* Posts by Neil 8

64 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Aug 2010


FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall

Neil 8

Yeah I think this is a big part of the justification internally too: When you sell your car your account isn't transferable, so your subscriptions end.

I have a(n extensively) used 2015 i3 and I guess this was a test model for the "connected drive store", since this is where I have to pay if I want map updates, online access, etc.

Win 11 adds 'requirements not met' nag for unsupported hardware

Neil 8

4GB RAM, 1GHz 64-bit processor.

Those quoted requirements look almost reasonable. However, my machine has 48GB RAM, 4Ghz 64-bit processor with 16 cores (original Threadripper) - But doesn't meet the requirements for Win11.

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it

Neil 8


You've somewhat misunderstood the position there. Users OUTSIDE of the UK can carry on as normal. Users INSIDE the UK must use the BBCs own app, and of course must be signed into an account to allow for data collection.

*Switches an FM radio back on*

DJI's Spark drones to be bricked by September 1 unless firmware updated

Neil 8

It's not that ridiculous...

I have a Spark myself & multiple owners over on the official forum have had drones drop out of the sky without warning. If the firmware update addresses that, why would you NOT make it compulsory?

More interesting is that they haven't actually come out & said they've fixed that. I suspect they're rather under-playing the 'battery firmware changes' rather than making themselves liable for damages...

BBC hooks up with ITV, launches long awaited US subscription VoD

Neil 8

Hang on, so you can have BBC/ITV content for £70/y if you're outside the UK or £145/y inside?

1.37bn records from somewhere to leak on Monday

Neil 8

Re: Vickery, of MacOS security software house MacKeeper

Yeah I came to say the same: MacKeeper is 'security software' almost exclusively sold thorugh pop-ups & fake system alerts.

Brit loan firm gets comeuppance for 7.7 million spam texts

Neil 8

So... <2p per text?

£130K for 7.7m texts is... 1.6p per text

This seems like an acceptable cost of doing business, rather than a fine.

Patching a fragmented, Stagefrightened Android isn't easy

Neil 8

Re: "it needs to push carriers to push over-the-air updates promptly after fixes become available."

I disagree, my old Note 2 on Three was landed with a pile of random lock-up bugs which I could ultimately only fix by replacing the Three image with a pure Samsung one I found online.

The operators still can and control the image update process and they certainly don't push updates monthly. For phones more than a couple of years old it's more likely never.

Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Neil 8

Re: Fingerprint detector

That's what I was thinking too. In fact it's odd that the article compares the phone to the iPhone 6+ in a couple of places, but never to the Note 4.

Affirmative wrist action: Pebble Time raises 20 MEELLION BUCKS on Kickstarter

Neil 8

Re: "back-lit colour e-paper"

Well, just like the original mono product, when they say "e-paper" they do not mean e-ink, though they're happy for you to make the assumption.

In fact it's just a more-reflective-than-usual LCD panel.

What they called transflective, back in the days of the original iPaq.

Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

Neil 8


Remember when Apple though it could take on Google Maps, massively underestimating how many dollars & years of research + data collection actually went into it?

Robox: How good could a sub-£1k 3D printer be?

Neil 8

Wanhao Duplicator 4S

I've had excellent results with a Duplicator 4S, which is basically a £700 clone of the Makerbot Replicator Dual. This will print ABS, which is "strong enough", as well as PLA. I've printed functional stuff like replacement curtain track clips with it, as well as prettier stuff like these Raspberry Pi cases & stuff, here.

Can't imagine I'd have been much happier if I'd spent 4x more on a machine.

Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Neil 8

Raspberry Pi

You can get a Raspberry Pi and an SD Card for about £30 and run all of your Spectrum games on the TV via the Fuse emulator. You can make it auto-boot the emulator if you like.

I know this because I do it and 3D-printed a case (or two) for mine - https://www.flickr.com/photos/pyramidhead76/15845903305/

But you obviously don't need the printed case to play the games...

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

Neil 8

It's difficult to explain without a diagram but doing it in one step would result in a jagged image since you'd be visibly dropping pixels.

By rendering in two steps - First at the imaginary 2208x1242 resolution and then scaling down, you can blend the dropped pixels into their nearest neighbours.

It's likely that the GPU can do this anti-aliased down-sampling operation in very little time.

Virgin Media hit by MORE YouTube buffering glitches

Neil 8

Also the Google Play Store

... But perhaps they cache access to that too?

T-Mobile US lobs sueball at Huawei: Claims Chinese giant stole robot tech

Neil 8

"T-Mobile was forced to cancel planned Huawei handset purchases"...

... Because now (after stolen-robo-testing) they'd be more reliable for T-Mobile's customers?

Nearly there! LOHAN Kickstarter pot o'gold breaks £29,000

Neil 8

Important question

Are you inviting Lindsay Lohan to the launch now it's in her own back yard*?

