* Posts by BenM 29

46 posts • joined 18 Nov 2011

Privacy watchdogs from the UK, Australia team up, snap on gloves to probe AI-for-cops upstart Clearview

BenM 29

Pedant alert...

"unless it is part of a commissioned assignment or project carried out by a professional photographer, in which case I believe whoever puts the money down and makes the contract for the work has the copyright."

Not in the UK (I don't _think_ the putative republic of Alba has different laws yet). Unless the copyright is specifically assigned, copyright remains with the photographer regardless of why the picture was taken.

For example I pay the Bounty photographer for pictures of my crotch goblins in hospital... unless Bounty specifcally give me permission I cannot legally get copies of those pictures made by a third party. As it happens the last lot came with a 'here are the pictures as full resolution JPG (yes... I know), you have permsiion to do with them as you will' letter as well as the download link.

coat becasue who needs to know about crotch goblins in an IT thread?

Go on, devs, have a Flutter on Linux desktop apps: Google and Canonical launch alpha SDK

BenM 29

Re: Press F1 if you hate the Snap Store

Yup. I hate the snap store.

My personal bugbear is that Snap Store/Snap update, in its default configuration, does not like network proxies despite Ubuntu 20.04 apparently having a "system" network proxy setting. It's not like a network proxy is a surprise in OS utility terms (>20 years , to my knowledge, since they became a thing)

<snip> rant about how much effort I needed to expend in order to make snap update/snapstore work on a proxied network and how much easier apt is to configure to use the proxy</snip>

At least Windows only has two places you need to set the proxy to make sure everything works.....

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

BenM 29

Re: Trolled?

not necessarily - Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water.


When you bork... through a storm: Liverpool do all they can to take advantage of summer transfer, er, Windows

BenM 29

Re: Sounds like a night out in this hack's often less than fair city of Brighton

>> 4th July (nothing at all to do with USA Independence Day BTW).

Hmmm - I wonder if the timing of reducing the lockdown measures is entirely coincidence?

Never attribute to conspiracy something that can be adequately explained by cock-up... but with this shower in charge the difference is Rizzla green thin!

A conspiracy nut might suggest that the first May bank holiday will be moved to July 4th as a preparation for becoming USA 51 (contd. p.94 ed.)

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

BenM 29

Re: I called the cops

>>A small example,of course, is the London dial codes.

Which are actually fine - and a great logical growth from operator connected calls - complete with BOFH hacks at the exchanges to make it all work. Its all to do with how exchanges handle dialled numbers.

Tom Scott did a good YouTube 5 minute rant about dialling codes - at least he thought it would be a rant but ended up saying (not an actual quote this) 'actually, given how it all came about.... its amazing that they work as well as they do!'

If you prefer something less casual than Tom Scott then visit lightstraw.co.uk for all your geeky telecoms history (including the evolution of STD and the London area codes) needs.

/mines the one with the "all round geek" manual in the pocket

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

BenM 29

Re: World beating . . .

like world series baseball.... though, to be fair, the world series does include Japan.

BenM 29

with respect to the UK app

Lord Bethell answered that “the scale of it is enormous – no other country is doing it on such a great scale” but it was “already showing some features which frankly are totally world-beating”.

This government sound more like POTUS 45 every day. I am sure they are using 1984/animal farm as instructions.

Indian app that deleted Chinese apps from Androids deleted from Play Store

BenM 29
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Roger was indeed prescient...

Snapping at Canonical's Snap: Linux Mint team says no to Ubuntu store 'backdoor'

BenM 29

Ubuntu Update Snap nightmare...

Updated a VM from 18.04 - 20.04 yesterday (yeah I know its unsupported, but if you hack a couple of files you can get it to update to 19.04 and thence to 20.04)... 18.04 machine worked fine with the network proxy (apt update/upgrade worked just dandy, web browsing also), unfortunately when running do-release-upgrade it would fail at the "can't connect to api.snapstore.com'

Apparently snapd doesn't use the system proxy, you have to specifically tell it which proxy in systemd service configuration type files (or with snap set system http-proxy= etc.)

The number of system level things, on many platforms, that don't look at system wide proxy settings, especially things fundamental to the operation of the O/S, is too high; to mandate the use of one of those things in a 'serious' O/S is, IMHO, a trifle myopic.

Latest NHS IT revolution is failing to learn lessons from the last £10bn car crash

BenM 29

Re: No one seems to understand who is responsible for what ...

>>But why don't the upper echelons get it :-(

They do. The Govt. is idealogically opposed to the NHS. They are breaking it using 'death of a thousand cuts'

>>Why do they think it's an IT problem ? Is IT just a convenient scapegoat ?

