* Posts by Rufus

29 posts • joined 13 Jun 2007

There are pictures all over the internet of a big dark spot on Uranu... Oh no, wait, it's Neptune


In knots

Surely wind speed should be measured in knots.

Given Neptune has a circumference of 155,600 km, that makes a Neptune Nautical Mile around 7.2km.

So a wind speed of just shy of 50 Neptune Knots.

That's only 10 on the Beaufort scale, though I wouldn't want to risk my best brolly in it!

GCSE computer science should be exam only, says Ofqual


Why is Computer Science treated as a special case?

Having had one daughter sit CS last year and have her project binned having wasted 20 hours on it. And another who will go through the same next year, I don't understand why CS is being treated as a special case.

All of the DT subjects (resistant materials, product design, textiles etc.) have a controlled assessment element which makes up typically 50% of the final GCSE. Unless they have tightened up the process, students typically work on these at school and home, take as many hours as they need, and can use any resource (including online) provided they don't directly plagiarise, and they list what sources they have used.

Kids frequently discuss their projects with other kids both IRL and online forums.

Seeing as so little of the CS NEA mark was the actual code, if kids didn't understand it fully, could discuss their design choices, testing methodology and results, and document what changes / improvements they made, they would have got only a small percentage of the available marks!

It annoys me that due to some puritanical witch hunt another daughter will miss out on 10 weeks of CS lessons to work on something that is of no use to her skills, or the final GCSE!

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains


Re: More anti EU Propaganda

...and I believe this humble organ may have reported on it at the time:


'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks


Chat bots and interview

I wonder if BA had a "chat" service to help customers during the booking process:


Quick clip from Radio 4 listing what was stolen:


The full Radio 4 interview is worth listening to, more for what isn't said about the breach....


Starts at 1:50:30

Planning on forking out for the new iPad? Better take darn good care of it



The school in question is an independent Christian fee paying school in Scotland, co-ed for ages 5-18 with approximately 10 pupils per year (and I presume similar or smaller class sizes).

Drunk canoeing no longer driving offence in Canada


Drink cycling in UK

Section 30 of the RTA 1988 states:

A person who, when riding a cycle on a road or other public place, is unfit to ride through drink or drugs (that is to say, is under the influence of drink or a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the cycle) is guilty of an offence.

However the maximum penalty is a £1000 fine, and there is no legal right for the police to request a breathalyser or blood test to "prove".

The only way to lose your driving license from drink cycling is if you are disqualified from driving under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 which applies to *ANY* offence. AFAIK this is rarely used, and courts have never imposed this for cycling offences!

Firefox hits version 50


You can go to the website and download the data as desired http://gs.statcounter.com/

For the first two weeks of November the top 20 browsers for Desktop, Tablet and Console were:

Chrome 59.19

Firefox 13.41

Safari 10.34

IE 8.83

Edge 2.89

Opera 1.84

Android 1.29

Yandex Browser 0.46

Coc Coc 0.35

UC Browser 0.28

Chromium 0.17

Maxthon 0.15

Sony PS4 0.13

Sogou Explorer 0.13

360 Safe Browser 0.1

QQ Browser 0.09

Mozilla 0.04

Phantom 0.04

Puffin 0.04

Pale Moon 0.03

Vivaldi was at 0.02% - so definitely more Edge and Opera rather than a Vivaldi ....

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10


Re: Apple slurping...

It's not as if Apple isn't also slurping away all the time:


But as with both Microsoft and Apple, if you understand what it's doing, why it's doing it, you can make an informed decision to set your privacy settings accordingly!

Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall


Money well spent!

Three years studying a degree in Media Production at Northumbria and he still hasn't learnt the best orientation of the phone for taking videos to share on social media - *sigh*.

It is also not the first time he's had an incident when taking photos - though the previous encounter was a little more bloodied:


It's Gartner Magic Graph of Wonder time! And Google won't be happy


Re: Many people have asked before, but why are you still giving Gartner any credit?

..Because sadly there are still many large companies stuffed with "Enterprise Architects" who will only consider shortlisting suppliers based on whether they are in the Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester's Wave, regardless of whether it's a good match to the actual business requirements!

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


After getting the polarity wrong on the first Technicolor camera, John wonders how to put all the colour back again!


Kickstarter pulls funding as the Laser Razor prototype turns out to be slightly bulkier than originally pictured!

New mystery Windows-smashing RAT found in corporate network

Black Helicopters

Re: Sounds like FUD.

To be fair to enSilo they have posted a more detailed analysis of the malware and its characteristics on their blog:


Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Susan: "So why's it called a bird-eating spider?"

If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

Thumb Down

Can't anyone manufacture a laptop now without inflicting it with half height cursor keys, then adding insult to injury by doubling-up their functionality as Home / End / PgUp / Down keys.

The finger gymnastics you now have to go through just to highlight a block of code, and copy it. Made harder by having to hit a key half the size of a normal key!

If I wanted to be cursed with an Apple styled keyboard, I'd buy an Apple!

