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* Posts by Don Dumb

214 posts • joined 20 May 2013

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Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Don Dumb
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WTF?

I'm living in a future world

"Induction cooking could revolutionize kitchen designs, for example."

Yes, it could, if this is the 1950s. I don't know if the author is trying to be humourous but induction cookers are, and have been, quite common in Europe and the UK. I've been in several houses with induction cookers.

You'd be amazed at how my cheap electric toothbrush has charged for the last decade - as if by magic.

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Gates Foundation to insist on Open Access science

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Pirate

Re: Well done!

@tom dial - "along with public ownership of all patents obtained based on the research"

I realise that I've added a second reply, but this is on a slightly different subject.

Beware of unintended consequences. Public ownership of patents, may not have the desired result. In UK government procurement, the general policy is that the government should get free license but industry should own the IP of publicly funded work. The policy may be slightly different for research.

The principle behind that is that the IP, say a patent, has value to exploit (for better or worse), if the government hold a patent they can't exploit it as well as industry, therefore the value of the IP generated by the taxpayer is reduced. Furthermore, the patent may be less well shared by government than industry, as a company has an interest in actually exploiting and thus a motivation to share the IP, more so than government does.

<unrealistic idealism>

It would perhaps be better for the government to simply not register any patents identified in publicly funded reasearch. It's a foreign idea to many (cough, *Apple*, cough) but no one *has* to register patents when they have invented something, once an invention is made public but not patented then it shouldn't ever be patentable and therefore free to society.

</unrealistic idealism>

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Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: Well done!

@tom dial - the problem is very little research is actually publicly funded. Certainly here in the UK, the majority of university research in many subject areas is funded by industry.

I personally find it quite depressing, as it means that not only do most post-docs exist on fixed term contracts having to move around every few years as science mercenaries (and thus the side effect of potential conflicts of interest in having to constantly get industry to fund projects for them). But it also means that research is focused on positive results, there's no room for exploratory or 'blue sky' research which benefits society (Newton wasn't sponsored to sit there and think) and there's no appetite for negative results, which to the wider world can be more useful than positive results (this is particularly important in medicine, we need to know which treatments are detrimental not just beneficial)

When I see the pathetic amount of public funding that goes into science I do get annoyed, the long term benefit to the country of just putting a small amount more into research.

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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

Don Dumb
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Re: How long does Ecuador's London embassy lease have left?

@Steve Davies 3 - "The embassy is part of the state of Ecuador."

That is entirely untrue although a very common misconception.

"The saga of the Iranian Embassy some 30 years ago...set the precident here."

Yes, it so set a precendence that the UK passed the 'Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987'. In fact the UK Government rather poorly pointed out to the Ecuadorian government that this law "would allow us [The UK Gov] to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy."

The unwritten reason that embassies are generally protected, is that if Country A messes around with the embassy of Country B, then all of Country A's people in all of its embassies around the world are vunerable. I wouldn't want to be a Brit in the UK embassy in Quito (or anywhere in South America) if the Ecuadorian embassy in London had just been stormed by the Met.

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Don Dumb
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Re: wiping iThings

@Planned Departure - "It's in their benefit to not be helpful... One less iPhone in the market is one more opportunity for them to sell."

I don't doubt that, similarly it's in a car manufacturer's interests to have your car cease to work, exactly the day after the warranty expires - it's an opportunity to sell another car!

But the more important question is whether it is legal for a company to effectively damage beyond repair things you own. I suggest that it would not be legal and quite possibly criminal.

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Don Dumb
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Childcatcher

Re: How confident are you about that will?

@Martin-73 - "Refusing to hand over information allowing the device to be used normally could constitute criminal damage to the device"

Agreed. That is why I don't think this has been properly tested in the courts. My hope is that my opinion about what should be possible for a company can do in the event of death of someone who owns that company's product is broadly reflected in law but just hasn't been enforced yet.

In truth the number of elderly tech owners is probably low, owver the next decade the number of people dying who do have significant tech assets will increase to the point that this gets a proper fight.

