Feeds

* Posts by Pen-y-gors

663 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

Page:

Is tech the preserve of the young able-bodied? Let's talk over a fine dinner and claret

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Strewth!

That's what happens when smart-arse visual designers are let loose on the web - form triumphs over functionality. This one sounds like a candidate for websitesthatsuck.com

2
0

Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Rotatable?

Horrible to use sounds like an understatement - I suspect it would feel as if your brain was leaking out of your ears.

2
0

BSkyB, CityFibre, TalkTalk pull clear of bigwig BT's bundles – plan to set fibre to York

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Interesting

...and when do they plan to offer gigabit FTTP to homes in Llanfair-ym-Mechain, Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Drumnadrochit?

What's that? When hell freezes over?

1
0

So you invent a wireless network using LEDs, what do you do next? Add solar panels. Boom

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Another plus point

...no leakage and so better security. So long as you've got line of sight (not too tricky to arrange) you can use it to connect multiple devices within a room, but with no danger of your LiFi being slurped by a passing Googlemobile or general ne'er-do-well.

2
0

Revoke, reissue, invalidate: Stat! Security bods scramble to plug up Heartbleed

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Has it been exploited?

Just ask NSA/GCHQ...

6
3

Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

poacher/gamekeeper

It strikes me that letting a committee of MPs decide whether another MP is bent is a bit like a burglar having a jury of twelve good burglars and true at their trial.

Time for a truly independent system.

30
0

French firms: You want us to compile DATABASES... of our SECRET information?

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

What's the problem?

An A4 file containing all the relevant information is technically a database. It's harder to hack than magnetic media and it's more durable. Make it accessible in a locked room, with secure access to authorised people et voila, Robert est votre oncle.

12
0

'Hello, is that the space station? NASA here. Can you put us through to Moscow?'

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Good news for SpaceX

I think they may find that there's some extra cash to get them to speed things up a tad so they can do manned flights sooner rather than later.

4
0

Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

He has a point - sort of...

One of the joys of Lego in the early days was that it encouraged imagination. Using basic building blocks you could create anything. Then they started bringing out special pieces and sets and it became just another one-use toy, or at best a jigsaw - build whatever is on the box. These figures are the same - kids don't really need a Lord Vampyre figure - if they want to pretend they're fighting the dark lord from their spaceship then they should be able to take a nice friendly smiling 'Mr Bun the Baker' (or whatever) figure and PRETEND he's a mega-vampyre.

All these specialist bits are just a way to extract more money out of kids and their parents.

Obviously Playmobil doesn't count...

14
1

Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Why do we have stock markets?

The key word is 'long term' - if I or my pension fund is investing to give me a return of several percent p.a. for the next decade, then 0.5% at the beginning really should be pretty invisible (or 0.2% or whatever, just not 0.005%) - and if it's going to hurt 'the market' that much then allow investors to claim it against tax when they sell after 5 years

It wouldn't actually seriously raise the cost of investment to companies - it's the investor who is paying. And I would think many companies would welcome a bit of long term stability in their investor portfolio. Even if they do somehow end up picking up the tab, then if a 0.5% extra at the outset is all that stands between them and ruin then they're already a pretty bad bet for investment.

5
3
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Why do we have stock markets?

It's simple - to allow companies to raise the money to expand their business, for the benefit of all concerned, and for investors to invest their money in worthwhile businesses, to generate long-term returns. Anything else, such as the casino of HFT is generally against the principles of the stock market. Businesses should be able to have investors who want long term stable growth for the company, and who take an interest in the work of the company, not investors who know no more about the business than the stock exchange ticker name.

Two simple solutions, which wouldn't harm businesses and long-term investors, but would largely kill off the parasites:

1) The transaction tax - 0.5% should be invisible to a long-term investor

2) Returning to the use of papaer share certificates and share registers - no-one is the legal owner of stock until they hold the paper certificate and it is registered with the company; no-one can sell stock unless they are in physical possession of the certificates.

9
3

Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Another google April fool

This morning some silly thing appeared when I went into Google Mail offering me the option of having 'Shelfies' (Shared Selfies) as my theme - which would change every hour!

How I laughed...

1
0

MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Could competition have worked?

