* Posts by Phil W

795 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

Phil W
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Re: YMMV

"the cultural effect of having sizable numbers of people in the country who clearly reject our laws, customs and mores and wish to impose theirs on the rest of us aren't helping matters"

Not sure how much this is true or that I agree with it, however the groups that this is mostly associated with are the Middle Eastern refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan etc. Primarily Muslim (not that I have anything against peaceful Islamic beliefs) countries, whose entire cultural history is quite different to ours, unlike the EU member states (like Poland where most of the EU economic migrants in the UK come from) who's cultural backgrounds are to some extent similar to ours.

Refugees coming into the UK from these Middle Eastern countries have very little to do with the EU, although we have an agreement in place with the EU to take a certain number of them this is to ensure that they are spread fairly across the EU member states and other member states actually take in as many or more than we do, if for no other reason than that their country is physically larger.

If we were not in the EU we would still be taking in these refugees, possibly in even greater numbers, because we take them in out of a caring and humanitarian nature (after bombing the shit out of their countries) not because we have to because the EU makes us.

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Phil W
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"prefer to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats than by an elected government"

@Tom7, which unelected Bureaucrats do you mean? In the three tiers of EU government, only one of them is unelected and that's the EU commissioners who have no power at all and only exist to come up with ideas to pass to the EU Parliament.

The EU Parliament is made up of MEPs from each country, who are elected by the public of that country. We actually have more MEPs in the EU Parliament (73 I think it is) than any other country besides Germany and France, because the number of MEPs you get is determined by population (and also previously the founder members got extra I believe but I think that has been balanced out since).

The fact that only 20-30% of UK voters actually bother to turn out to vote for their MEPs probably makes you feel like it's undemocratic, but it's not the EU's fault that you choose not to engage with it. The low turnout is also why we have a number of UKIP MEPs who don't want to be there and don't bother to turn up some of the time.

The EU Council makes all the major final decisions anyway, and this is made up of the leaders of each member state. Since all member states are democracies all of these people are elected by their countries to, just like we elected Cameron who represents us in the EU Council.

The majority of EU Council decisions require a unanimous vote, effectively giving the UK a veto over decisions we don't like, such as the formation of an EU army, Turkey (or anyone else) joining the EU, increasing our EU budget contribution or reducing/removing our rebate.

So basically if any of these things happen while we're in the EU it's because the Prime Minister you voted for agreed to it.

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Phil W
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Re: @Custard Fridge: Cracking article

"the Euro simply does not match their economic requirements"

This, so much this! I'm very much in favour of remaining in the EU, because while it does have a myriad of problems, none of them are insurmountable with the right legal and political reform, except the Euro.

The single currency is the biggest problem with the EU, you can not have a single currency and interest rate for so many countries with vastly different economies in terms of both their size and strength as well as in nature in terms of service vs manufacturing etc, that will actually work.

By their very nature the stronger and larger economies in currency will tip the trade value of the currency and interest rates in their favour, not intentionally but simply by the weight of their economic effect on the currency.

The required political reforms will inevitably happen for the EU to survive, and in fact to some degree already are.

Despite what the Leave campaign say about Cameron getting nothing from his EU negotiations he actually got a lot more than some expected and the fact that he got what he did has really paved the way for more reform in future.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, was recently quoted as saying the EU needs to abandon it's ideal of ever closer union due to the tide of eurosceptic feeling not just from the UK but in other major EU countries such as Germany as well.

Change in the EU is not only coming, it's already started.

Could it all go wrong and make the EU even worse than it is? Yes.

Could it all go well and make the EU more like people really want it to be, a close political and trade alliance that keeps like minded countries united in the face of destabling forces like Russia and China (and even the USA, in a different way)? Yes.

N.B. If I hear one more person say we have to "take back control" from the unelected EU commissioners I have shall have to beat them to death with a beginners guide to the structure of the EU government.

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Pressure mounts against Rule 41 – the FBI's power to hack Tor, VPN users on sight

Phil W
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Bad I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.

"America, fuck yeah!

Comin' again to save the mother fuckin' day yeah!

America, fuck yeah!

Freedom is the only way yeah!

Terrorists your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to...