Basically it just needs a Tory to die - they don't like missing out on inheritances.

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Don Dumb
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Re: wiping iThings

@MacroRodent - "At least an iPad can be reset by the user, wiping (or at least making very hard to access) any old contents."

It's worse for an iPhone (and possibly a iPad with cellular), as there is a security method which links the owner's Apple/iCloud account to the device. As I am recycling a couple of iPhones at the moment I've had to wrestle with this.

Basically the association between iCloud account and device is used to locate the device when it is lost (the 'Where my iPhone?' facility) and this also prevents anyone from wiping and putting their account on the device. Even a factory reset will still keep the iCloud account associated and prevent other accounts from being loaded, you have to manually remove the account (either through an online facility or on the phone itself, with the iCloud password as verification of course). This is all helpful to make the phone more secure, and not valuable when stolen, however it also means the phone is not valuable when passed on without the owner's input (such as in death).

Thus to pass on an iPhone when dead, the iCloud account of the deceased will be needed to remove the deceased's iCloud account from the phone, if you don't have that it would seem Apple are not willing to help (rendering the iPhone effectively useless).

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Don Dumb
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Terminator

Re: Tech companies need to grow up

@Yet Another Anonymous Coward - "They have procedures, all the stuff you bought goes back to them and your kids can buy it all again."

I've said it elsewhere but that is stealing, far worse than the copyright infringement they keep preaching to us about.

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Don Dumb
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Facepalm

Re: reminds me

@AC - "It's true. Buy a car and you own it, but you don't own the designs to the car. You're buying a copy of an item, not the rights to make it, copy it etc."

Yes of course dumbass, because when I die, Ford take my car away. Right?

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Don Dumb
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Re: Apple's view

And by the logic of the copyright holders, the companies themselves are STEALING from the consumer, it's copyright theft!

As they have effectively taken* the license from the legal owner of the license (the inheritor of the estate) from using or taking possession of the license.

In fact, this is more stealing than copyright infringement as the owner actually has lost access to the item of value.

* - Disclaimer - this is the logic of the MPAA, RIAA, etc; Not neccessarily mine.

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Don Dumb
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Terminator

How confident are you about that will?

@Amorous Cowherder - "I have a will to ensure anything of any value is passed on"

Except, that's the point. If some of that value is in cloud or third party hosting, you haven't ensured that the things of value are being passed on because it would seem so far that the will is not effective at forcing the hosting company to release the things to your intended recipients. Even worse, if you have an electronic device of value like an iPad or iPhone, it would seem that Apple is happy to render these useless if you can't remove the deceased's iCloud account that secures it (as the story reflects)

Although this is only so far at least, I can't help thinking that this hasn't really been properly tested in UK or EU courts. While the US may have set some precedence that favours the business over the individual, I would like to think that the ownership rights of the individual will be protected better this side of the Atlantic.

In my opinion, if one owns something (a phone or a license to a music track) then the value of that thing shouldn't be eroded by a third party simply because the owner dies. Especially if the deceased has explicitly transferred ownership of the thing, on their death, to someone in a legally binding document (such as a will), it shouldn't be legally possible for Apple or Microsoft to change the value of those things.

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Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

Don Dumb
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Re: You'll NEVER FORGET about Dr Dre NOW

@Richard Tobin - You may not have heard of Dr Dre but I'm guessing you've probably heard of Eminem. Dr Dre found and signed Eminem and then worked with him on his early (best) stuff.

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Don Dumb
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Isn't he dead and

+1 for The Real Slim Shady reference

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: Absolutely outrageous

@Nick Ryan - "The contract laws are surprisingly recognicient of the fact that most people won't understand or have the inclination to read small print on every occasion therefore unfair clauses are pretty easy to invalidate."

