* Posts by AndyFl

97 posts • joined 8 Nov 2013


I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse


Re: Where's the Lefty Version

I remember a few years ago having to get really insistent to the IT bods at a company that I was working at to get them to change a contoured mouse which you could only reach the buttons when you were using the right hand. The ridges in the plastic actually hurt if you tried to use it for any length of time with the left hand and assuming you could contort your fingers to reach the buttons.

They came out with the line that everyone else seemed OK with the damm thing at which point I let rip about discrimination against left handed people ranging from the way doors and cupboards open to the placement of the bog rolls in the company toilets. The whole thing seemed to be a revelation to them.

We have non-discrimination rules about everything except handiness, maybe it is time to add that to the list.

US finds new Huawei to hurt China with new sanctions at top chip maker SMIC


Re: It's Amazing How Petty The USA & Fearless Leader Trump Can Get

@amanfromMars 1

You must be slipping, that was the second posting in a row I managed to understand in one pass :)

Alternatively you are starting to work into my brain...

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!


Re: HP

I've one of those too. Completely indestructible and works well with postscript.

QR-code based contact-tracing app brings 'defining moment' for UK’s 'world beating' test and trace system


Paper is best

Paper based contact tracing is by far the best as it maintains anonymity as much as possible in that the details are only looked at and transcribed into a database if there is an outbreak in the venue. If nothing happens then they can be destroyed after a few weeks. It isn't a big job to transcribe a few handfuls of paper records if there is an incident.

A centralised system which captures user details directly into a database is open to abuse by lots of organisations at the click of a button or a demand under the 2000 RIP act or it's later amendments. Just how much do you trust the local authority or various "law enforcement" bodies not to abuse private data. There is also not an insignificant chance of the entire database leaking into the public domain with names, addresses and phone numbers!

Then there are issues about the apps themselves, their security, liability for data loss then phone data connectivity and the vague hope/expectation that everyone actually has a phone with a compatible version of OS and a functioning battery!

Lets just keep things simple please.

Shocking no one, not enough foreigners applied for H-1B visas this year so US govt ran a second lottery


Re: You'd have to be mad -- or desperate -- to come here on an H1B

A bit off-topic but I am strongly in favour of the UK sorting out its own mess rather than pulling UK nationality under dubious circumstances and expecting Bangladesh to pick up the bits even though she had never in her life had anything to do with the country.

It is like throwing your unwanted sofa over the fence to the neighbour to dispose of because you had kept it on the side of your living room nearest them and therefore they had therefore incurred some sort of an obligation.

China requires gamers to reveal real names and map them to frag-tastic IDs


Re: Is there no societal problem to be addressed?

They will be allowed if they are sold to a Chinese company and the state gets a "large percentage" of the sale price.

Can't imagine where I got that idea from!

Arm China brands itself a 'strategic asset', calls for Beijing's help in boardroom dispute with Brit HQ


Re: Well, that does it for Western companies investing in China

The parent company only has a 49% ownership in the Chinese subsidiary - they sold 51% as explained in the article. That means they cannot sack the head of the subsidiary without agreement of the consortium holding the 51% shareholding.

It is nothing to do with not obeying orders from the parent company - they are a minority shareholder. This sort of thing is common with Joint Ventures (JVs).

It's a Meow-nixed system, I know this: Purr-fect storm of 3,000+ insecure databases – and a data-wiping bot


Could be regarded as a public service

Whilst I don't condone vandalism this is definitely better than the alternative where the data is copied and mined for any "interesting" personal information.

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb


OneWeb is probably for comms rather than location

OneWeb would make an excellent upgrade for the UK Skynet and other government VSAT services around the world. By spending $500M the UK will have priority access on a global, high bandwidth satellite network. Also having a partner to flog spare capacity to other users they might even make a profit on the deal! You would have difficulty shoving more than a couple geostationary satellites up for that money.

I don't think the location services figure high on the priority list for this project, it may be possible to upgrade some of the satellites in the future before launch to add high accuracy clocks etc, but that would just be "icing on the cake" if it could be made to work.

The only thing they really need to do at this stage is to move the command/control infrastructure to the UK and harden the network.

