* Posts by alexmcm

76 posts • joined 28 Jan 2013


What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall


You can buy $10K worth of options to buy share X at a certain price in the future. If share X goes above that price, you would exercise the option and take the profit. If it doesn't go above the exercise price, you wouldn't exercise the option and you lose your $10K. Your loses aren't limitless, they are limited to the amount you bought of the option.

Breaking up big tech can make smartphones interesting again


Re: Meh

I think if a battery technoology were discovered that significantly extended the lifespan of batteries, it would be suppressed by the smartphone industry. Can you imagine the hit to the bottom line for Apple or Samsung if the glued in and hardwired battery in your phone worked to 90% of capacity 10 years later. They would have to find some other method you convince you to buy a new phone, like intentionally slowing the phone after a few years.


Re: I only use a fraction of the functionality of my current phone

You don't need to pay anything to remap the bixby button. In the settings just change the 'launch bixby' action to be 2 presses of the bixby button, then re-assign the one-press to launch the app of your choice.

If I haven't explained that clearly there a literally hundreds of explanations and youtubes showing how to do it. No app required.

Trump reveals US cyber-attack on Russian election-misdirection troll farms


Re: Which troll farms?

It says in the article. The organisation they attacked is called the "Internet Research Agency", there are plenty of details on the web and a Wiki page about them. Also know as the "Trolls from Olgino".

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump


Re: Give a child the information in the wrong order.

We now know that Trump wasn't at the cabinet meeting before the press conference, and turned up 5 minutes before they went in front of camera. The medical expert quickly told him of the studies findings regarding UV light and heat, and then they went out to face the press. Trump watched the presentation, and then gave his full-on stream of consciousness in front of millions. That is why he is asking the medical experts, live in the press conference, if the BS coming out of his mouth is something they could research.

You've got to wonder, what was he watching on Fox news that kept him from the cabinet meeting?

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy


He is to be applauded for his philanthropic work since stepping in to the background at Microsoft. But having worked at Lotus in the early 90's and watching Microsoft slowly crush Lotus 1-2-3 and Lotus Smartsuite by stealing features and preferring to argue it out in court for years rather than remove the stolen IP from his products, everything he does now is tainted.

I wish him well in his retirement, but can't help wondering how much better the world would have been if the companies like Lotus, Borland, Novell, Digital Research, Netscape and many others had been given a fair go.

Are you getting it? Yes, armageddon it: Mass hysteria takes hold as the Windows 7 axe falls


Re: @The Oncoming Scorn - Ah, Git ...

You mean Arabic numerals.

Did you know 56% of American said they did not want arabic numerals taught in their schools:


Stick with imperial measurements and roman numerals. It is the future.

Apple sues iPhone CPU design ace after he quits to run data-center chip upstart Nuvia


Re: It would be nice

"Legal language aside, the guy worked on his startup while at apple."

I remember a few of the contracts I signed with software companies back in the 90's, when I used to actually read them, said something along the lines of, 'the company has the rights to anything creative I do whilst employed by the company.' I thought at the time they were pushing their luck a bit with that. I mean if I wrote a best seller novel in my spare time, did they expect the rights to that? Or a hit single.

I think the point it was trying to get across was, if did something creatively with a computer, they owned the rights, as they assumed I used the companies resources to at least help create it.

The same would go for this guy. But it will be interesting to see how enforceable it is.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


Re: 48h delivery

Theres something to be said for ordering your desirable item and deliberately choosing the Donkey Express option with no tracking. You then get the days of anticipation and wating, building excitment, and watching the postie pass by each day hoping today will be the day.

This next day delivery with tracking ruins all that.

OneCoin lawyer trial kicks off in NY as cryptocurrency founder remains on the lam


Re: Earned A Precarious Living By Taking In Each Others Laundry

"Coupled with the immense cult-like marketing"

I certainly got the "cult" vibe from reading their website. All the promotion to pay for educational material to get to level 5 and elsewhere more educational material to progress to level 7. And soon you'll be a fully qualified OneForex trader. All sounded very scientologic.

