* Posts by Anthony Hegedus

101 posts • joined 27 Oct 2008

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Audi TT: It's NOT a hairdresser-mobile, the dash is too flash

Anthony Hegedus
Coat

Shall I just get my coat?

Is "binnacle" in common usage anywhere? in my four decades and something on this planet I've never come across it.

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UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

Anthony Hegedus

I once amused myself in my office by feeding these survey scammers false information to see what they did with it. I'd frequently get phone calls after that asking for "Gary Hitler" or "Adolf Eichmann" or various other names I'd made up. In 2011 the trend was to use cheap indian call centres to make the outgoing "sales" calls - offering injury compensation, doing more "surveys" etc. (can't remember if PPI was a thing back then). If the call looked like an "outcome" was promising, they'd escalate it to a slightly less impossible-to-understand indian. If it looked like a "definite", they'd transfer you to a UK call centre staffed with people with vaguely understandable voices and official sounding job titles. The whole thing was probably very well organised and was probably linked to the nascent "your computer is sending out viruses, please pay as to repair it" industry,

Anyway, I recorded one of these scam incoming calls, where they had already been fed rubbish data, and fed them some more. I still can't believe the sheer determination of the call centre staff, tempered only by their ignorance and stupidity. Here's the recording (with subtitles that I added): https://youtu.be/UakaSdXk8ZI

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Anthony Hegedus

Re: Proper punishment

"Then, and only then, snap a finger on each hand just to act as a reminder." - so they'll have been injured, and they should be forced to have to phone each other about it 8 hours a day 7 days a week and try and offer each other compensation. If they don't comply, simply break more fingers.

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Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50

Anthony Hegedus

I really don't get it. I don't get expensive watches either, but I do know they hold their value, because of the craftsmanship, the name, the expensive jewels etc. and of course the fact that they will always do their job as well as the day you bought it.

Apple's "watch" on the other hand will not always do its job as well as the day it was bought. By job, I mean "being a smartwatch". Yes, it'll connect to a 2015-model iphone, but in ten years time, what exactly will it be able to connect to? Are apple going to ensure that a 2035 model of the iphone will still work with that lovely looking apple watch you bought for $10000 20 years previously? I think not. And even if it did, the software won't be upgradeable to whatever apple watches will be using then, for sure.

Unless they've designed it so that the electronics and the display can be easily replaced, leaving a fancy case and strap, the whole thing is fucking daft. No other tech has been made that incorporates precious metals and fancy design in the same way (and I don't count those nokia vertu phones as they're targetted at a different market)

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Google looks to scrape away scumware, as only it can

Anthony Hegedus

Oh good, so they'll block Java, because it insists on loading Ask.com, which is basically malware. And Avast.com because avast tries to load Chrome or dropbox, and adobe because it tries to load mcafee "scan plus" (another virus). And Microsoft.com because it tries to load harmful software such as microsoft updates, Windows 8, etc.

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

Anthony Hegedus

progress...

And pity the poor helpdesk minions. They are armed only with a 10-line set of instructions and no other knowledge of anything in the world.

Reminds me of a helpdesk in the bad old days of AOL actually being an ISP - a customer of mine told me that they rang AOL when their broadband wasn't working, and after half an hour on the phone confirming that their browser was indeed internet exploder, the helpdesk zombie asked the customer to follow the *yellow* lead from the modem to the phone socket. The customer said that that was a grey lead. The AOL operative replied "I'm sorry, we can't help you, as you're not using the equipment that was sent out to you. Please find the yellow lead and call us back"

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Internet of Thieves: All that shiny home security gear is crap, warns HP

Anthony Hegedus

I often end up having to set up remote access to home security systems so that the owner can ogle his security cameras from afar and I'm shocked by the total lack of security on these systems. There's usually a separate user and admin account, but all too often only the admin account is set up. Then the actual security is usually just a 4-digit pin. And amazingly, it's usually set to "0000" or "1234".

The security companies who put this kit in are not IT security consultants. They understand about fitting cameras to walls, best places to put IR sensors and certainly talk the security talk. But they get lost with IT - completely lost! That's why they often call us to set up the remote access bit.

I've even seen some instances where they completely open up all the remote management ports on a home router that's still got its factory default password set.

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This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS

Anthony Hegedus

And in 50 years, where are we going to find a device that'll be able to read that disc?

