* Posts by Alienrat

55 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jun 2011


Woman sues Lyft, says driver gang-raped her at gunpoint – and calls for app safety measures we can't believe aren't already in place



Regardless to this case, I see no reason why all of these ride services can't match the 'camera in the cab' and keep the footage for 72 hours. Seems like a good idea in general for both the driver and the passengers point of view and pretty easy to mandate / implement.

And frankly if I was a driver I would want a camera in there.

What do sexy selfies, search warrants, tax files have in common? They've all been found on resold USB sticks


Re: Not just USB

> I thought they had a nice house?

Only because I decided to not walk into the bank with the documents I had and transfer it over to myself!


Not just USB

The last laptop (an MS surface) I bought the previous owner had put the copy of their document folder in the bin, but not even emptied it. There was his CV, a scan of his passport, their full photo library, scans and documents related to their mortgage application (nice house), stuff related to their last holiday and internal documents from his girlfriends business. Pretty well everything you need to make a life sold for a few hundred quid. Wasn't the first time I had seen stuff like that but the most complete.

I thought I could contact them about it (not like I didn't have the details to do so), but what was the point. So I deleted it all and made a note to never be them!

California cracks down on Internet of Crap passwords with new law to stop the botnets


Re: The problem...

> They will need someone to program a password into each device (or generate one automatically), and then print more, unique documentation because now the passwords between the devices are different.

I think it is not uncommon for a lot of routers I have seen to have the default password printed on a label on the bottom of the box. These passwords are put on automatically during manufacture. Its not done by hand and it doesn't seem that tricky

Sex harassment scandal scoops up Silicon Valley's Slimy Scoble


Re: One thing that bugs me in all this...

And it is much more likely if you were sexually abused as a kid you will go on to be an abuser.

You are a combination of things that were done to you, your sexual behaviour and desires are based on your history and what happened, so yes, if you were abused as a kid that is bad but that is what you know of human sexual interaction.

You can fight it because you know it is bad, and I suspect that in truth the vast majority do, but it is still there and not everyone can or will fight it - there are also various levels of damage.

Doesn't mean we should tolerate it, but does mean we should try and understand it.

The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn


Re: Hmm

Blaming the autopilot would be pointless, since it isn't an "autopilot" and isn't supposed to be used that way.

Is it not? On the page entitled 'Autopilot' on the tesla website at https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/autopilot

it states:

Full Self-Driving Capability

... The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat. ....

All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, the car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination or just home if nothing is on the calendar. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigate urban streets (even without lane markings), manage complex intersections with traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts, and handle densely packed freeways with cars moving at high speed. When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you

So I don't see why it is fair to blame people for assuming it is exactly what it is advertised as

Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator



Well, the article seemed totally reasonable and I was about to book my ticket to California for the unveiling of this wonderful device, I have longed for a phone that was less than 7mm, 7.1 was way too big and I am often called to the scene of rodent cardiac incidents, this would solve all my problems. Then I noticed the obvious - Mole? A Rodent?

With this sort of major error I am beginning to believe that some of the other facts might be less than totally accurate!

Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes


Go and read the Tesla website, it clearly says "All Tesla vehicles produced in our factory, including Model 3, have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver".

And there is a video clearly showing that it doesn't need any input from the driver and it is fully self driving, so it seems a bit odd to criticize owners for assuming that it doesn't need any input from the driver and is fully self driving.

And yes, maybe they didn't RTFM, but I can't recall ever RTFM of a car either apart from finding out what that mysterious unique switch on the dashboard does.

Complaints against cops down 93% thanks to bodycams – study


Re: Lesson here

Agreed, there are times they need to be turned off.

If the default is on, and the times it is off are logged with the reason it was turned off (ie, confidential discussion with victim), then it covers everything nicely.

That way we can build trust back into the system.

