* Posts by drand

126 posts • joined 15 Nov 2012


84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement



I'm sure I'm less expert than the 'expert witness' quoted, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the one firing that gun if it had undergone just a few days' cleaning after so may decades of rusting away.

United, Mesa airlines order 200 electric 19-seater planes for short-hop flights


Re: The elephant on the plane

I don't know how many electrons there were, but I counted them all out and counted them all in again.

US Air Force announces plan to assassinate molluscs with hypersonic missile


Keeping schtum

"The Register has asked the affected species for comment, but none has yet been forthcoming."

Seems they've clammed up.

This article is just to provoke the puns, no?

Just when everyone thought things might be looking up, Dido Harding admits interest in top job at NHS England


Re: Not to self

Good idea, but that would rely on this government having not fucked up the rail network.

Infrastructure SNAFU results in French public being unable to contact emergency services


Re: 112 in all of Europe? No, not all of Europe...

Depends what you mean by Europe: EU members & ex-members, EEA, continental land mass.

While I'm at it, the French predilection for expressing phone numbers in groups of two does my head in. It's like storing bytes in 32-bit words.

The server is down, money is not being made, and you want me to fix what?


Re: Dark Monitor

Never be sorry for being a pedant!

Nvidia nerfs RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti GPUs to shoo away Ethereum miners


I sympathise with individuals like the first poster's daughter who need a decent card for study, and have no truck with miners wasting electricity and bots scalping new stock. But the rest of you, stop chasing frame rates and play the bloody games!

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Boeing successfully flies unmanned autonomous military 'wingman' aircraft that may become pilot's buddy


Re: "a human pilot in the lead"

Now they're on your six, Charlie.

You can drive a car with your feet, you can operate a sewing machine with your feet. Same goes for computers obviously


Re: Foot pedal


Do you use a Dictaphone?

No, I use my finger like everyone else.

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


Shitz 'n' gigglez

I'm not convinced there is any nefarious motive grander than making the UK government look even more like chumps, and sitting back and watching the flapping about whilst sipping a chilled Smirnoff Black. It's good value for little effort, compared to creating or exposing a new, sophisticated virus. Either way, not a good look.

Back to the office with you: 'Perhaps 5 days is too much family time' – Workday CEO


Oh, I thought the punchline was going to be "...so I went back to the office and left my husband at home." I can imagine certain people not all that far from where I'm typing this expressing similar sentiments.

Where's the mysterious metal monolith today then? Oh look, it's atop a California mountain


Re: Destroy them!!!

And of course our new overlords will arrive in the Little Chefs, all built on intersecting lay lines.

Frenchman who wanted to 'smash a guy's face in' fined €135 – despite correctly filling out paperwork stating why he left home during lockdown


Re: Bore-out compensation

We call it the mushroom farm.

Keep them in the dark and feed them shit.

Billionaire's Pagani Pa-gone-i after teen son takes hypercar out for a drive, trashes it


Re: When you think about the cost of this car ...

Both perfectly reasonable viewpoints, but I'd say more important than both is "teach one's children to not be dicks".

Test tube babies: Virgin Hyperloop pops pair of staffers in a pod, shoots them along 500m vacuum tunnel


Re: A curious thing...

Correct. Most vehicles, even 'sporty' ones, produce some lift at speed. Anything more than a couple of fat blokes' worth of downforce puts more load on the tyres, increases steering effort, changes suspension geometry and all sorts of undesirable things, unless the vehicle as a whole has been designed around this.

A device designed to add downforce is a wing. Spoilers are not meant to produce downforce (although they can as a by-product of their operation). They literally spoil the airflow coming off a surface in some way to reduce drag - e.g. preventing it going under the floor at the front, or presenting a shallower transition over the roof to the rear.

Samsung to introduce automatic call blocking on Android 11-capable flagships


Let me help you with that...

If it could divert spam calls to a convincing but foul-mouthed AI bot, then they might be on to something.

The vid-confs drinking game: Down a shot of brandy every time someone titters 'Sorry, I was on mute'


Re: Me and the wife have a problem....

Drink it! Hops fade fast. Willing to help.

G'day mate, I'll take two tinnies, a packet of Tim Tams, some Vegemite, and a bork


I've never known an Australian buy just the two tinnies either. Presumably they're for drinking while deciding how may 24-packs he can get through.