Scare-bnb: Family finds creeper cams hidden in their weekend rental by scanning Wi-Fi


Re: How

I don't know how the guy in the article did it, , maybe wireshark . But you'd be surprised how often you can just login to the router with Admin/Admin or Admin/Password and see what is connecting to it.

Apple bestows first hardware upgrades in years upon neglected iPad Mini and Air lines


Re: Because it works.

I use that phrase when my wife and kids complain that their iPads, or iPhones are playing up. Why would a retired PC engineer guy like me know how to fix an Apple product that "just works".

Oh how they laugh...

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias


Re: Again I have to ask...

I get the paranoia and the downvotes for people using the line 'I've nothing to hide so why worry'. But seriously, we have one of these in the Kitchen. We have kids who wander in and out of the kitchen constantly, we never ever discuss anything private/financial or seditious there where kids could overhear us. All it gets to hear are discussions about food, and the kids day in school or pets or something, all truly boring family chatter.

So if google does spy and find out what we are planning for dinner tomorrow, so be it. They're much more likely to find out interesting stuff about me by watching my online browsing, not ploughing through millions of hours of speech-to-text trying to find one nugget of info.

iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?


Re: The reasons for the iPhone sales slump were threefold

You apparently don't read Private Eye. They know how to flog a joke to death. They still publish a picture of Andrew Neil with an Asian dancer in a vest whenever anyone asks, with a knowing wink... yeah I know, that joke is from the 80's, 90's, the original joke is lost in the mists of time.

I used to know what it was about...

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock


Re: That new HQ

There is a theory that a lot of large companies that fail can trace their downfall back to when they moved in to their fancy new headquarters. It is a mixture of management being way too up themselves and self congratulatory, losing connection with their original base, living in a new corporate bubble with groupthink, wasting shareholders money, new environment stifling innovation etc....

The most recent one that springs to mind is RBS, who moved in to their lovely new $350 million headquarters in Gogarburn in 2006, and we know how they did.


Re: That new HQ

It was Steve Jobs (and Jony Ive's)idea:


"The idea for a new headquarters was conceived by Jobs and Apple's chief designer Jony Ive.[12] Ive was Apple's immediate choice to design the project, going on to work very closely together with Norman Foster across five years, designing every detail, from the glass panels to the elevator buttons."


Re: Didn't know that - which one?

According to the article it affects 3.5 million residents of the UK. Whether they are UK nationals or not, I'd still say it is an important government service.

Flea market Xiaomi makes mad dash for growth


Yeah but...

they do make some brilliant stuff. I have their Amazfit Bip watch and the battery life on that thing is incredible. It only drops about 2% battery charge a day. I have gone over a month without charging it, love it. And from what I've read of the Mi8 and Poco they get great reviews as well.

While you are probably right, and the company are going to burn brightly and then burn out, it is interesting to watch, and hopefully they inspire other companies to get a grip on things like battery life for smartwatches. It is such a relief to go from a Gear Fit 2 (which needed charging every day) to a Amazfit, which needs charging every five or six weeks.

Microsoft gets ready to kill Skype Classic once again: 'This time we mean it'


Hadn't used it in years

And just recently started it up to to try an find an old acquaintances contact details. What the hell have Microsoft done to it. I couldn't find a damn thing for the first 10 minutes, I was hitting senseless buttons and getting led down blind alleys. Eventually found the contacts I was looking for, copied them, and uninstalled it.

Wow, they really trashed what used to be a neat little voip program.

A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy


" I still just grab mobile software from the Pirate Bay. A much more user friendly experience."

I don't like with app stores taking 30%, but seriously, what is user friendly about downloading it from piratebay?

-Get torrent or magnet ink

-Download unverified software.

-Unpack software.

-Scan software.

-Sideload software to phone.

- Install software

Or with an app store

- Tap Install

- Tap Open

I think they do win the user friendly argument. That doesn't mean it's worth 30%.


Re: Agree we need more app stores to improve competition

I hope that was a joke.

Oracle will charge you per core, so good luck if you've got an octa-core phone, that'll be 240% thanks.

