* Posts by stizzleswick

371 posts • joined 25 Oct 2007

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

stizzleswick
Stop

@cyke1

"You as a customer can opt out of it and not have it."

The point is, really, that it should not be opt-out in the first place. Imagine buying a car which, by factory default, gives you about 5 mpg unless you opt-out (in writing, in triplicate, with a copy to the commissioner of whatever...), after which it will give you about 50 mpg. Would you accept that as proper business practice?

I didn't think so...

Opt-out deals should, in my personal opinion, not be allowed to even be offered. Many customers do not make the effort to go through all the tiny print and then call up their representative, fill in all the forms, send them in to the right department, and so on and so on.

If people want a service, they will be willing to opt-in. So let the providers offer opt-in stuff instead of basically trying to sell the whole boathouse to everybody who just wants a paddle.

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stizzleswick
Stop

Hope they win.

That is, I am assuming their contract does not state prominently and explicitly that by accepting the terms and conditions they have to accept hosting a public WiFi hotspot.

If that is not the case, I hope we get to see Comcast burn for this one. Because that's a no-go.

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11

Magnifico! Galileo satellite nudged back into correct orbit

stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: Failure or test scenario? @JeffyPoooh

" It implies a satellite to satellite link system."

Yup. The satellites are talking to one another. Helps a lot with calibration, too.

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stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: Failure or test scenario?

"Why not just turn it on and see if the system works with sats that are in such wonky orbits?"

Because "in such wonky orbits," unfortunately, the orbit is likely to be rather unstable, making constant re-calibration necessary. In the intended orbits, the satellites already up can help guide the other satellites into their proper spots, without constantly spending reaction mass that was originally intended to do course corrections for the next 10 years.

Basically, by right now spending approx. half of these two satellite's reaction fuel, they can save many times that for the (literally) up-coming satellites. The end result is most likely going to be that replacing these two birds earlier than planned is actually going to save the ESA some money. Sounds weird, but then again, this is Rocket Science ;) -- there are a couple of lessons available here (and the people at DASA are already working on them) which may make future additions to geolocation satellite systems more efficient.

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Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

stizzleswick
WTF?

"...which is important now that Windows tablets are commonplace,"

Commonplace? In which universe? I have not recently seen a single one in a work environment (except those used as iPad stands at NBC News). The last Windows-based tablet I actually saw in a work environment was an older HP job, roundabout 2008 or so, and only used because one piece of specialized, hospital-internal software could no longer be ported to anything else because the developer had died and taken the source code more or less with him.

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Europe may ask Herr Google: Would you, er, snap off your search engine? Pretty please

stizzleswick

@ AC two posts up

"Why would you want or expect to see results that include a page of results."

Bit of a misunderstanding there. I did not talk about results pages by other search engines, but actual result hits, like the mentioned videos posted at various sites not run by Google e.g.

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stizzleswick
Pint

Re: Euro Jealousy

Actually, most people doing a web search are indirectly forced to use Google. And Yahoo. And Bing. And so on. Because all major search engines cross-reference each other. Yahoo search checks back on Google. Bing is Yahoo anyway. AskJeeves uses both to get its results, and so on.

The problem here is the weighting of the results. Google naturally wants to promote its money-making divisions, so places its own services higher up in the result listing even if they are less relevant than other companies' services. You will hardly ever do a search through Google and find Vimeo's or other online video service's items placed before YouTube offerings, even if they are clearly more relevant to the search, and the Google-internal results are often "optimised" so that any search results hosted by other companies are off the first page of results.

Most people don't even look at the second page at all. So the contention here is that Google is using its market-leading position by using simple psychology to generate more business for itself to the detriment of other companies.

If you look at the underlying situation, telling people "if you don't like it don't use it" does not work, because the average computer user does not even know there are alternatives to using Google, as evidenced by people actually saying they are going to "google" something when in fact they mean to say they are going to do a web search. Google has bought its way into many software/browser suppliers' standard search engine spot. The readership of El Reg is not anywhere near the average end-user, mind you.

Much like Microsoft promoted Internet Exploder in the 1990s by chucking it in with Windows and NT as a non-uninstallable component and pre-installed web browser, the mechanism at work is that most people simply use what is pre-installed and don't even consider the possibility that they are being ripped off. It came with the computer/browser, it works for most people's purposes (finding stuff on the 'net), and that's it.

