* Posts by elbisivni

41 publicly visible posts • joined 8 May 2014

I didn't touch a thing – just some cables and a monitor – and my computer broke


Re: IT Crowd

I agree with you on the 'present card' thing. For some reason it always makes me think of gift cards.

The other parts of your message - magnetic stripe? Chip? I'd all but forgotten those existed! I do have an old carbon copy paper copy credit card swipe machine that I use as a doorstop though. It's not very good at that but it scares the cat and that, too, is useful.

Ruggedized phone group takes the Bullitt, calls in PWC as administrative receiver


Re: The final death of phone design in the Thames Valley

And a bit further way, in Birmingham we had Sendo.

Despite them settling with Microsoft on their legal spat I'm still not entirely convinced that MS didn't do what Sendo accused them of. At least in part.

Google Maps leads German tourists to week-long survival saga in Australian swamp


Re: Use your brain rather than your device.

You can rent them. EPIRBs too. I personally have invested in my own as I spend quite a lot of time in the more remote parts of QLD, NSW and the NT. Some newer smartphones have satellite texting abilities, which I was involved in testing outback, so that might be enough. Cheaper too.

A UHF radio is also a very sensible thing to have. Although I'd venture that you could get away with just the radio if you stick to the roads. There's long distances, yes, but there are settlements, trucks and other people. Off the road or down a random track changes things.

It always makes sense to tell the last lot of people you see where you're going, and also someone at the destination together with an estimated time of arrival. Quite a few people have been rescued thanks to doing that after having an issue.

Rice isn't nice for drying your iPhone, according to Apple


No phone, or pretty much any machine or device, is waterproof. They're water resistant. A not very small, and very critical difference...

<toddles off to look for my well thumbed copy of the Skill Kids book of pedantry>

Mars helicopter to try for new speed record on Thursday


Re: Pictures?

It has a B&W navigation camera. Photographs from all its missions are all on the mars.nasa.gov site.

Nice smart device – how long does it get software updates?


the robot vacuum is, for me, a definite buy. It runs every second night, or when I think it needs a bit of an extra scrubbing, and keeps on top of the dust and cat hair without me lifting a finger. And given it enjoys eating cables it also motivates me to tidy up regularly.

Also, voice controlled occasional lights because the genius who decided where to put the light switches in my home placed them at the end of long hallways, rather than the beginning. I can now shout at the house to turn them on, and if I leave the house having forgotten to turn one off a geofence turns them off automatically if I get far enough away.

Haiku beta 4: BeOS rebuild / almost ready for release / A thing of beauty


Just installed it on a 2011 Mac Mini.

Reminds me of the brief time I had with an original BeBox, except it's much faster. Don't know what I'll use it for, but it's nice to play with it again.

NASA may tap SpaceX to rescue ISS 'nauts in Soyuz leak


Re: Escape pod???

The OP was probably referring to the Focke Achgelis Fa-330 Bachstelze. And you're right - WWII rather than 1.

In addition to gently gliding to the surface if it lost its tow, the pilot could also eject the rotor hub in an emergency, with the pilot using a parachute to descend. If the submarine had gone under the outcome would be similarly unfortunate for the hapless pilot.

Interestingly, just learned that they were mostly used by U-boats in the Indian Ocean and, less commonly, the Southern Atlantic.

Not all vendors' Arm-powered kit is created equally, benchmark fan finds


Re: no mention of the bugs in

You have piqued my interest, and rather wish you’d made your post a little more informative by expanding on the bugs you are referencing.

I note you used plural ‘bugs’. I’m already aware of ‘M1RACLES’, could you identify the others so I can add them to the test environments? I’ve already had trouble getting it to work on M1 Pro, but not the standard M1 or M1 Max.

[note - not a hacker!]

The years were worth the wait. JWST gives us an amazing view of Neptune's rings


Krikkit, even. And yes, same. https://hitchhikers.fandom.com/wiki/Krikkit

Apple's grip on iOS browser engines disallowed under latest draft EU rules


Re: Shiny shiny ...

So, err, was this a while ago? IOS has supported third party keyboards on iPhone and ipad since version 8, released in September 2014. I'm using SwiftKey to type this on an iPad and it works fine. Earlier versions of the OS were a little balky at times with such keyboards, but with IOS/ipadOS 15 support has been solid on my 2015 vintage ipad.

Of course I'm not using GBoard because... well, Google, but I could if I wanted to.

We take Asahi Linux alpha for a spin on an M1 Mac Mini


Re: It works until it is blocked

I can’t recall a case where Apple blocked an alternative OS from being installed on its Macs. IOS devices yes, but Mac? No. They don’t even force you to install software only from the Mac App Store either.

Apple has missed the video revolution


Re: Apple dumbed down and threw pros under a bus

Nah, audio definitely. Protools, among others, was fab on the mac, and many other music creation tools benefitted greatly from much lower latency than the best Windows was capable of back in the day. As for video - not too familiar with that anymore, but most NLEs were Mac based, and Final Cut Pro used to be dead good. They dumbed down FCPX, but newer updates have recovered much, if not all what was lost.

