* Posts by John Browne 1

25 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Feb 2010

How your phone, laptop, or watch can be tracked by their Bluetooth transmissions

John Browne 1

But wait, there's more...

You don't even need to own a Bluetooth device for a determined stalker (with a few bucks to spare) to track you.

Check this out:


Trust Facebook to find a way to make video conferencing more miserable and tedious

John Browne 1

Re: "your table dynamically scales"

Reminds me of Wallace and Gromit's "dynamic sofa scaling".


Linus Torvalds issues early Linux Kernel update to fix swapfile SNAFU

John Browne 1

So rc1 can go TITSUP

Terminally Invasive Trashing by Swapfile of User Partition

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

As pressure builds over .org sell-off, internet governance bodies fall back into familiar pattern: Silence

John Browne 1

Re: “our Yosemite,”

Doesn't Yosemite have a supefvolcano under it?

'As pressure builds' seems appropriate.

MPs call for 'immediate' stop to facial recog in UK as report underlines bias risks in 'pre-crime' algos used by coppers

John Browne 1

Not much has changed then.

Casablanca (1942)...

Police Captain Louis Renault: "Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects."

Before you get cross with me, this is not the line at the end, where Renault already knows Rick did it and is covering for him. That was " Major Strasser has been shot... round up the usual suspects."

Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

John Browne 1

We're much more cautious nowadays.

Decades ago, research into the uses of lead, mercury, cadmium, asbestos, CFCs and the like yielded enormous economic value.

Today, the real value of much of that research is close to zero, or even negative.

Present-day researchers must consider not just the product or process itself, but also the health and environmental consequences of its adoption. This all takes time and effort, and is bound to reflect badly in the figures, but is probably an improvement in real terms.

I don't think the picture is as bleak as a purely economic assessment indicates, and we certainly don't need any more radium watch dials. And we want our ozone layer restored.

Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

John Browne 1

Re: Disappointed in El Reg

If you haven't spotted the connection between the Apple patent and the Reg project, remember that money transfer-wise the plain paper bag is the spiritual ancestor of the Bitcoin.

Voila! Bazinga! Amazon turns Alexa into an annoying 'cool' aunt

John Browne 1

Merde Alors*

It took me 30 years of hard drinking to kill off the brain cells that stored 'nanu nanu', and now that piece of dreck* is back. Thanks a lot, Amazon.

Ho Hum, back to the bottle shop...

* Linguistic clichés they don't have yet but will probably need real soon.

Muddying the waters of infosec: Cyber upstart, investors short medical biz – then reveal bugs

John Browne 1


At the very least, a rather grubby way to get a 'bug bounty'.

When Steve Jobs was away, Apple's designers snuck out a penis-shaped remote control

John Browne 1

The player itself reminds me of something....

Yep, looks like one of those smart Japanese toilet seats that analyses your Precious Bodily Fluids while you're sitting on it.

Of course it's way too small and the hinge is at the wrong end, but that sort of thing never bothered Apple in those days.

Selfie sticks BANNED by Apple: No hipster tools' tools allowed at WWDC

John Browne 1

Last Christmas...

I considered getting a selfie stick for my nephew.

Got him a Nerf gun with laser sights instead - more socially acceptable 8-)

Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

John Browne 1
Thumb Up

Apple-bashers can take a break.

With friends like Limbaugh, Apple doesn't need enemies.

Jammy b*stards: Admen flog chocolate bars with 'Wi-Fi-free' zones

John Browne 1

Most chocolate manufacturers provide portable not-spots


1) Remove foil wrapper from chocolate.

2) Place wrapper on phone, being sure to cover WiFi antenna.

Check phone manual for antenna location.

3) Eat chocolate.

Troubleshooting guide:

If signal still gets through, turn phone off, wait, and turn it on again.

IMPORTANT. Delay turning phone on again until all chocolate is completely eaten.


Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth

John Browne 1

Fine, but does it have a large moon?

And a reasonable magnetic field?

Might make a difference. Or not. It would be interesting to find out.

VR pioneer invents 'illumination-as-a-service'

John Browne 1


'nuff said.

Gone fishin' with Nokia

John Browne 1
Thumb Up

Maybe they should go back to using their 1865 logo.

This one...


Most appropriate.

LOHAN sucks Reg reader's instrument to death

John Browne 1

I bet this is a bug...

I doubt that you busted the sensor, it's quite robust and well protected. The batteries should be well enough sealed for short-term use.

Nope, my suspicions were aroused by the maximum altitude figure of 32707ft, which, as any fule kno, is close to the upper limit of 32767 for a signed 16 bit integer. Any more than that and the top bit will be set, which will make the value negative. What happens after that is up to the software.

This time RTFM could be misleading; the MS5534 datasheet says 'All calculations can be performed with signed 16-Bit variables.' Maybe so if you deal only in metres.

You're not the first to be had by this one, I found in 1986 that FS II on the Amiga would fly into the ground if you set the autopilot for more than 32767 feet, and the first Ariane 5 launch was downed by almost exactly the same bug.

You might need to reset the thing to get back the calibration data, but it's probably not broken, unlike the Ariane. Have fun!

Cisco hits the roof in Olympics marketing dash

John Browne 1

Clever old Harry Beck?

Old? That's rich, Beck was 30 when the iconic Tube map was published.

The constantly (deliberately, carelessly or cynically?) inaccurate Fry is 54.

REVEALED: Samsung Galaxy S III is a PHONE

John Browne 1


I was sure it would look exactly like the portable TV in Doctor Who's "The Idiot's Lantern".

Radioactive Litvinenko poison trails now much easier to detect

John Browne 1

When they say the long range version would be "non portable"

Do they mean like the Hale telescope is "non portable"?

Manchester cops hit Twitter - spoof feeds fall down stairs

John Browne 1
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Twitter is actually funny for once.

Another first for GMP ;-)

Seriously, though, a lot of American police forces post the blotter on their websites. Maybe GMP should have tried that before braving the jungle of social networking.

Brigitte Bardot demands flying donkey action

John Browne 1

Vasily Gorobets is definitely not the first to fly a donkey.

In 'Air America' by Christopher Robbins (Macmillan 1979, Corgi pbk reissue 1990 ISBN 0-552-13722-7) there is a photo from the China Post Archives showing a donkey in a cargo net slung under a Huey. Probably in Laos sometime in the 60s; Huey reg. is N8513F.

Oh, yes, the picture caption: Air America hauls ass.

Microsoft offers iPhone devs Windows Phone 7 cash

John Browne 1
Jobs Horns

And another risk factor...

An iPhone app that gets ported to 7 might have a teeny chancette of getting kicked out of the App Store, no reason given. What, me paranoid? Come off it. Mine's the one with the medication in the pocket.

Telegraph trips over the Large Hardon Collider

John Browne 1
Thumb Up

@ nickrw - not Friday?

It was when the Telegraph did it, so no LHC-induced temporal anomaly required.

Spiderman Beetleman wall-crawl glove/boot tech invented

John Browne 1

Sounds like a handy gadget...

for pulling plaster off walls and ceilings.