* Posts by Pen-y-gors

986 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

Page:

Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Poor Oisin

It's all a bit of a balls-up: El Nob Grande is a total prat, but I do wonder if things could have been sorted out with an offer of grovelling apology and considerable financial compensation from JC.

The way it's going now, there will be no more Top Gear, The Beeb will be out of pocket to the tune of £50m a year, May and Hammond will also be out of a job, and, most ironic of all, so probably will be Oisin.

13
0

LOOK OUT, Brits – is that a Facebook LASER-GUN drone above us?

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Thanjkfully...

I don't think the average Chinook can fly at 60-90,000 feet, so very, very little risk of collision.

Shotguns aren't much use at that height either. You're going to have to use a laser-equipped LOHAN.

9
0

How a hack on Prince Philip's Prestel account led to UK computer law

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

New laws?

"It is a precedent in English criminal law that new laws will not be considered unless existing law is shown to be inadequate,"

Oh yes? Could someone explain that to the current crop of ministers (Con, Lab and Lib) who seem to write new laws in response to every headline in the Daily Fail, regardless of whether there are already perfectly effective laws on the Statute Book (just ones which the Peelers can't be arsed to enforce.)

11
1

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Free market?

"Vodafone, Sky and the other ISPs and telcos, which have to buy services from BT."

I don't think they HAVE to buy services from Openreach. No-one's stopping them laying their own cable and setting up their own network and exchanges, it's just none of them seem very keen to do it. Can't think why.

16
6

IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

I have a cunning plan...

Has anyone thought that this might actually be a cunning ploy by someone in the US 'security' industry? Basically a honeypot to lure out would-be jihadi-kiddies by suggesting some nice tempting targets, who are in fact armed and ready. Excellent way to uncover the ones who aren't already on the radar, and being ignored.

5
0

Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

NI numbers?

What the fec has an NI number got to do with voting registration? Or passport number?

NI numbers are issued to working people to allow certain benefits, pensions and tax to be processed. That's it. They have no validity for anything else, and it's wrong to ask people for them for anything else.

Ditto passport numbers. A passport is issued to allow the holder to enter the country, or to enter another country. That's it. They have no validity for anything else, and it's wrong to ask people for them for anything else.

There is some serious mission creep here. It's nearly as bad as the government requiring us to provide details to them to register a vehicle, and then selling that personal infoirmation to anyone who asks for it. It's wrong.

10
1

Taylor Swift snaps up EVEN MORE pr0n domain names

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Emma Chisit?

Anyone know how much .pr0n domains will cost for everyday amateur buyers?

1
0

Everything is insecure and will be forever says Cisco CTO

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: His view

True, things could be very secure, but not completely secure. Even if people could be persuaded to pay extra for very secure, and to wait for the extra time it takes to develop and test 'very secure', there would still be holes.

We still need to develop a culture that accepts that security breaches will happen, in the same way that houses will catch fire or get flooded. We need to work to minimise the chances of it happening, but we also have to develop and implement systems and procedures to minimise the damage when it does, inevitably, happen.

1
0

Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Dot matrix? Pah!

Modern stuff!

Real mainframes used the old line printers, with individual sets of characters on a band that went round and hit the paper like a typewriter letter. From what I remember when we used them on an IBM 370/148 they did about 600 lines per minute. The technology was handy for doing multiple copies as we had lineflo paper with carbon paper interleaved.

A colleague had worked for the Gas Board as an operator some years before, and one of their people had realised that if you printed certain combinations of characters repeatedly you got different sounds from the printer as the bands vibrated. They then worked on the details, and soon had a set of cards ready which, when run, got the printer to play the National Anthem.

I believe that was the same colleague who had a problem one day: the bosses were bringing important guests to see their ultra-modern machine room, but complained afterwards that it had been very dull and boring - they were all just sitting around doing nothing. Of course they were actually in the middle of a long billing run, and the numbers were being crunched. So before the next official visit they prepared a program which they ran as soon as the visitors were spotted: it suspended the real job, and then started lights flashing, printer lids going up and down, tapes rewinding and unmounting etc etc. Not exactly productive, but it impressed the hell out of the visitors!

Ah, the joys of real computers!

20
0

Home Office splashed £35m trying to escape e-Borders contract

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Henry VI part II, Act IV Sc 2 line 77

£34.6 million is the equivalent of 1300 people on UK average salary for a year. Which is either a hell of a lot of research or some very over-paid lawyers.

