* Posts by R 11

210 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jul 2009


I love my electricity company's app – but the FBI says the nuclear industry bribed politicians $60m to kill it

R 11

Re: Scandal, but not this

AEP actually serves about 1.5m customers in Ohio. Assuming the same or more users on iOS and that's 1 in 75 to 1 in 50 of their customers used the app. That's a pretty decent amount for something that's pretty geeky.

Not sure what the relevance of the Ohio population is for a company that doesn't serve the entire state and, where it does serve the population, has competition.

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper

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Re: Amazing technology

I'm struggling to understand why you'd complain about the boot up time of your email application and ignore the time it takes to find a receipt for the dodgy hard drive you bought in mid-October last year and want to return before the warranty expires?

The huge advantage of digital receipts is searchability. Worried about spam? Then sign up using an email address that you only use for receipts.

Using a free VPN? Why not skip the middleman and just send your data to President Xi?

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Browsing history?

VPNs gain full access to a user's browsing history.

Do these apps get permission on iOS/Android to access browsing history? Is that something available without user agreement? Or do the apps actually operate as a browser?

I ask because, in this day and age, most major websites are secured and therefore while the browser knows where you have been, the network operator and any middle men should know only the root of the site. For example my ISP knows I visited forums.theregister.co.uk but can't see that I visited this page (at least not without trying to correlate the timestamp for this submission to that displayed by the post).

If you're visiting an insecure site, assume everyone and their grandmother knows where you went and what you did while you were there.

Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

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Re: Premiere Pro bug ate my video files...

This should be interesting, particularly when you read the terms he agreed to upon installing the software:

9. Disclaimers of Warranties.

9.1 Unless stated in the Additional Terms, the Services and Software are provided “AS-IS.” To the maximum extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including the implied warranties of non-infringement, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. We make no commitments about the content within the Services. We further disclaim any warranty that (a) the Services or Software will meet your requirements or will be constantly available, uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; (b) the results obtained from the use of the Services or Software will be effective, accurate, or reliable; (c) the quality of the Services or Software will meet your expectations; or (d) any errors or defects in the Services or Software will be corrected.

9.2 We specifically disclaim all liability for any actions resulting from your use of any Services or Software. You may use and access the Services or Software at your own discretion and risk, and you are solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or loss of data that results from the use of and access to any Service or Software.

9.3 If you post your Content on our servers to publicly Share through the Services, we are not responsible for: (a) any loss, corruption, or damage to your Content; (b) the deletion of Content by anyone other than Adobe; or (c) the inclusion of your Content by third parties on other websites or other media.

10. Limitation of Liability.

10.1 Unless stated in the Additional Terms, we are not liable to you or anyone else for any loss of use, data, goodwill, or profits, whatsoever, and any special, incidental, indirect, consequential, or punitive damages whatsoever, regardless of cause (even if we have been advised of the possibility of the loss or damages), including losses and damages (a) resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, whether or not foreseeable; (b) based on any theory of liability, including breach of contract or warranty, negligence or other tortious action; or (c) arising from any other claim arising out of or in connection with your use of or access to the Services or Software. Nothing in the Terms limits or excludes our liability for gross negligence, for our, or our employees’, intentional misconduct, or for death or personal injury.

10.2 Our total liability in any matter arising out of or related to the Terms is limited to US $100 or the aggregate amount that you paid for access to the Service and Software during the three-month period preceding the event giving rise to the liability, whichever is larger. This limitation will apply regardless of the form or source of claim or loss, whether the claim or loss was foreseeable, and whether a party has been advised of the possibility of the claim or loss.

10.3 The limitations and exclusions in this section 10 apply to the maximum extent permitted by law.

15. Dispute Resolution.

15.1 Process. If you have any concern or dispute, you agree to first try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting us. If a dispute is not resolved within 30 days of submission, any resulting legal actions must be resolved through final and binding arbitration, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify.

Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

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I spent a few weeks in the late 90s being paid by British Gas to sort computer printouts into alphabetical order. Along with at least four other temp workers. And I left to go back to university - there wasn't as far as a I know any plan to do anything about it other than keep paying folk to shuffle paper.

Qualcomm's tardy chip upgrade leaves the Great Wearables Reveal to jokers and clowns

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I still don't see what the point of the 'Smart' watch is, as far as I can tell they don't do anything that a smartphone can't already do but they do it less well and with a much more limited battery life.

Do you know any women? Go talk to them about the lack of pockets on their clothes in which to keep a phone. Imagine if every time you wanted your phone you had to unzip rummage through a bag?

Know any executives? Talk to them about how they like to receive notifications but don't want to look at their phone during a meeting?

Know any schoolkids? Talk to them about facing the same issues as business execs.

Know any fitness fanatics? Talk to them about tracking workouts.

There's a bunch of use cases right there that benefit from a smart watch. I suspect they cover most of what keeps the segment alive, but others might add more.

As more folk are seen wearing smart watches, the bulkiness becomes more acceptable and others join in. Also, among millennials (and increasingly also among older users) using a phone to actually call people is becoming rare. I think there's every prospect that we'll start to see more folk ditching phones altogether if their watch can do cellular data and input mechanisms can be improved along with battery life.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

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Re: Tide, stop coming in!

If they legislate to mandate a back door, you think Apple, Google and Microsoft will choose not to comply and will stop selling in all those countries?

Certainly they won't legislate backdoor-free strong encryption out of existence, but I dare say its use would return to the sort of level that PGP had in the mid-90s.

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

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Re: User story

You forgot to mention Print document first, as these should be on the PC already. If you're dealing with paper forms, you have other issues to fix as well. Fax over digital lines has been possible for years.

Also, for many of these folk they're likely using fax servers. So, with something like RightFax, they can fax a doctor and it will come in to their outlook mailbox as a PDF. The doctor can fax back from their computer if necessary.

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Re: User story

You forgot to mention Print document first, as these should be on the PC already. If you're dealing with paper forms, you have other issues to fix as well.

There's likely loads of paper forms. When the ED overflows into corridors, junior doctors can walk up and down assessing patients. A clipboard and a well designed form is much more efficient than a laptop (likely with a dying battery). Now you could probably replace it with a tablet computer but you still have battery life issues, and you're going to spend a fortune on the conversion for what gain?

When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

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Re: @Hamish Sadly Not Really New

While I am not a fan of Google (Do know evil to do no evil) , this is on the guy's company and not Google because they were most likely running on the wrong terms (SLAs) because it was cheaper.

It goes beyond that. Saving money by using a cheaper SLA might be fine if you can cope with the downtime. This guy apparently opted for an SLA that didn't meet their needs and didn't keep backups.

Why anyone would throw all their eggs in one virtual cloud is beyond me. With decent backups and a thought through process, they should be able to move vendor at the drop of a hat, allowing them to take advantage of better pricing or service from a competitor cloud.

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

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Re: Why didn't they operate a 1 hour lock-out after five (or whatever) failed attempts?

• Make up something ridiculous, non-dictionary and memorable because you can say it—like "sq8-Ed2ph01e" (squat-ed-to-foal)

How the hell did you know my password?

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I think you misunderstand. A professional DJ can likely afford a dedicated device. Indeed if they're smart, that's exactly what they'd do in case some app gone rogue destroys their set.

The amateur DJs, be they playing music for themselves, their friends, or another small gathering probably don't have a separate balanced output system. They have an iDevice and speakers.

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Poor DJs. If only there was a technology that could safely allow the output of audio data to speakers and which doesn't require two-way exchange of data exposing the inner workings of the phone?

UK comms firm Gradwell quits cloud land after 'strategic review'

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Peter's interest was always communications, at least that's what I gathered from his contributions to numerous Usenet groups in the 1990s. I've used Gradwell for many years as a carrier on my asterisk server and haven't experienced any really significant problems during that time.

Perhaps moving back to focus on what they love will pay dividends?

Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark

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Re: it went very wrong

It's a bit strange that the author couldn't think of one reason to control hue remotely?

How about you've been delayed getting home. You want the light on for your pet dog so they're not sitting in the dark for two hours? Or you've decided to stay at a "friend's" house overnight, but you want a light on for a couple of hours in the evening so it looks like your home is occupied? Or your parents called to say they're coming over, but they'll be at the house before you and you don't want them going into a dark house?

There's three reasonable use cases that took me about thirty seconds to come up with. I'm sure others have plenty more.

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

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Re: Unplugged most of the time.

This will be that bit in the comments section where a bunch of folk who carry a mobile/cell phone next to them all day proceed to proclaim loudly that they'd never allow a listening device in their home.

Samsung’s DeX dock clicks the second time around

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Re: Excellent idea...

@Mark12 - Chromecast Guest Mode should allow a direct connection via wifi (as opposed to using an existing wifi network).

Google fuels up Chromecast Wi-Fi flooding fix

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Re: Do I need to do anything?

Chromecast devices will update automatically.

You can check current firmware version numbers and which version your CC is running here: https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/7124014?hl=en

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare

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Re: Old is new again?

"Google have got form for disclosing security flaws before fixes are ready."

Giving the other party 90 days to fix, followed by them going into radio silence up to and beyond the 90 days isn't quite the same what happened here.

Seems more likely that these bugs affected so many systems that many more folk needed to be told. When so many people have a need to know, a leak becomes almost inevitable.

Arm Inside: Is Apple ready for the next big switch?

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Reminder of Acorn Advert

I'm reminded of Acorn's advert in The Times following Apple's PowerPC move to RISC in 1994:


[white text on black background, large text]

As a founder member,

Acorn is delighted

to welcome Apple

to the RISC Club.

[2/3 of way down page, switch to black on white, smaller text]

After 11 years of development and 7 years of production, we at Acorn are

still marvelling at the sheer power, performance and potential of 32-bit

RISC technology.

Our ARM 32-bit RISC processors have delivered these capabilities to our

many customers in education, the home and industry worldwide, in our

products since 1987.

So it comes as little surprise to hear that Apple's new desktop range

also incorporates 32-bit RISC technology.

[large italic text, stands out prominently]

Oh well. Better late than never.




Looks like Acorn get's the last laugh.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

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Re: So, plays tunes you own, alarm clocks stuff you set and listens to everything you say 24/7

>>> And the contacts needs to cope with aliases - who includes an entry in their contacts for 'my wife'? Anne-Marie or Snookums, possibly...

They already do. Google contacts has support for nicknames and phonetic spellings so that an unusual or non-English name can be correctly recognized.

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Re: So, plays tunes you own, alarm clocks stuff you set and listens to everything you say 24/7

>>> Isn't this the sort of thing the EU went after Microsoft for when they tried to bake Explorer into the OS?

When the EU went after Microsoft, they were probably making the OS for more than 9 in every 10 computers sold. iOS has >30% of the UK smartphone market, so there's not the same competition concerns.

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Re: So, plays tunes you own, alarm clocks stuff you set and listens to everything you say 24/7

Who on earth has their spouse in their phone under the name "My Wife"? I ask my Google home to "call <firstname>" and that's exactly what happens. It calls folk anywhere in the world at the first time of asking. And my accent is one from the lesser-populated northern regions of the UK, so it's not a "you need to speak slowly and clearly" thing.

R 11

Re: 1:1 pricing

So at today's exchange rate it should be 44.60 GBP.

But Google could only do that if Sterling was stable. You guys should maybe stop doing things like voting for Brexit.

WPA2 KRACK attack smacks Wi-Fi security: Fundamental crypto crapto

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Re: I read "Google will be patching all affected devices ASAP"...

If you'd been reading The Register, you'd have known when you bought it that it was already 2 months out of support. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/01/google_eol_for_nexus_phones/

That said, I wouldn't worry about the Nexus 7. I'm sure all the router manufacturers will be quickly rolling out updates to protect wireless sessions.

FCC gives Google's broadband balloons 'experimental license' in Puerto Rico

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Re: Power?

Solar chargers for a cell phone are relatively cheap and available. As power rolls out, it's also easy to take a cell phone to where there is power and bring it back, fully charged (perhaps alongside a battery pack, good for a couple of recharges), to where there is not.

Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

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"*may contain: buttholes, eyelids, feet, other shit we found on the floor"

Why do you think sausage was invented?

Largest ever losses fail to dent Tesla's bulging order book

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Re: Musk & co is a socialmedia 2.0 geniues

455k reservations are at $1,000 a shot. That's almost half a billion dollars in down-payments. I think BMW, VW or Toyota would love to see that.

Musk has somehow managed to create a kick-starter for cars, getting punters to fund large chunks of capital outlay without expecting any of the stock a venture capital firm would demand.

Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet)

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Re: Extra buttons

Not sure if that was sarcasm or not. Can Siri really not turn on the torch/flashlight? OK Google has no trouble with this on my Nexus, even offering an on-screen toggle so I can turn it back off if I don't want to ask out loud.

IBM marketeers rub out chopper after visit from CEO Ginni

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Re: @2Nick3 Just something to think about...

Does she not have a laptop?

This is IBM we're talking about. You're thinking about Lenovo; they're the ones with the laptops.

R 11

Re: Just something to think about...

Can't Watson do that stuff? The accountant, auditor and executive reviewer can all have their P45.

Ford to replace CEO with connected car division boss – reports

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All new Ford's with Sync3 have 911 assist as standard. It uses Bluetooth and your cellphone to initiate an automated call reporting the accident and its location. That's been available for two years now. Standard feature with no subscription fee.

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Equally, last weekend I was driving outside Detroit, MI. A car made a left turn through two stationary lanes of traffic. Unfortunately, a women in a Porsche Cayenne was heading up the third lane at speed, invisible to the turning driver. She plowed straight into his pickup truck. Airbags went off.

We called 911 about thirty seconds later. On being connected to the operator I saw blue lights approaching from behind. We hadn't even relayed our position but the women's car had called emergency services with its location. That sort of tech can and does save lives.

Like most technology, it can be used for good or bad. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have it.

This week's top token gesture: Google Chrome chokes energy-hungry background tabs

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Renewable energy

Are we concerned about over=consumption of solar power and/or wind?


Perhaps The Register is concerned Google will suck up all the sun?


'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

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Re: My condolences.

"The irony of all this is that Google's maps really are just street maps. Streetmap's maps are maps of the terrain. No contest in my view."

Of course, you could turn on the terrain view in Google Maps - https://goo.gl/maps/UCJNtm4zhVu

Certainly it's not the same as an OS map, but topographic details are certainly there. At least in the US, this data has been available for a decade.

AMD's had a horrible 2016: Never mind, it lost slightly less than half a billion this time

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Only a year? My motherboard is ten years old in March. The CPU has been upgraded at least three times and still it plods along.

LG's $1,300 5K monitor foiled by Wi-Fi: Screens go blank near hotspots

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Or, if you read the article, you'd note that some users were able to mitigate by changing WiFi channel. It's possible that you could get a new neighbor who has a router blasting on the channel you're currently using. You might change you channel (or the airport could do it automagically if it's smart enough) and discover a problem - possibly after the warranty period expires.

US healthcare under siege: Got good insurance?

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Re: Doctor/Patient Privacy - NOT!

Sounds like you mean the Medical Information Bureau. That's run by insurance companies to detect fraud, not by the federal government.

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Re: The US Healthcare system is screwed up

Assuming you can't (due to geography or insurance) shop for a new doctor, why not use one of the many virtual GP services? You could spend $50 to see a doctor on mdlive within an hour and be picking up your script later the same day.

Apple's car is driving nowhere

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Re: Frankly...

Volvo apparently think that "autonomous technology will allow you to let your Volvo do the driving, giving you back control over your time. It will be a completely new, more convenient way to travel and we are already on the road to making it a reality."


A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!

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Re: More of this, please.

Do they sell for $40 and take up a tiny part of your carry on allowance?

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Re: More of this, please.

I've been using one for a while - or at least kids in the car have. These make long distance journeys much better, particularly if the kids have the not uncommon misfortune of having a 16gb iDevice.

Fill the stick up with 30 or 40 movies and you're off. The cheap one can stream to three devices simultaneously, I think the more expensive models can do even more. Battery life is only a few hours, but you can simply plug it in to a $10 USB battery or a car charger and it will work fine.

I don't see as many use cases for adults (I suppose the camping one might be valid if you're stuck in a tent during rain), but I'm surprised more parents groups aren't raving about this.

Speaking in Tech: Nope, sorry waiter. I won't pay with that card reader

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It may be a surprise to folk in the UK as I'm not aware of the BBC doing this, but NPR in the US does offer transcripts of radio programs and has done for some time: http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2009/08/free_transcripts_now_available.html

To folk outside Blighty, it might not be such an unreasonable request. Particularly for folk who are deaf, hard of hearing or simply in an open-plan office!

Android Pay may, er, pay... providing it gets over security hurdle

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Re: ok, i'm a stick the mud

Android uses the cloud to generate payment tokens. The phone stores a small number so that these can be used in a network black-spot.

Given that, for the likes of iTunes or Google Play, either operator is likely to already be storing a copy of your credit card details, I'm not sure this is a big concern. If you don't but anything online, you're unlikely to be opting in to either service.

Android Pay debuts in UK

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Re: I really don't get it...

How about, I no longer need to carry my wallet? Of course that requires widespread adoption, but it will come if customers demand it.

Secondly, there's the security aspect. Frankly I am much less concerned about the encrypted chip on my phone being compromised than I am about a store suffering a data breach and losing my details. With mobile payments a unique credit card number is generated for each transaction.

Google Play infested with cash-stealing web apps

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Re: Marvellous advice

It's a fair point, though I think he means visit your bank website - where you know the correct URL and can generally check the EV SSL certificate - and use a link from there to the correct app.

Google, didn't you get the memo? Stop trying to make Google+ happen

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Re: They did their dash with me

Because things like YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs and Google Voice have been so transient? There are plenty of Google Services that have suck around.

Pirate captain blasts Google for its 'mystery' Chrome blob

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Re: So the problem seems to be that....

You're absolutely correct, it's not tricky.

If these users trust the source code because they can read it, they can easily confirm that the binary blob is never called unless the user affirmatively opts in.

Surely that's exactly what's intended by an open source license that permits linking to closed source binaries? If you don't trust the binary, you can satisfy yourself that it is never called or if it were to be called you can modify the code. If those are beyond your skill level then you can pay someone appropriately qualified to perform the task.

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Re: "... Chromium, the open source sister of Chrome ..."

So the problem seems to be that users of Chromium who do trust the many millions of lines of Google contributed code in their browser don't trust Google not to transmit data other than after the keywords "OK Google" have been spoken?

Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

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Re: But ...

Seriously? It's typical to have an https proxy? I've not seen one anywhere I've worked, unless the likes of Google are in cahoots with them.

Out of curiosity, how many https proxies generate an EV certificate when the requested domain issues one?