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* Posts by Steve Foster

538 posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

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ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones

Steve Foster
Alert

Re: Hypothetical situation:

I rather think the answer would be to equip your garden with a big ole' water sprinkler, and if the drone happens to get in the (ahem) "line of fire", that'd hardly be your fault!

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: its all made of serial....

Ah, did you mean:

It's serial all the way down...

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SHARE 'N' SINK: OneDrive corrupting Office 2013 files

Steve Foster
Joke

Makes a nice change...

...from Office 2013 corrupting Office 2013 documents.

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Russia: SEXY LIZARDS which landed FROM SPACE are all DEAD

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Geckos! Frozen Geckos!

From CMOT Barnes? Probably bacon.

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

Steve Foster

Text Explained

This article explains why I received an apology SMS from EE this morning.

Not that I'd noticed the problem, mind you, as I tend to use my phone data as backup for when I'm not otherwise connected.

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Steve Foster

Re: Where???

If you take that sentence fragment by itself, it means nothing.

But the original sentence reads correctly (if a little awkwardly). Adding some emphasis might help to make the meaning clearer:

"We posted hourly updates on the T-Mobile data issues all day on Friday for customers with repeated apologies."

ie the updates posted hourly on Friday contained apologies as well as being about the data issues.

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Six of the best gaming keyboard and mouse combos

Steve Foster

Re: One True Mouse

The Intellimouse Explorer 2 is indeed (in my view) an excellent mouse, and I have several in use. But they do have one key flaw - the USB connector wiring cable is rather weak, and liable to break with anything more than very light desktop use.

I did pick up a batch directly from the Microsoft Store a couple of years ago, but I'm down to the last few.

My main PC has the bluetooth variant, which avoids the cabling flaw (along with the matching MS keyboard), but that has also been discontinued (indeed, decent bluetooth keyboard/mouse combos seem incredibly rare). And mine is getting rather worn (the battery covers are held on with sellotape & blutack), and I'm dreading the day they finally pack up completely.

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Steve Foster
Holmes

Re: "generally inappropriate use of matrix signs"

Ah yes, these should be reserved for messages that are actually reasonably important and relevant to a motorway driver.

There are a number of pointless "propaganda" messages that do not generally meet those criteria, and turn the signs into a distraction (and again inspire Craigie's Pavlovian response).

Examples include "Don't Drink and Drive", "Congestion Stay In Lane" (when the variable speed limit indicators on the same gantry are already active) and "X minutes to <significant junction>" (these are minorly useful, but not really important enough, IMHO, to justify putting them up).

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Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: "Red X on tunnel"

Of course, because using the Lane Closed sign for "Queue Ahead" is so obvious!

Incompetent use of the available tools partly explains why idiots like Craigie exist (that and the safety features of modern cars militate against Darwin).

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Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs

Steve Foster
Pint

Happiness loves company

Don't worry, you're not the only one who has not had their valuable time wasted (thereby leaving it free for more useful things [see icon]).

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Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: BTFO yet again

And yet #think! how much #worse! #things! could be if #Yahoo! had #invented! the #hashtag!

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Still using e-mail? Marketers say you're part of DARK SOCIAL

Steve Foster

Re: Telephone Tracking

Would that be the one with the stupid and utterly pointless "corporate whalesong" rebrand that (temporarily) went titsup recently?

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Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics

Steve Foster

Re: Intel 5200 at 4K?

I recently replaced an HD5450 in my mATX case with a R7, which is (I understand) about as far as it's possible to go with ATI^H^HMD graphics in low profile at a reasonable price.

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BSkyB eyes up Uncle Rupert's telly channels in Germany and Italy

Steve Foster
Big Brother

"Media Plurality Concerns"

Hmmm, seems more likely that a reduced Murdoch influence (currently he has 100% of Sky DE & IT, and this would be cut to an indirect 40% [via his BSkyB stake]) would be seen as a positive move.

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GOV.UK push in action: Er, FEWER Brits filling out govt forms online

Steve Foster

Re: Convoluted registration

Oh my, yes. Whereas the old paper VAT return had just 7 boxes to fill, and a space to squiggle a signature at the bottom (I must admit I was surprised that they never tried to redesign the form, given how beautifully straight-forward it was).

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Steve Foster

Re: Just what am I supposed to be doing online?

"What am I meant to be doing every 3 months?"

I suspect it's mostly businesses and employers that are being forced into using gov.uk this frequently (or more), as VAT returns now have to be done electronically, and so does PAYE.

(don't get me started on the "we did nothing" reporting that now has to be done for PAYE if you don't pay someone - WTF is the point of PAYE RTI if we have to do this as well???)

