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* Posts by Tom Wood

387 posts • joined 14 May 2008

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EE TV brings French broadband price war to the UK

Tom Wood

Re: Seems very complicated

Well, maybe not *your* house. But mine, certainly.

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Tom Wood

Re: Seems very complicated

At the moment I get Broadband from BT - basically the same people who manage the wires, the street cabinet and the exchange. It seems to work okay. Why add a middleman (EE) with no Broadband delivery experience?

Because it's cheaper.

I get TV from Freesat - plug it in and point it at the sky and it works. Why faff around with something more complicated. If I want to record stuff, I can buy a recorder. I don't, so I won't.

Freesat is arguably more complicated than Freeview, which works with the same aerial that's been on your house for decades.

Just because you don't want a recorder doesn't mean nobody else wants one.

My TV already has a remote. Why would I want to faff around using a phone to control the TV?

That is a good question. Because many people already watch TV with a phone in their hand?

Why would I be watching a programme on my phone when there's a TV in the room?

Because their isn't a TV in a different room?

Now you/your kids/your grandkids can watch TV from their bedroom / the garden / the toilet without needing to install another TV (along with aerial cabling etc) in those places.

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Tom Wood

Re: "70 free channels"

That said, I'm already an EE mobile and broadband customer, and I'm in the market for a DVR, so a 4-channel Freeview HD DVR for free has certainly got my attention.

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Tom Wood

"70 free channels"

is a bit disingenuous, these channels are just the ordinary Freeview channels that everyone gets anyway.

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

Tom Wood

Seems like the software the criminals install on the ATMs is, in a way, more secure than the original ATM...

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Will we ever can the spam monster?

Tom Wood

Re: Email spam? What's that?

I send an email order to a small business from a legitimate email address that I have had for getting on 20 years and actually paid for. Gmail silently drops it as spam.

The "from" address is irrelevant (in spam, they're fake).

Did you send it through a legitimate and correctly configured mailserver? Does the mailserver have valid reverse DNS entry? Is it allowed by the SPF record for the sending domain? Is your server configured as an open relay or has it for some other reason found its way into one of the big DNS blocklists?

There's a whole bunch of ways your "legitimate" email server could be mis-configured so that it looks to Gmail like you're a likely spammer.

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Tom Wood

Re: Block port 25 by default

Right, message submission (to the ISP's mailserver or your own external one) should use port 587 for SMTP (including using STARTTLS) or port 465 for SMTPS. Port 25 should be restricted for message relaying/delivery which most customers of a domestic ISP have no call to do. Those that do need it should have to ask for it to be enabled and can then be monitored by the ISP more closely.

I don't agree about HTML mail though, that definitely has its uses.

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Tom Wood

Block port 25 by default

If the ISPs hosting these botnet-infected machines blocked port 25 (as many/most UK ISPs do), the spam couldn't spread anywhere near as easily. Most spam my mailserver receives comes from domestic connections outside the EU/US which are clearly from botnet infected machines that shouldn't be operating a mailserver.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

Tom Wood

Re: Maybe in the US

DIRECTV in the US blows Sky out of the water (yes, both require a satellite dish).

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Apple iCloud storage prices now ONLY double Dropbox, Google et al

Tom Wood

Re: Actually it's about the same

That's hardly Google's fault. Get a better credit card. They don't all charge for foreign transactions: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

Tom Wood

Re: Perhaps

Except maybe people who ripped their huge, legally purchased, CD collections (perhaps at high bitrates or lossless).

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

Tom Wood

Re: Interesting

You're right. If they can steal the safe then it doesn't matter whether it's made from cardboard or plywood or hardened steel, they will find a way to attack it.

The problem consumers have is that they are trusting their passwords to a safe of unknown quality surrounded by an unknown number of guards who may or may not be unfit and unable to run very fast and prone to fall asleep on the job.

Security is only as strong as its weakest link, so given that we don't know how careful websites are with their password security (recent incidents would suggest: not very) we should still follow all the usual rules (long complex passwords, don't reuse them, etc).

