* Posts by Neonin

30 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Oct 2010

Go on, corporate drone, log in... We'd recognise your VEINS anywhere – Barclays



I barely trust a bank with my money, I'm not trusting them with any form of my biometrics.

Of course, putting these on ATMs as the way to access your money like they've done in Brazil couldn't POSSIBLY go wrong... I'm sorry knife/gun-toting person, you want me to put my finger where?

Natwest's Get Cash app pulled, but NOTHING to do with frauds


Re: A 6-digit PIN gives 'emergency' cash to anyone who types it in

Well, the mobile app generated a pin number once you told it how much you wanted to withdraw. You then went to one of the ATMs that supported the feature, pressed the "Enter" key, typed in the pin, typed in the pin again, and then you had to type in the amount that the pin was generated for. So, assuming said ATM didn't tell you that it was an invalid pin after the first input, you then would have to correctly guess from £10 to £100 on top for each combination, multiplying the odds of a correct guess considerably. Also, the pin generated becomes invalid after a couple of hours.

I have used it and thought it could be very handy for letting someone else get money out in an emergency. It would be interesting to find out the exact details of what happened, as it seems a telephone call was mentioned and I never had to make said call, it was just one of the options available and was something you could do even without the mobile app.

I spy: Drug drops and foxy couples


Darth Vader

"Whinging teen snotrag"

You, sir, owe me a new keyboard!

Blizzard pwned: Gamers' email, encrypted passwords slurped

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Password Length

A game I recently took part in the beta for made a big thing during sign-up about the fact their password system would accept anything from 8 to 512 characters, case sensitive and including spaces, and as we all know it's length rather than weird characters that make a password secure. That's why "8h&n3!LP" is nowhere near as secure as "Thisgamesucksdonkeyballs" when it comes to brute force attacks, as written about on El Reg not all that long ago.

I pondered for a while and came up with "I hate making up passwords for games 2012" (since they said it still had to have a capital and numbers in it) and it stuck in memory better than my usual crop of 8-character passwords, but as you said, not only is it more user friendly to be case-insensitive but makes as much sense as the opposite

Ten... PC games you may have missed


X-COM sellout?

While there is indeed a FPS version of XCOM in the pipeline, the company behind Civ 5 is working on a TBS one that is due out in October and looks fantastic. Long live TBS!

Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12


Re: titles are for toffs.

As someone who used to sell B&O equipment along with other, more "pedestrian" brands, I can categorically say that B&O is very much the hi-fi equivalent of Apple. They make nice looking gear that is pretty good, but vastly overpriced. If you pay £5000 for a B&O hi-fi system it will look amazing, but if you spend that £5000 buying the best-sounding kit you can get your hands on it will blow away the B&O system.

One would imagine this remains true of the AirPlay speakers. And, as someone already pointed out, for B&O this actually looks rather... crap.

Star Trek role-players' privates sniffed by alien invader


Boldly Going...

Yes, the email was genuine. I was playing Star Trek Online last night when they took the login servers down for emergency maintenance, then sent out those emails and the canned statement. It will be interesting to see if they offer the affected accounts anything more than the current "we're sorry" statement. I doubt it though, Cryptic isn't exactly well known for their generosity or for compensating people when things happen or stuff they promised gets U-turned. For instance, when the game went Free-2-Play a bunch of races you had to unlock with Cryptic Points (and therefore may have paid real money for) became available to everyone, and anyone who had actually bought those races was not compensated in the slightest. It's in their TOS that they can basically do whatever they want.

Spotify v. Pure Music

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Spotify Comments

I've used Spotify for a while now, got to be at least a couple of years, and for all of that I've been paying for the £4.99 package except for the first month I discovered the service.

Music does disappear, and I wish they'd post something about it rather than having it just "go grey" in your list. Sometimes when my complete playlist is on random it's months until I finally realise something I was listening to hasn't played for ages.

It is also missing the majority of stuff by some of my favourite artists such as Metallica, Lacuna Coil, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others. Unfortunately for said artists, their lack of appearance on Spotify doesn't make me go out and buy their CDs, it just makes me annoyed they're not on there and determined not to give them any money.

