* Posts by JimmyPage

1965 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

JimmyPage
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This concept is described as <shudder> "mobility as a service".

Which is where we're headed anyway, with autonomous cars. Even if private ownership of an autonomous car will be possible, the rewards for people who pimp out their cars in their downtime (e.g 10:00-16:00 weekdays when they are at work, and 19:00-06:00 when they are at home) will blur the boundaries further.

However, for MrsJP, whose sight isn't good enough to drive, the idea of mobility as a service isn't as cringeworthy as the (presumably fully able) author suggests.

Where's the "bring it on" icon ?

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Instagram rolls out two factor authentication

JimmyPage
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Google Authenticator

have it protecting my Lastpass, GitHub and Google accounts already. Quietly impressed.

Also, don't forget Facebooks 2FA verification system.

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Europe's Earth-watching satellite streaks aloft

JimmyPage
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Boffin

thanks to AC and MAF

nice to see some reasoned exchange of physics here, along with the "gotcha" about decreasing mass.

But then I did laugh/appreciate the scene in "The Martian" where Matt Damon forgot to factor in his exhalation to the calculations for burning hydrazine ....

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JimmyPage
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Impressive, but a sad reminder

that the biggest challenge to space exploration is the earths' gravity.

Is there any work on a space elevator ?

<daydreaming>I wonder how trying to drop a 100km wire from orbit would work out ...

alternatively a stupidly long slightly inclined (magnetic ?) runway to accelerate a capsule to escape velocity (a la Netwons cannonball orbiter).

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Boffins' 5D laser-based storage tech could keep terabytes forever

JimmyPage
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Re:1974 film Zardoz

not that I am aware of.

The ACC half baked ideas reference is from an interview I read with him, where he commented he had floated so many ideas in fiction or speculation that had become reality.

The most famous idea being the geosynchronous communications satellite.

In a nod to another comment I have made today, he also proposed a space elevator, to reduce the energy required to get into LEO.

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JimmyPage
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Ah, Arthur C Clarke "half baked ideas"

over 30 years ago, I vaguely imagined a crystalline lattice that could be addressed by laser to act as main storage. TBH, I'm surprised it took so long ....

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

JimmyPage
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Ah, VB ... "variants"

I once worked on a sizeable project in Weath Managment.

Written in VB (I hail from a C/C++ background) they had tried to be "all grown up" and name variables correctly. So you had iCount, dblPrice, strName etc.

Problem was, they were all variants.

Which meant, if there was a fuck-up in the chain, and a string got accepted for a numeric value, the error could be propagated a long way from the source.

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Samsung now pushing Marshmallows into the Galaxy S6, Edge

JimmyPage
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Re: I wonder what Google have broken this time ...

Here's an example

https://www.truecaller.com/support#/Android/a23

"Google introduced a limitation on Android 4.4 (Kitkat) and above, which unfortunately prevents the SMS blocking feature from working."

Can't speak as to Google Messenger blocking, as I gave up.

As usual, the Windows Phone implementation of this feature is flawlessly perfect.

Here's a whole thread on how you can't block SMS on Android post KitKat.

http://forums.androidcentral.com/nexus-6p/618966-blocking-sms-marshmallow.html

Admittedly, SMS blocking might be regarded as a niche feature by some. But Googles making it impossible without any warning, consultation or workaround is reason enough for me to stand by my assertion that Android is OK for toys, but not ready for business.

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JimmyPage
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It's a shame one can't install a base OS and then the options you want/need...

Cyanogen OS ?

Wileyfox ? (Although I can happily plug the phone, as a *company* Wileyfox need to get their act together sharpish).

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

I wonder what Google have broken this time ...

Last year, I looked to implement WP8 "Block" feature on MrsJPs MotoG.

That's block *SMS*s - not just calls.

A deep trawl of the Play Store revealed an abundance of "Call & SMS" blocking Apps.

A deeper trawl revealed that SMS blocking had become impossible when Google went from KK to LL (if memory serves) they changed the architecture so apps couldn't access the SMS stack *before* they were processed. Meaning there were (are ?) shedloads of "sms blocking apps" which have to state upfront they don't actually work.

WTF ?

That's Android for you.

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Facebook tells Viz to f**k right off

JimmyPage
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Pint

Re: Hawker Siddeley Twat

you are of course right, dear sir --->

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JimmyPage
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Happy

1993 (or thereaouts)

I find myself leafing through my copy of Viz, on a bus. I got to "Jump Jet Fanny (and her magic minge)" and had to get off and walk for laughing.

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Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy

JimmyPage
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Coat

Michelson-Morely ?