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London Tube has new stop at Azure Station

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: So what are the 'things'

I think you'll find it's actually "Intransigence of T'unions".

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Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics

Steve Foster
Mushroom

Re: A blue LED indicates the light is on

So that when you have a blown bulb, you know what state the circuit is in (and can avoid that "argh, I'm blind" moment when a new bulb is fitted).

(the closest icon for indicating a classic "lightbulb" moment that I could find)

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Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters

Steve Foster

Re: Do people still use ISP email accounts these days?

Lots of "ordinary" punters do, yes. Often for business purposes too! (it's not uncommon to see tradesfolk with aol.com/hotmail.com or similar cheaply stencilled on their vans)

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Steve Foster
Alert

Re: Spam

And increasingly, legitimate small businesses like mine are finding that the likes of Google will silently blacklist us in ways that make it impossible for us to know whether a single person to person email will be received. (yes, right now, if I send a genuine email that the recipient wants and their email is hosted by Google [such as virgin.net], there's a good chance it won't get there, yet I won't know that [until the client and I are in contact via some other means])

It's a bloody nuisance.

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Electronic kit low on juice? SPIT ON IT

Steve Foster
Joke

Hmmm...

...seems they have that problem licked then.

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AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

Steve Foster

Re: Diminshing returns

I just dropped £50 for an R7 (having previously had a 5450, though that had to be hijacked for a new Esxi box I was building). And I thought that was pushing the boat out somewhat!

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Overland Storage in fiendish reverse stock split share value ploy

Steve Foster
Headmaster

"reverse stock split"

Oh, you mean a consolidation.

(I'm getting a sense of deja vu that I've seen and commented on similar butchery of the english language in a story like this in the past)

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The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed

Steve Foster

Re: TeamViewer

Yes, W7 does come with Remote Assistance. And RA provides a better experience (than TeamViewer, IME) for the person providing assistance when it works. But I've also found it to be much less reliable at connecting than TeamViewer - particularly if the remote site is bandwidth-constrained (as is apparently the case here). So I tend to use TeamViewer by default, because it just works.

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Beastie Boys settle with toy maker over Girls copyright dispute

Steve Foster
WTF?

Re: Who sued who?

Well, I could live with the pink, but Meccano made out of plastic? WTF? That really is outrageous.

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Wackadoo DIYers scissor-kick beatboxer

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: happy birthday www

What do you expect from a principally "dead tree" publication?

(is that on the list now, I wonder... hmmm, doesn't appear to be)

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Boffins demo FIVE MICRON internal combustion engine

Steve Foster
Joke

@David W.

Don't you mean Formula 0.00000000001 ?

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Steve Foster

@roytrubshaw

"You mean you know of an IKEA store where you can actually pay for stuff before your credit/debit card has expired?"

There are two key items of knowledge for successfully visiting an Ikea store in less than three lifetimes:

a) where the internal shortcuts are (so that you aren't forced to circumnavigate the building), and

b) never, under any circumstances, visit after 4pm or on a weekend.

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Samsung brandishes quad-core Galaxy S5, hopes nobody wants high specs

Steve Foster

Silly Question...

I still have an S2. It does what I need. Why would/should I upgrade? (this isn't necessarily aimed at the S5 per se, but the latest crop of phones in general)

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Dr Hurricane unleashes FUSION POWER at Livermore nuke lab

Steve Foster
Joke

Timescale?

Hmmm, so I guess that practical fusion power is now, what, say 20 years away?

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Bletchley Park spat 'halts work on rare German cipher machine'

Steve Foster

@AC

And there used to be a model railway group, sited between the Polish memorial, the codebreakers huts and TNMOC (and the Harrier when that was there too).

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It's big, it's expensive and it's an audiophile's dream: The Sonos Sub

Steve Foster
Flame

Re: Dream? Nightmare more like.

"proper wire"

Ah, made from de-oxygenated copper, right? Or is it oxygenated, I can never remember.

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Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

Steve Foster

Re: It's not just about websites though is it?

«Take my work; every 28 days I'm instructed to "change my password for my security"»

The default in Windows domains is 42 days. I usually push that out to 90 days or so (it's a reasonable compromise for the environments I'm normally managing).

There are a couple of valid reasons for requiring regular password changes - a) if someone leaves and IT isn't informed (no, really, it does occasionally happen!), the password expiry should limit exposure[1], and b) it discourages users from password-reuse (in the same-password-everywhere sense).

[1] assuming supporting secure policies are in place (such as preventing remote changes of expired passwords).

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Steve Foster
Boffin

Re: Seeing the password

"The fact that the entered password is only seen as a string of ******* doesn't help either."

