* Posts by Shell

100 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Aug 2007


Apple’s facial recognition: Well, it is more secure for the, er, sleeping user


I thought it was the X because it's the tenth-anniversary phone? (bet they don't release a 9 though).

Web pests pour two exploit kits into one cup


Re: 2005 called...

Many of our projects are progressively enhanced (I'm a front end dev for a mid-sized digital agency). We're not alone. Turn off CSS/JS and everything should still work, still be accessible. Browsers and devices change so rapidly, it's not practical to replace a site each time a new device format appears. JS is an important part of the web, and it's not going anywhere, but that's no excuse for lazy development (let alone the legal accessibility implications often associated). Small-screen first, browser agnostic progressive enhancement via feature detection... buzzword overkill, but there's sound reasoning behind these patterns.

Behold, Backblaze’s public B2 beta blast off


Bandwidth hungry

Their consumer service is superb... as far as I can tell (never having had to restore from it, touch wood). ~1Tb encrypted and archived from my home server for peace-of-mind. I'd be tempted to use them commercially, but given how bandwidth starved most corporate environment I've worked in have been (relative to my blistering home broadband), I remain to be convinced of the practicalities. I guess as storage for already online services?

All eyes on the jailbroken as iOS, Mac OS X threat level ratchets up


"with jailbroken devices being the focus of the majority of threats"

So not concerns as such then (other than the ability to jailbreak in the first place). iOS is a locked down platform. If someone decides to jailbreak it, it's on their heads if said device is then vulnerable to exploits no? (Aside from the merits/not of locked down devices).

Photoshop for 40 quid: Affinity Photo pushes pixels further than most


Re: The Elephant in the Room

I also have privacy sensitive clients and it's worth clarifying - Adobe's Creative Cloud stuff isn't actually *running* in the cloud... All the software sits in /Applications. Cloud's only needed for occasional validation of your subscription. Your projects go nowhere near it unless you explicitly save them there.

Apple workforce touch up iPhones with Force Touch tech – report


Re: Uh oh - Microsoft ahead..

@ratfox I'd suggest that's more of an issue for App developers than Apple. I'm happy for Apple to add these new UI capabilities if they make for a better experience in those Apps, but it doesn't mean all Apps have to use it. There's clearly a market for more accessible Apps, but that doesn't mean the hardware should stand still too.

UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST


Pants on fire.

"The government takes information security extremely seriously". Enough said really,

BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog


Plug a your own router into the Sky modem. This is what I've done with the somewhat unreliable / dumb Virgin Superhub. I've a rather nice multi radio Cisco router that can handle far more traffic and squeeze that down gigabit network cable to the Virgin box & out on the 166mbit WAN.

BrowserStack HACK ATTACK: Service still suspended after rogue email


Yikes, calm...

I know what 'triage' means. And I know you have to take stock, prioritise and fix. At the same time you need to communicate. There's been zero information from them in 2 hours, for a service some folks rely on. There are two different things to triage here - the system and the perception of the service. Do you ever actually have to deal with users? They're really easily scared.

"So...? Does that make the audience special somehow?" no, just means a mildly technical explanation of what they're doing about the breach would not be unreasonable, that was all :/ jeeze.

I've heard from several less technical folks throughout day how "must not use browserstack, they've been hacked" and "leaked all our details", half truths and rumour must be wrecking their rep right now.



I can understand them scrambling to ensure their network & service is actually still viable, I'm fairly confident their marketing folks aren't part of that - and surely right now a few reassuring words on social media would go a long way to triaging the damage. The lack of response, beyond a couple of content-free tweets, isn't helping at all... Their audience is primarily developers. Some immediate transparency would go a long way.

It's a great service, I make a lot of use of it.

No one wants iOS 8 because it's for NERDS - dev


Inexcusable UX fails

What astounds me about this release (even with the 8.0.2 patch) just the number of rough edges. Both on my iPad 3 and iPhone 5S, I've found many areas where the UI can be easily glitched (over lapping menus, vanishing titlebars, popups that appear behind the keyboard with no way of scrolling). This is both on the physical devices and in the XTools iOS simulator. It smacks of rush, or at the very least very poor QA.

A great example of ball-dropping is the complete UX f'up that is changing your Apple ID primary email address, where in you enter a world of cyclic demands for passwords for renamed accounts, broken dialog and inexplicable deletion of data - right across iCloud and all devices. Apple are losing their way. It's the polish that made them stand out from other platforms, but recently that's begun evaporating.

Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing


Re: ive wondered why....

My 7 year old Sony 6:1 amp has exactly that. A mic with a 10m cable that you sit at your feet, and put the amp into setup mode. It then attempts to deafen you with white noise.

BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist


Now now, don't be mean about the Filmhouse. They show the Big Films (yuck) too if you don't mind waiting a while. They have one of the best 3D screens in the city. If that's your sort of thing. I fairly frequently camp in their bar too...

I generally hate the multi-screen cinema. Ocean Terminal Vue is the closest cinema to me and it's a truly soulless place. Still somehow once in a while I find myself at one of these McCinema's watching Yet Another Sequel :/

Funny though, I found this less the case abroad. The 'Mars' cinema's in Istanbul are really impressive*, technically anyway. There's an incredible Sony cinema below in Mori Tower, Tokyo too. I wish either of these could be my local!

*despite the rather odd Turkish custom of having a piss/snack-break mid-film, mid-reel, regardless what is happening on screen


Re: Its a shame really

Similar to my fave local cinema here in Edinburgh. It has three screens, a great bar and family membership that brings the ticket prices down to ~£6.50. The membership accumulates points too, resulting in totally free film watching - think I've got about £80 of credit now. They show a mix of international films, but they also have the big block buster films if you don't mind waiting a few months after general release. In the evenings it's usually packed. It's a lovely experience.

Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330


Re: It's all very wonderful

Flew Turkish Airlines from Edinburgh > Istanbul > Antalya. Had more leg space that I've ever had on a plane. Nice entertainment systems and very comfortable. However return flight a few weeks later, same airport, same route, same time, t'other direction. Cramped, no entertainment...

Some airlines have seems to have consistently better planes and if I do bother to check I can find out what sort of plane I'm *supposed* to be getting. Given there are quite often multiple carriers to a given destination, it does influence my choice a little bit (we've used KLM for part of this route in the past). But in the end, I get whatever turns up at the airport.

I've got 99 problems, but a Facebook boycott ain't one


Critical mass

I hate Facebook with a passion. But like many, I have less computer literate & ageing family members in far-flung parts of the world to whom Facebook is their only form of shared online communication. There just isn't anything 'better' that I can convince a sufficient number of relatives to move to gain any kind of critical mass :(

Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro


Tea cosy

Would love a multi-room set-up, but then remember my Edinburgh flat is so bloody small I can hear data dribbling from our backup drive in the living room everywhere in the flat. Bigger flat, then fancy sound system...

We recently bought a Sony KDL 815 TV which came with a Sony soundbar. The TV's great, but I'm not overly impressed with these soundbars. We stuck it on the spare TV in the bedroom. Sure, fancy features (bluetooth, RFID, USB & optical), the the sound quality is... well... a bit like sticking your head inside a tea cosy (shh, I'm being English) - which I have to admit is marginally better than the 15-year-old hi-fi it was previously connected to - but no great shakes. I've still got a pretty good amp & 'proper' Sony speakers on the big TV in the living room. Those are 10 year old too. Vastly superior without the feature overload.

Between the AppleTV, Mac Mini, PS4, iPhones, iPads, smart-TV apps and various MacBooks in our flat at any given time what I need is really good headphones, not another hi-fi device.

GAME ON: Top 10 tellies for a World Cup kicking


Re: Urg...

Flipped around to the back as a wall mount, it's rather neat.


The Sony KDL-50W815 (silver version of the KDL-50W829) is superb - picked up one of these couple of weeks ago from John Lewis - they're doing a deal with a sound bar for £889. It has lots of fancy features I don't care about, but the picture quality, once adjusted (there are some excellent guides on t'interwebs), is really lovely. I'm not a fan of the whole 3D thing, but I was pretty impressed with Prometheus (shit film, but the 3D is well done). What really made this TV shine was playing Trine2 (PS4) in 3D. Really, really gorgeous.

I confess I don't really care for football (that's, like... sport) but the remote has a Football button. I've no idea what it does. Maybe it /ignores the up-coming football saturation...

Gunmaker finds KILLER APP for Google Glass


I'll be in my bunker.


HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world


Re: Hmm on the Alfa analogy

My Alfa Giulietta 170 is running quite nicely, thank you very much.

As is my iPhone. Which is not a BMW, just a smartphone that suits *my* usecase.


Enough with the lame analogies!

Devs SLAM UK.gov's JavaScript-astic, 'shoddy' security education website


Web application != website. That's the fail here. There's nothing intrinsically *wrong* with a JavaScript framework application (BackboneJS, EmberJS, pick your flavour), but in this context it was just a horrible choice of technologies. What were they thinking?

Some of the upstream notes about payload side are a little naive. Moderns applications will localstorage assets, so it's essentially a non-issue. Same goes for navigation/state.

