* Posts by Dale 3

402 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009


Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Dale 3

Re: Pronouncing...

Indeed, the official logo does stylise the Q to look like a fish, so I presume the author's intent was for it to be pronounced "Koi".

Fail: Exam paper marked by Elon Musk up for auction

Dale 3

Re: I'm increasingly disliking the man

You don't have to be rich to not care what people think on the internet. Not caring saves you an awful lot of bother.

If it were possible to evade facial-recognition systems using just subtle makeup, it might look something like this

Dale 3


Unless you wear a different pattern of makeup every time you go out, the AI will simply learn your makeup pattern as another identity and carry on tracking it. It may not immediately connect that identity to "you", but it wouldn't take much for either a human or an AI to make the connection.

Facebook building 'on-demand executable file format' that self-inflates using homebrew compression

Dale 3

Re: Nothing to see. Move along...

Packing the executable with DLLs wasn't the novelty. The novelty was in how they packed it, removed redundancy and encoded entropy to improve compression ratios.

This drag sail could prevent spacecraft from turning into long-term orbiting junk. We spoke to its inventors ahead of launch

Dale 3

Where does it burn up to?

Slightly off-topic but I've always been curious about what happens to these satellites when they "burn up"? Where do they go? As in - stuff doesn't just burn away to nothing, but usually leaves some residue or ash and often exhausts toxic gases into the air. A few little cooking fires a few centuries ago didn't make much of a mark on the planet's atmosphere but after the industrial revolution so much pollution was dumping into the air that Beijing 2008 almost wasn't visible. So at the moment there are relatively few old satellites "burning up" but when the space revolution comes what's going to happen to all the metal and other exotic materials "burning up" as the latest Starlink fleet starts approaching its end-of-life?

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

Dale 3

Re: Forgive me for saying this...

Ah Teams... it reduces my workload... mainly because I can never find anything in it, and the time it would take to find the thing is more valuable than the thing I wanted to find, and the other guy who added the thing can't find it either so that job just goes away.

‘Fasten your seat belts, raise your tray table, and disconnect your Bluetooth headsets from the entertainment unit’

Dale 3

Re: qantas never crash

I hope the seat in front at least has something the iPad can slot into. On the one hand having it loose gives more options to avoid glare from the neighbour's window, but on the other hand I wouldn't want to have to hold it up for three hours straight given the cramped space available. And where to put it when the "food" comes?

Fujitsu wins £9m contract hike for Oracle HR system running nearly 3 years late at Northern Ireland Education Authority

Dale 3


I would be nervous about getting my software from Fujitsu, despite their track record of producing perfect bug-free software.

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

Dale 3

Re: There still remains......

Those numbers are likely for the current model of filling up to the top and then running down to almost empty, which we do because of the relative inconvenience of having to go to a petrol station every so often. But the electric charging model doesn't have to be like that. With charging points able to be so much more ubiquitous, cars could be topped-up just about every time and everywhere you park. Perhaps even automatically with wireless charging in parking bays (even at traffic lights?) It doesn't always need to be high-capacity high-speed empty-to-full charging.

Of course this doesn't suit every use. Long distance trips benefit from fast charges - the faster the better, but a 10 minute break every 800km seems reasonable.

I wouldn't mind a bit of lateral thinking - how about a Eurotunnel-like roll-on-roll-off train that gets you most of the way to your long-distance destination, faster than a motorway, and charges your car while you take a nap, grab a snack from the restaurant upstairs or watch the scenery go by? Eurotunnel is remarkably efficient once you get past the whole check-in and queuing bit, while at the other end you're off and on the A16 in minutes.

BMA and Royal College of GPs refuse to endorse NHS Digital's data grab from surgeries in England

Dale 3

Opted out

It is obviously not intended for public benefit, or they would have had Boris or Matt bleating about it at every possible opportunity. Not even a peep in the mainstream media, that I noticed, and the first I heard was the previous Reg article at which point I immediately went and opted out (both ways - paper and "digital", not that I should have needed to). On principle, since if they're trying this hard to not inform people, it can't be good.

