* Posts by kierenmccarthy

194 posts • joined 20 May 2010

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Tech won't save you from lockdown disaster: How to manage family and free time while working from home

kierenmccarthy

Re: No advice on "solo happy time"?

There was a section on pornography in this article but the editors took it out :)

Brexit Britain changes its mind, says non, nein, no to Europe's unified patent court – potentially sealing its fate

kierenmccarthy

Re: Benoit Battistelli

So, yes, Battistelli finally left when his term was up - but not before making sure the EPO's annual inventor awards was held in his home town just outside Paris.

The guy who's taken over is under fire for not fixing things and keeping many of the same management. EPO staff morale is low but at least they aren't under active attack anymore. Several people targeted by Battistelli are *still* in legal limbo.

There was this update in a story from January that you may have missed...

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/16/single_european_patent/

"Key among them is the European Patent Office (EPO) which under its former president Benoit Battistelli became more of a fiefdom than an international organization. Battistelli single-handedly undermined the independence of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal entirely out of service to his own ego. One of the four key arguments in the constitutional complaint against the UPC, which is the EPO’s flagship policy, is that it lacks sufficient autonomy.

Many had hoped that after Battistelli finally left his successor would fix the problems and get the EPO back on track but António Campinos has failed to carry out several obvious fixes, including getting rid of disliked managers, and yielding some of the power that Battistelli clawed out for himself back to its Administrative Council, staff, and Boards of Appeal.

The EPO has instead maintained its focus on getting more patents approved, faster – seemingly in an effort to compete head on with the Japanese and American patent systems. It has also failed to tackle its cultural and organizational problems. If the patent industry had taken the UPC constitutional complaint more seriously and pushed for reform, it could well have produced sufficient momentum to drive real change. But no.

“The EPO is in tatters,” we were told by Christian Liedtke, a German patent lawyer who lives and work in the US and with whom we had an extensive conversation about the UPC complaint. “The Boards of Appeal is ashamed of what’s going on,” he stated. He agrees that the EPO is still suffering from the same legitimacy questions that Stjerna put in his complaint."

In short - it's not got better but it's not got worse.

UN didn't patch SharePoint, got mega-hacked, covered it up, kept most staff in the dark, finally forced to admit it

kierenmccarthy

Re: GDPR breach

The UN has complete immunity. Special case.

123-Reg is at it again: Registrar charges chap for domains he didn’t order – and didn't want

kierenmccarthy

Re: Repetitive much?

It is a little repetitious but unfortunately that was necessary because of 123-Reg’s responses.

It has repeatedly drawn a distinction between customers being told they will be charged and them actually being charged. And it continues to rely on that distinction to explain its actions.

As such, we felt obliged to point out that under every scenario that 123-Reg has outlined, it is still (wrongly) taking money.

It doesn’t make for as snappy copy but it does make it plain what’s going on.

Kieren

Dropbox CEO: I will make your worklife a calmer experience

kierenmccarthy

Re: Slightly ironic

I was thinking about Silicon Valley tech types

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)

kierenmccarthy

Re: To be perfectly blunt...Tough S***

Dick

kierenmccarthy

Re: I think the REAL crime here is...

Entirely correct

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: On a side note...

Several reasons:

* 1Password can be used across multiple platforms and devices

* It works really well and I'm used to it

* I don't like putting all my eggs in one basket

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: Surprise! Surprise!

Hadn't been there for a few weeks.

I would like to see the security footage to figure out how long the guy spent in the coffee shop and whether he focused on me or just made a snap decision. I'm willing to bet he has done this a few times before - it was decisive.

kierenmccarthy

Re: Sad about the Theft

There are all sorts of reasons why I use an Apple computer. As it happens in this case I wrote a whole article about it: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/18/why_i_bought_macbook_air_instead_of_new_pro/

Since I'm a tech journalist I have a pretty good understanding of pretty much everything on the market. I think my favorite ever computer was still my (now very old) ThinkPad.

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: Coffee shops?

