* Posts by Tanuki

366 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Sep 2006


Home Office U-turns on surveillance camera review muddle


A better reply...

would have been to refer to the reply given in what is generally known as "Arkell v. Pressdram".

Config file wipe blunder caused deadly Airbus A400M crash – claim


Windows has detected new hardware.

Do you wish to configure "Airbus A400M" now [Y/N]?

Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder


Re: Sentient being prejudice

At least us carnivores [usually] have the compassion to actually kill our meat before eating it.

Vegans should remember that the raw apple, lettuce, banana, nuts, grass, mushrooms or whatever they're tucking into is - at a cellular level - STILL ALIVE - as they chow down on it.

Please, vegans - kill your vegetation before eating it.


Re: Errr...

They're not Fish. According to the wonks at PETA they're Sea Kittens!

[visit http://features.peta.org/PETASeaKittens/ - if you dare].

Coat? Got mine - I'm goin' out clubbing with my baby seal.

'Stolen' art found on nearby shelf. Police keep looking anyway


I blame that darned Dewey Decimal System.

(hence my suggestion that libraries should file books etc. by size and colour rather than by subject or author - then you could immediately see if one was out of place in the stacks!)

Chinese cyber-spies hid botnet controls in MS TechNet comments


Re: This is not true


The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house


Life's too short to spend it balling socks.

Some of us get round the whole issue of whether laundry-item X needs specific washing/ironing cycles by outsourcing the task to the well-established traditional "physical cloud" - put the 'special needs' washing in a bag and a little man comes and picks it up, returning it the following day all nicely washed and ironed and on hangers.

An Internet-of-Things ambulatory laundry-basket made of Sapient Pearwood, which could walk itself to/from the laundry when full, could possibly be useful.

Bed-warming can generally be facilitated by suitable pre-cubation-deployment of human/canine/feline partners [though beware of one of the cats leaving an eviscerated mouse or the uneaten half of yesterday's Frog on the pillow].

The whole Internet-of-Things wouldn't really work for me - unless it can bring in logs from the logpile and light the fires/woodstove for me, or link the fridge to the chicken-run so when I'm running low on eggs it can promote an extra ovulation-event or three.

'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves


Cross-border shipping.....

I always liked the idea of setting up Interfauna as a competitor to Interflora. So you could send people animals as well as flowers.

However the legality of facilitating ng cross-border procurement of that crate of rabid Wolverines for your ex-partner as a friendly 'reminder' of your divorce-anniversary could be a bit problematic.

We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV


Expensive, Slow, Ugly....

and definitely not doing anything to tempt me away from buying myself a Discovery 'Commercial' [on-the-road for £3500 less than the Lexus, but with 256BHP!! - is treated as a commercial vehicle for BiK tax and emissions-related VED] in the coming tax-year.

[a Discovery also passes the 'dogs and logs' test whereas this Lexus emphatically doesn't].

Now, if Lexus did one of these with only 3 doors, permanent proper 4x4, and fitted their rather lush V8 petrol lump, that would be a different matter.

Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse


I can kinda imagine him having specified that his coffin should be made from Sapient Pearwood.

I BEG YOU, mighty Jobs, TAKE MY LIVER, Cook told Apple's dying co-founder


I see no mention of the Fava Beans and the nice Chianti.

UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO


Name and shame the offenders!

Why am I thinking "Time to attach the ringing-voltage-generator-of-enlightenment to the nipples of ignorance..."

Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer


Sir Oliver Lodge

Marconi was a pioneer, sure, but the widespread adoption of his discoveries also depended on the work of Sir Oliver Lodge - who invented the idea of tuning [he referred to it as 'syntony'] which allowed the RF energy from the transmitter to be radiated predominantly on one frequency, and for a receiver to be able to separate wanted and unwanted signals.

Without this, radio would have been just so much interference.

[I'm a great lobbyist for Lodge, if only because he went to the same school as I did]

Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to eat itself


Blended business and tech.

The big issue I've found (which AI etc is unlikely to ever address) when recruiting is to find people who know the techie stuff but also understand (and can explain in terms that management will understand) the impact of the technology on the business side of things.

Combine the two though and you've got it made - however old you are. Techies who don't understand the legal/audit/compliance implications of what they're doing, or auditors who don't understand the technology - well, I've had to deal with the rather-expensive aftermaths of both.

