* Posts by Goldmember

533 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Feb 2011


Three seconds of audio could end up costing Fox $500,000


Re: Harmony by disharmony - Downvoters

"Maybe the Register could consider listing the log on account names of up and down voters in future"

They're flippant reactions of mild displeasure to the comment of a stranger. They mean nothing.

Who cares?

Telecoms shack in the middle of Scotland put up for auction at £7,500


Re: The Secret Policeman's Ball

"Scotland is lot further."

Indeed it is. The article specifies the journey as being by Pendelino, which is considerably faster than a standard train. But even so, 2 hours on said Pendelino service from Euston will only get you as far as Manchester.

To be fair, the beer is cheaper, the people are nicer and the property is cheaper in Manchester. It would be quite a stretch to describe it as a desolate wonderland, however.

Brit telcos deliberately killed Phones 4u, claim admins in £1bn UK High Court sueball


Re: A few things

"Why would I wipe it? It's an emergency backup phone, in case the current phone has a problem."

I have a few old phones knocking around as well, which can be used for backups or dev phones. But once they get to 3 or 4 years old, they stop receiving security updates. A six year old Android phone will be a pretty substantial security risk. It's a good idea to do a factory reset of them once they get replaced to wipe off your main Dropbox/ Google/ MS accounts and documents, then set up throwaway accounts for them. They can then be used in a pinch, but there won't be anything too sensitive to lose if they become compromised.


A few things

1. How many mobile devices will still be around which have data from 2014? Most devices would surely have been decommissioned or wiped by now.

2. Why would past employees still have company data from 2014 on their personal devices? That would surely be a breach of data protection laws

3. Why oh why would you keep such a significant recording on a single, old device and not copy it to other places? At least by sending yourself an email or backing up on to a USB stick.

It would make sense that shady dealings led to the demise of P4U, but I should imagine it would be incredibly difficult to prove. Especially after so much time has passed.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


"As you can understand, we are not authorised to fully disclose all this sensitive information to third parties, for obvious reasons."

The obvious reason being it's a complete fabrication.


Re: trading standards

The "company" behind the website (BioShield Distribution) is registered with Companies House.


Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming



"As we've received feedback and our learning matured, we realized that we will tell devs what's best for them, rather than giving them a choice. "

Same old MS

Flying taxis? That'll be AFTER you've launched light sabres and anti-gravity skateboards


Re: "Lightsaber"

It's the same as "Pearl Harbour" in British texts which always grates on me because the Americans named it and have the right to spell it how they like.

They didn't invent the word "Harbour" though, did they? If they'd wanted to misspell Pearl in this instance then fair enough. But a harbour is a harbour

IT consultant who deleted every account on UK company Jet2's domain cops 5 months in jail


Re: He was stupid

It's probably a fair guess that he tried to bring back a prostitute or two; or the same one twice. This is Benidorm, after all. I went to another cheap Brits-abroad dump of a place (Sunny Beach, Bulgaria) on a lads' holiday, many years ago. One of my mates brought an "extra guest" into the room at 5am. A hefty charge was applied for this, even though technically his roommate hadn't yet stumbled through the door so the number of guests hadn't changed.

He probably wouldn't have done this on a company-funded trip, though. There are lines which should not be crossed.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space


Luckily, it wouldn't be Boeing's responsibility to do that. It would just be up to them to issue directives on things to look out for. It would be up to the airlines' maintenance companies to find any faults and check seals etc. They'd all be on much higher alert, and would be much more vigilant than usual, due to everything that has happened with this model.

Valuable personal info leaks from Facebook – not Zuck selling it, unencrypted hard drives of staff data stolen


Re: Stolen from a car??

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Any laptops would surely have BitLocker set up at the very least. But then I re-read the article and is says they were hard drives (plural, not necessarily inside laptops) and that the employee didn't have permission to have them in their car.

Sounds like somebody copied the payroll database to portable external drives. Although there is no excuse for these also not to have been encrypted. And not having enforced policies around copying data to external drives, whilst very stupid, would not surprise me with a company like Facebook.