5
0

Are you clever enough, and brave enough, to give a Register lecture

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Not sure about the IT angle but...

I can do an hour or two on the economic impact of lead-mining in 19th century Cardiganshire (the book will be out in a few months, and it would be nice to have a nationwide book-signing tour that goes further than the local bookshop)

3
0

Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Policies aren't the important bit

UKIP may well have some sensible policies (it would be difficult not to accidentaly let one or two sneak through in the middle of the batshit crazy ones) Problem is the party is full of stupid, pig-ignorant, racist bigots, who couldn't be trusted to implement any policies, sensible or not.

A word of advice: even if they have a policy of creating global peace, the elimination of disease and hunger, and education for all, don't vote for someone who is frothing at the mouth and wearing his or her underwear on their head.

12
9

Yahoo! wheels! out! password! on-demand! service! for! simpletons!

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

So...

If you've got a wifi connection, but no phone signal, you can't get at your e-mail. Hmmm, sounds really helpful

1
0

Zuck: Get your FULLY EXPOSED BUTTOCKS off my Facebook

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Tricky

There are already a lot of photos of complete arses on Facebook - will they have to be removed?

10
0

Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Ah, but...

does it come in gold?

No? Not interested....

1
0

Going on holiday? Mexico wants your personal data

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Simple solution

well, two simple solutions.

1) airlines stop flying to/from Mexico

2) Airlines stop asking for all that information. Outsource the whole booking process to another company, who just tell the airline that seat C6 on flight FU999 is booked by the person with boarding pass GG5491066, who wants kosher food. Base the outsourcing company somewhere with really, really tough data protection laws, and delete all the flight info once the plane has landed safely. Passenger shows passport to emigration officer at the gate.

But I'm sure our freedom and privacy-loving goverbments would find a good way to block that.

5
0

Google's chief finance officer quits to go backpacking

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Glasshole?

I would think being forced to wear a pair of turquoise Google Glasses would actually be grounds for a constructive dismissal case.

3
0

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Missing the point here

Real computers that are going to be actually used by real people need to connect to things.

But gold Macs are not meant to be used by real people: they're meant to be seen. They'd still sell with no USB ports, no RAM and no CPU.

3
3

Pro-ISIS script kiddies deface Dublin Rape Crisis Centre site

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Ah, wonderful, wonderful, Wordpress...

And my customers still seem surprised when I try and persuade them that they really, really don't want to use Wordpress to build a quickie website.

A few more examples like this will hopefully help to convince them.

5
9

Bulk comms spying is not mission creep, insists UK foreign sec

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Reasonable access?

"Hammond said there will always be a tension between giving agencies reasonable access to information and the legitimate concern of law-abiding people to protect their private communications."

No there won't. No argument with giving them 'reasonable access' with proper judicial oversight. The tension arises when they take, or the government gives them, totally UNreasonable, indiscriminate, uncontrolled, unregulated access.

14
1

Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Very interesting but...

But rather large. Smartphones fit in pocket/handbag. TREWgrip doesn't. If you've got room in your bag for one of these, you've probably got room for an 11" notebook with real keyboard anyway.

Yes, handy for people who need to type standing up, but that's about it.

14
1

BACK OFF, spooks: UK legal hacking code should be 'resisted at all costs' says lawyer

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Will the spooks be surprised ..

and another (verified) story: soldier's letter was intercepted and appeared to be in code. Sentenced to be shot as a spy. At last minute visiting officer sorted things out - letter was in Welsh!

9
1

Elon Musk insists Gigafactory's ALL GO as China charging fears hit Tesla shares

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Hurry, hurry, hurry...

Gigafactory up and running and producing lots of Li-ion batteries in 2020? Better hurry up:

Interesting article on physorg last week...

Na-ion batteries get closer to replacing Li-ion batteries

2
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Smažený sýr

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Question..q

I wondered that...cheese A seems to have disappeared in the step-by-step

2
0

WHY are GoDaddy and Verisign stockpiling patents? Do I smell war?

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

A patent on a Method of Communicating Information in Physical Form

1) a description of the information to be communicated is converted to a syllabic format.

2) a series of 26 symbols ('letters') is used to encode the sound of each syllable.

3) syllabic series are then combined into groups ('words') which are then combined on the basis of algorithms into a series of groups ('sentences').

4) Plant material is then prepared by boiling, chemical treatment, and pressure into large flat sheets of 'paper'.

