* Posts by Richard 51

79 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jun 2009


Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

Richard 51

Another lesson that "smart manufactuers should not be trusted

A couple of years ago I invested in Hive technology after buying a house with a Hive thermostat, I then realised I was totally dependent on their servers and the small box they were connected to. I started my journey and now have many sensors and devices connected to my own server running home assistant, including the last of my Hive products which work flawlessly with Home Assistant. If anyone needs persuading this is the right way to go Hive is a lesson for all. Checkout https://www.home-assistant.io/

State of Maine lays off 15 independent consultants on $13k a month amid efforts to implement troubled Workday system

Richard 51

Got form

It looks like the customer has form for incomplete hr projects. Usually there is blame on both sides in these situations. Client doesn't give clear requirements, supplier doesn't hold them to provide them, standard application "best practices" only work for the guys in the application developer team and not in real life. Clients also hate changing the way they have always done x and find any excuse to not simplify or improve their practices.

Good luck Maine with your next attempt to implement HR and finance systems.

IBM's CEO and outgoing exec chairman take home $38m in total for 2020 despite revenue shrinking by billions

Richard 51


While this small group of managers pay themselves gross amounts of money while the company shrinks and even in the areas of 'strategic importance' like cloud they can only grow the business by buying revenue like Red Hat, while paying no or a pittance of an increase to their staff who are not a top performer and making many redundant. This is not about sour grapes, if you believe that people should be paid for performance then all employees should follow broadly the same rules and the only difference should be in the metrics and proportion of remuneration at risk.

Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond

Richard 51

Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

You could say the same for Windows

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

Richard 51

re-use passwords - busted

In my defence the really important sites like my bank are protected with 15 character passwords generated by BitWarden, but the sites like theReg and BBC where I don't give a toss whether someone impersonates me, get the basic password I have used for years which itself is 8 characters with all the bells and whistles. But re-used on all the lesser websites.

These kind of articles are only useful for drumming up business for the password app vendors and I guess giving the rest of us an opportunity to feel smug. We started this saga with passwords of 5 - 6 characters then had to add in upper case and numbers, then special characters and the length has increased each year.

I agree passwords are so 20th century and for god sake lets come up with a better solution soon before we are all having to enter 99 character passwords to access the local news.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

Richard 51

Re: Reality check

It will take a while for the 5000 people to pass if they are all social distancing 2m or 6ft (dependent on nationality or whether they are English Market Traders). Enough time to make your escape!

Trivial backdoor found in firmware for Chinese-built net-connected video recorders

Richard 51

Re: This is not a backdoor

Which probably explains why their kit is so cheap ( I believe cost is one of the reasons given for using Huawei kit).

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that

Richard 51

Except, its not just US based. As so much of the internet traffic around the world is routed via the US it would have a material and detrimental impact on Europe and Asia. Either services we rely on are behind US routers or the impact of the US going offline would grind our networks to a halt.

So its in all our interests to remove the ability of this and future baboons in office to shut down our global resource called the internet.

In deepest darkest Surrey, an on-prem SAP system running 17-year-old software is about to die....

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

Eh, I don't think the software is 17 years old, ECC 6 is a lot more recent than that. Assume its the underlying operating system. Either way SCC have only themselves to blame

Any finger will do? Samsung Galaxy S10 with a screen protector reportedly easy to fool

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

Probably ditched the rear fingerprint sensor because it was crap, you had to train yourself to position the finger (out of sight) to land on the sensor in a consistent way! Now I have a S10 I am having to retrain myself to stop reaching behind the phone to open the damn thing.

Lets hope the firmware update fixes the issue.

Meet ELIoT – the EU project that wants to commercialize Internet-over-lightbulb

Richard 51

Old technology given a new lease

My father worked on this technology in the 70's at STC (a defunct telecoms company). Light is electromagnetic radiation, just much higher frequency so to say there is less electromagnetic interference is plain wrong. The reason they dropped it was primarily that the amount of light pollution meant the noise levels were problematic and its of course line of sight, if people walk in front of the transmitter the signal can be lost. But I guess the frequency and modulation in todays implementation will mean these problems are less of a concern.

Apple reseller Solutions Inc pulls down shutters, calls in administrators

Richard 51

Seems odd that a company with sales of 12m GBP and a loss of 200K goes bust, presumably little or no working capital which is the real killer?

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

and don't put on facebook/snapchat that you are on holiday

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

While I will declare right now I voted to stay, I have to say the problem with the brexiteers view of the world was that everything would be brilliant outside of the EU. We have all this freedom to negotiate new deals with lots of countries outside of the EU. (US? Who is now imposing sanctions on any country that is a threat), NZ and Australia (who only really provide lamb, wine and tourists), we can negotiate a good deal with the EU because we are sooo important to the rest of the EU (aren't we). Now its coming home to roost, we are likely to end up with no deal, we will end up re-enacting most of the EU directives because its just too difficult to put in place new laws in time available and suddenly we are on our own in science research, multi-country programs like galilleo, aircraft and intelligence. So why was brexit so good for the UK?

