1009 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009
Re: He Just Wanted Love
Don't hold your breath.
In terms of ex-PM honours John Major was the last in 2005 (8 years after leaving No 10). Tony Blair is pending (left No 10 eleven years ago in 2007), as are Gordon Brown and David Cameron (left No 10 in 2010 and 2016 respectively). Until they figure out a way to make a PM gong for Blair palatable to all the people who didn't like him "Call me Dave" could be waiting a long time!
Re: If political parties want our personal information
That should include their proper home address, not the address of the small 1 bedroom flat they've rented (or bought on expenses) in the constituency to adhere to the letter of the rules.
Re: so installing critical security patches
@Stephanh, "Based on this, I would assume that the infected computers are Windows 7 "
FTA (Paragraph 2): "The malware struck on Friday, and affected a number of unpatched Windows 7 computer systems and fab tools over two days."
Please call them what they are
"members of the alt-
Frankly the strike through text in the article had it spot on in the first place. Perhaps I risk down votes for putting my head above the parapet on this, but the current fashion for calling the new generation of far right fascists "alt-right" (or even alt-reich), as if they're just another right of centre political grouping that deserves equal prominence in the interest of "balance" just masks their true cause + hateful aims, and risks legitimising them.
I hope the warning shot from the DEF CON Organisers works, and they can complete the conference successfully with plenty of constructive debate and no disruptive trolls.
Re: Will the parasite kill the host?
No, the hosts (Telcos) will simply charge their customers more for service to make up for the revenue lost to the OTT "Parasites". I guess that's when people find out their "Free" OTT service has another hidden cost beyond data slurp.
Re: Parking kiosk
They do it, not because it makes sense to anyone who sees the whole picture, but because it's considered an easy win and they assume putting up parking charges will not cause any change in behaviour.
Councils used to get about half of their income from central Gubmint as a grant. That's been reduced to nil over the last 8 years leaving them to either cut services or raise new revenues from somewhere other than Council Tax (they have to hold a referendum if the put up CTax by more than 5%). Some councils are so stuffed by the current situation they're struggling to provide the bare minimum (statutory) services. Faced with that I'm not surprised they're going after the "easy wins" even if it makes bugger all sense for the reasons you cite.
Re: Internet of Idiots
I think the point is that all of the desirable functionality you've mentioned (and I agree it makes a lot of sense in the case of your Father) can be provided without requiring an internet/Wifi connection, and the ability to phone home to a manufacturer or connect to a smartphone app.
Re: I like Fastmail
I've been with Fastmail for 4 years now (I have two accounts, with a third for the parental units) since I moved away from the "cost free, and privacy free" services like Gmail and Y! Mail. They've been spot on with reliability which makes yesterday mornings near three hour total collapse stand out all the more.
Yes, it costs money, but the web interface is pretty slick, and they allow lots of stuff to be configured far beyond the free services do. Also their support is pretty damned good - not something you can say about Google!
As an aside, about three years ago I had a complicated support problem which ended up getting third line tech support from Bron Gondwana (yes he did resolve it). Hopefully this means he's not just a random suit but understands both the business and the tech side.
@ Derezed, Your pension provider is probably looking over their shoulder at the strict rules on verifying identity to prevent money laundering. That said the application of these rules varies wildly - some are happy to have a utility bill and a bank statement (I suspect difficult enough for many in the El Reg readership who get these electronically). In your case they've applied the rules much more strictly.
Best of luck with your complaint. In your case with the marketing muppets they definitely have no right to ask for all that stuff and they know it. IANAL but you might like to look up the DPA clause that notes data processors should only collect and process data directly relevant to the matter in hand. Asking for passport and DL is way beyond that level IMO. Unfortunately the ICO tend to be like this too - you have to give them lots of identifying information to make a complaint against the spamming slime.
Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter
@ Gordon 10, "Fixed batteries have been a MacBook staple for years with little discernible impact on sales."
You're right but it's the degree to which things have been fixed inside that has most definitely changed.
