* Posts by Stuart 22

929 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jun 2009


No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

Stuart 22

Re: There is no breach

The bigger issue is allowing a retailer to store card details so you can cut 3 nanoseconds off placing your order or having to hunt for the last pocket/wallet you *think* you left the real card in.

I'm surprised a few retailers do have my credit card details ready despite not wanting them stored. Whether it's because the checkbox was well hidden or I checked when I meant not too (or t'other way round) I've no idea. But it would be good if GDPR could force them to make you go through a few more hoops if you really, really wanted this facility.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Stuart 22

Re: I still highly doubt there ever was a machine with 2GB running Windows 95.

"Price rocket after Kobe earthquake"

The first generation of RAM-raiders made it much worse. The high cost led to the robberies and I made a good few bob replacing RAM for an office full of PCs that had lost their memory over the weekend. The extra demand drive up the price even further which, of course, made knicking more an even more lucrative attraction.

It was a bonus if the RAM-raiders were amateurs. New motherboards all round.

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh

Stuart 22

Re: So what's with the ban on horse-drawn conveyance in the drive-through?

I normally avoid Costa. But in these days when nicer cafes are shut it would still be nice to have something hot and vaguely sharing a name with coffee when out on a long ride (on a bicycle, not a horse). But we too are banned from their drive-thrus.

It's elf & safety apparently. We constitute a greater danger to them and their other clients than folks in cars. And I thought it was the other way round. Silly me!


Earnings up, broadband users (and voice calls) down: TalkTalk posts prelim results for FY 2020

Stuart 22

Re: Comments?

Zen customer here. 60Mb + /29 IP delegation for not a lot more.

Good news is CS are brilliant, actually know more about internetty stuff than me and don't need scripts. Bad news is that's mostly wasted 'cos their service has been flawless for 15 years.

Worth paying the dosh just for the smugness and the knowledge we can only be out-smugged by A&A. But I ain't that rich.

Lettuce Encrypt, Encrypt We Must: Hobby projects change name after Let's Encrypt fires off trademark complaints

Stuart 22

Almost all the internet belongs to me (and not Montenegro)

At primary school I once left off the final letter of 'come' in an essay. Does this mean i can now claim copyright theft by ICANN's leading registry?

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

Stuart 22

Re: Gullibility is no excuse.

" Ever tried teach your parents or grandparents to use technology?"

Bit difficult 'cos they are all dead. But I do try teach my kids and grandkids ... some of whom do make some unwise decisions over new tech imho.

But then what do I know? I mean its not as though we invented or helped develop this computery/interwebby stuff - Oh, I forgot, we did ;-)

Stuart 22

Re: Gullibility is no excuse.

"Older people understand newer technology less than youngsters"

Oooh I dunno. A smaller percentage of older and maybe wiser folks subscribe to Zuck's infamous networks.

BoJo looks to jumpstart UK economy with £6k taxpayer-funded incentive for Brits to buy electric cars – report

Stuart 22

Re: Buy more cars - drive them less

We bought one last August. Our mileage doubled overnight because it was just such a more pleasant experience than the old oil guzzler. That include a trip to Scotlnd & back (from London).

Mind you it's dropped to near zero since March 16th. My little app shows I've run on just one recharge since then. Range hasn't been a problem but then I didn't need to check my eyesight. YMMV.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

Stuart 22

Re: Never understood this

You - and maybe the manufacturers - might not have noticed that the people who don't want this dodgy IoT stuff usually come from IT. There lies a clue for the clueless.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: £250 mobe still able to deliver value in a brutally competitive niche

Stuart 22

Re: Please El Reg ...

Oh and how long do we have committed support for Android 10/11/12?

Of greater relevance for those of us who wait a year to get it or a competitor for near half price in their bin-clearance sale and then expect it to do 3 or more years service.

Just asking for a Mr Scrooge ...

Apple, Google begin to spread pro-privacy, batt-friendly coronavirus contact-tracing API for phone apps

Stuart 22

According to WHO?

"Child to adult transmission is almost zero" - Caver_Dave

Might be, might not be. No one yet knows for sure. Google to find false or premature claims in this area like this one debunked here: https://fullfact.org/health/children-transmitting-coronavirus/

Or this report in Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01354-0

Awful to see some notorious but influential journalists cherry picking statistics to fit their agenda and trying to infect the population. Bit like Covid-19 and possibly just as lethal.

