* Posts by Drat

67 posts • joined 22 Mar 2010

Page:

No surprise: Britain ditches central database model for virus contact-tracing apps in favour of Apple-Google API

Drat

Had to happen

It was just a question of time. Why did they have to be so obstinate and waste so much time?

Sigh

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

Drat

Re: Dear BBC

I agree. Let me paraphrase:

"Stop doing things you want to do, and start doing things your customers want"

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Drat

Re: One would have throught...

"Not if they are on the public footpath outside my office, and I am inside with the doors and windows on that side firmly shut."

Better to send a few people into 2 week isolation by error than keep the whole of the population in self isolation for months, which is the alternative (if you rule out letting the virus rip through the population)

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

Drat

Stupid Decisions

The most important thing is to get enough people to use the app such that the contact tracking works. Farting around with additional functionality that might subsequently reduce the number of installs is idiotic

Drat

It is not about picking up everybody who may have been infected, it is about picking up enough people who may have been infected to reduce the R0 below 1

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

Drat

Marvin

When I was a kid my parents sent off for a pack so I could join the Marvin Depreciation Society. It came with a badge with a sad Marvin face on, and a grey Marvin jumper. Except in my pack, they sent a too large jumper with little note saying something like "We are sorry to say we have run out of small jumpers, so have had to send you a large one instead. If you are unhappy please send it back for a full refund". My parents sent it back, but I have always wondered if the wrong size jumper and the note where part of the joke..

Is there anyone out there with inside information, I would love to know (it is something I ponder on once a year when the rotation of the earth makes my head spin)

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer

Drat

Great

When banks subject their customers to shenanigans like this it is no wonder so many will later get tricked so easily.

Game over, LAN, game over! Windows software nasty Emotet spotted spreading via brute-forced Wi-Fi networks

Drat

Home WiFi

OK, so how good are home WiFi routers at detecting and preventing brute force attacks? So if you get x number of failed connection attempts from a particular MAC address will they then refuse anymore connections for a period of time and alert the user somehow?

Privacy activists beg Google to ban un-removable bloatware from Android

Drat

It would be great if...

... android phone manufactures took all the resources they use making bespoke Apps that not many people use and used those resources to role out faster android updates for their phones instead

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy

Drat

Re: Bloody Shambles

"In my experience exactly the same prevails (mutatis mutandis) in the world of business. Managers who believe that "management" is a sublime talent, and those who possess it can manage anything."

Managing is an art form for for sure. However the best managers know they have to take counsel from experts

With a warehouse of unsold AR goggles, Magic Leap has a brainwave… let’s rebadge ‘em and sell to business!

Drat

Re: Run for it

It is a question of focus. If you just stick a transparent screen on to some glasses, you will not be able to focus on the text, it will just be a blur (you can test this out for yourself if you hold something transparent with text on, such as a sweet wrapper, right in front of your eye).

Currently you need some form of optics to change the focal distance of the text/image. To remove the need of optics you would need to have light from the image travelling roughly parallel, I don't know, some form of hologram technology to collimate the light?

Watch Waymo's totally driverless self-driving car cruise around, how the US military wants to use AI ethically, etc

Drat

Re: The uniquenesses.

I have to say point "4" in the above made the most sense to me...

A stranger's TV went on spending spree with my Amazon account – and web giant did nothing about it for months

Drat

Re: I got nailed by this

I find that shocking that Amazon have this giant security hole. How many other people have been hit by this and haven't noticed or just blame the kids? Of course Amazon will get a % of the sales...

Google: Read my lips. You cannot link up a G Suite account with Nest smart home gizmos

Drat

I couldn't agree more. I was on a free google apps account and was finding I was missing out on more and more functionality. So, about 2 years ago I took the drastic step of moving to a gmail account. It was a long hard process.

I managed to move all my emails over, but of course they all ended up in the inbox and not the nicely organised folders I had

I shared my photos with my new account, but I seem to have lost all the location info. I need to get round to exporting them all from the old account, recombining them with the exif data and then importing them into the new account

And of course I lost access to all my paid for apps and media

I am glad I made the change, but it has left a bad taste behind...

