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869 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose


If you don't care about down-voters, why do you care enough to tell us you don't care?

Texas says 'howdy' to completely driverless robo-cars on its roads


Re: cyclists

Yep, it's known that cyclists are a difficult problem for autonomous vehicles. They sometimes behave like vehicles and sometimes like like pedestrians. It's difficult to work out which is the front and which the back. It's reckoned the only solution might be, as with pedestrians, to keep them segregated, chopping up communities even more with fenced-off roads.


Driverless cars? Pedestrians will know they can always cross in front of them and they'll have to screech to a halt. Or do Texan laws simply allow pedestrians to be run over?

Firefox 54 delivers sandboxes Mozilla's wanted since 2009


Re: I'll try it

Does "on the road" mean that you cycle or use public transport? If not, you have 100W available from your cigarette lighter.


Re: I'll try it

Where do you work? In a cave?

PC, Ethernet and tablet computer pioneer 'Chuck' Thacker passes



Passes what? A kidney stone?

No disrespect to the deceased - just to the ever more timid euphemisms.

Vodafone to block its ads from appearing next to 'fake news'


"fundamentally at odds with their values and beliefs"

Like paying taxes, you mean?

Tech industry thumps Trump's rump over decision to leave Paris climate agreement



@AC: "Why the f**k should I listen to a grown man who makes a living drawing stick men?"

If that's the only rebuttal you can muster, you truly have lost the argument.


Re: Not the first.

I don't.

You'll get a kick out of this: Qualcomm patents the 'Internet of Shoes'


A nod to Douglas Adams is appropriate at this point, I feel.

Apple blocks comms-snooping malware


Talking of the English language...

"dropped an update"

Does that mean an update was made, or an update wasn't made?

Ubuntu 17.04 beta FACT: It's what's on the inside that matters, not looks


Re: multi-monitor support forgotten

In what way is it "wrecked"? Sounds from your posting that there problem is limited to those using AMD graphics cards on all OSs.

Scottish court issues damages to couple over distress caused by neighbour's use of CCTV


Re: CCTV coverage, where is the line drawn?

@ Natasha Live:

"ICO has only has power when businesses are involved and not private citizens."

From the link so helpfully provided earlier: "The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regulates and enforces the Data Protection Act (DPA) ... if your CCTV covers any areas beyond the boundaries of your property it will no longer be regarded as domestic processing and be exempt from the DPA."

"Also it is fine to record public areas such as the Queen's highways. This is how Google gets to drive their cars around and News gets to show busy streets, etc."

Haven't you noticed that Google Street View images don't move, have no time and date attached, and also have all personal information blurred out?

And what happens when someone enters the area where the professional recording system of which you boast has already started operating, so that they don't hear the announcement?

I think you need to do some more research before you find yourself in hot water, starting with the realisation that however pricey is your law firm in Leeds, the information they give is unlikely to trump that presented on a government website.

Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'


Re: Will it.....

This is the disrupt that your current vehicle does.


Re: Yeah right...

They're talking about electric cars. This has been through a journalist's filter.

Android's Hover feature is a data HOOVER


Re: Works pretty well in Windows 10 [..] the notifications are standard

Yes indeed - that's why there are so many standards!

Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike



Don't they sell more the more expensive they make them?

Ubuntu 16.10: Yakkety Yak... Unity 8's not wack


Re: "Unity 7 works just fine"

Confused - do the downvoters not know that there is an auto-hide option for the launcher, or do they just not believe me when I say that my launcher won't hide? It is worse than useless because with the auto-hide option, the launcher appears on top of maximised windows, hiding part of them; with the fixed launcher, maximised windows are sized to avoid it.



"Ubuntu 16.10 brings the Ubuntu kernel up to version 4.8, which is good news if you've had the misfortune of trying to run Linux on a Skylake machine."

Why, what does it do that kernel 4.3 didn't, which was the series that started to support the 530 integrated graphics? 16.04 uses 4.4.


"Unity 7 works just fine"

...unless your launcher refuses to auto-hide. Any more annoyances?

