* Posts by electricmonk

73 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Mar 2010


Bricking it: Do you actually own anything digital?


Re: This is why I prefer unrestricted offline-capabilities

>> "they are just glorified zip files with a specific structure allowing me to correct typos easily."

I just love the idea that you buy ebooks then correct the typos in them as you read them. I hope you send an updated copy back when you've finished.

"Dear Mr. Joyce,

Although I greatly enjoyed reading your novel 'Finnegan's Wake' I feel I must point out that it contains a large number of mis-spellings, non-existent words and egregious grammatical errors. I enclose a corrected copy for your education. Yours, etc."

HP reveals bonkers $5k foldable tablet/laptop/desktop


1990s laptops that weighed as much as a bicycle.

This is El Reg, you need to be precise with your units of comparison. Do you mean a Specialised Aethos Pro Ultegra Di2 (6.7Kg) or a Pashley Princess Sovereign (22.4Kg)?

Scientists trace tiny moonquakes to Apollo 17 lander – left over from 1972


Re: SI police strikes again

Small back gardens.


NASA mistakenly severs communication to Voyager 2


Re: Voyager 1 & 2

"No location pings"?? Are you sure about that? Seems to me that sending location data is a vital part of its mission. "Yeah, we've got all this data but we don't know where the craft was when it collected it, because Data Protection."

Unix is dead. Long live Unix!


Re: Are you ok?


It's humour from more than twenty years ago, and it wasn't very funny then either.

Risk-averse Kyocera gambles nearly $10b of own shares on semiconductor growth


Re: While many know Kyocera for its ruggedized smartphones

You're witnessing another step in the gradual Americanisation of El Reg. Kyocera's ruggedised phones are well-known in Japan and the US; elsewhere, they're unavailable and pretty much unknown. You'd think the writer would know that.

HPC's lost histories will power the future of tech


Re: Some sales pitch!

That's not the Ratner effect. The Ratner effect is "This new one's crap too. But we know you'll buy it anyway because it's shiny, it has a SALE sticker on it, and you're suckers."

tsoHost pulls plug on Gridhost service with just 45 days' notice


So I had a tsoHost Gridhost service for several years.

Back in May 2021 they told me that they would soon be migrating it over to their cloud hosting platform with full CPanel support. That never happened, despite updates early this year saying that it would be happening really, really soon. When renewal came up I switched to a monthly contract and gradually moved all my sites elsewhere (Krystal, since you ask).

On 26th September I got the first notification about Gridhost being retired. (So yes, I did get advance warning.) No mention of the previously-promised free migration, though.

At the start of this month I cancelled my hosting contract and asked them to close my account. All done... I thought.

Then on the 9th they renewed an SSL certificate I'd had as an add-on to the service and charged me for it.

When I complained they claimed that I'd only cancelled my hosting service, not the optional add-ons. Apparently I had to go through a separate cancellation process for the add-on, even though the hosting service it was an option for no longer existed.

What can I say? Good riddance. I doubt they'll be in business much longer.

Thanks to El Reg for mentioning the email problems tsoHost had back in July 2019. For more than two years I'd thought that was somehow my fault...


Re: Posting on CPanel?

The Gridhost service didn't include CPanel - it used their own, cut-down site management tool.

Leaked footage shows British F-35B falling off HMS Queen Elizabeth and pilot's death-defying ejection


Re: Ooops!

I had one of those Ejection ties, but every time I wore it to a restaurant I just got thrown out.

Amazon tells folks it will stop accepting UK Visa credit cards via weird empty email


Re: It appears we are just behind Australia

Exactly. The laws about not passing on card fees were never really about consumer protection, they were the result of heavy lobbying and devious PR by the card industry and exist solely to protect the card industry's revenues. They know that if people were charged more for paying by card, some of them would choose to pay another way and card payment revenues would go down. The net result is that any customer who pays by other means is subsidising the customer who pays by card.

Many of my customers are happy to pay by bank transfer, which costs me nothing in transaction fees - and in these days of online and mobile banking it's very easy for them to do so. If they pay by card I have to hand over a percentage to the card industry. I'd love to give the bank-transfer customers a small discount as they've saved me money, but it's illegal for me to do that. Instead the fees become part of my overheads and my prices have to go up a little - for everyone, regardless of how they pay.

Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology


Re: How many reactor's have been fully decommissioned?

Upvote for the bucket of reality thrown over the flights of fantasy and wishful thinking in here.

Downvote for the apostrophes.

Microsoft emits more Win 11 fixes for AMD speed issues and death by PowerShell bug


Fortunately I have the answers for you

"Am I reading that right?" - No.

All your other questions - see above.


The coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why

Big Brother

Re: This months of work from home showed too....

Blimey, the only thing missing from that ban-plt site is an explanation of how Bill Gates is using powerline networking to control our minds.


Re: Idea for Firefox

You really don't understand what CDNs do or why website owners use them, do you? If you did, you'd realise what a stupid idea this is. And no, Cloudflare isn't "stalling", it's doing some rudimentary checks to weed out some of the bots.

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant


Re: Windows for Nuclear Power

Running on either ZX80 or ZX81....

I can't remember which was the one which the advert claimed 'could run a power station'...

ZX81. So long as you Blu-tack the RAM pack firmly in place.

Boffins improve on tech that extracts DC power from ambient Wi-Fi


Re: Neighbor WiFi

Said neighbours might reasonably respond that they never asked you to flood their house with your WiFi radiation. As you have no legal reason to extend your WiFi coverage into their household, you are effectively littering their property with your discarded energy. If you don't want them to make use of it, you should take steps to restrict your unlicensed signal transmissions to within your own property boundary. What they are doing costs you nothing - it won't increase the power consumption of your router.

This is, of course, different from them piggybacking into your WiFi service to use your Internet connection without your permission - they would be in trouble then, but not because of the energy used.

Big problem: Nominet members won't know how many votes they're casting in decision to oust CEO, chair


@older'n'dirt: Mem & Arts are on the website:


You may also need to look at the Voting Rights bye-law. I could swear that when I looked the other week there was a link to that in the Governance section of the website, but I can't find it now. (Hmm.) However a Google for Nominet voting rights bye-law will come up with the pdf.

I believe the voting rights have operated in roughly this way since the company was set up , so it would be surprising if none had pointed out the problem before now. I suspect the key point is that voting rights are not the same as interests or shares. Having more votes does not give you a bigger stake in the company's value. Regardless of the number of votes they get in a general meeting, each member has the same £10 liability and no rights to the company's assets.

(IANAL nor indeed a qualified company secretary, just an ex-trustee of a charity that was a membership company limited by guarantee.)

Pressure builds on Nominet as members demand to know leadership's contingency plans for when they’re fired


So about those meeting rules...

Well, no. Firstly you're looking at an out of date version of the Articles. They were amended at the September 2020 AGM. The current Articles are here:


The only bye-laws required are the ones for the election of non-exec directors, and they're here:


But here's where it gets interesting. One of the new clauses in the amended Articles is this one:

5.3 If it appears to the chair of the general meeting that the electronic platform, facilities or security at the electronic general meeting have become inadequate then the chair may, without the consent of the meeting, interrupt or adjourn the general meeting. All business conducted at the general meeting up to the time of that adjournment shall be valid.

In other words, if the online conferencing service goes on the blink, the chair can unilaterally decide to postpone the meeting. That might sound innocuous, but consider this:

This is the only case in the Articles where the chair can postpone a general meeting without the consent of the members present. (Even if there are still enough members physically present in the room to make up a quorum, the chair can still postpone without a vote.) There is no stated limit in the Articles on how long the chair can postpone the meeting for.

This clause was obviously added in a hurry, as it doesn't fit well with the rest of the Articles, so you have to ask who added it, and why?

What money on a sudden and totally unexpected failure of the online conferencing tech at a critical point during the EGM? It wouldn't block the campaigners completely but it would complicate the process and buy the board some more time. Maybe they are that desperate.

Wind and quite a bit of fog shroud Boris Johnson's energy vision for the UK


Energy into matter

"Meanwhile, some of the electricity generated could be converted into hydrogen to create a transport fuel to decarbonise infrastructure."

Converting electricity into hydrogen? Are you sure about that?

Things can't go on like this. You need to get fit for the sake of your health. I'm going to write you a prescription for... an e-bike



Looks like El Reg seriously misjudged the mood of the room there. This must be the first time I've seen every single commentard in broad agreement, and all contrary to the article's weird attempt to mock a sensible idea. I've seen a few comments recently bemoaning the Register's descent into Daily Mail-ism and dismissed them as being exaggeration, but this article does make me wonder.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


Re: It's Quantum innit


Or no.


It's Quantum innit

The problem is obvious. The device is "quantum" so it only works as long as its existence is indeterminate. As soon as PTP opened the casing they collapsed the waveform and the core components vanished in a puff of logic.


Re: What 5G ?

This led me to check a 5G availability map or the UK and I don't see any 5G in the Glastonbury area.

So the device is working, then?


Peak greenwashing: SAP backs oil and gas giants with Accenture partnership, eco-credentials go up in smoke


Say what?