Starlink's latent China crisis could spark a whole new world of warcraft

Dale 3

Re: Its very easy to detect ground based broadcasts

Although TV "detector" vans may still exist, I doubt they are anything more than a PR exercise trading on the (diminishing) fear that it once was possible to detect emissions from TVs, maybe 30 years ago. I bet it won't be some nondescript white van trawling the neighbourhood in secret, but emblazoned with large colourful logos and driving around in the middle of the day to maximize exposure.

There could be some faintly detectable signal emanating from your TV, if only it could be separated from the myriad other devices with screens which aren't watching TV, and dozens of ways to watch TV which don't involve having a set at all. I suspect the only "detecting" being done nowadays is a bloke listening out for the Pointless countdown blaring out the soundbar or peering through your Windows to see what you're watching.

We need a 20MW 20,000-GPU-strong machine-learning supercomputer to build EU's planned digital twin of Earth

Dale 3

Douglas Adams

I demand to know where the obligatory Douglas Adams reference is in this article?!

Dulux feel lucky, punk? Samsung wades into paint world with interior emulsions designed to 'complement' your, er, TV

Dale 3

Re: Idiot marketing people at work again

Their marketing looks nice but I'm wondering how their OLEDs are producing black wingtips on the butterfly. I suspect you'll need Samsung's "Black Background" shade of paint to make this work.

Samsung to introduce automatic call blocking on Android 11-capable flagships

Dale 3

Re: How does it work?

Exactly. Until there is a solution for number spoofing, none of these solutions are solutions at all.

I spent last monday playing dumb with a multitude of scammers trying to convince me my internet was about to be disconnected due to "hackers" (my favourite moment was when I asked whether I should plug my internet back in because the plug had fallen out) - the calls were relentless on monday although seem to have stopped now.

But every call came from a different, presumably randomly generated, UK number. If crowdsourced number blocking grows in popularity, eventually the chances are some legitimate numbers will start getting blocked and people will have a hard time why their phone seems not to be working although there is still a dial tone.

It can't possibly by that hard for telephone service providers to eliminate number spoofing.

GSM gateways: Parliament obviously cocked up, so let minister issue 'ignore the law' decree, UK.gov barrister urges court

Dale 3

Re: Here's a thought

Would that make Parliament a type of git-hub?

Software billionaire accused of hiding $2bn in income from IRS – potentially the largest tax scam in US history

Dale 3

Re: Close, but not Glenn Close with a cigar.

Yellow is always the last to run out on my printer. So whatever encoding they're using, is very efficient.

Think tank warns any further delay to 5G rollout will cost the UK multiple billions – but hey, at least Huawei is out

Dale 3

Were you hoping to influence opinion? Because I was exhausted halfway through the first paragraph. Amanfrommars would be proud.

Tesla to build cars made of batteries and hit $25k price tag about three years down the road

Dale 3

Re: Applefying the car

I think that's what he was getting at.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing. You can shut the curtains and tour The National Museum of Computing in VR

Dale 3

Re: Security.

I dunno, I keep trying but it's not working for me.

Battle for 6GHz heats up in America: Broadcasters sue FCC to kill effort to open spectrum for private Wi-Fi

Dale 3

Wait for the NAB to start connecting 6GHz with Covid (though obviously only in WiFi form, the commercial form is naturally anti-viral).

Gone in 15 minutes: Qualcomm claims new chargers will fill your smartmobe in a flash

Dale 3

Imagine being that vapid that waiting an hour or two for your car to fill up with petrol is the worst thing in the world and you need a full tank after 15 minutes so you can carry on driving and being productive.

Some people's use cases may be different from your own.

Shocked I am. Shocked to find that underground bank-card-trading forums are full of liars, cheats, small-time grifters

Dale 3

Re: And there's another

Not sure why he needs to have the same code on all three screens though.

Drupal drops first big upgrade in five years and looks forward by looking backwards

Dale 3

Re: EOL for Drupal 7

Also see https://www.drupal.org/psa-2020-06-24, which updated the PSA-2019 announcement to move the date to 2022.

Note that Drupal 8'd EOL is still Nov 2021.

