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* Posts by Lotaresco

986 posts • joined 24 Sep 2007

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Roku tweaks Apple's nose with telly-friendly vid-streaming boxes

Lotaresco
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I'd like a Roku but...

There are two versions available (officially) in the UK, the Roku Express and the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. That's it. The American versions don't officially support iPlayer. It seems that Roku really don't want to bother with the UK market other than via sales of the Now TV box.

Adding insult to injury the Roku web site declares "There's a Roku player for everyone". Unless of course you want 4K and something other than a WiFi streaming stick, in which case you're stuffed.

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France may protect citizens' liberté with ban on foreigners buying local big data firms

Lotaresco
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"I made the argument last week that the EU was a protectionist gravy train"

You may well have done, but your voice may have been muffled if you were sitting down. The EU does what any trading block does, it protects its members. So the EU has rules that permit the free movement of goods and service *between members*. Those outside the EU have to take a back seat, which is true for any similar trading block such as NAFTA or TPP.

May one suggest that you cease to read the Daily Mail?

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Lotaresco
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Re: Interesting move

"But probably against EU law"

Not at all against EU law. It would be against EU law if France tried to stop EU countries owning data firms in France. China isn't in the EU.

And yes EU competition law has stopped EU members preventing other EU members from trading in EU member states. It's what the ECJ enforces.

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1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa

Lotaresco
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Re: Say what?

"Those films weren't from the 1980s"

So were the films mentioned: Trip to the Moon, Forbidden Planet, This Island Earth, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope from the 1980s?

BTW, you missed the opportunity to snipe because I missed the fact that 2001 is mentioned, en passant.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Say what?

"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" was filmed at Elstree Studios and Shepperton Studios, not Pinewood"

I didn't say that it was filmed at Pinewood. Pinewood was the studio responsible for Space 1999 and others. This link explains (some of) the relationship. People move between studios for this sort of work because it's specialised and intermittent.

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Lotaresco
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Say what?

I can't believe no mention of 2001 or Alien.

The reason that Star Wars worked was the expertise at Pinewood and there's a long legacy of talent there, from early modelling work on WWII movies, the Gerry Anderson puppet series then 2001 and Kubrick's obsessive nature pushing the production crew to make the scenes look believable. Anderson's UFO and Space 1999 kept model makers employed and available for Star Wars work between shoots. Alien because as important as Blade Runner is, it was Ridley Scott's experience of creating Alien that informed the "used" look of Blade Runner.

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Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

Lotaresco
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Re: FFS

"have we learned nothing since Moller ?"

It's been going on much longer than Moller. The astonishing thing is how the marks lap up this rubbish and even defend the scamsters to the hilt. If you're really determined to scam you can, after creating a money pit of a company, get into the House of Lords and then spend your time repeating drivel that the politicians lap up. Naming no names.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Magic Leap One my arse.

"I recognize a pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses when I see them."

I wonder which moron downvoted that? Have an upvote to compensate.

Some people round here really need a slap.

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Lotaresco
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Sixty-nine comments

So I need to add another one to remove this innuendo from my computer screen.

As to the article, hopeless vapourware company sells vapourware to morons. Is this news? No it's largely business as usual. Many years ago I worked with some colleagues and we bought out the company we worked for and worked with investors to raise the capital and make a success of the business. It went well. But the competitive bidding process opened our eyes to the presence of the sharks in the technology sector who have nothing to offer but make a good pitch for money on the back of nothing. We saw Theranos style companies with plausible but deeply flawed medical science and technology companies with unrealistic designs that, if you probed beneath the skin, needed some unobtainium to delivery what was promised.

So we had a bright idea, we understood tech *and* finance since we had succeeded in both fields. We could rent out our expertise to investors so that they could improve their hit rate and make decent profits and avoid throwing money away. Our mistake. No one cares.

What the investors want is a vehicle to increase their capital. It doesn't matter if that business works or not or if it has a future. As long as they know when to get out and can keep a lid on the bad news until they have sold up, that's all that they want.

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Where did all that water go? Mars was holding it wrong, say boffins

Lotaresco
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Re: So there is water on Mars

"All we need now is a giant advance in technology to allow us to squeeze water from a stone."

No need for technology, just ensure that the first landing on Mars is a contingent of HMRC officials, accountants and system integrator financial officers. They can all suck fluids from a stone.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

Lotaresco
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"Looks like they're already adapting her to become a submarine. The MOD cuts are starting to bite."

