* Posts by Steven Raith

2324 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Remember when we warned in February Apple will crack down on long-life HTTPS certs? It's happening: Chrome, Firefox ready to join in, too

Steven Raith

Shame that some one year certs....

.....are actually two year certs that presumably get revoked if you don't renew, it seems.

Welp, that makes things a bit more annoying.

Steven R

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

Steven Raith

Foot in mouth

"Rogozin is known for being outspoken. In 2014, after the US announced economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea, he hit back and suggested America could deliver its astronauts to the ISS with a “trampoline” instead."

Funny looking trampoline, that Dragon Crew Capsule and the rocket that launches it - and can land itself for re-use, innit?

Steven R

(I'm no SpaceX/Musk fanboy, but I bet those words proper sting today)

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

Steven Raith

I've got an Aukey KM-G8...

...and although I can be snobby about keyboards (with a pragmatic streak - a good £15 keyboard is always a nice surprise, thanks Logitech) it's really rather good. I've been using it constantly since working from home and now that I've become familiar with it again, it's great for typing, it's well enough built, and as it cost £40 a few years ago, if it dies in a few years time, I'll not feel as annoyed as if I'd spent £100 on a 'better' keyboard.

You still need to go drag out a spare keyboard if the fancier one shits itself, and then diagnose the problem, order the replacement parts. I'd be fine getting another £40 keyboard, honestly.

I've used better keyboards, but it's plenty close enough for the price.

Steven "clicky clacky" R

(the KM G8 is basically what was reviewed, but without the RGB stuff and a slightly more compact profile, as far as I can tell)

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

Steven Raith

Re: Shoot people?

That's his answer to everything.

No, I'm not joking. Drug users, smokers, other undesirables, just shoot them dead.

It's only in about a third of cases he actually sends out the death squads though.

Steven R

TeamViewer is going to turn around and ignore what you're doing with its freebie licence to help new remote workers

Steven Raith

I tried this yesterday and it's really not bad at all. Found privilege escalation to be a bit confusing but that's probably just a case of me having never used it before and not knowing some little tricks (every time it popped up a UAC prompt, I'd lose control until the end user agreed to it, etc).

Cross platform and works out the box for the most part, I like it.

Steven R

Freedom of Information coverup clerk stung for £2k after deleting council audio recording

Steven Raith

Unlikely. This is local government we're talking about. Even a criminal prosecution with respect to your competence to do the job is likely not enough to get shot of them.

Steven "Spent too much time in Local Govt" R.

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

Steven Raith

Some further reading

The Salmon of Doubt (ISBN 0-330-32312-1) is worth a look as well, as it contains about a third of the proposed third Dirk Gently novel, and also has loads of Adams' collected writings (early and later), memos to other people, musings on tech, and lots of generally very interesting, entertaining stuff.

I've mislaid my copy. Must pick up another one some time soon.

Steven "Someone Elses Problem" R

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

Steven Raith

Re: Expensive

On a related note, the death of that computer was when I tried to install OS/2 on it.

I'd used Doublespace (I think) to make more space on the disk, and tried to install OS2 on it. It didn't like doublespace and so asked me to remove it.

So I cleared down the space, and set Doublespace to decompress everything. Which would have been fine.

Had Mother Dearest not turned the machine off part way through because it was making annoying rattling noises.

I wasn't quite sharp enough at ten years old to know how to fix it, and mother dearest didn't want to spend money on a 'toy' so it was permafucked.

I became a console user for about a decade after that. Ah well.

Steven "Parents feck you up" R.

Steven Raith

Re: Expensive

I tried to run it on a 486 SX 25 with 4MB ram.

No go.

Then set up a virtual RAM disk on my HDD (a 120mb IDE jobby) to give it another 4MB of memory. I couldn't tell you how on earth I did it, but I'll wager it was an autoexec/config.sys hackery with something being preloaded at boot. It was over 20 years ago....

Game loaded. Awesome. But every time it hit the 'swap' section, it'd take a couple of seconds to load the data.

And the data was literally every sound, or animation frame it couldn't fit in to real RAM.

It was a lot.

I went back to Doom after that as RAM for that computer was pricey and I couldn't get mother dearest to justify it. She got annoyed enough when I played Doom for hours at a time....

Aaah, good times.

Steven "Blow it out your ass" Raith.

All the IT ladies (all the IT ladies), all the IT ladies (all the IT ladies), now put your hands up! Oh, still not many here

Steven Raith

Re: delights? really?

