* Posts by Steve Evans

2597 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Steve Evans

Re: Not much of a chemist then?

What if the tallow was obtained from an animal which had died happily of old age. Surely then it's just perfectly green recycling?

I guess it could also be extracted from various human limbs certain religions deem it acceptable to hack off for various transgressions. I wonder if Saudi Arabia has thought about a possible export market?

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Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Steve Evans

Re: All about the money....

Oh they haven't. You should see all the rules and regs that are about to come into full force.

The tobacco legislation does more to screw small, independant e-cig manufacturers, and juice suppliers, than anything I can think of. I have no idea how that could have happened...

Only huge companies will be able to work in the market... Oh look, here come BAT and Philip Morris.

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Steve Evans

Well of course they can now see stopping the burning leaf production, they've managed to push through all the laws required in Europe to push any small players out, and now they can dominate the vaping market.

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GET pwned: Web CCTV cams can be hijacked by single HTTP request

Steve Evans

Re: whistle blowers

Well certainly not competent... Honestly...

This is the kind of coding assumption which was laughable twenty years ago, now it's gross negligence.

Rule #1 of C programming is never assume the length of the data you are being given!

(OK, it's probably not rule #1, but it damn well should be!).

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50 years on, the Soviet-era Soyuz rocket is still our favorite space truck

Steve Evans

Indeed.

The rocket engineering expertise for both Russia and USA's space programs was provided by the Nazi rocket engineers they managed to grab at the end of the war.

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Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

Steve Evans

Re: OT: @Jos V

Or able to read countless signs in a language they are fluent enough to argue in 5 minutes later...

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Steve Evans

So that's a fair bit of work for someone at Google maps to move half the country along a bit!

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Steve Evans

Re: OT: @Jos V

Don't get me started on the twats who fly on budget airlines... I always get stuck behind the ones in knee-high lace up boots who have failed to notice everyone before them has been asked to remove footware.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person with the common sense to unlace shoes whilst queuing and tuck the laces inside for a quick remove... Not to mention removing my belt and placing everything from my trouser pockets in my coat pockets, bar my phone, for a quick remove and dump into the trays.

I'm still seeing people having litre bottles of water removed from them at security, and they're still looking perplexed (despite walking past two dozen signs whilst queuing).

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Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

Steve Evans

That would be the only hope...

Andrew's complete failure to mention which antiquated version of Android it ships with (which you will be forever burdened with) does not fill me with hope for the shipped OS.

Oh, I take that back... It's got Marshmallow according to the manufacturer's website... It'll never get an update mind.

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How-to terror manuals still being sold by Apple, Amazon, Waterstones

Steve Evans

knee-jerk...

Removing books is a bit knee-jerk TBH, anyone who has paid attention in a chemistry class at school (assuming those haven't also been banned), knows how to make something which will go *bang*.

Given the Chinese made gunpowder for thousands of years, it's obviously not made of anything exotic, which would be hard to acquire.

More exotic explosives are a little trickier, but still within the abilities of a backyard chemist. A few minutes on google and wikipedia would provide plenty of information.

And if all that fails, you could just smuggle a Samsung phone into your hold luggage ;-)

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UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn

Steve Evans

@Mooseman - They'd miss it by some 12 miles...

They're actually aimed at services on the M1...

http://londonist.com/2015/02/why-do-the-guns-of-hms-belfast-point-at-a-motorway-service-station

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Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

Steve Evans

If the cops are going to charge him, he should just withdraw his statement...

And let anyone who wants to contradict him come forward... ;-)

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Steve Evans

This uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy than a leave or remain could ever do.

Whatever you're going to do, just get on and do it!

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Steve Evans

Re: Sonic BOOOOOOOOM

Just one Typhoon is loud enough thank you!

Pity we flogged all the Harriers off to the US Marines for spares, now that would enable some truly unique formation flying...

Spitfires? Whilst they would sound amazing, they're a bit too rare, old and delicate to start giving that kind of loading on the airframe regularly! They won't even let the BBMF fly formation in low cloud in these days, let alone pull any stunts!

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Soz, folklore fans! Negligence, not Nessie, sank WWI German sub

Steve Evans

Re: Das Bootnote

Because one of the few times English has a gender for an non-living object is for boats, and they're female.

If you really want to go and start a noun gender fight, I believe Spanish and Italian share quite a few nouns, but disagree on the gender of the item.

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RRS Sir David Attenborough construction goes full-steam ahead

Steve Evans

Re: Mr Fawlty....

