* Posts by Necronomnomnomicon

104 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Aug 2013


The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?


Sounds like a real use case for Netflix's Chaos Monkey software

Although if everything is that lacking in resilience, it might just be a recipe for unlimited downtime.

Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying


Re: Non-drug distractions

And a lot of video games don't pair well with booze. I've learned the hard way not to play Elite: Dangerous after a few beers, because I'm far more likely to crash my spaceship. Don't drink and fly!

What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist


Wunderlist being axed is a shame

I've been using it for a little over two years, and it's been a great app. My and my other half do our shopping using it. Add everything into Wunderlist, and when we get to the shop we each take separate sections and tick it off as we go. Halves the time it takes to do a shop. I wunder what Microsoft will do to recompense Pro users? I didn't pay for my subscription (it came free when I used the app in Germany, thanks Deutsche Telecom!) but I'm sure many did.

BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!


Re: No spectrum analyser?

Presumably the laser doppler vibrometer is the thing they're really testing/improving or whatever, and the actual vibrating subject is just something that's been picked for maximum publicity, rather than something that could be done more easily.

UPS & drones: Delivery company launches UAV from truck


Re: How's this stuff signed for then?

It's not impossible. It just moves the security responsibility to you. You can get the delivery in your back garden or another secure location of your choosing. No, if you try and get something delivered in the middle of Piccadilly Circus while you're not paying attention then yes, someone could rob it. But that's on you.

I'd also point out that the delivery driver doesn't know who you are and doesn't care what your signature looks like. Neither of those are security features. They're audit trails for when your package does go missing. Both of which the drone's camera footage will do the same job of.

The only limits are things like blocks of flats, or businesses, where you might not have a space you can either monitor or keep secure. Which is, I imagine, a temporary problem. Imagine, if you will, the postboxes being relocated to the roof of the building, and every flat getting a mail chute. Maybe even with a little LCD screen so it can display today's delivery codes.

Or the drones could do facial recognition. There are lots of ways to add security.


Re: How's this stuff signed for then?

Dunno about this one, but for the Amazon tests, you designate a Landing Zone when you order. Your receipt includes a QR code you have to print out and place in your desired LZ. Once the drone gets close enough, it can presumably pick up the QR code and will land on top of it. If it can't find the specific QR code I guess it goes home?

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?


Re: Home streaming is killing..

I agree. But these boxes are like £40 - £50, aren't they? If you don't know how to do your own piracy, is that an acceptable outlay for something that might stop working six months down the line? I just don't see these as being that great a deal compared to the legal alternative.


Re: Home streaming is killing..

As a former fan of thepiratebay, I'd normally agreed. But these Kodi things are shite. They make piracy easy enough for the average Joe, but the content quality is frequently "recorded on a featurephone from the back of a Kyrgyzstani cinema" rather than nicely compressed DVD or Blu-Ray rips. And if the site that your chosen piracy app relies on is taken down by the increasingly frequent ISP blocking orders, then you're left with a box that does nowt useful without someone tech literate to point it at a new website.

Piracy is successful when it makes getting quality content easier than the legitimate sources. These things just aren't better than renting the odd film you want to see using iTunes or Google Play.

Browsers nix add-on after Web of Trust is caught selling users' browsing histories


Protecting users from dodgy sites, ironically

It's frustrating as it's one of the things I used to recommend.

The idea was that users of the add-on could rate a site's trustworthiness, so if you came across a domain used for phishing or such, then you could warn other users about it. Given a suitably poor rating, the add-on would flag dodgy links with a red traffic light icon, advising you that a click was risky without having to click on it.

It's not a bad concept, the fact the developers couldn't be trusted not to sell your data is disappointing. Maybe it'd work well as a not-for-profit or some kind of open organisation instead.

LaCie flings out super-glam desktop Bolter drive


Re: These guys are still in business?

I imagine the margins are big enough that they don't need to sell very many. That's why I'm always surprised this gets reported on, most boutique PC stuff doesn't. I assume it's because they're quite good at putting big numbers on a spreadsheet.

Idris Elba thrashes Night Manager Hiddleston for James Bond job vacancy


Re: My wife thinks Craig looks like a rapist!!

Craig's ideal for Bond, who is definitely quite rapey. There's a compilation on Youtube of Bond's rapiest moments, and there are quite a few of those moments.

Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry



Is it possibly down to increasing numbers of Windows 10 installs, with users relying on Edge which (until very recently) didn't support ad blocking? W10 did make it a bit more of a faff to make another browser the default.

Of course, if I'm right then as the 1607 update spreads through the userbase then users will be surprised and delighted to discover they can start using ad blockers again.

Filet-O-Phish: Insecure NFC tag relics hidden under Maccas tables


Re: So you "secure" these tags but.... um....

Most NFC stickers are too weak to work through anything but the thinnest tables. But you are right, there's probably not a lot stopping someone from sticking Ronald McDonald stickers on top of regular NFC stickers and putting them on top of the table, I doubt the staff would see a few stickers and think "obvious security threat".

