* Posts by Refugee from Windows

274 posts • joined 10 Jun 2010


Need a hobby for lockdown? Perhaps check out the CMOS battery

Refugee from Windows

Back to 1980

All those devices conspire to bring back date to that of 01-01-1980 here. They're in league with the gremlins to both deplete my supply of 2032 batteries and hid the minature screwdriver set required to get at the holders.

Then of course you finally open up the device and find it's a PCB mounted one and there's no holder....

Data protection scofflaws failed to pay £2m in fines from UK watchdog – and 68% of penalties are still outstanding

Refugee from Windows

Re: So why not...

Those corporate entities will just respawn as another "brass plaque" enterprise with no assets, to do exactly the same again. Hit the board with the fines, even it just bans them from holding another position until it's paid.

'Mindset reset' contributes to £1bn extra costs and another delay – 2 years this time – for Emergency Services Network

Refugee from Windows

Re: Who was the priority?

I suggest that the users were never consulted in the first place. The local Police regret losing their private VHF network, that operated independently. You might not have been able to use it for data but it did work.

Airwave never got the PTT function activated and it never talked to the other blue light services, so you could describe it as failed, chances are the ESN will never get it either.

The 4G network becomes the single point of failure, what could possibly go wrong?

Coat, as I'd expect at somepoint a certain national emergency communications organisation will be called out to cover some large scale failure.

Adobe about to pull the plug on Creative Cloud freebie 'at-home' access for students

Refugee from Windows

Re: Transferable skills?

Losing all those students isn't a good idea perhaps? Once you've got them used to using them your products that it's assumed they will move to employers that need to pay for licences, thus generating business. Works with Office software doesn't it?

Are students going to pay up for their own copies at full rates? Perhaps not. Are they going to hold their previous work to ransom then? Maybe someone else can answer that one.

House of Commons agrees to allow Zoom app in Parliament, British MPs will still have to dress smartly

Refugee from Windows
Thumb Up

Get it right

The MP's log in and sit in front of their cameras. The Speaker sits in front of his monitor to see who's there, and use the chat box to say you wish to comment. Then selects those to comment...

Now that's the up side sorted, the down side is using the BBC Parliament Channel, that's how they are seen. Best brush hair (as appropriate) and not be wearing their giraffe onesy. They can scroll the names of those MPs who are actually logged on, and use facial recognition software to make sure that they've just left their Spitting Image puppet in front of the webcam.

Boris is still on his sick note, so shouldn't be working anyway.

That's how it should work, however I doubt if the honourable members would put up with it for long.

Hello Moto! UK Home Office shoves comms giant another £82m to stay on Emergency Services Network gig

Refugee from Windows

Re: going for a record fail.

I've just got a feeling that the military won't be able to cope.

They're be a few containers of DMR handhelds being held in a goverment warehouse somewhere. Late, overbudget and not delivering service anyone?

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked

Refugee from Windows

Re: They'll never guess this one.

So much for a password hint - your password is incorrect

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

Refugee from Windows

Re: Higher was better

It might be that the existing mast is in too good a position. If you have more masts but with smaller coverage it means you can handle more users, otherwise sticking a cell on a very good position might go too far. Too many users per node.

Possibly the owner of the existing mast might want too much money to site their equipment, and/or not have enough electrical supply or telecom capacity to service it.

The best locations have already been used, it's been a long period of filling in the gaps and there are still a lot of them.

BT 'UK's most powerful Wi-Fi'? Why, fie, for shame! – ads watchdog

Refugee from Windows

Most powerful wifi?

I dispute this claim, at one point we used a 500mW wifi module into an antenna with 16dBi gain, but then we had a "Notice of Variation" issued by OFCOM and they specified what SSID was to be used. This was for short term use, not in a built up area BTW.

Isn't it a limit of the ERP rather than the power? Came across this with upgrading routers with after market antennas.