You can see the sea. It's over there between the land and the sky.

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Steve Evans

Re: Fanboy alert

I suspect the author has never used an Android device in his life... Notifications copied from iOS? Errr, I think he'll find that iOS copied them from Android, quite a few years ago!

Oh well, at least we know where all the Apple Fanboys have moved to since the Verge and Guardian started to escape the distortion field... Bad news for El Reg.

Or have we all just been trolled?

Bad El Reg... BAD!

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

Steve Evans

Re: Never had a Nexus

These Pixel phones certainly strike me as very dull. They look like an iPhone 4 with the home button missing... What's the deal with the huge top and bottom bezel, those are horrid... A bit of bezel on the sides is preferable to allow for squashy hands (are you listening Samsung Edge - stop it, it's silly!).

And I'm a self confessed Nexus boy too!

Guess I'll be sticking with the Nexus 6 for another year... And hell, why not, it's still a superb phone (QHD Amoled, NFC, Wireless charging, 64gig, surprisingly good camera)... It's big, and I love it (as the actress said to the bishop!). It's got stereo front facing speakers too, and still smaller top/bottom bezels than this new iPixel thing!

As for Nexus (vanilla) phones being boring, that's all down to you... It's Android, you customise the crap out of it! I didn't like the new launcher with it's odd application scrolling, so I've got Nova launcher, and it'll act in any way I want it to.

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Firefox to doctor Pepper so it can run Chrome's PDF, Flash plugins

Steve Evans

They certainly need to do something, Flash on FF 64bit has been broken since the last update.

Yes, we know that flash is evil, and about to be condemned to the bin of history, but right now a lot of sites depend on it.

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Portsmouth bomb about to be detonated

Steve Evans

The blast wave from the SS Richard Montgomery is one problem, the resulting wave, trapped in the narrow confines of the Thames is another... Windows get blown out first, then the water comes in... Nice!

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Steve Evans

Re: Bah!

I remember hearing about that from a Guernsey telecom engineer... The whole thing remained intact and the entire blast just excavated a cavern underneath it... Which it promptly sat back onto, slightly wonky.

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Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law?

Steve Evans

I'd definitely go with the bluetooth option myself... Much less likely to be spotted.

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BBC to demand logins for iPlayer in early 2017

Steve Evans

I'm glad I'm not the only one with W12 8QT burnt into their subconscious.

I don't know who to blame, swap shop or Blue Peter.

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Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

Steve Evans

Not a good thing to crash into, you know it's going to have plenty of footage to convict the other driver of careless driving.

Probably good enough footage to see he was on the phone at the time too (if he was of course).

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Microsoft inserts 'new kind of computer ... into our cloud' for speedier Azure services

Steve Evans

An FPGA to bounds check all the HTTP parameters, because web programmers don't seem capable if it?

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Steve Evans

Re: stop being annoying

Oh good god you're not wrong... Recently I've been making some clean installs (with no adblock at the time), and opening some sites has full volume video automatically start... It takes a while to find the damn things too, as there are several moving, animated panels, and only one of them is the video with the sound on.

I didn't realise the web had become so full of shit and noise...

Adblock/disconnect rapidly installed.

As you say, I've got nothing against a few adverts, but when you open a page and 70% of the screen is full of non-content, you know there's something wrong.

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I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop

Steve Evans

@A/C

Another idea for towns, have bollards embeded in all roads so that when the stolen car passes over, the bollard can be triggered, disabling the car. eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU7VNnuanhA

The general idea with stolen cars is to retrieve the car and catch the thieves...

You've just trashed the car, the thieves are off on their toes, and the wreck is blocking your pursuit.

Those aren't anti-theft bollards, those are to keep public drivers out of bus only and restricted areas.

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Apple guilty in iPhone ringtone patent rip-off battle with Sony, Nokia

Steve Evans

15 out of 16 patents dispatched. Not a bad ratio.

You only need one to hold up and it's win win win...

Which is why Apple, amongst others, spams the US patent system with ridiculous patents.

The US patent system cashes the cheque and says thanks you without even looking at the application, leaving the lawyers to sort out what is and isn't worthy for years to come... The system is incredibly broken.

If you were a small innovative company, you couldn't afford the lawyers to kill off the duff patent claims, so you're pretty screwed before you even get to market.

