* Posts by rcp27

50 posts • joined 17 Apr 2013

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look


Re: Endless recycling

I abide by a very important principle: A place for everything, and everything in its place. One place, for everything.

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene


Re: Ahhh passwords...

place I work cottoned on to -1, -2, -3 suffix incrementation, and added a rule that the final character could not be a number. I had to break out of routine and switch to -a -b -c suffixes instead.

Apple kills iTunes, preps pricey Mac Pro, gives iPad its own OS – plus: That $999 monitor stand


WWDC is a developers conference. The point of the uptake numbers is to highlight to developers that the shiny new features of the latest iteration of the OS are worth making use of because the potential customer base will actually have them. If a developer makes an app that relies on some feature introduced in Android 9, then 90% of the Android user base will not be able to run the app.

The infamous AI gaydar study was repeated – and, no, code can't tell if you're straight or not just from your face


The question is.... WHY

If somebody claims computers can be pointed at photographs and determine characteristics about that person better than humans can, I'd appreciate knowing about it. Equally if somebody claims to have some clever new computer system that can determine things from photographs that humans looking at those photographs, I'd appreciate someone double-checking to see if the claims are BS or not. Just because the characteristic in question is a bit clickbaity is a bit of a side-issue.

FCC: Oh no, deary me. What a shame. Too bad, so sad we can't do net neutrality appeal during the US govt shutdown


Re: Please explain: why do we NEED this so-called "net neutrality" again?

Regulation is needed where you have a market failure. Let's see, wikipedia for Free Market: "Conditions that must exist for unregulated markets to behave as "free markets" are summarized at perfect competition. An absence of any of these perfect competition ideal conditions is a market failure." So let's follow that link to "perfect competition": "There is a set of market conditions which are assumed to prevail ... These conditions include ... A large number of buyers and sellers ... No barriers to entry or exit". Nope, no "perfect competition" there, so no Free Market.

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy


The Only Winning Move is Not to Play

Having gone through a variety of iterations of password policies and security headaches, I have formed the opinion that the problem isn't that there are "good" passwords and "bad" passwords, or "good" password policies" and bad ones. Rather, I have concluded, if the answer is "a username and password", you're probably asking the wrong question. Computers are really good at storing, copying, transmitting and manipulating simple information. Username and password as a means of securing data just isn't appropriate in the present day.

Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes


Re: Being sensible

“I'm arguing against government regulation of what I do in my own house.”

The majority of people in Switzerland live in flats, so neighbour noise is a very significant potential cause for friction. Your freedom to make noise infringes on your neighbour’s freedom to enjoy peace and quiet. The rules on quiet time mean there are times when you are free to make noise even if it pisses off your neighbours, and other times when your neighbour gets to enjoy quiet even if it pisses you off.

“I may not agree with those who would cause all this noise, but I will fight for their right to cause it as long as it doesn't go too far. The fact that the Swiss felt the need to legislate what is too far is what's getting my goat.”

The thing about Switzerland is it has a very strong direct democracy system. These rules don’t come from some council sitting in a smoke filled room, they come from the people. If someone doesn’t like the rules and wants different ones (including no rules), there is an open and straightforward system for them to raise an initiative, gather support and, if sufficient support is forthcoming (in the form of signatures on a petition), put it to a referendum (at local, canton or federal level, as appropriate).

“I live next to a church. If I fancy an early night on a Tuesday, it's impossible due to the campanologists practicing, but that is their right and their hobby so I would never dream complain.”

I live, in Switzerland, next to a church, and the Swiss love their church bells. Thankfully the church is subject to the same rules about quiet time as everyone else. During “quiet time” the church bells stop, just like everyone else’s noise. They are free to jangle their bells during the noisy time, and I am free to sleep without disturbance during quiet time.

National Audit Office report blasts UK.gov's 'muddled' STEM strategy


Market forces?

For my entire career companies have complained about not being able to recruit STEM type people and yet they still seem to think that a position for a graduate engineer deserves half the pay of that for an accountant or lawyer. You would have thought all those economics graduates would understand supply and demand

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


Ready Player One

How can this story make no mention of the impressively 80s-popculture-tastic novel, soon to be released as a film. I was treated to the trailer before watching the new Star Wars, and it was practically the best bit of that cinema trip

Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m


Ask the Canadians...

...what happens when you get a "bargain" recently refurbished ship from the RN.