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack


Australia vs UK

@Pompous Git: I see that the base interest rate in Australia is currently 1.5%; in the UK it's 0.25%, making PV a correspondingly better investment compared with sticking your savings in a bank. And of course the tariff models are separate. But I didn't get PV just for financial reasons.

You also dis the technology on the grounds that it can raise your neighbours' voltage and blow their appliances. Yes, that might happen if there are two of you on the end of a long piece of damp string, but in my suburban setting it has no noticeable effect at all on the voltage, which I monitor at the most sensitive point - the inverter, as I have a low impedance supply. So you can't generalise, especially considering that the maximum power it has ever generated is about 3.5kW, which is scarcely more than a kettle. Putting on a kettle will reduce the voltage the same amount as full sun (with clouds around it, i.e. momentarily) will increase it. In addition, IIRC the distribution company has the right to refuse permission for you to connect if it thinks there is enough installed capacity in the area to cause an issue, but I would be interested to know how often this has happened, if ever.

You may not be aware that in the EU a simple fudge was made to harmonise the UK/IRL 240V with 220V elsewhere by mandating that all appliances must operate at 230V+6%-10%; this would not have happened if things would be upset too easily.

PS "MIssus"? How presumptuous!


Backwards-running meters

@Martin-73: "A standard twisty wheel with pointers meter will run backward during feed-in."

A standard twisty wheel with pointers meter which doesn't have a ratchet will run backwards, but as soon as you register your PV installation (which you have to if you want any generation tariff), your electricity company will be very keen to change it for an electronic one.

Incidentally, these dumb meters (or the one I have anyway) indicate on their displays if they have ever experienced reverse energy flow, presumably to detect fraud. The LED that flashes for every fraction of a kWh consumed also comes on steadily during periods of reverse energy flow.


Dying pensioners

@ledswinger: "Unless you dispute the official line on climate change, fuel poverty and excess winter deaths, then it is a simple matter of fact that all the eco-bling of wind turbines and PV saves polar bears, but kills pensioners."

Very smug little argument, but ignores the fact that the brokenness of the energy market means vastly inflated prices unless you religiously change supplier every year, which is just the sort of thing that the poor pensioners you are using as your emotional pawns are not going to do (just as they are not likely to take up green incentives such as insulation grants). Direct your ire at the big six rather than microgeneration, which they hate as it undermines their monopoly.

Still, I'm glad that you think it saves polar bears.


Exploding capacitors

@PNGuinn: Ooh, that might be fun!

Probably not. The inverter is in a steel case with a very chunky aluminium heat sink on the front, so it would require quite a major conflagration for it to get out. And the capacitors are quite likely just to fail to capacitate, rather than go out in a blaze of glory.


Re: Downvoted pv panels

Perhaps it's because I don't live in Australia that I never have to clean my solar panels, Pompous Git. Find it hard to believe by all means, but confirmation bias is a powerful thing, and judging by the unnecessary advice about working on roofs, it's not hard to guess your opinion on solar PV.

A replacement panel will have its own micro-inverter. They are a better than stringing panels in series because partial shading has a lesser effect, but 5 years ago they were not economical. The faulty panel can just be taken out of the string and and the existing inverter will work just fine with the remaining ones.


Re: Are your WiFi devices built using old valve tech?

Shurely the worse mistake is not to know the difference between power (kW) and energy (kWh).


Re: Downvoted pv panels

"(especially taking into account ongoing costs such as maintenance, cleaning, etc)."

They don't need regular maintenance or cleaning or "etc", whatever that might be. I've had solar PV for 5 years now with no cleaning or maintenance whatsoever, no noticeable drop-off in performance, and my non ideally-situated 2.75kWp installation has generated more than 12MWh. From what I read, the capacitors in the inverter might die eventually, but so far so good.

Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that


Re: Actually quite useful

"Because they're cheaper?" No, because they were cheaper when you were sucked in. Do you still check to see if they are still cheaper?


Re: Play-Doh???

More logical for you - not more logical for them. As has been pointed out, the only purpose of these is to sell you overpriced branded goods with the ultimate weapon of concealing the price entirely, which they wouldn't do if you could choose what you bought.


