* Posts by David Roberts

258 posts • joined 25 Jan 2007

Page:

Let kids delete their online rants, demand campaigners

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Does this mean the Queen....

.....can have those embarrassing pictures of her aged 7 deleted from the Interwebs?

6
0

Today's smart home devices are too dumb to succeed

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: White light explained

Also covers the probably common use case:

I can't find my phone!

Well, turn the lights up, stupid.

Oh fsck!!

3
0

ICANN further implicated in .Africa controversy

David Roberts
Bronze badge

I'm hearing only bad news

On radio.africa

0
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Southern biscuits and gravy

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Gravy?

Took me a while to realise this is white sauce or cheese sauce.

1
0

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Moon?

It has been suggested that our Moon (up there in the sky) may no longer fit the formal definition of a moon, but might be a dwarf planet in a binary system with Earth.

Given that it gave the name to the class of objects currently described as moons this does make the whole naming argument a little surreal.

6
0

All wristjobs are as insecure as $#@%, reveals unsurprising research

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Chocolate?

"Alexander Martin should be ridiculed in the same articles mocking the credulity of journalists reporting that Chocolate helps you lose weight."

But...but...chocolate does help you lose weight.

As part of a calorie controlled diet of course.......

0
0

Now car hackers can bust in through your motor's DAB RADIO

David Roberts
Bronze badge

DAB Radio?

What nobody seems to have mentioned so far is that the DAB radio is unlikely to be a discreet component.

Mobile phones have had music players and radios integrated for decades.

So, isn't it likely that there is one big tablet computer acting as the central console which can do everything from playing tunes to changing profiles from economy to sport?

Which in turn needs access to all major components? Including turning off stability control which messes with throttle and braking. What about the collision avoidance systems?

So policing the bus a little better may well make no difference at all. Full access is required by the central computer. This computer should be at the heart of the security design.

0
1

NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Nonce?

Broad prison slang term which covers sex offenders in general (not just offences against minors) and also people who turn Queens Evidence.

In the past may also have been applied to homosexuals.

So possibly not a good and accurate choice of term,.

5
2

Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Are Australasian and Polynesian synonymous?

I didn't thing the Aboriginal Australians were of Polynesian descent - though they got there much earlier.

Wikipedia does not group them together, certainly.

1
0

Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Happy

Two words

Induction roar.

0
0

Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Web mail

To follow up some of the comments on web mail interfaces:

I have three main email providers; BT via Yahoo, Virgin and Gmail (Don't use my Hotmail accounts much).

The BT Yahoo web interface is the only one I find really easy to use.

My main use is to sort through the spam folder and educate the SPAM filter.

BT seems to be the only one which allows me to sort by originator which makes finding false positives much faster and easier.

Also good for locating mail in my inbox the spam filter has missed if there is a sudden upturn in spam picked up by my mail client (POP3 or IMAP).

I would just use IMAP if there was a way for the client to educate the server side spam filter.

0
0
David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: ISP email!

Just to note thst I moved away fron BT as as ISP many years ago, but I have retained my BT email addresses for a small monthly payment.

I don't know if this is still offered as an option.

1
0

Your poster guide: A fascinating glimpse into North Korea's 'internet'

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: Internet Directory

IIRC that was around the time of the Beta trial of BT Internet.

The development team were so proud that they published all the email addresses in the White Pages so the people would know that we did email.

Strangely, my original email address still has orders of magnitude more SPAM than any of my more recent ones.

0
0

Marshall wants to turn your phone UP TO ELEVEN

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: strange phone holding

Could they be using that video call thingummy which lets you see the person at the other end?

0
0

FEMALE BLOOD-SUCKERS zero in on human prey by smelling our BREATH

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Dettol and baby oil

Introduced to this by an NZ boat skipper who had a huge spray bottle of the stuff. He swore by it because it was dual purpose. Kept the sand flies away and also treated scrapes and allergic rections to sea creatures when emptying lobster pots.

You do smell a bit strange but it is higly effective and less damaging to clothes than DEET.

