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* Posts by AndrueC

2372 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

AndrueC
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Re: Cruise control

Though it may ruin the drive for committed drivers for long distances the most efficiency is cruise control.

That may depend on the implementation. I've never really tested it but the CC on my Jazz doesn't fill me with confidence in that respect. It's fine on the flat but going up inclines it lets the speed drop quite a lot (2 or 3mph) before putting the clog down(*) and accelerating to 2 or 3mph above target. Worse still it often seems to start accelerating just before the brow of the hill then it lifts off when it realises it's over shooting in.I do use it but only on motorways and long stretches of A-road that I know are free of upward inclines.

(*)Although to be fair it is supposed to be better to accelerate 'sharply' rather than barely tickling the accelerator. It's more the way it so often has to lift off and engine brake at the brow of a hill that bothers me.

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AndrueC
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Best tip to save fuel when driving: DWB (Driving Without Brakes). It's easier if you have a manual but I manage it with an automatic that has a torque converter. Not only will it save a lot of fuel but it makes you a safer driver and adds a lot of interest to driving. To do it well you have to be paying attention and become very good at anticipating what other road users are going to do.

My instructor (30 years ago) told me "Brakes are for stopping and correcting your mistakes". I've always stuck by that advice. It doesn't mean that you use gear changes instead of braking. It means never needing to slow faster than you can achieve by lifting off.

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Sky's tech bets pay off: Pay TV firm unveils blazing growth for Q1

AndrueC
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Meh

I'd like it if they could offer WAN access to my Planner. It's all very well being able to set up a recording from anywhere on the planet but there's currently no way to know if there's a tuner available so it's of limited use. I wouldn't think it needs access to my box from outside the LAN. All it needs is for my box to upload the Planner to their servers every time it changes. Then the Sky+ app can do the rest.

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Footie fracas: MYSTERY DRONE waves flag, incites Balkan brawl

AndrueC
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was given the chance to head a plastic chair

Brilliant :)

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Rootable

I wonder if there is a new ROM for it.....

The article tends to imply that there is no ROM for improvement :)

Anyway being pedantic if it has a ROM you're stuck with what you're given ;)

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Take CTRL! Shallow minds ponder the DEEP spectre of DARK CACHE

AndrueC
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Meh

Try right-clicking in the Visual Studio editor. That's proof that you can overdo a good idea :-/

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Splitters! First HP's cut in two, now it's Symantec’s turn – report

AndrueC
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Joke

Splitters

Classic.

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BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

AndrueC
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Overhead fibre has been around for more than 20 years. It's just as ugly as overhead copper but less susceptable to lightning damage.

There are no overhead wires of any kind on our estate (or indeed in most of the town). The council wouldn't give permission for them to suddenly appear and neither would I.

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AndrueC
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Oh good. So they're going to fit new distribution boxes every 20 metres? If you're going to run fibre from the cabinet to within 20 metres of a property just take it to the damn door!

That's a nice idea but a lot of the cost is going to be dealing with those final few metres.

I live in a fairly modern house and you could blow fibre through ducting all the way to the access panel in the pavement outside. Would be easy and pretty cheap. But to get it to my house you'd have to micro trench my driveway which is more costly because that run of cable is not in a duct. They can't just go around doing that everywhere (not everyone would give permission and anyway for a typical housing estate that could be a few thousand kilometres of micro trenching) so it becomes a bespoke installation cost. Then there's flats and offices where the fibre would terminate in the basement. Who pays to run the cables to each property?

I'm not trying to be obstructionist, just a realist. Replacing the final few metres of cable from the property edge to current demarcation point is quite expensive and involved. It's likely a minefield that no-one wants to deal with until/unless they get a specific request from the property owner.

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

AndrueC
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Re: Why it got waved through....

And the really neat thing is that your comment would apply to anything the government did. It's a kind of universal political commentary.

