Feeds

* Posts by Lunatik

248 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Page:

Reg hack hacked off by iPhone 5 repair notice

Lunatik

The early bird...

So glad I put mine in for FOC on the spot replacement for this issue, 2 weeks inside the 1 year warranty.

Chap barely looked at it, seemed to have seen quite a few before and that was in October 2013.

0
0

Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

Lunatik
Unhappy

Re: Siphonaptera

Yeah, but rendered at a super-realistic 1m resolution unfortunately.

3
0

UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan

Lunatik

Coming of age

After watching the hybrid Toyotas, Audis and Porsches batter round Silverstone for 5-and-a-bit hours on Sunday there is little doubt these technologies are maturing fast and we'll see more of them on the road before long.

The sound of the Audis particularly was something else. Not in the usual 'screaming/rorty' way (there were plenty of 458s and Astons for that), but on the over-run there was but a serene (compared with said Astons!) but distinctly mechanical noise from them as the Williams system scooped up as much energy as it could as the car decelerated into the turn.

In that sense it's good to see some serious money being piled into them, but the cynic in me says the boat will sail without many of these UK innovators on board and it'll be the usual story of multi-billion dollar industries being created elsewhere on the back of this clever but ulimately transitional work.

I'd love to be proved wrong though.

4
0

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Lunatik

Yawn

Commodity phone is commodity.

3
2

Google hands over $1.4m for unmarked Street View cars in Italy

Lunatik

@AC

Like me, you seem remarkably unconcerned with 'things happening in a public place about which which you can have no expectation of control or oversight'.

Thanks goodness some people remain unencumbered with stuff like a 'living a life' to find the time to get worked up about such things and complain about them on our behalf.

7
2

Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP

Lunatik

Re: Boring Read

95 was certainly usable (and a revelation after 3.11WFW) but only OSR2 cemented its position.

But apart from that minor point, Mr D is spot on :)

7
1

Vodafone to spend £100m on 150 new Brit phone shops

Lunatik
Mushroom

[Obligatory Vodabashing comment]

Like many of Vodafone’s victims, sorry *customers*, I’m duty bound to comment on any Vodafone story to try and prevent as many of my fellow humans as I can from being snared by its gaping, apostrophe-shaped maw.

Friends, this is a beast that offers precious little in the way of connectivity, and even when a decent signal is conferred by your device, you must throw a six to see if that 4 bars of 3G actually translates into any significant throughput. Often it is but a cruel illusion and your fate is to stare at a faltering progress bar, awaiting the inevitable timeout.

As a metaphor for the whole Vodafone experience this is strangely apt.

I recently stood in a Vodafone shop and demonstrated this remarkable phenomenon to one of the disinterested staff. Their comments of “Well, what do you expect?” and “Yeah, it’s like that sometimes” should tell you all you need to know about their contempt for us, their unsuspecting prey. After the terrible kicking they’ve received since the economic dog days of 2007, the prospect of more of these shrines to incompetence and indifference is probably the last thing our beleaguered high streets need.

Like many, I was initially seduced by an excellent deal on a handset, but to my eternal shame my error was compounded by my intransigence and subsequent failure to avoid taking the dangled bait of an even more generous retention deal on one of Mr. Jobs’ portable telephones a couple of years later. Never underestimate the power of The Shiny.

Now 18 months into this two year purgatory, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and am looking forward to the day when I can emerge, blinking and bewildered, from the belly of the bloated crimson creature, free to tart myself about the networks as I see fit.

Until then I can only repeat; friends don’t let friends Vodafone.

p.s. If after 30-odd years of consistent and pervasive branding, you still think the company is called ‘Vodaphone’ then you deserve everything you get. Sorry.

0
2

Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

Lunatik

You have your moments, Mr O...

...and this was one one of them. Well done.

4
0

BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

Lunatik

Re: MTU?

Relax, friend, I'm sure it wasn't you who failed to do your job properly.