Microsoft's kinder, gentler collaboration war: Evernote, you're first


Used Evernote since a long time back and yes, had a one year premium account at one point. I don't really store an awful lot on there but its value is being able to access it on all the machines I use, so having a restriction on two computers makes it completely useless to me. It is not important enough to warrant paying above $10 / $15, certainly nothing like $70. Its a shame as I had a third party UI I could access it through (Alternote) but you know, it was free so you can't expect it to last forever.

Turns out in mean time OneNote has got a lot better, works on the mac, the import worked well, it has some kind of export that I can use when that changes so that is good enough for me.

What's losing steam at Apple? Pretty much everything


Re: Weird brokeness

And yet almost all of those problems you claim they have would warrant a replacement at the apple store, apart from the one that is water damaged (ie, if the water sensor has been triggered), which leads me to believe that either they don't exist, your 'friends' are either too lazy to return them, or maybe you live in a nuclear waste dump?



So we are in a world where a company producing phones only having a revenue of $42bn can be declared, an amount that if it was a country would make it the 88th richest?

I don't like Mondays, Pokemon, Twitter or Facebook – Sir Bob Geldof


Old man..

Old man in "All this modern technology is rubbish" shock!

All this modern music is all boom boom boom, and we didn't need entertainment like your 'pokeeymoon goes' in my day, we just had a hoop and a stick and that was good enough for us and "Hey you kids, get off my lawn". Oh did I say, back when was young I had big hit in 79 - almost as big as Cliff Richard and art Art Garfunkel!

Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study


I'm a bass player

but I also play 'not real instruments' too.

I am also an ABC1 and a 50+ age group, and a remainer and above average salary, so don't know where I go in those stats.

I try to buy a decent number of CDs a month, because I don't want to get into that 'oh all modern music isn't as good as it was in the <insert decade you were young in>' mindset that so many of the people my age have, however, a lot of those CDs that I have bought did start life as a pirated track, replaced when I got the album.

Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th


Sounds like a winner

So the people who wanted it got it for free, and the people who don't want it are somehow going to pay £99 for it?

Apple assumes you'll toss the Watch after three years


They probably were right

I have had macs for decades, and other computers too. It *used* to be the case you would upgrade after 3/4 years for the newer faster model, and I did, and it was better / faster / more storage. But since the mid 2000s or so? That cycle stopped. I swapped my 2008 macbook for a 2014 one, and my 2007 iMac was replaced for a 2012 one, which won't be replaced soon. My PC is from about 2009.

3/4 years no longer gives you faster / better / more storage, the changes are smaller and less important. I only updated my macbook because I had a work one with a retina screen and got used to it. Side by side It was faster but it didn't really feel it in day to day use.

I think all computer companies are going to have to get used to a slower update cycle, as there really aren't the compelling reasons to update that there used to be.

Obviously the watch will be different, as it is more a fashion accessory than a technology product, so its market rules are different

Hey devs! Confused by EU privacy law? Pull out the FLASH CARDS


Re: Could someone perhaps explain why

"Your users are women"

Yes, one of the first things I noticed, obviously some kind of impairment. Maybe it is OK if you just allow your user interface to be switched to pink - isn't that how you deal with the tricky 'women using things' problem?

Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years


I was impressed by the free wifi going into london from the west the other day on SW Trains - first time I had noticed that, it was fast and efficient, and pretty good as most of the time there is no signal on that train. That was at lunchtime.

I came home at 6:30. The free wifi wouldn't connect, and when it did there was no data going through it. It would have been nice to distract me from the lack of seat and standing room only on the train until we got past Woking.

UK urged to stop bigging up startups, feed 'growing' firms


Outside london?

They must have been shocked to discover that something happened outside London.

No one wants iOS 8 because it's for NERDS - dev


Like others, it works fine here, no battery change, not a huge download. Not sure if I believe that 50% adoption of something within a month or so is small, but not that bothered either.

I can't think of any nerdy reasons to upgrade, but one reason I have found really compelling, the system actually honours the text size in all Apple applications, so text that was previously too small for my old tired eyes is now clear and legible.