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A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs

AndrueC
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The power shower pump failed. Not only does that model no longer exist but the replacement isn't a "drop in" fit.

Yup, had that problem several years ago. I was lucky though I managed to find a 'new old stock' later version that with a bit of cutting, drilling and finagling could be persuaded to go where the failed unit was.

And shoes can be a pain. Why do Nike have to keep releasing a new version of their 'Dart' series? The more recent versions don't have the arch support I like and seem to feature a raised heel and toe that wasn't there before.

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AndrueC
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Re: Making things simple

How many wouldn't want a handy "f--k off" button for when cold callers ring the landline and the answer phone kicks in with "about your accident/PPI claim"?

Cold caller blocker

's a bit expensive but I have one and it's eliminated 99.9% of cold calls while allowing calls from known numbers (or people who know the bypass code) to go straight through. The 0.1% was one pillock who having heard my recorded message saying "We are screening all incoming calls and don't want to talk to cold callers" decided to leave a message whittering on about whatever crap he was trying to shovel.

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Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT

AndrueC
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FAIL

Re: MAGNA CARTA

i'm sure you would defend their right to say them......Free Speech

Free speech is about interactions between citizens and government. The Register is a privately owned site and is entitled to edit and censor anything that is posted here. Free speech is irrelevant when discussing their editorial policy and how they deal with commentards.

P.S. I wub El Reg :D

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Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

AndrueC
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Re: Misinterpretation

They plan a landing on Ukraine and making a base in 20 ears.

Pardon?

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AndrueC
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Happy

Re: Moon is a harsh mistress

Didn't that all go horribly wrong in 1999?

Yup. Brian Blessed was involved in the project a couple of times as I recall :)

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US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

AndrueC
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Happy

Bah. We'll get it back :)

Mind you I had to read that headline twice. I thought at first it said PARIS was beaten by 96,000 ft. That would have been very impressive :)

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Your location info is too revealing: data boffins

AndrueC
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Re: Mobiles are the new email.

Today you don' want people knowing where you are.

Can't say I'm all that bothered. But if you're that paranoid you'd best be unemployed and homeless then. Anyone with a full-time job and permanent place of resident can be found by the authorities almost any time they want you.

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Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE

AndrueC
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Joke

Obviously not holding them correctly.

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

AndrueC
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Re: some South American country

Do you recall that they actually cut the existing cable in situ (deep underwater) using a cable cutter on the end of a long cable? (!!!)

I didn't but your mention of a long cutter on the end of a cable rings a definite bell. I thought it was pretty clever that they could pull a cable up from that depth. Mind you they did that with telegraph cables back in the day without the aid of ROVs. Astonishing.

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AndrueC
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A couple of years ago I watched a documentary about a team that added a fibre optic link to some South American country on the west coast. It was actually a very interesting documentary. It showed them using the plough on the beach out into the shallow sea. It showed them spooling out the fibre and ensuring the tension was appropriate.

The relevant bit is that the cable was going to be spliced into one of the fibres that runs down the Pacific coast of the Americas. They pulled up one of the amplifiers I think (it was a large 'blob' surrounding the cable) and I think they replaced it with a three way version. Then they put the cable back where they found it and sailed off to another job.

Presumably that technique could be used by spooks if they wanted but as this article says - I doubt they'd bother. They'd have to rent the ship and that's a lot of people to keep quiet.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

AndrueC
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WTF?

Re: Says more about Reg readers

I'm not really following what you're saying there. What do you mean by 'work session'? Are you talking about something like the xIX virtual terminal where you can log into your computer multiple times (what Windows calls user switching)? I'm not sure that's what's suggested here. It's more like they've increased the desktop size then subdivided into screen sized pages. That's just a bit of fairly trivial GDI trickery.