Here's how these things work:

- Corporate wants workers to have flexibility to work from home, airport lounges etc. to save money on head office floorspace and facilities, so rolls out VPN solution but expects staff to provide home connection (partially subsidised).

- VPN solution works most of the time, but when it doesn't the users have to phone a centralised support number.

- In an ideal world, this support function would provide credible suggestions of what to do to try and resolve the issue, including working with the user to identify any potential issues in the privately-provided but corporately-sponsored home broadband equipment.

- In this case they failed to do that, a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders was all that was given.

However, this doesn't help the user and certainly doesn't magically teleport them 20 miles to head office and make a desk and ethernet connection appear out of nowhere to allow them to start working again.

This is not some resource-starved SME either, we're talking about an oil major here.

From memory it was working fine for ages then some patch or upgrade was applied and it stopped working.

Considering the nature of the problem (related to a hardware/software change), the size of the user base (>10 thousand) and the equipment used (a fairly common Linksys of the time), it's unlikely that no-one else had ever come across a similar issue, so this points to a) a lack of knowledge sharing and/or b) incompetence/inexperience on the part of the support staff.

It certainly isn't the time to start the 'user blaming' that is so prevalent in large swathes of desktop support. You seem to hold your discipline in such high regard, putting it beyond criticism, but it's not the view shared many of us stupid and inconvenient people on the end of the phone.

I've known many great women and men in support - dedicated, knowledgable and friendly people - but sadly for each of them there's been about three petty, unhelpful, incompetent jobsworths.

Anyway, all water under the bridge now and precious little to do with the subject at hand.

I hereby apologise for calling your personal commitment to excelling in all areas of support into question and wish all those suffering from lack of connectivity due to the Homehub issue a speedy resolution :)

p.s. And thanks for the "FUCK YOU", I'll file it along with all the other online insults I've received over the years. I'm hoping to one day fashion them into a monument to my own ignorance and fallibility, to be titled 'My Ad Hominem Phenomenon', the base of which will feature a downvote appliqué.

0
0
Lunatik

MTU?

I've had problems in the past with stingy default MTU settings in home routers. 1492 seemingly isn't enough for some VPN implementations and I've had to bump it up to maximum. Naturally, corporate IS support were hopeless and it was trial and error that eventually found the problem.

Until then I had a furious wife who was blaming (correctly, for once!) "our crappy network". Funny, I don't recall ever taking on the role of network admin and desktop support, nor have I ever been paid for any work...

In any case, I doubt it's as simple a solution here, but stranger things have happened (e.g. MTU shown in UI isn't saved/doesn't reflect applied internal value).

1
3

It's EE vs Vodafone: 'How good is my signal' study descends into network bunfight

Lunatik

Vodafone: You are awful and I can't wait to be rid of you.

Less than three hours ago I stood outside Vodafone's Aylesbury store to run a speed test. My phone (18 month-old iPhone 5) had 4-5 blobs of 3G on the signal strength meter.

Result? 307ms ping, 0.02mbps down, 0.12mbps up

I wandered into the shop to ask if they could test the SIM in another phone, or another SIM in mine (both helpfully suggested by Vodafone's Twitter staff - yeah, 'cos we've all got loads of iPhones and compatible SIMs lying around to test with...) but was met with the attitude of "Yeah, it's sometimes like that. What do you expect?!"

Well, young lady, for a £600 device running on a supposedly world-class network that costs me over £40 a month to access, I expect a *little* more than to be able to check for any new webmail within about 2 minutes. As for actually reading any mail items? Forget it!

6 months to go on this contract and then I can rid myself of this awful, awful network forever. The best part? They adopt such a condescending, patronising attitude if you ever so much as suggest there may be something lacking in their provision (witness: Aylesbury lady and their response to the Rootmetrics report).

