb phone with a stunning camera.

It's bootlooped twice I've been without it for a total of more than 2 months while LG support prevaricated. I couldn't in conscience recommend LG to anyone. Although relatively rare in a market of millions, the bootloop issues are very real and the internet is rife with stories. It can happen at any moment and the only cure is a motherboard replacement. It also seems this was a (rarer) issue with the G3 and G5. So something is amiss in LG's manufacturing.

Oh Snap! How intelligent people make themselves stupid for Snapchat


I admit I don't get it

And I'm pretty sure it's not me. I'm as 'digital native' as they come, despite approaching 40. I'm a user not an IT-bod.

Snapchat doesn't doesn't appear to have utility. It simply doesn't do much. It's very ephemeral nature is it's greatest downfall. It's speed reduces the quality of communication. It's utterly empty and bereft of any kind of meaning.

I have teens who use it. And they're sending a near constant stream of pictures. Each takes no more than 10 or 15 seconds to compose, snap, edit and send. Which means it's taken virtually no thought. When each message it received, it stays only for 10 seconds. Imagine looking for meaning in something new in ten seconds?! It has no meaning.

It's almost telepresence. But that's all. "I am here and friends with you". That's basically it.

If you composed a message or an image with meaning, you'd surely want it to stay around? If you received something of interest or with value, you'd want to keep it. At least for more than 10 seconds.

As for the parent's stuff - we didn't want the kids to have it, but dad allowed it. "It's fine," they said "it tells you if someone takes a screenshot". Bit late by then, isn't it? We have since dealt with a 14 yo sexting and a stream of illegal bullying messages disappearing, leaving no evidence to have it dealt with. Wonderful.

Android Pay debuts in UK


I really don't get it...

A contactless card is surely more convenient to physically handle, and quicker because it doesn't need unlocking?

Could someone who is excited for this genuinely answer the question "why?". The only use case I can think of is "I forgot my wallet" which is hardly something that requires a multimillion pound software system to solve.

Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU


I've never understood roaming anyway...

The operators are multinational.

Why does a Vodafone customer have to pay a fortune to roam onto Vodafone in another country, when the operators claim it's because of high connection costs charged by the roaming operator? Basically, Vodafone were charging Vodafone for the privilege of a Vodafone customer using Vodafone.

Legal right to 10Mbps broadband is 'not enough', thunders KCOM chief


No cost implication

I'm pretty sure BT et al will simply say "Yes, you can demand 10Mb. It'll cost you £10,000 to install"

A more pressing issue is that by advertising "up to" speeds they're ripping off customers. I cannot ever get more than 3Mb on my BT line. I'm in a rural area, too far from my cabinet. Even when they roll out FTTC to my area, my house will not get more than 3Mb.

Naturally, I still pay £50 a month for crap internet and telephone. Because it's their standard tier of "up to" currently about 20Mb. Why should I pay the same as someone with the same setup that gets almost 10 times my speed? I can't watch iPlayer if more than one device is online. Fifty quid a month.

Thankfully Gigaclear are putting in FTTP in the next 12 months and will get 50Mb up and down, for the same price. But many aren't covered by these subsidised rural installations and will continue to be ripped off.

LG builds a DAB+ digital radio radio into a smartmobe


Re: DAB would have some great potential if you get propper equipment

This is where the promise of DAB never materialised.

I was in early commercial radio demonstrations that showed off the various amazing features. None of which came to market. The first was recording and pausing. They sold it as "imagine you're in the car, listening to something good, then arrive at your destination. Just hit record.". Great! Except hardly any cars have a basic DAB, let alone a recorder.

The also touted using an EPG like Sky+ et al to record shows. There had concepts of radios with colour screens giving a "tell me more" service, with interactivity and information about the song or artist, ability to buy tickets, enter competitions and everything else.

Then the internet became ubiquitous.

But remember the Pure Bug radio? It was, to my knowledge, the only one that came close to the promises with ability to record. I don't know why.

Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'


I have predicting kerboodle top! Let my tip mussel instead of relaying on softer!

How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013


Stop taxing me, then

You claim that Amazon don't make a profit because all of the cash goes back into Amazon (true, if cynical on their part).

By that logic, I shouldn't be taxed either. Every single penny of my wage goes on housing, food, clothing, utilities, a car to get me to work and maybe a few hundred a year left for a holiday. I do not have any savings, and most months I end up with the same in my bank account (the edge of my overdraft) as when I started.

By any measure, every single penny of my earnings is ploughed straight back into me as an economic unit. With no home, food, car or clothing I cannot continue in my job. Any luxury items I buy (which is few) are also ploughed back into myself because they make life a little more pleasant. A happier worker is a more productive worker (and I'm far more productive now than during the real poverty and misery years). Though I'm not in a position to spend frivolously, so all of my wage could quite rightly be described as going straight back into my existance.

So why can a multi-billion dollar company plough it's money back into itself and claim no profit, when I cannot despite not making a profit?