America, fuck yeah!

So lick my butt and suck on my balls!

America, fuck yeah!

Whatcha gonna do when we come for you now?"

Seriously though, when has jurisdiction, international law or sovereignty ever stopped USA law enforcement and intelligence doing whatever the fuck they want?

America is the land of the free, where the government are free to do whatever the fuck they want to whoever the fuck they like. For freedom. Oh and money, definitely for money.

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When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

Phil W
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Re: Spreadsheets used for critical functions?

"Spreadsheet use in critical functions is usually seen as a danger signal"

I think it really depends how you're using the spreadsheets. Using an Excel workbook to do all of your accounts and customer data handling and saving it in an xls file on a hard drive is not a suitable way to run anything other than a very small business.

However Excel is a very capable and user friendly tool from the point of view of actually manipulating data for analytical purposes, and using Excel with and ODBC connection to an SQL server as a way to access and present your data for particular purposes is a perfectly legitimate business process.

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Your new Android Smartwatch? Dead!

Phil W
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Re: Expectations

"By making the phone and wearables market just like the PC market the OS makers and manufacturers have pushed the notion that Mobiles and Wearables are mini-PC's and users have been able update the OS and get updates every week/month for a long time."

I agree with as far as phones are concerned, however to some degree smart watches are still a different market, there's only so many new features that software updates really add to them unlike phones where the hardware is starting to plateau and most of the major changes are in software at the moment. Also in most cases, and definitely in the case of the G Watch, the device has limited connectivity and data handling so there is a less pressing need for security updates unlike with phones.

It's not like LG have not provided any updates to the device at all, the device is now 2 years old but has been updated as far as Android Wear 1.4/6.0.1 Marshmallow, that's two or three major OS updates since release, and is in fact the latest version.

The fact they have no plans to update a 2 year old device yet again, to an OS that hasn't actually been released yet anyway, is really not a big deal.

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Phil W
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Expectations

Frankly I don't see the problem. These days people seem to have the unrealistic expectation that their device will forever be supported and updated with the latest and greatest features, yet even 10 years ago this was not something that was expected or considered normal.

When you buy your device you buy it as it is advertised, and expect to it perform the functions it was sold as performing. Unless the device was sold with a stated promise of future software updates for a particular period, the only software updates you are entitled to are those that may be required to fix any problems with the advertised features, anything else should be considered a bonus.

Aside from not having any obligation to provide it, the new OS is almost certainly more resource hungry than the old one and providing an update to it on hardware that is not sufficiently capable may potentially cripple the device leading to far more outrage than not providing an update customers perceive they are entitled to.

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If The Register made reality music TV, this is what it would look like

Phil W
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Choices

It's hard to pick from the available options.

While Radio Shed is an amusing concept in principal, it was spoiled for me by the specification of DAB. Given how long Radio Shack/Tandy have been out of business (and more specifically out of the business of selling electronic components) it seems unlikely the necessary components for more modern DAB technology could be found there. Personally I would amend this idea to say that they have to build a functional and reasonably powerful analog two way set, the effectiveness of which would be tested by dumping them on a desert island with their hand crafted radio kit as their means of calling for help.

Tinie Tempah's Tiny Temper I'm pretty sure is already being made in the form of the new series of Top Gear where he has been inexplicably recruited as guest.

Hugh Grant's Huge Grants was actually by far the best idea, possibly only topped by the similarly alliterative idea's of my own.

Hugh Laurie's Huge Lorries, where Hugh Laurie attempts to drive HGVs of increasing size along improbably difficult routes with no experience or training.

Hugh Laurie's Lewd Lollies where Hugh Laurie reviews and consumes various suggestive or obscenely shaped/themed frozen treats, possibly with the assistance of long time friend Stephen Fry.

If the above two series were both made a further spin off could be made of Hugh Laurie's Lewd Lollies on Huge Lorries, where Hugh attempts to drive HGVs of increasing size along improbably difficult routes while also reviewing and consuming suggestive or obscenely shaped/themed frozen treats, with Stephen Fry in the passenger seat as his navigator co-driver (possibly using some sort of navigation technology which he could utterly fail to correctly explain the operation of to the audience).