Tbh It doesn't sound like you are all that interested in understanding why people work from coffee shops.

But it does seem that you are annoyed that you don't understand - as indicated by the negative assumptions you place on it.

I think you'll be a whole lot happier in general if you learn how to ask people things with an open mind and then later and in private apply their responses to your assumptions.

All the best

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: Cowards?

I thought that was pretty clear given the context and the words on the page immediately before the comment.

No one did anything (save the two guys) and people avoided communicating with me, even avoided eye contact after the event when I was talking to the security guy and the cops on the phone. That's just cowardly behavior and it's disconcerting to feel somehow shunned when you've just been robbed.

The human response would be to acknowledge someone's distress, rather than actively ignore it.

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: Serves you right for being a hipster

So, Apple stopped putting Kensington lock slots in its smaller laptops - I think it still has it in its Pros. I think this is a terrible decision on Apple's part.

Have researched decent locks for the Air. Short version: USB locks are not good. Just not designed for this sort of thing (but, of course, they could be if Apple thought about it...)

Best lightweight solution is something that uses the machine's screws to hold a lock point onto the chassis. Not perfect but probably enough to prevent the kind of theft I experienced. Next step up is larger stuff that you glue onto your laptop - this often go at the back and raises the laptop up a little.

Most solid is a larger piece of kit that you either slide the laptop into or slide onto the laptop when it's open. And then lock into them. Greater security but not good if you want to be portable - more useful for a desk you keep returning too rather than a coffee shop solution.

Thanks for your response

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: That's horrible.

There's a lot of commentard nonsense in these responses.

But in case anyone wants to know why I had a MacBook Air, the answer is extensively outlined in a story I wrote back in 2016: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/18/why_i_bought_macbook_air_instead_of_new_pro/

And, yes, Apple should put Kensington lock points in all its laptops. I don't know why it stopped.

Kieren

The pro-privacy Browser Act has re-appeared in US Congress. But why does everyone except right-wing trolls hate it?

kierenmccarthy

Re: 2 percent facts, 98 percent ad hominem attacks

The other five per cent?

Gags, of course!

kierenmccarthy

Re: 2 percent facts, 98 percent ad hominem attacks

I love that you imagine pointing out that I'm writing an article in San Francisco achieves anything other than undercutting whatever point you make next. Whatever you assume "San Francisco" means - some hodgepodge of stereotypes, no doubt - I'm not it, I'm afraid.

Anyway to your point: "More of an editorial opinion piece than proper reporting."

1. It says Comment right up the top

2. So I take it your were aware of the Browser Act, and who has authored it, and their creation of a tech task force, and when that task force was announced, and the details of Blackburn's previous legislative stances on this issue, and the fact that the ANA and NetChoice opposes the Browser Act, and the criticism of it laid down by Feld and Eshoo, and the California privacy law and the impact of the Browser Act on it?

Because if you weren't, then you'll be surprised to discover that information came to you by means of reporting. And if you were - then why the hell do you read the article in the first place?

In summary: you're a twat.

kierenmccarthy

Re: 2 percent facts, 98 percent ad hominem attacks

Well, the point of the story was to dig into why this apparently good and clear legislation was not being backed. Despite containing language that would appear to fit in with the current, largely bipartisan, political agreement.

The bill will most likely go nowhere and we don't write stories about every bill that's proposed, so the "angle" was to understand what was going on in this case and why. Besides when an article says "Comment" up top it's a fair bet it will contain some commentary.

So in answer to your question: no, and get over yourself.

kierenmccarthy

Re: 2 percent facts, 98 percent ad hominem attacks

Fake news!

It was more like 60 per cent facts, 15 per cent analysis, 10 per cent commentary, and 10 per cent ad hominem attacks.

Chinese government has got it 'spot on' when it comes to face-recog tech says, er, London's Met cops' top rep

kierenmccarthy

Re: China's not England

So pretty much what the report's authors said:

* This can be easily abused

* We saw it in use by the Met itself and believe that they were abusing it too

* We think this shouldn't happen until there are rules

* Those rules should come from a broad public discussion

Done and done.

