* Posts by GW7

32 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Sep 2015

Elon Musk's Neuralink probed over pathogen transport


Animal brain implants = cruelty

I just don't get how these stories about Elon Muck's Neuralink program don't get slammed for the utter cruelty inflicted on the poor subjects of the research. No sentient creature voluntarily submits to having wires shoved into it's brain. Neuralink is an abomination. The alleged fact that transportation laws are being broken misses the real fact that the elephant in the room is being tortured. How is can THAT be legal?

Thunderbird email client is Go for new plumage in July


Supernova = Clusterfuck?

I just hope Moz don't make the supernova UI a brain injury clusterfuck like Skype and Teams have become. Random functions scattered/hidden here there and everywhere, contrary to logic, and requiring switching windows to access basic functions. "Where TF is it today?". I'm sure young rats love a new maze to solve to gain a small reward but I'm weary of finding where everything got put to make it look "nice" and "modern".

The current TB UI is the best so far in my opinion and it has everything I need. I don't want to compose in a new tab instead of a window, though I don't mind if there's a setting to allow choice in that. I also don't mind if search is improved again, as long as there's no telemetry. Definitely retain offline storage on my device and don't force me to go Cloud. And please don't break my calendars. I use those to organise my life, so I don't need cluster munitions exploding in that department. Thank you Mozzers for all your good work so far.

I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go: Yes, Sony's Xperia 1 II has a 3.5mm headphone port


Re: removable battery?

XCover Pro is an interesting phone that ticks a lot of boxes, although 4 years of security updates is for "Enterprise Edition", and maybe not available to civvies? I read that SatNad and Samsung conspired to integrate MS Teams in this model. Is the latter baked-in crud that can't be removed, or a fantastic feature if you like Teams and want PTT? El Reg please review.


Re: removable battery?

Unless Sony fix their shameful update policy, this phone will be landfill in 2 years, so not much point having a replaceable battery. My last Xperia flagship received just one Android upgrade, and monthly security updates ceased 2 years after launch. A phone with 3.5mm headphone socket AND security updates for 5 years AND replaceable battery will be the one that gets my custom. This ideal phone will probabaly be assembled by unicorns and be accessible only while dreaming.

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit


Re: "Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?"

I thought that the Good Friday Agreement led to the Provisional IRA putting their arms beyond use. My understanding is that free movement throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland (i.e. no hard border) was one of the key provisions that persuaded them. They basically had that anyhow, as both sides of the border are in the EU.

I really hope they can't be arsed to get started up again if "no deal" brings a return to a hard border and a breach to the agreement. Yeah, maybe they'll just shrug it off, and we'll all breath a sigh of relief. But if the shit hits the fan, it will have been entirely forseeable as to why.


"Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?"

Go back to before the Good Friday agreement and consider if "the troubles" around the Northern Ireland border constitutes prior evidence of civil unrest. It was a very bad situation back then. Is there any evidence or reason to suggest that "no-deal" WON'T send us back there?

Dell slips into a slimmer red dress after sales diet


The Downward Spiral of Product Quality vs. Profit

My perception is that the quality of Dell products (at least PCs and monitors) is in decline. As their profits tumble, and being driven by quarterly targets, they'll be under even more pressure to squeeze margins and pare back on already marginal product quality. Unless they can somehow escape the downward spiral, Dell are doomed to be selling landfill to their customers, and therefore to their shareholders too. I predict a program of enhanced radical demotivation (= redundancies) that will buy the shareholders a few more drinks in the short term, while hastening the long term downward spiral.

2016: Bad USB sticks, evil webpages, booby-trapped font files still menace Windows PCs


Re: Whack a bug

Change update settings to: "check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" and be sure to untick "give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates".

KB3050267 (on 8.1/2012R2) or KB3050265 (on Win7/2008R2) is an update to Windows Update (July 2015) that installs a new Group Policy object that enables you to block upgrades to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update. Helpful instructions (rare these days!) on methods for setting the policy are provided in these KB articles.

After all that palaver, the optional updates are not pre-ticked, but it hasn't stopped the dreaded 3035583 update from coming out of hiding every month, presumably in the hope that user error will unleash the evil.


Re: Whack a bug

I consider KB3035583 and KB2952664 to be malware. And there's a "bug" in Windows Update, because every time I hide these two miscreants, they reappear the following month in the list of optional updates.

At this rate, Microsoft will soon resort to bundling the pre-ticked Win 10 installer with "freeware" like Java and Flash and the sort of dodgy programs that try to install unwanted browser toolbars and adware. Please stop this madness now Microsoft, stop nagging, and *respect* the user's choice.

French say 'Non, merci' to encryption backdoors


Re: Bravo!

Cameron's flawed logic, if granted credence, would go on to ban us all from locking our houses, our businesses, etc. <cameron voice on> because such hiding places might be used by terrorists. To fight this threat, the gov needs to be able to pop round and have a jolly good look any time they fancy. So, for the security of our nation, no door locks can be allowed from now on. <cameron voice off>

Wait a minute, that's just stupid and nobody will buy it! So, the watered down alternative proposal is for everyone to provide a set of spare keys to the police, who may use them to enter when they please, in the name of national security of course. <sarcasm off>

I want security like the French have chosen. Bravo indeed!

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim


Re: I think it *will* be a ghastly mess

"Economy 7" has been around for decades in the UK. It is simple to use and understand and it doesn't rely on unreliable electronics or insecure interruptible communications. You could run your dishwasher and WM on cheap night time 'leccy if your house was wired with a separate Economy 7 circuit (usually provided for running night storage heaters).

If you want to know how much electricity you are using to help cut down a bit, you can spend around £30 and buy an "Owl" or similar remote monitoring device and display. It doesn't need a £250 (or whatever) so-called "smart meter".

Smart meters seem like an incredibly expensive way to provide no benefit to the user. The utility companies will pocket the extra profit made by sacking the meter readers. The ability to ration electricity to the poor, while keeping the rich supplied (on higher "uninterruptible" tariffs) in times of demand outstripping capacity must surely be the underlying motivation. Yes, the result will be a ghastly mess and a huge waste of money. Money spent on delivering unjust power cuts to the poor so the rich can continue to consume, thereby maximizing profits. Money that could have been invested in energy security that would stave off power cuts through improving energy efficiency, expanding energy storage and adding nuclear energy generation to replace decommissioned reactors.

Anyone wishing to install a so-called "smart meter" in my house will need a warrant!

Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'


Re: The affair is far from "largely concluded"

"add more fuel (which increases consumption and CO2)"

While that may be possible on a petrol engine that has a throttle in the air intake, a modern diesel engine has no throttle (if we exclude swirl flaps), so injecting more fuel without EGR simply make it deliver more torque and go faster.

EGR reduces efficiency and causes lots of particulates to be generated by a diesel engine. This sooty crud is absorbed by a very expensive filter, the DPF, which has to be periodically regenerated by blowing unburnt diesel down a hot exhaust. This process consumes a fair amount of fuel. Increasing EGR to reduce NOx will therefore clog up the DPF and the EGR system more frequently, increasing consumption, CO2 and repair bills. I don't want that happening to my car.

Nor do I want to be coughing up nitric acid every time I drive on a busy road because some clever bastards thought they could get away with flogging millions of NOx belching cars that breach the "Euro 5" regulation by a huge factor (see BBC Panorama for proof).

VW's fix seems to be trying to appear contrite and telling everyone a little bit of software will make it all OK, have some useless vouchers etc. while their lawyers are attempting to claim they haven't actually broken the law. If the latter is true, why the "service action" then? Very Weaselly bastards!


Re: These is no such thing as a "Defeat Device"

REGULATION (EC) No 715/2007

Article 3


10. ‘defeat device’ means any element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine speed (RPM), transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any other parameter for the purpose of activating, modulating, delaying or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system, that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal vehicle operation and use;

Sounds EXACTLY like the elements of design that VW used to fraudulently gain type approvals for their EA189 diesels.

It's nearly 2016, and Windows DNS servers can be pwned remotely


Re: Anything lurking there for us Win7 users who have no intent to upgrade/downgrade to Win10?

I'll be needing a bucket load then.

I haven't trusted Microsoft to automatically update Windows 7 since they started forcing Windows 10 on world & dog. So they only get to "Check for updates but let me choose". When updates are available, I wait a couple of days while they are beta tested on world & dog. Then comes the tedium of reviewing the list of recommended and optional updates for Microsoft trojans. Yada yada yada.

The latest batch have provoked a red hot CPU with wuauserv (Windows Update) the culprit. And that's without installing any of them. The only way I have found to stop this high CPU tantrum, while I wait a couple of days, is to disable updating completely.

It feels like Microsoft's way of punishment for not fully submitting to their recommended violation.

Report: VW execs 'knew' about fuel economy issues last year


Re: I drove the Polo Blue Slumber

"BrownMotion" might be a more realistic badge.

Terrorists seek to commit deadly 'cyber attacks' in UK, says Chancellor Osborne


Re: "If our electricity supply, or our air traffic control, were.....attacked online,

We're already very close to our UK electricity supply being cut off this winter, having reduced the supply overcapacity to just 1%. It won't need terrorists to take out the grid, just a cold snap. Or a twatbook campaign among the tiny minority who wish to destabilise our civilisation to turn on their heaters, kettles dishwashers, washing machines and electric cookers at exactly the same time one chilly day. Unlikely there'll be many takers for that.

Still, blaming ISIL cyber attacks for power cuts is the perfect excuse for the energy industry to cover up their own neglect.

Pause Patch Tuesday downloads, buggy code can kill Outlook

Big Brother

Re: 100% CPU

Yes, Windows Update service (wuauserv) has been very busy lately draining my battery and causing a lot of fan activity. I can only imagine it's Microsoft's way of saying "install the goddam "security" updates NOW, or we'll mess you up".

I'm beginning to think these "security" updates are actually designed to close backdoors that have been disclosed, but the bit they don't tell you is that a new set of backdoors are installed to allow the security services to carry on the "good work" of slowing down Windows computers. (Allegedly)

Here's the little-known legal loophole that permitted mass surveillance in the UK

Big Brother

Anarchy in the UK - its just a song

Something should be done to rein in these excessive powers. But attempting to achieve this by organising any sort of civil protest, let alone an anarchist overthrow would, "thanks" to mass-surveillance, soon be brought to the attention of the authorities. The major players would be rounded up and face the penalty of law.

People change their behaviour when they know they are being watched. Its in the interest of the state to maintain this state of fear such that no one dares to even think about changing things. Be scared of terrorists! Pah! Many more people lose their lives prematurely through smoking, pollution or traffic accidents, which seems to scare almost nobody. But terrorism provides a license for governments to do as they please, as long as a few shocking incidents a year keep happening and some of the perpetrators are brought publicly to justice. Democracy could fix this (Corbyn?), but its unlikely to happen while everyone's happy to placate Big Brother with a life of cat videos, sport and updating their twatface.

Not posted anonymously because unfortunately there's no such thing AND I want the Big Brother icon. On no, I can almost hear the jackboots in the street...

By 2019, vendors will have sucked out your ID along with your cash 5 billion times


Re: Only reason I might start using Apple Pay

"I can't understand how they could have made the new process so slow - was there no user acceptance testing?"

I guess there was much user acceptance testing by the users who commissioned NFC payment systems - the banks.

I wouldn't trust any form of electromagnetic payments as far as I could spit. Many phones now have NFC and chances are an exploit will be found that will enable your NFC credit cards to be syphoned by anyone with a malicious app who can get physically close enough. Someone will work out how. When that happens, carrying a wallet full of cash down a dimly lit street at 3am will be safer, as long as you are prepared to drop it if threatened. In any case, what does a person do when a knife is held to their throat for their apple/google wallet? "We're taking your phone + fingers/eyes so we can get your cash"? No thank you.


Re: Are biometrics safe?

Somebody's been watching too many Bond movies if they think biometrics are safe or reliable. Using the same fingerprint to access multiple services (banks, medical etc.) is about as secure as using the same password for them all, and not being able to change any of them ever. If this ill conceived technology becomes mainstream, I shall be abrading my fingerprints on a sanding machine to ensure a more reliable and secure method of authentication has to be used. Not sure what to do about the eyes though.

Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated


Re: Remap FTW

Like VW diesels, your remap will have much higher NOx emissions, which are not tested by the MOT test. Your vehicle will no longer comply with the original type approvals (not that VW EA189s did anyhow) so under UK Construction and Use regs, your modification may be illegal (like VW's cheat). Perhaps though you are less likely to be found out than VW. Your insurance may be invalid unless you have declared the modification to your insurer, assuming you do have insurance.


Re: Sale of Goods Act

WV dealers misrepresented the EA189 cars at the time of purchase, and have admitted this in writing. The SOGA means the dealers selling those cars are in breach of contract. Owners can pursue their dealer for damages under the SOGA by handing back the car (rejecting the goods). I recon you'd be looking at claiming the current dealer sticker price for the used car. The dealers don't have a fix yet, so they don't have a leg to stand on. When they do in 2016, anyone trying to reject their car will be told "this software update will fix it". Of course, it is unlikely that the update will maintain the specified mpg, torque, 0-60mph time, and reliability. But it will then be up to the owner to prove that, should they discover the consequences of the fix are unacceptable. That will be very difficult to prove legally (without full test reports on each car before and after the update) and I think VW at that point will be calling people's bluff. If you want out of VW, reject NOW! Don't wait for the fix, or you'll find you've been shafted.

Windows 10 out, users happy, PCs upgraded, my work here is done – says Microsoft OS chief


Re: Users less than happy.....

"Windows 10 is a buggy mess that fixes some of the windows 8 mistakes, but is still huge downgrade from Windows 7"

I think microsoft are busy "fixing" that by putting buggy windows 10 related updates into windows 7, such as telemetry updates, so that when it all eventually goes titsup, windows 10 won't seem so bad. Given their aim of putting windows 10 on everything, why wouldn't they crapify the previous versions via updates?

I was stupid enough to attempt a system restore after the latest brace of "security" updates unexpectedly left my windows 7 PC behaving oddly when coming out of hibernation. System restore failed, saying no files were changed. It lied. Files were changed and the PC was left even more crippled. Lost its update history, all restore points, and windows update has its knickers in a knot maxing out the CPU, even when set to "never check for updates". chkdsk and sfc say everything's fine (more lies?). Time to wipe and reinstall. Thanks microsoft (not).


Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms


Re: Let me be the first to say..

Interesting to consider negative feedback. CO2 increases the heat gain of planet Earth for a given thermal input from the sun. Let's call this heat gain the "open loop gain" (often dentoted A in control system theory). But clouds and other stuff provide negative feedback (often dentoted by Beta or B) reducing not only the overall gain of the whole system (dentoed G) compared to the open loop gain, but also reducing the effect of *changes* in the open loop gain (e.g. increasing CO2). When AB is large compared to 1, the system gain is pretty much 1/B, i.e unaffected by changes in A. The question is (if you are still with this), for planet Earth is AB>>1? If it is, then CO2 emissions are not such a big deal. If it is not, we'd better start reducing emissions right now.

In fewer words: G = A/(1+AB). I'd really love to know the values of A and B for the Earth, plus confidence limits, before this fence becomes too uncomfortable to sit on. I think Lewis Page is saying B is larger than previously thought, but does that really make any difference if AB>>1 or AB<<1? (I know not which).

Is Windows 10 slurping too much data? No, says Microsoft. Nuh-uh. Nope

Big Brother

Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

If its not about advertising, and the hosts file is being bypassed, then it must be about "delivering YOUR delightful and personalized Windows experience to THE NSA".

NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports

Thumb Up

Worthless test protocol

"I am inclined to believe when the dust settles this affair is combination of VW being a little too sharp and the EPA (mostly) having a mostly worthless test protocol."

It will be interesting to see the results of the official US and Euro emissions tests when the "defeat device" is defeated and the vehicles are running on the user engine map for the test. I would expect that engineers at VW already have those figures, otherwise they would not have made the concious and deliberate decision to cheat (way beyond "sharp", btw). It will also be interesting to know how much cost they thought they were saving by avoiding AdBlue/DEF.

The real world emissions testing that has been done (driving up hills etc) by researchers doesn't really demonstrate VWs non-compliance with the official tests, since they weren't actually performing the offical tests. The results just showed that there was a big discrepancy between the official emissions test results and what happens when you thrash a diesel. And that led to the revelation of the cheat.

All vehicle emissions tests, whatever hydrocarbon fuel they use, need revising so manufacturers can't cheat the test. And VW need to do something about the mess they've made.


VW reportedly warned about rigging emissions tests years ago

So that would be wilful misrepresentation then. People can go to prison for that, though the suits always seem to get away with it. Prison sentences won't fix what VW (and possibly others) did, nor will it compensate vehicle owners for the deception, though the message that a spell behind bars would send might make big companies behave more ethically in future.

NOxious Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal: Chief falls on sword


Your VW compensation claim succeeded

£3178 is STILL waiting in your name in settlement of your claim against VW. To get money ASAP visit http://myspamtasticlawyer.con


Re: Not all need to be recalled.


I won't be suing VW for messing up my car performance and longevity with their dodgy recall because I won't allow them to apply it in the first place. They have no legal right (in the UK) to mess with my ride.

The fact that VW cheated the type approval / vehicle certification is not my problem.

11 million horses bolted before someone noticed VW's stable door was open. There is no good (nor legal) reason for owners to submit to VW's recall requests, as this is not a vehicle safety issue.


Re: Very unfortunate

"The cars all met emissions requirements with the systems fully functioning so all they need is a software update to remove the disabling code."

That would mean running the car in "emissions test mode" all the time. The car will then drive like a slug and rapidly clog up with soot.


Re: Not all need to be recalled.

Having been sold a diseasel by VW and being quite happy with the driving performance, I'll not be at all happy if VW try to modify my vehicle to enable THEM to comply with the law. If it turns out the modification will steal power or is likely to result in expensive repairs not far down the line, the answer will be NO WAY. The engine uses EGR to reduce the combustion temperature to reduce production of NOx. This unfortunately produces lots of soot, which is collected and burned in the expensive DPF. Unless VW retrofit a urea based system, reducing NOx will be achieved by a software update to increase EGR. That will reduce output power and increase soot, clogging the EGR system and the DPF sooner than if the software wasn't updated. A simple software update versus the laborious installation of tanks of concentrated piss... Hmm, I wonder which VW will choose as the "fix" for their cheapskate design-and-cheat snafu?

CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge


It's the end of VW as we know it...

Nearly 500,000 vehicles to be recalled to correct the emissions cheat. I reckon there will be a lot of disgruntled owners who will find their car has lost "oomph" and gained a host of emissions system related issues, such as intercooler clogging, after the recall is actioned. In the affected vehicles, recirculated exhaust gas at low temperature and pressure (LP EGR) is used to lower combustion temperature to reduce NOx in the exhaust (not AdBlue). LP EGR moisture condenses in the intercooler, which, if it freezes, can lead to catastrophic engine hydrolock. Unbelievably, some bright spark at VW thought it a good idea to recirculate the moist exhaust fumes emerging from the DPF back into the air intake, upstream of the intercooler. There was a technical bulletin in 2013 in the US for a modified intercooler but some owners reported the issue persisted. I expect the DPF will also clog more readily after the corrective emissions "fix", due to having to absorb more soot resulting from lower combustion temperature during increased LP EGR.

If VW are unable to implement a solution that doesn't cause a detriment to owners of recalled vehicles, a likely outcome is that VW of America will face, in addition to the recall costs:

1) a class action from owners of previously "good" cars made "bad" by the recall,

2) increased warranty repairs bill,

3) further bad publicity, loss of reputation and consequent loss of sales.

It might actually be more profitable for VW to withdraw diesel vehicles from sale in the US, which no doubt would be the desired outcome for American political interests. VW's chickens have barely started the journey home to roost.