Accused hacker Lauri Love to sue National Crime Agency to retrieve confiscated computing kit

Refugee from Windows

Laws of aquisition

The NCA, being one of those goverment quangos, operates in its own area of the law. In this case that of the Ferengi, out of the Star Trek universe, once they've got it you'll never get it back.

Also applies to other "law enforcement" agencies who don't want any external scrutiny.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Refugee from Windows

Re: To brew American beer.....

and 100,000 gnats of course.

Exiting DWP digital boss Mayank Prakash switches to energy biz Centrica

Refugee from Windows

More thinking rat, sinking ship etc. I've worked for a company whose high profile boss left before the big changes were actually implemented - they never happenned - and it finally sold out to another company.

Maybe he knows it's a failure, best to get out before everyone else realises this.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

Refugee from Windows

Ignore and continue as usual

The ad revenue, even if it's undeliverable, is too much of an incentive for them to leave these out of Android. Neither would Google want to be seen to lose significant market share. The commercial plan is to make sure that the competition doesn't grow significantly. Other browsers, mail clients and mapping services are available, but Google would like theirs to be the default on the majority of users.

It'll be like the browser choice fiasco, they are so deeply baked into their services they can't untangle them. Lip service will be paid that's all. The slurp will continue unabated.

SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere

Refugee from Windows


Bigger rockets have been launched in the past (notably Saturn V), and in the days when HF communications were more important commercially, there were no problems reported with the ionosphere recorded. If there had been, I am sure the FCC would have picked this as having been noted by members of the ARRL. Surely there would have been plenty of reports of the effects of launching through the various layers, indeed various governments (including the UK) have carried out experiments and regular measurements of the ionosphere.

The frequencies used by GPS are c 1.5GHz - these pass straight through largely unscathed. There may be some odd rotation effects for instance very occasionally, but unless you're trying to thread a needle from space, largely insignificant.

Not so much punching a hole, more just a minor ripple.

Putting the urgency in emergency: UK's delayed emergency services network review... delayed

Refugee from Windows

Typical Government Contract

Can we possibly expect that this one will be over budget, late, and of course not meet the specification called for. That is assuming that they have made their minds up, but having changed it several times, the end result will not look anything like the end users wanted in the first place.

Piggybacking the whole lot on a public network I won't comment on, but the phrase "single point of failure" comes to mind. Network coverage is nowhere near universal on 4G with EE, and of course there are marginal propagation changes between the current UHF and the 4G Band V so that existing sites may not provide the required service.

Can we expect further delays in the deployment? Of course. I also expect the odd call-out when Plod, Trumpton and the ambulances find out their radio comms are out of service.

Coat - there's a PMR/DMR handheld in the pocket.

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Refugee from Windows

Playing catchup

This is a game that Microsoft haven't put much effort into, and I'm afraid to say that they are so far behind I don't think they'll ever catch up. Being tied down to x86 has turned them into a one trick pony, and their speciality is wearing thin. ARM is likely to become the most popular platform from both embedded through to servers, if it hasn't already overtaken already, and so they are primarily in a declining market. They're playing second fiddle to Google.

They've not even woken up to this, let alone smelt the coffee.

We already give up our privacy to use phones, why not with cars too?

Refugee from Windows

Genii meet bottle

It's going to be a case of when all this connected information gets into the wrong hands, in which case it won't go back into the bottle. My phone can only guess about how I'm travelling about. In congested traffic I could be on a bike (with pedals), bus or car - and I'm sure that would be information that would happily be used for marketing purposes.

There's so much they could work out from the travel data already available - where you work, shop and where you visit - already and tracking it down to one vehicle is possibly one step too far.

Maybe the on board accelerometer could identify the exact location of the pothole that bent my wheel, but it's unlikely. They'd have to make the incentives to have these in place pretty good for savvy users, and no I'm not in the market for a brand new car with any connectivity.

