* Posts by McBread

68 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jun 2009


Brits blissfully unbothered by snail-paced mobile network speeds


Re: re : Facebook is installed by default on most phones

All Facebook users are Boomers != All Boomers are Facebook Users.

It's known that younger users are disproportionately abandoning FB for trendier social media.


Based on the Facebook usage, I'm deducing they exclusively polled boomers.

HP sued over use of forfeited 401(k) retirement contributions


Re: Seems mean...

The Land Of Oportunity (To Nickel And Dime Workers At Every Turn).

Wanted: Driver for rocket-powered Bloodhound Land Speed Record car


Come July next year, it'll be 100 years since the record was held by someone other than a Brit or an American, when Frenchman René Thomas set the record of 143.31mph. The early years were all French and Belgium but once it became a more specialised thing, they checked out. Interestingly the water speed record is exclusively Anglo centric, although with the Irish, Canadians and Australians getting involved. That's an even more suicidal activity, but Noble might be trying to beat the 45 year old record with the Thrust brand.

There seems to be an intersection of engineering challenges and pointlessness that make it appeal only to the anglo brain...

Theora video codec to be coded out from Chrome and Firefox


Unfortunately there's now an av1 patent pool mudding the waters.

The first release of the H.264 standard was 2004, so we're getting closer to the point where that can be the free baseline.

I've never used Theora, although on the audio side I have previously used, vorbis and sometimes I now use Opus.

Rocky Linux claims to have found 'path forward' from CentOS source purge


Re: If RH can't do this...

SUSE have never provided the source to allow a community build so there can't be blow back from stopping. Plus SUSE haven't said anything that people can take as an insult. If Redhat had said in 2022 "we'll keep providing the source for rhel8 but rhel9 will be the breakpoint" they'd have had less blowback. Instead they've benefited from centos et al acting as a feeder for people to adopt RHEL but pulled the rug on a lot of people who have existing installations.

Wind tunnels for fluid dynamics boffins among UKRI's £72M funding


RedBull are still operating once tunnel although there is a plan to replace it with a newer facility. I see the indoor skydiving company went bust last year; perhaps someone will revive it. The other tunnels, such as the world class 8ft transonic, got cut up for scrap so there's nothing to bring back.


The UK used to have a lot more large scale wind tunnels but they got shut down in the 80s/90s/00s. Bedford and Farnborough both had numerous wind tunnels operated by government research agencies, not to mention numerous industry ones dotted around. £72m would struggle to build one of these, so it's would seem to be regaining capability but on the smaller scale of university research tunnels.


Re: Wind Tunnels. 11 of them?

Computational Fluid Dynamics is still very much a work in progress. The underlying equations, Navier-stokes, are not fully solvable, so we're stuck with approximations and simplifications. Some flow regions can be better simulated than others, but turbulence and flow separation are still a massive problem to predict accurately. And computing requirements can be huge. Tens or hundred of thousands cores for hours or days for the cutting edge highest fidelity simulations for answers that might be wrong. Computational and experimental aerodynamics still very much complement each other.

When it comes to Linux distros, one person's molehill is another's mountain


Re: Snap/Flatpack

A large one from the distro side is the effort of maintaining large repos of software. For example Chrome compiling is a lot of work; snap allows canonical to compile once every update instead of having to maintain it for all supported release versions. Or easy access to software that doesn't have to be maintained by the distro; for example Fedora/Redhat don't maintain the same size repo as Ubuntu.


Another Ubuntu —> Fedora switcher

I too have recently done the Ubunto-Fedora shuffle. I've long used Centos (now Rocky/Alma) for VMs doing server things and finally decided to give Fedora a go on the desktop. There's definitely ways which Ubuntu retains the upper hand (sheer amount of software packaged or documented for it, pragmatism over codecs, propriety drivers, etc), but so far it's working for me.

The fact Canonical recently had to implement a 'no flatpaks by default' rule on the affiliated distros (sorry, 'flavours' does suggest snaps aren't gaining the traction they'd like.

Mozilla VPN now nudges users to put shields up on dodgy networks, adds LAN access


Re: @AC

The VPN infrastructure is also just a rebrand of Mullvad VPN. Basically by going Mozilla VPN you're getting a custom app and the knowledge that some commission is going to keep Mozilla running.

Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow


Nobody expects the Pythonese inquisition

Here's an interesting talk on how and why Python has exploded in the astrophysics/astronomy field.


Somewhere in the middle he's got a plot of programming language references from science papers and Python takes off massively somewhere around 2010.

Testing Motorola's Moto G third-gen mobe: Is it still king of the hill?