I'm aware that all networks have their faults, but I've had far better experiences with Three and Orange in the past and the number of times I've been in a city centre location and watched as colleagues/friends on other networks have been able to download videos, maps etc. while I watch a progress bar (can't ever recall being in the opposite position, weirdly) tells me I can't go wrong with almost any other provider.

On evidence of my work Blackberry I'll probably steer clear of O2 though...

0
0

Move over Microsoft: RealNetworks has a GOOGLE problem

Lunatik

Don't want adverts? Don't enable them!

"I really don’t want to see an ad for nappies in front of the video for my dad’s memorial service."

Typically greedy RealNetworks bigwig can't see past the fact that YouTube allows to enable or disable monetisation on a per-video basis.

3
0

Reg tries out Google's Chromecast: Yep, we even tested smut sites

Lunatik

Re: NetFlix vs Music

Fair point, but the slight difference is that your £6/mo buys you transient access to a tiny fraction of the video content made in the last 50 years, with almost nothing produced in the last 12 months.

Conversely, the £10/mo for the music service gets you just about everything that's been recorded and committed to bits in the same period*, with most new releases available immediately for stream and download.

Imagine a £18/mo video service that offered the same freedom? Doesn't seem likely, does it?

I think longer term the music model may prove to be more sustainable.

As for Chromecast the only issues I've had are with occasionally unresponsive control, but that may be my BT HH3 which seems to be on the way out. Great little device for sticking on the kids' distinctly un-smart bedroom TVs.

*Digital hold-outs excepted. AC/DC, I'm looking at you *growls*

0
0

OMG, Andrex KILLED the PUPPY! Not quilty, exclaim bog roll boys

Lunatik
Mushroom

NOT NEWS

Marketing dept. invents scandal, generously astroturfed 'outrage' ensues, press release on the wire within hours.

I expect better from El Reg.

1
2

Cheap 3D printer works with steel

Lunatik

Re: This is not "post scarcity"

When you consider the resources you need to employ just to get that one washer you need from the DIY store though, things change markedly.

In addition to the minuscule resources to actually make the single washer you need you have to pay for:

Packaging, transport and all the other overheads for the manufacture of the washers (and CO₂ if you care about such things)

Overheads for the store (+CO₂)

A car; taxed, insured, sitting on your driveway

The fuel, wear and tear of getting to the store and back (+CO₂)

The time take for the above.

And then you have 999 washers sitting in the garage.

A future where printing just one washer at a low enough cost, even if this is a few orders of magnitude greater than the current negligible bulk production cost, will be hugely disruptive.

1
2

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Lunatik

Re: Ancient laptop.

Even the crappiest Android device running Wi-Fi Analyzer can show unique APs with the same SSID. Why carry around that old junk?

1
0

Everything's going to be all white: Google Nexus 5 mobe expected Friday

Lunatik

@returnmyjedi

You've obviously never used iOS 7 on an iPhone 4 before then.

I can only imagine Apple's idea was:

"Let's give iPhone 4 users a faithful emulation of the performance of an original HTC Wildfire. That'll get them to upgrade"

1
0

One day we'll look back and say this was the end of the software platform

Lunatik

Nearly managed it!

"For now, Android doesn’t have to be much better; and only a widespread consumer revolt (which is hard to envisage) will force either Samsung or Google (or both) to improve the rotten UX and performance with well-written native code, and better design."

You were doing so well until then.

13
3

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Lunatik

Re: Same old same old.....

Absolutely. My Legend was a beautiful device for its time but I swore off HTC due to the lack of support mere months after it dropped off their 'latest & greatest' roster.

Similarly, Sony lost my business when they started playing silly buggers with OS updates, reneging on promises previously made.

Both companies would have to work hard to convince me they've changed their spots, but I have to say Sony's rehabilitation is proceeding much better than HTC's.

2
0

BBC releases MYSTERY RIDDLE poster for Doctor Who anniversary episode

Lunatik
Trollface

What is it about Doctor Who?

Grown men of a certain type seem obsessed with Doctor Who, but in the fervour of their reverential wankfest seem to overlook that it's a programme for kiddies.