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

Anthony Hegedus

Speaking as the owner of an iphone 6 plus, who upgraded 11 months before the contract is due, I'm delighted. I sold my "old" iphone 5s for more than the buy-out cost of my existing contract, got the latest phone on a zero-interest scheme from my network (o2), and now have the phone I wanted. Yes, it does the same basically as the old phone, but I can see the screen better (being nearly twice the size), I can type more accurately, I can take better photos, I can store more music and videos, the battery lasts longer - much longer, as a satnav it's more functional because it's bigger, and the speakerphone seems louder.

The improvements are incremental, but I'm not interested in fashion, I don't care about a new car, I don't even have a TV (another thing that suckers you in to frequent upgrades - 47" is the new 32" I believe).

It's what floats your boat I suppose. Phones float my boat. I spend less on my phone than other people do on Sky subscriptions, clothes, cars etc.

And the thing about zero percent interest is significant - I could buy an iphone, but it would not cost me less than getting it on a contract (at least with o2) even if I had the money, which I don't.

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

Anthony Hegedus

Re: Quick correction

Though I've noticed that sky LLU does this stupid lag thing too.

And the advantage of talktalk LLU is that they have *some* control at least over the line speed. BTW doesn't.

It's all due to trying to run a 21st century technology over a 19th century network.

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Latest menace to internet economy: Gators EATING all the PUSSIES

Anthony Hegedus

Why would a croc leaves two cat carcasses? Surely a croc would just consume them whole? Or does the reptile daintily nibble away at the cats, eating only the good bits?

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Apple's 16GB iPhones are a big fat lie, claims iOS 8 storage hog lawsuit

Anthony Hegedus

Yes you've hit the nail on the head here. But I think that Android should go a several steps beyond what it's currently doing: how about you plug in an SD card and the OS works out which apps to move, informs the user and then actually moves them and their data (and their caches) over to the SD card?

Now someone is going to tell me that that's something that microsoft's thing does.

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Anthony Hegedus

Re: This..

Actually I buy Kingston and sandisk, never cheap sd cards. And that's not the reason my s3 is cocking awful. It's just cocking awful. I could explain why if enough people really want to know.

But my point is that as it comes, you are limited in what you can actually store on SD cards in android. Yes, you can store torrented movies but why does google play insist on using main storage when it even has a setting to use the SD card? And why do games not let you store their huge data files on SD card? Why can't programs be stored on SD card?

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Anthony Hegedus

I have android devices (as well as an iphone 6+) and yes, they have a microSD cards but they're not that useful:

- Google Play Music claims to store my tracks on the SD card but I regularly find it's been using 1GB or more of the main flash storage

- Apps can't be stored on the SD card

- Apps that download data after downloading the app don't always seem to ask where I'd like it stored.

Consequently, my Sony tablet for example keeps telling me my device memory (the 10GB or so left of the 16GB that Sony advertises) is more than 75% full and I should move items to the SD card. It offers a little app to do it for me, and it moves precisely nothing, because it can't.

My samsung phone is so cocking awful (Galaxy s3) that it always has free storage, mainly because I try to use the phone as little as possible anyway. I'm now on my third SD card, and I've given up as all of them are now "damaged or corrupted" and the stupid phone refuses to ever use them again, and plugging them into a PC confirms that they're now faulty.

So they all do it. Look at Windows (!). I installed Windows 8 on a 64GB SSD and it gradually filled up with temporary files, bits of service pack, bits of update and basically crap.

But yes, all manufacturers should say how much space their OS takes up. In the case of Windows, Microsoft should fess up and say it needs at the very least a 120GB SSD to work properly for more than a few months.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Anthony Hegedus

I thought you'd been hacked

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Gangnam Style BREAKS YouTube

Anthony Hegedus
Coat

I watched the video

What about Charlie Bit My Finger? Surely that'll break the entire universe. Because it's soooo funny watching a baby bit someone's finger.

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

Anthony Hegedus

Re: More [off topic] woe

Similar thing happened to a customer of mine, who was told that if they wanted their old number back, they'd have to pay £400

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Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners

Anthony Hegedus

Re: I Thought the Reg was an IT mag.

Nothing wrong with female chore-easing devices. Can we have reviews of washing machines, washing up brushes and kettles? Thought would draw the line at sewing machines.

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Anthony Hegedus

Black and Decker

I have the 1020L model, which appears to be exactly the same as the 1820L but without the docking station. It only cost £60 as opposed to £170 and I'm very pleased with it. It's strong enough, has an easily switchable brush/solid end mode, and above all, its really tiny and very light.

