* Posts by Dom

62 publicly visible posts • joined 25 May 2007


Edifier Luna 2 desktop speaker set



Genelec's 6010As may not be a direct competitor but they are designed for use with a laptop and satisfyingly expensive at 165 quid or so - each. And another 330 quid or so for the matching sub-woofer.

Mystery chip found inside talking iPod Shuffle's earphones


Well, yeah...

Photos on the Scosche story show five connectors on the minijack. That'll be three for the audio, and assuming you don't want to mix your digital and analogue grounds, a single serial pair for the control signals. So you've pretty much *got* to have some sort of microcontroller there to encode the three buttons - or at any rate it's no surprise, for those about to point at all sorts of whacky analogue multiplexing schemes.

Nature security breach prompts password reset


The real risk.

Depends on whether the password hashes were salted or not. If we assume for a moment that this is the result of an SQL injection attack then it's likely that the attackers have the user's email and a hashed password. If the hashes were not salted then a good number of them will be retrievable in a short space of time using rainbow tables. As the article says, with this info the attackers will then be in a position to log in to more valuable accounts elsewhere, such as paypal, which also asks for email address + password.

HP UK pulls Linux from all new netbooks


Left-handed etc.

On Ubuntu, System->Preferences->Mouse->left-handed mouse.

My own theory on the early netbooks is that as well as wanting to keep costs down, the devices didn't actually count as PCs and that therefore they were actually *allowed* to sell a Windows-less computer. http://www.birdhouse.org/beos/byte/30-bootloader/ explains more about the relationship between MS and the hardware vendors. The article also makes the point that hardly anybody ever actually buys Windows: they buy a computer, and Windows is what comes with it. And only Windows.

Right, I'm off to install BeOS on an old Thinkpad...

Google mistakes entire web for malware


Re: No "OK" button

If you don't know how to manually change the URL or use another search engine, then you don't know enough to be allowed to take your browser somewhere dangerous.

First 'fully accurate' totally voice-controlled phone unveiled



My bet is that this is the first and last we'll hear of this. The Beeb can't show it working because it doesn't.

Unravelling PC form factors


Docking stations

No mention of docking stations that I can see. My laptop's got a 22 inch screen and a full width IBM Model M keyboard... when it's "at home". On the road, it's a 12 inch screen.

Forget Google rationing: Only lighting farts can save the planet


Single cup?

The Beeb's write-up has it as " a cup of tea" so 54 seconds sounds ample if you are only boiling up a small quantity.

Honeywell's Kitchen Computer remembered


Laugh all you want

I'm quite sure the Kitchen Computer met its sales target and provided useful PR.

Retro piracy - Should the Royal Navy kick arse?


12 mile limit.

So if the Navy - any Navy - pursues a pirate into Somalia's territorial waters, who is going to complain? There is no Somali government, as the Beeb reminds us every time it runs a Somali-related story. That is, of course, ignoring Somaliland and Puntland.

Microsoft unveils 'lightweight' Office for Web


Works with FF and Safari?

Yet another sign that MS has jumped the shark. They didn't get where they are today by ensuring compatibility with third-party software if there was an MS product in that niche. Hell, they went out of their way to *break* third-party products and it worked very well for them (apart from a few minor legal quibbles).

Thrust SSC team to build 1000 mph 'Bloodhound' car


Everybody forgotten Breedlove?

All this nonsense about nobody else bothering is, err, nonsense. In 96 and 97 (the ThrustSSC year, you might say) Craig Breedlove was busy tearing up the Black Rock Desert at more than 650 miles an hour.

French police probe Sarkozy bank fraud


Dumb money mules?

How would a money mule realise that the transfer into their account came from *that* Sarkozy, not some other Sarkozy (and that's assuming that French bank statements

give that much info).

Microsoft's 'ordinary Joe' promises Windows 7 bliss


English as spoke at Microsoft

'Larry is one of the most “experienced” developers' - well, is he or isn't he?

Blackswift hypersonic plane cancelled


Supercruise considered impossible?

Not for a long time; first achieved in the fifties, it was an essential part of Concorde's design - and that was a sixties design.

Chrysler intros electric trio



Not so fast, are they? Metres per hour is an odd way of expressing things, too.

HP clocks up 24-hour laptop battery life



It's LED backlighting:


Ubuntu zoo preps for new arrival


Something beginning with K, of course.

