* Posts by Martin-R

74 posts • joined 21 Jun 2010


Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks


Re: News at 9....

I dunno, the pet feeder was a new one on me! Though I suppose if you have an office cat...?

Metro Bank techies placed at risk of redundancy, severance terms criticised


Re: Industry standard redundancy terms?

I snorted at that too... For 'industry standard' meant 'statutory minimum'...

Oh! A surprise tour of the data centre! You shouldn't have. No, you really shouldn't have


Re: year 2000

Oh that's just evil :-) Have a ====>

Arm says it has 'successful working relationship' with Chinese joint venture run by CEO who refuses to leave


About those analysts...

Always fascinates me how headlines talk of "results miss analysts expectations" rather than "company announces results; analysts get predictions wrong again"

Arms not long enough to reach the plug socket? Room-wide wireless charging is on the way


Re: Repurpose as insect zapper?

If you bumped up the electric field enough for it to actually zap them, not sure I'd want to go in the room myself while it was on... But maybe you could put an electric charge on the mosquitos and then a high enough magnetic field would deflect them all out a window?!

When everyone else is on vacation, it's time to whip out the tiny screwdrivers


I read the instructions on ifixit.com for doing exactly this surgery and it was something like step 39 before you even got near the battery... luckily I found a local shop that would do it, and for not a lot more than I could buy the battery!

Redpilled Microsoft does away with flashing icons on taskbar as Windows 11 hits Beta


Re: Don't get TOO far out of the way

There's a warning? You get hibernate? First I know about the power lead having been knocked out an hour ago is the machine just stops :-(

Tech support scams subside somewhat, but Millennials and Gen Z think they're bulletproof and suffer


Can’t be bothered with baiting them any more, just installed a call blocker. Once I’d remembered to white list the kids (they always call my mobile rather than the landline, except that once…) it’s been pretty seamless. And from the reduction in calls in the logs, I think some of the scammers may have blacklisted *us* :-)

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item


I find myself using right click, new more and more as Word etc make it more and more clicks to do ‘save as’ to a folder… Why Alt-F-A can’t just open a proper file dialog is beyond me :-(

Ordnance Survey to take a poke at Pokémon-style gaming with outdoorsy AR adventure


Re: Hm...

Last time I looked at the OS Maps app, it was pretty horrible to use - limited zoom, dreadful offline capability, printed maps with an inch border all round. People like Anguet do that side of it just so much better - shame about the UX of rest of their app though :-(

BT to phase out 3G in UK by 2023 for EE, Plusnet, BT Mobile subscribers


Driving around the Highlands on winter climbing trips, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of the time, the best way to listen to FM radio was to stream it on 4G...

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


Browser Profiles

Chrome supports multiple profiles, they just open in new windows rather than different tabs. Works a treat for keeping all the different O365 accounts separate (and that increasingly includes for voluntary groups as well as work clients)

The frustration with the Teams client for Windows however is quite justified... Outlook is sitting there quite happily supporting six different Office 365 accounts simultaneously, letting me receive emails from any of them and send with little more fuss than a dropdown to select the account. Teams on the other hand is struggling with my work account and one client 'guest' profile; to support any more requires major logging out and and in again. Ironically the best client I've found for Teams so far is on the iPad...

IBM insiders say CEO Arvind Krishna downplayed impact of email troubles, asked for a week to sort things out


4.2 billion emails a week?

A rough calculation says that's about 1,600 emails per employee per day, or a bit over 3 per minute. Do they ever do any work?!

New Yorkers react to strikingly indifferent statue of Elon Musk with cheerful hostility


The High Line

Skip the statue, but do visit the High Line if you get a chance - it's a 1.5 mile stretch of disused, elevated railway converted into a public park. Great place for a stroll on a warm evening!

The M in M1 is for moans: How do you turn a new MacBook Pro into a desktop workhorse?


Re: A Mixed Bag for me

I seem to have my MacBook (which probably counts twice as I use Bootcamp when I need Windows) plus three different client laptops... And that's as someone who usually works on servers over RDP!

Apple warns kit may interfere with implanted medical devices at close proximity


Re: kit may interfere with implanted medical devices

From reading the AHF paper, it would appear that these implants have a 'magnet reversion mode' that triggers a certain behaviour when a doughnut magnet is placed over the device. Normal phones have 'little to no risk' of interference but the Magsafe alignment magnets are in a ring that appears to do more than a passable impression of the doughnut magnets - 3/3 devices for their in vivo tests vs a previous study that found none in 148 patients with an iPhone 6

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication


An upvote for flagging the colour blindness issue...

It's often not even that I can't see a difference in two colours, but move them away from the 'key' and I have no idea which colour is which. These bands would certainly give me a problem, and the London Tube map is a nightmare!

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009


Re: Informally.

If it's becoming the active machine, doesn't that make it formerly known as the backup payload computer?

Linux gods at last turn their gaze to Pi 400: Computer-in-a-keyboard receives mainline kernel support with v5.14


8GB Pi 4 Model B is showing as £73.50 inc VAT. chuck in an SD card and PSU and I guess we're at ~£85 a pop, plus the mess of extension leads for the PSUs. So if you're only doing something short term, or experimenting with say a cluster, then may be it is worth it. 'Course if you do buy them outright, you have to be wary of the damn things breeding - I seem to have 3 running full time at home doing various jobs plus the one I tinker with...

