* Posts by AndyS

578 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Man sues YET AGAIN for chance to marry his computer

AndyS
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Re: ReL Windows computers aren't marriage material because

Windows PCs seem to be a lot more fickle than the old Nintendos. All they needed was a quick blow.

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Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

AndyS
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Re: Legal Headaches

In other news, the vast majority of arrests come after interaction with police. Therefore if we abolish the police, crime will disappear!

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Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

AndyS
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Re: I wouldn't take one

Moto G is very simple to root. Don't know about the other handsets being offered.

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AndyS
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Absolutely. Moto G, certainly, is extremely easy to root. So this just looks like a £50 discount for people who want a rooted phone. Nice!

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Plymouth 'animal rights' teen admits Florida SeaWorld cyber attack

AndyS
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>And I, for one, have never got hyperlinks to work properly on El Reg, despite playing around with HTML a little. How do you get them to work?

Seems a little esoteric. I had to edit my comment a couple of times to make it work (which was a bit ironic...)

I eventually dropped the inverted commas around the href argument of the html tag, although playing about now, it seems to work with or without inverted commas, and either single or double work.

It also seems that any abortive attempt to put html in a comment prevents the rest of the html in the comment from being parsed, and also prevents you from being able to post the comment. When you hit post, it tells you "There are some problems with your post. The post contains some invalid HTML".

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AndyS
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Wow. That's a lot of links. I think. Although it's hard to tell to be honest, they're all kind of jumbled up in there. Still, it's a lot of text, so I'm sure you know what you're talking about.

You know nobody is going to go to the bother of copying and pasting any one of them, right? Also, did you know El Reg supports hyperlinks?

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AndyS
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Seaworld is a despicable slave centre

...and looks like a party of saints compared to his other (admitted) target, the Japanese dolphin hunt.

Next we'll find out he's been targeting UKIP too. Then he really will be a national hero.

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

AndyS
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Re: old school attitudes to data erasure

> Is manually drilling or hammering thousands of drives really a cost effective method for destruction?

No, but then driving millions of miles a year isn't really cost effective either. However if you need to travel about 20 miles a day, it makes perfect sense.

For most normal people, handling a few hard-drives now and again, a hammer, drill or other mechanical solution is probably perfectly fine - 5 minutes, job done. Obviously if you run a business destroying drives, you need something more... efficient.

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

AndyS
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Re: Love's father

I heard his father too, seemed like a very reasonable man.

My issue with "time, crime" etc is that there needs to be continual debate about what "time" is appropriate for what "crime," and that debate is necessarily always started after someone _has_ done the crime. Our and the US's understanding of what time is reasonable for what crime is often very, very far out of kilter, as is our and their sense of a "fair trial."

So sending someone there for what is not much more than a minor misdemeanor worthy of a slap on the wrist, in the full knowledge of lack of real trial (via their "plea bargin" system) and the consequent hell that awaits them, is considered by most right-thinking people as unjust.

Thus while it's possible to have very little sympathy with the individual at the centre of the discussion, it's still a valid and worthwhile discussion.

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Florida man sues Apple for $10bn, claims iPod, iPhone was his idea

AndyS
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"...adopt a culture of dumpster diving..."

Oh shut up.

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VW finds US$15 BEEELION under the couch to pay off US regulators

AndyS
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I suspect the other reason it didn't come to light for so long is that nobody's plate is completely clean (although VW's seems to have been particularly dirty). Having worked in the auto industry, it is openly acknowledged by the OEMs, the test houses and the government that a new, clean, more rigorous approach to testing is required. However until that is implemented, it will do nobody any favours to investigate the current methods of "passing" in too much detail.

So, sweep out the entire house and start again. But until then, don't ask too many questions.

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Europe's UK-backed Unified Patent Court 'could be derailed'

AndyS
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Re: The UK is a full member of the EU

That's all great. So in lay-man's terms, nothing is likely to happen for 2-4 years.

So, that completely of pulls the rug out from under a 2017 opening date. And since 1/3 of the funding is likely to be lost (not guaranteed of course, but likely), no sane person would bank on this project continuing.

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AndyS
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Great idea! Let's add this to the list of things that £350M per week can fund!

No doubt with that much money we'll not only be able to fund a new hospital every Tuesday, all the world's science, farms for everyone, 3 schools for every child and this new patent court, but also get rid of tax! And immigrants!