It is fair then to assume Accenture and SAP want to make this activity cheaper and easier,

Let me just stop you there. SAP? And Accenture? Make something cheaper and easier? Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha...

EU's top court says tracking cookies require actual consent before scarfing down user data


Re: That was nice

"You have the ulitmate freedom to click the back button, and go somewhere else. No-one forces you to visit any website."

Sorry, not good enough. Website owners may not block "general access" to the website on that basis, though they can prevent access to specific pieces of content where there is a legitimate reason to do so.

Of course that's only enforceable for EU-based sites. I find a lot of the offending sites are from big US publishers who probably consider their European audience too small to be worth bothering about, so they aren't going to spend money reconfiguring their sites just to comply with foreign laws.

Remember that security probe that ended with a sheriff cuffing the pen testers? The contract is now public so you can decide who screwed up


Re: Pentesting

"One wonders how far they got, and did they get their "sneaky device" plugged into the network before being caught?"

No, that was installed by the third member of the team, who walked straight in behind the sheriff while he was busy arguing with Wynn and Demercurio.

Yes, I may have been watching too many reruns of Hustle.

WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?



"Although we expect to become Licensing Act 2003 compliant in 2019, our practices with respect to this type of refreshment are evolving and do not yet fully comply with that industry standard and other applicable guidelines. Cheers."

An Army Watchkeeper drone tried to land. Then meatbags took over from the computers

Thumb Down

Call that a drone?

Wait, surely we're missing the most important question here - why is the army buying a drone that looks like it was designed and built in the 1950s?

Rival rocketeers SpaceX and ULA make oblations to weather gods ahead of double-launch action


Re: The 45th Space Wing

Has anyone told them, wings aren't much use in space.

Ah, so that's what happened to the first 44 Space Wings...

Meet ELIoT – the EU project that wants to commercialize Internet-over-lightbulb



"The idea is simple: make the light flicker faster than the eye can see, delivering a stream of 1s and 0s that can be picked up by a nearby photodetector USED TO CONTROL THE MINDS OF THE POPULACE!!!!!111!!"


Pass me my tinfoil sunglasses , would you?

A day in the life of London seen through spam and weak Wi-Fi


"natural signal blockers"

Or as we call it, "scenery".

Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020


"I honestly judge our banking supplier (Barclays) SO harshly because their online smartcard-based super-duper sign-in to authorise payments for a multi-million-pound business has a minimum spec of "IE 10, or Firefox ESR"... and it literally doesn't work on Chrome at all."

Funny - it works fine for me, using Chrome on Windows 10. Maybe you're holding it wrong?

Actually the sign-in is the only good thing about my Barclays business account - features like tabbing between form fields working properly, the fact that the time-limited single-use passcode is not hidden as you type it in, and (shock horror) a single sign-in that gives me access both to the business account and to the personal account of a relative for whom I hold LPA, all indicate that somebody actually thought about usability for once. Shame the rest of their service is so dire.

Bordeaux-no! Wine guzzling at UK.gov events rises 20%



Woah, back up there a minute. Fine wines from Canada? Really?

5.1 update sends Apple's Watch 4 bling spinning into an Infinite Loop of reboot cycles



But the market remains wary of switching from more reliable analogue devices.

Weird thing to say. It's nothing to do with digital versus analogue. I don't think anyone's doubted the reliability of digital watches for over 30 years - my Timex Triathlon keeps better time, runs for longer and is more robust than any of the analogue watches I've had. It's the inflated prices and poor battery life of smart watches that's holding them back: nobody wants to have to remember to charge yet another device every night. That, and the fact that for all the marketing they're still more cumbersome and clunky-looking than a traditional watch.

What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly


Shouldn't that be ytrewq-face?

Small WordPress sites leaking like sieves


Re: Get patching. ®

On affected sites the conyouse script appears on the wp-login.php and wp-admin pages and on login forms inserted into other pages. So I'm guessing the dodgy code is more likely to be found in the login functions in general-template.php.

(I see Richard Chirgwin thinks Blissfields Festival is a "small community group". Try to keep up with the kids, Richard... :-) )

The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure


Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

>>> they had "hotmail" as a strong brand

Yeah, as in "I wasn't sure if it was genuine, but then I saw it was from a Hotmail address so I deleted it."

Wackadoo DIYers scissor-kick beatboxer


Re: happy birthday www

>> What do you expect from a principally "dead tree" publication?

>> (is that on the list now, I wonder... hmmm, doesn't appear to be)

No it isn't, but that would be because they already added "dead tree" back in 2007. Way ahead of you there. (Also "treeware" which I hadn't come across before. I like that.)

Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge


Re: why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?