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Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home

Anthony Hegedus

Re: It'll need more fuel from somewhere

I tried hard to include as many basic mistakes as possible

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Anthony Hegedus
Coat

It'll need more fuel from somewhere

It'll eventually slow to a stop without fuel, surely? Maybe they need to just have put bigger fuel tanks on it, ans as they won't weigh anything in space, it won't take any extra fuel to carry enormous quantities of space-diesel (or do they use Kerosene?).

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Even a broken watch is right twice a day: Not an un-charged Apple Watch

Anthony Hegedus

Re: A daily charge is fine IF...

I just say "hey siri what time is it" and my iphone dutifully tells me the time

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US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'

Anthony Hegedus

I support some residential users (professionally) and it would seem that some my older customers are not always the ones who are scammed. They may not be so computer-savvy, but they've been around the block a few times and know a scam when they get one. Some of the people I know who have been successfully duped are middle-aged professionals (who really should know better).

And they don't just get you by phoning you, like some spiders, they wait for you. A couple of years ago a customer of mine once bought AVG Antivirus from PC World, took it home and had trouble installing it. He told me that he rang PC World (from the number on the receipt, he said), got through to an indian call centre and they told him the reason he had trouble installing it was that he probably had viruses already. So they persuaded him to do a remote control session using teamviewer, and showed him all the "viruses" (in reality what they did was get him to start a command prompt, type "dir c:\ /s" or similar, which causes a long listing of all the files in the computer, and they typed something like "system error - system infected with viruses" or something. My customer couldn't see that until the very end of the listing when the words appeared as if by magic. To him, the computer looked like it was doing something very technical and ended with a scary warning about viruses). Then it got interesting. The Indian guy told him it would cost £300 to fix the computer. My customer, realising that something was not quite right, politely declined. Then the indian guy did something to his PC that caused it to never boot properly again (I couldn't work out what) and hung up, rudely.

When my customer rang me about this, he was adamant he had rung the number on the receipt. But after a bit of probing, he remembered that that didn't work and he did an internet search. Unfortunately, his computer had already been "got" by Ask Jeeves, and the first page of results were fake computer support companies. So he typed "AVG Support" and he got back a site which had a freephone number for what he thought was AVG support. They were possibly the Guruaid company, a well know scammer.

So he was duped by an ad. In his head, he was convinced he was speaking to PC World or AVG and he was convinced at first that he had rung the number on the receipt. I've had other customers duped the same way, when they're desperate for a number for BT or AOL or whatever tinpot broadband company they use, and they just find the wrong thing.

Oddly, I just typed "AVG Support" into google, and they appeared as an ad. Shame on google!

The outbound scammers can be very aggressive by the way - in one case they told a child that their mother was irresponsible and that they are going to remotely destroy their laptop!

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

Anthony Hegedus
Alien

Did anybody notice...

... that the "2dis" device that they use to "unflatten" things looked almost exactly like a Sinclair Cambridge calculator? </nerd>

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Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing

Anthony Hegedus
FAIL

Re: Figures

The office ribbon interface seems to have been based on very accurate user feedback and usage data, you can really tell. It's just that after gathering all this data, microsoft's elite team of crack programmers decided to use their amazing brains to make the interface as annoying as possible, with a "hide-the-useful-function" methodology that still haunts me today,

Does anyone actually use those stupid style things that take up half the bloody ribbon? Does anyone actually know how to make numbered paragraphs work?

Oh and exactly what usage data led to the decision to have the standard paragraph style with an extra several points of blank space "after" each paragraph, thus making it hard for the average user to work out how to actually type an address which doesn't look double spaced? I mean seriously.,.

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TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'

Anthony Hegedus

Nobody mentioned fire. Are iphones fireproof? The people need to know.

"expensive thin item can be broken if force applied" - who knew?

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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

Anthony Hegedus

Maybe we should build a massive cyclotron on Mars, so it only destroys the Martian universe and not ours

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Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs

Anthony Hegedus
Coat

d'oh

It took me the first few sentences to realise you weren't talking about a RAID array 1km square. I really must drink some more coffee....

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Anthony Hegedus

So these aren't netbooks at all are they?