It all looks like a really good deal, I can't remember the last time I said that the UK govt did something good, but this is a tick in their favour.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink


Re: What about non-HP Laser cartridges?


I've an old HP P2055DN laser which is close to indestructible and will probably outlive me. I feed it with no-name high capacity toner cartridges and never had a problem. Paid about 50 quid second hand and it does Ethernet, postscript and double sided. Printing from Windows and Linux simply works.

I used to have a duplex HP laserjet 4 a long time ago but got rid of it because it was too big and heavy to move without two people. Again completely indestructible and would probably survive a nuclear explosion.

I used a small HP colour laser printer on a project about 5 years ago and hated it, slow, kept wasting toner doing "something" and the HP only toner was in stupidly small cartridges which cost a fortune. If I go for a colour printer it won't be HP!

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears


Re: @andyFI

Resonance will not increase the energy of individual photons, it will just increase the number of them so they won't break chemical bonds directly other than as a result of heating.

The rest of your post is just insulting and I won't comment further.


Re: 3 years for a terrorist offence ?

I'm sorry but you don't understand the basics of wireless and energy. Radio signals are non-ionising in that the photons don't have enough energy to have any effect on chemical bonds, to do that you need around 2ev of energy which you get from ultra-violet light which can cause skin cancer.

Below the energy level of UV light the most that could happen is you get a bit of warming of tissue like standing in sunlight and being warmed by infra-red.

If you don't want to be laughed at then I suggest that you educate yourself on the topic with ***proper*** peer reviewed papers - try looking at Google Scholar to find them. If you want to understand the scientific process then go and watch the YouTube channel "potholer54". He has some very good explanations. Not all ideas are worth a lot of effort and consideration if they aren't backed up with any evidence to support them. One example is saying "the moon is made of cheese" - nobody will take you seriously unless you have some pretty good evidence! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

By the way, we have had a lot of experience with the long term effects of wireless signals, even in the multi GHz region. I've been involved in design and testing of wireless systems for 35 years and have seen lots of stuff pre-dating my entry into the industry. I've had to go through the ICNIRP guidelines many times when producing safety declarations.

On the other hand you could just listen to people like David Icke who have some strange ideas (to put it mildly) with no experimental evidence to support them.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


The product sheet is hilarious

They have a product description on their website:


It has gems like

"Current studies demonstrate service life as long as the unit is not damaged or defaced."


"No overdose or adverse effects are possible in the presence, even for a long period of time, of the USB Key".

No possible overdose because it bloody well doesn't do anything!

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Big Brother

Elliptic curve?

I wonder if they are basing the system on Dual_EC_DRBG which is generally known to have a backdoor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_EC_DRBG). It could easily be GCHQ and their allies trying to convince everyone to use so called anonymous Ids to which they can reverse engineer the originator.

On the other hand if they know your postcode, location and movements it is pretty easy to match that to a person. Previous history doesn't encourage me about confidentiality - look at the range of organisations which can covertly snoop on you and access your Internet history.

Sorry, I don't trust them to manage sensitive data on a centralised system.


One for the super rich fanbois: Ultra-rare functional Apple-1 computer goes on auction


Re: Not bothered


Now I feel really old, IIRC that was from around 1978, mine lived in a cardboard box because I was too skint to get a real case. Great learning system which set me up for a career in embedded and wireless systems. I was kind of surprised that it worked after spending an eternity soldering sockets to the board. Many happy memories with the thing.

The keyboard was one of the best parts of it, really good action and better than most laptops these days.

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer


Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

The 5G signals are so powerful that they go back in time and affect people before the tower is even built, let alone switched on.

If we have enough they will cause everyone's grandfathers to become celibate and the problem will resolve itself and fix global warming at the same time. Unfortunately there will be nobody around to see the change.


Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

They won't be going anywhere if they are relying on Boeing getting them into space. The company appears to be having problems getting anything up these days

Instagram influencer fools followers into thinking Ikea photoshoot was Bali holiday


Re: Clearly a cover up

Amazing that the Illuminati knew what the character values of ASCII would be before it was even created. They have no end to their powers.

Not posted as AC cos they can't get me!

Ooh somebody at the door, I'd better go and see who they are...

