* Posts by Kevin Johnston

1374 posts • joined 6 May 2007


Subcontractors working on CityFibre's £45m Derby rollout threaten to 'rip up tarmac' in dispute over payments

Kevin Johnston

Re: What!

This has always been the way on the Island. Binstead High Street had different sections dug up for over two years continuously. When they finally finished and re-painted all the markings it was less than a week before the next hole appeared

Refreshing: An Office update that won't frighten the horses

Kevin Johnston

A pixel here and a pixel there and soon you will be able to display the menu options how they were originally meant to be in glorious Supermarionation

Ex-IBM whistleblower's suit back in court, 8 years after he alleged irregularities in $265m IRS software deal

Kevin Johnston

But did IBM get the email?

DoS vulns in 3 open-source MQTT message brokers could leave users literally locked out of their homes or offices

Kevin Johnston

Re: Patch a key

With most locks on uPVC doors, if you insert the key in one side then it stops a key being fully inserted from the other. Was told this morning of a relative having done than before suffering a medical issue and it required the Fire Service as it was a 3rd floor flat but had an open window.

So DOS beaten by backdooring (ish)

Remember those wacky cyberpunk costumes in Hackers? They're on display in London this week

Kevin Johnston

Re: Hack the Planet!

Try going back to the early 80's when Bird of Prey was on TV. This was a VERY plausible 'hacker' scenario and would have been a secret nightmare for every security force as this pre-dated almost all the automated data-gathering which most people now seem to delight in feeding their whole life story to.

Apple's expert witness grilled by Epic over 'frictionless' spending outside the app

Kevin Johnston

Re: In-App purchases

Out of curiousity I did a count-up and I have installed a whole 9 Apps on my phone not including the OS apps. Of those, 3 are to replace OS items with ones I prefer such as maps/weather etc, 3 are 'loyalty' apps for coffee/shopping/travel, one is an alarm monitoring and one is a game.

Not much room for in-app fees there :)

Train operator phlunks phishing test by teasing employees with non-existent COVID bonus

Kevin Johnston

Re: But isn't this what (real) criminals would do?

You presume there has been a bonus in the past for the low level workers (as opposed to the senior management). If it has never happened before then how would they know if they need to register or not?

The Wight stuff: Marconi and the island, when working remotely on wireless comms meant something very different

Kevin Johnston

Other things nearby

You mention Ventnor but not the radar site? Very close (isn't everything on the IoW) on St Boniface Down and another landmark site

Streaming mad: EC charges Apple with abuse of dominance, distorting competition in Spotify case

Kevin Johnston

"At the core of this case is Spotify’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows"

So when you say 'No Store', you mean the 2 (OK, 3 with Microsoft) stores which claw money into their coffers with an iron fist by forcing all payments to be made through the store with a cut for the house, kind of a 'nice app, it would be a shame if people couldn't download it any more'. I also liked the bit about how Apple made Spotify a giant of a company implying that Spotify now owed Apple a pay-back

Watchdog 'enables Tesla Autopilot' with string, some weight, a seat belt ... and no actual human at the wheel

Kevin Johnston

Re: Hmm ...

There was an incident at a Radar site where a tech was working up the tower having carefully taken the 'Man aloft' key with him. Officer came along and wanted to use the system so got the spare key from the safe and turned the transmitter on.

No matter how hard you try, someone will find a way

Irish privacy watchdog sticks GDPR probe into Facebook after that online giveaway of 533 million profiles

Kevin Johnston

Well, now we know what tio use as DoB. Will Google notice that all their customers were born on 1st Jan 1900 do you think?

Kevin Johnston


I have had the nagging too but it seems that any date which defines you as over 13 years old is good enough. I also tried to find out what legislation demanded this with no success and since an acocunt is required to be able to use an Android-based phone it seems to be aimed at reducing sales since there will be little this provides which Google didn't already have in other forms

FCC urges Americans to run internet speed app to counter Big Cable's broadband data fudging

Kevin Johnston

Excuse my ignorance but...

I am probably about to drown in downvotes but is it not the case where the ISP quoted figure is megabits while the download tracker is megabytes? Not to say this magically brings the observed download speed in synch with the ISP's quoted but it would explain getting around a tenth of the quoted speed.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

Kevin Johnston

Re: ran out of ram

While I was an apprentice doing a stint in the cable build area a deathly hush came one morning and everyone looked over at one of the wiremen who had almost completed a cable loom for a Comms cabin and found the shrouds for the 128-way connectors sat on the desk. He was calm, collected, just picked up his coat and went home.