The theory goes that this provides protection against shoulder-surfing. I suspect that this is less of an issue than previously thought (and those keen observers can probably achieve the same result by finger-watching).

This seems to be being belatedly recognised - I've seen a number of places where the user can now opt to show passwords as they're typed (for example, when connecting to WiFi networks in recent versions of Windows).

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Nearly 1 in 5 of UK's Xmas gifts were bought online... not that it helped

Steve Foster
Happy

Re: Imagine how much better it could be

Conversely, in the run up to Christmas, I placed an order with eBuyer on Fri 19th, with next (working) day delivery, and received confirmation that my goods would be delivered on Monday 23rd.

So when the courier rang my doorbell on Saturday 20th, I nearly missed him because I wasn't expecting the delivery.

Not only that, but when I didn't answer (because I hadn't heard the bell), he knocked on the door as well, and was trying next door as I did belatedly get to the front door. And this was Yodel (formerly HDN).

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BT 118 phone number fee howler lands telco giant with £225k fine

Steve Foster
Holmes

@Boldman

I think you'll find that it's actually BT's best effort at helpfulness.

It's just their incredible level of incompetent boobery that makes it look like obfuscation.

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Steve Foster
WTF?

@AC

"much easier and quicker to get someone else to text you the correct number than searching the net for it"

Really? In the time it would take to "phone a friend" and have them search, I've probably found the number, dialled it and dealt with the automated "press 1 for sales, 2 for accounts, ..." and reached a human being who isn't authorised to solve my problem.

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Steve Foster
Facepalm

@Blue Eyed Boy

192 was abolished in the name of competition (it was perceived that simply allowing other operators to offer equivalent services was not good enough, when everyone "knew" 192).

Personally, with the rise in ubiquity of the internet in your pocket, I'd expect the overall income across all the 118 operators to be falling off a cliff.

In much the same way that Hibu (yes, really), the owners of Yellow Pages, have recently gone into administration (their corporate rebranding can't have helped).

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Dusty old supernova could reveal answer to life, the universe and EVERYTHING

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Ah, the vagaries of time...

"159,980 years ago".

IOW, there's fashionably late, and then there's taking the piss.

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Bay Area plots Googlebus tax after local residents riot

Steve Foster
Boffin

House Calls?

The logical response from the tech companies running these shuttles would be to arrange to collect from workers private residences instead, and not use the public bus stops at all. Then they won't have to pay the local authority fees (they may still need to pay something to the workers whose residential parking they "borrow" instead).

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Seagate's LaCie whips out bonkers posh silver-plated storage ball

Steve Foster
Joke

Get two

...and you can spend all day polishing your balls.

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Steve Foster
Holmes

Re: Still and expensive 1tb

LaCie always was expensive.

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Fasthosts goes titsup after storm-induced power outage

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Has anyone checked whether there was a power outage in Gloucester?

"(On the other hand, we are talking about FastHosts...)"

Ah, yes, for "datacentre", read "cupboard under the stairs in minion's house".

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IBM spends holiday season wrangling e-tail FAIL

Steve Foster
Facepalm

CV Writing...

"whoever designed and tended the myer.com.au disaster recovery plan is about to revise their curriculum vitae."

Whoever chose to implement a site upgrade/change just ahead of a known high utilisation phase is also likely to need to do that.

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Asteroid-hunting beauty AWAKENS, takes cheeky snaps of neighbours

Steve Foster
Boffin

Re: What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?

Have an upvote, as I was wondering the same thing. (and one for the other commentard posting on similar lines)

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Winklevoss: I have put my MOUTH where my MONEY IS

Steve Foster
Headmaster

Re: You got an ologist

Well, of course, it was an "ology" for Maureen.

Obligatory YouTube link.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

Steve Foster
Devil

Re: OK

and the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the LibDem Party web sites (etc, etc, ad infinitum).

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Steve Foster

Re: Off to read my BT contract

Andrews & Arnold have publically stated that they are unwilling to install filters of any kind. I'm very glad that I have my business lines with A&A.

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How the UK's national memory lives in a ROBOT in Kew

Steve Foster
Mushroom

@Martin Budden

Of course, the minimum ratio for the brandy is 5:1. That's 5 parts to the chef, and one to the pudding. Any less and you're definitely doing it wrong.

(icon demonstrating what happens when the lit match is applied at the table)

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Steve Foster
Trollface

@phuzz

In general, pretty much any pudding made by someone else for you is "the best" (bread-and-butter pudding being the notable exception of course).

And for anyone else contemplating stepping into this one, desserts are right out.

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