* Posts by RustyNailed

30 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jun 2010

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris



" I would love it if I could set the keyboard layout independently i.e. without having all the Microsoft apps changing language."

Not entirely sure what you mean here - in my experience Windows allows you (and has for many years) to have multiple keyboard layouts for whatever languages you have installed, separate from the Display language. For any given installed language, you can pick a default keyboard layout and also switch between which ever ones you have configured for that language on the fly.

I used to have a similar setup, only in my case the laptop keyboard was German QWERTZ and my external wireless was UK QWERTY, and the system was installed in English. I was easily able to switch to the German layout when I was travelling using the language picker in the system tray, without affecting any display/app language.

Additionally, most of the MS apps have application specific language options. I had to find these earlier this year when I was switching my new (corporate German install image) laptop to use English as a display language, albeit with a German keyboard....

The only annoying thing for me right now is that the proofing tools don't detect what language I'm writing in, they just use whatever I had it set to last.

Bookings open for first all-electric flights around Scandinavia … in 2028


Re: Got to start somewhere...

From the back end of 2008 and through to the end of 2012 I regularly flew Heathrow <-> Berlin (once or twice a month usually). When I first started I could get flights for between £100 and 150 return, depending on operator & time of day. The airlines, were as I recall, a mix of BA, Lufthansa, BMI (then independent) and Norwegian (while they still did that route).

As time went on it crept up to between £150 and £200, and by the end it was approaching £250 to £300 with fewer airline choices....

Just for context.

Apple gives up legal war on iPhone CPU wizard who co-founded Nuvia


Re: If I was him...

When I worked for a large multinational in the UK, my contract explicitly stated that they got first dibs on anything that I created while employed, regardless of whether that was during work time or my own time. I could not even contribute to open source projects in my free time without that being reviewed and approved by management first.

The merits can be debated, and regardless, it's a fairly standard contract clause as I understand it.

When I started at my previous (German) employer, there was a similar clause, although not quite so restrictive, covering certain out of hours activities that might intersect with work concerns. I requested, and got, a specific change to that clause so that I could "freelance" outside of company time as long as it was not in sectors my employer was active in.

I did the same with my new employer....


Firmware is on shaky ground – let's see what it's made of


Re: Firmware in my MONITOR

The challenge, and this is especially tough with printers I've discovered, is finding the brand whose particular rubbish you can tolerate the most, because invariably they all suffer from some form of crapness. Of course, the specific type of rubbish is only apparent after you've bought the damn thing, despite doing exhaustive review hunts and investigation. There is always something that surprises you.

For me, I still have to wonder why the two Dell monitors on my home PC randomly just stop being active until I physically remove power from them for a bit. The Dell port replicator I had on my old work laptop needed something similar, but not just the power removing, but for some strange reason every single connector plugged in the back.

My HP wireless printer would go to sleep and not wake up unless you turned it off and on again, and despite being only a few years old will not be updated to WPA3.....

It's all a bit rubbish really.

CES Worst in Show slams gummi gouging, money-wasting mugs, and other dubious kit


Re: A gummy printer?

Yeah, I get odd looks when I take the dog for a walk in my Gummistiefel too.

That said, it's nothing compared to the looks I got when I lived in the UK and used rubber bands for securing things, or asked for something to remove pencil marks from paper.....

Mouse hiding in cable tray cheesed off its bemused user


Logitech K800 - of which I have two, and they are lovely keyboards. Shame about the G915 I got a couple of years ago :(

Anyway, long story short, the second of these was bought from Amazon Germany but with a UK keyboard layout. I suspect it had been in the warehouse a while as when it arrived the batteries were dead. There seemed to be a little screw cover (no seal or anything) covering a compartment, so I unscrewed it and found 2 AA rechargeable batteries from a well known decent brand.

I raised a ticket with Logitech asking if they could send a couple of new batteries to replace the old non-functional ones, and was told that they were "not user replaceable" and I should send the entire keyboard back....

