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* Posts by Tom 38

2361 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Sony on the ropes after revising losses UP to $1.3 BEEELLION

Tom 38
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Re: It's not my birthday today! @Gene Cash

a company that's in trouble, who, over the years have provided a fair few innovations, in many areas of both consumer and professional electronics. The Walkman and the first CD player, immediately spring to mind.

Followed shortly by the rootkit-on-a-cd and inept security leading to the loss of 77 million unencrypted account details?

I don't get the gloating over the misery of others, but there is some irony to say they've provided a fair few technological innovations, when the two that come to mind happened in the 70s and 80s....

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Behold! World's smallest 3D-printer pen Lix artists into shape – literally

Tom 38
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Is it me?

The final photo shows a cup and saucer set and a beaker that have been made by this "game changing" device - I might be wrong, but there seem to be lots of holes in all of them that may violate some of the functional requirements of their intended form.

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Chinese iWatchers: Apple's WRISTPUTERS ALREADY in production

Tom 38
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Re: You will need

It's called humour.

Allegedly

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Cuffing darknet-dwelling cyberscum is tricky. We'll 'disrupt' crims instead, warns top cop

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

Tom 38
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Re: A very informative headline.

Please read the lyrics to Adam Ant's 'Prince Charming'. You may say 'DOH!' when you note the pop culture reference that you missed.

Adam Ant hasn't been "pop" culture for several decades I'm afraid.

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Tom 38
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Re: Stalemate

The best thing you can say about the BSc in CompSci is that it is not the MSc in CompSci - that's the 1 year "conversion course for people who studied physics/maths/economics", not the 4 year "I love being a student" course.

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Tom 38
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Skills gap

This doesn't actually mean a skills gap, or a lack of people to hire, but that the skills are currently desired, making the profession a good one to be in. This would be remedied by having a lot more cheaper employees available to do the same task, depressing your wages.

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Russia 'incompatible with the internet', cries web CEO 'axed by Putin'

Tom 38
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Readers may or may not know that anyone can donate the same amount to the island's sweetest industry and and gain the right to live on the sunkissed shores.

This is not uncommon, you qualify for a US green card if you invest $1,000,000 in a US business and create 10 jobs - or half that in a "targeted employment area".

So the smarmy comment should be "St Kitts & Nevis - only half the price of bribing the US government".

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Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, settle employee-fiddling class action suit

Tom 38
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Why would you settle?

?!?

They all clearly colluded, they are all guiltier than sin, ask the court to determine their liability.

Actually, I can see why the lawyers settled. $1 billion up front today with no appeals.

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RIP net neutrality? FCC mulls FAST LANES for info superhighway

Tom 38
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Re: 1 Gb/s everywhere....

Surely it makes more sense that if your ISP wishes to have an edge cache of someone else's content in order to reduce their ingress bandwidth costs, they should pay the content provider and not the other way around.

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Tom 38
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Re: re: geoblocking

But they don't have to be assholes about it by geolocking, do they? Compare and contrast examples:

Spotify only offer subscriptions in certain countries, because they only have agreements for certain countries, and you must be resident in one of those countries to subscribe. However, if you travel to a non-agreement country, spotify don't care - you can continue to use the service as long as you have internet access.

Sky only offer subscriptions in certain countries, because they only have agreements for certain countries, and you must be resident in one of those countries to subscribe. However, if you travel to a non-agreement country, Sky will refuse you access to their services because your IP does not correspond to your country of registration¹.

Both are restricting their services to the markets they have agreements for, but one is being a dick about it.

¹ Or in my case, use a UK ISP who has bought some IPs from a German company, and Sky's GeoIP db has not been updated.

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Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: No change

in the Anglican church you tend not to hear much about revelations, just the parables.

So you only looked at a small part of the middle of the book and then were surprised when you didn't understand the ending?

So you looked at my words and couldn't comprehend their meaning and then surprised you didn't understand? At no point did I discuss how much or how little of "the good book" I have read. In fact, I've read every single page, chapter and verse - all I mentioned was what the vicars-with-no-elbows tended to talk about.

Gwan, post a come back. A man that returneth to his folly is like a dog that returneth to his own vomit.

