* Posts by hairydog

115 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Oct 2011


Fairphone 5 scores a perfect 10 from iFixit for repairability


Re: If only an official Qi backcover would be available.

Wireless charging is hopelessly inefficient. Far better to use a cable. A magnetic connected one is OK, unless you have metal shavings in your environment,

Amazon unveils new drone design, plans liftoff of aerial delivery in UK, Italy


Re: Not viable in UK

The drone rules are far less onerous for drones that weigh no more than 250g - and the DJI mini drones in that category are excellent.

Google rebrands 'android' as 'Android' to remove any doubt about its affiliations


So now it's announced: android (sorry, Android) is now officially obese.

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster


This ridiculous scenario is played out up and down the country. Councils are suckered into expensive, complex bespoke systems that probably won't work.

The reality is that Birmingham council may be bigger than the others, but their functions are the same as every other council.

Yes, Birmingham may have more dustbins, but the task of arranging to empty them is only different in scale.

What is needed is to find a LA with a working system and replicate that (with local data and scaled to suit). Not to reinvent the bespoke wheel at huge cost and risk

Bad times are just starting for India's IT outsourcers, says JP Morgan


I keep reading about AI. It is supposed to stand for Artificial Intelligence. But that's intelligence in the 'espionage' meaning, not the 'thinking' meaning.

All AI seems to be good at is Automated Plagiarism. It steals other people's work and anonymoses it.

Without people to steal from AI will end up stealing from AI.

Keir Starmer's techno-fix for the NHS: Déjà vu disaster or brave new blunder?


The issues were not technical

Having worked on two parts of npfit over several years, I could see not only that it was going badly, but why.

Basically the core "spine" and database part was terribly badly designed simply because it was based in a 'quick and dirty' demo setup that wasn't designed for scaling to production, but 'the authority' insisted in using that.

They also insisted on regular version releases so close together that there were two separate development streams leapfrogging each other. An utter and complete waste of resources.

The implimentation of the system at endpoints was mostly a matter of integrating it with one of a handful of existing systems.

The sensible approach would have been for a given contractor to integrate all instances of one system no matter what the location.

Instead it was done regionally, so each contractor had to cope with all the systems as well as accommodating varied (and contradictory) requirements for each trust - and sometimes for each hospital!

It could have been excellent. It should have worked, but it was crippled by inappropriate administrative restrictions.

Since then, technology has moved on, but political incompetence is still the same problem

No more feature updates for Windows 10 – current version is final



I like Windows 10. It seems to be fairly dependable and fast, tolerably secure.

I'm sure there are people who love the idea of tabs in notepad, but I've used notepad++ for many years.

Most of the major features announced for Win10 seem to be about things like live tiles, which I disabled in the first five minutes after installation.

If MS wants to leave Windows 10 features unaltered and just have security updates, that seems perfect. Thank you, Microsoft

Huawei masters the great vanishing act as UK sales evaporate


Their routers may well be pants. Certainly the firmware in thier mobile modem/routers is a bit clunky.

But my goodness thier RF stuff is way ahead of the competition. Huwaei phones work where other brands can't even connect to the network,

And my experience of ther laptops and tablets is that they are way better than anything else on the market.

I'm told (but have no evidence) that Huawei telecoms kit (such as FTTC cabinets) is far more reliable than the other brands.

Seems to me that Huawei have committed the sin of being successful but not being American.

UK tax authority nudges net 'influencers': You may owe us for those OnlyFans feet pics


Income from online or other sources that is over £1000 is taxable, not taxed.

If you have no other income, tax is not due unless your income (after allowing for expenses) is over £12,500.

However, it does have to be declared on a tax return.

Surprise! China's top Android phones collect way more info


How many readers of the Reg actually buy their phones in China?

This article would be more informative if the same research was also done on what is snooping on the same models of phones bought in the EU or the UK.

BT keeps the faith in 'like fury' fiber broadband buildout as revenues dip


Weasel Words

Yes, the fibre passes my house. What a pity it isn't possible to be connected to that fibre. Seems that the fibre feed goes to poles in either direction, but not to the pole feeding the houses where I live. So it passes, like an express train. I'm not allowed to be a passenger.

