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* Posts by Pen-y-gors

736 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

Pen-y-gors
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The wake?

Methinks something travelling underwater at a lot of mph will leave a fairly obvious surface wake to trace.

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Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Why?

@Mark 85

"Define "innocent"?"

People happily going around minding their own business, working in their fields, going to school, shopping in the market, attending a wedding - when a rocket from a US drone or aircraft abruptly draws their activity to a permanent close, or at least means they have to do it in future without the help of legs.

The US military do have a rather bad record with this you know, and being able to do it at 3600 mph is unlikely to improve their targetting accuracy.

But to be fair, we don't really want anyone else doing this sort of thing either - I suspect the average peasant who's just been blown into the next world isn't too fussed who fired the missile.

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Pen-y-gors
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Why?

Why do they need the ability to kill innocent people anywhere on the planet within 60 mins? Surely their existing capabilities are more than sufficient? Perhaps if they spent the billions (hundreds of billions?) that this is costing on delivering aid to people anywhere on the planet in 60 hours they would have a few more friends and a few less enemies.

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Loss of unencrypted back-up disk costs UK prisons ministry £180K

Pen-y-gors
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Fine should be much smaller

perhaps £5K or so - but it should have to be paid personally by the CEO (or equivalent - in this case the Minister) - then they might actually start paying attention.

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Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids

Pen-y-gors
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Raises an interesting point

Part of the package seems to have been ID card numbers which allow the identification of individuals.

Just shows how important it is to differentiate between requiring account credentials that identify someone authorised to access an account (MickeyMouse23, born 01/01/1900), and credentials that include data to identify the account holder as a unique individual (NI number, Passport number etc). The former means that a hack of one database does not automatically lead to the ability to hack other sites/systems with the same data, which is so much safer.

Always use different account details for every website! For instance, I really can't understand why anyone would want to log in to any website (other than Facebook) with their Facebook account - just asking for trouble when their FB a/c is hacked.

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Pen-y-gors
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They've got you...

It's not actually READING it that's the problem - "(e) transmits the contents of such a publication electronically" - a useful phrase meaning that clicking on the link causes the file to be transmitted electronically to your router, where it is again transmitted to your tablet/phone/laptop etc - they've got you bang to rights, you evil terrorist!

As far as the plods are concerned, using any electronic equipment makes you a terrorist suspect

Good to read that someone is challenging them - can we have the name of the senior officer who authorised the statement? At a minimum they need to be sent off for some lengthy re-training, ideally they should spend a year or two on traffic duty in Port Stanley. They are obviously unfit for their current role.

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BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes

Pen-y-gors
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It wouldn't be so bad...

if the price increases were to cover increased investment in and improvements to the network and service. In fact it's to cover the cost of £300 million a year (about £50 per broadband subscriber) that they wasted on buying Premier footy.

I don't want to watch footy. Please can I have a £50 cut in my annual line rental?

By all means provide an option to watch footy, but please do it as an optional extra, which is paid for entirely by those opting in to the service.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Pen-y-gors
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How about Rockall?

Unlikely to worry any of the locals if you launch from there.

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Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: @ Pen-y-gors -- Manufactured story

Damn! Forgot to post as AC via my VPN - better go and hide in the garden shed now...

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Manufactured story

'may' equals 'if the plods are in a bad mood'. Laws which rely on the whim of the police are very, very bad laws. Good laws are clear and precise and allow everyone to know in advance whether or not something is an offence, and they are enforced consistently, and on all occasions. Even clear definitions of offences are bad law if the police only catch/prosecute offenders 1 time in a thousand (e.g. many traffic offences).

Current UK Terrorism laws are really not good laws and the sooner they are repealed the better. Exisiting laws are more than adequate - believe it or not, killing people or conspiring to kill people has been illegal for a long, long time. No need for special legislation.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Two girls and a cup

I'm sure I should know this, but I don't get out much - what exactly is two girls and a cup? From the context I suspect it's something I really don't want to Google!