Don't really care about the rest of the features, but that is the reason I prefer it to other releases.

Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open


Did a 'yum update bash' on Centos 6.2 and was surprised the version it was giving was less than 4.3. However, after the update the exploit no longer worked.

Is there a test for routers? I don't have a internet facing remote management port, but is there some other way to exploit this, if indeed it is a problem on my router?

Hackers steal €500k in lightning bank raids



Why don't they take the money back? For money to transfer out of a bank account surely it has to go somewhere? Its not like it is bitcoins or something so cant they just go to that account and say transfer back?

Would it not be the same as breaking into a bank with a gun and asking them to transfer all the money to your account?

On the plus side, if these are Italian banks, then people are already used to the government doing the same thing, so it isn't that much of a shock.

Technology is murdering customer service - legally


Needs additional AI

Maybe that means there is room in the market for an AI that does know your problem that you can use to communicate with the companies AI to sort it out?

Boffins demo FIVE MICRON internal combustion engine



.. that they can make a micro-engine in silicon with such high precision considering how crap their ability with a soldering iron is!

Is modern life possible without a smartphone?


Judging by the tone here, maybe it is time that the chaps at XKCD rewrote


to 'how I feel about not having a smartphone'.

I personally love mine, don't get lost in strange towns like I used to, don't get as bored sitting by the luggage rack on an overoccupied train back like I would otherwise, get to access information I need when I am out, get to see if I am being ripped off in a shop that says '50% off'.

But yes, if the only thing that makes you feel that you are better than others is because they have a smartphone and you don't, knock yourself out!

Microsoft fears XP could cause Indian BANKOCALYPSE


Unless this is a threat

And on that last day they switch off all the activation servers and it becomes impossible to activate any new instances of XP

Apple to accept iPhone trade-ins at US Retail Stores


Requiring a wireless contract may be crap, but you can't buy an iPhone in the states contract free

Apple snaffles travel app in quest for way out of Maps debacle


I use both apple maps and google maps. I find the new google maps has gone backwards on usability with the new version (the same as the web version - you can still go back to the old version, hope that stays).

In general I prefer apple maps, I find the traffic better and the mapping clearer. This changes in London where I find its lack of clarity of tube station makes it not so useful. Luckily I only go there occasionally.

Neither of them are perfect, they both have locations and roads wrong but all the time they are both there and fighting each other, the better they both get and that has to be good.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Proof the pen is mightier?



I have had many tablets from the newton, palm, wince, pocketpc, tablet windows up to where I currently use an iPad. I have tried a few androids but never really got on with any of them much and normally ended up not using them for an (apparent) lack of decent music apps but the stylus is something I have always missed. I can't imagine it will ever come on iOS, and most of the work things I do involve diagrams or plans and they were just always much easier with a stylus.

The note 10.1 and now this is something that would make me look at it seriously, the stylus is far from being a gimmick.

Samsung: Never mind Steve Jobs, let's snap off a piece of stylus biz


I generally use the iPad for day to day stuff. I also used to use a windows tablet PC. I love the touch interface in the iPad and the fact that it works so well by hand. I don't love that you can't use a pen in any sensible way for writing and drawing - I am not an artist, I am a software engineer but my most use tool is a pad of paper.

I used to love the pen system on the tabletPC, and that I could write and draw on it, like the pad but then search for things. I did most of my open university using it but using windows with a pen was not a lot of fun in general.

A system that combines both of those would be fantastic. The note 10.1 seems quite close but not cigar, but I will probably get one anyway. Would certainly be interested to see what the surface was like.

Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app


Re: what about traffic data

Actually, now I look at home, the satellite image of my house is exactly the same image, same resolution, cars parked in the same place etc, but further at the end of the road it is different, I can't quite see where the join is. The google maps have (c) google stamped all over them.


Re: what about traffic data

Where I work in dorset, I tried traffic, google maps said traffic wasn't available in my area. Apple maps has it and looking out of the window, it seemed quite accurate.