Google rolls out pro-privacy DNS-over-HTTPS support in Chrome 83... with a handy kill switch for corporate IT

Stuart 22

Re: DoH

I converted to Vivaldi long ago - so when I reverted to Chrome/Chromium on new Linux/Android devices I was shocked to see adverts re-appearing despite having a pi-holed network. It was sneakily checking

Result - Vivaldi quickly installed alongside our old friend Firebird - in case Vivaldi becomes similary 'infected'. The claim the Google is trying to enforce it on me for my own good is a little suspect methinks.

This is a good move to lose the love of Chrome/Chromium. They thought that as the No1 browser it is invincible. Will hubris (and bloat) rather than ad-blockers be their eventual nemesis?

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

Stuart 22

The Curse of the Semi-colon

Was it Algol that started it?

Computers were run by the Maths department who were only interested in getting them to do things in FORTRAN IV. It was quite clear the end of a hollerith card was the end of a statement so what with the bother?

Then the department spawned one of the first UK computing departments who created the MSc on the Theory of Programming Languages and in 1970 Laski & Turner published Program Linguistics. Laski was in love with reverse Polish notation - that's when I decided that a fascination in computer languages for their own sake was not for me.

I even deserted FORTRAN for Dartmouth BASIC (Nope, nothing to do with the other curse of the amateur programmer - VB). Oooh I can hear the downvoters marching towards me ...

Huawei gets misty-eyed for the good old days (of a year ago) with maudlin P30 Pro remaster

Stuart 22

Re: The good old days...

Nope, its cheaper to use my mobile at home than the landline. It's been strictly incoming and broadband carrying for the last decade or so.

The next outgoing landline call is likely to be when I contract Covid-19 as 111 is blocked on my mobile as a 'premium' number. Go figure ...

Stuart 22

The Great War of China

Looks as though Xi will be going head to head with Vladimir to get their man elected in November. Which way will Google be voting?

Mad dash for webcams with surge in videoconferencing has turned out rather nicely for Logitech

Stuart 22

Re: My actual webcam costs $5000...

Errr ... my Logitech C920 cost £28.95 a couple years back from Amazon. It does Zoom great so I thought I would get another for downstairs. Back on Amazon the current price was now £79.99 before going oos.

Wow, if Amazon hadn't stopped the price gouging goodness knows what it would have been. Workaround is to unplug, walk downstairs, re-plug.

Buying £79.99 worth of Logitech shares should have been the sharp move back in February. What price time machines?

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

Stuart 22

Re: Shame on you, Kieren

"I don't care that non-charities use it."

I do care that non-charities/non-commercial persons use it. But not enough that banning others would be a benefit. The issue is that doing a hard segmentation of tlds costs money in administration and introduces silly anomalies in whatever policy is enacted.

Most written policies (like battle plans) fail with the first contact with the ememy as Nominet registrars know too well. I speak (as a registrar) when it comes down to registrant verification that means many small community organisations are not permitted to register *.org.uk domains and hence go to .org.

Keeping .org fees low should be the prime aim for those registrants who want to spend the money doing better things than lining some obscure owner's pocket.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test

Stuart 22

Re: This may be a really obvious question.

I presume the pizza box receiver will distribute the connection by wifi, Hence $90 per unconnected village in the developing world could look attractive compared to building 3/4/5G infrastructure. Especially if the government/NGO buys in bulk and/or subsidises.

Bundled with a free solar panel powered Tesla battery bank?

Realme's X50m is a decently specced 5G phone – for the price of a 1995 Nissan Micra

Stuart 22

I'm on a 35 month old Lenovo P2. Still with brilliant battery life. Why change? In self- isolationist mode I'm reduced to using it - AS A PHONE*

Proper camera for photos, tablet for a more decent sized screen and a PC for real work. Mobility and size count for nothing at home. Looks like for me it's going to be at least a 12 month episode so I'll be thinking of replacing my 48/60 month old P2 with a neat 6G jobby if I'm ever allowed out again. Not that anyone wants to talk to me nowadays ...

* Mobile calls are cheaper than landline on my tariff.

