* Posts by doveman

33 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Sep 2009

You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg


I think the answer is to make legal aid available for libel cases. Then the merits of any claim would be assessed first by the Legal Aid agency, filtering out any vexatious claims or attempts to censor important stories and if the claim is successful, the legal aid costs would be reimbursed by the media organisation.

Of course, we also need to increase Legal Aid to a level where solicitors can survive doing such work but that's another matter.

Logitech launches MEGA-PRICEY 15-in-1 remote


Re: @mdava Who are they kidding?

I've bought my Dad several all-in-one remotes over the years and they all fail in one way or the other. The most recent one doesn't contain and is unable to learn his Virgin Media STB's Info button, which is pretty essential! It's also too fiddly as it has a single line LCD at the top showing which device it's controlling, which is annoying to have to check. I think dedicated buttons with the current active device's one permanently lit would be better. Perhaps it's easy to tell which device is active with the Logitech's big screen but it's way to expensive for me to even consider.

ITV catches up with TVCatchup


Inconsistent rulings

It's strange that the Court ruled in this case that TVC are not copying or facilitating copying of programmes, when in previous cases relating to computer/console games, the Court ruled that simply playing a game causes a copy to be made of the IP (artwork, audio, etc) from the disc to the RAM to the screen and therefore any devices that enable "backup" discs to be used facilitate copying.

Seemed a bizarre ruling to me but hasn't been appealed or annulled as far as I know.

PGP, TrueCrypt-encrypted files CRACKED by £300 tool


Why Steggles?

"Simon Steggles, director of forensics at data recovery biz Disklabs, said ElcomSoft's utility merely automates a process for retrieving decryption keys that is already used by computer forensics teams, if not the wider IT community.

"In forensics, we have known about this for years. It only works when the computer is switched on. Once it is powered down, the RAM memory is gone and you lose that key," Steggles explained.

"Coincidentally, I looked at the Truecrypt website yesterday and noted that it said on the site that it does on-the-fly encrypting and decrypting, which means that the key must be in the RAM.""

Err, why the comment from someone who's so unfamiliar with Truecrypt that he had to look at the website to find out it does on the-fly encrypting? And refers to random access memory as random access memory memory!

"Director of forensics" huh?


Re: As Mr ChriZ said

Not if the pagefile isn't on the System partition.

Jam today: Raspberry Pi Ram doubled


Re: Couldn't care less

I thought of using one as a media machine but as I currently use my PC for that and it has a TV tuner, I'd need that on to watch/record TV and indeed to make the media files on the HDD available to the Pi.

I have looked at getting a NAS to store the media files but they seem to be so darn expensive and then of course I'd also need to buy another HDD to go in it.

The other thing I'd love to do with them is use them as terminals to Remote Desktop into a Windows box, replacing two old, noisy and no doubt power-hungry PII boxes which are currently filling that role. Unfortunately, they're both running VGA LCD monitors so until those die and they're replaced with DVI/HDMI ones (the owners can't afford to just buy a new monitor when what they already have does the job) that plan is on hold. That might work better once the accelerated X11 driver is ready anyway.

Major Freeview EPG revamp to go ahead after appeals rejected


I am a geek

but I use MediaPortal rather than MythTV (looked at it but it wasn't right for me) and unfortunately that's designed to be a jack-of-all-trades (freesat, etc) so when it comes to Freeview it's somewhat lacking and I end up having to delete all the channels before re-scanning when they mess around with the channel lineup, to avoid ending up with duplicate entries (only one of which works of course).

I've made some suggestions on how they could improve it but unfortunately they don't have many people available/interested to work on the TV part of it at the moment (hint, hint, in case anyone has some time and thinks they might be able to help!)

4K vs OLED: and the winner is...


Still, haven't found, what I'm looking for

After doing endless amounts of research, I was going to buy a Panny Plasma until I found out it didn't support RGB 4:4:4, which is needed for sharp PC text and as I like to play PC games with a lot of text, was important for me. Stupid if you ask me, as it's not hard to implement.