5) The sequence of symbols created in step 3 is copied ('written') on to the 'paper' using a dark coloured liquid medium ('ink') and a pointed object designed to fit the human hand ('pen')

That's it. Please send 10% of the selling price of every collection of 'papers' ('book') to be at the usual address.

6
0

East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

UK/GB

I'm confused..

"UK" (reserved by the United Kingdom, although its real code is "GB" for "Great Britain").

How can this be? The present political entity is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

GB != UK If the 'real code' is GB where do the Six Counties of Norn Ireland go?

1
0

Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

You want a bigger picture?

Sit closer to the screen.

But having said that, a 152" monitor on my desk would be pretty awesome - not sure if the graphics card could drive it though.

2
0

Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Secure transport system?

Presumably this will be called the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Passenger System - so we will finally see people being transported by HTTPS

40
1

TalkTalk 'fesses up to MEGA data breach

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Let's not jump to conclusions

Okay, it's great fun slagging off TalkTalk, 'cos they are pretty rubbish, but...

So far there's no evidence that they've been hacked or anything. The data that has allegedly been used could just as easily have been acquired by a more traditional, physical route. Perhaps a printed report of customer details in the TalkTalk accounts dept, that didn't get shredded after use, but instead found its way into the pocket of a dodgy junior member of staff, who then flogged it. Technically a security breach, but strip-searching all staff on the way out is probably overkill for a phone company.

Not all data breaches are down to clever hackers and security loopholes. They may well be in this case, but we don't know.

2
0

Moto E 2015: The builder's cheapie gets a serious upgrade

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

OnePlus?

It would be interesting to see what OnePlus could produce for the same sort of price. Got my new OnePlus One last week which manages to pretty well match the spec of just about any top-of-the-range £500 beast but for about £250.

0
0

SkyProwler VTOL transformo-drone set to darken skies

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Not coming to airspace near you

at least not anytime soon.

Don't get me wrong, it looks and sounds amazing, but 65mph, and a range of 43 miles, with a payload of 550g of semtex - I think our definitely-not-friends the jihadis will be queueing up to bulk buy them.

0
2

Boffin: Use my bionic breakthrough for good, and not super cyborgs

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Hands? Pah! Kiddie stuff

News reports today

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530103.700-first-human-head-transplant-could-happen-in-two-years.html

about scientists planning full body transplants! Now THAT I want to see!

How would it work if they transplant a woman's head onto a male body, or vice-versa? Could be a whole terrifying future ahead - 80 year old man kills 20 year old to take their body and live for centuries.

1
0

Win! Classic El Reg tees, plus something special for the weekend

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Quality control

Just make sure the goods are up to the rigours of actual use.

The transfer printing on my LOHAN mag is fading fast - at this rate it will be completely gone by the time our intrepid playmonaut lifts off! Most disappointing.

0
0

P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Fundamental problems

Basic Wordpress is quite neat, but seriously dangerous in the hands of amateurs (i.e. 99% of Wordpress users). It's the insecure plugins that are the problem, as the article notes.

I had a couple of clients who were very keen to get their own Wordpress site up and running, and wanted hosting. My solution was to buy a separate reseller hosting package from 1&1 and ONLY use it for Wordpress. If any of the sites get hammered then hopefully they can't damage anything else. (and if they can get outside the boundaries of the reseller account that's 1&1's problem) Obviously I also warned the customers about unnecessary plug-ins!

1
0

MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

An alternative to TV

Buy a large goldfish tank - in the long run it may be nearly as expensive as a fancy TV, but it's a lot more soothing to watch.

7
0

MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

The impressive thing about Rifkind

is that he couldn't conceive that his activities could be morally or ethically wrong, even if they're not technically illegal (yet?). THAT is the reason why he has to go. We do not want or need politicians who cannot tell right from wrong - possibly better to have a crook who at least knows and accepts he's a wrong 'un.

Having said that, taking money to arrange 'introductions' to government officials surely must be illegal.

17
1

UK.gov shuns IT support tower model. Now what the hell do we do?

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Ah, the traditional model

Something not working? Phone the hardware people. Not us guv, must be network, try the network support people. Nah, not the network, must be software. Nah software's okay, must be hardware...

repeat until will to live is totally extinguished...

What an efficient use of public money. Do these gov.uk bods have any concept of life in the real world?

7
0

Google opens 'Inbox' heir-to-email trial to biz users

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

If it ain't broke

don't fix it.

