* Posts by Swedish Chef

47 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Dec 2009

Lost your luggage? That's nothing – we just lost your whole flight!

Swedish Chef

The 'retirement' of Pope John Paul II actually made one of my favourite jokes obsolete.

Why does the Pope kiss the ground after each landing?

That's something only Alitalia customers understand.

Apple pairs well with profits, not repair shops

Swedish Chef

Re: Umm, tiny omission here.

If all they wanted to do is prevent phone theft for parts, Apple could just have extended the existing iCloud locking mechanism to a phone's individual parts.

iPhone with a new display from a locked phone (or better even, a phone reported as stolen) refuses to work.

iPhone with a new display from an UNlocked phone does some calibration thinggy and then works normally.

Takes one request to Apple's servers for the iPhone to know what it should do with its new donour organ. It could even display a prominent message along the lines of "this phone contains stolen replacement parts", which would be a way better deterrent to thieves than "TrueTone doesn't work, which you might or might not notice".

I'm aware there are some excuses about how Battery Health can't work without the battery's history stored in the donour phone, or TrueTone needs to be calibrated properly, but I call BS on all of them. All of those donour spare parts already have a chip on them that could/should have stored all relevant information ready for the new device to query.

Microsoft pushes users to the Edge in Outlook, Teams

Swedish Chef

"The new Outlook behavior is being deployed slowly so the company can gather feedback."

...and then ignore that feedback as they always do.

Because I'm pretty confident I can predict what that feedback will look like...

Swedish Chef

Re: Eu investigation in 3...2...1...

Oh, I think they've learned. They've learned that inbetween two anti-trust injunctions, they can pretty much do whatever they want.

The investigation won't help much if it only concludes once the damage has been done. MS will pay a fine that's well worth it to them and change absolutely nothing.

Unless the fines start being so eye-wateringly steep that a conviction will have the shareholders howling and demanding the entire board's heads on spikes, nothing much will change.

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere

Swedish Chef

Re: The secret to a long life

Solaris had an interesting bug for many years. Most telnet clients support a command such as "telnet -l username" to supply the telnet daemon with a user name. The Solaris telnet daemon forwarded that argument to the login process unchecked. As a result, you could get root on any Solaris box by typing "telnet -l '-f root'" on the client, which on the server side would spawn a process "/bin/login -f root", which logged you in as root without any further checks.

Oh the fun we had when we were students.

Apple says it will no longer punish those daring to repair their iPhone 13 screens

Swedish Chef

Re: Cf. Renault

I think Opel (pre-PSA) had a pretty good solution.

All expensive components in a car were "married" to each other and would not work outside that particular car.

As long as they were inside the car (and the car saw a valid car key), you could quite easily "divorce" them and then "marry" them to another car. Meaning that it was reasonably easy to sell/use your own car for spare parts, but thieves has to either steal your car keys (at which point it's pretty much game over anyway) or go through an authorised Opel dealer.

Apple could easily do something similar hidden behind a secret service menu or something.

Google OS, phone home: Leaked Android 12 screenshots suggest new design, privacy features

Swedish Chef

Re: Location

> and, better still, feed them bogus data so they don't break

FWIW, Oppo phones offer this to some degree. You can set apps to be served an empty phone book, call log, message (SMS) list and "events" (whatever that last one does is unclear - suppress system broadcasts?). Not much but a start. If you know where to look, you can also manage some of the more obscure app permissions, such as an app gathering info on other installed apps. At the very least it's a step in the right direction.

There are also some Xposed-based solutions for rooted phones, but stability-wise they all seem to be perpetually stuck in alpha.

I still miss the original LBE Privacy Guard. I've never seen anything even remotely as powerful.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Swedish Chef


PE is also technically identical to neutral, though (in modern installations) for safety reasons has its own wire. E.g. an RCD needs to be able to distinguish between neutral and PE - there's no current supposed to go through PE at any time, while the current through L and N should be identical. If it's not, something's wrong.

