* Posts by Blergh

77 posts • joined 5 Sep 2012


Apple's at it again: Things go pear-shaped for meal planner app after iGiant opposes logo


"Applicant's Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf"

IMO If they tried to redesign their logo without the leaf it could very easily start to look a bit phallic. I suppose, unless it then became a chopped up pear (ouch!)

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Light-powered nanocardboard robots dancing in the Martian sky searching for alien life



It doesn't sound very environmentally friendly

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin


But equally there is the possibility that they haven't been counting enough deaths.


"Gori said there had been 164 deaths in his town in the first two weeks of March this year, of which 31 were attributed to the coronavirus. That compares with 56 deaths over the same period last year."

NASA to launch 247 petabytes of data into AWS – but forgot about eye-watering cloudy egress costs before lift-off


Just charge the users

Ok the users might not be too happy to be incurring a new cost but presumably spread out among all the users it might not be so expensive for each of them. This is assuming ti is possible to set up a system to pass on these costs.

Hey, friends. We know it's a crazy time for the economy, but don't forget to enable 2FA for payments by Saturday


I hate SMS 2FA

I don't dislike SMS 2FA because it's insecure, although that obviously isn't great. The reason I hate it is that when I went to buy something on Saturday it took multiple attempts on 3 different cards before I actually received the SMS message for the transaction. I had a signal good enough to phone one of the helpdesks so I don't think that was the issue, it's just a rubbish system.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


Re: Sigh.

In the UK driving test you need to make reasonable progress and will be marked down if you are not driving up to the speed limit. And this means near the speed limit not at a speed significantly lower than that. I wonder if you might just about get away with 25mph but I would personally expect a fail for anything slower if there are no hazards about.


Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard


We should just all use SCART

I perfectly understand the push for a common standard and when there was 40+ different connectors that was just silly. However an enforced standard would stifle innovation and we wouldn't have any USB-C connectors on mobiles because we'd all be stuck with the USB-micro connectors forever (after all that did become the defacto standard). I don't think it's a terrible hardship to have a couple of different connectors and a very small amount of variety in the ecosystem.

I personally have an old Android with a USB-micro connector and therefore when I do upgrade I'll no doubt need a new cable anyway.

A fine host for a Raspberry Pi: The Register rakes a talon over the NexDock 2


Re: Why some people keep on reinventing the ill-fated Palm Foleo?

"I can *sort of * see a use case whereby you buy 2 of these - one for the office and one for when you're working at home."

But even if this was the case why would you want it in a laptop form factor. If this was my use case I'd want a proper keyboard, mouse, and big ass monitor sitting at both sites. Not a laptop.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?


Re: Not mains but wiring just the same

I'm not sure if I'd be able to get it up with a po-faced Police Constable locked in the room with me, but I suppose uniforms do it for some people.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket


Timing vs Speed

What will probably end up happening, instead of changing the yellow light timing, is that the speed limit will just get reduced to fit to the new formula.

Careful now, UK court ruling says email signature blocks can sign binding contracts


"Looked at objectively, the presence of the name indicates a clear intention to associate oneself with the email – to authenticate it or to sign it."

I'd have thought the fact the email was sent from a person's email address associates that person with the email - even without the courtesy sign off.

Anyway should email not be classed as something like a recorded verbal agreement?

Every dog has its day – and this one belongs to Boston Dynamic's four-legged good boy Spot


But is there a spot for that? i.e. have another spot for changing spot batteries.

I've no idea who changes the second spot's batteries though and I suppose hope the battery is less than 14kg

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper


Universal store card

All of the above problems plus the bother of spelling out an email address at the till.

Just a spur or the moment thought...

Could some sort of independent and universal store card work? Whoever ran it would end up having a mountain of your data, but maybe the receipts could be encrypted in two forms, first so only you can see it and secondly by the store account so they can see it (or is that even needed?).

Maybe something like Lastpass, or whatever, but for receipts and comes with a physical card (or contactless) which can be bopped after, or somehow with, your payment.

