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* Posts by Oldfogey

220 posts • joined 28 Jan 2008

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Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs

Oldfogey

Wrong. Prepare to launch.... Stingray!

That is, if you want to deal with terrorfish.

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Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!

Oldfogey
Flame

Yahoo! Mail!

Outsourcing is one thing, but why choose probably the worst service available?

My late father in law got broadband from BT (against my advice), and the email never worked reliably from day one, despite him spending hours on line to their "support", who knew little.

I then spend hours trying to sort it when I visited (and I do know my way around). Despite my best efforts It only worked on a random basis, so in the end I just set up a freebie account elsewhere and accessed it via POP3. Somehow I managed to get the Yahoo to auto redirect, though I have never found that facility since.

That and the "home hub" are why I would never take broadband from BT

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Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

Oldfogey
Headmaster

Re: Qi charging is the only thing that makes smartphones useable

No, it's a backhanded COMPLIMENT.

2 pedant icons in one comment sequence. RIIIIGHT!!!!

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Oldfogey
Headmaster

Re: Qi (pronouched Chee)

Not Welsh - Welsh doesn't have a letter Q

(Finally, I get to use the pedant icon!

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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

Oldfogey

Re: Jupiter (and Mother)

Increasingly the answer to "mother's maiden name?" is "Same as mine".

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Oldfogey

Jupiter

Jupiter is on the east coast of Florida, just north of Palm Beach.

Mars is in Ukraine

Venus is in Arkansas

Moon is in Pennsylvania.

and, of course, Pluto is in Disneyland.

So what was their problem?

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Forget eyeballs and radar! Brits tackle GPS JAMMERS with WWII technology

Oldfogey

Re: What price a Sextant then?

Absolutely worthless on a dark night.

The accuracy of a sextant, even in the hands of a skilled user, is often measured in miles, even in calm water. In a gale......

They are fine for crossing oceans, just don't get anywhere near your landfall in the dark, particularly an uninhabited island.

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Oldfogey

Re: According to the Beeb..

The radar will likely have its own GPS receiver, so that it knows where it is and can thus relate what it "sees" to an electronic map.

The gyrocompass is likely not for steering by, but to give a heading to the nav system for display on the electronic map.

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Oldfogey

Re: Dead? reckoning?

Actually it's DED reckoning. It means to take a previously known position, adjust for time, speed, heading, wind, tide and the accuracy of the helm in holding the planned course, in order to DEDUCE your current position.

Involves a lot of assumptions, and is thus increasingly unreliable over time.

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Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home

Oldfogey
Alien

Varying speed

The calculations people are using seem to assume that Voyager has been travelling at a constant speed since launch.

In fact it spent a lot of time looping round the Solar System doing slingshots and stuff until its primary purposes were carried out and it was left to coast in a (more or less) straight line.

It seems reasonable to assume that it is now going faster than it has ever done, and it is this current speed that should be used in calculating its future position.

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Doctors urged to adopt default opt-out approach to care.data scheme

Oldfogey
Holmes

Anon?

The data could indeed be very useful, tracking disease clusters. looking for patterns, predicting future outbreaks etc.

Unfortunately the info being collected is far too easy to pin down to an individual. Full postcode is, in many rural locations, a single house. Add date of birth and sex - easy peasy.

Collect first half of the postcode, age in bands, and sex because so much medical depends on it, and it is much less easy!

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UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines

Oldfogey

TPS exceptions

What most people don't seem to realise is that the TPS works fine. When it doesn't it is either a criminal call, or you have given your number to a firm and failed to tick the box for "do not pass my details to your carefully selected partners" and "do not call me with your latest special offers".

I get far more spam and phishing calls on mobile than on landline, but they are easy to spot - they let it ring 3 times then cut off.

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Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email

Oldfogey
FAIL

Sorts messages according to the first line

Which would be really helpful if most I get didn't start with "Hi Fred".

Or if the link posted were not usually some afterthought joke unrelated to the main point.

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MasterCard adds fingerprint scanner to credit cards for spending sans the PIN

Oldfogey
Thumb Down

I remember reading somewhere that up to 10% of the population have poor quality or no fingerprints. Builders are a well known case, but lack of fingers is not unknown.