Crappy atom processor? Check

Limited RAM? Check

Pre-installed OS that is crippled in some way? Check

Too small to be useful? Check

Yep, they're netbooks alright. Like a netbook in tablet clothing. A netbook without a keyboard actually, so even more crippled than it was in the first place. The only tablet which actually needs to run an antivirus for general day-to-day use. There are no useful apps for it. And despite its total crappiness it'll probably sell well, for a while, until people realise they're useless, just like netbooks. Once you've got 18 months of updates on it, and the usual windows slow-down, it'll run like an arthritic slug.

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

Anthony Hegedus

Mine's a nespresso and a tassimo

Every morning I prepare a shot of Nespresso (not genuine Nespresso toner, I use Cafe Pod), and then prepare a big cup on my tassimo machine and make the rest of my breakfast. By the time I've fumbled through that, The nespresso has cooled down to just the right temperature. I drink it first to ensure the caffeine enters my bloodstream quickly (to lower the amount of blood in my caffeine stream?) then have breakfast and enjoy a nice long cup of coffee.

I bought the Tassimo machine because I was having far too many shots of nespresso and I needed a way of making a reasonably strong long cup of coffee.

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

Anthony Hegedus
Happy

An old friend

I've been reading The Register since I can't remember - 1998? - something like that. And it's my go-to source of information and news. During 9/11 when all the news websites couldn't cope, I ended up reading the latest on The Register. I go to the register before I go to the bbc news website every day. The reporting, if slightly eccentric at times, is brilliant - no bullshit, well written and just the right level of sarcasm. And now I get to read more of it. Well done!

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EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder

Anthony Hegedus

Re: works for me

And me... exactly what we see. The phones report a good signal but it's unusable for data. Our phones also sometimes do voice, and that's hit and miss. In my office, the signal goes from 0 bars and no signal to full strength and back all day. It means that I can be in the middle of a call and get cut off.

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Nanu nanu! Mork calling Orson on VoIP over 2G

Anthony Hegedus
Stop

Now if only there was some other way of implementing voice on mobile phones....

And it'll also fail because 2G isn't good enough for 11Kbps down AND up. 2G is good for nothing. It cannot deliver a consistent data rate, and with the number of push messages being sent to mobiles these days, it'll be a very broken-up experience. Now if only someone could crack the voice-over-2G problem, I'm sure people will pay more of a fairly solid reliable and good-ish quality call, that they don't need to install an app for. Perhaps this is a problem that doesn't need to be solved for some reason.

Maybe after they fail, this company will invent a type of copper tubing for water transmission. They could insert this into your home plumbing to run over your existing plumbing system. No need for a new water supply. Or they could invent a sort of rubber sock for car tyres. Or a luminous lampshade.

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Anthony Hegedus

screwdrivers

I do computer repairs and servicing, and my business partner and I visit customers' premises a lot. Screwdrivers are consumables to us, like toner, ink, pens, whatever. No matter how many we buy, I never have one in my van when I need one, or the workshop. They just seem to go missing. So every time we order a Draytek router for a customer, we order a half dozen of their promotional screwdrivers. They come with two flat blade sizes and two pozis and they're only a quid each.

Perhaps they're related to biroid life forms....

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Microsoft's anti-malware crusade knackers '4 MILLION' No-IP users

Anthony Hegedus

Re: Great Opportunity

What utter crap! you mean to say there are two people using their search engine? What search engine anyway???

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Stone the crows, Bouncer! BT defends TV recorder upgrade DELETION snafu

Anthony Hegedus

Re: @Anthony Hegedus

You're right. I misremembered

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Anthony Hegedus

I seem to remember that happening with my BT Vision box a year or so ago. The reason the recordings got deleted was that they changed from a linux-based system to a WinCE based system. The new interface was ghastly, and unreliable. I shouted at BT until they gave me a Humax Youview box. The UI is slow and clunky and the BT part of it is ghastly and unreliable. Seriously, this box is far too slow at EVERYTHING!

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Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

Anthony Hegedus
WTF?

don't get this - what's it got to do with plusnet?

So, some users of an ISP use badly designed insecure router eh? And that's the ISP's fault how exactly? The article seems to suggest that PlusNet were returning dodgy addresses, because of customers' routers. I don't get this at all. The routers surely didn't actually affect plusnet?

And yes, the routers most ISPs supply are complete bollocks. A friend of mine had his DNS repeatedly modified despite him disabling remote admin and changing his admin password. And that was a Thomson router supplied by TalkTalk!

