* Posts by dave 76

74 posts • joined 26 Jan 2010


NASA delays crewed Moon landing until 2025, citing technical infeasibility

dave 76

Re: So NASA will *never* make it to the Moon

"We've landed a Starship once from 10km, it needs to land 100s if not 1000s of times from orbital velocities before you put people anywhere near riding on top of it"

How many times did Apollo, Soyuz, Shuttle, or Dragon land before putting people on them?

yes, a number of trips will be required but 100s of times is over egging it a bit.

Client-side content scanning as an unworkable, insecure disaster for democracy

dave 76

I'm normally fairly happy to upgrade to Apple's new releases when they come out but I've decided to not upgrade to iOS15 - which also means that I won't be replacing my iDevices like I had planned.

Yes I know that this scanning has been put on hold, but I bet that it is still in the software and just requires a simple switch to turn on. I'm not happy to give them the opportunity.

I am just one person with a couple of devices, but if sufficient people jump off the upgrade train at this point, it may force Apple to consider how it assures people that this functionality will not be slipped in the back door.

The planet survived six hours without Facebook. Let's make it longer next time

dave 76

Re: Without Facebook...

"While this is undoubtedly true for some, for many of us social media allows us to stay in touch with family and friends no matter where they live. I have family that lives all over the U.S. and even one family member in South America. It would be extremely difficult to stay in touch with all of them on a regular basis without social media."

My immediate family live in enough countries that the sun virtually never sets on us. We seem to do fine with SMS, email, video conference calling.

It all depends on how much you want to change - I agree the least resistance option for many is facebook, but it really doesn't take much to not use it.

I would drive 100 miles and I would drive 100 more just to be the man that drove 200 miles to... hit the enter key

dave 76

London to Milan via Frankfurt

I was scheduled to fly from London to Milan to help setup a new office when we had some issues with a Sun Server in our Frankfurt office not responding.

After spending several hours on the phone to the desktop support person in the office including getting them to power cycle the server and not getting anywhere, we decided that I would fly to Frankfurt, deal with that issue and then head onto Milan.

Got to Frankfurt and into the office to find that the keyboard for the Sun was unplugged - if anyone remembers those early Sun boxes, they did not like to come up without a keyboard.

Plugged the keyboard in, rebooted the server and back to the airport - total time in the office about 15 mins.

Fired credit union employee admits: I wiped 21GB of files from company's shared drive in retaliation

dave 76

Re: Rather moronic

"but I know that in the UK and EU it can be literally months, especially if the employer initiates the separation. Is the expectation that the employee doesn't actually show up for work during the notice period and the pay for that length of time is severance? Because certainly I have never had a job I could do, at all, without access to my employer's computer systems."

Yes it happens in the UK, people can be put on gardening leave and basically get paid to sit at home until the end of their notice period. They are not able to start another job in the meantime because they are still employed.

Often the company and employee will negotiate to reduce this amount of time for a cash payout.

SCO v. IBM settlement deal is done, but zombie case shuffles on elsewhere

dave 76

Re: Red dress?

it's a pity there isn't a way to reward PJ for all her hard work on Groklaw, it was really informative and easy to follow.

If you are out there PJ, many, many people appreciate what you did with this case.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns

dave 76

Re: I'm sure this builds on Apple's robust and secure Face ID tech ...

You can check a bit.ly url by appending a + to it. This causes bit.ly to show you the original URL and the date it was created.


It's not worth the effort, I just ignore all bit.ly links and never follow them. If it is important, send me the full link so that I can at least visually verify that it is going to the right site.

Report: Aussie biz Azimuth cracked San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, ending Apple-FBI privacy standoff

dave 76

Re: iOS updates

"I always ask when I can: is there a basis for the general public to know that an iOS version is eligible for updates, besides (1) it is the latest version and there isn't a new iPhone due in the near future, or (2) it got an update not very long ago?

I haven't seen it published,"

I can only assume you haven't looked very hard because even the briefest of searches ("supported iOS versions") gives you pages from wikipedia and from Apple themselves as to which versions are currently supported on which phones.

iOS 12, 13, 14 are currently supported.

Australian ponders requiring multiple IDs to sign up for social media, plus more crypto-busting backdoors

dave 76

Laming quite helpfully demonstrated that even having your account in your real name doesn't stop you harassing people - but does shows that eventually there can be consequences.

Clothes retailer Fatface: Someone's broken in and accessed your personal data, including partial card payment details... Don't tell anyone

dave 76

Re: Please do keep this email and the information included within it strictly private...