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Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

Phil W
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"I like my phone case to be triangular with spikes at the corners."

It would certainly make those cases of celebrities throwing phones at their spouses/PAs far more interesting.

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Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

Phil W
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Re: So basically...

Being compared to Sir Samuel, high praise indeed.

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Phil W
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Re: So basically...

"Me? I want democracy."

I don't. Democracy sounds like a great idea, until you realise that it means everyone has an equal say, and then you look around you a realise how many complete fucking idiots there who get to vote.

That is the scariest thing about this referendum, and the only reason it is so close in the polls, there are so many people who completely misunderstand which issues relate to the EU and which don't or any of the reality of how international politics works, and don't read any further than newspaper headlines.

I have spoken to several people now who firmly believe that Syrian refugees coming to the UK is purely an EU related issue which will suddenly go away if we leave, and that the EU wants to ban all British made kettles and toasters and are therefore convinced that these are important reasons to vote leave.

Social media is also interesting, in a cursory glance over Facebook comment threads on the referendum you will see many clear and cogent arguments from those on the Remain side, some from those who are undecided or don't care and a mere handful from those on the Leave side. What you do see a lot however is those on the Leave side posting short one word comments of "Out!" and "Leave!".

The whole Leave campaign, both officially and unofficially seems to be largely comprised of shouting loudly and catchy headlines that are either exaggerated or fundamentally untrue.

Personally I'm in favour of staying in, however I'm also sure a clear, reasoned and sensible argument based on accurate factual statements could be made for leaving. I'm equally sure that no-one in the Leave campaign has done that yet.

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Would YOU start a fire? TRAPPED in a new-build server farm

Phil W
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Design flaw

"When I got to the exit however, my access card wouldn’t unlock the door."

I find it very frustrating when i encounter doors to rooms like this that require a card for both direction through the same door, when the room in question has no other exits (besides fire exits which can't be opened from outside).

Knowing who entered a room and when is very useful, but it is very rare that it is actually truly necessary to know who has left a room and when, a simple push to exit button would be more than sufficient in most cases.

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Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY

Phil W
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Re: If proof is needed...

Except for when that doesn't work because despite being a perfectly normal AMD/Intel/Nvidia chip that may well work with the chipset OEM's driver, the hardware IDs of the chipset have been slightly altered so that they aren't included in the driver INFs from the chipset OEM.

In some cases, such as AMD and Nvidia graphics drivers this can be worked around by adding the correct hardware IDs to the INF, but this can be a bit fiddly to get right.

With Intel you're mostly stuffed as their chipset setup utility doesn't actually contain and drivers and just downloads the ones it decides you need, which with altered hardware IDs is none at all.

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Got a Fitbit? Thought you were achieving your goals? Better read this

Phil W
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"This is not a valid defence, because YOU'VE never used medical grade ECG test gear either."

Eh? How do you know I haven't? I haven't (though I could probably get my hands on some), but what's that got to do with anything? I also don't own an Apple watch.

Also I have nothing to defend, I didn't make any point, I enquired as to how the person claiming his Apple watch is totally accurate knows that that really is the case.

If I'd said "my Xioami Mi Band 1s is more accurate than your Apple watch" you'd have a point, but I would never make that claim, especially as my device cost £20 and I don't expect supreme accuracy from it.

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Phil W
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"Why medical grade when you can easily count it with a finger and another timer?"

Yes that's just fine when you're sat still or just walking along but I'd be beyond extremely impressed if you can accurately count your pulse with your finger while engaged in strenuous exercise that has got your pulse into the 130 or 140 range, even more so if you could do it while comparing it to the read out on your watch.

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Phil W
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"And my Apple Watch is always dead on."

I would genuinely like to know how you know that. Have you conducted rigorous testing at rest, during moderate activity and during strenuous exercise while wearing the Apple Watch and hooked up to a medical grade ECG?

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Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

Phil W
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Modular

I'm not really sure how this is wildly different from the way things are now?

To me it sounds like someone who doesn't know what they're talking about describing the way servers (and even desktop PCs to some degree) are built.

