* Posts by Joe 3

143 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jun 2009


NASA's electric plane tech is coming in for a late, bumpy landing

Joe 3

Re: My plan

"And why must we reduce flights? Because we cant let the plebs travel can we."

If the alternative to restricting flights is an ever-increasing number of wealthy* people flying more and more, burning more and more oil, causing more and more pollution, then we're doomed.

The current amount of flying is a recent phenomenon -- hardly anyone I knew flew in the 70s, now lots of them fly several times per year. Younger people are growing up thinking this is normal, but it's not.

My family considered moving to Australia in the 1960s, it would have meant a weeks-long trip by boat, and they probably wouldn't have returned to the UK for decades. Now some people do that sort of journey on a whim.

Travel can be great fun, but when it's starting to endanger the planet we live on, it's time to put on the brakes.

*The vast majority of humanity never fly in their entire lives, those of us who can travel when and where we want are incredibly privileged, even if we don't realise it as such.

Email blocklisting: A Christmas gift from Microsoft that Linode can't seem to return

Joe 3

This has been going on for years!

I run a server with just ONE email user – a friend of mine with a small business – who sends no more than a few emails a day in total. Despite this, about every six months Microsoft blocks the IP address, citing unspecified bad behaviour.

We've got DKIM and SPF set up. Searching the server logs reveals nothing suspicious. Microsoft flat-out refuses to tell us anything at all about why we've been blocked. No other spam blocklist shows us as blocked, and even Microsoft's own tools (JMRP and SNDS) give us the all-clear.

The only way to get unblocked is to follow a back-and-forth dance through the Microsoft help system (they always refuse to do anything at first, you have to send an annoyed reply) and wait a few days.

I suspect that the reason is that our IP address sends so few emails, it's being reclassified as a newly-in-service IP address. But Microsoft won't tell us anthing, so that's just a guess.

Long thread here: https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/microsoft-365-docs/issues/592

Missing GOV.UK web link potentially cost taxpayers £50m as civil servants are forced to shuffle paper forms

Joe 3


It's baffling that the Reg would bother asking the Taxpayers' Alliance for an opinion. Surely by now everyone knows that they chose that name to mislead people into believing that they're not just a front for the ultra-wealthy?

Google AMP gets a shock to its system as advisor quits, lawsuit claims foul play

Joe 3

Re: Hasn't AMP made the web faster?

Exactly – it was always possible to create fast web pages, even nice looking pages, before AMP came along.

But the trend in web development has been towards bloated frameworks which means developers don't really understand what's going on in the background – often loading tons of stuff which will never be used. Plugin culture is here, faster development perhaps, but slower, bloated pages for users.

AMP is faster because it trims out much of this cruft, but I feel that was always just a useful cover for Google's real goals.

A cautionary, Thames Watery tale on how not to look phishy: 'Click here to re-register!'

Joe 3

Why no subdomain!?

How amateurish that they registered a dodgy-looking domain to handle their email links, instead of just setting up a subdomain.

Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN

Joe 3

Kafkaesque nonsense from Three and EE

So you presented evidence to them that it's possible to access other people's voicemail without a PIN...

...and their reply is "we tell customers to set up a PIN."

Have they even understood what you've just told them? Or is it a case of heads-in-the-sand?

Google boss lands in North Korea for humanitarian mission

Joe 3

Re: NK is evil

Potemkine is right – extending a friendly hand of discussion with a repressive regime is one thing, but doing business with them while ignoring their abuses is quite another.

See the recent stories about Ikea using forced prison labour in East Germany in the 1980s. Did they really not wonder why their sofas were being made for almost nothing? Did they never visit the factories? Did the manufacture of Ikea products result in more freedoms for the people, or improved conditions? No. It merely helped the regime to survive financially for longer.

Look at China. Why do you think it's so cheap to manufacture there? Might it be because the government suppresses any dissent? Do any of the western companies using the labour of the People's Republic try to improve the regime?

Back in the 1980s, East Germany had plenty of defenders in the west, eager to sing the praises of what was a hardline Stalinist dictatorship. When China opens up, there'll be plenty of East German Stasi-type stories to come out. Have none of you seen The Lives Of Others?

Google avoids tax with ‘Double Irish Dutch Sandwich’

Joe 3

"Instead of constant rhetoric and hand-wringing, perhaps Governments worldwide should have a long, hard think about exactly why they feel entitled to plunder from corporate and individual citizens."

Are you for real? How do you think the roads and the street lights and the fire brigade and countless other things are paid for? Companies and people are only able to make money because other people feel confident enough to spend it, so it's only right that they should put back in to help pay for the things that keep that society running.