5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler



TomTom set up a Brian Blessed one a few years ago, so the best voice is already available.

Batten down the hatches! OpenSSL preps fix for high impact vuln


Any news on whether this affects the BoringSSL and LibreSSL forks? They must be starting to get quite attractive.

Planning to throw capacity at an IT problem? Read this first


Re: Errr

Nope, but you can buy or sell a gigabyte of storage, or an hour of compute, or a thousand DNS queries. Those things are definitely commodity.

Anonymised search engine page found on 'kid-friendly' search site


Is it just me

That thinks that "Kiddle" sounds like a portmanteau of "kiddy" and "fiddle"?

/calls the Daily Mail

Amazon UK boss is 'most powerful' man in food and drink


It doesn't always happen, though.

Remember when estate agents everywhere were bricking themselves over Google getting on their turf? Then it never turned up. A shame, really, estate agents need a good kick up the jacksy.

BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide


Whatever it is, it's massive

We're connected to the internet, but we're seeing 15% packet loss to one of our main suppliers (who aren't on BT as far as we can tell). Time for them to invest in something like Netflix's ChaosMonkey.

Sainsbury's Bank web pages stuck on crappy 20th century crypto


How slow does continuous improvement have to be before you have to stop using the word "continuous"?

I mean, technically speaking the University of Queensland has a pile of continuously-flowing pitch, but it doesn't appear to change more than once every dozen or so years. Like Sainsbury's web crypto.

It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday


Re: Er, I like Wikipedia

Why the flip would you want to work for trivial information that's only really of interest right there and now?

People aren't going to consider a five-star burger joint 45 miles away when they're standing outside McDonalds and hungry right now.

El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena


Re: Deadline

From what I understand, there's been a company touring Robot Wars show since the BBC version went off air (maybe under a different name?), so it might be that this is the touring one on telly, rather than an all new setup.

EE recalls all 'Power Bar' USB batteries due to 'fire safety risk'


I got a fair few in the last year

and all of them seem to have stopped working within their first charge or so. I liked the idea though, so I bought a nice Anker one that was on offer on Amazon and can keep my phone going for the best part of a week.

Microsoft Office 365, Azure portals offline for many users in Europe


Normally I'd be

But Microsoft's Status page has been surprisingly good for us (just passed three months on O365). By which, I mean that for the first two and a half months there were yellow alerts everywhere, different ones every week, and they were for the merest trifles, nearly all of which didn't affect us but which were genuinely useful for the few that did. So good that it's a genuine letdown this has been missed off the status page, rather than business as usual.

Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it


It's going to be video games.

The odd experimental film is great and will help film-makers slowly figure out what they have to do to build a market. But it's video games that will get money out of wallets and headsets on heads to start with. 3D games are already doing most of the work to generating a 3D environment, it's just up to the devs to do that extra chunk of work to make it look right in VR. I don't know much about the Gear VR, but if it doesn't have a few games on par with those working with the Rift and HTC Vive, it'll not take the market by storm.

Edit: well, games and porn. But if games aren't there, then people might not be prepared to shell out for a multi-hundred-£ wanking helmet.

Don't bother buying computers for schools, says OECD report


They're also missing the obvious - children taught with computers to hand are then tested in rooms without computers, so can only use stuff they've committed to their actual memory. That's not how most people in the modern workplace are going to behave. If you can remember how to do calculus or getting the volume of a sphere after a quick google search, you're going to be only marginally less effective as someone who learned it by rote unless you're trapped somewhere you can't do a quick google search. And you can do that from the International Space Station.

Unless they're going on to do any more maths-based subject, what's the point of trying to get kids to memorise it perfectly when familiarity with the concepts is all that they need?

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


I bought this laptop because it has everything I need: Hissplay port, USsssssssB 3, and ASPdobe ReADDER.


My manager said he wanted a web scales solution. This is why we try and keep him away from procurement.


I hope your anti-venom is more effective than this anti-virus...

Want your kids to learn coding? Train the darn teachers first


If they did then they failed to communicate it to the teachers on the front line. I've no idea as I'm a general IT guy in no way involved with teaching, but thanks for the info as I've forwarded that on to the people involved. Hopefully that'll help them out more than my suggestions.


What a coinkydink. One of our guys asked me, today, where his wife (a primary teacher) could learn how to do stuff with a raspberry pi. They'd had a load of pis dumped on them with no hints as to what to do. I was lost as to what to even suggest - mentioned it could be turned into anything from a mini desktop to a weather station to a file server to a robot.

In the end she settled for learning a bit of Python that she could pass on to the kids. Will hopefully help them create a few games and similar.

Au oh, there's gold in them thar server farms, so lead the way


In most places in the UK, there's WEEE recycling companies who are happy to take the stuff away for free. We've got a local one who'll pick up anything more than 10 PCs at no charge, Presumably they're turning a profit on it, but they also support local charities and that's about as good as it gets for small scale operations.

