* Posts by FatGerman

237 posts • joined 2 Mar 2012


That long-awaited, super-hyped Apple launch: Watches, iPads... and one more thing. Oh, actually that's it


My friend's 11 year old: : What's a watch?

Me : You wear it on your wrist and it tells you the time

My friend's 11 year old : Why?

I genuinely have no answer either. I haven't worn a watch since I was 15, and that was 34 years ago.

I think I might be interested in an Apple watch though but only if it didn't function as a source of skin infections.


Re: Touch ID ... ouch

The wierd thing about Apple's fingerprint recognition is that it recognises my thumbprint for about a month and then refuses and I have to re-train it. Am I really growing a new thumb every month?

Another week, another dual-screen phone, this time a T-shaped LG thingamy



The same thing is happening to phones as happened to Razors in the '90s. Having run out of new things to add to them, manufacturers have started adding more of the things they've already got. First it was more cameras, now it's more screens. I guess that's what happens when you have a business model based entirely on disposability and overconsumption. Phone with 12 cameras and 8 screens, anyone?

Tesco self-service separates innocent Reg reader from beer after collapsing into heap of Windows dialog boxes


Re: TLAs

Oh it's on both sids of the pond, I came here to say the same thing :)

Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer


Re: Loch Motor?

I spotted by typo after clicking submit but couldnae be arsed to fix it.


Loch Motor?

So it's Bluetooth and has an electric motor in it, so presumably it has a battery.

So it's a cold rainy night and your padlock won't open because the battery is flat, and the nearest shop is 5 miles away and it's closed. I do wonder what sort of world the morons who invent stuff like this inhabit.

QR-code based contact-tracing app brings 'defining moment' for UK’s 'world beating' test and trace system


Re: Hm.

You sir, are a massive twat.

5G router, anyone? MediaTek lobs cheaper chipset at telco carrier pigeons


> I don't know why mobile broadband hasn't taken off more

Price. Unlimited broadband-only fibre + a data-limited phone contract costs less than half what the phone contract would cost if I upgraded it to unlimited data. It's more convenient yes, but not worth it at that price.

But for their own greed, EE would be making more money off me at Vigin's expense.

Samsung reveals new folding stuff for people who like flaunting wads of folding stuff



Phones started off massive, but computers were even more massive back then. Then everything got smaller, then computers kept getting smaller while phones started getting bigger again.

I'm not really sure what the difference is between this and a macBook Air in terms of how useful it is as a telephone.

Physical locks are less hackable than digital locks, right? Maybe not: Boffins break in with a microphone


Re: My lock's fine then

Oh now desk drawer locks are to locks what play-doh is to cement. I keep the drawers in my desk locked at all times. I do not have the key. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has the key. I do, however, have a piece of cardboard cut to exactly the correct width.

One summer job at an office furniture company and I can open anything with less that 5 levers with whatever I can find lying about.


My lock's fine then

My old knackered lock requires me to jiggle the key to just the right spot. I've got it down to a fine art now but it certainly fools the "constant speed" assumption.

Also it sounds like it would be trivially easy to confuse this by jiggling any key as you insert it?

TalkTalk, Three, and Virgin Media, come on down! You've all won a prize for... not being that great at something!


A spokesperson at Virgin Media said the company is "always looking at how we can further improve our customer service.

Looking at it in the same way that when I look out of my window I am looking at my neighbour's house. I can see it, it's much nicer than mine, but it's waaaaay too expensive.


Re: Three

>> But: their webshite is abysmal, their customer account admin area limited

Every single mobile operator's website is abysmal. No matter how much time I spend on EE's website I cannot find out how much I am paying, what I am paying for, or how I change any of the 'addons' or whatever they're calling them this week. I can, however, very easily buy more services or "upgrade" to a more expensive tariff.

The awfulness of the websites is deliberate.

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update


Re: "While not as high-end as Photoshop"

That's what I came here to say. They do different jobs. Professionals, and many others, use both.

ANPR maker Neology sues Newcastle City Council after failing to win 'air quality' snoopcam project bid


Wait so...

You can sue people for NOT buying your stuff?

Where do I file a suit against 7 billion people who don't want to buy one of my photos?

Fucking hell, the sooner we find all the lawyers in the world and drown them in a pool of shit the better.