Dual-dock prototype iPad eyed on eBay

Joe 3

Smart seller

He's cleverly obscured the serial numbers in the photos ("for safety" - whatever that means), but has left in the accompanying barcodes and QR-codes, meaning that any self-respecting geek could figure them out in no time!

VIA outs $49 Raspberry Pi-alike

Joe 3
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Assembled in...

I can see "Assem: GB" on the board - does that mean it was actually made in Britain? There's actually a factory somewhere, making physical goods? How marvellous!

Apple fanbois forced to go on the pull by Motorola patent

Joe 3

Re: RE: Hasn't the telephone system been a push notification system since... 1876?

@ Matt Bryant:

What does the original poster say that made you think they don't understand 'push' vs 'pull'? The poster is saying that a telephone sits there idly, as does a telex machine, until the network contacts it to make it ring or receive a message. Or are you suggesting that a standard old phone is constantly polling the exchange to see if there's a call coming through?

Admittedly it's a very different technology, but I think the comment was meant to be at least partly in jest.

Why I'd pay Apple more to give iPad factory workers a break

Joe 3

Blah blah blah

Well my girlfriend paid for her trip to India as part of a group, and I went to see the South American guy at an event in Leeds hosted by the Co-op, so stick that up your viewpoint. Don't try to second-guess me, I'm one step ahead of you on all this because I live with my ethical decisions every day instead of dressing up selfishness as an political-economic position.

If you want to be greedy and selfish just admit it. Somehow you think that paying people subsistence wages is empowering for them? I bet if you were living below the breadline with no way out you'd feel great about it, right? Perhaps if they were paid even less, they'd be even better off!

Bureaucratic red tape is what prevents black people being chained up and made to work for nothing, it's what stops kids being forced up chimneys to clean them, it's why children can't work in mills any more. Sure, it puts the prices up but I think worth it overall. Would you be happy if your children had to work instead of going to school? Why do you want to deny that privilege to people based on their distance from you?

Joe 3

Your ignorance is showing

You obviously don't understand what the Fairtrade mark means - it means a *minimum* price is paid, so the producers can earn a living wage. It doesn't set a maximum. If the producers can get a higher price-" - if the global price for that commodity rises, for example - then they can sell for that.

I've met a coffee farmer from South America and my girlfriend has met factory workers from India, and they told us that the Fairtrade accreditation system has made a big difference to their lives. They can afford to send their children to school, for example.

How you can see that as a bad thing, I don't know.

Joe 3

Natural selection?

No, it's not natural selection, it's exploitation, they're different things.

If some thugs broke in to your house and tied up your family and stole all your stuff, would that be okay? It's just natural selection, after all - your family were weaker, survival of the fittest, innit?

Joe 3

You selfish sod

I would happily pay much more for electronics - who *needs* a toaster for £5 anyway? - if it meant I wasn't contributing to slavery.

Yes, I would happily pay £2000 for a laptop - my current one is over 5 years old and works perfectly, because I have looked after it. I know plenty of people who get a new laptop every year because they treat it like crap and, hey, they're only cheap, thank goodness for slave labour! Let's just bin it and get a new one!

So bring the fair trade, sweatshop-free world on - I'm happy to pay my share to live in a just society.

Joe 3


I'm sure you'll get lots of replies saying that avoiding oppressively-made goods is just cutting off your nose to spite your face, but you're right - and it is possible. Unfortunately it's difficult to live in the UK and avoid it 100% of the time, but it is possible to get 99% of the way there.

To all those who get a new phone every year, replace their laptop every year, or buy cheap clothes: there is blood on your hands. You don't like me saying it, because it's true.

You *can* get fair trade, sweatshop-free clothes, for example - socks, pants, trousers, shirts, shoes - there's lots of choice and the prices aren't extortionate. You might think that not getting the latest smartphone won't make the tiniest difference to Apple or HTC, but what it means is that you're not contributing to slavery.

Unfortunately, it's not so easy when it comes to electronics - nearly everything is made in China (though my monitor was made in Europe - no doubt the components came from somewhere horrid). But this can be minimised this by buying less, not falling into the constant upgrade trap, and not thinking of electronics as disposable consumables.

Finally, Matt Assay: Fairtrade chocolate is available everywhere - are you going out of your way to buy the slave stuff?!

Acer pulls out Wang, thrusts its wealth at Ho

Joe 3

Re: commas in titles

"Using a comma in place of "and" in titles has a long history of common use in journalism. It's even taught in journalism classes."

Only in the New World colonies, I'm afraid. It's pretty much unheard of here in the motherland.

Suicidal Foxconn workers talked down from factory roof

Joe 3

I think...

I think Boris the Cockroach was talking about a hypothetical XBox made in the EU, and the small (but worthwhile) extra amount of money that an XBox might cost if they were made here.

