* Posts by Ottman001

92 posts • joined 18 Feb 2012


Incredible how you can steal data via Thunderbolt once you've taken the PC apart, attached a flash programmer, rewritten the firmware...


Re: Most people wouldn't be surprised by this

Data transfer rates are governed by the nearest red 7 segment display counting down to 0.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file


I completely agree. I honestly think the Windows 95/NT4 UI was one of Microsofts finest achievements. Windows 98 and 2000 added a few minor tweaks but since then, the trend has been down hill ever since. I remember Microsoft advertising telling us of R&D effort they put into Windows 95. In the years since, Microsoft have reworked their UI without paying attention to the lessons they learned previously.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament


Re: So, to sum up. . .

Wait... someone set up a petition that if successful would require parliament to sit and discuss not sitting?

Microsoft has Windows 1.0 retrogasm: Remember when Windows ran in kilobytes, not gigabytes?


3) The Commodore +4 and C16 were spawn by Commodore marketing from a design for cheap entry level home machines. They were not C64 compatible and far inferior. Marketing confused the message by putting the C16 in a C64 case and packing business software into ROM in the +4. Then they priced them to compete with the C64, which of course they couldn't.

4) History pretty much repeated itself with the Amiga 600. During development it was thought of as the A300 which gives you an idea of its intended market position and relative spec. The much older Amiga 500/500+ was a great selling superior machine that was being manufactured cheaply after years of optimisation. Commodore discontinued the A500 in favour of the inferior and more costly A600 and watched their profitability disappear.

Apple blew my mind – literally, says woman: MagSafe plug sparked face-torching blaze, lawsuit claims


Re: +5v next to ground

While I was writing my post I decided to shorten it by removing parts that were about how Apple treat third party repairers. In the end it wasn't really relevant to the point I was trying to make. That one somehow survived the cut and I didn't fully explain the circumstances. More proof reading required in future!


Water damage detectors that respond to air humidity.

Main boards that corrode because they don't coat the board like every other manufacturer.

Premature CPU and GPU death due to poor heat management.

Booby trapped connectors with a +5v pin next to a ground pin so they'll fry the board if you're not extremely careful when working on it.

Fuses that can handle more current than the tracks on the PCB they're supposed to protect.

Hard drive connectors that stop working.

Chassis that self disassemble because the GPU fan blows hot air over glue.

Error 53.

Butterfly keyboards.

To this persons lawyer, why indulge this claim about a perfectly good bit of Apple design when there are so many cases of Apple deliberately ignoring genuine design flaws and blaming problems on their users?

If you won't use your brain our machine will use it for you, Nissan tells drivers


Great stuff. If it hits the brakes when you experience an "oh-shit" moment, the consequences of leaving the iron on could get a hell of a lot worse than merely burning down your home.

Gotta have standards? Security boffins not API about bloated browsers


@Charles 9,

"The REAL real solution is to simply not offer them"

Mostly we're talking about features that should never have been permissible on the open web. Applications based on web technologies may well need these features but the web does not. It would be good to constrain these features to the particular environments to which they're suited.

But now it's a bit too late. Any suggestion to break back compatibility won't get very far so with that in mind, I was suggesting a practical way forward.

Allowing the developer to select which liabilitiesAPIs their application can use is still a good idea for all environments.


At AC, you seem to think it is entirely the users responsibility to keep themselves safe, even from unknown attacks. I disagree entirely. Users taking measures to protect themselves is always a good thing but your example is extreme to the ridiculous.

It is my viewpoint, as a software engineer developing using web technologies, that it is the responsibility of people like me to do everything they can to eliminate even the possibility of unexpected attacks. My suggestion would greatly help that goal.

The suggestion can be improved with an additional attribute in script tags to revoke API permissions. Third party adverts script? Vibrate off, XHR off, Bluetooth off, USB off, file system off, locations services off, camera access off, etc.


I am well aware that some APIs still require user permission. You have missed the point, AC.

