* Posts by gypsythief

160 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Apr 2016


UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok


Re: Idiocy

Monzo offer virtual debit (but not credit) cards, but only on their premium tier which is £5 per month.

(Although I'm a cheapskate on their free tier, so I can't say how well it works...)

Low on passengers, low on memory: A bad day on the London Underground


Shocking Service!

Only 6 services running normally (and one of those is a tram) out of 15 listed services. Even for the famously crap train services of Britain, that's pretty bad.

Here's a thought for you, TfL: if you want to increase passenger numbers, try providing a reliable service that people will want to use. Heck, the entirety of Europe can manage it, so it can't be to hard!

OK, boomer? Gen-X-ers, elder millennials most likely to name their cars, says DVLA

Paris Hilton

Our old knackered camper conversion - a 16 year old Citroen Relay with over 200,000 miles on the clock - was "Myvan the Terrible".

Our shiny new camper conversion (well, you've got to do something in lockdown) is based on a minibus, and so is called "Minnie the Moocher", 'cos, well, it's a minniebus, and we mooch about the country side in it!

Icon, 'cos I bet she knows a thing or too about being a hoochie-coocher!

One white cat and a volcano short of a Bond villain: Rocket Lab's Peter Beck shows off the 'Hungry Hippo'


Destination Moon!

Let's face it. Hergé nailed it years ago!

>>Icon: Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly. Not what you want!

What a clock up: Brit TV-broadband giant Sky fails to pick up weekend's timezone change, fix due by Friday


Re: Clock embuggerance day

"It is tiresome when both OSes adjust automatically."

Just set them all to run with the system clock as UTC.

For pretty much all Linux's it's generally an option on the "Choose your timezone" page during setup. For the *BSD's I think it's an rc.conf tweak. For Windows it's a quick registry edit:



After that your motherboard clock will remain persistently UTC, and the operating system will display the correct time from that based on the time zone that you tell it you are in.

With this method I have been able to flawlessly (in terms of displayed time, at least) boot between Windows and various *nix's with never a problem with the displayed time over BST changes.

Google lab proposes solar-powered moisture farming to provide water for billions


Cloud Fishing!

I reckon The Chocolate Factory Evil Corp(TM) are somewhat over-thinking this.

In Chile, they just chucked some nets in the air to catch the clouds, then ran an entire brewery from the water they captured that produces 24000 litres of tasty, tasty beer a year.

One newer net setup is producing 4000 litres of water per day.

Admittedly, this method is dependant upon clouds passing by so probably isn't deployable everywhere, but it is a cheap, simple and effective method that works. And they've been using it for 65 years. Do try to keep up, Google Evil Corp(TM).

And, mmm, beer.

Heart FM's borkfast show – a fine way to start your day


"We're not entirely sure what has caused the error"

Well, looking at the screenshot, it clearly says "SRServer.exe... Application error / The application was unable to start connectivity"

A quick Duck Duck Go reveals SRServer.exe to be the client component of Splashtop Streamer Remote Desktop software.

So the software that has caused the bork is the very same software that would allow the helldesk operatives to remote in and fix the bork.

Bork, bork, indeed.

NASA warns Mars: We're about to laser your rocks and start stealing them


Re: Will the Martians file a cease and desist order?

No, that seems somewhat unlikely. The Martians are generally quite accepting of new peoples and things to their lands. I invite you to [re]read the seminal paper on the matter "Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed", one of the finest studies yet published on the Martian natives and ecosystem.

Microsoft sides with media groups, together they urge Europe to follow Australia's lead, make Google, Facebook pay for news article links


I am a bit surprised...

...that this comment has garnered a majority of down-votes, for its fundamental tenant - all the media outlets are entertainment business who engage in erm... "truth manipulation" for sales seems quite true to me.

I do wonder if this sentence has been misinterpreted: "I pity the person who thinks only Fox News lies, but their news outlet tells the truth". On first read through, I took this to mean that "their" referred to Fox News, i.e. "I pity the person who thinks only Fox News lies, but Fox News tells the truth"

I then re-read it as "I pity the person who thinks only Fox News lies, but the news outlet *the person* reads tells the truth", which made much more sense.