There's a few principles in UK (part of which is EU) contract law which protect the common man from bad contracts. These seem to be the most relevant to this story:

1: - Capacity - Anyone with competence may enter into a contract which is enforceable by law. This precludes minors (under 18), people with mental disorders and people who are incapacitated through alcohol/drugs. - This is the main protection, in that it protects those who can't understand contracts or clauses in them into being legally bound by them. The principle covers being incapacitated or a minor but it also enshrines the principle that the average person can't be expected to understand a complex legal document and therefore consumer contracts can't throw in clauses which the layman would not expect (like charges for bad reviews) or conditions which a court decides are unfair, regardless of whether they have been signed up to. A business signing up to a contract would not have the same protections, as they are expected to understand T&Cs.

2: - Legality of Object - A contract is considered 'illegal' if the consideration or object (i.e. the item that's being purchased) either contravenes the provision of Statute or Common Law or is contrary to Public Policy. - So many businesses seem to try and 'forget' that they can't put a clause in their contracts which is illegal (i.e. a no refunds policy) or which commit to an illegal act (this is why all those who signed away their first borns in a Wifi login did not actually do that).

3: - Mistake - A genuine error, unintentional deceit or misunderstanding might count as Mistake and the contract might become invalid, or voidable by one or more of the contracting parties. The legal concept of Mistake is complex. - But in this case the fact that they thought they were agreeing to stay in a hotel for a night and not signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA - which no one would expect to be signing) should count as a genuine misunderstanding.

If the hotel wanted to prevent bad reviews it could get the customer to sign a NDA, however that would be a separate document (so as to make the fact that they are agreeing to an NDA not a room rate clear) but they would also still need to make sure the hotel isn't making the customer sign the NDA under under duress or undue influence (like saying "sign this NDA or we will make sure no hotels in the town give you a room"), which would also invalidate a contract.

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Don Dumb
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Pint

Re: This one's my favourite

@goldcd - +1 for Sotto Sotto, hadn't seen that review/response exchange but I'm very tempted to start a 'mini-viral' amongst my friends.

I have had a birthday meal there and many friends consider it the best restaurant in Bath. I already had very high regard for this place (I can also validate the truth of their claims that they provide a birthday profiterole and complimentary Limoncello). But that response is so brilliant, it raises my esteem for them even higher.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

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Facepalm

Re: "Organic" - arse.

@AC - "I wish they'd stop calling carbon chemistry organic, it's a bloody stupid thing to do when there is no organism involved."

It may be confusing but they *are* using the term correctly - see here - www.thefreedictionary.com/organic+chemistry

organic chemistry

n. - the branch of chemistry dealing with the compounds of carbon.

[1870–75] Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

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Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

Don Dumb
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Thumb Up

Re: Anytime the KKK are mentioned...

@John Gamble - thanks for the clarification. Forgot it was the radio show. Even so it still stands that a fictional comic book character brought the KKK down, just through the medium of radio.

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Don Dumb
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Happy

Re: Anytime the KKK are mentioned...

I remember the fact that they were defeated by Superman, yes the fictional comic book hero Superman. He defeated the KKK in the real world. Freakonomics gives a good account and I seem to remember QI mentioning it.

KKK - so 'powerful' a comic book was enough to decimate them.

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Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it

Don Dumb
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Alert

It is open source? And will justice will depend on the device?

I seem to remember that red light camera tickets being contested on the grounds that as the software in the particular gatso camera was not available to be viewed by the court (it wasn't open source and the company wasn't willing to share the source with the court) then the conviction couldn't stand as it violated the principle that "the defendant and the court needs to be able to see the method by upon which the accusation is based".*

If the devices in our possession are used by and against us in legal proceedings, it surely won't be long before scrutiny of the very device itself becomes key to the verdict. Can't imagine Apple being too keen to provide its source code to comply with a court supoena to validate the evidence that is being attempted to be extracted from its watch in a low level civil action.

* - Florida seems to spring to mind and I don't know if the defence was successful.

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'Net Neut' activists: Are you just POSEURS, or do you want to Get Something Done?

Don Dumb
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Dear the Author

From your piece:-

"This is how the Culture Wars have been conducted."

