* Posts by Beornfrith

55 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2014


If it's going to rain within the next 90 mins, this very British AI system can warn you


Re: Huh

I wouldn't have pegged Lybster as being a particularly wet place, but then you're not far from Wick and it's bizarre ability to attract any and all rain to it...

UK's National Crime Agency WLTM Deputy Director of Digital Data & Technology


Re: Cycle2work scheme

Google Maps helpfully suggests I could cycle the 604 miles to London in two days and four hours. Equally helpfully, with 16,000ft of ascent, it warns of a 'steep hill'.

I'll stick with my ten-minute commute regardless of the pay!

Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware


Re: Autocratic governments, that's a broad brush nowadays.

Not only should Scotland arguably not be run from Westminster, as a Highlander I'd argue it shouldn't be run from the Central Belt either. Folk down there have hardly a clue about the practical side of life in the Highlands but talk as though we're all one happy family!

Tired: What3Words. Wired: A clone location-tracking service based on FOUR words – and they are all extremely rude


I couldn't help but smile a little when I saw 'piersmorgan' is one such bad word.

UK govt draws a blank over vaccine certification app – no really, the report is half-empty


I had my first jag in February and my second the requisite amount of time later. Never received a letter; had my jags as a result of my line of work. My fiancé never received a letter and got her first jag months later after arranging it directly with our GP.

That might just be NHS Highland for you, though...

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


Just to add that with all but about 500 miles of my driving experience having been in Scotland we do have NSL signs. I can't think of any that say 70 but I'm right at the northern limit for dual carriageways where I stay!

Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway


Thank you for the kind words and at least one offer of a pint. I did have to end up leaving out a few other things and local sights from the article but the very nature of this region is that you can list interesting places to visit almost ad infinitum - certainly if you start counting natural places!

Swedish old timer pulls airsoft gun on broadband salesman


Re: @Beornfrith

Of course! Sigh. Domestic abuse is a difficult enough subject regardless of which gender is inflicting it on the other but having recently 'escaped' an abusive marriage I have recently very much had my eyes opened, as it were. It took the combined effort of my GP and specialist (I have health problems) along with a trained nurse and the police, alongside a close friend who had survived a deeply abusive relationship for me to even understand what was going on; so engrained in me was the idea that "Men don't get abused."

In fairness to the police and the rest of the services that helped, they could not have been more helpful and supportive.

And with regards to Alan Brown: Your last point is now moot north of the border, at least. When I told them I did not want them to investigate the possibility of a criminal offence I was told outright that they were no longer to take on board the wishes of the 'victim', and that it was their duty to investigate regardless (in an effort to prevent someone being scared or brow-beaten in to not pursuing anything).

There is still a disparity between Scotland and England & Wales, though. It seems that had I been south of the border the situation would indeed have constituted a criminal offence but up north it's not. For what it's worth, I'm glad that's the case in my situation as the stress of proceedings would have been insane.


Re: Welcome to Sweden

So... 'Real men' don't suffer from domestic abuse?

ProtonMail pays ransom to end web tsunami – still gets washed offline


I guess they've never heard of the Danegeld... At least, in being Swiss, they have an excuse.

Firefox 42 ... answer to the ultimate question of life, security bugs and fully private browsing?


Re: Naïve question, I know

Your girlfriend is Master Chief?

Doctor Who's The Zygon Invasion shape-shifts Clara and brings yet more hybrids


I've never had any love for Dr Who but if you're going to wonder about connections between characters at least make a relevant connection with their names. Wald is indeed the German word for wood but Oswald is an Anglo Saxon name meaning a ruler with godly power, or a divine ruler.

Osgood is more convoluted as it's actual name form is from Old Norse. It's a corruption of an Old Norse spelling but could easily be spelled as "Osgod" in Old English (the Anglo Saxon tongue). Osgod would mean either "A divine god" or "A divine good" (as god meant both God and good in Old English (hooray for ambiguity).

Pardon my ramble.

Yahoo! boss! Mayer! promises! shake-up! in! bid! to! save! her! job!


I still use Yahoo - I've been using the same email account with them since 1998. I can't remember the last time I ever visited their website and like many of the above posters I really don't know what they do any more.

It seems to me that, quite simply, if they don't sort out a core identity with which people can - well, identify - then they have no hope as a company.

...but shucks, I quite like having had an email account in use non-stop for 17 years.