Retake control! We're going to be so rich.

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Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

AndyS
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Re: Lingua Franca

In large parts of Africa, the Lingua Franca is the tongue of whichever country colonised them - so English in East and Southern Africa, French in Central and West, Arabic in the North, Portugese in Mozambique, and Afrikaans (basically Toddler Dutch) in large parts of SA. English won't get you far in any of these, unless you get lucky.

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

AndyS
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Re: A close call?

Martin, I should have given the link, yes - the most interesting aspect is the decision not to change to emergency radio frequency to reduce the pilots' workload, which led to an inability to communicate directly with the fire crew, which led to Chinese whispers leading the fire crew to believe there was a fire inside the cabin. So, they turned up in full haz-mat gear with axes at the ready, prepared for ingress into a burning aircraft.

Unsurprisingly, from the news reports at the time, this spooked the passengers, making them think the situation was way more serious than it really was. Luckily it had no real adverse effect on the response, but it highlights very clearly how seemingly benign departures from pre-agreed procedures, even if done for the best of reasons, can have serious unintended consequences.

Full disclosure: I did a work placement at the AAIB many moons ago, so read their reports like a true geek. I can highly recommend it - many of them are fascinating.

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AndyS
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Re: Penny

There was a Nimrod crash where the cockpit crew were trouble-shooting a warning lamp. The manuals stated that the warning lamp, which showed the engine starter turbine running, was malfunctioning since the starter turbine could not run while the engine was already at speed. The correct procedure was to remove the indicator bulb. The crew were apparently doing that, as the wing was gently burning away...

More here: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19950516-0

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AndyS
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Re: like that's a good thing?

Yes, that's a good thing. How many Ford Mondeos do you think have been lost in the last decade? Would that make you scared getting into one?

If you actually look at why they were lost, one disappeared (cause unknown), one was shot down, one was landed like a dead duck. So that leaves 2 which actually had a failure leading to a loss, and neither of them had a single injury (one landed short at Heathrow, the other had a fire while on the ground).

This, and the other engine failure/fire one in May this year, will probably be added to that total, but again, both were evacuated with no injuries.

Considering there are nearly 1,500 in service, and they've been flying for well over 20 years, that's a remarkable safety record.

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AndyS
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Re: A close call?

Presumably there was no indication of a fire to the cockpit, and the standard procedure for the errors they had was to return to the home airport. The failure then "evolved", but planes routinely do return to their home airport for failures which fall between "carry on" and "crap, get me down" in severity.

Obviously if the situation had worsened while it was still in the air, it would have diverted to somewhere closer.

Also the closest airport isn't always the one you want to be at - there was an engine fire on a FlyBE plane on long finals to Belfast City airport in late 2014 and, after extinguishing the fire, it diverted to the (further away) Belfast International, as the fire and evacuation facilities there are much better, and it's not in the middle of a city. I imagine overflying a city centre with a plane which has just been, and in fact still was, on fire, might not be good for the nerves of the pilots!

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AndyS
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Re: They did well to keep everyone calm and not deploy the slides!

I hadn't heard about the AA one, but just read a few reports - why do you have the impression the evacuation was mishandled? If there is smoke in the cabin, and an evacuation is ordered, why would you not want the slides to be used? Even if it later turns out that there was not a serious issue, that probably isn't obvious to the crew and passengers, whose priority is to get everyone off and away from the plane as quickly as possible.

I'm actually quite surprised the slides weren't used in this 777 evacuation - I wonder why not? Maybe the fire didn't start (or wasn't visible) until after the steps were already in place?

When things go seriously wrong, every second lost in the early part of an evacuation can cost lives in the later parts of it, and slides have the ability to get a lot of people out of a plane very quickly, much more quickly than steps.

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AndyS
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Wow.

Glad everyone's OK. Alarming to see what looks like a fuel fire almost engulfing the wing - guess we'll have to wait a while to see what caused it.

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IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

AndyS
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Re: FTFY...

Wait, does killing unnamed and unarmed brown people somewhere in the middle east not count as a "vital public service"? I always assumed it was essential to our democracy, since we seem to spend so much of our money doing it.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

AndyS
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Presumably by the "elected and removable" option you mean the EU, with it's members all directly elected or appointed by directly elected members?