It's all part of a cunning plan. Up until now HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark have been the two ships intended to sink themselves in action, now we have a third. With hard training and diligence we will have a fleet that can be sunk before the enemy even get a chance to fire a shot.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Stop Talking It Down

'We should only allow positive stories about this fantastic state-of-the-art vessel and its capability to "Make Great Britain Great Again!"'

ITYM "Make Britain Grate Again!"

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Lotaresco
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"12 [aircraft] is considered the minimum to defend the Carrier in normal operations"

Cool, so we'll have an aircraft carrier that can sail to a trouble zone and sit there defending itself. Very useful. A bit like me going into a boxing ring and huddling behind my gloves whimpering "Please don't hit me again."

What an impressive spectacle this will be.

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Lotaresco
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Dry dock, refit and...

... a renaming ceremony.

I give you HMS Colander. God bless her and all who sink in her.

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Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

Lotaresco
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Rotational latency

Now, if only someone could come up with a technology that has one read/write head per track or preferably multiple read/write heads per track thus eliminating positional latency and reducing rotational latency. Oh they did, in 1932.

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Signing up for the RAF? Don't bother – you've been Capita'd

Lotaresco
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The MoD told El Reg that “a short term drop in numbers was expected as the new system is bedding in” and that the Armed Forces “continue to manage and support an active pipeline of candidates.”

Another head in the sand statement from the MoD.

Is this the same MOD that is failing to achieve its brilliant plan to replace full time military personnel with thousands of reservists and weekend warriors?

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Lotaresco
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Re: Crapital Punishment

"As much as I hate finding myself in the position of defending Shitandar... they'll ring whatever number you tell them to ring. in my case, they always ring my mobile."

In a process that requires you to know in advance that a company that takes your mobile phone number as part of its registration process to use online banking as well as your home phone number has a completely separate process that they don't tell you about to get your mobile phone number registered as the number for "Security" to contact. The only time you find this out is when the morons stop a transaction.

No other bank does it this way. They all have a fairly clear process that is clearly explained and most of them have some form of two-factor authentication. Only Santander has a hair-trigger security process that is designed to stop customers spending their own money.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Crapital Punishment

"You use the same online bank as me? Who'd have thought..."

:-)

It does sound a lot like the Santander on line banking system. Although that's more famous for accepting a transaction then having their on line security dorks cancel the whole thing because the transaction that you made from the mobile app was selected for confirmation by "Security" they rang your home phone number and no one answered so they cancelled the transaction. This means "Big Dave" the plumber thinks that you tried to shaft him and he wants your blood. "Security" can't understand how you managed to access on line banking when you weren't at home. They also refuse to phone the mobile number that you do all your banking from because "That would be insecure."

WTAF?

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Lotaresco
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Re: Crapital Punishment

'Ok Lotaresco, please elaborate on your 'yes' to my question "Is that a bad thing?"'

The primary function of the system is to attract potential recruits and to let them sign up on line. At the risk of stating the obvious if they can't sign up on line it rather defeats the purpose of the system, doesn't it? This is a bad thing.

How happy would you feel with an on line banking system which required you to wet sign a cheque and pop it in the post at the end of the process?

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Lotaresco
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Re: A bit predictable

"Would that that was true. If it was some of the mines might actually have gone off and taught Capita a well - deserved lesson."

Remember it all takes time. EDS were in charge of the contract back in 2008 and were pilloried over the loss of "a laptop" from a recruiter's car and subsequently a hard drive from EDS premises. Eventually EDS's share price collapsed allowing HP to buy them out. It was a long time from EDS taking over the contract to the inevitable pigeon-roosting. Even then I have some sympathy that despite deserving their fate that they seemed to be made the scapegoat for MOD's foul-ups.

HP then had the task of running the contract, but it was mostly a re-branding exercise. HP became much more security conscious and, as far as I can tell as an outside observer, fell foul of MOD because HP wanted to do things right and MOD wanted to do things cheap. OK HP aren't known for undercharging so they probably wanted £s meeelions for simple config changes, as they always do, but I was aware at the time of HP trying to get the security right and recruiting some very good people.

Then came the end of contract and HP were dropped from the running. I suspect that was their clown-shoe to mine interface moment. Crapita how have it, and the things I've heard suggest that it's all going as well as anything Crapita goes. That to me means that their moment will come, but the moments never come quickly and often those paying the price are not those who made the bad decisions.