And

"What makes this week's debate so cynical is that, like most of the Culture Wars, it has been entirely avoidable."

What the bloody hell are the 'Culture Wars'? - the only time I have heard anyone use a phrase like culture wars was some crackpot Christian minister talking on a phone-in show in the deep south who thought he was fighting some sort of battle with "the homosexuals".

Mr Orlowski, are you really suggesting the fight for equality and human (gay) rights is "a hack"?

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Chinese coder's got 99 problems and getting hitched is one: Huge iPhone woo plot FAILS

Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: But... Why?

Time and again we see these lavish gestures to propose. When will people learn - If both partners want to get married, the nature of the proposal shouldn't matter.

if your proposal needs a lavish public display to get engaged (and a simple private question won't do) then your relationship probably isn't strong enough for you to get married. Either the partner doesn't really want to marry the proposer but are somehow swayed by a single silly act (not great long term prospects there) OR, worse, the partner will only say yes to marriage if the proposal is "really special", in which case I seriously question that person's priorities.

Anyone who feels the need to go to extra effort to pop the question is simply saying "I'm not confident that they do want to marry me, so I'll have to sweeten the deal". Truth is, you should be confident about getting engaged before you ask the question, there shouldn't be doubt.

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Trolls pop malformed heads above bridge to sling abuse at Tim Cook

Don Dumb
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Boffin

So I guess all the 'Meh' comments now understand.

All those who went to great pains to tell us that Tim Cook coming out publicly wasn't news on yesterday's story - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/30/tim_cook_writes_open_letter_gay/ now understand that, while it shouldn't be a news story, it unfortunately is. Just because you don't care doesn't mean there aren't those who do.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'

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Stop

Re: There are no words...

@zen1 -

I didn't downvote you but I can imagine the downvotes are similar for the others that have been similarly downvoted. You felt so "indifferent" you went to the effort to read and then comment on the story, telling everyone that you don't care. I think you are right that one man's sexuality shouldn't be important but I don't think you quite get the point of the story.

I'll try to explain here:-

I'm pretty sure Tim Cook isn't directing this 'news' to you or in fact most of the people who would be reading El Reg - I'm guessing the readership is western and generally culturally liberal and we don't care about sexuality. However there are many people who do care about this and more importantly, care enough to create, encourage, enforce laws and social customs to oppress, outlaw and even eliminate 'being gay', even in the US.

Furthermore, there are many old social stigmas surrounding homosexuality that remain, such as gay people aren't strong enough or the 'right sort of people' to be CEOs or sportspeople - clearly this story is at least evidence against such ideas.

Look at it another way - society still expects people to be heterosexual and then those who aren't have to realise that they are not and then readjust 'out', both themselves and others around them. You may (or may not) have gay friends who will recount the time they realised who they were and how they came out. For some, it wasn't that difficult, for others it can be a painfull process - losing jobs, friends and even family as many simply do not accept the fact.

Therefore, for Apple's CEO to stand up and simply tell the world 'yes I'm gay and not unhappy about that', does help to drive the gradual social acceptance of homosexuality and create the role models that, as you point out, shouldn't actually be neccessary.

For an example of why this is still unfortunately news, compare the coming out of former NBA basketball player John Amechi, he had to hide his sexuality for his entire playing career, note for a period he played at Utah (and their CEO was vocally not accepting of homosexuality). When he did come out, in his book after retirement, there was a reaction from other players that suggested many do care The reaction

In summary, it shouldn't be news, but it is because there are many who do care about this, even though they shouldn't and this hopefully starts to erode their interest.

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Don Dumb
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Coat

Re: fair play to Cook for coming out

@AC - "perhaps he can also add whether he bowls, bats or is an all-rounder?

