* Posts by agurney

117 posts • joined 16 Nov 2015


US starts sniffing around UK spaceports – though none capable of vertical launches actually exist right now


Re: Film

There's also "Rockets Galore", based on Compton MacKenzie's follow up to "Whisky Galore".

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are


I tried something like that recently and got a ticking off.

HSE guidelines refer to constant control being required and latches not being wedged open: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg216.htm

Police drone fliers' wings clipped to prevent them bumping into real aircraft


Re: Mixed measurements

Why is altitude given in feet while horizontal distance is given in metres?

It's metres, because if the drones had a decent range they'd use the preferable nautical miles.


Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address


Re: "Another bemoaned the hammering of yet another nail in the coffin of Blighty's ISP past"

It IS worth moaning about and getting all misty eyed over .. that tenner a month for dialup included a static public IP address.

This page has been left intentionally blank

This post has been deleted by a moderator

'Peregrine falcon'-style drone swarms could help defend UK against Gatwick copycat attacks


How about training pergrine falcons to attack drones? That'd be a much more eco-friendly solution

.. what would you do when the bad guys start attaching razor blades to the rotors?

<edit> Jan 0 beat me to it..

Radio nerd who sipped NHS pager messages then streamed them via webcam may have committed a crime


Under that clause, is it not the responsibility of the NHS trust in question since it is them that are making the content of the communication system available by broadcasting it in plain text in the first place?

Why should the NHS spend a fortune upgrading their systems just because some scrote has a cheap SDR dongle and chooses to broadcast their pager messages? It may be old technology, but it has wider coverage than mobile telephony.

This is the same as intercepting ambulance, police, fire, coastguard, aircraft etc. radio conversations in the clear .. listening in is illegal but unlikely to lead to prosecution, however acting on those messages or re-transmitting them is the bigger problem.

Calling all the Visual Basic snitches: Keep quiet about it and so will he...


Re: Do the right thing?

I remember reading of a case in the UK, probably in the 90s, where the directors of a small software house were jailed after selling customers an accounts package that contained two sets of books, the real (hidden) ones, and the ones sent to the Revenue.

The one I'm familiar with was in the '80s (courtesy of a close contact in the Customs & Excise computer investigation branch).

An Apple II accounting package was found to have a backdoor .. log in with the regular password and accounts were clean, but append a value, e.g. password10, and that percentage of transactions would be 'lost'.

IIRC the program was written in BASIC, so once suspicions were aroused it wasn't too difficult to find out what was going on.

700km on a single charge: Mercedes says it's in it for the long run


Re: Pony up.

Wasn't 1967 an all-American win (drivers, team and car)?

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein



Many moons ago I was documenting a CAD program that had been migrated from a terminal UI to a graphical UI.

One icon that had me confused looked like a pair of cat footprints. .. turns out it was Pause (Paws).

I can't remember if it was changed after I pointed out that there may be problems when it came to translating to French or German.

Cu in Hell: Thousands internetless after copper thieves pinch 500m of cable in Cambridgeshire


Re: Simples...

BT should pull up all the copper themselves, sell it off and use the proceeds to lay fibre...

In that order? Should be an interesting challenge.

Teletext Holidays a) exists and b) left 200k customer call recordings exposed in S3 bucket


Re: What muppet recorded the keytones ?

My money is on the call recording software being part of a 20yr old PBX system and the bucket was just a convenient place to dump the calls when the company ceased operations.

The company is still operating.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


Re: Eh?

That is a bit of a spazz wheelchair, doesn't have any arm rests that will also stop you from rubbing / getting caught in the wheels.

I don't want a manually propelled wheelchair that has arm rests.

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego


Re: Heavy...

The presenters of the Beechgrove Garden regularly spoke of doing a wee jobby in the greenhouse or potting shed.

(Gardening TV programme broadcast from Aberdeen)

Fantastic Mr Fox? Not when he sh*ts on your lawn, kids' trampoline and your soul


Re: Need to really P!$$ them off so they go elsewhere

I've used a Contech Scarecrow for several years (PIR and water pressure, uses a PP3 battery) that works for foxes, cats, dogs, deer and herons.

I've also added an electric fence around the garden perimeter (powered by solar panel +12v battery) to cover areas that the scarecrow doesn't reach, and for over winter when the scarecrow would be wrecked by frost.

Iran is doing to our networks what it did to our spy drone, claims Uncle Sam: Now they're bombing our hard drives


Re: Imperial v Metric

The US claim that the territorial airspace extends 12 miles off the Iranian coast. The Iranians claim that they have a territorial limit of 22Km. Twelve miles is approx 19300 meters, not 22000 meters. Perhaps both sides are telling their own truth.

12 Nautical Miles IS 22000 metres (well, closer to 22224).


Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

As for the limit of Iranian territorial waters, that theory won't wash either. It's 12 miles, and there is no controversy about it.

12 US/statute miles = 19.3121 Km

12 Nautical miles = 22.224Km

So, no chance for confusion there.

10 PRINT Memorial in New Hampshire marks the birthplace of BASIC


Re: BBC Basic Bug

...Can't be arsed. What happens?



Re: BBC Basic Bug

I started teaching computing in a lab with a few dozen BBC Bs (+Macintoshes +Amstrads +other shiny stuff )

One of the first introductions I gave the youngsters was to have them enter the following, after working out the answer for themselves beforehand:

PRINT 2.23 - 2.18

The moral being that you don't take anything that a computer tells you for granted .. some things don't change, even after 35+ years.

[If you don't know what it does, try it for yourself on an online beeb emulator]

Nope, we're stuffed, shrieks Apple channel as iPhone shipments enter a double-digit spiral


Re: Have you seen how much a Ferrari costs?

Irrespective of the badge and price, does it address your needs?

To continue the above analogy - I don't care how fast or shiny these cars are .. can I fit a [wheelchair / family / fridge] in the back? If not, I'll keep using my estate (station wagon).

Mystery GPS glitch grounds flights, leaves passengers in the bar


Re: Time

"ADS-B merely blindly transmits a plane's ID and where it is. That's as simple as it gets."

also transmits altitude, speed and heading .. easy to receive and plot with a raspberry Pi and cheap SDR dongle.

HPE lawyers claim Autonomy chief Lynch knew all about 'revenue-pumping' carousel


Re: "fixation on quarterly performance"

The UK has its share of this stupidity, too. (Though perhaps, given that sentiment and greed plays such a part, it is rational if your only interest is to score some cash and run before the house falls down).

Ferranti and International Signal spring to mind.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers


"..nobody"defined what should be an acceptable number for Constitutional Change

The Iron Lady set a precedent for this in 1979 when she insisted that 40% of the electorate be in favour of the Scottish referendum - 51.6% voted yes, but that was only 32% of the electorate.

Buffer overflow flaw in British Airways in-flight entertainment systems will affect other airlines, but why try it in the air?


It's not his lock to pick.

ReactOS 0.4.11 makes great strides towards running Windows apps without the Windows


Re: sneering

noun: sneering

1. the action of ....

<sneer> not a noun then... </sneer>

Watchdog asks UK.gov to reissue freedom of information guidance after councils are told to STFU about Brexit plans


Re: This is going to be embarrassing

..oh wait, no there are some plans - everyone's booked vacations abroad in April ..

No, holidays will be taken in March .. after that we'll be limited to only a couple of bottles of wine duty free. (at least the anomaly of it being cheaper for me to drive from Scotland and buy my whisky in Spain will go away)

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut


Re: I lost a spanner

I've always use Haynes manuals as guidance rather than gospel, though religiously buying one for every "new" purchase of a car or motorbike - they invariably paid for themselves after a few months of buying someone else's problems.

I didn't lose a spanner, but found a dropped and lost screwdriver after a few years that had fallen between the radiator and fan (1960s or 70s mini, escort or transit van .. memory's a bit dim). The acrylic handle had been polished to 45 degrees and was a spit away from causing <shudder> grief </shudder>.

The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings


Re: "Massey died in a fusillade of bullets"

Don't the Scots, Welsh and Norn'rish get a look in?

The rules are different in Scotland & NI

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP


Re: And another old name is discarded...

Demon as I knew it died years ago - I remember a colleage migrating to ADSL to keep his static IP, and having no end of problems.

One of the conditions when I upgraded my Demon dialup to ADSL was that I lost the static public IP address.

Wanted – have you seen this MAC address: f8:e0:79:af:57:eb? German cops appeal for logs in bomb probe


Re: I guess plod IQ problems are universal...

I stay by my original assessment. Das Plod is either fumbling the ball here or there is something else at work like f.e. a grey import with reflashed numbers.

I'd suggest not fumbling, just looking for more evidence .. e.g. to correlate with other potential perps; they may have the device but not the operator; see where else they've been (physically, and on t'Internet), and so on.


MAC not used to connect to mobile network...

The article suggested the device was probably a Motorola smartphone, in which case it has both IMEI and MAC. As has been noted, the manufacturer should be able to link the IMEI and MAC, and a bit of poking around phone records should then turn up an IMSI if it is a smartphone .. but the authorities are well aware of that (according to anecdotes the presenter gave us on a UMTS training course back in the day).

Apple blew my mind – literally, says woman: MagSafe plug sparked face-torching blaze, lawsuit claims


Re: Her Lawyer quite obviously studied chemistry in the US education system

The mask itself, likely made from a plastic polymer of some sort, would be a fine ignition source.

The ignition source would have been the spark, the fuel would have been her hair and face. Ouch.