My old Mid-2010 17" MBP can have it's battery swapped at home - unscrew the back, unplug old battery, plug in new battery and screw the back in to place again. It's not something you can do on a regular basis but it is a world away from the latest MBPs with their batteries glued in place inside and near enough impossible for someone to replace at home.
Units of Apple profit
Apple's latest results (Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour) suggest that at the rate given in the story ("...imposed a penalty of $25,000 per day on Apple...") Apple could have held out for 212 days on just an hours profit. I wonder how much the lawyer time cost in comparison to get that penalty reversed...
Also "Even so, Intel may be hoping to delay document production until September, when the new iPhones debut, as a way to curry favor with Apple.". Assuming this is true I wonder how favourably Apple will look on Intel when it comes to whether they make the much predicted shift to ARM processors for macOS. Not much I imagine...
From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit
Re: They're still at it!
I always thought different retailers having the same units, with the same base model number, but appended with very slightly different suffixes which vary in each retailer was to protect retailers, rather than the manufacturers. It meant a retailer could claim you won't find this model cheaper elsewhere - then when another retailer discounts that model they simply point out the single character difference in the model number and their promise holds (to the letter, but perhaps not the spirit).
Re: Customer Delight Providers
If some jumped up MBA type PHB (or shyster HR skank, for that matter) changed my job title from something meaningful to "Customer Delight Providers" the dying embers of their lifeless corpse would be in the bottom of a skip by the end of the day; their only company being the charred remains of the piss stained mattress, which every skip seems to contain, that was cremated with them.
Sorry, It's been a long week and I think we ran out of Coffee by Wednesday afternoon.
Re: Nothing wrong wirh reusing passwords
About 8 years ago a system I use regularly started enforcing password changing via AD. There was much grumbling as the change timer is about 3 months and the old password cannot be a prefix of the new password which immediately rules out changing totalBollocks to totalBollocks1. Then someone pointed out to me that adding numbers into the password means it's treated as a completely different password. Thus:
are all unique passwords.
This has served me well for the last 20 odd password changes.
Re: Google braced for giant Android fine from EU
@andy 103: "I came on The Reg to see if they'd actually covered the main story - a record breaking fine for Google. But no, plenty more people give a shit about an undersea cable, apparently. They'll probably report it in a few weeks, when they've woken up."
Resident Google Critic Andrew Orlowski published this at lunchtme: Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave
US voting systems (in Oregon) potentially could be hacked (11 years ago) by anybody (in tech support)
"election management system"
With the current ongoing revelations about Facebook, Cambridge Anal, the Trump/Brexit campaigns and the like, I suspect this phrase is now used to describe something a lot more chilling...
Unusual Promotional method
"websites that let football fans watch clips of beefy lycra-clad men inflicting violence on each other:"
Perhaps they could aim that kind of advertising strapline at the porn market to get even more $$$?
Re: Not everybody will forgive and forget
That page on the ARM website now 404s. Again Fat Freddy's Cat is correct in referring to the Internet archive:
Re: What about disturbing others?
@Flywheel, "start eating their bowls of breakfast cereal making it sound like a greasy spoon caf."
Now that is nasty - people who eat in open plan offices when others are trying to work. A personal bug bear because the guy opposite me likes eating cereal. Some people do eat at their desks and either do so during lunchtime or quietly at other times. He
eats slurps cereal most days with his mouth open so the whole damned floor can hear it - and seems completely oblivious to this being in any way wrong. Oblivious or a sociopath so should be promoted to manglement any time soon.
Oh and people who have serious problems with personal hygiene such that they stink out the whole office (you'll not be surprised that the same guy appears in that one too!)
Icon - Why bother with passive aggressive when actual aggressive is much more effective!
That story is a classic - I've just been quietly crying with laughter at my desk, getting funny looks from the boss:
"A metal thief who was seriously injured after sawing through a cable carrying 11,000 volts has been ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work. [...] Paisley Sheriff Court heard how Durnan was left "looking like the professor from the Back To The Future movie". [...] There was an explosion as he sawed through the cable at about 06:50. [...] Despite being severely injured, Durnan managed to go to a nearby house for help and was unable to talk."