With this, I find it nice to see that the Mozilla foundation are switching to a different default search engine, though I would personally prefer all browser suppliers to offer the user a choice of standard search engines on first use of the browser, much like Microsoft has been forced to do with browser choices for all version of Windows to be sold within the EU.

Once more, the problem is that the market position of Google is such that most people don't even know there is an alternative; the EU, if I understand it correctly, wants to find a way to remedy that. Whether the proposal discussed in the article will achieve that, I severely doubt, but it is a beginning.

Hey... Saturday already -- time for a beer.

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Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking

stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: @Iagaba, road bowling

Actually, you are right, and there is a similar game in Scotland, too. It all has to do with the availability of pub meals featuring kale, and, of course, imbibing irresponsible amounts of high spirits (pun intended)... historically, it may have been a way to build up good spirits (in the psychological sense) during the dark time of the year while at the same time getting in lots of vitamin C (from Kale, which has lots of it, as well as other healthy stuff, and is only available in winter). These days, unfortunately, at least in northern Germany, the Boßeln tournaments are usually reduced to just getting to the nearest pub as quickly as possible to then get stuffed and sauced...

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stizzleswick
Boffin

@Chris Miller

William's mention of Bosseln means that he is in the northwest, probably near the North Sea coast. That sport is a favourite all along that coast all the way up to Denmark, and inland in Frisia and the Emsland (just north of the Dutch border).

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This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

stizzleswick
Joke

Re: Please

Nope. Playmobil, or it didn't happen.

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Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE

stizzleswick
Headmaster

"Had a 500gig Quantum Fireball HDD too."

No you didn't. The largest Fireball was 60 GB. Smallest was 1 GB.

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Dear Reg readers. I want Metro tiles to replace ALL ICONS in Windows. Is this a good idea?

stizzleswick
Headmaster

Re: There are lies ...

"Hmmm: 13+84=100 votes cast. So that's either a 13% approval or an 84% disapproval rating depending on which way you want to spin it."

Surely you mean 16+84=100 etc.

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SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis

stizzleswick
Headmaster

Re: What a total rip-off!

"[...] that SpaceX can do a launch for, at best figure for an Atlas V, 3 times less [...]"

You mean to say that SpaceX can offer a launch and pay NASA back twice the amount Boeing are asking? (or do you mean, one third the price...)

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Fedora gets new partition manager

stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: Is there an option to have more than one partition?

Yes, there is. If you choose manual disc setup during installation with most distributions, you get the option to have any of the branches you mentioned in its own partition. Or any other you'd like to get out of the system tree.

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Facebook needs to defend Austrian privacy violation case

stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: Data wasn't transferred to the US

"[...] data was never transferred to the US. It has only ever existed in the US [...]"

Yes, the data was transferred to the U.S. When data is being accumulated by the likes of Facebook from an entity (e.g., a user) being at that time outside of the U.S. and added to a database being handled from inside the U.S., then that data is transferred. After all, Bacefook does have more than enough servers outside the U.S. to handle all data from its non-U.S. users, but prefers to collate its databases inside the U.S.

I don't blame them for that as such; after all they have to please their shareholders. But can you guess why I'm not using their services and probably never will?

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Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico

stizzleswick

Re: The good news, of course, being...

Where you're right, you're right. Hence, I have withdrawn my earlier post, though it was not meant completely seriously. Should have used a more appropriate icon, maybe :P

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Not a load of Tosh: 5TB 'surveillance drive' from Toshiba hits shelves

stizzleswick
FAIL

Re: Anyone considering buying a Toshiba drive would do well to review their warranty...

@joeW: the point being that with certain other manufacturers, you rarely need to rely on warranty.

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'POWER from AIR' backscatter tech now juices up Internet of Stuff Wi-Fi gizmos

stizzleswick
Boffin

@DNTP Re: Available Power

"Who is running this thing anyway?"

I think Oracle are, at this time...

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DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

stizzleswick

Re: Sad

Correct; a 2-year warranty has to be given free of charge. Not all customers, however, are aware of that...

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D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

stizzleswick

Re: I think I know what's up

I just hope it's not Schrödinger's computer.

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Adobe all smiles as beret bods spaff cash on non-cloud Creative Suite

stizzleswick

Having been in Pre-Press for a long time...

...I find Adobe have lost the ball with their move to subscription-only. For most purposes in Pre-Press, GIMPshop (which is based on the GIMP, but can do CMYK colours--a must-have in Pre-Press!!!), Scribus (which lacks some of Quark XPress' and InDesign's features but stacks up extremely well against anything else on the market--think PageMaker 7 meets VistaDesigner) and Inkscape do the job, with one single lack, and that is interoperability. No drag-and-drop from one to the other etc., which is the thing that made the CS dominate the market.