Anyone else find the LIGO setup vaguely familiar ?

Have we found aether :)

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Met Police wants to keep billions of number plate scans after cutoff date

JimmyPage
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Boffin

returning to the DNA issue*

Dr. Wibble is pretty much echoing my thinking, about the birthday paradox (the recent Challenger anniversary is a stark reminder of how easily statistics can be misunderstood).

However, it goes a lot deeper than that. Starting with the problem that until such time as the UK has a credible life/death/in country register, there's no way to CLEAN the fucker.

So slowly, and surely, the database will grow.

And grow.

So, fast forward to 2026, when the DNA database contains (say) 60,000,000 records. Including some dead. Some left the UK. Some moved.

(Remember, the DNA database is a *hash* of the genome, not the entire genome itself).

So a crime is committed, and DNA recovered. SOP runs it through the database, and - horror of horrors - 5 matches are returned. (The real horror is that it means the police now have to do some fucking police work). Of course the 4 spurious matches are a god-given gift to a lawyer who remembers that "reasonable doubt" is all that is needed for an acquittal. So the police have to try and eliminate the 4 spurious matches.

My explanation of the DNA database it that it's like a surname, house number, and area-level postcode. Which means there will be lots of SMITH-16-NW in there.

*presumably, the ANPR system has a link with the DVLA so scrapped cars are archived off. Or will it face the same degradation issues ?

All this, in the face of my assertion that *any* non trivial database of personal data can never be more than 95% accurate. A rule of thumb I devised after seeing thousands of man-hours in a commercial organisation devoted (over summer) to calling every customer to update their details, and seeing the accuracy improve (from 90%) to 95%, only to slip to 90% within 2 months. Databases being snapshots of a transient reality.

None of which is understood by the bottom-feeders in parliament, and their lickspittle civil servants who all dodged anything vaguely technical as "for the proles".

We'll all be well fucked if it becomes possible to make DNA from scratch.

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Amazon UK boss is 'most powerful' man in food and drink

JimmyPage
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Re: If Amazon/Google can disrupt your business

I live in SW Brum. There's a massive ASDA 15 *walk* from my house (I used to walk there and back as a morning constitutional when the weather wasn't shit).

There's a Morrisons 10 minutes drive, and 5 minutes beyond that a Sainsburys.

5 minute drive gets me to Harborne, where there's a Waitrose (2 miles from the Asda). And 5 minutes drive to Quinton gets me to Tescos.

And in the past, just to prove to SWMBO, I have gone to all 5, and we have seen (apart from own-brand, obviously) they stock (or *don't*) stock exactly the same things.

So, as with genomes that get lazy, and are all susceptible to the same disease, the big supermarkets appear to have become so homogenised it should be childs play to differentiate from them, and steal their customers. And the smaller more niche outlets can stop being so smug. (Looks at the "delicatessens" in the West Midlands who also stock identikit products - and not what I'd want).

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: When I pay full price for a sandwich

But is that "groceries", or a snack food ?

"Groceries" (to me) are what you buy, usually weekly, to stock your cupboards with.

Which is not what you were on about ....

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: I can choose the things I want.

No you can't. You can choose what you want from what the supermarket wants to stock. Bearing in mind I suspect their priorities will centre around delivering maximum £/cm2 of floor area. What are your priorities.

As I mentioned upthread, there are varieties of *already stocked* brands we can't get at *any* of our local supermarkets.

If I had time, I could draw you up a weekly shopping list you'd be unable to fulfil from Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, or Waitrose in a single shop. And (if it comes to Ainsleys Shropshire Pea soup) not even then.

Example of market fail: Sungold tomatoes.

And that's quite before you deal with Sainsburys endemic stock control problems (ongoing since 1982 when I worked for them).

My only pause to defend the big markets is that they are very driven by *what they can sell*, which is function of fashion (Bake-off, etc). Being of Italian extraction, stranded in the wastes of the Midlands, I am well aware of how shops are forced to stock what Jocasta and Sebastian saw on "Come Dine With Me" last week. Which is also a factor in farmers markets (still no Sungold tomatoes). That's *if* you live near enough to one. (Luckily, bohemian Harborne, Birmingham, has a monthly one).

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JimmyPage
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Mushroom

If Amazon/Google can disrupt your business

then I humbly suggest you aren't very good at your business.

The only reason I shop at Sainsburys is geography. It's not the closest supermarket, but it's next to a nice Costa for a post-shop latte. That's the only difference between Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose. All of which are less than 20 minutes drive from me.

When 5 *massive* businesses are (a) shit and (b) indistinguishable, then it's time for Amazon or whoever to show them up.