He actually did answer that - he bats, for the other team

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

Don Dumb
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Coat

Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

@chicken Marengo - I do extend a sincere apology. I was aware you were being facietious but didn't realise it was about the order of magnitude. I guess I'm a little tuned in to the outrage of government costs by people who don't understand them. No need to label you a Daily Mail hack

Although, I would just point out that "not a lot...being acquired for that sum", and "the sum itself being excessive" are basically the same comparisons. One is saying that something is too expensive, the other that not much has been brought for the price.

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Don Dumb
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Facepalm

Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

@Chicken Marengo - Please don't resort to hack journalist reactionary outrage.

The figure £97M is very likely the approved amount for the whole capability. That includes a lot more than the purchase price of the computer and will likely (should) cover all costs that the computer needs for its expected life. But basically there are many questions that need to be answered before you can estimate how good a value has been acheived.

First unanswered question - how long does the approval cover? The amount is meaningless if you don't you understand the approved figure likely involves the whole costs for the life of the asset or for a significant period. How much will a *fully supported* supercomputer cost over, say, 10 years? I guess you have no better idea than I do.

Then add on all the other costs - How much will it cost to building the new building (it's going in a new building) and then how much will the energy costs amount to? What about training and any software development costs to migrate to the new system. Don't forget your project risk budget, things will go wrong that cost extra money, considering there are new buildings and then factor in the cost of doing things properly, they like to do sustainable developments (e.g. not necessarily cheap upfront costs).

All these things mean that the cost sounds expensive if you think they are only talking about buying a collection of servers, but the quoted figure means so much more. Many things that make the figure meaningless to those who haven't seen the full budget.

Summary - it may be an overpriced system, it may not. We simply don't have enough to go on.

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NSA approves Samsung Knox for use by TOP SECRET g-men

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Boffin

Re: OFFICIAL

@ZSn - "OFFICIAL is the 'lowest level of classified material' in the UK is a bit disingenuous. It rolls up protected, RESTRICTED and CONFIDENTIAL."

And UNCLASSIFIED as well - everything is at least OFFICIAL.

As another has pointed out anything which is sensitive has a specific handling restriction. The classifications are not retrospective either, anything which was marked CONFIDENTIAL still retains that classification and is treated as such.

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Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook

Don Dumb
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Coat

Re: Tim will be remembered for allowing Yosemite on his watch

"Tim will be remembered for allowing Yosemite on his watch "

The Apple Watch is getting Yosemite? That is impressive!

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Don Dumb
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Facepalm

Every year the NHS gets record breaking increases to investment -

- but not neccessarily in *real terms*

"Today we reported Apple’s highest September quarter revenue ever and our strongest revenue growth rate in seven quarters. These very strong results were made possible by your hard work and dedication."
Strange he forgot to say "And inflation." I would expect that even a company treading water would make their highest September revenue ever every year in cash terms, it would be more impressive if it was the highest ever after taking into account inflation.

For those not getting the subject line, this refers to the claims made by many UK politicians that they are going to break the record on investment into the NHS, when in fact in most years they are simply putting in more cash to cover inflation (i.e. the same value). Because inflation almost always goes up, they can claim every year that they are breaking the record, anything else would be a massive cut.

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US Senate's net neutrality warrior to Comcast: Remind us how much you hate web fast lanes

Don Dumb
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Boffin

Problem solved

@Neoc -

""...those in favor of paid prioritization argue big websites should pay towards the network infrastructure they're reliant on"

Because, as everyone knows, traffic from big websites just magically appears on network infrastructures."

Exactly what I thought. ISPs complain that both web service and end-user need to pay for their use of the network, and yet they both do. Problem solved.

The attacks against net neutrailty seem to always be driven by the false notion* that someone is getting network service for free and should pay. But, unless there is a company perpetrating some truely criminal act, everyone already does pay and the ISPs would rather make companies and end users pay ever more in an infinite "pay more to get the service you already paid for" loop.

* for false notion read - 'deliberately dishonest'

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TalkTalk and Three want to make it easier to switch mobe networks

Don Dumb
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Thumb Up

Re: im moving soon

For what it's worth* -

As a 3 customer, I've been pretty impressed with their service, since moving from O2 a year or so ago. Originally because I was on sim-only contracts and wanted more data than the 1GB that everyone was offering.