Jeff Bezos bungs $10bn at climate change after chump change for Oz bush fires


Great news for the environment

What is with all the sour grapes around ElReg?

Guy puts up USD 10B for environmental causes and everyone starts to complain. I don't care where it comes from but a lump of cash that size is likely to make a difference in science and engineering. I say "thanks for putting up the money".

Rather than complaining let's have a discussion on how best it can be used and how we can get more money from any sources to add to the pot.

Anyone remember the comments when Bill Gates set up his foundation with his wife? That has changed the lives of more people than I can count.

He’s a pain in the ASCII to everybody. Now please acquit my sysadmin client over these CIA Vault 7 leaking charges


Dirty pics are not relevant

He may or may not have knowingly hosted child porn pics. It certainly wouldn't be the first time something was unknowingly embedded in a large archive of stuff.

However that is not relevant to the CIA charges which, on the face of it, appear to be somewhat contrived and if they are to be believed make him out to be some sort of super BoFH,able to remotely restore systems to previous configurations, exfiltrating all sorts of data, hacking files then restoring the systems to a previous state whilst nobody noticed and moving his fingers on he keyboard at several times the speed of light. They may have other evidence which they are unwilling to disclose at the trial and what is being described is the remainder left over from it but if they don't up their game then he is likely to get off whilst everyone is laughing at what they are presenting.

Why does it feel a little like what is going on between HPE and Lynch? They got upset with him having bought a pup then spent their time trying to find reasons to sue him and eventually managed to cook up something that the US DOJ could use to start extradition proceedings with whilst there was an ongoing civil trial ongoing.

I think both stories have a long way to run and look forward to watching them develop.

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?


Who to believe

It is a sad reflection on the current times that I believe things said by the USA White house occupants slightly less than the Chinese.

Back doors in Chinese Huawei equipment? Probably

Back doors in US routers (Cisco, Juniper etc)? Probably.

Loyalty used to be a two way street, not to be confused with grovelling to the current president. How on earth did we end up in this situation?

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today


Like a Windows file copy dialog

1 in 10,

1 in 100,

1 on 20,

Done (or should that be collided?)

Das Reboot: Uni forces 38,000 students, staff to queue, show their papers for password reset following 'cyber attack'


End of term

It is the end of term, half the students will be away from the university, foreign students will be home for the holidays. Anyone working on an assignment will be screwed until they go back after the Christmas holidays. I also wonder if there are any "distance learners" - they will not be happy travelling to the University from wherever they are just to reset a password. I *hate* 2FA but this is one of those cases where something like that would help things.

I'm doing a Masters at Brunel almost 35 years after I first graduated. The whole place is wedded to Micro$oft without a Linux machine in the place. I don't think the IT support department even know what one is. Really disappointing.

Den Automation raised millions to 'reinvent' the light switch. Now it's lights out for startup


What on earth did they do with the money?

It doesn't cost GBP4.5M to design and manufacture wireless light switches and the associated backend systems.

Off the top of my head I would say a team of 5 competent people (1xelectronic, 1xmechanical, 2xsoftware, 1xmanglement) could do it in a year without too many long days. Manufacturing setup and tooling for the plastics would be less than GBP200K plus GBP50K for testing. Say about GBP 500K for the lot. I'm not including marketing or production costs because they would be covered by the actual orders. If they have a backlog of orders then they don't need to spend a lot on marketing etc.

I'm sorry, but it sounds like they wasted the bulk of the money on things other than actually designing product.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train


Why aren't fishmongers generous?

Their job makes them sell fish.

(I'll get me coat)

Sure, we made your Wi-Fi routers phone home with telemetry, says Ubiquiti. What of it?



Mikrotik, about the same price or slightly cheaper and much more configurable. The management app Winbox runs under Windows or without problems on Wine with Linux.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen


Re: On Call

I can beat that. The infamous "Indian Alphabet Song". Every letter wrong but done with evident glee!


Radio nerd who sipped NHS pager messages then streamed them via webcam may have committed a crime


Re: What other kind of pagers are there?

They could use TETRA pagers on the Airwave public safety network. The Airwave network has extremely good coverage and is encrypted. Ambulances and other emergency service vehicles are already using the Airwave system so there would be no problem getting permission to use it.