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Think British weather is bad? It's nothing to this WOBBLY ALIEN planet

Anthony Hegedus
Alien

"Luckily for any would-be space explorers, they won't be required to experience the erratic climes of Kepler 413b as it's too warm for life as we know it. It's also too close to its suns for liquid water to exist and it's a super Neptune - a giant gas planet - so there's no surface for anyone to stand on." - However, the local council has still managed to paint double yellow lines to prevent shoppers from parking, and there's still a starbucks on every corner

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Apple: That 'white screen of death' nightmare? We'll fix it... AT SOME POINT

Anthony Hegedus

Re: Just goes to show.....

well that's because apple is good and microsoft is bad. Simples.

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Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

Anthony Hegedus

I had a QL and I seem to remember getting one of the JS ROM versions, which was the least buggy of the lot. Oddly, I never really had trouble with the microdrives, but I managed to purchase (out of my own money - I was just 16) a floppy drive. This was fantastic. For just £40 more I purchased 10 floppy disks and had a storage capacity of 10MB! This was amazing, it was like, the capacity of a WINCHESTER but for a fraction of the price, and only the slight inconvenience of having to change disks. Still, I managed to keep the thing going till I started university and I used it to do coursework in the first year or two. I had a Centronics GLP ("Great little printer") that could actually print on A4 sheets!

At one point I had purchased a multitasking programming language called QBasic or something - can't remember - but it did allow for inter-process communication. I also had a mouse, which was useless, as it only worked with one specific and rather bad "paint" program.

I also did various bits of coursework in Pascal using a compiler I'd bought and it overall a bloody useful tool. In those days we put up with buggy software, unfinished hardware and lies from manufacturers. It was just part of what you'd expect from home computers at the time. Especially sinclair. Compared to today, when software "just works", it was a different world...

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Microsoft tries to trademark 'Mod' in the US

Anthony Hegedus

Windows Mod sounds awful to me, like "modification". Or reminds me of Mods and Rockers of course (not that I have a clue what they are - not quite old enough!). Seriously they ought to come up with a better name. Metro was a good name, pity it can't be used. As a footnote I'd just like to say how much I hate MS office when you install it coming up with a video clip which speaks to you "welcome to your modern office"! Cringeworthy!

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Australia puts 300 sharks on Twitter

Anthony Hegedus

The shark's main diet is humans, everybody knows that

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.5: The Sinclair Sovereign

Anthony Hegedus

Re: Ahh, the days of real calcluators

I bought a 41CX in 99, "new in box", and it's bloody marvellous. I had a plain old 41C back in 1980, which sadly died, so buying a "new" one all those years later really brought back memories. It's amazing how you can get attached to a calculator...

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Fiendish CryptoLocker ransomware survives hacktivists' takedown

Anthony Hegedus

For all out customers with the appropriate linux servers, we've just blocked zip files in incoming emails. The minor inconvenience is outweighed by the safety aspect. For customers with windows servers and an antivirus on the server, we can usually block these attachments too. Most of our customers are perfectly happy with this arrangement.

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Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

Anthony Hegedus

The mug looks like an advert

... for google.

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Look at how many ways we ruin your life, Redmond boasts

Anthony Hegedus

Re: There are so many things you can do in a bathroom

Water Closet is just a euphemism for the original word, "shit house" or "crapper".

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Internet Explorer 11 for Win7 bods: Soz, no HTML5 fun for you

Anthony Hegedus
Megaphone

Same old nonsense

It's just the same typical nonsense from Microsoft. They're pushing this tiled (TIKFAM) interface on us whether we like it or not. I think someone at Microsoft had been watching too much Star Trek TNG - everything there is touch based.

One of our customers upgraded from windows 8 to 8.1 and found that IE11 didn't work with her ancestry.co.uk website properly. In previous versions of IE, when a site didn't work, you could click the "compatibility view" button and often that would cause the website to be rendered correctly. In IE11, you have to go to a menu and add the site to the compatibility list, something way beyond what most users are capable of, let alone dream of doing.

But then MS have always done this. They make the most arcane, complex and buggy software on the planet and nothing about windows 8.1 is going to change my mind about that

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GoDaddy kicks off gTLD land rush with first domain sales

Anthony Hegedus
Megaphone

Who cares? I meet hundreds of different people in my (IT) line of work and everybody without exception just searches for stuff. Half the time in google chrome, even if you type a domain name it goes and does a search anyway. Just as DNS makes the need for people to hunt for IP addresses superfluous, decent search engines make the need for domain names superfluous. Even Bing.

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