Netflix says subscriptions just boomed but tells investors it's no money heist and they should expect stranger things

Stuart 22

Re: Unusual not the right word

Be interesting to see if there are any differences by demographic. Here we never subscribed to Netflix despite the nudging from TV to tablet. iPlayer/ITVHub/All4 more than satisfied our needs - for free. Since the Covid-19 so many great institutions have been streaming their best content for free - we've never had time to watch even iPlayer for weeks.

We've watched more operas in London, New York, Paris, Vienna, Brussels virtually than we have been to real ones in the UK for years. Indeed I'm sold on watching them on screen. It's a better experience imho than viewing and listening from the 'Gods'. You see so much more detail and you can pause for a pee-break - a real bonus for us bladder weak self-isolating old fogeys.

We're so sad that we don evening dress when enjoying the posher venues ... well that smart TV might just be phoning home with pictures!

Paranoid Android reboots itself with new Android 10 builds

Stuart 22

Slipping differential?

"Samsung has OneUI (formerly TouchWiz). Huawei has EMUI. Oppo has ColorOS. There are only a handful of outliers, like Motorola and Nokia. And this trend allows vendors to differentiate themselves in a fairly meaningful way."

This idea has always puzzled me. Of all the reasons to buy this tablet or that phone I've never heard anyone or seen any review which says this is the better product because of the bloatcover. Usually the opposite.

Price, storage, price, resolution, price, processor, price - yes. But EMUI or another? - I didn't even know what EMUI was until I opened my Huwaei tablet. And I do regard myself as a bit of a expert on computery gizmos.

Don't Zoom off elsewhere: Google plugs video-chat service Meet into Gmail as user eyes start wandering

Stuart 22

Zoom just works.

Video-conferencing has struggled with professionals. Watching Zoom embraced by technophobes in lockdown is miraculous. This week we had a scratch choir of 60 folks from all over europe! No Gmail account required.

Security doesn't really matter for most informal meetings. Weird that wasn't Zoom's target market. How they monetise the masses is a question they must be perusing. I'm guessing a manadatory window will be rolling ads in some future 'free' edition.

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address

Stuart 22

Re: Sad to see it go

AFAIR we sold the entire stock to a certain International Computer company.

But I do have a spare bigger and probably faster 2GB micro-SD card that came with my very first t-mobile smartphone. Say, as you are a fellow Vulture-fan I'll knock off the vat and p&p.

Stuart 22

Re: Sad to see it go

"They never did archive images back"

They appear to have archived mine. Perhaps it depends on whether your addressing was relative or absolute.

Just went back a few more years to when we did some very primitive online computer component sales. Feast your eyes on our prices and images for those specs (which were very competitive at the time):


Stuart 22

Re: Sad to see it go

"Classic late 90s handcrafted HTML!"

Yep - - early/mid-90s for me. There were no books on HTML or online tutorials when I started. I took the BBC website source and deconstructured how it worked. I knew I had arived when I got my first tables to look half decent.

Sorry about only 3*. It could have been worse!

Stuart 22

Re: Sad to see it go

brains.demon.co.uk former TAM account here - but senility has driven my beloved IP from the memory tubes - I think the mercury leaked away into our third cell phone company ...

However a memory of the free website still exists a couple of decades later: https://web.archive.org/web/19990203165101/http://www.brains.demon.co.uk/

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account

Stuart 22

Re: Personal IP rights?

"He could sue (or threaten to sue) because the old company has no right to his personal IP."

Dunno what jurisdiction(s) would apply but I'd bet a big load tht it would cost a big load and, if succesful, he might get his data back or destroyed and it would take another big load to get costs. Not something worth betting on for the average person.

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

Stuart 22

Re: For most people Covid 19 is a disaster

"The tweet also disclosed the Zoom meeting ID was 539-544-323, and fortunately that appears to have been password protected."

Why didn't the reporter mention what happened when they tried 1234 ... ?

Sketchy behavior? Wacom tablet drivers phone home with names, times of every app opened on your computer

Stuart 22


Another one for the blacklist?

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps

Stuart 22

Re: AI with worker drones

Strange how many countries have a policy of when a road wears out to simply strip it back to the foundations and relay it completely. It may be costly but you never see any patching so one wonders if it turns out cheaper in the long run on repairs to road and vehicles.

