* Posts by Simon Jones [MSDL]

46 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Nov 2011

Schlock and .aw as Dutch net registry rebrands

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Why does .bv exist as a TLD?

Because BV is an ISO Country Code and every self-respecting country wants its own TLD, whether there are people there to use it or not.

Dead Steve Jobs owed $174 by San Francisco parking ticket wardens

Simon Jones [MSDL]

What's a "parking day"?

"Having lived in San Francisco for a number of years and suffered under the depressingly efficient little machines of Satan called Interceptors – particularly on parking days – we have a much more precise theory: crappy web design."

I have no idea what you mean by "particularly on parking days". What is a "parking day"?

France joins India in telling Facebook to just Zuck off

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Monday June 8th

Some time travel involved?

'T-shaped' developers are the new normal

Simon Jones [MSDL]


Not just the four corners, not just a line, but a full house of buzzword bingo.

I loved it.

Has Voyager 1 escaped the Sun yet? Yes, but also no, say boffins

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Get your reporting right

The guy met Nichelle Nichols eight years ago, not recently, when he retired.

The picture caption from the CNN report you linked to...

'Nichelle Nichols of "Star Trek" poses with Voyager operations team member Larry Zottarelli, who received a certificate of appreciation for being on the Voyager team since launch. The award was on the 30th anniversary of Voyager (2007).'

Ireland loses entire airport amid new postcode chaos

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Re: Encoding

Yes, they are uniquely identifying individual flats in a block.


What will get an Eircode?

Generally all postal addresses that currently receive mail will be assigned an Eircode. For example:

Residential addresses:

Each house on a street

Each flat in an apartment block

Each house in a rural townland

Both units in a duplex unit

Business addresses:

Office building

Factory or warehouse

Shop, hotel, bar or any business premises

Health centre, hospital or any public building

Each unit in a shopping centre

Each unit in a business park or industrial estate

Simon Jones [MSDL]

County is not part of a UK postal address

A postal address is a routing instruction in that it tells the Royal Mail HOW to get the item to you. It includes the concept of "Post Town", which is usually the nearest large town, but that may not necessarily be in the same county as your small town, village, or house. There are also many "county towns" where the name of the town is so similar to the name of the county, EG Oxford & Oxfordshire, that they add no useful information, they are just noise.

There are so many of these instances that Royal Mail do not use counties as part of the postal address as it is just confusing. Their Postcode Address Finder tools do not return county data. Third party tools based on Royal Mail PAF data may return county data because it can be useful for marketing, but it is still not required for a correct postal address.

Flying United Airlines? If you could just scan your passport with your phone, that'd be great

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Spelling - Again

That piece of paper on which you used to write the details of a monetary transaction to be actioned by your bank was called a CHEQUE.

Supermarket tweet: Twitter ankles balloon in product, places shopping frenzy

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Ankle Balloons

Did anyone else read "Ankle Balloons" and think of something else entirely?

Just me then?

Looking for laxatives, miss? Shoppers stalked via smartphone Wi-Fi

Simon Jones [MSDL]

De-anonomising data

Theoretically, I suspect they could have really-short-range wifi hotspots at each till and collect the hashed MAC address seen at the time the payment was processed and so get your name, card details, purchase history, even a photograph "from the security camera" , etc. If the store was like PC World, etc where they ask for your address "for the warranty" they'd get that too.

Can you be too paranoid these days, short of wearing a tin-foil hat?

Junk in your trunk is Amazon Germany's new delivery plan

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Its a BOOT.

Elephants have trunks. Cars have boots.

(And they have bonnets, not hoods.

The cars that is, not the elephants.)

British English please.

Microsoft loves Surface pen maker N-trig so much it bought it – report

Simon Jones [MSDL]

n-Trig pens give 256 levels of pressure (not 1024) but if you can tell the difference you're a better man than me.

n-Trig pens are metal, nicely weighted by the battery, and feel much better than the light, cheap, plastic Wacom pens.

n-Trig pens only use the battery when they are actually in use, so battery life is long, at least a year.