IBM takes Power10 processors down to 7nm with Samsung, due to ship by end of 2021


Re: POWER 10

"Somehow the term "AI" loses its mystery if all it comes down to is matrix maths"

It's because the term 'AI' is a misnomer. Machines will never be intelligent enough to decide what they want (or don't want) to do, because that will make them useless. "AI" means "machine that can work out what to do with this data because we can't be arsed to tell it". Put like that, I'm all in favour. Programming computers to analyse data is fucking mind-meltingly tedious. It's no wonder we've put so much effort into creating machines that can program themselves to do it.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic


Re: a GUI in the office was a dim and distant dream.

When I started my first job in 1993, I was given a PC runnings Windows 3.1 but all but one of the programs I had to use were DOS programs that ran in a DOS box, and several of them would not co-operate with others. So while I had a "GUI" I was still basically running single-tasking DOS.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch



"something something something, something something something, something something something" the YAM project explained.

I take issue with the use of the word 'explained'. I mean, I guess maybe 4 people understood that?

UK lockdown easing heralds the return of burgers... and bork


Re: Fast food and IT just don't mix

I no longer order from two major pizza retailers* for similar reasons - initial orders arrived withtin 20 minutes but progressively got slower and slower until the final order hadn't arrived after 90 minutes and the "resttaurant" was no longer picking up the phone.

In the case of he second one, my final order did arrive, but by that time I had ordered, had delivered, and EATEN a Chinese meal FOR SEVENTEEN PEOPLE from my local Chinese.

* Dominos, then Papa John's. This is not defamation, it actually happened.

Wrap it before you tap it? No, say Linux developers: 'GPL condom' for Nvidia driver is laughed out of the kernel


I just don't get it

What is the big deal with the GPL? The kernel devs seem to have this religious devotion to it and arguments like this just cause pain for end users. The Nouveau driver is pants, utter pants. NVidia's driver works really well. That's literally all I care about, all the arguing is just legal wank and has nothing whatseover to do with getting things to work.

I appreciate I've almost certainly missed something because the kernel devs aren't crazy religious whackos and therefore must have some kind of point here, I've just no idea what it is or why I should give a fuck?

Google to pull plug on Play Music, its streaming service that couldn't beat Spotify, in favour of YouTube Music


Re: Luddite

Agree. It's bloody annoying to have carefully bookmarked a bunch of songs on Spotify only to come back later and find them marked as "unpayable". All just because of bean counters and greed. Anything I find on Spotify that I like I tend to go to Bandcamp or 7Digital and buy it, then I know I'l always have a copy.

US voting hardware maker's shock discovery: Security improves when you actually work with the community


Re: What he didn't say...

Testing things properly is very difficult these days. Firstly its enormously time-consuming so it interferes with those 6-monthly release cycles everybody seems to love so much. Secondly you need reasonably intelligent people to do it well, but it is also frequently extremely tedious and repetitive, so intelligent people get bored and move on after a year or so. The answer is automation, but automation isn't intelligent s you still need the people to check what the automation is doing.

The days of the 1990s, when companies I worked for didn't get to release new products until QA said they were allowed to, are long gone. The irony is that people expect frequent updates, but it's the frequent updates that cause the bugs the frequent updates are needed to fix....

Elite name on Brit scene sponsors retro video games preservation project at the Centre for Computing History



Speaking as one of the Elite, who got there on the original version, and who has also been to TNMoC when it was open, and who has always regarded Braben as something of a fucking outright legend, this just makes him seem even more of an all-round super human being.

Yes, Beebug had an article on how to do the split screen modes thing, but where do you think they got the idea?

There's an interview somewhere where Braben talks about how he and Bell spent hours disucssing how to save a byte here, a byte there, so they could implement a new feature. The programming of Elite should be taught in computer science courses, it's a object lesson in how understanding how the hardware actually works can allow you to do amazing things. Proper programming, not like this modern scripting shit that I do for a living :)

If you can read this, your Windows 10 2004 PC really is connected to the internet no matter what the OS claims


Re: Error

>> You could try the windows update troubleshooter, available if your settings panel. If it still fails, come back and complain again.

