* Posts by Chz

206 posts • joined 15 Jul 2010


I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key


Re: Only half the story

For £229, you can buy a perfectly good brand new dishwasher (even Which recommends Beko if you can't afford a Miele) which is probably quite a lot more efficient than your old one.

It will almost certainly break down after 5-6 years, though. At least ours did. Repair cost was quite similar to a new one, naturally. These things are a tough call - you cannot predict the reliability of a new machine, no matter what it costs. Even Mieles break down, and they don't offer a 10 year warranty on everything. (If you look closely at their prices, you can see that you're paying for just the extended warranty on some devices) So we have another Beko. Knock wood, it's been fine for 5 years and the drain pump that failed on the last one is an improved design.

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed


Re: Write your MP

The real pity is that people have generally stopped voting for their MP and vote party lines the majority of the time. Our LD MP represented a party I generally view with distaste, but he was an *excellent* local MP. Always visible, responded to emails promptly, and at least put enough effort in to look like he gave a shit.

Replaced by a Con MP who only responds to communications that toe the party line. (Which, as a freshman MP, is all he does) Though I admit it's hard to judge his public presence given the events since the last election.

Chromebook boom won’t outlive COVID-19 pandemic, says IDC


I can't comment on secondary level education, but all the primaries in our London Borough have bought a huge number of Chromebooks in case of another closure. They're real bottom of the barrel stuff, though. The one I'd already bought my wee'un was all of £50 more, but at the prices these things sell at that represents a lot of functionality.

Amazon puts an $8.5bn MGM in its shopping cart, clicks on checkout


The rights to nearly everything from before 1986 was sold to Ted Turner. Unless you're referencing the rebooted Pink Panther films.

In YouTube's world, parental supervision means: 'Everyone sign in to Google, click once, and trust we get it right'


Re: What is filtered?

It's already the case that YT Kids allows all sorts of fluffy alt-right, borderline fash stuff through the holes. I just removed all YT access when the Boy started calling someone "Soy Boy" while using YT Kids.

Windows' cloudy future: That Chrome OS advantage is Google's to lose


Re: Chromebook is particularly good at fulfilling its promise of looking after itself.

Our (then) teenager had a Chromebook for a few years, until he broke it. He bought himself a similarly-priced Win10 machine to replace it and regretted it utterly.

I believe he's now moved on to an expensive Win10 machine, but he'd be the first to say that ChromeOS was a vastly better budget option.

Honor has flown the nest: Announces first phone as an independent firm, inks deals with supply chain big dogs


Hopefully support starts rolling again.

I have a View 20, and I received regular security patches until the spin-off operation started. The last one I had was for September's security patches and I've seen nothing since. I find it worrying that the new phone is China-only; might the rest of the world's Honor phones now be screwed for updates?

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


Re: I wonder what sort of machine you get for less then £200 per unit.

Teachers I've spoken to paint them as singularly awful devices. The eMMC is of such a low spec, Office takes around 45 minutes to install.

This spec as a Chromebook would've been fine. As a Windows 10 machine, it's severely lacking. I don't even understand why the government has specced Win10 when most of the schools that can afford their own limited IT program have gone with Chromebooks. (as have I for my 10 year-old)

Apple appears to be charging Brits £309 to replace AirPods Max batteries, while Americans need only stump up $79


Re: This is a crime against the planet

"2015 Macbooks still supported by latest iOS and MacOS"

My 2009 Lenovo is supported by the latest Windows 10 version *and* the battery is fully user-serviceable. After swapping to an SSD, it's still fine for lightweight work as well. Your argument works for the iPhone because Google is a bit shit, but there's nothing especially durable about Mac hardware vs. similarly specced PC hardware. The reason most laptops get tossed in less than 5 years is because they're sub-£400 trash.

Chuck Yeager, sound barrier pioneer pilot, dies at 97


Re: To boldly go where no man has gone before

My only memory of that is Chuck's smug voice telling me "Good thing this is just a simulator" as I crashed against unbeatable odds. I hated him for that! :)

Amazon’s cloudy Macs cost $25.99 a day. 77 days of usage would buy you your own Mac


M1 Equivalent

" an M1-powered Mac Mini with comparable spec costs $1,099."