"Saved a blinking fortune."

Really? The next time, before you order something you didn't really need because it was available with Prime, you should look around to see how much it costs elsewhere. It might be a revelation.

Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021


Re: It's nowhere near ready yet

"How are automated cars going to deal with those if they can miss a white lorry?"

Because for every widely-publicised incident like that, there are 100 non-newsworthy incidents of preventable collisions being caused by human drivers which would have been avoided by autonomous vehicles. You so eloquently described how you were misled in a similar situation; how do you even know that your average driver might not have crashed into that white lorry too?

English Uber alles in London taxis? No way, TfL – taxi app titan


Black cab dinosaurs

@astrax: "going for regular examinations (called "appearances") in which the examiner can ask for practically any road, cul-de-sac or point of interest in a 20 mile radius"

Why? Just why, nowadays? Because "the Uber drivers' SatNav fluffing mid journey"? Car breaking down is more likely.

Virgin signs up record ultrafast broadband subs


Re: Meh

I've had Virgin but not Openreach availability for years.


Re: "The proof is in the pudding"

I take your point, smartypants, but upload speed is becoming more important with our ever-increasing cloudiness, and I'm not sure this was anticipated when the specification of DOCSIS 3 was hammered out. According to the Wiki, they appear to be addressing that now with version 3.1+.

We're not talking about symmetric communication here - just slightly less blindingly asymmetric.


"The proof is in the pudding"

No it isn't, it's in the eating of the pudding.

But don't forget Virgin's dirty little secret - upload speeds.

Violence, vandals and vomit: London's naughtiest tech Tube stations revealed


"a collision, or worse"

Ooh do tell us - what's worse?

The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code



Lightning is weird, but calling it lightening is more weird.

Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right


Re: Battery....?

Yes. And Samsung devices have a pen holster, so you don't lose it, unlike MS or Apple. If Apple had a holster, it could contain a connector to charge the battery the Apple Penci has to have.


Licensing issues too, maybe?


Re: Probably the best (...) in the world



Re: Still using my Note 2

@AC "which I find pretty useless as it's just not practical running that from a backpack when hiking etc"

Chasing Pokemon, you mean. :)

Samsung eyeballs new Note


64GB of RAM?

You seem to be making a habit of this...


Re: Fixed battery - disaster

"Disaster"? No-one cares that tablets and increasingly laptops have non-removable batteries, so why worry about phones? People seem to be living in the past, when batteries really didn't last very long.

Huawei P9 Plus: Leica-toting flagship gets a big brother


Re: Barelling

@Paul Crawford: I agree, especially as you can still market your camera as having the same number of pixels, and that big number is the only thing that matters anyway...



"barrelling, for which there is no magic cure in a 7mm thin device"

Do you mean barrel distortion? There's an easy cure: reverse the distortion in software. Of course this results in non-uniform resolution, but is a technique much larger cameras employ.

PS I think you mean 64/128GB of flash memory, not RAM.

TP-Link fined $200k, told to be nice to wireless router tinkers after throwing a hissy fit


It is, but because different jurisdictions have different limits, these different limits now somehow have to be enforced in hardware rather than software, which means more product variations, leading to higher cost.

Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct


Excellent article

Thank you. However, while it may be the world's only swinging aqueduct, it isn't the only moving one. There is the much more modern Falkirk Wheel which is just as mind-boggling as it rotates in a vertical plane, without tipping the water out! (I guess though that you could argue that this isn't an aqueduct as it doesn't carry water across something!)

IPO spews email addresses to hundreds of recipients. Twice


Why oh why...

...can't email clients pop up an "are you sure?" if you try to send something with more than a few addresses in To: and Cc:?

ZTE Axon 7: A surprise flagship contender


Controller chip refuses to charge it any more?

What? Never heard that one before. Battery charge controllers are not like printer toner cartridge chips you know.


"a battery that can be removed and replaced in less than ten seconds"

Except that's not the whole story, is it? To change the battery requires the phone to be rebooted; to connect it to an external battery, assuming it wasn't completely flat, results in no loss of service.