No point moaning about plots, story arcs or retconning arbitrary Macguffins, you might as well debate the same things for Tommy Zoom or Scooby Doo.

Flame away, Whotards...

2
15

New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Lunatik

Apple doing consumers a favour? Puh-leeze...

"So what we have in the iPhone 5C, then, is essentially a plastic version of the iPhone 5 – and that's reflected in its cost."

Without a 5C the old 5 would've dropped to the same price anyway so this is all about maintaining Apple's receding margin in a more competitive market.

Nothing wrong in that of course, but let's not get carried away.

5
0

Google scrambles to block backdoors

Lunatik

Sorry, what?

You mean Google is quite happy to have PB of data that _isn't_ encrypted flying around at the moment?

o_O

1
0

US gov preps sale of TOP SECRET disease research island

Lunatik
Coat

Xenu knows

If DC-8s can make it through interstellar space then I'd think it would be an easy task for a 747 to achieve LEO.

*tips tinfoil hat at jaunty angle*

0
0

Fancy some BEER ON TOAST? Italy invents spreadable booze

Lunatik

Incoming - the ultimate bacon sarnie?

White bread, crispy bacon, beer spread - The ultimate man food?

5
0

LOHAN cops a faceful of smutronyms

Lunatik

DUI - Disaster? Undo It!

OPRAH - Obligatory Panic Rocket Arrestment Hardware

0
0

Compact Cassette supremo Lou Ottens talks to El Reg

Lunatik

Child of the 70s, some of my formative musical experiences were on cassette. Still have a Sony TC-K611S here somewhere.

Also, this: http://i.eatliver.com/2011/7823.jpg

2
0

Does Gmail's tarted-up tab makeover bust anti-spam laws?

Lunatik

Tabs? Where we're going we don't need...tabs.

Tabs lasted all of about 7 seconds in my inbox, can't recall ever seeing an ad dressed up as an email.

As others have said, these aren't mail items, just ads that appear similar to emails. Sneaky perhaps, but hardly a huge intrusion.

For anyone unhappy with this then I suppose they are free to refund Google for all the money they've paid for their service.

Oh.

7
0

Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

Lunatik
Coat

But, but, but, but!

Lasers are all well and good, but how are they going to fit the shark in there too?

2
0

Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Lunatik

Re: Pragmatic, sensible and workarounds exist for the problems

@AC 07:34

Yeah, because there are no natural gas, oil or water pipelines in the same part of California, are there?

As for the Bay Bridge, Hyperloop should present far lower loads on a bridge, certainly dynamically, than traditional rail so running it across wouldn't necessarily be an issue.

Anyway, the PDF addresses many of these concerns and given the smart people behind it I think we can assume there's been some significant thought gone into it and it's not just a "gee, wouldn't this be cool?" thing for Musk.

0
0

Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

Lunatik

Re: @Danny - On retuning

My impression is that car radios have actually gotten worse at following RDS AF in the past 15 years.

I never used to have any problem but cars nowadays don't seem to handle it as well as they used to, or stations (mainly, it has to be said, endless bloody Heart, Magic, Galaxy, Real etc. crud) just don't implement properly.

In any case, DAB is little better as stuff drops in and out of MUXes as you drive about.

0
0
Lunatik
Mushroom

Persistence is futile...

Die, DAB, die.

7
4

USB accelerates to 10 Gbps

Lunatik

Re: Potential

Erm, maybe not. Can you say latency? Overhead?

I'll stick with Ethernet and cat6, thanks.

7
0

Disney finds new way to give movies depth

Lunatik

Re: Fill in the blanks!

Not necessarily. It's a fair bet that what Photoshop can do today to a 2D image in terms of content aware fill, something like this toolset will be able to at some point with 3D imagery.

Hat's off to the boffins, this is impressive stuff that could have many more applications outside of the film industry.

