* Posts by Fred Flintstone

2463 posts • joined 9 Jun 2009

Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

Fred Flintstone
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Re: The Great Vindicator

Well, I would be inclined to agree that there was quite a lot of 'vin' involved, judging by the conclusion they arrived at..

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Boffins smear circuitry onto contact lenses

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Application?

My imagination doesn't stretch to thinking of the use of this technology.

The late Douglas Adams got there WAY before anyone else with the Zaphod Beeblebrox Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

:)

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Igor, Raise ze lighnink rod

I agree, there is a sorry absence of drama and machines that do "ping".

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Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Terrible idea!

"I, for one, would like to see ejection seats in passenger cars."

---

So do I. No need to make an exit hole in the roof, as a matter of fact, some reinforcement might be a good idea. And non-stick coating.

---

think of all that weight you'd be carrying round.

better to plug it into the GPS and only have it operate when you are under a bridge.

added advantage... less splashes on the driver

You see, that's why I come here: solid engineering discussions, solving real life problems in a practical fashion :)

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

Fred Flintstone
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Re: The rest of us commute in daily from our hovels

Not that I relish standing at the top of a 12 storey building with inadequate safety rails with 25 mile an hour gusts, but the clients apparently like it...

I would like to compliment you on elegantly of leading into the other joy of Fridays, the BOFH articles.

:)

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30 years on from Challenger, NASA remembers the fallen

Fred Flintstone
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I salute them

Whatever way you look at it, the people who go up there are still pretty much pioneers.

As an avid SF reader it sometimes takes a moment of mentally stepping back to realise how much at the very beginning of space exploration we still stand, how much effort it takes to get off this planet and just how fragile we really are.

My respect to all of them, those past, those lost and those now active.

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Apple’s retail chief: ‘Touching customers’ key to retail success

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Touching customers

Gives a whole new meaning to "fondleslabs"...

.. and "going tits up". Given the US reaction to simple "wardrobe malfunctions" (as opposed to, say, reports of Yet Another Shooting in all their gory glory) I don't even want to imagine where that one would go, but I'd sit down with popcorn to watch it all play out, as it were :).

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Twitter goes titsup

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Umm...

... so did anyone here notice?

Yes, but only because news sites considered this of enough importance to mention it.

Given my volume of tweets and the attention I pay to Twitter it could have otherwise taken weeks before I'd notice. It's not exactly a massive part of my life :)

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: Alright, own up!

Who broke it? Don't make me come over there?

Oh, I think I know why.

Jeremy Clarkson must have been buried under tweets and hashtags after Chris Evans could not handle the very sympathetic Sabine Schmitz doing what she's good at: haring around the Nürburgring Ring track at speeds that are physically close to impossible (she's the one who came close to beating Jeremy Clarkson's Jaguar S type speed around it using nothing more than a Ford Transit van, just to give you some idea). Doing that with an Audi R8v10 seems to have been too much for Evans who lost his lunch (thankfully not in the car).

If I were Jeremy, I'd be thinking of a different German word:

Schadenfreude :)

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No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Fred Flintstone
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After the disaster that Vista, 8 & 8.1 were, I thought Id give Windows 7 a chance as it sounded OK - ish. But if Microsoft is going to ram 10 down my throat they can Fuck Off.

As I said before, if Microsoft wanted to market Windows 7 they could not have chosen a better way, but I suspect that wasn't actually their intention :)

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Skype finally catches Google with group video chat

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Skype still not caught Google with group video chat

So the news is actually that Skype still doesn't have group video, but is promising it Real Soon Now™?

Can't imagine a clearer sign that it was bought by Microsoft..

:)

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Did North Korea really just detonate a hydrogen bomb? Probably not

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Of course there is the possibility...

Given the many references to Wikipedia in this thread I'm starting to wonder if the reason that NK's possible A-bomb never quite made it to H-bomb status is exactly BECAUSE they looked it up on Wikipedia :)

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Microsoft's 200 million 'Windows 10' 'devices' include Lumias, Xboxes

Fred Flintstone
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Re: ENOUGH!