I would like to quote Paul Simon here, from his song "Have a Good Time:"

"I don't believe what I read in the papers / They're just out to capture my dime"

That was written back in 1975. Nothing much has changed in 46 years...

Considering the colonisation of Mars? Werner Herzog would like a word


Re: There’s hope yet!

"...but battery-powered EV are not the solution for everybody, just for urban people who don't need to travel."

To which I say: John O'Groats to Land's End, in a Tesla Model 3, 855.2 miles in 15h 32m with just 1h 32m for charging?

Electric cars have gone way, way beyond the original Nissan Leaf and "just for urban people who don't need to travel." With the addition of a rapidly growing network of conventional and fast-charging stations they are more than capable of long distance journeys far faster than certainly I would like to make them.

NASA building network cables that can survive supersonic flight - could this finally deliver unbreakable RJ45 latching tabs?

Paris Hilton

Re: In a high vibration environment, you want your critical cables to be held fast

...as the actress said to the bishop.

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at International Space Station


Yes it is. So much so that all the Cargo Dragons that have been rattling up and down have been fully pressurised, and crewed by a team of specially trained Space Mice.

All they had to do was add some seats and screens and jobs-a-gudun.

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll


And thank the Imaginary Sky Fairy...

... that a bunch of money grubbing lovely helpful lawyers* were prepared to work on this pro bono. I strongly suspect that fending off patent trolls is way beyond the financial means of any open source project, so it's nice to see some hungry sharks lovely helpful lawyers* actually doing some good for a change.

*I'm sure *some* of them are lovely. And helpful. Aren't they?

Doors closed by COVID-19, Brit retro tech museums need your help


Today's kids ...type their message again and again...


Gypsythief rulez ok!

Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V

Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V

Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V

Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V


(I won't follow my own *ahem* advice here lest the Vultures-That-Be decide I might be a tasty morsel)

Mad dash for webcams with surge in videoconferencing has turned out rather nicely for Logitech


now if someone could produce a wireless mechanical keyboard...

Like this one?

CoolerMaster SK651

Although I'm not sure what a low profile Cherry MX would be like compared to a full profile one. Anyway, I have their Master Keys Pro with Cherry MX Brown switches to help retain my hearing sanity, and I've been impressed by it.

New York Attorney General probes Charter over claims it forced staff to work in offices amid coronavirus pandemic


Re: what a fun place to work

Are you writing about Charter?...

...or America?

The more I read about this whole mess, the happier I am that I am not American. I really feel for you guys.

Internet use up 40 per cent in San Francisco Bay Area – but you know what’s even higher? Yep, alcohol, weed use


Re: Makes sense

Well worth going if you get chance; Skye's lovely, and as I remember the Talisker distillery is in a wonderfully remote spot (as I remember; it's been two decades since I went (gulp; where'd time go?!)

The tour I had was very good, although the highlight came at the end when we'd been herded into the shop: I witnessed an American gentleman purchase a (very, very old) bottle of whiskey.

It had a price tag of £10,000.


Re: Makes sense

Talisker Cask Strength (when they do it) is usually released at around the 60% ABV mark, so that should do the job.

Of course, if you're heathen enough to waste it outside of you instead of inside, you'll get what's coming to you ----->

Edit: Where'd that post from Micheal come from? That wasn't there a moment ago! Never mind, there's obviously another with good taste around these parts :)

What's the difference between Windows 7 and a bin lorry? One is full of garbage, and the other… oh dear


Damn You, Mr Speed!

Every time a computer goes wrong these days, I find my self involuntarily chanting "Bork! Bork! Bork!" in the fashion of some demented Dalek on it's last ever extermination.

I would say that colleagues who have heard me think I'm going loopy, but I suspect they actually just think it's normal.