Make Sammy Great Again: Surprise – Samsung chucks cash at manufacturing


Re: Flagship just too expensive

I have had the Samsung A3 2017 for the last year and it does admirably. It meets all my criteria, it's not stupidly large (5' I think), it's battery can very comfortably last 1 day, and 2 at a stretch, it can be rooted, takes an microsd card and it is responsive. It cost about $500 AUD ( roughly 300 pounds). I can only think of 1 improvement (a replaceable battery).

The 'flagship' phones all fail more than one of those requirements, and charges 3 times the price for the privilege.

Better late than never: nbn™ DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade starts


Could NBN just please forget about me. I'm on Telstra cable, and perfectly happy with my 130MB download, and 2 MB upload speeds.. Please just piss off, I see you're planning to trash my connection around 2019, but just don't. It is fine, fuck off

Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25


Re: 16MB?

Had 3 weeks' trying to cram a certain UK bank's upgraded DOS front end teller system on their PCs using every trick I could think of. It finally came down to the load order of the different modules. Finally got it to load reliably on every PC.

Gave myself a big pat on the back and was moved on to a different project. I was only told later that they didn't use it, and were instead upgrading to XP. I think they were running out of compatible network cards for their 15 year old branch PCs, and decided to bite the bullet and upgrade the hardware.

You want to know which is the best smartphone this season? Tbh, it's tricky to tell 'em apart


Re: Oops!

That's my phone, and it is great, does everything you'd want from a phone. It also takes pretty good snaps. As I'm not a professional photographer, that is all I need. Stick a 128gb microsb in it, it's also your mobile media centre. Great battery life, usually above still 50% at the end of the day.

If I come in to some money, my next phone would be a Sony compact xyz whatever they call their next small shiny thing, or else the Samsung A3 2019. But can't think of a reason to upgrade yet.

First A380 flown in anger to be broken up for parts


That has put me right off flying

Having just read all the comments on this thread, and then reading up about ETOPS and NEO, sweet jesus, I never realised the risk I was taking flying long haul.

So if I fly a ETOPS-180 certified plane from Sydney to LA, and it's engine bursts into flame over the pacific, then that's ok, it's only 3 hours to go to LA. So I get to sit and watch a a flaming engine for 3 hours until it lands. Can you imagine those 3 hours? Will the fuel explode? Will the engine rip into the it? It's all ok, it is ETOPS-180 certified. Oh look! Here comes the drinks trolley.


Re: A380 is great, so silent inside! Scrap those noise old B747 and B777!!

"Sadly customers do not seem to care about their experience and always choose cheaper one, which happens to be with more denser seating."

It is not like we have a choice! Once you have chosen your start and destination, and the dates to travel, you are lucky if you have more than 2 airline choices. After rejecting the 'I'd never fly with them' airlines, you are usually left with 1 or 2, and they don't even tell you which plane make/type/config you will be flying on.

The first time I know what plane I'm flying on is usually when I go to book my seat online.

nbn™ CEO didn't mean to offend gamers, just brand them unwelcome bandwidth-hogs


Enron anyone?

Made me think of of the excellent idea from Enron of trading in bandwidth from low usage areas to high usage areas. If it's peak time in Sydney, just buy bandwidth from Perth. Problem solved.


Tech’s big lie: Relations between capital and labor don't matter


Re: Where did it go wrong?

Have you not given the answer away in your own first point?

" IT people being both part of a new industry on an upward path, being paid very good money, didn't see that unionised labour was needed"

Correct, we didn't need or want a Union. I started at Lotus on a very nice wage, and no union, and no wish to be in one. I knew the deal. I had a limited lifespan in the industry. I think we all knew that. Some climbed the slippery pole into upper management, but most of us were happy to earn the big money, do the work, and accept, that the time would come when some new 20 somethings would replace us.

That just happened to be me recently, some outsourcing company has replaced me, that's fine. It was depressing doing the handover to a kid fresh out of Uni though.

But I always new I'd done a deal with Mammon, and prepared for it. That's just how the new system works. Take the big bucks and prepare for a shorter working life.