"Now when a message leaks, you can instantly identify the leaker."

And then what? You sent me an unsolicited email asking me to keep it confidential which I shared. What are you going to do now?

I never agreed to you catagorising the issue as confidential. The worst you can do is refuse to accept my future business, which I am unlikely to give to you anyway after this fiasco.

Starlink's latent China crisis could spark a whole new world of warcraft

dave 76

Re: Its very easy to detect ground based broadcasts

"The current scare tactic is for crapita to send scary looking letters out to everyone who hasn't bought a tv licence, threatening to open an investigation, or maybe send someone round. The letters can be safely ignored (I haven't received any since i burned the last batch). Someone once did come round whilst I was in. I let them in to show them the back of my telly, where I had removed the tuner head so it was unable to receive broadcasts"

Your first instinct is correct, why let them in? you are not required to prove you don't have a TV, just send them on their way.

If they want to waste money continually sending you threatening letters then that's their own problem.

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more

dave 76

Re: Doesn't just happen with email

I left the UK and closed my account with my energy provider. That provider subsequently got sold to another energy provider who setup an account for me and 12 months later started sending me emails saying that my account was overdue to the tune of £280

I'm still working through trying to convince them that I do not live in the UK and just because they automatically created an account for me, I am not going to logon to it.

I don't know how the account has been accumulating so much, maybe the person who now lives in my old place hasn't setup new utility accounts - or the energy provider is just incompetent.

Azure in Spaaaaaaaaace: Microsoft signs up with SpaceX's satellite net constellation Starlink

dave 76

Re: Wait... what?

you may have missed the point.

This is about being able to drop a Modular Data Center (a DC in a container) anywhere which provides local computing power. It then utilises Starlink to be able to communicate to the rest of the world.

Starlink provides much easier connectivity than running a landline though what might be difficult territory and more bandwidth than a satellite phone connection.

yes, it's a press release but it does promise improvements for some customers (maybe military, remote mining etc)

Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?

dave 76

Re: haven't heard a good reason why this isn't simply GPS based

GPS can be wildly innacurate - up to 100 meters error

And yet a GPS track of my morning run is almost 100% accurate, so its evidently possible to work out from the data where someone has walked or ran in most instances.

Doesn't work well in dense urban environments with lots of tall buildings

And yet it works perfectly in London which is the densest built city with the highest buildings in the country.

GPS doesn't tell you *where* in the building you are though. I don't need an alert that I have been in close contact with someone on level 20 when I live on level 5.

Bluetooth LE gives you close accuracy, it's not perfect but it is a lot better than GPS.

No backdoors needed: Apple ditched plans to fully encrypt iCloud backups after heavy pressure from FBI – claim

dave 76

seems like a reasonable compromise

if you want secure backups that cannot be accessed, backup to iTunes locally.

If you want the convenience of cloud backups, you take the risk that it can be accessed by law enforcement.

At least the options are clear and it is easy to make a choice as to which one you want to use.

Squirrel away a little IT budget for likely Brexit uncertainty, CIOs warned

dave 76

Re: I blame Borris

"If you are referring to Jacob Rees Mogg, he is the Right Honourable Member for the eighteenth century - so he'll have nothing to do with this modernist 19th century rubbish."

I was very depressed the day that I found out the Jacob Rees Mogg was actually *younger* than me :-(

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room

dave 76

Re: Not his fault really

"I am amazed when I hear all these stories about unprotected master shut down buttons. I think I've only ever seen one such button without a cover, in dozen of datacenters I've been in."

In one building where I worked (back in the 80's), the computer room isolate was just *outside* the Ops room and was triggered at least twice by people thinking it was the button to get our attention. It certainly did that!

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

dave 76

Re: Spanner in the works


and when he went to throw the main breaker somehow he managed to short the main power leads with the spanner. There was a huge bang and the flash lit up the room brighter than the brightest welding arc I have seen; then the room fell into a deathly silence. The sparky was thrown across the room

The hospital reported that he had received flash burns to his retinas. He did recover his sight eventually. The spanner was found later that day and was missing a full half inch of metal from one of the lugs.


I had an almost identical situation working for a Visa Data Processing Centre in NZ - those antipodean sparkies! We had a couple of massive generators outside for weeks while the power distribution room was being completely gutted and rebuilt but at least no one died

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

dave 76

Re: Brexit updates ...

> So your saying the remainer PM with the remainer civil service is making a mess of negotiating after not listening to the leavers who were doing a fair job? Shocked I tell you!