Stuart 22

Re: AI with worker drones

Finding holes is easy. Choose almost any road/lane in Surrey & Kent. How about a more challenging AI system that will find me hole-less roads to cycle down (motorways don't count).

Preferably tarmacced rather than a rolling collection of patched patches.

Who honestly has a crown prince in their threat model? UN report officially fingers Saudi royal as Bezos hacker

Stuart 22

Lose less data with your iPhone

Thank goodness he was using an iPhone - with almost any Android he would have had to shell out for the extra 256GB off his SD card ...

Wave goodbye: DigitalOcean decimates workforce as co-founder reveals lack of profitability, leadership turmoil

Stuart 22

Re: Ominous

I'm even more amazed at being able to get reliable VPSs at a fraction of DigitalOcean's prices - like a 4Gb/40Gb system for less than a fiver. Stuff that 10 years ago was costing me a bargain $99/month for those who remember RackShack and Head Surfer.

Hence I'm not surprised DigitalOcean are being squeezed and having to layoff. Hosting is a cruel business.

Big Falcon explosion as SpaceX successfully demos Crew Dragon abort systems

Stuart 22

Re: "given that the rocket is lost during the test anyway?"

"They're going to use both systems so there's redundancy in case of a problem with one."

I suspect that's the problem of having a monopoly supplier who can charge what they want and deliver when they can be bothered. NASA have been there before.

The trick is to have competition but not driving the one that gets behind into cutting corners (as with the A320Neo and 737 Max). The answer, at least in part, is to have very heavy hands-on regulation/supervision. Hopefully NASA will go against their master's doctrine on this.

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

Stuart 22

"I nominate the entire Boeing board and the upper management echelon of the FAA to be on this so-called "test flight""

I remember possibly an apocryphal story before the certification of the Boeing 747. A problem was sudden flame-outs on the P&W engines which wasn't being addressed. The CEO of Boeing introduced the issue with the CEO of P&W on a test flight while they went through the procedure to induce one - well four on a 747 but luckily they all restarted. It got sorted. Those were the days when the 737 was already in widespread service and in 53 years Boeing had progressed from this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_247

Imagine if they had just strapped a couple of GE Leaps under the wing and a prayer of a 247 Max instead of going to all that trouble and expense of a type change ;-)

Stuart 22

"Well, they could put all that aluminum to good use making beer cans"

Aren't they mostly composites these days (aka single use plastics?). But then the fuselage might make a very fine fat straw for a very fat cat.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Stuart 22

Around 20 million RaspberryPi owners - if only to store /boot ...

Median speeds for UK 5G four times faster than 4G, but still way behind US and South Korea

Stuart 22

Re: Wow, thats's really too fast ....

But if its something big I'd be using wifi surely? Pretty fast and cheaper. And where there's no wifi there won't be any 5G.

Stuart 22

Wow, thats's really too fast for comfort ....

Consume my whole monthly data allowance in just 45 seconds?

Mobile operators say they'll go halfsies with UK.gov on £1bn network to bring 4G to rural folk

Stuart 22

"Sorry, are they proposing to reduce to rural-level connectivity to almost the entire population?"

Nope, the opposite. Presumably as it is all shared infrastructure - if you can get coverage from one operator you will be able to get coverage from t'other three (oops!).

Not as in this part of london where it's a postcode lottery of which networks you get and which you don't. Which means if the caller is on another network the call has a double chance of failing.

Three UK goes TITSUP*: Down and out for 10 hours and counting

Stuart 22

Re: "experiencing intermittent service"

No probs here. Presumably when they switch me to the £6/month tariff it also went to the top of the call priority list. So, even during a nuclear attack I should still be able to check the speaking clock (020 7043 1320 for people of a certain age).

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else

Stuart 22

Sad. I was hoping you had found a utility company that connected one's plumbing to a fine Chardonnay winery rather than a boring local reservoir. I really don't get this tap-water thing. A nice vintage shower would be a bonus.

Thames Water really ought to get into the added-value business ....

Creators Update meets its maker: It's 1903 or bust for those clinging to Windows 10 1703

Stuart 22

Yes, I rather like the *buntu approach. A major LTS release every two years on a predictable date. That's when I upgrade my client kit. There is a six monther for those who prefer to die on the bleeding edge. Meanwhile my servers upgrade (or rather re-image) after 4/5 years (that's 2xLTS versions). Simples.