Wah, encryption makes policing hard, cries UK's National Crime Agency

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

France tried to ban encryption or severely limit the key length and failed miserably.

The thing is, very few of the "terrorist acts" recently have the security services (police, mi5 etc) said they could have stopped if they had access to email / instant messaging. Mostly its good old breakdowns in human intelligence e.g. ignored a good citizen reporting nefarious activities that has led to failures.

Google to 'forget me' man: Have you forgotten what you said earlier?

Richard 51

Australians flood the courts

I have heard that if they get their wish, half a million Australians will petition the courts to expunge all records of their forebears stealing sheep. This means ripping out all those court records and burning them. This is crazy, if it is a matter of public record we should protect that record. The fact they did the crime cannot be just wiped away. Google provides a service to the public making records easily accessible. We should protect that.

That terrifying 'unfixable' Microsoft Skype security flaw: THE TRUTH

Richard 51


Just checked the version on my Windows 10 lappy, it said 7.4 so duly try to update it and Win 10 goes into one of its update cycles which means I got to stare at the bloody bluescreen while it updates itself for 20 mins.

Return to Skype update it and check 7.8 (that's not right) try again and wtf its now back to 7.4 and updater says i have the latest version.

Am I going crazy, don't answer that. The correct response is YES!

IBM kills Global Technology and Global Business Services: It's all ‘IBM Services’ now

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

The article says IBM is consolidating GBS and GTS into IBM Services, well that is true as far as external brands but the units are not merging. This is an external branding exercise. So what changes?

Nest's slick IoT burglar alarm catches crooks... while it eyes your wallet

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

No technical expertise required, just cut the nice cable from the box to the outlet or just brute force rip it from the socket. Nice Nest Alarm box to fence for 100 USD or equivalent.

Three: No fixed date yet for 4G services abroad

Richard 51

Love the way they interpret the meaning to suit themselves

First I pay a whopping amount of money each month for 4G and upto 2GB of data. So when I am abroad I am not using the network in this country

Its not as though they have to do anything different to provide it. If they provide their partners with the same service in the UK it nets out to be parity, maybe there is a small difference. But choosing your partner should minimise what that amounts to.

Calling it "Feels like Home" is a likely to be a breach of the advertising standards, since it does not equate to the service I buy in the UK, in terms of data speed or access to local calls.

Anybody would think they give the UK service away and we don't pay for it.

Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Richard 51


74 comments, come on guys... the clue is in the last para, a simple mistake. Probably human error! But it gave everyone an opportunity to bemoan the government and public sector. Quite how human error allowed a RFQ to get through the usual blizzard of approvals required is of course worth pondering.

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Richard 51

Re: Cost is the smaller concern

The key is not the underlying OS of desktops but to make the applications independent of the desktop operating system. With cloud/internet based apps it does not matter which OS the user has.

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Richard 51

Re: Working as intended

In theory meters can measure by the second but it was felt that this would give too much information about peoples private lives so measurement will usually be once per day. The utilities have to ask if they want to request more detailed information and even then they will probably not measure more often than once per hour as the message load on the network becomes significant.

The case for ethical ad-blocking

Richard 51

Its my choice not googles

If companies want to rely on advertising then they cannot be intrusive, which is the case on many websites. You see the content loading slowly, usually because of the heavy advertising content. So that's what encourages most people to start ad blocking.

For me I buy a subscription to Spotify and other sites I am truly interested in. But even these stick ads in my face, which is even more reason to block.

Want to download free AV software? Don't have a Muslim name

Richard 51

Re: so now tha bad guys

Service providers don't "choose" to use these lists. The denied persons and denied entities lists are published by the US Government and are mandatory if you are a US company or use/sell US technology. Quite why Sophos believe they have an obligation for a basic AV program, only Sophos can say. These denied parties lists are notoriously poor quality with little to distinguish between names. So I can understand what Sophos are doing because it fulfills compliance rules issued by the US Government (similar rules apply to UK as well). But why ? Anybodies guess..

Warning: Using encrypted email in Spain? Do not pass go, go directly to jail

Richard 51

poor excuses

each time there is an atrocity perpetrated by extremists the government rolls out more demands for reducing basic rights to privacy in the name of "protecting" the citizens. Yet in almost every case the security organisations are found to have known about the suspects and either ignored them or chose not to pursue them despite evidence of nefarious activities with existing tools.

EE TV brings French broadband price war to the UK

Richard 51

wtf this article is missing some editorial control the written English is appalling.