AAAA batteries are unusual but not difficult to get hold of. Next day delivery from most places.

Surface Pro 3 Pens use Bluetooth only for the purple OneNote button. Pairing is simple, fast and reliable. All other pen functions are provided by the n-Trig digitiser.

Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Ugly, inconsistent, unfinished, and dangerous

Icons in File Explorer are BRIGHT yellow and VERY ugly.

Icon in Settings are blue-grey stick things and indecipherable.

File Explorer "Favourite" shortcuts have been replaced by "Quick Access" pseudo-shortcuts that you can't rename, can't reorder, don't show the correct "breadcrumbs" and deleting them will delete the underlying folder if you're not careful!

Definitely going backwards in some departments - hopefully to go forward again eventually.

Dot-com is dead. Long live dot-com

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Re: Big Turkey?!

.tk is Tokelau (tiny island nation) NOT Turkey (which is .tr)

It lets anyone use its domain registry for free which can result in lots of scams.


Never mind those touch apps, full Office 2016 is coming this year

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Re: My new Office wishlist

You can. Just click the "Use a Product Key" link in the activation dialog.

Doomsday Clock says 3 minutes to midnight. Again

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Re: I don't understand it

Look it up on Wikipedia for an explanation of how it works.


Microsoft's Lync becomes 'Skype for Business'

Simon Jones [MSDL]

HUGE Mistake

This is another HUGE mistake, just like renaming “Internet Mail and News” to be “Outlook Express” was. Users get easily confused with two DIFFERENT products called such similar names.

It is the same with “OneDrive” and “OneDrive for Business”. They are completely different but users can’t see the distinction, causing loads of headaches for the users and especially support personnel.

Microsoft improves Azure SQL Server cloud service, simultaneously makes it worse

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Azure pricing for SSRS

Azure pricing for SSRS was always ridiculously high.

Insisting on having a VM to run SSRS is another complication.

Running SQL Server in a VM is not as scalable as SQL Azure was meant to be or as it was first sold to the public. It looks like Microsoft are struggling to deliver the vision they originally promised.

Lumia 830: Microsoft hopes to seduce with slim 'affordable' model

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Confused by your uncertainty?

What does the reviewer mean by "Tiles in Folders don’t follow the same behaviour semantics as Tiles outside Folders"?

They seem to work exactly the same way to me? They are just lumped together in a named group that can be collapsed to a smaller form. The way the collapsed form displays itself depends on how many tiles you push into it. When you expand it, the tiles behave just like all the other tiles. Or am I missing something?

Facebook TEENS EXPOSED to entire WORLD

Simon Jones [MSDL]

If you would not be happy pinning the information, with your photo, name, and address, to a tree in your local high street, you should not be putting it on Facebook!

Exciting MIT droplet discovery could turbocharge power plants, airships and more

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Even more efficient...

...washer/driers, as this is exactly how they work.

Windows 8.1: 'It's good for enterprises, too,' says Redmond

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Advertising Video

At TechEd Europe this week, one of the keynotes (Day 2 I think) opened with a video that started...

Windows 8.1 .....

... Is more you.

Like a sales assistant in a clothes shop when you try on a second suit after you really didn't like the first one they showed you. "Oh yes, sir. That's much more 'you'." I laughed like a drain.

I don't think they intended it to be taken that way. They're not British, after all.

Windows Store apps for Office probably won't ship until 2014

Simon Jones [MSDL]


The TechEd Europe conference in Madrid this week is full of Microsoft employees talking about "Modern Apps", so it not just a "fanboy term".

Airbus imagines suitcases that find themselves

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Give your bags to the airline/handlers before you get to the airport...

... just gives them more chance to lose them. They'd be able to take them to the wrong departure airport as well as send them to the wrong destination!