The point is that having all these APIs is like including every possible dependancy in an application unnecessarily. It really is a first principal of secure design to eliminate functionality that is not needed. Like closing ports in a firewall even if there is no service listening on it or running an application with the fewest permissions, you DO disable capabilities that aren't even used. A system with a vulnerability is one that is capable of being used in ways you didn't expect.


These features are useful to someone but having them available to any script on a page is obviously increasing the attack area available.

There should be some way to turn on APIs that can't be done in code. For instance, add tags within the head of a HTML document that first switch off all APIs (we always have to think of backwards compatibility) and then list the APIs required by the page.

User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches


If it had been a proper beer, that would be a right result.

Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help


That it is but I'm sure we've all met people who need the bleeding obvious pointed out to them.

European MPs push for right to repair rules


Re: A smartphone should be as fixable as a refrigerator

A few years back, I woke one Christmas Eve to find my fridge wasn't working. I walked into a shop less than a mile from me, asked for a K57 type thermostat, spent £10 and had it repaired before Christmas was ruined. I'm not done feeling smug about that.

Facebook tried teaching bots art of negotiation – so the AI learned to lie


Re: It's an orange

No, its the Bolivian navy on manoeuvres in the south pacific!

I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to


I don't often listen to music while working because I find it causes the screen to repeatedly disappear outside both the top and then bottom of my field of vision. The effect is particularly extreme when listening to Rage Against The Machine.

Forgetful ZX Spectrum reboot firm loses control of its web domains


"We are working to recover our property...."

Sounds like they don't even understand the problem.

IBM. Sigh. Revenues. Sigh. Down. Sigh. For the 20th quarter in a row


Re: Read title

Your title has an infinite loop bug.

Road accident nuisance callers fined £270,000 for being absolute sh*tbags


Bloody inconvenient if the online shop you just bought from can't give your address to a courier. Very little is that black and white.

Windows passwords leak tip


"Microsoft's solution to this is to firewall off outgoing traffic to SMB-related ports 137, 138, 139 and 445."

So what's Microsoft advice for what to do if any of your users take their laptops home to work?

Scared of mobile banking


Re: The real problem is why it's only 36%

>You mention the problem right there already.


eCommerce and in shop card operations are regulated by Visa and Mastercard to the point where it's easier to attack the human elements. PCI DSS inspections go as far as independent code reviews. Is there an equivalent regulatory process for mobile banking? I don't know. If I knew the answer, it may alter my decision not to use mobile banking when I have a perfectly convenient local branch.

Reminder: IE, Edge, Outlook etc still cough up your Windows, VPN credentials to strangers


Re: A Web browser is for Web pages

A real fix requires that windows does not give credentials for server A to server B.



Re: Shambles

Maybe it's a test to see if the entrant actually read the whole specification before choosing a development environment. A good programmer will choose the best tool for the job. In this case, it's probably not Java.

'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV


Good point. I'm still not in favour of things that do so much to hinder natural selection.

Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS


Presumably Microsoft had to put real effort into finding some really bad code because they wanted to test thoroughly.

I find this all very difficult to believe.

Interview: Cisco's security supremo on the Internet of Everything


Re: Base Camp One on Everest?

When someone talks about the IoT being kettles, fridges, washing machines or toasters, it helps to stick your fingers in your ears. On the other hand, if someone starts talking about internet connected sensors attached to major infrastructure helping to simultaneously improve services and reduce costs, you might be able to see some value in it.

Microsoft exec: I don't know HOW our market share sunk


I actually wonder if they're spending too much on R&D. How can a company filled with competent engineers develop the same thing three times? Looking at that $10bn figure, I suggest they're funding so many projects without anyone knowing all of what is going on.

If solutions to cost restraints never had to be found, it may also explain ridiculous Surface prices. I don't actually know if Surface component costs are significant, its just a theory.

What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK



Indeed. Fortunately, I feel confident that these will flop or be confiscated at the door.

