* Posts by Len Goddard

436 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Sep 2007


Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

Len Goddard


>> America is 11th per 100,000 deaths by firearms.

Have you looked at the 10 above? The first European country on the list is #22. Interestingly the US is the only country on that list with more guns than people.

If you are going to quote numbers, this is possibly more telling:

"The death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq."

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

Len Goddard

I don't have a problem with games

Its all I ever use Windows for. Actually, its all its good for. Everything productive and useful runs on an Intel NUC under linux mint. Actually it could run on most anything but the NUC is small, quiet and relatively inexpensive.

US govt staffers use personal gear on work networks, handle biz docs on the reg – study

Len Goddard

Security is a pain

Lets be honest, keeping a machine secure at work or at home is generally inconvenient as the requirements will make simple tasks less so (or occasionally impossible). As a result many people will cut corners as they really don't understand the risks.

I've never used my own equipment in the workplace - if my employer wants me to use a computer he can pay for it - and I am sufficiently paranoid never to have picked up a nasty at home. But this is made easier as I don't frequent social media or pornographic websites (is there a difference?) so I am less at risk than some. Also, I very rarely use public wi-fi hotspots and when I do it is from very tightly locked down linux device.

Amusingly, the only time I ever had a problem was at work inside a pretty solid corporate firewall. I had been issued a new laptop and I had to plug it into the office network to pick up the mandated firewall & a/v packages (no pre-installed corporate setup at the time). During that process the thing picked up no less than 6 viruses. IT support tracked them down to a guy who had taken his laptop home and let his kids install games on it ...

UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool

Len Goddard

Re: 99.995% is impossible

You don't have to be that careful. Just use the learning dataset as a test dataset.

NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

Len Goddard

I really hate that man

I suppose if you elect a moron you must expect more than usual political stupidity.

Boffins crack smartphone location tracking – even if you've turned off the GPS

Len Goddard

Re: Curious...

They use the barometer. Combine air pressure with known atmospheric pressure in the region you are in and you get a pretty good estimate of altitude. Worked for the aviation industry for many years before GPS.

Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

Len Goddard

Re: And the job opportunities?

11-plus?? Showing your age there, mate.

Len Goddard

A little over the top

It was a long time ago, but I don't remember my Private Pilot's License requiring a master's degree in aircraft design. Principles of flight, yes, but not structural airframe design or anything like that. I suppose it depends on the target audience - if you are trying to produce people capable of writing software for an advanced autopilot system you need a different skillset from anyone trying to build an autonomous flying machine from scratch.

TBH, it is not clear to me who constitutes the target audience for this "product". There seems little reason to produce self-drive software for flying cars until we actually have flying cars and modern commercial aircraft already have so much fight-control automation there is concern that it is actually deskilling the pilots.

New Sky thinking: Media giant makes dish-swerving move on Netflix territory

Len Goddard

The bitrate is the same. Just the degree of compression of the content which differs.

China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

Len Goddard

Re: Coming home

Slough. Didn't Betjeman write a poem about this?

Come friendly deorbiting Chinese space station and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now,

Microsoft finally injects end-to-end chat crypto into Skype – ish...

Len Goddard

So, who trusts them?

Not me, for one.

Butcher breaks out of own freezer using black pudding

Len Goddard

Re: Strangely enough ...

I've a local baker who I swear makes dwarf bread. I can't get the breadknife through the crust.

Len Goddard

Re: Ecky thump?

Now you are making me feel old. I remember the Goodies episode it came from. You could tell the rank of an Ecky Thump practitioner by the size of his flat cap. The grand master was a wizened little guy with a hat almost as broad as he was tall.

Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

Len Goddard


I read that as widow, not window. So, not only an idiot but an idiot who cannot spell.

This week I have reading...

Len Goddard

Not reading

The register. No new content for a week. Did I miss something?

Windows Store nixed Google Chrome 'app' hours after it went live

Len Goddard

Windows has a store?

The only store I ever use on my windows box is Steam ... because I don't use windoze for anything other than playing games which don't work on Linux.

FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

Len Goddard

Including the president

"For everyone else, it was a baffling and infuriating sign that American institutions are open to clear and blatant manipulation so long as the person in charge is willing to discard all previous expected standards of behavior."

Meet the woman with a supernatural affinity for stiff lovers

Len Goddard

Re: Interesting take on mast***ation

Clanking chains - you mean we can have spectral bondage as well!!

Ad-filtering fiend Eyeo: Morning has broken, like the first morning

Len Goddard

... so nobody is ever tempted to install an ad-blocker.

The coalition's purpose is to make ads palatable, so nobody is ever tempted to install an ad-blocker.

Nope. While ads exist I will use an ad blocker.

Mind, if they cease to exist I will still use an ad blocker because I won't know they've gone ...

Thousand-dollar iPhone X's Face ID wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'

Len Goddard

Re: haters gonna hate

This argument would almost make sense if they had implemented facial recognition as well as fingerprint scan. Almost.

Len Goddard

Re: Why oh why

Because they want to unlock it from the front and they can't make the fingerprint scanner work through the screen glass.

Really a fingerprint scanner on the back is no problem provided you put it in the right place. I just bought a Pixel 2 and the scanner falls under my index finger when I pick it up. Registered both index fingers so I can use either hand.

History shows why geeks will never, ever, ever... get along

Len Goddard

It's just another religion.

Fights between tribal groups of techs, be it linux v. Windows v. MacOS, linux desktops, best way to indent C code or whatever, are often described as religious wars. You can see exactly the same schisms in major religions as you see in tech-babble arguments.

Irrational tribalism seems to be written into our genes, either by evolution or the Intelligent Creator(s).

Logitech: We're gonna brick your Harmony Link gizmos next year

Len Goddard

Official info?

I can abate my panic slightly, for now, as this is the link not the hub. However, there is nothing I could see on the UK site about this. The harmony elite + hub (which I own) are still on sale although marked "out of stock" which doesn't give me a warm feeling.

Time, I think, to put all my old Logitech gear (squeezebox/radio/controllers/remote) in a box and head for the dump. Shame, most of it was pretty good while it worked.

Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

Len Goddard

Done before?

I could swear that someone tried this sort of cosmic ray tomography years ago without succes, but googling for it is more or less impossible because all you get is results from the latest effort.

Knock, knock? Oh, no one there? No problem, Amazon will let itself in via your IoT smart lock

Len Goddard

In the words of a well known sportsman

You have got to be kidding!

Forget One Windows, Microsoft says it's time to modernize your apps

Len Goddard


Somewhere along the line I have managed to delete that, or at least all access to it. Can't say I've missed it.

Red (Planet) alert: Future astro-heroes face shocking adventures on Martian moon Phobos

Len Goddard

Re: Controlling landers?

The real problem is that you would lose sight of the lander for better than half of each 8 hour orbit no matter where on the surface it was located.

Len Goddard

Controlling landers?

From a base on a rock in an 8 hour orbit so close in that you can't even see above about 70 latitude? Hardly

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update tackles IT's true menace: Cheating gamers

Len Goddard

More gaming friendly?

About the only game I play online won't display graphics at all until you disable the "gaming bar". Mind, it is not a M$ Xbox-ported-to-PC effort so they probably don't care.

Hate to break it to you, but billions of people can see Uranus tonight

Len Goddard

International Observe the Moon Night

Is that International as in all over the USA and bits of Canada?

Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

Len Goddard

Problems with the game bar

A number of my friends have had to disable the "game bar" feature as it prevented video being displayed if you were using DX11 (DX9 worked ok).

Personally I wouldn't know, as my system is set up to delay functional upgrades for 6 months while other people beta test them for me. As I don't use one drive and have a real linux system (on an intel NUC) for doing most of my computing tasks there appears to be little in this upgrade I would want anyway.

NHS: Remember those patient records we didn't deliver? Well, we found another 162,000

Len Goddard

Support your NHS

My personal experiences with the NHS have been uniformally excellent and the staff friendly, helpful and competent (also underpaid, overworked and harrassed but that is a different discussion).

