* Posts by cipnt

114 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2019


Sorry Pat, but it's looking like Arm PCs are inevitable


Users like the feel of a real keyboard

– Blackberry

If you like to play along with the illusion of privacy, smart devices are a dumb idea


Re: please forgive my lack of knowledge...

Most data will be SSL encrypted, so it won't be a trivial thing to do.


Use a Zigbee or other wireless switch an place it right next to the door. Batteries for that last at least a couple of years.


Save your phone battery.

Use a Bluetooth iBeacon.

Your Home Assistant will know you're home just before you step through the door and turn the front door light for you if appropriate.

This is one of the great things about Home Assistant is that you can achieve the same outcome in so many different ways with so many different type of sensors.


Yeah, but...

I love Home Assistant, but while itself is very privacy-focussed, it is often relying on 3rd party integrations that have their own loose privacy policies.

So my HA for example talks to the Google Nest and Bosch/Miele API which have been mentioned in this article.

UK government hands CityFibre £318M for rural broadband builds


Re: That's a lot of money

Well, yes. But that's the cost of install for a single dwelling.

The transport of equipment onsite, the planning and council permission, some of the trenches and ducts, all of that would be shared by a larger number of homes and would expect to bring the cost down significantly.

If I call BT to dig up my street to install fibre just for me, then yes, I expect that to be quite expensive.


That's a lot of money

Almost £2,000 per household to get fibre broadband?

Post-Brexit tariffs on cross EU-UK electrical vehicle imports still going ahead


Re: Fuck business

Vote Leave to free the UK from all the EU regulations, they said... well, whether you like it or not, we're still affected by EU regulations directly or indirectly.

First pushback against EU's Digital Services Act and it's not Google


Re: who is and who isn't a VLOP

Also chat apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessages.

Or platforms like Netflix and Spotify.

These surely have >45m users in EU



No, really... Who?

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries


I think it was for privacy. I remember there were reports in the news or maybe just urban myths that a 2G phone could be remotely turned into a listening device and this caused a lot of people to be concerned when discussing sensitive topics. The safest thing was to remove the battery


They are tools

Exactly! Your analogy to a hammer is very pertinent.

Once you start looking at things you use every day (phone, laptop, car) as tools, your whole attitude to buying them and using them changes.


I'm not convinced this legislation goes far enough, but user-swappable batteries in smartphones, similar to the ones we had in the 2G era, might actually result in smaller phone dimensions if you could have a fully charged battery in your glove box or your laptop bag which you could swap in seconds.


Because your ignorance has an impact on all of us and our environment.

It is not worse. You don't see anyone complaining that remote controls use AA batteries, or that all TVs have this HDMI port, or that all cars must be Euro6, etc.


Mine is rated for 150m

I can replace the battery myself, but because it lasts for >5 years I prefer to give it to a professional to do it and get a warranty for the work since I wouldn't want anything to go wrong while 30m bellow the sea.


The EU in not choosing for the consumer, it is only setting rules to protect consumers.

Every government does this for their citizens to varying degrees, but the EU takes this to completely new levels.

BBC is still struggling with the digital switch, says watchdog


Re: Quality Content???

Are you also complaining to Netflix about all the shows they invest in but which you don't ever watch?

If you don't like the BBC amd its programs, then don't watch it and don't pay the licence


Are they comparing apples to apples?

Sure, the BBC is renowned on the world stage for quality programming and its World News Service (unavailable in the UK), but it is not a worldwide service provider.

The BBC isn't in the same league as Netflix.

As was stated in this article, the BBC's income is about £5bn while Netflix gets some $30bn.

The audience and reach is also different: 20 million uk households vs 200+ million paying netflix users across all continents.

One produces most of its content and has expensive production facilities for that, while the other mostly commissions or just licenses content, ironically a lot of it from the BBC.

I don't get this whole "world beating" mantra and competing with the daddy/ Kleenex of streaming.

The empire is dead. Being the best in the UK will suffice

AI is going to eat itself: Experiment shows people training bots are using bots



Most industries have governing bodies that set standards and guidelines for their members.

Other industries in which errors can have more serious consequences are regulated by government bodies.

Feels like advanced AI should fall somewhere in between...