And then the Met's guy pops up and says: you know who's doing this right? The Chinese government.

Hence the story.

Not very bright: Apple geniuses spend two weeks, $10,000 of repairs on a MacBook Pro fault caused by one dumb bug

kierenmccarthy

Re: BS

Unless of course they didn't actually swap the logic board out.... dun dun dun...

The FCC has finally, finally approved a half-decent plan to destroy the robocall scourge... but there's a catch

kierenmccarthy

Re: That's fine, let them charge

That's right - unless you actively opt-out of the new robocall service you will likely pay an additional service fee.

And even if you do opt out, you will likely get the fee tacked on anyway because an estimated 95 per cent of customers will have the service.

Now, you could opt-out, try to figure out if you are being charged (see if that Regulatory Charge goes up one month) - sue your mobile operator to get the info - which will take you a year and $$$ - and then argue you should be reimbursed the $25 you were over-charged. If you're lucky your attorney fees will be covered too.

Or, you could try to get a lawyer to take it on as a class action lawsuit. Which, if they did, and if you won, would likely see you receive a few hundred dollars and the lawyers a few million each.

Or - better - get annoyed about it and tell the FCC and consumer associations that you shouldn't have to be pay for a functional service, and then hope that one of the mobile operators sees an opportunity to steal customers and offers not to charge for the robocall "service."

They all sounds like miserable options so you'll just pay the $1 a month fee. And the mobile companies know it.

Jeff Bezos finally gets .Amazon after DNS overlord ICANN runs out of excuses to delay decision any further

kierenmccarthy

Re: A better solution:

You have stayed true to your username I see

kierenmccarthy

Re: The pens are made by Montblanc, not Mont Blanc

Fair enough

kierenmccarthy

It's logical because it follows the rules.

Those rules were developed over years and included everyone from the governments to business to civil society etc etc.

Plus, as the article points out, the whole reason this turned around was because neither the governments nor ICANN gave an actual reason for why it should be stopped apart from "we've decided we don't like it."

The question is: do you want the internet run according to rules agreed by everyone, or do you want some powerful people to decide what happens whenever they want because that's what they want?

Kieren

kierenmccarthy

Re: .amazon, .apple, .google

They already have.

https://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/apple.html

https://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/google.html

They exist right now on the internet.

http://nic.apple

http://nic.google

Feds nab top exec on allegations he hacked a competitor, stole info… about school lunches?!

kierenmccarthy

Rather good?

Mine wasn't, it was awful.

Not only did you have to queue up for ages, not only were the people that served you extremely grumpy but the food was frequently inedible.

People that I went to school with still marvel at the "roast potatoes" that were so hard that you literally could not cut into them half the time. It was like opening a clamshell for the small pearl of edible potato in the middle.

It was so bad that I forewent warm meals during winter in order to have a cold packed lunch. At least I got half my lunchtime back and wasn't hungry at the end of it.

Bloke faces up to 20 years in the clink after gun held to dot-com owner's head in robbery

kierenmccarthy

Re: All this talk of domains ...

Short version: it is still in ICANN world - and the US government is getting impatient.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/08/ntia_icann_whois_hurry_up/

kierenmccarthy

Re: Didn't do it the right way!

Yes, I literally wrote the book on it.

https://www.amazon.com/Sex-com-Domain-Twelve-Brutal-Internets/dp/1905204663/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=sex.com&qid=1555970051&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I've had it with these mother-fscking slaps on this mother-fscking plane: Flight fight sparks legal brouhaha over mid-air co-ords

kierenmccarthy

Re: Here have a can of worms...

Please don't get sucked into the right-wing wormhole.

All Appeals Courts are equally adept and staffed with very smart people who deal with complex issues. Sometimes a general bias creeps in mostly because of the cases the judges see (the Ninth Circuit deals with the majority of big tech cases for example because of the concentration of tech in California) - but often that is instructive.

