* Posts by Vlad

29 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jun 2007

Gas supplier blames 'rogue' code for Channel Island outage


I wonder if they use SCADA?


I must admit that I haven't read it all.

The return of the classic Flying Toasters screensaver


Bouncing Cows

My favoutite is the Bouncing Cows screensaver: A Cow. A Trampoline. Together, they fight crime.

Facebook: Yeah, we hoovered up 1.5 million email address books without permission. But it was an accident!


Re: "Please, pardon us as it looks we don't know we're doing what we actually do"

I recently installed WhatsApp on a phone that I use for business and I was shocked when the first thing it did after installation was to slurp through my phone contacts and cross-match my contacts with other WhatsApp users. This was done without my permission, of course (as I would have deleted all contacts if I had known).

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker


Are they going to.....

write a faeces on it?

New Horizons eyeballs Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, its next flyby goal


Uma Thurman?

Am I the only one who misread the title and saw the name of the Kill Bill actress?

What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave


It's time to quit IT and go and work somewhere that you enjoy

This rings quite a few bells with me as a couple of months ago I quit what had become a poisonous culture. Since leaving school in the 80s I have done TV repairs, photocopier servicing, and then from the mid-90s I have been in IT. For at least the past five years there has been a marked change in employers’ attitudes – but nobody is calling this a recession. I was happy to do the extra time that inevitably comes along in IT – as long as there was paid overtime, flexi hours and appreciative managers to compensate. My organisation, however, had undergone a 24 month reorganisation of IT services which had totally sucked the fun out of what was once a good job. Now I know that as I am in my 50s I am no longer the eager to please youngster that I once was, but I know what I am doing and I do it well. I am happy to say that I won’t be hurrying back to the multiple projects with stupid deadlines and constantly moving goalposts, along with in-fighting leaders. I have quit IT and am doing something completely different. I was only out of work for a short time and I had job offers within weeks. The pay in my new job isn’t as good but I feel so much better.

WileyFox Swift 2: A new champ of the 'for around £150' market


That garden needs some work....

and I don't know why the Spacehopper is apparently so happy.

Daft Punk: Snowden goes electronica


Jarre - a blast from the past

Is JMJ still churning out albums? I liked his early stuff but grew tired of buying the (expensive at the time) CDs - only to find that each one was more disappointing than the previous one. I won't be bothering with this.

Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust


Are these drives lighter?

Has anyone weighed them to check that they ARE filled with Helium?

2015: The year of MAD TV science, but who can keep up?


Has anybody thought about the sound?

I was recently thinking about a full HD TV and went to a few shops. They all had very thin bezels and none of them had forward-facing speakers. The salesman couldn't understand why my wife asked about the speakers facing the wall rather than the viewer. Aparently you now need to buy a 'soundbar' (which costs as much as the TV) if you actually want to hear what's going on. And most of them have a remote control that's separate to the TV for the volume. Is this progress?

Icelandic brewers knock up whale 'nad beer


I'll stick with civet coffee


At least you know where it's been....

Taylor Swift dumps Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you


I recently tried to buy a song that I heard on the radio.....

and found that it would be available to purchase in two months time! So the artist lost a sale as I used 'Freemake Youtube to MP3 Boom' to make a...ahem....'backup' copy until such time as I could legally make a purchase. In the meantime I got sick of that song. That record company lost a sale as they hoped that people would hear it on the radio many times and then purchase en block when it became available - pushing the title to the top of the 'Hit Parade' (or whatever it's now called). If I hear something I like I want to buy it immediately. Full stop (Period, in Merkin).

Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'


And no mention of Sky cancellations?....Until now

Nobody has commented so far on cancelling a Sky TV subscription?

It 'only' took me about 45 minutes and four disconnected calls. I had researched doing a cancellation by registered post but, oh noooo, you can't do that! The reps were very polite, though.

I'm very happy with the zero subscription costs of my YouView HD PVR.

Amazon floats 'Prime Air' drone delivery plan


Free advertising

Isn't it funny how they release this on the busiest Internet shopping day of the year? Just to get the name AMAZON into everyones brains a little more. Just like all of those pop stars and book authors who appear on TV at this time of year - and they just happen to have something to sell for the Christmas market. Cynical, moi?

Fujitsu femto boost promises to double LTE speeds



Is it only me that thinks of Austin Powers fembots whenever I read 'femto'?

Royal Navy halts Highlands GPS jamming

Thumb Up

Moaning fishermen

How typical of fishermen. They are forever moaning. There are even TV programmes that have them moaning. Have you ever seen a happy fisherman? As I hate the smell and taste of fish I say good job RN!

Belkin Pleat Sleeve for Kindle


And for 25.99 less....