I should probably point out the "Feel at Home" thing has been a blessing. Basically it makes travel to some 16 countries very painless by charging all calls and texts to the UK and data from your allowance as if you're still in the UK (i.e. from your normal allowance).

Went to the US for 10 days, used loads of data and sent calls and texts back home. My bill was only 58p higher than normal as a result.

I've found their customer service alright, although I haven't needed it that much so I haven't tested it to any decent level.

* Disclaimer - have no allegance to 3 other than as a customer

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Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Don Dumb
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FAIL

Re: cynical remark

@P Lee -

True, but neither OSX nor Linux ask you to pay for those incremental releases - or any others.

Err, unless I misunderstand your point, that could barely be more wrong with respect to OSX.

Don't confuse 'free' with 'at no additional charge' - it's a common mistake which marketers love to exploit. You can only install the software on Apple hardware, OSX isn't free of charge - you buy Apple hardware which comes with OSX included at no additional charge and Apple may (or may not) charge for upgrades to the software. That is definitely NOT free (as in beer).

In fact, I'm not sure whay you think that Apple doesn't charge for an incremental release to OSX. In the last five releases Apple charged a fee for upgrading to Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion. In fact, as far as I can see, the only release of OSX Apple haven't charged for is the most recent, Mavericks. But, again, even that is in no way to be confused with 'free'.

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This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...

Don Dumb
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Re: maybe

@AC - The solution (which is long overdue) is the ability to deny specific access during install (check box like) rather than an all or nothing accept/decline offer. Or even some better way to control permissions at the data level (which apps can access my contacts).

For what it's worth, IOS does give this control and it might be helped by the vetting process preventing apps from asking for access that the app doesn't need for some function*. I'm surprised that Android has an all or nothing approach.

In IOS Apps can still ask for particular access that you don't want the app to have but it will still work, but there will be something that it doesn't do, which is fair. I found the other day that Google Maps didn't have access to my contacts (so I couldn't just search for a friend's house in Goolge Maps), but this didn't prevent it from working.

* - which may not necessarily be a function you want the app to have.

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Something smells PHISHY: It's the celeb nudie iCloud PERV trap...

Don Dumb
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Happy

Re: Are "Apps" the real culprit?

@veti - The iOS app store is quite stringently policed. I've never seen an iOS app ask for access to my picture gallery, location, ID or any other personal info unless there was an obvious reason for it.

And to be fair iOS does make it easy to decline each individual app's request for particular services, only allowing the services you want the app to have access to.

For instance, I have allowed Facebook access to my photos (I don't keep many photos on my phone) as that allows me to upload a photo I've just taken to Facebook. However, Facebook hasn't been allowed access to location services. And I can check which apps have access to what services pretty easily at Settings/Privacy.

I don't know that well how Android handles this, does one have to allow all accesses the app requests or can you choose which services you grant the app access to (without breaking the app)?

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Could it work in a real home though?

@TRT - ... vials of ricin under the sofa...

+1 for the Breaking Bad ref

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Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

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Holmes

Re: Wonderful. Brilliant. Absolutely fabulous.

@Pascal Monett - "So we've gone from mono, to 2.0, to 2.1, to 5.1, and now 10.1"

Yeah, I read from the article that -

"Most consumers want fewer speakers in their lounge, not more."

And yet, the solution is - more speakers!

I'd be more happy if the makers of AVRs fixed the faults in delivering current technologies rather than throwing more badges on the box.

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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

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Facepalm

Idiotic Eureka Moment!

@AC -

I had to hear someone mention Matryoshka (Russian Dolls) on the radio this morning before I finally twigged that MKV is named after them... d'oh! :)

I hadn't realised it until I read your comment and I also now realise why from the comment above about it being only a container format. That's my idiotic eureka moment of the day - uberd'oh!

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We told you jailbreaking your iThing was dangerous

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Flame

Re: Hilarious

@Destory All Monsters - "People click on ads?"