Second lockdown? Perfect time to unveil Teams Breakout rooms and another ginormitor – the 85-inch Surface Hub 2S


Christ Almighty

These goons are trying to make working from home even more bloody awful than actually going in to the office during a pandemic. Someone lock them and their stupid ideas away until this is all over.

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN


Re: mea culpa - always check compatibility

Good on you for having a go though!


Re: took his hammer and smashed it to very tiny pieces

The latter one being the Precision Alignment Device often required when installing kit. I like to leave mine on display when the grown-ups do a walkaround in the hope they'll ask what it's for. I can picture the horrified looks on their faces...

Pay ransomware crooks, or restore the network? Guess which way this city chose after weighing up the costs


Re: I wonder if...

Whoever said crime doesn't pay needs to get with 2020. Not a week goes by without a sorry tale of someone paying up to the fuckers, and an order of magnitude more must go unreported.

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures


Oh I am having that one.

(Which is a measure of its awfulness)

Oppo Find X2 Neo: We're not getting any slimmer through lockdown, but phones are


Some phones are better than others at being phones.

I mean, I haven't sampled that many phones, but the difference between my own phone (Moto G something) and my wife's (Honor something) of the same recent vintage is quite marked - mine drops in and out and the loudspeaker volume (in holding-it-to-your ear mode) is low enough I have to attach a set of earbuds in order to hold a conversation against background noise. The Honor, making a call from the same spot, is always clear and the connection is solid.

When I get a new phone it will probably be the same model as a friend, so I can audition theirs and check the call quality.

Lizards for lunch? Crazy tech? Aliens?! Dana Dash: First Girl on the Moon is perfect for the little boffin-to-be in your life

Thumb Up

Another one for the list

Thank you to the Vulturette for the review. I will add this to the list of school holiday reading. With libraries closed the book bill for two young readers is getting steep, but good books are always a worthwhile investment.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series


Fast charging

Reasonable idea on the grounds of cutting waste, in the established markets at least. But we really need to settle on a family of backwards/forwards compatible fast-charging standards between chip manufacturers too. I'd be happy to have the charger unbundled and buy one with #ports/power output to suit my needs, IF I had some confidence it would fast-charge all my kit. It doesn't need to be as difficult as it is - looking at you, Planet Gemini. Oh and headphones, they go straight in the electronics recycling. I've never had a pair that came with a phone that weren't terribly uncomfortable.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?


No ta

I must say ever since I stopped for a cream tea (Cornish implementation) on a bike ride in the Forest of Dean and was violently sick afterwards after giving it some welly up the hills, I haven't been able to eat one since. This was about ten years ago. So I'll just have the chocolate cake please.

* I know this wasn't the fault of the scone-rhymes-with-stone, but still.

Things that make you go foom: Destruction derby as NASA and SpaceX test rocket components to failure


I know this one

"While Musk has yet to confirm how well the repairs performed and the pressure at which the failure occurred, it is unlikely that some duct tape will repair the damage this time around"

In that case, they aren't using enough duct tape!

The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption


It's not what cheese you eat...

… but that you eat cheese. Feast well and sweet dreams people.

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft


Re: The video

How about an enormous elastic band?

Realme's X50m is a decently specced 5G phone – for the price of a 1995 Nissan Micra


Re: The thing about a 1995 Nissan Micra is...

This is sadly true, and the only real negative about them other than front crossmembers rusting! The ones that get taken banger racing are the 1-litre cars (the thing to have now that 998 A-series minis are super-rare). There are not many 1.3 cars left either as they sold less when new. I love mine. It does the occasional commute when I'm not cycling, takes the kids to extra-curricular activities, and I go rallying with it at weekends and it's bloody competitive in the 1400cc class, 25 years old or not.

British Army adopts WhatsApp for formal orders as coronavirus isolation kicks in


Re: So Facebook is in command of the British Army

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Come kneel with us at UK's Cathedral, er, Oil Rig of the Canal: Engineering masterpiece Anderton Boat Lift

Thumb Up

Hurrah for the ABL

I grew up not far from here (Barnton) and the ABL and the rise and fall of industry around the Weaver and Trent & Mersey were a staple of school projects and trips for pretty much every subject. I remember visiting in the mid-eighties and the lift was in a bit of a state but still glorious and inspiring. There was, and still is, a lot of local pride vested in it.