Yes, they have rolled out 5G, though not to here.

Where I can get 5G on EE, it seems to be exactly the same speed as 4G in the same place. Where's the advantge?

Beijing grants permit to 'flying car' that can handle 'roads and low altitude'


Leaving aside the dangers from the rotors, the carbon cost, and the sheer silliness of this, it's pretty obvious that it will only be able to use "normal" roads that have no pedestrians and no other traffic.

Anyone who has cycled along as a vehicle has passed by closely knows the power of the slipstream. Roads are twisty, hilly, and pass shelted sections then sections where wind is funneled in. Vehicles' grip on the surface is an assumption inherent in the design of roads.

Basically, this is a big passenger-carrying drone, and drones are not happy travelling along the ground. It won't work. It will have to fly up higher.

Uncle Sam OKs vaccine that protects honeybees against hive-destroying bacterium


It would be even more effective if they stopped doing the things that cause the problem. Re-siting hives, huge areas of monoculture, lack of biodiversity, toxic sprays on crops, robbing the honey and replacing it with HFCS.

Brit MPs pour cold water on hydrogen as mass replacement for fossil fuels


Re: Politicians have lost the plot on this one

GWh is a total amount, not a rate and your figures are just plain wrong in any case.

Last week, consumption varied between about 45GW ans 25GW.

A rough average would be about 30GW, so over the week, the total consumption would be 5,040GWh


Re: Politicians have lost the plot on this one

Coffey has said that there is currently 16GW of solar capacity in the UK (I thought it was nearer 12GW) and that the government intends to increase this to 70GW.

Now I am not advocating belief in anything a Tory politician says, but that's a lot more than three times as much


Re: Call me crazy, but...

Not crazy, just failing to understand. Renewable power is very variable. Some of the time there is not enough, some of the time there is too much. There higher the capacity installed, there more likely it is that there is enough, and also there will be far more times when there is too much.

Creating green hydrogen is no more than 10% efficient, but that doesn't matter: you only do it when there is excess capacity and electricity prices are low or negative.

The hydrogen can be stored to power standby generation when there's a renewables shortfall, or stored to use as transport or injected into the gas main.

It can be electrolyzed at roadside filling stations to minimise transport costs, or near where the excess power is, to reduce transmission losses.

Victims of IT scandal in UK postal service will get fresh compensation


How do they get away with it?

If a member of the public was to knowingly and provably tell deliberate lies in a court case, they would be prosecuted for perjury.

Why has the Post Office not been subject to the same sanction?

Giant outsourcer keeps work from home, loses tax breaks. Government says 'good riddance'


Re: Shocked

I recall working at that site. Two minutes from the Metro station, but it was a 20 to 25 minute walk from the gate to my office.

I walked past loads of newly-built office blocks full of people all working alone at a screen, communicating by phone (their glacial email took far too long). They started at the crack of dawn to be able to secure a parking space.

Each time I wondered why on earth weren't they all working from home? 20-odd years later, I bet nothing has changed. It's simply a lack of confidence and imagination in the management chain.

UK's state-owned bank launches hunt for core systems worth close to $1b


Due to an unspecified IT cockup a year or two ago, NS&I prevented me accessing my account for nearly four months.

I wonder how well a new system will work, given the track record of government IT outsourcing.

UK government responds to post-Brexit concerns and of course it's all the fault of those pesky EU negotiators


Rather a baseless assertion. Even today, it is still not clear what Brexit will be in detail.

All those years ago, it was a wise response to say that you didn't know what was being offered, so it would be foolish to express an opinion.

It's reasonable to assume that not voting for a change is a passive vote for the status quo to remain. It is not reasonable to assume the reverse.

The figures were pretty clear: 37.4% for change, 34.7% actively voted for the status quo.

The remaining 27.9% presumably included "don't care", "don't know", "can't decide", "fed up of being lied to", the sick and those on holiday.

Of course that was then. The outcome would be different now.

Huawei's AppGallery riddled with malware-infected games


Of course, the Huawei App Gallery is only needed because of the ludicrous Google Play ban.