Techie basks in praise for restoring workforce email (by stopping his scripting sh!tshow)


Re: Recursion is difficult

It was a dark and stormy night, and the Captain said to Antonio "Antonio tell us a tale"; so, Antonio told us a tale, and it went like this:

"It was a dark and stormy night, and the Captain said to Antonio "Antonio tell us a tale"; so, Antonio told us a tale, and it went like this:" ..

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again


Re: @A.P. Veening Economists - In 1889?

Why not the keel too, it's heavier than led. There was one well known and quite successful French yachtsman who had a keel of uranium in his offshore racing yacht for that reason.

I trust you mean denser. A kilo of lead is far heavier than a gram of uranium.

Bright spark dev irons out light interference


Re: Have you ever put something apparently useless to good use?

Nope, downvote for OP and downvote for you as well. Misuse of apostrophe is the only crime I'll countenance flogging for...

I'm surprised you didn't give up at the first sentence ..

".. our weekly column of reader’s technical triumphs.

Watch closely as NASA deploys the world's biggest parachute at supersonic speeds


Re: Astounding

If you watch the video carefully, in the multi-screen view, you can see that the 'chute as a rip!

The multi-screen view shows the tests from the 1970s.

Florida man won't be compelled to reveal iPhone passcode, yet


"I assume they want to find out if he was using the phone at the time of the crash."

They could get that from telco records.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere


Re: Discworld never developed an equivalent of the internet?

The clacks in Going Postal.

It good to see that El Reg is keeping the X-Clacks-Overhead going.

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth


Re: a bit thin?

or fortnight tea (two week)

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill



The only possible way to get unfucked is to hold a second referendum

No, just the change the interpretation of the first one .. require, for example, that 40% of the electorate be in favour of leaving before accepting that as the will of the people. It worked for Thatcher in the 70s.

Whisky business: Uni of Edinburgh servers Irn-Scru'd by cyber-attack


Re: Scottish college?

"Edinburgh University. The clue is in the name. Heathens."

Wrong. From the Uni's website:

"The University of Edinburgh's academic structure is based on three Colleges containing a total of 20 Schools."

- College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

- College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

- College of Science & Engineering

[ and, of course, with three colleges it means the apostrophe is in the wrong place "..the Scottish college's websites and wireless network gateways are down ]

Chinese hotel chain warns of massive customer data theft


"Real culprit here is the hotel group for holding onto data long after it was needed."

Nope. Under China's cybersecurity laws, hotels are obliged to keep information about guests.

Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend


Re: Scotland wide

"Local holidays in Scotland have nothing to do with bank holidays. Scottish bank holidays are Scotland wide."

you would think so, but it's not that simple as Banks in Scotland do not always close on Scottish bank holidays, and neither are they statutory holidays.


"So what's the story about the two different holidays? "


In England, everyone's on holiday on the same day, everything's shut and the roads are gridlocked as everyone tries to head to the beach.

Holidays in Scotland are staggered, so, for example, Glasgow's on holiday but, say, Paisley isn't, meaning the day trippers have somewhere to spend their cash, the load on the popular destinations is spread over a few weeks, and the roads aren't as congested as much of the country is still working a 9-5.

There are a few downsides, for example if you work in an area that has different holidays to a child's school.

Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?


Re: Wasps

Until a couple of days ago I had a football-sized wasps' nest outside the house, however the wasps haven't been a problem and they seemed to be doing a good job of removing aphids. I was wondering about how to remove the nest but a family of sparrows tore it to shreds and the wasps have all but vanished.

I take a bit more care of drinking outdoors ever since a few years ago I took a swig from a can that contained a wasp; it stung the back of my tongue, but fortunately I don't have a bad reaction so it was just a painful surprise rather than anything more serious.

The off-brand 'military-grade' x86 processors, in the library, with the root-granting 'backdoor'


back to the future

...which hit the market in the early to mid-2000s.

..so, somewhere between 2000 and 2500 (or 2050)?

Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway


Avoch (Och (as in Loch, not Lock) ), Milngavie (Mull-GUY) and Footdee (Fitty) are regular causes of confusion up here.

US-China trade war is back on: White House repeats threat to tax Middle Kingdom imports


Re: Lunatic

Is it a coincidence that the moon's full?

Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die


The paltry 2% leave got should never have been enough to trigger this clusterfuck.

That didn't work for the Scottish independence referendum in 1979.

Around 52% of the voters supported the proposal, however Margaret Thatcher had determined that at least 40% of the electorate had to vote yes for it to progress .. so of course it didn't.

If only Cameron had taken a leaf out of the Iron Lady's book we wouldn't be where we are today.

Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO


Re: F1 is a Car Crash

I stopped watching when it started costing £500 a year to watch live on UK TV.

F1 is live and free-to-air on German Eurosport (Astra 19.2E) .



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020