In older TN-C installations, PE was just connected to N at the socket - at least in continental Europe; not sure about the UK. This had the interesting side effect of electrifying anybody who touched a device connected to that socket when there was a problem with the neutral line and the device was switched on.

Swedish Chef

Live and neutral

As far as the electrons travelling through the wires are concerned, there's no real difference between the two wires.

In real life, one of those is connected to the ground and called 'neutral'. As long as you've got your feet on the ground (or thereabout), you're indirectly connected to it. That's why touching the other ('live') wire hurts - you're now connected to both.

Technically it would be safe to touch the 'live' wire while in free fall or otherwise disconnected from the 'neutral' wire. You still shouldn't try it though.

(This would be the same with DC, only you'd need to consider polarity instead of the phase.)

Swedish Chef

Depends on the wiring

In a (relatively) modern TN-S system (separate neutral and PE), switching or connecting neutral and PE would immediately trip a breaker because of the current mismatch in line and neutral.

Whether the fuse would blow depends on the kind of fault.

I reckon the faulty printer in the story was connected to a TT system, which would have been common around that time. Switching neutral and PE can have quite funky effects on the voltage there, not to mention bugging the worms and moles.

OPPO's Reno 2, aka 'Baby Shark', joins the deepening pool of high-spec midranger mobes

Swedish Chef

Re: Few details missing

It's either dual-SIM or single-SIM plus SD card, comes with a headphone jack and the OEM unlock in the developer options is there (though I didn't try it yet). No official TWRP available at the moment, though Magisk is reported to work well.

Swedish Chef

Mine does

It happily accepts the chargers (wall/car) that came with my OnePlus 3T. The phone acknowledges them with the same lightning bolt animation that Oppo's own charger gets.

My OnePlus phones will also accept Oppo's charger, so AFAICT they're completely interchangeable.

Swedish Chef

Bought it a week ago...

I've bought the Reno2 some 8 days ago to replace my aging OnePlus 3T.

So far I'm very happy with it. It's posh, snappy and generally a pleasure to use.

It supports the latest iteration of VOOC (what OnePlus used to call Dash Charge). AFAICT the chargers are totally interchangeable between the phones, though Oppo's (newer) charger promises 20W of oomph instead of just 15W.

It also came with a screen protector pre-applied, which is a very good thing, and a really ugly case which I'm not using.

The selfie camera (I've heard it called 'shark fin' but will henceforth refer to it as 'pizza slice') works very well so far. I don't use it often though so don't mind the slight delay. The mechanism seems sturdy enough.

The pizza slice also looks much nicer than OnePlus's rectangular periscope thingy.


* The camera is very good (though I might be biased as the 3T's camera is not much to write home about). I'm very impressed by its night mode.

* The on-screen fingerprint reader works very well and looks good, too.

* ColorOS is generally a nice thing. Coming from OnePlus's OxygenOS (which I love) it's not all that different. The notifications are a bit too iPhone-y for my tastes... and dragging a finger down on the start screen will bring up a search window instead of pulling down the notification area. The latter would be lovely for one-handed use on such a big screen.

* Built-in privacy tools. You can set data-grabbing apps to see an empty phonebook, an empty calendar etc. Unfortunately this does not work with system apps.

* Autostart can be disabled on a per-app basis.

* Secure environment for banking apps. Not sure how secure it really is, but at least the phone tells you that the app gets some extra protection.

* Protected apps that require an extra PIN (or fingerprint) to access. You can also hide the app icon, so that the app is only available by dialling a user-configurable phone number. I'm using this for my banking apps and the bloatware that can't be uninstalled, see below.

* The battery lasts forever.


* There is some bloatware. Most can be uninstalled, though a couple apps remain.

* Most Google apps, especially Chrome and Maps, can neither be uninstalled nor disabled. I hate both. With the Reno2's very good privacy helpers, this would be the one reason for me to root the phone. Workaround: remove all app permissions, make them 'protected apps' (see above) and hide the icons.