Honor 50 Lite: Google Play Services are back on Huawei's former stablemate but that's nothing to get excited about


Hello... can you hear me?

In my experience, the one huge advantage of Huawei phones - and the reason I've bought them in the past - is now considered so unimportant that reviews don't even mention the subject: its ability to connect to the mobile network.

I used to find that Huawei phones worked in places where other phones couldn't get a signal.

Reviews, such as the one I'm commenting on, don't even mention the ability of a mobile phone to do its primary task.

Insteas we get loads about the user interface, which I almost always replace anyway.

Tech bro CEOs claim their crowns because they fix problems. Why shirk the biggest one?


Re: I wish...

We don't have *any* wealth tax, though if we had, it would probably be at something like 0.01%

Taxes on income tend to be up to 95% but the same rules should apply to everyone.

A billionaire still gets the same £11,000 tax free allowance, the same standard rate band, and they only pay higher rates of tax on their "excess" income.

To suggest that anyone can have earned a billion is nonsense.

Assume that you earned £1000 per day (which is normal pay for maybe a dozen people) and is a sensible limit to the actual wage for one person. You worked five days a week, fifty weeks a year. And you paid not a penny in tax.

How long would it take you to earn your first billion? Just four thousand years!

No, billionaires are that wealthy because they have benefited from the resources of others without paying for that benefit.

It is entirely reasonable that they get the same tax breaks as the rest of us, but it also fair that society gets back what has been taken from us.

And if you really think that billionaires add a sort of empowering magic to a business which would stop if they had to pay sensible amounts of tax, I suggest that you really don't understand either business or humans.


One of the most consistent things about wars throughout history is that their conduct is staggeringly inefficient, wasteful and inept.

When at war, governments tend to turn up the pressure without measuring the effect, and almost every thing they do is done inefficiently.

The side effect of this terrible financial and human cost is the appalling environmental cost.

Stopping the march of climate change has to be a huge priority, but treating it as a war effort is probably the worst possible way to do it.

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution


Why not just cut the power to the thing?

Or replace it with a £55 toilet from Screwfix?

Google deliberately throttled ad load times to promote AMP, claims new court document


Re: Who would've thunk it?

Capitalism has never been about equal opportunity.

Windows 11 Paint: Oh look – rounded corners. And it is prettier... but slightly worse


I didn't know that anyone used paint, ever. Why would they, when paint.net is free and vastly better?

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service


Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."


Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed


The point is that Zen are in the right here. They cannot do anything to resolve issues within the Openreach section. They can only lean on Openreach. Which they have done, without success.

BT (owners of Openreach) is a private company that exists to make a profit, not to provide a service. This was a political decision to set up.

The best way to lean on OR/BT probably is to contact your MP. But he chose to ignore that advice - perhaps his MP is as useless as mine!

It makes no difference which ISP you go to: they all depend on Openreach engineers fixing the same fault in the same pair of wires.

The difference with Zen is that they don't bullshit you. The people you speak to are knowledgeable, not reading a script. And if your connection is good, your service will be good too. But it is always going to depend on the weakest link in the chain, and that's clearly in the Openreach sector in this case.

Big right-to-repair win: FTC blasts tech giants for making it so difficult to mend devices



It's not just IT kit. A Mercedes car has loads of parts that can't be replaced without "coding in" the new bits. And the coding equipment isn't available.

To make matters worse, components aren't available. My car needs a new DVD drive head for the navigation system.

It'd probably cost a few quid, but you can't buy one. You can only buy the whole unit, which has to be coded in on the 'Star' system. The £3 head would cost well over £2000 to fix.

Nominet ignores advice, rejects serious change despite losing CEO, chair, half its board in membership vote


I would like to know who appointed Nominet to be in charge of the UK domain registration. If it was some sort of official body, perhaps they should be pressed to reconsider.

If no-one specifically appointed them, is it now time for Ofcom to look into whether this vital national resource should remain in the hands of such a corrupt, self-serving organisation?

Free Software Foundation urged to free itself of Richard Stallman by hundreds of developers and techies


How do you go about being the boss of such an organisation?

Did he simply appoint himself, or was he invited?

If so, by whom?


