* Posts by Steve 13

218 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Oct 2009


Radar missile decoys will draw enemy missiles away from RAF jets

Steve 13

"Exactly how much use it is against passive homing missiles, such as types that track infra-red emissions such as those given off by a jet using full afterburner while trying to shake off a threat, remains to be seen"

Errr, no, it doesn't remain to be seen. It will be precisely zero use against an IR missile as it's designed as a counter to a radar guided missile. Duh. You've even written in the article that it's designed to replace foil clouds, not IR flare decoys...

Hardboiled, fast-paced, mind-bending fun – Dark Intelligence IS sci-fi

Steve 13

Time warp

Edit - it's not the review that's out of date. It's the recommended articles that's popping up this one from Feb...

Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Steve 13

There's no need for a computer to be connected. Ceiling speakers (the Kef ones I bought are very well designed and sound great), class D amplifier, maybe with auto signal sensing if power use is a big issue for you, and a DLNA renderer (from £20 and up on Amazon).

Steve 13

Kitchen Audio

I had my kitchen refitted recently, rather than spend £150 on light bulbs, I bought some decent KEF ceiling speakers and had the electrician run the speaker cable to the nearby (attached) garage.

My light switches only turn on/off the light bulbs. If a bulb blows I can replace it.

I can attach any audio source I like to the speakers, and being 8" across they sound pretty good.

I can listen to music without needing to turn on the lights in the middle of the day.

Basically keeping the audio and lighting separate is far more versatile and sensible than trying to combine them... And given the high price of these bulbs even the installation cost isn't a barrier. If the bulbs were £10 then I could understand them being used as a cheap, poor quality solution in preference to spending more and getting better quality. But they aren't. They cost as much as doing it properly, but only add disadvantages to the mix.

This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity

Steve 13

Re: Why not just a Tor exit?

How is someone going to find this 900Mhz traffic?

And in fact, if it's your device that you're setting up to anonymize your connection, put a password on it as well... There's no reason at all that it has to be open.

Today's smart home devices are too dumb to succeed

Steve 13

Re: The white light explained

A better solution would be to have gimmics like coloured and colour changing bulbs as a secondary lighting device, not a primary one. When I want white light, I switch on the primary lighting circuit, and when the cleaner comes she does the same thing.

When I want mood lighting I turn on the lamp, and I expect it to remember what it's settings were, not have to be reset every time it's used.

I've got a number of LED lighting strips and bulbs, some remember there settings, others don't. I find the ones that remember the settings to be much more useful.

Nest rival: Smartmobes will decide who survives the Internet of Stuff war

Steve 13

Apart from remote control (something I can't imagine using more than once to prove it worked), this seems like a less effective solution than programmable thermostatic radiator valves being fitted in each room.

Sure, this can take readings from multiple rooms if you spring for $79 for each extra sensor. And then what. It can do "turn on" or "turn off".

Thermostatic valves on the other hand can control the temperature in each room. On a timer. So if one room heats up faster than another, no need to worry about the wasted heat, the valve will cut the heat to that radiator.

The one thing missing is that these PTRV need to also be wireless, so that they can individually demand heat, no central thermostat at all, just that a room knows it's too cold and demands the boiler comes on. When no room is demanding heat, the boiler goes off.

Combined with the 5/2 24hr programmable timer you can have the bedroom warm slightly at 0700 on weekdays, and at 0900 on weekends, the bathroom the same, living room from 1700 on weekdays until 2100 or whatever is your preference, and each with it's own target temperature.

Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

Steve 13

The wifi extender would be the most useful except for the fact that it needs power, and most people turn their lights off when they aren't in the room.

Of course you could also replace the power switch with one that communicates wirelessly with the device and doesn't really turn the power off... But now you can't safely change the bulb... So a replacement switch that does a 'soft' and a 'hard' off, just don't get them confused and touch the pins whilst replacing the £150 bulb when it's blown...

Bluetooth as an audio option is a terrible solution in a house IMO, not to mention the power problem again and the limited size that means quality will be poor.

What was the last one, IP camera, meh... Maybe, if that's on wifi and not bluetooth, although personally I like my cameras to point out of the house, not into it. Presumably this function will mostly be used by pervs to spy on guests in the spare room.

Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Steve 13

what's new?

I use cheap d link cameras and apache reverse proxy on my synology nas. Not massively secure, the nsa and gchq can no doubt see that my car is still in the drive just like I can.