I manage a rig of 25 Windows machines, all various hardware, all various versions. I get Windows Update failures about one in two times I try to update. Not once has the "windows Update Troubleshooter" fixed a Windows Update problem. Usually it doesn't find one, even though Windows Update itself is saying there is a problem. Sometimes it does find one, and then it tells me it hasn't fixed it.

I note that, across multiple operating systems and hardware types, Windows Update is the only one that even provides a "Troubleshooter" and indeed is the only one that has ever, in 20 years, given me a problem that has required one. It's almost as if Microsoft haven't got a fucking clue what they're doing.


Re: Cortana can't be activated

Dammit I only came here to post that.

Brit telcos deliberately killed Phones 4u, claim admins in £1bn UK High Court sueball


Re: A few things

>> 1. How many mobile devices will still be around which have data from 2014?

I'm using one to write this. Don't assume everybody upgrades on a regular basis, least of all someone who works for a reseller.

>> 2. Why would past employees still have company data from 2014 on their personal devices? That would surely be a breach of data protection laws

Because they were keeping it because they thought it would come in handy as evidence of illegal activity. Most people would regard that as a justified breaking of the data protection law, even if they understood that law, which most people don't.

>> 3. Why oh why would you keep such a significant recording on a single, old device and not copy it to other places? At least by sending yourself an email or backing up on to a USB stick.

Because you're a businessman, not a techie, and don't even understand what a backup is, let alone bother to ever make one.

Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?


Re: Mail Storm

I often wonder if the purpose of HR emails is to detect people who don't have enough work to do.

Seven 'no log' VPN providers accused of leaking – yup, you guessed it – 1.2TB of user logs onto the internet


To be fair, 99.99999% of the people signing up for this crap don't know or check where the company is based, they just click 'give me the privacy for the warez'.


Re: So, recommendations?

I stuck with PIA but I use it exclusively on an Ubuntu machine where I set the connection up manually, I never use their client software, but thanks for the heads-up.

SoftBank: Oi, we paid $32bn for you, when are you going to strong-Arm some more money out of your customers?


Re: SoftBank bought a goose that lays golden eggs...

There's a genuine definition of an entity that behaves like that - parasite.

The drive for short-term profits at the expense of everything else has been the death of every company I've ever worked for. And still nobody learns. I don't understand why the money men are so stupid.

Oh deer! Scotland needs some tech smarts to help monitor its rampant herbivore populations


Re: Compunding issues

Once again, the legacy of the Victorian aristocracy and their world-fuckering arrogance creates problem we have to solve today. The answer therefore, is to introduce more apex predators, but to introduce them inside the homes of the landowners.

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost


Re: Teams isn't just a video conferencing tool...

I bloody hate having to use Office for anything, but Teams is the only MS product I'm happy to use. As set up by our corporate IT dept it allows me to keep in touch with all my co-workers either by IM or video call with just a couple of clicks. Yes the video and audio quality aren't great but I'll forgive it that. We use Zoom too but I wouldn't know where to begin with setting up a Zoom meeting. Teams has made it possible for me to be just as productive and collaborative at home as I am in the office.

Let the downvotes and accusations of being a shill commence.....


Re: Keep my Camera on?

Even when I do have a camera, I also have Gaffer tape.

It's not a Windows 10 release without something breaking so here's a troubleshooter for your OneDrive woes


Christ on a bike

Once upon a time, there was a rule that was oft-quoted amongst QA engineers, the rule of '1 hour of development needs 10 hours of testing', This was apparently Microsoft's rule and it was something the rest of us could only aspire to. One would have assumed, using common sense and experience, that the more complex the OS became the larger that ratio would need to be. But it looks like they've gone the other way, ousourcing most of it to actual end users in the pursuit of some marketing-driven cockwobbling idea that they need to do 2 releases a year or else Satya Nadella's penis will drop off, or something. For fucks' fucking sake. TEST THE FUCKING SHIT BEFORE GIVING IT TO PEOPLE. The ability to do live patching over the internet does not absolve you from the responsibility of making sure it works. Tossers.

Linux Mint 20 isn't exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there's kernel 5.4 and it's a long-term support release


1) Choice is generally a good thing.

Google 'tyrrany of choice'. Too much choice causes stress and makes you overly fussy and dissatisfied. Some choice is good, endless pages of options is awful. I switched to MacOS in part because I never have to make choices about how it works. I just learn to use it as it comes, like I do with any other tool.