Offshore wind power redesign key to adoption, says Irish firm



This looks like a clever design, but moving elements and pulleys in those harsh conditions don't seem like a good idea.

If something fails you don't want the nacelle with its tons of oil other dangerous chemicals landing in the water.

To keep something that floats stable in rough seas you need balast. Lots of balast.

Finding cheaper and more suitable balast sources would seem like a better direction of research to me, but nonetheless it's good that research and innovation is happening in this industry not just on the blade and generator front.

Hey Apple, what good is a status page if you only update it after the outage?


I've seen this before...

At Nominet, the "heart of the internet" as they like to call themselves, the status page is almost never updated.

On three occasions I've had to specifically ask that they put some sort of update on nominetstatus.uk after reporting an issue to them, them not being aware of it initially (at least 1st line of support weren't) then later confirming it was a "wider" issue.

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade


Re: Too Big?

Public money well spent.

They paid £20k for the esn.co.uk domain name

Four top euro carriers will use phone numbers to target ads and annoy Google & Facebook


Re: "no thanks"

You would be surprised how many people click the Continue or shiny green button on cookie consent popups for websites. Even when it's a simple binary accept/reject option, not to mention the complicated "Let me choose" pathway.

There will always be plenty of ignorant users or subtle ways to persuade the others.

Forget the climate: Steep prices the biggest reason EV sales aren't higher



Thanks for pointing out the obvious...


Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

National Grid reps have repeatedly said in various interviews that they can handle the transition to a national EV fleet and renewable energy generation. They probably know what they're talking about...


Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

Sure, an EV is probably not right for you yet.

But it is right for most people in Europe if they weren't so darn expensive


While technically H2 and CH4 are very different and pose different challenges, I agree with the sentiment of your comment: we've proven as a society that we can work with extremely dangerous gases even in a domestic setting without any special training.

Plus we've been using hydrogen in industrial settings for the production of ammonia/fertilizer for over a hundred years.


Some second hand EVs are actually appreciating in value (accounting for inflation)

This is unsustainable, I think, and can't last for much longer.

But the old rule of thumb that a second hand car halves in price every two-three years is definitely not applicable anymore. Be it EVs or ICE


A hydrogen tank does not explode in the event of a car crash, for example. It probably would in the event of a terrorist attack, as you suggested. But so would petrol tanks in that case.

Toyota engineers (big proponents of hydrogen fuel cell cars) did plenty of tests and they admitted that they were surprised by the results: in a high velocity crash where the tank would be punctured the pressurised hydrogen is released in the atmosphere with incredible speed and it immediately raises up before it can ignite.


MG4 = £26k @ 220 miles range


The ICE will be with us for...

To be precise, 12 years in the EU, 7 years in the UK

Apple preps for 'third-party iOS app stores' in Europe


Securing a system by blocking access is not security, it's just lazy.

I'm sure Apple can keep things secure even with sideloaded apps.

Former Reg vulture takes on Nominet – by running for board seat


Re: No comment

Why risk upsetting your loyal backers in any way?

He has their votes, he just needs to keep quiet and do what he's told

This data center will be Europe’s first with hydrogen backup power


Re: Minor Side Effect

Hydrogen is an incredibly light gas and disperses upwards into the atmosphere very quickly, in fact too quickly for combustion to occur.

There are crash tests carried out on hydrogen fuel cell car tanks where they do not explode because of the speed with which the hydrogen disperses.

In the Hindenburg accident it is not clear whether the hydrogen was the main fuel of the fire or the fuselage itself. Hydrogen fire doesn't produce a visible flame (see the Space Shuttle engines), so the intense flames in the Hindenburg footage would have been caused by the fuselage.

In other words, hydrogen is incredibly safe – we understand its properties very well and have been safely using it in the fertiliser industry for decades

Australian court finds Facebook 'divorced from reality' as it tried to define doing business down under


Or just modify all browsers to only store cookies with explicit consent, similar to how today we are prompted to share location data

A tiny island nation has put the rights to .tv up for grabs – but what’s this? Problematic contract clauses? Again?


Re: Public view

I saw quite a few people who type "google" in the address bar in Chrome, essentially performing a search for "google" on Google, then they would perform the actual search.