Australia should head-hunt Michael Gove

Joe 3


Even with all that checking and switching, Nellie still starts up faster than my mum's PC! To be fair though, it's been ages since it's oil was checked.

Asda 'geekend' offers are for the birds

Joe 3

Sam Smiths in London

There are plenty of Sam Smiths pubs in London charging their lovely low prices for their fine products, it seems Wyrdness doesn't know where to look!

Perhaps they're a secret, full of Northern exiles like myself, I hope I haven't said too much...

Demon Currys iPad showered kids with HARD-CORE smut

Joe 3
Thumb Up

A beautiful example of trolling

And all you down-thumbers fell for it!

Amazon Kindle Fire

Joe 3

@Tony Smith

Sorry to make demands on you Tony, but do you know if the Kindle Fire works with HTML5 web apps, such as the Financial Times app? In theory it should, as it's (apparently) WebKit-based, but as for the offline storage or adding sites as icons to home screens, I just can't find out anywhere! Thanks :)

1,000 Chinese workers strike at Apple and IBM supplier

Joe 3


It seems there's nothing that freedom-loving free-market capitalists love more than an oppressive totalitarian regime

Council not fined after 7,200 sensitive files dumped in skip

Joe 3

@AC, 22:35

Well, gas installers can be (and have been) sent to prison for failing to do their job properly, and as far as I'm aware there's no conscription in place for that job!

(Of course, gas and data are different beasts...)


Joe 3

Best 8-bit version?

SAM Coupé version FTW :)

...for the handful of us that owned one!

Google exec: 'Corporations ignore human rights'

Joe 3
Thumb Down


'HP's China man Todd Bradley answered: "It's not my job to really understand what they're going to use if for."'

Isn't that what IBM said while selling computers to the Nazis?

Fraudulent Google credential found in the wild

Joe 3

If the CAs did their job properly...

If the certificate authorities did their job properly and checked that they were only issuing certificates to the right people, this wouldn't happen. But then, the cost of SSL certificates would rise. As usual, do we want it done cheap or do we want it done rights? Seems like cheap has won as far as SSL certificates are concerned.

Amazon paints the Kindle cloudy

Joe 3

@deains, no VAT on eBooks from December

Can you quote a source for this information? I really hope it's true!

London rioters should 'loose all benefits'

Joe 3

I'd upvote more if I could

So far there's you, me and one other upvoter. When do we take charge?

Thousands of gb.com sites go dark

Joe 3


Infuriatingly written article! Why keep referring to these companies as registrars? Why say that gb.com is a TLD extension? They're just regular companies selling subdomains, nothing more.

I could start selling subdomains to one of my domains this afternoon, would that make me a registrar?

Apple Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Part Two

Joe 3

Greetings from 2005!

I'm still on 10.4 (is that Tiger?) and copying and pasting files in the Finder works for me, in fact I use it all the time!

GOLDENBALLSUP! Beckham website defaced

Joe 3

Perhaps they're Seinfeld fans?

Though I reckon even the most ardent Seinfeld fans wouldn't take baby-naming advice from George Costanza...

Metro Bank in schoolboy email error snafu

Joe 3


Holborn is where one of the other Co-op banks is, and there's another at Angel. You're right about rarely visiting a branch though, if only my customers would stop sending damn cheques, realise it's 2011 and make a transfer instead!

Joe 3


Surely this hints at deeper IT issues at Metro Bank? Some marketing wonk is getting a list of customers' email addresses and pasting them into Outlook - that this is even possible suggests to me that they don't operate the principle of least privilege.

Why does anyone in marketing need to see a customer's details? Surely they should be entering their text into a template which the system then fills in with customer data?

Yes, the new Android movie rentals use Adobe Flash

Joe 3

@AC: Almost, but not quite

The codec is the process used, not the application used to do the encoding and decoding. Is QuickTime Player a codec? Is VLC a codec? No, so neither is Flash Player. These are programs which implement codecs.

Also, the FLV format is distinct from H264 - Flash Player supports both. (FLV encodes using Sorensen Spark or On2 VP6, but not H264 which is delivered as a standard H264/MPEG4 file.)

As iOS supports H264 natively it wouldn't be much of a stretch for Google to write an app which accesses the same video streams that the Flash Player does, so I wouldn't be surprised if Google's video rental service does make an appearance there.

UK gov 'draws US attention' to Bradley Manning concerns

Joe 3
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Stasi methods

Sleep deprivation was one of the East German Stasi's favourite methods of mentally torturing their suspects, and "prisoner safety" was one of their favourite excuses for waking them up every five minutes in the night.

Sounds like the US government has drifted somewhat from its founding principles... again, a bit like East Germany! It seems that Markus Wolf gave them some handy tips when they hired him in 2004.

