* Posts by Dave Horn

46 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737

Dave Horn

Airbus version: when you get into the pilot's seat and try to talk to ATC, don't push the big tempting red button on the sidestick that's conveniently located under your thumb...

Windows Mobile users suffer backup super-slurp as Redmond forgets Wi-Fi switch

Dave Horn

You install a preview build, you get what you pay for.

And how big can a backup of text messages be? I've just had a look at the backup from my old phone on OneDrive and it's 300MB for everything. No offence, but if your data allowance is less than that you should be finding another provider.

Aroused Lycra-clad cyclist prompts Manchester cop dragnet

Dave Horn

Even if they catch him, it'll never stand up in court.

Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

Dave Horn

Re: He could have saved himself 1.999999 billion years if he used the shovel!

The impression I had is that he only figures this out at the very last minute, at which point he can't get the shovel.

What makes you think he's on Gallifrey and not Earth 2 billion years into the future?

iPad data entry errors caused plane to strike runway during takeoff

Dave Horn

Re: keyboards

Not sure how 35 transposed to 51.

Depending on how the Boeing performance app is written, it could be slowing the whole OS down. You hit a few keys on the keyboard, nothing happens, you try again at which point it catches up and you enter a string of gibberish into the data field.

Dave Horn

Re: Using toys as tools...

The temperature for the engines is called the flex temp (in Airbus-land anyway) and it stems from the idea that most engine wear happens at high power settings. Engine power reduces with increasing air temperature, so the computer calculates the maximum temperature that the plane can get airborne and still meet climb gradient / obstacle clearance requirements.

This is the assumed temperature mentioned in the report. Putting a higher figure in here tells the engines to produce less thrust. By entering speeds that are too low, there's insufficient lift to get the true weight of the aircraft off the ground at those speeds and so instead of getting airborne the plane rotates around the axis of the wheels until the tail hits the ground. (doesn't require much torque at all, most of the weight is already being taken by the wings but not quite enough to get the wheels off the deck).

Dave Horn

Re: Using toys as tools...

I fly the A320 and use an iPad on a daily basis at work. I agree with most of the points you make but there's one big difference between the iPad and the PC...

The iPad is completely locked down by Apple and has limited RAM. For the home user (ie browsing the web etc) this isn't a problem but when you navigate back to, say, your charting app to discover that iOS has closed it in the background to free up memory it's a PITA. Tasks that require a lot of CPU horsepower - take off performance, for example - take bloody ages on an iPad but are instantaneous on a Core i5 laptop.

Another problem related to that is that if you have an app problem the only solution is to delete it entirely and reinstall it. You lose all the data associated with it - in my case that's 4GB of charts to be re-downloaded and all the annotations made over the last year or so wiped.

Half the apps don't survive an iOS upgrade without glitches - at least .NET doesn't tend to break between Windows Updates. Battery life is also an issue on the iPad; generally it won't get you through more than about 2 sectors without needing a top-up and we all carry external power packs to help.

Personally I'm not convinced that the iPad is the way to go and other airlines are starting to feel the same way, with multiple major carriers moving to the Surface 3.

Google engineer names and shames dodgy USB Type-C cable makers

Dave Horn

Re: Depend on a cable?

Why would anyone in the right mind depend on a cable from an unknown supplier to protect their expensive kit.

I suspect that would be because the new Nexus series of phones only come with a USB type C cable. Good luck copying anything to/from your phone unless you're willing to sit and wait while it goes over WiFi.

Hands On with Windows 10 Mobile build 10572

Dave Horn

Re: Books


"I'm not remotely interested in that. Or Xamarin, or Unity or anything else. I just want a book on how to write apps natively."

Really? So instead of throwing your existing Objective C code into a free tool and having it spit out a working Windows app, you'd prefer to spend months reading a book and then doing all the hard work yourself to achieve exactly the same result?

Something not right here. Are you genuinely an iOS developer?

Work from home when the next big Windows 10 installation arrives

Dave Horn


Please, PLEASE, give the "Microsoft-is-spying-on-you-for-evil-purposes" spiel a rest.

Seriously, banging on about this is simply publicly announcing your ignorance: partly because it's bloody obvious that they'll collect some personal data; partly because it's been happening for ages; and mostly because I didn't hear anyone bleating about it when Google and Apple started hoovering up personal info many moons ago.

I use Android on my phone 'cos I like it (and so far there only seem to be a few black helicopters following me around). The personal data issue doesn't bother me in the slightest, provided Google look after it. I take the same view with MS and Windows 10. And frankly, you know what? At the moment I actually trust Microsoft more simply because they're admitted that they're collecting personal data to make the service better*, not to flog me targeted ads.

* at the moment... ;-)

Windows 10 mobile upgrade coming in December

Dave Horn

Stick with 8.1

My strong advice would be to stick with 8.1. I've been running the tech preview for some time now on a Lumia 930 because I have to and I'm developing an increasing dislike for it. Why?

It's slower - much, MUCH slower - even taking into account it's a technical preview. Slower to boot, slower to unlock, slower to launch apps, slower to take pics, you name it. Even the Lumia 950 demoed the other day is noticeably sluggish and that's able to run a Snapdragon 810 flat out.

It's oh-so-buggy. Yes, it's a technical preview. I can forgive bugs. But this is supposed to be finished in under a month. And it's not. Want to take a picture from the lock screen? Good luck with that. Want to edit it? Maybe, if you're good. Etc. Etc. Even the music app takes 5 seconds to start playing music while it wonders off into the internet to look something up first.

And don't get me started on battery life. In a pinch you can squeeze 3 days out of the Lumia 930 - it's why I bought it - but with Windows 10 it's down to 12 hours. I don't understand the rabid "IT'S EATING MY PRIVACY" response with Windows 10 - after all, Google makes its living from stealing your private data and serving you ads based upon it.

But Windows 10 on a phone is doomed to die a slow and painful death, and I'm not particularly concerned because they've lost the original vision of making it as refreshingly simple and quick to use as possible, something that was lauded in 2011.

Online VAT fraud: Calls for government crackdown grow louder

Dave Horn

Re: Let's talk VAT numbers..

The argument made here is that items are being sold at a price that would be loss-making if VAT were paid by the seller to the wholesaler.

Falcon 9 fireworks display grounds SpaceX

Dave Horn


Anyone else find it weird that in 2015 such a forward-thinking company is still working in pounds and feet?

Chinese takeaway, hold the Google: Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android

Dave Horn

No security issues? Really?

All this faff took about an hour so it’s really no major hardship and the use of a hacked APK doesn't seem to have raised any security issues.

So you've basically given an app of entirely unknown and frankly dubious provenance pretty much unrestricted access to everything on your phone? How can this not "raise any security issues"?

Did you go through every permission that the APK asked for? Do you know what you can inadvertently allow dodgy apps to do on your phone? Take a look at this list...


To be blunt, I think you might want to consider changing the passwords of any accounts you've logged into on this phone, especially bearing in mind that with incorrectly granted permissions an app could silently bypass two-factor authentication.

If you want a cheap Google phone, I think you'd be better off going for a cheap Nexus n or, if available, reflash with a custom ROM from someone like Paul O'Brien of MoDaCo fame.

Microsoft: This Windows 10 build has 'NO significant known issues'

Dave Horn

Search for Paint...

Press Windows key, type "p", and Paint is the first entry in the list. The way it's been since Windows 7.

If you've got to go to town on Windows 10 (and I don't blame you), why not mention the half-baked Continuum feature; the fact that nothing actually works quite right; that settings are STILL spread across about six different apps / programs; the lack of Intel display drivers; Cortana being cranky; the half-finished theming etc etc etc.

Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?

Dave Horn

You could turn your Surface “off” in the approved way, and later find it heating your bag, which is frustrating when battery life is precious. This is fixed, apparently, in Windows 10.

Oh no it isn't...

Windows 8-Facebook sync blown away in API bombing raid

Dave Horn

Not that bad...

Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 both use the newer API (the Facebook app handles the messy bit) so aren't affected.

I found it useful as it added contact pictures to the list, but it's hardly a huge loss and there aren't that many people on either Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8.1 that will (a) care or (b) won't get a free update to Windows 10.

Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

Dave Horn

Speed limit reduction

And this is probably the best reason for reducing the speed limit to 20 mph in urban areas, since autonomous braking is really only effective up to about 30 kph, at which point it's a mitigation tool at best.

Volvo's camera system will track, spot, and react faster than us in and it's about time such systems are mandatory fit. Sure, you won't prevent or eliminate all accidents, and no doubt the feel-the-road lobby will complain about increased risks from people not paying attention, but the evidence is now there.

My experience with autonomous braking is that it reacts very late, and leaves the smallest gap possible between it and the object it's avoiding. If someone goes into the back of you... well, that's their fault.

I bought a Volvo after the salesman challenged me to run him over in the dealership car park, a task I attempted with gusto but ultimately failed at.

(I would, if running the country, obviously balance out the 20 mph in built up areas with a new 40 mph limit on the quieter main roads).

Thousands of UK drivers' details leaked through hole in parking ticket website

Dave Horn

Re: Yet another reason..

Fortunately the police aren't in the act of enforcing civil debts (if a parking ticket can be called a debt in the first place).

Windows 10 for phones: Stepping towards the One True Windows

Dave Horn

Re: Is IE still cack on it?

IE on mobile devices (Windows Phone 8 and upwards) seems comparable to Chrome and Safari for speed and compatibility. The Metro version of IE that shipped with Windows 8 is still one of the nicest touch browsers around.

Think you’re hard? Check out the frozen Panasonic CF-54 Toughbook

Dave Horn

A few years ago I tried to start up a Toughbook which had been stored overnight in an unheated aircraft at -15C to be greeted by the message, "Too cold to start. Please wait".

My own laptop didn't care (and didn't shred the HDD bearings in the cold either).

Windows XP beats 8.1 in December market share stats

Dave Horn

Re: Support is impossible

This is why IT professionals should stay well clear of offering technical advice to friends and family.

Just because you can't wrap your head around Windows 8.1 doesn't mean your Grandad will struggle with it. Set it up with all the tiles they need on the main screen, for a 70 year old, and they need never go near a Start Menu again.

Windows 8 is only an issue if you're constantly swapping between XP / 7 / 8 / 8.1. But Microsoft are damned if they do and damned if they don't when it comes to consistency. IMHO the 8.1 haters have simply never used it and are parroting the popular press. Which, in some respects, is a bit embarrassing if your job involves computers.

Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

Dave Horn

Re: Push-button gear change? Really?

Except... if you have a Opel / GM car with an electronic handbrake you also have hill hold assist as standard, so you don't need to use the handbrake at all.

Take foot of brake, move to accelerator, release clutch, computer releases brake for you.

The electronic handbrake is only practicable when stopped for a long time or parking.

It's nearly 2015 – and your Windows PC can still be owned by a Visual Basic script

Dave Horn

Adobe Flash exploits... still?

You can understand an operating system requiring a steady stream of security updates over time - it's big and clunky with large chunks of code not revised for many years and written before the idea of exploits really took force.

But Flash? Every bloody month there's some new and exciting vulnerability discovered. It's 0.001% the size of an OS yet it seems to have more vulnerabilities than Windows and OSX put together. Not only that but it's got a crap updater that doesn't follow any style or usability guidelines laid down by Microsoft - hardly surprising it's ignored.

Come on Adobe - (a) consider rewriting it from scratch or open sourcing it and (b) integrate it into Windows updates so that fixes are delivered seamlessly.

Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Dave Horn

Re: Bah Humbug

"Diesels are just as bad."

Since a diesel has no throttle your comparison isn't valid. The 2 litre lump in the Vauxhall Insignia (weighing, what, maybe twice as much?) can return upwards of 75 mpg when driven like a vicar and even bumbling around town has never gone below 50 mpg.

Admittedly it may be killing us all with its dioxides, but it has a DPF that seems to work. Still think the best solution for the dinky petrol engines is in the hybrid design where their sole job is to generate electricity under perfect load conditions.

Why hackers won't be able to hijack your next flight - the facts

Dave Horn

Re: But what upgrades the software?

The A320 does indeed have mechanical backup but only for the rudder and horizontal stabilizer. It's designed to allow stable flight during a complete electrical loss or simultaneous failure of all five flight control computers.

In reality, this situation is so spectacularly unlikely it's a largely pointless enterprise and has been ditched on the newer Airbus models.

The A320 will fly perfectly happily and land safely with just one computer functional.

New Doctor Who episode leaks online as proper trailer debuts

Dave Horn

Doctor F****** Who?

I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

Dave Horn

"Material Design?"


Scroll down a bit, see if it looks familiar to you... You almost have to feel sorry for Microsoft here.

Microsoft hopes for FONDLESLAB FRENZY as Surface Pro 3 debuts

Dave Horn


Yeah, it's expensive - but no more so than your typical Ultrabook. I think it's always going to fall down if you compare it directly to the iPad, but it's like comparing apples and... cats.


David Pogue sums it up quite nicely in his article...

Sneak peek: Microsoft's next browser (thanks, IE Developer Channel)

Dave Horn

It's running in a virtualised environment, according to Microsoft.

I quite like IE11 - it's remarkably nippy compared to Chome, which is now a dog on slower machines, and I've not hit anything that renders incorrectly. If only it had AdBlock.

Sony Xperia Z2: What we REALLY thought of this Android fondleslab

Dave Horn

It's not that quick...

I played with one in a shop last week. Flicking through homescreens is still laggy (albeit barely noticeable), just like in the early days of Android tablets.

Yeah, there are a lot of pixels to throw around but my [insert Apple or Microsoft product here] doesn't seem to struggle.

Microsoft’s 'FIRST NOKIA' arrives at £89

Dave Horn

Re: is it just me...

Of course, since the Lumia series with its brightly coloured cases was released six months prior to the iPhone 5C, your argument stands on thin ground.

NHS care.data leaflet shovage: Like a 'notice for Earth's demolition' posted to Alpha Centauri

Dave Horn

"Apathetic bloody planet..."

Noisy qubits destroy data in order to save it

Dave Horn

>> Typically, NIST explains, quantum entanglement experiments do whatever they can to avoid

>> noise, because noise can destroy entangled states (or, The Register supposes, can make

>> it impossible to measure the entangled state, but don't hold us to this).

Noise would effectively perform an independent, random, measurement on the system, making the carefully designed one you were about to do to pointless. The measurement both simultaneously performs the calculation and reveals the result, so in the "noisy" case, there is no entangled state to measure at all.

Amazon's Virginia cloud data center knocked out – again

Dave Horn

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Ahem. Quite a few of these around on The Reg this morning...

Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): The server closed the connection without sending any data.

Virgin ramps 4G to a whopping 90Mbps - and switches it off

Dave Horn

“Which is why EE, when it launched its 4G proposition two weeks ago, also said it would offer fibre optic connections to 11 million UK properties by the end of 2013."

I suspect this is more a case of LLU BT Infinity and not actually dong the hard work of laying cable.

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo

Dave Horn

Nearly £600 and they don't even include a Thunderbolt cable?

I've returned printers costing a tenth of that because the manufacturers are too cheap to chuck a cable in the box.

O2 drops Joggler family tablet

Dave Horn

Not all that bad...

I have three Jogglers (bought when they were £50) and they're used exclusively with the excellent SqueezePlay app running on them. This is getting even better with what the developer calls "Squeeze OS", which is a bare-bones Ubuntu installation that does nothing but fire up into SqueezePlay.

1 euro in every 7 spent on a Visa card

Dave Horn

"...user reluctance (or ignorance) which is preventing more-widespread use."

REALLLY? More likely the fact that despite what Visa says, not all that many cards actually support the contactless feature (ref: Nationwide, Santander etc) and it's still not 100% reliable. Most retailers still tuck away the contactless component of the reader (lookin' at you, Caffe Nero) and the look of utter surprise on the face of the cashiers suggest that they very rarely see contactless payments.

Panasonic DMR-PWT500 3D BD Freeview HD DVR

Dave Horn

So, basically, this is £410 for a DVR that doesn't play most video types; has broken DLNA support, shows adverts in the EPG, and only has 320GB of disk space?

And Panasonic are at a loss to explain why they're about to go under. *slow clap*

US starts charging for online visa-waiver

Dave Horn

As long as we're doing the same in return...

No doubt the proverbial would hit the fan in America if the whole EU made a similar charge in return. After all, all's fair in love and war... :-)

Google's Android market needs Jobsian strongman

Dave Horn

The problem is Google

Android Market feels like a pet project by Google engineers. As a software developer, I don't see why I should have to suffer Market bugs such as my apps randomly not appearing in the Market. It's intensely frustrating for both developers and consumers, and right now the overwhelming feeling is that Google just doesn't care.

It's the other way round with Apple - the App Store is EVERYTHING to them and issues aren't fixed fast enough. Until Google gives me the impression that my time is more than second class (even though they're creaming the profits from the Market), my time is better spent developing apps for iOS.

UK air-traffic offers flying-car-style safety gizmo

Dave Horn


I should think that since it's not approved for navigation, you couldn't sue the manufacturer even if you trundled into the Heathrow Class A zone, for example. Like most things, it's designed to supplement the traditional map, compass, and stopwatch approach.

IMHO the biggest issue in the UK is actually the lack of TCAS, and even transponders, on light aircraft. ATC do a sterling job offering radar information (sorry, "traffic") service, but it's a constant stream of alerts and it only takes one to get through the net. Some people shouldn't be flying in cloud but do, and there's nothing worse than knowing there's something in your proximity and not knowing where it is.

In the US my GNS430 picked up radar data from the ground and overlaid it on the map, which was damned handy.

Crystal ball torches woman's flat

Dave Horn


Bet she didn't see that one coming.

Barnes & Noble chases Amazon with ebook second coming

Dave Horn

But what about...

The rest of the world who doesn't want to read a book on an iPhone or laptop (ie, everyone).

There are perfectly good formats out there which can be read on the vast majority of both computers AND eBook readers such as the Sony Reader. Even better, Adobe Digital Editions can be, uh, "unlocked" quickly allowing you to make a safe and permanent copy of your book.

EC rejects Microsoft's browser promises

Dave Horn

But what about...

If Windows is provided sans-browser, how is one supposed to get onto the internet to download Firefox / IE / Chrome etc in the first place?

I said years ago, with Vista, that all MS needed to do is offer a choice between browsers at installation. If I pick, say, Firefox, the installer will dash off to get the latest version and seamlessly install it behind the scenes.