Bit annoying but I wasn't going to arse around doing that so I sourced some myself and it's been just fine ever since.

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s


Re: keyboard condoms

I loathe people touching my equipment (quiet down at the back), whether it be keyboard and mouse, mobile phone or other gizmo, on the basis that all my stuff works, and generally continues to work.

Other people seem to have an innate ability to make a 'thing' cease working properly merely by holding or looking at it, and I then have to fix it. I have no idea how they can cause the problems they do, but they don't touch my stuff.

European, US watchdogs approve Microsoft's $7.5bn deal to takeover video games publisher ZeniMax


Re: Sad

As with EA Play (formerly Origin Access), pretty much all, if not all, games on XBGP can be bought and paid for outside XBGP. In fact games come and go, much like Netflix content.

You don't need XBGP to buy Microsoft Flight Simulator for example.

At the end of the day it's a personal choice as to whether a subscription is worth having, either for the content or the cost/game time. I currently have one for EA Play (worth it for the games I play there) and one for XBGP for PC which I got to play FS, and which is probably not so good value for me right now. Next year I will ditch EA Play when my subscription expires as by then (hopefully) it will be included in the XBGP as previously announced.

You make your choice, you pay your money. Or you don't.

Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords


A few months ago I was forced to change my UPlay password (Ubisoft gaming platform) for some reason. I discovered their cunning system made it possible to set a new password via the web that their PC client apparently couldn't authenticate with.

To be fair, I did use a character that (after hitting the problem) I discovered was not allowed by their rules, and in that case I expected the system to not let me use it in the first place. I was quite surprised at this state of affairs, and assume the client must be validating passwords for characters that were not allowed so it could fail without actually authenticating.

What made this even more memorable, and annoying, was that after 3 failed requests, the account is locked until 'later' where 'later' is undefined. It's also undefined what happens if you try again before 'later' is reached - is the 'later' period reset? Who knows? Oh, and due to DRM I couldn't play what I wanted to play which is what I actually wanted to do rather than arse about with the UPlay password management system.

Nice work Ubisoft!

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs


Re: Metric please

By a somewhat lovely coincidence, the best answer to this question (IMO) is also provided by Matt Parker (yes the same one of the petition in the original article), via a video on Youtube:

Are Imperial Measurements outdated? | Number Hub with Matt Parker


You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg


Self Inflicted Risk

That Impress is the only regulator *at the moment* is no excuse. This hasn't just been sprung on publishers - they have had time to prepare, and have chosen not to. That's OK, and that comes with associated risk, known well in advance. Knowing this was coming, there was no operational reason for various press organisations not to have gotten on with it and created their own compliant regulators and requested approval. This would provide protection from the bulk of the nasty S40 implications cited in the article.

So the real question is, why didn't they?

Personally I think the requirements to be a recognised press regulator set out in the Royal Charter are reasonable and proportionate. They do, I believe, reach a sensible balance of providing the ability for people with limited resources to challenge multinational media companies, while protecting publishers from spurious and defensive challenges that have no merit (via the low cost arbitration requirement).

It explicitly ensures regulators cannot prevent publication of articles, and restricts Government meddling, and the Parliamentary majority required to change the Charter is set higher than most laws, and must also be unanimously approved by the Board as well (so a Government cannot just make a proposal to change it in Parliament alone).

A publisher is free to publish anything they like, if someone takes exception to that, the regulator must offer a low cost, independent, arbitration service. If arbitration fails, and it then goes to court, the publisher is then protected (by default) from the excessive costs they are worried about, by S40 (Section 2).

Essentially it seems that the press complaints about S40 coming in to force are a direct result of them failing to do anything about legislation that has been known about for 2 years, but which they ignored because they don't like/agree with it.

Motorola’s X Force awakens a seemingly ‘shatterproof’ future


Re: NICE, but...