SD Card

1) The media never seemed to pick up on it, but the SD slot on the previous generation has serious issues, with cards not being recognized or behaving inconstantly. They improved it somewhat with software updates and guidelines to avoid the fastest classes of cards, but it still not perfect. My 4G occasionally drops the card or won't see it on start-up. Hopefully this has been fixed this time...

2) The SD card slot isn't limited to 32GB by hardware. Format a larger card to FAT32 and it'll work. I have a 64GB card in my 4G.

WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?


Re: but...

Actually, if I'm searching for a product by model, I'm almost certainly interested in reviews and real-world experiences, be it (online) magazines, blogs or forum discussions. Perhaps the manual in pdf form. Actually looking for the best price to buy online is a minority situation.

Two of best features google have ever had were "fewer shopping results" and the 'blogs and forums' search option. Sadly neither exist any longer.

Carry On YouView Regardless, BBC Trust tells the BBC


Re: YouView

The BBC didn't plan Youview to become a competitor to Sky in paid-tv. They feared, in a fragmented landscape, BSkyB could use their install base and financial clout, to become the defacto standard for IPTV in the UK.

Until a few years ago, Joe Bloggs seemed to believe that you had to pay BSkyB to receive Satellite. You didn't, but people would still buy a subscription to watch the free channels. Or you would have to buy a sub to get access to a decent PVR with 7 day EPG. It took the BBC & Co launching freesat to finally fix the issue.

I believe Youview was born out of the same mindset, but rather than trying to fix a broken ecosystem, make the right one from the start. That BT and TalkTalk have been able to use Youview so successfully is a consequence of the fact they got it right in making the platform workable for both free and paid content. The TV brands are still dicking around with incomplete propriety systems that fail to offer the full menu, and Sky would try to lock everything in to a sub only ecosystem.

People talk about BT and TalkTalk hijacking Youview, but they've ensured it short-term success and in turn that actually benefits those after free IPTV. The boxes aren't cheap but the BT/TT sales will help obtain economies of scale, supply a second-hand market and maximise the chance of other content providers joining the system.

The area where Youview does need criticism is failing to get any of the TV manufactures on-board. IMO due to being too strict about the Youview experience and not coming up with a version of the specs that the TV companies can bolt on to a TV.

You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad


Re: (Non-commercial) parody MUST be protected

For-profit parody should be protected too. The import test is "Is it satirical parody?". Is it Imitating something to make a political/social point, or just to sponge off someone else's fame/notoriety?

NO! Radio broadcasters snub 'end of FM' DAB radio changeover



...I ran an FM station I'd campaign against DAB too:

You can't go giving the great unwashed a choice. They might discover 6Music and stop listening to my completely non-unique blend of adverts and turgid X-Factor 'hits'. Car drivers should have the choice of four BBC stations and two commerical stations. Anything more is a communist plot to deprive me of my profit.

Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed


It makes sense for the important, signature projects to be under give-something-back style GPL licences. They're high value and value to many. You can maximise the total value by using this to really push the code ever forward and produce a quality program.

But most projects are small-time niché works; they're never going to end up with any army of people/organisations contributing code, and nobody is ever going to enforce the terms of any licence. You might as well just throw it open to the world and see what may.

Will Google's rivals swallow the 'labelling remedy' pill?


It's the fundamental job of a search engine to get the user to their information via the shortest route. Showing a map directly instead of showing a link to a map is exactly what all search engines should be doing. Stopping a search engine from doing so is a retrograde step from the user's perspective.

Google goes on the Blink in WebKit fork FURORE


Re: Exclusionists

To be fair, XP is a dead man walking, with just days over a year left until MS stop fixing security holes. It only makes sense for so long to hold off on new features because people are using an outdated browser. Besides, Ignore the prompts and the fundamentals of gmail still work in IE8.

Is Chromium a less objectionable option than Chrome?

Boffin road trip! The Reg presents Geek's Guide to Britain



Visit the Crofton Beam Engines in Wiltishire to see an original Boulton and Watt stream engine, still in its original location, and still capable of doing what it was designed to do two centuries ago. When it comes to tech that changed the world, you can't much important than the Industrial Revolution.

Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash



I've always found nedit to be a dependable workhork. However I see from wikipedia that development has ceased.

YouView recommends radio hams' pet peeve


Re: YouView vs Windows Media Centre + TunerfreeMCE

Those who want to build a small form factor PC, configure the software and have it under their television are always going to be a 'special interest minority'. So your PC is completely the wrong comparison.