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World+dog to get retro classic Commodore 64 for Christmas

Steve Evans

Speccy vs Amiga is a pointless war, they are different generations and price brackets. The Spectrum was a machine built to a very tight budget, so didn't even stack up very favourably with the more expensive machines of its era such as the BBC Micro and Commodore 64. All 8 bit, Z80 or 6502 (6510), all from 1981/82. Sure it was fun to play with, and spawned a load of home programmers, but it was a bit of a toy.

The Amiga was the successor to the C64, and like the Atari ST or the same time, was based on the 68000, a 32 bit CPU and both launched in 1985. None of the 8 bit machines has a hope against these beasts.

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Steve Evans

Re: Likely lineups for those

I can't imagine some of these chips are easy to replace these days, I may be wrong :)

Needing a long obsolete chip sounds like a good excuse to learn FPGA's... IIRC there's a crazy man on the intarwebz who is systematically going through every chip on the BBC Micro motherboard and defining it in VHDL...

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Steve Evans

I assume if everything falls out you'll be accused of holding it wrong?

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Android Studio 2.2 debuts

Steve Evans

It actually seems to be coming together rather nicely.

Installation was a breeze, much easier than earlier versions I'd played with... apart from one thing... Intel haven't signed their HAXM virtual device driver, so if you have a newer PC/Windows, you have to disable the safety net first.

Nice one Intel... Muppets!

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Nvidia: Eight bits ought to be enough for anybody ... doing AI

Steve Evans

Re: My CPU is a neural net processor

You're in good company.

http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/slideshows/2011/06/futurama/signatures/20110620_futurerama-benderxray-signed.nocrop.w670.h375.jpg

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The next Bond – Basildon or Bass-Ass? YOU decide

Steve Evans

Re: Where is this poll of which you speak?

I think it's like one of those "democratic" elections certain countries prefer...

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Excel abuse hits new heights as dev uses VBA to code spreadsheet messaging app

Steve Evans

And why not...

I once wrote a 6502 assembler interpreter in BBC Basic...

Come on, I can't be the only person who felt a programming urge, but couldn't think of anything worthwhile to write!

Sometimes it's the journey, not the destination which is the entertainment.

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Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Steve Evans

Re: Stupid headphone adapter...

"I'm sure in a few months you'll be able to buy a package of three adapters for $10 on eBay, just like you can with Lightning cables so you'll have spares."

As long as you are happy to run the risk of it suddenly stopping working, as happened to a work mate with his no appletax Chinese QI wireless charger case... Worked wonderfully for a few weeks, then "rejected".

He had to buy a "proper" one, which ironically is less practical in that the lower portion is deeper, meaning his headphone jack wouldn't reach the socket... Well not until we shaved a few mm off the plastic with a box cutter! I can see why they deleted the socket now!

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Windows 10 now rules the weekend, taking over from Windows 7

Steve Evans

Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

I'm more curious to know why there was an NetMarketshare upsurge in XP in July?

Was it retro month and nobody told me?

If that's just down to "statistical error", the magnitude of change for Win 7, 8 and 10 aren't far outside that either.

Personally, I finally ended up with Win 10 thanks to a new laptop, I've only had it as a VM before now for software testing. I'm not greatly impressed. Classic shell improved things, mainly by getting the start menu back to a Win 7 style desktop and not a tablet inspired frenzy of tiles (Microsoft, just give up, Metro was a failure, just remove all traces, at least from desktop installs!). I've had more than a few BSOD thanks to drivers exploding (wasn't that supposed to have been fixed in Win 7?), and the damn desktop icons keep sorting and aligning themselves to the left, even when all those options are turned off. Alarmingly I found reports of this bug dating back to 2015 in the betas.

And yes, that bar graph is hideous.

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Still got a floppy drive? Here's a solution for when 1.44MB isn't enough

Steve Evans

Re: @ D@v3

"FWIW, it connects to the host via a (parallel) floppy drive connector, not via USB. Admittedly a very niche use case."

Niche indeed... I've built quite a few machines in the last few years, and I can't remember the last time I saw a floppy header on the motherboard!

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BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement

Steve Evans

Re: A perfect example of why software patents aren't allowed

US patents... Says it all really... The UK patent office wouldn't even entertain those trivial ideas.

There's nothing innovative, nothing ground breaking, they're verging on the "bleedin' obvious".

The US patent office however, will take the processing fee and grant anything... They leave it up to the lawyers to fight it out later and get stupid patents wiped out... Which is great for the lawyers, but would really screw any small business who happens to accidentally implement one of these "ideas" in a few lines of python one afternoon.