Images are ftpd to the same nas on motion detection, I doubt your average thief would know what it was or take it in preference to a laptop.

False positives are really high though, so I don't sink it to dropbox.

Had this setup for over four years now fyi.

Researcher snaps a Zeus hacker's photo through his webcam

Steve 13


Isn't this security researcher risking prosecution? Reverse hacking isn't any more legal than hacking... At least if I've understood UK law correctly (and the guy is in the UK).

Edit - based in Kashmir, so he's probably safe from the long arm of the UK law.

Synology and the NAS-ty malware-flingers: What can be learned

Steve 13

Re: "It's an expensive ask..." but necessary

I'm a bit late to this story, but in reply to the first comment.

Changing ports is not a security measure. Or at best it's a weak form of obfuscation.

Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Steve 13

Real world scenario (upstairs) Interesting

It's a shame that the 802.11n speeds and 802.11ac speeds were not plotted on the same graph.

Trying to compare by eye the result of n and ac for the fastest router, it appears that in the "real world scenario" of being upstairs, ac offers no speed advantage at all.

It's also a shame that nothing further away than 8m indoors and 10m with LOS was tested.

My house happens to be larger than 10m square, and my garden larger still, some test of distance before bandwidth drops below X would have been useful, and a test within a building through more than 1 wall/floor and over more than 8 metres.

Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft

Steve 13

Re: Not fixed - Intermittent

Well, a few refreshes later and I do have access, but nslookup can't resolve the address from the command line.

So it appears to be intermittently resolving now!

Steve 13

Not fixed

It's most definitely not fixed, I still can't access my no-ip address.

But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

Steve 13

Re: Too Old

That's okay, I didn't claim that it or I were cool.

You're welcome to your coolness and cheesy messages.

Steve 13

Re: Too Old

Yeah, at 36 I'm definitely a yoof, yawn.

Ooh, and good spot on the typo, that's given your reply much kudos.

Still, the plural of anecdote is not data, to correct my typo. Which if you didn't get it, means that no matter how many mates you ask, you have not collected any data. In which case the opinion is not based on any data.

Steve 13

You've included google in a list of companies which "never turn a profit"...

Steve 13

Too Old

Dude, I guess you're just too old.

Oh, and don't forget that the plural of anedote isn't data.

For what it's worth though, pretty much everyone I know uses it, and I'm not that young that we're talking about kids. University lecturers, solicitors, health professionals, and quite a few IT professionals.

And since you ask, what it does that text doesn't is group conversations. It's just instant messaging, it's nothing new, but it's convenient, on the phone and you can set up arbitrary group conversations, great for arranging stuff.

Not worth what they paid for it of course, but not as pointless as you seem to implying.

Squidge-droids maker updates iRobot for SUCK, SCRUB action

Steve 13


I'd buy one, but not at the massive premium that is charged.

It'd be cheaper to hire a cleaner to come in and vacuum for me.

Give it a wrist, fellas: Sony's back with $200 Android Smartwatch 2

Steve 13

Re: This looks to be a better idea:

Unlike a watch it's no use for telling the time and makes you look like a bit of a dick.

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

Steve 13

Re: it will probably be an expensive boutique operation.

Surely the point wouldn't be to get from A to B, it would be a cruise in the same way that you cruise on an ocean liner. You stop at multiple point and eventually return to your destination.

Nobody points out that cruise ships must fail due to the slow nature of the journey, because the point isn't the speed, but the journey itself.

Pair of complete tits sorry for pervy app

Steve 13

Re: Good old feminist outrage. .

Does being a mother provide special rights of complaint? Or had she for some reason taken her 9 year old daughter with her instead of sending her to school?

Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Steve 13
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Question 1: Why the hell do we have premium numbers anyway?

So that services can be sold via a phone line.

Question 2: Why can BT et al. not simply block numbers for us?

They can.

Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

Steve 13

Re: Sad

It might defeat the point of a holiday to YOU. But it's worth remembering that we aren't all the same.

Take the holiday that you want. Go to the middle of nowhere and have no signal if it makes you happy, but don't criticise someone who likes to be able to stay in touch. It's their holiday they are talking about, not yours.

Steve 13

Re: re. switching off the cable modem

You should use a free DDNS service instead. Your IP address isn't guaranteed to stay the same even if you leave your router on.