Email-sniffing Linkedin Intro NOT security threat, insists biz network


Re: Yeah, but no.

Fair point. I don't actually use my iPhone for work accounts at all (it's *my* phone, I don't want work emails out of work hours thank you very much). But I have plenty of other projects I'm involved in outside of work that have varying levels of confidentiality - let alone personal stuff I'd rather not be parsed by a 3rd party. Pretty sure some folks at Day Job connect to our Exchange servers via iOS devices though.


Yeah, but no.

It seems a terrible idea. I read the justification on their blog yesterday and it just doesn't wash. It was only last year that their security was breached (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57448079-83/millions-of-linkedin-passwords-reportedly-leaked-online/), and here they are trying to convince us that allowing them to route confidential business emails is a good idea? No system is 100% secure, and given their track record and the minimal fairly cosmetic functionality Intro offers, the risk just doesn't seem worth it.

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH


Re: And now the world waits...

Actually it is *really* free for some users. I bought a Mac Mini 6 weeks ago (with no iWorks), and last night App Store popped up "You qualify for iWorks, download here...". I've never bought iWorks, never been that interested in it either. But a half hour playing with KeyNotes and I can't see myself voluntarily using PowerPoint ever again.

'Microsoft Word is a tyrant of the imagination'


Most writers I know use Scrivener these days (including me). It's a tool very much designed around how writers work. Word clearly tries to please everyone - most people getting an compromised experience and a horrific mess of bloated functionality - much of which I suspect the majority of users will never touch. I couldn't imagine having to use Word for creative writing, but similarly, Word *is* pretty useful in the context of my day-job.

Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works


Re: Really?

I'm another of those users. Mac user, mind, but the Outlook client is godawful (the web client is even worse), so I bypass it completely and use Apple Mail (talking to Exchange). Undoubtedly, somewhere I'm still counted as having an Outlook license...

Chrome, Firefox blab your passwords in a just few clicks: Shrug, wary or kill?


Never understood why browsers didn't password protect this feature. OS X has a similar feature in keychain, but requires your password to display the requested field - which seems fair enough to me.

Latest Firefox boosts video chat, 3D graphics, JavaScript performance


Re: "WebRTC " sounds like more NSAWare

You're prompted to enable access to your camera & microphone. You could always chose NOT to say yes. Easier to do that than have someone who wants to use WebRTC have to start fiddling with configuration options, yes? Incidentally, this is the same as Chrome, which has had WebRTC for a while now.

Three's mobile data goes titsup in mysterious spreading outage

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Re: Rare occurrence on 3

As frustrating as the network being down is, this is also my experience. Three is usually very reliable - I use a dongle with my fruity laptop as well as the SIM in the 'pad.


Three -or None

Bizarre behaviour with my Three-connected iPad here - it does appear to be an authentication issue. While trying to connection to anything, I get a flash of a dialog that appears to be asking for credentials, which then vanishes before it can be tapped. Also, "The internet connection appears to be offline" says TuneIn Radio.

* Have restarted device and now no 3G connection symbol either, Edinburgh city centre.

New 4TB drive spaffs half a telly season into your eyes AT ONCE


Re: Seagate has a new 4TB 3.5in hard disk for digital video recorders

My Virgin Media DVR (Tivo) has a healthy 1Tb in it. Standard model.

Adobe price hike: Your money or your files, frappuccino sippers


Re: What about the benefits

Master Collection *upgrade* is £1300. Full price is £2500.

Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only


I'm a CC subscriber (via work) and think the model works well. I'm not forced to take our a year subscription, paying monthly instead. I can stop when I want. The software does *not* require an internet connection all of the time, only occasionally on start up - and these days, I rarely close photoshop when I'm not using it anyway. It doesn't use any resources to worry about while in the background.

It's not for everyone, granted, but I prefer the more frequent updates that CC already offers rather than the 18-month gap between boxed releases, and I love not having to drop £££ on the upgrades up front.

Windows Firefox stiffs Adobe Flash, plays H.264 YouTube vids


Re: About time too

Javascript supports threading (webworkers), so those choke points are falling away.

Apple's new Safari snubs older Macs, drops Windows version


Re: Windows version

They're also basically Chrome under a different name. Safari and Chrome are branches of the same WebKit engine I believe (and Apple, Google and others contribute to WebKit itself)

Game closes 277 stores


Re: list of closed stores

The Edinburgh stores were not previously Gamestation as far as I know. We also had a Gamestation here, but that closed last year.

Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet


Re: Great for tablets and phones

Using OSX with an Apple Trackpad works well, even in a development environment. Swiping between full-screen apps is very nice, and feels natural. Not so well with the Windows 8 VM I set-up last night. COuldn't get anything like swiping to work, and what mouse gestures there are feel horribly counter-intuitive.


Missed a trick

WIndows 8 really misses the point of 'touch'. It's supposed to be natural, intuitive. I shouldn't need to 'figure out' how to move between windows, how to get around running apps. After playing for a few hours last night I still dont really understand what happens when you drag windows to the top of the screen, or how the new split screen works. When Apple introduced swiping between full-screen apps and the new 'mission control' into OSX it felt 'natural'. I didn't have to think about it because it was similar to 'real life'. I'm disappointed. There's a lot of nice stuff in the tiled Metro UI, I like the way it looks, but in actual use it is so badly broken it feels poorly thought out, very much incomplete.

What I'd love to see is the full-screen / gesture based functionality of OSX Lion + Metro's tiles.

Newfangled graphics engine for browsers fosters data theft


Not just fancy effects.

Or beyond that, 3d visualisation - for example on the medical products I'm working on. As with any technology it could be misused (intro hell), but that doesn't mean that technology should just be dismissed because of it.

Microsoft's IE9: Don't believe the hype

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Nice fonts

I disagree. I think font rendering is still much better in all browsers on OS X.



The IE9 beta installation already hosed my Windows 7 desktop (work PC, wouldn't let one of these in my house!). Thankfully our support folks are giving me a Windows7 VM to try it with this week, having had to rebuild my PC on Friday. I don't think either of us want to do that again.

The mind boggle why they have to intergrate anything. For the chap up-thread who suggests the integration is just UI: if that's the case, why does the beta insist on downloading 4 components that require my PC to reboot? Safari, FireFox, Chrome don't require WINDOWS to be modified to run... it's just inane.

Microsoft sends IE9 'do-not-track' tech to W3C


Ate my PC

So, tried installing the beta this morning. Required 36 updates to my desktop computer behind company fire wall. Okay, so I installed updates. Required reboot. All but 4 updates failed. Suddenly half my programs dont work. Tried to repair. Re-run IE9 install. Tells me I have to install updates... everything still broken.

So Microsoft DONT learn. They still have a browser so tied into the system that it can easily break everything if something goes wrong.

Also this week: Installed FireFox 4 b10 and Opera 11.x, both of which didn't require any changes to Windows 7 and work like a charm. And Chrome 9 has been working perfectly on this PC since the day I got it.

Passenger cleared after TSA checkpoint stare-down



Well, actually, in the UK I've never taken photo ID. You can fly internally with BA and not show ANY photo ID at all. You're simply not asked to present an ID unless you use a check-in desk. I always check-in online, and only have a carry-on back. I flew countless times last year between Edinburgh and Heathrow, and once this year.

iTunes gifting scam plunges Reg reader into the red


Stung by iTunes too

November last year, my iTunes account was stung for £30 of app purchases and "in-app" purchase in... Chinese. These is despite a 16 character mixed-case password (not easily guessed) and never accessed from anything other than iPad/iPhone and my Mac (which is secure). It took 48 hours to get Apple to refund the amount, and it came with a very curt-but-polite "Apple's policy is that all purchases are final, non-refundable" despite my multiple protests that *I* did not make the purchases. Something somewhere is leaking account information, either a hack somewhere in iTunes or leaking OSX... I dont know, but it wasn't pleasant, and Apples attitude was less that supportive.

End of the line for ID cards




In recent months I've flown at least 10 times within the UK (twice this week), and have never once taken any photo ID with me. We always fly with BA, but maybe other airlines are more strict.

Jackal novelist blames NSA for wife's laptop hack

Big Brother


And I suppose there was no chance at all that it is a Windows machine and it just randomly popped... as they do?

I think he's been reading too many of his own books.

Sony sued for dropping Linux from PS3

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"Imagine if iPhones suddenly lost their multitouch capabilities."

That's a wee bit over dramatic?

When using an iPhone you pretty much HAVE to use Multitouch as part of the Apple UI - so, what, 100% of users?

How many people do you know who actually run Linux on their PS3s? A few hardcore techies? 0.01% of all users maybe?

AMD ships low-cost six-core Phenom IIs


6... 12.... 24... 48...

6 cores for £199 already? Perhaps Intels estimate of the number of cores doubling each year should be revised! Wonder if you can stick two of these things into a mobo? Actually, I also wonder if there's any software out there that would actually make use of 12 cores... (can games do that yet?).

EU plans IP address snatch to battle cybercrime



In a world full of shared hosts with many hundreds of web sites possibly sitting on one IP address, it's a somewhat frightening prospect...