If you're buying say a 1U rack mount server, there are a whole variety of configurations, your front end drive bay module and backplane can be 8x 2.5" drives or 4x 3.5", the backplane they connect to can be either SATA only or SATA/SAS, you can have a PCI-E SAS RAID card or just use onboard.

The description holds even more true for blade centers, where each bay can hold either a traditional server with CPU, RAM and local storage, or have a disk storage blade installed to be attached to other servers, as well as other options like GPUs and tape drives.

In either case you pick the parts that suit what you're building for, and in theory you could get new parts and change them around later if the workload changes.

However in reality you don't because for the majority of the type of people who are buying servers in any scenario outside of being a cloud host, you have a specific workload in mind when you're buying with a specific budget related to that workload.

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The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know

Phil W
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Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

No, it really really isn't.

A hard hat is a piece of safety equipment whose only purpose is to prevent you sustaining head injuries in a dangerous environment. Any negative side effect a poorly made hard hat might have (such as your mention of scalp disease, if such a thing exists), is still infinitely preferable to a fatal head injury.

Consequences of wearing a (scalp disease causing) hard hat vs not wearing one?

You may get scalp disease but you're alive.

Consequences of inhaling tested and regulated chemical formulation vs untested and unregulated ones?

Your fluids might cost more, but there is now a much lower chance of you inhaling something with dangerous or even life threatening properties.

Despite the endless amount of positivity E-cigs have towards them from many quarters, they are still essentially a device design solely for the purpose of taking potentially toxic substances into your body. They are not, unlike a hard hat, a device with a safety or health purpose in mind that might have unintended negative side effects. All they are is a "possibly" safer, that is safer not safe way of doing something which is known to be harmful.

The "possibly" there is important because while many government bodies will accept that e-cigs are in the short term clearly less harmful (and it's important we use the phrase "less harmful" and not "better for you", they cannot and will not comment on the long term effects of e-cig the technology simply has not been around long enough for anyone to know if there are any serious side effects from substantial long term use.

On top of that up until now there has been no regulation of the substances you're choosing to inhale, you have no assurance as to content and safety of the liquids you are inhaling.

Are E-cigs a good way to get off cigerettes and then tape off smoking/vaping altogether over a short term period? Absolutely.

Are E-cigs better for you if you just replace your heavy smoking habit with a heavy vaping habit for the rest of your life? No-one knows, it could be, but equally it could turn out that long term inhalation of vapourised nicotine and other chemicals has consequences we don't yet know about, particularly if those chemicals are untested and unregulated.

Don't even get me started on the quality of the electronics in these devices causing fires etc...

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World goes SIM-free, leaving Sony and HTC trailing behind

Phil W
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Payment options

I bought my last handset SIM Free, simply because it was marginally cheaper to buy it with a credit card that had 27 Months interest free on purchases and set up a direct debit to pay it off over the same period, alongside a cheaper SIM only tariff.

I'm now not tied in to a contract and can chose to pay off the credit card whenever I like.

The moral of the story is, it's not that SIM Free is better but that selling handsets with little or no upfront cost and paid for as credit which is rolled into a high line rental tariff on a long term contract is a terrible and out of date model.

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Ofcom serves up an extra helping of airwaves for Wi-Fi

Phil W
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Re: Weakest Link

"Surely the speed of the broadband connection is a determining factor."

Not neccessarily. I've got a fairly consistent 200Mbps down from Virgin none of my wireless devices can fully take advantage of that for one reason or another be it signal strength or just the chipsets in the devices, my laptop's built in WiFi is actually only 802.11n 150Mbps compliant.

Cat6 to my PCs gets me the full 200Mbps to all of those wired connections though.

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No story today on Netflix blocking VPNs?

Phil W
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Re: No story today on Netflix blocking VPNs?

Most likely it is as you say, that they're just blocking IPs known to be VPN endpoints. Since this is most likely an exercise in satisfying the licencers of content, it could well be that this is all they're doing in the same way that ISPs only block access to file sharing sites when asked and don't actively look for sites to block themselves.

