* Posts by Drem

55 posts • joined 2 Jun 2009


Remember the Nominet £100m dot-uk windfall it claims doesn't exist? Well, it's already begun


They did, I went to check on a .uk domain I've been watching for a while (all 3 variants: .co.uk, .me.uk & .org.uk) have been owned by different people for 5+ years, and I'd have liked to grab the .uk version, so have been watching it.

Fasthosts nabbed it on the 10th of June, I suspect as part of this. It may be that they initially targeted any where all 3 variants had already been taken, viewing them as more valuable...

Solid password practice on Capital One's site? Don't bank on it


Drag and Drop

I've often found that sites that prohibit copy-paste to password fields, don't stop you drag and dropping into the same fields.

Most (I think) password managers let you do this, so it's a pretty good workaround.

Cheeky IT rival parks 'we're hiring' van outside 'vote Tory' firm Storm Technologies


Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

I wrote about this following the EU Referendum - http://blog.mrdrem.me.uk/2016/06/how-voting-works-from-other-side-of.html

TL:DR? Yes, your vote can be tracked, but only within certain timescales, and only with a court order (or some electoral services employee doing a shed load of work on the quiet, with no-one else noticing, or a load of people being in on it, at which point see https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/26/secret-success-equations-give-calculations-for-keeping-conspiracies-quiet - Although I suspect that less than the critical 125 people would know enough of how the data was gained)

I'm planning on writing something up about the counting process shortly...

Fitbit hit on Pebble kit cost just 20 million quid? Oh s**t!


Re: Sad though

I look forward to the start of the inaugural Rollerball league meeting.

Go Houston!

Harder, better, faster, stronger (apparently). The IronWolf goes Pro


Never found in the wild

I was looking at NAS drives about a month ago. I couldn't find the 4tb version of the non-pro version anywhere. or indeed anything over 2tb. And the price on those was awful. If Seagate want me to buy their product, they have to at least try to sell it to me.

The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed



This mostly sounds like a more modern take on Phrenology.

I wonder if Retrophrenology works as well with this, or if a new technique is required...

Pollster who called the EU referendum right: No late Leave swing after all


Re: Do-over poll

@pdh I've seen a couple of polls looking at this, but I'm not sure where to lay my hand on them at the moment.

The first which I think was closer to the initial result was 7% of leave voters would have switched, and 4% of remain voters (not quite enough to switch the outcome). The second suggested 5% of leave and 2% of remain voters would switch (again not quite enough to swing things).

Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment


Re: BTDT, shuddered at the pics.


I've not clicked on that link, I can guess with 99% certainty what it is, and I don't need that earworm stuck in my head today.

Dead Steve Jobs is still a crook – and Apple must cough up $450m for over-pricing ebooks


Re: "We know we did nothing wrong"

You want a public whipping of 'Dead Steve Jobs'?

Uber is killing off iconic black cabs, warns Zac Goldsmith


Re: if $car !="Taxi" then sleep(900)

Yes, but if that pre-booking can happen within seconds (and lets be honest, that's what the Uber app essentially is attempting to do) then that distinction is weakened. And the minicabs that I've seen are quite willing to do all of the things that you've mentioned Black Cabs being able to do anyhow.

Thus, giving a fixed time period that ensures that the pre-booking is genuine (and I'd suggest 15 minutes) helps to ensure the distinction between the two services.

If Uber then wanted to offer a service to run both Taxi's and Minicabs, I couldn't see anything stopping them from doing so, and it would give you, the consumer choice in the market.


if $car !="Taxi" then sleep(900)

I think that the best method that I've seen suggested for solving this is to ensure that the difference between a Taxi and a Mini Cab is to do with pre-booking.

Taxis should have a higher threshold for driver training, checking, licencing and insurance, etc, and in return they get the benefits of being a registered taxi. This would include the use of bus lanes, and the ability to pick people up instantly, whether hailed in the traditional on-street manner, or via an app.

Mini cabs get to have a lower threshold for those things, but can't use bus lanes, and have to be booked at least 15 minutes in advance.

This helps to distinguish between the two services, and ensures user choice is preserved. If you can wait 15 minutes (or book knowing your train/flight etc arrival time) then you get the benefit, if you need something now, you may have to pay more.

Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online


Re: True - but unlikely

Maybe, but don't forget that prior to the hack, Ashley Madison where charging $19/£15 (I think) to remove account details fully, otherwise they kept your data, even if you closed the account (AFAICT).

Also, how many of their emails hit spam filters, or where flagged as spam by unsuspecting people who where signed up by others?


Re: True - but unlikely

I think that the point was more that someone else could easily have signed you up (including using your email address) without your knowledge, as there were no checks that the email address used was either correct, or belonged to the person opening the account. there may therefore be people who have genuinely never heard of the site, who have been signed up for it, and it looks to all of the world like they did it themselves, rather than someone else did it (as a prank, as part of a stag do, etc.). Here's Graham Cluley on just that - https://grahamcluley.com/2015/07/ashley-madison-fake/

EU VAT law could kill thousands of online businesses


I didn't think this would worry Starbucks...

Starbucks don't sell anything purely digital AFAIK, so this change isn't going to affect either their business or tax avoidance model.

The real issue is with a large number of tiny businesses, which often turn out to be one woman (sorry, a generalisation, but ~90% of the examples that I have seen are) who are selling something small and unique that is delivered digitally, that can be done around childcare.

Examples include digital crossstitch patterns (why should you limit to selling these to only UK customers, when the internet allows you to sell to anywhere?), digital maternity planners (very popular across europe I understand), digital music samples (bought by ad agencies), etc.

A simple fix for this would be to say anyone under the current VAT threshold stays under the VAT threshold, and doesn't have this applied to their company.

Heistmeisters crack cost of safecrackers with $150 widget


Re: Time

This, so much this. It's an issue in loads of areas, but one that I come across most often in craft circles, people selling things that they've made at so close to cost that no-one else can survive as a business doing that any more.

And yes, at that time you need to take a hard look at your business, but it also has wider impacts on things like tax receipts.

True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS


Re: Twisted their words.

The thing I found interesting about that was that when David Allan Green challanged The Met as to which law they thought applied, they couldn't tell him, then pointed to bits of legislation that didn't apply, then backtracked on whether simply watching it was a terrorist offence.

As usual, the Met have difficulty finding their derrieres with both hands.

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


"relentless fraud attacks" that in reality do very badly.

so, '2+2=5', lets look at the figures for this shall we?

2010/11 - Fraud and Error - 2.1%, of which 0.8% is Fraud, there's also a 0.8% underspend due to error.

2011/12 - Fraud and Error - 2.1%, of which 0.7% is Fraud, there's also a 0.9% underspend due to error.

2012/13 - Fraud and Error - 2.1%, of which 0.7% is Fraud, there's also a 0.9% underspend due to error.

2013/14 - Fraud and Error - 2.0%, of which 0.7% is Fraud, there's also a 0.9% underspend due to error.

Fraud levels within the Benefits system are very low, and the value of it is relatively static.

That doesn't really add up to "very well organised and funded malfeasants" subjecting our benefits systems to "relentless fraud attacks" to me. Frankly, any of the fraud that I saw in my many years a benefits officer was at a very low level, and very badly thought out and organised.

(all figures from https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system )

Snowden journalist's partner gave Brit spooks passwords to seized files


Re: New Security Application

What, like the IronKeys?


Secure thumb drives, with gluefilled cases, and a small bit to physically destroy the key if the password is put in incorrectly, or if it's put into an internet connected pc, and the remote process has been set off?

very tempted to get myself one...

British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport


Re: Voting power

Frankly a better solution is to spoil your paper.

You' ve done your civic duty bit, spoilt papers get counted, and so count towards turnout, and what credibility would a politician have if there were more spoiled papers than they had votes?

How our shaken Reg Playmonaut survived a 113,000ft stratodangle


Re: No video of the release?

If you're looking at other cameras, this one might be of interest: http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2013/6/9/sj1000-at-lasta-good-cheap-action-camera.html

I'm thinking of getting one for on my bike, would be interesting to know how it copes with altitude :)

El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag


Re: Yorkshire Gold! - Hard or Soft blend of bags?

Yorkshire Tea do a special blend of their tea for hard water areas. The green boxed stuff. So, if in a hard water area, you could test both the green in unfiltered water, and the gold in filtered.

