* Posts by Mr Sceptical

155 posts • joined 21 Jan 2010


If you're despairing at staff sharing admin passwords, look on the bright side. That's CIA-grade security

Mr Sceptical

Re: Don't Panic

I think you're supposed to leave keys under the doormat? Or flowerpot?

Mr Sceptical

Re: Numpties, the lot of 'em.

First dibs on playing war games with the real satellite battle stations.

Now where's the button marked Project Thor?

NY Attorney General warns Apple, Google to police COVID-19 tracing apps in their souks – or she will herself

Mr Sceptical
Big Brother

Re: tracing apps

So should we accept the one that downloads from mil.gov too?

Seems very friendly as it keeps asking questions about all my contacts!

Seriously, someone needs to explain 'right to privacy' to the various government agencies using picture cards and a taser.

Hey Mister Prime Minister ... Scott! Can you get off my lawn please, mate?

Mr Sceptical


And not with water?

Recycled >>>

Mr Sceptical

I salute that man!

Suspect I would have been rather less polite in the same circumstances...

Release the hounds!, sorry Koalas.

Coronavirus didn't hurt UK broadband speeds in March. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, on the other hand...

Mr Sceptical

QoS much?

On Plusnet London here;

I've not noticed limited quality on Amazon Prime, been watching the new season of Bosch in UHD and it's takes a few seconds to go from SD > HD > UHD, but once it's there I can't see any degredation in quality. Netflix is the same AFAIK, but most of it has been kids cartoons recently so hard to say.

YouTube videos are still resolution selectable to 4K60, no difference there either.

The absolute bugger has been stuttering, frame drops and audio sync in the multitude of video calls!!!

Ampere, Nvidia's latest GPU architecture is finally here – spanking-new acceleration for AI across the board

Mr Sceptical

Re: That's all very impressive...

I was going to come in with the Crysis question, with a tangent:

Can it give you a realistic, learning, Turing test (of behaviour) passing, AI foe in Crysis?

And once it's beaten the best humanity can offer, time to power up the cyborgs and ROTM! --->

Sweet TCAS! We can make airliners go up-diddly-up whenever we want, say infosec researchers

Mr Sceptical

Re: Need both

Programmers rarely have their lives on the line at the time the +++Out of Cheese+++ error occurs.

You could always institute a sort of bonus/penalty system - bonus payments for every successful landing vs shark fodder for any fatal crash. It would probably fully concentrate their minds on the code.

Had an AI been given the requirement to pancake a plane, would it necessarily be able to work out the glide slope required to avoid bridges/ships/obstructions on the surface bearing in mind it won't be able to 'see' and understand them the way we do. You'd need to train the AI on all possible manner of objects found in the real world first.

Latvian drone wrests control from human overlords and shuts down entire nation's skies

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Wot no AWACS?

For that matter, don't they just need to call up the nearest NATO AWACS to find out where it is? Don't NATO keep a very close eye on everything flying in the European Theatre becuase of the Bears?

Or did they sell them all off / scrap them all?

What does £55 get you in the noise-cancelling headphones world? Something like the Taotronics SoundSurge 85

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up

Re: Tatronics

+1 for Taotronics - I've been using a set of their in-ear bluetooth headphones (~£25 at the time) since Feb '18 according to my Amazon order history. They've since been superceded by fancier ones at a lower price when I just checked.

Sound is very good for price and function (but not as clear as my Audio-Technica ATH-M50X studio monitor headphones obviously).

The mic perfectly fine for the numerous conference calls I've been on recently. Battery life still quite good too, enough for a couple of days commuting (when that was a thing).

Overall, excellent value for money.

Billionaires showered with wealth as experts say global economy set for long and deep recession

Mr Sceptical

It's not poo-narmi...

It's poonami, all one word.

As coined by my sister's friend to describe to contents of nappies everywhere.

I prefer 'furgatory' to descibe the current mess.