There are plenty of other methods they could be using as well, but I'd be a little surprised if they were using them since they're not especially reliable and would require a substantial effort on their part, but if it were me I'd design a scoring system to flag addresses as potential VPN end points in much the same way spam scoring is done using something like this:

Some statistical analysis on the number of connections coming from each IP that is streaming content, ignore any addresses with less than 10 connections to rule out individual users, multiple devices in one home, shared Internet connections in flats/appartment buildings. You could also factor in data on IP ownership to allow for traffic from Universities etc with high numbers of users behind a NAT pool. Anything that's left gets a score based on the number of connections per IP.

You could also do some slightly deeper inspection of the packets looking at MTU size and MSS settings, although these can vary substantial depending on the nature of the connection, lower MTU and MSS sizes can indicate that the traffic your receiving has previously been segmented to be encapsulated within VPN packets. Since there are legitimate reasons these can vary, and there is no single size that can be definitively associated with VPNs again we could assign a score based on what the MTU and MSS sizes are compared to what we could see from a connection passing through a VPN compared to one that doesn't.

If an IP address scores too highly it could either automatically be blocked, have the number of stream connections allowed from it capped and/or be flagged for manual review.

Of course there are companies out there who specialise in doing exactly this sort of VPN detection work and sell blacklists, so it could also be Netflix just buy in one of those.

IPv6 could of course make this whole situation more difficult since the VPN endpoint could potentially provide a new IPv6 address for every client. But the slow uptake of IPv6 will limit the impact of this problem for some time to come yet.

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Phil W
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Re: No story today on Netflix blocking VPNs?

Could it just be that it's not that exciting?

Shock horror, major media company is making reasonable efforts to enforce it's copyright responsibilities.

I'm sure Netflix would love to make all their content available in all the countries they operate in, but if the copyright holders don't agree then Netflix are pretty much obliged to a) not make content available outside the areas they have been licensed to provide it in b) make reasonable effort to prevent users circumventing these limitations. If they didn't do a or b then the copyright holders would simply refuse to license content to them anymore.

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Stop resetting your passwords, says UK govt's spy network

Phil W
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Re: Stop blaming the users

DNA, fingerprints and other biometric security are actually terrible ideas. Entry level to mid level fingerprint scanners are unreliable, and prone to getting dirty and being inaccurate and/or are easy to fool, anything decent is expensive. DNA is impractical as with current technology and anything we're likely to have in the foreseeable future it would simply take to long to authenticate.

Some fingerprint scanners can also be fooled with fingerprints copied onto paper or other material, do you know of any good mechanism for resetting your fingerprints once they've been compromised like you would with a password?

Putting aside the practicalities of implementation for a moment, do you really want to secure valuable things using your DNA or fingerprints? If it's valuable enough you're just encouraging someone to remove your fingers or blood which is both bad for you and not terribly secure since fingers are far more easily broken than a complex password.

Also at least with passwords you can either hand them over and potentially not be harmed, or lie to the person trying to get it from you (not necessarily a good idea but it's an option).

Reliably extracting data from someone's mind is next to impossible, as much as the security services would like you to be believe torture (sorry, enhanced interrogation) is effective it often isn't and could easily lead to death before the correct information is retreived.

As for a "quantum approach" , what form do you envision that taking? Sure quantum computing could open up some more advanced avenues of encryption but strength of encryption is rarely the main security issue these days, but the nature of the key used to unlock it whether that be a password/passphrase or physical key of some sort. These can all be cracked/lost/forgotten/stolen etc.

The real future (and even present) of secure authentication is two (or higher) factor authentication, whether than be multiple code entries or physical factors like RFID/smartcards.

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Phil W
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Simple choices for complexity

I often hear complaints from users, both where I work and elsewhere, about how much of a pain password complexity rules are and how difficult it is to come up a new password regularly.

These complaints are annoying, not because the users don't appreciate the value of security but because using sufficiently complex passwords that are hard to guess and reasonably hard to brute force is actually not that difficult, unless you work in government or high profile business that's likely to come under a well resourced/state sponsored cyber attack you don't need a totally random sequence of numbers, letters and special characters as a password just one that moderately powered cracking won't break in a short amount of time.

You can simply construct a password out of numbers and words that have meaning to you but are not related to the system the password is for and wouldn't be immediately obvious to others.