62,000 fewer shops: Welcome to the High Street of 2018


Portas Project - Huge waste of time and money

The 'Portas Project' was just that, a massive waste of cash and effort. Pretty much all she suggested was make the parking free, and the shops a bit prettier. The report for it, that was supposed to feed into town centre planning was delayed, so that the Channel 4 series that she wanted to make from it wasn't spiked by the findings, and the places that took part in it generally thought that it was a waste of time and money.

Links for some of those bits:



She totally ignored the report from London Councils that came out in November last year that they had spent a load of time on about how to rejuvinate town centres, and did free parking work (no, as the enforcement has to be strict, or its too badly abused, and if enforcement is strict, people don't use it), and looked at studies into how much people using different transport modes spent in local shops. Those who come on foot/by bike/ by bus all spend more than those who come by car. Maybe if we where to turn our town centres into more pedestrian friendly spaces, with good bike parking they might do better.

See these for more:



Aha, I see you switched on your mobile Wi-Fi. YOU FOOL!


Troy Hunt's Pineapple

I think that Troy hunt has a rather better set of posts on this, demoing it in action with a pineapple...





The Pineapple in question is one of these:


Given its been available since 2008, I'd be surprised if this has never been used for more nefarious purposes.

I said ‘no’ to a million-pound Tech City empire


Not Kickstarter - Seedrs

Seedrs are a far better place for this sort of thing - https://www.seedrs.com/sign_up?promo_code=85S6RYIP

They're specifically setup to deal with companies in a way that kickstarter isn't. Alternatively, you could get in touch with these guys - https://www.seedrs.com/startups/desklodge who might be interested.

If you sign up via the first link, I get a kickback for recommending you. if you'd rather I didn't, just go to https://www.seedrs.com/

Global nappy hawker trials TweetPee moist-baby monitor


Huggies have left the UK

And Ireland I believe.

They did so on the 22nd of last month. Not enough profit here. Maybe this is what will bring them back...

Nuke, as this is what my daughter sounds like she's filling her nappies with sometimes...

Who wants a smart meter to track'n'tax your car? Hello, Israel


Re: We already have a system that you pay more the more you drive...

Motoring taxes haven’t been ring-fenced to pay for roads since 1937 when the Road Fund and ‘road tax’ were abolished. The terms, however, have lingered and many people assume that the ‘road fund licence’ still exists and that ‘road tax’ pays for roads. So you don't pay any road tax, and might struggle to find a current driver who ever has. How many 92 year olds do you know that drive? What you pay is Vehicle Excise Duty, which is based on how polluting your car is.

Neither VED or taxes on fuel cover the cost of either building or maintaining roads. I'd be happy to see the money from both of these ringfenced so that they did only go towards it, as long as that was all that was spent on it, and nothing further from general taxation.

At the moment all drivers are heavily subsidised by those that don't own a car. Me more so than most, as I don't have to pay VED for my car.

Living in the middle of a big city? Your broadband may still be crap



Oddly, I've lived both in Wandsworth and Mitcham (so either side of your locations) and have always had fantasic speeds, 15meg in Wandsworth, and 19meg in Mitcham.

GoPro accused of using DMCA to take down product review


Odd thing is...

That it was a comparision between the Go-Pro, and a Sony version that was competing with the Go-Pro.

The Go-Pro won hands down.

Really really silly.

It's all over the cycling forum I frequent, where the Go-Pro had been favoured over the Contour cams, but this is shifting some opinions...

Tesla's Elon Musk v The New York Times, Round 2


Re: Facebook on wheels?

From the bits of reading around tht I've done, the logging is availiable on all Tesla cars. It is normally switched off, and the data unavailiable to Tesla, but if you ask them to switch it on, it will be.

Since the Top Gear incident, Tesla have apparently left it on for all media test drives, for cases such as this one.

Brit retailers tell Amazon and Google to pay their taxes


Re: If the public were angry, they would not buy from internet multinationals

Your benefits costings are interesting, and valid, but...

I've been digging about around this a little recently. If your one person is changed to a 3 person household, two adults and one child say, (based in Northampton, in a 2 bed house, with band D council tax) the benefits they can claim if they are out of work is £17,910.54 per year.