Mind, for me, that is not a problem because I'm not in pre-press any longer. I use those three applications for my own purposes, plus for my photography work, Aperture, which takes more than enough care of the tasks I used to do with Photoshop.

Half a decade back, I had to buy the CS4 for business reasons. Guess that will remain the final version of Adobe's products I'll ever buy.

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Hubble Telescope loosens Kuiper belt to reveal ICY BODY for NASA boffins' PROBE

stizzleswick

I would love those, too, esp. to explore the atmospheres of those two extreme bodies, plus a few other interesting features including the likes of Mimas. Mind, depending on the incoming results of New Horizons, there might be another New Frontiers-level mission forthcoming which does either a tour or takes on Neptune. Or ESA finally decides to do a stand-alone deep-space mission and sends some serious materiel out there. The Huygens lander proved they have the know-how.

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stizzleswick
Boffin

"[...]...why Pluto? [...] say, one of Jupiter's or Saturn's moons that may or may not contain an ocean. The asteroid belt has some some interesting objects. [...]"

At the time New Horizons was planned, there were already missions either on their way or being planned (and on their way by now) that target all of those objectives. The Dawn mission is checking on the Main Belt (particularly, Vesta and Ceres, but the spacecraft does the occasional sideways glance on the way), Cassini/Huygens is still busy in between Saturn and its moons, there is a lander mission being planned for Europa, and so on.

Pluto, being a potential KBO, is the nearest such that we know of, and the entire Kuiper Belt is a rather unexplored place which probably holds a lot of insights into how our solar system came together, so it's a logical area to explore.

Personally, I wish the funding for the originally planned Kuiper Express probe would have come together; the potential scientific gains would have been far larger, but there you go, NASA doesn't get the kind of funding they actually need.

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Readers' choice: What every small-business sysadmin needs

stizzleswick
Pint

Most useful thing I've had...

...over the last 15 years was and remains the Victorinox Cybertool. Has everything one needs to (literally) screw around with hardware. At one place, they used to call me the "walking toolbox" because I always had the right screwdriver/tongs/scissors/uninsulator/etc. in my pocket. Plus, it features a bottle opener... cheers :)

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Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

stizzleswick
Pint

Buffalo-based system

Similar situation for me, so I figure I'll just post my home/office (I mostly work from home...) setup.

Based around a Buffalo NAS/media box, 4 discs, RAID 0+1. The box, besides being a file server, also offers various media and streaming services, including iTunes media and various standards fit for "smart" TVs. Connected to my in-house network via gigabit Ethernet.

The upper floor is wired; I have an 802.11 ac wireless bridge to downstairs, which floor again is wired. Living room: huge Samsung TV (can get HD/3D video from the box on its own) with a 3D/surround theatre box underneath which is connected to the intranet. Sitting room: much smaller, cheap-o smart TV, also no player needed. Upstairs, one workstation has surround sound and 24" screens, so that works just fine with the VLC playing anything the NAS can throw at it.

The NAS box supports ACLs for access control; those can be set up on an inclusion (only the following are allowed...) or exclusion (everybody except...) basis. For backup, I have set the box up to automatically do its backups onto an attached USB drive, and to another, rather more basic NAS sitting in the basement, via Ethernet. That may seem excessive to some, but my primary NAS holds not only video and audio, but also all my work and customer data, which I'd rather not accidentally lose.

I have one workstation equipped with DVB-T reception and occasionally record broadcasts; those are saved as h.264 videos on the box and are therefore available anywhere in the house immediately after recording finishes.

That said, I think I'll sit back with a cold one and enjoy a movie...

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Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog

stizzleswick
Black Helicopters

Re: What ho!

@nanchatte: so you say you're not on the programme, too?

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Big Yellow loses its head... again: Symantec, we need to talk

stizzleswick

I agree with Irongut, there.

Don't Buy Software That Comes in Yellow Boxes.

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Reporters without Borders confirms, yes, lots of nations are spying on their citizens

stizzleswick
Black Helicopters

Re: Bit confused here....

"Yet any other country [...] would probably have shut down such newspapers, imprisoned the owners and probably shot the journalists."

And the U.S. didn't try to shut Snowden down?!?

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166 days later: Space Station astronauts return to Earth

stizzleswick
Pint

Re: Taking the air?

