* Posts by Mike Shepherd

229 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Mike Shepherd

Comical

Firefox would be as popular as any browser that insists on well-formed, standards-compliant HTML. Can you think of any?

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The time on Microsoft Azure will be: Different by a second, everywhere

Mike Shepherd

Why?

Why invite trouble by changing the time reference to match civil time? Surely the reference can continue to advance steadily at some agreed pace? Then all you need is a simple algorithm to derive civil time (for display) from the reference (with appropriate "jumps" at the leap seconds). I don't understand.

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Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Even if...

Even if you converted every footpath in the country, the unpleasant experience of walking on a spongy (or constantly clicking) surface would have us all walking in the road.

Far better to invest in my hamster-breeding and treadmill mass-production program.

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AI pioneer reckons China's where the Rise of the Machines will start

Mike Shepherd

Re: He's not wrong

I once worked with a diminutive Japanese software engineer. I refrained from physical assault on the annoying t**t only because I thought he might be skilled in karate.

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Facebook 'fesses up to running an ideological echo chamber

Mike Shepherd

Don't disturb me with new ideas

Given the ubiquitous invitation "seeks like-minded person...", Facebook, Google etc. merely satisfy the majority preference not to be unsettled by anything novel (presumably as they hide behind the sofa).

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Met Police in egg/face blunder as shop-a-crim site's SSL cert expires

Mike Shepherd

Yawn

In other news, their coffee machine has run out of sugar.

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BT fined £800k over lax emergency text relay delay blunder

Mike Shepherd

Public floggings

I quite like the idea of public floggings for BT people. Is there somewhere we can send suggested names?

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Mike Shepherd

Re: UK market specifics

Since load management can save a lot of money (for suppliers), it's more important to be able to cut you off (whether or not you've paid your bill) when demand exceeds supply. With smart meters, you're in the dark while the little old lady next door can still run her dialysis machine. This fine-grained control wasn't possible before e.g. in the early 1970s, when you could avoid the power cuts by living close to a hospital.

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GSMA: Er, sorry about that MWC brothel ad with our logo

Mike Shepherd

Exploitation of women?

I always thought that prostitution was the exploitation of men.

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Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Mike Shepherd

Writers

The writers to whom you allude are presumably "struggling" (as the popular image goes) and hence unlikely to be registered for VAT, so VAT changes will not make it "incredibly hard" for them to publish their own material.

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Microsoft comes right out and says backup software is dead

Mike Shepherd

What I want

What I want is a cloud of encrypted data I can operate with family and friends, not with a corporation (probably foreign) hiding behind a sheaf of terms and conditions. It will let me know if duplication is falling behind target and, if I ever need a complete restore, I can call round and take a fast copy.

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Mobe-hungry BT's sales slip over Xmas amid EE buyout silence

Mike Shepherd

'...reflects a "modest" decline in...revenue with...customers moving to data and VoIP..., it said'

No connection, then, with customers' unpleasant burden of dealing with BT?

'BT also unveiled plans to tackle its burgeoning pension deficit of £7bn...part of a 16-year recovery plan'

16 years? Would that mortgage lenders were so patient!

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Microsoft cuts Facebook Messenger, Google Talk from Outlook.com

Mike Shepherd

"Doubling down"

"Doubling down" ???

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Mike Shepherd

We moved swiftly and decisively...

...as soon as we were found out.

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BT coughs £12.5 billion for EE as fourplay frolics pay off

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Been here before

I'll wait to see how they talk it up. From past ventures, the more celestial the choirs of praise and the more effusive the talk of a beautiful relationship, the more likely, as a rocket on bonfire night, to blow apart in sparks - think Philips/Lucent (company song) or - something BT would prefer to forget - their "merger" with AT&T.

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US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

Mike Shepherd

Re: Consistency

I'm confused as to what you mean by "this side of the Atlantic". Since you write "practised" as "practiced", you're on the US side? What are you trying to say?

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Hackney council leaked thousands of locals' data in FoI blunder

Mike Shepherd

Yeah, right

"Hackney Homes and the Council takes data protection very seriously..."

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Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama

Mike Shepherd

God bless us, every one!

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless those Chinese kids working 20 hours a day so I can have my kit cheaper....or is it so that Apple can mark up 200 per cent instead of 185?

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DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

Mike Shepherd

Surely...

Surely there's a simple commercial solution. Don't trust your data to any US company.

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ICANN, ICAN'T, IWON'T: uWHAT? How the internet is actually run

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Don't worry, Mr Lamb. It's only public money!

