* Posts by Anonymous Blowhard

1026 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Mar 2013


Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: governments can always legislate

"Then in the UK, we have RIPA that permits TPTB to demand passwords and keys. A suspect in a murder case has just been jailed for failing to divulge his Facebook password under those powers."

And there you have the problem; what if you actually don't know the password and you don't have a way of getting it? An example could be if you create an encrypted file or directory and then don't use it, so you never learn the password and there's no mechanism to recover it; the police could insist you decrypt it (in case it contains something incriminating) but you actually can't remember. Should you go to jail for life?

Could you also end up in jail if someone else places an encrypted file on one of your devices?

Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: @AndrueC

@Tim 11

Exactly; so we just need to hope that a broadband supplier will see the logic of spending X million pounds (I'm not exactly sure what X is in this case) to bring their own data connection (fibre, microwave, trained owls) to the village and then charge (X million) / (n * 12 * Y) per month for customers to use it (where n is the number of years we want to break even on this and Y is the number of connections we sell).

If we assume a low figure of 1 million to install and operate the connections, and a five year break-even period and 10 customers (a third of the village) then it's only £1,666.67 per month.

I'm sure that the take up of this opportunity by potential investors and customers will be massive.

Or maye the "market" would just determine that there is no market for rural broadband and leave it to the incumbents?

'Unhackable' Bitfi crypto-currency wallet maker will be shocked to find fingernails exist

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: What shoddy design is this?

"It doesn't even incorporate Secure Blockchain[tm]."

Exactly! If they'd securely wrapped it in a block of chain that would have frustrated their much vaunted "fingernails"...

RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Anonymous Blowhard

"If it wasn't for the clangers there would be no button moon. That's how important and revolutionary it was."

And also "Stargate SG1"; the wormhole in SG1 works in exactly the same way as the Clangers' magic top-hat...

Russia to Apple: Kill Telegram crypto-chat – or the App Store gets it

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Meanwhile, over in the UK ...

@ Spacedinvader

Sorry, I thought "Down here" meant "Westminster"...

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Meanwhile, over in the UK ...

"Wow that's a bad way to do things. Down here, the powers that be are planning on simply usurping the commendable laws of mathematics with our local laws."

It's called "Taking Back Control"; the laws of mathematics cannot be above the laws of the UK.

If necessary we will have a referendum so that the lowest common denominator can decide whether we should leave mathematics...

German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way

Anonymous Blowhard

"For my sins in life the Devil will sentence me to an eternity of forever shopping around Ikea."

And an eternity assembling things, only to find a key component is missing...

(Hjell is their new range of flat-packed flaming pits)

NASA demos little nuclear power plant to help find little green men

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Hmm...

I'm worried about who they might have put in charge of safety...

UK's Department of Fun seeks data strategy head – experience not needed

Anonymous Blowhard

The dog in the photograph

looks overqualified; he's using a computer...

'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: I think I speak for everybody when I say...

"This is an epic screw up! I mean, how does that even happen?! "

This reminds me of when National Westminster Bank sent letters to some of its most wealthy customers with the salutation Dear Rich Bastard...

Are meta, self-referential or recursive science-fiction films doomed?

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Wade Owen Watts

"I thought only the Chinese and American women were habitually known by a triple of names."

I thought it was mainly assassins of US Presidents...

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Some assembly required

@Pete 2

This was my thought too; SpaceX could concentrate on making the regular Falcon a man-rated booster for putting a small capsule into LEO. There's already a market for this with ISS missions.

If you want to go further into space you can do an unmanned launch of your deep space vehicle on a heavy or ultra-heavy booster and then send the crew up on your Falcon capsule once you're happy that your Mars vehicle (or whatever) is up there and checked out.

The heavy and ultra-heavy boosters are never going to be as well tested as the regular Falcons, because the market won't support the number of launches needed, so it doesn't make sense to risk crews on them when the overall cost of a modular approach will be less anyway.

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: WTF!