The day I almost pinned my tushie as a Google Maps landmark


"cheerfully suggested that I share "the story" of my arse with my friends"

Didn't you do that the other week? I'm sure I recall reading the story of MYaaRS

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job


Modern naval warfare is a high tech business. If the ship has lost all the more advanced tech than a flashing lamp and mk1 human eyeball, pretty much the most useful thing it's going to be able to do is return to port for repairs. Beyond ... --- ... I'm not really sure what useful role in a naval warfare environment this bit of legacy kit will offer.

Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane


Six Words

Really, it does, I've tried it. (KXCD 1244)

Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology


Great Article ...

I can share it with all my friends on Google +

Iceland's Pirate Party tops polls ahead of national elections


Re: Pirate Party!

who go Ah-Haah a lot.

I think you might have got pirates confused with Alan Partridge there.

Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer


Phones live in pockets

I think a big reason phones have a faster refresh cycle is that they live in a harsher environment. People are more likely to physically damage their phones through routine use and abuse. Also when a phone battery decays to no longer lasting a whole day people are likely to replace it. As tablets get less frequent use overall and have bigger batteries to start with, battery decay is slower and less noticeable.

Brexit: Leaving the EU could trigger UK science patent law rejig


Re: Aside from these articles being hard to read

"A leave vote means we get to choose. Our own leadership, our own laws, our own choices."

No, a leave vote means the Westminster elite oxbridge-party researcher-MP and their big corporate sponsors get to chose. In the event of a "leave" vote, I expect the degree to which an ordinary voter will get to influence the laws will change from bugger all to sweet F-A.


Re: Aside from these articles being hard to read

"No-one is suggesting leaving the EEA"

Are you sure? I'm certainly not. I am yet to hear a coherent statement about what a "leave" vote means. No campaigner on the "leave" side that I have heard of has made a clear statement about what a "leave" vote means regarding EEA, EFTA, ECHR or any of the other not-quite-EU organisations with E in the initialism. As being part of the "free movement of people" is an element of EEA membership, and as many "leave" campaigners cite restricting the rights of foreigners to live and work in the UK as among the implications of a "leave" vote, that indicates that they at least believe a vote for "leave" would very definitely involve leaving the EEA.

Flying Scotsman attacked by drone


Pedant Alert

"Flying Scotsman" is the name of the locomotive, not the train. If the drone hit "Flying Scotsman" then it hit the locomotive. If it hit some carriages behind the locomotive then it didn't hit "Flying Scotsman". "The Flying Scotsman" (with the "The" on the front") is the name of a fast train service between London and Edinburgh. The drone in question went nowhere near that. If you think I'm just being picky, consider how irritating it is when your elderly relative talks about "the computer" when they are referring to just the monitor.

ADpocalypse NOW: Three raises the stakes


We crossed the rubicon when ISP side spam filters happened about 12 years ago or so. There was an outcry at the time that an email provider should have a duty to give you any and all email sent to you without adulteration. We then found how much better life is without email spam that we have quietly forgotten about all the outcry at the time. Advertising on websites is the same as email spam. It's bandwidth being used to deliver content to me that I don't want to receive.

Helpdesk? I have a software problem. And a GRIZZLY BEAR problem


Just thought I'd mention that grizzly bears are omnivorous, not carnivorous. Just sayin...

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'


It's a new irregular verb

I have a new disruptive technology

You interfere with my business

He commits theft

BYOD? More like CYOD as companies still set the parameters


"Interestingly, privacy seems to be the biggest concern employees have of sharing their device with work – although they got the wrong end of the stick... as many as 70 per cent of employees don’t trust their employer with personal data"

Sorry, how is this the "wrong end of the stick"? I have little enough faith in my employer's ability to keep its own data secure, and I certainly wouldn't trust it with my personal data, particularly if I ever plan on changing employer in the future.

Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union


Can you please confirm what the abbreviation TOIL stands for?

From the context, I'm guessing, "Time Off In Lieu", that is if you work overtime hours, you can take time off later so that you don't end up working unpaid.

Have an iPhone? Mac? Just about anything else Apple flogs? Patch now


Re: " i " is for Indignant

"How about in my case because the Wife has a 32-bit Intel Macmini which cannot take an OS beyond 10.6 Snow Leopard."

Hardware sold between early 2006 and mid 2007 (32 bit intel minis were sold until early 2009, but they could take at least 10.7.x, which was still receiving support up to a year ago).