I don't think that 16GB and 32GB are "comparable" when the likely use is software development.

If there were an M1-powered Mac with 32GB of RAM, we'd have already bought a dozen. But there isn't, and that's quite possibly why Amazon is still using the Intel-powered models.

It's been an Honor serving with you but you're our 'competitors' now, Huawei tells its sawn-off mobile limb


Given the usual cuts that go with that...

I suppose I can kiss my chances of an Android 11 update for my Honor V20 good-bye. Pity, because it's been a truly excellent device, and until recently got regular updates.

The Nord N10 is OnePlus's cheapest 5G handset and, boy, does it show



"Sadly, OnePlus immediately loses those points by opting for an LCD panel"

How many sub-£300 phones have an OLED panel? I'm pretty sure it's just the low-end Samsung, which is gimped in other ways to make up for it.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink


Re: Time bombs?

OKI and Brother are the only brands I ever recommend. You can get a colour laser for under £150 and never worry about all the bullshit that comes with inkjets.

Yes, I have to go to Costco for photos, but the economics of home photo printing were never really compelling given the downsides of home ink printing.

Uber allowed to continue operating in English capital after winning appeal against Transport for London


I agree whole-heartedly, but none of that means that Uber is a good company and well-managed. Anything but. It just means that the black cabs are worse!

Putting the B's in bargain basement, Xiaomi staggers into sunlight clutching Poco X3


As the owner of a Redmi Note 9 Pro, there is nothing vanilla about MIUI. It's certainly a step back from what I was used to with Huawei, as well. It's the most aggravating skin I've used in a while. But it's tolerable. Just.

The launch pricing seems odd - they're undercutting their own Redmi Note 9 Pro (which was the value leader up 'til now), with better specs. Maybe phasing out the Redmi name for mid-range devices in favour of Poco?

So... just 'Good' then? KFC pulls Finger Lickin' slogan while pandemic rumbles on


Re: Stats

I wouldn't rate KFC with McDonalds, for two reasons:

1 - Quality control. McD's is famous for this. A Big Mac is a Big Mac, everywhere. Franchisees who don't keep the standard are quickly disposed of. KFC is horrific for this. They can't even manage to keep their franchisees in line with 5 ratings for food safety. A McD's with a food safety rating of 3 is put into emergency measures, while it's quite normal for KFC.

2 - The actual food. See this is the thing, and it relates to the quality control. KFC, when it's good, is really, really good. Unfortunately, it's rarely so and frequently quite awful. McD's food is so-so, but at least consistently so.

Side note: I grew up in southern Ontario, where we had our own KFC. Officially known as "Scott's Chicken Villa" in tiny letters, but "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in giant ones, it was set up by Col. Sanders himself when he fled the States to Canada for tax reasons. We famously had the best KFC in North America because of it. Sadly merged back into the PepsiCo empire after the Colonel's death. When I visit home, I still miss when you could get a loaf of warm, buttered bread with your chicken.

Android 11 will let users stop device-makers from killing background apps, says Google


Re: Kill all background apps

Huawei's been called out for aggressively killing background apps, but at least it is fully user-configurable. I've quite liked their phones in the past because of this feature. (I kinda want the Play Store, so I won't be buying any new ones unfortunately)

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost


Re: There are reasons

No mention of how Teams, being based on Chromium, has an unquenchable thirst for RAM when performing only basic tasks?

Ryzen shine, kids: Huawei buries AMD silicon in latest laptop, hopes to lure 'young professionals'


The problem is that the 3000-series mobile AMD chips still wasted a lot of power in idle. A bug that's only been fixed with the 4000-series. These laptops are competitive with Intel, but not better. If it was a 4000, then you'd be right.

HTC breaks with tradition to push out 2 phones someone might actually want to buy


Re: I'll take the "small" one

To be fair, phone size mostly peaked a few years ago. The larger screen sizes you see today come from shrinking the non-screen bits of the phone. That Dell phablet that was ridiculed several years back is still bigger than most phones today, despite a smaller screen size.

Yes, they're still a bit too big. But they're not really any bigger than a few years ago.

