* Posts by Matthew 3

432 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jun 2009


Inventor of the graphite anode – key Li-ion battery tech – says he can now charge an electric car in 10 minutes

Matthew 3

Re: All very well but

When was the last time you did 800 miles in one day?

That's roughly Land's End to John O'Groats, and would take about 15 hours to drive non-stop.

Personally I never want to do more than 200 miles without a break. Time to stretch my legs, have a pee, and grab something to eat is ample for a high-end charger to replace 200 miles of range.

Matthew 3

Re: I'm guessing...

Grid spikes are only an issue with 'dumb' chargers that draw current regardless. There are already some energy tariffs that know when you want to use your car, and pay you to *provide* some of your car's stored power at peak times, and charge it up again ready for when you need it, usually overnight - when much of the generating infrastructure is under-utilised. National Grid aren't anticipating any problems, precisely because of this model.

Once we have a critical mass of electric vehicles, say by 2040, so many petrol stations will likely have gone belly-up that it'll be more of a challenge to find one that has survived.

So it appears some of you really don't want us to use the word 'hacker' when we really mean 'criminal'

Matthew 3

'If 'lifehack' isn't pejorative, 'hack' shouldn't be either.

But as long as you keep 'mobe' from returning we're good.

Death Becomes It: Who put the Blue in the Blue Screen of Death?

Matthew 3


Before they were assimilated into Microsoft the SysInternals website used to have a BSOD screensaver.

Matthew 3

With a name like John Vert

...it really should've been green.

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online

Matthew 3

Re: Modern

Microsoft's standard terms for Universities are agreed with JISC, and mandate data storage in UK datacentres. Most Universities block the use of the handful of Office365 apps which don't (or can't) meet that requirement, such as Yammer.

US starts sniffing around UK spaceports – though none capable of vertical launches actually exist right now

Matthew 3

Black Arrow doesn't count?

I thought that the rocket which launched the Prospero satellite into space was launched from the Isle of Wight. It's tenuous, I'll admit, but surely that would count as a "flight to space from British soil"?

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?

Matthew 3


"...successfully watching an Xbox upgrade has bestowed upon them the technical wherewithal to challenge a group policy put in place to protect the rest of the company from their pedestrian attitude to data security..."

If you're serious about browser privacy, you should probably pass on Edge or Yandex, claims Dublin professor

Matthew 3

Private browsing?

Even with the lame 'buying a present for the wife' excuse there will be plenty who deliberately choose private browsing modes for, ahem, certain activities.

Does that get sent with the same identifier? Hardware or otherwise?

Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months

Matthew 3

Re: Office 365 is 2 years

Fortunately it was renewed last September, so it'll be Sep 2021 before it's an issue, if I understand correctly what is being said here about existing before-the-deadline certs..

Hey GitLab, the 1970s called and want their sexism back: Saleswomen told to wear short skirts, heels and 'step it up'

Matthew 3

Re: bah, humbug, and it's the 60s, not the 70s.

'Non-binary whatevers'? Well done for being dismissive and offensive at the same time.

Whirlybird-driving infosec boss fined after ranty Blackpool Airport air traffic control antics

Matthew 3

Re: Arrogant dickhead

ATCs don't have time to just have a nice chat. What we're dealing with here is an entitled prick who has barged to the front of the queue in a busy shop because they think they're more important than everyone else.

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons

Matthew 3


Microsoft are at least up-front and clear about how long their support will last for, from day one, and what will happen when that support ends. They're far from a perfect organisation, that's for sure, but they don't deliberately stop an old operating system from working just because it's 'out of support'. Yet.

As for drivers, if you're unable to connect a decades-old scanner to your new PC because there's no driver for it, that's hardly the fault of the OS vendor. Would you blame Ford because your old Vauxhall's towbar didn't fit your new car?

And when that day comes that the support ends, the hardware is still fine. You could replace Windows with Linux and keep on using that same hardware for many years to come.

Firefox 72: Floating videos, blocking fingerprints, and defeating notification pop-ups

Matthew 3

Re: Floating Videos? Arrrrgggh!

It's nice to see some more of Opera's pioneering features being picked up by other browsers. ;-)

Microsoft's Teams goes to bat for the other team with preview on Linux

Matthew 3

Re: DDs digging their own grave.

I regularly hear Linux users saying that they wish their preferred operating system would see wider takeup outside the tech community. This will help with that, even if you personally won't use it.

Microsoft explains self-serve Power platform's bypassing of Office 365 admins to cries of 'are you completely insane?'

Matthew 3

Re: Employees buying software for their company?

In my experience getting a line manager to sign off on a business expense is fairly straightforward. And a few quid for software 'which you need for your job' is hardly going to make your manager wince.

