* Posts by John Jennings

236 posts • joined 14 Apr 2011


Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you're in virus isolation, you stay there

John Jennings Bronze badge

No it wasnt

There is a difference between a state and an entire country...

The PM was the leader of the country- the leader of the state seems to have completely gone off on one.

This is no way to enforce the covid quanentine. It completely tramples over peoples rights to privacy. You can also bet that it wont go away after Covid had gone.

And what makes you think that the phone location monitoring would be anonymous - in your dreams The ICO left that WIDE open....

Welcome Brazil (the film, not the country)

Want to see through walls? Electroboffins build tiny chip in the lab that vibrates at just the right frequency to do it

John Jennings Bronze badge

At last - the X-ray specs

from the back of mad magazine are in my future!

India's peak IT body tells outsourcers to check contract cancellation fine print while Coronavirus reigns

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Don't most contracts

The comment on UK law and the lack of force majeure is not strictly true.

There is no common law on the subject - however - it is usual to have force majeure defined within the contract - and from there have the concept.

You likely have it in your mortgage contract. like this: https://www.virginmoneyukplc.com/resources/df9d1f11-f5ea-4532-a0cb-20fc419e2f6f/Collection_Account_Declaration_of_Trust.pdf

It is typical in many significant contracts - its how its defined is the kicker in the UK, as it really depends upon the particular contract.

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: But I don't have a so-called "smart" phone.

thats not how the system works.

It uses bluetooth, and records a GUID for what ever phones the first phone comes int proximity with... Then, f you get covid, the data in your phone is sucked out, and the guids are de-anomised. It does not contain gps data (allegedly) - at least the singapore version.

It has to be a smart phone, because it needs both local storage (and network access to extract this data) and bluetooth to harvest the guids.

still, its evil from a liberties perspective.

BT CEO tests positive for coronavirus, goes into self-isolation after meeting fellow bosses from Vodafone UK, Three, O2 plus govt officials

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: It's getting the 1% as well

Catching the he disease doesnt care about wealth.

I imagine the chances of getting tested or a respirator might

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: It's getting the 1% as well

Orkney is about it atm. Even Shetland have some cases. Faroes are also free, I think. both places a bit difficult to get to, and not many Air BnB places for self isolation. better than most places for '29 days later' eposodes, though

Apple reopens stores in China as Middle Kingdom regains control of COVID-19 – after closing all its outlets in Italy

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: reasons not to close schools...

I dont think that the current figures suggest a peak after 3 weeks.

The newest growth rate (with no controls) suggest a doubling of infections every THREE days.

Italy now shows no sign of slowing its rate.


Logarithmic scales here.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: So what did China do...

Keep drinking the KoolAid.

playing in the park is likely less risky than sitting for extended periods within 2 feet of each other.

Sorry, closing schools is a standard WHO reccomendation.

Where you have vulnerable parents (a good percentage are) it makes sense for the parents to isolate whith the children. And sorry, but most kids can do this.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: So what did China do...

And why do you think that China has Covid under control at this point?

Because it didnt report many new cases? perhaps its like the UK - dont test so nothing to report.

The math does not lie. Covid 19 is not over in China.

Good luck pitching a tent on exoplanet WASP-76b, the bloody raindrops here are made out of molten iron

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: The "night" side is colder dropping to 1,500°C

Likely they are nails

Google: You know we said that Chrome tracker contained no personally identifiable info? Yeah, about that...

John Jennings Bronze badge

Perfec redtop

it was the Reg what won it.

Enough said

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!

John Jennings Bronze badge

In my case

No one would let me bake any wet shoes of mine two days in a row :)

Surprise! Plans for a Brexit version of the EU's Galileo have been delayed

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Good

The UK isnt a world power any more - likely doesnt need more than a regional system - when you consider that regional means 1/3 of the globe with 8 satellites.

Chinas full system only comes online this year - its still regional until September. Its used in Search and Rescue Systems (SAR)

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Good

Article is a bit harsh. There are already more than the 3 common systems


Gallelo - EU

Glonass - Russiua

Beidou - China (comes online this year)

India has a regional version,

Japan does too.

It is NOT unreasonable to avoid having such a strategic resource tied to a supplier not controlled by the state.

The UK military would be one of the few countries without direct access to GPS while being in the top 10 by spend. S Korea (a US satellite) and Saudi (with its own issues) being the only others.

It doesn't have to cost so many billions - its not as if the Uk hasnt built GPS satellites before. The ground infrastructure is indigenous as well.

India and China both proved that full continent coverage could be achieved with 8 satellites. The UK could cover local requirements with similar. It could do it with less, by side loading something like the French DORIS system for better coverage at the fringes as range extenders.