It maybe a sign that I should consider the purchase of a flat cap, pipe and slippers, but I find the sea of phones recording at concerts a pity. Not long ago, people went to concerts to enjoying the experience while they were there and be part of something. I feel that people who are stood still, blankly fixated on their phone while trying to get a good video are overtly not taking part and detract from the atmosphere.

When a slow song is played, a sea of lit cigarette lighters or candles makes quiet a spectacle which phone screens just don't replicate. Just had an idea for a crApp: video recording app that displays a candle on the screen!

Coat icon because this old fart is obviously not cool any more.

Micro Men: The story of the syntax era


Re: A brief - and significant time

"Certainly 1980 to 1983 was a disaster in the schools."

I'm not sure if you think something positive happened to IT teaching in 1984 but my experience suggests not. I remember seeing a BBC micro in every classroom at primary school (86 ~ 93). It bugs me now that significant money had been spent on them but we weren't allowed near to them. In the whole time I was there, I don't think I ever saw one switched on. Some had double disk drives, most had printers and a few even had hard drives. Oh, how I wanted a shoebox sized external hard drive of my own.

Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist


Re: My personal gripe

Any default size for unsized images would break a significant chunk of older content. That is a line that browser vendors refuse to cross. Also, if the problem is with some other type of content it would be ignored. Say the problem is that a JavaScript script forces a reflow by inserting a large chunk of content into the page after the user has had a chance to start reading. That would be an alternative example of the same kind of bad practice.

I have never come across a scenario that prevented the sizes being given. I'm sure if I said it never happens, someone would point out otherwise.

Ultimately, it boils down to this: If the clues to the final document layout are given, the browser will do a better job. If they aren't, browsers already do the best they can unless you think they should wait (maybe minutes on a slow connection) for everything to download before rendering.


Re: My personal gripe

I agree, many sites are over dependant on graphics. But that is a different subject.

My point was that the complaints above are the result of poor HTML and there is nothing beyond implementing HTTP 2.0 that browser vendors can do about it. The blame for this sort of problem rests entirely with web developers who fail to adhere to a widely known and long understood best practice. A practise that not only provides better experiences when images are slow to download, but also when a request simply times out. And that is something that can happen no matter how small the image is.


Re: My personal gripe

What you're complaining about here is caused by bad practice. Missing height and width attributes from image tags has been considered bad practise since images were first introduced to the browser. Browsers resize unsized image tags the moment the first packet of an image arrives. While this causes multiple redraws, imagine waiting for all images to download before any were rendered. It would be an even less friendly experience.

There is an answer coming. HTTP 2.0 will enable the transfer of multiple files at once. If image downloads are multiplexed, the header for a series of images will arrive at once, cutting the number of full document reflows required. But no benefits will be had until both browser and server support it. It would be far better for everyone if height and width attributes were always used. Even with HTTP 2.0, using height and width attributes will cut out at least one full reflow.

Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2


I suspect the launch date for LOHAN is being put back because El Reg is now going to:

1. Come up with a design for a set of super sized felt tip pens.

2. Put us commentards on bacronym duty.

3. Poll for the best suggestion.

4. Test the concept.

5. Send finalised pen design to the 3D printers.

I'd like to get my bacronym suggestion in first: SCRIBBLE: Surface Coat Rendering In Big Bold Lines of Emulsion.

Windows XP folks: At least GOOGLE still loves you ... UNTIL 2015


Re: Save XP

From what I think is an impartial point of view, XP was superseded by Vista in January 2007, more than 7 years before support for XP ends. Even if no wanted Vista, this is surely the point at which the clock started ticking for XP.

From a consumers point of view, Vista doesn't count because, well, its Vista. Windows 7 wasn't released until October 2009. That means support will end for systems under 5 years old.

From Microsoft's PR departments point of view, XP was released in 2001 and support will be ending after 13 years.

More than one way to skin a cat.

Assange: 'Ecuadorian embassy staff are like my family'


I suspect for what he calls 'like family', the Ecuadorian embassy staff would have chosen a different wording. Can't be easy having an international toss pot hanging about while you're just trying to get on with your work. They probably had no idea what their government was getting them into.

Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps


Was it intended to be painted when designed? I ask because I have seen paint significantly increase the weight of model aircraft. Is the all-up-weight range known for the Vulture 2?

From the description "like a cuttle fish", it sounds like you're either going to have to spend quiet some time sanding before painting, or you're going to use a lot of paint to get a smooth finish.

LOHAN twangs BRASTRAP to unfetter mighty orbs


Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

Look And Read (Magic Magic E): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2XdMvrZgLE


Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

I think you forgot to mention the 15 minutes wasted by teacher trying to get the VHS to play because the video out lead had yet again been disconnected by a mischievous oik in the year above. For some reason, teacher thought that if she pressed 'Play' a bit harder it would have a different result.

My other memory of watching tapes at school is the floating pencil accompanied by someone singing "Magic, Magic 'e'!". A couple of years later we were being told of that harm that "Magic 'e'" can do. Mixed up world.

Microsoft to merge Windows, Windows Phone stores in 2014


Wait... what?! I keep myself as free from Microsoft grubby mitts as possible these days so I missed something there.

I thought Windows 8 WAS a single platform on phone, PC and tablet. If they're actually three code bases, why the hell does the desktop version of Windows 8 have a touch interface? I knew Windows 8 was a disaster but I thought MS at least had a reason to do it.

30 years on: The day a computer glitch nearly caused World War III


Re: Is a bad or a good thing ...

I think possibly you're under estimating the age point. As a young school child in the late 80s and early 90s, I was 'protected' from the truth. You may have to be closer to 35 or 40 to have an accurate recollection.

The one stand out memory I have on the subject is the discomfort of a teacher when asked questions about that mornings topic: the end of the second world war. Now I'm sure primary school teachers have to tip toe around issues all the time and are good at maintaining youthful innocence. But there was something about the way she changed subject that was different and causes me to remember.

I was in her class during the 1989 ~ 90 school year so the Berlin wall may or may not have been toppled and the Soviet Union was yet to collapse. I recall that we were told that Germany was divided into two "because Germany was too powerful". The Russian occupation of east Europe was a bit too grown up a subject.

Final preview of IE11 for Windows 7 uncanned


An imaginary conversation with Microsoft

Hey Microsoft. I'm just fixing a compatibility issue with your browser. And then my latest creation will be ready. Its so tempting to release it now but you know how it is, you don't want to upset your users with poorly tested code. I mean! Who would do that, right?

The thing is, I don't understand what "SCRIPT87: Invalid Argument" means. The causes of this message that I have found on the web do not apply in my case. I have spent two days on this one. I think the disturbed sleep and fear of a missed deadline are starting to affect my mind. I've been having these dark thoughts. You know, I'm a kind natured, gentle person, don't you?

I think I should see a doctor. I've noticed recently that the words "Internet Explorer" cause me an uncontrollable nervous twitch. Perhaps you guys could do me a favour, do we really need another browser bearing that name? Perhaps you could call IE11 something else? Or you could just wait another couple of months before releasing IE11? You could do a bit more testing in that time. You do do testing, don't you? You know, "testing", making sure a product works before you release it?

That's what I've been doing recently. Well, I was until two days ago. Oh, you're adopting a quick release schedule? Great. What are you doing to make sure your mistakes don't live on and on? After all, you do remember IE6, don't you?

I think it is time to accept you're just no good at writing browsers. Actually, come to think about it, you're no good at operating systems either. Perhaps you guys should run along to the careers advisers office. Haven't you done enough already?

I just don't think I can take much more. I sometimes wonder if any of this is real. I wonder if IE warped my mind. Sometimes I imagine that you're not really there, perhaps, I'm just blurting all this out on a web forum. But then I realise, that's just stupid talk.

LOHAN test flight LIVE: All the launch action


Test flight today?

And there was me thinking I'd get some serious work done today.

