* Posts by Pen-y-gors

3774 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

Browsers could face two regimes in Europe as UK law set to diverge from EU


To be fair...

I rather like the idea of having an option in my Firefox to refuse all non-essential cookies on all sites. And make it automatic and default refuse.

Thousands of websites run buggy WordPress plugin that allows complete takeover



There are 4000+ bakeries on t'internet with a website? Who'd have guessed.

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall



Heated front seats start from $18 (£15) a month.

Well, in the UK you'd probably only want those for a few months over winter, so subscribe in November and cancel in March.

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025


Reciva Radios

Some years ago I bought a Roberts internet radio, that used the Reciva service to provide information on available radio stations. It's a jolly handy bit of kit, lives by the bed, and tunes in to radio stations all over the world. It was not cheap.

Last year the new owners of Reciva announced they were shutting the service down. What does that mean? Expensive radios (almost) bricked. Mine still works to listen to stations on my 5 presets, but that's it.

I'm sure someone could have afforded to set up a new minimalist server that would have enabled the radios to keep working, even if it wasn't updated daily - Roberts weren't the only people using the service.

Oh yes, Roberts I believe offered a 20% discount on a new radio.

NYC issues super upbeat PSA for surviving the nuclear apocalypse


After the bomb

I used to work for a large insurance company. We had the usual complicated backup and recovery strategy, part of which was that a monthly(?) copy of the backup tapes of all our databases was sent down to London and put in a very old, very large safe, buried deep in the basement, and said to be immune to nuclear attack.

Given that our IT centre was based near to several likely targets of Soviet nukes, one had to wonder "Why bother?"

And would we really want to pay out on a load of life assurance claims?

British Army Twitter and YouTube feeds hijacked by crypto-promos


Building bridges?

"to put it bluntly, you can't cyber your way across a river."

Possibly not, but with good networks and drones, you can sure as heck stop the opposition getting across a river. Ask the RuZZians. And the same things can help you find and secure a good place for your engineers to build a bridge.



How does Top of The Pops help secure passwords?

And this week at number 3, we have that old favourite "password"

At number 2, is new entry "secret"

But at number one, for the two hundredth week running, is good old "1234"

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes


Re: Why

I have an old German phrase book (1960s?) which includes , under "travelling by air", the memorable phrase "Will you please open a window".


Re: Why

Problem in reverse.

Coming home to UK from Hong Kong about 30 years ago. No problem with the seating (managed to get front row with extra leg space) but it was the first flight back after the Miss World contest, and half the plane was taken up by the contestants - imagine the queues for the loos before we landed as everyone redid their slap!


Re: Low bar?

I have a lovely photo of my Grandpa standing next to a WW1 bi-plane with it's nose in a field of cabbages near Brooklands, where he was, I believe, a flying instructor. I don't know if he or a student was piloting.

But as they say, any landing you can walk away from is a good one.


Re: No space for the crew rest area

But, to be fair, how many business people really NEED to travel these days? Have they not discovered Zoom?

And bringing back the great ocean cruise ships sounds like a pretty neat idea. S.S. Oriana from Southampton to Sydney via Bombay and Singapore. And the food's better than British Airways.

SpaceX and OneWeb bury the satellite constellation hatchet


Great news for GPS

Isn't this excellent news for the Great British GPS system that will run on OneWeb low-orbit broadband satellites? Isn't that why the UK Govt bought them?

EV battery can reach full charge in 'less than 10 minutes'


Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

Biggest problem isn't peak demand - in many areas it's the network infrastructure will be the issue. This sort of demand is the equivalent of building a new small housing estate, which may require serious upgrades to the local substations etc.

...and for something that isn't used very much.

A large majority of EV users will charge their cars at home (or work, or the supermarket) where they can quite happily have a slowish charge that takes a few hours. The only real demand for 5/10 minute charges will be at motorway (or equivalent) charging points where people are on a long journey. And if you're putting several dozen of these on the same site you might as well install a mini-nuke next door.

HP pilots paper delivery service for Instant Ink subscribers


Home delivery

I think the idea of having someone deliver printer supplies directly to your office/home is absolutely brilliant. No need to traipse round the shops.

I'm amazed that Amazon haven't thought of it already.

Oh no, wait...

No more fossil fuel or nukes? In the future we will generate power with magic dust


Time Crystals?

So we have several impossible things happening before breakfast.

One problem though is that time crystals must be tiny.

How about we harness another 'impossible' thing - the humble bumble-bee? They work on a macro scale. I know it would be a bit cruel, but couldn't we hook them up to a mini-treadmill or fly-wheel?

Photonic processor can classify millions of images faster than you can blink


What's a "category"?

"the photonics chip was able to categorize an image in under 570 picoseconds with an accuracy of 89.8-93.8 percent."