Got it in one. Eventually it will be a cry of "Its tooo hard for Govt to do we are going to give it to MegaHealthCorp"

Mine's the one with "Too old and cynical to not see through the Govt. strategy for the last 10 years" on the back.

Amazon flicks switch on AI-powered enterprise search service Kendra – but where are all the connectors?

BenM 29

Me too!

I have to agree - we have more than 500,000 documents stored locally, let alone those now stored in various clouds. OK a fair few may be duplicate (90% certainty there - its Education we are talking) but even so 500k seems like a really small limit.

The other thing that occurs to me is if the search is anything like as atrocious as the search box on the Amazon web site... would you want to pay for that?

Fancy some post-weekend reading? How's this for a potboiler: The source code for UK, Australia's coronavirus contact-tracing apps

BenM 29

Re: Apple-Google API

"The API requires Android 6.0 or higher, not 8."

but still depends on the manufacturer/carrier releasing an update... the end user actually installing it and the update not being embargoed by the Good old US of A if it is an update for a Huawei phone...

All of which, together, is highly likely /s

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

BenM 29

Re: IoV

Probably Kitemark - B (rotated) S V for British Standard Verification... or, knowing the shower in power, they will abolish standards altogether as an unnecessary burden on business.

Lords: New IR35 off-payroll tax rules 'riddled with problems, unfairnesses, unintended consequences'

BenM 29

"Did you have £xxxxx income last year, then you are due xx% in tax"

Define income in a way that can be applied to everyone in a fair manner... which is the root of the problem.

IR35 was put in place because contractors were exploiting a (rather big) loophole by declaring no income yet taking home a huge pay packet each month whilst working in a single place, often for years, abiding by their 'not really' employer's rules and regulations.

Ever since then there has been a game in play where contractors and their agencies have come up with new and interesting ways of not declaring income as income and HMRC have played whack-a-mole. This is the latest round in the game.

BenM 29

"Critics say that being inside IR35 is essentially "no-rights employment," meaning techies are paid and taxed similarly to regular employees but do not receive any of the security or protections that go along with permanent employment. Contractors within IR35 can be hired and fired at will and without reason."

All these so called employee rights are puitting an unbearable strain on the employers, who would be much more efficient if they didn't have to trouble themselves providing them....

/s in case anyone really needed it.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce hit eject on hybrid-electric airliner testbed after E-Fan X project fails to get off the ground

BenM 29

Re: Electric planes?

" diesel-electric trains replaced diesel a good while ago"

Indeed they did - back in the 1920s, however that was largely due to the great benefits of using an electric motor that can be co-mounted with the driving wheels rather than having to somehow transmit vast numbers of HP down to the wheels through a transmission that had to fit in quite a restricted space.

Nealry all Modern (post 1930) "Diesel" locomotives (Sprinters/Pacers and the like excepted cos they are just busses IIRC without bogies) are Diesel-Electrics.

The use case for electric fans on a plane is rather more obscure - and I can't pretend that I know what it is or even may be!

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

BenM 29
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Re: A long time ago

which is why I have taken to documenting even the most trivial of 'bodges' cos I know some poor sod, who isn't me, will have to sort it out in eleventy years time when things have gone all FUBAR as various unforseen "1 in a million" events congregate around said bodge..

no wait... that poor sod will probably be me... .

Cisco UCS servers slugged by 'This SSD will self-destruct in 40,000 hours' firmware farrago

BenM 29

WD have finally published a list of drives that are affected by the SMR/CMR fiasco - https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/news/wd-lists-all-drives-slower-smr-techNOLOGY

WD are basically saying 'meh you caught us...' - particularly great is the admission that WD Blue destop drives could be either. WD Reds which are, ironically, NAS rated have only the RED PROs completely free of contaigion.

BT's Wi-Fi Disc ads banned because there's no evidence the things work

BenM 29

Re: "Only we guarantee Wi-Fi in every room"

2400? 2400? My first modem was a 300 baud beast... 300 baud on a good line, 120 on a bad one (and back in those days bad lines were mmore common than not).

It might have been slow but it would connect on lines that the more modern(at the time) 1200 baud devices wouldn't (even if set by switch to 300 baud)

/me wipes away a nostalgic tear remembering happier, SARS-CoV-2 free, times

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband

BenM 29
IT Angle

Song reference

It's just a spring clean for the May Queen....

