* Posts by Detective Emil

260 posts • joined 10 Feb 2010

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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

InLink Limited limited: Firm that puts up UK's ad-supported phone booths enters administration

Detective Emil

Externalizing costs

I wouldn’t be surprised to find that £6m is in the same ballpark as the figure local authorities have spent fighting this stuff.

Homeland Security backs off on scanning US citizens, Amazon ups AI ante, and more

Detective Emil
Black Helicopters

Sellafield, Maze, facial comparison …

You can tell that something's become toxic when those who want to continue using it anyway start calling it something different.

Reasons to be fearful 2020: Smishing, public Wi-Fi, deepfakes... and all the usual suspects

Detective Emil

s/B/F/g

Refreshing honesty? They're a spot lenient with themselves, I'd say.

Questions hang over Gatwick Airport after low level drone near-miss report

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Security? Bueller?

I initially read this as "security ballet", presuming it to be a more high-class form of security theatre (of which I had previously been unaware).

Repairability fiends crack open a Surface Laptop 3: Nice SSD, but shame about the battery

Detective Emil
Meh

Re: I don't care

I too have a 2012 MacBook Pro, but the Retina model, which was one of the first howls-of-rage-inducing laptops with a non-user-exchangeable battery. It still sees use two or three times a week, and the original battery is fine, both according to the the diagnostic software and to my experience in how many hours I can use it before it runs down. So, on this anecdotal evidence, maybe non-exchangeable batteries are not such a big deal. (OTOH, let me tell you about my AirPods …)

Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app

Detective Emil
Angel

Why does this product remind me of the mobile-phone-in-a-crucifix in The Pope Must Die[t]?

Careful now, UK court ruling says email signature blocks can sign binding contracts

Detective Emil

Legal fees

I should imagine the costs for this case would be comparable to the disputed £25k. His Honour Judge Pearce’s judgement does not pronounce on who’s on the hook to pay them, which presumably means each party pays its own costs.

China's cloud market jumps 58%: OK Alibaba, you've lost your Ma but you're still leading

Detective Emil
Devil

"Tencent Cloud, which jumped 88 per cent …"

Yup, I've seen an increasing volume of crack attempts fro Tencent cloud over the past year. I've made a special place in purgatory for them.

Like a grotty data addict desperately jonesing for its next fix, Google just can't stop misbehaving

Detective Emil
Meh

The complete list of alternatives to all Google products

Here's a useful recent article from TechSpot. Loading it without an adblocker pulls in 79 elements from Google domains …

Apple will wring out $18bn by upselling NAND to fanbois – analyst

Detective Emil
Megaphone

Analyst attracts attention by mentioning Apple

Lemme see. I just looked at HP's prices for its Elite x2 1013 G3. With 128GB of SSD: $1,499; otherwise identical with 256GB: $1,749. How about Microsoft? Surface Pro 6 with i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage: $1,199; with 16GB and 512GB: $1,599. Dear, oh dear. Let's try the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 13". With 256GB, $1,199.99 (marked down from $1,98.99 — maybe my cookies tell them I've been sniffing around the competition); with 512GB AND 32GB of Optane thrown in, $1,249.99 (down from $1,448.99). My point is that most outfits are doing it, not just Apple. And Dell would get my business today.

Vodafone hurls sueball at Ofcom over plans to relax BT leases

Detective Emil
Facepalm

"[T]hey have come up with a conclusion based on regulatory policy as opposed to evidence"

What else would a regulator do?: if they did anything different, they'd get sued for not following policy.

UK.gov: Huge mobile masts coming to a grassy hill near you soon

Detective Emil

"4G still remains patchy in large parts of the country"

In my experience, 3G's not that great out in the sticks, either.

I recently visited rural Romania (hilly) and Latvia and Lithuania (flattish). All had fine 3G everywhere, and a lot of 4G. And, yes, a skyline pierced by tall masts.

US court nixes Google's $5.5m court payoff over Safari Workaround – no one affected saw cash

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Good

This settlement stank to high heaven.

Loose tongues and oily seamen: Lost in machine translation yet again

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Smidgen?

I don't think I know a code for smidgen.

'Bulls%^t! Complete bull$h*t!' Reset the clock on the last time woke Linus Torvalds exploded at a Linux kernel dev

Detective Emil

Re: Whew.

Yup. I initially read the forum name as Kernel development railing list,

It's official! The Register is fake news… according to .uk overlord Nominet. Just a few problems with that claim, though

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Reputation management

I expect Nominet to engage a reputation management consultancy with days, if not hours. I trust El Reg will let us know who gets the job, and how much they're charging.