Or maybe it would be easier to somehow combine the full receipt with the transaction to your card provider.

I don't suppose this gets past the security guy problem, unless there's an easy system to call up your receipt from just another contactless swipe at the store.

In the bag: Serco 'delighted' to grab £450m ferry and freight deal between Scotland and Northern Isles


Calmac has never operated this route, and before Northlink/Serco it was P&O.

Poor old Jupiter has had a rough childhood after getting a massive hit from a mega-Earth



They are nearly correct Jupiter was previously a rocky planet and even had intelligent beings. However those beings got a bit too clever for their own boots and their weapons a bit too powerful, and it just didn't end very well at all.

Thunderbolts and lightning very, very frightening as loo shatters, embedding porcelain shards in wall


Re: Cloud Processing

If you don't put too many chemicals down the drain then you don't actually ever need to pump it out. My parents built their house with one 22 years ago and it is still doing fine without any intervention or smell, but they did give it a good starter with a old rotten sheep carcass and I don't suppose most people bother with that.

Internet industry freaks out over proposed unlimited price hikes on .org domain names


Domain names are all pointless

I'm not sure I've ever seen the point in this whole bun fight for domain names, after all they are just a dictionary for an IP address, and often the typical user just does a Google search for the company they are looking for and then clicks on the first link. The domain of this link could be a random string of letters and they would still click on it.

What we need is a new hyper-domain registrar that will simply be another layer of lookups on top of the existing one.

e.g. If someone wants The Register they do a request for it from the new hyper-domain registrar who check it's dictionary and find it lives at the domain qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm.whocares and redirects to that, whereupon the current system takes over. All the user would see in the address bar is the logo for The Register and then everything in the URL after the domain name. I'm quite sure all the Browsers will jump at the chance to support this wonderful new protocol I just made up.

Ok sure maybe there are some security implications to my new system, but the whole domain name system is just so 1985 and is starting to feel like some sort of corrupt fleecing exercise.

Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn


Well obviously

Well surely everyone knows that it was when Earth's second moon collided with Saturn and pushed it out to a much further orbit that both Saturn's rings were created and the dinosaurs got wiped out. They died from sadness that their favourite food no longer existed; the flying velociraptor which did daily commutes between the second moon and Earth (daily as in lunar days because it was quite far).

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!


The only sensible use case

Presumably the only sensible use case is to merge this with the recent fake celebrity videos we've heard so much about. Although just how much talking was in the originals I've no idea - I don't think talking was the point of those videos.

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate


State-funded vs Corporate-funded propaganda

It's all propaganda no matter what the model.

Personally I do probably align more with the BBC type biases than those from any of the other providers. However I do think the funding model and content delivery needs to be modernised. I always expected iPlayer to turn out more like what Netflix is now, but after 10+ years it just hasn't moved on all that much and is still just viewed as a catch-up service rather than a one-stop shop for all your viewing.

Driverless cars will make more traffic, say transport boffins


Is the idea not for taxis to be cheaper?

With autonomous cars taxis could become much cheaper, thereby meaning the occasional user can get rid of their car. Commutes could also start to be covered, perhaps on a subscription model. Anyway either way there are still just as many journeys, maybe even more, the only difference is that it is covered by less vehicles. The only reduction in volume is when it might be easier to set up a cab sharing, maybe for a 30% discount and 10min longer route.

Sofa-jockeys given crack at virtual Formula 1 world championship


I might not mind so much if they were sat in actual simulators. However watching someone sat motionless button bashing just takes the heart out of it all. I want to see them physically doing something more than finger dexterity.

Are Asimov's laws enough to stop AI stomping humanity?


Human Laws

How about the AI just has to obey all human laws of the country it is currently in as if it was a human?

Of course I can then think of some loopholes which could be created by nefarious regimes, but why bother with specific AI laws. Is fraud suddenly ok for an AI because it isn't one of the Asimov Laws?

After reusing a rocket, SpaceX tries reusing Dragon capsule for ISS resupply


Is there ever not a delay?