When it was first invented e-mail was a revelation - instant-ish written communication. But we did have to dial up from time-to-time to see if there were any messages and download them, and dial in again to upload.

Modern e-mail with broadband works just fine - and used with a mobile it's effectively instant messaging, but with attachments and unlimited length. And you can save them for a very long time.

I predict another Google service that will be retired in a couple of years.

13
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: El Reg eggs Benedict

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Hollandaise ingredients?

The photo of the hollandaise indgredients worries me - that 'butter' looks awfully white, in fact I suspect it's really LARD! Which is usually acceptable in any post-pub nosh, but I'm not sure if it will work in hollandaise.

0
1

First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Two things

That's crazy - why should VAT on ANYTHING not be recoverable?

I thought the system was meant to be simple. VAT is paid by the final link in the chain (usually the end customer). A business charges VAT to its customers, who (if they are VAT registered) claim it back, and then charge VAT on THEIR services/goods to their customers.

So how can some things not be VAT-recoverable? Doesn't that mean that HMRC gets the VAT twice? First from the original supplier (who has charged VAT) and then from the buyer, who can't pass it on to their end-user customer. Cloud services are surely a business expense?

Crazy! No wonder there are so many accountants making a fortune out of tax loopholes. For heaven's sake - please can we have a nice simple tax system that can be written on a couple of sides of A4.

8
2

DARPA's 'Cortical Modem' will plug straight into your BRAIN

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Interesting...

Looks like Geordie La Forge's visor could be on the way.

BUT why does all this technology which can help mankind have to be developed as a spin-off from developing more efficient and more expensive ways of killing and maiming people?

Wouldn't it be nice if they renamed DARPA the Making-The-World-A-Better-Place Advanced Research Projects Agency, and left the budget untouched?

5
0

Speak your brains on surveillance, despots. No we don't mean Five Eyes

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

But I assume it DOES include

The good old US of A and its Department of Homeland Civil Rights Violations?

10
0

So who just bought the rights to .blog for $20m? A chap living in Panama

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

re:e-mail validation

@KenHagan is making a very good point. Yes, perhaps he's looking at it from the customer point of view - but any competent web designer must be able to see things from the customer's point of view. And making sure validation of e-mail addresses works is pretty important to website owners as well. E-mail format validation is very helpful, but if we're being strictly accurate, code which rejects e-mail addresses because they don't end in .com, .org or .net isn't technically validation code at all, is it?

10
0

Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Easy!

Very large slab of granite and a chisel, and just chip out the bits.

Not sure about the cat videos though...

1
0

Unsurprising report: UK local govt sites remain totally crap

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

You're not wrong

Generally agree 100%, although our local council has got some quite neat GIS stuff on their site - if you know where to find it! Map search by house name (very useful in rural Wales to help lost Fedex bods). Really ace problem reporting pages too - zoom in on map and mark the location, fill in form with details of fly-tipping, broken street lights etc and bingo. And they update you on progress via e-mail

But site navigation generally sucks!

0
0

CAR? Check. DRIVER? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

What could possibly go wrong?

Perhaps any driverless cars should be preceded by a man with a red flag. I don't want to be doing 70 on the motorway with a driverless car, complete with sleeping 'driver', coming up behind me.

The lawyers must be rubbing their hands with glee!

4
12

ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Python

Stig: I had transgressed the unwritten law.

Interviewer What had you done?

Stig Er... Well he never told me that. But he gave me his word that it was the case, and that's good enough for me

4
0

Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

How to accurately measure diversity?

Personally, whenever I have to fill in a form with ethnic questions I tend to tick something at random. Okay, to you I may LOOK like a white British person, but who are you to tell me what my ethnic origin is? Inside I really, really feel Caribbean (or possibly Inuit)

I'd take the results of any ethnic origin survey with a large pinch of salt...

19
1

BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

And what about on-demand?

One of the nice things about my Roberts Radio (and one of the reasons for buying it) was that it did on-demand for BBC radio. Great at 3am when you want something amusing to listen to on Radio 4 Extra. I can at least reprogramme it to get the mp3 live streams, but what about on demand? Now I have to fire up a tablet and use the blasted iPlayer. Shame on you BBC.

3
0

Boy, 16, cuffed after posting selfie with body of kid he allegedly killed

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Darwin Award contender?

Even without the death penalty, if he spends the rest of his short life locked up in a Merkin chokey, when would he get the chance to pass on his DNA?

0
0

Page:

Forums