"a shit load of DP" will probably get you barred...

Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: We gents should be so lucky!

"I hope to one day read that sentence in my local newspaper's obituary page."

If you start collecting now, it might still be possible...

Phone-free Microsoft patents Notch-free phone

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: "The Notch was originally pioneered by Dave Hill of Slade"

It's a tribute to Vic and Bob that I'm not entirely sure that the photo in the article isn't actually Dave Hill and Noddy Holder...

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Dates

So is 22nd of July "Pi Approximation Day" in DD/MM countries then?

Edit: turns out it is!

Former Google X bloke's startup unveils 'self flying' electric air taxi

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Waaah!

@ The Man Who Fell To Earth

Up-voted for your very well made points; also for your somewhat relevant handle...

Half the world warned 'Chinese space station will fall on you'

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Does Tiangong-1 contain Chinese steel or aluminum?

I hope it doesn't contain any Uranum or Plutonum...

Copper feel, fibre it ain't: Ads regulator could face court for playing hard and fast with definitions

Anonymous Blowhard

@Jason Bloomberg

Whilst I agree with other comments about it being the overall QoS that consumers want, I totally agree with your comments about the effect on the "genuine fibre" industry; at the moment their message about the technical advantages of "real fibre" is being diluted and confused in the minds of the public by current advertising, many potential customers are probably not even aware of the performance of full fibre connectivity.

Maybe we need a "Campaign for Real Fibre" to get the message clarified?

But if any non-fibre services can match the real-world performance of fibre, we should let them call their product "I Can't Believe It's not Fibre"...

Flight Simulator's DRM fighter nosedives into Chrome's cache

Anonymous Blowhard

"Better warm up the legal department, lawsuits are going to fly"

Maybe they can practise on "Microsoft Lawsuit Simulator" first...

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Have I missed something?

"Hold the lever to keep the switch gear between the two tracks in an attempt to derail the train & thus save everybody."

Should be "Hold the lever to keep the switch gear between the two tracks in an attempt to derail the train & thus kill some, or all, of the people on the train".

Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions

Anonymous Blowhard

I would have guessed serial killer, but that's not work, more of a hobby really...

Should SANs be patched to fix the Spectre and Meltdown bugs? Er ... yes and no

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Of course they're not patching

This does sound like a legitimate use-case for an unpatched x86 system; if you're essentially using it in an appliance, and no third party code is running then it makes no sense to patch it and take the performance hit. If someone is able to run their malware on your SAN operating system, then they probably don't need to use Spectre or Meltdown to get what they want.

Apple agrees to pay £136m in back idiot taxes to UK taxman

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Let me guess ..

Based on this article (total length = 530km and estimated cost of £56 billion), £180 buys 1.7mm of track...

Russia claims it repelled home-grown drone swarm in Syria

Anonymous Blowhard

"They don't need landing wheels for a suicide mission."

Possibly, or it could be an obvious weight saving measure; many commercial miniature UAVs don't have landing wheels. They may even have hoped to recover some of the drones if they'd been successful.

"The lack of metal parts was probably an attempt to avoid radar detection."

Possibly, but equally it's also a weight saving measure, and plastics, composites and wood are a lot easier to work with than metal airframe construction techniques.

Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

Anonymous Blowhard

" judging by MS' "success" of Skydrive branding, we may be looking for some Onebell tomorrow"

I think Bellend is more appropriate...

1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa

Anonymous Blowhard

Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Reaction!

"Lithium, the most reactive metal in the universe, in the same package as oxygen. What could possibly go wrong?"

The risk will depend on the actual chemical compounds that the lithium and oxygen are part of, you can't just make a statement based on the elements (otherwise who would have salt at the dinner table - a tasty mix of poisonous gas and explosive metal eh?)

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Have to say

"Presumably these registrations and safety testing will be accompanied by some nominal fee and the fines for non-compliance will be rather substantial"

But most of the "offenders" won't have the money to pay the fines and so there won't be any money in this for government, as usual it will cost more tax-payers money to enforce than it will make in revenue, especially if they end up damaging the market and losing VAT on the lost sales.