The masses want something a low-hassle, off-the-shelf device. Its competitors are Smart TVs (walled gardens at the mercy of whoever made the device), game consoles, BT Vision, whatever Sky bring to the market, etc.

As for it's business plans, remember it's not a single monolithic identity. Youview LTD is not-for-profit so just needs to turn over enough to keep developing the spec and running the root servers. The expensive bandwidth-hungry-content-spewing-media-servers will be run by the respective content providers; so the iplayer servers will be funded by the licence fee, ITVplayer/4oD/Demand5 will be funded using the same adverts as they use to fund their websites, BT will be looking at some subscription system, etc.

Don't view it as a particular product from a particular company at a particular time. It's more of an attempt to create an ecosystem that can develop and grow. Only time will tell if it success or fail, but if it is the former, expect 'Youview Compatible' to slowly become ubiquitous in all TVs, Freeview and Freesat boxes.

The top five spam subjects sullying inboxes



For some reason, I've started to get regular spam for PATesting. What kind of idiot would take up that offer?

"Hello, is that No Scruples Ltd? Yes, I'd like to invite you in to my place of business, and leave you alone for the afternoon with my computer equipment."

Star Trek TNG revamped for Blu-ray in 2012


Rumour has it...

...in order to meet the director's original vision;

Jean-Luc now has CGI hair.

Wesley now has a genetically enhanced monkey that sits on his shoulder, wise-cracking and introducing moments of slapstick levity.

Data walking about is now accompanied by the sound of steam-pistons; an oversight saw this removed prior to the original broadcast.

The Borg only start to assimilate people after the TNG crew were mean to them first.

WTF is... HbbTV?



Isn't that a misrepresentation of Youview? They're defining the UI of the platform wide aspects (EPG, setup, browsing OnDemand providers, etc), but each content provider still gets to define their own portal?

The picture you showed is Youview-consortium defined, but then that's be it's the EPG for freeview (all Youview boxes will also be Freeview boxes). You can see the link to access ITV-Player, that'll lead you to a UI that is unlikely to be the same as the BBC iPlayer.

How is this different to HbbTV?

HbbTV: Overall UI defined by the hardware manufacturer. You use this to select an individual content provider from a list. Only then do you reach a UI defined by the content provider.

Youview: Overall UI defined by Youview, implemented by hardware manufacturer. You use this to select an individial content provider from a list. Only then do you reach a UI defined by the content provider.

YouView to adopt Freeview channel list rules



The Freeview EPG is awful; Freesat is the one that got it correct. Partly it's a question of timing, all the +1 and whatnot could be correctly ordered from day one rather than added over time. However, it also breaks it down in to a larger number of groups, and the shopping guff is put last.

Bullfrog Syndicate

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Top choice.

A brilliant, underappreciated game. Personally I loved using the Persuadertron to build the largest possible massive swarm of cannon fodder.

The only thing missing was the ability to rotate the world by 90 degree increments. I played a demo of the follow up, but the move to 3D killed the feel of the game. A modern day recreation, sticking with isometric but throwing in multiplay would surely be a blast?

GCHQ losing its 'internet whizzes' to Microsoft, Google


Disappointed of Tunbridge Wells

You mean the end of Sneakers isn't realistic?

Sony says no to YouView


For now

All it really confirms is they won't be a early adopter. If they manage to get Youview right, then somewhere down the road Sony will end up having to support it. If they get it wrong, we'll be stuck with the tyranny of manufacturers plowing their own furrows.

Amazon swallows UK online bookseller



Yet another British business flogged off to foreign interests.

World IPv6 Day fails to kill the internet



Who is going to be first to bemaon the darth of dearth of IPv6-capable, consumer-level routers?

WTF is... IPv6?


Your computer might...

...but your router and ISP almost certainly doesn't.

Sky to show FA Cup match in 3D


But commentary...

...still to be one dimensional?

YouView mandates Linux, HD content encryption

Dead Vulture

Am I tripping?

It looks like El Reg. It says El Reg. And yet it's a Youview article without frothing-at-the-mouth. I'm confused.

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


On the other hand

If the advert had said:

" Brennan JB7: Store an Unlimited number of audio cd's*.

* actual limit: 500."

they'd probably be okay.

Discovery (finally) good to go on 24 Feb



I was hoping that the delays might finally push it in to a window where it'll be visible over here; for that to happen it needs to pass overhead in a short period after sunset, or before sunrise. I saw STS-128 in the early hours of Sept '09. Sadly, the new window for STS-133 puts it over Blightly just after 10pm, more than a few hours too late.