Gee, SEC, how did that get out?! 'Leaked' Tesla email claims big boost in Model 3 production

Detective Emil
Pint

A pint for Mr. Musk …

… although I believe his tastes are more recherché. I see anything that ruins Larry's day as good news.

Comcast – the cable giant America loves and trusts – confirms in-home health device to keep tabs on subscribers

Detective Emil

Customer retention

Surely it's a move by Comcast to keep those customers they still have alive and paying.

OK, Google, please do a half-hearted U-turn: Stay of execution for smart home APIs after Big G goes cuckoo in the Nest

Detective Emil
Happy

Sitting on my hands …

… and glad about it.

'Lightweight' UPS-style flywheels to power naval laser zappers

Detective Emil
Terminator

In a galaxy far, far away

Now we know why the Hoth rebel base shield generators are the shape they are.

OVH pulls gloves off bare metal fighters as it eyes up US cloud vendors

Detective Emil
Holmes

Re: mmmm, OVH cheap but shit

Too true: The sites I manage get more crack attempts from OVH ranges than from any other second-tier provider. Or first-tier provider, for that matter. Act-clean-up required.

Down is the new up at Intel: PC processor sales rise while data center chips fall (So much for that data-centric push)

Detective Emil

Undiscussed elephants in room

Listened to a lot of the conference call (lost it when phone switched networks): neither ARM nor AMD.mentioned.

Also Intel claimed first CPU with AI accelerator. They mean "x86 CPU with …": in the wider world, Apple, and maybe Qualcomm, Samsung beat them to it.

Google hits brand slam stamping AMP with more crypto glam

Detective Emil
Thumb Down

Just say no

Or possibly "no, thank you very much", as you wait slightly longer for the non-AMP page.

Turn me up some: Smart speaker outfit Sonos blasted in complaint to UK privacy watchdog

Detective Emil

Whoops, they did it again

Sonos has just introduced a "recently-played" feature with storage on their own servers. It requires email-based login and acceptance of Ts&Cs. Happily, ignoring the nag does not stop anything working. However, Sonos equipment is very naggy, so I may not be safe for long. The devices are perpetually whining about updates that usually provide noticeable new functionality only to newer equipment. A recent automatic update bricked their remote control app I'd been using on an old but perfectly good iPad. (And they bricked their own first-party remote a while back.) So, low marks for continued user satisfaction: brown goods should not be so demanding.

Besides, why on earth would they implement "recently-played" as server-based.? Because they have some nefarious use for the data, perhaps?

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Re: The only conspiracy

Good to see they're using Nginx, though. Good front end. Shame about the back, though …

What made a super high-tech home in Victorian England? Hydroelectric witchery, for starters

Detective Emil
Childcatcher

More Armstrongery

In Newcastle, a bit further south, you'll find the Discovery Museum, which is well worth a visit. It's free (although you'll have to pay if you want to get married in the shadow of Armstrong's Turbina).

Blighty's most trusted brand? Yeah, you wish, judge tells Post Office in Horizon IT system ruling

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Credit where it's due

Computer Weekly has been worrying away at this story for a decade.

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either

Detective Emil

Instant Ink?

I'm vaguely surprised to see no mention (good or bad) in the earnings call of HP's "Instant Ink" subscribe-for-supplies wheeze. As far as this European is concerned, it's yet another subscription I don't need. Maybe my compatriots think the same.

Trust the public cloud Big Three to make non-volatile storage volatile

Detective Emil
Meh

Whatever …

Maybe cloud suppliers have successfully conditioned my expectations over the years, but this sort of thing is no more or less than I'd expect. Wonder how fast I can stream in a back-up from dependable storage …

Unearthed emails could be smoking gun in epic GDPR battle: Google, adtech giants 'know they break Euro privacy law'

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Re: Ads?

Well, I let the ads on El Reg through. They often turn out to be for low-priced women's clothing. This is either because my other measures prevent the exchanges from knowing anything useful about me. Or because they know even more about me than I've yet realised myself.

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Backward compatibility

I’m happy to say that version 6.2 retains the ability to open my 20-year-old Macintosh WordPerfect 3.5 files.

Colour us shocked: Google in €50m GDPR fine appeal bombshell

Detective Emil

Google takes small onion from pocket, then says it's …

… "concerned about the impact of this ruling on publishers, original content creators and tech companies in Europe and beyond".

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