In other areas the chain of bottom kicking becomes circular. There's a major MOD programme that was EDS, then HP then was given to CSC, which is now DXC with staff at CSC who were TUPE'd from HP to CSC and other staff who were originally HP, stayed with HP when HP lost the contract and are now back on the programme because they are now DXC. But don't worry that bad old EDS that caused the problems is long gone and buried, except that the vast majority of staff on the programme all have EDS on their CV. Sir Humphrey is alive and well in Whitehall.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Crapital Punishment

"Unable to sign up online?

Yes.

"Is that a bad thing?"

Yes.

"Is an online signup binding?"

Yes.

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Lotaresco
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A bit predictable

Recruiting used to be run by HPES and the MOD had a falling out with them. It was obvious that they weren't going to win the next round of contracts. Capita took over and since that day they have been clowns, with big clown shoes, tap dancing in a minefield.

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Once again, UK doesn't rule out buying F-35A fighter jets

Lotaresco
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Re: Wrong math

"Oh fffs... I do know that there has to be quite a complex set of hydraulics attached to that, etc."

Really? One wonders then why you stated that:

" the sole engineering requirement to achieve this is to weld 6 supports for the arrester wires."

Because that's clearly wrong, isn't it? There's much more to be done than to weld 6 supports. I'm left wondering if it's the world "sole" that you don't understand or "everything that you are wibbling about". On current performance, it's the latter.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Wrong math

" the sole engineering requirement to achieve this is to weld 6 supports for the arrester wires."

That's simply not true. You don't appear to understand that there has to be something to absorb the energy of the aircraft when landing. This is a complex hydraulic system installed below deck.

The aircraft has to be stopped in a controlled manner with the energy dissipated. The aircraft are landing at full throttle. The energy to be dissipated is about 65MJ.

Simply stretching a wire across the deck would not do the job.

Here's an arresting engine. Four of these are needed, plus all the cable runs and sheaves. Rather more than six welds.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Wrong math

" that puts some pressure on the extortionists from BAE to come up with a more reasonable quote to weld 6 anchors to the deck for arrester wires (the present quote is probably the highest ever quote for 6 welding jobs in the history of human engineering)."

That's a pretty good demonstration that you don't have a clue what is involved in fitting arrester gear. You also seem to have forgotten the need for catapults. "Cats and Traps" is the clue. And then there's the steam generators needed for the catapults or if using electric catapults the generators needed to power the catapults. There isn't of course room to have all this gear on the carriers.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Why go totally F-35?

"And then finally I thought sod it and decided it would be easier to learn French / German / Russian / Mandarin / Sanskrit [delete as foreign adversary changes] and really hit the military-industrial-complex where it hurts."

We should go for the Danish defence solution as proposed by Sandi Toxvig. Spend a relatively small amount of money installing telephones every 500 metres around the coast. When someone picks up the handset a recorded message repeats "We Surrender" in all known languages.

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Creepy Cayla doll violates liberté publique, screams French data protection agency

Lotaresco
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Re: Hmm.

"Does that mean Bluetooth headsets are also in breach, if they're just the same tech in a different plastic shell?"

I think you may be missing something important here. It's not the tech but the piss-poor implementation that is the issue.

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Lotaresco
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"I often try to imagine when things like this happen about the meeting where they decided to do the thing that has gone wrong."

When the problems with the Cayla doll were first raised, the tester, Ken Munro, raised his findings with Genesis Toys before going public, so the company was well aware of the problems. The company chose to do very little to fix the problems. Given that the doll is cheap to produce and probably very cheap to fix the company's refusal to address the problems shows a cheapskate attitude and a complete lack of concern for anyone else's children.

The problems reported by PTP nearly three years ago persist and are cause for concern. The Cayla doll uses a data dictionary to respond to a child. The database is easily hacked (details given in the PTP security blog) and the doll can be made to give *any* response to a child. The fact that it's a Bluetooth headset permits anyone within range to pair and talk to the child. The original demos of the security flaws (numerous conferences in the UK) had examples of Cayla talking dirty and in the closed sessions examples of how the doll could be used for "grooming". It's worth reading the PTP blog on this product.

The sales website is also cause for concern. Firstly there are no company details given on the site, no way to contact the supplier. That is IMO always a sign of a company that doesn't want to see any complaints from the public. The website also claims that the "safety features" built into the doll protect the child "There are four levels of safeguards in place which makes playing with Cayla much safer than simply handing a tablet to a child" Given that the company knows of the security issues with the device these assurances are false (they are given in greater detail on the company website). These include statements such as "Additional words or phrases can be added to the blocked list via the app. Please note that once a word is added to the blocked list this cannot be undone and the list cannot be viewed." However the blog shows that the list can be easily viewed. There's also an indication that the "blocked list" is drawn up for middle class American Christian sensibilities. Woe betide any married UK gay couple who buy this doll for their kids. According to Cayla they don't exist.