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GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

Oldfogey
Flame

HA!

Spotted this in the papers a few days ago. It was obvious from even a short paragraph that no changes had been mad, and the trial areas are just testing the best way to spin it.

Not relevant to me, as I live in Wales, but I have friends and relatives in England who will be getting a heads up and copes of opt-out forms as necessary.

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Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20

Oldfogey

Point and Click?

"the massive wave of hype about Windows 95 bringing point-and-click computing to the masses ". Indeed, and I thought Windows 3.? was point and click? Hype indeed.

All this was just before I retired, we were still building IP stacks by hand on each machine, because the slightest factor different on "identical" machines could cause chaos.

All talking to a Novell server (V4??), and, right at the end, through Netscape to the very primitive Web - and still using dialup to bulletin boards that hadn't converted.

Supposedly computer literate kids today would have no idea where to start.

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Hardened Hydrazine the source of Galileo satnav FAIL

Oldfogey

Hydrazine?

Should have used Thiotimolene!

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Wide-ranging UK DATA SHARING moves one step closer

Oldfogey
FAIL

Health

I notice in yesterdays Times that the health data sharing proposals that were put on one side earlier this year are back on the table. Following the strong reaction against the idea, they are now proposing trials on how to better "explain" the proposals to the public in order to avoid a new flood of objections.

There are, of course, no proposals to address the actual weaknesses of the system, such as the quite inadequate anonomisation.

I can see I will be passing round the opt-out forms again!

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Why US Feds and g-men kick up a stink about a growing smartphone encryption trend

Oldfogey

Mutual backdoors?

And if there is a backdoor into (say) an Android phone, might the terrorist be hacking it?

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Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first

Oldfogey
Coat

Well I never!

There was no distillery on Arran last time I was there - you learn something everyday on these tech sites.

I'll have a bottle in my pocket.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

Oldfogey
Pint

Almost....

Now if only it folded in half, it could have a bigger keyboard (numbers etc.) and the same size screen - use it as a dumb phone without opening it.

They could call it .. oh... maybe.. the Blackberry Psion?

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SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

Oldfogey
Happy

Extra mice?

The rest are to operate the Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Mill, for the chocolate biscuits

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Oldfogey
Mushroom

And the 3d printer to make the Marvelous Mechanical bits. After all, it's hardly rocket science.

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Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Oldfogey
FAIL

Outages

I am often away for several weeks at a time (holidays, says smug retired git), and had thought of such a system to give confidence that all was OK whilst away.

Unfortunately, I live in a remote area and the broadband dies at least once a week, requiring a power off, or several, to re-aquire it. So, I can't log on to the camera? Is it a broadband problem, has the house burned down, or has a burglar nicked the hardware?

I can't find out, so better not to have the system which will just cause more uncertainty!

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Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names

Oldfogey
Thumb Up

Re: No check on creating account.

For a "real" account that would be true - in this case they had a false name, false date of birth (I am apparently 114 years old) and a disposable one-use email address, so it maight as well be for all the good it will do them.

And I was on public wifi.

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Oldfogey
WTF?

No check on creating account.

I have just been and created a FB account in a false name. There was no ID check at all, except to send a message to an email AC - for which I used a disposable one.

They obviously have some kind of list of what they think are false names, and just reject anything that appears on the list.

BTW, I have deleted the account.

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What could possibly go wrong? Banks could provide ID assurance for Gov.UK – report

Oldfogey

Which is why..

1/1/1900 is the default date I put down when a site asks for date of birth for no good reason.

Often along with their corporate address and phone no.

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Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV

Oldfogey

Not such a big deal

I just looked at my car insurance, and I find I'm covered for £10mil for third party damage. Why so high? Well, some years ago a car had a blow out on the motorway, went off the road into the hanger of a local airport. Burnt out a whole hanger full of private jets.

That insurance costs me £99 pa

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The Register to boldly go where no Vulture has gone before: The WEEKEND

Oldfogey
Happy

Re: Grub/nosh/snacks

So where do you fit in Second Breakfast?

