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* Posts by John H Woods

1349 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

John H Woods
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Re: People don't mind sex and violence as much on TV...

>>F*ing wall to wall Big Brother, TOWIE and HoneyBollockBoo. FFS.

I appreciate the sentiment, but would advise you to look harder and record, and to use on-demand. Really I never watch live TV - it's just 700 channels of rubbish. But 10s of hours of good quality television is broadcast per week, plenty to keep you occupied: you just have to find it, and you wont find it by channel surfing the dross that is being broadcast at any particular time.

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Top ten car gadgets: Get your motor running with new shiny-shiny

John H Woods
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Thanks for finding the mount ...

... a cheap smartphone will do the rest. My almost disposably cheap LG Optimus 3 can just about run a map app (Google or OSM offline), a radio app (Jango or TuneIn+) - or music off the SD card, a dashcam app (Autoguard BlackBox) and a wifi hotspot simultaneously. It does need a high current USB cable tho :-)

That's less than £50 for the phone, less than £20 on apps and less than £30 on mount and cable -- the dedicated hardware is increasingly unable to cut it against the vast economies of scale applicable to landfill Android.

The only thing I need to add when driving older vehicles is a cigarette lighter bluetooth receiver with a 3.5mm output which, in extremis, can be plugged into one of those fake cassette things when the car doesn't even have an audio input.

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

John H Woods
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"It's actually a very good idea and something I've been looking forward to for a while."

No need to look forward to it - I've been using Tasker on Android to ensure that my screen lock is disabled whenever my phone can see my local wifi. I have no problem with the 'idea' at all, but patenting it is a problem, it isn't nearly novel or non-obvious enough.

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Journal that published Facebook emoto-furtle study: Proper boffins get CONSENT

John H Woods
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Hardly anyone has mentioned that ...

... the research was also crap: for instance they were using automated emotion scoring of posts using tools (LIWC, I think) that are only considered reliable for longer texts.

It seems a shame to make such a massive ethical cock-up for such a weak result. Or maybe it's just karma.

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Power BI: Office 365 just got more intelligent

John H Woods
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Re: Wikipedia? Really?

"There are good reasons why academics and professionals don't use Wikipedia"

I think you are confusing 'use' and 'cite'. Citing Wikipedia as a reference is almost as stupid as ignoring it entirely. By all means, treat it with scepticism - but you should everything with scepticism. I have even had to deal with people quoting papers as having authority because "they are proper scientific papers in Arxiv" without seeming to realise that they are preprints (and therefore have had possibly less peer review than if they'd been in Wikipedia).

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What a whopper, LG: Feast your eyes on this 77-inch bendy TV

John H Woods
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more excited about the gamut than the pixels ...

Don't really understand the value of 4K on 77" - my kids have HD projected onto 100" and you can't see pixels at an appropriate viewing distance. Colour gamut - and perhaps frame rate - is where the quality will be most noticeable for anything but the vastest screens.

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

John H Woods
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Re: Bane of my life

This pdf about how "Shadow IT" (notably Excel) harms business is now nearly a decade old. Yet I still work with many clients who suffer the debilitating disease.

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US Supreme Court: Duh, obviously cops need a warrant to search mobes

John H Woods
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Re: cant this be solved

In the UK you would be committing another offence by refusing to reveal the password.

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Freeze, Glasshole! Stop spying on me at the ATM

John H Woods
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Re: I prefer the infra-red camera trick

Possible countermeasure - heat keypad to 37C.

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'World’s dumbest' suspect collared in Facebook sting

John H Woods
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Re: Elephant in the room

"Why didn't he knick the PC?"

ITYM "nick" unless perhaps it's lingerie theft.

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Study of Brit students finds TXTING doesn't ruin your writing

John H Woods
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My teenagers ...

... all use full english, and so do their friends. In my experience it is those in their 40s, who were in their 20s when txt spk was necessary, who still use this antiquated form of message compression.

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Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

John H Woods
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Bad news ...

... for friends of Alistair McGowan

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iFind: Critics slam Kickstarter campaign for miraculous battery-free phone finder

John H Woods
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Re: Bah!

They worked fine - if you remember their purpose was to part idiots from (other people's) money.

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Dutch firm passes the world's first e-spliff to the left hand side

John H Woods
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Re: So how does this work?

No idea whether it work, but maybe adding a bit of PEG400 to the PG/VG mixture would help with solubility issues?

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Microsoft ups OneDrive storage, slashes prices to match Google Drive

John H Woods
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Re: 2Gb file?

>>How many legally obtained files do you have that are over 2Gb?

A TrueCrypt container? A zip archive? Home video? There's dozens of possibilities.

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D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

John H Woods
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So are these D-Wave boxes fast ...

... until you observe them?

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Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

John H Woods
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Re: Factorial, not exponential

Correct. If f(n) is n! / a^n, then think about what f(n+1) is -- It gets bigger by a factor of (n+1)/a and therefore the growth of the factorial increasingly exceeds that of the exponential as n increases.