Vulture 2 autopilot reports for duty


Re: Pushrods!

All good points. The radio shown doesn't have crystals so need to worry about that. I would use thread locker rather than CA on ball links because a mistake is a permanent mistake with CA.

To add to Don Jefes list of common problems, do not mix the arms for Futaba and Spektrum servos. I can't remember off hand if Futaba and Spektrum are actually close enough not to notice when fitting but where the wrong type of arm is used, it can appear fine in preflight checks but jump splines under load.

Compact Cassette supremo Lou Ottens talks to El Reg


Re: Ottman001's generalised perception

>Whatever its failings, why would this make "younger generations" less likely to look non-celeb stuff up?

I'm a little uncertain about your meaning of 'this' in that question. Were you referring to dumbed down media or the current emphasis on self directed learning in education?

If you mean the first: it was my contention that a dumbed down article attempts to leave fewer unanswered questions about basic principles at the cost of delivering fewer points of interest that may compel someone to look into a subject further.

If you mean the later: My contact with the 'yoof' is rather limited so I can't directly answer the question but I have an anecdote and an opinion. To manipulate the way a child learns you have to start early. When I was about 14 I had to do a school project in which I had to "research" the subject 'disability'. The teachers were very excited about this idea but the class was bemused. We were used to being spoon fed information and thought they had absolved themselves of the responsibility to teach us. Result: It didn't work.

Most of my class copied and pasted from Microsoft Encarta (the web was in its infancy) without learning a thing. We continued doing exactly what was wrong and what was intended to change - we blindly regurgitated information without taking it in. For us, our ways of 'learning' had been set firm and we were resistant. Not intentionally so, but resistant none the less.

My point of view then is that new teaching methods take time to get right and even more time to have a notable influence. Only once children leaving school have had a significant number of years using the new methods can those methods be reasonably evaluated. I am very happy to concede that recent school leavers may be more likely to seek information for themselves, but they have not had an opportunity to influence my perceptions.

I'd also like to know if others share my perceptions or not.


Re: written by someone who clearly has no idea about science or technology

"Why should the majority be excluded from mass market reporting?"

Please bear with me if I take a while to get to my point on this. First some context. I am 31. My generalised perception of generations older than mine is that they are more likely to look up something they don't understand. My generalised perception of younger generations is that they are less likely to look something up unless it is some fickle celebrity nonsense.

I think that the 'dumbing down' of the media, is caused in part by people wanting easier to consume material which feeds back and creates an audience less capable of digesting that material. It is a spiral to the bottom.

So my response to this principle of exclusion is: No one is excluded by the content of an article like this one. They are only excluded by their desire to understand it. The media should produce material just slightly beyond the capability of the masses to understand on first reading or viewing. It is now easier than it ever has been to look up points of clarification. If the media never provokes the general mass to acquire further knowledge, I hate to think what will happen to Horizon in another 40 years.

In my teens I used to stay up late at my computer taping out crap programs in QBASIC (oh, I feel sick, the horrors) with the "BBC Learning Zone" on BBC2 as interesting background noise. When a 70s or 80s Horizon came on it was enough to distract my attention. The beards commanded respect.

Our Vulture 2 spaceplane sprouts sleek pointy beak


Re: Does it only have rudders?

Means Of Delivering Effortless Retaliation Against The Really IneXcusable

E could alternatively be for Excruciating, depending how sadistic the device.


Re: You're really taking it to another level here

Blimey, up vote for optimism. After LOHAN the next step is to develop a craft capable of achieving escape velocity. Might the UN get a bit tetchy if El Reg develops a missile program? Or Apple?

Card-cloning crooks use 3D printers to make ever-better skimmers


So, about this wonder technology that stops the manufacturing of guns and possibly card skimmers. What is to stop someone simply printing the same in more and more parts until the software can't recognise it? Pointless.

Google study finds users ignore Chrome security warnings


Re: It only applies to women - apparently

"mean a human mail."

You mean letters and so forth but excluding that sent out by automated systems?



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