UK's Superfast Broadband programme delivered value for money, says report, just don't ask about rural deployments


I live in a rural village. Our FTTC broadband was fed from a cabinet a kilometre away, getting slower and slower as take-up grew.

Then a new fibre cabinet appeared in the centre of the village, about 180 metres from my house. Great: that'll give far better speeds.

But no. Seems that Openreach will only connect you to the new cabinet if you don't already have a wire (active or not) connected to the old cabinet.

An hour spend checking estimated speeds on the checker identified two buildings that can benefit from this, because they've never had a BT phone line. One of these buildings is derelict. The other has not taken up the service available.

Even if you are willing to pay for a new line, Openreach will not put in a new line if there's an old one they can reuse.

So that's a few thousand pounds of public money "spaffed up the wall". It's not even as if Dido Harding was in charge!

So the community money that went into this cabinet is wasted.

Apologies for the wait, we're overwhelmed. Yes, this is the hospital. You need to what?! Do a software licence audit?


Not sure what I think about this.

Yes, it seems insensitive timing, but if hospitals say they are busier than ever, presumably their need for software licences will also have peaked beyond normal (aka paid for) limits.

Can the software suppliers rely on hospitals doing retrospective audits after the crisis has passed, paying for the extra licences for the peak use? I suspect not.

Will the software companies be in trouble without the extra revenue? I doubt it.

Is it a risk I'd be willing to take? No!

HP bows to pressure, reinstates free monthly ink plan... for existing customers


So HP started by deciding to breach the contract that the printers were originally sold under. That was never going to end well.

Now they've backtracked, they've shot themselves in the foot a second time: nobody will switch to a paid-for tariff because they wouldn't be able to move back.

I guess their marketing department has been taken over by a competitor.

And for some of the others commenters here, no it does not print advertisments. and yes, fifteen pages a month is very useful.

Cleaning the heads isn't going to to change:the heads are part of the cartridge, changed for free when the ink runs down.

I've been using one of these printers for a few years. It is mostly used when I'm away in my motorhome, or for when I want a quick one-page document printed.

Ivee never needed toa print as many as fifteen pages in one month: the problem is remembering to print something at least once a month to keep it clear. If it have a big print run I use the big laser printer.

Tax working from home, says Deutsche Bank, because the economy needs that lunch money you’re not spending


Perhaps there should be an extra tax on people who insist on pointless commuting?

UK's National Audit Office warns full-fibre rollout strategy is leaving rural Britain behind. Again


Superfast swindle

A collaboration including taxpayers' money has provided the village I live in with a shiny new FTTC cabinet, bringing superfast speeds to new phone lines in the village.

The trouble is that almost every house in the village already has a phone line, connected to a cabinet well over a kilometre away in one direction or another.

It isn't possible to get connected to the new cabinet.

Even if you pay for a new installation, Openreach will re-use the existing line rather than run a cable to the new cabinet.

I wasted half an hour looking, and found just one single address where the BT speed estimate was the 60mb/sec the new cabinet gives, rather than the 20mb/sec (or less) the existing cabinets are estimated to give. That address has no phone line at present.

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?


The way BT is doing it, we'll never get good speeds. I live in a village with so-so broadband speeds.

One of the community partnerships has paid Openreach to put a new FTTC cabinet in the middle of the village. But almost nobody can use it.

Anyone who has a line already is connected to a cabinet almost a mile away in either direction (depending which end of the village you live.

Even if you order a new line, they'll almost certainly just use a spare pair in the existing cables. I have found just one address in the village that is predicted speeds that reflect a nearby cabinet: that address has never had a phone line.

As long as penny-pinching is more important to BT than delivering a good service, giving public money to BT is throwing it away.

Huawei Matebook X Pro 2020: Nothing too crazy but at least it's more fixable and cheaper than comparable Apple wares


I have a previous version of this laptop, and after a couple of years of use, I would say that it is nothing less than wonderful. Way cooler-looking than a Surface or a Mac, but also better in performance and usability.

The fingerprint reader is superb. Always works first time.

The battery life is stunning.

It charges really fast using USBC. The second USBC port also does Thunderbolt, I understand, though I've never used it for that.