1
0

SkyDrive on par with C: Drive in Windows 8.1

Lunatik
WTF?

Re: ?

Yes, let's get Microsoft back to its old altruistic self when all it cared about was users' happiness and rarely bothered to even collect money for the software it gladly distributed for the common good.

0
0

BT earmarks super-speedy 300Mbit/s broadband for 50 exchanges

Lunatik
FAIL

Re: More Upstream Please

Oh you poor dear.

First world problems indeed.

4
3

Star Wars missile intercept fails for fifth year running

Lunatik
Trollface

Wrong author

Get Page on this article to give it the requisite pro-US MIC spin.

Missiles will be reported exploding mid-flight like it was the 4th of July!

1
3

If BlackBerry were a bunch of startups, would you invest?

Lunatik

Sammy?

I think the Samsung idea has legs.

Let's face it, Blackberry is doomed.

On the other hand, Samsung is making pots of cash from its Android sales, but is at the mercy of Google for much of that good fortune.

Differentiating Android has become a paper-thin exercise as the core OS has improved so there isn't much Samsung can do in this direction any more.

How much would it like to own not just the chips inside, the screen, the badge on the front and the consumer relationship, but the OS too?

Bada failed because it was too early in the smartphone maturity cycle and at that point Samsung had neither the brand or USP to impose it on the market in any significant way.

But it's now gotten to the point where people want 'an iPhone' (not iOS) or 'a Samsung' (not Android) and as long as the app ecosystem can support the majority of these users then who's to say that a large % of the people buying an S4 because it's a Samsung wouldn't continue to do so?

Chuck in some lock-in via messaging and...profit?

So Samsung buys Blackberry, spends a bit of cash tickling developers (much more than RIM) to up the quantity/quality of apps and premieres its latest hardware on a QNX-base OS with BBM built in.

It might opt to continue to offer Android/Windows but these would lack the latest and greatest features/hardware.

Crucially, to get the maximum value this would have to happen before BBM is opened up.

Must've been discussed at at least one Seoul boardroom meeting.

0
0

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Our new top Android ten-incher

Lunatik

Re: "It's a Sony"

After rootkit, PSN hacking and other issues, not least broken promises from Sony over Android updates to 2011-vintage phones, I swore off Sony until they'd sharpened up their act.

I admit I'm surprised that they seem to be doing their level best to appeal to consumers again what with the PS4 and a renewed commitment to Android as an open and updateable platform for their devices.

This is quite a turnaround, maybe the shock of seeing all that red ink on their balance sheet over the past few years really has forced them to turn over a new leaf?

7
0

Not work! - Firmware hacks

Lunatik
Happy

Re: Re. phone "hacking"

Ahh, the irony of an AC posting his/her email address! ;)

1
0

Can Jonny Ive's new 'iOS Vista' SAVE the BBC's £100m BRAIN? Yes!

Lunatik
Black Helicopters

Re: Bring back "rate this article"

You too, huh?

1
0

LinkedIn DNS hijacked, site offline

Lunatik
FAIL

Dagnabbit!

More security fubars from LinkedIn!

I wish I didn't have an account now!

Oh wait :)

1
0

Wake up, Uncle Fester! Huawei’s nattering about BUYING Nokia

Lunatik
Thumb Up

Urquhart?

"Yu may think that – but Microsoft couldn’t possibly comment."

Ho ho ho.

3
0

Virtualisation: Where are my savings?

Lunatik
Unhappy

Magical new invoice lines...

All I've found is that instead of speccing a physical box (say, £6k?), with OS & sundry licensing (£1k, as the box wasn't particularly fruity) now I'm budgeting for core/RAM/hdd use (and they tell me there's never enough!) but the OS & hypervisor licensing is still a significant % of what the old hardware+license cost was, and I don't even have a shiny new box to show for it at the end of the day.

OK, hosting charges should be significantly less over the term, but there's precious little saving to shout about when bringing a solution together.