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Tom 38
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Re: No change

And then I saw, like UNICORNS man, but floating on the air, with SEVEN horns, and on each horn, a blueberry sundae.

Seriously, revelations reads like a bad trip. Most of the new testament is all like "hmm ok, good parable, don't be a dick, be nice to each other", and then there is all this batshit insane bullshit whacked on the end.

I was raised a Christian, but in the Anglican church you tend not to hear much about revelations, just the parables. I think when I read revelations, I realised that this book wasn't handed down by god, it was made up by a bunch of men in order to control other men. Fuck that.

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DeSENSORtised: Why the 'Internet of Things' will FAIL without IPv6

Tom 38
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Re: Networking's answer to Windows Vista

I don't want IPv6 at all. When I want non-routable addresses, I use one of the many available private network classes.

PS: Unique local addresses today (fc00::/7), but it was site local addresses but a few years ago (fec0::/10). Your typical IPv6 connected computer will have at least 3, probably 4, IPv6 addresses - a unique local address, a link local address, ::1 and possibly a global address - too overly complicated for me to give a fuck.

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WTF happened to Pac-Man?

Tom 38
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Re: We weren't all after high scores

You must be nuts - arcade games cost per play. High scores are achieved by playing for a long amount of time on one credit, and therefore, achieving high scores was actually akin to playing for the cheapest amount.

Take Street Fighter 2, if you just played one round and died, thats 10p for 2 minutes. On the other hand, if you complete the game on one credit, thats 10p for 30 minutes play. I don't know about you, but when I was playing arcade games, I wanted to play for as long as possible as cheaply as possible.

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Tom 38
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Re: Robotron!!!! Most insane game

I was always fond of Revenge Of The Mutant Camels, got to kill all them polo mints, red phone boxes and wave after wave of Jeff Minters.

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Boss of Russia's Facebook says Putin cronies have taken over his company

Tom 38
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Usmanov also owns a large chunk of Arsenal FC (~30%).

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AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities

Tom 38
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Re: Fiber to the press release

I have symmetric gigabit fibre, and it does me plenty good:

1ms ping to google, my company's DC, 5 ms to the office.

Insanely fast downloads.

Lots and lots of HD teleconferencing, no cut-outs, stuttering, buffering or quality drops, even when someone jumps on a download.

Uploads as fast as downloads. BT wanted to sell me 300Mb down/20Mb up for £60/month.

Did I mention the 1ms ping? It's pretty useful after hours too. Boom HS.

My ISP is hyperoptic, they only do certain areas. I'd post a speed test, but a) I'm at work, and b) most speed test servers don't have the capacity to fill my pipe. Usenet does it pretty well, the highest I've hit is around 858 Megabit/s (80MB/s) when I'm downloading my linux isos.

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Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: Whatever.

jake, I thought you wrote the X10 spec.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.)

This site needs more signal, less noise.

Which do you think you add to?

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Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters

Tom 38
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Re: Bill Them

It's about as legal and enforceable as me sending you a bill for 50p for reading your post.

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Tom 38
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Re: Do people still use ISP email accounts these days?

it's not uncommon to see tradesfolk with aol.com/hotmail.com or similar cheaply stencilled on their vans

Cool story, but what about people using ISP email accounts?

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Tom 38
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Re: Call the Regulator

Technically, Virgin didn't expose anyone's email address, people who replied to the distribution list exposed their own email addresses.

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Tom 38
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Re: Muppets

I know people should be smart enough to realise they shouldn't hit "reply all" but the sheer stupidity of Virgin, by allowing an email group to be re-used, is staggering. The number of spam emails I was getting was shooting up until last at night.

There is quite some moaning here - sure, you shouldn't have been spammed, but each reply was In-Reply-To the original, or an email descended from the original. Turn on threading in your mail client, and all "the number of spam emails" is one thread. Ignore it, then delete it.

ISPs offering email is a bad deal. Users expect it to work perfectly, not get any spam and effectively be free. Many of the smaller ISPs that I have been with just do not offer email for this reason - you only get complaints about it and it makes you no money.

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Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

Tom 38
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Re: Only 6 hours

1:27: Bug announced

6 hours later: Patched software rolled out by CRA

1 day later: Logs analyzed, potential disclosure detected, RCMP called in.