For some reason, you lot love 'em. So here are the many ThinkPads of 2018


Re: L380 Yoga - Goldylocks MacBook Pro with ugly buttons

"keyboard with a cl1t nobody uses"

We always referred to it as the nipple. What a sheltered life I've led....

Facebook's inflection point: Now everyone knows this greedy mass surveillance operation for what it is


Re: People will forget...

"The people who care about such things (currently), are a tiny majority."

Hey even I tiny majority will do. So given they have 2.2 billion accounts, a tiny majority of 1.1 billion +1 people all quiting their accounts will do nicely, for a start.

US Supremes take a look at Microsoft's Irish email slurp battle, and yeah, not a great start


Just one thought I had. It was America that originated the internet infrastructure, and so they still have a 'we own this' attitude. In a sense they're saying, if you don't like it, go build your own internet... dare you.

Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league


"it's the evolution of the piss poor Lotus F1 car that Renault bought a few years ago."

Yep piss poor Lotus F1 team, in the financial sense only. They couldn't afford to keep Raikkonen for the whole of 2014, but in 2013.

Lotus finished 4th in constructors championship 2013, and Raikkonen won in Australia


Then they started running out of money for 2014 and 15 and were bought by Renault. How are Renault/Microsoft doing these days? Last year 9th, this year 7th so far.

Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom


Re: Are you sure?

"Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 11 or later. Apple Watch and iPhone service provider must be the same. Not available with all service providers. Roaming is not available outside your carrier network coverage area. Wireless service plan required for cellular service. Contact your service provider for more details. Check www.apple.com/watch/cellular for participating wireless carriers and eligibility."

You have to read that with the hurried mumbled legal disclaimer voice heard at the end of adverts:

"Available only at participating restaurants, check local media for details. May contain peanuts. Requires iPhone 6 or later."

Commonwealth Bank: Buggy software made us miss money laundering


"Given the Australian addiction to identity checking for almost everything (even worse, IMHO, than the UK"

You are not wrong there. When I first got to Australia 13 years ago, i went to Hardly Normals to buy a digital tv receiver. I was paying cash, and they asked for ID and proof of address. As I didn't have a permanent address yet or utility bills on me, there was a big debate amongst staff whether they could sell it to me.

They did eventually after much discussion. I still hate going to Harvey Normans, even for the simplest thing like an ink cartridge they want all your details.

Smoking hot Galaxy S8 and storage sales fire Samsung to flaming brilliant quarter


Tech company has business model not based of selling adverts shocker

It's getting a bit strange all these companies building huge profits from just selling advertising, e.g. facebook, google, and just about every game app developer. So it's quite refreshing to hear it is possible to make money actually making tangible things, not just pushing adverts in peoples faces. Personally quite tempted to get the Note 7 Fan edition, but just worried about airlines freaking out about allowing Note 7's on board.

And What is the story with game apps pushing adverts, which are usually just for other game apps, which, if you install them, push more adverts for other game apps. I assume they are all paying each other for showing each others ads, but at some point, somehow, they have to actually get money? Is it the one in 10, genuine ad that appears, usually for a car maker or fast food joint. that greases the whole game app to game app advertising model? Or do they make enough from in-app purchases? I don't think so, as they seem way more focused on making you watch ads than in-app purchases.

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)


Re: MENSA = underachiever

"I am sure that there a any number of people with above average intelligence that can also get high results in MENSA tests"

Yeah, about 50% of them.

Photobucket says photo-f**k-it, starts off-site image shakedown


Or do what they did

I remember a photo site that replaced the original image with a picture of a large bosomed topless old drunk women sitting on a park bench. I first saw it on a rather formal forum and had to alert the user that their post now showed said picture instead of what she meant it to show.

Certainly worked, she had changed her old post in an hour.

ZX Spectrum reboot firm slapped with £52k court costs repayment order


Re: Well then

I understand your scepticism, but the Gemini Psion thing looked too good to pass up, so I have gambled on it. The Gemini people send out regular updates, and all seems to be proceeding so far. They have their manufacturer in China lined up, and are passing on the designs to them next week, so they still think they are on schedule for a release this year.

