* Posts by Detective Emil

292 posts • joined 10 Feb 2010

Page:

PrivacyMic looks to keep your home smart without Google, Alexa, Siri and pals listening in

Detective Emil
Facepalm

Irony alert

A privacy-preserving device promoted using a video on YouTube.

Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit after DC AG says TTFN to price fixing

Detective Emil
Coat

TTFN?

Totally Too Favored Nation?

Copper load of this: Openreach outlines 77 new locations where it'll stop selling legacy phone and broadband products

Detective Emil

They're sitting on a gold, umm, copper mine

I wonder if they're planning on pulling that copper up. The current price is pretty juicy.

Apple faces another suit over its allegedly misleading water resistance claims

Detective Emil

Money-mouth non adjacency problem

If Apple won't put its money where its mouth is on waterproofing claims, it deserves to be forced to pay through the nose.

(The Italians got there first (BBC News).)

Google's FLoC flies into headwinds as internet ad industry braces for instability

Detective Emil
WTF?

"… allies … like Criteo, NextRoll, Magnite, and RTB House"

I've never heard of these outfits and will do all I can to prevent them from hearing much of me.

Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

Detective Emil

Lawyer fodder?

I suspect that CGI, which bought the venerable UK software outfit Logica in 2012, may still have a vague desire to hang onto its trademark.

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Bolton [said] "There is never a circumstance where satellite … should be subsidized …"

Well, he would, wouldn't he?

It's wild the lengths Facebook engineers will go to find new ways to show you inane ads about tat: This time, AR...

Detective Emil

More agency?

Presumably, that would be an advertising agency.

What's CNAME of your game? This DNS-based tracking defies your browser privacy defenses

Detective Emil
Boffin

If you want to block (some of them) by hand:

You can find most of the culprits' destination domains in the reasonably-frequently-updated NextDNS CNAME Cloaking Blocklist on GitHub, and add them to the blocklist of your choice.

You want me to do WHAT in that prepaid envelope?

Detective Emil
Coffee/keyboard

Compared to a colonoscopy …

… I can say from personal experience of both procedures that mailing off a self-collected stool sample is greatly to be preferred.

Open Source Vulnerabilities database: Nice idea but too many Google-shaped hoops to jump through at present

Detective Emil

Embrace, extend, and extinguish?

Google needs to be very careful in the current climate if it wants to roll out services that it proposes will improve the status quo. It does not look as if it is being careful enough.

Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond: Oracle launches rugged edge-of-network box for hostile environments

Detective Emil

Not true without picture

I eventually found one, although not on Oracle's site. It looks like a 2U server in a Puffa jacket. Cute.

UK Test and Trace chief Dido Harding tries to convince MPs that £14m for canned mobile app was money well spent

Detective Emil
Meh

[Apple & Google] have been on the record as saying that the UK app … is a world first

Citation needed [Gratuitous promo for XKCD merch]. I have not been able to find any.

Cisco intros desktop switches, one with USB-C to power your laptop

Detective Emil
Meh

NIC?

AFAICT, those devices that have a USB-C port do not have NIC behind it — if ther were, the datasheet should mention, or more likely, crow about it. Seems to me that this would be an obvious thing to do, because it would allow a connected laptop to use a single cable for power and network.

Epic Games files competition lawsuit against Google in the UK over Fortnite's ejection from Play Store

Detective Emil

Not admissable

… breaking … Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

The red (or maybe green) mist in front of Epic's eyes seems to have led it to overlook an important event in recent history.

Facebook appeals ruling that it stole tech. So, Italian judge issues new judgment: Pay 10 times the original fine

Detective Emil
Big Brother

FaceBook, champion of small business

Like the fine, this particular case is a drop in the bucket.

A flurry of data warehouse activity surrounds Snowflake's staggering $120bn valuation

Detective Emil
WTF?

Triple-F?

Well, I know what 4-F means, but Triple-F has got me beaten.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

Detective Emil

I had more success …

In the late 70's, I was in UK pre-sales support for a US semiconductor company that had a side-line in small business computers, and wanted to promote them using the strapline The Informer. I managed to convince the ad agency that The Sweeney had probably queered the pitch (although I would also have had to explain that phrase) as far as the image of informers was concerned.