So, I am a massive supporter of the NHS. But sometimes they do make that difficult - oddly, frequently when forced into ill-thought-out "money-saving" ventures with for-profit companies with little or no understanding of the NHS core business.

Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse

Len Goddard

Health and Safety, access, etc

This will last until the first clumsy clutz slips on the rope ladder and breaks an ankle.

Or until someone in a wheelchair is invited.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Len Goddard

Good enough?

"It's not good sound quality – playing music can be a little grating compared to the larger Home, or Amazon's Echo, or, you know, an actual sound system. But it is good enough."

No, it isn't. Unfortunately this sort of thing is why so much music playback today sounds like three blind mice chewing pianowire in the bottom of a bucket. The problem is that people get conditioned to listening to nasty tinny sounds and this becomes the norm and everything sounds like on-hold music on a faulty telephone.

Sorry, thats my rant for the day. I won't do it again

Grant Shapps of coup shame fame stands by 'broadbad' research

Len Goddard

A lovely description

Possibly the most quietly damning description I have come across for some time:

"Although the whole experience does feel a bit like being speed-briefed by a management consultant."

FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

Len Goddard


>> it will allow 4K and 3D shows

Is 3D really still regarded as a selling point? I don't personally know anyone who wants it and most of my friends & acquaintances are TV/film/AV buffs.

Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars

Len Goddard

In the interest of avoiding another world war ...

the limit should be reduced to 70 chars.

Chairman Zuck ends would-be president Zuck's political career

Len Goddard

So goodbye to the prospect of president Zuck,

Well, thats a relief

Hitachi Data Systems is no more! Arise the new 'Hitachi Vantara'

Len Goddard


If you have to explain what a logo or name is supposed to convey then you have completely failed. If it is not pretty obvious from the outset it is meaningless/useless/a waste of money.

Atlassian kills God, rebrands as a mountain, a structurally unsound 'A' or a high five

Len Goddard


Looks like a thumb rubbing a forefinger in the old sign for "give me the money"

Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

Len Goddard

Re: Apple has redrawn the poo emoji

I would be more impressed if they had an olfactory emitter which produced the appropriate odour.

Microsoft says it won't fix kernel flaw: It's not a security issue. Suuuure

Len Goddard

Re: Facepalm! Windows 10 1607 Aniversary Update "Defer Updates" setting is back to front.

Damnit - that's why it wouldn't stop bugging me. I want to defer feature updates for a few months to let other people find all the problems for me.

Equifax mega-leak: Security wonks smack firm over breach notification plan

Len Goddard


I've come across this marvelous alternative to online credit. It involves small paper tokens. You can exchange some of the tokens (called cash) for a secure storage facility called a mattress - a one-time expense, no recurring charges.

Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

Len Goddard

Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

"To be fair to MS"

why would you want to do that??

It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Len Goddard


I don't know how good the survey was (71 seems ... low) but I do know I hate flat interfaces.

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

Len Goddard


With the UK slated to leave the EU by 2020, it is unlikely that any financial penalties will result if the target is missed.

Best argument for brexit I've seen so far.

Hubble Space Telescope spies possibility of liquid water in TRAPPIST-1

Len Goddard

Re: Just time for another bath then...

Have an upthumb for the H2G2 reference.

Len Goddard


I have books on the shelves behind me dating back to my childhood which categorically state that we will never be able to detect planets around other stars.

At the current rate of progress I confidently expect to see film of little green men and women cavorting in their back yards before my demise.

Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

Len Goddard

Re: IBM was hardware, Microsoft not so much

As the article pointed out, IBM maintained support for OS/2 well past the time when that was in any way a profitable option in order to support users. Lotus was acquired to fulfil a promise and many other software products were maintained for many years to support customers. I believe it also kept a production line open for many years providing ferrite core memory and other horribly obsolete components for the space shuttle before NASA finally dumped the original tech in favour of thinkpads.

Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update

Len Goddard

A new creators update?

Maybe that is why my system is screaming at me to apply the 1703 update.