Google offers devs fat bribes, hopes to lure them to its Home


Same here, I couldn't imagine using it. Except I got one for my birthday, and it is now constantly in use by the family in the kitchen as a radio, an argument settler, info center, weather person, calculator, and podcast player. It's one of those things you don't know you need till you get it. Now the kids are wanting one for their bedroom.

Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce


Do you know these people ...Your Wife, Your Brother-in-Law

I was forced to created a linkedin in account about 5 years ago for work. It has the absolute minimum in it, but now I get almost daily e-mails from linkedin telling me that an ex-colleague has endorsed the skill set of another person that I don't know or care about.

And the repeated e-mail asking "do you know <wife's name> <brother-in-laws name> <ex-colleague>?"

Yes, yes, well done. Your annoying algorithm has figured out who my wife and brother-in-law are without us ever contacting via linkedin, but do you have to ask me every week? Or are you just going to keep asking until I crack and scream OF COURSE I F**KING KNOW THEM!

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook


Re: $600

Given that is their RRP, I'm guessing they'll be widely available for $470, which isn't bad for a pocket computer with a real keyboard and phone functionality.


Re: It was the software that made the Psions so great

Those were my thoughts exactly. I don't just want a Psion lookalike running Android, I want the software too, but as there is no mention of them developing Apps for Android what is the deal. Are they going to give it a skin with some bog standard apps from the Google Play store like Jorge Calendar or Evernote. I can't believe they'd just ship it with vanilla Android on it.

BlackBerry's comeback: El Reg gets its claws on the QWERTY KEYone


Re: The last chance saloon

"Apple comes along with a phone that won't last a day, and sells millions of them based purely on the shininess of the product. And now that everyone considers it perfectly normal to have to charge up during the day"

Still remember sitting in my Boss's office after he'd got an original iPhone and he had it plugged in charging *during the day*. I mean wtf, I'm thinking I charge my phone random evenings every few days when I feel like it.

It'll never take off I thought, imagine having to constantly worry about whether your phone is charged. Ha Ha...oh....

The last time El Reg covered IBM Domino we used a chisel


Loved Notes

I bloody loved Lotus Notes, though I think it probably peaked about Notes 4.6, I loved having all the databases on different tabs, the whole thing was a joy to use. I'm not being sarcastic, I thought it was a brilliantly designed system way ahead of it's time, which was only reinforced when my previous employer got rid of it and replaced it with Outlook and a whole load of fiddly, slow web based apps.

I know it's cool to make fun of old software, but Lotus Notes, Lotus Agenda, and Lotus Improv were 3 bloody amazing programs, and look at what the standards are now: Outlook, OneNote and Excel. What an enormous leap backwards.

Leap second scheduled for New Year's Eve 2016


More importantly

What about all those Games I have on my tablet that accuse me of arsing about with the clock on the tablet to fast forward to get tomorrows bonus? Will they think I'm stealthily increasing the clock in 1 second increments now?

Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes


Re: Why the fuck...

I think back in the day they wanted to simplify PCs and make them more like your friendly CD player or DVD player. If you stick a DVD in your player, you expect it to bring up the DVD movie menu, or CD to start playing the music. So they introduced autoplay for CDs and DVDs on PCs as well, so if your home theatre system was a PC it would act like your DVD player.

Then USBs came along to replace CDs and DVDs, same idea, surely you want them to start playing their content without any user intervention. What could possibly go wrong?

Sorry Nanny, e-cigs have 'no serious side-effects' – researchers


Re: Who do regulations protect?

Thanks for the advice, I was never able to find a good guide to nicotine strengths when I first started vaping a few years back. Through trial and error I eventually settled on 18mg nicotine (used to be a pack a day smoker), and as you say, for throat hit, a menthol flavour. Now I'm down to just a crisp clean flavour like Green Apple and 6mg.

I wish there was a good well known trustworthy beginners guide to vaping. That might be seen to be encouraging the kids though,

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party


Re: Not missing much

Bose have very nice bluetooth, noise cancelling headphones that I am sure would work with an iPhone.


Only $500 AUD !

First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history


Another invention

First the Hills Hoist and now Wi-fi. Australians are full of great inventions.



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