That is all.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones

Mr Sceptical

Re: Audiophiles

You've totally missed the step of running a rare earth magnet along your optical leads to get the right spin on the quantum* photons or they get stuck in the cable cause they don't know the way out.

* If it's good enough for Samsung...

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

Mr Sceptical

Re: Consequeneces

It's quite hard to upload from your mobile when you've torched your local mast...

Still, no one's accusing them of properly thinking things through.

Mr Sceptical
Paris Hilton

Re: Unqalified 'Z' list Celeb talks rubbish

Why don't they just kill off their mobile service as punishment?

I think they'd soon realise 5G =>= internet =>= adoring minions: "Oh, maybe 5G is OK after all?!?"

Paris, because she looks like Einstein in comparison to these airheads =>

PS. May I suggest "Furgatory" to describe the purgatorial sense of daily life caused by most of the country being on 'Furlough'.

PPS. Also, "Weaponised 5G Bats" as phrase of the week.

Nation's home workers hitting refresh on 7 April can buy... Honor's bargain-basement Ryzen ultrabook

Mr Sceptical

Should be standard HW under the hood - just take a Live USB distro along with you and try it out.

It's only if it's got a non-standard NIC/Wifi card I'd be concerned about Linux drivers.

Pervasive digital surveillance of citizens deployed in COVID-19 fight, with rules that send genie back to bottle

Mr Sceptical

Re: Inflated expectations

Funny how the obligatory face masks screw up the facial recognition though - wait until they insist they have a picture of your real face printed on them!

Extra points if your mask makes you look like Donald Trump.

Mr Sceptical

What - you need to waste time & trees WRITING (hello, 19th century calling) a form!

Couldn't they have released an app for that? It could then double as a tracker ;-)

All that should happen is that should a policeman stop you, you explain what you're doing. Forms are a waste of time and bad for the environment.

Won't someone think of the trees (& children)?

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

Mr Sceptical

Re: Alternatively

There's a bit of an issue there - you're assuming the highly paid 'management' are actually capable of attaining the level of knowledge to be considered 'clinincally trained' - unless you just mean getting them to mop the floors? They'd probably get the hang of it after a few months...

They'd be sitting in the corner with the Dunce hat on -->

SF tech biz forks out $146m in fines, settlements after painkiller makers bribed it to design medical software that pushed opioids to patients

Mr Sceptical

"Jail would be too sweet for these bastards"... maybe not?

I dunno, I think being stuck in a cell with someone suffering from symptoms of opioid withdrawl + steroid abuse might be quite a just punishment.

Alternatively: "Welcome Mr Pharnaco Exec. Your new cell mate is known as Bowling Ball Bag Bob. Enjoy!"

Icon for their eventual prison 'outfit' --->

Just in case you were expecting 10Gbps, Wi-Fi 6 hits 700Mbps in real-world download tests

Mr Sceptical

Judder much?

Err, you might want to check out the multitude of monitor refresh rate tests on reaction times and gaming performance before you go any further. Try the Linus Tech Tips recent video on YouTube where it was only over 144Hz there was limited improvement.

As for saying 20fps = motion, have you tried playing an FPS at that rate?!? It would be more fun poking yourself in the eye with a blunt stick...

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room

Mr Sceptical

Re: Tone tracker

We just call them cable tracers - used to help try and keep Maplin in business by buying ours there.

Cheap ones are fine - just be aware they will not work on shielded cables like CAT5 (clue's in the name) until you get to the other end. Also not great on short-cicuits like loop would be.

Set the unit to pulse tone for ease of listening and some have an LED to indicate its picking up a signal.

London has decent 5G availability but speeds lag behind Birmingham and Cardiff – research

Mr Sceptical


You were spoiled rotten - we 'ad a bit 'o wet string we had to vibrate by hand to get the bauds to flow, all whilst living in a puddle in't road, etc, etc...

Thank you, I'm here all week, try the Veal.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?