Re: Upgrading?


Has never failed me or caused a single issue in more than a decade - because it just uses apt, and apt is pretty much the reason I use Ubuntu (yeah I know it's a Debian thing but I want more frequent updates).

Every major update of MacOS breaks something, so compared to that and Windows Update, which is a regular source of bork, I reckon Linux is the least worrisome OS I work with when it comes to upgrades.

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


Re: reply later

What's different about a 'reply later' feature and a folder called 'reply later' into which you put anything you want to, er, reply to later?

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere


> PHP really is an awful language.

I often think of it as Perl's stupid cousin, but it does a job and it does it very well and despite the inelegance of a lot of it, the inconsistencies, the way OO is very much stuck on with gaffa tape, for the jobs I use it for (which is most of the jobs I do) I've never felt the need to look for an alternative. It's a pragmatic solution to creating stuff that works.

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR


Re: Conspiracy time?

You miss the point. We have reached the terrifying point where we trust private companies - FORRIN private companies - more than we trust our own government. I'd hand over my first born to Apple or Google before I'd let Boris and his pals have even as much as my fingerprints.

Wanna be a developer? Your coworkers want to learn Go and like to watch, er, Friends and Big Bang Theory


The happiest developers turned out to be those working the longest hours.

You got cuase and effect the wrong way round. People who already enjoy their jobs tend to be happy and work long hours. Working long hours has never made anybody enjoy their job more if they don't already.

Nervous, Adobe? It took 16 years, but open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape now works properly on macOS


Re: Inkscape has it better than GIMP

>> Photoshop is far more embedded than Illustrator, though. It is much easier to convince people to try Inkscape. Photoshop is basically a verb.

Also, GIMP is to Photoshop what a ZX Spectrum is to a Mac Pro. Inkscape is still no Illustrator but it's much closer to what serious users actually want, especially those who are getting fed up with renting their software.

Serial killer spotted on the night train from Newcastle


Those are *Hayes* commands.

Haynes commands are what you shout at a broken-down vehicle.

RetroPie 4.6 brings forth an answer to 'What do I do with this Pi 4 I bought last year?'


Re: Behind the curve...

As someone who has been twating about with MAME since it first appeared, RetroPie reminds me of why I stopped doing it.

My Pi 4 is a an extaoridnarily capable Kodi machine, and the bundled game emlation software in that setup provides all the segfaults I need to keep me happy.

Contact-tracing or contact sport? Defections and accusations emerge among European COVID-chasing app efforts


And they've not even begin to address the most important question - what colour should it be?

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account


Work and Pleasure

Why would anyone use their personal email for anything to do with work? Or vice-versa?

I've worked at places where that would get you a very stern talking to. Plus, it's good for your health (mental, mainly) never to mix the two.

Sorry, no sympathy for this guy. Needs to address his work-life balance.

FUSE for macOS: Why a popular open source library became closed source and commercially licensed


Re: Apple should step forward

APFS is a pretty goood filesystem for SSDs, but Apple do not want you to use imaging. That's official, it's not supported. Something to do with hardware-level encryption using the T2 chip. You can pull and restore a disk image off a non-T2 equipped APFS disk very easily if you know how to use dd, or are prepared to push the right clicky things in Disk Utility. One APFS volume can be cloned to another with 3 clicks.

But once you get a machine with a T2 chip all that becomes history.

We strained our eyes with Lenovo's monster monitor: 43.4 inches for price of five 24" screens


2 monitors is better

The thing with twin monitors for working on 2 things side by side is you can drag a window to one screen and just maximise it. No faffing around dragging edges to resize two windows to half screen, or indeed trying to remember the keyboard shortcut to tile windows (which never does what I want it to anyway).

Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app


That Would Be An Ecumenical Matter


Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool


I once worked for a company that was going to launch a Wireless Network Access Kit. I suggested swapping the middle two words.

And back in the days of IPX networks and NetWare, every IPX segment had an ID that was a string of 8 hex digits. Every segment would appear on the network map that could be drawn by various pieces of network managemen software. My test segment was 0B0110C5.

Breaking, literally: Microsoft's fix for CPU-hogging Windows bug wrecks desktop search


Fortin maintained that the quality of Windows releases has been improving

I agree with him. The last one I installed ran perfectly for almost 20 full seconds.



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