*Still probably around 2000 miles away.

£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

Neil 8

Re: Use of technology

The recording would be inadmissible in a tribunal/court unfortunately.

Although, recording it for your own use is legal, AFAIK.

Kickstarter hopefuls promise high-res aerial maps for the masses

Neil 8


Yeah, he's placed the wheel in the cloud & will be charging by the turn rather than for the whole wheel.

World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record

Neil 8

Re: Tesla S?

The difference is that this can recharge from its own solar panels - See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNSW_Sunswift

However (although I could have missed it) the article seems strangely silent on how long that would take exactly.

Vodafone: SPOOKS are plugged DIRECTLY into our network

Neil 8


"If we receive a demand we can push back against the agency"

I suspect this really means, "If we receive a demand we can issue a quote and make sure we get paid for granting access"

A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

Neil 8

"The P7, however, is extravagantly well-crafted and boasts a slimmer profile"

If only there was some way to demonstrate this. Perhaps one day the internet will allow for pictures, if only on technology sites at first.

X marks the... They SAID there was a mystery planet there – NASA

Neil 8

Planet X can probably be retired now we have the new catch-all of Dark Matter to blame for everything...


PayPal mudslingfest TELEVISED: Icahn and Donahoe go on telly

Neil 8


> eBay's continued success is largely due to it being the first point of call for auctions.

And it will remain the only point of call, thanks to owning ALL of the patents relating to any online auction process.

ALL of the patents.


French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

Neil 8

Re: British Law

I think UK law varies a lot depending on if you're a hobbyist - Mostly common sense and contained within this doc:


... Or doing "commercial aerial work", where the regulations & licensing seem to be more complex http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995&pageid=11213

'I had a rare Twitter handle... I was extorted into giving it up'

Neil 8

High res mars pics

But... They do and already did release high res photos and all raw images. I posted the links the last time around.

Edit: Here - How much higher res did he want? These were available the day after it made the news.


The rest are here: http://tinyurl.com/bnm2z

And I'd say it's reasonable to suspect this image shows the hole in the ground that the rock was flicked up from: http://tinyurl.com/qg983lp

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Neil 8

Better pics here

NASA kindly make all of their raw images for spirit/opportunity (and MSL) available to all for free & practically in real time.

Opportunity raw images here: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/opportunity.html

And a particularly good shot of the mystery object here: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/m/3541/1M442544805EFFCAEOP2955M2M1.JPG

It's about time ESA did the same thing...

Now THAT'S a sunroof: Solar-powered family car emerges from Ford labs

Neil 8

This car may not be for you

I know The Reg is based in the UK, but this is a Ford concept out of the USA, where there's no shortage of space (in most, but not all places) for parking & building concentrators at home or at work. There's also no shortage of sunlight for millions of potential buyers there.

Just because something might not work in central London doesn't mean it's a bad idea for everyone.

Curiosity gets an OS upgrade, plans new round of selfies

Neil 8

Raw images for everyone

It's worth repeating that NASA put all of the raw images for this mission online almost immediately for anyone interested to look at:


The MAHLI camera is used for these wheel inspections - http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=490&camera=MAHLI

Neil 8

Re: Legs v Wheels

What multi-leg technology existed in 2011 when this was launched?

The Boston Dynamics stuff is all absolute state of the art as we move into 2014 & seems to require more electrical power (via a petrol generator) than the rover can provide even now. I don't think we'll see robots running around mars just yet.

ICO on beefed-up EU privacy rules: Biz bods will need 'explicit consent' to slurp data

Neil 8

"There will likely continue to be alternatives to relying on an individual’s consent to process their personal information" - In which case the new rules probably still aren't strong enough...

The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

Neil 8

Re: Car analogy

Agreed: The FEAR of screwing up computers is a very strong limiting factor against tinkering, and not just for children. For me this is the absolutely critical difference between 'Today's Family Netbook' and the 8/16 bit computers many of us 30-somethings grew up with, it's not just about the cost.

If you totally, utterly screw up your Pi OS & don't know how to fix it, you can just stick in your backup SD card and carry on within 30 seconds. No harm done.

Dixons preps home 3D printer for plastic-piping punters

Neil 8

Re: I'll buy one

A bit like this one?


But if you read up on the Cube it's strongly implied that their refil carts feature DRM 'so that the printer knows how much filament is left' (AKA so that you can't just feed it cheap PLA from someone else)

Engineer's $30m windfall from Nintendo 3DS patent spat SLASHED by beak

Neil 8

Re: Uhm...

Yeah that's very clever I'm sure. Except the 3DS doesn't use a Lenticular screen...


Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

Neil 8

Quick question...

Who pays for the electricity that the smart meter itself consumes? I'm sure they're quite efficient blah blah blah, but just wondering...

Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

Neil 8

Re: Completely Wrong.

I think it's also wrong to assume that RealMoneyMail™ wouldn't take your money AND plunder your data or do whatever else they can to maximise profits.

Sky are all to happy to take a subscription fee AND show you adverts, for example...

Kim Dotcom claims invention of two-factor authentication

Neil 8

Re: @asdf (was: This plonker claims to have invented the common or garden padlock?)

Correct. Jake is embarrassing himself by repeatedly insisting he's right when he's demonstrably not.

* A padlock opened only by a key (something you have) is 1-factor authentication.

* A padlock opened only by a pin (something you know) is 1-factor authentication.

* If you had a padlock with both, *that* would be two-factor authentication.

Claiming that the lock itself is a factor if authentication is just plain wrong: Making a payment with your chip & PIN card is 2-factor auth. Making a payment with a NFC 'tap to pay' card is 1 factor auth.

*Waits for Jake's downvote*

Yahoo 'won't screw Tumblr'? Then Tumblr will screw its balance sheet

Neil 8

Enhanced user experience

"...seamless and enhance the user experience"

I understand that they have to add ads, fine. But... No experience in my lifetime has ever been enhanced by the addition of adverts, or likely ever will be. I suspect I'm not alone.

You have to wonder if these people *actually believe* what they're saying sometimes. I think I'd prefer if they knew it was bullshit, but I think they really might believe it...

Retro-tech fan seeks cash for Commodore 64 clones

Neil 8

Already done, more or less...

This basically already exists in the Chameleon.


You can power it from USB (no actual C64 required) and have an FPGA-based C64 running cycle correct and plugged into a VGA monitor. You can even stick Amiga or Spectrum firmwares on the FPGA instead & have those running in hardware.

Neil 8

Re: "Something seems amiss."

Or you can stick a raspberry pi into a real C64 case, like I have here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-kvtKI-Tp4

Congratulations, copyright infringers: You are the five per cent

Neil 8

Re: Presumably because it's risk-free and saves a ton of money

Well, therein lies a very interesting question: Would the author apply the Freetard label to paying Netflix subscribers who are sitting in the UK watching US content?

I'm sure that commercially & probably legally, it's clear: Those people are viewing unlicensed content.

But to Andrew, is this THE SAME as piracy, or a grey area?

Perfect sex minx calculated from 'deep' probe of X-rated flicks

Neil 8

Re: the perfectly average

I was going to post much the same thing. There are almost no fields in which you'd take a set of 'unusually gifted' people and proclaim that their average would be 'better' than any of the individuals.

You might argue that you average out the flaws, but you can't do that without averaging out the, err, peaks.

Mystery martian object is relic of (our) civilisation

Neil 8

Re: another shitty black & white image?

Sure, there you go:


However, that's as close as this camera can get, I think. Which is why they gave us the clearer but mono image from the other camera instead...

The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Neil 8

Re: Jai, I agree but with this qualification......

"What do you do when it locks up tighter than a nun's knickers?"

Hold POWER+HOME until it powers off. Although this combo is detected by the OS if operational, after 10 seconds it's a hardware reset switch which cannot be prevented regardless of what's locked up. I imagine it's implemented this way *because* you can't just pull the battery.

I've had to do this a few times to a jailbroken iPod Touch.

Yes, you can be sacked for making dodgy Facebook posts

Neil 8

Ah, I see: When you say "You" you actually mean "You if you work in the USA". Which a lot of your readers still don't.

In the UK it's common to see T&Cs that require you not to damage the reputation of your employer. But just lately the news seems to be full of employers embarrassing their staff...

Zuck weds self to lady friend in surprise ceremony

Neil 8

A good question is asked over at the BBC:

"But, hey Mark, why did you not do what you tell the rest of us to do, and share your plans with your Facebook friends a few months ago?" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18142566

UK.gov to require you to opt out of data-sharing plan with drug firms

Neil 8

"opting NHS patients into its data-sharing plans would help remove delays within the system"

This really is double-speak at its worst: "Opt: To make a choice or decision from a range of possibilities"

If the proposed system had any credibility they'd have the courage of conviction to rely on opt-in on a per-patient basis.

What's proposed instead is that all data is stolen and re-sold, with patients later given some (most likely obscure) mechanism to opt out. It's clearly not compatible with either the spirit or the letter of DP laws to use people's medical data in this way.

iPhone 4S is for failures who work in coffee shops - Samsung

Neil 8

When the S2 battery runs flat...

I stick another one in. It doesn't take a (certified Apple) Genius.

Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range

Neil 8


The 125cc bikes I had will do 60ish on L-plates & were entirely legal.

London bus timings mobile beta site spotted

Neil 8


The West Midlands has a population of over 5 million, so they'll need a different excuse.