* There's an app Called Phone Manager which is supposed to keep your phone in good shape. While this is a good idea in theory, in its current iteration it does this by repeatedly asking you to disable all background app and asking you to delete basically everything on the phone, including data you're still actively using. It also won't take no for an answer and keep bugging you on a daily basis. I ended up disabling the notifications altogether.

We're free in 3... 2... 1! Amazon unhooks its last Oracle database, nothing breaks and life goes on

Swedish Chef

Re: More Unicorn Poop

You are Larry Ellison and I claim my £5.

You rang? Windows 10 gets ever cosier with Android, unleashes Calls on Insiders

Swedish Chef

For a great all-around Android/PC sync app, give MyPhoneExplorer a try. It's free-as-in-beer (well, donationware) and does a lot more than most bloatware PC suites that came with the phone, including messaging and call control.

Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Swedish Chef

Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

Unless it was somehow Sony's fault that an unauthorised third party got hold of the account, I don't see why they should be held responsible for the consequences. How can we ever expect people to stop giving out their passwords and credit card data to each and every phishing site if they never have to face the consequences of their actions?

I still think Sony are evil. I just don't think *everything* bad happening in this world is their fault.

Stop skiving: Computers can SEE THROUGH your FAKE PAIN

Swedish Chef

In other words...

...the Italian national soccer team has zero chance of ever winning a game again.

Privacy warriors lob sueball at Facebook buyout of WhatsApp

Swedish Chef

It's in how they use the data.

WhatsApp is a paid service (albeit a very cheap one). In exchange for your money they won't sell your data to World + dog and bombard you with ads. Basically how most services worked in the last millennium.

Swedish Chef

"...and privacy policies would not change."

Looking forward to the next shareholder party.

"Yes, I spent 19 billion of your money on WhatsApp. That's $45 per phonebook for data that we're not going to use."

It's like an 80's rock star saying he bought that suitcase of cocaine just to look at it.

El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Swedish Chef

11:00am disconnection

Was it a high-frequency control signal to cut off power to washing machines during the peak hour before lunch time?

Right royal rumpus over remote-control 'RoboRoach'

Swedish Chef
Paris Hilton

Even though I agree that it's ethically questionable at best...

...is it wrong of me to still want to play with one, even if for just a couple minutes?

Paris, because she can probe my antenna any time.

Gov.uk named THE BEST THING Britain has made all year

Swedish Chef
Paris Hilton

Is it only me...

...or does that website look a lot like somebody let the domain expire and a domain grabber put up their standard 'search engine' landing page?

Paris, because she's an expert at being grabbed.

Littlest pirate’s Winnie-the-Pooh laptop on the way home

Swedish Chef

What bothers me the most...

What's the age of criminal responsibility in Finland anyway... IOW, how can you legally do this to a ten-year-old?

I mean, she didn't even succeed in downloading anything, and dad bought the song for her the day after, so clearly no damage has been done, thus there's no need for compensation. And criminal charges... pleease. She's a child FFS!

NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

Swedish Chef

Apparently there's a 'safe place' somewhere in France...

...for UFOs to land or something. Girlfriend has suggested that if that place exists, we go there on the 21st to watch the doomsdayers gather. This could be entertaining!

It's almost beer o'clock here.

Android users: More of them than fanbois, but they don't use the web

Swedish Chef

Using iGadgets to surf at home...

One could argue that Android owners are more likely to have enough money left to buy a proper computer for browsing.

LOHAN slips BRA over BOOBIES in ballocket backronym buffoonery

Swedish Chef
Paris Hilton


Ignition of

Rocket in





Snake-fondling blonde nude punts Polish coffins

Swedish Chef

Judging by the "girl"'s face...

...the python might just have been put there to hide "her" Adam's apple and crotch bulge.

Apple faces Italian shutdown over warranty skulduggery

Swedish Chef

This is going to be interesting.

I hope they close all Apple stores down, if for nothing else than a bit of trashy RL entertainment.