BOFH: I'd like introduce you to a groovy little web log I call 'That's Boss'


Re: Ooohhh ! We're back to sneakily dreadful.

It was the PFY who claimed to be 73. The Y stands for "Youth", although I'm sure it's been at least 12 years since he was introduced into the workplace.

You live where you live ... and ex-SAP boss Bill McDermott lives in a house like this


Re: "Of course we... totally know what a butler pantry is..."

It's the room where you wait for your slow-moving butler to shuffle his way in behind you, then quickly jump out over his head and lock him inside. Then stand in front of the locked door and see the pixellated tray he's carrying expose the weakness of the PS1 and jut out through a supposedly solid door.

Oh, to be 11 again and have so much free time, to be able and willing to wander around Croft Manor without playing any levels.


UK readers may remember the IKEA advertising from around 15 or so years ago. "Chuck out that chintz"; encouraging prospective buyers to throw away old fashioned overstuffed couches, frilly curtains etc. and replace them with cheap, minimalist Swedish flatpack tat.

But hey... I still remember the ad campaign after all these years, and much of the furniture in my place is from said establishment, so clearly there was method to the madness.

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?


Could it have been...

... full of Bitcoin mining rigs, perhaps?

Whatever the reason, looking at the weirdness made me feel slightly queasy.

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else


Uh huh

"Still, its good to see that thanks to the wonders of smart technology, a once mundane kitchen appliance can now perform all manner of Android-powered wonder."

As well as sending as much information as possible about the user, back to base.

Having recently finished Ed Snowden's biography, I am more than a little wary or IoT fridges, which get a particular mention.

Also El Reg, where is the promised review of said publication?

Excited about dual-screen laptops? Make your own with duct tape and the ThinkVision M14


Not everyone is the same. I have the cheaper Asus model for working remotely in Asia, and it has save me a shitload of time. The screen itself isn't the best and has a ridiculously huge stand, but the extra real estate is incredibly useful. I can open the code IDE in one window and see the results of alterations immediately in the second. No amount of desktop switching will achieve that in the same way.

First they came for 'face' and I did not speak out because I... have no face? Then they came for 'book'


I'm talkin' 'bout wealth

Trademarks are no longer restricted to words – they can be sounds, animations, a motion, hologram or even a single colour.

Those rich motherfuckers that own the colour "blue" (Chris Rock)

A prophecy fulfilled

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?


Re: Long way around the barn!

Not sure if other places have authentication on the card used in the power slot

Confirmed... Other places do this. The hotel I am in right now in Manila being one of them :-(

It's 32°C outside and all sockets go off without the card... Which means warm beer and iced coffee when I come back. Great thinking from someone, there.

Biker sues Google Fiber: I broke my leg, borked my ankle in trench dug to lay ad giant's pipe


Are you all reading a different article? Because the one I read states that the AREA was poorly lit; which you can infer means there was no, or inadequate, street lighting:

"because the area was poorly lit and he was unfamiliar with the roads and traffic."

Nowhere does it state the bike didn't have its headlights switched on.

If there were indeed no street lights, an uncovered black hole, set into dark asphalt, would be very difficult to see at night time. Especially if you'd just come round a corner and weren't facing it head on:

" as he turned right into North McGee St "suddenly and without warning his front wheel dropped down into a deep rectangular hole" "

You should probably read the article carefully before angrily commenting next time.

Why are there never free power sockets when my Y-fronts need charging?


Re: stuff needs electricity simply to exist

"You don't think charging these things actually costs them extra money to make the electricity to charge them I hope?"

I took the OP's comment to mean charging for the additional weight, not the electricity costs. Last time out (a week ago) I took; 2 laptops, 2 phones, Android tablet, Kindle, power bank, Bluetooth headphones + a big bag of cables for all this stuff. Said bag of cables sets of Manchester airport's scanners EVERY DAMN TIME. With a single change of clothes for emergencies, all of this just about exceeded the 10kg cabin allowance (all this was for a 2-month working trip to Asia, by the way. Not just feeding my addictions for a week in the sun!).

