* Posts by kwikbreaks

61 posts • joined 22 Jul 2009


Punters even more dissatisfied by Virgin Media's package


Ditch the VM phone and use a VOIP service instead. Vonage costs £5.99 a month for 2000hours of UK geographic calls. 0845 0870 a few pence a minute and no connection charge. You also get free calerid for with VM charge £2 so the actual cost is ~ £1 for virtually unlimited landline calls.

Billion dollar telescope snaps galactic head-on


well I reckon...

Photoshop. You can tell by the pixels.


Distance matters

The Andromeda galaxy is so close (couple of million light years) that the local gravitational attraction rate overcomes the expansion rate of the universe. There is something called the Local Group which are all gravitationally bound. I cba to look up how big it is but from memory its several tens of millions of light years across I think.

Boffins fear killer gamma death blasts from space



I'm guessing the FTL stipulation was to allow the lifeboat starship to outrun the GRB and avoid fried nads so the eventual target planet could be repopulated. Possibly the GRB would be powerful enough to ensure only one (or less) generations on your ark.

RAM prices set to 'free fall'


Think smaller...

The IBM 360/30 I first worked with had a total memory of 32kB iirc. The DOS operating system was 10kB and if you ran the Power spooling system (print only - jcl went in via a card reader - I don't recall if punch was spooled or not) that took another 10kB. That left 12kB for programs. Some had to be run without Power

Virgin Media preps firmware update for glitchy SuperHub


Your post...

... explains exactly why...

"Virgin Media told The Register that it had so far installed more than 400,000 SuperHub devices, and claimed that the "vast majority" of users enjoyed "a flawless service""

should be corrected to...

"Most VM customers blame their own kit when they have to keep rebooting the shoddy tat VM insists that they use so VM get away with it".



VM have never mentioned to their customers that the Superhub problems are related to other nearby APs before to my knowledge. In fact they have never published anything about known problems or fixes applied - no release notes of any type have ever been made public SFAIK. The last tidbit on their forum explaining why there was yet another delay was that they had discovered a memory leak in the WiFi driver (presumably the driver for the internal WiFi card). I wonder just how much they are making up as they go along.

They encouraged suggestions for additional features (you can't even override the VM DNS for instance) yet despite months of development nothing is being provided other than a GUI option to turn off the routing features and use it as a plain modem and the actual functionality for that is present in the current firmware. My betting is that the youth experience kid they've got coding it has spent all this time tracking down one of the probably many bugs in the code. At least when it finally gets released it will be possible to just bypass all that dodgy router functionality and use one that works.

End user productivity: is technology a help or a hindrance?



In the 1970's I worked in a UK based car manufacturers spare parts division as a sysprog on their Sstem 360 mainframe. There was a huge section on one of the buildings filled with well over 100 accounts clerks pouring over the computer printouts.

I went back there contracting in the late 90's. That same area plus more was filled with outsourcing company IT staff. I expect by now all the IT has been offshored so I don't know staff that area will house now but I guarantee it will still be full. I doubt that the business has grown at all as vehicles are a lot more reliable these days.

Didn't somebody once say that the work expands to fit the tme available. They weren't wrong.

MySpace sacks more


There can be only one

With some things it seems there is room for only one. Why would somebody sign up and spend time on a revived MySpace when all their friends are on FaceBook?

Another possibly less valid example - why use a second tier auction site when, despite its many faults, eBay is where you'll sell quickest at the best price or most easily find what you want at a low price?

Cable thieves cost UK rail £15m a year


amazing but true

they even knick those cheapo solar garden lights - presumably for the scrap metal as you can get them new in pound shops so they are essentially worthless.

TomTom sorry for giving customer driving data to cops



You don't get to access their "Live" services (part of which is theHD traffic service which collected this data) for free - you have a subscription account and the unit logs you in over GPRS every time you power it up.

Virgin Media says sorry over Superhub snafu


Beyond firmware

> However, I'm hoping VM will release an update to use both 2.4 and 5Ghz bands simultaneously.

That's beyond a firmware upgrade - the hardware only has one radio chip and you'd need 2 for 2.4 + 5 concurrently. You could run the hub at 5GHz and stick a cheapy 2.4 AP on it of course.


Firmware release

If you power cycle it you'll get the latest release. As that is currently R25 which all the complaints are about you'd do better to wait a while until you hear that R26 is released.

UK is fifth free-est nation on the internet


Give them what they ask for..

> Ok, I'm not going to believe that without a link

Here you go - http://www.google.co.uk/#sclient=psy&hl=en&q=monkey-nun+porn&fp=1&cad=b

Must admit I was surprised - I must lead a sheltered life

Jesus Phone brings the DEAD back to LIFE



Ah yes privacy - it was the fact that you could see patients in the background that caused raised eyebrows when a nurse at my local hospital got her jugs out on nightshift for a facebook picture - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/3358681/Facebook-ban-for-nurses-after-online-flashing.html

Yes indeedy patient privacy is very important. Getting bedpans to them before they shit the bed while the nurses flash their titties apparently isn't.

Wi-Fi security befuddles clueless home users


Open networks

A casual stroll with an Android phone running Wardrive will show plenty of open APs so this report doesn't surprise me and expect few others either.

Apart from BTFON which is supposed to be open the most common easily identified SSID are the various Belkin defaults so presumably they come with WiFi on and no security set by default. It's a fair bet that the router passwords are default too so should bandwidth thieves find that the router owners usage is slowing down their torrents unduly locking out the owners should be pretty trivial.

Croatian brainboxes deploy calculus-based CAPTCHA


being lazy..

.. I refreshed a couple of times to see just how easy a question would turn up.

My third poser was simple arithmetic along the lines of...

-2 * (-4) +7 =

Ads overseer told to bring down 'up to' broadband speeds



it doesn't cost the ISP any less to provide 1Mbps ADSL than 20Mbps ADSL though. In fact it can easily cost more as there is more chance of a long line developing a problem and generating a support call. It is the volume downloaded that is the cost differentiator not the speed it gets downloaded at (within reason and on the same technology).

Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service


Oh dear - TS fail again

TS should have told you to turn off IP Flood detection (select Advanced then Services and uncheck the appropriate box)

It isn't really dropping packets it's just blocking the "flood" from pingtest.net.

Big new wind turbines too close together, says top boffin


Yes I thought that too..

I did do a half-hearted search and found nowt. Watching the power meter would provide stiff competition for this box of cress I'm watching grow after the unfortunate accident when I painted the wall so I could watch that dry.

Shocked mum muzzles foul-mouthed toy mutt



> That's a f******g good idea

I thought it was barking mad

Console games 'hack' reseller gets community service order



... something in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001

Social levelling with the iPad



..clearly the screen on whatever you are using needs fixing - he said it isn't a touch screen.

Harvard prof thumps Google for 'tiny' search ads label



I thought I'd take a look but spent ages hunting for it and thinking it must be really small. Then I remembered..... Adblock Plus

Truth be told though I've developed "ad blindness" even when using machines that show them and somehow just mentally filter them out without thinking about it.

Firefox 4 'feature complete' beta debuts after Jager shot



> Opera is 30% quicker than Firefox4b7, and considerably less bloated and buggy.

Gosh!!! - A beta that has some bugs and maybe not optimised. Whatever is the world coming to??????

HMRC spent £765m through Aspire last year


Don't forget ...

> Think of that when you are enjoying a nice meal, and the government will cream off nearly 20% of the price in taxation.

Well yes you pay the VAT which is a tad shy of your 20% but probably what you meant. Don't forget though that the price you pay is really almost entirely made up of peoples wages and profits all of which are set higher than they need be so the taxman gets a rake off. Plus you had to earn significantly more than the money you handed over as well assuming you paid tax yourself.

By the time you've regressed every part of the costings I'd say the tax is nearer to 100% than 20%...

BT shields gentle customers from Min of Sound pirate raids



The FON traffic goes via some BT kit. Your IP own will not show up on any server the FON user connects to just a BT one or maybe one issued by BT to the FON session.

Virgin Media begins 100Mb upgrades



And what 1.5GB cap might that be?

There is no cap on 50Mbps and I very much doubt there will be one on 100Mbps.

On the 20Mbps product (a speed I can get most of the time) you can download 7GB between 10 and 3 and a further 3.5GB between 4 and 9 daily without getting throttled. Outside those times it is open house That's a lot of iPlayer / Linux ISOs / Porn / Warez / whatever and if it isn't enough you only get speed capped at 5Mbps which is more than a lot of ADSL lines can deliver.

Sure when the whole country has FTTH then VM might be in trouble at if they haven't increased their network but I expect even suits will understand that and dribble investment into their network at a speed that keeps them solvent.

Russia's Cold War raygun air fleet back in operation - reports


В Правде нет известий, в Известиях нет правды

Я впечатлен тем, что Google Translator обрабатываются, что 1

Drummers: Looking for a throbbing BumChum?


Yeah right...

I'm still mystified....

If the drummer is sat half a foot from the thing and can't hear it then the audience certainly won't either so why does it matter when he wallops the damned thing or indeed if he does at all?

The "can't hear it" thing is just an excuse for getting some mechanical anal stimulation IMO.

BT hikes call charges



So you Fins have abolished the laws of physics then. Or maybe your 50 year old 5km long copper has lower attenuation than ours does due to the freeze your balls off temperatures.

Revealed: Government blows thousands on iPhone apps



If one person gives up smoking the government will lose all that lovely tax on fags and years later they'll have to shell out pension money longer too.

You obviously aren't old enough to remember Yes Minister (or maybe it was Yes Prime Minister).


fat chance...

> Mind you - I'm the smug cyclist that they are still going to be paying for when I'm 90 ;-)

not if you get flattened by the hero in the 12mpg SUV first......

Home Office promises spycam review


they have to..

at least I think (and hope they do) Certainly if you get flashed by a speed camera they have to issue a ticket within two weeks (researched after getting flashed but no ticket arrived).

I moved house and somehow the usual reminder from the garage that my service and MOT were due went astray and I drove a couple of months without realising I had no MOT - my home-work trip is 35miles along several major roads including motorways. No ticket arrived.

Small biz grits teeth over Bloody George's budget


The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

and that review may come up with something a lot less avoidable.....

Is this the world's biggest USB cable?

Black Helicopters

Somebody wants to keep it secret...

It you go in on StreetView all those strange connectors are obscured....

Apple sells 2m iPads to hungry fanbois



... my son bought himself one. Apparently it is the best device available for surfing whilst taking a dump. Presumably after using it for an hour or so nobody can accuse him of being full of shit.

O2 limits unlimited broadband packages



Strangely enough because when you sign up you see the product name plus there are pricing differences too between Access and the 3 LLU options.

One fifth of humans say aliens walk among us



a deathbed conversion to Catholicism is the way forward - none of that boring goody goody stuff or praying but you still get the key to the pearly gates with that final confession.

Labour shock pledge: 16.8-meg broadband for ALL by 2012!


and how do you stop a politician from drowning?

> Take your foot off his head.

I'm sorry but this one has gone right over my head - why on earth would anyone want to?????

CA to axe 1,000 jobs

Thumb Up

CA really helped my career...

They made me redundant in 1995. Best thing that ever happened - I absolutely hated CA and their business ethics (or lack thereof) but I'd never have had the guts to go move on without being forced.

To the 1,000 going - look upon this as an opportunity. At least you won't have to lie or mumble if anybody asks who you work for.

Hold onto your pants it's iPad pre-order day


Ah but...

you must admit it does an excellent job of that. Plus of course it is shiny....

Payment card skimmer secretly planted in gas station pump


Something wrong here

$11,000 seems to be a disappointingly low take from a device that was apparently in place up to 60 days. Methinks there must be at least one zero missing if not more.

Global warming worst case = Only slight misery increase

Thumb Up


> Also, my arse can play the National Anthem on the kazoo.

I don't think that would go down well on the X-Factor but you'd get a vote from Piers Moron on Britain's Got Talent for sure.

Tories moot breaking up BT Openreach monopoly



"My local exchange is massively congested, can't even watch low quality iPlayer in the evenings. I have tried compaining many times but I get "not our problem guv" from the ISP"

They are telling you porkies. Assuming the length of your phone line or poor internal extension wiring isn't the problem then it will be that the cheapskate ISP hasn't bought sufficient capacity from BTw rather than some mythical exchange problem. Time without number people on "congested exchanges" find that the problem goes away when they swap to a halfway decent ISP - do some research.

Jumbo-jet laser cannon tested against missile


@stupid question

> but wont this just lead to the development of really shiny missiles?

I expect Jobs' boys are working on them right now.

BT to throttle P2P for faster broadband


Just what is the point of ...

... a 40Mbps connection that is limited to 20GB a month?

20GB a month equates to basic surfing/email plus a bit of iPlayer / YouTube - you can do that OK on a connection that delivers (a genuine) 2Mbps.

The only real advantage of 40Mbps over 2Mbps is for downloading as you'd be hard pressed to notice the difference when browsing so if downloading is severely restricted why bother paying a premium for this other than for willy waving rights?

At least one LLU operator offers a pretty genuine no caps, no throttling, and from my own experience little contention service. Any BT based service tends to be abysmal and unfortunately that boils down to most UK ADSL services. The BT infrastructure may be very old fashioned but their pricing structure certainly isn't.

New avast freebie security scanner aims to keel-haul MS



I've seen quite a few recommendations for MSE but I really don't see why I should trust one MS product to protect me from malware that exploits glaring security holes in another MS product.

Ruling out a good AV product on the grounds that you are too stupid to understand the warning message that you need to request a new auth code seems to be just about as daft as the requirement to download a fresh code.

I look forward to getting the latest Avast - I've never had a problem with it and never had a nasty while using it.

National Rail website buried ahead of snow storm



@Boris the Cockroach

If you are planning on BBQing the neighbours then make sure you buy propane as the more common butane won't work at these temperatures and indoor cooking using a BBQ may invalidate your insurance.

Oz bank thinks it's 2016


Cost estimates...

"At one point in the late 90s, Gartner group were saying it would cost several hundred billion dollars to fix"

Well in the runup to Y2K I certainly did my best to ensure that the costs approached those estimates but have to admit that even I failed on getting them that high :(



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