It all hinges on this: Huawei goes after Samsung with its own foldable hybrid Mate X

Drat

Re: How long before it breaks ?

Yes, havng a screen on both of the outside planes sounds a bit fragile, and putting a protective case on it would make it a pain to unfold.

Still exciting to see the development though, wonder what the ideal form factor is going to be?

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

Drat

I was wrong

I always thought that as it was such a stupid idea, that they had a real and different plan: Get 20+ gullable people to sign up, build a fake rocket, put them to sleep for a few hours and then wake them up in a "Mars" habitat that is out in a desert somewhere, or in a studio (the story being they had been in months of suspended animation). Then you have a reality TV show of people who really think they are on mars and on their own for every, could have made interesting TV. Could have really messed with their minds (people dressed as martians in the distance, fake an airleak, pretend earth has been demolished) in case you needed to spice it up. Oh well, I was wrong then, but would have been a more sensible idea...

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

Drat

Re: OTT

What have density or colour to do with volume? Liter is a measure of volume. 500 ml of helium is the same volume as 500 ml of water, just the mass is different. So it doesn't matter if one beer has a higher density than the other. I suspect the staff of your craft beer bar consists of young hipsters who have no clue how to pour a beer properly from a tap.

The point was I believe, other properties may have an impact depending on the measurement method. I have a jug than can measure 500ml of water just fine, but I would really struggle to use it to measure 500ml of helium

Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

Drat

Re: Hmm

"you're (too) harsh. The problem is, we don't have anything unique or attractive to offer to the world that can't be had elsewhere"

We do seem very good at putting ourselves down

Googlers revolt over AI military tech contract, brainiacs boycott killer robots, and more

Drat

Epitaph

"Humans, too busy squabbling amongst themselves, did not realise that the real threat did not come from other humans, but came from non-humans, until it was too late"

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory

Drat

Worse to come

I have to wonder what Lego's strategy is to cope with the time in the not too distant future when everyone has access to a 3D printer and can print their own bricks from downloadable designs. They need a plan to convert into a company that supplies said digital plans...

'Quantum supremacy will soon be ours!', says Google as it reveals 72-qubit quantum chip

Drat

Are they sure?

Yes and no..

iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Drat

Re: So Someone Learn me....

If the bill of goods is $370, who gets the other $629 ? Seems like a lot for distribution, marketing etc...

A large part of that is straight to profit (destined for a tax efficient territory)

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Drat

Re: Stupidity on a grand scale

Having an Amazon Prime subscription I am much much more likely to buy stuff through Amazon. I am also more likely to keep my Prime subscription if I can cast Prime Video through my chromecast (80% of our TV watching is through the chromecast). We did get a fire stick but the interface is so clunky compared to using a phone we can't be bothered to use it.

I _probably_ won't drop Amazon Prime due to no chromecast support, but it does annoy the hell out of me

Ad 'urgently' seeks company to build national e-ID system

Drat

Re: Enrolling children

"Why would a child that is only a few weeks old need a passport?"

They generally don't like you taking babies/children out of a country if you can't prove you are the parent or guardian

Oxford profs tell Twitter, Facebook to take action against political bots

Drat

Re: Political Bots.

"Yep. Can't have Ordinary People diluting Murdoch's power now, can we?"

Totally agree that Murdoch et al have been playing us ordinary people, and it is good to see their power reduce. Sadly, this is about other powerful people/states/organisations at work, and as usual it is the ordinary people who get played once again.

Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

Drat

Jedi mind trick

"Let me turn my computer on. Whilst it is booting up I have a very special message for you from your god, who is extremely unhappy you have fallen in to a life of crime. You should go an tell the local police what has been happening, it is the only way of saving your soul..."

Facebook fake news: Sort it out yourself, readers

Drat

The rules people actually use..