The Wikepedia entry looks a bit doom laden though - basically "also kills cats". Not sure how balanced the entry is (on Wikepedia? Shirley you can't be serious!)

3
0

You've tested the cloud – now get ready and take a bigger step

David Roberts
Bronze badge
WTF?

Que?

"Large enterprises may have many mission-critical legacy applications, but for most companies it is unrealistic to employ experts to sit around just in case an application fails. "

Where is the icon for the large pile of steaming bovine excrement?

Or do most corporates not bother with IT support for mission critical applications?

3
0

Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Joke

Re: Get those figures higher!

Just to note (returning to the thread and re-reading the expanded comments) that I had assumed the coat icon would suggest humour and possibly sarcasm.

I was amazed to see that some people were actually taking it seriously. I agree with Tim's analysis and was trying to suggest the original author had missed a trick when artificially inflating the figures.

Seriously, if my living expenses were set against my income for most of my life I wouldn't have paid much income tax. Obviously revenue would have had to be collected via other routes.

Icon update? --->

0
0
David Roberts
Bronze badge
Coat

Get those figures higher!

As a taxpayer I pay tax on my whole income. I don't get any allowance for expenditure necessary to keeop me clothed, fed, warm and housed. So this policy of only taxing profits is a massive subsidy to business from every tax payer! I do get a tax fee allowance but this in no way reflects my essential annual expenditure.

Mine's the one with the empty pockets.

10
15

Did speeding American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? Top boffin speaks to El Reg

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Mushroom

First ORION launch?

I now have the mind worm

Any ORION any ORION any any any ORION...........

7
0

Free internet for kids! Obama's offering free internet to kids! (Yes, there's a catch)

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: Old cause and effect confusion again...

Where are all the rich people?

In the city financial area!

What do all the rich people do?

Lots of drugs!

Cool. So all we need to do is give all the poor kids lots... of...... free...........

2
0

Hacking Team spyware rootkit: Even a new HARD DRIVE wouldn't get rid of it

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Mitigation?

I've still seen no real explanation about mitigation.

Regularly patching and applying BIOS/UEFI updates sound fine until you realise that the motherboard manufacturers aren't issuing any updates and patches.

So will this work?

(1) Remove all hard drives.

(2) Reflash motherboard with latest BIOS/UEFI.

(3) Boot from trusted CD.

(4) Scan all the hard drives you removed (plus any external devices including memory sticks, camera cards etc.) with software which can remove the (possible) infection. This includes all backups.

(5) Refit the hard drives and hope.

Of course if you have a network of PCS and a file server for backups a full shut down and clean

could be enormously time consuming.

Or are they saying that it just can't be removed?

0
0

Ditch crappy landlines and start reading Twitter, 999 call centres told

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Emergency calls only?

Mobile systems have to suport emergency calls from handsets with other providers. All very sensible.

Will they have to extemd this to emergency calls, texts, tweets, and Facebook postings?

Agreed that being able to send GPS and photo data to supplement an emergency call sounds like a good thing if you can filter out the SPAM and DDOS attacks.

This looks non-trivial to implement securely, though.

2
0

Stay Misty for Me: G-Cloud’s transparency called into question

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Like buying a server from petty cash....

.........one component at a time?

Everyone everywhere tries to circumvent purchasing restrictions to meet short term wants. The suppliers conspire with them because they get the business.

Strong policing of the rules is the only viable response.

0
0

Chromecast gains wired Ethernet dongle

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Strange; noted that it is Google.com.

It shows an obvious UK style 13A plug but says it isn't available in "your country".

Nice if this could work with phones and tablets as well. Wired is often more reliable.

4
0

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Pirate

Cannon fodder to the fore!

Most of the thinking users posting here are well aware of the risks of early adoption.

The non technical user is far more likely to click and reserve the free upgrade, especially so soon after all the angst over the end of XP support.

Microsoft appear to be using naive users as cannon fodder. Of course, unless the transition is seamless this is not going to end well.

