* Posts by fridaynightsmoke

145 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Apr 2011


Tesco parking app hauled offline after exposing 10s of millions of Automatic Number Plate Recognition images


Considering how many people drive around here with obviously illegal or no numberplates, with absolutely FA done about it, I don't feel like this is enforceable at all unfortunately

'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you


Re: Versatility

The speed limits in England & Wales for a >7.5t HGV have been 50mph (single carriageway), 60mph (dual carriageway) and 60mph (motorway) for several years now. https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits

In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning


'Other people are doing things I don't like'

'I simply must coerce them into doing what I want, it is for the greater good'

-crowd repeats solemnly- 'The Greater Good'

EU set to bin €500 note


The largest note is always 'too big', the 2nd largest is OK.

€500 notes? Far too big! No legitimate purpose to them! €200 notes? Absolutely fine.

$100 notes? Too big! $50 notes are fine.

£50 notes? Too big! £20 notes are fine.

Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones


Stooopid milleniuls

Keeping PINs on a (probably) password-protected and encrypted device like that, those idiots.

El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day


Griff Tannen wants to connect with me on LinkedIn?

Austrian court rules online radio streaming is not broadcasting


Re: I understand the need to collect revenue

Or why not have them sell advertising slots like every other form of media?

Why is television considered such an essential service that people must be made to pay for it?

No Silicon Roundabout U-Bend U-Turn: Build that peninsula boys


Planners love this stuff

In my area there are a few schemes on the go that are the same. On my (former) route to work there's an insanely busy roundabout that's having one side removed, turning it into a festival of traffic lights with lots of fancy paving. This is in aid of making the thing more 'pedestrian friendly', despite the fact that 2 sides are already roofed over, with pedestrians going over the top without a care in the world.

The council selling off the land that was formerly one side of the roundabout might have more to do with the motivation for the scheme.

Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job


Re: Tech Angle

Don't forget the TV episode where they race to stop a Russian submarine splicing into an undersea fibre optic cable, in order to put a virus on the internet.

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


No replacable battery, poor signal, no memory card

... but wow it looks so kewl right?

I think I'll pass.

Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons


From the user's POV, cars are awesome

I am perpetually surprised by those who think that things would be great if only there were a few extra buses, or an extra train per hour; and then all the car drivers would realise just how amazing public transport is and go straight to WeWillPurchaseYourCar.com. It's not remotely true, for most people even the best public transport possible is a poor substitute for a vehicle that's ready to go directly to your destination of choice, on demand. Even environmentally speaking, buses and trains really ain't all that; when you look on a per-passenger-km basis they pollute every bit as much, on average, as cars.

The real problems are road space and dependence. In most towns and smaller cities, things are generally OK or at least possible for maximum levels of car use (85% ish) to work well. The remaining 15% (too young/old/poor/disabled) have to rely on taxis or whatever bus 'service' the local council insists on. That's the killer app for driverless cars, if a taxi can be had for similar marginal costs to driving yourself (no driver to pay) then not owning/driving a car isn't a problem any more.

As for roadspace, even in the 1960s it was recognised that in central London you'd need 8 lane motorways on a grid roughly every mile to handle peak flows with full car use, with everything in between being rebuilt to handle distributor roads, parking etc. This would be somewhat of an undertaking.

The problem is that the logic that applies so well to London (sorry, really can't build enough roads, have some tubes and buses instead) had been misapplied everywhere else.

BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home


Too big?

I'm normally Captain Libertarian about such things, but isn't this the sort of thing there's a Competition Commission to look at?

The sniff test says anticompetitive.

Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse


No FTTC for us

We're a business based on one of your standard Midlands industrial estates. The houses over there have FTTC at 80Mbps, as do the houses over there. On the industrial estate itself, we've got ~6Mbps ADSL (rising towards the parts closer to the exchange), and BT won't put FTTC in on the basis of "screw you, you're a business; get a leased line for £700/mo".

I really don't know what the answer is, we get by on 6Mbps for now, even though bandwidth requirements continue to rise. I don't like the idea of forcing service with regulation, and a leased line is very difficult to justify. I guess we could approach one of the bigger neighbours to piggyback on the line they almost certainly have, but how on earth would that work, either legally or technically? Bonding would also be an option if needed, we already have half a dozen telephone lines, of which a couple could be bonded, allowing us to use VOIP and ditch the rest.

So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?



There's a moon out there with oceans of lovely hydrocarbons. Either they can never economically be reached; or if they can, that itself indicates that we no longer need them.

TBH I prefer the 2nd option.

Mighty Blighty filter tilter causes communications chaos

Big Brother

Mission creep

Yeah, we need to block kiddie porn. And fake kiddie porn, and any promotion thereof... and that Wikipedia article with that dubious album cover, can't be too careful you know.

Of course we'll be blocking really weird hardcore adult porn, you don't have a problem with that, do you?

We need to block piracy sites now, wouldn't want people depriving musicians of their hard-earned. And hacking-related sites, obviously. We might as well block warez sites too, while we're at it.

We might as well block all the porn you can't buy on DVD too, why anyone would want to look at that filth is beyond us. Again, you don't have a problem with that, do you? Good.

Apparently on some forums and 'news' sites people are saying we're blocking too much stuff, we might as well block those forums too, for the sake of social harmony.

We've found there's some sites spouting dubious political ideas out there, fundamentalist Islam, socialism, libertarianism and so on. Hardly Lib/Lab/Con, is it? Blocked in the interests of stability, of course.

Hmm, we've logged that you've been trying to circumvent the blocks. You do realise they're for your own protection? We can only assume you've been trying to look at kiddie porn. A white van will be along shortly.

Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins


I commute in a private carriage,

It's had to get any work done along the way, but I can blare music as loud as I want and smoke.

The only problem is all the other feckers in the other private carriages, obviously.

Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS


Re: 5.5 million sales...

"Also you know that Christmas is still 3 weeks away right? I think even Yodel could get a parcel to you in 3 weeks."

It is true that they occasionally manage to deliver a parcel within 3 weeks, just not to the intended recipient.


Re: never used Amazon

Slavery my arse.

I remember all the breathless articles in the Daily Mail and others when Amazon's Rugeley distribution centre opened, about the indignity of people working as temps on minimum wage, walking around a warehouse and putting boxes on a trolley as instructed by a terminal.

Everyone I know rolled their eyes, temp 'order picking' is bog standard (and easily available) low level work* around here. Maybe it's shocking to metropolitan cappuccino-sipping journalists.

*Yes, I've done it. Still got the agency-branded high vis vest.

The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS


Sewerage workers

I always assumed that the brave folk who wade through the turds of millions every day would be carriers of every disease going; but it seems that they may be invulnerable SUPERMEN!

So, is anyone doing a study on them? Are the workers down at the shit farm living to 100?

And, I can see a superhero origin story here.

U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

Black Helicopters

Re: @Lostintranslation

I'm a fat Brummie businessman, we tend to travel (to London, or elsewhere) in BMWs and Jags rather than trains, so we would prefer the M6 to be embiggened instead of building HS2. You'll find it's councillors who favour the latter.

'National roaming' law: Stubborn UK operators to be forced to share


Well done, you'll break the market.

If every network in the land offers exactly the same signal everywhere, and if building a mast allows the customers of every network to benefit from it; then what possible incentive is there for any network to build any more masts?

Painfully trendy: Someone just spent $200k on ebola.com



I see you're familiar with my local takeaway.

Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties


Other people are too fat

rabble rabble, this is definitely my business, rabble rabble.

DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire



I agree that VED is now mostly another fuel duty levied on how much fuel they reckon you ought to use, and could be replaced with a hike in actual fuel duty. There are of course arguments one could have about how that may affect different drivers differently.

I think that these days VED serves largely to enforce the registration system itself; it's a guaranteed obligation linked to the Registered Keeper, as opposed to possible obligations like speeding tickets etc. Maybe they think it's worth keeping purely as a stick to prod people into keeping the DVLA's records up to date.


I don't understand

Nothing has changed in how you pay Road Tax, there's exactly the same online, phone and Post Office options as before. Everyone whose tax expired last night got a reminder in the post around a month ago, as normal. All that's changed (excepting private sales of used cars) is that they don't send you a disc any more, and if you already have one you can take it out of the windscreen today, if you want.

So why has every man and his dog rushed to the website today? Is it vaguely curious types who haven't seen anything in the news about it until today, or people saving up to 20p in bank interest by not taxing their car until it's actually overdue by one day?

Are you a fat boy? Get to university now, you penniless slacker


Fat kids suffer because people shout at them for being fat,


/ad nauseum

BONEHEAD FANBOIS encamp outside Apple Stores


The first in the queue is sponsored by

"The first in the queue is sponsored by Blah, an app that allows you to blah blah"


Cor blimey: Virgin Media pipes 152Mb fibre to 100,000 East Londoners


Re: Anyone tried aaisp.net?

Yes, they're quite good.

80Mbps FTTC comes to £40/mo, so a little more than from some ISPs, but everything works exactly as it's supposed to, you've got access to all manner of technical stats and tests, and you're dealing with a company that is vocally opposed to 'content filtering' and other governmental misadventures.

Nothing so far has gone wrong with my connection, but if it ever did I am fully confident they would sort it out whilst telling me exactly what's going on.

Robot snaps on yellow RUBBER GLOVES, preps to invade Canada



But the one I saw trundles around under its own power and offers comparison services for car insurance.

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS


Offensive to Brummies

Of course we Brummies know that a ball-pein hammer is used for driving screws, not a claw hammer.

I'm so outraged I'm cancelling my subscription etc.

Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?


Re: Don't forget...

Yamyam translation guide: Commonly confused words and phrases

Canapés: The small spherical seeds of the pod fruit Pisum sativum, sometimes in a mushy form, supplied canned.

Warrduno: I am afraid that I do not possess that knowledge, or, this situation is dissatisfactory.

Day: Did not.


Geordie LaForge

I think they missed a trick there; they started with the Chief Engineer being Scottie on TOS, then they should have had an actual Geordie (complete with wye aye, etc) on TNG, and continue working their way south with each series, something like Scotty, Geordie, Yorkie, Brummy and Cockney. All being massively stereotypical, obviously.

Drone's drug airdrop mission ends in failure for Irish prisoners



"the word drone in modern language means a semi autonomous vehicle that has an operator for remote use"

That's just the thing, I thought that the military drones had significant latency in the control/feedback system, such that moment-to-moment flying was controlled by the drone itself, under the high level command of the operator. Which would be the 'semi-autonomous' bit.

I'm just trying to see where the lie of the land is with regards to 'drone' at the moment, that's all :)


Define "drone"

Now, was this actually a drone? I would have thought that a true drone would be capable of independent flight with minimal control. Would it still be a drone if controlled directly by an operator using a live feed from a camera? What would the name for that be, other than "sophisticated remote-control helicopter"?

Creepy battery-operated teddy bear sex toy..,sadly, this is for real


There's something fishy about this...

Can it be put in the wash, I wonder?

'World’s dumbest' suspect collared in Facebook sting

Paris Hilton

He must like jail.

Surely nobody could genuinely be that stupid? *thinks for a while* Yeah, maybe they could.

#YO_NO! Messaging app 'Yo' gets hit by hackers

Paris Hilton

My new app - accepting investment now

My new groundbreaking app sends the word "Tosser." to selected people on your contact list, by various means.

I'm looking for £2m for 50%.

9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!


10: A 'Buzzgasm'

In Birmingham a 'buzzgasm' means when the vibrations passing through the seat of the No.50 buzz cause trouser-related stirrings.

Canada to Google: You can't have your borderless cake and eat it too

Big Brother

Slippery slope

"You need to block child porn"

"Well you can block child porn, so you can block 'hate speech' too"

"You can block hate speech, so why not this advertisement that I consider dubious"

"You can block that dubious ad, so why not X?"

Eating a fat bacon sarnie? Have a defibrillator handy


Re: You can take my bacon when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

Probably not, as the hand would be an exposed appendage with no blood flow (hence dead) to transfer heat from the main mass of the body, however large that may be.

I suppose if someone was large enough to have supersize extra-padded hands, then it may take slightly longer for them to go cold.


You can take my bacon when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

So give it a couple of months...

UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on


Neither new nor concerning

As far as I'm aware this has been going on almost forever, if you're the sort of great-scott industrial operation that draws 1.21GW from the grid, you can have an 'interruptible' supply contract for a price reduction, and compensation at such a time as the supply is interrupted.

No, this doesn't detract from the piss-poor governance of the UK's electricity supply for the past 20-odd years, the lack of new power stations, the spinning reserve requirements of wind power or anything else. They're all still problems, but interruptible supplies are nothing new or scary.

Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom


Re: Battery Swaps

I had heard of that, but I also heard it was a bit of vapourware to satisfy some California subsidy or another.

If it does come off, the only way it could work is if you rented the use of a battery from Tesla, so when swapped it would be in/out of their pool. How much would the rental cost? That's the big question.


Rockets, man

Musk on rocket car development: "I think it's going to be a long long time"


Re: the actual cost of the electricity isn’t that great

"What? They're going to tax me feet??!!!"


"If you drive a car, I'll tax the street

If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat

If you get too cold I'll tax the heat

If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet"

'Taxman', George Harrison (The Beatles), 1966


Depends a lot on the used market

As a new car the Tesla S is an attractive proposition; the same money as a decently specced 5-series, slightly faster to 60, the same comfort and 'driving appeal' by all accounts and a couple of grand per year saving on fuel.

The free/bundled supercharger network is interesting too; even if one assumes that day-to-day charging will be at home or work. Even if it costs the same overall for commuting and other mundane journeys, the fact that it could be taken to Scotland for £10 worth of tyre wear is certainly appealing.

The real questions are used values, the life of the battery before replacement and the cost of that. Huge depreciation per se wouldn't kill it, you'd simply buy one a couple of years old for cheap; if the battery had sufficient economic life left in it. It doesn't take many thousands of pounds every 8 years in battery replacements to knock on the door of the per-mile cost of fuel for conventional cars.

Antivirus firm Avast! takes down forums after breach


Me too, and I paid.

I had a long spell of being bombarded by their self advertising too, and I'm a paying customer.

Which is why when the license expired on my home machine (after a month of "URGENT!! You must renew RIGHT NOW!!!" warnings) I got rid and went with a competitor. If all goes well that competitor will be our AV at work too.

Are you senior enough to sit around a table with The Register?


We're investing HEAVILY in IT

We've bought 3 Win7 licenses, 1 of Sage, and now the magenta and yellow toners in the printer need replacing.

Surely I'm the sort of big cheese they want attending.

E-cigarettes help you quit – but may not keep you alive

Paris Hilton

Re: Wrong audience

The meme of "well it looks like smoking" despite the lack of fumes, butts and (probably) adverse health effects is utterly stupid. People might as well rail against electric cars because "hurr it looks like an ordinary car".

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm £3.7bn merger


All in a name

"Hmmm, so what name will make people think of the latest technology at affordable prices?"

"I know! 'Dixons Carphone'!"