How Apple's M1 uses high-bandwidth memory to run like the clappers

Detective Emil

Sowing confusion

Apple really isn't helping by calling this high‑bandwidth, low‑latency memory, because, despite it being LPDDR4X, people are likely to confuse it with High Bandwidth Memory, a JEDEC standard. Indeed, a poor translation on Apple Finnish store (since corrected) actually said "High Bandwidth Memory".

On the "unified memory is old hat" theme, yes indeed: there's a now-expired Apple patent concerning it from 1996.

IKEA Croydon (FYI: that's a place in outer London, not a type of DIY cabinet) likes things in pairs, from chimneys to bork

Detective Emil
Devil

Like a creepy uncle

Don't you just hate those matey messages from Windows 10? Where I live, I also have to put up with them tutoyer-ing and duzen-ing me.

If you're feeling down, know that we've just buried a heat sensor in an alien planet. If NASA can get through Mars soil, we can get through 2020

Detective Emil

Cribbins!

This seems appropriate [YouTube].

Top doctors slam Google for not backing up incredible claims of super-human cancer-spotting AI

Detective Emil
Mushroom

"vibrant ecosystem that supports future innovation"

Not a response from the researchers, but from a PR drone.

To stop web giants abusing privacy, they must be prevented from respawning. Ever

Detective Emil
Devil

Autoplay

Ick. And many services that use it don't provide a way to turn it off.

UK mobile network EE plumps for Nokia to provide that all-important 5G RAN equipment

Detective Emil

Please Sir …

What's a RAN, Sir?

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of 'Advanced Night Repair' skin cream helping NASA to commercialise space

Detective Emil

Smoother and less lined?

Sounds like just the thing for sealing that tricky leak in the ISS' skin that has yet to be tracked down.

The Surface Duo isn't such an outlandish idea, but Microsoft has to convince punters the form factor is worth having

Detective Emil
Meh

I'd like to like it, but …

… an iPad Mini is a whole lot cheaper (although it can't place conventional phone calls, and it does not fold (although people try [YouTube]).

And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life

Detective Emil
Coat

23 cameras, microphones and a helicopter …

Lasers too! Sounds like Samsung's next flagship phone. Well, maybe without the helicopter.

Mine's the one with something heavy in the breast pocket …

We've paused Sigfox roof aerial payments, says WND-UK, but we'll make you whole after COVID

Detective Emil
Boffin

Yagi?

Yagi antennas are directional — often very much so in the 868MHz band that Sigfox uses. I can't find any pictures of UK installations, but you'd definitely want something that's omnidirectional in the horizontal plane for a LPWAN base station. Maybe like those not-very-satisfactory TV antennas one finds on mobile homes.

Think of a number: A tale of iffy discount codes, supermarket loyalty cards and Hotels.com

Detective Emil
Headmaster

"Hotels.com, which has 325,000 hotels"?

" … touts 325,000 hotels" would be truer, and possibly conform better to El Reg style guidelines.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

Detective Emil
Happy

Radio 4 LW?

We still have a couple of a.m. radios tuned permanently to R4 LW. I hope the transmitter holds out for another ten years.

(Or Arqiva/the BBC/the UK government stumps up for a replacement — despite protestations to the contrary, there are still companies around that would be only too pleased to provide a quote.)

AWS scoops Intel silicon and 8TB of storage into new Snowcone edge box

Detective Emil

Xeon? Probably not.

There's no way that well-sealed box could comfortably dissipate the full 100W that USB3 could deliver to it, so I suspect the CPU is more pedestrian. The Atom® x5-E3930 would fill the bill rather nicely: two cores, 8GB RAM max, (just) enough PCIe for those two Ethernet ports, a couple of SATA interfaces for two 4TB SSDs. And capable of a bit of undemanding virtualization. Dead cheap, and with an industrial operating temperature range, too.

We spent billions building atom smashers – and now boffins think nature's doing the same thing for free?

Detective Emil

BBC voice assistant promises to summon streams even if you're just a little bit Brahms and Liszt

Detective Emil
Unhappy

“GPP feature?” said Arthur. “What’s that?”

“Oh, it says Genuine People Personalities.”

“Oh,” said Arthur, “sounds ghastly.”

Dude, where's my laser?

Detective Emil

A problem that astronomers … have only recently solved

The military too, it appears. The story says it's a 150kW laser, but there's nothing about the range. Judging by the haziness of the very short video of the illuminated target drone, it's quite a long way from the ship.

