* Posts by ICam

63 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Oct 2020


ASML caught in Dutch oven with China export restrictions


Re: I wonder if...

You make a fair point.

My comment was really related to the slang definition of "Dutch oven", but I should have made it far more obvious I think.


I wonder if...

China will kick up a stink?

Mega-data platform worth half a billion will suck in info from family doctors



If he went to Elton, perhaps he's a rocket man, or maybe just a candle in the wind?

Twitter loses second head of Trust and Safety under Musk


How long for the new CEO?

What are the odds on the new CEO quitting within a year when Musk continually undermines her too?

UK.gov reboots ERP refresh with £934 million procurement


"a cluster of Whitehall departments"

...will eventually receive a new ERP system that'll be an utter cluster-fuck.

As usual.

Twitter users can now trade stocks on the platform – sort of


It's all about the puppies and not the doge kind...

> Upvote just for TwitPay!

Actually, it would be called TitPay.

> Bound to be of interest to the adult industry, and maybe to other content creators too.


HMD offers Nokia phone with novel concept: Designed to be repaired by its owner


Re: Lasts 3 years

Yes, the software support period seems really disappointing. I wonder who thought making a repairable phone with only 3 years of support was a good idea? It seems strange.

I agree with you regarding iOS. Something really needs to be done to improve the support situation across the Android ecosystem. As to how easy that is realistically, given all the different SoCs in the various phones, I do not know, but as things are it all seems like a bit of a mess.

Third-party Twitter apps stopped dead with no explanation from El Musko


Re: Not all broken

Maybe those people will fuck off to Mastodon. That doesn't seem so bad if you can just create an account there and follow them on that platform instead.

The CES tat bazaar: Bike desks, AI-powered bird feeders, and the smelloverse



It's usually the porn industry that leads the way on implementing new tech, so the smelloverse could be, uh, interesting...

BBC is still struggling with the digital switch, says watchdog


Re: Slow moving

The thing about BBC Three is that it was a good channel the first time around, in my opinion. It had good comedy on it, therefore, I was sad when it was demoted to online only. Because of that, I was happy to hear of its return, but since it has returned, it does not seem to be its former self. I do not find myself seeing anything much interesting in the EPG for BBC Three now. Perhaps the programming does appeal to a certain youth market, of which I am no longer the target audience.

I watch loads of documentaries on BBC Four, so I'm sad it is to be demoted to online only and now find myself wishing BBC Three had remained online only, if it meant BBC Four would be spared.


Re: Are they comparing apples to apples?

As far as I am aware, no, it does not. Netflix is a pure VoD streaming service - a tech company really.

I might be wrong, but as far as I know, Netflix has no means of production itself, so made-for-Netflix content is produced externally.


Re: Are they comparing apples to apples?

I down-voted your comment because it does not appear you're comparing apples to apples by simply talking about output.

I don't see any of the following on Netflix:

UK national and international news services.

UK national and international radio services.

UK regional radio or news TV services, along with the staff and infrastructure required to produce content for them.

Any web content that provides any of the above.

Any web content relating to educational material linked to UK key stages to support learning in UK schools.

You can't easily compare the commercial streaming services against the total output of the BBC. The BBC has a broader remit; it may not suit everybody, but that's how it is.

India’s retail digital currency pilot launches on December 1st



As more countries look to further adopt digital payment methods, I hope they are going to factor in ease of use for foreigners as well.

When I was in India, I had Paytm on my phone, but could only get money into it by asking somebody else (an Indian) to transfer money to me if I gave them cash. In *theory* it was possible to walk into one of the Indian banks (I can't remember which one it was now), pay cash and have that deposited into your Paytm account. I tried multiple branches in a number of cities and none of them were able to do it - and that was after having to prove to the staff that it should indeed be possible, by showing them the web page that detailed it, as they rarely seemed aware of it otherwise. Indians can pay money into their Paytm accounts by card, but foreigners can't because of anti money laundering and anti terrorism laws...

In Argentina, you need either a DNI (national ID) card or as a foreigner a passport in order to use a credit card in a shop (not that it's wise financially). Want to order online from somewhere like Mercado Libre? Forget it - no DNI card, no account.

In my experience, cash is still king for foreigners in a lot of countries, however you get hold of it.

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech


Re: The great turn off

My parents have an Amazon Alexa device. I noticed it again recently, sitting on a cabinet in their lounge, apparently no longer powered on.