Overall, despite the missing music and artists, I wouldn't be without it. Much preferable to buying CDs, and much more convenient than pirating. Yes, I am a reformed freetard, which will no doubt earn me the ire of some of the more rabid commenters on here, but this is exactly what I was waiting for.

Now all I need is for Netflix or LoveFilm to actually have a decent selection of stuff on their streaming service and I'll subscribe to that to!

Lovefilm knocks a pound off streaming sub


Lovefilm? Hatestreaming more like...

I tried the Lovefilm service after receiving a letter from them offering me a £20 Amazon voucher for doing so. Ignoring the complaints I had to pull to successfully get the voucher (after they left off one of the T&C on the letter and had it in small print on a different section of the website to the one I signed up on) their available content for streaming was very poor. After a week I'd pretty much seen everything I had any interest in on their site, the vast majority being low-budget stuff I'd never heard of and classics I'm not keen on.

The DVD-to-the-door offering was a lot better, but it's the streaming I'm interested in. I shall give Netflix a try at some point.

Hands on with Star Wars: The Old Republic


Key Bindings

Change the bindings in the preferences menu.

Not that big of a deal ;)

Sorry, had to misquote the old Messiah there. Key bindings are very easy to change and it's weird they set it up that way by default, but nothing you have to live with.

Welsh factions clash over .cymru and .wales bids

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Ttitles? We don't need no steenking titles!

Yes, yes, yes, one thousand times yes! Bill Hicks was preaching it back in the 80's and it's still relevant now. Nationalism is completely pointless, and odds are you had nothing to do with anything great your "country" did in the past, so why be so irrationally proud of it?

You, sir, just won One Tinternet.

Apple was OK to fire man for private Facebook comments


Dearie me

So in todays society the only right you have to privacy is if your comments remain in your own head. After all, you can't SAY them in another persons presence even if there's just two of you, cause they could use an iFail to record you saying it so you have no expectation of privacy!

Case closed. Now all Apple has to do is figure out how to read minds and they'll be able to sue anyone who works for them who even THINKS something negative about their products. That's it, good Apple drones, spout the marketing drivel and don't you dare think bad things or be honest with yourself about the technology. There is NOTHING bad about Apple products... Nothing to see here.

Steve Jobs named most influential game guy – ever

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Plenty of people mentioned good names missing...

Sid Meier. Peter Molyneux. Let's not forget Richard Garriott for the long-running Ultima and one of the first really popular MMOs ever. In that line of thought, how about Richard Bartle whose co-development of MUD was one of the foundations of online gaming, as well as the team who developed and coded the DIKU codebase which saw an explosion of text-based online games, and eventually led to the text version of Everquest?

No, let's put Steve Jobs at the top cause he allowed people to make more money and there's no single person the development of the PC can be put down to.

Lying Facebook app offers Google+ invites

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Took the words out of my mouth

Couldn't have said it better myself. Anyone who hasn't seen malicious content on Facebook either has no friends or doesn't know that it was malicious content.

Virgin Media to integrate Spotify across multiple platforms

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Spotify FTW

Well I'll be damned, Virgin actually did something useful for once! As a current Spotify Unlimited customer I shall look forward to these extra discounts and features. Spotify is one of the best things I've ever paid monthly for, I use it every single day and it has the majority of stuff* I want to listen to in its databases.

*Missing some things like Metallica but that's more because Lars is one of the biggest asshat sellouts in the music industry!

Ubisoft to turn games into movies, TV shows


One day, my friends...

One day these film companies will realise that the only way to make a successful game-to-film conversion is to use the MYTHOS of these games (and there are plenty of excellent ones available, Dragon Age comes to mind) and base a story in it, not try and adapt a story done in a game onto the big screen. Yes, yes, I know using the big name from the game attracts the fanbois, but they invariably leave disappointed so why not just take the excellent background material and world created, and make a good story to go in it using new characters?

Oh wait, that would make sense... we can't have any of that! ;)

Japanese nuke meltdown may be underway

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Errr, what?