There is a system for resolving differences across circuits. And systems for deciding which cases go where (which partisans have started trying to game, unfortunately).

It is the best imperfect system we have. But there is no bad egg court. And it is not a party political thing.

All that said, I have no idea why the majority went this direction in this case.

Finally, after years of dunking on Magic Leap, El Reg's Kieren tries out the techno hype goggles. And the verdict...

kierenmccarthy

Re: CAD

Good question.

So I didn't explain it well enough, but you should be able to position your virtual model in space.

Which means you can physically stand in the place where a new design will be and "see it" in place.

So if a brand new building, you can see it in situ; if a redesign, you are see the new design in a space you are familiar with; if a piece of furniture, you can see it in the room (something that retail companies are increasingly offering with smartphones).

This does provide a much more satisfying and real feeling than a pure VR view - which always feels a little like a computer simulation.

Hope that helps

Kieren

We fought through the crowds to try Oculus's new VR goggles so you don't have to bother (and frankly, you shouldn't)

kierenmccarthy

Re: Perhaps I'm being naive...

Yes, I agree with you (and psychologists). That's why the eye-tracking is so important - it does make everything seem more real and intuitive.

I also went and spoke to the people leading this field - Tobii - at GDC. They were very tight-lipped, wouldn't say who they were working with, or not working with. And this year their big push is for developers - they want people to think about what they can do with eye-tracking within games so there are some good games that show it off when the new Vive Pro comes out.

Plus, of course, good games with eye tracking will push other headset manufacturers to want to include their tech...

kierenmccarthy

Re: Missing the point

This is a weird one. You are angrily complaining about a different article to the one you've replied to.

Inside-out tracking is better. For the reasons put in the article. Your counter-argument appears to be: well, you can't pull arrows from a quiver on your back. Which sounds like a pretty poor argument when placed against: well, you have to buy and install multiple sensors permanently in the room you want to play games.

You do need a decent PC for it to work, in addition to the actual product itself. And that is expensive. Plus, minimum specs are minimum specs. You can try to make it work but good luck. Again, your argument appears to be "well it's not *that* expensive." But you're wrong because it basically doubles the cost of getting the system up and running unless you already have a PC.

The article doesn't say, as you claim, that with a few tweaks that "suddenly the floodgates would open." You are making strawman arguments. And what you put forward as your criticism - headsets being monitors close to your eyes - is literally in the article.

And... no, what's the point? Go be your wrong self someplace else.

Facebook blames 'server config change' for 14-hour outage. Someone run that through the universal liar translator

kierenmccarthy

Re: Took your time over this

Seems unlikely given that the explanation was only provided an hour or so before the story went up.

Or do you mean the outage itself - an issue that we wrote about yesterday and is currently the Most Read story. Have a look on the right. Over here --->

Still, thanks for your inaccurate feedback.

Decoding the President, because someone has to: Did Trump just blow up concerted US effort to ban Chinese 5G kit?

kierenmccarthy

Context

Which is why the article goes to some lengths to explain the context and the timing.

Qualcomm has perfect 20-20 vision: Chip sales down 20%, shipments down 20%, licensing down 20%...

kierenmccarthy

great story

Good job on this

Do you feel 'lucky', well, do you, punk? Google faces down magic button patent claim

kierenmccarthy

Re: Yiddish?

Excellent, flawless point.

kierenmccarthy

Re: Yiddish?

Sorry. Silly error on my part. Should have written Hebrew.

Point was to explain why this company had come up with such a system.

Kieren

Supreme Court tells Big Cable to shut up for once: Net neutrality challenge shot down

kierenmccarthy

Re: "and the more recent 2018 rules"

Yes but came into effect in 2018 - after some additional nonsense. Happy to be persuaded otherwise but it seems to make more sense to call them 2018 rules.

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

kierenmccarthy

Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

Apple

Africa's internet body hit with sexual harassment cover-up claims

kierenmccarthy

Re: Disclosure of interest

Sure. None whatsoever.

