* Posts by Kevin Johnston

1300 posts • joined 6 May 2007


If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: More of a Who Me? except he got away with it

I still remember with great fondness the Compaq Deskpro systems which were built like vaults and came with spare screws to use when adding extra discs/adaptor cards etc. My favourite version could even have the disc storage turned to be desktop or tower.

Google+ replacement ‘Currents’ to end beta and debut in G Suite on July 6th

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Another product for google to burn

Apologies but I thought that was well known. Any Google product which moves out of Beta is about to be killed off

Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

In the UK, the current Theft Act includes a critical phrase 'for pecuniary advantage'. In essence it means that they are using your property to obtain money which you should have. This came about when people started ransoming back property so they could claim they never intended to keep it or else to show it as security for loans etc before replacing it.

By making digital copies available to all for free of works without permission they are reducing the income the author receives hence theft.

Not the Wright stuff: Bitcoin 'inventor' loses bid to sue YouTuber who called him a liar

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: "neither side was short of a few shekels"

Perhaps hoping they would spare one for an ex-leper

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Embrace...

I think Extend has now been replace by Embugger

Gone in 9 seconds: Virgin Orbit's maiden rocket flight went perfectly until it didn't

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

I see you haven't thought that through properly. The testing phase is built into the plan to get it through the Exec approval steps and used as the removable cushion to meet the original 'launch to market' date

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: "more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality"

Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo etc etc

Unmanned drones to slash NHS delivery times to one-fifth of road 'n' rail transport

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Miles and Miles (of) Bugger All....or at least as close to that as you can get on an island 23 miles side to side and 13 north south

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Yes, lands on the Island at Binstead, oddly, which is in the midst of an area of MAMBA so no great loss if anything happens there even though it is then a nightmare by car/bike to St Mary's hospital. On the mainland they seem to be using Lee-on-Solent which gives them lots of flexibility on flight planning.

Quite impressed with the design as it seems to be very much based on the idea of goof capacity/minimal frills with an excellent view from the camera in the tailplane in case someone has to step in and take control.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Can we just make sure that whatever suit design is used it doesn't have those ()*&^)*&^ lights inside designed to make the wearer readily identifiable but also making it impossible to see out

Coronavirus masks are thwarting facial recognition systems. So, of course, people are building training sets from your lockdown-wear selfies

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: I find your lack of face disturbing ...

There was an image on El Reg recently of a number of ladies from the far east all with masks which appeard to be printed with the lower half of someones face. Now that is the best way to beat facial recognition, does it use the lower half of Sam Smith or the upper half of Joe Soap or simply flag you as Joe Smith?

Tech's Volkswagen moment? Trend Micro accused of cheating Microsoft driver QA by detecting test suite

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Petty or Pedant?

I know I shouldn't rise to this but...

"Most of the driver feels like proof-of-concept garbage that is held together by duck tape"

There is a brand name of Duck Tape but generically it is Duct Tape designed to be used when joining large hoses in ducting which need strength and flexibility at the joints.


Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

I'm confused, how can you say something has gone missing when there is no evidence it was ever there? Is this some Chinese inspired bigly conspiracy?

Donald Trump extends ban on Huawei, ZTE telecoms kit in US companies to May 2021

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

So it is really just a question of which countries you want to allow to overtly monitor your data and which you want put in the covert group...

because of course they are all doing it to some extent

Sky Broadband is not the UK's cheapest, growls ad watchdog

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Disappointingly

While I fully agree with the sentiment there was a very appropriate comment I read from a photographer. He was asked which of the cameras he owned was the best and his response? Whichever one I have with me.

There is the nub of the challenge. As you say, an SLR is not readily luggable but if you are serious about your pictures you will make the effort. If you want snapshots (some of which are likely to be stunning by luck as much as by judgement) then a modern smartphone is actually very good for this and tends to be somewhere about your person at all times

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: What annoys me intensely ...

I'm sorry but nothing can beat the PC Startup error

Keyboard not found, Press F1 to continue

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Let's start a new fad

Perhaps you could add a 'Smart-user' option for those who know how to read a sheet of instructions and can insert plug A into socket A without having to consult all their virtual friends about how they did it and what colour the fire should be.