Unsurprising report: UK local govt sites remain totally crap


Re: Have to mention Birmingham

The Birmingham city council's website looks like it's using the Fatwire CMS (now an Oracle product). I know Fatwire licenses are expensive, but not THAT expensive!

Everyone's waving their 5-inchers: BlackBerry outs new supersized Z30

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Shaky liftoff for Sputnik: Dell's Linux lappie runs its own cloud, ish


Keyboard kills it!

I don't know about other developers, but shrinking the size of the cursor keys and making them share functionality with the Home and End is a FAIL for me.

Selecting blocks of code now becomes a convulted 3 finger process - if I wanted to press unecessary extra keys I'd choose a Macbook Pro!

Now if Dell put a high res screen in the E6230 - that would be near perfect!

Start the clock! Public sector web MUST be disabled-friendly by 2015


Re: Driving licences?

An example, from my early days making internal Government systems more accessible, is severe RSI; although often not severe enough to warrant appearing on the Register of People with Disabilities.

Often users would struggle to use a keyboard or mouse for any length of time, but could sucessfully use voice recognition software to input data and control applications.

A badly designed form where you couldn't tab between fields or select options using the first letter of the name was nigh impossible to use with voice recognition. A little pressure from their unions, and *a lot* of resistance from a well known blind MP at the time, and I was called in to fix it!

Needless to say the RSI would not have prevented any of them from driving!

JK Rowling's adult novel arrives on ebook full of FAIL


3% VAT

But Luxembourg are only charging 3% VAT on eBooks - just 35p of the £11.99 price!



Kobo revamps e-reader line, intros mini model


Mini & Glo prices

WHSmith are listing both the Mini and Glo as pre-order items with prices. They cost £59.99 and £99.99 respectively - which isn't far removed from the US prices + 20% VAT!

2011's Best... Premium Tablets


What's the point of the Reg Rating.

Four of the five tablets score an identical 85%!

Or this another in-joke I've missed.

Ten... colour laser printers


Replacement Toner Costs

It's not only the cost/page it's the affordability of the replacement toners to achieve that. For example to get the low cost per page of the Editor's choice - Xerox Phaser 6280 you have to buy the high capacity toners. The cost for each colour toner is £200 and the black £150 a total of £750 just to change the toner - probably over double what you paid for the printer!

For a small office that's too much outlay, but ho, they do offer lower capacity toner at half the price. However rather than half the toner, then put in LESS THAN A THIRD of the toner. This increases the cost/page for colour from 8.4p to an eye watering 14p - one of the worst in the review!

If I was a cynic I might say nasty things about Xerox! Luckily not all printer manufactures are like this!

YouView to adopt Freeview channel list rules


Pull your finger out!

Considering the original YouView nee Project Canvas nee Project Kangaroo was due to launch in mid 2008, to be honest I don't care what order or even colour the EPG is!

In fact I don't even give a damn if it doesn't have an EPG at all. What I do want is a simple STB which allows me to stream catch-up content from all the main "freeview" providers though a single common interface.

Is that too much to ask, or too difficult to achieve in 5 years FFS!

Paul McCartney's ex-wife makes phone-hacking claim

Paris Hilton

As Judge Bennett put it....

...the last time she was before a member of the courts:

"Having watched and listened to her give evidence, having studied the documents, and having given in her favour every allowance for the enormous strain she must have been under (and in conducting her own case) I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid,” the judge said. "Overall she was a less than impressive witness."

Personally I think the Judge was just being polite. The Mirror's headline referred to her as "liar and fantasist Heather Mills" which some would say is closer to the truth!

One per cent of world's web browsing happens on iPad


How do they measure?

If it's by sniffing the User Agent from the header, they are likely to be under reporting more configurable mobile devices. For example my mobile browser currently reports itself as:

mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_6_3; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.16 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0 Safari/533.16

It's not easy to tell from that string that I'm running a standard Android browser with the "mobile view" toggled off, and I suspect it will be recorded as a hit from a Safari browser on the Mac.

That's before you muddy the water further by those mobile devices that allow you to install other browsers i.e. Mobile Opera etc.

IPVision FetchTV SmartBox 8000 DVR


Remote control reincarnation

The remote control looks *identical* to the one that my now deceased NetGem iPlayer (circa 2003) had.

The NetGem iPlayer had a built in web browser and email client which sadly the FetchTV appears to be missing. I wonder if they are in any way related? Or if someone bought up a batch of old and slightly quirky remote controls!


Times websites want £1 a day from June


Farewell BBC News...

And when the experiment of charging for content fails, how long will it be before there are calls for the BBC to remove it's publically funded online news content which. "..is driving out competition and stifling innovation ..."


New site marries Google, Yahoo!


All4One - ten years ago!

I remember being introduced to All4One some time ago which searched Yahoo, Lycos, Altavista and Webcrawler and display the results in 4 resizeable panes using a frameset!

Wow, things have really progressed in 10 years!



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