As for most of the populace, they'll just accept this data slurp as they're not made aware of any reasonable alternative.

No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft

Refugee from Windows

Missing something

We cannot of course predict disruptive technology. Possibly by then the office desktop PC will be a relic, with just thin clients and server based applications where no-one actually has a office suite installed locally hence no sales. As existing solutions are all browser based, then it won't matter what platform they are on.

TalkTalk banbans TeamTeamviewerviewer againagain

Refugee from Windows

Let them pick up the bill

Most of my customers are out in the sticks, off the beaten track, and their only regular visitor is the milk tanker. If we can't use Teamviewer to connect and sort out their systems, can they bill Talk Talk for needing to have someone travel out to them rather than it being done remotely? What about subsequential losses incurred?

15 'could it be aliens?' fast radio bursts observed in one night

Refugee from Windows

CQ Contest

They're trying to make contact but it's the FRB 121102 Contest Group. They want us to reply as we're worth 8T points for a new solar system. Unfortunately not even the Italians are able to reply this time.

UK taxmen slammed for tech glitches rampant on child benefits website

Refugee from Windows

Re: Predictable

Plan to fail, if this worked 100% then they'd be facilitating paying out for child care. If it didn't work properly, was difficult to use, or threw you off just before you hit the submit button that's not a problem as it saves money. Why go to the effort of fixing it?

Microsoft: We'll beef up security in Windows 10 Creators Edition Fall Update

Refugee from Windows

Application Guard

Just wonder where they got that idea from? Would be nice but knowing M$ it probably won't work properly when the underlying OS is built on a moving base. Good idea but I'm doubtful if the implementation will actually be of any use.

Want to see the next idea in Windows? Go and look elsewhere.


Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

Refugee from Windows

Re: great ideas at the top

How about giving the users a degree of control over it then? Will we just get the usual dumbing down?

File systems - how about if you want to us ext4 or something other than they want to tie you into?

Desktop configurations - no tiles as an option?

An ability not to be gradually forced towards just using the Windows Store?

Telemetry - a "completely off" option?

I am sure others can think of more.

Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Refugee from Windows

Don't hold your breath

What will no doubt happen is that they'll make you jump through loads of hoops just to report a problem, and never give you a firm date for an installation or changeover. We'll be able to go back to pre BT days, three month waiting list for a line, and then telling you it's your equipment or internal connection that's the problem (and they'd charge you for a callout) just to cover their rear by not starting the "waiting repair" clock.

Really the one that would hurt is being compensated for not being provided with the contracted service, you know the one ... X MB broadband promise but only X/3 MB delivered which seems to be about what you actually get.

Says someone who is not in an FTTC area but they keep promising you the moon on a stick.

Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system

Refugee from Windows

Re: Cheaper food at the supermarket.

Maybe it'll stop allowing the supermarkets to pay less than the cost of production for milk then? If their alternative sources from the continent have a hefty import duty on them they might just find their supplies dry up in the long term. If it becomes a buyers market then the producers will go for the one who pays the best price and there might be empty racks in some supermarkets.

The best thing for the RPA is a bought of transparency, maybe some of those running it need to be looking for alternative work, before the axe starts to fall.

Fatal flaw found in PricewaterhouseCoopers SAP security software

Refugee from Windows

So what happens when the lawyers get hit? Wh are they going to run to when their data is being rifled?

Microsoft ❤️ Linux? Microsoft ❤️ running its Windows' SQL Server software on Linux

Refugee from Windows

Mixed approach

If it's that M$ is supporting SQL server, well the number of times I've seen updates in W10 turning it off and stopping software we support that runs it, I'd say they are looking to drop it long term. I suspect that they'll be "dropping it off into the community" at some point. It'll become abandonware.

Getting it on Linux is good, as with exposure to the producers of specialised software, this is a reason why they've not released it cross platform, and with the embedded systems I've been supporting would be far better being on Linux anyway.

The Internet of Cows is moo-ving fast … no bull!

Refugee from Windows

Not exactly a developing market

I can name a number of players in this market, for both fertility management, robotic milking and general automation, so it's hardly a new opportunity.

Maybe it'll produce a new opening for the likes of Google? Will cow collars suddenly start to play advertisements for a feed company?

The cows? Well so long as they get fed, access to the cow brush and generally pampered they'll be happy if they're connected or not. Saying that, the state of some of the "broadband" in rural areas of the UK I'd say not.

Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze

Refugee from Windows

Never this bad before

I've come across this wonderful update glitch for 10AV. Whereas a program was installed in its own directory, and the data in another it decides to put that program in the Program Files directory with everything else and then of course it doesn't run properly.

Well it keeps me in a job. I'm just hoping our developers are working making our software platform independent.

UK local govt body blasts misleading broadband speed ads

Refugee from Windows

Making it up as they go along

All these headline speeds are not a lot of use to rural broadband users, in some cases if you can call it that. In doing farm IT work I'd be lucky to get 150k, usually it's a lot slower. The only advantage is that I can go for a coffee, walk the dogs, or indeed have a nap whilst waiting.

A friend's farm has 5 miles of wet string between it and the exchange, the nearest village is 2 miles away but of course that's not where it is, and there is little chance of a green cabinet appearing to service a group of 4 farms. They've sprouted a 4G Yagi and a box, and it means they have a chance of doing anything on line, which the powers that be assume everyone can.

I would suggest that OFCOM make them advertise the speed that 90% of their customers can achieve, otherwise it's like having a Ferrari in a 20 mph zone.

As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

Refugee from Windows

Re: Capable of encryption

You have to be careful here. Maybe they just used the example code supplied in the development kit and ...oops maybe I've said too much there.

Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

Refugee from Windows

Saving bandwidth

I consider that it's bandwidth issues that drive these network level adblockers. When page contents appear to be getting more ad-heavy and problems occur with plug-ins (hello Adobe..) and content (malverts) then it makes sense. After all, the customer will be paying to read the adverts in the end, and if you're not willing to pay then the model is sort of broken.

Of course this really says that the advertising model is not working, it'd be like paying for junk mail to be shoved through your letter box. If they were restricted and actually relavent to the site being visited that wouldn't be too bad, but the scatter-gun approach has just dug them into their own deep hole.

The difference between adblocker on or off can mean whether a page loads on a mobile or not. That's possibly the main issue.

How to make the trains run on time? Satellites. That's how

Refugee from Windows

Not really necessary

Funnily enough trains run on predictable routes and don't have conflicting traffic to slow them down. Even then there are signalling and control systems that know where a train is, a system that's worked for over a century and seems to make them pretty safe.

Other factors can't really be controller by a satellite, it'd be a bit like problems in Discworld - you can know how much fresh prawns cost at their source but no chance of getting them to market!

Airwave drops lawsuit against Home Office over EE contract win

Refugee from Windows

Just wait and see

EE are now owned by BT. We all know that company's reputation for providing services in out of the way places.

I'll guess they'll just sit back now and see what happens. Piggybacking the ESN on the public network? Well I've experience of that when they're a spike in demand they just fail to work, so I'm sure Motorola have plans to provide an alternative network "off the shelf".

Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

Refugee from Windows

Herdwicks? Just come round a bend in the Dales and meet a flock of Swaledales. These are the ones that chase sheepdogs (in fact they gave mine some grief before she decided she'd had enough and put them in the corener of the field). The sheep here are just stubborn, or is it just plain thick?

One flock of Herdwicks saw me (and dog) come over the hill and then decided to leg it - we must have been at least a quarter of a mile away. That's Cumbria for you.

Belgian Blue cattle or Limousins would make the best roadblocks, you wouldn't want to hit one.

Time for me coat, those cows won't milk themselves tonight.

Brit 'naut Peake gears up for spacewalk

Refugee from Windows

He'll be okay

So long as the ISS Computer hasn't told him the AE-35 needs replacing.

ANN-IE-LATION: Microsoft to axe support for older Internet Explorer next week

Refugee from Windows

Finish the job properly

Please make available an "Internet Explorer" removal tool for those that have opted out of using it as a browser, it's like having a ticking time bomb in your machine.

Spyware-spewing Wi-Fi drone found on Hacking Team, Boeing's to-do list

Refugee from Windows
Black Helicopters

Re: Electronic Crop-dusting?

As someone's already made a GSM base station using a Raspberry Pi, I think this has already been done. So get suspicious if your signal improves and you can hear a buzzing sound outside.

Vodafone hikes prices to 37.5p/min – and lets angry customers flee

Refugee from Windows

A sort of tearing noise

A friend was regularly landed with £7 a day for *any* data with this lot, he's moved to a dumb phone and ditched them. Do they really want to keep anything other than corporate customers?

Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

Refugee from Windows

Hardly a surprise

There's not a lot of money to be made, and if you tag the emergency services comms on the back of the public service, when that goes down there's not an independent network to rely on. Oh dear. We do of course know how reliable 4G services are, especially outside main population centres.

Police cars will now be equipped with a box of pigeons to summon help with to cover the gaps in coverage perhaps?

Omnishambles. You've got it in one.

Coat, there's a PMR handheld in the pocket.

Why voice and apps sometimes don't beat an old-fashioned knob

Refugee from Windows

Re: Ergonomics, the forgotten discipline...

Reminds me of something...

... all I want is a cup of tea.

Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Refugee from Windows

Down the pub

There's a boozer in West Yorkshire that also hosts the local amateur repeater. When it's in use it's been known to desense car receivers as they have awful SAW type direct conversion receivers (cheap) and a signal 600kHz away from it causes problems.

You could always upgrade to Mr Bean type locks.

Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

Refugee from Windows

1980's tech

I understand that TCP/IP was just a thought in Tim Berners-Lee's head back in 1985, back then there would be no thought of connectiong this sort of device to a large and somewhat anarchic network.

Personally I prefer my control devices to be double pole with a nice mechanical actuator.

Amazon creating 500 ‘fulfilling’ jobs in the UK

Refugee from Windows

Spotted the building

Ripon Workhouse. No don't give Iain Duncan Smith any ideas...

Get ready: 'Critical' Adobe Reader patches coming on Tuesday 12 May

Refugee from Windows

Too late

Acrobat Reader is but a memory, I'm afraid I ditched it six months ago, so I'll be missing this one. I wonder how much of the original code is left?

UK rail signals could be hacked to cause crashes, claims prof

Refugee from Windows


Some of the systems designed over 100 years ago have proved to be extremely safe over that time. It's some of the new innovations that appear to have inherent weaknesses. Possibly because there's not a Mk1 brain of a signaller keeping an eye on them.

I'll get my coat, it's got a Bardic lamp in the pocket.

Curiosity rover's broken arm heals, exploration-as-normal resumes

Refugee from Windows
Paris Hilton

PTC device

Ah yes, the technological wonder known as the Polyfuse. Take the volts from across it, let it cool and lo and behold it conducts again.

Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Refugee from Windows

Re: In the news over the weekend...

Possibly as the consumer's demands are simply being ignored. Is smart metering only in the interests of the supplier? I'd say it is. I don't see any advantage of them to me, it's not going to change my power consumtion habits by much, and it'd no doubt be out of date by the time it's installed. If my supplier insists, I'll simply change supplier.

That's leaving aside any privacy and security matters of course.

UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Refugee from Windows

Formby, Lancashire

I'm surprised, none have spotted the Dan dare connection.

Microsoft working on 'Nano' version of Windows Server for web-scale ops

Refugee from Windows


I've got LAMP running on a Pi, is that lightweight enough?



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