Mr Sceptical

Pretty Dodgy Units

Never mind the Armenian Potato Clocks, I've had more issues with loose/poorly inserted IEC leads in PDUs suddenly dropping a rack of switches.

Won't somebody think of the 'el cheapo' kettle leads!

Have you been naughty, or have you been really naughty? Microsoft 365 users to get their very own Compliance Score

Mr Sceptical

Skynet has arrived?

It's just no-one has realised this update has been pushed out by the AI and no humans were involved - until too late!

That's it, run for the hills/fallout shelter. Where's my EMP cannon & half-brick in a sock?

BOFH: Judge us not by the size of our database, but the size of our augmented reality

Mr Sceptical

Hurr Hurr Hurr

Bravo Simon, perfect end to the week!

This as well --->

We're late and we're unreliable but we won't invalidate your warranty: We're engineers!

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up

Re: I need an electrician

To a degree, I'd say the older ones would be more likely to be competent as working with mains electricity is a bit like Russian roulette - you need to get it right all the time, as wrong might be the last thing you do.

That said, what passed for H&S 40+ years ago, might not be considered safe now.

Just look for someone NICEIC registered and has 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations and Part P, should be as good as any other then.

Mr Sceptical

Re: I go bang!

I wonder how they managed to get the cicuit certified - you normally go round with a simple plug tester to confirm it's all wired correctly before handing over. Plus the liability is on the electrician should anything fatal happen. Good to hear you had no lasting effects!

I had a near miss at a previous employer - some numpty had chopped the flex off where it emerged from a fused spur on the wall, but not bothered to either remove the fuse or disconnect it from the mains circuit. Luckily, I was wearing rubber gloves so only jumped a foot in the air rather than impersonate Frankenstein's monster...

Mr Sceptical

Re: I go bang!

"unfamiliar with the system."

Wut - this is possibly the most basic thing you can learn about electrical wiring!

Even being colourblind wouldn't be an excuse as the earth cables are stripey green/yellow wheras live and neutral are solids.

Should have got the sparky back in to test the earth prong with his tongue (or other sensitive protuberence).

Mr Sceptical

Re: The new world we're in.

I think you've already nailed it when you mentioned the Hive. It's indicating someone's heating is on somewhere - but necessarily yours...

On a practical level, the signal to the boiler is a yes/no from the Hive - you can confirm the signal with a multimeter on either AC/DC or continuity mode.

Online deepfakes double in just nine months, scaring politicians – and fooling the rest of us

Mr Sceptical

Re: I wonder

A few ideas:

1) You'd like to insert yourself (or someone you know) into a famous movie scene for a laugh

2) There's a deceased person you'd like to re-animate without a very tedious cut & paste of individual frames from their previous works (dead actors)

3) You'd like to face swap a toy cat and real cat in a video without using snapchat filters

So, there'll be plenty of reasons that don't harm anyone and aren't pron related - it's just the majority of the effort has gone into various sexual fantasies. Doesn't mean we should try and ban it now.

Remember the millions of fake net neutrality comments? They weren't as kosher as the FCC made out

Mr Sceptical

Re: "Media Bridge, based in Virginia, and LCX Digital, based in California"

I salute your attitude on this, but surely the appropriate lesson to others would be by locking them in a soudnproof glass box (so everyone can see) and playing them an endless loop of Trump monologues until they tear their own head off to end it all?

Then have the remains devoured by thousands of bugs, Halloween style...

Failing that, then death by chemical waste, a la Robocop (80s version) sounds perfectly reasonable...

Upvotes all round on this one!

Mr Sceptical

Are you sure about that?

"The left tends to be more centred on honesty and fairness."

Communism or socialism are the ultimate left-wing, 'fair' (as in sharing resources) systems - look how well they work out once actual humans are involved in running them. Power over others tends to attract power-fixated nut jobs.