"Mother has a still-working PPC Mac Mini, with 10.3 (Panther). While it could update to 10.4 (Tiger) (but no further)"

All PPC Mac Minis could be upgraded to 10.5.8. Last ones sold early 2006.

"This is the reason Apple-bashing happens. Whoever decided that 4 or 5 years is a suitable lifespan for computer hardware"

Certainly not Apple. The security patches have been relesed as far back as Mountain Lion. The youngest hardware that is not supported was sold in early 2009, that is to say already more than 6 years ago.

If you want to keep running nearly decade old hardware, you are going to have to accept that the original vendor will be unlikely to support it that long.

It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes


Re: Macs can be problematic

It's worth noting that the "a few years ago" point is important: from 10.9 onwards, Apple has adopted SMB2 as its default file sharing protocol (it still supports AFP, but it is no longer the default option).

Spoiling staff with toys could turn against your business


Don't treat users like children

I understand the need to prevent people from connecting insecure hardware to the network to keep unwanted malware out, but blocking users from access to company information over concerns about what they might do with it seems to me to be counterproductive.

In my work email, I only have access to information that I can get at in other ways as part of my routine job. Either the company trusts me to handle that data as part of my job or they don't. If I'm not trusted, I wouldn't be doing the job. If I'm trusted to handle sensitive data in every aspect of my job except for some obstructivist IT policy, the effect of that is not going to be to make me treat data security seriously, it is simply to make me feel contempt for IT.

Naked cyclists take a hard line on 'aroused' protest participant


Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day! Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!

You say you want a musical revolution. Actually, have three


It would be interesting to see if the same trends appear if the method is applied to the British charts. I expect the dates of the upheavals would be different, and I suspect the influence of rap and hip hop are less strong in the British market.

Hi, Fi: Google JOWL-SLAPS mobile bigguns with $20/mo wireless service


Re: creepy

How does this take care of non-Android users, when it only works with a Nexus 6 handset?

Hey, Microsoft, we can call Windows 10 apps anything we like – you're NOT OUR REAL MOM


Yes, Zathras understand ... No, Zathras not understand

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


Just like the MacBook Air

You could lift this article, pretty much word for word, and write it in 2008 about the first release of the MacBook Air. While that design made huge compromises and had significant drawbacks, the design philosophy changes it brought are direct antecedents of the computers described in the article as the "finest personal computers ever made".

Royal Mail's Colossus move gets ex-WREN's stamp of approval


"Colossus was built to break the German’s fiendishly complicated Lorenz machine, successor to the Enigma and capable of encrypting a message 1,600,000,000,000,000 times."

I'm pretty sure each Lorenz-encrypted message was only encrypted once.

How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print


Don't pay the bill

Sorry, nobody called "Asshole" lives at this address.

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?


Computer Games Movies

You could pick pretty much any attempt. There has never been a good movie-of-the-game. While the better known examples like Super Mario Bros, Tomb Raider and Doom are pretty dire, the worst I have encountered would have to be the Wing Commander movie.

Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable


Re: iPlayer

As an expat who would like the iPlayer, I feel it worth pointing out that my local cable TV provider carries pretty much the full set of BBC, ITV and Channel 4 TV channels, as broadcast in Blighty. If I can pay a modest monthly subscription fee to get the TV channels to my home on cable, how come I can't do the same thing to get them off the iPlayer?

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Thumb Up

When I first arrived at el reg after the redesign, my immediate reaction was "oh, another unnecessary website redesign, I bet it'll be awful". After a few minutes looking around, my feeling was, "actually, seems alright". While changes always take a bit of getting used to, I can't honestly say there is anything here to actively piss me off, and I seem to have no more trouble than usual actually finding and reading stuff.

Everything your users ever need to know about BYOD


"We will let you know what browsers we support for browser-based packages."

That would be IE 6 on Windows XP, then.

iPhone sales set to PLUMMET: Bleak times ahead for Apple


Even the regular 6 is too big

I wandered into the iStore at the weekend to have a drool over the retina iMac, and had a fondle of the phones. I have an iPhone 5 and have been broadly happy with it, but I thought I'd have a poke around at the new options. On my 5, if I hold it in one hand, my thumb can reach all for corners. On the 6, I can't quite reach the top left corner icon (for a right hander). On the 6+ I can't reach about a third of the screen. When the whole world was going phablet crazy and Apple resolutely insisted they had the right screen size, I was all on board. Now there is practically nothing in the one-handed size category. bring back the smaller screens!