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JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Couldn't be worse than the bricks & mortar stores ...

MrsJP is a fan of Ainsleys "Shropshire Pea soup" (no accounting for taste)

Unavailable at any of our local megamarts (I mean *big*).

Had to order from Amazon !

I would welcome Amazon "disrupting" the grocery market. It might mean I can buy what *I* want, not what the supermarkets want to sell to me.

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Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

JimmyPage
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Vague reminds me of all those police/politicians

who "discover" the War on Drugs is a crock. Just *after* they retire ...

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Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit

JimmyPage
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Re: Kwangmyongsong

+1 for the Jethro Tull reference (so soon after Tom Lehrer too) ...

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Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

You see, it's nonsense like this ..

which leads me to doubt the "end of the world" rhetoric that (some) politicians try to use to extract more $$$$s. God knows what the emissions consequence of having to cable *after* building are.

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JimmyPage
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The size of UK houses should be measured in area

Oh yes !

We currently pack 1,400 sq. feet in our 2-bed bunglalow. (OK, we have a toilet/cloakroom, bin store, utility room plus a hall to access them).

Currently I have yet to see a *4* bedroom house (which, don't forget has an EXTRA FLOOR) with more than 1,200 sq. feet.

Get fed up of looking at new builds in 2014. Best way to shut the sales droid up was to ask which room they suggested we lose to move into the new build.

And as for "garages" ????? Can't we have a law forcing developers to call them what they are: "external storage units" ?

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Boffins smear circuitry onto contact lenses

JimmyPage
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Anyone who is partially sighted

would probably think of an application immediately.

In my wifes case, the ability to focus a small image onto the part of her retina that still works in a way that current optical technology can't ?

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

JimmyPage
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Surely this makes the UK

a world leader in ad-blocking ?

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

Will all the USA snatch squad subscribers please fuck off back to Facebook ?

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Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

JimmyPage
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WTF?

Oh FFS !

was my initial thought on reading this ....

We really need a "FFS !" icon.

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Bill for half a billion quid lands on Apple's desk in Facetime patent scrap

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Apple spoke to El Reg

of course they did. It suited them. Would have been poetic justice if El Reg had refused to print what they said.

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Samsung trolls Google, adds adblockers to phones

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: Something like this?

"not available in your country"

so no. Nothing like that.

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JimmyPage
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Holmes

"Surprising findings"

It's not *paying* I object to.

It's paying 100s of individual itty-bitty subscriptions.

The day someone (and it may be Google. Or Apple. Or Amazon) can find a way to charge me a*single* daily/weekly/monthly/premium, and allow me direct access to *whatever I want*, is the day I will take their hand off.

Those El-Reggerrs who agree, and would also subscribe, upvote me (I predict there will be loads).

The fact no such service exists, despite "market pressure" is a very good sign the market is well fucked.

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JimmyPage
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Happy

If nothing else ...

I have this article to thank for NoRootFirewall

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Lincolnshire council IT ransomware flingers asked for ... £350

JimmyPage
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Re: any colour Audi can have a muppet at the wheel

true - as can any car. However, IME, a black or white *car* (which is how I read the OP) increase the odds to within a whisker of 99%.

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HSBC online services still offline following 'attack' on bank

JimmyPage
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FAIL

We successfully defended our systems.

Note to existing and future (if there are any).

HSBCs definition of "success" may not be the same as yours, if they think that customers being locked out of their services a "success".

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

JimmyPage
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Joke

Re: Policy based evidence

Like western civilisation, would be a good idea.

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Re: Apple ][ network ?

(actually it was an ITT 2020).

AIR Apples had no intrinsic networking, and I don't recall an interface card to do it either, although it did have 6 expansion slots.

For some reason the standard one for the disk controller was 6. I can still remember the command "PR#6" to initialise the peripheral on slot 6. I realised I was the schools (actually the boroughs) tech expert when reading the manual revealed that "PR" was to initialise for output (PRint - geddit ?) and "IN" was to initialise for "INput" (possibly a light pen) and that for the disk controller (being both, either would work).

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JimmyPage
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Stop

Re: Set the mouse to left handed.

1) If it's possible.

Many "lock down everything" IT departments remove the mouse settings. Happened to me once, when I attended an interview. They had a technical test on a standard RHS mouse PC. I asked for the mouse to be set up left handed, and it took 30 minutes for them to find a tech who could log in as admin to make the change.

2) If it's practical

There's quite a few industry-wide mice that are clearly intended to be held in the right hand. So even changing settings won't help.

FWIW, ever since I started suffering a touch of RSI, I've found I'm ambidextrous when it comes to mousing, so use my left hand now.