I've always thought these things are mostly novelty devices for a lot of people. Besides the creepy surveillance capitalism aspect of these devices, the novelty aspect is another reason for me not to buy one. It seems like such a waste of our resources to manufacture these things and then end up with a lot of them sitting around doing very little for most of their lives after the novelty has worn off.

Time Lords decree an end to leap seconds before risky attempt to reverse time


> Not sure you can blame low river levels on the pandemic.

They're held up by a dam of tampons, condoms and wet-wipes that are flushed out with all the raw sewage now...

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


Turning off the “microservices” bloatware (like 2FA)

"Part of today will be turning off the “microservices” bloatware. Less than 20% are actually needed for Twitter to work!"


Followed by a load of replies claiming folks with 2FA enabled can no longer log into Twitter if they had previously logged out...

NTT claims it can stop the noise leaking from annoying people's headphones


Communicate with people around you?

Quite often, when I put headphones on, I don't want to be able to hear people or other distracting sounds around me.

Microsoft hits the switch on password-free smartphone authentication


Re: More wankery

Oh, I didn't know about those. Maybe I'll go with one rather than a YubiKey then...


Re: More Explanation Needed (...for this confused old f*rt).....

> How does a certificate on a personal device "protect" anyone from inbound phishing emails or other inbound malware?

It doesn't stop phishing emails or malware.

The problem with currently widely used MFA is that it is not resistant to man-in-the-middle attacks.

A properly implemented TLS client certificate system should not suffer from these MitM attacks (although I have not read enough to understand the technical details of it). In addition, however, YubiKeys implement origin bound keys and token binding to thwart MitM attacks.

You could implement such a client certificate system via a web browser, storing the private key on the client, but this opens an avenue to phishing, whereby the attacker would seek to gain access to the private key.

My understanding is that the above scenario is thwarted by using a YubiKey because the private key does not leave the device; you're essentially communicating with the YubiKey via a defined protocol to generate a signed response to the remote site's challenge.

It seems hard to determine how resistant these keys are to local malware, but if you have local malware it would be much easier for it to just extract browser session cookies I would have thought. The YubiKeys seem to offer protection from remote access by requiring that the user touch them to activate. I don't think you could use an intercepted signed response (along with, say, key-logged user name and password) because the challenge given to the user and the challenge given to the attacker would be different.

I have to say, the YubiKeys do look to have an excellent balance between ease of use and high security. I'm currently using a password manager with a strong master password and OTP code, which is pretty secure, but it's very tempting to invest in one of these keys as well.

I skimmed through the stuff below while writing this. If you really want to know how it works, take a look:





Every time I read CBA...

I think "Can't Be Arsed" in my head.

The Metaverse is the internet no one wants


Disable JS

I've installed a Firefox add-on that can selectively disable JS. I have www.theregister.com disabled, but not other sub-domains, so JS is still enabled for forums.theregister.com, for example.

I can still see adverts if they're images and I'm cool with that, but annoying things that make the page jump up and down are no longer present while I'm reading articles.

I experienced the page jumping issue quite a while ago now and it's the reason I no longer have JS enabled for reading articles on The Reg. It works fine for me - embedded YouTube videos just show a link to YT proper. The occasional embedded polls require hitting the JS button, which reloads the page, where I can vote in the poll and see the results, then hit the same button and JS is disabled again.

An additional bonus is that without JS, page loading times are *much* quicker.


The Reg techies might reconsider if you contact them

I recently emailed The Reg techies because during the site redesign, visited links were no longer distinguishable from unvisted links (both were black). To their credit, I got a reply the next day and they'd fixed it.

Not being certain of a response or action, I'd already taken care of things myself with a Firefox CSS add-on and a tiny bit of CSS to fix it for me, but as it was fixed on the site, I subsequently removed the add-on.

For anybody who wants their own style, e.g. colours, underlined or not underlined, etc, find such an add-on for your browser and do what you want. You don't really need to be a CSS expert - I hardly know much CSS myself - you can find answers online to do what you want with a quick search.

Firefox 105 is here, and it's faster and more memory-frugal


Already released in Linux Mint

The Firefox packagers for Mint are mighty quick!

Salesperson's tech dream delivered by ill-equipped consultant who charged for the inevitable fix


Re: Tsk!

Sadly, it's an increasingly common occurrence at El Reg these days.

It would seem that some of the staff are now so slipshod with their articles they don't even bother to spell check them before publication, never mind grammar checking them.