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Lotaresco
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Blimey

Working as I do with French "security experts" I know that they are a long way behind the curve but this is old news. It was reported by Pen Test Partners in January 2015. Pen Test Partners have been meticulously wading through the Internet of Tat over the last three years and have unearthed multiple horrors.

I suspect that the in-depth French research consisted of looking at this page.

I'm also a bit surprised by El Reg here, because it was covered at the time by... El Reg.

Even the Germans have been in on the act.

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Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords

Lotaresco
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Re: @DuchessofDukeStreet

"enforced password changes go against the advice of the UK's top (in terms of statutory powers..."

I'm intrigued. Which "statutory powers" do you imagine NCSC has?

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Lotaresco
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"Well if you enforce a frequent change policy ,you can enforce a "not weak" policy cant you?

.. and drop the frequent changes."

Having being one of the people that advised NCSC on this I can say that it was really nice that they actually listened and came up with a policy that makes sense. They did approach most of the well known names in IT Security to ask for advice on password policy and the results were as close to unanimous as can be expected when talking to security people who generally disagree about *everything*.

You can see the summary of NCSC recommendations here, because another change they have made is to publish their advice to the public both for consultation and to spread best practice. You can also download and print a nice purple poster to stick on your wall, or stick pretty much anywhere you please.

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Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

Lotaresco
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Re: I would suggest "Darwin award"

"But let's be honest, people so into Pokemon Go they managed to get run over by a car or walk off a cliff were never going to reproduce anyway!"

Needs an edit:

"But let's be honest, people into Pokemon Go were never going to reproduce anyway!"

Better.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Presumably, Jake ...

"I infer from your question that you believe guns do fire themselves at people?"

There are many documented cases of exactly that happening.

Sten guns will fire without human intervention and the Heckler & Koch G11 was infamous for "cooking off" and shooting people without being touched by a human being.

Your question seems to imply that these things never happened.

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Lotaresco
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"pokemon go killed noone."

No it didn't he's still alive, is Mr Noone.

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Amazon launches Secret Region – so secret it's endorsed by the CIA

Lotaresco
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Re: CIA + Secrets = red flag to Wikileaks & the conspiracy nuts

If you think about it WikiLeaks isn't much of a threat. WikiLeaks just publish information that is handed to them by idiots. The threat is therefore the idiot, not WikiLeaks.

Conspiracy nuts are mostly just nuts and although the activities of some of those nuts have becom popular with the press/other nuts they don't present much of a real threat since they ether just wander around screeching tinfoil helmet stuff (as in this thread) or they manage to hack into a "Sekrit Government Internet Service" which later turns out to be something like the order list for office delivery of milk or the prices in the canteen.

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Royal Bank of Scotland website goes TITSUP*

Lotaresco
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Re: "New Technology"

"Bankers? Lying? Never!"

Old Harry's Games Series 7 Episode 1

I think.

The one that featured the appearance of the bankers in Hell.

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iPhone X: Bargain! You've just bagged yourself a cheap AR device

Lotaresco
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Re: Haven't we just been around this?

"Apple historically haven't jumped at gaming opportunities."

I think it still pains Apple that in the 1980s Microsoft, IBM and Harvard Business School dismissed the Macintosh as "a games machine". That said I have a soft spot for some of the games that did appear on the Mac in the early days, things like Myst, Prince of Persia and the many good titles available from Ambrosia. I can run most of those on my phone these days.

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Lotaresco
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Mushroom

Re: Haven't we just been around this?

"Wow, live translation of text via the camera from Google.

"Jesus, my first Windows Phone had that, 4 years ago, and all of them since."

<shrug> The first live translation of text app that I used was Word Lens on my iPhone 4 in 2011. I doubt that was the first such app either. If you're going to wave your willy, make sure that it's not a tiny shrivelled one. BTW you do know that even M$ has admitted that Windows Phone was a bad idea, badly executed, don't you?

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Lotaresco
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Re: Pointless!

"AR is destined to go the same way as 3D TV."

I found Dishfinder AR extremely useful when installing satellite TV dishes. Shame it doesn't seem to be maintained.

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Lotaresco
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"It'd be a brave man who asks his wife if he can don some goggles in the marital bed to make her look like a pron starlet."

Lawer: You are seeking a divorce.

Wife: Yes, on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. My husband wore AR goggles for sex.

L: And you object to him choosing to replace you with some other woman's avatar?

W: He was using Nigel Farage's avatar!