Shopped recently in a small online store? Check this list to see if it was one of 570 websites infected with card-skimming Magecart

Dale 3

List sorting

The PDF list of sites linked in the article is all over the place in terms of sorting. If you're looking for specific sites, use the search facility rather than looking manually through the list or you may miss them. The list looks to be alphabetical at the beginning, but goes haywire in the second column.

Three UK: We're sending you this SMS to warn you not to pay attention to unsolicited texts

Dale 3

Indeed! It's like the argument that scam emails are deliberately written with terrible grammar and spelling because the types of people who wouldn't notice are also the types more likely to believe they've won an email lottery they never entered, so the scammer receives fewer replies but with better chances of getting some cash out of them - it improves the efficiency of the scam.

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

Dale 3


(Sorry for going offtopic, but I'll mention this in case someone finds it useful...)

In the UK, credit cards are covered by Section 75 protection, which is a very powerful legal right. (It basically makes the card issuer equally liable as the goods/service provider so if something goes wrong and the provider doesn't deal with it adequately, the card issuer is equally liable to put it right.) Debit cards are (usually) covered by chargeback, but that is just a feature which card issuers offer, not a legal right and they don't have to honour it. S.75 protection is much stronger, which is why it's usually recommended to use a credit card over a debit card for big ticket items.

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

Dale 3


In the spirit of the multitude of "is it..." websites, would someone please build isit737max.com, so you put in a flight number and it comes back with "YES, you might die" or "NO, you're probably alright". It can't be too difficult, seeing that sites like SeatGuru are already able to identify the plane type by flight number and present the seating configuration.

I for one am in no hurry to fly any route that uses 737MAX, and will be checking before booking in future.

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service

Dale 3

Re: Why would anyone use it?

That was you? Dammit!

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

Dale 3


The saddest part of this story is that it happened before the ubiquity of camera phones.

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer

Dale 3

They fixed http://natwest.co.uk, which now redirects to https://personal.natwest.com. But they haven't fixed any of these:

https://natwest.co.uk still has the dodgy certificate and doesn't redirect anywhere else.

https://www.natwest.co.uk is the same.

http://www.natwest.co.uk redirects to https://www.natwest.co.uk, which has the dodgy certificate.

They clearly must own all of these names; I can't understand why they haven't fixed all of them. They're not even getting rid of 15% of their workforce.

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?

Dale 3

Re: Bless..

Thanks for the video. It explains Oddball's righteous indignation at SODDERING!

UK's internet registry prepares a £100m windfall for its board members – and everyone else will pay for it

Dale 3

Nice bit of racketeering going on there

Generate a bunch of new .uk names for all the existing .co.uk names... be a shame if someone else got hold of it, right guv?

Danger mouse! Potent rodents 'see' infrared after eyeballs injected with nanoparticles

Dale 3

Nano-batteries to go with those nanoparticles. At first, that's what I assumed. Now I'm thinking something along the lines of the mechanism of a self-winding watch. When the IR starts fading, you sweep your eyes side to side a few times to recharge. In the heat of battle there's enough action to keep it going all night.

Sorry, Mr Zuckerberg isn't in London that day. Or that one. Nope. I'd give up if I were you

Dale 3


Is there a legal basis that requires him to appear? If yes, then fine them daily until he appears and send in the bailiffs if they don't pay up. If not, then give it up guys, he said no.

Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow

Dale 3

Rolling billboard

Whoever buys advertising space better keep their message short.

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

Dale 3

Re: Debt = Bad

"As the A/C said, the [root] cause was cheap credit so why is cheap credit the answer?"

And as Tom 38 answered, cheap credit wasn't the cause, inappropriate lending was. Mortgages being given to people who were at very high risk of not paying them back, then the lenders would take all their high-risk mortgages, package them together into the CDOs that Tom 38 talked about and sell them on to other banks, who treated them as less risky without looking at the contents.

You could argue that the cause of the problem was the CDOs being incorrectly (or fraudulently) rated less risky than reality. Or you could argue that the cause of the problem was the fact that such risky mortgages were being offered in the first place. You can't argue that cheap credit was the cause of the problem. Even if the credit was cheap, these people still couldn't afford to pay it back so never should it have been given to them.

