* Posts by AIBailey

408 posts • joined 29 Jul 2014

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Google wants to look like it cares about your privacy with Android 12 Beta 2, but note that's not how Google works

AIBailey

Re: Location Services

As I sit here listening to music on Bluetooth headphones, with location services switched off, I must admit I'm confused by your comment.

Remember Anonymous? It/they might be back, and it/they are angry with Elon Musk

AIBailey

Musk is a "...narcissistic rich dude who is desperate for attention."

We didn't need Anonymous (or a variant of) to tell us that.

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward

AIBailey

VB6 was the only programming tool I had to hand many years ago, when I found, abandoned in the corner of one of out IT store rooms, a receiver to pick up the time signal transmitted from Rugby. It was unused simply because it only had a support driver for Netware, and we already had time sync on the Netware network provided from another source. I think there was a Windows driver available, but at a fairly hefty cost.

The instruction manual included details of the protocol it used, and so using VB6 I knocked together a program to read the stream from the serial port and set the system time on a Windows NT Lotus Notes admin server at regular intervals (I can't remember if it was overnight or weekly), meaning that our email system got proper synchronisation*

VB might not have been a great system, and my program was a bit of a cludge, I guess, but it worked.

* - I should say "mostly proper synchronisation", as despite the fact that there were CRC checks in order to ensure that the time signal was correct, I arrived to work one morning to find people were complaining that many of their emails he become unread, and new emails were appearing out of sequence. I assume that in some circumstances it was possible that the signal noise to occasionally flip enough bits so that the time signal and CRC value were both wrong but matching, and the server date and time had changed to something several years earlier. I fixed this by requiring the program to validate three successive time messages before making any clock changes.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

AIBailey

Re: Such value for money

My first car was a Lada Niva (the 4x4) that was handed down from my Dad.

It was almost bulletproof - it once went through a stone wall in Derbyshire without so much as a scratch, and always started straight away on even the coldest morning.

The thing that always amused me most was that, should the starter motor ever fail, there was a hole in the front bumper to allow the use of a starting handle.

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s

AIBailey

The only keyboard I've ever lusted after - Optimus Concept

17 years since release, iMac G5 finally gets an upgrade after tinkerer shoves M1 Mac Mini inside

AIBailey

Not just Apple...

Later Commodore Amiga's suffer badly with capacitor leakage. The A600 and A1200 were the first Commodore computers to use surface mount components, and the capacitors are more than happy to try and eat away the circuit board from within.

The earlier Amiga's are largely safe, due to having through-hole capacitors instead that seem to hold up much better.

Apart from the A500+, which included a Varta rechargeable cell to provide power to a clock circuit, and also has something of an electrolyte incontinence problem.

Bah, a plague on both your houses.

Jailbreaking app gets update to support iOS 14.3 and iPhone 12

AIBailey

To be fair, I expect that the percentage of people that regularly jailbreak Apple devices is barely a blip on the radar for Apple.

Whilst your suggestion would/could result in several TLA's (or FLA's in the case of the UK) getting access to some i-devices, I don't think in the grand scheme it would be many.

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video

AIBailey

aimed to prove a book could stop a .50 caliber bullet.

I love the oxymoron of the US using a decimal fraction against an imperial unit of measurement.

Backers of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone furious after shock specs downgrade

AIBailey

Wasn't Janko Mrsic-Flogel also involved with the Vega Plus? Another crowd-funded bait-and-switch project?

Developer beta for Huawei's Google-free HarmonyOS is here – but you may need to Google Translate the docs

AIBailey

Absolutely.

I don't know what Huawei's plans are for HarmonyOS, but if they licence it freely to other manufacturers then it might gain traction.

OTOH, with AOSP also available, HarmonyOS may well end up as just another minor OS of interest with a tiny market share compared to Android (See Fire OS, Tizen, Sailfish OS etc.)

HP bows to pressure, reinstates free monthly ink plan... for existing customers

AIBailey

I've had a HP printer for a couple of years and am still on the free plan.

At no point in that time have I had any kind of advert printed out, so I've not got a clue what you've heard about?

Asus ROG Phone 3: An ugly but refreshing choice – for gaming fans only

AIBailey

C'mon 'Reg...

Any chance of any kind of consistency? Are these pixel densities sharp or crap?

Vivo X51 review -

Flip it over, and you catch sight of the X51 5G's 6.56-inch AMOLED display, which is bright and vibrant, but with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,376, it's not as high-res as others at just 398 PPI density.

ASUS ROG Phone 3 review -

ASUS saw fit to clad this device with a 6.59-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a squat 19.5:9 aspect ratio. As you'd expect from an AMOLED panel, this looks amazing. It's bright and sharp, with great colour fidelity.

Nokstalgia: HMD Global introduces yet another homage to the past – a 4G rework of the Nokia 6300

AIBailey

"why you’d want to text on a T9 keyboard is beyond us."

The one thing that I'd really love on my Android phone is a no-frills reliable T9 keyboard.

I used to find it possible to type quickly and accurately using predictive text, and the muscle memory is still there.

We've made it: Microsoft deems El Reg relevant enough to have a play with the nerfed version of its upcoming Xbox

AIBailey

Re: Clear as mud

Until the release of the Xbox One, it was fairly understandable.

Then the Xbox One (the later one) meant that I didn't know what to call my Xbox one (the one before the 360). Xbox Original? Original Xbox? just Xbox?

Whoever has been in charge of product identity after the Xbox 360 really needs to be shot.

Plus, this whole "upgrade the spec in the middle of a product lifecycle" thing just adds to the confusion, and Sony is just as bad.

Vivo pushes out X51 5G: Chipper whippersnapper, quite a battery-sapper, but at least the wrapper's dapper

AIBailey

Erm.... what?

6.56-inch AMOLED display...... a resolution of 1,080x2,376...... not particularly high-res

Since when was over 400 pixels per inch suitable for consideration as "not particularly high res"?

I'll give you my passwords if you investigate police corruption, accused missile systems leaker told cops

AIBailey

Re: Shredder

If I remember correctly, there was a general blanket ban on showing nunchuks in the British 80's, yet if the centre chain of said nunchucks was replaced by a solid bar, linked to the others by a ring, that was fine.

Bonkers!

Intel screams Tiger Lake is 'world's best processor' (then quietly into its sleeve: for thin Windows, ChromeOS laptops)

AIBailey

Re: What's wrong with "times"?

I'm with you there. I've literally never heard anyone say it as "three ex" before.

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all

AIBailey

Re: Too late for some.

Students will get a grade based either on mock results or predicted grades, whichever is higher.

First rule of Ransomware Club is do not pay the ransom, but it looks like Carlson Wagonlit Travel didn't get the memo

AIBailey

Obligitary...

https://xkcd.com/2335/

AIBailey

Just stop acknowledging Bitcoin (and other such "currencies") as legitimate currencies.

The only reason blackmail attempts such as this are able to succeed is due to the anonymising effect of Bitcoin etc.

Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150

AIBailey

Chunky Pixels?

That screen resolution gives a pixel density around 268ppi.

Apple have been merrily putting the "Retina Display" moniker on many products with lower pixel densities than that, including all recent iPad's, iPad Pro's, MacBook Pro's, and the Pro Display XDR.

So no, there won't be chunky pixels.

You may see a slight difference between that and phones with pixel densities in the realm of 400ppi, but for general use it'll be perfectly serviceable.

AIBailey

I've been a convert to Android Pay over the past year or so, but only turn on NFC at the point of paying. Usually it's turned off.

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps

AIBailey

Re: It's a marketing coup

I've been impressed in the past with Huawei phones (I've had one, my wife has one, my son had one and now has a Honor).

However, it was only recently that I discovered that in later version of EMUI. they've intentionally removed the option to install apps to the SD card. This was found out the hard way when Mrs B was no longer able to install anything without deleting other apps first.

There's no workaround short of rooting, and by doing that you probably lose access to online banking from the phone.

I was considering a Honor for my next handset, but unfortunately this restriction has put me right off.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

AIBailey

Re: If the author of this PoC

Twitter haven't suppressed what Trump has been able to say, they've merely added a flag to point out that what he's spouting may not be grounded in any kind of fact at all.

He's still free to say what he wants, but that doesn't meant that anyone else has to take it as gospel. What's really wound him up is that he might not be able to post a bunch of lies any more without it being openly called into question.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

AIBailey

You could launch at any time and achieve Earth orbit.

The challenge here is to launch when the ISS is at the right point in the sky, otherwise you waste too much fuel chasing down its orbit.

For the price tag, this iPad Pro keyboard better damn well be Magic: It isn't... but it's not completely useless either

AIBailey

Re: Because ... it’ll just work : Nope

Our main family laptop is a Dell from late 2010. Upgraded several years ago with a SSD, and I've chucked a couple of extra GB of RAM in its direction, but otherwise I've not had to repair or replace anything.

It's still getting all W10 updates as well.

Honor launches new UK store, laptop, kettle, er... toothbrush?

AIBailey

Re: Millimetres?

I'm hoping that last one is a typo. An 8K compatible 5" screen? That's a serious pixel density.

Press F2 to pay respects. New Xiaomi Poco Pro has 5G, top-drawer Snapdragon chippery, 64MP camera

AIBailey
Black Helicopters

Re: Still a bit sick after the last made in China import

...at least our own spyware does not go to a such a regime.

How do you know?

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly

AIBailey

You could have stopped after the first 5 words in that sentence.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

AIBailey

Re: Let's be honest...

Your memory does you credit - taken from ST-Amiga Format, issue 13 (1989), an article on software piracy:

"There is a story doing the rounds of a lad who hacked into Ocean's Operation Wolf, which in ST format comes on three disks, removed a bug on level five which caused the game to crash when a particular object is shot and compressed all the code to fit on one disk. Disks aren't cheap - Ocean would have been extremely happy to have left two disks out."

Of course, the original ST version would have been on single-sided floppies, where the cracked version would be double sided.

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

AIBailey

Re: What makes you think it's Windows 7 ?

Windows 7 with the Windows Classic theme does show a gradient across the window title bar.

Motorola bounds out the G8 with a harder, better, faster smartphone for the thrifty

AIBailey
WTF?

Re: Not progress

Apple have been slapping the "Retina Display" moniker on anything down to about 220ppi. At that resolution, it is possible to just about make out individual pixels, but at 269ppi on this handset, you're exaggerating somewhat to say that the pixels will "stand out".

Can you hear me now? Roadtesting Anker's first Bluetooth speakerphone

AIBailey

Re: an obscure sport largely absent from this country

Hockey != Ice Hockey

Uncle Sam's nuke-stockpile-simulating souped-super El Capitan set to hit TWO exa-FLOPS, take crown as world's fastest machine in 2023

AIBailey
Unhappy

Is it just me?

It's great to see the scale of performance numbers being floated around, and the idea of supercomputers has always held a mystique, but I can't help but feel disappointed that this continues the trend set many years ago, where supercomputers are just rack mount machines in rows and rows, where the only distinguishing features are the design on the doors and side panels.

Bring back the spirit of the 70's and 80's, supercomputers looked other-worldly, instead of looking like any other data centre.

Huawei unfolds latest shot at the phone-tablet hybrid with reinforced hinge and reassuringly Xs-sive price

AIBailey
Black Helicopters

"...Baolong modems, which supports ... 5G NSA"

Pre-backdoored? Just the way the Trump administration like it.

Huawei claims its Google Play replacement is in 'top 3' app stores after Trump turns off tap to the Chocolate Factory

AIBailey

Google cannot supply the code for Google Mobile Services to Huawei in China for them to include in their phone build. There's nothing that says that a user of a Huawei phone in another country (e.g. Australia) can't use US-centric apps though.

Netflix (to use another example) may not be able to provide code directly to Huawei, so the Netflix app can't be embedded in the phone from the factory, but again, nothing prevents a user in another country from installing the app.

If I was to suddenly become the owner of a Huawei phone without Google, installing the Amazon App store and F-Droid would probably get me 95% of the apps that I have on my current phone. *

*- ...at a guess. I already have some apps that I've obtained from the two sources above, and know that a great deal of others that I've downloaded from from the Play store are available in at least one of the alternatives.

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?

AIBailey

Simply place the backup tape next to the drive array, and wait for some kind of data-osmosis to occur.

Of course, verifying the backup will be difficult, but I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time that backup integrity checks have basically consisted of crossing your fingers and hoping really hard.

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

AIBailey

"There are many tools which tech-savvy children use...

...some of which can be used for both legal & illegal purposes,"

So almost any software development tools are right out then, as they could be used to create all manner of nefarious tools.

Or yet another calculator app.

"Tools" could even apply in a literal sense to things like screwdrivers and hammers. If my kids can use a screwdriver to open a PC case and change a graphics card (they can), should I also assume they will go and commit an assault with it as well?

Razr sharp foldable: Samsung whips out Galaxy Z Flip – and, oh snap, it's £1,300

AIBailey

Re: "..a 21.9:9 aspect ratio."

That actually makes more sense than 21.9:9

At least you can immediately visualise how much wider or taller a screen is from that.

AIBailey
Stop

"..a 21.9:9 aspect ratio."

Stop. Just.... stop.

7.3:3 is fine.

C'mon 'Reg, take a stand against this ??:9 nonsense. We're generally intelligent enough here to not need our hands holding and requiring every aspect ratio being something:9.

The smallest denomination is fine.

Raw sunlight is going to cause our asteroid belt to spin itself to death by YORPing – but not for another six billion years

AIBailey
WTF?

This affects asteroids between 1 and 100 metres in diameter, and a rotation of once every 2 hours will "rip them apart"?

What am I missing here - that doesn't sound particularly violent for an object of that scale, especially if an asteroid is mostly solid rock.

Jeff Bezos: I will depose King Trump

AIBailey

Re: To be honest ...

95% approval in the Republican party...

95% approval amongst career politicians that have realised that the best, in fact the only way to get ahead and remain in a job is to back the orangeutan leader?

Occasionally a few of the Republicans show a bit of backbone and actually resist (Romney being a recent example), but a public dressing down from the comedian in chief usually reminds them not to misbehave again.

THAT says a lot, you know...

Latest battery bruiser Android from budget Moto G range appears ahead of MWC after an Amazon whoopsie

AIBailey

Re: Can't hear you!

I use Poweramp as my media player. Amongst the plethora of options is a toggle to mix audio to mono.

No need to inflict your music on anyone else.

There's got to be Huawei we can defeat Chinese tech giant, thinks US attorney-general. Aha, let's buy stake in Ericsson and Nokia

AIBailey

So is this an admission by the US government that they were expecting other countries to a) deny their markets to Huawei, and then b) turn to the US (primarily Cisco and Juniper) to supply their equipment.

They've suddenly discovered that there are actually other network manufacturers that are neither Chinese or American, and have suddenly realised that they might not be raking in the millions after all. (Because let's not forget that the real reason for going after Huawei is to stifle the competition for US products)

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

AIBailey
FAIL

Re: What a nasty nest of vipers

From the article - ...child sex abuse images the FBI claimed it had found on a server he ran.

This wasn't a picture, rather multiple images. And they were (allegedly) on a server that Schulte ran, nothing to do with the CIA.

Edit : from the earlier article : " Schulte was in charge of a server that contained 54GB of illegal content"

EU tells UK: Cut the BS, sign here, and you can have access to Galileo sat's secure service

AIBailey
Joke

Behold, the Brexit Satellite

Those egg-carton solar panels, Mr Kipling foil tray antennas and yoghurt pot thrusters look just like the real thing.

Blue Peter will be proud.

The Foot of Cupid emits final burst of flatulence in honour of fallen Python Terry Jones

AIBailey

Re: Captain Buzzkill

No he didn't, he came here for an argument!

To catch a thief, go to Google with a geofence warrant – and it will give you all the details

AIBailey

Re: Sooo....

The other take home is that if you need to kill time while waiting for your criminal mates to arrive, take a book to read rather than have a few games of Angry Birds.

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?

AIBailey

Re: USB A

I've got a couple of double sockets in the kitchen that have 3 x USB-A connectors built in, rated at 3.1A total.

They're really useful for charging most devices, and save having to dig out a multitude of plugs to charge the family's' phones at the end of the day.

The exception is the wife's phone, that somehow tries to draw as much power as the national grid can supply to the whole estate. This means that after about 10 minutes, all the devices that are plugged into the USB sockets periodically stop charging for a few seconds as the circuit inside the plug has got hot enough to trip the thermal cutout. The socket itself gets too hot to keep a finger against it for more than a second or so.

The time that Sales braved the white hot heat of the data centre to save the day

AIBailey
Mushroom

Re: There was the time...

... a fire caused by a faulty aircon unit that had been playing up for a week or so?

Image of the actual unit -->

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