* Posts by Steve Crook

480 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Steve Crook

Re: Soon...

"Come on. You can do this. Try really hard. Fight it. You can form your own opinions if you really really try."

It is actually possible to be suspicious of the motivations of the Chinese without being remote controlled by the US...

The Chinese have always taken an admirably long term view of things and are, generally, more inclined to tunnel under walls than engage in frontal assaults. Unlike the US. But they'll still do anything and everything to protect their interests, just the same way the UK did when it had clout. It's why they're making islands and putting military bases on them...

Can't help remember what the 'friends of China' said when there was opposition to China hosting the Olympics. 'It'll be a boost towards sorting out human rights issues and help make China more open'. Hows that working out guys? Thought so...

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

Steve Crook

Re: @Douglas Lowe It's true!

"It's called "science" - you know"

No it isn't. It's called engineering.

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Enraged Brits demand Donald Trump UK ban

Steve Crook

Re: Just underscores that the UK does not have freedom of speech

Yup, I bet Trump and his supporters are really worried and monitoring the growth of the petition in the UK because of all the damage it's going to do to his campaign in the US. Not.

For those that voted in the petition, have you not been paying attention? This is what Trump wants, the more he appears to have upset SJW's, the more he appeals to his core audience who already feel ignored and alienated in their own country and the more chance there is of him getting the nomination.

Before everyone cheers thinking this'll mean 4 years of Hillary, it very probably will, but there's many a slip between cup and lip...

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Microsoft rides to Dell's rescue, wrecks rogue root certificate

Steve Crook

Re: Well holy crap...

For those who want to know there's this:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN300321

Which is a description (and an almost apology) for the problem, along with a detailed instructions on how to get rid of the offending items.

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Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone

Steve Crook

Re: Escape from Lemming Mode

"Under new, non-suicidal management, perhaps we will see a Thunderbird renaisance"

LibreMail?

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Dell computers bundled with backdoor that blurts hardware fingerprint to websites

Steve Crook
Headmaster

You can do better

"fingerprint that potentially identifies a person while she browses across the web"

Are you saying this only affects women? Alternatively, you could do this:

"fingerprint that potentially identifies people while they browse across the web"

And avoid looking like someone hamstrung by gender issues :-)

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Superfish 2.0: Dell ships laptops, PCs with huge internet security hole

Steve Crook

Bugger

There was me going to buy a new XPS 13. Perhaps not.

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Mostly harmless: Berlin boffins bleat post epic TrueCrypt audit feat

Steve Crook

Re: Tin foil

You think they haven't thought of that? The tin foil thing is a bluff, people think they're safe, but they aren't. In fact, the recorders have been miniaturised and distributed as dust across the whole world. Whenever the government want information they just send in people with vacuum cleaners. They got the idea from a series of short stories by Bob Shaw...

You think all this talk of drones is true? They just send a signal to the transmitters in a specific area and they detonate. It looks like a missile explosion, but it isn't. The drones are just a convenient cover.

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Storm in a teacup: Wileyfox does Android cheapie, British style

Steve Crook

Sounds good. But.

Unconvinced by the 32gb max. Shame there's no SD or a 64gb option. Dual SIM is good though.

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Self-driving vehicles might be autonomous but insurance pay-outs probably won't be

Steve Crook

Missing the point.

If accident rates are lower than accident rates with driven cars (which they'll have to be for the cars to be acceptable) then the insurance premiums will be lower.

As for attribution of fault, I'm assuming that the driverless cars will have (at the very least) front and rear cameras, a full record of what the system thought it was doing around the time the crash occurred, speed, distance from other cars, air temp and very probably road conditions.

I suspect that it's a non issue.

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Apollo 15 commander's lunar timepiece goes under the hammer

Steve Crook

It's a magic trick

After going under the hammer the bits are rolled into a hanky and magically reconstituted by The Amazing Randi.

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Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?

Steve Crook

Re: Wireless is about mobility not connectivity

Raspi2 if you're going to buy one.

I have one, working with a Harmony remote via the Flirc R/C receiver and they all co-operate together with Kodi. The Harmony config program has a built in for the Flirc. Only thing that doesn't work out of the box is page up/page down, but you can fix those with a bit of reconfig of the Harmony and Kodi.

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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

Steve Crook

Re: Why use pure hydrogen?