Conversely I want a slightly smaller screen with the same internals (accepting it would result in a smaller battery). Given all the other features, and lack of fingerprint reader aside, I'm seriously considering the X Force as a replacement for my Sammy GS3. Sadly it seems that that current fashion dictates that top internal spec requires a display footprint the size of a small dining tray.

Work from home when the next big Windows 10 installation arrives


Re: What console?

Just to throw something else into the mix - I just got a nVidia Shield Android TV, and have been impressed with how streaming from my nVidia GTX970 equipped PC works. For reference, my PC is basically 4 years old, bar the 970 which arrived earlier this year, and has a gigabit cable connection to the Shield.

I've played a bit of Grid2 and some Fifa 16 and found it certainly meets my needs, and gives me flexibility to play on my PC in my cave, (and you can use the Shield controller on a PC in wired mode) or on the main TV with the kids. I was concerned about the latency between controller and game, but both my (adult) test subjects said it didn't seem to be an issue, and I can't say I've noticed it being an issue myself.

Of course, it won't help if you want console only games, but I thought I'd throw the suggestion out there....


'Boutique' ISPs: Snub the Big 4 AND get great service


Re: Where is Zen Internet in this advertorial?

That's was I was thinking. I was with Zen for several years of extremely good service (both delivery and customer) before moving abroad. I just wish I could get them here ;)

Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab


I guess it depends why you want a Nexus 9. I just got one to replace an old Asus TF101. I quite like the slightly smaller form factor (from 10" down to 9"), and combined with the higher resolution display it makes for a nice device to read on. I also wanted to go 'Google' with respect to more speedy OS updates, and no vendor bloat on the device.

The Yoga does appear to be worth serious consideration, and having read the review I wondered if I should have gone for the Yoga instead. On reflection though, I'm happy with the 9, it does what I need it to do at a price that I was comfortable with. YMMV.


The two year warranty from JL might be nice depending on what exactly it offers, and bear in mind that consumer items purchased in the EU get a two year guarantee no matter where you buy them:


Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd


Re: Like anything depends on your personal use cases, or lack of them.

Not quite as bad as Finland or Siberia here (Berlin), but I see that Asus have added some glove friendly features to the new ZenPhone 5 and 6.

That said, it's not just gloves, although they do compound the issue. This morning I had to show my phone to two different bus drivers, fishing it out from a pocket and unlocking it (using rather than a quicker swipe, pattern, or face unlock). Having (ideally) the ticket on a watch on my wrist, or at least having the phone automatically unlock since it's close to the watch would just improve those interactions a bit.

Of course, that improvement might not be worth it for everyone, which is fine, and that doesn't mean it makes the tech pointless for all. For me, I see potentially many small interactions being improved, which makes it something to consider.


Re: Like anything depends on your personal use cases, or lack of them.

No, I live in Berlin, where it regularly gets down to -10 and below during Winter, and I have some gloves thanks. These compound the problem since many smart phones are not wonderfully responsive to users wearing gloves. Which was the point I was making about Winter- wearing gloves actually increases the hassle involved in using a smartphone (usually*). And since I don't walk around holding my phone, some useful way of quickly determining if I need to interact with it after a notification would be nice. If a smart watch can help with that interaction, why is that a problem?

* - I'm aware of some glove friendly devices, notably the ZenPhone 5 and 6 from Asus, not sure about others, and that adds to the things to weigh up on my next phone purchase.


Like anything depends on your personal use cases, or lack of them.

I have lots of 'little' use cases which combined make a smart watch a device to seriously consider, assuming it ticks the right boxes, which most of the announced ones seem to. As long as it gives a days good use use, having it charge overnight is not a big deal for me.

Several little use cases:

* Auto unlocking based on smart watch / phone proximity. I mainly have a PIN on my phone to provide some protection should I leave the phone somewhere, but that gets annoying if it's on my desk at home or work, when I'm there too.

* Heart rate monitoring for my treadmill. My old Polar chest band has given up the ghost, so I need a new one. The old one sync'd directly with my treadmill, and a smart watch based one (assuming its reasonably accurate) will be more flexible.