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps


Re: It's a marketing coup

Most of the Android makers have done this. As of some version of Android, you can only install apps to the SD card if it's formatted to be a part of the system. If you do this, you can install apps there freely but removing the SD card will crash the phone. And accidentally formatting the card once you've removed it does even Worse Things.

Rather than provide support for the inevitable, most vendors just disabled the feature. I'd blame Google. The SD card app support was always shonky. They never should have included it half-baked the way they did back in Android 2.2 (or whatever - it's at least that old). Never worked well on my HTC Desire or anything else I've had since.

Dell to unleash hybrid server/storage boxen that can run virtual machines


Is this an update to the VRTX, or something completely different? Previous employer used those as all-in-one ESX solutions before "hyperconverged" was on everyone's lips.

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail


Re: Mercedes

I'm not going to defend the Americans' love of the automatic, but I will point out that very few Mercs in Europe sell with a stick shift either.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors


Re: This reminds me......

I remember some bloke selling his telly on Ebay not understanding why I was upset with him for the telly being larger than he said it was. (It was a 32" instead of the advertised 28"). The answer, of course, being that a 28" widescreen CRT is the largest thing that I can grab ahold of and move on my own. The 32" completely changed all the plans for moving it about. As it was, the TV stand bowed in the middle under the weight of the thing. It was well north of 60kg, IIRC.

The Outer Worlds: Ever wished Fallout 4 was more like New Vegas? Here ya go... in spaaace


CRPG reviews

Can we get a review of Disco Elysium for comparison?

Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy: Run Huawei, Google Play, turns away, from Huawei... turns away


How long will this one last?

ZTE was barred for all of three months. Though they admittedly sell fewer phones outside of China than Huawei does, but it didn't seem to trouble them much.

Hey, those warrantless smartphone searches at the US border? Unconstitutional, yeah? Civil-rights warriors ask court to settle this

Thumb Up

The ACLU is an example for all countries

I'm not even American and I'm tempted to donate to the ACLU and EFF at times. I wish Liberty (the closest UK equivalent) was as prompt with their legal challenges. But I imagine they just don't have the funding.

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?


Re: Re. Zip disks

I remember that mainly because I had a Zip drive from the original run (external SCSI) and it was dead reliable. Couldn't for the life of me understand why everyone else's Zip drives had so many problems...

Only one Huawei? We pitted the P30 Pro against Samsung and Apple's best – and this is what we found


Re: manual mode...

But Samsung has decent software these days. The thing with Huawei is they've got this excellent imaging hardware and really shit software around it. Shooting raw takes that out the equation, but it means you're a bit stuck with what you can post immediately to hipstagram.

How'd your servers get that baby-smooth look? Dutch and Brit cool kids dunk Supermicro systems in synthetic oil


Re: Respect Your Elders

I was going to say that the Fluorinert couldn't be huge next to the total system cost, but then I looked it up and a Cray-2 was "only" $15M. Seems cheap next to today's massive clusters!

Still, a 750lb barrel of Fluorinet is "just" $35k. Old Seymour didn't believe in doing anything if it wasn't all-out. Bless him. His biography is fascinating.


Huawei's 2019 flagship smartphones: 'Things nobody else can do' but baby I swear it's déjà vu


Re: no no no no

Counter-point: My final firmware update for my Honor 8 came 2.5 years after release with the December 2019 patches. While it would be nice if they offered longer support than that, really only Apple (and, to some extent, Google) excel in that space. Even OnePlus, who have a great rep with the techies, has been hit and miss with their updates.

I will admit that Huawei are terrible with their release cycle for OTA updates. From what I can see, they seem to make a firmware update for every Google security update. They just don't release most of them to the public for some reason, but it's easy enough to get the betas.

I suppose I just chimed in to say "Everyone is shit. Bar Apple."

P30 pic pyrotechnics in Paris: That's one Huawei to set the smartphone world alight


"The P30 dispenses with the headphone jack"

I wasn't there personally, but most other sites are reporting that the P30 *does* have a headphone jack and it's the P30 Pro that doesn't.

Billionaire Buffett's Berkshire liquidates $2.1bn stake in Oracle – months after buying the shares


Re: I wait for the day ...