Does a .com suffix make a trademark? The US Supreme Court will decide as Booking marks its legal spot

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Trademarking an address

I agree with your last part but since every internet presence will include .com or .org or such then the presence of such a suffix in a trademark begs the question of how widely they could enforce it. If they win the fight to trademark booking.com then would a car-hire company or a theatre be blocked from using booking.org or booking.co.uk?

Sophos XG firewalls hacked, hotfix ready. Texts wreck Apple iThings. Yup, business as usual in infosec world

Kevin Johnston Silver badge


Did those nice chaps manage to find out and deal with the person peddling the idea that injecting bleach would cure Covid-19?

Cisco UCS servers slugged by 'This SSD will self-destruct in 40,000 hours' firmware farrago

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Kind of Hertz

Does it not just change from bathtub to square wave?

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Cables with labels on

Surely the cables should have a more meaningful label than just the presumed port number as that would mean the two ends would be unlikely to have matching labels and that way lies madness.

Why I was taught was that cables are labelled with a defined cable number and the purpose/connections for that cable are kept in a table as a known good state.

Signal sends smoke, er, signal: If Congress cripples anonymous speech with EARN IT Act, we'll shut US ops

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

This wouldn't be the first time that US laws on encryption have left them using a lower grade system than the rest of the world. When they limited the encryption levels that could be sold to non-US customers a number of companies went 'Rest of the world only' and increased bitness well beyond that available in the US. Net result was the US Government caved in so they could catch up

Upstart Americans brandish alligators at the almighty Reg Standards Soviet

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: I heard ~9 meters is how far the virus can travel...

Surely you would just call it a Beamon also known as 64 Linguini

Kevin Johnston Silver badge


Would that be length or width?

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: A couple of points to note

Came in to say much the same...

Had to replace my car recently and the new one has DAB/FM unit (with other cruft) and I have been able to do some direct comparisons since I have a fairly limited driving experience at the moment. Living on the edge of a failry large town and curving round the top to get to a supermarket.

DAB - regular 5-20 seconds gaps as it reminds itself what I was listening to

FM - 2 spots on the route where I get interference passing some electrical distribution stuff but listenable from switch on to switch off

'Anything' related to remote working is a winner for Euro disties, but classic enterprise hardware? That's another story

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

Oh yes please....if any company needs a quick boost of income just run a raffle with the winner being the one to pass on the "and don't come back" message

Remember Tapplock, the 'unbreakable' smart lock that was allergic to screwdrivers? The FTC just slapped it down for 'deceiving' folks

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Well....

As a follow on from that, consider the value of the item(s) it is intended to protect. You could easily end up in the position where the lock system is worth more than what it is protecting

Stob's vital message to Britain's IT nation: And no, it's not about that

Kevin Johnston Silver badge


There is no F in Cod?

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Technical management tips

My Father taught me a similar technique when I announce I would follow in his footsteps and become an engineer.

'When it all goes wrong, and it will, get a sheet of A4 paper and explain to it in detail every step you have taken to get to the mess you now have. Before completing the sequence you will realise which step you missed out/messed up.'

What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Zloirock

I wasn't sure what you meant by that so tried searching the web for clues and now apparently I have to have a video conference with HR

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: O tempora, o mores!

As with you, this was a spur for me to try to learn French and I even considered learning Latin to understand the throw-away quips which clearly had relevance. Sadly my desire far outstripped my abilities and I had to rely on better able people to translate for me.

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

For furniture...

try your local charity shops. Yes they are second hand but they are probably cheaper than IKEA and certainly more comfortable/durable and will stand being washed down with the appropriate bleach/anti-septic/anti-biotic/anti-microbal spray

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

I suppose that having fixed the issue they will now be let go a la Maersk?

Google to appeal against €7m fine from Swedish watchdog for failing to remove search results under GDPR

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

I may be wrong but I seem to recall that French Law came from Napoleonic era rules which said 'forbidden unless specifically permitted' unlike UK Common law which was 'permitted unless specifically forbidden'. My favourite in UK law is from the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 which says it is an offence to have an erection on the Village Green.