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

Tom Wood

Re: "We've all done these things"

In the old days perhaps the best reason for not taking photos of your embarrassing bits (aside from the more obvious concern that nobody wants to see *that*) was that the lady behind the photo counter in Boots would get to see them.

Now, just replace that lady behind the photo counter with someone at Google/the NSA/The Sun and you still have exactly the same good reason for not taking photos of your embarrassing bits.

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AMD slaps 'Radeon' label on Tosh flash: >Beard stroke< Hmm, cunning ...

Tom Wood

Is el Reg trying to out-Grauniad the Grauniad...

or is your proofreader on holiday?

"X86 CPU and Radeo graphics chipper AMD has come out with an SSD line using Toshiba/OCZ componentry.

It's called the Radeon R7-Series, which us a sideways extension of existing graphics processor branding."

and that's just in the first two paragraphs. This isn't the first article today that's contained pretty glaring errors.

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Tom Wood

Re: No problem at all.

Right, if you want a very expensive macbook (with a free holiday, and free fingerprint scanning on entry to the US).

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

Tom Wood

Oh, the ironing...

"Oxford Dictionary added words ...to its latest online addition."

You mean "latest online edition"?

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

Tom Wood

Re: Nearly had me agreeing

It's not quite that simple.

Imagine Netflix content is delivered by the lorryload to your home from a Netflix factory on the other side of the country.

You pay your local council to maintain streets and local roads that connect your home to the motorway network.

Netflix pay their local council to maintain the streets and local roads that connect them to the motorway network.

The question here is about who pays to maintain the motorway network. It's full of lorries carrying Netflix content. Netflix are effectively arguing that your local council should pay to build a new motorway linking them to the Netflix factory, or at least to the motorway junction very near their factory; or alternatively your council should pay for the land and infrastructure and ongoing costs required to have Netflix build a new factory in your town. Your local council are unsurprisingly arguing that Netflix should pay to build and maintain the motorway as far as the motorway junction near your town, or at least pay the rent and infrastructure costs for Netflix to build that factory in your town.

In most similar disputes, traffic flows more or less equally in both directions, so the answer is normally for both parties to split the cost between them. However, as this particular motorway will need many more lanes heading from the Netflix factory to your town than in the other direction, the argument is not so clear cut.

Disputes like this are going to run and run...

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Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

Tom Wood

Re: Hmmmm ...

Yes, were it not for Hanlon's razor

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FORGOTTEN Bing responds to search index ECJ ruling: Hello? Remember us?

Tom Wood

Are the 2.5% of people

Over-keen SEO folks who are paid to make sure things are listed in Bing...?

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Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system

Tom Wood

Re: An excellent system

@Amorous Cowherder

Did you actually read how this works? The cat is detected using a simple PIR sensor (as used for security lights, burglar alarms etc) not any fancy image processing. PIRs have the advantage of detecting only warm bodies (like cats and people) not trees moving etc.

The webcam is just for fun, and for calibrating the system.

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Tom Wood

Re: An excellent system

I assume Jess means using the same PIR and valve but with a simple timer to let the hose run for a short while after the PIR fires (similar to how a security light works).

That would be a fairly simple electronics project, and would work, but you wouldn't get the fun videos - which he mentions help to set up and calibrate the system as well as providing endless amusement.

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Fridge hacked. Car hacked. Next up, your LIGHT BULBS

Tom Wood

You actually bought these things?

May I ask why?

Just because they're "cool" or do they actually do something useful that regular lightbulbs don't?

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Help us out readers: How would you sniff and store network traffic?

Tom Wood

Re: TCPdump

Indeed. Wireshark and tcpdump both use libpcap for the actual capture of traffic. tcpdump is a command line frontend, ideal if you want to run a packet capture for a period of time then analyze it later (perhaps with Wireshark). Wireshark allows real-time capture and analysis (using libpcap) but also offline analysis of saved captures.

libpcap allows highly configurable capture filters to reduce the size of the packet capture by discarding stuff you don't need (such as filter by protocols, hosts, only capture packet headers and discard the payload, etc).