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Internet of Things fridges? Pfft. So how does my milk carton know when it's empty?

John H Woods
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Devil's advocate says...

... containers don't need to be smart if it scans in and out and the shelves have weight sensors. If it knows that you have taken a 1pt carton out, it got 595g lighter, and when you put it back in it only gets 205g heavier again, then it knows you've used 390ml milk and that you have 178ml left.

But I think it's more likely that your supermarket could tell you than that your fridge could: "Hey, John, you used to buy 2pts milk a day and one box of Cap'n Crunch a week but you haven't bought much milk recently, do you need more?"

This approach is still fallible, of course: "No thank you, Tesco, now that my sons are teenagers I just have milk piped from the local dairy. And when we run out of cereal I have to call Eddie Stobarts"

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POND SCUM shine a path to more efficient solar cells

John H Woods
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Re: Evolution works

Yes - but the flip side means that very efficient solar cells may be hard - there's always been a lot of evolutionary pressure on photosynthesis, but it's still not that efficient.

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How practical is an electric car in London?

John H Woods
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Re: Identification problem

"surely this would require all electric cars to have a BFO "E" stencilled on the bonnet in flourescent paint"

No, it would be done like the Congestion Charge in London - number plate recognition and checking in a database of those who've paid.

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CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

John H Woods
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Ruined it ...

Matt, you actually made sense in your previous post and presented a cogent argument. In this post you have reverted back to ad-hominems against everyone with whom you disagree. In contrast, there is some pretty decent conservative / (sometimes quite far) right-of-centre writing on El Reg, what with Tim, Andrew and Lewis, and they generally present a coherent view with which one who holds a differing perspective can engage -- and even in some cases be persuaded.

You are of course right that this is conjecture. However, your statement that this conjecture is "based on the paranoid dribblings of Internet wannabees" (whatever they are), along with your terms "Sheeple fantasies", "A$$nut" and "Snowjob", adds very little to your argument - I would say it detracts from it.

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Low-ball Salary Offers

John H Woods
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"We're offering £250/day"

"No problem, do you want me to work mornings or would you prefer afternoons?"

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Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and WINS PILE of CASH

John H Woods
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"

+form addressing is a very good tip, and I came here to say that too.

However, an awful lot of web forms regard '+' as an illegal character. Thank goodness for 10 minute mail.

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You've got two weeks to beat off Cryptolocker, GameoverZeus nasties

John H Woods
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Re: "encryption"

"compression followed by XORing with a 32 bit secret which is sent in plaintext by the server"

Wow, that is truly weird, after all the apparent effort in setting up botnets and C&C servers. So I'm guessing you would only need one unencrypted copy of any of the encrypted files, use a few different compression algorithms on it, and you'd soon have the key, even if they'd sent it securely.

I'd have paid up or given up, as I'd have been expecting to crack AES256 or something of that ilk.

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John H Woods
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Clicking links ...

Now, I'm probably going to risk downvotes here but ... I firmly believe you should be able to click a link without worrying. Otherwise what is the point of QR codes? URL shorteners? The reason why clicking some links causes problems is because there are still far too many vulnerabilities in browsers.

I should be able to point a pdf reader, graphics program, word processor or *browser* at any input whatsoever in perfect safety. The fact that I cannot tells me that software writers have been pissing away their time tweaking the interfaces and adding nice-to-have features rather than addressing the real purpose of these programs.

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'Failure is not an option... Never give up.' Not in Silicon Valley, mate

John H Woods
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"Not a great article ...

... or comparative analysis. Maybe the author was on a deadline. Maybe it was a side effect of something fun." -- Don Jefe

As is often the case with El Reg, the real insight sometimes has to wait until the comments, not the least your own. I shall bear the words of your mentor in mind when I come accross 'militarized' corporate-speak, as I have always found it quite jarring.

What fascinates me is what determines when a company can change tack, and do it successfully - I guess I'm thinking of cases like Nokia moving into mobile telecomms (and, it seems, your own company) - and when it results in a fatal split of focus. Even when a split is avoided the new direction may still end up with the company sliding into irrelevance and eventual failure. Is it mainly the foresight of those steering the organisation, or is it their luck?

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Google TOO WHITE and MALE, says HR boss, looking in mirror

John H Woods
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Re: The real story

I've said it before, but ...

Ethnic Origin: "African"

Margin comment: "Aren't we all?"

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John H Woods
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Re: HHHMMMNNN...

IMHO, the book is great, but this particular advice is not always right --- sometimes choosing someone on first impressions is the right thing to do: a receptionist, a salesperson, and a complaint handler, for instance, will pretty much be rated by all your customers on first impressions too.