If that is truely believed that May is a remainer by Brexit MP's then why was vote to kick her out so badly organised?

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

dave 76

"Meh, fine with me. Just mandate that any food gets a big sticker stuck on it with the food standards applied to it, and who certifies those standards are being met."

You can bet that won't happen. They will lobby hard to avoid anything that could enable people to identify the product negatively.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

dave 76

Re: Try

so whatever Google says is reality?

Other search engines (eg duckduckgo) are available.

Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

dave 76

Re: Perhaps I need a forwarding email address for every shop

"yourname+anythingyoulike@yourdomain.com will be delivered to yourname@yourdomain; but you can still see the originally used recipient name, so when you get spam/phishing to, for instance, yourname+CW@yourdomain you know who leaked it."

Except that is so well known that I would expect any malicious spam merchants to sanitise the email address by removing the +anythingyoulike so that your sorting/spam rules don't work.

Go park yourself: Brit firm flashes self-parking car tech

dave 76

Re: Don't worry folks, the CAAS thing will be along soon

"A couple of years back I considered joining a car club. Which is ,in effect, CaaS. But the penalties for any kind of spill etc. put me straight off the idea. I don't usually spill stuff, but I might. And the idea of having to be so specially carefully precious was too stressful, it put me right off."

Honestly, how much of a problem is that really? Modern car mats are pretty easy to clean off and if I was transporting anything potentially seriously messy (paint maybe), then I put it on a spillsheet or in a cardboard box.

I've been a member of car clubs for over 10 years and have never made a serious mess or seen a car in that state. It's not something I stress about.

"The main car has a boot full of supermarket bags and anything I might need for the day, including lunch, stationary and notes, even an umbrella at times, and a glove box with routine essentials ( including headache tablets spare leads etc.). In my youth I used to carry a shaver in the car. My daughter has pretty much an entire set of therapy resources stored in hers. A car isn't just a way to get oneself from A to B, like a personal taxi service. It's an extension of our lives. At the very least it has to contain what you need for the day, if you are away from home for your 8 hours or so."

If you use your car as a mobile cupboard I can see why CaaS is not for you, but there are enough people who don't need to carry their entire life with them at all times that CaaS works.

Like anything, this is horses for courses. Not everyone will adopt CaaS but for a significant proportion of people, it is a perfectly viable option.

All your base are belong to us: Strava exercise app maps military sites, reveals where spies jog

dave 76

Re: Fail!

"In defence, as someone who uses said app and has bought a watch specifically for the task of GPS tracking running & cycling (and swimming, but, it transpires GPS doesn't penetrate water that well, a mere seconds thought beforehand would've made the counter assumption obvious I guess)."

Put the watch under your swim cap and it should work while swimming.

These diabetes pumps obey unencrypted radio commands – which is, frankly, f*%king stupid

dave 76

Re: Has anyone here actually dealt with the FDA?

in the newer Medtronic pumps they have disabled some of the remote features for security but although I have one, I am planning to move back to the less secure model which does allow remote control of dosing levels.

Why? Because there are open source projects like openAPS to enable smarter control of the pump and to create an almost closed loop insulin delivery system. I consider that to be much more important to me than if someone wants to play silly buggers with my pump.

Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

dave 76


maybe Apple has looked at the sales numbers and decided that sufficient people are using Bluetooth headphones now that dumping the 3.5 jack is possible.

It seems from most of the commentators that the expectation is that people must have wired connections, I use both wired and bluetooth earphones and in most mobile environments the bluetooth is clear enough that I don't miss the wired and the battery life is longer than a day.

Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

dave 76

Re: Since Xiaomi have lost their way, Huawei is "it"

"SWMBO is Chinese, so it is very difficult to sort out her phone problems when the phone is displaying Chinese text, ESPECIALLY if I am not familiar with the Apple OS."

My son runs his iPhone in Japanese and if he needs help with it, he switches the language to English and hands it to me. It's one setting to switch the iPhone fully from one language to another.

That happens to be the reason my wife brought an iPhone instead of an android. We looked at a number of phones but the switching languages and keyboards was a bit of a pain on android. We even went to the Samsung flagship store to ask if there was an easier way that we were missing. That was a couple of years ago now so probably much better not, but at the time it was a deal killer.

BlackBerry to bug out of Pakistan by end of year

dave 76

BB Messenger vs BES

I believe that the difference is between BB Messenger and Blackberry Enterprise Service.