To be fair, on a mobile device (especially an iThing) it is often difficult to avoid clicking the bloody ads, a testament to their obtrusiveness.

I was on a website the other day that put FULL SCREEN ads in front of the text, just a couple of seconds after the page loads - I tried to click a link in the page only for the advert to jump in the way and take me off to the app store. Another site had adverts that jump into the bottom portion of the page when you're not scrolling, naturally you tap the bottom of the screen to scroll up but only succeed in clicking on the advert that has just re-appeared.

And companies wonder why we want ad blocking?

If it was just the Google promoted searches I wouldn't be upset. To my mind, those adverts are solicited (I have searched for those terms) and not damaging to my use of Google, I can see their sponsored links at the top and decide to click them just like any other link. Most of all they don't get in the way, don't suck down massive bandwidth, don't introduce endless vunerabilities and are often what I am looking for. Similarly, the adverts on El Reg aren't obtrusive, I can tolerate those as a cost of the services provided. If websties had ads like that, ad blocking probably wouldn't be as essential. But sponsored search results and Reg adverts are the rare expction compared to the flash/video monstrosoties on most sites that hijack my browsing and my mobile bandwidth.

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Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

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Boffin

Re: Maybe not the whole car....

As others have pointed out - get a Ford (also on a few Land Rovers). I've used many, they are a godsend in the winter (for those of us that park outside) and otherwise you rarely notice the wires. I took a hire car last week, only after driving 150miles did I notice a slight glint and realise that the Fiesta I was driving had a heated windscreen.

Just like rear windscreens, over time one of the wires in the mesh may fail but unless it is the one directly infront of the driver's view then it doesn't really cause any problems, just takes longer for that line of the windscreen to defrost.

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Don Dumb
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Facepalm

Re: No spare wheel?

@evs - The spray goes inside the tire so it will find the hole by itself. If everything goes as planned the foam will seal the leak - [Emphasis mine]

Unfortunately the plan assumes wonderful roads and fantastic tyres. As soon as the puncture has started to cause the tyre wall to bulge (as happened to me), a blowout is inevitable. And if the puncture is slow enough you won't notice for a while (blowout).

The foam is good for sealing a point puncture or a thin tear if you notice it early enough and can then easily find and stop at a tyre replacement centre soon after applying the foam. However, if your tyre fails (blowout, large tear, several punctures) then the foam is useless.

Even if you can successfully treat the puncture with foam, it is only worth it if you can get to somewhere that can replace tyres without having to travel too far, which if you are on the motorway, or travelling late at night is unlikely.

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Don Dumb
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Stop

Re: No spare wheel?

@Stoneshop - When was the last time you had a puncture? Mine was eight years ago.

This year, on the motorway, with less than 200 miles on a new car. Little can of glue and a pump were sod all help with a blow out. Was a Sunday afternoon so had to get a recovery van take us the 60 miles home, then another recovery van the next morning to take me to the dealership so they could replace the tyre. By the time the recovery truck had turned up we could have changed the wheel and got home on a cold winter's day.

This winter in the UK there seemed to have been a lot of tyre failures, the product of a very wet winter roughing the road up I suspect.

I've learned my lesson the hard way - a spare wheel (doesn't matter if it is a space saver) is essential.

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Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source

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Go

Re: Is there a Microsoft parallel to Godwin's Law?

No matter what the subject, the thread turns into a MS bash-fest within a few posts...

Proof that if Eadon didn't exist, commentardery would create one

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

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Boffin

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

@Peter Gathercole - Sky in the UK delivers 1080i60 (at least that's what my telly and Wikipedia says)

Ah, but is that the Sky box output to TV connection delivering 1080i60? What is the broadcast resolution of the channel being carried within the Sky box output? See what the telly says when there is an SD channel being displayed, I'll bet that it still says it is giving 1080i60 and doesn't change regardless of the channel viewed, it's just a high quality signal carrying a picture of much lower quality.