For example the name and extension number of someone you call regularly at work, maybe your boss, might well be quite memorable giving something like Richard8417. While it would make a terrible password for work systems wouldn't be too bad for an unrelated personal email account or bank login. At work perhaps your father's date of birth and your mother's middle name giving you something like 2608Nancy.

For an extra bit of complexity throw an exclamation mark, 2608!Nancy would be relatively difficult to crack but have significant meaning to you to make it memorable and unless the person trying to crack your work account has detailed personal background information on you to help the process along this should be secure enough.

If you can remember them, post codes (zip codes) can be useful password components.

Passwords made of memorable components can be secure enough for most purposes as long as you pick ones that have no relevance to the system the password is for or better yet are quite obscure, such as the phone number/post code of somewhere you used to work 10 years ago, or your old school, house you grew up in but haven't lived at for some time etc.

This level of complexity, combined with a password lockout policy to prevent sustained brute force attacks, should be more than enough for most purposes.

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Suck on this: White hats replace Locky malware payload with dummy

Phil W
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Practicalities

"If this happens it’s normally impractical to recover scrambled files without paying crooks a fee"

Unless, you know, you take regular back ups of your valuable and irreplaceable data like a sensible person. Unfortunately when it comes to the security of their data far too many people are not sensible, but in an ideal world the only data lost should be that created between the last backup and the time the ransomware hit.

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I am Craig Wright, inventor of Craig Wright

Phil W
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I am Satoshi Nakamoto and so is my wife.

Alternatively for the older generation...

You are Satoshi Nakamto and I claim my five pounds.

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A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Phil W
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Re: UnUnified

"While it's true that a simple package install from a fully configured desktop gives you a new desktop manager option on the login screen, you could also simply download and install from a choice of..."

Well yes, that was my point, installing the distro with your preferred GUI in the first place is massively easier than adding it afterwards (especially as adding afterwards often leaves you lacking themes etc). Personally I rather enjoy the installers for Fedora and similar that give you a choice of desktop environment as part of the install process. Maybe that's something canonical should do?

"If you are knowledgeable enough to already know this or know what you want, ignore the advice, it is often advanced in the spirit of trying to be helpful."

Quite true, and the Ubuntu forums themselves are actually quite friendly in terms of advice, unfortunately other places are not so much. I've actually encountered people who insist, regardless of others opinions, that the only real way to install Ubuntu is to install a server/mini install and add all the relevant packages for your chosen GUI from there.

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Phil W
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UnUnified

I enjoy Ubuntu (or rather the various spin offs), but I despise the Unity desktop, as well as GNOME from 3 onwards. The shiney new launcher bar and loss of the old Applications, Places, System menus in the traditional drop down style were absolute deal breakers for me. Simple things seem much harder to find and do in both Unity and GNOME 3.x

Mate on the other hand is wonderful, and now that there is a pre-spun Ubuntu with Mate as the desktop, that may well be my distro of choice. It may even be enough for me to stop picking Mint by default.

N.B. Also, yes for you Linux/Ubuntu zealots who feel the need to point it out, I am fully aware that I could install Mate on vanilla Ubuntu or any other spin off, I just don't like having to go to that much effort immediately after install to get to a GUI I feel is usable.

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Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

Phil W
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Freedom

Perhaps the Principality of Sealand would grant him asylum?

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Phil W
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"He's a young man with many years to live"

Only if he's very lucky....

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

Phil W
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Re: How IT are you?

Ignorant T*/!

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Anyone dealt with icann before?

Phil W
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"Make the minimum renewal price £20 per year, and your problem with name squatters is solved."

Not really, a lot of domains like described by the OP where the domain is owned but is being used for absolutely nothing and has no working services are owned by businesses, in some cases very large businesses. Perhaps for a now defunct brand, or a company they've previously bought out.

Even if they are not intentionally holding on to it in case they want to use it again, a £20 (or realistically anything less than a few hundred pounds, which rules out personal users having domains really) isn't going to solve the problem.

In a very large business the person responsible for arranging the domain won't care much about the cost anyway regardless of how high it is assuming they even still work there, and the finance department getting regular invoices for £20 if it's been previously authorised is not likely to be sufficient to raise any questions.