It seems to me that there is always a delay to sending one of these rockets up. Is there ever not a delay or are they only reported on if there is a delay?

Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled



Oh dear I can't advertise on Google. How else can I advertise with Google? I know I'll sue them for a ludicrous amount and then all the media will advertise my product for me. Yay!

(I've no idea what the legal bills are for such a method but maybe it works)

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers


Project Valerie

I really liked the project Valerie laptop. However I think it would only really be of use if it unfolded again (vertically) and presented me with 6 screens. If it did that, then I'd buy it!

View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income


@Simon Hobson

I do agree with Simon Hobson about income tax also having to change but I assume it would be something like a 50% flat tax on all income (after all the UBI is now the personal allowance).

£5k/year -> £10k UBI + £2.5k = £12.5k/year

£15k/year -> £10k UBI + £7.5k = £17.5k/year

£25k/year -> £10k UBI + £12.5k = £22.5k/year

£100k/year -> £10k UBI + £50k = £60k/year

I would also assume the UBI replaces the state pension but I don't know if that is in the plan.

Brits think broadband more important than mobes, cars or savings


Broadband or Foot?

I was asked last night by my 7 year old if I'd rather lose broadband or my foot. After only a little bit of discussion we both agreed that we'd lose the foot!

Karhoo who? Uber challenger shuts down after burning through $250m


I suspect the main reason Uber has been so successful is because it gets so much free advertising by always being in the news. I don't think I've ever heard of Karhoo, so they obviously just weren't being disruptive enough. If all that cash spent on marketing it wasn't spent very well.

Twitterstorm erupts over suspected murder of record-breaking earthworm


That's not proper units!

What is wrong with this world?

That should be written as 2.8571 Linguine


Topless in-car selfie attempt climaxes with rear-end bonking


If it helps

Well on the the BBC website it did mention that her airbags were deployed, sorry I meant the car's airbags were deployed.

Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode



"both safe to use and capable of retaining 99 per cent of its initial capacity even after “1,000 bends with a radius of 25mm, or after twisted 1,000 times with an angle ±25°/100mm”.

And what about if you snap it in half and then put it in a washing machine?

QLC flash is tricky stuff to make and use, so here's a primer


So can the cells simply degrade from QLC to a TLC and then down to a MLC and finally SLC with the controller somehow knowing what the cell is capable of?

I suppose it might not be that simple.

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO


Re: Copper

I really don't understand your argument here. Line rental is line rental it really doesn't matter if it is fibre or copper it is still a line rental (or whatever name they could rebrand it as). Also the reason for having to take the landline is due to the Universal Service Obligation, which VOIP doesn't cover if there was a power cut.

Personally I've been happy they have gone for FTTC first, because FTTP would have taken 48 years to dig all the trenches and I would currently have an estimated date of 2040 for an upgrade from 3Mb.

Middle-aged US bloke pleads guilty to iCloud celeb nude photo hack


Obligatory XKCD

But did he get one of these first?


UCLA shooter: I killed my prof over code theft


Well I assume in this case the student was working on code for his PhD under guidance of his Prof and being paid for by whoever created the PhD place. The work is therefore owned by the University/Whoever paid for the PhD. It doesn't matter if it was the student's original ideas, on related work, or stuff he was set by his Prof. Only if the code was wholly unrelated to his PhD is there a grey line as to who owns it.

Facebook was created in Zuckerbergs spare time and not as part of a research project. The work I do for my company is rightfully owned by the company, not me.

Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020


Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020

I was going to say well duh that is so far away I'd be surprised if there was any disk left. But then I realised it is only 4 years away and not the 14+ years my initial assumption thought it was.

When did 2020 stop being some mythical time so far into the future that it might never happen?

UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London


What is the data source of these tests?

I don't think it was clear what was the source of these figures. It sounded like that it was from Uswitches broadband speed tests. I'm quite sure the test is accurate enough but what about the sample of people who use it?