Thanks for letting me vent a little...

Be my guest, I wholly agree with the sentiment. I even got you some help from Garry Perez in 2015's most upvoted post so click that and consider it repeated once more.

To be honest, I think this may have been the post with the most upvotes in the whole history of El Reg, which is ironic because it was first removed by moderators due to a lack of stars which were offending the PC brigade.

That rant is IMHO meme/poster worthy.

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You ain't nothing but a porn dog, prying all the time: Cyber-hound sniffs out hard drives for cops

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Sounds Expensive

When it comes to hidden micro SD good luck to them trying to find them, especially the ones that don't exist (demolish a house piece by piece and examine wreckage?).

It gets even more interesting if you collect coins.

On a side note, I guess the likes of Assange will be happy the dog only finds porn drives, all the drives with government data are thus perfectly safe. By the way, I don't want to know how porn-containing drives smell different - I already have a too lively imagination :)

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Help! What does 'personal conduct unrelated to operations or financials' mean?

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Where's Tom Sharpe when you need him?

I fear here will be few that know what you're talking about (or maybe they've seen the film), but the books are indeed *excellent* :)

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Are second-hand MoD IPv4 addresses being used in invoice scams?

Fred Flintstone
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Like the "Botnote"..

.. rather than Bootnote. Rather appropriate :)

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Japanese hack gets space probe back on track

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Awesome

Not fix - work around using thrusters that were never designed for this mode of operation.

Basically, THIS is what we originally called hacking :).

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Are you the keymaster? Alternatives in a LogMeIn/LastPass universe

Fred Flintstone
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You missed SecureSafe

SecureSafe comes in an app and a web form, and if you stay away from the document features it's basically free.

What puts it above others is IMHO its data inheritance approach: you can set a long password that can be used to access the passwords you store, but only after a waiting period. If you set it, for instance, to a week, you will get a week long messages that someone has activated the inheritance facility, so you can cut off any abuse by simply setting a new password.

It's a brilliant piece of work. Shame they added some upgrade begging to the free app now, but it's IMHO one of the best out there and it has seen some serious auditing.

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Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone

Fred Flintstone
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They already have Evolution, why would they want Thunderbird?

Bleagh. You don't have Evolution, you suffer it. I'm not sure where the problem sits but I have never been impressed by Evolution.

Thunderbird, on the other hand, has always worked reasonably well so I'm sad that again the one product that IS really useful and that has, let's face it, not that much competition anywhere other than from Outlook is again under threat. FF seems to have attracted a lot of bloat.

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Australian cops rush to stop 2AM murder of … a spider

Fred Flintstone
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Agree. And you don't need to become a Facebook member for it either.

I love their direct use of language. I quote: "Now you would think that if you called the Police to report this you would want to speak to Police when they arrived. But no, this occupier apparently denied Police entry, apparently destroyed all forensic evidence and basically told them Police to bugger off."

:)

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Optimal solution

Create a competition between 4chan and reddit to come up with the single worst movie of all time. A movie that would make CIA interrogators looking break a subject weep with horror. Then film it and submit it.

Ah, so basically the reverse of Monty Python's funniest joke in the world? I'm not sold on the idea that these people have any emotion and/or soul left. Surely if it was possible to drive them to despair it would have already happened on account of the sheer amount of pointless drivel, sorry, "art" they have to wade through...

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Behold, the fantasy of infinite cloud compute elasticity

Fred Flintstone
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Re: so I can't see why this is worth an article?

How dare you introduce reality into cloud services! :)

Maybe a fun question to ask: has anyone got a contract where such elasticity is made implicit? Anyone with a KPI that states they can grow their demand 100% in a day (or whatever other measure that would not be possible for "traditional" facilities)? If yes, question 2 would be: "have you audited this, and how?".

I don't think anyone has, really. Illusions, illusions.