If one of the adults is on Minimum Wage, working 42.6 hours per week, they (and their employer) will pay £2,719.08 in NI/Tax, but they will recieve £9,287.39 in benefits, meaning that the government is subsidising their employment to the tune of £6,568.31 per year.

With one adult on Living wage (outside London) that improves to being £3,997.24 in NI/Tax, and only £7,497.99 in benefits, meaning the subsidy is cut to £3,500.75 per year.

It's only where both adults are working 42.6 hours per week on either level of pay that they are paying more tax/NI than they get in benefits.

I've not yet calculated where the break even point is in terms of hours worked yet, it gets a bit tricky to do so.

That is just on Tax/NI/Benefits, I've not looked at including travel and childcare costs to find the break even point in terms of working vs benefits yet. I intend to do this shortly though, as well as trying to model different transpodt choices into that mix.

RIP Neil Armstrong: The reluctant American hero


Full statement from Neil Armstrong's family

I'm really sad that you didn't put in the full statement from his family. The last paragraph is particuarly nice.


WASHINGTON -- The following is a statement from the Armstrong family regarding the death of former test pilot and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong. He was 82.

“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.

Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.

He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.

As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

Chinese toothpaste biz wants £50k from Apple over 'Snow Leopard'


Just imports?

Surely not just a ban on importing them, a ban on exporting them too, so that the rest of the world can also benefit from the of the mighty Jiangsu Snow Leopard Household Chemical's innovative works without the interferance from the dastardly capatalists at Apple.

As a point of interest, do Apple actually (for some highly technical reason) actually export their stuff before importing it into China, or is is sold as locally made goods?

Android activations near a million a day


Confirmation Bias?

I wonder how much of this can be put down to a form of confirmation bias?

iPhones are fairly recognisable. There are only a certain number of shapes and sizes that they come in. The orignal iPhone, the very simular 3G, which was identical (case wise) to the 3GS, the iPhone 4, which again looks the same as the 4S. I make that 3 body shapes variations, 2 of which are dificult to tell apart.

Therefore it's easy to spot the iPhones, but not so easy to spot Androids. My San Franisco looks very different to my wife's Galaxy II, which is different to my bosses Sony something, which is different to...

The reason that you see more iPhones is because you know what you are looking for, not because there are more of them. 3 body shapes to spot, rather than hundreds of them, some of which are not what you expect.

Game goes titsup in Australia


Benefits of pre-order

I rarely care enough about a game to preorder it.

With Diablo III, my wife and, eventually, I decided that we were certain that we both wanted to play it.

Pre-ordering with Game initially lead to a bit of a worry that we weren't going to get it when they ran into trouble, but we'd not put down a deposit, and it's now shipped, with us paying just under 25 quid.

When Game looked like it might have problems, I added a second preorder with Amazon. Amazon's preorder system guarantees that you will get the lowest price that they offer it for after you place your order. Again, no deposit. I ordered at about 30 quid with them, and paid just under 28.

If I try to buy the game today, I'm looking at about 35 quid online, and likely closer to the rrp of 40 instore.

It'll be a while before it comes down to 25 quid again I suspect, and even before it comes down to 28. Until then, I feel I've 'won', and even at that point I may well still feel that any extra I paid was worth it.

Amazon Kindle Touch touches down early


Full internet over WiFi only...

I've just started looking at getting a Kindle, as the wife was pushing for one, until she realised that the price of ebooks was staying higher than the paperback versions that she normally gets.

I've been pondering whether to get the touch or keyboard version, and have pretty much decided that we'll get the keyboard one. Why? The kindle touch only does the full internet* over wifi, over 3g you're limited to Amazon or Wikipedia. If you get the keyboard kindle, you also get the full internet* over 3g, not just wifi

*may not include IPv6 sites, so not really the full internet, but I've looked into that yet!

Two teens cuffed after Blighty's anti-terror hotline hacked

Big Brother



"Two teenagers have been arrested after hackers attacked Scotland Yard’s anti-terror hotline, eavesdropped on a conversation between officials and uploaded a recording to the internet"


"We have throughout the day researched the allegation that the Anti-Terrorist Hotline had been ‘hacked’ and ‘activists’ claims that they were able to listen unrestricted to confidential communications. We are confident the MPS communication systems have not been breached and remain, as they always have been, secure."