I think it works... after all they do take some air along with them ;)

No compressed air bottle icon, so I'll use the next most important thing...

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Space-junk RAYGUN wins Australian government funding

stizzleswick
Happy

Re: About bloody time...@annodomini2

Exactly what I was thinking there; thank you for clarifying where I failed to do so in my original comment. Have an upvote :)

@Graham Marsden: I had not been aware of that series, but yup, that's the general idea! (and, of course, also have an upvote for pointing out the Prior Art here :P )

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stizzleswick
Thumb Up

About bloody time...

...that somebody actually does something about space junk.

Personally, I would like to have an international co-operation that agrees to de-orbit or otherwise eliminate anything in orbit that is not registered. So, a piece of space junk, be it defunct TV satellite or non-registered spy satellite, would be tracked, the orbital and any other obtainable data posted for six months at a central registry site, and if nobody claims the object within that time, get it the hell outta there.

We (mankind) have been able to shoot garbage into space for far less than a century, yet there is an incredible amount of stuff up there that serves absolutely no purpose, but makes it more and more hazardous to place anything else in Earth orbit, and that "anything" includes humans.

Come to think of it, I figure it would also be fair that the companies or organisations that put the junk up there in the first place be billed for its removal. They could have planned and engineered for de-orbiting or otherwise removing their scrap metal once it became such, after all, but obviously didn't, leaving it to others to clean up after them.

Maverick thought here: there are a lot of very valuable resources in various Earth orbits. Rare Earth metals, gold, other precious materials which have already been refined to usability so would be relatively easy to recycle at a much lower cost than that of originally refining them. I wonder whether it would become feasible, once the various private space ventures manage to get an affordable ground-to-orbit transport together, to "mine" disused satellites?

Just an idea.

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Mt Gox fielded MASSIVE DDOS attack before collapse

stizzleswick
Boffin

The headline is rather misleading...

...since in military parlance, "fielding" something means bringing it into combat. So the headline "Mt Gox fielded MASSIVE DDOS attack before collapse" (emphasis added by commentard) implies that Mt Gox itself started a DDOS attack, not that it was the subject of one.

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Bitcoin bank Flexcoin pulls plug after cyber-robbers nick $610,000

stizzleswick
FAIL

Re: I do wonder

"How many of these BitCoin banks/exchanges hired security/network/web admins who had formerly worked for a real bank or some other secure entity?"

What makes you think that the regulated banks are in any way more secure?!?

I have a few acquaintances among the people working in that area, and from what they tell me, the "security" in "regular" banking is hair-raisingly, and notoriously, bad!

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India launches its very own VIKASPEDIA

stizzleswick

Re: Wonder where the Indians outsource to. China?

Well, the URL I quoted shows conclusively that you were re-routed using anonymouse. All I suggest is that you turn that off to acces this one site. *shrug* What more can I say?

Mind, I'm not blaming anonymouse in any way; good service there. But obviously, this Indian site does not like it... and as already said, the anonymouse-re-routed URL gave me the same error message you quoted in your original post. The non-re-routed URL got me there first time.

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stizzleswick
FAIL

Re: Wonder where the Indians outsource to. China?

Maybe your problem has something to do with the URL you are targeting:

"http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://vikaspedia.in/" -- quoted from your previous post. Try the same thing without the anonymouse bit, maybe? Because that gives me an error page, too, and that isn't much of a surprise for me...

Mind, they may be filtering for anonymouse and/or TOR; they are certainly not filtering for country...

Plain "http://vikaspedia.in" works fine for me, anyway.

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stizzleswick
Linux

Re: Wonder where the Indians outsource to. China?

I've had no problems accessing the site; everything looked fine to me. Took a relatively long time for the first load, though. Using current Firefox with Adblock Plus and Ghostery on Linux.

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Microsoft may pick iPad for first release of Fondleslab Office™

stizzleswick
Coat

Honestly, I wouldn't be...

...interested in anything that had Visual Bollocks support... VBA being one of the major problems I have encountered whenever I was administering Windows-based networks. The less VBA, the better. And yes, go ahead and flame me. I am fully aware that an incredible number of companies survive on VBA script-gloms, and of the size of some of those companies--the fact that some of those companies basically live and die by VBA is rather scary to me. My point being that they should switch to proper programming and let go of their main source of hackability.

Mine's the one with the LibreOffice print on it...

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California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

stizzleswick
FAIL

Funny old thing...