Can you imagine a mute Doc Brown showing up on your doorstep, smouldering away? That does suggest a real prize though - connecting politicians and irritating schlebs to an 11kV line might stop them talking also.
Re: re: cops taking a moment to think
@Loyal Commenter "Also Clown Prosecution Service."
Please state your name: "Giggles the Clown"
And how do you plead to the multiple charges of: Not having a big red foam nose, Having sensibly sized shoes that don't squeak, driving a car with properly attached doors, and going not equipped with a bucket of glitter ?
You are hear-by sentenced to 10 custard pies in the face. You will then be released on license and will be required to wear trousers that randomly fall down when around children...
Re: re: cops taking a moment to think
@ MiguelC, and I'm not sure much has changed since then other than stopping the police from marking their own homework when prosecutions were moved to the CPS in 1986. It's stories like this that make me relieved firearms are not issued to normal Police in the UK (except pepper spray which is classified as a firearm apparently).
People complain extensively about criminals but I'd say that was very public spirited for a hardened felon to take time out of his busy schedule to install Christmas lights as part of their heist on a bank, from the roof, in broad daylight! Perhaps Her Majesty's finest could take a lesson or two from these so called ne'er do wells.
Alternatively these cops could have taken a moment to wonder why an alleged criminal was busy installing Christmas lights rather than something a bit more naughty, like cracking the safe with a stethoscope? But, as you say, it was the 1980s!
Re: rural parochialism
"Even the Prime Minister seems to have this idea.......Makes her sound like she's never left the village she grew up in."
Perhaps if she hadn't left the village she grew up in she'd be happily running through wheat fields and the country may have a proper leader* as PM. You know, someone who could stop the growing divisions in the country; whereas the current PM seems unable to unify and lead her own parliamentary party, never mind the rest of the country.
*Note a criticism of the current lot shouldn't be taken as an implicit approval of the other lot.
Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...
Isn't CYA* a good life lesson at all times anyway? Quietly apply it to your every day life; you never know when you may need it, but when you do you'll be glad you have it. Many a time it has got me out of a sticky situation and adversaries really hate it when you hit back with facts and evidence!
*Cover Your Arse for the uninitiated
Re: Maybe they could fix their fucking billing first ?
At least you still have online billing in some form.
I'm on a very old Orange Value Plan tariff (the old Virgin EQ tariff that replicated the Virgin Mobile pay monthly plan of the early naughties - no line rental just pay for calls i.e. Pre-pay charges but with monthly billing instead of top-ups). It's an old number that I want to keep going at the lowest cost possible (I pay about £3/month for a few texts and voice mail calls) and it's handy to give to companies who demand a number as it means they don't disturb my main number. Inexplicably EE turned off the Orange online portal back in January and pushed me back to paper bills by post. How's that for progress?
Re: Google's First Law of Aquisition
FTA: "The others are trying a less aggressive line, saying they will [...] require driver licenses before approving users."
Another load of data to add to the pile of personal information required to use the service. I wonder how many services a driver's licence can be used to link in to, to
target ads more effectively improve the user experience.
Re: Rostering is a poisoned challice, strong constitution and thick skin required
Your situation is a bit different to mine (volunteers working weekends, with non-consistent availability and no obligation to work) but it still amounts to the same problem of keeping people happy (this is a lot harder when you aren't paying them). Doing the roster within the team is a good solution as it means it's being sorted by someone who knows the challenges of the job and what the consequences of a bad roster will be.
I do operations rostering and have worked in that dept for years, so I'm not some random admin far removed from the actual work. It means I have a reasonably good idea of what each job involves, the training required, who's qualified for what and as I know everyone I have a good idea of who likes to do what, and who will do what if they have to; it also means I get any complaints first hand! It was a steep learning curve but I soon found the best ways to minimise the moaning, bearing in mind some moan as a hobby. It's not as bad as my first post alluded to in the general case - most people are generally happy with how things are done (and I go out of my way to keep it so), but the one or two that moan seem to shout as loud as possible even when they get a decent set of turns.
Rostering is a poisoned challice, strong constitution and thick skin required
FTA: "Sadly, the statement contained no reference to the unfortunate Wysocki, who we understand runs the roster for scheduling water works at the company."
If my experience of railways is anything to go by, the poor sod writing the staffing roster is generally disliked by most people (the best one can hope for is mild indifference). That said I'm yet to see a steam loco with a headboard proclaiming "paulf is a twat" but, with the next roster still being written and the grumbling already in full swing, who knows what this weekend will bring?
Icon -> What the coal shoveller wants to see in the firebox :)
Re: SW only?
FTA: "For iOS 12 we're doubling down on performance," [Federighi] said, noting that optimizations in the mobile OS would make even the older iPhone 6 Plus launch apps 40 per cent faster.
As someone who's 6s+ was turned from a reasonably nippy, battery respecting, handset on iOS 10.3.3 that could go a month between reboots; to a slow, bug ridden, battery hammering kludge requiring a reboot every 1-2 weeks by iOS 11, colour me "I'll believe it if/when I see it". <Kif eye roll and sigh>
Re: Quality, not features
Thank you for the suggestions I'll see if I can get those to work as they may be suitable. It all sounds a bit convoluted but that's SOP if you want to deviate from the way Apple has sanctified (as I know from my own experience of trying to make a ring tone from a standard MP3 file). It didn't help that His Steveness decreed that apps in the app store should not duplicate standard system functionality otherwise the many talented iOS developers out there would have happily competed the standard music and Podcast apps out of existence.
In other news, I got home this evening and opened the lid on my Mid-2010 17" MacBook Pro (10.11 El Capitan) to get a cheery message from Time Machine telling me it's deleting my entire 1.6TB of backup history for the second time this year. Fuck you Apple - fuck you with a massive rusty spike. Software is difficult, good quality software more so, but you control the entire Hardware and Software stack, and employ 115,000 people so you have no excuse.
Re: Quality, not features
I'll see your Podcasts point and raise you one intensely irritating problem with the Music app. (Podcasts wasn't too bad in iOS 10, but when they made it more "Music App like" in iOS 11 the hell really started)
When iOS is short of RAM it boots apps out of working memory - they're supposed to shut down gracefully such that they pick up in the same state when reopened (where this makes sense). The Podcasts app can be force killed and still reopen on the same podcast at exactly the same point. Ideal - exactly as it should be.
If the Music app gets closed for any reason (force close or RAM shortage) it forgets everything - playlist, track, position. "Not that big of a deal", you're thinking? I listen to radio shows that are usually 2-3 hours long so I have to remember where I left off as this happens on a semi-regular basis even though my 6S has 2GB of RAM. This has existed since I went iPhone in 2013 and despite reporting this I've been similarly ignored. If they can do it in the podcasts app they can surely make it work in the music app!
Then there is the "Delete a track in iTunes, then sync and get a duplicate version of the playlist in iTunes and on iPhone" bug which has persisted for about two years now (since about iTunes 11.2?)
Re: Why is it always...
...Because people generally don't keep looking for something once they've found it.
FTA: "Bushnell founded a business called Syzygy. They could not incorporate under that name because another company used it,"
Perhaps I'm not that well read when it comes to 1970s company names but what are the odds of picking a name like Syzygy and finding out someone else already grabbed it!
Re: Are Dixons...
@AC "Anyone else got horror stories to recall?"
My ZX Spectrum may have been bought there but I was too young to recall. My first proper experience of them was a little older when I bought a Casio music keyboard from there late 1980s. The main "Power/Mode" switch broke so it would select the mode but Off didn't turn it off. A bit of a problem on a battery powered device! It was a mechanical sliding switch so shouldn't have been too difficult to repair by changing it.
It was sent away for repair twice I think (both times it was gone for 4-6 weeks which is an age when you're about 10) and both times it came back with the same fault. We gave up after that figuring any further returns would achieve nothing. It did teach me never to shop in Dix-CP-Cur-House ever again. I think I bought two appliances there (Curry's) about 15 years later but only because a friend let me use his staff discount. Even when I wanted a 6310i for a US holiday a 12 month contract with O2 was a cheaper way to get an unlocked phone than buying it outright in CPW.