* Directions when cycling / walking without having to hold a phone or get a bike mount. Particularly in winter when it gets to minus double figures regularly.

* I'm hoping the electronic ticketing app I use for public transport will (eventually) push tickets to the smart watch, meaning less arsing around in winter to show a ticket every time I get on a bus.

* Real time public transport updates without having to arse around getting my phone out, especially in winter.

* Being able to 'screen' messages quickly to determine if I need to respond before arsing around getting my phone out, particularly in winter.

* Being able to find out the time (since I don't currently wear a watch) without arsing around getting my phone out, particularly in winter.

(For the record, during winter here the temperature regularly drops into minus double figures, making gloves mandatory, which makes smartphone interactions 'fun')

There might be no one 'killer' app, but why does there have to be? For me, solving a number of small issues that bug me almost daily makes a smart watch which solves them attractive.

Phab-u-less: Huge MONSTER iPhone 6 not due until 2015 – claim


Large iPhone Name?

How about the FatiPhone (pronounced FateePhone) for the larger model, it being somewhat 'larger' than the original?

(Beer icon to go with the Beer Belly)

Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up


I went for an off the shelf solution after running a Linux box for many years - in the end I wanted something that 'just worked' and didn't require me to spend much time on it. As other posters said, there are lots of options for putting something together yourself, and I used to run an Ubuntu box with a couple of 1TB USB drives serving media using Samba and PS3 Media Player. When I needed to expand this, I looked at the options and decided to consolidate using the Synology since I wanted to spend my time elsewhere.

My current solution is a Synology DS411 with 3 x 3TB drives using Synology Hybrid Raid (giving 6TB usable), this sits on a GBe wired system, which then links into the wireless router, and feeds a variety of media consuming devices:

A couple of PCs, a WD TV Live media player (which plays pretty much anything - I have used a similar list to the OP) , a PS3 (which doesn't play pretty much anything) and various Android devices.

The Synology can serve the files in a number of ways depending on what you need. Due to the variety of devices in my house, I have Plex running on the NAS which is used by the PS3 and mobile devices, and use standard file sharing for the PCs and WD TV Live. The latter using the fileshare and fast network means the NAS doesn't have to transcode anything for watching on the TV. Multiple users can access multiple files at the same time, and I have never noticed any performance issue even when playing HD content. I play a variety of stuff from SD content in DivX to full HD MKVs with DTS with no problems.

The NAS provides decent security options, allowing multiple accounts with different permissions on shares etc. The devices using the Plex media server (which is a free one click install) have read only access to the specific folders I share, and the other devices use standard permissions to determine which folders they can see, read and write to.

No special software is required anywhere. The android devices use a DLNA browser (Skifta) to browse, and then use whatever Media Player is installed to play.

As an aside, the unit will also handle being a print server, DNS/DHCP server, VPN server and home web server. Some of these capabilities are not as flexible as a 'real' Linux box, but might be useful if nothing complex is required.



Inside IBM's vomit-inducing, noise-free future chip lab


Re: Uh?

The IBM link on the subject has more info:


Doesn't mean much to me but might answer some of the questions.

DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life


Is Windows 7 really worse than Vista?

I've been running Windows 7 Home Premium on my NC10 with 2GB for 3 or 4 years. It was quite usable as a little laptop, although I don't use it as much since I got a tablet. It was my personal system when travelling so saw a fair amount of use. I suspect SP1 might be a significant bloat inducer though, so will see if I still think this way after a fresh install.

As for Windows 7 being the most resource-heavy OS from MS - all I can say is that Win 7 runs on the NC10, but I would never have even considered trying Vista.....



"It's hardly a huge leap from button to screen."

Um, really? Personally I think that having a button which pops up a menu in the corner of my 2560x1440 primary display leaving all my windows visible is quite a leap from having one which causes the entire display to be blotted out with a mass of tiles.

However, my main reason for ditching the new UI wasn't the Start button - it was the new UI itself. On original Windows 8, the meshing between new UI and multiple screens (I have 3 on this system) was horrible. I don't like the full screen approach for apps. I should decide which apps I want full screen - put it this way, do I really need a single chat window in 27", full screen, 2560x1440 goodness?

In fairness, 8.1 has improved things where multiple displays are concerned, and also with allowing apps to be sized and have more than one to a display, and for me, the improvements still make the new UI less flexible and useful than the old desktop model. A Start Button which works in Windows 7 style means I can avoid the visual and conceptual jolt switching between the two worlds involved.

Anyway, my point was that Windows 8 is NOT crippled by using the desktop as asserted by the articles author, and you can have it working pretty much how it was before with Windows 7 should you choose.

If I had a single touch screen display in a laptop format, I would definitely give the new UI a thorough whirl on that, and suspect it will be quite good as others have found, but for traditional desktop use - software developing, image processing and the like, the new UI is not for me, and if it works for others, great.


Not sure which Windows 8 the author was using

With respect to Windows 8, my personal view is that for most people an upgrade from 7 to 8 doesn't buy you much unless you want the new UI, and that it is also easy to use 8 in the same way you use Windows 7. Using something like Pokki (free) or Start8 (paid, but only about 5USD atm) you can restore Windows 7 like Start button capability (and boot to desktop if not using 8.1).

If you are moving from say Vista or XP then I'd say might as well move to Windows 8 if the hardware supports it, and if you don't get on with the new UI, use one of the aforementioned tools and have it work like Windows 7.



Not entirely sure why the author thinks that the Windows Store is such an integral part of Windows 8. I've been running Windows 8 for a year now and the only time I've downloaded from the Store was at the beginning to see what it was like.

Additionally, the statement "I wouldn't mind using Windows 8, because a quick CTRL-ESC gets me to a swift and stable Windows desktop. But overall, this was just a poor fit because the OS is crippled. " is just completely rubbish.

I use Windows 8 exclusively in desktop mode, currently with Start8 and previously using Pokki, and it works pretty much as Windows 7 did. It is by no means 'crippled', not at all. After trying for two weeks to come to terms with the new UI, I gave up and boot directly to the desktop, with a Start button, and avoiding the new UI completely.

As it happens I run Win 7 Home Premium on my similarly specc'd netbook (a Sammy NC10 with a slightly larger screen) and it's "ok". It certainly runs better than Ubuntu ever did (I tried it and quickly reverted).

Toshiba outs 'world's thinnest, lightest' tablet


Release date down to Google?

I'm confused about why this article is saying that the release date will be Q4 *because* it will ship with Android 3.2 and so it's down to Google. My Asus Transformer is quite happily running Android 3.2 right now so how exactly is that a cause for delay?

Or was the reference supposed to refer to ICS?

Firefox 4 goes to 11 (betas)

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Pointless given websites already ignore more useful headers

As a regular traveller to a country where English is not the first language, it annoys me intensely that most websites, including Google, Yahoo, Amazon and IMDB to name a few, completely ignore browser headers that would give them a great indication of what language to present me with. This is an existing useful header which would allow them to redirect me to a language based on my system preferences, rather than my current location determined by IP address. They choose not to use it.

Given that they ignore existing useful headers, I don't see what about this new header would make major websites choose to use it header unless it's made mandatory in some way (like that will ever happen).

Stephen Fry's truly terrible mistake

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Slightly Unfair

From the authors own link, Stephen Frys "indiscriminate love of a voiceover cheque" amounts to one voiceover this year (not including the DAB one which is not listed). Of course, he indiscriminately did 5 last year (ignoring that 4 were for the same brand), 1 in 2008 and 2 in 2007. A shocking number amounting to 10 in the last 3.5 years, or 6 for different brands. How could he be so ruthlessly indiscriminate?

Whatever the merits, or lack of, DAB, I'm not sure the attack is justified for the reasons suggested by the article, and based on data the author links to. Not really sure what the motivation for this article really was.....