The issue here is that IT management have policies and procedures for a reason, done in the best interests of the entire company. So this approach lets anyone with a company credit card bypass the whole of IT administration, and any carefully considered policies and procedures by persuading *one* line manager to tick a box on an expenses form. Far easier to do than get corporate approval for a company-wide IT policy change.

And Microsoft know that down the line when, for whatever reason, the credit card source dries up the clamour from affected users who can't lose their data will create massive pressure on IT to 'just fix it'. Which means Microsoft still get the money.

What the &*%* did you just $#*&!*# say about me, you little &%$#*? 'AI' to filter Xbox Live chat

Matthew 3

"The Good Place" showed how this would (n't) work

The whole idea is forking stupid, invented by ash-holes, and is a load of bullshirt.

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look

Matthew 3

Similar story

In my old job we used an archiving tool to free up space on our Exchange servers. It stuck old emails into a database on another server and replaced them with a shortcut. This ran on all user folders except the 'Deleted Items' folder. So we had at least one user who used 'Deleted Items' for their entire email filing system, just as a way to opt out of archiving.

This was discovered when we instigated a policy which automatically deleted old content from users' Deleted Items folders...

Hard luck, Claranet. You managed to go 29 whole days without an incident

Matthew 3

"No news is bad news"?

Sad thing is, like lots of others here, this has made us realise this company still exists. Raising brand awareness from 'totally forgotten' to 'oh, yeah, them!' may well be seen as a PR success regardless of the reason why this happened.

BOFH: Oh, go on, let's flush all that legacy tech down the toilet

Matthew 3


I was expecting to hear that the toilet-management had been outsourced to BastardCo, with a nice commission for each use. If there's going to be any kind of stream, the BOFH would be making revenue off it.

Bad news from science land: Fast-charging li-ion batteries may be quick to top up, but they're also quick to die

Matthew 3

Re: Another nail in the coffin of electric cars and Li-ion batteries

This is where I see Renault's battery-leasing model as ideal. I like the idea of buying a three-year old car that's lost three quarters of its value, yet I can be certain that if the battery capacity should drop to an unacceptable level I can simply ask the manufacturer to replace it at their cost.

And some of the battery leasing prices are no more expensive than a monthly tank of petrol fir a combustion engine.

For me it solves the single biggest concern about having an electric car. The only downside is that it requires me to drive a Renault...

Let 15 July forever be known as P-Day: When UK's smut fans started being asked for their age

Matthew 3


Will the Opera browser's VPN feature (proxy-a-like) neatly bypass all of the age-verification requirements by making the connection appear to be from another country?

Asking for a friend...

Brit hacker jailed for strapping ransomware to smut site ad networks

Matthew 3

£700,000 ('and probably more') and he'll only serve three years?

I sincerely hope they've seized every last penny of those ill-gotten gains otherwise it doesn't seem like a bad deal. If I knew I would have £700k in taxfree untraceable funds waiting for me afterwards I might be tempted to risk three years of freedom.

NexDock 2: Electric Boogaloo. Crowdfunded laptop shell sequel touts less plastic, more pixels

Matthew 3

Some crowdfunded devices work out well

I've been delighted with my Gemini Psion-a-like. They delivered the device (!) and the promises. In fact they're just about to release an update to the latest version of Android.The ongoing support since I received it has been at least as good as I'd have expected from a big name vendor.

Decoding the President, because someone has to: Did Trump just blow up concerted US effort to ban Chinese 5G kit?

Matthew 3

The phone the Trumpanzee uses...

Remind me, where was that made again?

Congrats, Satya Nadella. In just five years, you've turned Microsoft from Neutral Evil to, er, merely True Neutral

Matthew 3

Re: Yes to Media Center going open source!

I'd be curious to see how many WIn7 holdouts did so precisely because of Media Center.

It's why my elderly home PC resisted the near-overwhelming urge from MS to 'upgrade'.

At least Sony offered a t-shirt, says macOS flaw finder: Bug bounties now for Macs if you want this 0-day, Apple

Matthew 3

Re: In a way it is blackmail

It becomes blackmail when there's a threat involved.

Failing to disclose information that would benefit somebody else is not blackmail.

Saying "I'll release an exploit unless you pay me!" would be an example of where the line is crossed.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

Matthew 3

Re: Cloud casting shadows

They can try, but nobody will buy the 'not our fault, guv' line when Honeywell tries it.

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

Matthew 3

Re: Sounds like....

They're getting bogged down in the details.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

Matthew 3


I recall an anecdote from a certain Jeremy Clarkson on a particularly bad crossing - the toilets were awash with vomit which was sloshing from side to side of the floor. On which was laying one very unwell looking chap. He looked up, caught JC's eye, and just said: "Kill me!"

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Matthew 3

Serious question

How many of the big porn sites are based in the UK?

My *ahem* limited research in this area suggests that it may be 'none of them'.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

Matthew 3

"Not available in this country"

I predict tech companies will just withdraw their software from Australian sale or distribution as the simplest way to comply with the new law.