What it really needs is a method for claiming domains like this. It would be a bit long winded but a system where you can pay a fee to put in a claim on a domain, something substantial to deter abuse but not totally unaffordable, the registrar then contacts the current owner using their registered contact information say 4 times over 12 months to ask them to confirm they are still using it. Should they fail to responded after all those attempts then the domain can be transferred to the claimant.

Seems fair enough to me? If you can't respond to 4 requests in 12 months or haven't updated you domain registration details in over 12 months you don't deserve to keep your domain anyway.

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Video folk, you'll love the 96TB, 2.6GB/sec LaCie 12big HDD

Phil W
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Joke

Leap into failure

"The Seagate drives are built for 24/7 operation; 8,760 hours a year"

Are they ok with running for 8,784 hours a year as well?

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FOUR Avatar sequels

Phil W
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Re: Terminator 6

Terminator vs Aliens

Aliens come to invade the world and Skynet's robotic horde and humanity must team up to save the world from the aliens.

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Phil W
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Re: One word.(answer)

Avatar 6 - The Search for More Money*

*Because if you're going to shamelessly rip someone off, why not steal from the best.

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

Phil W
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Joke

Re: Tracking

I have to say it's nice of them to be so concerned about your digestive health.

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Misco: We're moving to the cloud after yesterday's bit barn meltdown

Phil W
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Re: From bad to worse?

Absolutely! The Cloud* is brilliant and totally resilient and definitely never has any down time, and if our office loses it's Internet connection we definitely won't have any problem continuing to take orders over the phone using the order system that we can no longer access....

Personally I have one very important first rule for externally hosted cloud solutions. Can your business, or the business segment that relies on that solution, continue to function without it?

If the answer is no then you should keep it in house, and do proper redundancy and data recovery. With the right infrastructure your solution can be just as reliable as the cloud, and if you lose net access you can still see it even if your customers can't. Also just as importantly, if it does go wrong you have full control over fixing it instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for an explanation and/or estimated fix time.

*WTF does that really mean anyway?!? The Cloud? So there's just one right? AWS, Azure etc are all just one big service. Arrgh, don't get me started on that part.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Phil W
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Yes but more importantly, through the bringing of this case, have we found the best and most competent judge in the entirety of the USA? Make that man President, immediately.

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Bug hype haters gonna hate hate hate: Badlock flaw more like Sadlock

Phil W
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Re: Not quite right

"The "sniffing the traffic" bit isn't required. Just get the client to connect to you and bobs-yer-uncle ! :-)."

While that's probably true, unless you're already familiar with the target environment and know everything required about the client and servers involved, I'm not sure that you'd have anywhere to start without sniffing some traffic to identify your targets.

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There's oil in that thar … Chinese space probe?

Phil W
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Re: Small particiles don't drop

"Not Civil I Hope"

Oh I don't know, it's probably better than uncivil engineering.

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Cheap Android heart rate monitor

Phil W
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Cheap Android heart rate monitor

I thought I would share this little gem for anyone here who might be interested.

I was recently looking into a cheap way to get heart rate monitoring in Android for use in Endomondo and other apps and the options seem to rather limited. I have a Sony Smartwatch 3, which is lovely Android wear device but lacking a heart rate monitor.

There are plenty of expensive options, but these are either chest straps, which I don't like anyway, or more fully featured devices i.e. other Android wear watches with HRM or FitBit and FitBitesque devices which provide features I already have/don't need.

I then came across the Xiaomi Mi Band 1s (aka the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse). It's a fairly small wrist band device that uses Bluetooth LE to connect, and at time of writing can be had for around £20 on eBay. In theory it only works with the Xiaomi Mi Band app, however it can be used with Endomondo and other apps with a small work around, you simply need to trigger continous heart rate monitoring on the Mi Band, before using Endomondo (or other app).

This can be done by either starting a running session in the Mi Band app, or using a third party app that has the ability to trigger the continuous monitoring, there is a paid but relatively cheap app available called MiBand Tools which adds a persistant notifcation to the notification bar with a toggle for the continuous monitoring which is sufficient to enable use in Endomondo.

One small note of caution, the supplied rubber wrist band into which the device itself fits is not especially large so if you have thick wrists you may need to look into an alternate strap.