Space-walker nearly OPENED HELMET to avoid DROWNING

Steve 13

Re: in space no-one can hear you scream

Still under investigation, they've narrowed it down to about 3 components.

Probation officer gets TINY fine for spilling domestic violence victim's ADDRESS

Steve 13

Nonsense - deliberately breaching the DPA (by the alledged abuser) is not sufficient reason to lock him up for life. The maximum penalty, as the article tells you is a £5k fine from a magistrate or an unlimited fine from a higher court.

Steve 13

re:just_this_guy@14:23 - misleading article.

I think you've been mislead by the reporting, the law does not allow a fine of £5000 for her.

The section of the act as quoted would apply to the suspect in this case, he illegally obtained private information.

The social worker in this case illegally disclosed it, which was not the offence that was quoted in the article, that was "illegally accessing or obtaining", she did neither of those things.

Bug-finder chucked for posting to Zuck

Steve 13

Re: ...and here we se the "Head In The Sand" approach to system security...

Surely 1 good reason to use facebook would be enough of a reason to use it.

Nobody claims that email is secure, but you use that (I guess), and I doubt that anyone can list 10 reasons to use email without some of those reasons being subsets of a reason already listed.

There are reasons to not post too much personal information on facebook, and I certainly don't care if you don't want to use it, nor do I want to convince you to use it. But the inverse IT snobbery being demonstrated by a lot of posters is a little bit ironic IMO.

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Steve 13
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Re: How Much?

So £1.68 to achieve a range of about 30 miles. Isn't that about the same price as half a galon of fuel, which would take the car just about as far... So no real cost benefit in running it, batteries that are at most only good for 10 years, and it costs an extra 10k upfront, even with a government subsidy.

Philips' smart lights left in the dark by dumb security

Steve 13
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I think you've entirely missed the point (what the PR department says is the point) of these bulbs.

If you just want to look like your home when you're on holiday, use a timer plug and a lamp.

Steve 13

Re: Overprice carp


Do you mean shills?

Nobody was raving about it anyway...

Mobes, fondleslabs, web sending Brit families back to THE FIFTIES - Ofcom

Steve 13
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Re: 90% watch in real time

But what if there's something worth watching, and I want to do something else right now...

AND I suspect that tomorrow when I have no plans, there may be nothing worth watching (as is often the case).

Maybe it's that 90% of people don't care if it's worth watching (hence playing angry birds instead of actually watching) or they are incapable of planning ahead...

Re: the multi tasking though - my OH will sit and play some game whilst we are supposedly watching a new episode from a series that we both like, but which she has just chosen to put on. Personally, if I want to watch it then I will actually watch, and if I don't then I'll go and do something else.

Climate change even worse than you thought: It causes war and murder

Steve 13
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Re: What a twat

They didn't make any claim that all climate change was linked to human behaviour, in fact the cause of climate change isn't relevant to their study at all.

The result they have published just shows that when climate change occurs, human conflict increases.

They might have gone on to postulate that violence is often the result of conflict for scarce resources and that scarcity increases when the climate is disrupted in any way. But they didn't.

Terror cops swoop on couple who Googled 'backpacks' and 'pressure cooker'

Steve 13

Re: Whats the problem.

Are you just making stuff up?

Steve 13

Re: So don't shop while at work?

I go shopping in my lunch break all the time! Why wouldn't I, it's my time, the shops are in town, I'm in town, it seems the sensible thing to do.

I also clear my browser history when I leave a job (I can't clear the proxy logs of course, but it doesn't sound like they examined those)...

Going back to the story though, the guy shopped for a backpack, why would that cause his ex employer to call the police. His wife was shopping for a pressure cooker, on a different PC, on a different network. As it's been described there is no link between the backpack and the pressure cooker. Unless she actually borrowed his work laptop whilst at home to do that shopping.

Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

Steve 13


This device is not an attempt by google to replicate airplay, DLNA did that quite a few years ago.

You could claim that the device was an attempt to replicate apple TV, except that this isn't a DLNA player or renderer, so it isn't replicating apple TV at all.

Guinness: Have a quick bonk over the bar and receive FREE BEER

Steve 13

geographically limited

Looks like a focus to the West of the penines, coincidence, or do they need encouraging to drink more of the black stuff?

BitTorrent's share 'n' sync tool comes to Android

Steve 13

Comparison to Dropbox is flawed

From what I've read this a p2p solution, there is no 'cloudy' storage vendor involved, it's your own private cloud in essence, where you own,provide and control the storage.