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

The cards were designed by Susan Kare, who is also responsible for the, umm, iconic Mac icon set. A quick search will locate an outfit who will sell you a physical set.

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

Detective Emil

For completeness …

… the full list of backers is Facebook, MTN (a South African telco), Orange, Vodafone, China Mobile, and WIOCC (an African wholesaler of cable capacity). I’ve found nothing about relative levels of participation.

Incredible how you can steal data via Thunderbolt once you've taken the PC apart, attached a flash programmer, rewritten the firmware...

Detective Emil
Angel

Pious hope

El Reg: Before anyone blows up these findings

The Independent: Major Computer Bug Means Millions Could Be At Risk Of Hack

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

Detective Emil
Meh

Well, you can't fault Eclipse's consisitency …

From Wikipedia, quoting IBM's Lee Nackman from a now-inaccessible eWeek article: the name "Eclipse" (dating from at least 2001) was not a wordplay on Sun Microsystems, as the product's primary competition at the time of naming was Microsoft Visual Studio, which Eclipse was to eclipse.

Keen to go _ExtInt? LLVM Clang compiler adds support for custom width integers

Detective Emil
Holmes

I get this feeling of deja vu …

Gets well-thumbed copy of Kernighan & Ritchie (1978 edition) off the shelf …

Ah, here it is on page 137, in section 6.6, Fields: "Fields behave like small unsigned integers, and may participate in arithmetic expressions, just like any other integer."

To be fair, nobody used them much at the time.

IBM == Insecure Business Machines: No-auth remote root exec exploit in Data Risk Manager drops after Big Blue snubs bug report

Detective Emil
Meh

Hackerone is part of the problem

Search "hackerone perverse incentive" or similar.

Watch: Rare Second World War footage of Bletchley Park-linked MI6 intelligence heroes emerges, shared online

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

4:3

Good on BP for not reframing the footage (unlike the BBC.)

Cloud'n'server hosting giant OVH more like OMG: Data center hardware failure knocks out services in France

Detective Emil
Happy

Great!

That means fewer script-kiddie hack attempts on my hosts from OVH address ranges.

'I give fusion power a higher chance of succeeding than quantum computing' says the R in the RSA crypto-algorithm

Detective Emil
Boffin

Glib rejoinder

Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Facebook mulls tagging pics with 'radioactive' markers to trace the origin of photos used to build image-recog AI

Detective Emil
Headmaster

Eggheads? No, more likely PR drones.

Barium sulfate is indeed used an X-ray contrast medium. But it's not radioactive, and neither are the X-rays (even if those who use them are known as radiographers).

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?

Detective Emil
Black Helicopters

U.S. engaged in pot-kettle blackness dispute

This reminds me of Alice's Restaurant:

"Sergeant, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench 'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug."

He looked at me and said, "Kid, we don't like your kind, and we're gonna send you fingerprints off to Washington."

Google halts paid-for Chrome extension updates amid fraud surge: Web Store in lockdown 'due to the scale of abuse'

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Stop the Madness …

… is a worthwhile extension, even if the latest update has not hit Chrome. (The update was something minor to do with squelching autoplay video iirc.)

Well, well, well. Internet-of-Things speaker biz Sonos to continue some software support for legacy kit after all

Detective Emil
Meh

Ho hum. Sonos' update sites remain blocked at my router for now

Tuesday's mail spurred me to put in the block, which I've been considering for a while: I've been getting teed off by frequent updates that have no discernible effect.

Latest patent brouhaha: Sonos wheels out Doomsday device in bid to block Google Home sales.... The Register

Detective Emil
Mushroom

What domesday device?

I thought a domesday device took out everybody, including its deployer and non-combatants. I see no evidence of that in this article. Although I must admit that I applied today's all-too-frequent, annoyingly-insistent and without-apparent-effect Sonos update with more than the usual caution.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Detective Emil

Many happy non-returns

The fifty-year-old radio in the bedroom still works (well, as long as there are transmissions on AM & FM, anyway). And it delivers content 30 seconds or so ahead of the Sonos.

UK's Virgin Media celebrates the end of 2019 with a good, old fashioned TITSUP*

Detective Emil

'Twas on a Monday Morning …

… that the gasman cable guy came to call

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021