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Pen-y-gors
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Prevention of Terrorism

Yet another example of why UK anti-terrorism legislation is a complete pile of badly-drafted, totalitarian, ineffective crap.

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Heartbleed implicated in US hospital megahack

Pen-y-gors
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A new definition of 'trusted'

A person "involved in the investigation who wasn’t authorised to comment publicly" blamed the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug...

"This confirmation of the initial attack vector was obtained from a trusted and anonymous source close to the CHS investigation

So, you define someone who blabs about an ongoing investigation, even though they are banned from commenting, as 'trusted'? It's a strange world that some people live in.

I would suggest sacking the entire team doing the investigation as at least one of them cannot be trusted, and therefore none of them can be trusted.

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Pen-y-gors
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Why?

see title

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Pen-y-gors
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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

"£1000 for a portable, reliable laptop with desktop-class performance can be a perfectly good investment for a uni student over their already expensive multi year studies."

Very true, but university is not school...

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No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford

Pen-y-gors
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Man United 0 Terrorists 1

Another away win for the terrorists, and they didn't even have to turn up.

By all means ban tablets and laptops at matches, concerts etc, but please don't roll out the old "it's to stop the terrorists" excuse - just ignore the terrorists and they lose.

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Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Pen-y-gors
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Very odd

I actually had a look at the Uber website out of curiosity. Definite gaps in the FAQs, no answers on the site to questions like

"How much can I earn as a driver"

"How much does it cost"

"Is it available in my city/town/remote patch of rural Wales"

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: 4G Android tablet is easy to swallow

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Facebook

Upvote - it's not just Facebook and not just Samsung. Why oh why oh why do manufacturers insist on pre-loading apps (ok, I could live with that) but then not letting you uninstall ones you have absolutely no need of.

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Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Anam

Not quite..ainm = name

anam = soul

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World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Pen-y-gors
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Re: I was amazed at how SMALL these aircraft were

Some years ago I had a holiday job at RAF Scampton washing Vulcans for 617 squadron (beats stacking shelves in Tesco!). As a treat one day they let me go into the static Lanc they had at the main gate to vacuum it - boy, was it cramped! And it was made worse as it was a very sunny summer day and every time bare flesh brushed against metal I got burned - serious respect for the thousands who sat in them for hours on end while being shot at.

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Pen-y-gors
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Impressively long lived

It's amazing that they can keep two Lancs flying for nearly seventy years! Sadly not true for other aircraft - Vulcan XH778 is still going now, but next year she'll hit the buffers because of the rules about flying hours for some of the airframe components, and that will presumably be that. Keep an eye open for her at shows this year and next, as it'll be your last chance

More at http://www.vulcantothesky.org/ - they need £200K to service her for next year's displays.

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Gov.uk's broadband boast: Superfast fibre piped to 1 million Brits

Pen-y-gors
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He's a politician...

'nuff said.

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Hacker crew nicks '1.2 billion passwords' – but WHERE did they all come from?

Pen-y-gors
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Practical action?

As noted above, couldn't one or all of the main e-mail providers do something?

Lately several of my sites have been getting hit by form spammers - these usually involve links to compromised websites that host their crap. Could not Google/Yahoo/Microsoft at least use their spam filtering system to identify sites that appear to have been compromised (often small sites running wordpress as far as I can tell!) and send email to the site owner (based on DNS records) to alert them to the fact? Then everyone might start tightening things up.

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Who will kill power companies? TESLA, says Morgan Stanley

Pen-y-gors
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Close, but no coconut

They can probably shift a lot of batteries for use in cars, where people are willing to shell out a lot of dosh anyway.

For general stored energy they need to switch to different technologies (a lot seem to be on the drawing board) which can store energy (from solar, wind, CHP via the grid, whatever) at a seriously low capital cost - $250/kWH? Try more like $25/kWH.