Xcel smart thermostat users lose their cool after power company locks them out


Re: heater

I had a similar thought. A strategically placed resistor would do the job nicely. If it was 56k and rated for 2W, it would dissipate a fraction over a Watt at 240V, which I imagine would be sufficient to do the job if you mounted it suitably and with some simple ducting if necessary.


Re: Wait, what?

I did the conversion via Google when reading this because I don't do Fahrenheit; I'm not young - getting on for 50 - but I just can't grok Fahrenheit.

They said "approaching 80°F", whatever the figure might actually be, but 80°F is getting on for 27ºC rather than 21ºC, which is pretty much 70°F.

Why bother with warrants when cops can buy location data for under $10k?


What about non-US users of these apps?

I do wonder if non-US users of these apps are also having their data sold without their knowledge.

As an example - just because GDPR exists, it doesn't mean non-EU app developers are paying any attention to it for EU-based users.

Judge approves Twitter's request to hurry along Musk trial to October


From Technoking...

to Technocash?

Five accused of trying to silence China critics in US


I read all of them as a child...

It's nice to hear they're rebooting this series of classic children's adventure novels to update them for modern times.

All-AMD US Frontier supercomputer ousts Japan's Fugaku as No. 1 in Top500


And the UK?

Apparently only in places 25 and 75 within the top 100.

ARCHER2 at EPSRC/University of Edinburgh in 25th place is looking a bit slow now...

How to reprogram Apple AirTags, play custom sounds


Re: Rickrolled

I followed the link just to confirm I'm a veteran Internet user.

Yahoo Japan strives for universal passwordless authentication



Standard Yahoo! 2FA via TOTP is hobbled due to unavailability of backup recovery codes.

The recovery method therefore falls back to SMS, which as we all know, is ultra-secure...

They are not the only site where this is the case, but you'd think they'd do better.

John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine


Re: Spare parts

Even the non-electrical parts? It's surely the moving heavy-duty mechanical parts that are most likely to need replacement due to wear over time.

If an ECU or other electrical parts mean you can't use a whole engine, it's still likely to have plenty of mechanical components that will be useful.


Spare parts

They may now no longer function as whole units, but I imagine they have good potential to provide plenty of useful brand new spare parts.

So, remotely disabled or not, I reckon it's highly unlikely they'll be seen again.

Problems for the Linux kernel NTFS driver as author goes silent


Re: Nitpick

I think it's also fair to say it's not "unintuitive".

Heresy: Hare programming language an alternative to C


Re: It won't have Bugs

And the bunnies will multiply like, uh...

India inks tech pact with EU – only the US has the same deal


Scam call centres

I wonder if this will have any effect on identifying, closing and prosecuting more of the numerous scam call centres that seem to exist in India?

I think that would be welcomed not only by UK citizens.

AI-powered browser extension to automatically click away cookie pop-ups now promised


I think I prefer the ICO's idea...

This is an interesting solution and could be a reasonable stop-gap measure, but I think in general I prefer the idea the ICO have proposed in the past and covered by El Reg at: https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/07/ico_cookies_g7/

If you can't be bothered to read that; TLDR: develop and implement standards to set your cookie preferences locally and signal them to the site when you visit it, eliminating the need to interact with manual cookie preference dialogues when you visit a site for the first time or have since deleted its cookies.

What do you do when all your source walks out the door?


Re: that ibm document

They do not seem to exist on El Reg!

If the authors ran their article text through a service like Grammarly before submitting it for publication, some of the errors could easily be found and corrected before being seen by readers, but it seems they do not...

UK starts to ponder how Huawei ban would work



Yes, let's ban Chinese equipment based on security concerns, while spreading FUD about CSAM to eliminate E2EE.

It all makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Feeling virtuous with a good old paperback? Well, don't. Switching to traditional media does not improve mood


Re: The absolute overriding benefit of e readers

It's somewhat similar for me. I'm travelling and carry an Android phone (old first generation Moto G), a laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad X201) and a Kindle (an old e-ink version with no back light or touch screen).

All those devices have different uses for me. Because I have the laptop, I don't use the phone as much as other people might; it's mostly just useful as a camera and for navigation, with occasional use of banking apps and Facebook/Twitter or for information while on the move. The laptop is a much better experience for web browsing than the phone and much better for me for typing with. I also find the laptop preferable for watching video content with its larger screen.

I have about 50 to 60 books on my Kindle at the moment, some of them paid for, but many from Project Gutenberg. For me it's worthwhile to have the Kindle, not only for its ability to store a lot of books, but for its battery life. The lack of a back light and running it in aircraft mode pretty much all the time means it will last much much longer than a phone. Sometimes I have regretted the lack of a back light - in India I don't think I ever travelled on a night/sleeper bus that had working reading lamps! Other than that, it's a great device for me. I also like its portability - I can squeeze it into a cargo pocket of a pair of shorts if necessary, but it will easily fit into many waist or shoulder mounted little bags that are also useful for chucking other crap into as well.

Unlike other people who have commented here, I do not get any greater satisfaction from reading a traditional book; as far I'm concerned, reading a good book is reading a good book.

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums


Had a similar experience with a parallel port...

Many moons ago, I could not get a parallel port based device working, but I knew the device itself worked and the parallel port had also worked.

I spent some time trying to debug this, even resorting to inserting extra printk()s into the Linux parallel port driver.

The problem? The BIOS was set for a mode (EPP/ECP, I can't remember which exactly) that wasn't supported by the device.

Ubiquiti dev charged with knocking $4bn off firm's value after insider threat spree


Re: Word to the wise...

That's a good point, although I came here to say that the now ex-Ubiquiti dev can't have been that good at his job if he failed so badly to cover his IP tracks.

If you're going to attempt to extort your employer for ~USD$2m, it pays to be a lot more careful than this person apparently was.

Reviving a classic: ThinkPad modder rattles tin to fund new motherboard for 2008's T60 and T61 series of laptops


I'm reading this on my trusty X201

I got my refurbished X201 from a company on eBay in the UK, back in late 2015 for £110 including delivery. I wanted that company to provide me with one that had the full 8GB of memory that can be installed into one, but unfortunately they supplied one with only 4GB, which is a bit low these days and I did not have time to send the laptop back and get one with 8GB installed, so I was stuck with it.

Other than the memory being low, the X201 has been a great workhorse for me. It has travelled round the world with me on planes, trains and some very bumpy local transport in various countries. I have had no major issues with it other than overheating, which I have solved via installation of the thinkfan utility for the time being. One day I will get around to taking the thing apart and checking the cooling system/applying new thermal paste. I did have to replace the PSU somewhat recently due to the case coming apart and then in an unfortunate circumstance, shorting on a metal bed frame! The battery, of course, does not hold the charge it used to, but that's standard.

Just about everything else on the X201 is good for me, in terms of its size, keyboard and screen. A bit of weight shaved off would be good, although not essential, but my laptop has the extended battery pack which adds more weight (although it's great as something to hold if you're carrying the laptop while open) and currently a spinning rust drive. Replacing the drive with an SSD would be great in terms of the weight and performance, and presumably could also extend battery life a bit.

The idea of having a new motherboard inside the X201 case with at least 16GB of memory and an SSD is really appealing to me. I think I will keep an eye on these replacement motherboard companies and consider what to do when I can get around to giving it some TLC.

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere


Re: Optimistically....

> A certain gentleman from the Isle Of Man, by any chance?

That's who I was thinking of too. I subscribe to his channel for the electronics stuff rather than the MRE or SodaStream shenanigans though.


Re: Can you opt out of the data collection on smart TVs?

Yes, I fully agree that having a dumb panel and using something else for the smart bits, which ideally can be user upgraded/repaired/replaced for longevity, is the better way forward.


Can you opt out of the data collection on smart TVs?

> information about "your TV viewing history" including "information about the networks, channels, websites visited, and programs viewed on your Samsung Smart TV and the amount of time spent viewing them".

Can you opt out of that stuff? I would have thought you should be able to. If not, are there not implications regarding GDPR?

As for the ads, being able to block them is one thing, but it doesn't mean you'll get the screen real estate back for your own use. :-(

Remember when you thought fax machines were dead-matter teleporters? Ah, just me, then


Fax modems

This has taken me back to the mid-to-late '90s, when a lot of people were using fax modems from the likes of USR.

I set-up HylaFAX on my home Linux server with the aforementioned hardware back then. I never really sent or received faxes, but that's not the point...

I have not thought about HylaFAX for many years, so I just looked it up and surprisingly, it still seems to be a thing, although the last release appears to be Sept 18 2018 and the one before that Jun 05 2012.

We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage


Re: caused door keycards to stop working

I don't have a URL for the article, but it was mentioned in an NY Times article that an angle grinder had been used, but that was later corrected to say a misstatement had been made.


Re: Not a failure of testing - a failure of change enablement

By my reckoning, based on FB's 2020 USD$85.9b total, they were losing revenue at a rate of USD$163.4k per second or ~USD$54m for the five and a half hour total duration. Ouch.