That said, the cnuts involved in this farce deserve to be staked out in the sun and left for the ants, proper Wild West style - that'll learn them!

WeWork, but We don't IPO: Self-styled techie boarding house calls off cursed stock offering

Mr Sceptical

Re: Why do they call it a tech company

Answer: They've got a fancy website and talk about their fantastic, disruptive, innovative, life-affirming tech?

Brighton perv cops community service for 'hacking' women's Facebook accounts

Mr Sceptical

It's the thin end of the wedge (ooh err)

Nothing to do with this particular case, but to add:

What consenting adults do to each other, even if not your cup of tea, should not be classed as 'extreme', 'perverted' (or other Daily Fail terms) if they did not cause lasting physical injury. Yes, the participants might walk like John Wayne for a few days, but it was their choice, so leave them be.

The continued push of law-makers against private personal freedoms is something to be carefully scrutinised and resisted whenever possible - which I think most Reg readers do by default.

Frankly, you see more 'extreme' and 'perverted' injuries during sporting events on live TV - won't somebody think of the children! ;-)

Mr Sceptical

Exactly that!

"Why would anyone upload those kinds of images to ... ...Facebook." - what a world we live in!

WeWon'tWork: CEO Adam Neumann enters Low Earth Orbit to declare, I'm outta here

Mr Sceptical

Re: Is it just me?

You're on the money (see what I did there) - because you have an ability to recall history. Something that seems sadly lacking in the Finance industry.

It's not helped by the relatively short life-span of the average investment banker types who cash out nice and early and avoid the consequences of their actions while spending more qualtity time with their family, sorry, money.

Icon cause this ain't the last time this'll happen -->

EU court rules Right To Be Forgotten doesn't apply outside member states

Mr Sceptical

Re: "I bought the law..."

"So I presume you would be very happy if Google was not allowed to link to any articles about Tienanmen Square in it's search results - maybe no articles on Wikipedia either?"

Think you're misinterpreting this - it would just mean Google China results would omit their atrocities IN CHINA (which I’m pretty sure they do now*). That would not prevent anyone anywhere else in the world knowing the truth.

A court recognising the practical and legal limits of it’s powers is a rarity to be applauded at the moment!

* i.e. on ALL search engine results in China.

Imagine if Facebook could read your mind: Er, I have some bad news for you...

Mr Sceptical

Re: If the EM sensitivity thing is real..

That's why it's the London Heat Island and hardly ever snows (dammit)!

Add to that the total congestion of the radio spectrum stil hasn't fixed the mobile reception dead zones that exist in the canyons of the City and you wonder why we bother...

Mr Sceptical

Re: EMF sensitivity could be real.

My two pence on this is I actually do have a very specific sensitity - mobile phones connected on GSM/2G (but not 3G/4G) while on a call held in the normal to the ear position.

Used to be quite a pronounced effect back in the day, but advances in mobile phones have meant the microwave power required for a call have dropped. Sensed as an uncofortable vague tingling sensation on side of the head. I don't consider myself 'hypersensitive' and it would be quite a limitation to kill all my wifi connected kit!

My own experiences lead me conclude it's merely sensitivity of nerve cells to microwave warming effects/nerve impulse actvation/disruption. Neither of which are implausible from a physics or biology point of view.

However, the idea an electric meter has a Magneto scale EM field seems a bit much - did anyone try sticking a faraday cage around the meter? Or even wrapping it in tinfoil and grounding it?

Should also be fairly easy to test a meter in a physics lab too.

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump

Mr Sceptical

Re: It's all fun and games...

I'd only go in there with a full Outbreak/Contaigon/Chernobyl hazmat suit on!

Actually, make that a Black Mesa environment suit, God knows what might emerge from the sewer line. Where's my crowbar?

You better get a wiggle on then: BT said to be mulling switching off UK's copper internets by 2027

Mr Sceptical

Re: copper services

Most new commercial alarm installations are mobile with IP fallback - we haven't installed a Redcare type line this decade. You get the same grades of signalling on mobile so there's no good reason to use PSTN.