"Do it your way and we both go to jail; do it my way and only you go to jail. Guess what - we're going to do it my way" as I recently had to say to someone who was supposedly skilled in safety-critical systems design.

Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

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Some years back I was at ICAO:EGBP on business when one of the people I was working with discovered I was a licenced radio amateur and as a result I got invited for a flight in his Tiger Moth in the hope that I could help him track down the cause of intermittent catastrophic radio-interference on his "clip-it-to-the-instrument-panel" Icom air-band comms radio.

There's something slightly disconcerting about taking-off into the wind and realising you've just got airborne at barely above walking-pace.

I didn't get much 'proper' work done that afternoon but we did identify the problem with the magneto wiring.

Powering the Internet of Stuff – by sucking electricity from TREES


Re: whatever happened to

Wasn't there also some cosmetic surgeon in the 'states who fueled his car on recycled human-fat from his liposuction practice?

Now that's *real* power.

German iron meets Monaco's highlands: Audi A1 review


I wonder how easy it would be to hack all the torque-vectoring/stability-control-program stuff so you could instead dial in some of that wonderful lift-off-oversteer effect that made the Peugeot 205 about the only decent handling FWD car of the last century?

It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV


My only real use for a TV is to display home-generated static photos which I load from a 32Gb USB memory-stick. Someday we might get manufacturers producing "TVs" that can do display- justice to the image quality of Mr. Canon's DSLRs and a Sigma prime lens.

Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all


How can you code until you've understood the objectives?

IMHO coding is one of the _last_ steps of a successful project.

(by "successful" I mean 'meeting the originally specified requirements' and "being maintainable in a cost-effective way for as long as the product is required in-service" and "providing for an ordered shutdown of the service/withdrawal of the product").

I've seen far too many projects run by superannuated geeks on the "We'll all start our coding in a variety of languages and platforms - meantime can someone go and find out what the client wants!" basis. Coupled with a client who doesn't really know what he/she wants and even if he/she did know he wouldn't be able to adequately express it - the result is chaos.

The other big issue I've had is when projects escape from development and slide into production without a proper clean demarcation between the two. ITIL, PRINCE, Agile etc are useful toolboxes but shouldn't be religions.

Users shun UK.gov flagship digital service


Having recently had to be a party to a LPA, the idea of "just filling in some form or other online" without legal advice being on hand would have been utter madness.

[It may be OK in the simplest of cases but as soon as the LPAing individual is a landlord, trustee, member of a LLP or similar it gets very fun very fast]

Best bit about .gov.uk is the ability to pay VED online. Though it doesn't make the pain of coughing-up the readies for a "Band M" vehicle any less painful.

Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'


Re: Why not...

Better Off With Map And Nokia.


Re: Motorola

Or the old MetPol Storno-500 series (which I spent quite a bit of time in the 1980s repairing)


Nice heavy diecast case and big battery-pack. Robust enough that you could use it to render a mugger unconscious and it'd still work well enough to let you call for backup.

I'm sooooo green: The Beginner's Guide to Krautrock


Popol Vuh.

Can I put in a vote for this band? Their soundtrack to the wonderfully-bizarre Herzog/Kinski movie "Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes" is truly brilliant for late-night listening.

Pond, rocks or quicksand in your 1km garden? Get a rugged DECT phone


Re: Separate base-station?

I'd be more minded to breach the EU Terminal Directive and bolt a N-socket on to the back of the base-station then attach a nice chunky length of coax for an external antenna. I only did the ethernet-to-2.4GHz thing because I could use PoE.


Separate base-station?

This would be useful for me but only if the 'base station' DECT transmitter is separate from the handset's charging cradle.

[Tanuki Towers has walls over a foot thick - solid early-Victorian masonry - which block RF rather well. I'd want to put the base-station transmitter in a waterproof box mounted high up on the exterior to the house just like I've had to do with the Ethernet-to-2.4GHz adapter to get coverage down into the woods]

Norks' internet goes TITSUP in possible DDoS attack

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I'm suspecting that the Norks have foolishly decided to change broadband-provider in the run-up to Christmas.

Either that or they've already got TalkTalk as their broadband-provider.

EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really


False triggering.

I wonder how long someone will work out where the "sweet spot" is for the trigger? And parked cars are suddenly calling the emergency-swervices.

I'm reminded of a certain car of a few years back where there was an impact-sensor fitted somewhere up behind the front bumper: giving the right area a thwack with a suitably heavy tool caused the central-locking to unlock (because, obviously, if you've been in a crash the last thing you want is for the doors to stay locked...)

Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register


Re: Excellent article

Don't mention loco engines - or he'll be doing a Bentley Deltic next.

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I like it! Running up your engine in the back of a Sankey trailer is an 'interesting' way to get first-smoke.

On a much-more-micro scale I once conspired with the owner of a Heinkel bubble-car to replace the seized single-cylinder sub-200cc engine with a 3-cylinder Klockner-Humbolt-Deutz marine Diesel engine of about 1.5 Litres, and a centrifugal clutch. The usable rev-ranges of the two engines didn't coincide too well so some obscure shaft was turned-round in the gearbox. The KHD had so much torque a gearbox was unnecessary except for starting on the steepest of (Dutch) hills. 0-135KM/h in 2nd gear was fun. Eventually it caught fire catastrophically while stuck in a traffic-jam somewhere between Breda and Doordrecht.

Pre-digital computer 'cranks out' Fourier Transforms

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Isn't this somewhat like the Doodson-Lege tidal-prediction engine?


[I have seen this particular machine in action. All things considered, it's surprisingly silent!]

Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?



I don't really class any of them as ~Vintage~ they've all got LCD screens!

[My first cellular mobile-phone was a "BT Steel" with a big carrier/recharger frame which bolted to the car transmission-tunnel. Before that, we had Pye Westminsters on the old BT System-4 VHF mobile network. ]



Oh look! A squadron of pigs just flew by.....

I'll believe it when it happens. Rather than the ICO/DCMS pocketing the cash I think the fines levied should be distributed amongst the complainants - to me that's "restorative justice" and if people realised nuisance-calls could be converted into a steady stream of additional income it might cause more people to complain aggressively/take legal action against the nuisance callers.

Me? I have been known to reply to nuisance-callers by breathing heavily and asking them what colour bra and panties they are wearing today. This tends to shut them up quickly, specially the male ones.

Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes


DAB, whether in a phone or not, is intrinsically power-inefficient: to receive a single stream you still have to receive the entire MUX and decode the 1536 subcarriers [oh, all those lovely compute-intensive FFTs!] - only to then throw away the vast majority of the recovered bits because they're not part of the stream you want to listen to.

The continued obsession by the Beeb/Ofcom with forcing DAB upon an unwilling public is nothing short of criminal abuse-of-power.

Four caged in UK after cyber-heist swipes €7m in EU carbon credits


The only real heist is the one perpetrated against the-rest-of-us who are expected to fund this whole racket in 'carbon credits' through higher prices and higher taxes.

The very idea is akin to the Papal Indulgences that were traded in the middle-ages: someone in power invents a sin, while at the same time selling doctrinally-approved permits-to-sin and pocketing the cash.

What we have with 'carbon credits' is, so to speak, a "Sin of Emission".

Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI


Re: Not just once @Stoneshop

Agreed: there's a lot to be said for thermal-inertia once you get your house temperature up to the desired set-point: even if I let the woodstove go out there's still enough heat stored in a couple of hundred Kg of cast-iron-and-firebrick to keep the house warm for a day or so. [foot-thick internal masonry-walls help a bit too].

I defy anyone to successfully hack my stove via WiFi.

Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?


Re: OnePlus One

The FM radio uses the headphone-wire as the antenna.

Video: Dyson unveils robotic tank that hoovers while you're out


Re: Still missing critical feature

Here at Scrotum Towers cleaning duties are performed by a German-made "Sebo". It was bought after a quick chat with my machine-room contract-cleaning provider-of-the-month. I weorked on the basis that if you're paid a fixed amount to do a job you'll want tools that let you complete it in the shortest-possible time so you can pay your minimum-wage cleandroids the least-possible.

So far the Sebo's been brilliant.