I note that release is going to be "phased". Hopefully this will mean a very few users will be screwed over initially.

Bootnote

I am very happy with W8.1. However this is because i bought cheap W8 licence keys up front then waited a while.

Classic Shell gave a W7 feel, so most problems solved.

W8 -> W8.1 upgrade was a real pain but once past that it has all been plain sailing.

I upgraded two venerable Vista 32 PC to W8.1 64 and they have a new lease of life.

So very pleased and I still fail to understand all the rabid hate spewed out by the few.

I know plenty of naive users who have taken to W8.1 like a duck to water.

2
3

How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Search engine?

If I use Amazon to search for something specific I get thousands of unrelated crap results.

I may well lack Amazon Search Ninja skills but I seem to have the option to see the results based on relevance or cost. So Amazon's idea of relevance or the cheapest of 32,000 irrelevant results.

I end up having to use Google to search for Amazon hits.

Not ideal.

There may well be sophisticated marketing science behind this approach but it is certainly not customer friendly.

1
1

Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Coat

Martha Lane?

Would have been more news worthy, especially the "groin tweak"

0
0

Houston Astros 'hack' row: St Louis Cardinals fire their chief scout

David Roberts
Bronze badge
FAIL

So the same developers built the same software for two different teams.

Using the same user IDs and passwords.

Not much of a hack then.

Also a hint that they may have "reused" data as well as code and passwords.

Available via the Internet as well?

If not, how did he get access?

Not surprised the FBI aren't chasing him as a terrorist hacker!

0
0

This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity

David Roberts
Bronze badge
WTF?

Self destruct?

So what triggers that?

Someone picking up a nearby book?

Somebody picking up the fake book?

Librarian tidying the shelves and checking for out of place books?

You would need a book nobody reads on a shelf nobody visits.

Apart of course for yourself when you come to change the batteries.

4
1

Apple Music: First three months for free? We lasted less than 3 hours

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Well confused by the header text - I was expecting a report that you were charged after three hours, not that you just got bored.

18
1

Windows 7 and 8.1 market share surge, XP falls behind OS X

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Be nice to see them graph total recorded seats by month instead of market share.

1
0

We read Hewlett Packard Enterprise's 316-page post-split blueprint so you don't have to

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: Back to the future

Have to hive off the printer division first.

0
0

SEX-starved worm can GIVE HEAD to ITSELF to reproduce

David Roberts
Bronze badge
WTF?

Always fancied myself...

...never quite got round to it.

Appropriate icon --->

0
0

Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Go

Rightshoring?

Work with me on this.

Greece exits the Euro, devalues the currency.

High unemployment, labour cheap as chips.

Land also cheap as chips to strong currencies.

Build a call centre, and staff it with locals, but have tech savvy 2/3 line support sourced across Europe.

O.K. now how many of you would consider moving to Mumbai in a tech support role?

How about Greece?

Sun, sea, sand.

Cheap villa with pool.

All the Retsina you can drink.

4 hours flight back to home base.

I must have a CV around here somewhere.....

2
0

Microsoft in Blighty reveals its 78 THOUSAND POUND Surface 3 slabloid

David Roberts
Bronze badge

When was that leap second thing going to happen?

0
0

BT hit by data centre fire: Some ISPs just love watching the net BURN

David Roberts
Bronze badge

No casualties reported, which is good.

2
0

Hey, Sand Hill Exchange. Shouting 'blockchain!' won't stop the Feds

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Not comparable?

Shares are just that - loads of people have a small share in an enterprise.

For housing I can see this being workable for a commercial company owning rental property, and thus sharing in the risk and profit from capital gain/loss and rise/fall in rental income.

You could then bet on rents and property prices going up or down (plus the efficiency of the company in managing housing stocks) just like any other corporate enterprise.

However much of the UK domestic property is held privately by individuals so is not comparable in any way that I can see to short term betting on stock price movements. This may well be the thrust of the argument but to me it does not seem a practical comparison.