For a given value of 'categorise'?

a) There's a building in the picture

b) It's a picture of 17 Railway Sidings, East Cheam

a) There's a human in the picture

b) It's a picture of a soldier in the Russian 17th Motorised Artillery Brigade, who isn't a POW.

Elon Musk's Twitter mega-takeover likely imminent


Twitter - the new FriendsReunited

A lot to pay to kill off a web site

First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets


Re: a country the size of Wales

But, but...Cymru already produces twice as much electricity as it consumes. We're the 5th largest electricity exporter in the world!

And if we were allowed to build our tidal lagoons we'd do even better.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?


Press any key to continue.

I've still not found a keyboard with an 'any' key.

But I do recall a problem in a CICS program. We had a report that the screen was stuck and just reloaded whatever the user pressed. There was a useful message, but it ended with "PF5 for Help"

(max 79 char message)

We had assumed that the user understood that PF5 was the function key. No. They typed in the literal PF5 and pressed Enter, which really twisted some knickers.

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400



Presumably you plug it into the TV?


Size of a real keyboard?

My last Spectrum was in fact a full-size keyboard with a Specy motherboard etc built in

Much nicer than the dead flesh keyboard! That would have been about 1983?

Aint innovation grand!

Massive cyberattack takes Ukraine military, big bank websites offline


Re: Give the propaganda a break

You work for the FSB and I claim my £5. How's the weather in Petrograd today?


Re: US intelligence is really good

Sounds like a good time to invade Vladivostok, while the Russian Army is massing in the West.


Cut-off time?

Perhaps time for every cable in and out of Russia to go down for 'maintenance' for an unspecified lengthy period?

Amazon stretches working life of its servers an extra year, for AWS and its own ops


Amazon Prime?

Ok, I appreciate that Amazon are evil incarnate, but one of the things that really, really pisses me off is Amazon Prime.

I would be happy to pay an annual sub to have free next-day delivery. But why do they bundle in all sorts of crap services that I don't want, which then go up in cost so they can 'justify' a price rise? I don't want to watch their crappy TV. Why can't I just pay £50 p.a. for the free delivery bit?

Welsh home improvement biz fined £200,000 over campaign of 675,478 nuisance calls


Coming soon to a Priti-Patel sponsored Bill near you...


Re: 29.6p for each call

And cheaper than sending a 2nd class letter

Something 4,000 light years away emitted strange radio bursts. This is where we talk to scientists for actual info



Encoded commands to the lizard-people who are "governing" the UK?

Hardware boffin starts work on simulation of an entire IBM S/360 Model 50 mainframe



I cut my teeth on a 360/44 at St Andrews in the mid-seventies. Don't suppose there's an Algol-W or Fortran IV compiler available for the simulator?

NASA's Curiosity finds signs of ancient life on Mars. Or maybe not. More data needed


Not bad

for a machine designed to last for two years. And Opportunity lasted 14 years, on a designed lifespan of 90 days!

If NASA built cars, we'd still be driving roadworthy Model-T Fords.

Tonga takes to radio, satellite, motorboat comms to restore communications after massive volcano blast and tsunami


Did I miss something here?

The interconnected cable is broken up into two routes, and the redundancy ensures countries on the underwater fiber optic line remain connected


Less than PEACH-y: UK's plant export IT system only works with Internet Explorer


Re: A Firefox user writes...

But curiously - I use FF and it's in Welsh!

Police National Computer not pwned by Clop ransomware crims, insists Home Office


How can Plods tell?

I mean, this hack on the PNC, which may or may not have happened, and if it did (or didn't) would have happened (or not happened) in the past so is nothing to do with the Met. And there's no evidence of anything happening (or not happening), as #BaronessDick has shredded all the logs which might or might not have shown anything. If there was anything to show.

East Londoners nicked under Computer Misuse Act after NHS vaccine passport app sprouted clump of fake entries


What is a 'passport'

This whole covid passport thing doesn't really worry me, as I have no interest in attending any venue where they might be required! I'll stay at home and only go out to the shops for food. I'm lucky - I work from home anyway.

But do we need this mega-technical bureaucracy of apps etc? Surely the simplest starting point is showing your vaccination card(s)? I have two - one with the details of my first two jabs on, and the other with my booster. Issued by NHS Cymru. If they're worried about faking it, shove some holograms on the cards. Given that it's only a matter of managing risk, and Covid can pass around even in a room of fully-vaxed people, surely it's hardly critical if the odd un-vaxed dick-head sneaks in with some fake paperwork. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best!

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it


Intelligent websites?

You know you're getting autumnal when...

You go to a certain website named after a big river and under 'top picks' it offers you Adult defibrilator pads. True.

I prefer their other option (under clothing) of 'women's bottoms'

MPs charged with analysing Online Safety Bill say end-to-end encryption should be called out as 'specific risk factor'


Bottom line

is that any half-competent 12 year old knows all about VPNs.