Cue millions of angry fanbois setting cities on fire when they realize they can't get this month's shiny-shiny.

Flame, because that's what the fanbois will do.

Ikea to integrate TV, Blu-ray, sound system into sideboard

Swedish Chef

Seems like a rather nice idea, but...

...what do I do a couple years down the line when I want a bigger TV or the Blu-ray player dies?

iPhone photo-slurping loophole sparks app privacy fears

Swedish Chef

+++ath0 seems to have a point...

/mnt/sdcard and all its subdirectories on my Galaxy Nexus look like this -->

drwxrwxr-x root sdcard_rw 2012-02-21 sdcard

That means everybody can read stuff, but only apps belonging to the group sdcard_rw can write stuff.

That would also explain why the image viewer works, and why the corresponding Android permission says "change/delete" and not "read/change/delete".

So Android isn't lying to you, but you might still get the wrong impression. Hmmm. I for one always (wrongly) assumed that apps also need that permission to *read* the SD card.

A chmod doesn't work, looks like the 0775 is hardcoded into the FS driver. I wonder if there's any way to keep untrusted apps away from my files?

Facebook denies poaching your text messages on Android

Swedish Chef
Paris Hilton

Selective removal of permissions

If you're not afraid of rooting your phone, there are two excellent third-party solutions to this problem.

The first one is to install CyanogenMod. Then when you go to Settings --> Apps --> Manage Apps (or wherever you can view an app's details), at the bottom of the screen where the app's permissions are listed, tapping on any permission will toggle it. This is what Google should have added to Android in the first place.

Downside: this requires a factory reset.

A more elegant solution is LBE Privacy Guard, a simple app that requires root privileges but can otherwise be installed just like any other app on top of your existing system. Its permission management is not that fine-grained, but it has one huge advantage over CM - instead of actually giving the app a slap on the wrist when it attempts to use a permission that has been revoked, it'll intercept the API call and feed it false information.

I've used both solutions (separately) for some time and prefer LBE Privacy Guard because it's more elegant: ...

An app that wants to use a revoked privilege on CM will get an "access denied" message. Some apps aren't designed to cope with this and will crash.

An app guarded by LBE PG on the other hand will simply see an empty phone book, an empty message list, a phone serial number consisting of all zeroes, etc. depending on the permissions you've revoked. It's tricked into believing it still has the revoked privilege but there's simply no data worth looting.

In addition to granting and revoking permissions, LBE PG can also be set to ask or alert you each time an app wants to use a certain privilege.

Paris, because she's been rooted countless times.

Tesla 300-mile e-car UK debut set for 2013

Swedish Chef

Finally a realistic estimate...

The article's title says "Debut set for 2103." It's easy to blame a typo but it's obviously just the first time that Tesla have given a realistic release date.

Have a beer on me, realistic Tesla PR person.

Web scam-busting trio thwarted by mystery DDoS rocket

Swedish Chef

Stupid, stupid scammer

DDoS'ing *three* websites chock-full of people whose favourite pastime is taking out scammers? That's a bit like getting stung by a hornet and kicking the nest in revenge. It may have seemed like a smart idea at the time, but I'd be surprised if that guy could open any new fake Amazon website in the foreseeable future without half a dozen experienced site killers falling over each other to shut it down the moment it's online.

Have a pint or two on me, baiters and warners. You volunteer your time and money for a very noble cause.

Malicious apps infiltrate Google's Android Market

Swedish Chef

Already available unofficially

CyanogenMod 7 lets you modify the permissions of installed apps. Just tap on a permission in the list to grant or revoke it.

If you don't want to re-flash your phone, there's an app called LBE Privacy Guard that offers the same functionality but will also let you set it up so it asks you for permission every time it detects a potentially unwanted action. This works really well. Requires a rooted phone though.

Boffins one step closer to Terminator vision

Swedish Chef

Not 'just' rabbits.