Kevin Johnston Silver badge


Do I take the risk of mingling with the populace to get in the popcorn and is there a limit on how much I could buy as I suspect this could go on a while as it is not only money Google will want to keep but it establishes a clear precedent that they have to obey the laws of countries outside the US even if they have not had a chance to buy a lower impact version

UK.gov sits down with mobile big four to formalise plans for rural shared 4G network

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

It is probably down to 5G being shorter range and so would need a lot more masts for the same total coverage. They will want maximum return per mast and siting will be a challenge to say the least but also, will there be the interest away from the cities in making use of 5G compared to 4G?...they will probably be too busy fainting from getting a signal at all

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

It does seem a little perverse, the better the internet connection, the more likely you are to be in an area where drones are banned (heavily populated, has an airport etc)

Almost as if the whole idea was to make it impossible to operate a drone (unless you held an excemption from the law, such as TLA agency employees possibly)

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Oh so special's

By co-incidence on a vist there at the moment but in the past I worked in Zurich for almost two years. It took me less than three months to reach the point of tutting whenever the tram was a minute late

Google begs for US Entity List exemption to let Huawei use its mobile services – report

Kevin Johnston Silver badge


This has the potential to be a major impact for Android but the question is which direction will it go. It could be a loosening of the controls on android allowing more options available to phone makers or it could reach the point where Google drop it and it goes into a death spiral. Extreme views maybe but it would only take a couple of the big handset makers to adopt the Huawei approach to wipe out Google's profit from Android

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

It's the usual problem of too few acronyms and too many uses. These days there are very few acronyms that only have one meaning and a lot of meanings are quite niche which can cause confusion/hilarity when small groups collide

Low Earth Orbit = LEO = Law Enforcement Officer etc etc etc

Decent, legal, honest and searchable: C'mon, Ofcom. Let us check up on the ad-slingers ourselves

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Putin a ban on political advertising?

Sadly, with no country specified that has a very high chance of being seen as an accurate local statement wherever in the world you are reading this from

Breaking bad... browser use: New Mexico accuses Google of illegally slurping kids' private data via G Suite

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

We do not use personal information ... to target ads

Hmmm...that is a very specific denial which fails to answer the question of 'Do they collect the information'? Call me fickle (cue some predictable responses) but if you are being so misleadingly precise in your denials it seems to me the accusation is accurate.

Judge Vulcan-nerve pinches JEDI deal after Amazon forks out $42m to pause Microsoft's military machinations

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

That's OK, you can have one of mine

Game over, LAN, game over! Windows software nasty Emotet spotted spreading via brute-forced Wi-Fi networks

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: "after the malware was installed and running on a PC"

I think the PC bit is just a generic phrase as a lot of places I have been over the last few years, both corporate and home, are going the laptop route rather than a desktop because laptops are cheap enough that they can and it saves a lot on desk real estate. For corporates they can implement hot-desking with a docking station plus monitor/keyboard/mouse etc or offer less formal areas using wifi connectivity while at home you can sit anywhere with your laptop and not have trailing cables.

All in all I think the wireless connection is a lot more common these days that a decade ago.

Starliner snafu could've been worse: Software errors plague Boeing's Calamity Capsule

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: "re-verifying flight software code"

So is it not the same as this drone flight stability code I just found?

Beware, Tesla might take away your car's autopilot if you buy its vehicles from third party dealerships – plus more news

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Always read the software license terms and conditions

I can see where you are coming from on that but this is not quite the same category. This is more closely related to software installed in industrial plant or suchlike as it is written for that specific purpose (can't exactly shft this onto a laptop to improve your GTA skills).

A closer parallel would be Ford/VW/etc remotely disabling the turbo if the car is not sold/maintained through their dealership chain. Doesn't stop the car working but very much reduces the driveability/resale value.

Edit: Got to learn to type faster, at least two other commenters got in ahead of me here :(

Canary-build Microsoft browser blocks Microsoft extension from inflicting Microsoft search engine

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: "change the name from Bing to ANYTHING else"

As long as they include Stills, Nash and Young I'm fine with the name change

Android owners – you'll want to get these latest security patches, especially for this nasty Bluetooth hijack flaw

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: Who would not do this?

I think someone forgot to use the Joke icon or /sarcasm tags

Facebook mulls tagging pics with 'radioactive' markers to trace the origin of photos used to build image-recog AI

Kevin Johnston Silver badge

Re: steganography

Of course, yes....add the EXIF data into the published image through the 'watermark' and wait for the usual suspects to scrape a copy then...profit?

Kevin Johnston Silver badge


A practical use for steganography then. Not exactly ground breaking



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