So Japan may be facing a nuclear meltdown on top of a huge earthquake and a tsunami that has killed over 1000 people at current count, and the only thing you feel like doing is coming on to El Reg and saying "I told you so" with a smug grin on your face?

To quote the late, great Bill Hicks: "I wonder why we're so f*cked up as a race..."

Virgin Media to issue firmware update after Superhub slows to crawl


Haha, phone call!

Had a phone call from VM today trying to persuade us we wanted a "free" upgrade from our 10Mb to the 30Mb package. They then said it would be an extra £5.something a month and a one-off installation charge, so I told them no thanks I'll just wait 6 months till they start upgrading people for free anyway :P Glad I did after reading all this!

Boffins demand: Cull bogus A-Levels, hire brainier teachers


Upvoted this time

As title ;)

We do seem to broadly agree. The current system needs changing as it is not really fit for purpose. The vast majority of teachers who care would agree, but they feel powerless to do anything in the face of the bureaucracy and target-driven culture they find themselves. If they don't meet targets, which are nationally set with no regard for school catchment area and general ability (CVA went some way towards making up for this), they're judged to have failed. If they try to argue against the measure headteachers put in to meet those targets, they're met with the old "don't you want the school to improve?" argument.

The problem with your argument about preferring teachers who were bastards but efficient and consistent at transferring knowledge is... it doesn't work. The best teachers, and I've watched this happen, get the students interested in what the lesson is about. Getting them interested can sometimes involve having a laugh and a joke with them, or learning how to get them "on your side". If you don't do that, they switch off. This isn't the 40's and 50's, as much as we may lament it children do not generally have the same automatic respect for their elders that they used to. Being a complete bastard means you cannot be efficient at putting across your knowledge, because students are actively turned off by it and will deliberately go out of their way to ignore you.

Some teachers will still tell students that picking Media Studies, Business Studies, and Film Studies for their A levels is going to close doors for them. Many students don't care. What do you do then?


Disagreeing with you disagreeing with me

I'm not saying all schools are perfect, and indeed the system needs changing. I know many teachers who know they should be telling students to avoid certain things, but the "higher ups" LIKE those things because they're an easy result and some of them count as FOUR GCSEs, meaning you only have to get them a C in that and in Maths & English and that's your all-important 5 A-C target hit. It's sad, but many of the school leaders either do this on purpose or feel like they have to because otherwisde their school will be judged as "poor" by the gubbermint and put into special measures.

There ARE a lot of bad teachers. There are a lot of teachers who simply shouldn't be in the job, because they don't really care. I'm not trying to excuse them, but they're not the only examples of teaching you should be looking at. Don't blame teachers if the government of the day has decided that they should be allowed to pick whatever they like and water down the curriculum, unfortunately they have VERY little say in what can and can't be taught to students. This is why education should be run by a separate committee outside of government interference. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Teaching is a very tough, underpaid profession considering its vital importance in the future of our entire nation. A lot of schools are also run by people who have a... slightly dictatorial approach and that's fine if they're good at their job, but many aren't. A lot of teachers fear trying to change things because it's easy to find yourself on some trumped up charge and dismissed, which unlike most jobs is almost a death sentence for a teacher. The school system is home to so many workplace abuses that get swept under the carpet because no-one looks at a school unless it's failing, you'd be amazed. They'd never get away with it if they were businesses.

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Sorry but I disagree.

I downvoted you, and here's why.

First of all, I'm sorry your two children setting out for uni had no-one at their previous school who gave a shit. From my own personal experience of working in a school I can categorically say that there are PLENTY of teachers who do care. Last year one of our ex-students at uni committed suicide and it affected a lot of staff deeply, enough that there were a good number of teachers from our school at her funeral. But they don't care, right?

As for giving strategy to children for picking their GCSE options, the problem is you can talk till you're blue in the face but for many, given the option, they WILL pick what they see as the "easy skive" because they just don't understand how it may affect them. Your options there are to change the way they see life (parents job) or not give them the choice in the first place.