Doctor Who's good/bad duality, war futility tale in The Zygon Inversion fails to fizz


Re: Re Parachutes @ x7

"The plotline about the shape-shifting aliens hiding in peace amongst us, and the memory-wipe device which has to keep resetting that peace, is all fine. But frankly, jumping out of a plane that you can't jump out of is going TOO FAR"

Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost


Tetrawatch? Really?

Why has a science and technology website linked to the quacks at Tetrawatch?

Got a Samsung Galaxy S5? Crooks can steal your fingerprint – claim


Re: So who's bright idea was this?

Android (at least Google's flavour) doesn't support fingerprint ID. This is something bolted on by Samsung.

Landlines: The tech that just won't die


Answer me this...

If BT can rent my line to CheapFoneCo for £8.95 a month, which I then rent from CheapFoneCo for £10 a month or whatever, why the hell can't I just rent my line from BT for £8.95?

The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household


I don't want the thermostat to turn the heat up when I get out of bed

It's too late, and the house will only just be warm as I'm leaving work.

That's why I have a seven day programmable timer.

Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape


feels like it's lost something

Sure, you can very easily create a website that displays a different song every day. Hell, you can automate it, load it up with a million songs and leave it for all eternity. But it really loses something compared to dialling in to someone's house and listening to a song they've specially put onto the tape for people.

If they had it all self-hosted and you knew that the song you're hearing today was specifically chosen and put there by the band, it might keep some of it's soul. But since it seems all the songs are readily available on YouTube and they're just pulling them in probably at random, it really does lose idiosyncratic charm and personal care.

Measure for measure: We visit the most applied-physicist-rich building in the UK


You've answered the flip bit but not the frequency bit, which I think is more important and I don't quite get either.

The second is determined by the frequency of the flip of a caesium atom. But it seems in order to get the right flip, you use microwave radiation of a specific frequency. How do you know your microwaves are the right frequency?

WANTED: New head of crashingly expensive, error-prone and frankly cursed one-dole-to-rule-them-all system


Re: Annoying thing is

Except it cannot possibly work. People's needs change so frequently and everyone's needs are so different, that putting a one-size model onto the whole population is unworkable.

Even assuming that there's a UC system, you still have sub-payments to be made. Do they qualify for disability allowance? Carers allowance? Housing Benefit? Is their housing benefit subject to bedroom tax? JSA? Working tax credits? This must be done separately for every single applicant, whose needs then change according to relationship status, children, part time or casual work, age, illness etc. Under UC it all then needs to remain up to date, via the PAYE system, in real-time. I know a bloke who administers the ancient PAYE system, and not only do most employers not submit real-time information, but most never will.

Since you're working out what each individual needs according to a range of different criteria and different allowances, why bother rolling them into one? Much cheaper and simpler to do a standard "what are you entitled to?" interview, then administer each payment individually as entitlement changes.

NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits


ANOTHER opt-out?

Why can't the fact that I've already opted out (twice, in different forms) to the doomed NHS Spine system still stand? How many times will they simply rename it and then get us to opt out all over again?

Google cripples Chromecast third party replay


Re: Ah...

Except that the Chromecast was NEVER advertised as being able to play local content. In fact, the main complain about it at launch was that it couldn't.

Bloke leaks '1000s' of Twitter login tokens, says he can hack ANY twit


The problem with resetting tokens...

is that Twitter have arbitrary and silly limits on the number of tokens for each app. If you reset your token for a popular app, there's a possibility you won't get it back. Not good if you've paid for it.

Chromecast: We get our SWEATY PAWS on Google's tiny telly pipe


Re: Not in touch with the market

Of course it'll do iPlayer. iPlayer is a Chrome window.


Local Media

Play your video file in a Chrome window and it'll share it to the telly. Which means it's perfectly capable of sending local files, so just wait for the apps to come that will let you send local content.

Borked your iDevice? Pay EVEN MORE to have it fixed by Applecare


Re: EU warranty

I was about to post exactly this.

The Sale of Goods Act requires that goods are free from defects at the time they are sold, as described, and work for a reasonable period of time. For electronics, a fault within 3 years could easily be considered unusual and most consumer protection experts would say your device should last 3 years minimum.

Certainly, if you've bought an iDevice with a two year mobile phone contract then all non-user caused repairs (i.e. faults, broken connectors from normal use, dodgy switches etc) must be repaired under warranty. If they're selling with a two year contract, then it's reasonable to expect your device to last two years.

Also remember: your contract is with the retailer not Apple (unless you bought from an Apple store). So don't let your network fob you off to Apple. It's their problem to sort out.

Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court


Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

Google Results Show World's Most Popular Product First Shock!

I used to use Streetmap all the time. I stopped when Google made a better product. No-one forced me away from Streetmap except them for making their UI so clunky. I've been to sites recently where their 'location' page had Streetmap embedded. I had to leave and look it up on Google Maps.

Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance


When your power is down, good luck playing your console whether it needs a net connection or not...