The motivations seem a bit unclear, maybe they just want to have a monopoly on peering over garden fences...

UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Tax Laws

According to this, it's two - but Britain isn't one of them...

Investigatory Powers Act: You're not being paranoid. UK.gov really is watching you

Anonymous Blowhard

"Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that collecting our communications is a serious intrusion that can only be justified to investigate serious crime."

So it will all be legal on March 29, 2019; seems like "taking back control" means taking total control...

Quentin Tarantino in talks to make Star Trek movie

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Well Discovery has the occasional swearing

"Pass me my phaser. It's the one with bad mother------ written on it".


As in "Phaser, the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively, got to kill every motherfucker in the room; accept no substitutes"...

Why does no one want to invest in full fibre broadband, wails UK.gov

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: @ Anonymous Blowhard


I meant to add that the likelihood is that, for the country as a whole, the ROI is positive. But the ROI will be hugely positive for some areas and hugely negative for others, so private investment wants only to do the profitable bits.

Like other national infrastructure projects (e.g. the armed forces) we spread the bill amongst tax payers on the basis that they will all, in theory, benefit from the investment.

If we see broadband as a national imperative, with benefits across multiple sectors (employment, commerce, education etc.) then we have to invest as a nation, trying to create a false market economy in this area has achieved nothing; for most of us there is still only one physical broadband connection (BT copper) and all we have managed to do is give consumers a choice companies they can pay for using it.

Anonymous Blowhard

@ Commswonk

I take your point about consumers being forced to subsidise infrastructure, but the supermarket analogy doesn't really apply; when it comes to supermarkets you do have the choice of driving further to get to the type of supermarket you want.

At the moment the problem is that, for the majority of the UK, there is no commercial incentive to roll out fibre. It's a bit like there's no commercial incentive for private companies to build toll roads to villages; the costs are so high that you would never get a viable user base to pay it off faster than the interest on the capital investment accrues.

So it has to be seen as a national infrastructure project, and the government has to decide whether it's willing to fund this out of taxes; maybe it could be presented alongside HS2 or future airport expansion to see which gives the country a better economic outcome?

Trying to create a "market" for this to attract private investment has been a failing policy since Margaret Thatcher cancelled BT's project in 1990.

UK spy court ruled immune from judicial review – for now

Anonymous Blowhard

The problem is they called themselves "Privacy International", which means they're something to do with foreigners! If they'd called themselves "UK Privacy" or "Privacy England" then GCHQ would have realised they're a British organisation, who are only going about their lawful business, and left them alone...

EU: No encryption backdoors but, eh, let's help each other crack that crypto, oui? Ja?

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: The utter fools

"I would like to see some numbers showing the proportion of crimes where the crims have been shown to use encryption."

I'd like to see some numbers showing the number of violent crimes where the criminals would NOT have been able to commit the crime WITHOUT encryption.

I suspect it will be a small number, probably pretty close to zero, and should indicate how pointless the whole anti-encryption argument is in preventing real crime (as opposed to thought crime) and improving public safety (we're pretty safe already I think).

Top of the radio charts: Jodrell Bank goes for UNESCO World Heritage status

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Quasers?

"A quaser is a cross between a quasar and a Quaver"

So a crunchy snack with an energy output equivalent to millions of stars?

Whose drone is that? DJI unveils UAV traffic tracking system

Anonymous Blowhard

@ SkippyBing

I think the cost issue will be important for owners; the proposed system looks like it is just a software upgrade for many existing drones, so if some kind of regulation does come in, at least owners will be able to make their current kit compliant without having to pay for the privilege.

It's also a win for the potential regulators; if existing kit can be made compliant then it will be easier for them to work with the industry (drone operators and drone manufacturers) to get this accepted.

1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: How to solve Brexit.