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Oldfogey

Perspective

Until 2003 there was only one register, and it was REQUIRED by law to be sold to anybody who asked. Once upon a time this didn't matter much - it was only available on paper. Later it was available as a computer file, and thus good for sending junk mail.

There were a lot of complaints, over many years, until eventually the edited register was introduced. This could still be sold to anybody, but you could tick a box to not be on it. Junk mailers still used the 2002 list, but this is gradually getting so flakey that it may not be any use for much longer.

Credit reference agencies still get the full version, but it is an offence (specific, not just DPA) for them to sell or give it to anybody else. The low value of the list would not, in any case, be worth the risk to their business model.

On a side note, before the individual registration issue, before it came in a letter would arrive, addressed to "The Householder" saying that it was a criminal offence for said householder not to fill in the form. I contacted our Electoral Registration Officer to ask who the would prosecute in such case, and was told either the owner, or the tenant who had signed the rental. I pointed out that our house was in joint names, and over recent years we had taken it in turns to sign the form - so who would be prosecuted. He had no answer, and said that they had never actually prosecuted anyone anyway.

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

Oldfogey
Pint

Re: Why is this any surprise?

Congratulations on your Esperanto - you speak it like a native!

A pentras bonvolu.

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Toyota catches up to William Gibson with LED hood

Oldfogey

Camouflage?

Or perhaps just change the colour of the getaway ca to confuse the witnesses?

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PICS ON GROUND: Cabbies PARALYZE London in Uber rebellion

Oldfogey
Childcatcher

Ticket to Ride

So what we have always had to do, unless in the City, is ring a random mini-cab company, agree a price, then hope the car turns up and it and the driver are reasonably respectable.

With Uber, you get on line, say where you are and where you want to go, ask for a price, agree it, and watch on the screen as the cab approaches. The company guarantees the driver and car are insured and vetted, etc, etc.

And you can log feedback on the site for your ride.

I see no downside for the customer, only for the old fashioned cab driver

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NASA beams vid from space via laser

Oldfogey
Facepalm

Very Interesting...........but Stoopid.

But were they able to jump it themselves?

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Google snaps up Divide to splice biz and personal phones together

Oldfogey

Nokia 1101

Like to see them run this on the Nokia 1101 I used to use for work. Never used it for anything else, and turned it off out of work hours.

Billed the company for any work calls I made as well.

If they didn't like it they could buy me a later model, but I would still turn it off out of hours.

Of course I had a proper phone for private use.

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Creepy Facebook urges users to pester friends about their SEX LIVES

Oldfogey
Big Brother

Not exactly fake

I have an FB account, in order to keep in touch with a very old friend who hardly ever communicates by any other method.

It has my correct name on it, and all other information is false. Not only do they think I'm over 50 - they reckon I am way over 100.

The photograph is not me.

Thus if one of my FB Friends tags a photo as being of me, this will not match the one on my account, and will therefore cause date linking to fail.

The more imaginative the lies you make up, the less sense they can make of you.

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Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Oldfogey
Happy

Re: In The UK We Already Pay A Levy

You may - I don't, and quite legally.

This means you pay for me to watch iPlayer and listen to the radio.

Thanks

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Traffic light vulns leave doors wide open to Italian Job-style hacks

Oldfogey
WTF?

I've been thinking...

...and now my brain hurts.

I have been trying to count up the number of sets of lights where I live, and it's not easy because I fear that I may have missed one.

However, in the entire county, as far as I can find, there are a total of 3 sets. If I haven't missed one.

The council are too mean to pay for them, but we seem to manage.

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NHS patient data storm: Govt lords SLAP DOWN privacy protections

Oldfogey
Stop

Opt outs are ready!

This doesn't affect me directly, as I live in Wales, but I do know that at my elderly mothers surgery, all her friends meet up in the waiting room at their regular appointments, and they are all aware of this issue (I may have given them a nudge). Despite the fact that they are Tories to the core, they do not trust the Government (just they REALLY don't trust the other lot), and will be opting out en mass if this actually starts to go ahead.

Many have already put in forms, and will do so again in case the old ones are now invalid.