Australian cops, FBI created backdoored chat app, told crims it was secure – then snooped on 9,000 users' plots


Re: * The Man:

Oi, I'm sure the Ada, Fortran and Pascal we covered in my degree will come in useful sometime :-) The C I taught myself for the final year project on the other hand has kept me happily employed for the last 30 something years...

BMA and Royal College of GPs refuse to endorse NHS Digital's data grab from surgeries in England


Re: Sneaky in the extreme.

Wow, they kept that well hidden! We shall see what the surgery make of the form...

Desktop renaissance? Nope, rebound of hefty PCs is just because there's notebook shortage – analysts


Fair enough! I've been running a single Pi-Hole for about a year now without noticing any problems. About the only time I log on is when it blocks something I actually want to access for testing purposes


*two* Pi-Holes?

All that Lego has a purpose: Researchers find that spatial memory improves kids' mathematical powers


Re: ummm...

Errm, yes, I was trying to work where Lego fitted in too!

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken


To which I can add "have you turned it off and left it for four weeks?" Power shower stopped working after a couple of power cuts in quick succession. "The Internet" says yeah, can happen, turn it off for an hour, it'll reset. Nope. Left if off 24h. Nope. Decided to survive on feeble shower for a few weeks as bathroom needs completely refitting anyway. Chap comes out to do survey and estimates, turns it on, works... aargh!

Crane horror Reg reader uses his severed finger to unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

Thumb Up

finger in glove

Having mashed a finger rather painfully once, I can sympathise with not wanting to look too closely in the glove, or even take the glove off at all... I got lucky, nothing more than a snapped tendon in the end, but by $deity did it hurt!

PCs continue to sell like hot cakes and industry can barely keep up with demand – analyst


Mostly I'd agree with you - in the last year my laptop's lid has really only opened for access to the power switch. But in normal times I'd have to visit clients one or twice a week so then I do need a laptop. Running a laptop and a desktop and keep everything in sync (even with all the cloud tools) is more grief than I can face, aside from the expense of two machines :-(

Also open to suggestions on a small screen laptop that will drive two external monitors - I don't need a QHD touch screen when the lid is shut, but all the smaller ones I've found seem to only support one external monitor

'No' does not mean 'yes'... unless you are a scriptwriter for software user interfaces


Oh for yes/no/cancel

My least favourite remote access tool has a helpful popup with words to the effect of "this will disconnect your session" followed by an OK button and only an OK button. No it's not OK, it's far too easy to click the button that ends the session accidentally, give me a cancel button!

I also love applications where closing a record with unsaved changes usually says "do you wish to save your changes first?" and at other points says "this will discard your changes, do you wish to continue?" - but at least there are yes and no options in both!

AdGuard names 6,000+ web trackers that use CNAME chicanery: Feel free to feed them into your browser's filter


PiHole is great but

I've now got so used to it that I almost forget it's there. So it took me a while to clock why scripts I was testing this morning for a product review weren't working :-( (and yes that will get the product marked down)

UK college courses show decade-long surging interest in computer science – just as new intake was locked down


ML with everything

My kids' recent experience of STEM degrees (Maths and Engineering) is that the vast majority of final year projects on offfer have some element of ML or big data, and have done for a few years, so it's no great surprise there's more interested in straight ML/AI/Big Data degrees

Microsoft runs 179 admin portals, says sysadmin supergroup


Obligatory XKCD reference...

Closest I could think of quickly...


Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more


It's not just emails

I had three instant credit store cards in *almost* my name turn up over a few days. Trying to convince the issuers to talk to me about store cards that weren't for me was a farce (which caused much hilarity in the open plan office), and I later found that the credit checks that had been done against my almost-name and address had DOB and time at address wrong. One of them was even done after I'd spoken to that issuer's security team about the first dodgy card... Make me wonder what you have to do to fail a credit check - be honest, probably :-(

When you're On Call, only you can hear the silence of the clicks


Re: Well Worded Oncall Agreement

Forget beer consumption, if it's late at night and you're already tired, you probably shouldn't be driving yourself into the office anyway, let alone home again a few hours later! I've done enough first flight out/full day on site/last flight home trips to know there's no way I'm safe to drive home, so the company can pay for the cab both ways or I'm not going.

Consultant leading Surrey County Council's £30m jump to new ERP system will bag £177,000 as £83m cuts bite local citizens


Re: Is that a lot?

£380 a day sounds very cheap. OK so we don't know what hours they're expected to work for this but presumably quite a lot - can't see it being a half time job

One button to mute them all: PowerToys brings forth kill button for the conferencing generation


Can we have...?

... something to stop ******* Teams et al deciding to turn down the mic gain half way through a call? Zoom seems to have picked up this habit too.