(Icon: nearest thing to a Dalek ---------------------------------------->)

We checked in with the new Windows 10X build, and let's just say getting this ready for late 2020 will be a challenge


Re: MS making proper shut down so difficult

Eh? Not that difficult:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power]


You're welcome!

Bloodhound gang handles the pan again to get back to Hakskeenpan


No, the jet engine is staying in place and they are adding a rocket as well. The idea is that the jet engine will push Bloodhound to 600+ MPH, where upon the rocket is turned on to hit 1000 MPH.

Hey, fatso. If you're standing desk-curious, the VariDesk Pro Plus won't break the bank


Re: Who cares about the desk?...

Wow, thanks for that, I had no idea they were still available. Now I just need to find a way for my current keyboard to have a small accident.

Hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea ------>


Who cares about the desk?...

...what about the keyboard? That thing looks as solid as one of the old IBM monsters*, which I'm sure could survive such treatment ----->

(*I had one of those once, with a DIN5 plug; I ended up with a computer with no DIN5 socket, so I used a DIN5 to PS2 adapter quite happily. I then ended up with a computer with no PS2 socket, so with eternal optimism I tried a DIN5 to PS2 adapter connected to a PS2 to USB adapter. Alas, it was not to be...)

Remember when Europe’s entire Galileo satellite system fell over last summer? No you don’t. The official stats reveal it never happened


Re: WTF?

I can't figure out what to say to this. Ah, you're not worth it.

Rowhammer rides again as FPGA attack, RSA again reportedly up for sale, anti-theft kit to nuke laptops, etc


What a BusKill... for Windows

I was curious if that Buskill would work on Windows, and it turns out, it does!

1) Open Event Viewer, and drill down to "Application and Service Logs - Microsoft - Windows - DriverFrameworks-UserMode"

2) We need the "Operational" log which is disabled; to enable, right click -> Properties, tick "Enable Logging", OK

3) Find a spare memory stick of a make/model that you don't otherwise use. Plug it in, wait a few seconds and unplug.

4) Refresh the view, then open the latest entry with EventID 2102

5) Switch to the "Details" tab, then "XML View". You will need the the data from the "InstanceID" field

6) Paste the following XML into your editor of choice (you can remove the extra white lines; the forum inserts those automatically on line-breaks):

***Begin XML***


<Query Id="0" Path="Microsoft-Windows-DriverFrameworks-UserMode/Operational">

<Select Path="Microsoft-Windows-DriverFrameworks-UserMode/Operational">*[System[(EventID=2102)]]


*[UserData/UMDFHostDeviceRequest/InstanceId="Your Instance ID"]






***End XML***

Replace "Your Instance ID" with your InstanceID data from the event log, then replace all special characters with their ASCII hex codes. For example, my InstanceID of:




7) Copy your completed XML. Open Task Scheduler, create a new task. Create a new "Trigger" and from the "Begin the Task" drop-down, select "On an event", Select "Custom" and click the new event filter button. Switch to the XML tab and tick the "Edit query manually box". Paste in your XML from above.

8) OK back out a couple of times, and finish setting up your task. I set my Action to lock my computer: Action: start a program; program: "rundll32.exe"; Add arguments: "user32.dll, LockWorkStation"

9) Tweak final settings, mainly allowing the task to run if not on AC power, and you're done :)

Stop us if you've heard it before but... Africa's internet management body mired again by corruption allegations


Re: Its Africa

Africa is a continent, not a country. To assume things are the same from South Africa to Egypt, from Mauritania to Tanzania is like assuming things are the same from Spain to Finland, from Greece to Ireland.

That is, they are not.

Some governments are corrupt, some are not. Some people are corrupt, some are not. That says nothing about the governments or peoples of their neighbours.

Do not tar all with the same brush.

Boffins find proof that yes, Carl Sagan and Joni Mitchell were right, we really are all made up of star stuff



"...amount of palladium, a rare silvery heavy metal element that can only be forged via a stellar process, known as slow neutron capture."

I think you'll find that pretty much any decent Dwarven blacksmith worth their salt can easily forge a +4 Vorpal Dwarven Axe of Smiting from just a few palladium ingo...