The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Richard 51

Re: Police would definitely use that information against them if they got the chance

"There is one simply, glaringly obvious solution that our politicians will NOT try: drastically cutting down the number and complexity of the laws."

Don't give them ideas we will end up with a law that says anything that the home secretary says is bad is illegal and therefore punishable by up to life imprisonment. SImple enough?

Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

Richard 51

Not a smart article

I would point out that the author of this delightful article says there are new technologies that make smart meters obsolete but fails to give one single example, except for sticking a camera in your current meter! He does focus on the interface for the customer and rightly points out that this can be achieved using smart phone apps or websites. But you still need the data from the meter and the smart meter is designed to record and transmit this data to the supplier. I cannot see how a camera stuck on your meter in a dark cupboard is going to be able to record the data and send it to the supplier so they can bill you accurately.

Given he is a part of a government which has effectively confirmed the strategy of the previous government and forced the suppliers to spend hundreds of millions already on infrastructure to support the deployment of smart meters its a bit late to start re-considering the strategy and sounds like another sound bite from an MP who doesn't know much about technology.

The way the government is going about smart meter deployment is bonkers but the underlying reasons for smart meters are sound and in the long term will probably form the backbone for all manner of technologies that are developing for home automation.

Big tech firms holding wages down? Marx was right all along, I tell ya!

Richard 51

There is wider evidence than just the valley

This principle in part explains the rapid widening of compensation between employees and senior managers. The labour market for employees, particularly in the IT industry, has expanded to be global (look at the proportion of offshore and onshore asian contractors on large SAP projects as an example) with an excess of supply. Whereas the globalisation of businesses has increased the shortage of senior managers capable of running these behemoths, which has lead to inflation in compensation packages.

The purpose of government is to put in place mechanisms that balance the unwelcome elements of a free market which often as some others have mentioned are in the grand scheme of things short term adjustments.

The problem with globalisation is governments struggle to manage (read don't) because the enterprises operate largely outside of a particular governments jurisdiction.

CyanogenMod Android firmware gains built-in SMS encryption

Richard 51

Eh, with millions of SMS being sent surely the small number which have been encrypted will be like a lightnening rod for the spooks. So what has this punter got to hide?

Google coughs up $17m to end Safari STALKER COOKIE brouhaha

Richard 51

Why only the US

Why is it only consumers in the US benefit from these decisions, are we not violated by their actions as much as their american customers.

If we are not covered by their action then why is there not an equivalent organisation in the UK looking after our interests and pursuing similar claims?

Apple, AT&T settle 'bait and switch' iPad 3G data plan lawsuit

Richard 51

Another win for the legal sharks

WTF, if there is clear evidence of a bait and switch why the hell are they getting away with such a poor deal for those who were conned. The only winners seem to be the "experienced counsel" for Apple and AT&T.

Phil Collins' daughter 'will give you A VIRUS' – security bods

Richard 51
Black Helicopters

Who cares?

If you have McAffee's products installed you can click on any links with impunity or can you?

Metric versus imperial: Reg readers weigh in

Richard 51

Americans and their imperial rubbish

If imperial is so good how come NASA continue to f**k up missions through bungling the arithmetic of imperial measurements.

And who in their right mind thought it a good idea for me to buy fuel in litres and have the bloody display on my car tell me that I am achieving 36 miles per gallon?

I believe most countries, including the US signed a UN charter to convert to metric which the Europeans promptly did but the Yanks and sometimes Brits are still holding out.

Lets just get on with it and get the pain over. Mines a litre of beer please!

All you need to know about nano SIMs - before they are EXTERMINATED

Richard 51
Black Helicopters

Or an alternative

Bill's sim on a hand (in the hand?) is not a tattoo but an embedded chip which connects to the hardware through the pads of your fingers wrapped tightly to the phone. The future of mobile me thinks!

I don't care either way, as long as I can separate the service from the hardware and decide on whether I want to pay the extortionate rates for a service provider phone or purchase my own and switch between phones when its convenient for me.

ITC denies Apple an emergency ban on ALL HTC PHONES

Richard 51
Thumb Down

An inconsequential but useful feature

Why is the ability to tag a phone number and dial it seen to be so important that it warrants banning the sale or distribution of another companies phones across the USA? This is IPR gone mad. Yes its a useful feature but would I pay more for this feature in a phone worth £500? Would I decide not to buy a phone because the feature was not available? Probably not.

I don't know about everyone else but I am fed up with the incessant stream of litigation between phone companies that focus on inconsequential features and whose sole purpose seems to be to block competition.

The governments should investigate all these companies for anti-competitive activities.

Volkswagen Up!

Richard 51
Thumb Down


Eh, is it just me or has the question why are we getting a top gear report in what is supposed to be a technology news site?

If I wanted car reviews I would have gone to Top Gear or Autocar...