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Supercapacitors have the power to save you from data loss

Mike Shepherd

"...it is becomes increasingly important to learn about the supercapacitors that help prevent data loss"

It's no more important than learning how my car works or how electricity gets to my house. It may be of interest and no doubt it's a concern for the people who provide those things, but that's what I'm paying them to do.

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ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Mike Shepherd

Necessary

These laws are necessary since Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

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UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

Mike Shepherd

How helpful...

How helpful of the US to claim only a few days ago that increased airline security was needed. It is remarkable how "pressing" legislative needs so often follow high-profile "security" stories.

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Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

Mike Shepherd

Re: Amazing.

Does it matter? Visiting Moscow or St Petersburg, you may have the impression that plastic is as widespread as here. But most Russians don't use credit cards at all.

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NSA dragnet mostly slurped innocents' traffic

Mike Shepherd

Re: Second leaker

No citation? No evidence? Just "Some people believe..."?

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Windows users: You get a patch! And you get a patch! And you get a patch! Everybody gets...

Mike Shepherd

Month after month, year after year

When security patches are needed, month after month, with no apparent reduction, for faults which "...allow an attacker to take complete control of your PC", you have to ask if the architecture is flawed.

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Online

"...Maplin is working to build the online portion of its business, as many old world retailers have belatedly done".

Maplin had online ordering (via a 300 baud connection) at least as early as 1983, although orders placed at the weekend might not be processed until Tuesday, which made you wonder why they provided the service at all.

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Mike Shepherd

"Boondocks"

Maybe the author could explain his parochial version of English (after explaining his weird opinions).

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Cisco: You think the internet is clogged with video now? Just wait until 2018

Mike Shepherd

Don't worry

Hardly any of it will be worth watching, anyway.

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Déjà spew: US would accept higher bills for less CO2 by two-to-one

Mike Shepherd

It's simpler than that

The mistake is to believe what people say they'd do, especially when it involves reaching into their pockets.

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BT snatches crown: Soars to top of complaints list

Mike Shepherd

Re: BT =

I agree that, in this case, a more considered analysis would be pointless. After more than 30 years, it is a great relief to abandon all direct contact with BT. My ISP will deal with BT Openreach, a transfer of sustained pain for which I feel some guilt.

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Home Office terminates order for 16,000 PCs from Dell

Mike Shepherd

Don't worry, Mr Lamb...

...it's only public money!

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French data cops to Google: RIGHT, you had your chance. PUNISHMENT time

Mike Shepherd

Re: Fines are fine

Go, Frenchie!

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Keyboard, you're not my type

Mike Shepherd

"I'm sure you agree that things have changed considerably since then"

No.

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Pipex 'silence' condemned punters' emails to spam blackhole

Mike Shepherd
Thumb Down

Why not run your own power station, too?

We could all run our own SMTP server, like we could all grow our own food, make our own shoes and sew our own clothes. You need to make your way into the 18th century. (Look on the back of a £20 note, assuming you don't do everything by barter).

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US quakes before MENACING TURKEYS, snow globes

Mike Shepherd
Thumb Down

Options

There's an option. You can have compulsory standards for dangerous equipment or you can shout "No Big Government", so certifying authorities like UL are reduced to pleading with consumers to watch their demonstrations.

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Punters go postal with erratic Royal Mail site

Mike Shepherd
Stop

"Director of Customer Experience"

You couldn't make this stuff up.

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IP registry goes to Defcon 1 as IPv4 doomsday nears

Mike Shepherd

Prediction

No-one will force you to provide an IPv6 service. As you imply, many applications won't use it for a very long time. But if your prediction doesn't come true, there will soon be devices around the world which have only an IPv6 address and you won't get any traffic from them.

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Mike Shepherd
Happy

Why would you need separate IPv6 addresses?

A small part of the IPv6 space has been allocated to correspond to the entire IPv4 address space.

So, if you have a IPv4 address then you already have a corresponding range of IPv6 addresses. E.g. see http://www.twibble.org/Articles/IPv6/6to4.

Of course, if the IPv4 addresses are static, then the IPv6 addresses are static, too.

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CPS: We won't prosecute over BT/Phorm secret trials

Mike Shepherd
Thumb Down

Legal advice

"BT and Phorm had received considerable legal advice...and were advised it was unlikely to be contrary to..."

There seems to be some confusion here. Lawyers are paid to say that black is white (and, if paid even more, to argue this before a judge).

What matters is the decision of a court (and only that). If "legal advice" carries weight, we could all "get our mitigation in first" by paying for a legal opinion in case our crookery came to light.

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Tie me customer down, sport

Mike Shepherd
Thumb Down

"How difficult is it to capture a date of birth and send a relevant offer each year?"