Kieren

Did the FBI engineer its iPhone encryption court showdown with Apple to force a precedent? Yes and no, say DoJ auditors

kierenmccarthy

Re: FBI had paid approximately $1m for the crack

Maybe.

That could have been a single payment for them to carry out a specific job - like flying to DC and demonstrating the hack.

It could have been a fee for preparing the paperwork for the court.

It could have been the fee for that single instance of Farook's phone.

$15,000 for hacking an operating system that even someone like the FBI can't get into is ridiculously low.

Kieren

Nest reveals the first truly connected home

kierenmccarthy

Re: Money for old rope...

Send me a product I can review and I'll be delighted to let readers know about it.

April Fool: FCC finally bothers with Puerto Rico as chairman visits

kierenmccarthy

Re: Article is ridiculous

It would be ridiculous if the ACTUAL DATA didn't prove it to be true.

It's not even close to being a coincidence. And it happened no less than three times.

We can debate about why more frequent reporting resulted in faster recovery - my pet theory is that there are some very good folks at the FCC who use data to provide pressure - but not that it didn't happen. It did.

kierenmccarthy

Re: not that 4.3%

Yes - that's correct.

This is recovering to where they were before the storm.

Also bear in mind this is SIX MONTHS after the storm. Texas, Florida etc was back up to 100 per cent within a few weeks.

I'll be clearer if I write another story about this.

Kieren

FBI slams secret Nunes memo alleging Feds spied on Team Trump for political reasons

kierenmccarthy

Re: Not paying $5.99 for fast access to TheReg....everything as normal?!?!?!

There is a debate to be had about the extraordinary spying powers afforded the intelligence services.

Unfortunately the exact same people pushing this memo are the same ones that actively prevented that debate from happening. This month in fact.

kierenmccarthy

Re: Those Of Us Who Have Them

Good point.

I've never understood why we have people whose job it is to go find out information and then relay it to others. Especially since we all have infinite time and endless curiosity.

Now I must go: I need to send a message to a friend on the other side of the country and it's a hell of a drive.

kierenmccarthy

Re: Why I quit reading your article

So after the FBI publicly condemns a memo outlining top-secret surveillance of a suspected foreign agent - a memo that targets the man overseeing an investigation into foreign interference in a presidential election, and a man that White House has been pressuring to step down - your response is: But the Clintons?!

Isn't that the equivalent of blaming Julian Assange's Swedish accusers for the NSA's mass surveillance as revealed by Snowden? i.e. ludicrous

FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds

kierenmccarthy

Yes and no

It's a balance of course. The regulator has formal authority to force companies to act - or at least punish them for failing to act - and uses that push the issue.

It's never perfect but it broadly works. Except when the regulator gives up any pretence of applying pressure and defers to industry on every point. Then you end up with what we have now: slow, over priced internet access and an effective oligopoly.

Big Cable is making vast profits and failing to keep up with the rest of the world because all it sees is dollar signs. At that point, the regulator needs to step up.

Kieren

Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders

kierenmccarthy

Re: Distance

You're right of course.

This isn't a black and white issue (what is?) and the issue of getting people in rural areas online is affecting every country for exactly the reasons you outline.

In a lot of countries, the government has decided that a federal/national program paid for by the government is the best solution (and there has been a wide range of stories from success to failure - just ask Australia about its NGN program).

In the US, the pendulum falls, inevitably, toward private companies doing the digging and owning the lines. And that has created an uneasy situation because Big Cable simply hasn't bothered to expand networks to anywhere where it can't make a healthy profit.

The dark side to this - as someone has pointed out above - is that those same companies have gone to enormous lengths to block efforts by others to build out networks where they have failed or refused to do so.

And, as this article points out in some length, the other big problem is that the federal government is effectively doing what Big Cable wants rather than using its power to pressure it to look past short-term profits and look toward long-term national interests.

In short, it is a failing of federal government to do its job properly.

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

kierenmccarthy

Or, alternatively...

It could be that the response was poor. And continues to be poor.

Only one of us sees everything through partisan glasses (hint: it's you.)

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