* Posts by AegisPrime

78 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jun 2015


Millions of smart meters will brick it when 2G and 3G turns off


A positive story...

I'm as anti-IoT as it gets - even my 'smart' phone barely qualifies for that moniker but I've been pretty impressed with Octopus' offering.

I was with Eon and they decided to arbitrarily add 30% to my monthly DD which was the last straw for me (the fixed rate I was getting from them at the time was £0.37p per kWh) - I'd heard Octopus had good rates and on checking they were offering £0.30 per kWh (result!) *however* the real incentive to switch to a smart meter was their 'Octopus Tracker' which supposedly follows the wholesale market price for energy - my average cost per kWh this month has been £0.18p and I'm presently paying 55% less for my energy than if I'd stuck with Eon.

Still not crazy about the cons for having a smart meter, but at least in my case, the 'pros' are pretty substantial.

Start rummaging: Atari's new 2600+ console supports vintage cartridges


Re: Maybe this will sound harsh...

Depends on what you mean by 'enjoyable' - sure, many of the games are extremely dated but that doesn't stop them from being fun - Namco's Pac-Man is over 40 years old now but people still enjoy playing it, partly due to nostalgia I'm sure but also because it's just a great game.

The VCS' library is certainly littered with cheap arcade clones and hastily thrown together games to cash in on the video game craze of the time, but it's also home to classics like H.E.R.O, Yars' Revenge, Adventure, Pitfall/2 and a few of my other personal favourites (Battlezone, Berzerk, Haunted House and Enduro).

I don't play these games very often - but when I do sit down to play them I always enjoy them.

Microsoft begs you not to ditch Edge on Google's own Chrome download page


Damned if you do...

Annoyingly, even if you stick with Edge (which I've chosen to do on some less tech-savvy friend's PCs to keep things simple) Microsoft *still* won't leave you alone since it'll frequently badger them to reset to Edge defaults (i.e. Bing instead of Google which they requested) - MS really should be applauded for making Edge the worst of all options even though there's nothing terribly wrong with the browser itself.

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


Trouble with space rubbish? Sounds like a job for this lot: https://youtu.be/-mR-gz9EFO8

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks


Re: VPNs

VPNs will be the next thing under the spotlight when the morons that pushed for this realise that kids will be installing free VPNs from the Chrome store to circumvent it - in fact, I expect the number of such offerings to skyrocket, particularly as most of them are little more than proxies with little-to-no privacy (always read the small print kids).

Still, in the spirit of *ahem* 'sticking it to the man', if you are looking for a decent, free (if slightly slow) VPN, ProtonVPN's offering is ace.

Using a free VPN? Why not skip the middleman and just send your data to President Xi?

Black Helicopters

Re: TunnelBear

I used to use (and recommend) TunnelBear but since their acquisition by McAfee (facepalm) I would't touch them with a shitty stick. I recommend ProtonVPN these days who do have an free, unlimited (though slower) offering in addition to their excellent paid service.

That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar


Re: I am genuinely shocked

I'm still using my Lumia 520 'cause I haven't found anything cheap that can run Lineage OS yet - anyone got any recommendations for a Lineage-supported sub-£100 phone?

They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today



I used Hotmail in its original incarnation for a bit but seem to have lost my password (or the will to live) around the time of Microsoft's acquisition. It was never really that good but at the time it was pretty neat to not have your email address held to ransom by your ISP (anyone remember Demon and/or Blueyonder?).

Later I was one of those misguided fools that bought into Apple's MobileMe service (which if I recall, even Steve Jobs said was execrable) - over time it improved and eventually got subsumed into iCloud so both email addresses now point to the same account which I continue to use.

I keep expecting Apple to kick me off for being a freeloader (I no longer own any ithings) but I really can't be arsed with switching to something else and wouldn't touch Google with a barge-pole. I did set up a couple of Protonmail accounts but without IMAP they're more novelty than utility - maybe I should quit being a tight-arse and *gulp* pay for my email account...

Pi-lovers? There are two fresh OSes for your tiny computers to gobble


Very nice.

I just picked up a 3B+ to build a small HTPC for a friend of mine that wanted an easy way to catalogue and play his Blu-ray collection.