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MPs to assess tech feasibility of requirements under draft surveillance laws

Fred Flintstone
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Re: A=B=C=D

That's the trouble with meta-data. Not only does it not specifically identify a person as opposed to an address or whatever, it doesn't even tell you why the communication was made or even if it was completed correctly.

The massive problem with meta data is that it can be manipulated by carefully selecting the sources you include, and there are very few people that understand the difference between a probability inferred from meta data and a hard fact derived from the actual contents of communication. Meta data "facts" are NEVER facts, they are always probabilities and should be presented as such.

Not that I hold out much hope they will, which is why I am absolutely against uncontrolled mass surveillance (because that's what they're really after).

I dare ANY, and I mean ANY MP who is for this idea to offer their data to the public for 6 months, because that is really what they're asking us to agree to - I have yet to see any access restriction actually be respected. If you dare not, don't ask the voters to do so.

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Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

Fred Flintstone
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: "Ledswinger's Drinker's Friend"

LDF for Real Men (basic recipe, but deep fried in used engine oil)

Aaaand we have a winner! Quality :).

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Google, didn't you get the memo? Stop trying to make Google+ happen

Fred Flintstone
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Re: They did their dash with me

While it's easy to get riled about it, it's just as easy to forget that they have no obligation to supply those services - it's not like you entered into a pay-cash-up-front-for-service type of contract...these services are a means of getting data from you, and when Google decide that service isn't doing it for them they're not under any obligation to keep it going just because you like it.

Absolutely correct. Being upset about it just indicates that you labour under the mistaken impression that Google offers you a service: it is not. You can easily identify a service on offer: you pay for it. Ditto for Facebook.

If you do not pay for a service, the correct word to use is not "service", but bait.

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Hey Cortana, how about you hide my app from the user?

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Dumbest idea ever

Have they even considered how this would work when everyone in the office is doing this at the same time?

I have - that has been known since we started with voice dictation in, what, the 90s?

On the other hand, imagine the fun the next "Occupy Wall Street" will have with loudhailers :)

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GCHQ goes all Cool Dad and tags the streets of Shoreditch with job ads

Fred Flintstone
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Re: $100k fine.. thats a bargain

Even if they only managed to recruit a few people, thats still a darn site cheaper that the usual recruitment agency fees.

Judging by the WHOIS it IS a recruitment agency. Makes sense to keep that part of the process at arms length.

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: Optional

I thought that a while ago someone else had done this and instead of using chalk they cleaned the street by pressure washing though a stencil. When the council took them to court, the council lost as cleaning the streets wasn't a crime

LOL, I didn't know that. Brilliant - how to use grime to your advantage. Not such good advertising for the state of pavements, but that's maybe part of the motivation to start in Shoreditch :)

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: Enterprising Company ... ?

"GCHQ-Careers.CO.UK".

A private enterprise and not a government department any more? Or one that controls government as well as us rather than the other way round?

There are two takes on that. The cynical take would be that it's GCHQ doing what it does best: avoiding the rules. To set up a .gov.uk takes a lot of paperwork to get approval, so true to form they simply avoided the rules.

Take two, however is simpler: it's not GCHQ's domain but the recruiter's according to WHOIS.

Domain name: gchq-careers.co.uk

Registrant: Penna PLC

Registrant type: UK Public Limited Company, (Company number: 1918150)

Registrant's address:

. 5 Fleet Place

. London

. EC4M 7RD

. United Kingdom

It is quite possible that there is some trouble in the make for the recruiters and not just for befouling the pavement. I recall working for a company which is mostly branding, and their brand managers got seriously pissed off with a recruiter who worked for them and registered <brand>-jobs.co.uk.

As security manager of one of the new ventures I got a ping as soon as the ads appeared in the papers to hunt down this chap and have a stern word with him because it made it appear that the brand in question now started a recruitment arm. They made him sign over the domain and then closed it - he had to re-run the campaign under his own company name.

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Facebook conjures up a trap for the unwary: scanning your camera for your friends

Fred Flintstone
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Re: I'm genuinely curious...

It means Facebook now holds data on you as it does on countless others - without their consent.