Not that I'm disagreeing with the profit-hungry antics of airlines though, you understand. Charging extra for exceeding carry-on weight is bollocks.

Correction: Last month, we called Zuckerberg a moron. We apologize. In fact, he and Facebook are a fscking disgrace


Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

Point number 1... They shrink the photos when you upload them so they load quickly in the mobile app (and take up less space on the servers). The resulting photo quality is garbage. Definitely not worthy of important memories you want to view on bigger devices in the future, and definitely not good enough to print.

Point number 2... It's a free website. You are completely at its mercy. Perhaps uploading thousands of important photos there and using it as your only storage option for them was not a good idea.

Amazon Prime Air flight crashes in Texas after 6,000ft nosedive


Re: I'm going to speculate...

Even a double bird strike causing the loss of both engines wouldn't cause it to nosedive uncontrollably. Planes can still glide without power, and an experienced pilot can safely land a plane with no engines. That happened to a Ryanair flight into Rome if I recall, with the eventual loss of the plane due to the hard landing, but no serious injuries to passengers or crew.

Sounds more like cargo coming loose or a catastrophic mechanical failure elsewhere.

RIP to the crew and thoughts with their families and friends. I hope the investigators find the data recorders and learn something from the accident in order to prevent a repeat.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers


Re: Header pic

Wherever it's from, looking at it made me feel incredibly uneasy.

iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?


Re: The reasons for the iPhone sales slump were threefold

The lack of innovation is number 4. Maybe that was omitted as it's what Apple has been doing continuously for the past decade.

Number 5 on the list (also conveniently left out of the report) is that they simply went too far with the upward pricing this time. It's easy to blame China - it seems to be a very fashionable thing for anyone/ thing coming out of America to do so at the moment - or a slightly strengthened dollar. But the fact is that Fanbois are willing to pay a premium for the shiny with the Apple logo. Most are even willing to be fleeced a bit for it. However there's an upper limit, which Apple has well and truly exceeded.

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing


Re: The Rule of Threes

"You die after: ... 3 hours without shelter"

Last year I hiked to the top of Ben Nevis. The round trip took 7 hours (it was shitting down with rain and I am not as fit as I used to be).

That's more than double your 3 hours. In Scotland. With no shelter.

I did not die. Am I in fact... invincible?

** contemplative face **

I helped catch Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht: Undercover agent tells all


Great Read

This was an interesting piece into the process of catching a relatively clever (at least at first) criminal. And also some useful info for any budding master criminals...

- Live in a top floor apartment

- Regularly video call your inner circle of admins so you know they're not feds

- Use a VPN to disguise your country when connecting to the admin panel of your dodgy dark web bazaar

- Don't post any personal quotes in your signature, and don't re-use handles across sites

- If you try to have somebody whacked... don't write down the details of the transaction on your laptop!

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020


Re: It was...

Yep... Well not so much difficulty in writing apps, just a massive faff and needless extra effort having to rewrite apps which already existed. I wrote some corporate WinPhone apps. First on Windows 8, then had to completely rewrite for 8.1 as it was practically an entirely new OS and they weren't compatible. By 10, the company had become bored and ditched the platform (not that we had downloads in any great number compared with the iOS or Android equivalent anyway - it was more of a box-ticker).

It's a shame, really. It was a decent platform. It ran excellently on low end devices as well as high end, and had the potential to be a strong third option in the phone OS space. But MS totally fucked up the concept (releasing 8, rewriting and calling the next one 8.1, the total disaster that was RT after hyping up the "one OS, any device" concept), the marketing, the Nokia acquisition... Pretty much everything, actually. It was a huge wasted opportunity.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?


You never wrote (or took apart) a compiler in school, just to see what made them tick?"

Where I went to school (Lancashire, UK in the 1990s), we had a school assembly one day regarding 20 of our school PCs being "connected to the Internet", plus a permission slip home for parents to sign, stating we were allowed to use them.

The actual IT "lessons" consisted of "here's a page of text, printed out. Type it in Word" or performing a Yahoo search for your favourite PS1 game/ TV show (circa 1998). There were no IT lessons into GCSE time (after third year) as we simply did not have enough teachers to teach the courses.