Though the May Queen, and any accompanying Jack-In-The-Green types, in many places, are mightily dischuffed that the traditional early May public holiday has been moved by BoJo/Cummings to celebrate VJ day... safely away from Labour day.... surely the reason for moving the holiday can't be related to the latter?

IT angle of this post? Nah - none really. Just an old IT guy showing off his slim knowledge of 70's prog rock and being grumpy about the not so random moving of a hoiliday.

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

BenM 29

Re: Questions II?

too many people don't get this reference... I particularly like the mental image of Bing (the search engine) with Bing (cbeebies character) personality - small, whiney, crys if it doesn't get its own way and is never told NO!

User: "OK windows, change default search to sometng useable"

Bing: "oh why won't you use me to search? Floooopppp...."

End of episode voice over "Being the semi compulsory search engine... it's a Bing thing!"

There are already Chinese components in your pocket – so why fret about 5G gear?

BenM 29

Re: Networks are not really standard

"Essentially this is unfair competition - no Western company can compete. "

Just saying "it's unfair, we aren't playing with you any more" is the resort of a petulant toddler... wait... where does the anti-Huawei drive come from?... hmmm let me think....

Capita Education Services accidentally spaffs email addresses in Helpdesk snafu

BenM 29

Well Capita User, the questions is.... Are you feeling lucky?

Do you trust Capita when they say "It was just email addresses and wasn't an external breach, honest guv" or do you think "hmm... I wonder what else went walkabout"

I couldn't possibly comment on the contents of the spam email but the link in it resolves to somewhere in Californiia... which doesn't look like Capita.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

BenM 29

marketing ploy

I reckon its just a marketing ploy for Phalanx - they have no chance of intercepting hypersonic devices so now they need to bolster their income somehow... drones would be a much easier target....

I wonder if they offer a ground based turret system suitable for airports?

/me gets tinfiol hat and coat

Alternatively, as others have mentioned, this seems to be a great way of causing maximum disruption in a foreign state should such disruption suit your nefarious plans...

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

BenM 29

Re: The Swiss are in it

"remain camp were openly threatening that a 52:48 vote the other way would result in them continuing to force more referendums until they got their own way"

I don't recall remain saying that... Farage certainly did... He must have been a secret remain campaigner :)

El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

BenM 29

Re: Barclays

Correct me if I am wrong, but lifestyle group is just an authorised MITM for many banks.

It matters not one bit that your interface with the MITM is secure if the backhaul isn't.

Oh joy. You can now buy a gold plated quadcopter drone

BenM 29

Black is the new gold

I reckon that sending a drone to Surrey Nanosystems would be better and cost about the same.... Vantablack S-VIS ftw

Airbag bug forces GM to recall 4.3m vehicles – but eh, how about those self-driving cars, huh?

BenM 29

Re: "already been blamed for one fatal crash and three others involving serious injuries"

2) ....How often have you had one of those?

Once in 30 years of driving.

2 contd.)...How often have your airbags gone off?


2)If someone drives into you, they're almost certainly going to do it at a combined speed which would render the passenger cell useless anyway

I walked away with bruising and mushy brains that lasted for 6 months... the other not so much; she was in hospital for a fortnight. Each travelling at approx 60 mph, 30% front overlap head on. Passenger cell worked in both vehicles - what speeds were you thinking of?

Without doubt car manufacturers are afflicted by the cost of death - when is the cost of fixing a problem outweighed by the cost of potential litigation... same as software really.

Petulant Facebook claims it can't tell the difference between child abuse and war photography

BenM 29



There is nothing in there defining indecent... you are allowed to possess images of naked children as long as they aren't indecent.

Indecent is not defined because Goedel's incompleteness theorem.

P.s. How did my phone know that the two words following Goedel's would be "incompleteness theorem"?

If you use ‘smart’ Bluetooth locks, you're asking to be burgled

BenM 29

It would appear that most of the tested manufacturers know little to nothing about either information or physical security.... nand rather than xor I guess...

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

BenM 29

Re: Skewed results

Well said sirrah. When a "labour saving" gizmo is as reliable as a light switch then I will consider installing it

Rats revive phones-and-cancer scares

BenM 29

Being radiation sensitive, I have a tin foil hat (Costco catering foil is the best) and my wifi router is similarly equipped... and my uranium glass collection is stored in a lead box that I never open ;)

BenM 29

Re: This just shows what lies by selective statistics the '29' year meta study was.

Regarding your last paragraph... got research to prove that hypothesis? Links to peer reviewed science or you, sir, are a purveyor of woo.

Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

BenM 29

Re: This makes me so happy

Being something of a Pavane/Roberts fan I have to agree... also the public persona of pTerry leads me to suspect that he may have read Keith Roberts in the past. I meant to ask pTerry if there was a connection but it is to late now :(

Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

BenM 29

"Please put the items in the bag"

Why does that phrase create such a "road rage" like temper in me?

I have put the sodding items in the bag you daft machine, if you would just give me slightly more than 1ms to move them from the scanner to the bag.

In my experience... Morrison's are the worst - the daughter and I have a deal of fun breaking the machines in new and interesting ways. Once they upgraded the software and the daft machines stopped the incessant chant, however the next update restored the lost "functionality"

Waitrose have two systems - one where you do the whole checkout think yourself (Godalming is one store with that) and the other where you scan everything then take it to a till where a person handles the payment. Hardly ever have a problem with the Waitrose machines and only been checked about 3 times ever.

B&Q - I never have a problem with and their hand scanners are the easiest to use.

Ikea - meh - about average I guess. I will try them out tomorrow.

Tesco/Asda equally likely to utter the eldritch ire inducing words... but usually quicker than queuing behind someone who insists that 112 items are fewer than 10 in the express lane.

Fandroids at pranksters' mercy: Android remote password reset now live

BenM 29

Re: Hmm...

>>this does not appear to be where they said it'd be (settings)?!

its in the Google settings app - not the phone settings... two very different things.

BBC releases MYSTERY RIDDLE poster for Doctor Who anniversary episode

BenM 29

Hmm if they are bringing back Rose, how about bringing back Perri? I am sure there are more than a few fans who would like to see her again... though Google images does a good job of refreshing the memories.

Mine's the scruffy mac... with the newspaper in the pocket.

Ye Bug List

BenM 29

expand/minimise comment behavior


The behaviour of expand/minimise comment behaviour appears to have changed in the last day or so.

On desktop/Ubuntu/chrome 23.0.1271.17 it works as expected - hit the expand/minimise link and comment expands/contracts with no fuss.

On galaxy sIII with T-Mobile jelly bean and chrome 25.0.1364.169 expand increases the space properly but shrinks the font size from small to miniscule. Minimise reduces the expanded space a bit but the font remains shrunken.

On Windows 7 chrome the link behaves properly.

This could be a chrome bug rather than El Reg... but you are better placed to report that than me.

As an old-ish git I would like the font size to remain fixed or i will have to start carrying a magnifying glass as well as the phone!

The Register Android App

BenM 29

Not good is an understatement

Galaxy SIII - stock OS 4.0.0, kernel 3.0.15-1029495-user

Installed ok,

Needed an immediate restart on application startup.

Settings gear does nothing

Go to comment on this story "Check your network connection" dialog box displayed (if the network connection is dead why did it manage to load the story? and BTW its the same network connection over which I am posting this)

Hit phone back button

Returned to El Reg. app but page blank and no buttons work - other than the phone back button.

Exit application


Rinse and repeat.


El Reg, you fail in product testing. Galaxy SIII isn't exactly uncommon and nor is 4.0.4 android.... though the latter may be amongst other commentards :)

iPhones now 'safe' for Restricted UK.gov info, but not Secret

BenM 29
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As sponsored by the NSA.. http://selinuxproject.org/page/Main_Page

That is all.

Stob on Quatermass: Was this British TV's finest sci-fi hour?

BenM 29

Re: Quatermass and the pit

>>And finally, a word for the radio series 'Journey into Space'

which has just finished(?) being transmitted on Radio4Xtra.... bloody marvelous. At least the resurrected series didn't sound too bad on DAB :)

Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

BenM 29

has a lovely one for sale....

Let me FTFY - Had a lovely one for sale...."This Aston Martin DB5 is now sold" well that saved me £0.25M then...

So, what IS the worst film ever made?

BenM 29


Skyline - I still want 90 minutes of my life back, even now, after seeing it!

Molesworth and the New Latin

BenM 29

Re: As bad as ICHC

>>Folks: Limited use of such writing for effect is OK

There are 4 (the fifth is a collection of the previous 4) books written in a style that Verity has emulated... I guess that counts as limited as none of them are very long (in comparison to Potter or Tolkien).

Spillover from 400lb man squeezed fellow flier into galley

BenM 29

>>Oh, and just because you've finished your meal doesn't mean I've finished mine, you selfish drink-toppling oaf.

When this last happend to me, I just shoved my knees into the back of the reclined seat. Being not particularly short helps here. The berk soon straightened up his chair;


Neutrinos still FASTER THAN LIGHT in second test

BenM 29


why do so many people not actually research the topic on which they are commenting before posting?

Just asking.


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