Back when I was forced to get my first cellphone because of my job at the time, the thing was the size of a brick and could actually be turned into one by calling the supplier's hotline in case it was stolen. That was in 1994. The thing couldn't do text messages or anything, really, other than making phone calls... but you could have it bricked.

The question I have is why current "smart"phone manufacturers do not offer that feature today, since obviously it is trivial enough to have been implemented 20 years ago on a budget cellphone.

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Twitter may sue US government over right to disclose snooping orders

stizzleswick
Coat

To get around the muzzling orders...

...the solution would be simple, really: move headquarters out of the U.S. Heck, move the entire business out of the U.S; that's the good thing about the internet: it does not matter where you are based except maybe for tax reasons. So, if Twitter were based in, say, France, let's see what happens if/when the NSA demands to get free access to user data w/o notice to the public. Could be worth a few chuckles. Or move the headquarters to Sealand; that might yield some interesting actions, too...

In the long run, if U.S. data-collectors like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, etc. were to move their headquarters out of the U.S. in order to evade the IMHO ludicrous way the rights of their users are being mishandled there, this would have a rather heavy impact on the U.S. economy. I wonder how long it would take, in that case, for the U.S. Senate to finally get on the job it is currently neglecting, i.e., overseeing the secret services...

Check, please... mine's the anonymised coat...

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Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

stizzleswick
Coat

Good riddance.

During the few years that I was admin in a Winslows Server-driven shop, InfoPath/SharePoint were the major bears I had to, er, bear administering (I managed to talk the management out of continuing with Hyper-V after a catastrophic failure brought on by a "security" update...). There are far better solutions out there which are far more flexible and easier to administer...

Go ahead. Flame me. Mine's the asbestos-lined one...

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Optical filters head to Germany for Solar Orbiter build

stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: Don't understand

"If the accuracy is 1/30th, why give us the wavelength down to 1/10000th?"

Simple. That is the nominal wavelength the filter was designed for. The accuracy is + or - one thirtieth nanometer. So, we have a theoretical value for what we're shooting at, and the accuracy is, as said, plus or minus one thirtieth nm. Meaning that while the design value is accurate down to 1/10000th, the actual value achieved may be anywhere near there within plus or minus those 1/30th nm.

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stizzleswick
Boffin

Re: Interesting, but

Er... nope. Solar irradiation is a major factor for several reasons, including generation of atmospheric water vapour, which is a greenhouse gas. So is methane, which is about 20 times more efficient than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

Mind you, the quote from the article was not about global warming models, but about climate models. I.e., what they use to make long-term weather forecasts, among other things.

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

stizzleswick
FAIL

Most efficient in a class of one

"which is touted as the most fuel-efficient airliner in its class." -- that should be all right, since until the A350 starts being delivered later this year (hopefully), it is the only airliner in its class, making this kind of distinction rather easy to obtain.

What I do not understand is why Boeing are not learning lessons from their previous failure (i.e., the well-publicised battery desaster). Part of the reason for the delays of the A350 is that EADS are checking their options on what can be done safely concerning fuels, batteries, etc.; maybe Boeing should take the time, too. Costly, yes. But necessary, it seems.

Oh well... I'm only a lowly technical editor writing operating and repair manuals (obviously not for Boeing... or EADS--need a good TE, you guys, I'm available...) with an engineering background. But until you've fixed your plane, I won't get on it...

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Chinese Moon rover, lander duo wake up after two-week snooze

stizzleswick
Joke

"According to the old stories, the rabbit is constantly pounding herbs on the lunar surface to give to the gods."

Wonder what "herbs" those are, considering the gods' recent behaviour...

</joke>

Seriously, well done those guys. Here's hoping for a lot more pix and data from lander and rover--cheers!

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Asteroid-hunting beauty AWAKENS, takes cheeky snaps of neighbours

stizzleswick
Boffin

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

Quick check on Wikipedia; source link to NEOWISE official homepage followed, hence to this press release giving the reason for the hibernation:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2011-031

To cut a long story short, they couldn't think of anything for NEOWISE to do after its extended primary mission was over, so put it to sleep until they could think of something.

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Facebook to BLAST the web with AUTO-PLAYING VIDEO ads

stizzleswick

No I don't think servers etc. are free. But I don't use facebook either, so... *shrug*

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Microsoft: Anonymous hacktivists DDoSed us? Really?

stizzleswick
Joke

Considering MS' track record with such statements...

...it probably wasn't a DDOS, it was a feature.

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