I would want to be able to store enough energy at my current usage levels for 4 days with no sun/wind etc (that's about 100kWH). Ideally I'd want to get rid of my oil-fired combi boiler and switch to electric, so probably double that to 200kWH. Provided the batteery stack lasts for at least 10 years, and sits quietly in the corner, I'd be happy to pay a few grand for that (but NOT $50K!). And then I'd be happy to pay another few grand for 10-15kW peak of nice cheap soon-to-be-developed-cheap-perovskite PV.

Tesla has a way to go before he can match that spec. But someone will (maybe Tesla) and in the not-too-distant future. But they still have a way to go.

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We sent a probe SIX BILLION km to measure temperature of a COMET doing 135,000 km/h

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Hurrah for Boffins.

Yep, not bad for a bunch of ape-descended life-forms who think that iPhones are a pretty neat idea.

Makes you proud to be human.

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Twitter hints at messaging moves

Pen-y-gors
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Excuse my ignorance...

What can instant messaging offer that e-mail doesn't? If someone sends me an e-mail my mail app goes 'ping' very shortly afterwards - and it's not limited to 140 characters.

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US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account

Pen-y-gors
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Actually seems fairly reasonable...

They have a court order, based on evidence of wrong-doing. A court wouldn't order a telephone intercept "but only phone calls from criminals" - the intercept would cover everything. Ditto with an e-mail account. What I object to is GCHQ/NSA/other government agencies having access to electronic (or other) activities without a court order relating to a specific individual accused of a specific offence.

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Pen-y-gors
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Treasury Economic Model?

I thought that was actually quite simple -

1) Run program

2) box pops up on screen "Please enter the answers required by your political masters"

3) Type in required answers

4) Print out results (see 3 above)

5) Send output to political masters who then use it to prove whatever lies they are currently peddling.

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Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

Pen-y-gors
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But what about the doodle?

14th or 15th, it's nice that she's being commemorated (but 156th anniversary? What's special about that?)

But at a slight tangent, I'm surpiseed at the doodle itself - why such an odd palette of black and sepia - shouldn't they have used the purple, green and white of the WSPU in there somewhere?

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BT: Whew, we've been cleared of major privacy breach. Oh SNAP, another webmail blunder

Pen-y-gors
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Slowly does it

I assume the problems with spammers and the old BT mail are the same as with yahoo mail, so not entirely BT's fault - there's something badly wrong with yahoo/BT as accounts have been getting hacked for a couple of years at least, usually resulting in a slew of "Help, I'm at a conference in Nairobi and my wallet and airticket have been stolen" emails.

I hope the new BT mail will be better, but it's not looking good - I've had complaints from at least four or five people moaning that after the migration their e-mail is unusable - 10 minutes to download a message, time-outs when trying to send etc. I just tell them to phone BT support.

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

Pen-y-gors
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Ah, the wonder...

of someone hacking in and 4.1 billion leds across the world simultaneously flashing "Buy cheap Viagra at http://whatever.com" in morse code.

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Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

Pen-y-gors
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"Providers have no reason to retain the data"

Exactly, so if the government insist on the right to snoop, then they must bear ALL the costs of keeping data beyond the very limited time period that the ISPs may need it - and let's insist that it comes out of the Police budgets. How many front-line police are they willing to cut to get hold of this data?

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Star Wars: These are the 'unknown' actors we were looking for

Pen-y-gors
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Fan Bingbing?

Really, someone wanders around planet Earth with the name Fan Bingbing????? What were his/her/its parents thinking? Or is it some odd effect of Equity demanding unique names for members?

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Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View

Pen-y-gors
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But, but, but...

unless the mansion has a large sign outside saying "Tony Bliar Lives here" what is the point of blurring it? How would real people using streetview have any idea who lives in a particular mansion (unless someone had kindly spray-painted "Alleged war criminal lives here" on the wall).

Blurring number-plates and faces is reasonable - it's individually identifiable info, but a house?

Is this the start of a nice new website - "blurryhouses.com" that has photos of all the blurred houses on Streetview, plus a nice searchable index of who lives there? Much more of a problem to the 'celebs' than just being buried anonymously in Streetview. Streisand effect?

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

Pen-y-gors
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Maybe it would be a lot simpler...

...if we just banned all flights (and voyages) to and from the USA? Then there would be no risk of trrrrsts getting in to the USA, or blowing up aircraft en route, and the rest of the world could start thinking about implementing genuine, effective and simple security measures on other flights. TSA and DHS could be shut down and the money saved spent on Education. Also americans would have to stay at home and wouldn't have to be exposed to the awful reality that is the real world.

A definite win-win.

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Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

Pen-y-gors
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Depends what they're after...

If Putin just wants to make sure he can do an NSA on the data, then they should be happy with a copy of the data inside Russia. If they have genuine data protection and privacy concerns then they'll want the data to be stored ONLY in Russia.

I mean, would any responsible dictator want his/her citizens' data stored in the US, where any old government employee could spy on it?

And how is this different to the EU not trusting certain countries (Nigeria, USA etc) with financial transaction data?

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New research: Flash is DEAD. Yet resistance isn't futile - it's key

Pen-y-gors
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Sometimes I wonder...

Very clever etc, great boffinry.

I know that "no-one will ever need more than 640K of RAM" etc. but do we really need to store these insane amounts of data, other than in a few extreme use cases (NSA/GCHQ, Radio telescopes, unread backups). If we're now able to store 1TB on something the size of a postage stamp, what more do we realistically need? Amazon are selling 128GB SD cards for £50, which will hold 30 DVDs, 3,000 hours of radio-quality MP3, 30,000 high-res photos or about 200,000 Project Gutenberg books. That's on just ONE flash card.

There's a limit to how much pr0n and cat photos even the nerdiest nerd could want to download and keep.

</old fart mode>

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New Russian law punishes online 'extremism'

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Re: This is news?

Look on the bright side, if 'extremist' websites etc were banned in the UK then the Tory website would go off-line and no more tweets etc from Gove.

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Remaining Snowden docs will be released to avert 'unspecified US war' – ‪Cryptome‬

Pen-y-gors
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Re: "Freedom isnt free..."

"Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom - and it has always been this way - when the IRA were blowing pubs up it was going on, in the cold war it was going on, through both world wars it went on - and it will continue to be that way in the future."

True to an extent - the government need to keep an eye on the baddies - the problem is when they decide that every person on the planet is a baddie, and start watching everyone. And then we get the 'everyone is a potential terrorisit' issue - anyone want a cup of tea at Wimbledon?

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Chromebook Pixel owners' promised free data plans being prematurely axed

Pen-y-gors
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Prior art

Santander Business Bank in the UK had a similar problem a couple of years ago. They had taken over Abbey National who had a very useful small business online account - no charges if you stayed within certain limits (50 cheques a month etc). Worked fine, very popular.

Then some marketing wonk at Santander decided they were going to 'improve' things and offer extra services (which the customers probably wouldn't want or use) but of course there would have to be a new, compulsory, monthly charge to cover them.

Problem for Santander was that some of the angry customers remembered that the account had been sold as 'free for life', and some of us had the documentation and sales leaflets to prove it. Wisely Santander backed down after a lot of negative publicity, and agreed to retain the free account for ever for existing customers.

Putting promises in writing can be such a bummer!

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Pen-y-gors
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Corporate re-branding horror...

In the dim and distant I worked for Pearl Assurance, who fell prey to the branding consultant nutters. In one year we got through FOUR corporate logos! The first relaunch required that all staff from across the land be bussed down to Wembley Conference Centre in the middle of some awful blizzards. That logo lasted three months!

Please can we have the 'B' ark ASAP?

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Restaurant chain uses CARBON PAPER to fight credit card hack

Pen-y-gors
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What's so special about them?

How come the Secret Service are involved? Or were Obama's card details nicked?

Writing the details on the slip by hand isn't difficult - I remember that approach being used on many occasions. And slips are even less secure than swiping - the full card number is stored by the merchant on the slip and the carbon gets sold to the waiter's dodgy brother-in-law's neighbour's mate

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Urine a goldmine for fuel-cell materials: boffins

Pen-y-gors
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Costs?

From reading anothe article on it, it seems to involve heating the stuff for 48hrs to drive off the water than heating again to 1000 degrees C for six hours. So not negligible energy inputs then, but presumably still cheaper than Carbon/platinum electrodes.

Neat idea though.

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One EURO PATENT COURT ruling for all from 'early 2015'

Pen-y-gors
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What would be really useful...

would be if the court could rule that certain silly non-EU patents are invalid within the EU (e.g. all those US patents which aren't properly examined, are trivial, irrelevant and where clear prior art exists.)

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Four years in chokey for Haxxor behind George W Bush NUDE SELFIES

Pen-y-gors
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I think he may have a point...

At least once a week I get a malware-loaded e-mail from the hacked account of one contact or another (usually hotmail or aol). This must translate into millions of hacked accounts every day. So far I've not heard of any investigations, let alone any prosecutions. Maybe the owners of the accounts aren't important enough?

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Tech talk bloke compares girlfriend to irritating Java tool – did he deserve flames?

Pen-y-gors
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Alternative viewpoint

Looks beautiful

Complains a lot

Demands my attention

Interrupts me when I'm working

Doesn't play well with my other friends

That's a perfect description of my office cat - the one who just walked across my keyboard and is now loudly complaining that I won't haven't taken her for a walk yet today.

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What data recovery software would you suggest?

Pen-y-gors
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True Image good

Been using it for years, with backups going to a NAS drive in a different building (paranoid? moi?). I do weekly drive image and daily data directory differential backups, so have daily snapshots of data and weekly of drive doing back for some months. As any backup can be mounted as a normal drive it's very useful for those "Oh shit I wish I hadn't deleted/updated that file yesterday" moments.

The NAS drive is important. For damaged drives then there's no problem backing up onto a different drive in the same box or another box next to it on the desk. But when a burglar nicks anything electronic? Or the flames start licking throught he room? What use is your backup then? If your data is your livelihood then paranoia is really, really good. Make sure that at least some of your backups are going off-site.

Anti-virus cleanup? I suggest multiple solutions. Had to clean a friends win8 box recently that had nasties crawling everywhere. McAfee (installed on box) wasn't spotting much. Ran Kaspersky Rescue CD that found and deleted 80 nasties, McAfee then said it was clean. Then manually deleted a couple more! Then ran AVG rescue disk that found another 9 nasties. Then disabled one last startup thingie and it seems to all be okay now. If he'd had incremental/differential data backup it would have been a lot easier jut to go back a few days.

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ARG! A GHOST SHIP! Pirates sunk by UK cops return from watery grave

Pen-y-gors
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Errrm...

"If a website fails to comply and engage with the police, then a variety of other tactical options may be used including: contacting the domain registrar informing them of the criminality and seeking suspension of the site and disrupting advertising revenue."

Errm...how about asking a court to make some sort of order? Obviously not legally enforceable outside UK/EU (as appropriate) but may have a wee bit more impact than a letter from some plod saying they aren't happy. Courts actually consider all the evidence.

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

"Sure, as long as you are ready to pay the full price for your smartphone."

I did - and my Sony Experia still won't let me uninstall Facebook, Twitter, a load of silly games etc...and I really can't be arsed to go through the faff of tooting it.

No more Sony for me.

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Former Azzurri project manager who stole £1.3m ordered to pay back £146k

Pen-y-gors
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Seems reasonable

but how come none of our incredibly talented investment bankers (you know, the ones who have to get obscene salaries and bonuses to make sure we get the best) have had THEIR assets confiscated?

Oh, I know, it must be because none of them have been charged with anything - even if their greed and incompetence managed to piss untold billions up the wall.

If you're going to fail, do it really big and no-one can touch you.

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