And by the non-democratic, non removable option you're talking about the UK, with non proportional representation for the only pseudo-democratic house, a second house made up of various life-long peers (many hereditary), and Monarch topping the whole thing off?

The EU as a whole is actually vastly more directly democratic than the UK.

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AndyS
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Re: EU migration policies are far more racist than anything the UK ever had

@WatAWorld

Wow. A whole new level of made-up bollocks. If your world view is really so devoid of any factual reasoning that you have to resort to inventing new levels of bull to back up what you want to believe, would it not eventually be easier to realise your world view might be at fault?

Most US passport holders are white. Does that mean the US is systematically racist when it allows special privileges to their own passport holders?

Zimbabwe is a majority black country, so most Zimbabwean passport holders, who get special treatment by Zimbabwe, are black. That is not racist. Robert Mugabe systematically applied policies to strip white Zimbabweans of their citizenship. That is racist.

Guess what? A union of countries, for the benefit of those countries, benefits the citizens of those countries. Since Europe is mostly white (after all, it's the continent that white people came from), of course most people in that union are white.

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AndyS
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Re: Please - read the history

So, because you haven't "seen" economic prosperity (you've obviously not looked at any statistics or facts - our country is recovering extremely well from a global economic recesion), you are going to vote the way which everyone, including Farage and BJ, have stated will cause actual worsening economic conditions?

"My foot hurts. The doctor said putting it in the meat grinder would make it worse. But it hurts, so I'm going to put it in the meat grinder. It's bound to make it better."

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AndyS
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"Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners , voted on by MEPs from 27 other countries of which the UK has around 7% of the vote, and once the law is passed it can never be revoked or modified."

Ignoring the bullshit about unelected blah de blah (the only truely unelected people with a say over our laws are the Monarchy and the House of Lords - both British through and through), I've never understood this "only X%" argument, which was used in the Scottish campaign too.

Why should the fact that you are a small part of something bigger automatically be seen as a bad thing? It is the fundamental definition of democracy and shared decision making.

Should Cornwall leave the UK? After all, they've got less than 1% of the MPs in parliament. They're hardly represented at all! How can that be fair? The UK is so undemocratic!!

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AndyS
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@Bombastic Bob

This comment, right here, sums up the full problem with this referendum - uninformed speculators repeating lies and exaggerations to back up views which have no bearing on reality, to make a decision which most certainly will.

"hmmm, with all of the downvotes on any post so far that favors "independent Britain" I have to wonder if the 'howlers' are actually the ones downvoting, in an 'astroturf' attempt to undermine the 'independence' campaign... ?"

Conspiracy theory. Good start.

"My ten cents' worth from across the pond is that independence is probably BETTER than being told how to run your country and enforce your laws from Brussels. "

We aren't. We are a powerful member of a union with other nations, with an equal voice and ability to elect representatives according to democratic rules which we negotiated and signed up for. Would you make the same argument for any of the states in the USA? Because it is much, much more centralised than the EU.

"...And propping up the 'bailouts'."

False. We aren't in the Euro, we have nothing to do with the euro bailouts. Even if it was true (which it isn't), should Texas secede because the US Federal government bailed out the Michigan based auto industry?

"I heard a nice quote from Thatcher (from 1992) this morning on the radio, regarding the EU membership. It sounded to me like she was 100% right."

Great. You're obviously well informed then.

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Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

AndyS
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This article is the eternal dichotomy. Every time a news article talks about the growth of some sector or another (eg the music industry), it is at the expense of the consumer spending more money. And yet every time the person writing the article wants to gain the sympathy of the public (eg energy companies), it's presented as "costing the average person £x additional per year".

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Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system

AndyS
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Re: Case..

"Case sensitivity is a user-hostile feature"

Not sure I follow, care to expand? Since I'm more used to Linux than other OSs, I find case-insensitivity to be unintuitive and confusing.

Isn't it just a case of what you're used to? For example, driving on the wrong side of the road, as most foreigners seem to, is clearly user-hostile, since everyone in their right mind knows you have to drive on the left. Right?

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Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

AndyS
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Uh... Did all that dripping sarcasm manage to miss you on the way down?

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US Supremes won't halt class-action legal battle against Google Adwords

AndyS
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Aren't adverts normally tracked (and charged?) by number of impressions and/or click-throughs?

If it was shown on a 404 or parked domain which nobody ever saw, would that not lead to a very low impression or click-through rate?

Assuming the impression/click-through rate was OK, does that not imply that it doesn't really matter what page the ad was shown on?

I suspect I'm missing the point, as the courts have clearly decided there is merit in the case.

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Belgian brewery lays 3.2km beer pipeline

AndyS
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Normally, beer is brewed flat (it's not brewed under pressure - all beer is reasonably flat as it is brewed). Commercial beer is then sterilised, then put into kegs or bottles and artificially pressurised with CO2.

Home-brew, and some smaller (especially micro) breweries add a small amount of sugar at the bottling or kegging stage, without sterilising, to kick the yeast back into action, and produce enough CO2 to pressurise it and get it to the right fizzyness.

I would dread to think what the pipeline would look like after a few days if there was live yeast still in the beer, so I assume it is filtered and sterilised first. Residual small amounts of CO2 could easily be kept in solution by a small amount of pressure in the line.

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Even in remotest Africa, Windows 10 nagware ruins your day: Update burns satellite link cash

AndyS
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Re: Disclaimer

"... then go to the small claims court..."

You maybe missed the bit about this charity working in CAR? Although I guess the tactics you describe would probably work elsewhere pretty well. Certainly the one time I've every seriously fallen out with a company who owed me money, the mere fact that I sent an "advanced" copy of the filled in Small Claims Court paperwork to them (letting them know I would be filing it in 24 hours), the money turned up in my account by the end of the day.

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Redmond adds malware, phish warnings to Bing

AndyS
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Re: I cant have had a "linked-in" (WTFIT?) message as i dont have a "linked-in" account.

Assuming they work the same way as all other networks, they get hold of your other addresses when other people join, and give them permission to trawl their address books (either on mobile, or by giving them the password to their webmail).

I gave up trying to get them to stop emailing me, and simply block anything arriving from them (marked it as spam for a while in gmail, and eventually it offers to stop you seeing any more of it). I have no objection to social media, but a commercial company emailing me before I join is spam.

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Boring SpaceX lobs another sat into orbit without anything blowing up ... zzzzz

AndyS
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Re: "...angular velocity..."

Dwarf, orbital speed is entirely defined by altitude, therefore "geostationary" is as much a term of height as it is a term of speed. All geostationary sats are at the same height.

Go higher, you orbit less often. Stay lower, you orbit more often.

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

AndyS
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Re: Big jets are boring and stable

In very light aircraft operating with only one pilot, the other front seat normally counts as a passenger seat. If it's used that way regularly it probably won't have dual controls, but often it will. Many times the control column can be removed fairly easily. Same goes for light helicopters.

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Want a better password? Pretend you eat kale. We won't tell anyone

AndyS
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I can see why I've been downvoted, so let me clarify. I know that password crackers know about substitution, but the problem is not the strength of the password (if I judge a 5 word, ~25 character password is strong enough for the application), the problem is the arbitrary restrictions put on passwords by the application. So if a long series of words is good enough, but it's being rejected, then do a simple substitution. Easy to remember, and achieves the purpose.

My work, for example, has a ridiculous set of requirements for 2 of the 5 or so passwords I need for different intranet systems. All renew at different periods, all have different length restrictions, so they cannot be kept the same. Do I really care about keeping them secure? Not particularly - they're written down at my desk so that I can ring in and ask a workmate to log in if I need to. The restrictions are massively overbearing even putting aside the fact that they blatantly lower the system's security. In this situation, simple substitution is king.

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AndyS
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Re: 67 per cent figured a 50,000-gruess-strong password was good enough

Well... you do, because you know how valuable the information protected is. New password for a shopping site you're probably not going to use very often? Low risk, low security, poor password is good enough. El reg forums? Reddit? Facebook? Twitter? Meh, nothing of real (monetary) value here.

Paypal, amazon, bank or main email address? These can spend money directly and take over other accounts (in the case of email and password resets), so high security, decent passwords.

Assume the worst (backend hacked or physical theft), then decide how much it matters. 90% of passwords don't need to be strong. My work password? Post-it under the keyboard in case I need someone else to log in while I'm away. Simple word, with a number I can increment every 3 months when required. This would be slammed by any "password guru" but in reality it's perfectly secure enough.

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AndyS
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Capitals on the words, replace all "e"s with "3"s and "a"s with "@"s Solved. Has been serving me well where strong passwords are required.

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AndyS
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Re: If only you could type commands and have each output to the next...

Good grief, some of the comments here sound like they've been lifted straight from the Autistic Nerd's Handbook. In tomorrow's episode of "how to solve real life problems in simple and accessible ways," we're going to address how to get rid of a spider on the ceiling using only 3 thermonuclear warheads, a submarine and the armed forces of 12 small nations.

Write your own password generator? Practice typing passwords every hour? (for every site that needs one? I have over 50 in my password wallet since every e-commerce site needs one now, but many will only get used maybe once a year if even that). Get real.

Reg's advice of using a password wallet is plenty. A random generator isn't bad advice, but you don't even really need one if you go with the correcthorse method, that way you can keep the app on your phone but easily type the password into a computer, for example.

Remember, to get away from a bear, you don't have to run faster than a bear. Only faster than the other people running.

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Pointless features add to browser bloat and insecurity

AndyS
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Re: Just looking at public "commercial" web site won't tell all the truth.

That just sounds like another layer of Microsoft-style crud to me. More modes, more tags in page headers, less compatibility...

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AndyS
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Re: Not all unused features are useless …

That's true at one end of the spectrum, but isn't the problem the article is addressing. Note the talk of features which are actively blocked by users; many of those "features" have been around for many years. They aren't widely used because they either offer no real user benefit (I don't want an individual app adjusting screen brightness on any device. The idea of an individual website doing it is appalling), or because they are used as weapons against the user (pop ups, pop overs, pop unders - these have very few good uses).

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Robot surgeon outperforms human doctor with porcine patients

AndyS
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Re: Surgeons *will* fight this tooth and nail to the bitter end.

I don't think Surgeons will fight this.

Unlike taxi drivers, they offer a level of decision making, skill and education that makes replacing them very difficult indeed. What this robot aims to do is to automate some of the post-surgery tidying up (stitching up is normally currently left to the juniors, even often nurses).

This isn't a replacement for surgeons as much as a new tool for them to use.

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Monster Cloud and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story

AndyS
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Re: Out of the idlest curiosity - wtf were Monster Backup bringing to the party ?

The one legitimate use for resellers is when the merchant himself doesn't want to deal directly with the customers. Think warehousing versus corner shops.

So for example I have an insurance policy which is through AXA, but AXA don't sell it directly to the public. It's only available through a broker.

This makes sense - small brokers specialising in niche products can get to know the field well and approach AXA with a proposal for a new policy, for which they think they'll be able to get, say, 1000 customers. AXA know and trust the broker, so they set it up and do none of the learning or customer interaction. Customers get their niche policy, with a broker (reseller) who understands them. Everybody wins.

Reselling a main stream product which is available to the public from the original vendor, though? Pointless.

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Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

AndyS
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Struck me as an odd sentence. Surely the author meant to write:

Oswald's a Brit, so when he says "football" he means "football."

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Heathrow Airbus collision 'not a drone incident'

AndyS
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Lester, where were you on the 17th of April?

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The Internet of Things edges toward a practical reality

AndyS
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Re: "There are countless problems" ... Indeed.

> Code (Software is merely the current state of the hardware)

> Idiot (pedantry is merely the current state of the moron)

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AndyS
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What about "length of support."

The idea that a light switch should stop functioning because the company you bought it from decides it is no longer profitable to "support" is is ludicrous, and yet Google has just done exactly that.

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IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

AndyS
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Re: So get your facts straight

Actually I quite enjoyed John's little racist rant. It shows quite nicely, without the veneer of respectability, what a lot of "leave" voters really think.

It's the old adage - perhaps not all people intending to vote leave are small minded racist bigots, but you can be sure that all the small minded racist bigots are voting leave.

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Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

AndyS
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@Manolo

> You really think EU is not owned by business?

Compare the situation for consumers, employees, parents, people with an illness, passengers, etc (ie "people") between the EU and the US, and there is virtually nothing in common. Sure, the EU may consult with business too, but the US is simply in a different league from the rest of the world when it comes to treating their own citizens as a disposable resource.

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Blighty ranks 38th in World Press Freedom Index

AndyS
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Re: Moderator comment

You may have deleted my comment, but you can't stop me upvoting you!

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