I really don't want to buy an LCD rather than Plasma but I haven't tracked down a decent LCD with this feature anyway. The top-of-the-line 2012 Panny plasma has this now but that's way out of my price range at the moment so I guess I'll just have to wait until they come down to a price I can afford (like £400-500).

So until then (or if I have to move, in which case I'll have to dump it as it's so heavy) I'll have to stick with my 36" Sony XBR800, which isn't any good for text either and only does 720p/1080i but only cost me £80 s/h. If I'm going to spend £500 it's going to be on something that does what I need!

Bitcoin Foundation vows to clean up currency's bad rep


Too Confusing

I looked into Bitcoins a couple of months ago and was left so confused I gave up. Talk of losing all your coins if you don't follow the correct procedure when making transactions hardly helped!

I consider myself fairly tech-literate but all the tech-talk combined with economic-talk (which I'm not really much good with) left me with no idea how it works or why I'd want to buy any, beyond some vague talk about them being a good investment as they'd increase in value (which they might but as has been shown, they can also decrease quite substantially).

So I'm not sure this Foundation's going to achieve much other than give Andresen more money in the form of a wage.

Ten Androids for under 100 quid


Re: Maybe 7" tablet for £80 instead?

At home she'd get it from the upstairs router (works fine from the downstairs living room) and I presume when out she'd use the office Wi-Fi and other public hotspots in pubs, shops, libraries, etc.

I realise without 3G or GPS it's limited in terms of using maps to get around but there's an app that lets you download google maps so she can use those, albeit without a "You are here" marker. It seems like most Android-based tablets don't have 3G and at least this one has an SD slot and USB slot, which the Nexus 7 doesn't seem to.

My main concern would be battery life/standby time (particularly as it apparently takes about 45s to boot). The 7" has a 3200ma and quotes 7-5 hours playtime whilst the Astro+9 (9.7" IPS) has a 7800mAh and quotes a runtime of (up to) 6 hours, so perhaps the larger screen cancels out any benefit from the larger battery capacity. Either way, I've seen reports that the 7" only lasts for 2-3 hours, which seems ridiculously short and can I imagine it running out of juice at the most inconvenient moments if that's the case.


Maybe 7" tablet for £80 instead?

I want to get something for my Mum that can do the usual, Maps, Facebook Youtube, etc and was thinking of a smartphone but then I saw the Sumvision Astro+ 7" Tablet PC for only £80 and thought that might be better as it's obviously got a bigger screen, which will help as her eyesight's not as good as it was and she probably prefers to keep her simple phone for calls and texts.

The specs are:

- ARM Cortex A8 1.2GHz

- 1GB RAM + 16GB Flash

- 7 “ LCD Multi-touch capacitive touch screen

- Resolution: 800 x 480

- 0.3 MP Webcam

- Supports WCDMA / CDMA EVDO (external 3G dongle required – sold separately)

- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g compliant

- Android 4.0.3

Any thoughts?

New Opera 12 hooks web apps to 3D graphics acceleration


Have they got it working with Hotmail yet?

Yes, I tried all the "Identify as" options and still found it didn't work half the time with the last version and I had to use IE to access Hotmail, which made it impossible to recommend to my Hotmail-using friends.

Love it apart from that though.

Laptop computers are crap


Cheap solution for home use

If you just need a portable device at home, running Thinstation (or a stripped down XP) on an old laptop to RDP to a Windows desktop works great. Obviously if you need to take the device out and about it's not so good (although you can still RDP via SSH to the desktop), but it works great for my Dad who just likes to use his laptop downstairs on the sofa in the living room and saves him upgrading his (ancient and knackered) Sony VIAO. Although I do need to try and fix it as it doesn't charge the battery (either of them, he bought an additional one) so he has to run it with the PSU all the time!

Soup up your home network


Gb routers too expensive

I'd love to either replace my 100M ADSL modem/router or add a Gb router behind it to network my two PCs, but at £50+ it's not economical, so I'll probably just add Gb NICs (about £4 each) to both PCs and link them directly and leave the 100M NICs connected to the router.

Maybe one day my ISP will upgrade my router!

Ten... gaming mice



I'm very happy with my A4Tech X7 which I bought a year or so back for around £25. I can't imagine spending more than that on a mouse, unless I was making money from competitive gaming ;) It's got a DPI switch which is handy for sniping and a couple of extra buttons I can use for prone, or Teamspeak, etc so it does all I need it to.

I saw someone mentioned trackballs and I normally use a Logitech Trackman Wheel for non-gaming (although it's also better in my opinion for RTS as it avoids needlessly moving a mouse around and the extra space required for that, I only really think a mouse is necessary for FPS). Unfortunately after many years, the left-click has become rather unreliable and Logitech in their infinite wisdom have decided to stop making the wired version and only sell the wireless one, which is totally pointless as far as I'm concerned as the whole point of it is that it doesn't move, so why would I want to have to faff around with batteries for something that I can easily just plug in with a cable!

Flog secondhand MP3s at your peril - law guru


Reminds me of

the UK case where (I'm a bit vague on the details now) the judge ruled that a console made a copy of intellectual property (artwork, sound) when a console played a game, as the IP was being copied from the disc/RAM to the screen. I believe the defendant had been modding consoles, so he was charged with facilitating copyright infringement or something like that.

Microsoft's RemoteFX is fab - but will it play Crysis?


"Coming late to the discussion I know, but doesn't VirtualBox do that? https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#guestadd-video I can install the enlightened drivers onto the guest machines that exposes 3D functionality to them. They can happily do 3D stuff as if the virtual graphics card was "real". I've had Compiz running within Ubuntu (guest), running within Win7 (host). I've been playing with it for a while now and performance is passable. When I get enough spare time, I'm going to try it the other way round (Win7 guest under Linux host) to see what has better performance (I'm guessing the current setup). Combine the above with VirtualBox's handy RDP extension and haven't I just replicated VDI with £D acceleration (in principle anyway, I don't think they've implemented the current version of the protocol yet)."

I'm currently trying (and failing) to even get youtube/iplayer flash video to play in a Vbox XP guest. With 3D Acceleration enabled, I got no video and very sporadic bursts of audio, and with 3D (or 3D and 2D) Acceleration disabled, I see video but it advances about 5 seconds every second!

Taxpayers to cough more for multi-billion pound failed NHS IT project


CnB doesn't work like that here

Round here all that happens with CnB is that my GP refers me to a hospital and some time later I get a phone call from CnB to arrange an appointment, and then I receive a letter from the Hospital confirming it. I've never been asked by my GP what time/date I'd like. He's never even asked me which hospital I'd like and just refers me to the local one unless I specifically request a different one.

If I've asked my GP to refer me to a Hospital outside the local area, CnB don't seem to be able to handle this and when they call they end up telling me that I'll have to wait to receive an appointment letter from the hospital, so it was a complete waste of time/money them being involved at all.

Psst, kid... Wanna learn how to hack?


Would have bought if it had VGA

When I saw these I was rather excited at the prospect of replacing two of my friends' aging, large and power-wasteful Pentium 3 boxes (which are only being used as Thinstations to access servers via RDP or VNC) but unforunately they both have LCD monitors with only VGA inputs.

Considering that CRT monitors can be got hold of dirt cheap (or free) nowadays, which would obviously make the total outlay more acceptable to poorer people/schools who might benefit from these, and most LCD TV's have a VGA input, it seems a shame that they didn't fit these with VGA rather than HDMI :(

Battlefield 3


I loved BF2. Hate BF3. Looking at Armed Assault OA or AA3 instead now.

Sony's 3D VR goggles will empty your wallet


Does it track?

Not that I can afford these, but even if I could I'd want it to have TrackIR functionality built-in.

Ten... small screen HD TVs


Refresh rates

Regarding the article, I find the talk about 50hz rather confusing. I thought all (UK) LCD TV's supported 50hz AND 60hz.

As for 100hz, what about 120hz for 60hz material?

IT Angle

Any small TV's with RGB SCART

Here's a techie question.

I'm setting up an old PC with an ATI card for my brother's CRT SCART TV. It works fine with my RGB->SCART lead on a 14" CRT TV I borrowed, but I've had to give that back and so I'm hoping I can find a small (IE 17-19") LCD TV which has a full RGB SCART and will support the 50hz and 60hz timings I've setup using Powerstrip.

Does anyone know of anything that would fit the bill? I don't want to spend a lot and will just stick it in the bedroom when I've finished using it to test my brother's HTPC, where it probably won't get used much.

Ten... all-in-one inkjet printers


Wrong price for SX525WD

I don't know where they found the Epson Stylus SX525WD for £60, as the cheapest I've found it for is £83. Not that I'd buy one after reading the comments about Epson!

Much as I'd love an all-in-one laser, I simply can't afford one. I don't do a lot of printing anyway, more like the occasional letter and from time-to-time, a large print of various reference documents, etc. I've got a Canon MP460, which is OK for scanning and if I need to scan (or print) a load of documents, I can use my Dad's ADF laser. Seeing as my usage means that the cartridges are likely to have dried up on me when I go to use them, it probably makes more sense to just use the library and pay them 10-15p per page for the occasional letters and short runs.

I'm not sure what I'd do if I didn't have access to my Dad's laser for long runs though, as that would be rather expensive at the library. Probably try and find a cheap-ish B&W print-only laser and keep my MP460 for scanning, although it would be a pain having two machines in my small flat.

Stealth-cam software snaps laptop looter


Think just what you're paying for.

"The $15 (£9) Kaufman paid for the application turned out to be worth every cent yesterday after Oakland police swooped, arresting the man in question, based on the evidence supplied."

Doesn't say he got his laptop back though, so unless you think it's worth paying an extra $15 (on top of your taxes) for the privilege of doing all the detective work to enable the police to arrest someone (if you can embarrass them enough into action), I'm not sure it's worth it.

Might be better just encrypting and password protecting the laptop, keeping decent backups, and paying for insurance to get you a replacement machine if it gets nicked. You'd probably get it quicker than waiting for the police to decide they no longer need to keep your old one as evidence as well!

Ten... over-ear headphones


Mixing on cans

What's all this rubbish about using headphones for recording/mixing?

Every professional opinion I've ever heard/read says that this is just foolish, and some of these people have stupid amounts of money to spend on speakers. So I'd question the judgement of someone who tells you that if only you spend £500 on your cans you'll be OK.

Minister hints that libel reform will create privacy law


Article 8 made all the difference

I think this is a rather disingenuous reading of the case. Article 8 was certainly a major factor and the judge fundamentally altered the tort of breach of confidence and even said it would be better to call it "misuse of private information".

The major difference is that previously a breach of confidence would have to involve information which the plantiff had communicated to the defendant in confidence or at least the expectation that it would be held as such. I'm not aware of any precedent establishing that someone unconnected with the plantiff who reported on (or passed on information about) where the plantiff went in public, whether that be a bar, drug den or treatment centre, could be held in breach of confidence.

If someone whom there was reasonable grounds to expect to maintain medical confidentiality (eg a doctor, therapist or even a fellow group patient) released confidential information, that would clearly be a breach of confidence, but it was only with the introduction of Article 8 that the courts felt enabled to alter this tort to prohibit complete strangers from passing on information they had gathered about the plantiff in circumstances where there could be no reasonable expectation that the information would be held in confidence (i.e. by observing where they went in public).

Lite-on iHBS112 internal Blu-ray writer


What is ideal?