The problem with any form of transportation based on electricity is that it requires... electricity. Which has to be generated. There's a lot of energy in a tank of petrol, and the numbers get quite scary if you assume that 25% of domestic motoring is done by Nissan Leaf drivers. Big implications for generating infrastructure, and we're having enough trouble generating the power we need now...

The big advantage of fuel cells is that you don't have to dig up the entire country to lay cables for EV charging points and see all the front gardens in the UK paved over by car owners installing charging points (~40% of domestic cars have no off street parking).

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Roku 4 specs leak: Yes, it's got 4K streaming and a games controller

Steve Crook

Re: Codecs?

It would be interesting to know. Last time I looked at this (while I was ripping some of my Blurays) there wasn't much, if any, hardware support for h265(HEVC). Remember reading an El Reg article (I think) that there was some kerfuffle about adopting a common, open and freely licensed codec for UHD content and that world plus dog were actually looking at Google's offering or but mostly anything that wasn't h265.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/01/alliance_for_open_media/

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Steve Crook
Joke

Re: Seems underpowered

Yeah I was wondering about how well it would do on a Crysis 3 benchmark :-)

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Dear do-gooders, you can't get rid of child labour just by banning it

Steve Crook

The reason for making it illegal

Is that it makes it an enforcement problem. SJW's get to puff their chests out because they've done the difficult bit and also have the opportunity to criticise the authorities for not doing enough as illustrated by a lack of convictions. Win win.

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VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Steve Crook

"the hazards of neutron embrittlement."

Would that explain the pain in my right hip?

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Asus ZenBook UX305: With Windows 10, it suddenly makes perfect sense

Steve Crook

RAM?

"Running the show is an Intel Core M 5Y10 processor with 8GB of RAM"

But when I go to the ASUS site the specs say 4GB. Which is correct?

Would've liked a 256GB SSD, but in all other respects this is the laptop I've been looking for if it's got 8GB to play with.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Steve Crook

Re: Are you ready? Probably not.

Fell back over my comment and I was completely wrong about the mess Win10 would generate. Good job no-one cares one way or the other what I think. Life as a commentard is good!

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Steve Crook

Re Odd Number Versions

Are you sure that's not Star Trek you're thinking of?

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Steve Crook

I just tippexed over 'Russle' on the screen and wrote 'Eadon' on top. It made perfect sense after that.

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Steve Crook

Are you ready? Probably not.

The more I read, the more I think I'll wait for the second service pack. No matter how much I loath Win 8 (about 5 on a scale of 10) Win10 looks scary and a heavy price to pay for access to the new DirectX.

I can understand that a development this large must require a good deal of integration and testing, that it must be farmed out to any number of disparate groups and that some drift in aims and objectives is inevitable no matter how tight the specification. But...

What I can't understand is how anyone at Microsoft thinks they're going to avoid a shitstorm if they release this in three weeks time. At the moment it looks like a particularly lurid stick of rock with FAIL written all the way through it.

Is Eadon still a thing?

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Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

Steve Crook

Who knew?

Team rodent have a research division?

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Doctor Who returns to our screens next week – so, WHO is the worst Time Lord of them all?

Steve Crook

Re: Just thinking...

Ahhhh, those were the days. FWIW I'm 59, and can remember Hartnell (just) and I most certainly did spend a lot of time peering out from behind furniture.

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Steve Crook

Re: Just thinking...

"There are going to be people voting here who haven't even seen some of the earlier Doctors in action"

That can't stop the hate :-)

There are of course DVD box sets, Netflix.

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Steve Crook

Re: Sylvester McCoy

I'd agree, except I'm not utterly convinced he'd have been better had the scripts etc. been better. But we'll never know. He certainly did suffer from the concerted effort of the BBC to rid itself of Dr Who by making it so crap no-one would watch. I'd always assumed he was part of the plan...

Ironic that its become such a big thing for the BBC all over again, despite still having more than its fair share of dodgy stories, scripts and effects.

For me, the one thing that would improve Dr Who out of all recognition would be to have the sonic screwdriver banned or at least not allowed anywhere near the last 20 minutes of any episode. At least then stories would have to rely on something else for that 'with one bound he was free' moment.

Keep going back to it, watching a bit, not liking it, and still hoping that one day I will fall in love all over again.

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Oracle laying off its Java evangelists? Er, no comment, says Oracle

Steve Crook

Re: About Time

A common mistake. The SIZE of the framework is irrelevant for many applications because there's plenty of CPU, ram, disk and network capacity. What's important is time to market, feature set, responsiveness to change requests, resilience, and the degree to which you want to piss off your users with bugs.