From a personal stand point I've now got FTTC broadband and I have only once checked to see what the speed was, since then I've not had the need because it is fast enough for everything I want. However previously when I was just on ADSL I was checking whenever I suspected my connection was being abnormally slow.

Therefore could it be that the sample is likely to be skewed towards those who have slower broadband speeds? Maybe they've adjusted for this, but it wasn't clear if that was the case.

Storage-class memory just got big – 256Mbit big, at least


Hybrid drive?

Could this be used as a MRAM+SSD hybrid drive, or maybe even HDD+SSD+MRAM Hybrid? I've no idea if that would work or be worth it, but maybe some combination would be useful.

NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails



Persumably they would need to make sure this laser doesn't accidentally target any satellites that might be in the way. Actually on second thoughts does a laser of that power have the ability to fry space debris? If so it would give it something to do while there was nobody heading out to mars.

Ooh oh... how far is it to the nearest other solar system? About 4 light years? If we can send a satellite at 0.3 the speed of light it shouldn't take too long to go and have a proper look. I'm assuming that once it's up to speed then you stop with the laser.

Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map


Map for The Martian

That section of Mars is the same part used in the book "The Martian" and covers area used on his road trip.

GCHQ Christmas Card asks YOU the questions


Morse code

I've just noticed that the tiles that are already shaded spell GCHQ in morse code.

Nice touch but probably useless to the puzzle. Unless it is a clue for the next stage.


Re: Actually

Well it took me 1hr with just a pen. Admittedly a bit slower computationally but cheaper.

However I now can't be bothered tidying up my workings to get it looking good enough to be read as a QR code.

Boffins teach cars to listen for the sound of a wet road


Funny that. This morning, on the way to work, I was thinking about just the same thing, self-driving cars on icy roads. I supposed all the current testing is done in California where the weather is pretty good all year around and therefore the cars don't get practice in different conditions. It would be a bit rubbish if the car just decides it won't drive if the temperature goes below 3C. I guess the long term goal would be for a self driving cars to be better at driving than any human, including rally drivers on an ice stage. Now that would be a commute!

Time Lords set for three-week battle over leap seconds


Re: Why stop there?

I think it would be much easier to work with base 12 or 16 if they just created some new numbers for 11 to 15. Using letters A-F is a terrible way of doing it and too confusing because I already have a relationship to those letters in the alphabet. They need their own shapes and names.

Heroic German rozzers rescue innocent lamb from sordid brothel


Her name is Mary

"The woman, who has not been named, could defend herself by claiming the lamb followed her to the brothel"

'Right to be forgotten' festers as ICO and Google come to blows



I don't think Google has been a bit naughty in a quarter of cases. It is only the case for those complaints. It may be 48 out of 183 complaints, but that is probably only 48 out of the thousands of requests Google has had (apparently at least 250,000 in all of EU). Show me the real numbers!

e.g. If I had 1 million clients (or whatever) and I handled 1 wrong, they complain and it's seen I've messed it up, this does not mean that I've messed up 100% of cases! It actually means I'm correct 99.9999% of the time.

Does your broadband feel faster? Akamai says it went up 20 per cent*


Yes it is faster*

* from tomorrow

BT have got their finger out and upgraded my cabinet to infinity! I'm getting moved over tomorrow so I should have a jump from 4mb to 40mb. And yes of course who knows what I'll actually end up with, but since it is my only option I'll be happy if it works.

Actually I'm not so bothered about the download speeds going up. It's the upload speed increase from 0.3mb to 10mb that I'm looking forward to, that will make working from home much easier.

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK



I'd be more impressed if they managed to do it without any ports at all.

iBank: RBS, NatWest first UK banks to allow Apple Touch ID logins


40x a month

"RBS and NatWest have 1.8 million active iPhone users who use the app on average 40 times per month."

So that's not just up to 40x a month but an average? What the hell are they doing with it?

Or did I get that wrong and it isn't 1.8m each using it 40 times, but just that of those 1.8m with the app it is used on average a total of 40 times a month.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020