The screen is amazing: It is 3000x2000 though I generally run it scaled.

It happily drives three other monitors at the same time, as well as ethernet and power in, all using one USBC plug (though the included adapter doesn't have ethernet).

I don't have much to say about its actual performance, because I don't play games. For business and multimedia, it is always way ahead of the load. I've never had to wait for it to do anything.

Yes, the webcam is a silly setup, but at least it is easy to switch off.

There is only one thing I dislike about this laptop: it has no page up, page down, home or end keys on the otherwise superb keyboard. I can live without them, but after two years, I still mourn their omission.

Capita's bespoke British Army recruiting IT cost military 25k applicants after switch-on


Re: "it must still pay maintenance fees to Capita for the upkeep of the software"

The valuer (didn't waste money on a survey) queried whether the extension that houses my utility room had planning permission. It was added in 1770.

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app


Top posting the standard? I don't think so. It's just a sign that you're corresponding with a numpty.

Microsoft's rubbish email clients started this with the reply cursor at the top, but it's not a great choice of email client for so many reasons.

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft



I watched this stupid video, not to see what a light aircraft looks like when flying, but to see if it is quieter sounding than a non-electic plane.

I guess it isn't quieter, or why else would they have put the moronic "drug dealer chimes" attempt at music over the soundtrack?

Senior MP tells UK Defence Committee on 5G security: Russia could become China's cyber-attack dog


Re: Insights

Remember System X? The telephone exchange system, designed specifically so that the government could track all phone calls?

This requirement made it expensive, but a price worth paying for any state that distrusted its citizens.

Although it was installed widely in the UK, no other countries would buy it. Thank goodness.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style


Re: Test, test and test again...

Sadly, that approach looks really good from a modern perspective, but it was still suboptimal.

The test plan should be derived from the business requirements, not from the spec. Otherwise you are only testing that the system meets the spec, rather than meeting the needs the spec was meant to address.

Nowadays, of course, people just make it up as they go along.

Cheshire Police celebrates three-year migration to Oracle Fusion by lobbing out tender for system to replace it... one year later


Yes, of course, police HR is completely unlike any other sort of HR. It's the shape of the helmets, you see.

And every other aspect of the system has to be custom-coded to allow for geographic differences.

Once you are made aware of the need to have everything specially customised for your unique requirements, it's clear that you will need to pay for the best and understand that the work will take time. Lots of time

Oh, and do you realise that you need a special word processor to be able to write a good shopping list?

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy



If you want an example of how ridiculous an idea can get accepted, look at fingerprint retention.

If your prints are recorded by the police but you were not guilty of the crime being investigated, the EU forced the UK to bring in a system that deletes the record after a time. How long that time is depends on how serious the offence was.

So we have a situation where if you didn't commit a minor crime, your prints are deleted faster than if you didn't commit a more serious crime.

This makes perfect sense only to anyone who doesn't understand the meaning of the word "didn't", but it seems to have been generally accepted.

So what will be accepted for misuse of this data at a later date?

NASA reveals the new wavy Martian wheels it thinks can crush the red planet


The wheels look very flimsy to me.

OK, the weight of the rover is only a fraction of what it is on Earth, but its mass is just as high. If it strikes a lump in the ground as it drives along, it's the mass, not the weight, that punches against the wheels. I guess they're tougher than they look. Well, I hope so!

Day 4 of outage: UK's Manchester police deploy exciting new carbon-based method to record crime


The reality is that any contract letting Capita do anything has to be dodgy. The only thing they do well is to draft contracts within contracts which allow them to charge huge amounts of money for screwing up, or even doing nothing at all.

Signing a Capita contract guarantees nothing except a huge bill.

I guess that someone must be getting rich, because Capita keep getting contracts, even though they never seem to deliver what's promised

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that even lets them into the bidding.

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US peeps? Well, guess what…


Re: Makes sense

The basic definition of "bad guys" is people who have broken the law. So yes, this database is good at identifying the bad guys: they're the ones logging in to use it!

TalkTalk bollocked after fibre marketing emails found to be full of sh!t


Re: Was it something we reported?

To give good news about T-T would involve telling fibs, wouldn't it? Not sure we need more of that!