If you create a three page site outside a framework and then get change requests, a page here, a page there, never so much it's ever worth rewriting in a framework, eventually you end up with a mess.

Of course if you want to spend your time writing code that others have already written, debugged and actively support, you can. I always thought life was too short...

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Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive

Steve Crook

There was a young lady who swallowed a fly. Then lost her appetite.

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Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

Steve Crook

Easy to be smug

I'm sure horseshit statements that start "Throughout, the privacy and security of our customers' data is – and will remain – <our> highest priority." were plentiful in the marketing guff from Ashley Madison.

Sort of reminded of this: "Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?" from "A Man For All Seasons"

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Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn

Steve Crook

Re: There's an interesting point about those industries being crap

You are right. But also wrong. The main problem with publicly owned anything is that politicians find it impossible to keep their hands off and leave the business to people who might know how to run it. Inevitably, publicly owned bodies become mired in one glory project or another, or as a sink for cash to bolster employment in some far flung part of the realm.

Look at the NHS. Root and branch reform follows root and branch reform. They still don't have a working, fully integrated IT system. Not saying NHS should be privatised, but we do pay a price for having the government feel they've a perfect right to dick around with it whenever they feel like it...

As with the NHS, so with other nationalised industries. Not saying it couldn't be done properly, just that it's not likely. Because politicians.

As for the call centre, you mean there are worse than the one run by HMRC?

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Steve Crook

Don't laugh just yet.

To assume that Corbyn will be a disaster for Labour may be a mistake. There are a lot of people who won't remember Foot, Benn, Castle, three day weeks, 'In place of strife' or just how crap publicly owned industries were.

We're at a point where Ritchie and fellow travellers can peddle peoples QE, tax gaps, price controls and nationalisation and make it all sound credible, reasonable and necessary.

Corbyn doesn't have to be right, just popular. This whole thing seems fraught with potential for unintended consequences. The Tories would do well to take him extremely seriously.

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Monster Scalextric Formula 1 circuit to go under the hammer

Steve Crook
Coat

Meh!

It's only two lanes...

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Patching a fragmented, Stagefrightened Android isn't easy

Steve Crook

Re: Google is taking the lead on revitalising the patching pipeline for the Android ecosystem

I'm not sure that Google are entirely the problem. Manufacturers and their Android skins mean that there's always going to be inertia in getting ports to earlier versions. Then there's OnePlus, Cyanogen and others who have their own versions of Android.

Finally, there's the replacement cycle. With phones on 2 year contracts there's little incentive to fix problems when manufacturers know that the phone is going to be replaced with something else relatively soon. If there's little incentive to fix a relatively new phone, there's none to fix something that's second hand.

It's a mess.

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Jail incompetent council folk who leak our data, thunders furious BBW

Steve Crook

Re: Who's responsible?

Yes, possibly. But someone needs it in their employment contract that they're personally *liable* and that disciplinary action *will* be taken meaning fines, loss of bonus or worse. More of senior management need to be roped in, as it's a company wide thing.

Of course the local government situation is made more complex because so much of the IT is outsourced. But I see no reason why they should be held to a lower standard.

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Steve Crook

Who's responsible?

That should be the first thing. AFAIK there's no clearly stated responsibility. Head of IT? Head of the leaky department? CEO?

Once we know *who* then we just have to sack, fine, or imprison them, because no matter how the breach occurred, they're responsible.

If there's someone in a position of power who has something to lose there's more chance of standards being adhered to...

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Carphone Warehouse coughs to MONSTER data breach – 2.4 MEELLION Brits at risk

Steve Crook

Sophisticated...

So obviously not our fault. What could we do? So no compensation for all the inconvenience changing CC details, passwords, pins and ongoing identity theft risk, because, well, how could we ever be expected to defend ourselves against an attack as sophisticated as that.

Yeah, right. Funny how *all* these attacks are sophisticated.

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Oh no ZigBee, as another front opens on home networking insecurity

Steve Crook

Security, heard of it, somewhere...

ZigBee. Stretched to do things it was never designed for. Could it be the IoT equivalent of Flash?

There's every chance it could, single handedly, poison the well for years to come. Most of today's flawed devices are never going to receive firmware updates and will be an open door into peoples home networks.

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Want to avoid a hangover? DRINK MORE, say boffins

Steve Crook

Re: "inhibition of alcohol absorption"

Yes, I'm going to remove their puneal glands.