Dale 3

Re: Profitability

Yes, overpriced goods, product range and mistakes in online are usually what everyone talks about whenever Maplin comes up, but what I got from this article is that this author asserts it was problems at the corporate finance level that actually (or additionally) led to the death-spiral. The balance sheet numbers showed increasing sales every year up to 2014 and gross profit being maintained at around 50% which means they were still selling stuff and making a profit from what they sold despite being "expensive", but the whole time corporate debt and increasing liability for interest on the debt were catching up with them.

The buyout by Rutland in 2015 enabled them to reset some of the debt and interest liability, albeit with lower sales and gross profits (though still around 50%), but the years following showed exactly the same pattern - sales and profits going up but debt and interest going up much faster. The debt scared their suppliers into withdrawing credit supply arrangements, and if you have nothing to sell you have no business. So actually, customers were still going in and buying stuff, but the author's contention is that spiralling corporate debt killed them.

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Dale 3

Magic Leap

I guess Magic Leap are providing the hardware.

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software

Dale 3


I get the idea of testing slightly altered signs to see whether they might be misinterpreted by an autonomous vehicle, but calling a lenticular sign an "attack" is not much different from hanging an actual stop sign over another road sign and calling that an attack. That's not an attack, that's just showing a different sign and having it classified correctly.

Developer recovered deleted data with his face – his Poker face

Dale 3

Re: I wonder if there will be any poker face stories

Here's hoping whoever's involved at KFC/DHL are regulars here, and their story will be told in due course (with identifiers "redacted" to protect the guilty, of course).

Future of Misco UK hangs in the balance – sources

Dale 3

Re: I wonder....

CPC are pretty good at sending a multitude of thick catalogues, most of which are more or less identical from one week to the next.

Bolsover Cruise Club are incredible. You don't even need to have gone on a cruise, you just need to have walked past their shop or something and you'll be on the receiving end of all manner of letters, postcards and booklets, multiple times per week.

Amazon crowd-sources new HQ location, Bezos tells mayors to woo him

Dale 3


Maybe part of the plan is to send a message to Seattle city to give them a better deal for the existing HQ1 facility, otherwise they'll gradually shift more and more operations over to HQ2. Or play the cities off against each other.

Top repo managers clone, then close, a nasty SSH vector

Dale 3

Joern Schneeweisz

Sorry, I was rather hoping for some seven dwarves puns.

Samsung drops 128TB SSD and kinetic-type flash drive bombshells

Dale 3

1 MiB

They usually operate alone but sometimes have been known to work in pairs.

FBI's spyware-laden video claims another scalp: Alleged sextortionist charged

Dale 3

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

Maybe they already thought of that, and this is the technique they want you to *think* they use, to distract miscreants from the actual technique they use.

Enumeration bug offers five-finger discount on Woolworth Australia loyalty points

Dale 3

Re: Good for you

You may be overthinking this. Rather than kneejerk-reacting to the possibility that loyalty scheme costs might be added to shelf prices, just look at the prices. If they're cheaper somewhere else, go somewhere else. MySupermarket.co.uk is good for comparing before you leave home.

UK mobile number porting creaks: Arcane system shows its age

Dale 3

Re: Why oh why etc.

No, terrible idea. If you have poor network coverage in your home/office/commute/etc, you can't switch to another network with better coverage. The monopolistic network provider is in no hurry to improve coverage because their customers are billing agents, not end users, and they're not losing any customers over this.

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

Dale 3

Why do you build us up...

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

...just to let us down...

Those dreaming of sending hipsters crashing into the dirt can forget it, though.


Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4G: Tube comms trials for emergency crews

Dale 3

Re: Noooooooooooooooooooo!

I googled it. Turns out, "Progress is an organisation of Labour party members which aims to promote a radical and progressive politics for the 21st century." So I'm not sure what your point was :-)

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Dale 3

Sounds like they've been taking notes from Microsoft on how to roll out an upgrade.



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