But then Apple maps are more accurate with shop locations too, googles locations are quite a way out, even if neither of them can quite keep pace with the speed of shop closures :/

Google satellite view is higher quality though.

Certainly if I was going to London, I would use the google maps, but out here in the sticks, the apple data seems to work better for me. It is certainly nice to have both (I tried nokia maps, but it didn't seem to offer much I didn't already have)

Nokia HERE iOS maps app review


Re: Wrong Luton

Mine went to the Luton near Exeter, but then that doesn't seem that unreasonable as I am not that far from Exeter. Maybe it is a relevance filter. I am very happy to ignore the Luton with an airport.

In general, I am perfectly happy with Apple maps. Some of the shops are wrong on it, but where I am, no more than google. I wouldn't be happy if I lived in london though, the labeling of the tube stations is awful, and so are the details available at different zoom levels.

I guess this is handy for that.

GiffGaff: We've got no iPhones, but here's how to cut down your SIM


I went from tesco to giffgaff, seemed cheaper and on the same network. I was a bit unlucky that not only did the O2 network go down for a while in that time, but so did a lot of giffgaff services.

Then I accidentally switched iTunes match on the phone and used all my data, and because I had auto update on, it added £10 which lasted a day or two of data, so had to wait for 7 days with no data before I could get another plan, or pay $stupid/MB. I didn't find cutting the sim down was particularly hard though.

But the real killer against using GiffGaff? The faux mateyness. 'Thanks for choosing GiffGaff, Nice one!'.

Went to 3, unlimited data, £5 more, network seems to stay up. They don't slap me on the back when I get a voicemail or pay a bill, but I can live with that.

Facebook phone app attempts to seize ALL YOUR MAIL


Presumably if you don't log into whatever facebook app you have on your phone, it can't replace your addresses with anything.

Apple, Samsung snatch smartphone biz booty


Re: Nokia is doomed...

Of course it would be possible to believe that Nokia would be doing badly with another platform.

They put a huge amount of effort into trying to remove their huge dominance of the phone market, they have the skills to continue to fail with any platform.

Apple sued for every touchscreen device by Flatworld prof


Re: Cough....

The newton does predate this. It had several gestures, the major one being the scribble gesture to delete text.

I am sure there was something before this, but this is a clearly identifiable product that was available to purchase 5 years before 1997.

Apple flooded with iPad 3 wireless connection complaints


Re: None too shiny

How many users are in a tsunami anyway? I checked the standard measurements tables but it seemed to be missing

Angry Birds Space flings 10 MILLION downloads in 3 days


Bit tired

Got it, played a few levels, quit.

Loved the original angry birds and various newer version, but this is for some reason just missing something. Not just the proper level completion music (although that is bad), but the pigs aren't smug enough, the birds aren't angry enough.

Went back to the old one and tried it, and it still has it, so it isn't just too much of the same thing.

Apple iPad 3 Sim-only contracts compared


Giffgaff data plans are £7.50/1GB, £12.50/3Gb

I still have an existing £7.50/3GB data service from 3, so I think I will hold onto that one!

iPhone stroking keeps us satisfied the most, say fanbois


Yes, I prefer the shape of the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 3. I didn't really mind the shape of the 3 that much (although I preferred the shape of the Nokia n73 I had before that), but I really liked the 4.

I am quite happy to admit when I don't like something (and frankly don't know that many people who don't).

I would say in fact, I prefer the shape of the iPad 1 to the iPad 3, but that may not be that accurate as I have never had the iPad one out of its case, and I have yet to get a 3 case. I wouldn't go as far to say the shape of the iPad 3 is a mistake, I just find the edges a bit sharp. I shall see what it is like when eBay has provided me a decent case.

Samsung Galaxy S II punters get a lick of Ice Cream Sarnie


Re: Spoiled developers

> Wonder why new, trendy, Starbucks/ Mac type developers hated Symbian?