Synology of course already provide an in-built tool that does exactly this, cloud station. But I'll take a closer look at this and see how it compares.

Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Steve 13
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The vast majority of vehicles are simply to get someone from A to B and to have sufficient space to transport what they need. Do you think that the owners of Zafira's or Cee'ds are particularly proud of and emotionally attached to their 2nd hand vehicles?

Steve 13

Re: flying

We have driverless light rail, despite the objections of the drivers union when it was introduced.

Steve 13

Re: How do you determine fault in a crash

Using the many onboard cameras I expect.

Steve 13

And another thing

"In that scenario, and excluding other trips (which will, after all, be spread across the second car that most car-owning households maintain), the daily commute comes at a price of $20 per hour."

" it's at least feasible that once the (considerable) startup costs are covered, a business model exists under which people will use autonomous cars, but never own one."

The conclusion that is drawn, doesn't even follow from the over simplified reduction in the earlier statement.

What does follow is a statement more like this;

"It's at least feasible ...blah blah... business model exists under which households will use autonomous cars *instead of owning a 2nd vehicle*"

And this makes much more sense, if 1 car is a secondary vehicle that is primarily used for commuting, and the actual cost of using an autonomous car is lower than owning it, then people might do that.

But, the assumption that an autonomous car will be significantly cheaper than a taxi is probably erroneous IMO. Driving a taxi is a low income job, in terms of hourly pay the vast majority of what you pay for a taxi does not end up in the drivers pocket, which leads to the conclusion that removing the driver would not result in a large cost saving.

Steve 13

Obviously driveless cars would cause changes in behaviour, but I don't think it would be in the way the author suggests.

The idea that a large portion of people might give up car ownership because a car can drive itself doesn't hang together for me. As a consumer cars that can 'drive themselves' already exist, we call them taxi's. There are very few people though that prefer to rely on taxi's for regular use rather than own a car.

Which isn't to say that there aren't people who don't own cars, there are, and these people use public transport, taxis, feet, push bikes, etc, as they choose. But the kind of people that currently own cars will in the vast majority (IMO) continue to own cars, even if the car can drive itself.

Perhaps the author isn't a car owner, or maybe isn't a typical one. I'd suggest that a typical car has a lot of personal property left in it, all of which would need removing if other people had access to the car during the day.

There are a few points about groups of people who are unable to drive currently (children mainly), this isn't a group with a large disposable income, nor a high requirement for motorised transport that their parents aren't capable of providing. So driverless cars won't suddenly see 10 year olds taking self driven cars to the next town.

Anecdotal, but if I consider my own usage, today the car could have gone back home instead of me paying to park for the day, but generally I cycle and the car stays at home anyway.

There's nothing inherently impossible about my usage that would stop me using an on demand service that lacked ownership, but I don't use city club cars and I don't use taxi's for regular journeys, I expect that the same economic arguments would apply, owning the car would simply be cheaper and/or more convenient.

Steve 13

What it didn't clearly state though is that that group is the majority of adults (in the UK and outside London at least).

Steve 13

Anyone who has had more than a couple of pints HAS to get a lift of some sort. Their "condition" doesn't make them likely to make any kind of mess though.

US Navy coughs $34.5m for hyper-kill railgun that DOESN'T self-destruct

Steve 13

Re: "..the railgun could usher in the second era of the dreadnoughts.."

Small ,cheap, fast and with a nuclear reactor to provide power?

Steve 13
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Re: Now there is

Newton might have something to say... Throw a magnetic rock (whatever that is) out of a railgun in orbit and you just changed the orbit of the railgun. Now use chemical rockets to put it back in position (or ion thruster at best) and what did you really gain? Might has well have stuck the rocket motor on the rock in the first place!

Also, rocks would need balancing precisely, machining to fit the rail gun and covering in something conductive. Again, might as well just stick a rocket motor on the rock, it's easier.

MagicPlay creator crafts Raspberry Pi demo

Steve 13

Recreating DLNA?

Doesn't this just do the same as streaming audio over DLNA?

Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in

Steve 13

Correlation !=causation

I didn't see anything in the article about how they actually established that gadget use was responsible.

They might as well blame the increase in piracy of the coast of Somalia, unless they actually show a mechanism and establish causality rather than just speculate about it then the report is meaningless.