When he came in the next day he found his Team leader and the manager had re-worked the loom and fitted the shrouds. One of the guys explained that it could happen to anyone and the guy it happened to would have been first in line to help anyone else with an issue.

Mullet over: Aussie boys' school tells kids 'business in the front, party in the back' hairstyle is 'not acceptable'

Kevin Johnston

Re: Well done!

Ah those far-distant days of believing you looked old enough to drink. My friends and I were thrown out of our regular when we went in on an 18th Birthday pub-crawl for the elder statesman of the group.

Diary of a report writer and his big break into bad business

Kevin Johnston

Re: A Simple Observation...

Read a Sci-fi story about that where someone developed a machione to read contracts and turn them into simple English. Was a failure until they realised they could reverse the direction and turn a short clear note into a 200 page Thesis

Surprise: Automated driving biz finds automated driving safer than letting you get behind the wheel

Kevin Johnston

Re: Something's wrong here

Sort of supporting this viewpoint(ish)....

It was shown that ABS was not as effective as some drivers in some circumstances. This was qualified by pointing out that the drivers were professional racing drivers and the circumstances were very unusual. In the normal situation where ABS saves lives (Ice/Heavy Rain etc) it was leagues ahead of normal drivers with non-ABS braking.

If you cherry-pick your research it can come back to bite just like when I point out to my wife all the studies showing lots of black 'full-leaded' coffee is good for you...She then points to the mountain of studies which would beg to differ

The torture garden of Microsoft Exchange: Grant us the serenity to accept what they cannot EOL

Kevin Johnston

Ah...Exchange Admin

Having been involved very peripherally with Exchange for many years I have watched with 'Cannot look away car-crash horror' at the way even the simplest activities have morphed from clumsy to odd to WHY? as the versions changed. I have even had the luxury of official training course where the Instructors themselves have shaken their heads at some of the decisions such as processes which were complex, then got a GUI, then a GUI update to show the Powershell equivalent command, then having the GUI removed and only permitting the Powershell command (including very long hex strings for critical values).

Dear Exchange Admins...You have my sympathy

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a beer: Beware the downloaded patch applied in haste

Kevin Johnston

Re: I haven't seen a good game of Reply-to-All Tennis in years

The real embarrassment factor comes when everyone obligingly bats back to all with 'please remove me...' etc etc etc and you have over a thousand people getting spammed in the tennis. Oops, I missed out the important bit...It was to the core IT Admin Team distribution list.

Apple faces app store payments fight in Arizona, Throttlegate suit in Portugal

Kevin Johnston

Re: 1 million is too large a number

I can understand why you say that but I think they have pitched it very well. With over 7 million people in Arizona, setting a '1 million in a year' trigger would guarantee to catch Apple and Google while still soundign to be a high threshold. It also gives an easy number for the other states to bounce off when setting their trigger levels

Ever felt that a few big tech companies are following you around the internet? That's because ... they are

Kevin Johnston

Re: Not quite true

I suspect this comes from the same thought process as the one in Australia which puts Facebook's nose out of joint.

Continual chatter about these companies and their net presence tends to numb people to just how big they are and it takes an activity like this to shock people into resetting the marker for what big really means on the web

British govt emits fuzzy vision for UK version of American boffin special forces group Darpa

Kevin Johnston


I presume this will be a different ARIA to the one which had the VAT confusion recently?

Groupware is not dead! HCL drops second beta of Notes/Domino version 12 and goes all low-code and cloudy

Kevin Johnston

Re: Dedicated desktop clients will be less important thanks to improved web design

The big difference is that they are targetting all the existing databases out there which should now appear in a browser looking the same as if you opened it in the Notes client, without needing to re-code.

Watch this space: Apple offers free repairs for the self-bricking Apple Watch SE and Series 5 wearables

Kevin Johnston


Since just about eveyone has a mobile which shows the time with little or no effort (OK, maybe you have to reach into your pocket and take out your phone, what a chore) could I take that £20, ignore the watch and upgrade myself to an M&S meal or is that being a snob?

Phishing awareness gone wrong: Facebook tries to seize websites set up for staff security training

Kevin Johnston

Re: Where is human decision making?