So the question is - of the HD channels on Sky HD, how many carry a 1080 picture?

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Holmes

It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

But neither is 4K on pay-TV, as we’ve yet to see a 4K channel appear on satellite or cable.

There is barely any Full HD 1080p broadcasts, at least in the UK. As far as I'm aware Freeview has none and Sky HD doesn't seem to do any Full HD channels, to my knowledge all the HD channels are 720p. I have a Full HD TV and the only time that gets used to its fullest is the occasional Blu Ray. Even in the World Cup, where TV tech gets pushed, there were only 3 games broadcast in 4K and none of those were available in the UK.

It's not just the price, it's pointless buying a TV that is 2 generations better than what is being broadcast, Netflix excepted. I think the TV manufacturers may have to realise that we just don't want to upgrade our TVs like we do our phones and they have overused "the next big thing in TV" to the point that the public just aren't interested in more TV technology. The marketing equivalent of crying wolf, we've had 'Widescreen', 'Digital', 'HD', 'Full HD', '3D' (people tried 3D but didn't care about that either) - most people have just got HDTV or Full HD TVs and have no intention of throwing them straight away.

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Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers

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Re: Tired admin

@ ckm5 -

4. Auto-update
Can't argue with most of your tips, but I would disagree with point 4, in particular for business or any important servers. A sysadmin really should check that every patch works and doesn't break critical services/applications before deploying. Or at the very least, the sysadmin should deploy the patch themselves at a specific time, so that if something does go wrong they are around to fix it and know what he/she has just done that might have caused things to go wrong. Leaving updating to an external service/provider is essentially allowing a third party to break your systems outside of your control.

Auto-update might seem like it makes sense but even very important, simple and lightweight patches *could* contain a bug that breaks something. Especially when the most important patches are often the most rushed. Just look back through the archives of the site and you will see major software houses releasing patches that were buggy and the patch was either withdrawn or itself patched in short time.

For the sake of a few days, it is worth testing any update, or applying it at a time you can be there to clean up its mess and/or limit the damage.

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Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

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Pint

"Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage"

Have a beer for that sub-headline

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Hackers' delight: Hotel cyber-cafe, er, business centers, apparently – US Secret Service

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Terminator

Re: Note to self:

@Herby - Then again how do you print things out? Like boarding passes.

If you have your laptop and just want to print something from it. I would say the moderately safe and easy way is to take a USB stick with you. Use your laptop to download your boarding pass, and save the pass file as a pdf (or picture) onto the stick and then use the stick in the business centre, that way you don't have to type anything into the probably compromised business centre computer to print out the pass.

Obviously, treat the USB stick as horribly contaminated before using again. Even better use a CD which you can bin afterwards. The alternative is to use an airline which doesn't need you to print out the pass (there are some), you just display the pass on your phone.

I always assumed the business centre computers or any public computers were riddled with malware. Useful for a bit of simple impersonal surfing (e.g. looking for a local restaurant, checking the news) but never try logging into anything secure.

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Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

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Boffin

Re: Is this the owner of the London Times and FT? When you wonder what Rupe's bottom line is

He owns The Times (you may call it the 'London' times) and its sister The Sunday Times, he also owns The Sun. He doesn't own the FT however.

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Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

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The Geek of Hearts

@ukgnome -

I used to think that Musk was a massive cock....And then he gave his patents away, and built a rocket, and actually turned out to be a decent chap.
I'm the same, more beer for Musk. I'm guessing many here might have warmed to him. I wasn't keen on him and to be honest I have asked myself lately what it was that turned me off as I can't even remember.

In any case, seeing how good the cars are, how he is clearly running Tesla very well and then the patent release has really won me over to Elon. He seems to be the reason society needs billionaires - because some of them can do something genuinely useful with their money. This just adds to the feeling that he may have been a bit immature early on but is actually a decent bloke trying to do ambitious things the right way. Let's face it, good or bad, the world would really benefit from most of his projects succeeding, good luck to him.

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