That persists today - iOS devices have had, until recently, also had much lower latency than their Android peers despite several manufacturer's best efforts. Not sure where it is today, but it was certainly still true two years ago

Apple tweaks AirTags to be less useful for stalkers, thieves


Re: Fun ways to kill one.

It appears as a screen when you set up a new device. It's quite clear.

Also, turning it off is a simple matter of going into the settings and turning it off under 'find my'.

Apple Mac sales break records amid ex-86-odus to Arm-compatible M1 silicon


Re: did they say that these are better than sliced bread yet can't run Linux?

The boot loader on all M1 macs is open and unlocked, Apple does not prevent booting of unsigned or custom kernels in any way. They may not go out of their way to help projects to do this, but they’re also not stopping them.

Asahi Linux is one such project. It isn’t complete yet. Ubuntu recently introduced Mulitpass, allowing you to fire up a Linux vm on the shiny Apple-ness.

Robot vacuum cleaner employed by Brit budget hotel chain Travelodge flees


My robot vacuum has LIDAR, which it uses to map the rooms so it doesn't bump into things or, sometimes, not eat things it isn't supposed to. You can also set virtual boundaries in software which is nice. The app shows the map, and I've noticed that it has scanned through the patio doors and mapped quite a bit of the outdoors area. Occasionally it'll roll up to the door and stop for a bit. I like to think it is looking wistfully at the great outdoors, longing to break the bonds of servitude.

Snap continues to make a spectacle of itself as it tries to trademark the word spectacles


Re: Is it in the dictionary?

Sosumi was a system alert beep that was originally called 'Chime'. The company's lawyers were concerned the nav was a bit too musical-sounding. After Apple Corps sued because of the sound chip in the Apple IIGS (was it a Yamaha AY 38910 as used in so many other systems of that vintage? I forget), and got a settlement that prohibited Apple from making "creative works that have music as principal content".

SO they called it 'Sosumi, just to be annoying.

The did the same with Carl Sagan after he sued because the internal prototype name for an early PowerMac model was 'Sagan' and he was concerned that it looked like product endorsement. They renamed it BHA (Butt Head Astronomer)

Awkward. At Chrome summit, developer asks: Why should anyone trust Google?


Re: Trust Google?

Ah, I see.

Mum, who is 81 and lives in the UK had trouble with that with her bank. Because OMG Teh rAdIaTiOn NIMBYs stopped a mobile phone tower being erected in the village there is no signal.

At least the UK version seems to be quite happy on a desktop browser. They've moved away from mandating IE or Chrome, thankfully. Wasn;t always thus.


Re: Trust Google?

as a matter of interest - which government forces its citizens to own a smartphone? Or are you talking about Government employees?

Google's Pixel 6 fingerprint reader is rubbish because of 'enhanced security algorithms'


Re: Try the hyper-enhanced security mode.

Samsung tried that a couple of years ago, but in public trials they only ever achieved deflagration, not actual detonation.

Chip shortages took $6bn bite out of Apple's top line


Re: New iPhone not a "must buy"

The iPhone 13 was made available in mid October - a bit late to contribute, positively or negatively, to apple's results for the last quarter.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Sub-$600 midranger makes premium phones feel frivolous


Re: Decoy

I believe Samsung makes most of these low and mid range things in Vietnam and, to a lesser extent, India. It no longer has factories in China as its market share there has cratered and the country's labour costs have been rising.

UK gets glowing salute from Bezos-backed General Fusion: Nuclear energy company to build plant in Oxfordshire


Re: 2025?

I was so excited a while ago (was is 2013?) when Lockheed Martin announced that the high beta Compact Fusion Reactor prototype would be built and tested within a year, and running actual net energy positive tests within five. Bang in line with your joke.

I appreciate there have been more test objects come out of LM since then, but blimey geezers, manage expectations a bit better!

Playmobil crosses the final frontier with enormous, metre-long Enterprise playset


Re: Space force

Not just the 2nd Lieutenants. I've seen plenty of Captains I wouldn't trust to safely or competently operate a wheelbarrow (disclaimer - I was one myself once, and still have a special two wheeled wheelbarrow as a risk reduction measure.)


Re: What do you sell to a well-off 40 year old that doesn't golf ?

Feeling very personally attacked by this post. Very.

(this weekend I dedicated an entire spare room to my always growing Fujifilm collection)

Refurb your enthusiasm: Apple is selling an 8-year-old desktop for over £5k


I think you're being a little unfair about the 2CV's 0-60 time. the test model got to 58 a few years ago, so it should complete its run soonish!


