* Posts by Oldfogey

256 posts • joined 28 Jan 2008

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Vauxhall VXR8: You know when you've been tangoed

Oldfogey

Hurrah the Bond Bug

The Bug was very much the wolf in sheeps clothing. With the hot engine (as used in Formula 600 single seaters) it was capable of about 115 (factory kept this quite), and when I was taken on the track by their test driver he showed that it could do a 3-wheel drift under precise control, because of the extraordinarily low COG.

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Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

Oldfogey

Bond Bug

The Bond Bug built by Reliant (the orange wedge) was a bit of a wolf in sheeps clothing. Most had the Reliant 600 engine, which was a nice reliable lump made in aliminium. Some had the 700 version - same but a bit pokier. few had the version that was commonly used in small single seater racers - high compression, etc etc.

That last was distinctly lively, and Reliant never published performance figures, for the simple reason that insurance companies would have had a heart attack. Top speed was 115mph, could have been faster off the line, due to lack of weight, but picked up like a motorbike once rolling. I got a ride in one with the test driver on their track, and the really terrifying thing was that because the centre of gravity was barely above the axles, it could do a 3-wheel power drift on the corners.

A quite extraordinary vehicle.

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Door keys are an option. It's just a matter of time

Oldfogey

Won't somebody think of the non-geeks?

I have a friend with Down's Syndrome, who nevertheless makes quite a bit of use of computers (even though se can neither read or write).

Recently she was visiting relatives who had an iPad, took to it, and was bought one.

In order toget the apps she needed (games, iPlayer etc.) it was programmed with the same Apple Id as her relative.

All was well until the relative found that documents she had created on her ipad were vanishing. And this is where the low level of understanding behind computing is causing problems.

You write your document on the ipad. It is automatically (and by default) synchronised with the cloud. Your Downs relative starts up their ipad later, and, being the same account, it synchonises and downloads the document. Relative looks at this, doesn't know what it is, so deletes it. The deletion is then (automatically) done on the cloud, and this is finally synchonised the the original ipad.

The reason that this happens is that the users had no idea that the cloud synchronisation was happening - it was built in - and no idea how to get out of the situation.

Now one can see how easily things can go wrong with iot leaving open security holes, default passwords, whatever, that the users will know nothing about. How many people have a password on their smartphone? How many would put a password on their door opening app?

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HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

Oldfogey

Re: Police Scotland

And why would they need to upgrade Office?

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18-wheeler ROBOT JUGGERNAUT hits Nevada's highways. Cower, fleshies!

Oldfogey

Re: Won't work in England.

C'mon - the White Stripes were pretty crisp on their first album

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EC probe into murky cross border e-commerce kicks off

Oldfogey

re: Language

Well, I can manage in French and German well enough to order many things on a website - but definitely not well enough to understand the terms and conditions.

And certainly not well enough to debate with a support, warranty, or legal department.

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

Oldfogey

2000????

I've found absolutely no reason to move from Ofice 97 (with the file compatibility add-on)

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Google pulls plug on YouTube for older iPads, iPhones, smart TVs

Oldfogey

Only 10 years?

A long time ago my in-laws rented a big CRT TV and a VHS recorder.

After 15 years the rental co went bust, so they paid a tenner to buy the kit from the liquidator.

Another 10 years later, the picture got unstable, so they went and invested in a brand new LCD TV.

Ten years later it is still running, now with a digibox, but the original VHS is still in use.

It will not be changed in the foreseeable future.

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Easy ... easy ... Aw CRAP! SpaceX rocket ALMOST lands on ocean hoverbase

Oldfogey

Re: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee........

Of course you can fall for longer than 15 minutes. Just start high enough and miss the planet on the way down.

Best that way, as hitting the planet is not good, even for a blue whale (or a pot of petunias).

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Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

Oldfogey
Flame

Insecure in spades

Earlier this year a new credit card arrived.

I knew what it was as it lay on the mat - you could see the outline embossed on the envelope. It was deliverd by ordinary post, and there was no receipt validation procedure.

Shortly afterwards I went into a caff (called itself a coffee house) spent £15, and handed over the card to pay. The assistant bonked it without asking me, and it was accepted.

So that card could easily have been stolen before it reached me, and used an unknown number of times before asking for the pin, at £20 (soon £30) a pop.

I have raised a formal complaint with my bank over how insecure the system is, but I am not optimistic about getting a useful result.

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Big Blue to give car insurers IoT peeking powers

Oldfogey

Re: Not interested

And then..... Your insurance company rings up and says we're not getting data from your car. You're obviously driving with a fault/ driving in weird places with no internet/ etc.

Whatever it is, we're putting your rates up.

What you need is to hack the dongle and feed it with data they will like.

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'If people can encrypt their cell phones, what's stopping them encrypting their PCs?'

Oldfogey

Just been watching episode 2 of the Untouchables (original). Elliot Ness gets the book with details of where the loot is hidden, and says "Oh dear, it's in code!" The gangsters wife says "No, it's just Polish, written backwards".

Coat is the one with the Gat in it.

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Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

Oldfogey

Re: "People speak different languages, the group reminded Kommissar Ansip"

More people speak Klingon than Esperanto

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Oldfogey

Head of the household?

A few years back, when the annual registration form arrived, I read the bit about the "head of the household" being prosecuted for not filling it in, and I wondered.

So I rang the ELO, and said, there are two adults living here - if you don't get the form filled in, who will you prosecute?

Er..... the owner of the house.

Nope - in joint names.

Er..... the one with the largest income?

Nope - no income, living on savings at the moment. And they're in joint accounts.

Er... I'll get back to you.

He never did, of course, because it is not a definable term in the modern world, so can only be applied in a single person household.

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Big Data shocker: Over 6 million Americans have reached the age of 112

Oldfogey

Me too

There have been suggestions that some of this junk data couldbe cleaned up by comparing with other records.

Unfortunately, every time a site asks me for my dateof birth, without a VERY good reason, I enter 1/1/1900.

Never yet had it rejected.

Similarly with giving the organisations headquarters asmy own address and phone no.

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Leaked Windows 10 build hints at peer-to-peer patching

Oldfogey

Could be useful... if under control

On my home network I have 6 windows machines (and others). To be able to download updates to one machine, and, if satisfied, allow other machines to take it from the "master" would save a lot of traffic coming in from outside.

Always assuming I could get proper control over what, when, and where.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

Oldfogey

Re: Ha

Even better value is that you don't need to pay a license fee to listen to Radio 4!

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How many Androids does it take to change a light bulb?

Oldfogey

If you want incandescent....

Google (other search engines may be available) for "heavy duty bulbs". You can find incandescent bulbs up to 150 watts still available.

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Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

Oldfogey

Fast cars?

Many years ago (no, longer than that), when the E type was young, I was overtaken by one on the minor roads south of Coventry.

A beautiful car, which came blasting past me on a straight, driven by a middle aged man with a long haired blond (female) in the passenger seat.

Of course the road went twisty soon after, so I sat behind him, and it soon became obvious that he didn't know the road, and wasn't at all sure of himself in the car on the bends.

In due course we came to what looked like a blind bend, but which I knew you could get a clear view round if you knew when and where to look - so I dropped back, then accelerated as hard as my car would go, and nipped round him on the bend before he could pull away.

Probably didn't do him any good with the blond he was trying to impress.

The kicker? I was driving a Robin Reliant - 3 wheels and a top speed of about 60.

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Swap your keyless key for keyless key-less key. You'll need: a Tesla S and Apple Watch

Oldfogey
Coat

Stupid and Irritating

A while back I was given a "courtesy car" that had keyless entry. I parked it on the drive against the house.

Every time I walked past that window it unlocked... flashed its lights and beeped.

Every time I walked away it locked .... flashed its lights and beeped.

I was glad to get rid of it!

The remote is in one of these pockets.....

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'Boutique' ISPs: Snub the Big 4 AND get great service

Oldfogey

But what about low usage?

Most comments are interested in high levels of usage and/or superfast speeds, but I have rather the opposite problem.

Every couple of months I visit my mother in law for a week - do some jobs, check out her finances, take her out to lunch a couple of times, etc.

The real pain is that I have to use mobile internet whilst I'm there - 3g only, and badly congested until after midnight; even then any sort of video (even flash) is impossible.

Phone service is with BT (of course), and I would love to have broadband, but where can I find an ISP offering a cheap service with a low data cap such as 1Gb a month being perfectly acceptable?

Do any of the small ISP's offer such a deal that anybody has come across?

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Go Canada: Now ILLEGAL to auto-update software without 'consent'

Oldfogey

Why bribe anybody?

Installing WGA was not compulsory - particularly if you did manual download of updates, as is only sensible. Just untick that item and tell Update never to show it to you again.

If you have gone and download it by accident, or laziness in checking what MS is sending you, then just Google how to remove it. (Other Search Engines are available)

I thought this was a tech site!

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German minister fingered as hacker 'steals' her thumbprint from a PHOTO

Oldfogey

Surely......

...... the best way to prevent your prints being copied would be to wear false latex fingerprints over your real ones - system recognition of the falsies to trigger an alarm!

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Oldfogey

Real tools

Does anybody else remember a woodworking kit - targetted at about 8 yrs or so- in a wooden box with real small scale tools, including a saw, chisels, and drills.