Windows Phone piques CIO interest says analyst

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Re: Jumped

How you arrange your tiles is up to you but how can you not have noticed that you can scroll right to left on the WP8 home screen to get to the list of all Apps? You definitely don't have to scroll to the bottom to tap the "Next" arrow.

Yahoo! adds 1TB of free storage to Flickr in site revamp

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Missing! Exclamation! Marks!

All Register headlines about Yahoo! must have an exclamation mark after every word.

Yahoo! adds! 1TB! of! free! storage! to! Flickr! in! site! revamp!

Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Re: This is a bit inconvenient then, no?

Have you read all the critical comments on that Forbes article by James Taylor.

The article is seriously misleading about a possibly biased survey because it fails to mention the "scientists" in question were mostly geologists and engineers involved in the petroleum industry.

A pre-ticked box in web forms should NOT mean consent - EU report

Simon Jones [MSDL]

[ ] Don't tick this box...

...if you don't not want to not have your data not exploited.

Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

Simon Jones [MSDL]

And no one has mentioned...

Earth: Final Conflict

Another Roddenbury creation although produced posthumously.

Androgenous aliens land on earth and provide all sorts of new tech but what are they up to really?

Great premise. Fantastic aliens. Plot fell apart in later seasons unfortunately.

Oh, also wonderful title music.

Microsoft lobs licensing liposuction at Server 2012

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Breakeven point between Standard and Datacentre

I calculated DataCentre edition as 5.45 times the price of Standard ($4800 versus $882) which means DataCentre is cheaper when you have more than 10 VMs on a two Processor box. If you have four processors then you need to buy your WS2012 licences (Standard or DataCentre) in pairs and you would find DataCentre edition cheaper with more than 20 VMs on a single box.

Also, if you have Windows Server unser Software Assurance and you have more than two processors per box, do an audit and tell Microsoft then they'll give you the number of WS2012 Standard or DataCentre licences you need to cover your current hardware. (Details in the FAQ.) If you don't say anything they will assume 2 processors and only give you one licence for WS 2012. If you're thinking of upgrading your hardware to more processors, do it soon, before Windows Server 2012 ships, so you get the extra licences as part of your SA agreement or it will cost you more to buy the extra licences later.

Screen idols: higher resolution means better laptops

Simon Jones [MSDL]

More pixels = more light = more power = bollocks

Did someone not think about this?

"Lager Area = More Light" I'd agree with but I don't believe that the gaps between pixels are going to make a huge difference to the power requirement. Also fitting more pixels into the same area will likely require that you shrink the gaps as well as the pixels.

iPhone denies existence of Gibraltar, other bits of British empire

Simon Jones [MSDL]

It isn't exactly difficult

ISO maintain a list of all the countries in the world. That's where we get the ISOCountryCode from. GB = United Kingdom, GI = Gibraltar. The list is freely available. Why would Apple use anything else?

GA Gabon

GB United Kingdom

GD Grenada

GE Georgia

GF French Guiana

GG Guernsey

GH Ghana

GI Gibraltar

GL Greenland

GM Gambia

GN Guinea

GP Guadeloupe

GQ Equatorial Guinea

GR Greece

GS South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands

GT Guatemala

GU Guam

GW Guinea-Bissau

GY Guyana

Yahoo! spinout rolls up first Hadoop stack

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Headline! Wrong!

Register readers expect that any headline involving Yahoo! must have a gratuitous exclamation mark after every word.

Yahoo! Spinout! Rolls! Up! First! Hadoop! Stack!

Brit judge orders Facebook to rip masks from anonymous cowards

Simon Jones [MSDL]

It was the FAKE Account that was the important bit

The nasty people allegedly set up a fake FB account _in_her_name_ and used that to attack other people and insinuate that she was up to no good.

FB's alleged "Real-names culture" did nothing to stop this and the woman concerned tried all ways she could to get FB to do something about it which they ignored. Hence her need to resort to the law.