And if you're trying to suggest that Windows struggles with multiple versions of VS running at the same time then I can only assume you've been doing it on machines with too little RAM. I've done it lots of times. I currently have VS and Eclipse open (and MySQL WorkBench) and everything is responsive without any disk or CPU thrashing. I have 8GB of RAM of which just under 2GB is currently available. I just did a quick user switch and fired up VS as a different domain user and it's fine. Flip back to my normal user and that's fine as well.

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AndrueC
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There have been third party add-ons to do that since Win3.x at least. Even OS/2 had one written by StarDock I think. I never really liked the idea, couldn't get on with it for some reason.

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General Motors issues STOP DELIVERY for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: GM are slowly dying

They are slowly getting rid of the interesting parts of the business, the big European cars are dead. Now Holdens is going, not much interesting left.

I don't want an 'interesting' car. I want a car that gets me from A to B safely in reasonable comfort while consuming as little fuel as possible.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Maybe they shouldn't have released the 2015 range so early?

Honda did the same thing- they released the 2012 Jazz in 2011. At least they seemed to get it right though.

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Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

AndrueC
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And while you're at it don't forget the 'sequel' A Fire Upon the Deep. Possibly his best novel (IMO). Both novels do a great job of conveying the sheer size of the galaxy. The final 'chapter' of A Fire.. is haunting.

I'll also recommend the novel Outcasts of Heaven Belt written by his ex-wife. That's a lot shorter and less weighty tome but it does a good job of conveying what life is like in a fallen (or falling at least) advanced civilisation.

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AndrueC
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Big Brother

Sounds like the localizers proposed in A Deepness in the Sky - one of Vernor Vinge's best novels.

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Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

AndrueC
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I've got two corrections through them. For a while the A422 showed a kink west of Brackley which had it trying to follow the old railway line. Also at Brackley it looked like someone had autocorrected 'Pavillons Way' to 'Pavillions Way'.

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Even better than the iThing: Apple's Cook is strictly pro Bono

AndrueC
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Re: They'll be watching you?

Maybe they should have got The Police to reform for the event instead?

Just so long as they don't start going on about Sue Lawley again :)

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

AndrueC
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Re: Time to put a bullet to Auntie's head

I use a VPN all bloody day - my company requires it so we can get into our corporate network.

By Auntie's definition I must be a Pirate.

No, because 'Auntie' is talking about people transferring a lot of data over a VPN link. It's unlikely that you do as I pointed out in my first message.

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AndrueC
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Meh

I refuse to believe I'm that unusual.

I don't think that many people know how to set up a VPN for that kind of activity even if that particular use case is common. If it was common VM wouldn't be bothering with traffic management. I suspect the truth is that most people don't even know what a VPN is. Most teleworkers don't really - they probably just think they are logging onto their employer's network. Also VM is unusual in having traffic management - most UK ISPs don't need it and either have enough capacity in place or else let the network slow down a bit when things get busy.

I also assume that some of the downvotes are from people who ignored my second paragraph:

But that's not really the point. I object to the presumption of guilt and I don't think people should be hounded just because they use their network connection in a slightly unusual way.

By downvoting me you therefore seem to be agreeing with the BBC's stance.

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AndrueC
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Stop

I think that 'are probably pirates' is a bit strong but I would agree that it should be unusual for a residential user to have large amounts of traffic travelling over a VPN. Home workers don't normally send a lot of data back and forth. Controlling a remote computer using RDP for instance is unlikely to amount to more than 1GB of data a day. Even VNC wont't be that much worse. Someone downloading/uploading documents is unlikely to be using much bandwidth either.

But that's not really the point. I object to the presumption of guilt and I don't think people should be hounded just because they use their network connection in a slightly unusual way. It's the same principal that says people shouldn't be persecuted just because they don't conform to society's standards. Being unusual should never be an excuse for accusations.

If someone has committed a crime then prove it. And 'because he uses a VPN a lot' is no more valid proof than 'because he smells' or 'because he lives alone'.

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: One password to rule them all - tesco

have you read this ?