... oh, wait, sorry, wrong website. Carry on.

Metasploit for drones? Best of luck with that, muses veteran tinkerer


Re: Conclusion fail

How about this poor chap:

Ok, he didn't die, and luckily escaped with minor injuries, but it's that sort of utterly irresponsible drone flying that's causing these laws. If that cyclist had fallen into a culvert, for instance, it could have been a lot nastier, as it was for poor Bjorg Lambrecht.

N.B. I realise the accident that killed Bjorg was not caused by a drone, but it does not take much for a road-bike ridden at speed to crash with potentially fatal consequences. The drone that hit the American cyclist could easily have caused such a crash.

Behuld – zee-a internet ouff tuilet tissuoe at Meecrusufft Sveden. Bork bork bork!


Re: I'm sorry

Alcoholics Identification?

Wot? This is Britain: you don't need to be an alcoholic to drink too much around these parts.

Anglo-saxon Incoming! is quite sufficient, thank you.

No wonder cops are so keen on Ring – they can slurp your doorbell footage with few limits, US senators complain



...it clearly says "Google Street View" on the side.

Imagine finding this bad boy in your shower: Brit startup pulls the sheets off Moon spider mech


"A relief, no doubt, for 2024's moon-walkers worried about Opportunity-esque longevity"

There, FTFY.

US soldier cleared of taking armoured vehicle out for joyride – because he's insane, court says


Re: My dad did something similar but for a different reason

@ Benson's Cycle

So your handle commemorates someone who discovered the photosynthetic carbon cycle, but history attributes the discovered to someone else.

Your post claims history attributes the events you describe to someone else, but the patterns, the patterns cannot be ignored.

You are the young lad, and I claim my five pounds!

Squabbles over NASA's lunar lander, Astrobotics takes a punt on ULA and India arrives at the Moon


Wow! Well done El Reg!

From the article:

"It's not entirely clear why Astrobotic chose the Vulture Central in what CEO John Thornton described..."

Congratulations El Reg on having your very own rocket program selected for a real space laun...

Wait, what was that? Vulcan Centaur, you say? Oh drat! Mis-read. Never mind, have a beer anyway. Carry on!

Lenovo ThinkPad X390: A trusty workhorse that means business but it's not without a few flaws


Re: Interesting

"Does Linux work on it?"

I'd be very wary before splashing the cash. I had a Thinkpad a while ago, (I forget the model) which ran various Linux's and FreeBSD just fine apart from the wireless card (some dodgy Realtek thing as I recall) which had schlonky Linux/BSD drivers and dropped the connection continuously.

Not a problem, I had a spare Intel one lying about that was reputed to be great with open source drivers. I swapped it in, turned my laptop on and was greeted with a fantastic wireless connection.

Err, no, I wasn't. I was met with a BIOS boot screen proclaiming "Unauthorised hardware detected. The laptop will not boot."

Turns out Lenovo (and others, HP I seem to recall) are famous for this. The BIOS checks the hardware in the laptop and if something is not on the approved whitelist, it doesn't boot. Gee, thanks, you twats.

I worked around the problem with a USB wifi dongle, but it gave sub-par performance compared to an internal card with a proper antennae.

So yeah, be wary of Linux support on Lenovo (and HP (and probably others)) laptops.

Plot twist: Google's not spying on King's Cross with facial recognition tech, but its landlord is


Re: Memo to Self

"These people need to understand that we, the people do not want this type of spying..."

Except that we are not "we, the people." We are a very small, technologically aware, privacy conscious subset of the people.

The people generally don't seem to give a toss. I've explained it on occasion to mainstream members of the people, and they have listened carefully, nodded in agreement, and made appropriate comments like "that's awful", or "how very dare they!"

They have then promptly gone back to not giving a toss, so long as they can access Farcebook, Instaspam et al. Whilst commentards here, the great folks at Privacy International, and a few others may protest facial recognition, nothing much will change whilst the rest of the population are drip-fed their dopamine.