To capture traffic from all the PCs though you either need to run a capture on each individual PC or on the switch/router/gateway. You can only intercept the traffic where it passes and ordinarily one PC won't see traffic destined for another PC.

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When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

Tom Wood
Black Helicopters

Re: and so, ad infinitum

Did the email Peston received actually even come from Google?

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Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Tom Wood

Advertising companies

mobile phone companies could buy vast numbers of large scale video screens and then sell advertising space on them. ...

Mobile operators who feel that they have lost what they regard as core revenue, from apps to new entrants, may well feel motivated to try the field of media sales but will find winning the hearts and minds of advertisers very much harder than they expect.

Why would this technology require the phone companies to buy the video screens?

There are already video screens that show advertising. They're operated by advertising companies who also run more traditional billboards too (JCDecaux, Clear Channel, Exterion etc). Presumably they get the content to them somehow already. Maybe LTE Broadcast will provide a better way of getting content to the billboards but why would the mobile phone companies want to start buying billboards themselves? Wouldn't they just offer LTE Broadcast as a service to the existing billboard companies (assuming they want it...?)

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Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

Tom Wood

Stop calling it #@*$ing "coding"

"Coding" suggests a mechanical process of converting sense into almost-nonsense; encryption by hand if you will. No wonder people think it's boring.

Software engineering should be anything but mechanical. One of my favourite quotes about computing is from Turing: "Instruction tables will have to be made up by mathematicians with computing experience and perhaps a certain puzzle-solving ability. There need be no real danger of it ever becoming a drudge, for any processes that are quite mechanical may be turned over to the machine itself."

That's a rule for any programmer to live by - if you find your work becoming a drudge, write a program to do it for you (see also: compiler, automated test harness, etc...)

To encourage people to become interested in computer science and software engineering, we need to really sell it on that "certain puzzle-solving" aspect, not on "coding"

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BT and TalkTalk BOTH claim victory as Ofcom tackles fibre price row

Tom Wood

Re: That old horse:

The ducting etc down which the fibre travels, and the copper from the cabinets to the homes, was there when BT was a state monopoly.

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

Tom Wood

Re: When do they become available?

See http://www.dotuklaunch.uk/

Basically, you have to wait 5 years for the owner of the .co.uk to decide they don't want the corresponding .uk. Unless you can persuade them to register it and sell it to you (good luck with that).

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NeoPost: This is how you DON'T do PIN security

Tom Wood

Re: Errors

No, 3% is steep. Paypal's publicly-listed fee for the highest volume customers is 1.4%+20p. I expect that (1) you can get cheaper than Paypal and (2) even bigger customers can negotiate lower rates.

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Vodafone: SPOOKS are plugged DIRECTLY into our network

Tom Wood

Re: Stop taking GCHQ money the first place Vodafone Executives!!!

If we all switched to Tesco, Three or O2 would we be any better off Folks?

No. This is about fibre networks. BT and Vodafone (the former Cable & Wireless business) are the UK's biggest operators of fibre networks so it's hardly surprising they get the most money for allowing their networks to be tapped.

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Tech talk bloke compares girlfriend to irritating Java tool – did he deserve flames?

Tom Wood

Re: interesting variety of discourse????

Well that just perpetuates the myth that IT is run mainly by men that live with their mum and can't get a girlfriend.

Actually, it doesn't. The guy who wrote the slide has a girlfriend. If she's anything like my financee (yes, I work in IT too, and I don't live with my mum: take that, myth!) she'd probably laugh about it. Normal people in normal relationships can and do have a bit of a joke with each other, often at the other's expense.

Whilst we shouldn't hang him for the stupid slide we shouldn't applaud him either.

Exactly. We should ignore it. At the very most be British and tut to ourselves a bit.