Microsoft, the modern entity, I have a hard time hating. I don't *like* them, but they've left their worst practices in the past. And they actually have some half-decent software and hardware lines. I was actually put out that they canned the Windows Phone, because it ran so well on low-end hardware and I wanted it to grab a toehold just for that.

Crypto crash leads to inventory pile-up at Nvidia, sales slaughtered


Re: Good

Why would they "fix" something that's entirely by design? Market segmentation is hardly new, and AMD still do it themselves. They just gimp consumer boards a bit less than Nvidia does.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut



They did exist in North America, and I preferred the GM A-Body (Pontiac 6000, for my sins. Made a great winter beater though) Haynes manual to the Chiltern one.

My "baby" was a BMW E24, and the Bentley guide was the gold standard there.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true


JLV, from your own WIkipedia link:

"For chronic alcohol users, acute alcohol ingestion at the time of a paracetamol overdose may have a protective effect."

Paracetamol is dangerous. I'm not questioning that. However there is *no clinical proof* that alcohol worsens the effect, and as noted above the *opposite* can in fact be true. The only worrying effect is that drunken idiots may exceed the recommended dosage; and since the recommended dose to dangerous dose ratio is so low it creates a good chance of an overdose.

What it says on Canadian bottles of Tylenol is of no consequence whatsoever.


Tylenol/Paracetamol is bad for many reasons, but the interaction with alcohol malarkey was disproven years ago. Seems to only be on the American side of the Pond that the rumour persists, for some reason. Most "proofs" of this are people who've severely overdosed on the stuff, which is easy with that particular drug and why I'd avoid it irregardless of alcohol consumption.

See here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10759684

QNAP NAS user? You'd better check your hosts file for mystery anti-antivirus entries


Re: Source of the NAStiness?

I'll give them credit, my 7 year-old QNAP still gets regular updates. Or at least it did until recently - I rarely check for them. Such is the downfall of bits of kit that Just Work. I still don't have any compelling reason to replace it, though I'm tempted to upgrade to an x86 model just to run more things on it. But at that point it's no longer a simple enough device to just continue working flawlessly, so I hold back.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit


Re: Never trusted SystemD

Systemd started as a noble project to revise what is, I'm afraid, the utter shambles that is Linux system startup. And for that, it should be praised.

The fact that along the way it's suffered one of the worse cases of mission creep ever recorded in the annals of history shouldn't take that away from it. But yes, now that it's pretty much its own OS these sorts of things were bound to happen.

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off


Re: Went off of Logitech...

*joins the abandoned Squeezebox owners club*

Logitech consistently make good hardware. Then they either make abhorrent software for it, or once the software works, they kill the product entirely.

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


Re: Why?

" Small domestic machines heat the water and generate pressure 'ad-hoc' and so can fluctuate. Industrial espresso machines have individual boilers for steam generating the pressure to push the water to the coffee, and for the water itself, so that both are always at the optimal temperature / pressure."

While you're not incorrect, it's largely irrelevant if you're only making one or two coffees in a home system. The thermoblock and coil have more than enough thermal mass for that amount of work. You just can't serve up 8 straight at a party is all. Never mind the point of diminishing returns with all artisan gear - once you hit the £200-250 range for a basic DeLonghi Magnifica, everything past that costs quite a lot more for very little in return.

There's also the downside to having a decent machine - the beans get expensive. A cheap machine makes them all taste like muck, but once you're grinding fresh and using reasonable temps/pressure it's hard not to buy the expensive ones.

Doom: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins


Re: iddqd

And, of course, IDSPISPOPD.

I actually played Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Piles of Putrid Debris. It was kind of enjoyable, if only for the sound effects. I can't manage to dig up the USENET thread about it, but it was genius.

Qualcomm lifts lid on 7nm Arm-based octo-core Snapdragon 855 chip for next year's expensive 5G Androids


Interesting that they've gone with one higher clocked Big core, and three that are barely much slower. Huawei went with 2/2 and clocked the slower ones a fair bit less. Will be good to see the real world upshot of it, or whether there's even a noticeable difference to the Kirin chip.