Canonical adds ZFS on root as experimental install option in Ubuntu


Re: the Innertubes run mostly on Linux

In which case, I can only assume that you are an android. Personally, my innertubes run entirely on blood.

(Oh, apart from the one's in my bicycle. They're rubber).

Grav-wave eggheads come closer to nailing down Hubble's Constant – the universe's speedy rate of expansion


Re: Your Wish .... Ours to Command* An Alien Force of Novel Source ‽

"FFS FUD SNAFU is not a normal lifestyle choice, it is a perverse abomination and corrupt amalgam of an horrendous few. Change the Master Program."

That is the best summary of Brexit I've ever read. Have an upvote, and a pint on me.

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions


Use Case?

I can see external hard drives being one, if anyone still uses those (well, apart from Mac users without up-gradable internal storage), but for anyone else? My mouse transfers a few KB/s, my keyboard something similar. USB 2 actually suffices really well for the vast majority of [at least my] use cases.

In the meantime, I'm stuck shuftying files around my network at 1Gb/s. Plz can we haz 10Gb/s network kit at affordable prices, rather than faffing about with ever faster-faster-faster USB?

(Icon --> my over-loaded switch going nuclear)

Cops told live facial recog needs oversight, rigorous trial design, protections against bias


Re: London police commissioner Cressida Dick...

"Can a woman be a dick?"

Maybe this depends upon whether you're left-pondian, right-pondian, or upsidepondownian, but going by the Urban Dictionary's first definition for "being a dick":

"conducting oneself in an inappropriate manner to the annoyance of others"

then yes, a woman most certainly can.

(As can men, cats, and photocopier sales-people ;)


London police commissioner Cressida Dick...

... a clear case of nominative determinism if ever I saw one.

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed


Re: Umm... nope.

"Once upon a time during the minor warming period in the dark ages, England grew some acceptable varietals for a short time."

"There's been wine produced in the UK pretty much continuously since the Romans arrived, it certainly didn't require the Medieval Warm Period to make it viable."

There is a distinct difference between acceptable and viable.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz


I'm So Meta, Even This Article

C'mon, with all this talk of meta, shirley someone else noticed?


Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters


fg xjc dua ihut vyfq, xjc uih jci sfat jg mjggfa

If you can read this, you are our kind of boffin

Well, thank you very much.

Grab a bucket and spade: Sandbox open for Insiders again with fresh Windows 10 build



Fine! So that doesn't utterly remove Cortana (I still have a Cortana process running), but it does turn it into a standard search thingumydoodad instead of an all-ur-data-belongz-2-uz monstrosity.

I think.

Or hope.



Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search]


Chip-for-tat escalates: Qualcomm's billion-Euro bond to block Apple iPhone sales in Germany


Re: third-party retailers could still offer the affected iPhone models

My guess is that it would be unfairly penalising third party retailers by depriving them of a revenue stream, when it is Apple that may be at fault, not the third party retailers.

It isn't "JoBloggsMobilePhonez4U.de" that's (allegedly) ripped off patents, so it seems fair (to me) to leave them out of the dispute by allowing them to carry on selling iPhones.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?


Re: 30 years, perhaps more, to reach human-level AI

Dammit! it was a unicorn!


Re: 30 years, perhaps more, to reach human-level AI

"Cyborgism isn't the future either."

It is always those that are, that deny it most strongly.

Deckard didn't think he was a replicant either... tell me, has someone made you an origami crane recently?

Boffins build bugged bees bearing backpacks


Re: "Minimize harm done to their surveillance bees"

"Very Punny Honey :-)"

Nice one! Though I prefer thick-set myself.

It gives you more time to spread it on your crumpet before it starts dripping out the bottom.


"Minimize harm done to their surveillance bees"

I'm glad to hear the researchers earned their stripes and beehived themselves by treating the bees fairly.. Animal cruelty can create such a buzz in the media.

I'm sure they will continue to hone-y their skills in this area, and wax lyrical about their results.

Anyway, time for me to stop droning on... mine's the white one with the mesh hood.