My point was a wider one around freedom of speech and the effect of twitter/Daily Mail created false outrage. When talking to a restricted audience, it is good to be able to engage with your audience and share a joke on the understanding that everyone within the room knows it's a joke. The only people entitled to take offence are those in the room. But now speakers face the risk that it will be taken out of context by people who are not in the room and used to whip up a frenzy. Which is surely going to have the effect of making public talks much more bland.

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Tom Wood

Re: The "it's a joke" brigade have missed the point

we don't live in the old days...public speaking, by very nature is public

Indeed, but that doesn't mean we have to throw out all the interesting variety of discourse we used to have and replace it with bland drivel for fear of upsetting absolutely anyone on twitter. Yes, it's public speaking, but it shouldn't mean the speaker has to expect some twit to strip a snippet of the speech from all surrounding context and lay it before other twits to pass judgment.

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Tom Wood

Re: The "it's a joke" brigade have missed the point

when this went out into the twatosphere others other than tech heads will of been made aware of it

And that is what's wrong with twitter, and the Daily Mail. They seem to think it's acceptable to take something out of a closed context, wave it around in public, and shout "LOOK AT WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING! YOU SHOULD BE OUTRAGED AND JUDGE THEM". Even though you weren't there, and you weren't in the target audience.

In the old days this would never have left the conference room, and that would have been that.

A public speaker now has to consider not just his actual intended audience, but any little twit who knows nothing of the context but everything about being judgmental about things he has no right to judge. Which can only make public speaking worse.

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Tom Wood

Re: Atlassian just went down in my estimation

And El Reg reported it, rather than just ignoring it, and I responded to that article, rather than just ignoring it. Gah!

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Tom Wood

Atlassian just went down in my estimation

Not because of that guy's slides, but because of their response to it.

Someone makes a joke which rehashes an old stereotype but really, isn't offensive at all. It's mildly amusing but slightly tiresome at the same time. Other than that it's an irrelevance and it should have been immediately forgotten about.

Some twit with a cameraphone tweets the joke rather than just ignoring it as he should have done.

Other twits on Twitter respond to the first twit, in the way twits like to do, rather than just ignoring it as they should have done.

Finally, Atlassian make the mistake of feeding the twitty trolls rather than just ignoring it, as they should have done.

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'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'

Tom Wood

Virgin Media

I found this on Street View the other day. This is outside Virgin Media's headend/depot in Leeds:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=seacroft+leeds&hl=en&ll=53.826635,-1.460538&spn=0.003175,0.006228&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=48.956293,102.041016&t=h&hnear=Seacroft,+West+Yorkshire,+United+Kingdom&z=18&layer=c&cbll=53.826139,-1.461179&panoid=ZpYnpZSDlgJ_R2Oudao2qA&cbp=12,57.36,,0,6.01

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REVEALED: GCHQ's BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE

Tom Wood

Re: Loyal Commenter

You don't have to have "signed the Official Secrets Act" for it to apply to you.

The bit of paper they make you sign before giving you access to protectively marked information is just a reminder of your responsibilities under the Act. The Act still applies to everyone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Secrets_Act#United_Kingdom

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Amazon workers in Germany celebrate strike anniversary with ... ANOTHER STRIKE

Tom Wood

Re: Perhaps it's time Amazon delivered a solution.

Do you not think someone like Amazon could make an agreement with the carriers to drive their trucks a few km over an EU border, without charging them full international postage rates?

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Office website HACKED: Passwords, addresses, phone numbers slurped

Tom Wood
Pint

Re: Hospital

There's a student pub in Leeds called The Library (I presume it used to be one).

But I imagine it makes for good cover-up stories (spent all afternoon in the library, etc...).

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London officials declare cabbie-bothering Uber is legal – for now

Tom Wood

I'm lacking in context here, not knowing what Uber is. But round here (Leeds) and in fact in many non-London cities I've visited, private hire firms (minicabs) often have "meters" fitted and charge the fare based on the meter. Now these often have LCD screens and don't look exactly the same as meters in black cabs. Are they not classed as "taximeters" either, or is the whole thing about no taximeters in private hire cars some London-specific rule?