BT confirms broadband upgrades for rotten boroughs



Can we put the old 'why do I have to pay for Xmb/s when I only get Ymb/s?' complaint to bed. It is brought up in every broadband conversation, and it's gone beyond boring.

The fact is you're not paying for Xmb/s, you're paying to use a certain technology that just happens to have a theoretical limit of Xmb/s but a practial limit of Ymb/s. As far as I can tell, whether your modem manages to talk to your exchange at 2mb/s or 20mb/sdoesn't change their infrastructure costs . It's how heavily you utilise the connection that ends up putting strain on the infrastructure and increasing their costs.

There's never going to be a discounted priced for people in your situation. If we were to return to the dark days of different pricing for different speeds, it'd be us being held to random with a choice between rip-off prices at higher speeds or artifically capped speeds, not bargin prices for slow connections.

If you want an anology; your desire for a price-by-connection-speed is akin to motor manufacturers making a cheap family hatchback that can do 100mph then giving you a choice of paying 9k and having it speed limited to 45mph, or paying 20k. Neither of those represent a fair price.

The year's best... TV media players


Will 2011 be the year of...


It's either going to blow everything else out of the water or be yet another half-baked solution that only does half of what you should reasonably expect it to do.

In the mean time, it's a desktop PC for me.

Reg hack tickled by Kent schoolgirl


Inbetween the Jacobs cream crackers and the Hovis Digestives....

Would you like some cheese with that Butter Puff Biscuit?

(I do apologise profusely, that was a FAILed attempt to make some sort of buscuit related pun out of 'puff piece'. I really shouldn't have hit submit. )

Chicago officer beats off dildo-wielding bill-skipper


re: missed pun opportunity.

trackle. tackle. One of these days i'll master the art of typing accurately.


Missed pun opportunity

Shouldn't the article read "Luckily Illinois law enforcement are trained to trackle deadly weapons of every description"?

Firefox extension detects FireSheep snoop software


counter-counter measures

I imagine it won't take much to upgrade Firesheep to defeat Blacksheep by being more rigorous in determining sessions that are actually successful, rather than just anything that appears to be an attempted login. The fakeness of the attempts could then be turned against it such that Firesheep detects those using Blacksheep.

I haven’t installed any sheep based plugins, but would a possible countermeasure be to passively listen for any occurrence of a login occurring from multiple IPs? It would only reveal an attack after the fact, and it wouldn’t work if the sidejack is routed via a secure tunnel, but it also wouldn’t be such a visible look-at-me countermeasure.

Beeb creates new global iPlayer post



They've also now published the first draft of the Canvas tech specs. When can we expect your impartial technical analysis?


NASA buys cutting-edge Cornish robot


No tax dollars

I believe that the vistor stuff at KSC has to be entirely self-funded from tickets and gift shop sales, and no Govt. funding is allowed to be allocated?

Mozilla Thunderturkey and its malcontents


Mountain Birder

Why has nobody recommended Alpine? You lot with your fancy, pretentious GUIs.

I run TB3 as my main email client, and can't say I have any complaints. If anything, I've found TB3 a step in the right direction. The only downside is somewhere in my attempts to share the profile between Ubuntu and Windows corrupted the calendar database and I lost everything.

6music wins possible reprieve from BBC Trust

Thumb Up


The RAJAR number of 1 million listeners almost certainly masked the explostion in listeners by some margin; the closure announcement came two-thirds of the way through the RAJAR quarter, biasing the figure towards the pre-announcement figure.

Pictures of Ubuntu: Linux's best photo shots at Windows and Mac

Gates Halo


A couple of years ago I finally made the switched from Windows + rarely used Linux dualboot, to Linux + rarely used Windows dualboot, due to better TV card support . However, I'm now planning on getting a second desktop to run both OSes in parallel.

Why? Because there really is no substitute for Lightroom. Well, except Apature on a Mac. And there was an attempt at an open-source equivalent, blueMarine, but it appears to have died already. The current linux options aren't bad software per se, they just can't match the high standards set by Lightroom.

The Linux Chronicles, Part 1



"This actually was a blessing for Linux, because with one of the two desktop environments removing itself from the picture, development focused on the one that was still waggling its little legs."

Really? Despite KDE4's difficult gestation, and premature adoption by Kubuntu et al, I haven't noticed any large scale shift in support. For the most part, the pro-KDE camp carries on being pro-KDE, and the pro-Gnome camp carry on being the pro-Gnome camp.

I've carried on using KDE out of habit; while I regreted the initial switch to KDE4, it's come on a long way, and I only find small niggles now. On a plus note, nobody has tried to move my window buttons to the wrong side...