Saves on the cost of paying the Redcare tax for a line used for absolutely nothing else as companies generally don't use analogue lines for calls and fax machines are very much a rarity now.

Bloke who claimed he invented Bitcoin must hand over $5bn of e-dosh in court case. He can't. He's waiting for a time traveler to arrive

Mr Sceptical

Has no one seen SWAT???

Even if they lock him up, how many people could he buy off with $5Bn!!! You could hire a pretty big army with that and an island to retire too as well.

I think in SWAT the villan only offered a paltry $100 Meeelion or some other loose change.

To be safe, better inject a slow release poison into him now and drop him in supermax until he hands over the dosh!

No it's not Russell Brand's new cult, it's Microsoft's Office crew rolling out their Save Experience

Mr Sceptical

Re: Consistency - this times 1000!

Why do I need to wade through multiple menus/CP/settings to get to something that was only a click away before everything was 'flattened'...

How I long for the simple days of Win7 : NIC icon > double-click > properties!

Oi! Nadella! Just stop changing things for the hell of it!

Army Watchkeeper drone flopped into tree because crew were gazing backwards

Mr Sceptical

Re: Aircraft 1: Humans 0 - real pilots aren't any better!

I think you'll find a trained pilot is likely to be worse than a button pusher!


I'm sure I read on The Reg another article about the loss rates of US drones flown by actual pilots being higher when they land manually (theirs are 'flyable' in the manned aircraft sense) than under computer control.

Basically, Lord Flashheart types think they can land better than the computer, only to be proved wrong when they write them off... wooof!

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs

Mr Sceptical

Re: Alternatively,


Got a personal transport animal with high carbon emissions and can't ride into the low-emission zone?

Simply fit a large balloon over it's backside to capture the emissions and voila - you can now say it's a zero-emissions animal!* Laughter blocking earmuffs and blinders can optionally be fitted to avoid embarrassment.

PS. Fatal injuries may be sustained whilst fitting balloons to unwilling transport animals

PPS. Smoking whilst riding your converted zero-emission animal may result in an explosion - you've been warned.

PS. Fatal injuries may be sustained whilst fitting balloons to unwilling transport animals

PPS. Smoking whilst riding your converted zero-emission animal may result in an explosion - you've been warned.

* [May also refer to non-plugin hybrid cars pretending to be 'electric']

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am

Mr Sceptical

Not just IT!

How many queries do you get from coworkers asking a question about almost any topic that can be solved in the first hit on any serch engine (Bing excepted)!

Mr Sceptical

THIS times one meeeeeelion

"RTFM will outlive nearly every technical mantra there is, apart from turning it off and on again."

I can only upvote once, so cheers! --->

Fed-up graphic design outfit dangles cash to anyone who can free infosec of hoodie pics

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Re: Truth in advertising

By their own admission, lets start with NSA/GCHQ/Five eyes team photos. Oh wait, they only ever hack the BAD GUYS (TM)...

Seriously though, start with some pictures of an office in GRU Unit 26165 and PLA Unit 61398 and go from there.

Backdoors won't weaken your encryption, wails FBI boss. And he's right. They won't – they'll fscking torpedo it

Mr Sceptical

The shoe thing was after that gullible idiot tried to down a flight to the US with explosives in his shoes.

There's still a requirement to take off boots and high heels at Dublin airport security and I recall other locations in the recent past, so its certainly not US destinations that implement that procedure.

Mr Sceptical
Big Brother

Re: In answer to his question

Who needs high-tech mind reading probes??? People get very talkative if it averts a red-hot poker someplace sensitive!

Failing that, I hear water boarding gets you Grade A intel on The Bad Guys (TM)

Applies equally to digital or verbal data.. Whether or not you're believed depends on verification of the intel. Or some bastard just enjoys the wet screams...



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