This is the logic most people currently use

1) Does the news content conflict with your views? Then assume it is fake and produced by the global elite/revolutionary guard/evil puppets from the planet Zog

2) Does the news content support your views? Then assume it is the holy truth written by honest defenders of mankind who would help old ladies cross the road if they weren't too busy distributing blankets for small furry animals who have fallen on hard times

Royal Navy's newest ship formally named in Glasgow yard

Drat

How about..

.. taking a leaf from Ian M Banks and calling our warships something a bit more meaningful. Seeing as it comes from Glasgow how about "HMS Shut your geggie"?

New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

Drat

Fairy Cake

If you thought you were insignificant before, you are now 10x as insignificant. Better eat that piece of fairy cake before you get some perspective

Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface

Drat

Re: VR

Yes the phone VR experience is not the full experience you get from high end PC with dedicated headsets, but don't forget the lesson of VHS v BETAMAX, price and accessibility can sometimes trump performance.

Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest password was 'dadada'

Drat

Re: Must be...

Funny, I just assumed he was trying to dodge a rocket...

Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Chinese mega-phone biz Xiaomi

Drat

Continuing the present day microsoft strategy of forcing its software on people, rather than the strategy in the 90's and early 00's of writing good (not great) software that people really wanted.

Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

Drat

Two things I took from this:

1) Not many people are using (and paying for) music streaming services

2) The music industry + artists aren't earning much money from music streaming services

Well isn't the second point mainly caused by the first? Why would anyone expect to earn much from something that isn't been used much?

Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people

Drat

Re: Ever tried a rollercoaster?

Sounds like a success to me, real rollercoatsers also make people want to throw up!

Microsoft updates Band semi-smartwatch for fitness fanatics

Drat

Design

I have to admit I like the look of this, just a shame the functionality is a bit lacking. Make something like this running android wear and I would be very interested. I like the idea of instant information on a wrist mounted device, a band like this seem to look less bulky than a watch styled device.

Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

Drat

Re: Small, thick phone

The Moto E 2nd gen is close to that with a 4.5 screen and a 2390 mAh battery. Typically my battery drops to 50 to 40% by the end of the day (normal use for me is messaging, news, playing music to my BT headphones, selecting stuff for the chromecast, a bit of web browsing. NOT playing games however) Only downsides are just 1GB RAM (can be a bit sluggish switching apps), no Qi and a weak camera. Only cost £108 however, but would pay more to fix those three quibbles. Oh, I really want a USB-C port on my next phone too...

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

Drat

And quicker updates

Typically there is much much more of interest in the latest vanilla Android updates then there is in the device specific modified Androids. Therefore it is a much better consumer proposition to be able to offer faster updates to the latest Android version than it is to offer some unique feature. This is one reason I have preferred a Nexus to a Samsung. I hope in the future my device choice is widened (fingers crossed)

Taylor Swift dumps Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you

Drat

Consumer or supplier

From a successful artists point of view this makes sense, I am sure she can get more money in the short term from album sales, and later on she can always add the albums back to Spotify for future income.

From a consumer’s point of view, Spotify is much better value, a fixed fee gives you access to a huge range of music, whereas buying albums costs more for less listening choice, and has the big chance of buying an album you listen to once or twice and then it sits idle.

So whose point of view is the most important, the multi-millionaire supplier or the average consumer, which in this case is probably a school kid saving up their pocket money.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

Drat

I thought...

"But there’s no integer ratio between a pixel designed by the software developer and a pixel on your iPhone 6 Plus screen. That’s something the fragmented Android world has long tolerated, but it’s new to perfectionist Apple."

I thought android forced app developers to cater for all size/shape screens by changing the layout not by scaling anything? This was always seen as a major hurdle for programmers (have to consider multiple views), but the argument for is that all apps are rendered cripsly on any display?

The Apple solution seems clunky in comparison, seems Android got that one right IMO.

Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

Drat

Comparing apples and apples/pears

Why does the review compare the new iPhone to the previous iPhone when it is a feature that has been on android phones for ages or is in fact better on many android phones, and then compare the new iPhone to an Android phone when it is a new or better feature than found on the Android phone?

Either make this a phone review and compare to ALL existing phones out there, or make it explicitly an Apple upgrade review.