Hope this is of use to someone who is looking for the same solution I was.

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How do you build a cheap iPhone? Use a lot of old parts

Phil W
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"I'd almost be tempted back but I like my BB Classic's keyboard & scrollpad too much. Plus, I get the sense BB phones are gonna be collector items soon :("

BlackBerry OS phones maybe, but hardware wise hopefully not. I've just bought a Priv, and it's frankly fantastic. Coming from Samsung Note 2 and 3 previously I'm not at all disappointed in the Priv and hopefully plenty of other people won't be either and we'll see some more decent Android handsets from them in future.

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Blighty's nuclear deterrent will get a software upgrade amid cyber-war fears

Phil W
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To be fair the first sentence did not explicitly state that the 48 warheads were evenly distributed between the 16 missiles and there is no information provided as to the maximum number of warheads each missiles can carry.

48 warheads across 16 missiles could be 15 missiles with 1 warhead each plus 1 missile with 33 warheads, for those occasions when you want to blow up one target a lot and 15 targets only a bit.

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Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Phil W
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"The last thing I'll be doing is tapping into my Linux servers from a Windows NSA Spyware box."

Interesting statement. Do you use SELinux at all?

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Amazon WorkSpaces two years on: Are we ready for cloud-hosted Windows desktops?

Phil W
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Re: How does it not have Linux?

Probably because of some proprietary development that Amazon/Google/Whoever made it are unwilling to licence (at a reasonable rate) or open source.

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$17 smartwatch sends something to random Chinese IP address

Phil W
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"Who wouldn't trust "an IP address scrawled on a piece of paper" ?"

Apparently not most of the people who actually use one of those watches, which I guess is not an insignificant number of people. (Though who knows how many buy them, see the scrawled URL and immediately return/bin the watch).

I'd be extremely dubious about downloading an app that could only be acquired from a URL and not via any of the major Android appstores, especially if said URL did not belong to a major known company.

I wouldn't even consider one that gave a URL in the form of an IP address rather than an actual domain name.

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Airwave drops lawsuit against Home Office over EE contract win

Phil W
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Re: Just wait and see

"EE are now owned by BT. We all know that company's reputation for providing services in out of the way places."

You mean exceptionally good? For broadband there are problems sure, but BT do a surprisingly good job of maintaining the ageing copper voice network in some extremely remote locations.

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Samsung now pushing Marshmallows into the Galaxy S6, Edge

Phil W
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Re: And tablets?

The reason you haven't got the update is that Samsung have regional teams for ROM development and release. So before the UK version is made available it will have to be polished and customised for the UK by the UK team, then thoroughly tested. The UK team always seem to be a bit behind other regions.

It gets even more frustrating with phones because although the same process applies to the generic direct from Samsung ROMs for phones that were purchased SIM free from a retailer, it doesn't apply to the customised ROMs for networks. Samsung only perform limited testing on operator customised ROMs and leave final testing and approval for release up to the operator, which in the case of many Samsung models results in the operator ROMs being released long before the Samung generic UK ROM is.

In the case of the Note 3 there was a good 4 or 5 months between the first operator branded ROM for Android 5.0 being released and the eventual release of the Samsung generic ROM.

The slight upside to this is that the Samsung generic ROMs tend to require less updates for bug fixes and stability problems due to more rigorous testing.

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Virgin posts increase in profits and sales amid 900 jobs chop

Phil W
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Re: Mobile

All major networks (and large MVNOs) are like that now.

I used to be with T-Mobile and now EE, but intend to leave once my contract is up.

In the good old days a few weeks before I was due an upgrade I'd go into Carphone warehouse, pick the phone and tariff I wanted only for the CPW staff to say, the computer says your upgrade credit isn't enough and you'll have to pay £xx toward the phone, but we'll call T-Mobile and see what they say. On at least 3 occasions the phone call to T-Mobile effectively went "Oh yeah, he's been a customer for years, we'll bump up the upgrade credit to match the price of the phone no problem!"

Since EE took over CPW can only offer what the computer says and there's no longer anyone for them to call.

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Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Phil W
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Re: Memo

Obligatory response:

That's the kind of password an idiot would have on his luggage.

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