Good enough to actually make small items, but they should have included bandages!

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Reg man confesses: I took my wife out to choose a laptop for Xmas. NOOOO

Oldfogey
Angel

Except

I assume, Alfred E Neumann?

(Re MAD above. Don't know why it ended up here!!!!!!!!!!)

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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Oldfogey
Thumb Down

Unused choice

It's not a huge sample, but all the users who bought a new Windows machine just carried on using IE without further consideration.

Those who new what it was about ignored the screen, then went to the URL of their favourite browser(s) and downloaded the latest (or earlier preferred) version directly.

As far as I can see, the EU rule made very little difference to what browsers anybody used.

What did make a difference was the number of opportunities to accidentally install Chrome by failing to uncheck a tick box when downloading something else - eg a AV update. Personally I have found this so irritating that I have refused to use Chrome.

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Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

Oldfogey

"Paid" Content

What makes people think that if they paid for access to content they would stop getting ads?

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Buy Your Own Device: No more shiny-shiny work mobe for you

Oldfogey

Kids today!

When I retired, mobile phones were still analogue, and though common were not universal.

Work said they needed to contact me when I was out and about - did I have a mobile? Answer was NO. They decided it wasn't that important, so they couldn't justify issuing me one.

Reminds me of when there was a big job coming up, but I was booked on holiday.

"Where are you going in case we need to contact you urgently?"

"Europe"

"But where?"

"Well, I catch a ferry at Dover. When I get to Calais I look at the weather maps, then decide whether to head North, East, or South"

Idiots assumed I must be booked into a nice resort hotel somewhere.

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Oldfogey

2018 .... lets see

By the time I buy a car built in 2018, it will be 2028 or so.

I will then be pushing 80.

Can this be programmed to give me a wake-up call when I get to the shops?

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IBM Research wants laptop batteries to retire and slum it

Oldfogey

Lithium?

Blimey, I think all my laptops run on NiCads!

LED bulbs will be a big help in stretching the power.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Oldfogey

Slow Down

When I am cruising at the speed limit, and some idiot comes and sits on my tail to try and make me go faster, I just lift my foot until my speed is appropriate for the gap behind me. If he closes up, I go slower.

Probably helps that I drive a Land Rover, and idiots can see that if they ran into the back of me they would have a write-off, and I would need a to re-apply the mud.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Oldfogey

Re: Pointless and dangerous fads

So somebody else does that as well!

Have an upvote!

(This was supposed to comment on a remark about putting in high readings before a price hike. Don't know why it ended up here - if it did)

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Yotaphone 2: The two-faced pocket-stroker with '100 hours' batt life

Oldfogey
Coat

Old fashioned.

To solve the battery life issue, I carry 2 phones.

An ancient "builders phone" Nokia on O2, which I use for most phone calls - battery lasts at least a weak.

Smartphone, used as a personal assistant, MP3 player, Satnav, and occasionally for making calls on EE if O2 not available or credit/battery low.

Satnav is power hungry, but plug it into the car and it's fine.

I often find myself in poor reception areas, so I would be carrying 2 phones anyway.

My wife is on Vodaphone for extra backup.

Now which phone is where?....

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TalkTalk email goes titsup FOR DAYS. Cheapo telco warns: Changing password WON'T fix it

Oldfogey
Devil

Re: WISP (Which ISP)

Sure, she lives in a typical south coast urban area, lots of options. But won't contemplate changing supplier for anything from the ones she ended up in after privatisation, because of all the problems other people she knows have had.

No good arguing.

And what I was hoping was that somebody would know of a deal that is not to be found on the switching sites - which I have spent more time on than I care to contemplate!

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Oldfogey

WISP (Which ISP)

Whilst we are discussing the horrors of our ISP's, can anybody suggest one that would meet my needs nice and cheaply?

The location is at my mother-in-law's house, where I spend 5 or 6 days every other month. At present I use a mobile dongle, which struggles to give 3G, and even then is s...l..o...w, though it gets a bit better after midnight. There is no 4g here.

Phone service is from BT, and I am stuck with that (phones come from BT, gas from Gas Board, electric from Electricity Board, as it was ordained and always will be).

So. I am looking for an ISP that will provide 1 or 2 GB of data every other month, without demanding the phone line is changed, at a reasonable price.

Any ideas?

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Oldfogey
Flame

Re: Want their cake and to eat it

Personally, I am seriously annoyed by the immoral and unnacceptable increase in the copyright period for existing material.

Copyright is an agreement between the artist and society, giving the artist a period of monopoly in which to earn what they can from their art. To retrospectively extend this monopoly is unjust to society, and should never have been permitted.

As a result, I personally have no respect for any copyright over 50 years, and much less than i otherwise would have for younger works.

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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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