And there is no way you'll be able to find out. Google and FB play the same game when it comes to that. The problem goes even deeper: even if they do not know who you are, there is a chain of connected events (searches, site visits, comments etc etc - the works) waiting for you to make the mistake of logging on to a site that will identify you. All it takes is logging on on a site that has FB or Google links on the page with any of their cookies still in your browser, or one of their affiliates and you've now marked that chain with your name.

It really is the most insidious way of spying on people since Eastern Germany.

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TalkTalk to swallow £35m ‘financial impact’ after attack

Fred Flintstone
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Translated, many of our customers are so tied in to the T&C, and we're not waving exit fees, so they're stuck.

I think it's more a case of not enough people standing up for their rights, plus the usual inertia.

Claiming that customers "stick around" amounts IMHO to misrepresentation, which is not a good thing when talking to the City and shareholders because it does not offer them a view of the risk that customers will still pull the plug as soon as they have gained enough confidence to do so without repercussions.

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Judge bins Apple Store end-of-shift shakedown lawsuit

Fred Flintstone
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Re: No one really grumbled back then

I worked at the Pit but not underground [..]. This was regarded as a big step up.

.. literally :)

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Windows 10: Major update on the Threshold as build 10586 hits Insiders

Fred Flintstone
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Pint

Re: Please be upstanding

For the ritual MSFT two-minute hate.

Good heavens no, I wouldn't give it that much time, less stand up for it.

I will merely have a beer and then agree with Garry Perez's clear and concise opinion on this matter. There is really no need to add anything else.

To me, that was an Open Source opinion: useful, very much to the point, devoid of BS, eminently usable and adaptable by anyone who wants to.

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

Fred Flintstone
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What if this is actually strategy?

"The board deeply regrets this situation"

I read this differently, but that is based on my assumption that VW is not the only manufacturer playing dirty, if you pardon the pun. I don't know if any of you remember the Jo Moore scandal suggesting to use 9/11 as "a good day to bury bad news", this could be something similar in principle, but in less bad taste.

What if VW management has decided to clean house completely and use the scandal they're in anyway to clear out all the fudged data? Sure, they're taking a hit now but after this storm they will have data that has then been validated by everyone and their dog. Other manufactures now face the choice of either coming clean themselves as well, trying to change things on the sly which carries a major risk that journalists on the warpath will catch them out too (possibly "helped" by VW).

I am not buying the idea that US car manufacturers can do better for a minute. I don't think they're better or worse, just more protected in the US as an industry - just look at what sort of fight Elon Musk had to put up just to get some ability to set up a Tesla dealership, and he's a local.

So, to recap, what if VW is using this storm to reset the game of figures everyone in the industry has to play? It's an expensive ploy, but it may be their only way to use this crisis to some strategic benefit.

Opinions?

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Now I've seen it all

I really need to stick a HOWTO to El Reg trolling on the Net somewhere.

The only thing you're doing right is putting so little effort in that is actually becomes insulting, but you should aspire to some sort of standard.

Or maybe we ought to write a trolling RFC, that could actually be quite entertaining :).

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: Is anybody surprised by now?

War Street journal?

I saw what you did there

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Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Fred Flintstone
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Re: AutoCorrect in Libre Office

While Libre Office supports Add to AutoCorrect in the context menu, adding blocks of text to an AutoCorrect entry doesn't. It appears to, but the entry isn't saved.

That's because it's slightly non-obvious, I originally had that problem too. Here is how you do it (and where you probably went wrong in the same way I did):

1) Highlight the block of text you want to turn into an AutoCorrect option

2) Tools - AutoCorrect, choose "Replace" tab - you will see the block already filled in on the right

3) Enter the shortcut you want to use

4) (I think this is what you missed) - hit the "New" button next to the entry first, and only THEN..

5) hit OK to close the dialogue

Incidentally, AutoCorrect is impressively powerful: it can insert practically anything. If you highlight a piece of text with an image and a table in it, for instance, all you have to do is to untick the "text only" box in AutoCorrect when you create the entry and it will play ALL of it back when you type the shortcut.