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Brit boffins brew nanotech self-cleaning glass

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Re: What about Bird Shit?

ITYM "white dielectric material" ....

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Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

JimmyPage
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Re: Dead customers

The problem here, is that the person you are *talking* to, rightly or wrongly, will have no authority or ability to amend customer details. This is self-evident the first contact you get after complaining.

At that point, it's pointless to continue trying to make changes by repeating the process - you'll end up with the same problem.

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UK can finally 'legalise home taping' without bringing in daft new tax

JimmyPage
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+1

For the Led Zeppelin reference alone.

Now I shall read the article !

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It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

JimmyPage
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"I can't afford to discard tools ..."

"... because I don't like their design"

Don't like Wikipedia ? Then you do better ...

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TalkTalk outage: Dial M for Major cockup

JimmyPage
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Fool me once etc.

Anyone who stayed with Talk Talk after they proved their incompetence is undeserving of sympathy and column inches.

However, they do seem to explain how we got a Conservative government.

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Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid: AWS to open data center in Montreal

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Sigh ...

And this evades the PATRIOT Act how, exactly ?

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Engineer's bosses gave him printout of his Yahoo IMs. Euro court says it's OK

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: More facts required (WHY ?)

He wasn't sacked for using corporate *devices* for personal use.

He was sacked for using corporate *time* (time he was paid to do his job in) for personal use.

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BlackBerry baffled by Dutch cops' phone encryption cracked brag

JimmyPage
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Stop

Nothing to see, move along

Before I read the article, just from the headline, I *knew* I would find a line like:

It well may be that the handset in question was crackable not because of a Blackberry flaw but an incorrect implementation of PGP itself

The best encryption technology in the universe may be compromised by lack of understanding.

I notice is was "encrypted emails" that were cracked. Bear in mind, in it's native form, an "email" will have the underlying RFC-822 layout. So if you know what that looks like, and you have 200+ of the buggers all encrypted with the same key(s) you have a head start.

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EE, O2, Giffgaff, BT Mobile customers cut off as mobile networks fail

JimmyPage
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Ah ! Tesco

MrsJP is on Tesco, and yesterday around 4pm, tried to call a local landline 19 times from her Tesco mobile. The call just "dropped". No message, no tone. In the end I made the call from my Vodafone wok phone - first time.

This incident reminded us of something similar 2 years ago - again on Tesco (which is o2 really). I tried calling my sons phone, and was told "the number you have dialled has not been recognised" which lasted a few hours.

However, for balance, I haven't had any problems (yet) with the giffgaff SIMs I use in my Wileyfox ....

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Investigatory Powers Bill: A force for good – if done right?

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

We're looking in the wrong direction

These powers have fuck all to do with trying to predict and intercept *future* terrorist activity, and everything to do with accessing historical data to haver dirt on any and all who oppose the Eye of Sauron.

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Yes Minister ...

there was an episode of Yes Minister where the hapless Hacker found that something had been agreed by his department which turned out to be politically embarrassing.

He calls in Sir Humphry, gives him a carpeting, and insists he is notified of everything going on in the department. Sir Humphry seems reluctant, which only increases Hackers resolve.

The next day, Hacker gets 5 red boxes, and takes all night to read them. Memos about staff rotas, pencil quotas ... as Hackers wife pointed out, by demanding to see *everything* Hacker had allowed Humphry to drown him in minutia.

Which is why my response to all this data-hoovering is "bring it on"

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Three-years-late fit-to-work IT tool will cost taxpayers £76m

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Re: bedroom tax

That's what they told you.

The fact the *biggest* group of under-occupiers of social housing (pensioners) were explicitly exempted indicates otherwise. So I stand by my assertion. It's ideological (as opposed to logical).

Do as the priest does, not as he says ......

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JimmyPage
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Re: Whaaat?

On the radio today, the egregious Ms. Hillier was forced to admit that the means testing cost *more* than it saves.

Like the bedroom tax (which has cost the UK far more than it will ever "save") this is proof that "austerity" is a political and moral process, not a fiscal or practical one.

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BT and EE, O2 and Three: Are we in for a year of Euro telco mega-mergers?

JimmyPage
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Re: What do you think Virgin Media is

Crap ?

I suggested 5 years ago they could offer a combined mobile-landline-BB-TV deal, such that you could have a "family" of mobiles that would be free-call to each other (cf. giffgaff). The application being even if your sprogs have used up their credit, they can call home.

Given Virgins unique capability to offer such a service, you'd think it would be a no-brainer.

Didn't even get a reply (which it turns out is SOP whenever Virgin have a business opportunity).

The older I get, they less impressed I am by "the market".

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