Re: Too many stores, too close together
It always surprises me when companies do this as it seems to be a deliberate tactic to keep out competitors which simply cannot work. A good example is Blacks; about 10 years ago they bought up their competitors like Millets and Outdoors and, in Plymouth at least, left all three original stores open after rebranding them. That didn't stop Cotswold outdoor opening, nor Mountain Warehouse while leaving Blacks with reducing business due to the new competitors along with all the original costs the acquisitions were suppose to eliminate (i.e. closing at least one if not two of the stores).
With all these superfluous stores Dix-CP-Cur-etc seem to be trying to do the same even though they're "last man standing" as one commentard above put it. Starbucks may be able to do this trick with a coffee bar on every corner but I'm not sure you can do the same with electronics retail.
Re: "Like a Pixel without the pratfalls"... and presumably without the updates
Exactly what put me off HTC years ago. I had a HTC Hero and Sensation between 2009 and 2013 - the former got sod all updates despite many promises and the latter, while it did get occasional updates was beset by the random turn off problem (plus other updates/fixes promised by tech support that never materialised). IIRC the Sensation was EoLd about 18 months after launch in the UK - so you'd have been SOL if you bought it on a two year contract. I bought SIM free so cut my losses after about 20 months and went to something else which proved significantly more reliable (not perfect but streets ahead).
HTC may make some great Hardware (as evidenced by AO's various reviews) but that's nothing if the software support is utter shit (as evidenced by HTC's own behaviour over many years). And, no, I wasn't feeling confident enough to flash Cyanogen onto either handset - it shouldn't be necessary to do that just to make a £500* flagship phone usable (*Sensation June 2011 launch price).
From my POV, HTC's progressive decline is them reaping what they've long been sowing with respect to software support and updates. Such a shame for an early pioneer of Android hardware.
@Alister "Brand names for the services included Kilostream and Megastream.". Now that does take me back to my Saturday Job days in the mid 1990s at a local public transport concern. Our divisional office was blessed with a kilostream link to head office in the next town - giving us two internal lines to direct dial HO (I suppose this was before DDI became a thing). Harsh punishment was dished out to those who used PSTN for head office calls instead of the Kilostream lines.
"...utilities and power companies must use private circuits for their infrastructure." A cursory search shows BT still provide kilostream, but only until 31 March 2020 which may hamper your proposal for mandatory private circuits (note I don't disagree with this)? The alternative is Wholesale Ethernet.
@TWT @Tony W
The system that uses 64 odd kHz is TPWS, a safety system that is designed to mitigate the consequences of a train passing a red signal. It is an improvement on AWS (in that it can mitigate going to fast and doesn't rely on the driver if the train doesn't stop at a red signal) but not as comprehensive as ETCS/ATP. In most cases up to 70mph (100mph for TPWS+) it can stop the train with an emergency brake application before it becomes a problem (i.e. within the signal overlap), but even if the train doesn't stop in time it can still reduce the consequences of what happens next.
TPWS uses the two aerials in the four foot (the space between the rails) and a sensor on the train. AWS (the train one not the cloudy one) uses a unit with two magnets (one permanent one electro) which sits in that yellow ramp looking thing also in the four foot. This gives a warning to the driver when approaching a signal showing a restrictive aspect (single yellow, double yellow or red i.e. not green) and can make an emergency brake application if the driver doesn't acknowledge it within 2.7s. If the driver does acknowledge an AWS warning s/he takes the consequences of not reacting accordingly as AWS will take no further action.
You could potentially hack either but only by getting into the signalling system proper.
Re: I recall even my mum (a bit like Dilmom) telling me a fire story
I had happy memories of a ZIP drive - it was my backup solution of the day (1997) and it was quite a substantial upgrade from the Floppy disc backup I was using! I had a parallel port one at first for my 486 laptop then moved to an IDE one when I got a desktop. Thankfully no click of death or any other problems - I wasn't so lucky with a later purchase of an Iomega REV drive which was a POS. I do wonder if the IDE one will still work as I found it in an old computer box along with a load of 100MB disks. It's crazy to think it'll barely hold an MP3 album now.