I am not new or trendy and I hate Starbucks with a passion, but I am a Mac Developer (and PC, and iPhone and Android). Why did I hate Symbian?

I don't - the core operating system is great. But one day I saw an iPhone and discovered how much fun you could have with a phone if you didn't have to spend huge amounts of your time trying to work out where the settings to do what you want to do was.

Are we all using Androids or iPhones because device makers wanted to stop us using symbian? No, we are using them because even though their core systems are not as well optimised for mobile use, they are just much easier and more entertaining to use.

No, I never understood why Nokia didn't pick up on that either.

Apache confirms new OpenOffice build by 2012



>>BTW, from the programmers' pov, people that used both Emacs and MS Visual Studio claim that the former to be much superior to the latter. Now try comparing the billions of $$ dumped at MS VS and the "cheapo" things emacsen/vim(sical).

Seriously? One of the joys of moving from programming linux to programming windows was going from emacs to visual studio. I used both - I would never choose to use emacs.

Now having gone to programming Java, I miss it quite a bit, but when you have to use eclipse you are probably going to miss most things (except emacs).

Samsung takes another hit in patent punch-up



Just make something that isn't a straight copy of an iPad. I had a look down Purple World, Acer / asus / sony etc seem to be able to do it, how hard can it be?

Gibson revisits Firebird range with robotic refresh


Even ignoring

Even ignoring the robot tuning stuff, which is very good, surely they must know that this is the ugliest guitar they have put out in a very long time? I admit it is hard for them, as guitarists are about the most conservative anti technology people going, if it didn't exist in the 60's it isn't good enough, but that is.. well.. it pushes ugly to a new place.

And it has a great feature of looking like one of those bulbous childrens half scale guitars in the process. I think the market for that one is collectors, the ones who don't play guitars.

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial

Thumb Up

About time they started teaching something about computers again in schools, rather than how to use MS office.

Now Windows 8 goes into the ring to face Apple's iOS


So with all tablets being 5% of the market, and microsoft after a few years only now managing to equal the sales of XP machines, are they sure that windows with a UI change is what windows users want?

I personally like Win7, but I know a lot of people who really really want XP. Sounds like it might be worth putting more effort on those 45% of people don't want another layer over the top of windows than those 5% of people who want a tablet.

Got a non-iPad tablet? Weirdo


@Steve Brooks. I take it your friend is a little special if he specifically bought something to do only two things that a 5 second search would have told him he couldn't do.

I have an iPad, an HP touchpad and an archos android tablet, and am not particularly bothered if someone wants to know what I am using to browse the web, it doesn't detract from me at all.

Never understood why people got so personally upset about other peoples choice of gadget not being the same as theirs.

I don't use the android much (there for testing) but the other two I use all the time.

Rubbing an iPhone on your face won't cure acne - FTC


Apples approval process is just to check the application follows the rules - can't see what rule this broke.

In fact I don't understand why they were fined. If people want to pay a few quid to strap a phone to their face that changes colours in the belief that it makes their skin better, then I think they should be allowed to.

There are quite a few homeopathy related applications on smartphones. Are they going to be removed and fined next?

Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds


MBA 8 seconds?

You must have a really fast macbook air then, my wifes one isn't that fast. It is fast, but not 8 seconds fast. I have just put a new crucial 256GB SSD in my macbook pro, so now it is 28 seconds from power to useable desktop with apps and documents loaded (down from 67 seconds on a monumentus XT 500GB). I am quite happy with that, although I don't tend to restart.

However, I think it is good that people are trying to improve. My windows 7 machine only takes a few seconds to logon screen, but from start it takes a few minutes before it is in the state that you could call usable. I don't quite understand the linux / mac comments anyway - windows starting faster doesn't take anything away from you.

After all - it may take 2 minutes to get to a usable desktop in windows, but in linux, it has been 30 years and we are still waiting :) <runs>