So... No. I can honestly say we never took apart a compiler in school.

But to be fair, this total disregard for coding - and to be honest, general computing knowledge - has led me into a nice career as a coder... I've had to forge my own path and have not had to compete with many of my peers achieve it.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider


The guy in the video used his cat as a feline shield.


Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password


Re: Loopy passengers

In Manchester, there is no video. Just the airport drones giving you a repeat spoken-word performance of "Put your passport face down on the scanner and look ahead. Take off your glasses."

At least 50% of glasses-donned passengers fail to remove said item once they arrive. And probably more fail to look ahead.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame


Re: Access Denied

"There was a list of websites whose names took on unfortunate connotations when concatenated into a URL. Among them were Pen Island Stationers and Mole Station Creche."

And Experts Exchange. When they started appearing in "unfortunately named websites" lists, they added a redirect to a domain with a hyphen.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


Re: Environmental Protestors?

"That being said, the people flying off dont give a rats arse about the effect all the extra noise and pollution from the extra air and ground traffic entirely down to them has on local residents up to several miles from the airport. We're all selfish in our own way."

Gatwick opened in 1958. It didn't recently spring up out of nowhere. Virtually (maybe literally) all of the local residents were aware of its presence - and the associated noise etc. - before moving to their current homes.

Technical foul: Amazon suffers data snafu days before Black Friday, emails world+dog


Re: WTF?

Yep, I initially thought it looked dodgy when I received the same email yesterday. But the mailbox I use is only for that Amazon account and nothing else, and there were no spurious links in it or actions to take.

They could have done a much better job of the correspondence. But an explanation on exactly what prompted it in the first place would have been more appropriate and appreciated.

Well that's just spliffing: UK Amazon merchants peddling Mary Jane


"El Reg yesterday made Amazon aware of the weed being sold via its website."


Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP


Re: "ATM machine"

Believe it or not, earlier this year I got a letter from Natwest which stated that the "PIN Number" for my new card was on its way.

It seems the term has become de facto (or maybe they got the intern to write the letters that week).

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract


Re: Single Bidder

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Contrary to IBM's claim, having multiple vendors providing interlinking kit would logically be LESS secure than having one. Sharing the infrastructure would require a high degree of co-operation between vendors to maintain security, which as you say would lead to all concerned blaming the others when it goes titsup instead of fixing the problem. This is just asking for trouble.

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others


"It's not April 1st, is it?

Look up "hagiography" in the dictionary and this article will be the definition."

You must be new here.

Next time, may I suggest you read the first paragraph and the last before commenting, if you can't be arsed reading the whole thing?

Google is still chasing the self-driving engineer that jumped ship to Uber


Re: Spazturtle

"No one in the right mind would risk hiring someone who sees nothing wrong with stealing. Trust is an actual thing"

You've heard of Uber before, right?

Volkswagen faces fresh Dieselgate lawsuit in Germany – report


Re: Tze Germans...

"If buyers in the US get recompensated whilst German buyers don't, that would be seriously telling."

This happened. As soon as the lid was lifted on the scandal, all US customers were instantly given the right to return affected VW diesel cars to the dealer for a full refund, no questions asked. As a result, there are literally thousands of returned diesel VWs rotting away in a disused football stadium car park in the US.

No such facility was offered to EU customers. Instead, EU buyers have to submit a claim through the courts, which may or may not result in monetary compensation.

Guess who's still in charge of your gas safety, Brits? Capita


Re: If ever there was a time...

"You are glad you use electricity for hot water?! The lifetime cost is about 3 times higher than gas."

That's a generalization. If you don't use a lot of hot water, the cost of simply having a gas supply can outweigh the savings. I have an efficient electric boiler, a shower with its own heating element, and storage heaters which are only active during off-peak hours (no central heating, but no need for it really - there are flats above, below and at either side). I live alone and am only at home evenings/ weekends. As such, I spend considerably less on electricity than I used to spend when I lived in a house which had both elec and gas supplies.

Then there's the fact that gas supplies are finite, and are increasing in cost as supplies deplete.

So to answer your question... Yes.


If ever there was a time...

... to be grateful that I live in a flat with no gas appliances... this is it.

Soft eng salaries soar by 25 per cent – and, oh yes, devops is best paid for non-boss techies


Re: Enjoy it while it lasts!

Absolutely... In my 10 years of commercial coding, I've been hearing the exact same thing. But the demand for local Devs (UK) and the difficulty in finding them is as high as ever.

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands


Re: After the last childish outburst...

"the fact that somebody has died needlessly due (IMHO) to the ongoing over-promise and under-delivery of autonomous vehicles"

This is not the case. Teslas are NOT autonomous vehicles. They don't claim to be such, either. The problem here is that it seems people treat them as though they are. Like the bell end in the UK a few weeks ago who was filmed climbing into the passenger seat of his car with the autopilot engaged. Or the other guy to be killed a couple of years ago, who was too busy taking selfies and watching DVDs whilst driving in Autopilot mode to notice a bloody great truck ahead of him.

Tesla has to change its attitude with regard to the "Autopilot" software; it should be renamed, and the point stressed that it's purely for aiding driving. They really should market this differently, as you can't eradicate the inherent stupidity of humans.

But for fuck's sake... if you're driving a car, YOU have a responsibility to give your full, undivided attention to the task at hand. It's a huge responsibility. A simple mistake made in a split second can permanently alter or even end lives. Ultimate culpability has to lie with the driver, unless the car is fully autonomous. Which these ones are not.

Yes, the tech drove the car into a part of the road it should not have driven in. The driving aid failed in its task. But based on the information provided so far, it seems that the driver had transferred too much of his responsibility to the tech. Had he been paying attention he could have seen the trouble ahead and applied the brake, and things would have worked out very differently.

HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag


Re: No Headphone Jack, No Sale

I thought I would hate not having a headphone jack on my phone. But it's something you just get used to. It is also the final defence in making the phone fully waterproof; a major plus for holidays or just peace of mind against accidental damage.

My U11 came with an adapter for 3.5mm headphones and some excellent noise-cancelling USB-C headphones in the box.

But having to choose between charging or headphone use is an annoyance on plane journeys.

Hitler 'is dead' declares French prof who gazed at dictator's nashers



... What about the tests done around 10 years ago on Hitler's remains (by an American team), which revealed the skull held by the Russians is actually a female skull?


It would appear this line in the article is inaccurate:

"Last year Russia's secret service, the FSB, and its state archives authorised a team of foreign researchers to examine Hitler's mortal remains for the first time since 1946."

Nervous Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes Turing Test in Congress


While I'm no fan of Zuk or Facebook...

... this seems an odd comment:

"... and three being Facebook Messenger."

How can Messenger be classified as a separate social network than Facebook? Fair enough, these days you have to install a separate mobile app to use Messenger. But classifying it as a totally separate social network seems a bit odd to me; it's integrated into the network.

Where did this assertion come from? Unless it's a typo and it's actually Whatsapp that's being referred to as network no. 3 here (and I'm not being facetious, I'd genuinely like to know the answer).

IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit


Re: Fax of life

You'd be surprised at how prevalent fax machines are in certain Western industries as well. Most independent hotels, for example, still use faxes to send and receive credit card info and invoices for business travel.

Things do indeed move quickly, but there will always be dinosaur companies, and even whole industries, who are a decade or more behind the curve.

uTorrent file-swappers urged to upgrade after PC hijack flaws fixed


Re: Just say no

Rookie mistake...

Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business


Re: Sadly true

"by allowing through millions of clearly tax dodging packets and parcels every year."

And how exactly do you propose to police that? Open every single parcel which comes into the UK from outside of the EU? The resources are simply not available. And if they were, workarounds would be found in no time (import into Poland first, for example).

Maplin's advantage used to be knowledgeable staff and the convenience of having everything on offer, instantly, in one place. Now most of the knowledgeable staff have gone, and people are used to ordering online so aren't as likely to pay through the nose for convenience, when it comes to electronics purchases.

They're running out of options pretty rapidly.