* Posts by BernardL

40 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Mar 2012

Your Twitter app stopped working? Here's why


What I want from Twitter is:

* Posts from the people I follow

* in the order they were posted.

No more, no less. Either ad-supported or maybe 20 bucks a year. 11 a month or more? Nope.

Twitteriffic does that well enough, so far. Twitter's official phone app is frankly unusable.

Oh, and fewer Nazis.

All that dust on Mars is coming from one weird giant alien structure



So has anyone established yet whether you can grow spuds in it?

Attention adults working in the real world: Do not upgrade to iOS 11 if you use Outlook, Exchange


I miss ClarisWorks.

Headphone batteries flame out mid-flight, ignite new Li-Ion fears


Re: Water

After the fire was out, I'd stamp on the damn thing too. Very theraputic.

If there's any cold water left over, apply it to the burn. And then stamp on the headphones again.

US Air Force terminates Predator drones. Now you will fear the Reaper


Re: Reassure me

Not necessarily. Leaving the attachment points on will allow the cops to mount mission specific equipment like IMSI catchers, targeting pods, or any of those other creepy things they're having wet dreams about.

Speeding ticket dispensers are still in development. Probably.

Nuclear power station sensors are literally shouting their readings at each other

Thumb Up

I always wondered what happened to Chirp. It didn't seem to catch on in the consumer market.

Glad to see they're still going.

The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom


I have a TomTom One, which is on it's second battery. I love it, TT still issue maps for it, and even the interface was obviously designed by someone who actually knows what they're doing.

The only thing I don't like is having to back up and restore the favourites every time a new map is installed. The system for making POI files is too much work.

'Jet blast' noise KOs ING bank's spinning rust servers


...to the surprise of no-one who's ever seen (even on YouTube*) a Halon dump. Inergen is after my time, but it doesn't sound any better.

Moral of the story: if you're in the room with the supression system on auto - and you shouldn't be - and you hear the discharge alarm RUN, don't wak to the nearest exit. And keep running until you're out of the building and well down the road.

* other tubes are available.

PS: Legend has it that the Amdahl factory in Swords had a halon dump (in the 80's?) because someone left the system in the wrong mode. Apparently it cost 40 grand to refill.

PPS: 130dB seems way too loud for the alarm... I know they're supposed to be loud enough to drive you out of the room, but aren't there standards for loudness.

Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft


Re: Sorry, but . . .

(Skylab) Unfortunately Hounslow is a lot more populated than Esperance.

Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones


Re: Hmm

"Even now someone in the US is probably trying to work out how to do concealed carry on an M1A1 Abrams."

Easy. Put it inside a TARDIS.

However, since the engine is a gas turbine, you'll have to be careful with the exhaust gases. They're very hot indeed.

Gillian Anderson: The next James Jane Bond?


Re: May I offer as an example...

Gina Carano can definitely do the fight scenes. The afterparty scene in the Shelbourne Hotel showed she can dish it out as well as take it. (Yes, I know they were acting, but it was plausible.)

Claudia Black was born to play Modesty Blaise. Awesomely.

Champagne weekend for Blue Origin with third launch


well done

I was a bit worried about that deceleration though, seems pretty sudden on the video. I wonder how many Gs that works out to.

Final Euro Parliament vote on passenger name records delayed


Dear Mr Kirkhope,

It's called "democracy". Perhaps you've heard of it?

PBX phone system hacking nets crooks $50 million over four years



First rule of PABX admin: Don't let incoming calls connect to an outbound trunk. Yes, the pointy-headed-managers will whine, but it's just asking for trouble.

Put your private parts on display if you want to keep earning a living


The best thing about that article was the picture. By far.

US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge



A crew of only 158? How will they find each other in a ship that size? Search dogs? FindMyCrewmate?

Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins



Unless the law's been changed since, the general rounding rule in Ireland since the euro changeover is that .49 or less rounds down, .50 or greater rounds up.

Therefore anything with a cash price ending in 5 cent can be paid for as is, 6 cent rounds up to the next 0 and 4 cent rounds down. Theoretically. Since this scheme is voluntary, the retailer may choose to accept 5 cent for the 6 cent item.