Lastly, as for the whole "Your life is planned out by the time you're 21" nonsense... Really? Have you ever tried applying for uni after that age? You'll find universities, like a lot of employers these days, are far less interested in your qualifications and more interested in your potential aptitude and interest in a subject. Even for the more "hardcore" subjects like sciences, most places would be happy to take on someone for a MEng who'd gone and done their A-level and degree when they were 30 because that's what they wanted to do, because that shows willingness to learn and interest in the subject.


You think that, but...

Trust me, if those holidays didn't exist you would have no teachers. Until/unless you've worked in a school alongside them and seen what they have to go through (and I worked in an "outstanding" school) then you just don't understand the severe mental pressures that teachers have to deal with day in and day out. They NEED those holidays, or they'd just quit or go insane.

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Hear Hear!

@Peter 82: I couldn't agree more! I was on a degree to become an IT teacher because I do love the teaching profession, but I worked out very fast that all the additional stuff that gets dumped on teachers by the ever-changing mind of whichever "flavour of the month" educational policy is in with the Gubbermint would drive me bat-shit crazy if I had to do it for work every day.

I became a technician instead. You can still get involved in the teaching side of things but it's the poor bastards who are classed as actual "teachers" that have to do the paperwork. I have a lot of friends in the teaching profession and I have nothing but awesome respect for their patience and the job they do.

Watchdog turns a blind eye to Danish fu*king

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Best laugh I've had all day, good on you sir!

Mozilla: 'Internet Explorer 9 is not a modern browser'


Unstable? Shirley you can't be serious!

I have to agree with Mark on this one. I started using Firefox 1.0, and I haven't looked back since. I periodically use various versions of IE and Chrome on other computers I have to use, and I always miss Firefox on them. IE crashes like a bitch and seems to almost deliberately misunderstand websites, I've spent god knows how long looking for errors in webpages that Firefox simply ignores but causes IE to have a flid and not display the page properly.

Firefox + AdBlockPlus = WIN.

Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service


Not quite

Actually, when they say that the speed reduction is 75%, they mean it is cut BY 75% and not dropped TO 75%. Yes, I've been on the receiving end of this traffic management, so I know it well ;)


You got stiffed by the "Traffic Management"

As title.

If you downloaded that first GB or so between 4-9pm, you would have hit their traffic management which would then drop your speed by 75% for 5 hours. It's supposed to speed back up after that.

Combine traffic shaping with the poor performance (packet loss and bad pings) on the network lately to get your stated outcome.

VM loves giving you ultra-fast broadband, but if you actually dare to use it for downloading games you bought from Steam or Direct2Drive etc, or streaming films and music from the likes of Lovefilm and Spotify, boy, you better not be planning to do it at their "peak times".

US Air Force studies fruit-flies to build killer insect swarm drones

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Flight of the Bumblebee

Does the thought of ANY military with the capability to do this scare the living shit out of anyone else, or is it just me? :|

Zuckerberg: the iPad 'is not mobile'

Jobs Horns

Title? Who needs a title?

Best. Quote. EVER!

Well, maybe a slight exaggeration, but you sir win my Laugh of the Day award!

LimeWire (finally) dies under judge's gavel


Death of Piracy eh?

Spotify is a good way of listening to tracks to see if you want to buy them, as is the likes of We7. In fact I have a Spoitfy account and pretty much use it for all my music needs. I miss certain stuff that isn't on there because the artists are dicks who are trying to prop up the old model (Metallica, I'm looking at you) but that's a price I'm willing to pay.

However, the record companies seem to be under the impression that killing off P2P will stop music piracy. As we all know, that's not true. You may stop people sharing it, but people who want stuff for free will find other ways. Spotify + Audacity anyone? So what now, they try and ban all sound recording software on PCs the same way they tried to kill home recording in the 80's? Good luck with that!

Pirates will ALWAYS find a way. The music and film industries need to make legitimate sources attractive to the majority so that they don't bother to acquire the technical know-how to become part of the minority. If they can't be bothered to do that, they deserve to be consigned to the Dustbin of History along with all the Injury Lawyers R Us people!