I was fully expecting a bunch of tinkering under the hood to get it working but nope - I just downloaded LibreELEC, plugged in the USB receiver for the remote control I got him and... it just worked.

Kinda anti-climatic really. I spent more time showing him how to use it than actually setting the thing up.

UK Home Office sheds 70 staff on delayed 4G upgrade to Emergency Services Network


Re: The wrong solution from the beginning.

Sadly in my experience it tends to be the realists that get 'weeded' out in situations like this whilst the sycophants cling onto their jobs until the bitter end.

Apple grounds AirPort once and for all. It has departed. Not gonna fly any more. The baggage is dropped off...


End of an era...

I have a first-gen 2008 Time Capsule I've been using as a wireless hub and NAS for 10 years on my Windows and Linux machines - amazing piece of kit that just keeps on trucking. I also bought a couple of AirPort Expresses around the same time - one my ex-wife nabbed, the other's currently attached to 20 meters of ethernet cable and acting a a wifi receiver for a friend's business so he can get internet access.

These really were product of a different age - dead easy to set up and completely reliable - the thought of replacing them someday with modern tat just makes me sad. Bah.

Vaping on the NHS? Don't hold your breath


Re: Nicotine is an addictive neurotoxin however it is taken.

Are nicotine patches addictive? Nicotine gum? I'll save you a Google search - no. There's no evidence suggesting that nicotine by itself is addictive - what IS addictive is the cocktail of nicotine and additives in tobacco cigarettes which when smoked get the nicotine into the bloodstream far quicker than patches, gum or indeed e-cigarettes.

Then there's the whole psychosomatic ritual of smoking - lighting up when stressed, after a meal or outside the pub with friends/colleagues - there's multiple factors at play that end up making smoking an incredibly difficult crutch for some people to quit. On of the reasons vaping has been successful for many people is because it better replicates the smoking ritual than patches or gum can.

He's cheesed it! French flick pirate on the lam to swerve €80m fine, two-year stretch in the clink


Re: Historical?

Netflix only has *some* content - it'll never have *all* the content.

For example, were I in the US and wanted to watch say Stranger Things, The Man in the High Castle and Star Trek: Discovery I'd need separate subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime and CBS All-Access.

This will only get worse since Disney is planning on pulling all its content (including Marvel/Lucasfilm) from Netflix in the future to host exclusively on its own forthcoming streaming service.

The future of legitimately streaming movies and TV shows is going to be *very* expensive.

Blockchain nears peak hype: UK politicos to probe crypto-coin


Re: Would regulation...

It's already taxed as capital gains and (speaking as a crypto dabbler) I'd prefer it to stay that way - in the US *every* transaction is considered a taxable event (i.e. Bitcoin -> Ethereum) whereas in the UK you currently only pay tax when you cash out.

UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool


Mystery algorithms?

Presumably the Elders Of The Internet bestowed them upon her when she returned their black box with the blinking light?


Social network smacks back: Accusers say it helps recruiters target age-groups in job ads


This whole 'Safe Harbor' thing needs to die in a fire.

The original intent was good and whilst it offers blanket protection to the most egregious offenders such as Facebook and Google, it also protects blogging platforms like WordPress and even internet forums.

But the sheer volume of bullshit going on with Facebook is irresponsible. Perhaps 'Safe Harbor' should be something that can be won and lost by responsible moderation?

Leaving everything to algorithms allows both Google and Facebook to hire bugger-all staff to police their content and thus allows them to grow exponentially into these monopolistic monsters (if they had to pay for an army of moderators, Facebook's current business model would be unsustainable).

I'm not in favour of censorship but Safe Harbor clearly isn't working the way it was originally intended.

What's that fresh, zesty fragrance? Oh, Linux Mint 18.3 has landed

Thumb Up

Re: Finally!!

Well, it was the year of *my* Linux desktop - this year I finally got tired of watching the train wreck that's Windows 10 and started migrating to Linux - starting with Mint 18.2 on my laptop funnily enough.

All-in-all it's been pretty smooth sailing - the only fly in the ointment being that the proprietary AMD drivers have a shit-fit on Mint so my workstation had to use Ubuntu 16.04 so I could run DaVinci Resolve.

It's going to be hard waving goodbye to PC gaming but as time goes by there's less and less new releases that interest me and there's no shortage of retro stuff on Linux (plus a reasonable collection of Steam games) so it's not all work and no play :)

How Apple is taming the ad biz. Just don't expect Google or Zuck to follow


Re: What about...

I was under the impression that most/all (desktop?) browsers supported this anyway - Vivaldi certainly does allowing you to block 3rd party cookies altogether. Maybe it's different for mobile browsers?

I've been blocking 3rd party stuff for ages and it never seems to impact the usability of the sites I visit though I guess YMMV.

Vivaldi boss: It'd be cool if Google went back to the 'not evil' schtick


Did you all forget your coffee today?

Jon's with *Vivaldi* (makers of a damn fine browser) not Opera and certainly not Vivendi.


UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

Paris Hilton

Re: Worthless.

The uh, 'big guns' of the industry (PornHub, RedTube etc.) will have no choice but to comply - not through fear of being fined but because they won't want to fall foul of the Great Firewall of the UK.

The smaller porn aggregators will likely slip through the net since clearly UK.gov has no clue how many porn sites there are out there.

Even Paris can see that this whole thing is just (ironically) political masturbation.



1) Go to Chrome extensions

2) Install Tunnello* and pick a less dystopian country

3) Browse porn with impunity

*not a recommendation - use a real VPN.

'President Zuck' fundraiser opens for business


Now it's Zuck for president??

Sure. Why not?


LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth


Better alternatives...

With the increasing vulnerability of cloud-based services (not to mention governments wanting access to everything online) I've finally retired my LastPass account in favour of KeePass - I share the database via Sync.com (like DropBox but encrypted and zero-knowledge their end) and keep the key local.

LastPass just has a huge target painted on it these days.

After stiffing us with Trump, Weiner 'fesses to underage cock shot rot


As foretold on The Day Today :D

God bless Chris Morris!


Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers


That's the trade-off for ad-blocking/privacy - running your connection through a VPN, using an 'exotic' browser (Vivaldi in my case), using uBlock or similar (TunnelBear Blocker's nice by the way) all give you a relatively unique fingerprint in comparison to the proles - given that my ISP has no clue what websites I'm looking at and that I'm ad/malware free whilst I do it, I think that's a worthwhile trade*

Of course, if you're doing something naughty and you get tracked down as a consequence of trying to be anonymous you may consider otherwise.

*That doesn't mean I wouldn't be keen to adopt anti-fingerprinting though - I'm hopeful that's coming in the next round of the privacy wars.

Is this a solution to Trump signing away your digital privacy? We give Invizbox Go a go


Re: I use Tor to access MySpace on my Netscape browser

You've been misinformed - most typical uses of Tor (say for instance, using Tor Browser) don't turn your device into a gateway - you have to set that up yourself if you want to do that (and of those that do, many do it on rented servers).

If you're just browsing the web with the Tor Browser then you're connecting in much the same way as you connect to a VPN - and like a VPN, your traffic is spilling out of another Tor node somewhere in the world along with all the pedophiles, pirates, terrorists and innocent people who value their privacy.

In other words, nobody's going to be downloading kiddie porn from your IP address whilst you're using Tor.

Personally, I prefer to use a VPN to keep my browsing private - not because of any inherent concerns about Tor but simply because it's usually faster.

UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off



“This undermines the value of FAPL’s rights and, if unchecked, is likely to reduce the revenue returned by FAPL to football clubs, sports facilities and the wider sporting community,”

And who decides the 'value' of FAPL's rights?

Clearly the streamers aren't being offered a compelling product/price point by the rights owners.

Biggest Kodi sweep: Brit cops nab five, bag some dodgy sticks


Re: This concerns me....

I seem to recall there was extensive debate over whether to ban dual tape decks for just that reason ('home taping is killing music' ring a bell?) - can't remember what the resolution was off-hand but it also applied to writable media (CDs/DVDs) - some countries even levy a tax on writable media assuming it'll be used for piracy.


Re: This concerns me....

It all comes down to the intended use of the device I think - these devices are purposely assembled to facilitate copyright infringement. If they'd left out the Kodi plugins then they'd be completely legal but selling an out-of-the-box piracy solution isn't going to end well.

Brexploitation? Adobe gets creative with price hikes


Software rental sucks.

Which is why I'm still using my circa 2010 Photoshop CS5 and MS Office 2010.

Unfortunately Microsoft (being the asses they are) won't allow me to install it on my laptop since I've supposedly used all my registrations (which I haven't) - subsequently neither they nor Adobe will get a penny from me for these products in the future.

They're both gradually becoming less relevant anyway - if I was in the market for a PS and or Office replacement there's plenty on interesting alternatives for the consumer (not so much for big business though).

VPN on Android means 'Voyeuristic Peeper Network' in many cases

Black Helicopters

Re: How do you think those "free" VPN services pay for it?

Exactly - I don't often read privacy policies (since I assume most of the time my personal data's going to be sold to the highest bidder irrespective of the service) but with VPNs it's worth reading the fine print - Tunnello (a free VPN) has got terrific feedback from users but they log your activities on their service - all you're really getting is 'free' IP spoofing. Caveat emptor.

Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?


Get yourself an early Xmas present...

tunnelbear.com are doing a yearly subscription for $39.99 at the moment and look to be one of the better VPNs. You can use them via a browser plugin or a phone/desktop client. Their privacy policy's pretty good too (unlike some free VPNs I've used).

They don't allow Bittorrent so if that's a factor they're not the VPN for you but all your browsing will be covered. Disgusting that ad/tracker-blocking+VPN+ProtonMail would seem to be essential for exercising your 'freedom' on the internet these days.

Marc Andreessen has a pretty creepy relationship with Zuck


Syrup of figs

I've always thought it was more dignified for balding men *not* to wear a toupee but having seen that picture of Andreessen I'm forced to re-evaluate my thinking (!)

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?


Re: am i the only one resisting this

"We can debate the theoretical merits of DirectX 12 technology, but to cite DX12 as a compelling reason for installing Windows 10 is simply to highlight how utterly unnecessary Windows 10 really is."

To some gamers DX12 is/will be a compelling reason to 'upgrade' to Win 10 - for me, it's the only reason I'd even contemplate it (there's zero other reasons to switch from 8.1) but even then, I decided to stick with what I have.

Vulkan may well become a serious alternative (and I hope it does - one less reason to switch) but as of right now they're both pretty much vapourware in terms of actual real-world support (Doom excepted).


Re: am i the only one resisting this

Nope. I'm sticking with 8.1 Pro until 2023 and then I'll decide whether I'll stay with Windows (if Microsoft have reformed their privacy policies) or if Linux is where I'm headed.

Apart from DX12 there's no compelling reasons to switch from 8 to 10 (and in my opinion, plenty of reasons not to) so I'm going to sit this one out.

King Tut's iron dagger of extraterrestrial origin


Well, he snuffed it so young that they hadn't had time to build him a proper tomb so I believe they stuck him in whatever was available. What's truly impressive is the amount of treasure they squeezed in there with him (the tomb was filled to the brim) - if you ever get the opportunity to visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo I highly recommend it - if only to see his funerary mask face-to-face.

'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'


Roll on 2020

I gave Windows 10 a fair shake whilst it was in beta and after its release and I've come to the conclusion that other than the (crippled) start menu and DX12 it simply doesn't offer anything compelling over Win 8.1 so that's where I'll be staying until 2020 - after that? Who knows - if MS have clued up to user privacy being a big deal and they put genuine effort into making a secure OS (like Apple have been doing with iOS) then maybe I'll 'upgrade' to whatever they're selling then.

If not it'll probably be a flavour of Linux - not that I want to - I'm pretty happy with 8.1 and all my applications and games but Win 10 is a course change I'm not willing to follow and if I have to make changes and/or sacrifices to switch then I will. I built this PC - Windows is just a guest on it.

Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs



Windows applications I use daily that rely on QuickTime:

DaVinci Resolve

The Foundry Nuke

Blackmagic Fusion

LightWave 3D


TMPGEnc Authoring Works


Sony Vegas Pro


Red Giant PluralEyes


If it's a pro-video application, chances are it needs QuickTime (especially since ProRes is ubiquitous in the industry) - time for them to switch to ffmpeg methinks (and to tell Apple to fuck off when they threaten to sue because ProRes is proprietary).