I've got most of my stuff backed up to DVD's, as I don't fancy taking the risk of losing the lot by dropping, losing, etc a hard drive. But yeah, optical discs aren't ideal, particularly if you're faced with burning 10+ in a go it soon gets rather tedious and simultaneously ties you to the PC whilst preventing you using the damn thing! Being able to access any file without swapping discs is a major advantage with HDs, although I'm not sure I'd be able to fit all my optical discs on even a 2TB HD.

I've actually just bought a 2.5" 500GB backup HD and a USB/eSATA enclosure for it (so that I can use SATA when I've got a lot of transferring to do), but it's really only for backing up stuff that I haven't decided I want to archive yet. As I do, it will get burnt to DVD, but before I bought the HD the only option was to backup everything to DVD, which wasn't realistic for me.

MPs call for crackdown on pre-paid credit cards


False sense of security?

I'm not sure I would use one of these to buy suspicious/embarassing (but legal) items as I imagine the retailers pass the shipping address on to the card company as a matter of course, so your purchases are logged and stored for the authorities to peruse, just the same as they would be with a normal card.

Grenade, 'cos it's the only way to stop 'em tracking you.

NHS loses massive Microsoft licensing rebate

Paris Hilton

How complicated is it really?

When I go to my GP, I see he uses a PC running XP with what looks like a bespoke application accessing my records from a backend server. It seems pretty shite in that it doesn't even have a search feature, so that half my appointment is often spent with him trying to look up my old results/medications, etc.

Unless the actual data is held in some proprietary format, surely it's not that hard to write linux application that can access that data, and with a bit more effort a backend linux system to manage that data, if it's currently a MS backend.

Perhaps we could get all the linux programmers out there to collaborate and write the necessary software for free (maybe there could be a donation fund), to help out the (not-for-profit) NHS, and thus it's patients, in these hard times. There might need to be some oversight from some user-friendliness-experts, as linux geeks still seem to think it's perfectly acceptable for a complete newbie to have to type unintelligible (to non-techie peeps) terminal commands to update linux, but I'm sure it could be done.

Having said that, I haven't got a clue what's involved.

Paris, 'cos she hasn't got a clue either.

'Banned' Xbox Live consoles appearing on eBay


Too risky buying second-hand

Even if a 360 hasn't already been banned, there's no guarantee that it hasn't been flagged and will get hit by the next ban-wave, so it seems rather dodgy buying any second-hand 360 if you want to use it on Live or use the HD install feature.

I'm generally too nervous to buy second-hand mobiles as well, as some twisted seller could easily report it stolen and leave you with an expensive paper-weight once you've bought it.

Beer, 'cos it's more reliable.

Appeal Court: Mod chips infringe game copyright after all


Why did the judges even go there?

There's no question that the defendant had broken the law by selling mod-chips (see section 296ZB http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032498.htm#24)

What I don't understand is why the judges said:

14. In order to establish that an offence under, by way of example, section 296ZB (c)(i) of the CDPA has been committed in relation to games such as those concerned in the present appeal, the prosecution must prove:

(2) That the playing of a counterfeit DVD on a game console involves the copying of a copyright work."

as I can see nothing in the legislation that states that.

But now, thanks to the judges introducing that element, they've allowed themselves to establish this ridiculous and unnecessary new precedent.

I'm sure a jury would have shown more common-sense but they've got that covered as well:

"30. Cases that, for example, involve determination of difficult questions whether a copy is of a substantial part of a copyright work, can and should be tried in the Chancery Division before specialist judges. They can be so tried much more efficiently in terms of cost and time than before a jury, and questions of law can if necessary be determined on appeal on the basis of clear findings of fact."

Buggy home routers expose O2 customers to hijacking



Thanks for the guide but my ini file shows

add name=Administrator password=_CYP_<hash removed> role=Administrator hash2=72db35e064da4d2eb3b9207ab91cde33 defuser=enabled

should I just change the role=Administrator to role=root?

Is it worth removing these lines for the other accounts as well?

add name=tech

add name=BeTech