Well, if you find nihlism and cynicism delightful, which has been a streak that runs through all IT support people with some good chops that I've worked with - male or female.

In my experience - which is of course, a sample of one, so entirely anecdotal - we're a lovely bunch of downtrodden, cynical darlings, we are.

Much love to all <3

Steven "feeling a bit nostalgic today" R

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain

Steven Raith


Kernel panics are so much more descriptive.

Steven "Trying to make Vulkan work on a Radeon R280" Raith

Steven Raith

Re: Driver problem

Great minds think alike.

(and idiots seldom differ)


Steven R

Steven Raith


That's a usually a driver fault if I recall, which seems quite apt, really.

Steven R

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers

Steven Raith

Re: Ex fruity genius...

Humans aren't machines. Well, except those made by skynet.

At least when my machine popped it smelled of vanilla mocha latte, not burnt ciggies*

Steven R

*lies - it smelled of popped electronics

Steven Raith

Re: Ex fruity genius...

The future, with electro-fags, has it's own risks.

I used to vape heavy VG liquids in a large atty at low nicotine strength, typically 80-100% VG + 3% nic, does the *very* thick clouds.

Eventually, the PSU popped. The VG had condensed inside the PSU, then when warm, slipped down into the transformer. POP.

So it didn't reek of smoke, but it still killed the machine (or more accurately, the PSU - a replacement PSU fixed it).

I've sinced switched to high nicotine, 'lighter' liquids (50/50 PG/VG - mostly for vaping subtly in the office, and I've come to prefer it) and the buildup is now non-existent.

Just a heads up for the Reg vape collective, be careful where you blow your clouds!

Steven "Should have seen that coming, really" R

BSOD Burgerwatch latest: Do you want fries with that plaintext password?

Steven Raith


Surely not XP Embedded? :-/

Steven "don't most remote access tools have a 'blank the remote screen' option these days" R

Windows takes a tumble in the land of the Big Mac and Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Steven Raith

Re: They would use audio for non sighted customers.

Last time I was in a MaccyDs my number was shouted out, not automatically spoken by the screens, as I recall.

I might be wrong though.

Steven Raith

That's nice....

....but the other day I was in a Greggs, and the CCTV system had a Teamviewer request box up. With the ID number and access PIN.

On the public CCTV display.

Could have had some fun with that one, I imagine.

Steven "too many sausage rolls" R

Firefox 72: Floating videos, blocking fingerprints, and defeating notification pop-ups

Steven Raith

Re: Floating Videos? Arrrrgggh!

That's true when it's forced on you by ads.

This is an option you can elect to use so you can keep a video running that you want to watch.

You know, not an ad.

Steven R

Four more years! Four more years! Svelte Linux desktop Xfce gets first big update since 2015

Steven Raith

Pretty sure Manjaro got it the other day too (at least, I saw lots of Xfce updates from .12 to .14) and noticed the power manager app icon had changed.

Otherwise, it's still fast, smooth and keeps itself to itself. Just how I like my desktop environments.

Steven R

Dodgy vids can hijack PCs via VLC security flaw, US, Germany warn. Software's makers not app-y with that claim

Steven Raith

Re: For what it's worth.....

(to be clear, it looks like Shaun or the editorial team updated the article just as I posted the above comment, which was within the hour of VLC tweeting it - not bad, El Reg, not bad.

Could be a juicy little story about the lackadaisical attitude of Mitre and Certbund in there as well...)

Steven Raith

For what it's worth.....

VLC have come back saying

"it's not VLC you spoons, it's a 3rd party library, it's been fixed for over a year and hey, you want to follow your own fucking processes for bug disclosure you fucking fucks?"


Let's talk about April Fools' Day jokes. Are they ever really harmless?

Steven Raith

Re: April Fool

Similar story, but beforehand we (me as tech, our network op and our sysadmin) had managed to fake a call from The XFactor to get a particularly annoying colleague to 'audition' down the phone.

Changed the startup background to a picture of them, and the startup sound to the worst part of their audition.

They were not impressed.

Everyone else found it hilarious. They really were a bit of a prick.

Steven R

Facebook celebrates Independence Day by lighting up American outage maps

Steven Raith

Yeah, it's likely part of the shared backend between all three that's hooped, 503ing images all over the place.

Steven "did some work today" R

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...