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Today's bugs have BRANDS? Be still my bleeding heart [logo]

Tom Wood

Re: Note to all C programmers

Braces around single lines make the code really ugly and sometimes less readable. In this particular case, they should be avoided.

No, no and a million times no. If you want to get rid of braces, go and write Python.

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Tom Wood

Re: @kraut, re: goto fail;

Agree completely about braces after every conditional, even if it's just a single line.

But I guess I'm just so used to looking for logical operators when looking at conditional statements in other people's code that I much prefer not to have to evaluate odd expressions like if(false == i), or even worse, if(true != i) in my head while I'm reading code. I'd rather the more straightforward if(!i). It's like reducing algebraic expressions into the simplest form back at school.

If you really want to throw someone, try using the spelled-out versions if(not i), if(false eq i) etc!

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iso646.h)

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Tom Wood

Re: re: goto fail;

I've seen code like this a few times:

if (false==one.checkSomething())

and I just think "why?!"

I understand the logic behind putting the constant on the left, but why explicitly compare with true or false? What's wrong with if (!one.checkSomething())?

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GOV.UK push in action: Er, FEWER Brits filling out govt forms online

Tom Wood

Just what am I supposed to be doing online?

"proportion of people who completed government processes online at least once every three months"

I don't submit a tax return, claim child benefit, or whatever.

The only government "process" I regularly do online is buying car tax and that only needs doing once a year.

What am I meant to be doing every 3 months? Surely checking the local council website for the opening hours for the tip or whatever hardly counts as a government process.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Tom Wood

Re: so NOT putting lots of chemicals in your body is NOT ok then?

My homegrown organic veggies and fruit taste a lot better than what you can buy in the supermarkets. It is also fresher (in season). It can be picked and eaten in minutes not days. Sure sometimes there are a few insects picked along with the veggie but that really does not matter in the long run.

The same is true of my homegrown veggies, just remove the word "organic" from that paragraph.

Organic real ale tastes better than crap supermarket lager, but that's because it's real ale, not because it's organic.

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BlackBerry ditches T-Mobile US after iPhone advert spat

Tom Wood

Re: Hypothermia

Even if said sales channel is explicitly trying to poach your loyal customers for a competitor? It looks like if they stayed with T-M, they would have fewer customers, not more.

Especially if said sales channel is explicitly trying to poach your loyal customers for a competitor!

T-Mob: Hey, why don't you try an iPhone?

Cust: No thanks, I like Blackberries.

BB: Stuff you, T-Mob, we're not selling you any Blackberries.

T-Mob: No skin off our nose.

Cust: OK T-Mob, give me an iPhone.

What they could have done is pushed the reasons why the customer should stick with a Blackberry on T-Mob and not be tempted by the iPhone; instead they cut off their nose to spite their face.

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Apple poking at idea of bayonet phone fittings

Tom Wood

Re: Doesn't mean Apple will use it

Samsung already make the Galaxy NX - an interchangable-lens camera that runs Android and has 4G connectivity. Or is that a phone that looks like an interchangable-lens camera?

Either way, interchangable lenses on a camera, or camera/phone, is hardly a novel idea.

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Tom Wood

Re: Weird cabling

Wonder if it supports Audio Return Channel over HDMI. The 10 year old Sony won't but my 3 year old Toshiba does, as does my Pioneer audio system/bluray player which cost I think about £250. It means you only need one cable between the TV and the audio system - for bluray playback it pushes the video over the cable to the telly, and for watching TV the TV pushes the audio the other way down the same cable to the audio system. Even better, when you press standby on the TV it switches the audio system on or off with the TV too!

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Google slashes cloud storage to $0.026 per GB. Your move, Amazon

Tom Wood

Re: Not sure a small Wordpress blog

I'm now not sure whether you meant 500 MB of RAM or storage. I has assumed RAM - in which case that's not too bad (though overkill for a small blog) but if storage then you can definitely get a VPS cheaper, and probably easier to set up.

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