Delayed, over-budget smart meters will be helpful – when Blighty enters 'Star Trek phase'


Re: And where will all this power come from?

I don't know where you got those figures from but they are completely out of date. The UK has dramatically reduced the CO2 content of power over the last few years and wind capacity factors are well over the "6%" you quoted. Nobody could get back their costs at 6% and the turbine would be decommissioned.

Have a look at https://electricinsights.co.uk to see the historical and current production figures for different generation sources. The quarterly reports on the site are a really good read too.

Yes, the UK energy policy has a long way to go but it is a damm site better than most of Europe and certainly the USA.

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


Extension 666

A reference to the TheReg story on music on hold is required.

"My ears are bleeding"


Engineer found guilty of smuggling military-grade chips from the US to China


Everything is a risk when dealing with US products

It is beginning to become a risk to buy any semiconductor or tech product from the USA for delivery elsewhere. There are so many little gotchas it is very hard to be sure you are not violating some export or "security" regulation and that you won't end up being a trade bargaining chip whilst getting crap under the guise of "security". This is even more true if you are in places like the Middle East.

The rules and companies on the banned list seem vary from one day to the next based on what a certain person sees on "Fox and friends" or whatever the current trashy programme of choice is. If your company relies on the USA for critical components you are at risk. It has got to the point where I have started looking at suppliers in the following order: Local (rarely a practical option), EU,Turkey, China and then reluctantly USA. It doesn't help that USA products tend to be more expensive than elsewhere.

If things get much worse the USA won't need to worry about illegal exports as nobody will be buying anyway and they can simply ban all shipments everywhere.


Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Don't encourage them


OK let's try to answer this

Firstly, 5g isn't a thing yet, ignore the advertising wank. The only possible difference in relation to exposure would be the additional frequency bands but they haven't deployed any of them yet.

You always have clusters of cancer/coffee shops or whatever. It is called random distribution. Read about confirmation bias and issues where you select data to match what you are looking for.

Strangely enough, having a cell site near you will reduce exposure as the phone in your hand has bigger effect than the cell site. A nearby cell site will cause the phone to dramatically reduce transmit power and your exposure.

Many documented cases? Citation required from a reputable journal.

I do know what I am talking about as I've been a designer for 35 years. ICNIRP anyone?


The hole keeps getting deeper

Every time I think our MPs have found a new low they just keep digging a deeper hole.

The human race is doomed.

You're not Boeing to believe this, but... Another deadly 737 Max control bug found


It will be a while before it flies around the world again

The FAA are now looking very carefully at everything to do with the plane - they had the wool pulled over their eyes and were lax in the past. Now they want to be sure that they won't be blamed for any other issues and will not be rushed into an approval.

Other regulators like Europe and China have indicated that they will no longer be taking FAA approvals at face value so will do their own careful analysis of any test results.

Then there are the trade issues, I would be amazed if they were very quick in approving the US plane in Europe after Boeing's less than completely honest submissions in the past, FAA failure to oversee things properly and being recently screwed over by the US in trade. I'm sure that they wouldn't be adverse to giving Airbus a bit of a leg up in business. Probably China will be the same in taking their own sweet time to check everything. They might play it straight and do it quickly but I have more than a few doubts.


Hot desk hell: Staff spend two weeks a year looking for seats in open-plan offices


Re: Hotdesking is awful?

"Good thing about that is though that you can do biz in a dressing gown, have a shower after noon, and... and..."

You could even do biz naked and not bother with a shower, and and

Try getting that image out of your head :)

You go that way, we'll go Huawei: China Computer Federation kicks back at IEEE in tit-for-tat spat


Patent fights

I wonder if Huawei can so the same sort of thing as Qualcomm for 5G essential patents - insist on licences paying Huawei for a wider patent portfolio and buying other products"

"Oh, you can't do business with us because of the blacklisting in your country? Then, sorry you can't use our standards essential 5G set of patents which the rest of the world are happy and able to use".

I'm sure that this would cause a fairly quick waver from the Department of Commerce or whoever controls the entity list, but if Huawei tagged a lot of other things onto the package it could be quite complex to navigate and would slow down US 5G manufacturers.