Steven Raith

Re: err games

Some sniffing around suggests the OpenGL3.X compatibility will likely mean more accurate emulation of 3D stuff, so yes, it should be an improvement, although as I understand it most of the popular emulators and retro gaming megapackages will need a bit of tweeking to be happy with the A72 architecture.

I'm interested in this use case as well, can you tell?

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: @John Robson... Sata

I like to justify these things in terms of takeaway dinners.

I mean, £50, that's two Dominos pizzas. Well, it is by *my* standards...

Boom, justified.

That said, my next project (seeing as I've just thrown PiHole onto a RaspPi Zero W after testing it on my old Pi3B+) is a used Proliant DL360, because if you sniff around (and aren't too fussed by power consumption - I justify that by reminding myself that I've replaced a dozen lightbulbs in this house with LEDs...) you can find them, sans disks admittedly, for around £50-100.

I'm sure I'll be picking up a Pi 4 once the software environment has matured though.

Steven "tinkering rather than moping and being depressed" R

Cloudflare hits the deck, websites sink from sight after the internet springs yet another BGP leak

Steven Raith

Re: L3 down too

They did note on a HackerNews post ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20262214 ) that Level3 appeared to be the source of a route leak, although it's been edited since.

Screenshot here - sorry if it's competing with ElReg but I can't find any other decent source with a screengrab:


The edit suggests they don't think it's *just* L3 however, so pinch of salt and all that.

Apparently fixed as of 30 mins, ago, which is reflected in two of my dozen sites I look after no longer intermittently alarming at me.

Steven "it always seems to be Level3, doesn't it" R

Idle Computer Science skills are the Devil's playthings

Steven Raith

Re: Run for it!

That's a surprisingly new addition to most CPUs though, in the grand scale of things - the last CPU to not have it were (IIRC) Netburst P4s and Thorobed Athlons.

I dare say some more specialised chips had it, but from a consumer grade standpoint, I think that's where thermal cutouts started to be 'the norm'.

Steven 'this is just off the top of my head, correct me if I'm wrong, commentards' R

Help the Macless: Apple’s iPadOS is a huge update that will enable more people to do without a Mac... or a PC

Steven Raith

Re: I picked up a Lenovo MiiX 320 (yes horrible name) about a month back

To be fair, it might have been used - refurbed ones can be found for under a ton if you sniff aboot - but clarification on that might have helped a bit...

Google relents slightly in ad-blocker crackdown – for paid-up enterprise Chrome users, everyone else not so much

Steven Raith

Re: Is it time....

Has to be said, this comment thread made me dig out my Raspberry Pi, throw an image of DietPi on it, and bop PiHole on it.

It's not perfect (uBlock origin is damned seamless when it comes to removing ads - PiHole obviously can't do some browser based stuff, etc) but it's pretty straighforward once you get into it and once it's up and running, just bang it as your DHCP servers default DNS assignment and you're away - zero client side config.

So on Monday, I'll be replicating that in the office, on a VM, and blocking all ads at the network level in there too, methinks.

Good shout, Commentards. Good shout.

Steven R

Veteran vulture Andrew Orlowski is offski after 19 years at The Register

Steven Raith

An Orlowski article? With comments enabled???

Heaven forfend. And, that is going back a bit to be fair...

Good luck in the future Mr O, I'll be sure to intermittently annoy you on Twitter, I'm sure....

Steven R

Julian Assange jailed for 50 weeks over Ecuador embassy bail-jumping

Steven Raith

Re: Being a bit of a Devil's Advocate...

As I recall, they didn't say there was no case to answer - they said there was no way to progress the case, as Assange wasn't making himself available (by leaving the country, then eventually claiming political asylum with Ecuador).

"No case to answer" and "no way to progress the case" aren't the same thing, and the statute of limitations is still applicable for the crime he's accused of in Sweden, as far as I'm aware.

Anyone know what Swedens 'official' position is on the case? I've tried sniffing aboot, but being busy at work and most of the results being 'people calling for sweden to extradite' aren't making a clear cut answer easy to find for me.

London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange

Steven Raith

Re: International Law

I'd take 'em more seriously if they could spell 'illegally', frankly.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?

Steven Raith

Re: Ringtones for cars

Or a Group A E30 M3 induction scream. Certainly distinctive...


Not so smart after all: A techie's tale of toilet noise horror

Steven Raith

Re: Toilets, health trackers, sexual innuendo

Rubbing off on his coworkers is why they prefer him to work from home.

Steven "Obvious joke" R

Redditors start flinging Pooh after mega-forum takes cash from Chinese behemoth Tencent

Steven Raith


"Reddit is inaccessible in China..."

"That isn't to say that Redditors didn't get a bit hot under the collar, cooling themselves off by posting images of the popular children's character Winnie-the-Pooh over and over again. The image has attracted the ire of Chinese censors in the past due to some wags alleging a resemblance to the country's President, Xi Jinping."

Is it just me, or does the logic there seem flawed? I mean, if it's not available in China, what's the poi....ah, it's Reddit, there is no point.

Steven "Grumpy today" R

Ever yearn for the Windows 95 shutdown sound? TADA! There's an Electron app for that

Steven Raith

Painfully slow

....just like the real thing.

I won't pretend I didn't grin like a loon at the old sounds though.

Ah, nostalgia is a helluva drug.

Steven "I remember when the internet was for the elite....now...." R

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

Steven Raith

Re: Sounds like....

I'm getting flushed just thinking about the implications.

Steven Raith

Sounds like....

....a load of old crap, to me.

I mean, they're taking the piss, right?

Steven "I'm so sorry" R

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

Steven Raith

Re: Alternative interpretation

You'd notice the weight change in a bag should the goats head fall out.

Er, I imagine.


Steven R

A Delta IV Heavy heads for space at last while New Horizons' fumes OK for 'future missions'

Steven Raith

Re: Aerospike

I concur - this is *far* more interesting than the current reusable mid/heavy launchers from a technical standpoint.

Lots of good theory (and early testing) of Aerospike designs, but not much practical stuff that I'm aware of. Hopefully it'll be all kinds of cool.

Steven R

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Steven Raith

Re: I say we ...

We can't take off, due to the airspace being at risk from unmonitored small UAVs.

So that's a problem.

Steven 'Obvious joke' R

Introducing 'Happy Quit', where Chinese smokers are text-spammed into nicotine abstinence

Steven Raith

Re: Not much to brag about

" Color me unimpressed, given that nicotine patches, Chantix and such cluster around 25% success at 6 months."

Citation please - I understand it to be closer to 7% for patches, and a bit higher with meds, long term.

Steven R

Brit bomb hoax teen who fantasised about being a notorious hacker cops 3 years in jail

Steven Raith

Nah, more likely he claimed that as 'justification' for his behaviour - claiming insanity, etc; the actual psychologist determined ASD instead.

Basically, however, that doesn't ago him from being a manipulative little shit hawk with a penchant for attention seeking based on his potted history listed by the beak....

Steven R

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

Steven Raith

Re: Hmm.

Ash Vs Evil Dead was cracking good fun.

The, I think, penultimate episode ending musical sting was very good.

Only three series, but all three were very good and worth a watch if you like comedy, gore (lots of gore) and some reasonably atmospheric horror elements - and of course, with Lucy Lawless and Brucey in there, more ham than a pork factory.

Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago were, it must be said, also well matched to the series too.

Better to go a bit early while good than to go on too long and get....well, look at the Simpsons.

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: originals will still be enjoyable

"They should make a new version of Star Wars Holiday Special - I want to see the funny shenanigans of Jar Jar and his family!"

I don't wanna see Jar Jars dad watching the equivalent of cross species porn, though.

(seriously that was one weird sequence in the Holiday Special...)

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: Hmm.

They want to remake Army of Darkness?

I'm not sure how they can do that, given that it's basically a loose story tied around Bruce Campbells ability to do physical comedy, ham it up, and spit out false bravado like it was going out of fashion. The rest of the plot is fine, but is basically an excuse to do some neat practical effects.

Steven R

(army of darkness is genuinely one of my all time favourite films, so I might be biased)

Steven Raith


I'd suggest whomever they polled have never actually seen any of the more recent reboots.

I mean, name one that is anything other than 'better than expected', when 'expected' has become 'utterly godawful' lately.

Steven "it's OK though, the originals will still be enjoyable so don't stress too much" R

Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won't love this

Steven Raith

Linux client for Skype?

Meh, Skype for Linux is pretty much just a window wrapper around the web client version anyway.

It's improved a bit lately but it's still pants.

Steven R

Sorry, Neil Armstrong. Boffins say you may not have been first life-form to set foot on the Moon

Steven Raith

Re: Good!

And it's a ton of fun.

There's a sequel on the way, although it's been delayed till next year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Sky:_The_Coming_Race (sort yer own hyperlinks out)

Thanks for reminding me of that, think I know what I'll be watching tonight.

Steven R


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