Nominet names new CEO as new chair promises real reform


Turn the Page

Collectively the Board cannot yet be trusted until every one of the directors that supported Russell Haworth and fought against the EGM is kicked out. Andy isn't building trust, he's further eroding it by promoting Page or Bradley

Hibernating instrument on Hubble roused as engineers ponder message problem


Use the backup

When Nasa built the Hubble telescope they actually commissioned two identical ones, because when you're dealing with taxpayer money, why build one when you can build two at double the cost?

The second one has been in a museum since then. Just dust it off and strap it to a rocket.

There's an interesting story about that: the one in the museum apparently is better than the one in space because they were built by different contractors.

The world has a plastics shortage, and PC makers may be responding with a little greenwashing


Re: The new mantra is 'plastic = bad'

Plastics are good if used sensibly.

But plastic is not a circular material – it can't be recycled indefinitely. For example recycled plastic can only take a small percentage of a new plastic bottle. Usually plastic is down-recycled into plastics that can no longer be recycled.

If we can avoid plastics we definitely should!

Cryptography whizz Phil Zimmermann looks back at 30 years of Pretty Good Privacy


Re: I think the real reason PGP succeeded...



Re: Three decades

Don't celebrate too soon and don't underestimate your opponent

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it


Spoofing alerts

The email that triggered all this was a lame spoofing attempt sent from a dodgy AOL account.

"I was told by friends at GCHQ that I was better off sticking to Gmail rather than using the parliamentary system because it was more secure,"

It seems to me that whoever gave this advice might have been referring to Gmail / Google Workspace's automatic spoofing warnings which are triggered when the sender's name is the same to one of the directory contacts but the email is not from the company's domain:


These alerts are extremely intrusive and therefore are highly efficient with nontechnical users (in fact we were getting a lot of support calls about the alerts themselves), so in a sense would be more... secure.

Nominet chooses civil war over compromise by rejecting ex-BBC Trust chairman


Re: EGM v2

We simply don't know...

The turnout at the first EGM was the biggest ever, it was an incredible achievement. Not sure if we can reach the same level again, to be honest.

Nominet's FUD was clearly all lies then, but now it would be actually valid – removing the entire Board is a serious disruption to the company. Some members might think it's too radical.

We need to try. It's our right to call for an EGM.

If that fails, at the AGM later this year, we have to elect better NEDs that support the Public Benefit principles and not those who want a Nominet PLC


Press the power button for 5 seconds

Simon Blackler at the time explained that disputing Nominet's refusal of putting the second motion to the vote would have taken months in court and would have delayed the entire EGM (plus the huge legal costs). The whole thing would have lost momentum and Nominet would have had more time to spread their FUD and give registrars special deals in exchange for their vote.

It was the right thing to go ahead with just one resolution – we made some progress and there was hope the remaining Board would see the writing on the wall and cooperate.

But we are where we are now so it looks like we need to call a second EGM to get rid of all the Board and start fresh.


Re: When you're stuck in a hole...


This desperate attitude can't be all about remuneration. There's probably something a lot more sinister hiding in the accounting books that they don't want people to see.

Who know how much they've been syphoning out of the coffers through various supplier contracts and those failed acquisitions.

Nominet ignores advice, rejects serious change despite losing CEO, chair, half its board in membership vote


Indeed. Discussions are well underway

Big problem: Nominet members won't know how many votes they're casting in decision to oust CEO, chair


Re: The real story?

Once you apply for mortgage and car finance based on a £1 million annual income it can be a slight inconvenience to downgrade

As battle for future of .UK's Nominet draws closer, non-exec director hits a nerve with for-profit proposal


Re: To: support@ionos.co.uk

Yay.com/domains are very good and cheap (registrar services only, no hosting), but I am extremely disappointed that they haven't publicly supported the PublicBenefit.uk campaign


Re: GoDaddy and 1&1 – are believed to have already voted against the motion

All members can vote now only via a proxy, but you can instruct the proxy how to vote on your behalf.

PublicBenefit.uk campaign has been encouraging members to vote Yes and appoint Simon Blackler as proxy. See:


Pressure builds on Nominet as members demand to know leadership's contingency plans for when they’re fired


Re: An appeal to Sir Michael & Axel

All elected directors currently on the board have gone quiet once elected and do not answer messages from members, or at least from me.