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Tom 38
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Re: Can't wait

So how would you trace it?

You would need to be storing all your ingress traffic to the SSL site in order to determine, for certain, that this particular request was trying to exploit heartbleed. Not summaries of the traffic or request logs, but every single byte.

What they CAN do however is look and see for suspicious requests in the period immediately after the bug was announced. Oh look, this IP address hit the same page 52,000 in 6 hours, gee, I wonder what they were doing.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

Tom 38
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Re: nine times out of 10, it’s explicitly meant to keep you from talking to a human being

"Toll free" support lines are the worst in the UK. Although you are not paying for the call, they can put you on hold for as long as they like. If they use a cost sharing number, like 0845, 0330 (or whatever variant BT are using these days to confuse us about the actual cost), then they aren't allowed to keep you on hold for extended periods.

So BT is 0800, ring them up and they don't care if it takes 30+ minutes. Thames Water are 0845, you get through to a human within 1 minute of ringing.

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Tom 38
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Re: BT

I found it crazy that they have no ticketing system, and everything seems to run on the concept of "managed insanity", where most things are sort of working and people will make enough fuss if they aren't.

I'm used to when you have a problem with an isp, you raise a ticket "I've got no service", someone takes that ticket and progresses it until you do have service. With BT, you have to ring them up and fight through the system to get through to the right team, having done so there is no guarantee they can fix it (they are just the team you need to speak to to fix things, they don't actually fix things), and you can't ring them back directly.

Actually, you can "email them" (which means "fill in a contact us form on the website"), they aim to respond within 10 working days..

Technology can be used to aid or hinder CS, BT use it to hinder it, to discourage you from calling in, but other companies (Be CS were excellent) use it in a positive way. One line of 1st line support, dealing with customers, fixing simple things, dealing with account management. If they can't deal with it, they make a ticket and hand it off to 2nd line support. 2nd line either contact you directly with the fix, or pass it off to an engineer to do proper support. The whole process simplifies everything down, less people on phone calls waiting for the "right team" to become available.

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Tom 38
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I'm currently in the phone tree of hell that is BT. BT seem to have determined that customer support is a cost, and they must minimise that cost. Only certain teams can deal with certain things, but you can't ring any of those teams, you must make a computer understand what you want (it won't), and then the computer will put you through to one of those teams.

I'm sorry, put you through to the queue for one of those teams.

So 3 minutes of automated machine, then 15 minutes of holding, and you've got through to a human - result! This person can take all the details of your case and sort it out, surely?

Nope. This is the broadband team. You need bt infinity support team. Let me transfer you over. The first drone puts you on hold, and then rings through to the right team. I'm sorry, rings through to the queue for the right team. You are then on hold, whilst a BT drone is also on hold waiting with you.

15 minutes more holding, then you are finally there, right? Nope, they need to co-ordinate with the order management department - BT infinity support can't change order details, silly!

I had reached my limit with BT on Friday, told them to cancel my scheduled fibre phone line installation (on the basis that they promised instant BB activation - the fibre is installed and lit, they just needed to flick a switch, and that each time I call to find out why it's still not working takes 1+ hrs). My final words to the guy on Friday: "To confirm, you've cancelled all the outstanding order, the engineer install and anything related to me and BT" - "Yes" - "Thank you, good bye".

Having done all that, today's dance with BT is because they "confirmed" over the weekend to remind me of the engineer install booked... 20+ minutes so far on hold...

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Hackers attempt to BLACKMAIL plastic surgeons

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: I'm disappointed

One denist with strong german accent

If we're going to raise one of them from the dead, I think a MaggieT is more scary than a DenisT.

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Tom 38
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Re: Through its contact form?

Almost certainly we have stepped back 10 years to when their contractor initially wrote the website.

SME, "working" website, why would they maintain, update or audit it? If they do anything to it, it will be getting a designer to "freshen" the look and feel, not go through the OWASP checklist.

Personally, I think almost all businesses underestimate the importance of having in house software developers and maintaining custom software. However I might be slightly biased - as a software developer, I suppose I do have a dog in the fight...