Virgin? What have they got to do with rural broadband? Look at a map of their coverage -

http://maps.thinkbroadband.com/?utm_source=mainsite&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=maps&utm_content=header#!lat=54.43621959127021&lng=-2.74108774609374&zoom=6&type=terrain&cable-coverage

It's hilarious. The day that I see Virgin laying fibre along the country lanes of East Anglia, Yorkshire, Cornwall and Ceredigion, is the day I might take them seriously. They're only interested in cheap and cheerful high-density housing.

In terms of rural services, there really is no competition and there probably shouldn't be. What's the sense of five companies laying pipes/cable/fibre whatever into a rural area with a population of a few hundred? Better to have a monopoly with controls to ensure they a) provide a fair service and b) don't rip off the customers.

8
0

ISPs CAN be ordered to police pirates by blocking sites, says ECJ

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Read it carefully...

It does seem a bit silly, but the article suggests that they can only be required to block specific pirated content, NOT an entire website. Call-me-Dave please take note.

6
0

Rule of law: Turkish court nixes government Twitter ban ... for now

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

It's all rather illogical

I thought Turkey was keen to join the EU? Blocking free communication is not the way to go about it.

Oh hang on, wait a minute - isn't that what Call-me-Dave is doing? Is this a backdoor way to get the UK thrown out of the EU? (And then the Scots can have the UK seat)

1
0

Facebook Oculus VR buyout: IT WANTS your EYEBALLS

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Sold their souls?

If I had a product that was still in development and Zuck offered me $2 BEEEEELLION for it, I think I might say yes. And if it was Beelzebub offering the dosh I'd settle for $1billion.

I really can't blame them. This is like winning the lottery twice weekly for the next couple of years!

11
2

Forget sledgehammers – crooks can CRACK ATMs with a TEXT

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Neat!

There are some clever people out there...lucky for us they've decided to go into crime rather than getting jobs at GCHQ or the NSA.

23
1

Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Enter the metric pole?

Very sensible.

Metric is easy to do calculations in.

Imperial tends to correspond well to the size of everyday natural objects.

So metric feet, metric ton, metric pound, metric pole, metric firkin, metric mile all seem to be a sensible and practical compromise.

I remember being in a French market and people were asking for a livre of whatevers, and they've been metric for a couple of centuries.

7
1

Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

MMXIV

MMXIV seems to fit nicely on one edge - but are they going to have to make the coins bigger when we get to MMXXXVIII?

2
0

iPhone 6 FEELS your heat, wetness... and it'll TELL Apple – report

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Tinfoil hat

don't worry - the crazies in US law enforcement are the only people on the planet who still think 'Lie Detectors' actually work! If they want a useful and effective attachment they should include a tea-leaf reader.

1
0

Brit 'naut Major Tim could carry YOUR name into SPAAAAACCEEE

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Already entered...

with 'Bugger Bognor' - being in the ISS has to be better than anywhere on the ground, particularly Bognor. And of course it has historical importance as the originator of the quote was related to most of the crowned heads of Europe.

0
0

Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

And another triumph:

the creator of Britain's first armed police force (Civil Nuclear Constabulary), which he allegedly used for strike-breaking

1
2

Bill Gates-backed SOLAR POO RAYGUN COMMODE unveiled

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

One slight niggle

Excellent idea, and some good lateral thinking, but this whole appropriate/alternative technology often works best when it can be fixed by a village blacksmith/odd-job-man - how common are African odd-job-men who can hadle fibre optics?

And one question - I assume the wee is filtered out into a tank for direct use on the fields, otherwise it'll take a lot of sunlight to boil it all dry.

0
0

BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

I must admit...

I'd never even heard of Buzzzfeed until I read the comments on this article. After a quick glance I hope I never hear of it again.

I must stay in more.

4
0

UK.gov to train up 11-year-old cyberwarriors

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Won't someone think of the children?

See title

0
0

Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

And the lesson we learn is...

if an iPad owner dies, don't tell Apple, just forge a letter from the deceased requesting that they send unlock codes to Mr XXX.

Or in fact why wait for the owner to die? Just send a forged letter anyway.

3
5

Psssst. Don't tell the Bride, but BBC Three is about to be jilted

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: The DG speaks

To be fair, the BBC seem to produce a hell of a lot more quality material (even ignoring BBC3) for £3.6bn than say, Sky do with a turnover of £7.2bn

7
3

NASA robot plans mid-2020s trip: Europa. Wet, radioactive life forms (hopefully). Bliss

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Seems amazingly cheap

At that sort of price they could probably get it funded on Kickstarter.

3
0

CIA snoops snooped on Senate to spy spy torture report – report

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Time to start again?

There are times when a system is so badly screwed up that you have to give up trying to patch it and just have to shut it down and design something new that works.

The USian 'security' services seem to have reached that point. The NSA, CIA etc are so totally corrupt and broken that they need to be immediately wound up and a new, properly controlled and appropriate security service built up from scratch, with no staff transferred from the old ones (who can be shipped to Gitmo for a few years). Yes it will hurt in the short term, but it's the only long term solution.

2
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Tail wagging the dog.

"These people need to be whipped back into line and told in no uncertain terms that they are the servants and not the masters."

Fixed that for you

14
1

Cyber battle apparently under way in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Got to love Putin.....

If Putin wants to show how macho he is why can't he just follow the traditional route and get himself 50 concubines and father hordes of bastards? Much cheaper (and more fun) than demonstrating that he's all man and not-at-all-in-any-way-a-gay-icon by invading the neighbours.

1
0

Child sex abuse image peddlers dodge UK smut filters and demand Bitcoin payments

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

IWF are a bit out of date...

Have they only just discovered that naughty people have been hacking small business websites to host their junk? e.g. viagra ads etc. They've been doing it for years - just look at the links in any spam e-mail. Half the time they go to a deep directory in www.my-little-dog-groomers.de or similar.

And interestingly about half of the hacked sites seem to be running wordpress...

1
0

China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

4000 times the 'safe' level?

If you read the original article it says that last October levels were 4000% the safe level, not 4000 times. Slight difference (two orders of magnitude)

at 4000 times the safe level you could cut chunks out of the atmosphere with a knife!

7
0

Dating app spent months as STALKING app

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Always the unnecessary hi-tech solution

What's wrong with the traditional way of stalking? You sneak up to the stalkees home at night, fill their bedroom with sleepy-gas of some sort, then while they're unconscious you get your tame struck-off-alcoholic-doctor to operate to insert a small radio device under their skin (where they won't notice) and then you can track them for months (or until the battery goes flat).

Who needs leaky software? And this method works without getting the stalkee to use a 'dating app' (whatever one of those is)

3
0

Dropbox erects sueball shield with new T&C and privacy legalese

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Not totally unreasonable...

The first point mentioned, about "if you're unhappy, tell us first" seems perfectly reasonable and sensible, so long as they actually try and sort things out. And banning class actions? Well, class actions seem to be something devised by the American legal system to ensure that lawyers get very rich (sorry, that should be "even richer than they already are"), and generally have nothing to do with getting 'justice' for the plaintiffs. Arbitration? Fundamentally a good idea - but a bit limited geographically.

8
3

Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Time for a Sting?

Couldn't some nice people buy some old copper from BT and tout it round all the scrappies in an area and see who is willing to pay cash?

13
1

LinkedIn censors self to launch in China

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Good excuse to close my account

It's pretty pointless anyway, so [**censored**] LinkedIn

1
0

London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Why just major cities?

theninthcircleofhell.isbetterthan.london

evenbognorregis.isbetterthan.london

1
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: What a load of old pony

Alberts? = Albert Memorials? = Editorials?

1
0

Free space optics gets shiny new snake-oil paint job

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

The world would be a better place

if the stock exchanges banned high-frequency trading ('gambling') - it serves no real-world purpose, i.e. the companies whose stock is being traded, and the 'real' investors in those companies derive no benefit ( the only reason for having stock exchanges in the first place).

15
0

PayPal 'n' Google's FIDO drops 'simpler, stronger' secure login spec

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge
Thumb Down

One fundamental flaw...

When I use username+pw (ideally with 2 factor) then this says that the authorised user of the account (whoever DodgyDavidCameron27 is) is requesting access. It says nothing about who the authorised user actually is. Once you start getting into fingerprints, retina scans etc it becomes a matter of saying that Mr Anthony Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam, NI number AB 123456A, DOB 12/5/1924, member of the Royal Marine Commando Club etc is asking for access to the account. Bye-bye anonymity.

The plan must have been dreamed up by NSAGCHQ...

4
2

Mars Orbiter spots FRESH IMPACT CRATER

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Bloody N(A)SA

First they spy on everyone on our little blue planet, now they've got their CCTV cameras monitoring alien planets as well. Is nowhere safe from their intrusion? Next they'll be bugging Opportunity and Curiosity's e-mail to check they aren't consorting with little green trrrrrsts.

5
0

Ker-ching...Er, ZZZWIP: Square-alike mobile swipe type scores $96m

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Oh yes?

"If you put something into a basket with an online shop without completing the purchase and then walk into retail branch they will spot that you are the same customer"

and exactly why do they think this is a good thing? And why on earth would the customer (you and me) think this is a good thing?

Sales assistant (in loud voice): "Ah, good afternoon Mother Theresa, welcome to Boots, would you like to pick up that bulk pack of pregnancy testing kits you put in your online basket yesterday?"

3
2

Facebook's dying? HA! Get ready for another DECADE of us – Zuck

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Bad investment opportunity

Even if (god forbid) Zuck is right, there is still a big hole in their economic model.

FB is currently valued at $131 Billion - insane money (from insane investors). If the company lasts for another decade then it needs to pay out $13 billion in dividends every year to compensate for it being worrthless in 10 years. So far it hasn't paid out any dividends. Earnings per share are less than 1% of the valuation. Can they increase earnings ten-fold?

I think FB is now a touchstone for financial advice. If you meet a financial advisor who owns or recommends buying FB shares, run away very fast.

4
0

MP 'shocked' at failures 'at the top' of the BBC over epic DMI tech fail

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

How on earth...

do they spend £100million before discovering it doesn't work?

A project like this would be pretty costly, but mainly in the sheer grunt work of digitising decades of material and creating the metadata, and the cost of the hardware. Building a digital media library is not a fundamentally complicated concept. Surely one does a pilot/proof of concept then build it up to a full system and only then do you buy hardware and start digitising.

So how in heaven's name can they spend £100 million?

4
0

Lloyds Group probes server crash behind ATM, cash card outage

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Dear Banks

I think that customers have a right to demand far more robustness from Bank (and other vital institutions) IT systems than there currently is.

I don't entirely agree - a large proportion of personal customers in the UK don't actually pay for a current account (okay, charges for overdrafts etc) but basic banking is free. Once this was funded by the fact that they didn't pay interest on current accounts, but with interest rates at zero they don't have any income to pay for the services. It's a bit like Google - you can't really complain or have expectations about something you're getting for nowt.

But yes, on the whole bankers are overpaid parasitic scum who should be condemned to twenty years chained to an oar in the bottom level of the slave galleys.

2
1

Quivering, spine-tingling wearable tech: Strap it on and don't look back

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Lo-tech alternatives

Been there, done that...martyr to major back problems (thanks to years of sitting badly in front of computers)

The short term solution for many years was the odd visit to various very helpful chiropractors, who usually managed to sort things out temporarily, but it always came back as it was a posture problem.

Finally someone recommended Alexander Technique, which aims to teach you how to re-train your whole posture. Found a wonderful local teacher. It took a while and quite a few quid, but worth every penny and then some. No more back problems. A few years ago I couldn't stand, sit or walk comfortably for more than fifteen minutes, now I can stand all day.

I really, really recommend finding a good Alexander Teacher - and possibly then add on some technical gadgetry like this to help keep you on the straight and narrow once you really understand the principles of good posture.

2
2

Vile Twitter trolls thrown in the cooler for rape abuse tweet spree

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Appropriate punishment?

I believe that jail is rarely the appropriate punishment for one-off and non-violent crime, but we do need something simple and easy to deal with utter dickheads - surely a few days in the pillory getting pelted with rotten tomatoes would be more appropriate?

Sometimes the old ways are the best ways...(okay, perhaps not trial by combat or chucking witches into ponds, but sometimes...)

5
0

Facebook debunks Princeton's STUDY OF DOOM in epic comeback

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

What would be very interesting...

is if FB published real data of active users/new signups etc for the last 5 years or so. Then we'd see what the curve was like. Can't see it happening though...

4
0

Margaret Hodge, PAC are scaring off new biz: Treasury source

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: How about...

I agree, but t's not quite that simple. You have to allow companies to offset legitimate expenses against income, and that opens the loopholes. Salaries - obviously okay. Materials purchased to make the product - okay again. Software licences e.g. Windows desktops? Yep. How about using software and computer services at a 'partner company' overseas? Reasonable, but who sets the charges? Ditto with intellectual and trademark rights - who decides how much Starbucks UK pays to use the Starbucks name?

1
0

Page: