* Posts by Tessier-Ashpool

178 posts • joined 6 Feb 2016


And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life


Re: hopeful, but nervous

Should be ok. Retro rockets are tried and trusted technology, critical to every soft landing of astronauts returning to Earth on Soyuz capsules.

I’m looking forward to the day when we get to see real video of it happening rather than CGI. Surely that’s worth the few million dollars it would take to do that.



Could this in any way be related to the fine office tradition of photocopying your arse?

Cisco restores evidence of its funniest FAIL – ethernet cable presses switch's reset button


Re: Who buys those cables?

“All your cable are belong to us“

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware


Re: Removing ads from Samsung TVs

Dunno. But I share your dislike of adverts showing up on the TV. It’s a bloody liberty, that’s what it is. When you buy an expensive 4K TV you don’t expect to be advertised at by the manufacturer. Part of my Samsung setup was an innocuous request to enter my email address. Right, like I’m actually going to do that! Since I have my own custom domain I put in samsung@mydomain.com. Turns out Samsung have a rat odour detector and refused that. But the not-so-smart TV was happy enough to accept sumsang@mydomain.com. Every time the TV powers up from cold it cheerfully informs me that sumsang@mydomain.com is logged in. They’re probably thinking that a small percentage of their purchasers will sign up to their lacklustre streaming service.

Black hole destroys corona


I believe this is one of those counterintuitive examples of relativity. Whilst you will never see an object cross the event horizon (it will just be red-shifted to Kingdom Come to the point of invisibility) it’s plain sailing from the object’s point of view. It will just pass through the event horizon like it will in any other regular patch of space. Never to leave again, of course.

Apple warns developers API tweaks will flow from style guide changes that remove non-inclusive language


Re: Hello? Anyone? Am I invisible?

People of colour also means non-White in touchy publications such as The Guardian.

The thing is, it’s not been thought through very carefully. People of Southend happen to live in an Essex town. It’s a place. Colour isn’t a place.

People with colour would be more appropriate.

Two out of three parachutes... is just as planned for Boeing's Starliner this time around



Pah! Use good old retro-rockets for the landing, like the Russkies do. Much cooler.

Apple: We're defending your privacy by nixing 16 browser APIs. Rivals: You mean defending your bottom line


Re: Internet Explorer reloaded

Nope. Apple don’t sell iOS, iPadOS or macOS. They can do what they want with it, as it comes free with the device. They are at liberty to adopt whichever html standards they choose.

They killed off the Flash plugin years ago because it’s a resource hog. Whether you like Flash or not (let’s hope not) you won’t see it running on an Apple device.


Re: Safari

Why? Because it’s pretty good. I use it all the time. It does everything I need. When I flip screens between Chrome on Windows (which I have to for work) back to Safari on macOS, I’m really glad I’m back on Safari. No little spy icon at the top RHS to remind me who I am. Back to Chrome. Slurpy data slurp slurp. Ooh look, the internet knows about me! Back to Safari. Hey, the content blocker’s working great. What’s that? It’s running lickety split. Let’s have a bit of pinch to zoom.

I’ll stick with Safari, thanks.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs


x86 Windows cannot be virtualised on an ARM Mac. A virtual OS relies on the host device having the same processor instruction set. The best that could be done in the short term is emulation, which is a much much slower and very different kettle of fish.

There may be a time when MS produce a reasonable ARM version of Windows. Until that happens, you can probably forget using VMWare or Parallels Windows on Apple Silicon.


Re: Downvotes

Because you claim that you are rational. Because you claim your users are "bizarre". Because you claim they "just" go for the shiny.

You have presented very slanted opinions.

What's the Arm? First Apple laptop to ditch Intel will be 13.3" MacBook Pro, proclaims reliable soothsayer


Re: It's different this time

Partly. I believe only 32-bit though, to date. I expect that MS will likely have fully ARMed versions of Windows 10 in the not too distant future, as they too want to sell low power high performance gadgets.

My MacBook Pro is very powerful, but it runs hot as hell when it’s busy. I imagine the fans would spin a bit less with an ARM chip installed.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


Heaven forbid anyone involved in mastering music files.

But as for git terminology, they already made a very poor choice in having the commands named ‘fetch’ and ‘pull’. When Jack & Jill went up the hill, I seem to recall that a fetch involves pulling. Crap choice of verbs.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)


I might even install it

...now that NHSX / GCHQ won’t be using it to slurp my physical contact history. Result.

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app


Right, so how are you going to get your software installed on the massive user base who use iOS?

I normally give the Fruity company a general nod, but their App Store is just a money machine for them and verging on the monopolistic when you look at how many people use iPhones and want to install apps. Bad Apple. It doesn't cost them much to host an app on their store, but they regard it as a cash cow.

FFS, why isn't their cut something more reasonable like 1%?

Are you having a hard time following what Microsoft is trying to do with .NET 5.0? You're not the only one


Re: kill the beast...

Wasn’t the client profile option killed off years ago? I might be talking out of my arse - wouldn’t be the first time - but it wasn’t listed as a dependency option the last time I checked. I guess most people don’t live at the end of a 14kb/s modem any more, so Microsoft figure a few hundred megabytes here and there doesn’t make much odds.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: My fridge freezer

Ah, yes, plastic door handles on white goods. They are rubbish. Mrs Tessier-Ashpool has wrecked the handles on our fridge, tumble dryer and the drawers in our freezer. OK, she is notoriously clumsy, but that’s not much of an excuse. It’s all a cunning plan to sell more stuff.

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?



This is a stitch-up, like a re-run of the tragic Select Committee hearings on the Snooper’s Charter. If you remember that, countless experts gave testimony that the U.K. was about to embark on a fruitless endeavour capturing endless haystacks when it should be focused on specific needles. Testimony that was resoundingly ignored. The U.K. just wants to snoop, snoop, snoop. That’s how councils can search your browsing history if you let your dog poop on the pavement.

In this case, Apple & Google have kindly provided an API for helping to track Covid in an anonymous manner, but the U.K. have chosen to ignore it. Presumably because that would let a good snooping opportunity go by the by. Absolutely shameless behaviour.

Famed Apple analyst chances his Arm-based Macs that Apple kit will land next year


There goes my VMWare Win10 VM

I wouldn't fancy running that in an emulator.

There's a world out there with a hexagon vortex over its pole packed with hydrocarbon ice crystals. That planet is Saturn


Re: Isn't the universe awesome?

It certainly is. But you'd have to head out to Uranus or Neptune to find places where blocks of diamond rain several metres across plummet down through the atmosphere. Now *that* is something!

Proof-of-concept open-source app can cut'n'paste from reality straight into Photoshop using a neural network


Real world

I’ve only dabbled with Photoshop and the more reasonably priced Affinity Photo. But every time I’ve been asked to lift an image from a background, it’s involved a fair bit of work that’s much more involved than identifying an outline and cutting out the object. You can get spectacularly bad results, for example, if you try to remove the background from a model with flyaway hair unless you pay a lot of attention to what you’re doing.

I’m not so interested in the app > photoshop interaction as the ability of a neural net to convincingly remove a background. I imagine that in itself would be enormously useful to a lot of people if it turned out to be really clever at doing it.

Apple: We respect your privacy so much we've revealed a little about what we can track when you use Maps


Re: Shocking

What a wuss. I hope you aren't tasked with solving IT problems.

On MacOs, drop a pin and mark it using the favourite icon. It will go into your Favourites collection.

Pick one of your Favourites in the Map app. It isn't hard to do,

Click the information icon

Click the Share button

Choose Copy Link

In the URL that is copied to your clipboard, change 'apple' to 'google'. Anyone, including your friends, can open it in a web page.

For example, here is one of my favourites from a visit to Japan.


Tech won't save you from lockdown disaster: How to manage family and free time while working from home


Watch out for gamers in the family

If you have a lad who is a keen gamer, keep a keen eye on your router activity. When my boy came home from university I found out his PC was acting as a game server, absolutely clobbering internet bandwidth uploading dozens of gigabytes per day. I had to pull the plug on it - literally - in order to create any semblance of a work from home environment.

Apple updates iPad Pro with a trackpad, faster processor. Is it a real computer now?


Re: Trackpad is a misunderstanding

Well, it’s more accurate to say the screen is A trackpad now, since you can drag your finger around two surfaces.

I’m not saying that an iPad is a computer replacement, by any means, but for extended use on a desk I can see the benefit of mounting it vertically and handling user input on a horizontal trackpad, like a traditional laptop.

Not for me. My iPad is mostly for use when I’m reading in bed where, I have to say, it works admirably and ergonomically.

There are already Chinese components in your pocket – so why fret about 5G gear?



Don’t mention companies who slip a secret undocumented co-processor in their chips. Wouldn’t happen in the West, would it? I mean, Intel, for example would never do such a thing...

Brits may still be struck by Lightning, but EU lawmakers vote for bloc-wide common charging rules


Re: Could someone explain what the problem is with Apple stuff?

Go to Amazon and type Lightning to see how very wrong your statement is.

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


Re: Lock-in

I agree that micro usb is the pits. Thank Christ that industry ignored the EU’s direction on that one. Just imagine if now we’d all been lumbered with that awful connector.

SCART is/was no good. Far too chunky, too many pins, pins inherently not strong. And polarised (if that’s the right word).

I always hated those D-Type connectors in the days when people used RS-232 or parallel printers. Unless you were looking head on it was actually quite tricky to see which way round you should hold the connector. If you added up all the hours of humanity spent fruitlessly banging a polarised connector against its counterpart, it would surely amount to many lifetimes.

I like USB-C. It works for me.


Re: connector not the only issue

You may scoff, but only idiots break their lightning cables. Pull it out by holding the connector, not the cable, otherwise you are literally begging for trouble.

Some people.

I include my lazy son in that group. He has a habit of picking up his laptop by the screen, and lobbing it down somewhere, regardless of where the cable is. He’s the kind of person who will go on an Internet forum to complain about shoddy cables.

Hold my Bose, we can do premium: Sennheiser chucks pricey wireless cans at travellers


Re: "High notes, although solid, are not quite as polished"

I’d like to know what a polished note is!

Not an audio expert, but can’t earphones be tested objectively by connecting them to the best microphones in the world rather than a human, and measuring what they produce compared with what they produce?

Bit nippy, is it? Hive smart home users find themselves tweaking thermostat BY HAND


It’s very dumb if these things stop working if Centrica’s online systems go AWOL. My Nest thermostat carries on working if the internet disappears.

OK. We're off. Water ice found just below the surface of Mars. Good enough for us. Let's go. Impulse power, Mr Sulu


Would a shovel...

...work terribly well on Mars? It has quite low gravity. I imagine I’d need to eat quite a few mince pies to dig a hole there.

Post Office coughs £57.75m to settle wonky Horizon IT system case


Part time salary of £60K pa. Nice work if you can get it,

You had one job, Cupertino: Apple's Intelligent Tracking Protection actually gets tracking protection


Re: "The Register asked Apple to provide more details... You can imagine how that went."

If memory serves, Apple have forgotten on at least one occasion that they are mortal enemies of The Register.

Amnesty slams Facebook, Google over 'pervasive surveillance' business model


Re: This is Facebook's standard dodge

Duh, or get a content blocker that erases all those nasty Facebook links before they make it to the browser.

Bad news: 'Unblockable' web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much


Re: I'm forced to wonder

That would be a very rare case. Most websites time out sessions on the server after a relatively short period of user inactivity. And, for those that don't, it's a couple of clicks to close down the browser completely.

Apple's latest keyboard travels back in time to when they weren't crap


Re: idiotMagnet as long as Memory and Storage not modular

1. Unless you are an IT professional you are very unlikely to need huge amounts of RAM or internal storage. You DO NOT find hordes of users on the internet complaining that they are hampered by the capability of the device they bought. You DO find hordes of users moaning that they can't fiddle with the internals. Get a different device.

2. People's use may indeed change. If you need radically more RAM or internal storage, trade it in for a more capable machine.

3. A purchaser's problem is not your problem.

4. And your point is? You were the one moaning about storage.

5. With an inappropriate number of ports and slots, you can make a £2,500 machine look like something out of a 1980s scrapyard. This argument has been debunked time and time again. The MBP ports are absolutely fine for the vast majority of users. For every pro photographer who complains about the lack of sn SD slot, you will find a dozen users who really don't give a damn. Your use case is not everybody's use case.

6. If you're crazy enough, here's the cable you are after: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Belkin-USB-C-Cable-USB-IF-Certified/dp/B00WJSPB5A

7. So you keep on saying. But the point is they *can* be repaired and you get a lot of money back if you trade in. Much more so than you would with any other brand of laptop.


Re: idiotMagnet as long as Memory and Storage not modular

Zzzz, if you're an IT professional you should know - or at least have a very good idea - how much RAM and storage you will need for the life of the device. Which isn't forever, by the way. If you don't, trade it in; MacBooks have a fantastic resale value.

You can add as much external storage to a MBP as you like.

Apple absolutely made the right decision in providing four identical USB-C Thunderbolt ports. With appropriate cables or adapters, they are flexible enough to connect any peripheral you care to think of. Still missing that 3.5" floppy disk slot, are you?


Clodhopping Windoze users

It’s true that the recent MBP keyboards are horribly susceptible to dust ingress, which is basically an unforgivable design error. But in all other respects I like my MBP keyboard. I type on it quite effortlessly. And gracefully!

I attended an IT workshop a while back, and I lent my laptop briefly to a Windows user (I was running Win 10 on a VM at the time). Christ Almighty, I had to wince when I saw him thumping away at my keyboard like someone digging up a road with a pneumatic drill. It’s a miracle it survived the onslaught.

Apple's credit card caper probed over sexism claims – after women screwed over on limits


Jeez. Which part of ‘I don’t earn anything so Goldman Sachs won’t lend me any money’ do these people not understand?

If computer says no, it’s for a reason, and that reason likely has nothing to do with what’s between your legs. Here are some quirks of the credit industry:

If you are debt free, you may be given a low credit rating. Lenders love people who a) are in debt and b) regularly reduce their debt.