Bear in mind these are people in their 70's upward to over 100 - the people who have the most dense medical records. If they opt out at the rate I am seeing for this one surgery, the data files will be largely empty.

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Source code for world's first MUD, Essex Uni's MUD1, recovered

Oldfogey
Pirate

Mud 1 test phase

I was visiting Essex Uni at Colchester for an SF Convention. A friend who was doing some sort of IT course there at the time said he wanted to show me something they would be releasing soon. The terminal was linked in to MUD, with about a dozen players on line - all local, testing scenarios and stuff.

Of course my character died almost immediately, as did several more I tried.

Then, genius struck! I equiped my next character with a large bladed pike and named him DEATH.

When the screen said "DEATH enters the room", everybody else left as fast as they could type!

Unfortunately I only had half an hour, but I was having great fun.

I believe they put in some routines to try and stop people doing that again.

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FTC: State laws blocking Tesla's direct sales are 'protectionist'

Oldfogey
Headmaster

Re: Not just protectionist

I think you mean they are flouting the constitution.

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EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database

Oldfogey

Fuzzy data

What we need is some software capable of altering a photo so that it looks right to the human eye, but is wrong for the computer algorithm. I am thinking of the way you can remove large parts from a piece of written text - eg all the vowels - and mostly people can read it fine but a computer can't.

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Oldfogey
FAIL

Nobody's paying attention

I don't have a TV, so when I go where there is one on I tend to notice how people actually watch.

Much of the time, they don't. It's on, and they are aware of it, but they are talking, moving about, checking email, texting, whatever.

This is where 3D falls apart. It only works if everybody puts their daft glasses on and sits down and watches - which you may not be able to get the whole family to do for a film or a game or soap opera. Half the people are only vaguely interested, so when a text arrives, they take the glasses off to attend to it, and can then no longer just glance at the screen for updates as they used to.

Same problem applies if there is a "sweet spot".

All these gimmicks don't relate to the way people actually utilize a TV set.

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Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott

Oldfogey

Free speech

There is absolutely no restriction on free speech involved here.

He is, and always has been, free to say exactly what he wants.

He does not, however, have the right to demand that anyone gives him a platform for such speech. No newspaper is required to print his words, for instance.

And nobody is required to listen. If you stick your fingers in your ears and sing LA LA LA he cannot force you to hear.

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Final Windows XP Patch Tuesday will plug Word RTF vuln

Oldfogey
Happy

Word 2003?

My machines, and those I support, run Word 97. Still works fine, and most people don't do any more than writing letters - I give them Word because they are used to it.

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Top Brit docs wade into GP data grab row, demand 'urgent' NHS England talks

Oldfogey
Stop

(Temporary) Win!

Just been announced that the programme will be delayed 6 months.

"Will not be changed in any way, this is a chance to explain it better"

So still opt out, but more time to get friends and relatives to do so.

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LOHAN cops a faceful of Raspberry Pi

Oldfogey
Coat

Red and Blue Wires??

are those the ones where Our Hero has to guess which one to cut so as to defuse the bomb and save the world?

Mines the Spy vs Spy coat

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The TRUTH about LEAKY, STALKING, SPYING smartphone applications

Oldfogey
Black Helicopters

Re: "If you aren't paying, you aren't the customer. You are the product."

Are you so sure paid apps are any better? Perhaps you are just paying to be the product?

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Malware! tainted! ads! infect! thousands! of! Yahoo! users!

Oldfogey
Thumb Down

Yahoo? Trusted Site??????

I need to log on to Yahoo very occasionally in connection with Freecycle. A horrible website.

Last I knew, Yahoo ran the email system for BT. Another reason not to have broadband with them.

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Fees shakeup: Freephone numbers will actually BE free – Ofcom

Oldfogey
Holmes

Optional

And paying these inflated rates often is optional. Browse to "Say No to 0870" and see if there is an ordinary number for who you want to speak to.

Or look up their Sales number and try ringing that (usually 0800 for some reason)

Or ask them for their ordinary number "as I will be out of the country and can't call 08whatever numbers" There is one - 08 are just redirector numbers.

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