Also, if there's more than one item rounding has to be done once, on the total price and not on each item.

IANAL, but that's what we were told at the time of the changeover. I ran the conversion for one small part of the postal service. We, and the Revenue, and I assume all other government departments were told - and I mean ordered, not "advised" - that a) the conversion better go perfectly, b) in strict accordance with the rules and c) no member of the public was to lose out. If there was any doubt, round in favour of the customer.

You wouldn't get that attitude now. These days it's up to you to get away with whatever you can.

US Navy grabs old-fashioned sextants amid hacker attack fears


Coast Guard?

ISTR that the US Coast Guard never stopped teaching sextant. Something about being "real sailors"...

Ditch crappy landlines and start reading Twitter, 999 call centres told


Text yes, it might be useful in certain circumstances. Easy to do; expand the existing system for people with speaking difficulties.

Social media? Don't be daft! I don't want my call for help "mediated" by a content-free ad network that might decide to send an ad for Farmville instead. i want the medssage delivered, immediately, and not through Utah or somewhere.

Dear 12yo: if you need help call 112. That's what they're there for.

Here's a question... why don't we teach people to use text in a major incident* like a bombing? It's much more likely to get through than a voice call.

* bearing in mind that the network will probably either be damaged, throttled for Plod, or overloaded.

'The server broke and so did my back on the flight to fix it'


Meetings with management instead of fixing the problem?

In the immortal words of Cmdr. Spurgeon/Sturgeon/Fish, "We can teach, or we can do. What's your pleasure?"

SHOCK! Robot cars do CRASH. Because other cars have human drivers


Re: Evidence

>You can see down votes given to the most uncontentious, factual explanations on this forum.

>I've no idea why.

I think it's a bot.

Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC


Should have brought it to a range. People would queue up to shoot that, he could sell tickets.

And - depending on local regulations - someone might have offered to let him use a larger calibre.

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society


Re: White pylon

Nah, Flecktarn's too dark and it blurs to black past 100 metres or so. You want something more like Pletsloring for foresty areas. Or PenCott.

For something on a skyline, it would be great if there was such a thing as a light grey/green camo that was useless for anything else... Oh, wait, UCP.

Data centre dangers: Killing a tree and exploding a UPS


I'm really sorry about this, and with all possible respect to sparks and cleaners (both of my brothers are sparks)... But I never let either of them into my computer room.

I did the weekly cleaning myself. Any time we had to have workers in the room, I stayed with them. And we shut everything down, sometimes even including the PABX.

I was courteous, but firm. Apart from a lunchtime replacement of a failing RA82 disk drive, we never had any unscheduled downtime in the 9 years I was there.

Snowden doc leak 'confirms' China stole F-35 data


Re: This is probably very bad..

Actually, it can take off ok, sort of, providing there's no FOD stuff around. Sorry, USMC, your dream of operating it from austere forward airstrips and pocket carriers in the ground-support role has gone up in smoke. The F35 has eaten the USMC budget for decades to come. Best thing they could do is scrap it and buy the A-10s that the USAF wants to get rid of.

It's landing that the F-35 has a problem with, at least if you don't want to melt the deck and everyone within 100m. Oh, and turning seems to be a bit of an issue. And short legs. And software that nobody understands. Oh well, at least it hasn't suffocated a pilot yet.

'We will SNORT UP CRYSTAL DUST and then do a MAJOR software update'


Ummm, the original Reg description of "Laser-armed Nuclear Tank" sounded better. Please revert.

Australian desert deluge demonstrates why we're doing it


Don't drink the radiator water neat. You have to distill the drinkable water out of the coolant and other gunk. A solar still will do just fine.

PlayStation-processor-powered plutonium probe prepares Pluto pics


"Interred" surely?

Or was "Interned" a pun rather than a misprint, since there's no actual terra to be interred in?

'80s hacker turned journo, IT crime ace Steve Gold logs off




$! I worked at BT Gold during 1998 and early 1989.


$! I don't remember ever interacting with Steve Gold, but I do remember very

$! well the huge fuss after the Prince Phillip Mailbox Hack. Word came down

$! from On High that someone had done a Very Bad Thing and it wasn't to

$! happen again. Or Else.


$! Perhaps someone on the board was worried that a future knighthood might

$! be in jeopardy.


$! Well played, Mr. G. I'll take down your Handbook from the attic and read

$! it again.




Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link


Dr Jones says the research “suggests the correct conditions for biochemical effects of WMFs are likely to be rare in the human body”.

That'll be a "no" then.

Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

Black Helicopters

UPC Ireland have had this for a while on their Infinity DVR/WiFi boxes. They are rolling it out as an o/s update for their older routers now. They sent me an email about it, which tells you how to opt-out.

Opting-out is the first issue, it should be opt-in. That assumption by big business STILL hasn't been fixed. Second issue is that you have to log in to your account online, and click on a button to opt-out - you don't do that on the router itself.

A few years ago I would have said that sharing a small part of your WiFi was a public-spirited act. Now, It's just another way for yet another company (your ISP) to track your movements.

Suffering satellites! Goonhilly's ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE


Great Article.


Giant bank IT cockup of 2012 'could have brought down ENTIRE financial system'


Ulster Bank fine

It might be worth mentioning that the fine levied on Ulster Bank was the maximum possible. The accompanying judgement was spectacularly forthright in it's condemnation of both Ulster Bank's and its parent's incompetence and mismanagement.

More of this sort of thing, please.

US Marshals commit DIRTBOX INTRUSION on Americans, says report


"Correct me if I am missing something, (I would really like to know), but without a back haul a flying base station is not building any connections, so cannot intercept messages or be able to log any call data."

No, but it's logging location data for every phone within range. That's the point.

Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'



2005? Was it really that long ago? How time files!

I haven't used a Sony product since that rootkit fiasco, and I never will.

Adobe, take heed.

Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt


The Irish Government will huff and puff a bit, but will eventually do what the US Government asks. there are too many jobs and too much investment at stake to do otherwise.

The Irish /Courts/ are an entirely different matter. They have never recognised US legal extraterritorial reach, and never will. Otherwise we might as well tear up the Irish Constitution (flawed as it is) along with the US one.

If this issue gets anywhere near the Irish legal system, M$ can - and will - apply to the High Court for Judicial Review. And that will probably be the end of that for a few years, probably many years if they appeal it all the way to the ECJ.

Financial wizardess joins Apple board, air of coolness noticeably diminishes


I worked for Bill "Coach" Campbell, during the Claris days. He was also the guy who took the decision to run the Superbowl ad for Macintosh.

Absolutely great boss. Will be missed.

Vodafone jumps into bed with Three in Ireland


Small steps

In Ireland, network operators have to share sites already. This development is only a small advance on that. The only pity is that they don't usually have to camouflage the base stations, unless they're in an area where the Rich Folks live.

One minor advantage is that in small towns you can usually find the cop shop easily. Its the building with a bloody big radio mast with a ring of mobile phone aerials at the half way point.

RBS IT cockup: This sort of thing can destroy a bank, normally


Re: It seems entire nation is waiting for El Reg readers to tell them whats going on

I used to work in the nondescript data centre next to NatWest's unmarked data centre in an undisclosed North London suburb. They had two VMSclusters in that building, on separate floors. IIRC, the live cluster had 9 nodes in it, the hot standby had 8 nodes or so.

They're probably trying to migrate from VMS to some cloudy/JSP/.NET/web2.0/Ruby shite, developed in and remotely managed from somewhere on the other side of the world that they could exploit as cheaply as possible. UNIX/linux can be made fairly reliable, they just need a bit of work.

When it absolutely, positively has to work - and keep working - VMS can't be beat. Even now, despite HP trying to kill it through neglect. Bastards.

The 'one tiny slip' that put LulzSec chief Sabu in the FBI's pocket


Nickname Update Required

Famous But (not always completely) Incompetent.