Vanilla Ice to tackle panto Captain Hook

Joe 3

Real feminists...

Real feminists (or egalitarians) don't refer to adult females as girls, especially just after referring to adult males as men.

As a word pair, "guys / girls" is okay I reckon, as is "boys / girls"... but "men / girls" - surely you can see how that's demeaning to women?

Digital player maker 'incited consumers to break the law', says ASA

Joe 3

Complaints against Microsoft and Apple submitted!

Not that I have anything against MS or Apple, but perhaps an upheld complaint against these two giants will get some headlines and help make the public aware of this stupid law.




The MS page even suggests that you can burn copies of CDs too! Shocking, illegal behaviour...

Coalition to float prototype for single government web domain

Joe 3

Save money?

They could start by turning off the lights! I can see into the DirectGov offices from my flat and they leave entire floors lit 24/7, the wasteful sods.

Sage Pay suffers 2nd day of downtime

Joe 3
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Status page

They can't even get the status page right! Currently there's a green flag and the message:

"System Normal - Thu 03 Mar 2011 6:54pm. Live transactions are not processing - The Sage Pay gateway is currently not processing any transactions. We are working to get this resolved as a matter of urgency. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience. Please continue to check the system monitor page for further updates."

Apparently, at SageFail, it's normal for transactions not to be processed...

Rogue AV pimps finally show love for alternative browsers

Joe 3

Re: my post above

"How would dimming the page help? Viruses already do this." - Good point - pretty much anything which the OS does, VXers will attempt to fake. But at least if the webpage was dimmed and the alert was within its borders, users would be aware that the alert is coming from the webpage rather than the OS, so whether it was fake or not doesn't really matter as it's not as trusted as an OS dialog.

Safari is particularly guilty in this case, as having a huge Safari icon to the left of the message could lead the casual user to think that the message is coming from the browser itself, rather than the site being viewed. (I remember finding wincleaner.exe on the desktop of my mum's G3 iMac - she said that the computer had said there was a problem and it needed to be downloaded. A classic example of a JavaScript alert looking far too official!)

I doubt there's anything which can be done to stop users just clicking whichever button is flashing (minimum-time alerts?). Perhaps all this clicky-graphic stuff was wrong all along and it's time for us to go back to the command line! Anyone fancy starting a rural online community called the e-mish?

Joe 3

Safari left out in the cold!

There isn't a Safari one really, it isn't tailored at all - that's just Safari's standard JavaScript alert() call box. It's more likely the scammer's fall-back to 'unknown browser' (hence the IE-style that follows) - I dare say it behaves the same on other less well-used browsers.

I've thought this for years though, browsers really should make it clear when a modal pop-up dialog box comes from a website instead of the OS - how about dimming the page in question and having the alert box fixed to the middle of the webpage? Using the same alert window style as the rest of the OS is just asking for trouble. (At least Chrome puts "The page at example.com says" above, but it's still not distinct enough really.)

Millennium bugs hit stock exchange

Joe 3

Are you sure

Are you sure it doesn't mean "about"?

Hardware keyloggers found in Manchester library PCs

Joe 3

Why were the USB ports even accessible?

Surely a locked cage of some sort with one hole for wires (and some air vents!) should be all that's visible to the public? Even a non-techy librarian can understand that type of security.

Google brings 2-factor authentication to Gmail

Joe 3

Co-operative Bank too

The Co-op Bank also uses a card reader with challenge-response codes every time a new payee is added (or other high-risk request).

Halifax still uses it's "wish it was two-factor" by asking you for a regular password, then asking you to provide certain characters from another password. Phtooey!

Apple patents miracle combo mouse-keyboard

Joe 3

Re: my post above

Having said that, the Sony PS3 keypad probably relies on the keys themselves being touch-sensitive, whereas Apple's patent is for a finger-watching camera mounted on the keyboard.

Joe 3


Come on, you came all the way to the comments section without reading the article first?

Joe 3

Yeah, you're right!


4 minutes in.

Surely this patent will now be rejected?

BBC rebuilds Civilisation in HD

Joe 3

Cropping - wrong wrong wrong!

I couldn't agree with you more about the cropping, it's very annoying. If the footage was shot in 4:3, show it in 4:3 for goodness' sake! I love BBC Four for documentaries but they're always doing this and it's really annoying.

(I know that cretins who want everything to fill the screen perfectly will complain that there's black bars at the side, but they can always stretch it like they probably do to everything anyway.)

Google plugins force-feed open codec to IE and Safari

Joe 3

Re: It is that big a deal.

True, H.264 is used in other applications, but the discussion here is about websites showing video through browsers, so yours is a moot point.

Does anyone who has a studio-grade camcorder put the results straight on the web with no editing (and therefore rendering)? Professionals have always used different codecs to consumers.