Kunning Kudu?

Open Wi-Fi network wraps Mumbai man in bomb blast probe

Thumb Down

WTF does that mean?

"The email address that sent the message was created 10 minutes before it was sent."

Dell's Ubuntu love-in expands to new laptops


Vista home - thirty quid extra.

I know the comments section is meant to be a fact-free zone, but I've done the legwork and so I thought I'd post the results here. An Inspiron 1525 of the same specification (except a 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini-Card (Linux) instead of a 1490 802.11a/b/g Mini-Card (Windows)) reveals that Vista costs 30 quid more.

UK most popular destination for 419 scams


C'mon El Reg!

This is marketing fluff disguised as "research". "Unprotected" web browsing (I assume that's what they mean by "surfing") does not of itself lead to your inbox filling up with spam.

Uncontacted rainforest tribe caught from the air


Papua New Guinea

There's no need to speculate - just look at Papua New Guinea. Three years ago I was in an area where "contact" had still not been made in the 40s. I met a man whose grandfather was alive at the time. When they saw planes flying overhead during WW2 they thought they were birds (what else could they be?). What happens after "contact" is well-documented.

DVLA, Tiscali, Barclays rake in phoneline cash


@Mark Manderson

What was the (first part of) the number? With NTL the most expensive international calls are 95p / minute (that's mobiles in Africa, etc.) The most expensive premium rate 09xx is 150p / minute. The most expensive possible call is to one of the Inmarsat regions, at 592p / minute. These numbers begin 0087xx, which just happens to be one digit different from a valid UK number...what a mess.

Brennan JB7 Micro Jukebox



Well, the review suggests that the DAC is quite good; and it says the deck "doesn't excel as a playback device, so users are much better getting the tracks off the CDs and onto the HDD", which to me implies that it somehow sounds better if the digits are read off disk rather than CD.

And what exactly does an audiophile transport do to the bits? My bog-standard USB-connected CD-burner is capable of writing about 6 billion bits to disc without error, and then reading them all back without error.


Spare us the hifi mag bollocks.

I assume someone on the Reg staff will be able to explain in what ways the data differs if it's transferred to hard drive first rather than being read off disc as it's played.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS20 compact camera



Wider than average wide-angle lenses have been a feature of the Panasonic / Leica cameras for some time: to me it's the killer feature, as most compacts only go down to about 35mm equivalent and a 28 (or 30 in this case) makes it so much easier for indoor group shots and outdoor scenery shots - which is what a lot of people use their cameras for a lot of the time.

How to destroy 60 hard drives an hour


Shred 'em.

That's what this lot do:


Nigerian duped gullible NASA employee


Fire the sysadmins' manager, don't blame the user.

As long as the users are human, they will click on attachments, follow links, and do anything else that might satisfy their curiosity - however much they're told not to. It's the sysadmins job to make sure that no damage results; it's the sysadmins' manager's job to make sure that they are getting this done.

Will EV SSL stop phishing attacks? Probably not


Only 70%?

I'd be very surprised if it's only 70% that don't know what a green browser bar is. Fact is, the vast majority of users don't care who issued the certificate or whether it's valid; any warning dialogs will go unread and made to go away as quickly as possible. We're all doomed, I tell you.

(oo-err: "70%?" on its own isn't recognised as a valid title; bug or feature?)

Confidential Home Office data turns up in laptop on eBay



Has anybody seen a laptop made in the last ten years or so where it's actually possible to squeeze anything at all in to the case / under the keyboard?

Unless it's a Toughbook, in which case the disc wasn't hidden, it was just sitting in the drive.

Please don't leave me... bitch



How about some screenshots rather than / as well as inaccessible URLs, for those of us who stood firm against the lemming tide?

Blighty might have astronauts in future, says UK gov


The established route

The established route into space for Britons is this:

1. get a pilot's licence

2. get a PhD in science or engineering

3. move to the US

4. acquire US or dual citizenship

5. apply to NASA.

Has worked so far for Michael Foale, Piers Sellers and Nicholas Patrick.

US may shoot down spy sat to safeguard tech secrets


Point of impact

"the fact they are apparently being seriously considered strongly suggests the rogue sat is on course to come down somewhere unfortunate" - nobody's got a scoobie where it's going to come down. Nobody.