I made a sleeve for my Kindle out of a piece of white card. It is 14mm shorter than the Kindle, so the Kindle slides in from the top. The sides and bottom are held together with packing tape marked 'Fragile'. I made it before going on holiday over two months ago, and although it's getting grubby it's still going strong. It does the job perfectly.

{Boffin icon - NOT!}

Nokia DC-14 bike charger


A hub dynamo works better, but is more expensive

I got myself a Shimano DH-3N30 hub dynamo in a new 700C front wheel for charging my Sony K850 phone for a cycling/camping holiday last year. It charged well enough, but I did find that the frequent stopping caused my phone to crash a few times. The dynamo and home-made regulator combination cost me about £85 in total. A lot of money to keep a phone charged but it did mean that I was independent of mains power.

Men may be able to grow a new pancreas from their testicles


What would we call them?


Ten... dirt-cheap voice phones


Sony Ericsson Spiro battery life

My wife has had a Spiro for a few months and she has to charge it every other day. She suspects that it's the screen lighting-up frequently when it's in her handbag that drains the battery. She has the keylock activated but of course the display comes on whenever any button is pressed.

NASA: Lunar pole-shot plume shows up in pictures


Nobel prize for Moon-bomber!

How ironic that Brrrrack Obama was awarded a Nobel peace prize on the same day that his country bombed the moon. What has the moon ever done to them? Perhaps the 'searching for water' story is just a cover-up - they're really looking for oil.

Germans satisfy latex desire with GM dandelions


I don't trust German-made rubber

Years ago I used to repair audio equipment such as tape recorders. The drive belts in the Grundig (German manufacturer) ones always used to get really cracked, and eventually broke. In comparison, I rarely needed to replace drive belts in units made by manufacturers from other countries. Also the rubber feet on the really old reel-to-reel Grundig recorders went all sticky. No German rubber for me, thanks!

D-Link DHP-303


CB radio and Amateur Radio are not the same


CB and Amateur Radio are completely different. Amateur Radio enthusiasts (aka Hams) must pass a technical exam before they can get a licence to transmit. One would hope that OFCOM would provide the same amount of protection against radio interference to Radio Amateurs as vice versa. OFCOM would probably act quickly if a Radio Amateur was suspected of causing interference to others. To be fair to D-Link this comment is a little off-topic as it refers to Red Bren's link above.

Adobe patches Reader flaw


Acrobat reader alternative?

I agree with AC's comments on Acrobat Reader bloat. I'm also sick of getting pop-up reminders about updates every time I open a PDF (and that's with a recent version of the program). Fair enough, it's good to know that they're offering updates to improve security, but as far as I know it's not possible to set the program to check for updates only once a month or so. I'm going to give an alternative - PDF Xchange Viewer a try.

Concrete-jet 'printers' to build houses, Moonbases in hours


I dread the helpdesk calls that this one might generate!

User: Hello, is that the Helpdesk? I've got a problem with my concrete-jet printer. I've tried printing the Concert Hall job five times but it keeps going wrong! Your engineer might need to bring a sledge hammer along with them.

Microsoft dishes dirt on IE8 'pr0n mode'


Linux live CDs

I thought that's what live CDs such as Knoppix were for!

But, more importantly, what about Duck Porn ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/20/microsoft_adcenter_keywords/ )?

BAA grounds Heathrow T5 fingerprinting system

Black Helicopters

A reprieve for T5, but the USA is still off my travel list

Well done, Information Commissioner! I associate having my fingerprints being taken as being suspected of having been involved in a criminal activity. I found Orwell's 1984 the most haunting book that I've ever read and the gradual erosion of our privacy, and ultimately freedom, bothers me. 'Terrorism' is just the current bogeyman until something or someone else comes along. I resolved not to visit the USA again until they'd got over this fingerprinting business, but Terminal 5 is a bit too close to home for my liking. It's getting to the point where our travel is being restricted if we choose to avoid complying with their biometric ID methods. [I used to think that this icon was a native with a Mohican, and crossbones tied behind his head - is it just me?]

Top US engineer in piss-off-everybody car fuel solution


Water powered car website taken down?

Yesterday I was happily reading Stan Meyer's website - waterpoweredcar.com but today I can't get to it. I had to use a cached copy on Google instead. Apparently people who advocate this have been known to 'disappear'. I hope that this isn't my last posting....

Killer Wi-Fi panics London's chattering classes


High frequency audio causing headaches?

A possible explanation for the (slightly off-topic) discussion from Adam and Sean above would be high frequency audio emissions from switched-mode power supplies and CRT-only TV sets. I used to repair TVs and could hear the scan coils emitting sound at 15.625KHz. 15 years of listening to Dance music has put paid to that, though!

Maybe some people are susceptible to high frequency audio and are blaming radiation instead?