[For those clamouring to know, my next backup solution was a HP 2.5GB Colorado tape drive. HP support was reasonably good back then happily swapping out two tapes that failed]
Re: Still one version back
I hurriedly switched to v52.x ESR last summer before the main update channel moved to v57(?) which modified user profiles to be incompatible with a move back to v52 ESR. I'll cling to v52 ESR for the next few months until it goes out of support then I'll have to sort an alternative. Pale Moon is the current favourite as it runs all the old FF add ons. YMMV
Something else I don't get is the whole "analytics are done on the local browser client so we don't need to slurp your personal information server side (Halo)" bunkum.
Surely they can reconstruct the user's preferences from logging the specific ads requested by the client post analysis. If the client realises I've looked at a page showing ovens and I've done a search for kettles the ID will be linked to someone who is in the market for kitchen appliances (or even a new kitchen?) when adverts for toasters and Dishwashers are requested. If all these requests are linked to an "anonymous" client ID (as noted by the AC OP) quite a profile can be built up unless the client ID is changed/flushed every time the browser is started (or on demand).
Apple grounds AirPort once and for all. It has departed. Not gonna fly any more. The baggage is dropped off...
Re: What happens to Time Machine?
@ JaimieV "You can point multiple Macs at one destination TM target. Each Mac creates its own sparsebundle to backup into. They cope with the inevitable running out of space okay."
I agree on the first point as I have three MacBooks (Pro/Pro/Air) pointing at a single Time Machine target on an old Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (v1 Sparc) and they all coexist happily. The only thing I'd disagree on is the running out of space gracefully. It's fine if they back up one at a time as if the space gets low they clear up their own Sparsebundle accordingly. If more than one is backing up at the same time and the space runs out they deal with it by throwing all their toys out the pram and dumping their entire Sparsebundle as corrupt taking the full backup history with it.
Apart from this aspect I've found Time Machine on 3rd party NAS very reliable.
"Why he’d want to go from a stable, ethically-led company to the controversial world of Uber is anyone’s guess."
I'd guess $$$$ also (or even $$$$$$$$).
@HmmmYes "30 years ago, I would go and look stuff up at the library. Or ask a librarian. Now I google or Amazon. So does everyone else."
And that's why Libraries evolved at least in the places I have lived for the last 20 years. They offer internet access to those who need it and don't have it at home. They're also about more than books - yes you can borrow books (great if you can afford to buy every book you want but not everyone can) but they are also used as a community building that (among other things) offer events to get kids into reading, and a point of contact with your local authority if you need to discuss council services.
Personally, I don't use the local libraries now; I'm lucky that I can afford to buy rather than borrow the books I want to read and frankly I don't have time to read the ones I have bought without borrowing more. BUT I'm more than happy that libraries are funded by my taxes because I remember how much I enjoyed browsing and reading the books in my local library when I was younger and how that inspired me to pursue different interests as I got older (widening my horizons to interests I didn't even know existed), or just get a story book I hadn't read before.
Re: CEOs are fed up with their jobs being at risk because some programmer screwed something up
This aspect of the article goes on to say, "The liability issue makes technical debt a governance issue. "CEO jobs are on the line for something that they don't even begin to understand," Curtis points out."
Perhaps if CEOs spent a bit more time understanding how their fucking company achieves the things they bill customers for and less time on the golf course they would better appreciate what their Devs (and other employees) are up against. To moan about a CEO being blamed for something they don't understand and not holding the CEO at least mostly responsible for not understanding it in the first place is absolute bollocks.
I'm not saying a CEO in a business with many disciplines should be a crack kernel coder (nor VHDL author or whatever) but they should at least appreciate what coding involves and how Dev work their magic to write software. Only then will a CEO understand why cutting this corner or outsourcing that team causes pain far beyond saving a few beans.
At the end of the day the CEO is ultimately responsible for what happens (or not) in a company. If you, as CEO, can't explain why the merde hit the fan then it serves you right and don't let the door hit you on the arse as you leave.