UK interests are likely to be UK and Atlantic, EU and USSR and ME (for military). It has lots of little possessions around the world which could be DORIS stations.

It's only a game: Lara Croft won't save enterprise tech – but Jet Set Willy could

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: "anything you can do in software you can do in hardware"

Matrox excelled in CRT driving- they had much better DA controllers than anyone else, back in the day. You needed to pair them with something like a Sony Trinetron monitor (if you could stomach the ghost lines). From the G200 they could drive twin monitors. Nowadays - I think 6-10 are possible.

After the mystique (and later to an extent the G400) they dropped out of the consumer market. The Parhelion was no use for gaming - it was uncompetative when it came to market..

RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Nothing ignomious

Many more accidents at that age are fatal. You could argue that he may well have died of old age. I am sure Dyson knew the risks - he might have developed a formula for it.

One of the greatest minds of the 20th C.

Hey, Brits. Your Google data is leaving the EU before you are: Hoard to be shipped from Ireland to US next month

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Convenient BS from Google...

The ICO should be involved.

The difficulty will also be with EU citizens personal data using google services. I am Irish, living currently in Northern Ireland, but I have a gmail.com email addy -

Under GDPR, my (Republic of Ireland) rights under GDPR remain - how in the name of sweet bejesus would Google work out if I am EU or UK?

Further, I might recieve other peoples personal data to my google drive - and how do I respect eu citizens rights ?

Finally - the latency to Ireland from London is around 20-30 ms. Its 90 to New York. Is this an opportunity for Microsoft?

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Progman Error

Windows 3.11 was 11 floppies, if I recall....

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Pascal has always been great

I used to write all my commercial applications in Pascal - specifically Turbo Pascal (v6, I think 3 floppies?). I never had the issues with IO - in my line at the time, there input files were never standard between installations, so having to write custom readers for binary data files (with no documentation, of course) was the norm. A lot of our stuff was built as apps which were loaded on the fly from batch files (these were DOS apps). A lot of the manipulation then centred around managing BTrieve databases and new binary data files. TBH. I found TP the strongest and most productive compiler - especially when you built a custom bgi librart.

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Aliens? Or something more prosaic? We're hoping for aliens

Unless its a cosmic art project.....

These truly are the end times for TLS 1.0, 1.1: Firefox hopes to 'eradicate' weak HTTPS standard by blocking it

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: @Drefsab_UK - Good


Your supplier/vendor in the supply chain will have to fix it- they wont until they have to.

OR your teams that you are supporting who are using the old protocols are not re-enginerring themselves to the vendor/suppliers new product - usually because its 'inconvenient' (which is often wrapped in 'its not possible').

OR your policy says that connection to X for purpose Y must be encrypted (usually for some external compliance piece like PCI) and now it is being exposed that it isnt, so you need to find a 'better' solution.

Use IE11 if you are stuck - keep Firefox for the day to day stuff.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Evenhandedness

The problem is that most admins of those servers either dont give a damn or their managers dont give a damn. 'Just works well enough' is all that they are interested in.

It is all very well saying that they should care - but even blue chip companies dont really.

They do care when it doesnt work any more. And the only way to force that is to break the servers at the browser.

Sorry - but its how social inertia works.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: "We decided on a global fallback"

Precisely that. He seems to be equating their failure with the management (rather than that and the insane communist tenancies that existed within the workforce).

Management was by the very committees and central planning that he seems to want earlier in the post.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: "We decided on a global fallback"

You can contribute to the discusion - in the appropriate place. Bitching on ElReg isnt it.

I would humbly submit that your whine here, (even though you are not interested in changing, so they must be doing something right) is more the reflection of modern society you decry - where you want something for no (apparent) cost, and whinge when you dont have the specific option to suit you personal preferance!

Developers need to make decisions - or change doesn't happen.

Firefox development (and OS in general) isnt some 1970's style collective of comrades developing under a vote for every design line. If it were, you would have truly beautiful code - that could barely render HTML.

Don't tell us to go Huawei, Chinese ambassadors tell UK and France

John Jennings Bronze badge

End of choice.


Spying to the left of them , Spying to the right

Into the valley of the surveillance State rode just about everyone.

<Quote> “There are only two companies that can compete with Huawei right now: Nokia and Ericsson,” Barr said in a speech on the Chinese economic threat. “The main concern about these suppliers is that they have neither Huawei's scale nor the backing of a powerful country with a large embedded market like China,”</Quote>

So, create/prop up a 5G alternative to Huawei - shoulda done that before they told countries not to use the kit.

As it stands currently, noone provides a viable alternative....