If you pay off your mortgage, your credit score is likely to be reduced. My guess for this is that the lenders love a borrower who has the potential threat of house repossession looming over them. Once you are mortgage free, the best they can do is send in a bailiff crew from Channel 5 to swipe your TV should you default.

To avoid that Titanic feeling, boffins create an unsinkable hydrophobic metal with laser power



Won’t work for anything larger than a toy boat. Archimedes’ Principle still applies, and a thin skin of air won’t affect the buoyancy of a heavy object to any practical degree.

Imagine OLE reinvented for the web and that's 90% of Microsoft's Fluid Framework: We dig into O365 collaborative tech



Meh, I still haven't forgiven Microsoft for inducing developers (free goodies) to incorporate ActiveX controls in their websites. It was a long time ago, admittedly, but some elephants never forget.

Astroboffins rethink black hole theory after spotting tiny example with its own star buddy



Maybe it’s a neutron star that’s spinning really really quickly, like multiple thousands of times per second. Wouldn’t that hold it up?

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still


Re: Not Windows Vista bad

Hyperbole much? Come on, it’s not that bad. The upgrade was a bit rough around the edges for me - I had to provide my iCloud password about ten times before it stopped badgering me - but I can’t say I’ve encountered any other problems. Some people are reporting that it can mess up Apple Mail. Hasn’t affected me.

Having said that, Apple are in a bad place by having this strictly regimented annual update of products. They feel obliged to bring out a new iPhone and OS each September. And invariably there are features like hand-off or sidecar that bring with them co-dependencies with MacOS. Meaning that MacOS update really has to come out in October, ready or not.

I’d care for their attitude a lot more if they just brought out new stuff a) when it’s ready and b) fit for purpose. They’re a trillion dollar company, for feck’s sake. Just tell the moneybags and marketing department to take a hike.

Tough luck, Jupiter, you've lost your crown for now: Boffins show Saturn has more moons


Re: Moons?

I think they shouldn't consider something round unless it has sufficient roundness to be really really round. Or something like that.

MacOS 'Catalina' 10.15 comes packed with exclusive security fixes – gee, thanks, Apple


Re: Go64

You don't need that,

Before you upgrade:

1. Apple Icon | About this Mac

2. System Report

3. Software / Applications

Your apps will be listed and a column is shown indicating whether each app is 32 or 64 bit. Order on the column heading to see 32-bit apps more clearly.

MacOS wakes to a bright Catalina sunrise – and broken Adobe apps


'Trash' is gone

Hurrah. The menu option now says "Move to Bin" when you want to delete something. That's worth upgrading alone.

Got a pre-A12 iPhone? Love jailbreaks? Happy Friday! 'Unpatchable tethered Boot ROM exploit' released


Re: Answer: Security

You *can* have a walled garden *and* a strong password.

I’d rather the rat was behind a stone wall than a picket fence, thanks very much. “Walled Garden” gets a bad press amongst geeks but for the overwhelming majority of users it’s an important way of playing safe in a hostile connected world. A ‘Register’ audience is not a typical audience.

In my opinion, blocking unauthorised OS updates is a good thing. Let’s just say, theoretically, that you managed to find a way to hijack the phone’s cellular firmware so that you could block nearby users from making calls. Should that be allowed, just because you have a desire to mess about with the OS? Should you be able to tamper with incoming messages and get someone in trouble with the law? Should you be able to remove copy protection and duplicate any old movie that you like? Would you be happy with bad guys walking through your picket fence and installing malware? Should you be allowed to waste Apple’s time by walking into an Apple Store with a fucked up device? The list goes on and on and on.

Sure, there are annoying limitations. I’d like to take screenshots of movies on my iPad. But I can’t because Apple block that from happening. I take the rough with the smooth.

If you want to do geeky stuff get some geeky hardware. There’s plenty of it around.

Tesco parking app hauled offline after exposing 10s of millions of Automatic Number Plate Recognition images


Re: Wtf

No, you are wrong. A vehicle registration is not personally identifiable information in itself. You would need to apply to (and be authorised by) the DVLA to find the registered keeper. If you were to do that and process said data henceforth you would be subject to data processing rules. Until then, not.


Re: Wtf

You do not need the consent of a driver to photograph his car and retain the photo indefinitely. Nor is there anything stopping you setting up a camera on a motorway bridge and taking as many snaps as you like.

Lights, camera, camera, camera, action: iPhone, iPad, Watch, chip biz in new iPhone, iPad, Watch, chip shocker


Re: Peak tech

Here's an innovation for you: make the phone a bit thicker to get rid of that nasty bump containing the optics. Then you could use the extra volume for something really useful like, say, giving the phone quite a lot more battery life.



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