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: -- EL REG IS FINALLY COMING ALIVE --

Hahaha, brilliant.

Upvote from me :).

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: Grandma is half savvy?

Wait, she found the part of the OS where settings live? And she figured out how to turn updates off and run them manually all by herself? And she knows how to review updates when she pulls them in manually?

But she can't be arsed to "learn" Windows 10.

You're avoiding the key question: why would she have to, if she is happy with whatever version of Windows she is now using?

What gives MS the right to make that choice for her?

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Fred Flintstone
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Re: Time to look at another opsys?

I live in a French village of 200 inhabitants, so you can imagine the ratio of Brits....I have already had to rebuild two laptops back to Windows 7 from 10 "upgrades"........so when and if this starts I think I will just hide somewhere...............

On the plus side, they will pardon your French when it happens :)

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Why was the modem down? Let us count the ways. And phone lines

Fred Flintstone
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I'm sure we've all done something that daft at least once.

Well, "once" is what I'm prepared to admit to without the help of a lot of beer :).

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Use Skype if you want to report a crime, say cops

Fred Flintstone
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Re: "Have you been the victim of a crime...?

At least we haven't sunk to the depths where hippies are allowed to roam freely over ancient stone circles without being truncheoned into a coma.

There a few variables here. That may simply be because we have a lack of hippies...

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Microsoft scares the bejesus out of Skype users with x12 price hike

Fred Flintstone
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Re: But...

Is this the real thing?

Is this just Fantasy?

It's certainly an escape from reality..

:)

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Cops use terror powers to lift BBC man's laptop after ISIS interview

Fred Flintstone
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Re: OMFG Journaterropedolist

Journalism should be keeping Enterprise, Government, Police and Judiciary in check, by being able to publish the cases where these elements of society are violating the rights of People, however when Enterprise owns Journalism, Police, Judiciary and Government, there is no chance of this happening. Sadly, social media <gag> gets more traction over here in getting the public to attend to issues of this nature, than do the media.

And so, in one paragraph, a proper journalist shows how the art of journalism can condense issues down to their essence without losing anything essential in the process.

Yes, I called you a proper journalist. It is a difficult skill to reach a conclusion in spite of your own biases, and it takes effort and commitment to remain objective in the face of so much pressure to chose a "side" when there is in reality a wider palette of choices and positions. In effect, it is a skill to present a condensed version of the facts in such a way that you still leave the intelligent reader to draw their own conclusions.

Thank you.

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European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Don't look behind the curtain...

NSA and the 28 dwarfs

OK, that one I like :)

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Mostly Harmless: Google Project Zero man's verdict on Windows 10

Fred Flintstone
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Re: Windows security is like a heavily armoured gate...

You mean, like one of my favourite depictions of flawed security? :)

Security could be a lot better on Windows and other OS if program developers would actually manage to stick to some sane programming methods.

For example, why on earth does most software want to install for use by all users instead of giving the users the choice? Adobe is an exceptionally good example of that - if Adobe Reader and Flash were contained to one user, you could set up a safe user to use the Net and a Flash infection would not have too many rights to make a mess.

Instead, the very first thing an Adobe installer asks is admin rights, even before it has downloaded the actual program (because clearly we are not allowed to have any ability to virus check what comes down).

It may sound trivial, but that exact need to have admin rights when software has no business installing at that level is what annoys me. It's different if we talk about installing a driver or a kernel extension, but for normal user land software I think there is still FAR too much software on the market that is written in a way that needs far too many rights, which has as direct consequence that you already have a backdoor installed for whatever containment you seek to set up.

Do we need to educate users? Yes - always. But if we undo that education by making it a habit to grant admin rights to whatever install, then we shouldn't complain if they don't get suspicious if that new fancy toolbar they got from dodgy.com wants the same.

As I said at the beginning, this is not just a Windows issue. The choice to install at user level or system wide is one that belongs with the user, not with the software author - system wide installs of anything should IMHO be exception rather than rule.

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