Please try to report this story properly.

Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Mail Forward

To forward a message in the Mail App, tap the Reply button in the top right and you get a context menu of "Reply, Reply All, Forward". That's been there since the Developer Preview ISTR.

Now on Freeview HD: Olympic arts channel that's tough to watch

Simon Jones [MSDL]

The Space

Is so ugly it is the very antithesis of good web design.

Developer leaks Microsoft product plans for next two years

Simon Jones [MSDL]


Those "roadmaps" are from ages ago and they may have been the plans then but they probably aren't any more.

Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Simon Jones [MSDL]
Thumb Down

I've used VS 11 Beta

I like nearly all the improvements EXCEPT the grey colour scheme and the ALL CAPS headings.

The icons are very difficult to distinguish because they are just dark grey on grey. You can hardly tell if they are enabled or disabled, you certainly can't tell what they are meant to do unless you hover on them to read the tooltip.

The ALL CAPS headings are shouty and harder to read than Mixed Case. If they just want to use typography to distinguish headings then bold would have been a better choice than ALL CAPS.

Election hacked, drunken robot elected to school board

Simon Jones [MSDL]


If it doesn't involve a piece of paper and a pencil then I don't believe it is secure,

Airport bomb Twitter joker in second fine appeal bid

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Air pressure IS lower outside an aircraft than inside

That's the point.

Aircraft doors usually have to be pulled inward to open them (even if they then swing outwards to give a clear opening) and the air pressure inside the cabin, being higher than outside, pushes the door firmly outwards, against its seal, so that it can't leak and it can't be opened while in flight.

US Supremes: GPS tracking requires warrant

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Article right but doesn't give enough detail and so confuses.

The judgement starts by explaining the background to the case.

"The Government obtained a search warrant permitting it to install a Global-Positioning-System (GPS) tracking device on a vehicle registered to respondent Jones’s wife. The warrant authorized installation in the District of Columbia and within 10 days, but agents installed the device on the 11th day and in Maryland. The Government then tracked the vehicle’s movements for 28 days."

So there were two failures to abide by the terms of the warrant making it invalid.

Bit-part actress slings sueball at IMDb over age gripe

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Acting Age

It is usual for Actors to provide casting directors with an "age range" they think they can portray rather than their actual age - which gives them more chance of finding appropriate work. They might at least get a casting call so the can be seen in the flesh rather than just as a name and a photograph.

Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy

Simon Jones [MSDL]

1hr = 45 min

Generally speaking an hour of commercial TV equals 45 minutes of programme but factual programmes on ITV, C4, 5 et al all have so much padding - "comming next" before the ad break and the obigatory "recap" after the ad break (as though the viewers can't remember what happend three minutes ago) - not forgetting the "next time" trail at the end of the program that you're getting periously close to just 35 minutes of meaningful content in any hour.

This "cap" of advertising at 9 minutes an hour fails to take into account all the trails, repetition and "sponsored by" messages that make watching commercial TV an absoute pain.

Microsoft arms Win8 store apps with remote self-destruct

Simon Jones [MSDL]

It might be interesting to compare these clauses containing the weasle word "may" - making refunds at Microsoft's discretion - to the Sale Of Goods Act (and similar) where, in the UK at least, the buyer's contract is with the shop, not the manufacturer of the goods, and it is the shop that must provide the refund if the goods purchased do not work or are not fit for purpose.

Codebreakers find evidence for hidden puzzle in GCHQ challenge

Simon Jones [MSDL]
Thumb Down

What steganography?

I see no steganography here, only meta-data.

(IE there is a comment in the image file.)

Steganography would involve altering the pixels of the image itself to encode some text within it while leaving the image looking unaltered to the naked eye.

Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Simon Jones [MSDL]

Compatibility Pack

If you're still using Office 2000, XP (2002) or 2003 then get the Compatibility Pack so you can open and save files in the new Office 2007 & 2010 file formats.