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here


Port Pedantry

" It includes two USB-C ports, one of which supports Thunderbolt, but still remembers to include a legacy USB 3.0 port."

USB 3.0 is a deprecated standard. There is USB 3.1(Gen 1 - previously known as USB 3.0) and USB3.1(Gen 2). I'd let that slide, except that is not what you meant. Even I think it's being too pedantic to bitch about 3.0 vs 3.1 Gen 1 because everyone knows what you mean. I'm pointing it out because I'm already posting about the bigger mistake in the picture here.

It has a USB-A port, as well as its two USB-C ports. USB 1, 2, 3, 3.1 are not physical port standards. It is perfectly possible (see most phones) to have a USB-C port that only provides the USB 2.0 protocol over it. No excuse for a publication like The Reg to get that incorrect. And naughty on Huawei, who should know better, for also calling it a USB 3.0 port.

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt


Re: Trident

It's *one* reason, not a primary one. The Americans are fully aware that a nuclear deterrent that requires GPS is worthless. US doctrine assumes GPS in peacetime, but not in a hot war. To use Trident as an example, an SSBN will occasionally get a GPS fix to verify its own location. But it doesn't have to, and does so rarely. In wartime, it may *attempt* a GPS fix - because who doesn't like to triple-verify things like that - but a launch can take place without it. To-the-metre location is not required for a successful D5 launch. You get a decent rough estimate of launch location and the stellar navigation can handle the rest. I mean - seriously - they were launching nukes from submarines for *decades* before GPS was around. It helps with accuracy, but given that they quote D5's CEP at under 100m, it can be out an order of magnitude and make little difference to the end effect. (Unless it's a first strike at hardened targets - but then GPS would be available)

To sum - GPS is optional and nice to have, but not at all required for the nuclear deterrent. There are plenty of *conventional* weapons that are near-useless without it though.

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot


Re: Reboots

On the plus side, a reboot would (I assume) involve someone from today going back to the 1980s. I think there's plenty of material to be mined from that. Maybe with a few references to the original thrown in there. Even more fun if they set it in the UK!

Nvidia just can't grab a break. Revenues up, profit nearly doubles... and stock down 20%


Re: Oh please

"So in your little world, who decides what research is worthy of having access to computer time? Historically that was academics, now you seem to be saying the fattest pocketbook (i.e. whoever can pay NVIDIA enough to get attention) dictates what can or cannot be simulated or investigated."

Academia has always got discounts, and still does. What in the hell are you talking about? Universities have still always shelled out a LOT of money for that kit, even with the discounts. Do you really think money doesn't talk in academia? That's crazy.

And yes, it had ALWAYS been the case that researchers with the right friends can call up IBM, Nvidia, you name it and get this stuff for cost. Below cost, if it's headline-grabbing enough. It's purest fantasy to even suggest that academics actually get to decide research priorities when there's massive expenses involved.


Re: Oh please

"Yeah, I think they care immensely. Especially when they're doing months or years of calculations and need a stable base to run it on, a predictable and consistent interface to do so, to squeeze every inch out of their hardware, and to do so without unrelated gaming/media functions or driver bugs rearing their head."

Then they shouldn't use gaming cards and gaming drivers, maybe? Teslas and Quadros exist for a reason. If you're too cheap for them, then them's the breaks. Oh the horror, people charge more for enterprise-class hardware and software, never would have thought it.

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges


Re: Hostage situations...

There are some exceptions (someone mentioned the Dutch police), but it is generally true that once the decision has been made to apply deadly force, then the officers are instructed to do exactly that. The problem is with how liberally the decision to apply that force is taken in the United States.

Their northern neighbours need to fill out a small notebook worth of forms every time they so much as draw their firearm. This is to enforce the rule that you do not draw your firearm unless you fully intend to use it. And any situation that requires the use of deadly force should generate a lot of paperwork. This rolls back now to the issue of "shoot to wound" - abandoning such notions is to protect the officer. We have to assume that a trained officer of the law (well, outside of the US) will not draw their weapon unless it is needed, and if it is needed they must go for the shot that provides the greatest chance to disable, or indeed kill the threat. Shoot for the torso. It makes sense.



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