Philips pushes out SDK for multicolour Zigbee LED lights


I have them...

and I love them.

It's remarkable how you can change the whole atmosphere and feel or a room so easily. And yes, that helps me to relax, or to feel warmer, or to get more comfortable.

Oh, and if you can use a smartphone app to control your home lighting, I'm sure you can buy a bayonet to screw adapter for 50p

Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8


Re: well hold on there pardner...

Fair enough. But I have an aunt who is a relatively literate user, but by no means expert. She lives with her husband, who knows nothing.

She has an iPad for day to day tasks but is looking to replace her elderly XP machine which has slowed to a crawl and would take me a day to sort out (it takes me another day to even drive to her home).

When you start up Win8 does it show you where to click? Does it remind you in two months, when you've forgotten? Does it explain charms and the task switcher? Does it tell you you're effectively running two UIs with no cross-compatibility? Will it explain to her how to use the Windows key and the shortcuts to switch to desktop? Is there a tutorial about why IE and IE Metro don't talk to each other? Or will I get phone calls saying "I can't find my bookmarks" or "why can't I see the letter I'm writing and my email at the same time to reference them?" or "I downloaded a program from the Store and now I can't find it on my start menu?".

Such a massive UI change, with NO visual prompts and reminders, is only good for confident users. And runing two incompatible UIs at the same time is no good for anyone.

iPhone 5S and lower-cost sibling coming this summer?


Fingerprint sensor...

This *would* be pretty revolutionary for a change. But I doubt we'll see it. It wouldn't look nice on the front of the phone, and surely we'd have seen the tech proven in a Macbook where it would be of equal if not more use first?

We've slashed account hijackings by 99.7% - Google


Chain of emails

My missus had about 4 email accounts, each with the other as the 'reset password' email account.

I knew the password to one of them, one she seldom used. Using this, I could've taken control over her entire digital life. Scary.

(For the record, no I didn't!)

Google stokes hype machine over Project Glass robospecs


Re: "No one really likes to wear glasses at the best of times"

I genuinely don't understand.

In that case a 'de-focussed' image must be projected onto the glass. Because the image IS on the glass, but I guess the wearer looks 'through' the glass and focusses normally with the image being focussed as it if was in the middle distance.

Which means a glasses wearer would need to be projecting an image altered specifically for their prescription - in my case with a high prescription and astigmatism. Not impossible, but damn clever. It'll be the only thing my eye has seen in focus for decades!


Re: "No one really likes to wear glasses at the best of times"

I love my glasses and frankly if I woke up with perfect vision tomorrow, I'd still wear them.

But that brings me to another point. This is one of the most exciting steps in personal technology, and I can see it replacing the smartphone. But I cannot see how it could possibly work for people who need prescription glasses.

The image is, presumably, projected onto the inside of a lens and so can't be corrected BY the lens. Even if an image was put in front, no-one who wears glasses can focus on something half an inch from their face. That's not how prescriptions work. So, unless I've missed something, this is impossible technology for anyone wearing glasses already.

Meet the stealthiest UK startup's app Swiftkey - and its psychic* keyboard


Should learn that you use pint a lot more than point, though?


Re: It is very good.

Switching to plain old tapping doesn't seem to be an issue for me.


Re: Good time for a retraction...

Agreed. I really didn't get along with SwiftKey 3. I don't know why, but I uninstalled.

This, however, is absolutely fantastic.

Apple tech FOUND ON ANDROID: Passbook gets pay-by-bonk


Re: think bigger

That's not thinking bigger.

My phone already does all of that using profiles and location or wifi based triggers.

BBC blueprint to make EVERY programme on TV a repeat revealed



Easily one of the world's greatest internet and entertainment accomplishments. The BBC should be given a standing ovation for it's creation.

Twitter clients stay signed in with pre-breach passwords


Re: There is a very clear risk

I think what Richard12 is saying is this:

- you have Twitter1 app signed in

- miscreant hacks account and changes the password

- Twitter1 stays signed in because it already has a token which is not altered by a change in password

- miscreant logs into Twitter2 app

- you realised the hack and change your password

- Twitter2 app is STILL logged in because OAuth tokens aren't revoked by a password changes


Re: Would resetting tokens cause Apps to hit 100k API token limit?

I was just about to say that... worse, since revoked tokens are returned to the pool it's possible that yours is returned and given to someone else, so lose access to your favourite app because they're unable to issue a new one.

I was going to suggest a workaround could be to automatically revoke all tokens upon password change, but clearly with the access limit this isn't practical.

Space Shuttle Columbia disaster remembered 10 years on


I remember watching it live.

I had BBC News 24 on in the background and they crossed live to watch the shuttle come in for landing. No-one said why, I couldn't remember a routine landing having been news for a long time.

Someone, somewhere tipped off news crews that this could be interesting...

Amazon accused of remotely wiping punter's Kindle


Never connect your Kindle to the internet

Download and side-load with USB. Simples.