You feel, no YOU KNOW you are in control of upgrading rather than being at the random mercy of an unpredictable supplier (why is my only Windows kit refusing to offer the upgrade from 1809?).

This vBulletin vBug is vBad: Zero-day exploit lets miscreants hijack vulnerable web forums

Stuart 22

Already exploited

The vBulletin website still has no warning on its frontpage or anywhere else I could find.

Yet go to their forum and there are multiple reports of attacks and actual damage (like wiping the MySQL database).. This is criminal of vBulletin to not respond/warn of a known exploit - given that they should be at least reading their own forum. vBulletin customers might be prudently advised to consider whether this is evident of a responsible or trusted provider.


Stuart 22

I would ask the Xenforo authors (who authored the original vBulletin) if the shell access was done in their time and if they carried it forward.

This exploit is particularly dangerous as remaining vBulletin operators are likely to be the less expert admins. Otherwise, as you indicate, they would have migrated to Xenforo too.

If I was running a vBulletin forum there would be a 'down for maintenance' page showing by now. Has vBulletin notified its users? And did the whistleblower give them adequate time to put a mitigation in place?

If they didn't then they are worse than hackers, if they did and vBulletin did nothing then vBulletin deserves to be toast.

Can't bear to part with that well-worn copy of Windows 7? Microsoft might let you keep it updated an extra year

Stuart 22

Re: Good. Another year for people to move away from Windows

"My only gripe with Debian Linux being that infuriating Libre Office software that won't let me install Apache Open Office"

Easy way to avoid clashes is to run the other application in a VM. Virtualbox is free and you could use it on the Debian machine to try out Debian 10 and put OO on that. Remember to tick the copy'n'paste boxes so you can copy between and you can even use the same document store.

My Kubuntu 18.04 LTS also runs Windows 2000 in a VM for some really ancient legacy stuff and to remind me of the time MS knew how to produce a really neat low footprint OS with a nicer GUI. It's never run faster or better. Bit sad more recent Windows only apps turn up their nose and refuse to run.

Rome wasn't built in a day, wasn't teased in a day, either: AMD's 7nm second-gen 64-core Epyc server chips finally land

Stuart 22

in the heat of the night

['Cos its always dark in Data Centres]

Almost an afterthought that Epyc2 gives more bangs per GW. Its almost as if the datafarm industry is in denial that they are becoming an increasing part of the problem getting to net zero carbon emmisions?

Their growth is a double whammy - consuming power to compute and then consuming more power to cool the computer. You can't just sit back and piggyback the power industry's drive to renewables or can you?

Still any effiency improvement is welcome - but it would be good to see it headlining rather than be a bootnote.

Will someone plz dump our shizz on the Moon, NASA begs as one of the space biz vendors drops out

Stuart 22

Re: There is no "case for Mars"

"The only possible advantage to Mars would be if you terraform it, and we are so far away from such technology it isn't even worth consideration at this point."

Nope, dead easy. Just reverse engineer what we are doing to this planet.

10 PRINT Memorial in New Hampshire marks the birthplace of BASIC

Stuart 22

Re: Those were the days

I think the University of Essex was one of the first to bring Dartmouth interactive BASIC to the UK masses in 1970. Well it felt like that - on a roomful of teletypes connected to a DEC-10. This is the future we stuttered ten times a second.

So cool after years of punchcard driven Fortran 4.

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

Stuart 22

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

"Let me get this straight. You're thinking about spending many tens of thousands of Dollars/Pounds/Euros/Yen on an electric car that takes a goodly fraction of an hour to charge at a high speed charger and probably requires rewiring your house if you plan to charge it at home?"

The latest generation of eCars are knocking on 200 miles before a recharge. An hour break at a service station after that is good - not bad - if only for the safety of other road users. At home then you'll probably want to charge it overnight to get the best rate - that's usually eight hours to most people so why go to the expense of installing a fast-charge system unless if installation is trivial and/or subsidised?

Frankly I value my life rather more - and getting rid of ICE pollution here in London should extend and make it more enjoyable. YMMV ;-)