With BB Messenger, the keys are held by BB so they can decrypt messages.

With BES, the keys are held on the Enterprise server which is in the customer's possession so BB can't decrypt.

Two different services.

Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

dave 76

Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

"(for example the upper case keys representing lower case is plain retarded)."

You may consider it retarded but anyone who has a PC or a featurephone or a typewriter is well use to keys being only represented in uppercase.

Yes it would be nice for it to change but I think it will take a while yet.

Apple ebook price-fix settlement: Readers get $400m, lawyers $50m

dave 76

and the result is...

Amazon can now agressively shaft the publishers and their authors.

These days I am only buying ebooks through publishers websites (TOR etc) or through collections such as Humble Bundle - I'm not supporting Amazon, Apple or Google on this. I'm buying more physical books (from an actual bookshop) than I am ebooks.

Handing a monopoly to any one reseller is a bad idea so I am doing my part to support the smaller parties.

Tell us about your first time ... on the internet

dave 76

Re: @ Simon Sharwood

Are you confusing "internet" with "world wide web"? It sounds very much like you connected to the Club Mac bulletin board via the internet itself.

It's most likely Simon knows the difference quite well and was connecting to a BBS which then provided access to the internet. Things were different in the early days.

1989 was when I got on the Internet also - via Victoria University (NZ) and also via my job at Data General. I remember that due to that mail was only delivered by batch, I could send an email from my work account to my university account and walk the 1.5 km between the two faster than my email could get there.

Now we're cookin' on gas: Google crafts sugar-alert contact lens for diabetics

dave 76
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CGM and fingerprick tests

CGM and fingerprick tests are currently complementary. Finger prick tests give you an instant, accurate (+-20%) reading but has the limitation that you rarely have more than 10-12 data points per day. CGM is testing every 5 mins but the reading is roughly 20 minutes behind the blood test.

So both are useful - the CGM gives you trending information which helps with determining how your BG is affected by food, exercise etc.

If they had 1-2 week continuous wear contacts with this technology I would be very interested. Even more so if it was powered by blinking or glucose.

EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

dave 76
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don't see a big problem with the current standard

now that all the phone take 5V, I don't have a problem with the current situation.

I have a number of chargers, all which have a USB outlet. And I have 2-3 cables for my various devices which are USB on one end and micro-usb/lightning/old-apple on the other. When travelling I just take one charger and a couple of cables and all my devices can charge. Out of the various manufacturers, the wall chargers from Apple are some of the best ones in terms of size and lack of heat produced.

Any wall-wart that doesn't have a USB connection gets tossed.

Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe

dave 76
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Re: Compression / healing

"Reminds me of a European short film I saw as a child, where a similar solution was used to solve the problem of a man trapped in a phone booth... gave me nightmares."

It's called La Cabina and was released in 1972 and still makes me nervous too - I always used to keep the door propped open with my foot after that, even though the bottom of the phone booth was open!

Senator: Surveillance state based on secret law 'has no place in America'

dave 76


"current law bars even members of Congress from publicly disclosing details of those programs."

If he had had the balls to stand up in the Senate and publicly announce it, do you really think they would have arrested and prosecuted him? This is just a convenient excuse for why he has done very little until Snowdon blew the whistle.

NBN study: we didn't make it, but may have made a point

dave 76

NBN study?

I don't know whether it is my fault or not, but I live in Sydney and read El Reg everyday, and this article is the first that I had heard of this effort. I would have dropped some coin on it.

Possibly more people are in the same situation, simply unaware that it was going on.

Yahoo!: We! tried! to! protect! your! info! ... secret! court! case! will! prove! it!

dave 76

love him or loathe him

At least Snowden has enabled the secret court veil to be lifted, now it remains to be seen if this is a temporary reveal or if some lasting change can be made.

Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

dave 76
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reducing congestion

This is a good solution for some and a non-starter for others. that's ok, doesn't have to be for everyone, just for sufficient people to make the service viable.

I've got drivers licenses for 4 countries and am a member of car sharing schemes in 2 of them. I have no need for personally owning a car - public transport, taxis, car share and car hire fill my needs very nicely and I don't need to worry about maintenance, wear and tear, parking, vandalism etc. But you if you want to keep a car, no problem to me.

Car share schemes are estimated to remove the need for 7-10 cars from the road. Even if it at the lower end, surely all you people who must own their car should be keen on the idea as it removes some of the congestion and allows you to have a better drive?

Marks & Sparks accused of silently bonking punters over the tills

dave 76
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in Australia...

the transaction limit on my paypass card without requiring a pin is $100 - not sure what the daily limit is. This is the default limit.