I imagine if you had a whole data centre that needed melting down you'd think about it differently, but for small businesses with not much, the value generated probably doesn't pay for the time and effort of sorting it yourself. Specialisation of labour and all that.

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Sarah realised she had misunderstood the SEO expert offering to help "spider her content".


The terror started when Sarah realised that she had taken off her Hololens.

Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive


So, will this still get me signal at the top of the Empire State Building?


Remember when the Apple logo was the same colours as a Mandrill's backside?

Yet another Android app security bug: This time 'everything is affected'


Re: But...but..but...

Linux running Java, it's a lovely sturdy wooden desk that someone's put their horrible woodworm colony on.

Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union


So where do the Amazon-phobes shop online?

Genuine question. The only place that springs to mind as a genuine alternative is Tesco's Direct, and they're not exactly angels who only fart rainbows. Where do you buy stuff you'd go to Amazon for, where they pay tax and don't abuse their staff and you still get an alright deal and can get it delivered cheaply and reliably?

Project Morpheus VR headset hands-on at the Sony Summer Showcase


I'm still trying to get my head around how Sony are doing this

Given the intensely beefy PC specs that Oculus Rift requires, and the limited view window on Microsoft's HoloLens, how are Sony producing this Rift-like setup on the limited hardware of the PS4?

Are they running a much lower quality image than the Rift? Oculus seemed to think that anything less than what they're offering is going to either look terrible or cause horrific nausea. Are Sony going for that anyway? Or are they running everything off insanely-specced development PCs, meaning that the average PS4 gamer won't see anything this good? Or have they got some magic sauce that nobody else has figured out?

The only other thing I can think of is that all the hardware is in the headset, but that's got to mean it'd cost more than a PS4 by itself.

Don't know if our correspondent has had a go on the other products to offer a comparison?

Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT


Re: Seems reasonable

Alright, I was hyperbolic there. Instead of "IT illiterate", read "know enough about computers to install ALL the viruses.". Most people are raising users, not sysadmins.


Seems reasonable

Given the problems caused for everyone by people who don't update (the users, the DDOS victims, anyone who has to share USB thumb drives with them), you'd better have a damned good reason for not wanting to update. If you're a business who uses strange/unsupported/fragile stuff then fair enough - this gives you time to work around it. But this is an OS that's going to IT illiterate children and grandparents, and everyone in between. If you want an OS you have total control over, get a Linux.

Trebles all round: The BBC's won this licence fee showdown


The BBC does less than 55% more than it did in 1965?

So going from two channels that shut down overnight and a handful of radio stations to ten channels, most of which are 24/7, the iPlayer, a dozen or so radio stations as well as everything else on their website, plus all the odds and sods that come along with that? A mere 55% higher doesn't seem to do that much justice, regardless of what you might think of the quality. Pish!

Sony phone chief vows to keep losing money forever and ever


Re: Would be a shame too

This. The missus got the Z1C a year or two ago and it sold me on the Z3C when my renewal came round. Now I'm looking at the Z series tablets, they're a bit pricey but if the quality is on par with the phones it'll be worth it.

Microsoft: Here's what you'll cough up for Windows 10 next year


Yes, there will be.

I was at SpiceWorld London last month, and during the Microsoft talk on Windows 10, one of the speakers said that there definitely will be subscription services for Windows 10. He seemed to think that security updates would be free forever, but additional features (whatever that might comprise of) would require subscriptions eventually.

The audience was quite hostile towards Microsoft, over that and over things.

Microsoft doubles down on productivity with Wunderlist buy



I just got my girlfriend onto Wunderlist, and now I'm going to have to start scoping out replacements just in case Microsoft decide to strangle it.

Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh


Aww man

Somebody's already bought http://mylovely.horse and there's not a hint of running through the field.

'Nokia store? I dunno no Nokia store. This here's a Microsoft Reseller'


It's OK

Soon they'll be Microsoft Modern Resellers

'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves


Useful info for anyone who does shop on Amazon

Moneysavingexpert linked to http://www.curiua.com/ the other day, which checks other EU Amazon stores to see if they're selling stuff cheaper. Apparently a lot of the time, they are. Hurrah for the single market, boo to Amazon for bilking us more than our neighbours.

Document Foundation pledges Office 365 and Google Docs challenger


Can't wait

I use OwnCloud for my personal stuff, but I have to go back to Google Docs for web-based spreadsheeting because there isn't an OwnCloud module for that. Their Writer equivalent is OK, but not great. LibreOffice as an OwnCloud app would be a real winner.

Adobe Flash fix FAIL exposes world's most popular sites


Re: Last week I finally uninstalled Flash across our office

Call-center-type place here, so most of the users are on a lightly locked down version of IE rather than Chrome. The few users that do use Chrome have had the click-to-play setting engaged.