So, two kids have been arrested for something that the police are saying didn't happen?

Something happened. But I don't for a moment think that we have anywhere near the whole story here.

Baffling barcode-on-steroids stickers plaster the EARTH


Re: So do people actually scan these things?

So you read B3ta too?

The newsletter today suggested a link to Goatse was the appropriate thing to do, via a URL shortner of course...




I only ever played the demos of this sadly, but they were great. The first one was one with the blood as red (must have been before it went to the BBFC I suspect), then the games mags got scared, and pumped out the 'German' demos, which had robots instead of people, and the final one had the green blood, but details in the magazine on how to change it to red.

Ah the joys.

Security by obscurity not so bad after all, argues prof


but games can be important

Game Theory is not just about playing games.

From Wikipedia: "Within math, game theory reflects calculated circumstances (games) where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others (Myerson, 1991). It is mainly used in economics, political science, and psychology, and other, more prescribed sciences, like logic or biology. While at first designed to investigate contests where an individual does better at another’s outlay, or zero-sum games, game theory applies a wide range of class relations, and has developed into an umbrella term for the logical side of science, to include both human and non-humans, like computers. Classic uses include a sense of balance in numerous games, where each person has found or developed a tactic that cannot successfully better his results, given the other approach."

Griffin grounds phone-controlled copter until Xmas

Black Helicopters

Muvi Atom

Do we have any details on its lift ablility?

I have a Muvi Atom thats just begging to be loaded onto something like this...

Amazon Payments heads into meat space

Thumb Up

Amazon Store?

Maybe we'll see a physical 'Amazon Store' where you go in, and they have one of each item available to see, no extra stock held, no risk of theft, etc. Minimal staff required, cutting down on that overhead. They could even have kindles on the walls to let you flick through books before you buy, listening stations for mucic you order to be delivered etc.

Would really cut the overheads of a high street, whilst allowing a large range of goods to be stocked, with the 'convience' of home delivery the next day too.

No instant gratification in you shopping to be sure, but I can see advantages.

P.S. anyone wanting to use this idea should apply to me, its mine now, etc.

Acer locates 'missing' tablet strategy


Rubber pointing stick...

"green, ThinkPad-style rubber pointing stick" - I thin you mean a nipple mouse, like those found on older laptops, I replaced the rubber cap on one of mine not that long ago

God-game creator granted Bafta gong

Dead Vulture


I quite agree that Molyneux is a Bulldog, in that he gets his teeth into things, but the company was Bullfrog was it not?

World of diamonds bigger than the Ritz discovered

Paris Hilton

IANAScientist but...

I'd suspect that its something to do with the lack on oxygen maybe?

Just a guess, Paris, cos she might have more of a clue than me...

BA slams stupid security checks


The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits. - Dear Sirs...

"The European Union yesterday certified an X-ray liquid scanner made by Kromek for use at all airports which means that by April 2011 duty free purchases will again be allowed in hand luggage." - I thought that the article on this had made it quite clear that duty free could already be carried on, and that what this would mean was that greater volumes of liquid could now be taken to airside rather than being confiscated...

but maybe not :)

Orange mobile data chucks punters


Have a look at Virgin Mobile

They might be a virtual carrier, but I'm still quite liking the £18 for 150 minutes, 500 texts and 1 gig of data that I'm on with them...

BT hikes call charges


So Glad

that I jumped ship before BT jumped the shark (again)

I've just moved my phone line, and am _so_ glad i did so, all day calls for 50p less than I was paying BT now looks even better...

Prisoner of iTunes - the iPad file transfer horror


Not a big iPhone, a big iPod Touch

This really bugs me, the iPad is not a big iPhone, certainly the non-3g version isn't. Its far far closer to a big iPod Touch.

Scotland Yard criticised over raid on Parliament


re:What security failure? - AC @ 12:04 GMT

This brings not reading the article to a whole new level...

Microsoft pulls Windows 7 balloons from Euro 'launch parties'


All Wrong

Maybe it's the other way around, and the balloons were actually shopped into the picture...



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