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Reg gets sneak peek of Getac's chunky TOUGH AS NAILS 8.1-incher

Tom 38
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Re: GPS as an option?

Yes.

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GoPro's new lens: Like a GOOGLE STREETMAPS car... for your life

Tom 38
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Re: Took a couple of laps

The real question is given he seems to have so much more power than the rest of the field, how did he qualify back in 9th?

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Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: News

There are different meanings of the word secret. As used in the title, the word "secret" is an adjective, or a "describing word", it gives more information about the noun that it describes.

As used in the title, the noun it is describing is "payload". The "payload" is the secret, not the launch.

You can tell this because of the order the author put the words in. If he had written "US payload top secretly launched into space", then that would have been a dichotomy worthy of note. You can tell the difference here because "secret" has become "secretly", an "adverb" - it is now describing the verb in the sentence, "launched".

In case it is not obvious, satellites are not very secret. It is impossible to secretly launch a satellite. Once launched, it is very hard to hide a satellite - you can simply look up and see it. Therefore, it makes no sense to hide that you are launching a satellite - as soon as you do launch it, people will know that you have launched it, and can track it.

On the other hand, those observers don't know what that satellite payload does, until it does it - perhaps not even then. Is it just taking pictures, or does it have a nuke on board to drop on Kazonistan? No-one knows, IT'S A SECRET.

2/10 Must Do Better

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Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes

Tom 38
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Re: No Video on LTE, Please

LTE on my phone is unmetered - try a better contract?

Too many sites are running autoplay video ads now, and that needs to be outlawed.

Yes! That is just what the internet needs, more laws on what people are allowed to do with their computers when other people's computers connect to them and ask them for information.

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'Monstrous' Apple kicked us off iAd, claimed we are its RIVAL – Brit music upstart

Tom 38
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<<-- Cynic

Step 1: Create streaming music service just like all the others

Step 2: Keep putting ads on iAd that Apple might dislike

Step 3: Get banned from iAd

Step 4: Call all the world's press

You'll notice that their app is not banned, just their advertising. Perhaps they discovered a way to increase their advertising penetration whilst decreasing their spend....

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Lycamobile launches 'unlimited' 4G for £12 a month. Great. Now where can I get a signal?

Tom 38
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Re: 25GB is not bad, IMO

Well, three have gone from "unlimited data, unlimited tethering" plans to "unlimited (well, 25GB but that's close to unlimited, right?) data, unlimited tethering (as long as you limit yourself to 2 GB or less, we won't limit you! Unlimited!)".

It's still pretty good, but not that great..

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

Tom 38
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nice if there was an attribute you could set on an IP datagram that would control the region of the packet, and would only allow the packet to be forwarded to hosts in that same region, otherwise dropped

Yeah right, if that had existed at the start of the internet-era, ISPs totally wouldn't have been only selling geo-limited accounts.

"Oh no sonny, no transatlantic pipes for you, get back on your local internet with our local services."

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Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: @Eddy

It's a good question, but the answer is, depressingly, simple.

830 words in 10 paragraphs simple?

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Tom 38
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Re: What foods have a barcode?

Eggs can have barcodes, although more commonly just a "best before" date - it's hard to retrain the chickens to draw the straight lines.

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Titanfall pits man against machine, Kiefer Sutherland Snakes into Metal Gear Solid V

Tom 38
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Re: Single player is onanism

I like atmosphere, suspense and immersion as much as the next person, I just prefer it to be provided by real people rather than a machine's script, and I don't play a game so I can get to the next cut-scene.

And yes, I expect that any game I play will require skill, and that playing the game should increase my skill at it, and thus my enjoyment.

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Tom 38
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Single player is onanism

I only play multiplayer games these days. Single player is just playing with yourself for your own pleasure, except you never orgasm.

Take Starcraft 2 (I did). Playing against a machine is nowhere near the skill level to play against a human.

If you just play against the machine, you get lazy and slow, because you can be lazy and slow and still beat the machine - you never get better. Play against other people, and they will destroy you - because you are lazy and slow from playing against the machine. You will get better, but only from more playing.

And it is more fun - infinite varieties of fun, not just "oh this level again, I know where the AI is set up, where their weak spot is, and I've got 5 minutes before the map triggers them to even come my way".

Humans are sneakier, more competent and more surprising than a machine, and it's much more fun to play one than an AI.

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Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

Tom 38
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Re: Hooray

@JDX: Looks like they also have no problem skipping multiple versions of Windows - Vista, 7, and now 8. Guess they'll probably skip 9 too?

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Intel's DIY MinnowBoard goes Max: More oomph for half the price

Tom 38
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Re: "enough grunt to take on tasks that would leave the Pi panting in exhaustion"

Invalid comparison. You are comparing a general purpose CPU decoding H264 against a chip designed to decode 1080p H264 content.

It's even more invalid if you take in to account that the minnowboard itself has dedicated hardware for H264 decoding (via VAAPI; your EeePC does not).

If you did a true CPU comparison, for instance, how many PPS can this shift, or IPSEC tunnel throughput, you would find that this is vastly more powerful than the RPi. RPi is a very cool and inexpensive piece of kit that can be used for a lot of things, but some things it cannot, and you might want a slightly more beefy CPU.

For instance, this thread is about using RPi as a router and it's limitations. RPi has no GigE port, and acting as a NAT router, can't even fill it's 100Mbit FE.

This minnowboard has a gigabit port - the Atom CPU probably wont hit 1.2 Mpps but it will get a damn sight closer than a RPi. It's also significantly cheaper than an equivalent high end router board like a Soekris 6501-70, which is ~$450, although that does come with a slightly higher spec Atom CPU and multiple GigE ports.

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Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

Tom 38
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Re: Thoughts

It largely depends upon the game engine and how it's lag compensation works. In very simple games like the original counterstrike (and, to a lesser extent, source), then someone with a 10ms ping vs someone with a 90ms ping will have *vastly* better game play and the ephemeral "reg" - when you have your crosshairs over someones face and press fire, does the game register a hit or say "sorry, try again".

In games like this, ping is crucial.

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Judge rules Baidu political censorship was an editorial right

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: World Police?

What a load of bollocks, it has nothing to do with trade agreements.

They are suing Baidu, who are a US registered company listed on NASDAQ and regulated by the SEC, based upon the search results they offer to US users.

This is why the US court has jurisdiction, not some "interference in the ability of American companies to compete in the Chinese market".

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Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Tom 38
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Mushroom

Is there an app to speed up those morons who think they can walk and use their phone at the same time, but actually walk slower than an old fat lady with a shopping trolley.

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BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

Tom 38
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Re: Comedy gold

Why fixate on fixed line? Because of the USO, which propagates the monopoly position.

BT didn't invest in that area, the tax-payer did.

Another example, I just moved to a new house. The new house is pre-wired with BT infinity. In order to move my phone service and internet there I had to fight through the BT infinity sales team. BT use their USO to force me to at least discuss (repeatedly) that, no, I don't want your internet, thank you very much, just the phone line. Yes I'm sure. Please stop talking about BT Sport.

PS: In the area I linked to, you're lucky to get 2G service. There is BT, or there is nothing.

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: I'm disappointed

Pluto is a "dwarf planet". This is a "dwarf planet". Eliding context fail.

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Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores

Tom 38
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Re: Is Windows 8 fundamentally broken?

The standard problem with this is that intuitive isn't a tick-box property. Linux is intuitive for a UNIX user; SQL Studio is intuitive for a Windows user. Nothing is intuitive out of the box, as everything relates to previous experiences.

What utter crap. UI/UX design and A/B testing has clearly demonstrated in a scientific manner that there are simple UI idioms that *do* make a user interface intuitive - particularly a well known WIMP system.

MS completely changed that interface in an effort to "win" touch. Ubuntu did the same thing with Unity, GNOME with GNOME 3, both for the same reason and both with the same result. All three continue to make efforts to reduce the differences with each point release.

Sure, anyone can learn to adapt, however why should we when we can continue to use the same interfaces we are comfortable and efficient with?

iOS (and most Android for that matter) is not intuitive because it is "cool to learn", but because it is impossible not to work out what to do. I've never had to show anyone how to do anything on a tablet, not one "family support" call, and yet they all have them. Windows Vista, Windows 8, those I get plenty of calls..

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