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BBC vans are coming for you

Steve Evans

Re: I'd still like to know...

The vans are all smoke and mirrors. Whilst it could be possible to detect the signals generated by CRT TV's back in the day, flat panels are a whole different ball game, plus a 1920x1080 monitor would generate signals just like a 1080P TV.

The "detector" van works from a database.

Property used to have licence, didn't renew it = Knock on door.

Property just bought a new TV and don't have a licence (you did know that retailers take your address to log the sale of a TV didn't you?) = Knock on door.

To a lesser extent Antenna on roof and no licence = Knock on door.

I'm sure they make a continual pain of themselves round any new development as the new addresses appear on the database.

Whether the snoopers charter will extend to allow the BBC to demand names and addresses of people accessing their streams is something I'm sure we'll find out very soon.

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Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Steve Evans

Re: What?!!

It might be a huge package, but it's the size of the product inside that counts, and we all know what Amazon can be like with their choice of boxes!

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WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

Steve Evans

FB never had my mobile number, and it will remain so.

Never installed their app, used m.facebook.com... Eventually they turned up the crippling to force mobile users to install their intrusive messenger app if they wanted to send messages... Installed Opera instead, as the mobile website messenger is only deliberately crippled for specific browsers, which doesn't currently include Opera.

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EU ministers look to tighten up privacy – JUST KIDDING – surveillance laws

Steve Evans

Not only that, but again and again (thinking about the French here), the perpetrators had been, or still were, on a watch list...

If you suspect someone, and you're presumably keeping an eye on them, and yet they still go off and do something "bad", it's not the bulk trawling that you need, it's better abilities when you have a specific target, which is standard investigative skills.

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Nuclear fallout shelter becomes cloud storage bunker

Steve Evans

Re: An increasingly popular model

Don't forget the naturally low ambient temperature of being in a cave...

Although it does make it a little tricky to get rid of excess heat if you do push it... I wonder if the Paris site thought about using the discovered well as a heat soak...?

(Now I've just got to shift the mental image of scalding hot geezers appearing on the French landscape from my mind!)

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Boffins design security chip to spot hidden hardware trojans in processors

Steve Evans

The slice and scan technique certainly sounds like a better way to check to me.

If "naughty" fab were to add a delay into their "naughty" bit, so it only became operable after several gazillion operations, it wouldn't show up during electrical testing unless the implementation had been particularly bad.

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Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Steve Evans

Re: Dunno...

It's all Greek to me!

Are you sure it's not double Dutch?

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DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

Steve Evans

Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

And after they did so much to try to increase income...

Namely make it non transferable, so when you sell a car the tax doesn't go with it, so the new owner has to tax it, for the whole month... So unless you buy a vehicle on midnight at the start of the month, both you and the previous owner have paid that month.

Which is all completely bonkers. Tax should be for the vehicle, and given it's a paperless system now, why are we still working in month chunks? I should be able to tax it on 15th of July, with it running until 15th July next year.

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Viscous liquid oozing down the walls? You must have hives

Steve Evans

You have to move bees a minimum of several miles, or they'll know where they are when you release them, and head straight back to where they came from.

So if you want to move bees 200m down the road you have to take them several miles away first, leave them there for a couple of weeks, then move them back to where you actually want them.

Fascinating little creatures.

(Sorry, being far too factual, I'll go get a coffee).

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Tech support scammers mess with hacker's mother, so he retaliated with ransomware

Steve Evans

The ones I've received all had faked caller ID.

But I still have fun with them... When I have the time I keep them on the phone for as long as possible, my current record is 45 minutes... Unfortunately this was beaten by my friend Dave... I haven't had a call since so have been unable to better him. (I think maybe I insulted them too much and actually got blacklisted).

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Wanna build your own drone? Intel emits Linux-powered x86 brains for DIY flying gizmos

Steve Evans

Re: Typical Intel

I don't think it's intended for the likes of us mortals.

It's too big, expensive, heavy and power hungry (meaning a bigger, heavier battery) for a regular civilian drone. Do you really want to send an SSD into the air?

I guess they're got to do something to shift those "lower-power" Atoms, even if they are going to start fabbing ARM chips.

Looks quite fun with the onboard FPGA, although if you want to fly an FPGA you can do it for a fraction of the cost (weight and power consumption) with https://folknologylabs.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/storm-in-a-pint-pot/

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