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Drat

One thing that android wear has that Apple watch doesn't is Google Now notifications. A lot of my phone checking involves flicking through these notifications; travel time to work/home, share prices, latest cricket scores etc. Being able to glance at a watch to flick through these gives me a nice level of convinience. Add to this notifications of emails/messages, walking navgation and music control (which I am sure Apple Watch does too) and I think it just about tips the smart watch from gimic to useful for me.

Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Drat

Re: That side-on picture of the phone looks just like...

That's because you obviously consider a wrist watch to be an item of jewellery for showing off with.

Sounds like a definition of an Apple product to me.

The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0

Drat

Photos photos

Why do most articles concentrate on the camera part of google glass? Surely the defining feature is the always available screen in front of your eyes? I would have thought the main use of google glass is seeing information all the time, message notifcations, directions, google now cards (stocks, football scores, travel times/alerts). Photo taking must be a small part of what you can do. In fact I wonder why there is not a version without the front facing camera, a lot of the privacy concerns would then go away.

I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

Drat

Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

I use tasker to disable my lock pattern when I am at home, find it really useful even if a bit lazy! So I think this is a great idea. Think I will stick to keeping my phone locked at work however.

Reg tries out Google's Chromecast: Yep, we even tested smut sites

Drat

Re: ...a solution...

The problem is browsing content efficiently on a TV to playback on a TV. The solution is browsing for the content on your phone to playback on the TV.

Have had a Chromecast for a couple of months, I love it for playing Netflix, play music, Plex and you tube, and now iPlayer. And my wife finds it easy to use too which is a huge plus.

REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

Drat

Re: Message to mobile operators

The power of the Apple brand is too strong, any operator who refused to sign the contract and so could not stock the the latest iPhone would surely loose many iPhone loving customers.

Google decides Chromecast TV-stick apps are a whole NEW THING

Drat

7 Apps in USA

The USA has Hulu+, NBA Go and Pandora radio for Chromecast. I know that doesn't help us here in the UK but at least that is a sign that more apps are getting Chromcast support.

I personally think Google has got it just about right with Chromecast. "On TV" browsing for content is fine if done right and with small/medium libraries but when you try and do it with large selections (Netflix for example) they become clunky pretty fast. Streaming from a phone/tablet to a TV works OK but you might not get the best quality and the phone is tied up generating the video. So Chromecast uses the best browsing device (your phone) and the best playing device (your TV), for me it works great with the current Apps. What we do need is wider support else it will flop. Give me support in iPlayer, 4OD, Demand 5, Plex and then something that can stream local media (videos, photos etc) and I will be happy, give me TVCatchup, XBMC, Blinkbox etc and I will be very happy.

Chromecast: We get our SWEATY PAWS on Google's tiny telly pipe

Drat

Browsing for content

One of the big problems with current smart TVs, streaming boxes etc is that it is a generally a pain to browse for content, you have to page down though many screens etc. It is much easier finding content on a smartphone or tablet (eaily flicking pages with your finger) and then bam you play it on your TV. I think it is more about the great browsing ability of a phone/ tablet with a great watching experience of a TV. Plus you can browse for something else whilst still watching what you have currently playing (we all have moments when our atention span is limited! What was I saying again?)

Google, Amazon, Starbucks are 'immoral' and 'ridiculous' over UK tax

Drat

If this raises awareness then that is a good thing. When I go for a coffee I can chose to buy from a company that will syphon more of my money out of the country thus making the UK poorer (Starbucks), or I can buy from a company that will keep more of my money in the UK (Nero, Costa etc.). If enough people did this then that would hurt those companies making in what is my view an immoral choice, and it might force them to start behaving in a more moral manner.

Brand image is important. If their bean counters save a few pounds but damage the brand and thus their sales they will change their ways.

XBMC coders acquire TVonics brand

Drat
Happy

Good news!

I still have an old TVonics SD PVR, I love the simple interface. I also have an old xbox running XBMC which I also love. If these two products could be combined I would be very happy. Simplicity wins, as would not having to switch between multiple devices.

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020