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For your next privacy panic, look no further than vending machines

John H Woods
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"The problem is that technology is advancing far quicker than the laws governing it. Partly because of the speed of the developments, partly because of the slowness of bureaucracy but mostly I suspect because vested interests are far closer to the ears of our elected so-called representatives than the the electorate is."

The irony is that advancing technology like this is probably one of the few areas in which lawmakers need to be moderately active, as laws governing well established concepts like theft, assault and homicide have largely reached steady state. Yet they prefer to waste their time with endless tweaking -- or berating us about what we eat, drink or inhale.

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

John H Woods
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SMS Mobile phone for the hearing impaired.

Buy mobile phone; permanently divert all voice calls to answering service; switch answering service into 'holiday mode' (i.e. doesn't take messages) and change message to "thanks for calling me, but please send me a text instead".

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John H Woods
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Unhappy

Re: The females in the house have this request:

"self lowering toilet seat"

How about a device which detects when some barbarian is going to cover your entire bathroom with a fine mist of urine and reads them this message: "Do you think you're outdoors, seriously? Why are you lifting the seat, do you think it's ok to piss on the rim of the porcelain? If you're confident you won't, you won't need to lift the seat, will you?"

Honestly, if you think it's ok to piss standing up when you are in someone else's house, just try it in your own, turn off the lights, and go in there with a blacklight. Still feel happy about it? Toilet seats lift so you can clean them; that's all.

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Pirate Party runs aground in European Parliamentary elections

John H Woods
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In the UK ...

... democracy is a privilege afforded only to those who do not live in 'safe seat' constituencies.

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New XSS vuln hits eBay as rubbish passw0rds persist

John H Woods
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Re: Is it just me...

Indeed - the very first thing you learn when you start to understand cryptographic techniques is that you will never* be good enough to roll your own.

*obviously there's always a slim chance that you are a maths genius in their twenties, and maybe you will have a contribution to make in a decade or two

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Google: 'EVERYTHING at Google runs in a container'

John H Woods
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Re: Back to the Future?

^^ this is the paragraph that should have appeared at the front of the article :-) Thanks.

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IANA starts handing out recovered IPv4 addresses

John H Woods
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old but good...

xkcd:195

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Fanbois Apple-gasm as iPhone giant finally reveals WWDC lineup

John H Woods
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Re: You too can copywrite like a wanker...

POTW

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EBay, you keep using the word 'SECURITY'. I do not think it means what you think it means

John H Woods
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Just tried to change mine ...

... page not available due to high traffic (presumably of people changing their passwords)

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John H Woods
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Re: "eBay has reset everyone's passwords as a precaution"

me too. Is this an ebay.com vs ebay.co.uk difference?

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350 DBAs stare blankly when reminded super-users can pinch data

John H Woods
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Rouge DBA...

... I'm just loving that image

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Brits to vote: Which pressing scientific challenge should get £10m thrown at it?

John H Woods
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Re: A warning, not an incentive

This is my new stock response; many thanks.

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US giant NBC 'leaks' PRIVATE Amazon keys in Github Glenn gaffe

John H Woods
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Umm (2)

"... some poor project or IT guy just sent all of the keys to NBC’s servers to the wrong guy in one mistyped username"

Err, no. Those keys should never have been uploaded, unencrypted, in the first place, even if you know who all your GitHub users are; the mistake is a LOT bigger than mistyping a username.

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'Microsoft Research slides' show touch-enabled Office - report

John H Woods
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Re: I'm guessing whomever came up with this....

I agree. However, although I'm more a sort of open source guy than corporate by choice (though I have to be the opposite professionally) I feel compelled to point out that change-for-changes-sake is not purely corporate, otherwise we wouldn't have had the Gnome / Unity fiasco.

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'My house is on fire m8 lol' ... 911 texting tested in the US

John H Woods
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Yes ...

Poor Hannah Foster, for example ...

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Acer pair charged with insider trading for '$72k pre-results stock dump'

John H Woods
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Unhappy

Unless I missed something ...

... it looks even worse to me - by dumping $72,300 of stock just before it 'dived' 6.8%, they saved themselves less than $5000.

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LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

John H Woods
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Joke

Was it ...

... 65536 ft?

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94% of Brit tech bosses just can't get the staff these days, claims bank

John H Woods
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The problem:

"Worst of all, there is no standard, reputable way of evaluating the contribution each employee makes in the long term."

Only true if the employee's manager has no understanding of what is going on. This is such a common scenario that we almost take it for granted, but it doesn't have to be that way.

My first IT consultancy boss had it right - interview in the pub to determine whether candidate was good team material; take the CV on trust; be absolutely ruthless about insisting on success in trial period (that's when you realize if the CV is true); ongoing monitoring to determine who needs intervention (and of what kind) to keep them on or push them off.

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Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

John H Woods
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Timesplitters again ...

... and a vote for the innovative split/re-join on some of the Lego titles. But I've always thought that two player co-op is much more satisfying than playing 1 to 1 adversarial.

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