Satellite sea launch successful


@Peter Leech

No, they're not all as close to the equator as possible. Plesetsk for example is at 62.8 N, which is actually an advantage for many desirable orbits, as noted here :


although it's not a very recent webpage.

Mass web infection leaves researcher scratching her head


Re: impossible

It was Dan Goodin that made the "impossible" remark. And it very much implied that it was difficult to get at the javascript because it kept changing its name.

However I've just found some more intriguing behaviour; on the second wget to the same site (having picked another one at random) the .htm file doesn't contain the link to the .js file. Followed those two with a wget to get the .js, but found that a second wget to fetch the .js got 404'd.

I assume from this that it's keeping track of IP addresses and making sure that only one copy of the .js gets delivered per machine.



And yet more polydoofism

So now I've got two copies of the .js; they differ in one line:

< var arg="qgenahfr";


> var arg="dqwejbdj";

arg is appended in the script to the hostname thus:


and again it's a one-shot download - the second GET is a 404.

The download appears to be a Windows binary - I ran "strings" on it and it's full of this sort of thing:







It's trivial to download the javascript file using wget.

Facebook checks for Cambridge applicants



And again, in English this time please?

Clarkson's 'steal my ID' stunt backfires


It was done online.

You can see for yourself at diabetes.org.uk. Clarkson is still *largely* correct - there's no way to *permanently* deprive him of his money, as you can only set up DDs to carefully vetted organisations who promise to return the money immediately in case of a dispute.

It's still gob-smacking, though, that it is possible to do this to someone else's account.

Sadly most of the reporting that I can see is terribly inaccurate and will only continue to make people think that there's something terribly dangerous about revealing your account number.

Dell spills its Guts over Ubuntu gear



"The biggest gripe we hear about Dell's Ubuntu program is that the company will only offer the OS on relatively crap hardware."

Really? IME people are usually whingeing about the pricing. To whit: every time I check the Dell site I find that the same spec computer with Windows on it is cheaper or that there's a special offer Windows box with a much better spec for only a few quid more.

NASA pondering electro-hypersonic jet boosters


Nuclear warheads?

What's this about putting nuclear warheads in orbit? Sheesh, let's have some accurate reporting, eh? There is a limited history of weapons in space - the Soviets put some on the Almaz military stations. And the Soyuz capsule is always equipped with a triple-barreled "survival gun".

@Androski - if you're not going fast enough to miss the ground as you get pulled back down to earth, you're not in orbit. It's very simple.

123-Reg takes weekend off


Single point of failure?

Doing a traceroute to the two muppet-reg^W 123-reg nameservers appears to show both of them sitting behind the same router. Can it be possible?

Tesco slaps cutlery ban on under-18s



The law says "has a blade or is sharply pointed **AND** which is made or adapted for causing injury to the person".

And yes there is harm in taking the precaution. It's another erosion of our liberties. It's another example of a retail chain deciding on who it's going to sell stuff to.

Synergy gone mad - travel agents to enrol for £100 ID card?


Let's not forget

It's not an ID card scheme, it's a national database.

Confused BBC tech chief: Only 600 Linux users visit our website



Consumers don't *choose* Windows, FFS. Consumers don't have a choice.

Demon satnav imprisons plucky trucky in pasty hell


Because on Fridays

they file all their stories from the Saloon Bar of The Pen & Ink.

Singapore Airlines bans A380 rumpy-pumpy


Only 2 doubles, actually.

As a plane nerd, I can tell you that there are 12 *single* suites on the SA A380s, four on each side and four in the middle. The pairs in the middle can have the dividing partition removed to form a double. So there's only two double "cabins" on board.

Royal Navy presses IT Crowd for nuclear missile 'servers'


UK control.

Warheads are designed and built in the UK. Missiles are leased from the Yanks. The official line is that the independent deterrent is just that. And the whole point of sub-based nukes is to be able to fry the enemy *after* your entire land-based comms structure has been wiped out.

Watson suspended by research lab after race row


Building the pyramids,


'Fiendish' Trojan pickpockets eBay users


Proxy server vs Hosts file.

Why go to all that hassle when you can add an entry to the hosts file and make www.ebay.com go wherever you like?

This story reminds me of another recent Reg story about a phishing attack where the screenshot showed the correct URL in the address bar - are they related?

And finally - even with Norton being the crap that it is, the user must have ignored a load of warnings in order to run an executable that they'd been sent in email, no?