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Steve Crook

Re: "inhibition of alcohol absorption"

You're next.

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Steve Crook

Re: "inhibition of alcohol absorption"

You could say that, but you really shouldn't. Even if you managed to get to your coat, it wouldn't save you...

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Steve Crook

Re: Why's this a story?

Because they're being sold to us on their ability to REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS. If they're only providing 1% of TOTAL ENERGY USE then they're contributing ALMOST NOTHING to reducing carbon emissions at FUCKING ENORMOUS EXPENSE too.

It also illustrates why meeting climate change act requirements is going to be such a massive task. So big in fact that it may require the UK to stop using gas for domestic heating and cooking.

I know the greenies hate Lomborg and Pielke Jnr, but they're realistic about the scale of the problems caused by decarbonisation and our inability to be able to meet all those wonderful political targets.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Southern biscuits and gravy

Steve Crook

Re: Gravy?

Yup. How American. Biscuits and Gravy. Things that aren't biscuits covered with something that isn't gravy...

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We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

Steve Crook

Pester Power

The question is, how many people are reading this sort of article? For those that don't and get repeated invitation to 'upgrade' to the new version of Windows there's going to be an inclination to Push That Button. Could be a lot of confused and unhappy people throughout August.

Incidentally, I notice that the BBC have seen fit to remove the alarm clock feature from IPlayer Radio in their latest release. Didn't know they'd done that and took the droid update when it was offered...

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If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

Steve Crook
Coat

Re: I've got one

"It worked really well when we went to Iceland - I just watched films all the way over. "

My Iceland is within walking distance, how far away is yours?

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SCORCHIO! This JUNE was the SIXTY-SIXTH HOTTEST on record

Steve Crook

Lost the older versions...

But the dog didn't eat them. What's shameful is that the NOAA make the adjustments, publish the new data and don't archive the older version. I suppose the argument is that there's no need as the current version is always the best.

Just as well that someone has been archiving since 2010. You see that scale of adjustments pretty much overwhelms any instrumental warming.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/09/noaancei-temperature-anomaly-adjustments-since-2010-pray-they-dont-alter-it-any-further/

I don't consider they're necessarily wrong in their adjustments, but when they're having this much effect on the temperature record it's difficult not to wonder the why's and wherefore's.

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Foxconn to hire a million Indian staff in major base shift

Steve Crook

The *really* amusing thing is that the campaigns for Foxconn to raise the wages of its Chinese workers may actually have had an effect. But not the one the rich westerners pushing for those pay rises might have had in mind.

What's incredible is that it's so easy to set up the fab plant, get the raw materials shipped, do the recruitment and training and everything else required to set up manufacturing on this scale. If it can be done so swiftly, imagine just how quickly the city of London could disappear if someone presented the global firms there with a better environment. Ouch.

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Natural geothermal heat under Antarctic ice: 'Surprisingly HIGH'

Steve Crook

Re: So this has just happened suddenly?

Combination of the two. The problem is that the WAIS has become the southern hemisphere poster child for the effects of climate change. To hear that the melting may not (in total or in part) be due to the climate change upsets the purists as it's not 'on message'. An inconvenient truth one might say.

The melting has been going on for a long long time. The problem is that we only started looking in the last, what, 50 years? So is it normal, cyclical or a real problem? Dunno.

It could be that the combination of warming from climate change *and* geothermal is enough to cause a problem. But we're some way from being able to determine if that's the case. Big IMO.

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Steve Crook

Re: Heat balance

"I've always been puzzled"

There's been no debate because many feel that *any* debate as to the extent of overall warming from various sources will inevitably allow 'deniers' like me to pop up and argue that, although CO2 is a problem, it's a problem that we have time to deal with.

Of course there's some truth in that argument. Also, the fact that politicians won't do anything unless their feet are held to the fire doesn't exactly help matters when it comes to fair and balanced debate.

If there's a continued recovery in north pole ice over the next few years it's going to be an interesting time for nu-statistics.

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Sorry, say boffins, the LHC still hasn't sucked us into a black hole

Steve Crook

Not a black hole.

But an Alternate Universe. One where the Tories won a completely unexpected overall majority in the general election. It all makes perfect sense.

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Smart Meter biz case still there, insists tragically optimistic UK govt

Steve Crook

Re: I had a smart meter fitted last week

When (if?) you change energy supplier I hope it'll continue to work :-)

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