That has the benefit of not requiring any reprogramming effort, doesn't compromise security, and makes the Australian government directly responsible for end users' anger. Everybody wins. Except the Aussie government of course, but they don't deserve to.

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Matthew 3

It would be lovely to lose those grey bars down both sides of the screen. But I said that last time as well.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

Matthew 3

Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

Not while there are features that disappear with the upgrade. I'm not the only person who uses Media Centre as a television.

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Matthew 3

Laserjets and double-voltage don't mix

Back in the early '00s I was working on a US Army base in Germany and needed to print something. There was a handy Laserjet 4 nearby but no power cable.

Being an inventive type I borrowed a power lead from a spare monitor and plugged it in. All seemed well at first, until the smoke started.I realised, as the alarms went off that the little box next to the printer - that I'd ignored - was a 120v to 240v transformer...

I pulled the power and followed everyone out whistling as nonchalantly as I could manage.

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Matthew 3

We all recognise HP there...

HP's site is and always has been tortuous.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Matthew 3

Hats in the gaps?

I recall reading that the heat expansion during flight was sufficient that a large gap opens up on the flight deck and that, for the last flights, the captains put their hats into the gap. After slowing down the gap closes up again. The hats are thus sealed in for ever, unless the plane flies again.

Is this true? And did it happen for this Concorde?

*Thunk* No worries, the UPS should spin up. Oh cool, it's in bypass mode

Matthew 3

Reminded me of the tube's 'control room flooded with wet concrete' story from 2014

You'd think it'd be a tale of months of disruption but, no, 24 hours later it was all fixed. I'd still like to read about how they did that.


US docs show Daimler may have done a Dieselgate – German press claims

Matthew 3


I was quite a long way into the article before I realised that this wasn't referring to upmarket Jaguars and might be a Mercedes problem.

Apple quietly wheels out 'Voxelnet' driverless car tech paper

Matthew 3

Re: If Apple can patent "round corners" and "paper bags" ...

Here's how it will pan out: Vauxhall will complain and Apple will give the Voxel the 'sosumi' start-up sound.

Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android

Matthew 3


I've been patiently waiting for Android 7.1 to come to my Galaxy S7. If Google could offer me the latest OS upgrade now for a modest fee I would jump at the chance. I think plenty of other people would too.

It would give them a chance to monetise their investment, it would allow them to wrest control back from the phone companies and manufacturers with their added dross, and would let Google effectively dictate which devices were worthy of their effort, potentially steering purchasers towards vendors they like the most. It would likely distort the market by concentrating on premium devices but that would also go some way to solving the issue of devices lagging behind on updates ('our customers get them fast and first').

I'm not sure that this would be a good thing, you understand, but I can see that it could be done. I'd guess that it's politics that stops it, not any technical reason.

BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

Matthew 3

Re: Motion

Or because they used to be known as 'Research In Motion'?

Samsung shows off Linux desktops on Galaxy smartmobes

Matthew 3

Maybe they've seen the Gemini PDA?

That's a smartphone that's already running Linux and has a proper keyboard too.


Google Play Protect is 'dead last' at fingering malware on Android

Matthew 3

You've tested 'several' and have concluded that 'most of' them do nothing. Care to share your data for peer review, or name the offenders, perhaps?

RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

Matthew 3

"No living memory of the horrors of WWII"?

I can introduce you to my grandparents if you like. They both lived through it, and they're both very much alive still with memories of the war and its horrors. My grandfather was an RAF navigator so actively part of what was going on too. You could ask him about it but you might have to speak up. He's a bit deaf these days.

Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Matthew 3

Re: Numbers

Google does not collect, scan, or use data from the core services for advertising purposes."

Added emphasis to point out the possibility of 'non-core' services.

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Matthew 3

Re: Public wifi?

"...it is however quite possible I'm sure."

Yes, it is more than possible. Martin Lewis' site reports one victim still finding fraudulent transactions eight months after cancelling a lost card.

This is possible because banks do not automatically check all contactless payments immediately. Some are processed as 'offline transactions' and are only checked later. One bank told the Guardian that virtually all transactions for less than £15 were not immediately checked.

Why is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ project so delayed?

Matthew 3

Re: Crowdfunding is just an unsecured loan

You do it at your own risk.

If you've paid by credit card doesn't Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act protect you?

My understanding is that credit card companies are equally liable to deliver the product, or refund you, as long as you spent over £100. But does that not apply to crowdfunded sites?

Just curious - nothing to do with wondering if the Gemini will go the same way or anything...

Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

Matthew 3

Professor Frink

Am I the only one saying 'Hoyven Maven Glaven!' in Professor Frink's voice after reading the orbiter's name?

Brit lords slip 30Mbps Universal Service Obligation into UK Digital Economy Bill

Matthew 3

6Mbps per second?

Is broadband like gravity then? ;-)