I hadn't but that pre-dates their change to more-strict passwords (they invalidated existing accounts so you had to create a new password) and it pre-dates their recent facelift (I still prefer the old look). On a practical level I've had an account with them almost since they started home deliveries and they are one of the few etailers that has never sent spam nor leaked my (Tesco specific) email address.

I'm not saying that security doesn't matter nor that they are doing it right but my experience is that Tesco is more secure than most of the etailers I've dealt with over the years. So strictly from my personal POV they are very secure.

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AndrueC
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Re: One password to rule them all

Of course by adding weak/strong password dialogs, the website owners look like they are being secure. Not a lot of uise however if they store them in some text file on a server.

I find it ironic that after being chastised for sending passwords in the clear and/or not encrypting them my Tesco groceries password is now one of the strongest I've got. At least I can rest assured that no-one is going to be ordering groceries for me I suppose :-/

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Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

AndrueC
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Joke

Theresa May announced this morning that the government plans to publish a mobile phone theft index

What, like those efficiency tables?

A <===== Least likely to be stolen.

B <==== Probably won't be stolen.

C <=== Careful now.

D <== It'll be nicked within a few days.

E <= It'll be nicked before you leave the shop.

F < And they'll have yer arm off as well.

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The IT kit revolution's OVER, say beancounters - but how do they know?

AndrueC
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Tim, you mention "there was a vast amount of money wasted in dealing with Y2K".

Why are you perpetuating this myth? It gets trotted out a lot as being an example of a non-event, by journalists in general but even by IT insiders who should know better.

It's very similar to the arguments used by people when they claim you've wasted your time on something because things are no better. 'We pumped the water out of the ship for three hours but it still sank so it was a waste of time' or 'All the effort spent on road safety and still people are being killed and injured'.

In both cases people are failing to understand that sometimes maintaining the status quo is an achievement in itself. I'm sure there's a name for this kind of argument fallacy. this, perhaps.

Of course the Y2k argument is slightly different. It looked like nothing needed to be done precisely because we did such a good job of fixing things.

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Hot Celebrity? Stash of SELFIES where you're wearing sweet FA? Get 2FA. Now

AndrueC
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Re: guessed password-recovery questions

Q: What's your best friend's name:

A: The purple horse is on the moon.

I suppose if it was a common scenario I might have a standard stock answer but it's not that common. That means I must have made something up and there's zero chance of me remembering it.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: guessed password-recovery questions

Stupid "what is your pets name" questions

I had to sign up to an Apple account for something a couple of years ago. I forget what (possibly iTunes) and it offered me four questions I could provide an answer to as a security measure. I don't think I could answer any of them because they were inane crap like 'What's the name of your favourite teacher' (I'm 47 years old, I wouldn't remember even if I ever had a favourite). 'What's your favourite colour' (I don't have one) 'What's your best friend's name' (don't have one. I have a few mates I chat to that's all).

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

AndrueC
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They’ve certainly got the assets...

[snip]

Look at how the dull, badly paid and yucky job of police forensics has become more popular than being a fighter pilot as a result of hot TV shows like CSI.

Which is broadcast by Channel 5 on terrestrial and Sky Living.

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

AndrueC
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Stop

it would be done with a standard digital camera and then the photos downloaded to a PC and removed from the camera.

This problem isn't specific to The Cloud(TM). The difference between deleting and erasing was causing people problems (and even saving their bacon on occasions) long before we started connecting computers together.

Files can be recovered after deleting from SD cards just as readily as they can be from hard disks. In fact with flash memory using cell sparing and wear levelling your ability to actually erase data from them may be even less than you think. One way to extend the lifetime of flash memory would be to have a flag to indicate that a cell is 'empty' rather than wasting a write cycle filling it with zeroes ;)

Come to that hard disks use block sparing as well so you might find that a copy of your naughty bits has been archived for posterity that way and 'had difficulty reading that block' is not the same thing as 'that block can't be read'. The rule I've followed in the 30+ years that I've been using computers is to assume that data you want can always be lost and data you don't want can always be found :)

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AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Trust your data to the cloud they said

Full of fluffy kittens and unicorns and chocolate fountains.