I get the feeling that common sense needs to be re-branded to 'once in a lifetime' sense

There's no 'I' in Teams so Microsoft issues 6-month warning for laggards still on Skype for Business Online

Kevin Johnston

Re: Kill it now

Just wait until you discover the joy of being deluged by Meeting invites and chats launching almost at random as people start to play with Teams. Then there is the joy of trying to delete old chats (you can't) or removing a file added into a chat by someone (this can be done but requires waiting until the 3rd full moon of the month and having a three-eyed goat and vial of unicorn tears to hand)

Europe considers making it law that your boss can’t bug you outside of office hours

Kevin Johnston

Oh yes....do you live to work or do you work to live. In the early stages of your working life it will be the first but once you have been round the block a few times you realise the second option is the way it has to be to survive

Pirate Bay co-founder criticises Parler for its lack of resilience

Kevin Johnston

Re: Geeks versus Politicians

'flood Parler with non-racist, democracy supporting, inclusive posts and posters?'

So similar to how the Proud Boys had their hashtags hijacked by the LGBTQ+ community (including the Canadian Navy!!) to water down their impact

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

Kevin Johnston

Eye of an eagle

While working on flight simulator visual systems I was supporting a senior engineer with testing some upgrades and one area was not working as expected. We traced the fault to a single card but everything about it looked good according to all the circuit diagrams etc. As we walked back to the test area to have another go we passed another engineer who shall be known as 'The Guru' as from us passing 6 feet away at walking pace he looked at the card we were carrying and said "that's the wrong chip type". Apparently one of the 40 or so discrete ICs on the board was a 74Fxxx and should have been a 74HCxxx. We changed it and all worked perfectly

As Uncle Sam continues to clamp down on Big Tech, Apple pelted with more and more complaints from third-party App Store devs

Kevin Johnston

Re: Its about the money

I can see your thought here but you have fallen into the same metaphor that allows the monopoly to exist. They do not own a shop or a market stall, they own the whole town/market in which they also have a shop/stall. Everyone else that wants to have a shop/stall pays them a fee before they can even start to sell anything and then pays commission on everything they sell. Even if these 3rd parties make a loss, Amazon still makes money from them.

eBay lost the lead in this because they were too casual and allowed Amazon to steal their market with delivery service etc which kept all the profits and customer data in house. This gave Amazon new avenues to push offerings and enhance their grip

US Department of Homeland Security warns American business not to use Chinese tech or let data behind the Great Firewall

Kevin Johnston

Obvious thing becomes obvious

So all those 'Doomsayers' that have been going on about the IoT junk security being a problem may not have been nutters after all....Whatever next, Pope is a member of the Catholic faith? Bears defacate in woodland areas?

May be an old phrase now but no less accurate...As you sow, so shall you reap

Microsoft adds Breakout functionality to Teams that Zoom has had for ages – and people still don't like it

Kevin Johnston

Breakout rooms?

If you have so many people in the meeting that some need to go off into their own room, DON'T INVITE SO MANY!!!

That allows those who actually have work piling up to avoid the meeting and get on with all the stuff they got allocated in the meeting that just finished so they are ready to report on it in the next meeting which starts in an hour or so

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us

Kevin Johnston

Re: Misses the point

Supporting those websites is fairly easy, first register with them (contact them if there is no firect registration method) and then either pay for services they offer or else donate with a comment that you will support them if they maintain a ad/track free status. Statements like that from people who are giving them money will weigh much more heavily than vague 'we could earn you millions' from someone asking them to hand over money to implement focussed advertising

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more

Kevin Johnston

Re: Instagram is the worst

My catchall address just leaves them dangling in the breeze until they die. I used to bounce them back but a certain 'Blacklist Provider' deems NDRs to be SPAM and adds you to their blacklist. They have a very aggressive response to people who push back and so thanks to them I had to stop being quite so helpful

Kevin Johnston

I had this...

but on my mobile.

I received a text saying my order at Argos Cheadle would be available for collection the following day. It came in the same message thread of an Argos order I had made personally so it was clearly coming from the right source but it wasn't my order. Got through to Argos who were very good about it and confirmed it was a real order but the person had mis-entered their mobile number and let me know there would be other texts but to ignore them. They seemed pleased I had thought to check this out and not only were they easy to contact but they did what seemed to be all the right things to check this was not a scammer.

Why do I feel I have now used up all my luck with telephone support?

Infused with the spirit of Christmas, TalkTalk decides to extend cut-off deadline for Business email domain

Kevin Johnston

Maybe they could....

Such a shame that a communications company is showing itself so bad at managing communications, yet so typical. I just wonder how hard it would be for TalkTalk to offer a service to autoforward mail to an address chosen by the customer (that would be the person who has been giving you money for this service). Something like that should only require minimal hardware/cost but gets you maximum brownie points. You could even leave it running for several months to ensure and effective transition period and earn even more brownie points. Soon you could have enough to pay off the debt of one poor decision.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah

Kevin Johnston

Very telling survey

Had a look at the results and it seems we Reg readers are even more cynical that I thought. There is hope for us yet

EU says Boeing 737 Max won't fly over the Continent just yet: The US can make its own choices over pilot training

Kevin Johnston

I still have some playing card decks from various airlines...in fact in my desk drawer just now is one from American Airlines, one from Lufthansa and one from Royal Jordanian

[Checks meeting agenda...] Where does it say 'Talk cr*p and waste everyone's time'?

Kevin Johnston

I got myself a very nice bluetooth headset which includes a cable for those times when the meeting lasts longer than the battery. Unfortunately what I didn't realise was that the cable only includes connections for the headphones and not for the microphone. Now when the battery runs down I have to sign out of the meeting, what a shame...and amazing how often that 'last gasp' of the battery comes in when people won't take 'shut the **** up' as a hint to stop talking

Here's a little Intel: Beware of Linux graphics vendors bearing gifts of shared code – open-sourcer

Kevin Johnston

Re: Alternativly

I agree that public availability is good but my take from this is that the Intel process is a 'You get what you get' with no opportunity to have people understand how the code got to where it is which is critical for support or even forking. I have no idea what the level of commenting is inside the code which may explain thought processes which may make my point moot but even if the Intel devs are a complete souk it is still a single corporate structure and objective which will drive the code direction.

Apologies for the rambling incoherency, must be due more caffeine

Wondering what to do over the holiday season? How about aiming a laser at commercial aircraft and then spending years of your life in prison?

Kevin Johnston

Re: Polarizing filter

To be fair to the OP there was serious thought about having polarised headlights and windscreens for cars which did have some logic behind it. Your own headlights would continue to be effective as you are looking at scattered returns while oncoming lights would appear appreciably dimmed. It was one of those 'if we were starting from scratch' plans as it would require brighter headlights to match current visibility which then blinds people who do not have the polarised screen (along with pedestrians/cyclists etc etc...but still a good school science project)

Apple suffers setback in epic Epic Games games fight: Federal judge zaps damages counterclaim

Kevin Johnston

How best to describe it?

In a lot of retail settings they use 'loss leaders' as a way of getting people in and expect to make their money back through other purchases. Here we have Apple making a profit when someone enters town (when the user purchases their phone/iPad), making a profit when they buy from a shop (purchasing an app) and making more profit when the person wants to play with the item they bought (in-app 'non-physical' purchases)

It's a great dictatorship if you can swing it.

Let’s check in with that 30,000-job $10bn Trump-Foxconn Wisconsin plant. Wow, way worse than we'd imagined

Kevin Johnston

Re: Trump is a con man

He has assets? I thought they were all securities for loans etc

Who knew?

We bought a knockoff Lego launchpad kit from China for our Saturn V rocket so you don't have to

Kevin Johnston

Re: Yeah, but

That's not a moon!

Here's US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search

Kevin Johnston


This is one of those 'good intentions' stories isn't it. Clearly phrased requests with a very narrow focus produced a very small pool of results leading to a clear and appropriate suspect.

This is then the supporting evidence for the next request which may not be quite so precise but it still looks OK..etc etc

BOFH: Rome, I have been thy soldier 40 years... give me a staff of honour for mine age

Kevin Johnston

Re: Dabsy & Simon

Presuming you actually like Sherry...actually scratch that

Facebook's anti-trademark bot torpedoes .org website that just so happened to criticize Zuck's sucky ethics board

Kevin Johnston

Re: No evidence of phishing

Sadly there is no requirement to prove anything you say when you run a takedown scam. If I remember rightly, the documentation for this process is much the same as sworn evidence so if their statements are false then this would be at contempt of court or similar which is a criminal offence.

Any lawyers out there want to make a name for themselves?

IBM manager had to make one person redundant from choice of two, still bungled it and got firm done for unfair dismissal

Kevin Johnston

Re: And so the other guy

As welll, probably

Microsoft? More like: My software goes off... Azure AD, Outlook, Office.com, Teams, Authenticator, etc block unlucky folks from logging in

Kevin Johnston

That's lucky

Imagine the chaos if this was instead a company that delivered updates to your computer at all hours of the day and night and forced a reboot after each one

US Air Force shows off latest all-electric flying car, says it 'might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie'

Kevin Johnston

Re: OK i get it, its a demonstrator but...

For taking out airborne entities such as this, FOD is your friend. You don't specifically target any particular part of the vehicle, you just put large quantites of 'bits' in a dense cloud right in the flightpath and

let the speed of the vehicle/rotors do the rest.



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