Iowa has already won the worst IT rollout award of 2020: Rap for crap caucus app chaps in vote zap flap

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Don't blame the users for the app failure

Well said

I had to explain how a batchfile worked to a graduate

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Don't blame the users for the app failure

<quote>Wouldn't existing MPs (at least labour ones) be Labour party members?</ quote?

You think so? I remember the Labour party of the 1970's and 80's.... Comunist, militant tendancy, etc - all those little sub-parties, more interested in themselves and their back room machinations and petty politics than the good of either Labour or the country... Corbyn was (unfortunately) from that era really. Bit like Foot in his day - left wing, intelligent, but uncharasmatic to normal people. Not a great strategist, but a good party tactician.

UK to Chinese telecoms giant: From 5G in Tiree to the Isles of Ebony, carry me on the waves… Sail Huawei, sail Huawei, sail Huawei

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Exactly

actually we do make some of the most precise electronics/switches and sensors in the world. We physically make them but US companies own almost all of the companies and their IP now. Funnily enough, when the large numbers are required, they build plant in china...

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Good, good.

That was to keep the Democratic Unionists on board while they held some power.

It is one of the stupidist ideas ever - perhaps partly why the DUP were so enamored with the idea.

German scientists, Black Knights and the birthplace of British rocketry

John Jennings Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Re: Another interesting article

And another interesting post. Keep them up :)

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Isn't THIS why we've got to teach 2nd-graders how to "code", rather than how to think?

One could argue that Starwars was completely successful.

An argument can be made that the primary goal was the destruction of the Soviet economy - with the ability to plant US presences in Poland and Turkey.

Mission successful.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Profits

You seem to confuse boeings customers. Its the Governments and Airlines that buy its stuff, for transport of goods (including human chattel) or to supply weapons.

Travelers are most definitely not Boeings customers.

Airlines, when they can go down the route of single supplier to simplify their training and supply lines - to save money - Southwest for example.

Sure, you could argue that 'people wont fly them' .... They will to save a few dollars or because they cant (or wont) take the time to find alternative routes to X on alternate carriers.

Spanking the pirates of corporate security? Try a Plimsoll

John Jennings Bronze badge

Wouldnt work - without some modification.

It wouldnt work.

Why? 2 main reasons spring to mind, and there would be others you think about it...


Precisely how do you define the plimsol line? Rember the story this week about the ICO running out of legal budget - how big would a sim1ilar cybersec organisation need to be to empower an authority to properly audit a company - and it would have to be every company, their suppliers and partners etc.? Every industry type has a variable level of compliance required for regulatory compliance. It would be a nightmare of compliance and enforcement.


Because my BOFH would know where the out of date flares or dodgy liferafts are. So, they have an option to effectively blackmail the company. They pass the details to a friendly researcher who squeals to the beak, and so spits the profits as they go out the door. No company would willingly put itsself in the situation. Imagine the compliance a BOFH would have to go through to prove they were not going to do this at some stage in the future. Be careful what you wish for!

Our problem is that 90 days is what the market really values. IT and associated service teams need to justify expensive change over years. It is, and will remain. But its the same with most things. In manufacturing, we dont have everything done by robots becasue they are expensive, and cant recover the cost in some areas quickly enough.... A ROI of a year might be the best a production engineer might get away with - its the same in IT, as it is everywhere - HR, Transport etc. Whatever the service....

Starliner: Boeing, Boeing... it's back! Borked capsule makes a successful return to Earth

John Jennings Bronze badge


They seem to be quite good at it now.

over 80 progress flights alone, out of 126 to ISS, nevermind Mir and 4 salut space stations.

Almost all of these flights were automatic - especially ISS. The nice thing about the russian modules is that they can be manually controlled if something does go wrong.

ACLU sues America's border cops: Tell us everything about these secret search teams targeting travelers

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: McCarthy would be proud of his legacy.

This outfit was set up by Obama, not Trump, and its base mission remains unchanged.

There is no point blaming Trump on this one.

The problem for him now is that if it is disbanded, and 'something happens' - then he will be blamed for that too.

Samsung says sorry as union-busting chairman and VP head off for 18 months in the chokey

John Jennings Bronze badge

Different perspective in Seol, compared to California on how management can behave.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands

John Jennings Bronze badge

Should never

Have moved the West Ham Polly to University status.

Thinking that its an academical institution empowers plonkers like noones business.

I am quite happy being an old school poly graduate....

Space Force is go, go, go! Because we have a child as President of the United States

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: It Is With Such Baubles That Men Are Led.

Actually no.

The USAF for formed in September 1947 - as part of the National Security Act of that year.

A partial separation called U.S. Army Air Forces existed between 1941 and 47

planes were under the control of the US army at the time of Pearl Harbor.