There is also a lovely walk (if the rose tint has not grown too strong) west along the bucolic Weaver valley - all the way to the M56 if you like, which isn't so pretty - through Dutton locks and viaduct, and the old Weaver meanders around Pickering's Cut, where we used to play on the ice in severe winters (until I fell through and my Dad gave me a right bollocking).

Great article El Reg. I shall be reminiscing all afternoon.

Can AI-enhanced virtual sports presenters do the job? It's a big ask


Re: To be fair...

I love the idea but I wish these systems didn't insist on 'needing' a cloud infrastructure.

Yes, I know that's where the value lies for the vendors, but it's bloody irritating all the same.

Microsoft brings the pane: You'll be looking at Xamarin and React Native to design apps for dual-screen gizmos


Re: Fuck ... off ...

was it... Microsoft?

Intel teases NUC-leheads with new desktop-class graphics systems and a fast i9 CPU


Re: Displacement??

As the old saying goes, there's no replacement for displacement volumetric efficiency.

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing


Re: Shaken

No. A can is as close as you can get to a mini cask and is better than anything else for keeping one serving of beer in optimum condition. Just because crap lager comes in cans doesn't mean everything in a can is rubbish. There are many fine ales and craft beers available in cans at your local proper drinking establishment that provide quality and choice when a whole cask isn't economically or logistically viable.

Tesla has a smashing weekend: Model 3 on Autopilot whacks cop cars, Elon's Cybertruck demolishes part of LA


Absolute bastards

I thought of laser windscreen wipers when I was ten. I drew a picture of them on a car to enter a Ford design competition (I think it was for a new small coupe which went on to become the Puma). Wish I'd kept a copy. I think McLaren have recently released details of a car with an alternative to wipers for clearing the front screen (might be a track-only car).

Motorola's mid-range One Hyper packs 64MP cam, huge screen and – ooo – 'Quad Pixel' tech


Still here Moto

MyG5 is still doing the business. When it eventually has to be replaced I will miss the fingerprint reader navigation (the single biggest improvement in Android usability, for me) and the fact it's just about pocketable and operable with one of my small, girly hands.

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


Re: Jesus wept

But an aspect ratio of 16:5 would be really narrow top to bottom. You'd have to stack one on top of another to get it to look right.

Teardown gurus plunge screwdrivers into Google Pixel 4XL: Check out the speedy display from, er, Samsung


Seems like the iFixit article is chiding Google for using a Samsung screen; this seems a bit harsh given that they are a systems integrator mixed with a little bit of their own stuff.

Former BAE Systems contractor charged with 'damaging disclosure' of UK defence secrets


Re: ??

It is newsworthy because it rarely happens. There are around one or two prosecutions like this per year come to trial under the official secrets act. The fact that a lot of the substance can't be reported tells you something about the gravity of the allegations (subject to whether the authorities have over-classified the pertinent information). It might not make for much of an article but that doesn't mean it's not worth publishing.

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked


You're holding it wrong.

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me


Allez, Marcel!

Allez, Marcel, grab your hi-viz vest and pitchfork, let's head to the town hall for an afternoon of impotent irrational shouting and incongruous vehicle pyromania!

Why I both love and loathe France and the French. infuriatingly but also admirably bonkers.

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then


Re: Santander

EE do this too - weren't interested when I complained that any and every droid had access to user accounts and passwords.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


Re: pet peeve

Ooh, me too! also "everyday"/"every day".


Re: Walk like an...

I went to Egypt and it was brilliant. I saw lots of funny little pictures carved into stone and painted on walls. I also enjoyed the mummified crocodiles. But I never saw their ancient TFT screens.

Fairphone 3 stripped to the modular essentials: Glue? What glue?


A commendable effort

Shows what can be done. I think it's a little unfair to criticise on the basis that the processor can't be swapped - the pin pitch on those things in tiny and needs specialist kit and skills to replace. The module level is a sensible bottom line for serviceability.

The bigger question I think is the availability of parts two, three or five years down the road.

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words


Coffee without milk?!

Otherwise known as "Coffee". If you want to spoil it, you can ask for "coffee with milk". Same applies to tea I suppose (though if I wanted to gum my mouth up with tannin I'd rather have a bottle of Barolo).



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