[His other cleaner suggestion was a Nilfisk-Advance - which I have to admit looked truly impressive in a kind of Android-brothel-meets-LEXX-shiny-stainless-steel-machine-porn-fantasy-sense but I just couldn't justify spending £1500 on something that would spend 99% of its life unseen and shut away in the cellar].


I wonder if it's smart enough to survive an attack from a sexually-frustrated Jack Russell Terrier?

Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people


Re: nokia carriers...

And with a Nokia it'll still be working well enough to let you call the Fuzz to report the crime after you've used it to beat the mugger unconscious.

We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie


Re: Get your own toys

Aren't the EU trying to do it with their "Galileo" GPS-alike, which project seems to be going oh-so-well?

[I guess their satellites just want to break free?]

LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio


ISM band allocation.

I do hope that Ozzie 900MHz radio is actually type-approved for use in ITU "Region 1" [Europe, Africa, the Middle East west of the Persian Gulf including Iraq, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia].

Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?



I remember some years ago being at a Gartner presentation where the guy said, in essence " any business that doesn't have a high-profile presence on Second Life is doomed to irrelevance in the next year "

I think we can all name a few businesses who took this advice to little benefit, and likewise plenty of businesses who didn't hear the message but for whom the Gartner-predicted doom is somehow taking longer to materialise than first predicted.

World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs


Re: Not only on planes

And there was the Meteor - basically a poorer-production-quality version of the Merlin, minus the superchargers and with a lower compression-ratio so it would run OK on commercial-grade petrol rather than AVGAS - which was used in quite a few WWII-era tanks.

Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

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One of the benefits of living somewhere distinctly non-Inner-City is the ease-of-access to a rather conveniently civilised place calling itself 'Waitrose', and their free-coffee-for-regular-customers.

[Claims that their car-parking spaces are also larger than Lidl's/Aldi's - to better accomodate clients' Range-Rovers - are unsubstantiated].

Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

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Why bother?

At the beginning of this year I borrowed a set of energy-meters from a client for a weekend. Stuck them on pretty much every appliance in the house, gathered the data into a spreadsheet... and discovered that I was spending something like £3 a day on electricity. Part of which was a standing-charge.

Remember - this was in winter. In summer it's probably half that (though the dehumidifier occasionally gets intensive use).

Honestly, even if through the use of a 'smart' meter I cut my electricity utilisation to *zero* then the saving is well down in the noise - there's at least three times that amount of daily variance in the cost of my wine-consumption.

Fretting about whether your fridge is costing you 20p or 22p a day to run - well, get over it and get a life.

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE


Forget this whole idea of a "TV" whether 'smart' or dumb - what I would love is a decently-priced mid-size (28-inch max) 4K *monitor* that I could then connect to the local content-source of my choice (which will rarely-if-ever include 'broadcast media').

Personally, I don't want big screens - they're obtrusive and take up space which some of us would rather have occupied by that rather-more-traditional viewing technology known as "windows" - through which I can watch the outdoor-wildlife in real-time without any cheesy soundtack or narration.

[Last night there were three fox-cubs playing who-dares-get-closest-to-the-hose].

Jurassic squawk: Dinosaurs were Earth's early feathered friends

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Bet you could have made some serious chicken-nuggets out of that !

[I, for one, welcome our new feathery-lizard overlords.]

Who has your credit card data? 1 million HOLIDAY-MAKERS' RECORDS exposed

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I'm continually narked by travel-companies who seem to want a whole slew of irrelevant data about you (name, address, date-of-birth, height, weight, brother's inside-leg measurement, pet's star-sign and the colour of the last car you bought) before they will even *try* to give you a price for a flight/ticket/holiday.

[I've taken to giving them the cat's name, age, inside-leg measurement and height/weight just to confuse them]

Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

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Double-strength Placebo™

Essentially, Paracetamol _is_ being used as a placebo in this case. Same goes for that other dish-it-out-to-get-the-patient-out-of-the-surgery-when-you-dont-know-whats-wrong-with-them offering, Ibuprofen.

Given the state of the pharmaceutical industry I wonder how long it will be before someone brings out "Placebo Extra™" - the proven power of Placebo™ you know and trust, now in a new double-strength formula. Available in easy-to-swallow caplets, suppositories*, or soluble formula.

*For all the good they'll do you you might as well shove them up your...

Placebo™ - so effective all other drugs are tested against it!