Vivaldi Jon: Mobile – yes. Feeds and an ad blocker… probably not


Re: No ad-blocking

No *built-in* ad-blocking - uBlock Origin/AdBlock Plus/Ghostery/Privacy Badger et al all work perfectly in Vivaldi.

Woman scales Ben Nevis wielding selfie stick instead of ice axe


Re: We are interfering with evolution

Indeed, soooo close to a Darwin award.

Secure email bods ProtonMail open signup floodgates to world+dog


Re: Price

A counterpoint: https://www.conceptblossom.com/blog/javascript-cryptography-not-harmful-counter-argument

Black Helicopters

It's not irrelevant - you do have a *choice* after all. Admittedly, going to jail for not handing over encryption keys probably wouldn't be much fun but I'm thinking sooner or later somebody innocent will *have to* in order to get this ridiculous law repealed.

Anyway - the question I answered was about authorities taking an interest in ProtonMail and they already have - apparently PM is actually recommended in ISIS circles (https://protonmail.com/blog/privacy-encryption-and-terrorism) - but the only data ProtonMail can give law enforcement is encrypted (unlike say Lavabit).

Regarding security - well, anything's possible but PM is open source so the code can be audited and after that (supposedly) state-sponsored DDoS attack I suspect security is foremost on their mind (although if you read their blog you'll appreciate that it always has been).


ProtonMail already responds to appropriate law-enforcement requests to hand over client's emails but since they're encrypted (and ProtonMail has no way of decrypting them) I doubt they're of much use...

UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level


Time to take action?

If you're truly opposed to this bill then take action should it make it into law - there's numerous ways to protect your privacy (VPNs, ProtonMail etc.) - make use of them. Nothing says 'fuck you' better than their 'internet connection records' being a long list of foreign VPN gateways.

Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers


Silly Swedes

They're getting the wrong message here - Eyeo's 'protection racket' will be their own undoing since many users are advocating uBlock Origin as a superior alternative to AdBlock Plus' 'acceptable' ads.

Fighting back against AdBlock's questionable policies is fiddling whilst Rome burns...

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade


Re: Suggested change of headline

Yep. Long-time user of ABP - previously had acceptable ads turned on (I'm not a *total* freetard) but ABP's idea of 'acceptable' and mine clearly differ and thanks to this article I'm now running uBlock Origin instead (plus hosts and Ghostery which I still send anonymized data with 'cause I do believe in supporting developers). Good job Eyeo - enjoy your short-term profits before the rats abandon the ship.

Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

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Wonderful! These books were fantastic - really approachable and well illustrated. And with some great emulators out there for the Spectrum and C64 now anyone can experience the thrill of typing in a long listing, running it and finding out it doesn't work ;) Just downloaded all of them!

Here's another blast from the past: https://archive.org/details/inputmagazine&tab=collection

Windows 10 overtakes Windows 8.1's market share



I'm perfectly happy with 8.1 thanks very much - I get security updates every patch Tuesday and daily definition updates until what? 2020? Every time I turned on my Win 10 (now Mint) laptop there were multiple updates, all out of my control, all undocumented. F**k that.

Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown


Re: I wonder

I have a SuperMicro X5DAL-TG2 motherboard with dual 3Ghz P4 Xeons that's been in daily use for 13 years now - it's been re-housed in a number of different cases and has had the fans replaced several times but other than that it's still the same machine (including PSU/GPU/RAM/HD) as when I built it.

It used to be a 3D workstation but now it's a general-purpose office machine running in a friend's business - I'm pretty sure it'll outlive me!

My current PC's doing pretty well too - it's an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard with a Nehalem i7 I built 6 years ago - the only part I've changed on it is the GPU (got a better one and still have the old one) - it's actually housed in the Cooler Master Black Widow case I originally bought for the SuperMicro and uses the Western Digital Raptors I bought back in 2003 for the SuperMicro too :)

Lincolnshire council shuts down all IT after alleged 0-day breach



"As part of a campaign into UK councils' cyber security conducted last year, The Register was told that Lincolnshire County Council's AV solution(s) - the specifics of which the council declined to disclose - had thrown up 196,553 malware alerts in 2015."

195,553? WTF? Where were they browsing?? I had exactly 2 malware detections via Malwarebytes in 2015 - both from files I probably shouldn't have downloaded - and none whatsoever from spam emails.