And of course what Office really needs is yet another way of tracking to do lists and tasks that doesn’t integrate with all the others it already has :-(

Here's a sprite idea: PC pokers push pixels to LED displays with Microsoft's new platform for non-verbal comms


The Common User Access Guidelines were a wonderful thing... and from IBM rather than MS, though MS followed them for a long time. I was working on OS/2 and Windows applications in the first half of 90s and everything working consistently across apps and OSes was great, unlike today where half the time you're not sure if that's a button or a link or just a bit of text :-(

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Common_User_Access for a bit of history

Yes, true, fusion reactors don't work quite yet, but, er, maybe AI can help us stop our experiments from imploding


Re: Kaboom!

The issue is more about damage to the reactor vessel - ion beams suddenly going in a straight line instead of in circles, and forces from collapsing magnetic fields

Beware, Tesla might take away your car's autopilot if you buy its vehicles from third party dealerships – plus more news


Re: Speed Limts ?

I noticed the speed limits had appeared for the UK (well Oxfordshire at least) on Saturday, but no current speed - and the limits were hopeless, showing 50 or even 30 for long stretches of the A34 with a 70 limit. I've never noticed Waze being far off - given the common owner I'd have expected better.

It's always DNS, especially when you're on holiday with nothing but a phone on GPRS


Re: No Service

Glad it's not just me... EE always claims to have phone signal and solid 4G in Oxford but the internet crawls if it works at all. Soon as I'm on the bus out of town it all works again

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room


Please leave the kitchen as you'd like to find it

I'll need a skip, and a budget...

The purple SIM of fail: Virgin Mobile punters left in the dark with batch of borked cards


Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

Broadband is usually very good, but daughter's phone and data signal has been getting worse and worse lately. Suspected SIM so requested a new one, you can guess how that worked out :-( She needs a reliable phone, now with EE!

Gov flings £10m to help businesses get Brexit-ready with, um... information packs


Re: Govt. Leaflets...

They keep telling me to register for an EORI number despite the fact that these appear to relate only to goods and we only sell services. Now we’re to get one automatically as so few businesses have registered for one - I wonder how many of those that have not registered are in the same boat as me?

As best I can tell, remote IT services won’t be too badly affected but $deity help us if we need to go on site (visas?) or if you’re doing something that requires recognition of qualifications

Quick question, what the Hull? City khazi is a top UK tourist destination


Re: Pedant's corner

Pendle Hill and Bredon Hill are both 'hill hill hill', don't know of any that manage more than that but wouldn't be surprised!

People do get picky about it being just 'Windermere' though - I blame QI...

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am


Not sure about working under the influence (well not anything critical!) but while hungover can definitely be good! Forces you to concentrate and actually read the code properly rather than skimming over it thinking "I know the problem's not in there..."

To members of Pizza Hut's loyalty scheme: You really knead to stop reusing your passwords


Re: Yes, but...

Glad it wasn't just me that could find the change password option! I finally worked out that you could log out, then at the login screen use 'forgot password' to reset it.

However I already *do* use unique passwords for each site so I'm not entirely buying their third party websites argument...

Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE


This seems to have rolled out last week - the iPad suddenly announced it could make wifi calls on Thursday, and the Macbook on Friday. This the first I'd heard that it was something EE specific though!

People like convenience more than privacy – so no, blockchain will not 'decentralise the web'


Re: Spot on

The phone service provider is probably not a good analogy as they have interoperability; VHS vs Betamax might be closer. One might be technically better, but if all your mates are using the other, you can't swap tapes... The great benefit to me of Facebook Messenger over all the others to run the (non work) stuff I need to do is that there's a critical mass of the people I need to talk to on there, and there's a very low barrier to entry for anyone else joining the fun. If I have to start sending stuff out in WhatsApp, Instagram, Signal, Twitter... as well it just becomes too much to manage.

Amazon warns you have 30 days before Music Storage files bloodbath


Check out Domesday Reloaded... The BBC created a huge modern Domesday Book on laserdisc, a format which promptly failed to take off, and within 20 years the national archive was running a project to reverse engineer the files to get the data off. While I do have multiple local backups of everything, the advantage of the cloud is that the storage medium is transparent - I don’t need to know if it’s on spinning rust or SSDs as long as it works, and actually services like iCloud help with the multiple local backups - stuff just syncs across the phone, laptop, iPad. The same can’t be said for all the backups I have on Zip Drives :-(

Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor


I've worked with a pair of 27" 1920x1080 screens for about 3 years now and love having all that extra screen estate - but I think a pair works better than one big one as apps can easily go full screen on a single monitor. Using Remote Desktop across both screens, the host sees it as one big monitor and you realise how awkward it would be. While you can work around it with the various tile options (I dual boot MacOS and Windows 10) it's still quicker to just maximise a window - and you also void the 3 foot wide menu and task bar problem!

A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that


"Why do you want feature X?" is always a really good start. All to often it's because they actually find it easier to do something by printing or exporting to CSV than doing it in the application where they're supposed to. Sometimes this is because it really is hard in the software, but often as not it's because no one ever showed them how to do it properly. Recent case in point: someone wanted a couple of extra columns in a report. They were in fact already available but no one had explained to this person how to change the displayed columns (and they hadn't thought to try right click on the column headings, perhaps because it's not the obvious design paradigm people used to the idea think it is...)



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