I don't mind an infrequent e-mail from a supplier, to remind me that they exist and to tell me what they're up to.

Intruding on my private life is another matter. My birthday concerns my family, not colleagues or acquaintances. It sure as hell doesn't concern suppliers.

Perhaps these "marketers" send out their private greetings in the same way: "Happy Birthday. Many Happy Returns. Do not reply to this message as the sending address is not monitored. Click this link to update personal details or if the addressee has died". Do these idiots really believe that people are thrilled to get birthday greetings that they know are from a machine?

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UK is a closed source 'stronghold'

Mike Shepherd
Stop

Hard evidence, anyone?

'Canonical is involved in a project to ship millions of PCs pre-installed with Ubuntu out to rural communities....“Who knows what the people who get these machines will do with them,” George says'.

Well, instead of asking "Who knows", get back to us in ten years and let us know. Better still, since Linux has been around for twice that long, please point out the persuasive examples which show clearly the fatal error of depending on "proprietary" software. Instead what we hear is mere speculation.

It seems more likely that proprietary software does well in the UK because we can afford it, while the "Chinese rural communities" cannot. Using "open source" software might not put them greatly at a disadvantage, but neither will it turn them from necessity into soaring eagles of computer technology, any more than the quirks of my car will push me to redesign it and hence forge a new automobile industry to rival Honda, Mercedes and the rest.

On this PC I use the latest version of Open Office, but it is, frankly, inferior to Microsoft's Office 2003 which I use on another. As someone who has done little but work in software for 30 years, am I tempted to take out the Open Office gearbox and change it to suit my needs? I am not. Microsoft Office and Open Office are just tools I use on the way to somewhere else. They both have faults, but I am no more tempted to fix one than the other, simply because I have access to its design information.

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Locked iPhones still got their ears on

Mike Shepherd

"Apple is maintaining its traditional silence on the matter..."

I wouldn't want to judge without the full information, so it would be interesting to know what enquiries have been made and with how much enthusiasm.

If Apple's official position is indeed persistently to say nothing on matters which have given rise to legitimate customer enquiries, it's difficult (whatever the size of the company) to regard them as more than "cowboys".

I don't have any Apple products. Speaking to those who have, they appear to be genuinely impressed by their features, much less by the reliability and customer service. Maybe this can work for disposable toys or for equipment I can maintain myself, but not for a car or other complex equipment on which my livelihood depends.

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Google insists it couldn't have been British. Excuse me?

Mike Shepherd
Thumb Down

English

Is there an English version of this post?

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Mike Shepherd
Thumb Down

"...Google...could never have started...in Britain"

Maybe you could say the same of Al Capone. His was another business based on the work of others unable to enforce their rights.

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Yanks outweigh Canucks: Official

Mike Shepherd
Happy

"Obesity 8% less in Canada than in the US"

Sounds like a desperate bunch of Canadians if they were forced to this comparison, like a mass-murderer pleading mitigation because "Attila the Hun was far worse".

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BT fibre-to-the-premises trial takes 7 hours per install

Mike Shepherd

Not a problem

'BT's "superfast" broadbrand programme director, told El Reg that the company was still waiting for clearance from local authorities in Haringey to let the company install 18 of its cabinets'

Clearly, the local residents don't want it. Why is this a problem when there is demand elsewhere and we are invited to believe that the current limitation is how fast that demand can be met?

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Government flies kite for VAT changes

Mike Shepherd
Stop

Customs and Revenue / Revenue and Customs

HM Revenue and Customs won't "inspect every single imported item" any more than they inspect every purchase of a bar of chocolate from your corner shop. Nor do HMR&C "calculate the value and then charge VAT". VAT is administered by those who must charge it and by those who pay it but can reclaim it (as part of a legitimate business activity).

There is a registration and monitoring scheme for VAT, just as for PAYE. HMR&C investigate here and there to ensure compliance and imposes discouraging penalties where appropriate. If you try serious circumvention, you may be discovered and suffer criminal penalties.

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Is videoconferencing reborn?

Mike Shepherd
Grenade

More like suboptimal

"Videoconferencing" more than three people is inefficient and unpleasant, because the participants are distracted constantly by figuring out who is speaking and when they can get a word in without talking over everyone else.

Maybe they help introduce people to each other, but you can do that with one-to-one video (or just a photo). The real work is done in writing and in one-to-one conversations.

Webcasts (like videoconferencing) are largely a gimmick. Why not just collect a few questions and answer them in a short written article? That way, both questions and answers are likely to be better considered, more succintly expressed and quicker to take in (skipping those in which we have little interest). Don't expect any serious "interaction" because the experience is "real-time".

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