For those wanting to disable the NFC - here is a pic from Wikipedia showing where the antenna is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australia_Bank_Paypass_Card.png

Maybe don't install that groovy pirated Android keyboard

dave 76

Re: Pretty damn obvious what's going to happen

"Root and use lbe or pdroid combined with avast and adaway and all permission and snooping related issues are gone."

Sure, the average person is going to know that they need to do that and also how to do it.

I think it is fair to say that most people with a smartphone are not that technically orientated.

so what's the best way to have fine permission control on your phone that doesn't require rooting it?

BlackBerry Q10: This quirky QWERTY will keep loyalists perky

dave 76
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this is the one I want

I spend more time on my phone doing emails and SMS than talking and really appreciate the physical keyboard. This one looks like the closest to a perfect combination that I have seen.

Review: Dell XPS 12 Windows 8 tablet-cum-Ultrabook

dave 76

remember the pcmcia ethernet cards

all those PCMCIA ethernet cards had dongles for connection but there was a couple that had popout connectors. You had to be careful not to snap it off but it shouldn't be beyond the skill of the manufacturers to bring the concept up to date. I guess they feel that there isn't enough demand for it.

Apple: Thanks for the iPhone 5s, China, now get to the BACK of the queue

dave 76

Re: " ... register online the day before with their residence ID"

was too expensive to buy an iPhone 4S in Sydney so I brought one online from Apple HK and got it delivered to my company office in Hong Kong and one of my collegues sent it on. Got it the next day, no need to queue at the Apple Store and no need to have Resident ID.

China and Japan stick it to floods, quakes and tsunamis

dave 76

Re: Is it just me...

"But on a more serious note, any online service that purports to be useful after a major natural disaster needs one thing more than any other. It needs to be accessible to the people in the affected area or otherwise it's pretty much just disaster porn for the rest of the world. If you're sitting in the remains of your house after a tsunami or typhoon clutching a soggy mobile and no means of recharging it for a few weeks then a pretty govt site is fuck all use."

Mobile towers are easy to erect to provide signals across the affected area. Portable generators provide places that people can go to charge phones (as was provided after the tsunami). People need to go to a central point to collect water and food, they charge their phones at the same time.

All phones in Japan have email addresses and internet access. Also a significant proportion of internet traffic in Japan is via mobile already so people are used to it.

It may not be a good solution for every country at the moment, but for Japan it is a good solution.

Greens launch anti-TPP Internationale

dave 76
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Re: Who listens to the Greens?

The Carbon Tax is responsible for some of the rise to be sure, but a big chunk of the rise in NSW at least is State Government dividends, Network improvement and Electricity company profits.

RIP Harry Harrison: Stainless Steel Rat scurries no more

dave 76
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Re: Amazon is my friend

The first Deathworld, along with several other Harry Harrison books, is available for free on the excellent Project Gutenberg.

Coincidencely I had downloaded and started reading it a week ago.

Tesco exec brands UltraViolet 'too complicated' for Brits

dave 76

Re: Personally i'm happy

Why bother replying to them - let them do the work to chase you not the other way around.

I was getting the standard letter every couple of months, and then the appointment card and then eventually they just stopped. I'm not wasting my time telling them that I don't owe them anything.

Lard-busting specs trick snack-happy Japanese

dave 76

In Japan the artificial crab meat are so close to the real thing that comparing 3 real samples and one fake one took an expert 10 minutes to tell them apart (based on look, texture, smell, taste). He got them all right in the end but an amateur would not have been able to do it.

Smartphones finally outsell featurephones ... in Japan

dave 76

Re: Japan is clearly still streets ahead....

Japan featurephones have had email addresses for years, which is a bit more useful than SMS, though I agree, SMS still doesn't work well.

Every Japanese featurephone I have had and seen has had a + button and I've had no issue dialling international so not sure where you got that from.

Japanese bank palms off customers with biometric ATMs

dave 76

Palm scanners on Japan ATM's have been around for a while

I've used ATM's in Tokyo that allow palm scan as access at least 3-4 years ago. I was just doing a transfer so my palm wasn't registered with the card so I couldn't actually test it but my wife assured me it works.

At least on the models I saw you didn't actually put your hand directly on a scan pad - it had two rests which kept your hand about 2 cm above the pad. And there was a box of tissues right next to the atm for you to be as clean as you like.

You are very unlikely to be mugged at an ATM in Japan!



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