Re: Ofcom codes of practice

I appreciate that our Parliamentarians believe they are answerable only to a god they don't believe in, and are all-powerful in the material realm, but how exactly do they intend to 'require' Sina Weibo (or even the USA-based Twitter) to implement foreign codes of practice from e.g. Ofcom?

Actual metal being welded in support of the UK's first orbital 'launch platform'


Testing is good, but...

We all agree that testing is a Good Thing.

But it seems a bit odd to build a complete test launch facility somewhere that it can't be used later as a live facility? Why not build the test rigs at the real spaceport and then certify them for use when the tests are complete?

Or are they planning some big, messy 'failures' to see what an exploding booster and fuel tank look like?

Warning: China planning to swipe a bunch of data soon so quantum computers can decrypt it later


Won't someone think of the planet?

This does not bode well - China using all those terawatts of coal-powered electricity to run their crypto-cracking servers. Why wasn't this mentioned at COP26? Surely our governments can use this as yet another justification for attempting to ban encryption?



What will we do when they decode our plans for landing in Normandy on D-Day!

NASA boffins seem to think we're worth saving from fiery asteroid death so they're shooting a spaceship at one



It does make sense. A fraction of 1% change in speed/direction a few million km out can have a big effect by the time Earth orbit is reached - the difference between taking out the ISS and taking out New York.

But it will need preparation.

Presumably if DART proves the principle, it will be wise to shift some large masses into orbit on stand-by to be shoved in the right direction when needed?

Russia's orbital insanity is almost beyond redemption – but there's space for improvement


Yeah but yes, but no, but...

Utter insanity, yes. But probably fewer 'orbital fragments' from the explosion than will be launched in the next few years by Musk, Bezos and co. The sky will be so bright we can turn off the street-lights, and have fun watching the celestial pin-ball as the Starlink satellites bounce off all the other networks.

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions


Bring back the rudder!

Interesting, one of the terms in Cymraeg for steering (as in English I suppose) comes from the word for 'rudder'.

Why doesn't someone re-introduce the rudder as a way of controlling motor vehicles? Far more relaxed having a long rudder running up the middle of the car, with your appropriate elbow gently resting on it and giving it a twiddle from time to time. I believe some very early automobiles did actually use a tiller mechanism rather than a wheel. Have to be rear-wheel drive of course.

British Airways Executive Club frequent flyers have their airmiles grounded


Frequent Flyers?

Surely, in the light of COP etc, the rules of any 'Frequent Flyer' club should be amended so that their flying experience gets worse the further people fly?

Higher fares (obvs) - some sort of exponential sliding scale. 1st flight LHR-LAX say £2500, 10th flight £25,000

Poorer food. By 10th flight down to a tin of cold baked beans and a tin-opener. (Although I do rather like cold baked beans...)

Smaller seats

Worse seating position (next to the fat guy eating baked beans for a 12-hour flight)

"Executive Lounge" becomes a plastic chair on the tarmac, without a roof. Free food and drinks becomes a Rich Tea and a cup of something almost, but not quite entirely, unlike etc. Bring your own cup.

Reg scribe spends 80 hours in actual metaverse … and plans to keep visiting


Added bonus

The added bonus here is that no-one outside your home will see you wearing all that terrifying Lycra.

'Automate or die!' Gartner reckons most biz apps will be developed via low-code by the people who use them


'The Last One'?

Anyone remember "The Last One" - software from 1981 that would make coding obsolete?

But then , this is a another Gartner fantasy.

And the beauty of all these 'let the user do it' is that the one thing the users never do is actually test anything (spreadsheets?)

International Space Station fires rockets to dodge chunk of destroyed Chinese satellite


Misleading headline!

I had this wonderful vision of the ISS deploying some of its space-to-space rockets to destroy the evil Chinese junk. (Or should that be 'rubbish'? I'm fairly sure the Chinese haven't launched any junks into space)

Amazon aims to launch prototype broadband internet satellites by Q4 2022 – without Bezos' Blue Origin



Is that 400 Mbps total bandwidth on the satellite or 400Mbps for every one of the 10 million people using each satellite?

What's that Skippy? They can't support that many users? So the night sky will be destroyed for a handful of people in the US outback?



Amazon was given the green light by the FCC to eventually launch a constellation of 3,236 of the satellites. It has until July 30, 2026 to launch 50 per cent of its fleet, and until July 30, 2029 to launch the other half

And if they fail to meet their target? What then? Do they have to de-orbit all the ones they did launch? If not, what's the point of the requirements?

Soon we won't need streetlights - the billionaires' satellites will make everywhere as bright as day.

Sharing is caring, except when it's your internet connection


Re: WiFi parking!!

Our local cafe offers free WiFi with a password (probably due for a change). Wanting to avoid kiddies downloading pr0n in the car park it automatically switches off outside opening hours. The fact that the building insulation also makes the whole place a giant Faraday cage also helps... (but a bummer as mobiles don't work in the building - but at least no "I'M IN THE CAFE" calls)


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