SAP hopes to embiggen its cloud with Ariba slurp

Richard 51

what will they do with SAP SRM then ?

There is a significant amount of overlap between Ariba and SRM so it will be interesting to see what they do. SRM was a commerce one product SAP bought to fill a gap in its supply chain portfolio.

TfL delays wave-and-pay tickets until 2013

Richard 51

Eh smoke and mirrors

So they are delaying deployment until they have a 100% robust solution which for example means that they are working to ensure "invisible pick pocketing" is not a problem! Well I think that problems sits in the banks and card issuers balliwick don't you. Another case of poor management resulting in delays rather than any concern for our welfare.

CD: The indestructible music format that REFUSES TO DIE

Richard 51

For me its having a physical product

Which if cared for will last, I can rip that to a low quality mp3 for the disc in the car or high fidelity format for my Android phone. If I lose the file, phone or scratch the disc I still have the original safely stored in my attic.

Also I don't know about anyone else, but CD are generally cheaper if you buy from a reputable online retailer than if I buy from Napster or Itunes mp3 or mp4. Bit like buying ebooks which are considerably more expensive than the hardcopy article.

So if the industry want to sell come up with a ubiquitous, competitive way of obtaining the music that you cannot lose and doesn't stop working when you stop paying the subscription and I can play on multiple devices and I will buy lots more music.

End in sight for IT jobs outsourcing massacre

Richard 51
IT Angle

Pretty crap analysis from Hackett

Companies offshore for a number of reasons, it might be cost, reducing their overall cost of doing business, it maybe to take advantage of skills pools which they cannot obtain or afford in their home country, it might also be because they have global aspirations and need to support a global workforce and positioning in India makes sense as it overlaps the european and asian working days.

But the majority have gone for cost reasons, so what will happen in the next 10 years or so will be those very same offshored activities will move to the next low cost country, be that Africa, South America or even back to the UK if this recession continues for much longer.

But we should be focussing on our ability to attract high quality jobs to the UK in manufacturing, engineering, science and technology. Where real money is made. Apple does not manufacture much in the US but it sure does employ a lot of engineers and scientists and it sure does make a heck of a lot of money.

Wang charged in inappropriate electricity socket use

Richard 51

Whatever happened to proportionality

How much electricity did he use? likely to be in tenths of whatever currency applies... so why the gestapo tactics or do they teach this in some sort of global training centre for Mass Transit Companies, sounds like the sort of thing TfL would do.

Airbrushed Rachel Weisz gets watchdog hot under the collar

Richard 51

what is the asa on

quote "advertisers were keen to present their products in their most positive light using techniques" but they are not photographing their products and I bet she has not been anywhere near a pot of their product so how can they justify their augment. Ffs stop this patent fraudulent advertising

Cabinet Office moves step closer to killing Directgov

Richard 51

another grandiose project

I assume the majority of the money has been spent on the back end systems cos the front end looks like a child has put it together using an old copy of ms front page.. at least the bbc beta site looks like some thought has gone into how to communicate with its audience. maybe they can use the bbc cms and focus on the engine for integrating dept databases.

First-person shootout world record set

Richard 51

What exactly was achieved?

Eve online and I am sure WoW have regularly 20K + gamers playing at any one time.. They couldn't have all been shooting at each other so not sure what differentiates this from any of the MMOG

Official: The smartphones that suck much more than others

Richard 51

And the point of the story is ?

Its the mobile networks that promote these smartphones, they spend millions figuring out their complex offerings so that no one can figure out what they are being charged for. They are the ones who sell "unlimited" packages which they immediately limit as soon as someone actually uses the service.

Frankly I have no sympathy for these muppets and look forward to using my HTC Desire as much as possible. Except that 2 out of the 5 networks don't actually work in my local pub (i am in the middle of a city) for data and only 1 bar of voice. So when are they going to invest some of their vast profits in improving the network.

Punters even more dissatisfied by Virgin Media's package

Richard 51

Don't assume just because you have a problem everyone is in the same boat

VM customer service is about as good as BT or any of the others that use call centres, call queuing, scripted conversations and poor technical training. However to assume that one specific experience describes the entire customer experience is stupid. I have VM tv, phone and broadband. TV is a bit of a ripoff, particularly when you discover to keep your own rates in line with advertised rates you have to call them and ask for it. Broadband almost always delivers the headline rate or near as damn it. (DNS lookup is sometimes a bit slow) and Phone is basic and what more can u say.

So all in all a could do better scorecard from me... but I don't presume to know everyone elses experience. So why should you.

Hundreds of Brit pubs to offer free WiFi

Richard 51

Mobile is often better than openzone

Its really annoying when FON disguises itself as openzone and screws up your phone or laptop. But I often find in hotels, airports etc that mobile broadband is just as fast or even quicker than openzone unless you are right underneath the router.