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Lotaresco
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Re: Fools and their money...

"I have absolutely no desire to have an iPhone (or any other smartphone, for that matter)."

And there's no point picking those grapes that are too high for you to reach because they are sour.

Phaedrus recounted a pithy summary of "The Fox and the Grapes".

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked 'Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.' People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.

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Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

Lotaresco
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Re: Linus Torvalds is a f*cking moron?

"It is bullying behaviour that shouldn't be tolerated anywhere in this day and age."

And that is just one of many things that is wrong with this day and age.

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Cancel your summer trip to nearby Proxima b. No chance of life, room service, say boffins

Lotaresco
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Headmaster

"What about the time-share apartment I've just brought?"

Where did you take it to? Was it one of those apartments in an ISO container that you can just relocate to anywhere at a moment's notice?

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Google Drive ate our homework! Doc block blamed on code blunder

Lotaresco
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Re: Vapourous clouds

"Google's architecture is space age"

You mean they are using processors with 16-bit word length and magnetic core memory?

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Let's make the coppers wear cameras! That'll make the ba... Oh. No sodding difference

Lotaresco
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Re: Better justice is the difference

"Well exactly. That's the weird thing about this study. They have put cameras on officers and expected people to act differently around them and are surprised when people don't."

Many of the interactions that the police have with members of the public occur when the member of the public is out of their gourd on booze or drugs. Sometimes they are just out of their gourd on testosterone and adrenaline.

Most of the time the suspect isn't bothered by the presence of six burly police officers, handcuffs, pepper spray and leg restraints. In the USA these people kick off despite the officers having Tasers and guns. It's therefore most unlikely that any of the people confronting the police, or being confronted by them, are aware of a camera or would care if they knew everything was being recorded. In those circumstances how can a camera modify their behaviour?

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Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

Lotaresco
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Re: How widespread?

" It was while they were still young, up and coming actresses."

I think you will find it was Weinstein that was up and coming.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Oh I might leave...

"I left Twitter in 2009 "

I beat you, I never joined Twatter because errrm it's for idiots. Hence why it is so popular with MPs, the media and Agent Orange.

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Lotaresco
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Re: Not just Hollywood

"ooh, you got a downvote, Teflon suit man must have read your post. Have a balancing upvote."

Thanks. I think "Charlie" is worried that his manhood is threatened.

As to "virtue signalling", meh. I've complained about the bloke through the system and told him to his face that he's a cowardly prick. It's also not "one incident", it's evidence that within an organization the systems that should protect workers from abuse are subverted to protect the abusers from consequences.

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Lotaresco
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"From what I've read on this, pertty much all of the attacks (I cant think of a better word right now) happened to actresses at the start of their career. So yes they all kept their mouths shut for fear of their careers being destroyed before they get started."

The recordings of Weinstein released via The New Yorker reveal him making what are not-so-veiled threats to an actress if she doesn't let him molest her.

“Don’t embarrass me in the hotel. I’m here all the time….You’ll never see me again after this, if you embarrass me in this hotel,”

“Five minutes. Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.”

Of course "never seeing him again" would mean "never working for him again" which given his grip over production and distribution would mean being excluded from a broad range of work.

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Lotaresco
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Not just Hollywood

At conferences in recent years I've been guilty of stating that the IT industry seems to be making headway in cleaning up its act. I've observed generally improving standards of behaviour towards women and have worked at a couple of organisations with a more-or-less 50:50 balance of gender. So far, so good. I don't feel that I can support that view any longer.

Last month I was treated to a full on display of misogyny and victimisation surrounding the removal of a female consultant who has done nothing worse than the job she was paid to do, and doing it extremely well. One powerful individual took exception to the presence of a woman in a senior role and set out to bully, harass and victimise the individual. This included personal abuse, setting tasks that were inappropriate, demanding reports to be delivered "on my desk within an hour" and other nonsense intended only to make her life misery. She stoically put up with all of this, met all the deadlines and produced some excellent work. Her reward was to be dismissed by the back door - her contract was cancelled and no one told her.

All of that was bad enough, but the sad part of this business has been the inevitable cover up. The HR department has moved to protect the bully and has rejected all complaints about his behaviour and the fact that he drove a coach and horses through company HR procedures. He's been quite open about the fact that he doesn't want any "interfering women" on his team. No one above him cares.

This is deeply shameful and his Teflon suit seems to be provided by the all-male club in middle/senior management.

If anyone is doubt, my gender is male and I have no axe to grind against the male manager in question, other than the fact that he has shown himself up to be a deeply unpleasant individual.

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