The earliest 2CV claimed to do about 4.6 litres per 100km, the later ones about 4.4. It was my first car - I remember working out how much my 70s model was doing (in the late 80s) - the factory figures were quite accurate - 5 litres per 100 was easy to achieve, going up to about 7 or 8 around town. Yes, I kept notes. Call me a nerd :)

You can get that in quite a few modern internal combustion cars. Something reasonably large and loaded with safety gubbins like the 110tsi 1.4litre Skoda Octavia (or its VW and Seat equivalents) comes to mind at approx 4.6 litres per 100 (on the motorway, not combined cycle). Of course, at a tonne and a half it weighs considerably more than the 600kg 2CV. That's for the manual. Not sure about the autotragic/DSG versions.

You have to wonder what that engine would do lugging a third of the weight around

Google to revive RSS support in Chrome for Android


I loved Google Reader, both for personal and professional use, and it was not a good day (for me) when it went away. Support for RSS in general seemed to wane a bit after that, with many feeds either disappearing, or becoming flaky.

I still miss it, but not enough to install Chrome on my increasingly elderly machines.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 modem code flaw exposed Android smartphones to possible snooping


''Exposed Android smartphones to snooping''.

So the devices were performing as designed, then.

Seriously - I do wish there was a viable alternative to Qualcomm in the Android market, or at least that Samsung would pull its finger out and make Exynos even slightly competitive. Qualcomm's heavy hand even stifles entire nascent markets, such as its miserable efforts at making up-to-date SOCs for smart watches

Facebook Oversight Board upholds decision to ban Trump, asks FB to look at own 'potential contribution' to 'narrative of electoral fraud'


Re: Has he been banned from El Reg forums?

Oh grief. I've only recently stopped having flashbacks to the September that never ended. This would rekindle the whole sorry business!

Apple's macOS Gatekeeper asleep on the job: Exploited flaw put users 'at grave risk' of malware infection


Re: Mavericks

Regrettably not. It appears that the last security update for Mavericks was 13F1911, in late 2016.

Forgive me for asking - what is the obvious reason why people won't update beyond Mavericks? Old version of Adobe's suite?

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem


Re: When turn off/turn on fails

You need to be careful making claims like that - the local 'Thylacines are not extinct, and here's a picture that would be rejected by Bigfoot and alien hunters for being too blurry to prove it'' group would take that as actual empirical proof of their continued existence.

Guilty: Sister and brother who over-ordered hundreds of MacBooks for university and sold the kit for millions


This has made me recall a situation very early in what I laughingly refer to as my''çareer'. Administering an old VAX system, as well as a few Macs, including one linked to multiple modems at the same time for journalists overseas to submit their articles.

Anyway, long story short, two Powermac 8100s were ordered for the designers, and about ten 6100s for journos, Can't find the GBP price for the 8100s, but they started at US$4,500 at the time. So getting on for US$8k or more today.

When the pallet arrived I noted that there were two extra 8100s on there. Mentioned it to the boss, who excitedly confided in me that the sales rep had 'given' him them for free as a thank you. and he then took them home. Knowing now that there wasn't exactly a huge profit in the machines for resellers I am suddenly thinking that old mate was even more dodgy than he seemed at the time. Also, glad he didn't try to involve me more in this, or frame me for it.


Re: Why is the second part of:

My thoughts too. I imagine it's a bit like gambling. Have a win, think you can make even more. Maybe win a bit more and become confident it's sustainable, or you've found a working system. And then your luck runs out.

And when I say 'a bit', I really mean 'exactly'.

Android data slurping measured and monitored


Re: Lol, look at all the dumb comments

It does a little bit - it mentions that the communication to Apple servers doesn't include ad related information, and that the amount of data was significantly less.

Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears


Apple also drops to 15% for in app subscriptions in the second year.

Oz retro computer collection in dire straits, bulldozers on horizon


I have some space, but also in Brisbane. Ugh, tyranny of distance.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain


Re: The most amazing engineering

Mantevani - that brings back memories. I used to live in one of the mansion blocks on Prince of Wales Drive on the edge of the park and would regularly annoy my flatmate by opening the balcony door to watch and hear Concorde follow the river.

it was also one of the things I missed after I moved to the correct side of the river a few years later.

'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app


Re: santa

Want to lose it completely? Have a browse of answer.yahoo.com.

Whenever I'm feeling optimistic about our future as a species going there fixes it completely.

Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech


Re: Health and safety gone maddddd!

Personally, I just pop the transmission into 2nd when I go through school zones - If I go over 40 the engine makes enough of a howl to notify me if I hadn't already noticed, and, of course, engine compression will limit me to the same speed on a downhill without ever having to touch the brakes.

If you own an autotragic some of the above may be useless. In that case perhaps a GPS/GPS app with a speed alert might be useful if you can't judge speed through observation alone so you don't have to check the speedo?

Cameras for hacks: Idiot-proof suggestions invited


For the last week or so I've been evaluating (ok, playing) with a Nikon Coolpix S9700 for some of our people to use out west.

It is proving very nice to use and has (as they all do) a full auto mode which will remove need for even a one page manual, as well as a decent zoom.

Not particularly beer proof, though.