Renewable energy 'simply won't work': Top Google engineers


Re: I seem to remember

"I heat my house with a Ground Source Heat Pump. The pump is powered by a 2ft square Solar Panel."

Right, but where did the energy come from to build the heat pump and the solar panel, transport them to your house, and instal them? The point of the study is that the energy requirements for installing renewables are far from trivial.

So you want to introduce a BYOD plan. Where do you start?


Whose device is it anyway?

If the company can dictate what websites I can and can not view, how I can and can not store data and when the device is or is not to be remotely wiped, this is not my device anymore, it is a company device that I happen to use. If BYOD means the company decides I ought to have a mobile device, gives me a budget to go out and chose the one I want, fine. If it is a phone or tablet that I have paid for with my own money, if they think I will fill it up with work related data and essentially hand over the keys to them, they can f*** right off.

Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display


Re: The display

What would be the point in buying a 5K monitor with only VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs? None of them is capable of driving a screen at that resolution (at least in the current incarnations).

Is modern life possible without a smartphone?


Isn't it a smartphone?

So it has a web browser, an email client, a calendar that can sync (even if not very well), an address book that can sync (not very well), an mp3 player, facebook and twitter clients, and onboard data storage. Back in the old days, before the iPhone was invented, that *was* a smart phone.

Are you for reel? How the Compact Cassette struck a chord for millions


I wonder how many of the iPod generation...

were born as a result of romances that were kindled by the making and exchanging of mix tapes.

Apple threatens ANOTHER Samsung patent lawsuit


Too Slow

It seems to me that the time taken to get a patent law suit from initiation to judgement is currently longer than the product lifecycle of smartphones and tablets.

Apple: iOS7 dayglo Barbie makeover is UNFINISHED - report


Stop Press! Beta software unfinished! Pope seen entering Catholic Church! Evidence of bear faeces found in woodland!

BBC's Digital Moneypit Initiative known to be 'pile of dung' for years


Re: Licence fee

"I have lived abroad in a number of countries and can say that the TV quality has been excellent in Germany Austria and Switzerland. Whilst on holiday I watched a full spectrum of Premier League matches, Nat Geo, Animal Planet at a friends house and was amazed when he told me he only paid £40 a year for this."

a TV licence cost EUR 216 in Germany, EUR335 in Austria and CHF 462 (about EUR 385) in Switzerland. In the UK, you pay GBP145.50, or about EUR 170.

I live in Switzerland, and to get things like premiership football and national geographic you need a cable or satellite subscription which you must pay on top of the TV licence fee. I have cable and receive the output from the national broadcasters of UK, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Of these the BBC is far and away the best in terms of quality and content.

Reports: New Xbox could DOOM second-hand games market


Wait till the lawyers have had their say

I made a similar comment when the same topic was discussed about the PS3. European courts have made some very robust defenses of the first sale doctrine. The case of textbook importers in the US have also confirmed the first sale doctrine there. If this policy is implemented, I expect some courtroom action over either of first sale or antitrust regulations, and past form on these issues does not bode well for M$.

What kind of pirate are you: Justified, transgressor or just honest?


Music has it right, Film wrong

The things I want to be able to do:

If I have a physical copy, also have a digital copy on my tablet/phone. If I want a digital download, not be tied to any one device/app/website to watch/listen. If I want t a digital download, have a choice of a number of different sources that have large and largely overlapping selections (so that I genuinely believe there is a free market at work).

The illegal version for both music and video satisfies all of these criteria. The legal version for music also satisfies all of these criteria. For film, the legal version satisfies none of these criteria. If I want some music and don't want to go to a physical store or wait for the postman, I pay for a legal download. I want that option for video. I have all my CD collection on my phone and my computer and my tablet, and I didn't have to buy it again. I want that option for my DVD collection. I can have all of these things right now, today, if I pirate. The illegal product is a better product for video in a way that it is not for music. All of my music is legally bought.

Google erects tech specs tech specs, APIs hit the decks


And if I already wear normal glasses?

I wear regular glasses, and don't particularly care for contact lenses. Will these high tech specs be compatible with my "dumb glasses" that I wear everyday? Will I be able to get them with prescription lenses, or perhaps something that can attach to a normal pair of glasses? I can't be alone in the potential market for such a device, as glasses wearing seems to be quite prominent in the geekery community.


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