Are those euphemisms?

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Cave scrawls prove Neanderthals were AT LEAST as talented as modern artists

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Crude scrawl?

It's evidently a spreadsheet to keep track of hunting kills.

I thought it was a map of Milton Keynes.

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Pimp my lounge and pierce my ceiling: Home theatre goes OTT

AndrueC
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Re: Processors and HDMI

I would love to have bunch of switchable HDMI inputs.

My Onkyo receiver has 6 HDMI inputs and with my Harmony One remote to select the right one based on chosen activity I'm happy. Everything I own goes through the receiver which distributes the audio to my speakers and (if required) video to the TV.

The only slight complication is that originally my Sky HD didn't support 5.1 over HDMI so it sends audio to the receiver via TOSLINK. I think Sky HD boxes do now support that so I could probably unplug that..but as it means ferreting around in the cable pile behind the equipment I can't be bothered.

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

AndrueC
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Unhappy

The real problem is too many people

..in one corner of the island. As another poster wittily pointed out "The problem is London". Successive governments have steadfastly refused to do anything serious about encouraging businesses to take root 'oop north'. With today's internet connectivity making location less important it's surely gone beyond a joke.

I suppose some might argue that HS2 is an attempt to address this but it can't carry anywhere near enough people and anyway my point still stands: Why the *bleep* do so many people have to gather within such a small area in one part of the country just to sit at a desk with a keyboard and monitor. We do have such things in other parts of the country you know.

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AndrueC
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Headmaster

Re: Solution

Solution

Less people?

What - so we can build smaller houses?

Actually you do have a point. the UK has an obesity crisis at the moment so 'less' people would be a good thing ;)

Anyway - sorry but less v. fewer is becoming a pet hate of mine.

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Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

AndrueC
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I used to play a game called Earth and Beyond that had a rather daft filter. It would filter things regardless of white space. As a result the most innocuous of sentences in chat channels would get censored eg - 'It watched me' became 'I* ***ched me' resulting in minutes of fun while everyone in the channel discussed what the censored word might be. Even better it included foreign swear words so for a while I knew a few Dutch, French and German swear words.

Very educational :)

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

AndrueC
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Re: Pathetic

Last things to mention. Until this post on El Reg I have seen no reports of this anywhere else except the Daily Fail of all places.

I think I did.

And the parent page has links to a lot of companies including 'T-Mobile' although you need to select the UK specific link there. The Virgin Mobile link appears to be taking complaints from the UK - at least most of the comments yesterday were from UK users.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Not only creates that total independence of any network connectivity (unless I want to enable traffic updates)

That was why I have Co-pilot. Normally it doesn't need a network connection and after one unfortunate return trip from the New Forest I appreciate the need for that. The first time I fired it up for the outward leg it quickly gave up trying to update and ran on the older maps. But I think on the return leg it actually started to download at Milton Keynes and then stalled. After that it didn't want to know until I got back home to wifi.

My guess is that it started to overwrite the maps and was then stuck. If true that's just shitty programming. Programming 101 - download stuff to scratch and only copy over the working stuff when you know it's good.

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AndrueC
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Unhappy

I wonder if that was affecting my mobile this morning? Something was and if I hadn't been able to read road signs and use basic navigation sense it'd have left me stranded at Milton Keynes around 9am. Co-pilot vanished up its arse trying to download a map update and of course Google maps won't do anything without data even if it knows the destination (home) and patently has the maps already cached locally.

Meh. It gave me an excuse to swear at my phone so it wasn't all bad :)

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Galileo! Galileo. Galileo! Galileo frigged-LEO: Easy come, easy go. Little high, little low

AndrueC
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Joke

pointing in the right direction at the Sun, at least

Upwards?

Okay, I'll get me coat :)

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