"Hap" Arnold was a general in charge of the army air corps until 1941 He became a 4 star general in 1944, and held that post until 1946, when he retired..

thus, technically Spaatz was the first commander of the USAF.

We've heard of spam filters but this is ridiculous: Pig-monkey chimeras developed in a Chinese laboratory

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: TV remake

Think the Fish was called Sandy, and the priest was tripitakka (or something) :)

Hard to beat a show with a monkey king who plucks his chest hair to produce hundreds of kung fu minimees!

Oh, has an unbreakable, scalable staff, and a personal flying cloud.

ESA toasts 10% budget boost by stretching ISS support out to 2030

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: With Britain Away, the ESA will play

I dont think Skylon will every fly.

The UK is often able to 'punch above its weight' - in design and prototyping for advanced designs and innovative tech.

The UK too small to properly capitalise it as a whole project. Like the design of the Jet engine in commercial flight - ultimately, Boeing won over the comet - a plane years ahead of its time, using new all metal skin technologies- which was flawed because we didnt know of metal fatigue. It was only later with Nimrod (basically the same plane that was used for 60 years) that the UK (and the world) fully got the tech understood.

Rolls Royce is a design success story in Jet engine design. They successfully build one part of a project.

Former Oracle product manager says he was forced out for refusing to deceive customers. Now he's suing the biz

John Jennings Bronze badge

"in a process of affirmative misrepresentation, material omission, and likely fraud."

Sound live every project plan I developed as a PM for a project Baord..... Usually one part of the client org trying to get me to do against another part of the client. And I was a PM for the bloody client. That's the health service for ya!

Ah those days.....

Googlers fired after tracking colleagues working on US border cop projects. Now, if they had monetized that stalking...

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Hoist on own petard

It would also likely be a breach of CCPA - Californias new data privacy regulations. It has been postponed for staff for one year, but.... It does require companies protect personal data with 'reasonable security procedures and practices'

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Simple...

more like 1984.....

Uni of London loses attempt to block mobe mast surveyors from Paddington rooftop

John Jennings Bronze badge

Interesting thing here - new mob masts are springing up all over the place. Equally quickly, some group is putting signs on them about 5 g or painting slogans on them.

I expect them to be systematically wrecked soon.

You're drinking morning coffee in 2019. These eggheads are in 2119 landing drones on their arms like robo-falconers

John Jennings Bronze badge

with those big glass plates on my hands, I have the perfect too to bat the little fekkers away.

Also - have you seen how long a microdrone runs for? Max fly time is about 5 minutes. They cant stay in the air if they get a little fluff on them- never mind poison darts or kinetics. Evil super villain technology its not.

They do nip a bit if you grab one out of the air from above, though!

One man's mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: The tale of Europe's Galileo satellites going dark

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: And we wonder why people want to exit the EU


Its a factor in all Bureaucracies - I have seen it in the UK Civil Service - the EU seems more keen on it than most, though

Huawei. It's the patriotic choice: Mobe behemoth predicts 20% sales spike despite US sanctions

John Jennings Bronze badge

Not so sure

Given that Apples Iphone sales tanked - relatively speaking - and the loss of the China market was cited as the reason, its not unreasonable that Hauwei could see the growth proposed filling that gap.

I dont see them around as much in the UK - so perhaps global sales in 5eyes countries will decline - but- the population of China put 5eyes in the shade...

Other countries in the rest of the world dont necessarily align with the US on the trade war - especially countries like india which has a market which needs lots of lower end kit

Yay! The ozone layer hole the smallest it's ever been seen. That's not necessarily good...

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Yet the weather is still getting worse, not better

Your body would need a fusion reactor to produce Calcium.

I think you are referring to calcium extraction - and there, you are talking tosh. You need to extract calcium. Yes, you can get too much of it. Age related osteoporosis is not related to the amount of calcium in the diet - rather its more to do with the invisibility of the body to absorb it and use it - generally thought to be a reduction in oestrogen and angrogen.

Hip fracture rate differences are more likely due to an increase in sedentary lifestiles in the West in that age group.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Yet the weather is still getting worse, not better

Its been decades, and the hole is reducing.

We stopped mass producing CFCs 30 years ago. Freons typically have 50-70 year half lives in the atmosphere, so we should see a reduction by now.

It is still like mentioned above, produced clandestinely, and other pollutants can have a similar (though usually lesser) effect.

On the other hand. Computer modelling is really a bit crap for this sort of work. It constantly has massive variance adjustments made, to accommodate the general chaos of the systems under consideration.

Virtual inanity: Solution to Irish border requires data and tech not yet available, MPs told

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Mission Impossible

You are splitting the question we were asked. Like splitting hairs - it serves no purpose other than having a frizzy head.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020