1
0

Chrome and Firefox are planet-wreckers, IE cuddles dolphins

Lunatik
Devil

Microsoft's secret?

An undocumented Windows 8 feature spawns a svchost thread grabbing 100% CPU when a non-IE browser is being used.

Concocted by MS Marketing precisely for this purpose.

Would not surprise me in the slightest.

1
0

Review: HP Slate 7 Android tablet

Lunatik
FAIL

Really struggling to understand HP's motivation in this one.

Was there a meeting in February where they decided they were *that* desperate to get a 7" device into the market that they had to rush something out that, frankly, would've looked mediocre last summer?

The next generation of 7-8" Androids are just around the corner and I'd be surprised if the Nexus 7 II doesn't make this look like the relic it really is.

At least they've not taken the piss with the pricing I suppose, but £99 might've been more appropriate.

1
0

FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

Lunatik
Flame

Hard G, Mr Wilhite (what sort of name is that anyway?)

And I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

Same for folk who say "led" instead of Ell-Eee-Dee.

And folk who say "Snezz" instead of Super Nintendo.

If that's wrong I don't want to be right.

2
1

If you've bought DRM'd film files from Acetrax, here's the bad news

Lunatik
FAIL

I thought that Ultraviolet was going to be a step in the right direction too...until I tried to use it.

Not only does it implement multiple layers of DRM and authorisation (distribution and some middleware/aggregated rights holder), but it is so fundamentally consumer-unfriendly that I swore I’d never use it again.

For example, having to download and install Paramount’s “DRM tool” to play back a disc is one thing, but to be asked to install two pieces of software to do this seems to provide yet more potential failure points in future, as well as being a pain in the arse. The quality wasn’t much cop either, certainly less than DVD never mind the Blu-ray that I’d purchased.

I’ve tried other streaming/download services with similar results.

I bought one of Fox’s Triple Play discs with a reasonable expectation of a high quality downloaded version, right? Wrong. Apparently a crummy bitrate 360p copy is apparently sufficient!

Then I upgraded the OS which invalidated the DRM and I had to phone California to request another validation code. This came with all sorts of draconian warnings that this was a one-time operation and if it failed I would lose the ability to playback.

Deleted/uninstalled all the files and downloaded a BD rip of that one!

The best I’ve tried is actually Tesco’s Blinkbox/Clubcard integration. Buy the disc in store or online and it’s available for streaming immediately on PC or my LG Blu-ray player. Great quality and hassle free.

Still DRM though which means it may disappear at any point, but at least with this service I have a physical disc to rely on.

2
0

HTC woes prompts 'leave now' tweet from former staffer

Lunatik

Re: HTC has damaged itself

And that’s the reason I won’t buy an HTC, or Sony for that matter (although they appear to be making amends in this department).

Being stuck with a handset 1 or 2 major versions behind the Android curve when you’ve still got 7 months left on a contract is not a happy experience.

Once bitten, twice shy. Sorry HTC.

2
0

UK MPs tell Google: Get back here and bring your auditors with you

Lunatik

Re: WTF

When you leave school* perhaps you'll find out that 'trying to get out of taxes' and 'finding the appropriate taxes to pay' are two sides of the same coin. Corporations have an obligation to generate value for their shareholders (not necessarily just maximise profit, as is often quoted) and part of this is achieved by minimising their tax liability.

If the regulations haven't yet caught up with modern international practices, allowing such 'avoidance', then it's hardly the fault of Amazon, Google or their accountants for exploiting such loopholes, is it?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of these shell companies in low tax regimes, but pillorying the corporates when it's the Govt/EU's own rules that permit this isn't the best way to effect change.

* Sorry, cheap dig but I'm down on my ad hominem quota for this year already.

4
2

Apple's head bean counter boasts WORLD'S BIGGEST PACKAGE

Lunatik

Re: Goodness gracious!

$9B, not $9M

Them extra three zeroes make a lot of difference...

9
0

Page: