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* Posts by SteveK

206 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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SPACE RACE auction: $130k raised for spacesuits, Apollo 11 kit

SteveK

Re: "$130k..." "...raised tens of thousands of dollars..."

The $150k and $240k were listed as being taken on *previous* auctions, not this one.

That said, adding up the rest of the items listed still comes to just short of $230k rather than $130k. Maybe the extra $100k is auction fees (did they use eBay+paypal or something??)

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Google's SWOLLEN WINDBAGS circle PLANET, dispensing INTERWEBS

SteveK

How does that work then?

Your request was received, we'll be back with the server's response in 22 days if your browser's not timed out by then.

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Scam emails tell people they have cancer to trick them into installing a money-stealing Trojan

SteveK

Re: I had this one

On the subject of ridiculous, I did have one the other day telling me I had to

"fill attached questionary before May 13259579338080851941308th, 2014"

I'm guessing that's a very long way in the future, so won't bother to open it now..

but yes, I agree with your sentiments entirely about the sort of people who prey on those likely to fall for this particular one.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

SteveK

Apologies if this point has been made - I did skim through all four pages of responses of switch to Linux, switch to Mac (both might be valid arguments, but not the point I'm making) etc without seeing it...

Fair enough, I can understand 'get a new PC' because one that was sold running XP (assuming a home machine, not a business machine and therefore likely to have been provided with XP for as long as possible) is at least 5 years old (probably 7 since resellers starting shipping consumer PCs with Vista) may not be up to the job. Seems wasteful if the hardware works but I accept that the argument can be made.

However, I can't accept the argument as a reason for buying a new PC, that if you upgrade you'd need to find your application install disks and license codes, that you'd need to backup your files and restore them. Surely you'd need to do this if you went and bought a new PC anyway - it won't magically have your applications or data.

So maybe they're advocating that you go and buy new copies of Office and other applications too - and presumably just throw away your old photos, files etc rather than transfer them as clearly they're old and useless?

Or that you buy a new PC, but that you keep using your old XP one rather than upgrade it as that's the one that has your applications and files...

Or that you buy a new one, but then have to do exactly the same steps to install your applications and transfer your data that you'd have to do if you upgraded.

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Developer's rare $50,000 Twitter account @N stolen in web shakedown

SteveK

Re: How old?

From his blog post (linked in article) he says he renamed @N to @N_is_stolen, releasing @N to be taken by someone else. Assuming the whole thing is genuine.

Doesn't make a lot of sense though. Surely the main reason for wanting the account was for access to all the followers (for some nefarious purpose?) who would still be on the renamed account. Or to sell, but it'll always be questionable whether it'll be returned.

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The internet is 'a gift from God' says Pope Francis

SteveK

So will IPv6 be the second coming?

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Eagle steals crocodile-cam, records video selfie

SteveK

100km? Or 100m?

So what is the air-speed of a camera-laden sea eagle?

As the in-footage timestamp shows approximately 20s passing between takeoff and landing, if that really covered 100km then we'd be looking at a tad over 11,000mph. It's amazing their feathers don't fall off.

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Sony patents LASER-FIRING Wi-Fi SMARTWIG with sideburn buttons

SteveK

I don't think I've laughed so hard in a while.

And the bits quoted in the article are on the normal side compared to some others:

A further interesting approach could be combining artificial muscles and the wig. Artificial muscles look like hair, so it is useful for hair extensions and fake moustaches. If a user is excited, the hair dynamically changes.

The presented wearable computing device may contain sensors like a camera and an electric compass, so the user can retrieve such information and know whether the wig is in the right place or not, i.e. whether the wig is correctly mounted on the head or not.

and of course, we can't miss 'wig-to-wig communication':

Moreover, if another user wears a similar wearable computing device 10 as proposed according to this disclosure, a wig-to-wig communication is possible as this is known from other touch systems. If one user touches one of his/her vibration motors 28a-f, the other users equivalent motor may vibrate

My mind is well and truly boggled.

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Reply-all email lightning storm STRIKES TWICE at Cisco

SteveK

Re: $600,000?!

Particularly since they'd probably point to lost production as a reason to push the price up a fraction for the next week, generating 10 times that in extra profits.

Cynical? Me?

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ITU to Europe: One charger for all mobes good. One to rule them ALL? Better

SteveK

Re: USB: This side up

If It's in my computer, yes, I know generally which way is up as long as I'm concentrating. My main problem is when I have to go and use unfamiliar computers, especially fruity ones that have the USB ports sideways somewhere on the back where you can't see them, intermixed with similarly sized firewire, DisplayPort-variant-of-the-week, etc. I don't care if it's marginally uglier, put them on the side where I can actually find them without knocking over assorted photos and pots of pens trying to fumble around blindly.

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SteveK

Only the first time? I have to turn most USB devices/cables round about 3 times before it'll go in.

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Amazon to hire over 85,000 temporary elves for Christmas

SteveK

Why do they need so many?

What are all these employees actually going to do, given that Amazon don't appear to conduct any business or make any money in the UK, as evidenced by their tax bill...

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Hardbitten NYC cops: Sir, I'm gonna need you to, er, upgrade to iOS 7

SteveK

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

"If people who are going to mug you for your expensive iPhone/iPad know that they aren't going to work after they've been stolen, that would stop quite a few muggings."

From what I've heard/read, many phones stolen during muggings are to stop the victim from phoning the police and give the muggers a few more minutes to get clear of the scene. I have no idea if that is true or just hearsay, but makes some degree of sense - in which case whether the phone is locked or not won't make a difference, stealing it stops the victim using it regardless.

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Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

SteveK

Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

Except that there was clearly no signal from any local networks or else the phone would have roamed onto one, albeit at an extortionate rate.

Personally, although on holiday I like to switch off from email and such like, it is really handy to be able to just check up on a phone or whatever (ideally without requiring a second mortgage) for ideas on restaurants and the like. I'm not someone who just stays by the pool and eats in the hotel for a week, or who meticulously plans ahead to have organised where to go, so it's good to be able to check up on places and so on as the mood takes me.

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AOL boss: Soz about that 'Abel, you're fired!' Patch showdown

SteveK

So.. what happened to the person who was recording Abel recording the confidential meeting in order to leak the recording?

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Open source 'Cubesat' set to soar

SteveK

"What's that in UTC?"

March.

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HP plugs password-leaking printer flaw

SteveK

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

I remember 10 years or so discovering that the admin password for HP Jetdirect cards was retrievable in plaintext via SNMP, with the default public community string...

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Graphical front ends for PowerShell? Here's a couple for you

SteveK

Oddly I was reading a year-or-two-old article the other day on this, which was indicating that command line .. err .. commands (or more correctly, use of scripts to make sure all the options and flags are correct) *are* more effective and efficient than GUIs, the reasoning being that people are human and make mistakes, forget to set options, click the wrong tick box (particularly if an update moves things around). The main synopsis was "if it can be scripted, script it. If it can't be scripted, make a check list".

I've written bulk user import scripts in Powershell and in Perl and certainly a lot simpler, quicker and less prone to errors to run that, fed from a CSV file or database, than to sit around manually creating a couple of hundred users with point-and-click.

Not that anyone is taking the GUI away, but is nice that more and more features are being exposed to the command line.

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Oh please, PLEASE bring back Xbox One's hated DRM - say Xbox loyalists

SteveK

Re: I agree wholeheartedly

"You don't see a used car going on sale for 5% less than the new model, so why is it that way with games? Especially when a lot of games these days you're losing out on the 'free' DLC."

Agree. Plus the annoyance that you often also lose the DLC if you buy it once it's 6 months old or so. Had that the other month with Assassins Creed .. err .. 57? DLC code expires on this date regardless of whether you bought new, but are we putting the price down to compensate? I think not.

Same with DVDs/BR disks with double/triple-play 'download' options. Again, this usually vanishes a few months after release but is still touted on the box as being provided.

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AT&T patents P2P content tracking system

SteveK

Idle pondering

"AT&T's patent is for crawling search engines and RSS feeds for torrent titles"

If your torrent-hosting website has T&Cs that forbid AT&T access, or crawling, or whatever other legalese is appropriate, would that make this inadmissible if it went to court, or you were accused of accessing it?

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The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

SteveK

Re: It's not what you see that counts

"My favourite is gold plated TOS (optical) connectors."

I thought you were joking.

I *hoped* you were joking.

I now see you weren't.

I feel unclean.

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Saucy selfie app Snapchat hits $800m valuation as VCs chuck cash around

SteveK

Is this valuation before or after yesterday's discovery that IOS7 removes some functionality that their app relies on to prevent screenshots being taken of images...?

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Snowden dodges US agents in Moscow, skips out on flight

SteveK

A metal what? A full metal jacket? It is indeed a possibility.

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Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong

SteveK

Re: And now an asylum request for Ecuador

I think this is some elaborate game of Happy Families. Ecuador has Assange and Snowden and nearly has a set, while the US just has Mr Bun the Baker...

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Ad-slingers! Punting peeps' pics into promos? You must read THIS

SteveK

Re: One weird old tip

Those ads always annoy me for some reason, so I'm sure there'd be some doctors who they make angry too, just by existing, not necessarily anything to do with the content.

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Apple: iOS7 dayglo Barbie makeover is UNFINISHED - report

SteveK

Re: sorry

Don't think it is 'whipped up by android fans' at all. We're (actually, I use both IOS and Android devices so don't exactly consider myself a fan of either camp) just saying welcome to the 2010s. Nice though IOS might be to use, it has looked a bit dated for the last few versions, so it's nice to see it catching up with what looks like a modern, clean interface that looks fine to me too. Ok, the colours and icons are not everyone's cup of tea but you'll never please anyone - even Apple bloggist John Gruber did say that Apple people felt the new release would be 'polarizing'...

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Techies finger Bradley Manning for US secret files database breach

SteveK

"Forensic experts have testified ..."

"...He was traced by his username and network IP address ..."

Really? Looking in the logfiles required 'forensic experts'?

And he was using his own assigned username and IP address. So not exactly a master hacker. How about if you don't want random Privates looking through classified diplomatic data that isn't relevant to his job, you don't give his assigned username access to it? Then again, these are the same people who allegedly setup 'secure' servers with default or blank passwords then cite hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs needed to secure the systems after someone traipses through it looking for UFOs...

Not saying he was right or wrong to leak the documents but shouldn't the security experts be looking to, you know, actually secure their systems rather than complain when people access things they shouldn't?

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iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent

SteveK

"As with all ITC bans, the lockdown won't start unless President Obama gives the all-clear. The president (who prefers to use a BlackBerry personally) has 60 days to decide the issue."

Thanks for coming in Mr Cook. This veto stamp? Pay no attention to that, I don't think I'll be needing it. Remind me, what were you doing about those billions of untaxed offshore dollars?

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Shorteurs rejoice as Vine comes to Android

SteveK

Re: To be fair...

" if an fanboi won't pay for an app then fandroids certainly won't..."

Putting completely aside the fact that it is free...

I've always been intrigued, given the 'freetard' tag given to Linux users, and by association to Android users - the platform is free so it's expected that everything else should be too - that whenever I've looked at the Humble Bundle pay-what-you-want stats, the average price paid by Linux users is always highest, Mac second and Windows users lowest. Which might suggest that Linux users are in fact willing to pay (more) for software.

(It may also of course be that far fewer Linux users do actually buy it, so the figures are more distorted by one or two high payers - that said, on the current bundle, the number of Linux purchasers is not much less than Mac purchasers)

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Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

SteveK

Re: 12th?

12 regenerations, i,e. 13 'lives' apparently. That said, I'm sure they'll find time paradox loopholes and magical gadgets to reset ...

My memory is hazy on the early series, but wasn't one of the Doctor's regenerations stolen by the Master, and another, future, regeneration some evil entity?

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SteveK

Re: Pertwee

BBC News article does mention Sean Pertwee as being a possibility. Then again they also do list Tom Cruise and Billie Piper as (admittedly more remote) possibilities, so perhaps they're just pulling names out of a hat!

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Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

SteveK

Re: The guys were already known to the authorities

Surely it would become:

“Why did it take you 14 hours to get an armed response unit to the scene?”

"Because all but one police officer is now tasked with sifting through every single email and website access of 60 million people, and that one officer was off sick"

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Librarians: Argos site is top priority to be preserved for future generations

SteveK

Re: Argos catalogue is a great example of something that should be archived

Started to write a confused reply but just re-parsed original comment and noticed that BFI != FBI.

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Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

SteveK

Re: I have one of these and they're good bits of kit

"I *like* the fact it can't run games, means I can give them to my kids and know they'll be used for reading not Angry Birds."

Actually, it apparently can play Angry Birds (and other Android games) if you root it and tweak the screen refresh settings. Although I suspect still not very well in mono with slightly iffy touch, if the infra-red touch interface has the same performance as the Kobo.

Ordered one - at that price good as a backup, good for tinkering with and should be able to run the Overdrive Android app natively for borrowing library books rather than have to go through the convoluted mess that is Adobe digital editions on my PC to download and transfer to my existing Kobo.

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German watchdog whacks Google with PIDDLING FINE over Street View slurp

SteveK

Dangerous

So, this was just Hamburg? By accepting the fine surely that's setting a dangerous precedent now for every other town and city in Europe to fine them a similar amount? It may be small, but scaled up to those numbers could still be quite costly.

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Feds urged to probe four US cell big boys over Android holes

SteveK

Re: Why ever not?

Malice perhaps, but greed may have some involvement. I can imagine management asking why the developers are being paid to test and develop their shiny bloatware on last year's phone which might prevent consumers from upgrading to the new model (despite the now-standard 24 month lock-in). And heaven forbid they just provide the firmware as-is without all of their 'value'-added commercial services.

Yes, could use custom firmware and getting increasingly tempted. However I use at least two apps that I know don't work on rooted/custom ROMs (one for banking, the other being the only useful bit that Orange do install and which no one has as-yet got working on custom JB ROMs (last I checked anyway) - Signal Boost, used for routing voice calls over wifi, and very useful if you frequently work in thick walled buildings and/or basements).

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AVG: That World of Warcraft hack? RIDDLED with malware

SteveK

Re: Lack of business sense?

"Leaving aside for a moment that consideration, AVG is not showing much business sense, why then release products for Windows Phone and iOS only? Where is the Android version?"

Over there in the Play store, where it's always been...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.antivirus

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German boffins aim to burn natural gas - WITHOUT CO2 emissions

SteveK

It all ends up wetter

OK, I'm not going to touch the whole climate change thing. However, climatechangologists frequently point to the chain of events as climate change -> ice melts -> sea levels rise -> flooding.

So why is it that when people come up with wondrous new methods of producing power, everyone cheers that the only byproduct will be lovely clean water?

If everyone is driving around in hydrogen powered cars, dribbling water out of their exhaust pipes, and power stations pumping water into the rivers, has noone considered that this might also lead to a rise in water levels and flooding? Obviously it'll be a *cleaner* flood but still...

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New rules to end cries of 'WTF... a £10 online booking fee?'

SteveK

Re: so...

Last gig I went to charged a couple of quid "postage" to email me the tickets..

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West Virginia seeks Google Glass driving ban

SteveK

Re: Someone else who's missed the point about privacy and GG

" I bet he thinks that being in a bar is also a public place."

Given that the very next paragraph goes on to say: "He added that owners of private property, such as homes and businesses, would be perfectly within their rights to ban the use of the devices", I'd happily take your bet...

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Boffin road trip! The Reg presents Geek's Guide to Britain

SteveK

Re: Late Arrival

"Found the "Museum of the History of Science" in Oxford thanks to the Geek Atlas. Well worth a short visit, small but perfectly formed :)"

Agreed, but after a little while you do start to overdose on brass instruments of every technical persuasion...

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Google Chrome feature helps you silence noisy tabs

SteveK

What might be more useful is if only the active tab could make noise.

Or for that matter, only the active tab can run plugins (unless you specify that this site can run plugins in the background)?

Would cut down on CPU usage by pages filled with animated adverts and so on.

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Best Buy takes axe to touchy Windows 8 PCs - lops $100 off price

SteveK

"You'll be using it and suddenly, without warning, what you're working on will disappear and the 'social network' screen, or some other nonsense, will appear. You're constantly on pins, just waiting for it to go tits up."

I had similar issues with a new W8 laptop. Found it worked much better (well, more predictably and reliably at any rate) with a mouse attached. Doesn't solve the whole split personality problem with W8, but at least it stopped randomly opening other applications or refusing to two-finger scroll for no discernible reason.

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So you won a 4G licence. The Freeview interference squad wants a word

SteveK

Re: Sigh

"And, to be honest, if my Freeview signal was affected, I'd be more likely to just switch it off and/or buy something more regulated from someone else."

My cynical view is that they've worked out if they mess us around enough, so many people will do just that and move to Sky/cable/Freesat that they can just switch off Freeview altogether and flog off even more bandwidth to the mobile networks.

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Intel's new TV box to point creepy spy camera at YOUR FACE

SteveK

Re: Headcount?

Not sure if this is the one you're thinking of?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/07/microsoft_drm_spy_patent/

MS have a patent on facial recognition stuff with set top [x]boxes identifying who is watching a film so as to charge based on number of viewers etc. Seems a very similar patent to the one that Intel apparently have?

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Scottish Highlands get blanket 3G coverage

SteveK

Vodafone kept trying to tell me I needed to buy one when I called to complain about nonexistent data connectivity both at home (where I had wifi anyway) and out and about in town. They didn't quite see how a Sure Signal would be of no use or that it might constitute a trip hazard if I had to trail Ethernet cable behind me whenever I was out.

Now with Orange (Or the rather bland EE) where I actually do get a 3G signal most of the time, as well as the ability to use SignalBoost to basically do what a femtocell does in-phone over wifi for free.

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Apple-HTC patent deal doesn't include designs, 'cloned' iDevices

SteveK

One way deal?

"Apple's licensing agreement with HTC excludes any of the fruity firm's design patents and any HTC products that are "clones" of iDevices."

Yes, but doesn't Apple consider pretty much any modern smartphone as being a clone of an iDevice?

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Microsoft's anti-Android Twitter campaign draws ire, irony

SteveK

Re: Oh dear, Microsoft.

"But this is not the way to win friends and influence people, Microsoft. Your credibility is already hanging by a thread - stop insisting on trying to cut it! Surely you can do better than this."

Ooh, that sounds like a new phone app - 'Cut the Credibility'

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Help-desk hell

SteveK

"A user was having trouble printing documents. He told me that the computer said it can't find printer, adding: "I've tried turning the computer screen to face the printer, but the computer can't see the printer.""

Wasn't that Eddie Izzard a few years back?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6C_HjWr3Nk - about 3:20 in. Fairly close anyway...

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NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

SteveK

Re: not the end

No, I think this date is just the end of that counter and just rolls onto the next one, in the same way we did at the first millenium (i.e., going from 999 to 1000), not counting down to 'day 0'.

Also, (according to wikipedia at any rate), other Mayan inscriptions do refer to dates further in the future, one in the year 4772 for example, so they clearly don't expect the world to end next month. Then again as their dates seem to resemble IP addresses (albeit with more sets of digits), perhaps they were predicting when we'd be ready to move to IPv6?

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