* Posts by stuartnz

382 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Sep 2009


BOFH: You can be replaced by a robot or get your carbon footprint below Big Dave's


Re: Live From Network 23

The upvotes (inc. mine ofc) for your post, and the entire sub-thread, nicely illustrate how VERY specific a demographic the readership of El Reg is :)

YouTube's 'Ad blockers not allowed' pop-up scares the bejesus out of netizens


So I'm getting a bargain

I've been using YouTube Premium since it was in beta years ago as YouTube Red, and it's my only paid for media delivery service. For what I need, it's perfect - lots of language learning channels and howtos, all ad-free. What surprised me from the article was the price: I'm still paying the price I paid from day one, $9.99NZ - basically half the current US price. Good to know that, so far at least, AlphaGoogle has kept their promise not to raise that price.

Boeing's Starliner launch pushed back again... to April 2023


Scheduling conflict, for reals!

"Unfortunately, all our astronauts have discovered they are unavailable on the as-yet-unspecified date due to as-yet-unspecified prior commitments"

Document Foundation starts charging €8.99 for 'free' LibreOffice


Re: I'd pay

You're right, and I have donated in the past, more than the amount mentioned in the article. But I still think that there may well be many users who, like me, can afford to pay a modest amount but would appreciate the comparative convenience of being 'billed' for it in one way or another over having to remember to 'throw something in the tip jar'


I'd pay

I like LO precisely BECAUSE it's LOCAL Office, and would happily pay to support it. I'd rather pay them €10 p.a. if it helped development (especially of the moribund Base) than pay MS for the privilege of having them keep all my stuff

iPhone 14 iFixit teardown shows Apple's learning on repairs


Hope springs eternal

"but haven't heard back"

I'm confident you will, the very moment when they host their own AMA - the merger of Apple, Meta & Alphabet

Actual real-life hoverbike makes US debut at Detroit Auto Show


Missing a little something?


"you'd only be able to operate it on open fields, wetlands, lakes, deserts, and other such terrain where no one is going to get hurt."

That should read "no one ELSE..." surely? :)

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch


Very Well said

" if you're going to have a leader chosen by birth lottery, we could have done a whole lot worse."

And now she no longer has to take the blame for stuff done in her name, as if she had any actual say in any of it.

Voyager 1 data corrupted by onboard computer that 'stopped working years ago'


Can't argue with that

""ultimate telesurgery,"" - troubleshooting 50 year old tech that's in temps below 10K at ~20 light hours away, not many CVs could top that for work experience . Take YET ANOTHER bow, NASA

NASA's Lunar Orbiter spots comfortably warm 'pits' all over the Moon


Re: Asimov

And when he is put in charge of the moonshine (ha!) manufacturing, they will be The Caves of Still

NanoAvionics satellite pulls out GoPro to take stunning selfie over Earth


I got a bit excited wondering if I could "see my house from here", but it cuts off a bit south of me. :)

Xiaomi adds earthquake alert system to some smartphones


It's a bit creepy

I have a RealMe X2 and my wife had a Xiaomi MiMax 3 and both had the Aotearoa/NZ version of this surprise us last year: "You are about to feel an earthquake", or words to that effect, then seconds later , we did - spooky, possums!

Wolfing down ebooks during lockdown? You might want to check out Calibre, the Swiss Army ebook tool


Calibre's interface is definitely not the most Spartan, but it's also worth noting that the viewer app can run separately, allowing ebooks to be read without starting the main Calibre app. And there's a very helpful "support crew", led the creator and primary developers, at the mobileread.com forums

The James Webb Space Telescope has only gone and deployed its primary mirror


The Universal Constant

I follow the JWST twitter account, and in response to to today's successful test of all the mirror segment motors (amazing to me that these motors work at -200C, my internal actuators barely function at 20C) and despite the patient, detailed explanation linked to in this article, there are STILL idiots ranting nastily about the absence of video footage, including this gem "how are you going to inspire kids if you don't show them?" My post title is, of course, an allusion to one of the 4,356,743,212 things ALLEGED to have been said by Einstein but whoever said it, they was right.

Feeling virtuous with a good old paperback? Well, don't. Switching to traditional media does not improve mood


Re: books vs screens

Also, there is no blue light radiation from an e-ink reader. El Reg forums are definitely NOT a warm and welcoming place for those of us who love e-ink readers. The active antipathy toward them is actually quite surprising given that it's likely a lot of El Reg users are, like me, in the 50+ demographic which is the bastion of e-reader use. For me, reading on my Kobo is MUCH more comfortable than dead tree books - especially when reading books in the 600-1200 page range. But that's just my personal preference, not an assumption of superiority, such as is often made by those who eschew e-readers.

A moment of tension as the James Webb Space Telescope stretches sunshield on way to L2 destination


Re: GoPro

I'm a big fan of what Space X has achieved, but nothing they've done yet comes close to the JWST for complexity.

"Where would the cameras go?"

"How would they be fitted in to something already folded origami style?"

"How would the actual science (not PR) instruments be shielded from potential interference?"

How many extra points of failure would they add to the 344 already itemised?"

And I'm sure there are plenty of other similar questions that could be asked to show why, for a project that was already WAY behind time and WAAAAAY over budget, adding video cameras for a TV audience was not considered worthwhile.

James Webb Telescope launch delayed again, this time by weather


Looking forward to the launch, but

It really will be the easy bit. Just reading NASA's pre-launch info sheet, this staggered me:

"Of those 344 unfolds, 307 (87%) are critical, single-point failure areas" - if everything AFTER the launch works, including the 5 months of cooling before things really get started, THEN I'll raise a beer. Hell, I might even DRINK one, despite a severe alcohol intolerance. They'll have earned it.

Humanity has officially touched the Sun (or, at least, one of its probes has)


27 Celsius?

A truly astonishing feat! That sort of insulation would be perfect to "hold my beer" #tooeasy #sorrynotsorry

Popular password manager LastPass to be spun out from LogMeIn


Re: Ah bon‽

" I discovered the paid personal plan is $10/yr, that's not much for supporting them."

This is exactly why I moved to the paid tier when I started using Bitwarden nearly 2 years ago. I don't NEED the paid tier's extras, but it's nice to be able to say thanks. I do the same with StoryGraph, the Amazon-free Goodreads alternative, pay for the Plus options as a gesture of support rather than out of need

Is it decadent that I use four different computers each day, at different times?


Re: I recently moved from a Kobo Libra H20 to the new Sage

"does the cost feel worth it ?" Frankly, no. I had a lot of extra work at the time, and decided to treat myself, so I wouldn't say that I regret the decision, but if I had the same opportunity again, I would probably not bother. From everything I've read, the new Libra 2 is a bigger upgrade of the H20 than the Sage is of the Forma.

That said, having 32GB instead of 8GB, and an 8-inch screen instead of 7, are nice enough upgrades to soothe the slightly underwhelmed feeling I got. Not exactly buyer's remorse, just a feeling that it was a bit of a gnabgib - although my wife loves the Libra H20 which was mine and is now hers. :)


A Sage solution

"I find the Paperwhite a little too small and it doesn't offer landscape mode to offer an alternative grip"

The Kobo Sage addresses both those issues - 8 inches not 6.8, and with landscape mode. I recently moved from a Kobo Libra H20 to the new Sage, and have found the bigger screen size to be well worth the change. I left the Amazon three years ago, and while Kobo's customer service is bad on a good day, their devices are a very credible alternative to the presumption that Kindles are the only ereader game in town.

Hubble Space Telescope restored to service: No repeat of those missing messages, but here's a software patch anyway



Thanks for the correction - I had a vague suspicion my initial L1 reference was wrong.


Another outstanding result, worthy of many beers! The Hubble Team really are amazing, and I hope that when the HST finally shuts its eyes for the last time, the same skills, devotion and determination can keep the JWST going just as long - even if there's a *SMALL* difference between LEO and L1. :)

Technology does widen the education divide. But not always in the way you expect


Re: REAL books! Aaaargh!

Exactly, thank you. The hyperbolic description of paper was mostly for my own amusement and to poke those who didn't get the point so deftly summed up in the cuneiform reply :-)


Re: REAL books! Aaaargh!

No, that is not what I said,not at all. ALL books are real books, regardless of the delivery medium. The educator could have said that the kids were going back to paper book, but she did not, she said "real books". To call one type of book "real" is to say that other types are not. Paper books are real, but so are ebooks and audiobooks. I find it fascinating that making this point as I did in my initial comment generated so many down votes. I have nothing against dead tree books, but it seems many who prefer them DO have something against other forms of books


REAL books! Aaaargh!

<rant> "They really fell in love with real books again" - I absolutely HATE that expression "real books". In the last two years, I have read over 350 books, every single one of them on my Kobo. They were very, VERY real, despite not being carved into the dessicated flesh of slaughtered trees.

"Real book" is a hideously judgmental phrase, implying (barely implict, actually) that any book not printed on paper is NOT real, and therefore inferior. An educator should realise that many people either PREFER to read by other media, or have physical challenges that make doing so necessary/easier. Or, as is true in my case both. < /rant>

Lenovo blames 'firmware' issue for blank-screened Smart Displays, says Google's working on a fix – 6 months after complaints started


Re: Smart Clock?

But they ARE smart - as in, "to cause or be the cause or seat of a sharp stinging pain" Seems a remarkably candid description, I'd say.

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like


Less is more, maybe?

I like that the new startup sound is barely there - which also kinda sums up the extent of the changes, it seems. After viewing the screenshots though, The BIG question, one I'm deeply embarrassed to have to ask, is - what are the official El Reg units of temperature?

A keyboard? How quaint: Logitech and Baidu link arms to make an AI-enabled, voice-transcribing mouse


Re: So where does the speech recognition happen ?

I was thinking "Winnie the Pooh" - perhaps "Winnie the Pooh visits Tiananmen Square" would guarantee the police arrive double quick?

NASA writes software update for Ingenuity helicopter to enable first Mars flight


Adaptive learning

Many are asking "didn't they test the software before sending it?". Since NASA is not Boeing, I'm going to assume they did, but it also seems reasonable to assume that conditions on the ground 15 light minutes away may not be replicable with 100% exactitude. If the slight hiccup was caused by a local variable that could not have been replicated Earthside, then rewriting the software to factor in the new data would seem to me to be evidence of sensible engineering, not the opposite

NASA's Mars helicopter spins up its blades ahead of hoped-for 12 April hover


Boring? DEATH says otherwise


Flying a freakin' drone from 12,583,588,262.0564 brontosaurii away - that is JUST AMAZING! Yes, the world's a helluva mess, and just down the road from Mission Control, the bridges, roads and other basic infrastructure are all falling apart, but still, this deserves applause, and at least 2 Olympic Swimming Pools of beer

Indian defense chief admits China’s cyber-weapons would ‘disrupt large number of systems’ whenever Beijing presses the button


Re: Frenemy?

There is plenty of collaboration, by force of circumstance as you say, but despite following their interactions fairly closely, I've seen no sign of either side making any effort to "pretend to be best buddies while doing so". It suits each side to use the other more as a bogeyman than a faux friend.



Really? Historically and currently, there's not much of the "Fr" between these two enemies, surely? Frenemies don't generally engage in actual mortal combat as has happened between these two in the last 12 months.

Atheists appeal to higher power for intercession over alleged sins against privacy


Re: I wonder what the split was over.

Exactly why Small Gods is my favourite Pratchett by far - some of the jibes thrown at atheists in that book seem almost prescient reading of this spat :)



That one of these august bodies has an official called Oolon Colluphid. That would about wrap it up.

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead

Thumb Up

Re: What?

In the spirit of this zombie lawsuit, Abe Lincoln should be suing Einstein for stealing his quote.

If you can't log into Azure, Teams or Xbox Live right now: Microsoft cloud services in worldwide outage


Re: Tell me again...

Hands up if "don't google Google" came to mind after reading the above post. (apt, since many El Reg longtimers probably ARE The Elders of the Internet)

Staff and students at Victoria University of Wellington learn the most important lesson of all: Keep your files backed up


Re: The only things

This is how it was reported in non-tech NZ new sites too - desktop PCs, not users' desktops. Still very much shared responsibility, imo - yes the Uni IT team screwed up, but who spends years working on career make-or-break research without any personal, off site backups?

UBports community delivers 'second-largest release of Ubuntu Touch ever'


Waiting to land my Sailfish

If Sailfish extends to Oppo/RealMe devices, I'd be keen to give it a go. Especially now it's up to Android 9 in its compatibility mode, that's close enough to the 10 my phone uses.

Microsoft customers locked out of Teams, Office, Xbox, Dynamics – and Azure Active Directory breakdown blamed


Re: I guess they are going to miss their SLA?

"Open 24hours (although not in a row)"

Upvoted for the presumed Steven Wright allusion. :)

Out of this world: Listen to Perseverance rover fire its laser at Mars rocks as the wind whips around it


Re: Whispers in the wind

Or perhaps, a soft, plaintive lament "the chances of anything coming TO Mars, are a million to one, they said..."

LibreOffice 7.1 Community released with user-interface picker, other bits and bytes


I checked out Collabora's sample offer, abut it seemed more aimed at businesses who want online access, hence "Collabora", I guess. Like you, if they offered a paid version available for download that was "gussied up" a bit, I'd happily give them my money.


Lacks Polish? Partly true, by extension

One of the main reasons I update today was the promise of the new Extension Manager interface. I am now running 7.1.3 and there has been no change at all to the Extension Manager. The Release Notes direct readers to a blog post about the new dialog https://yusufketen.com/post/2020-08-31-libreoffice-gsoc-final-report/ that seems to confirm the "lacks polish" problem. As I get older and lazier, I'm a big fan of "it just works", so even though I'm sticking with LO because it's "Local Office" not "Cloud Office", it would be nice if some of the sharp geeky edges could be smoothed a bit.

If you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat app


Re: Telegram

"For the paranoid there is Signal, and for the cautious but still like convenience there is Telegram"

A fair summary, I think. I installed Signal before Telegram, but the almost no-existent uptake among people I need to communicate with made Telegram a more viable option. It may not be as good as Signal, but it's definitely a better choice than anything owned by FB.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works


Re: lovely Linux games

Sigh! I have CP, so games have never been my thing, but I simply LOVED Tux Racer on my Mandrake installs. So much fun, even for someone whose skill level could best be described as subcraptaneous.

Amazon makes big bet on New Zealand to crack Indian market


" anything that isn't scheduled for at least three days isn't proper cricket" May I be Waldorf to your Statler?

Paragon 'optimistic' that its NTFS driver will be accepted into the Linux Kernel


Re: Whatever for?

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes: "I fear Geeks when they come bearing Gits", perhaps? :) (In Sean Connery's voice, ofc)

DDoS downs New Zealand stock exchange for third consecutive day


"DDoS downs New Zealand stock exchange for third consecutive day : So much for NZ as the last refuge of civilisation"

Some may consider this as strengthening NZ's claim to that title, not weakening it.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Winking red supergiants sneezing hot gas 650 light years away


Re: Ford! Zaphod! Don't go home.

Perhaps it's not an outgassing event, nor a sneeze, but a Hrung, collapsing.