Meanwhile in Redmond:

"Hey, this Pascal guy is right! Our customers won't replace something that works fine. What we should do is, we should screw up XP so it doesn't work any more! Get me the dev team, I feel an urgent "security patch" coming on..."

Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC


"Richard Heaton, Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office. Sporting two-day stubble, he enthuses that writing laws is really a form of computation, so we should make it more like a software project: legislation should be crowdsourced, and full of symbols. Get hip, legislators, he says, get like the coders!"

I totally agree with this, though perhaps not in the way he meant. It's blatantly obvious that none of our legislation gets properly tested before it goes live. What we need is a "law test team" that looks at each new piece of legislation and says, "What could go wrong? How could I break this? If I press the wrong buttons, will it do something unexpected? Does it address all the bugs that were found in the legislation it replaces?" In other words, some professional software testers. If the draft legislation fails the test phase it goes back for fixing.

The cynic in me thinks that laws are deliberately made ambiguous, contradictory and full of loopholes as that means more business for the lawyers who (surprise surprise!) mostly draft the stuff in the first place. But on the whole I think it's cockup rather than conspiracy.

You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464


Re: @AC and @Mr C Hill

"Unfortunately, Sugar also kept the cost of the CPC-464 system down by having it manufactured in the Far East instead of the UK where many computers were made until the mid-80s. He also later transferred Spectrum manufacturing to Taiwan (IIRC) and then China. To be fair, other UK and US manufacturers also started doing this in the mid-80s as well."

To be fair, Sinclair had already shifted most ZX Spectrum production from the UK to Portugal a year earlier. (Strange to tell now, but in those days many southern European countries had cheap enough wage levels that they were considered a viable alternative to far-east manufacturing - which was how Spain ended up with a huge car industry.)

Tell us we're all doomed, MPs beg climate scientists


The answer is nuclear power. What was the question again?

Actually, what the government did was funnel a *relatively* modest amount of money into green energy then conveniently fail to challenge those who chose to undermine it with ludicrous exaggerations and outright lies. (Wind farms are killing all our birds!! One wind farm won't power the whole of Birmingham so we shouldn't build any at all!!!)

At which point, surprise surprise, it turns out there's only one alternative - the insanity of more nuclear fission plants. A way of throwing billions of pounds at huge corporations who will over-charge and under-deliver, after which the public sector will have to pay the cost of cleaning up the waste. Again. As a nation we haven't even finished paying for the first wave of nuclear power yet.

Of course the government could put lots more investment into energy efficiency so we don't need so much of it in the first place. That would make both environmental and economic sense, which is why the government is raising the levies on power companies to... oh, wait. Hang on a minute.

Haribo gummy bears implicated in 'gastric exorcism'


Re: coffee straw???

Check out the "Learn More" pages - apparently it was invented for Parkinson's sufferers to use. Also (judging from the testimonials) it's popular with people recovering from facial operations and the like. A bit specialist maybe, but not needless.

I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it


Re: Caching will only get you so far

Just slightly undermined your own argument there. Anyone who's driven through the Welsh valleys will know that all the FM radio stations also disappear with monotonous regularity. .

Whovians, your Doctor needs you: Take back the Day from One Direction


Re: Events like these...

Well said. We must not forget the 679th anniversary of that fateful day. Is there a track I can download from iTunes? #givethebelgiananddutchcoastalfloodof1334backitsday

M&S shoppers make quarter of a million NFC payments a WEEK


Re: Marks & Spencer take cards now?!??!

It was nothing to do with luddism - they thought the card acquirers were demanding an extortionate cut of the takings, so they were holding out for a better deal.

Bogus gov online test tells people on dole they're just SO employable


Re: Gov't tests

Let me tell you about my mother -

Ofcom: Fancy running a temporary HD Freeview TV channel?


Re: Here's what I want to see

I have only one thing to say to you:


They're probably working on the Tomorrow's World Restrospective even now, just as soon as they've finished preparing the next batch of 1970s TOTP episodes. (It takes ages to edit out every shot of The DJ Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned.)

Anyway, Crystal Maze was Channel 4.

Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...


Re: Might brilliant.

Not entirely. Thunderbirds was conceived as a half-hour show and Anderson and team were halfway through production of the first series when their backer Lew 'Low' Grade decided the length should be doubled. Which helps explain why certain TB episodes slow to a crawl in the middle as they desperately splice in offcuts to fill up the time. (Let's have another long shot of the meter edging towards critical... now a close-up of a bead of perspiration on Alan's forehead and his eyebrows set to "Frown"... now back to the meter getting infinitesimally nearer critical... back to Alan...)

On the other hand it did give them space to build up the characters a bit more, which was where TB really scored over (half-hour) Captain Scarlet.