This shocking image has just been handed to me by an informant in a dark corner of a parking lot. It's a snapshot from the experiment:

Android upgraded to be more resistant to hack attacks

Swedish Chef

App permissions management

If your phone happens to be rooted, try LBE Privacy Guard. It runs in the background and lets you set permissions to grant/deny/prompt on a per-app basis. It also notifies you every time an untrusted app wants to use a permission you've blocked. I've been using it for 4 months and am very happy with it - no app crashes due to withdrawn permissions so far, and it allows me to install some useful apps that request a rather questionable set of permissions.

Paris, just because.

Should your system offer Mr, Ms ... and Mx?

Swedish Chef


...When I saw the title I thought the Mx stands for Moderatrix and is an attempt to get Ms Bee back. In which case I'd totally support it.

Come back, Sarah!

BOFH: Axe handles - occasionally quite slippery

Swedish Chef

BOFH and PFY must be getting old

Why take out the robot instead of watching it on CCTV doing its thing in the boss's office?

Dell's faulty PC legal woes worsen (again)

Swedish Chef

Class-action suits

"But I also believe that it makes no sense to bring a class-action suit when the aggrieved parties know in advance that the bulk of any damages awarded (if any) will go to the trial lawyers"

I hope they get sh*tloads of cash from Dell. It's not like I'm a huge fan of lawyers, but to the beancounters at Dell the pain level is the same whether their money ends up in their customers' pockets or at some lawyer's Porsche dealer. If nothing else it might at least serve as a deterrent to other companies that think about saving money by selling dodgy kit.

Swedish Chef

Talking about craputers...

You win by mentioning Compaq. Have one on me.

Swedish Chef
Paris Hilton

Rhymes with hell

The title says it all, really. Did contract work for lots of shops with Dell gear. Few of them had many happy users, and even fewer had many happy IT people. Regularly saw 'identical' models with totally different hardware inside, because Dell love to solder together whatever remaining stock they can buy cheaply at the time they build your computer. Makes image and driver management a real joy.

Paris, just because.

Apple site hacked 'by LulzSec' - report

Swedish Chef

Re: Apple hack

Change your password. Not that big of a deal.


Sent from my iPhone

Drunken bust-up woman sprays cops with breast milk

Swedish Chef

Can we have...

...a Playmobil reenactment of that?


Beer, because it comes in a jug too.

No Gingerbread snack for Desire owners, says HTC

Swedish Chef
Thumb Up

Reluctantly upgraded to CM7 yesterday...

...and am still wondering what took me so long.

Stuff looks much nicer, there's a ton of free memory, Google spyware is only there if you choose to install it separately, and (subjectively speaking) stuff is much faster, too. Took me about three hours to install CM7, restore my data and reinstall the most important apps.

If you're planning to upgrade too:

* I've found it much easier to install ClockworkMod via Unrevoked (google it) than following the instructions on how to build a gold card though. It goes like this: Download Unrevoked, wait till it has automatically rooted your HTC, copy CM7 .zip file to SD card, reboot into recovery, reset to factory settings, click Apply Update, reboot.

* Check out MyPhoneExplorer if you want to back-up your data. It does everything HTC Sync does, except suck. (Not associated with it, just a very happy customer).

* The Google apps (Market, Gmail, ...) will need to be installed via recovery mode as well. It's on the CM7 download page, just remember to scroll down a bit.

Also, screw you, HTC.

Dolphin Browser HD

Swedish Chef

Was buggy on my Desire

I liked Dolphin Browser (even paid a couple quid for it), but for some reason it became increasingly frustrating to use on my HTC Desire. Maybe the bugs have been fixed in the meantime. If you're looking for an alternative to the stock Android browser, you might want to take Miren Browser for a spin - it has all the Dolphin goodness plus some unique features, and I find it to be much more responsive on my HTC Desire.

EA exec punts 96,000rpm e-car engine

Swedish Chef


The batteries come in handy when you need a lot of power (i.e. accelerate). They also allow for regenerative braking. Whether they financially make sense remains to be seen.