"Being not of the UK, I can't help think that the stuff that you lot make as being overly complicated and not good for purpose (cars etc)"

I think you'll find that a lot of things made in the UK are definitely fit for purpose; like the Mercedes F1 car, made in Brackley, which is powered by a Mercedes engine, made in Brixworth. Some competitor products seem to be a bit less reliable though...

Moon trumps Mars in new US space policy

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: Given the nationalist language used...

Like this one?


After seven-hour operation, the ISS has a new 'hand'

Anonymous Blowhard

"Given the costs involved, this should be designed and operated to last the lifetime of the station, despite the harsh conditions."

Maybe, but most of the engineered products you're familiar with have been through many generations of design, operation and improvement, as well as competing against similar devices; so they are the result of accumulated wisdom on solving a particular problem.

The arm on the ISS is a second generation product (the first was on the Space Shuttle) and the opportunities for inspection and maintenance are pretty limited.

Even if a product is perfect and built to last a lifetime, it can still require replacement if it gets enough abuse from the users...

Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: The Culture

"the main protagonists of the stories end up dead or badly damaged"

That's down to Special Circumstances...

Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Anonymous Blowhard

"The upcoming Space Industry Bill, due for discussion by the House of Lords next week, forms part of that strategy to tighten Blighty's governmental grip on the cosmos"

Obligatory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wntX-a3jSY...

Microsoft shows off Windows 10 Second Li, er, Mixed Reality

Anonymous Blowhard

"Your humble hack found it hard to even listen to his Microsoft handler, who became a disembodied voice once the set was turned on"

This actually sounds like a good feature...

Oracle wants you to drop a log into its cloud, so it can talk security

Anonymous Blowhard

“A Linux log has a different format to an Oracle database log; that’s why it’s so bloody hard for an analyst to go through all these records and figure out what’s going on.”

So Oracle are changing their log format to be the same as Linux? That's completely within Larry's powers, I think; so let's see what happens...

Sole Equifax security worker at fault for failed patch, says former CEO

Anonymous Blowhard

And what about the management team who set up a "system" that would break if one person forgot to do something?

When you have fallible components, like humans, then the systems that include them have to have redundancy (not firing them) and resilience; usually at least two people involved to ensure that the check-lists are followed correctly, maybe a third person to test and sign off the updates. If these things aren't in place it's because the "system" is deemed to be of low importance and not worth spending money on to get it right.

Putting the blame on a single person is just scape-goating of the worst kind.

Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

Anonymous Blowhard


I was just wondering if this was Dyson's "C5 moment"; Sinclair was the poster child of the UK technology sector until then...

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: I'd trust the build quality

"after Brexit we'll need to actually build stuff when the banks head to Paris"

Dyson vacuum cleaners are made in Malaysia, maybe he's got a deal with Proton for manufacturing?

GNOME Foundation backs 'freedom-oriented' smartphone

Anonymous Blowhard

We don't need more hardware!

I think the problem they're trying to solve "phones free from corporate control" isn't going to be solved by hardware; as others have posted, it's just too expensive to develop and market a phone, and the list of would-be phone makers gets longer every year.

Linux succeeded because it didn't try to sell you a new computer, instead it made it possible to free existing hardware from proprietary operating systems, often giving them better performance than the original software. As Linux became more accepted, some manufacturers even started offering it as a supported OS.

What I'd like is a phone operating system that I can install on existing hardware (get rid of Bixby on my S8+ for a start!). Obviously this is not an easy trick, and there are some issues with getting around built-in blocks that manufacturers put into phones, but having something that could be installed on old iPhones or Samsung Galaxy 6s would allow the project to get started and make it possible for developers all over the world to contribute - just like Linux.

Tying the software to a specific hardware platform will just make it a short lived, niche product.

You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

Anonymous Blowhard

Re: It's cheaper,

"But what if I hire one of these "Bad Hombres" I keep hearing about?"

I think you'll find they're the best kind of deterrent against intruders...