Doctor Who's The Girl Who Died ships in nasty Vikings floating atop a time-bending tidal wave



Ic þyncþ niht "cægbord" in Beowulf wæs :D (He was full touchscreen by then)



Yay, another nerd :) I study Old English and use an Icelandic keyboard layout. It is very convenient!



I took it to mean more like "We should not be returning to wearing horns" but what do I know? :P

Singapore Post tests drone delivery services


Oooh, that's my model of drone, that is! Although I don't use Pixhawk, but still.

Microsoft updates Band semi-smartwatch for fitness fanatics


Indeed, and I am glad - for the future, at least. It's honestly so scratched that I would seriously doubt my Band's second-hand value, despite its young age! An odd decision choice indeed :)


I won't be buying one as I have only had my "Band 1" for a couple of months but it has offered a fascinating insight to my health thus far. I am disabled and have no use for 'guided workouts' or cycling/running tracking but I can track my heart rate throughout the day and night (which has helped me isolate and tackle some very awkward sources of stress) and can use the sleep-tracking data to gauge how certain activities and medication are affecting my sleep patterns.

I was sceptical about all of these sorts of things and although I wouldn't want a smart-watch having a "half intelligent watch" that can do all of this tracking and combine it with notifications, Cortana and a few apps is quite nifty.

The lack of a decent glass on the first version of the band is a glaring oversight, though. It's scratched to buggery despite me a) looking after it and b) not being outdoors a great deal.

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


"I can't find any water but I've got WINE working just fine."

Things you should know about the hard work of home working


Re: @beornfirth

Hi Jay; is it possible to send a PM or email to another user via El Reg? I have been a reader for over ten years but have very little experience with the comment system! I'd just like to as you something privately, that's all.


Re: There are also several web sites that specialize in IT gigs

Thanks for the feedback, all.

Matched betting is not something I had heard of. I have done a bit of reading about it and it seems to be a "Do it once" sort of thing, as it relies on new-customer offers from betting firms. I am not sure how that could be converted in to a monthly source of income and if I did it as a once-off I would be earning money against the terms of my disability benefit. It was an interesting read, though.

Odesk/Elance are now known as Upwork. I had already found them and done some research but the problem there is that the freelance nature of the work combined with my lack of demonstrable skills would make me a very un-enticing candidate when other people would be able to offer a far more detailed and useful background. I could undercut but then the natural tendency would surely be for prospective employers to be wary. It is an interesting concept, though, and one I remain receptive towards.

ElDog: I hadn't heard of Coursera or KhanAcademy and I will look in to them. One of the biggest problems I have encountered in my years of ill health is an inability to learn in a formally-structured way.

If you ask me to build or upgrade a computer, I can do that no bother. If you present me with a dead computer I will probably be able to fix it - or at the very least diagnose the problem. If you ask me to explain the fundamentals of photography or do photography work for you I could. I produced a small book for friends and family that explained, in simple terms, the workings of a digital camera and gave step-by-step instructions for a couple of exercises to demonstrate the effect of altering focal lengths and apertures. If you asked me to explain Anglo Saxon history or the Old English language, I could. I read a brief eulogy in Old English at my grandmother's funeral and have written an introductory pamphlet about the language and its names that will be used by the historical society I am a member of at various events later this year.

All of these things are self-taught but they have had to be. My memory is 'damaged' and does not work in a conventional way. I constantly have to work around it and it is difficult to do so. People have sometimes asked me whether I have considered undertaking formal studies while I have been ill and the answer is yes. In fact, the answer is not only yes but "I have tried before" and my memory beats me back overwhelmingly. It is very difficult to explain: I am intelligent, capable and a quick learner but the learning needs to be visual or hands-on/interactive or my brain simply does not recall it in a reliable way.

I do have an interest in gaming and have laid out several ideas for games. I have tried to learn how to build 'stuff' within a couple of engines and have had some limited success but I have not been able to sit down and work with someone, which brings me straight back to memory problems.

Sorry, I don't know how this turned in to such a long ramble. I'll end here.

Thank you again.


Thanks for the interesting reply, Titter. It's a daunting and difficult subject. Earlier this year I sent a letter explaining my condition, situation and abilities to a games developer. They had a customer support role open; as I am the 'go-to guy' for all of my neighbours', family and friends' computer issues and as I have a great deal of patience I thought this might be something I could try to manage.

Sadly, they weren't receptive to the idea.

Thank you for taking the time to answer. Articles and comments like these at least give me a bit of hope that there might be some way of making 'it' work at some point.


I read this article with interest. I am disabled and have never been able to work as an adult. Now 30, I am in a situation where my wife can barely bring home enough money to, when combined with my disability benefit, pay the rent and other bills. She applies for better paying jobs continually but despite being very well educated and with a wealth of experience she is constantly looked passed; she fears it's because she's a foreign national. I've told her I don't think that but quietly I am having my doubts.

My disability often leaves me mentally and physically exhausted but there are hours here and there when I would like to think I could work from home somehow.

The problem is that government restrictions on the benefit mean I cannot earn a penny. That means I then have to either stay in limbo indefinitely or know that somehow I can segue in to a position in which I can earn at least £115 a week to replace the money I would lose by coming off the benefit...

The situation for people like me who don't fit in to a neat pigeon hole is very difficult. I have honestly cried when I have seen how hard my wife works for a pittance, knowing that I can't wave a magic wand and make things better.

Rhetorically or otherwise; I don't suppose anyone has any ideas?

Microsoft Lumia 640, 640XL: They're NOT the same, mmmkay?


I surely can't be the only person who initially interpreted that picture as containing a woman next to a dog that had lovely, long flowing hair. Can I..?

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


The company that gave us TIFKAM now gives us TAFKAU - The Apps Formerly Known As Universal.

LOHAN unleashes 'waiting for the FAA' collector mug


That was supposed to be in reply to Tempest's post but a login-cock-up put paid to that, apparently :)


Likewise! My suggestion wasn't the winner but my motto did make the shortlist...!

UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD


Although I don't agree with the removal of some of these things I do think there's room for improvement in the test. I honestly think that certain 'instant fail' errors should be altered to instead be equivalent to, for example, five minors.

The case in point is my wife, who has just completed her training. In her first test she got just two minors (one of which was 'slight hesitation' (which is what she had been taught)) but while reversing around the left-hand bend she bumped the kerb and thus failed the test. Ironically, it was this reversing move that she was most confident with and both before and after the test displayed the uncanny knack of keeping the car and almost exactly uniform distance from the kerb. It was ultimately just nerves that got her and the examiner actually apologised to her for having to fail someone that could clearly drive.

My thought, then, is that an incident such as touching a kerb during a manoeuvre becomes worth a figure of 'x' minors, say five or ten. In my wife's instance that would mean she would have ended up with seven or twelve minors overall but ultimately would have passed. If a driver is making a lot of mistakes then something like a kerb-bump would still likely end up being the straw that breaks the camel's back.

It seems bizarre to me that the current system allows poor drivers to make mistake after mistake in their test but still pass, whereas someone who demonstrates a good standard of ability is undone immediately by something like touching a kerb. I'm sure we all know of someone who has passed and, on seeing their driving, quietly ask yourself "How...?"

Don't get me wrong, though. There obviously are events that should trigger an instant fail, such as pulling out in to oncoming traffic without indicating or putting a One Direction CD on.

PS: For what it's worth, my better half passed on her second attempt with four minors.

A DRONE OF THEIR OWN: GoPro tabbed for cameracopter launch


Given that there are folk out there who refuse to fly with GoPro cameras because of the (apparent) noisy, interference-causing electronics contained within I hope the firm do enough R&D before launching anything. Although I've not has a problem myself (touch wood) there are plenty of people flying with metal-film lined camera cases for fear of being affected...

Forget the climate: Fatties are a much bigger problem - study


Re: Web site request

@Kubla Can't

Given the topic at hand and with a name like Simon Bacon perhaps the simplest solution would be to just eat him?

Waste not, want not etc etc

Drama in space: But Philae keeps trying to harpoon comet


That'll teach me. I shall expect my deportation notice shortly.


'Joking' aside I am truly in awe of what Rosetta has achieved so far, even without the attempted landing. It's amazing to think that yesterday we mark the signing of the armistice that brought an end to Europe tearing itself limb from limb and here we are today sharing an incredible amount of excitement that proves how much we can achieve when we work together. Wonderful stuff.


Rumour has it that Philae's over-politeness caused the thruster failure. When given the command by mission control apparently this was the response received:

"Thruster? But I hardly know 'er!"

Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?


Re: Alexa - Get my goat.

I only regret that I have but one upvote to give.

Microsoft's TV product placement horror: CNN mistakes Surface tabs for iPAD stands


Re: If MSFT spent 400 meeellion dollars building a better tablet

To be honest I think they'd be better off putting 400 million dollars toward subsidising the cost of the Surface Pro. Anecdotally at least there are a lot of people out there that want the Pro 2 or 3 but the cost is just too big a barrier. Take a hit with the profits but get them out in people's hands, make them visible instead of keeping them rotting in a warehouse.

There is no use pumping out new designs if no one in the real world has seen them.

Doctors urged to adopt default opt-out approach to care.data scheme


I just wanted to wish you all the best for tomorrow.

SKYPE has the HOTS for my NAKED WIFE


Re: Yes, I went there and said "avatars."

This might (or might not) be of interest to you:


Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re shrinking


Re: Are they sure the goats they are staring at

Now Dougal, these goats are small, while those ones are far away...

ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones


Sadly, I don't think the general public appreciates that there are laws and regulations governing the use of drones and the type of flight they are undertaking. In the UK at least it's simply not a case of 'do whatever you want' with them.

Of course, the real problem is the drone-flyers themselves that are equally unaware of the laws and regulations that we need to follow.

Although there are indoor toys available once you start talking about a multirotor with enough heft to fly outside they're really no longer toys but are objects to be taking as seriously as any model aircraft.

I honestly think all drones purchased in the UK should come with a leaflet outlining the restrictions that must be followed. I don't know about other flight controllers but the APM's computer-based configuration software has a clear display indicating nearby airports and the restricted airspace around them - which is something, at least.

A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers


Up here in the Highlands it's more likely to be sheep that you encounter - though I suppose that has its own advantages to gentlemen of certain persuasions!


This seems like a bit of an odd guide - it doesn't really say a great deal. I own and fly a drone so a buyer's guide is not something I'd find useful myself but where are the comparisons of flight controllers or the difference between radios? Where are some example airframes?

Despite some of the bad press that drones have garnered (whether it be because of paranoid journalists or idiot pilots ignoring not just the law but common sense as well) they are really quite fascinating. My aged neighbour loves coming out to watch the drone flying and is enthralled by it, as are my neighbours on the other side. My neighbour's son was fascinated when I explained to him the workings and so on.

To me, my drone combines my love of photography, kit building, radio-controlled models and technology in general. As a disabled person who has limited physical ability a drone gives me a compelling hobby, a great conversation starter and who knows - maybe an avenue to support myself financially in the future?

Although there is clearly a risk of drones being used carelessly the same could be said for a swathe of hobbyist items. I honestly and sincerely hope that their responsible use will become more commonplace in the future.

Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties


Well it's nice to know that when I use my mobility scooter - a lifeline to my physical and mental wellbeing - there are people like you judging me. I'm 6'4" and most definitely overweight. I'm just shy of 30 and definitely not using my scooter because I'm lazy or fat: I'm using it because I have been ill since I was 15 and my body does not function correctly. I display no outward signs of illness.

My weight has been stable for years. The medication that keeps my symptoms in check also exacerbate weight gain. I do not eat excessively but when I do cut back on my intake I suffer from fits of falling due to low blood pressure. Falling repeatedly from my height, with joints, muscles and bones that hurt 24/7 is frankly not worth the literal agony.

It's nice to know that people like you can obviously understand the myriad of health problems that individuals you encounter by vision alone. There undoubtedly are people out there who eat junk to excess and simply can't be bothered walking but tarring every overweight person on a mobility scooter with the same brush is akin to perpetuating the equally ridiculous "all Muslims are terrorists" myth.

So to quote yourself: down vote me to hell, I care not.

Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so



As a child prone to taking things a bit too literally: when I first watched the film I honestly wondered why it had ended, I was so confused! Funny how you remember some emotions so clearly.

Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE


Re: You're all mad. . . Mad, I say.

Oh, cracking - I didn't realise!


Re: You're all mad. . . Mad, I say.

I am very sorry; I suffer from shaky hands and just managed to fling my tablet half way across the room. In doing so I seem to have hit the down vote button. I'm not sure how I managed that but I do apologise!

Fanfare of trumpets as LOHAN reveals mission patch


Can't help but agree with the notion that it might have looked a bit better with a European background but it still looks great!

I'm sorely tempted to mount mine to my quadcopter so it will be lofted skyward on a regular basis in honour of LOHAN!

Vote now for LOHAN's stirring mission patch motto


Thank you, Lester. Very much appreciated.


I may have only been registered for a pitifully short time but I have read El Reg for over ten years. It's a lovely feeling to see my suggestion up there on the shortlist. The notion of "The Heavens Beckon" is upsettingly timely as, sadly, my grandmother passed away in the night just gone.

Good luck to all the submissions. Lohan will be suitably adorned, regardless of the winner!