IEEE tells contributors with links to Chinese corp: Don't let the door hit you on Huawei out


Opportunity for ETSI

ETSI have produced and managed lots of standards in the past like TETRA. This would be a good chance for them to expand their scope. Most 5G stuff is coming out of 3GPP anyway. Wouldn't be a great leap for ETSI to pick up a lot of the stuff the IEEE are playing with on 5G.

'Software delivered to Boeing' now blamed for 737 Max warning fiasco


Software was only a minor issue

The biggest issue was mounting the engines forward and up on the wing. This created an instability where the plane would pitch up when accelerating. Rather than add training of the pilots they decided to hide the problem by installing the software solution. They then fscked up the implementation in several ways and the rest is, unfortunately, history and about 300 dead people.

The airframe should have been recertified, they did all this to avoid having to do it.


Thank you, your DNA data will help secure your… oh dear, we've lost that too


Snapped Ankles - NSA Man

Never heard of them until tonight. Love the track :)

Facebook is not going to Like this: Brit watchdog proposes crackdown on hoovering up kids' info


lots of good stuff in the proposal

To be completely honest I'm surprised how good it is. I've a few doubts about how to implement some of it but that can be sorted out later.

Amazon boss snubs 'expensive', 'sub-optimal' relational databases. Here's looking at you, Larry


Re: 'Would you like a black, always-on cylinder in your kitchen...'

It could be worse. Imagine if someone crossed a replicator with Talkie Toaster!

Astronomer slams sexists trying to tear down black hole researcher's rep


You trying to get ElReg in trouble down under?

This really doesn't help things

Client-attorney privilege? Not when you're accused of leaking Vault 7 CIA code


At least Rumpole's telephone kept working

Reminds me of Rumpole and the Official Secret. One of the best of the series.

No, that Sunspot Solar Observatory didn't see aliens. It's far more grim



You close an entire science facility for several weeks because the Janitor may have been sending child porn?

This would appear to a bit of an overreaction to say the least[1]! Conspiracy nuts will not be convinced, I am not entirely convinced! So what REALLY happened?


[1] There is never an excuse for child porn, it is a horrendous thing.

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design


Re: Huh?

Not always.

I've done -48V DC power systems where the rectifiers are distributed across the 3 phases and disconnected the linkage between the incomer breakers them at the client request. The reasoning was that if a rectifier failed in a big way then it would only take out one phase, not all three.

These power systems were for emergency service equipment with duplicated everything and no RCD/GFI in sight. Mind you the earthing systems were impressive.


Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war



I hope that the court awarded costs against ICANN in favour of EPAG.

Come to think of it, I hope costs were awarded against ICANN for wasting everyone's time!

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker


Re: Unpaid walking advert for someone else's company

Not yet, he is on RM1M bail at the moment and cannot leave the country.

When his house was raided they ended up with about USD 100M worth of handbags, jewelery and mixed currencies. He and his wife claimed it was all "gifts" from various people.

Imelda Marcos was nothing compared to his wife Rosma. Imelda may have had a lot of shoes but Rosma had 284 boxes of handbags from Birkin et al. Some of the bags are supposed to be worth something like USD 200,000 each. It took 5 trucks to transport everything. Many of the handbags were stuffed with cash and jewelery.

If you want to follow the story then search for "Rosma and Handbags"!


Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?


I share your pain

Yes, you cant even put a <CR> into the box where you add more information which makes it close to impossible to write anything even remotely readable when it is more than a few word in length.

And as for prohibiting the percent sign! Words fail me - it is a fscking finance site!

I have several times put a complaint into the feedback link - never got a response either.

I had a huge problem signing up on the HMRC site in the first place as I was in Qatar. The password mail took 3-4 weeks to arrive but was only valid for 2 weeks. When I called them up to ask what I was supposed to do they suggested I got it sent to someone in the UK who could phone it to me. I think they have completely lost the plot. After all, what is the point of insisting they send out a super secret code then because they fscked up the expiry telling people to send it to someone else!

Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist


This must be one of the funny stories I've read in a very long time. I'm still laughing as I wrote this.

The scary thing is there are going to be some people out there who think they have just received a wonderful and secure lock. Misrepresentation is only one of the words that come to mind about this pile of crap.




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