I think that the argument is also flawed where it says that an individual cannot go short. It isn't short term in a comparable way to current market trading, but over a longer cycle selling your house, banking the money, and going into rented property is a method of going short. Look at discussions predicting a market crash in house prices. One option is always to sell up and wait for the crash then buy at a lower price, which is surely betting on a price fall.

However I suppose this is more akin to taking your money out of the stock market into cash (or at one time bonds) and buying stocks again after the fall. So, yes, the modern method of simplifying this by allowing you to bet with money you don't have instead of buying and selling stocks doesn't have a comparable mechanism for domestic housing.

The other issue I have with the whole concept is the difference between commiting to buy or sell100 shares in a company (all identical, tradeable in seconds and available from a vast pool) which you don't currently own and commiting to buy or sell a house (each one unique and tradeable in a matter of months if you are lucky) which you don't currently own.

So you can't short the housing market.

Should you be able to (and if so, how) or is the housing market being used as an example of something where there is no short term financial mechanism (apart from interest rate control) to force prices down?

Still can't see how this is comparable with betting on stock valuations.

5
0

Post-pub nosh neckfillers: Reader suggestions invited

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Breville????

Why all this advanced technology?

The proper way to prepare a hot cheese sandwich is to make the sandwich then fry on both sides in a frying pan, until the outside is crisp and the cheese is runny. Best in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Additional ingredients (such as salami or onions) can be added to the cheese sandwich before frying.

Very tasty if served covered in baked beans and allowed to stand long enough for the juice to soak in.

The beans should be liberally sprinkled with L&P sauce.

Fried bacon, as always, is a fine accompaniment.

0
0

Microsoft picks up shotgun, walks 'Modern apps' behind the shed

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Are there W8 Skype users out there who DIDN'T immediately install Skype for the Desktop?

18
0

Online identity woes can only be solved through the medium of GIF

David Roberts
Bronze badge

What ever happened to Digital Certificates, X.509 and all that stuff?

0
0

Mainframe staffing dilemma bedevils CIO dependents

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Pint

ICL 1900?

I could possibly comb my beard and brush off my second best sandals for enough money.

Then again it would have to be a LOT of money to get me back to work in any capacity.

Nah.

Think I'll just sit in the sun and have another one.

0
0

Config file wipe blunder caused deadly Airbus A400M crash – claim

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: on error

Motor vehicles have a "limp mode" for problems where it is safe to run the engine in a reduced power mode.

There are some sensors which are judged to be critical to safe operation, and loss of data can result in an immediate engine shut down.

Having had an engine shut down because of a wiring fault between sensors and ECU I am painfully aware of this.

3
0

Chips can kill: Official

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: What about that 'High Fructose Corn Syrup' then?

Agree with you on the starchy carbs.

Carbs turn to glucose and there is a limit to the amount your body can store.

Any more, and insulin is used to flush it out of your blood into your tissues where it is stored as fat.

Keep abusing insulin production in this way then if you have a genetic tendency you can end up diabetic.

Remember that 80% of obese people do NOT develop diabetes, but 80% of T2 diabetics are overweight or obese on diagnosis.

Sugar is now being recognised as a risk.

Other carbohydrates are just one small metabolic step from sugar.

3
0
David Roberts
Bronze badge
WTF?

Coffee?

Nobody so far has explained how coffee is a high carbohydrate baked or fried item.

See icon --->

0
0

Engaged to be worried – Verify borks married tax allowance applications

David Roberts
Bronze badge
FAIL

Verify?

You lucky, lucky bastards.

When my wife tried to transfer some tax allowance a few weeks back all she got was a request to submit an email address so she could be contacted later.

Still waiting.........

1
0

HP: you know we said we were done with cost cutting...

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Loads of fancy speak about pyramids and stuff.

All it really says is we are going to fire the experienced but expensive staff and hire inexperienced but cheap staff.

This must fill the remaining customers with pride and a deep abiding joy.

How long before all of EDS have been let go?

Along with all their contracts?

Take overs rarely increase profits and reduce overheads.

2
0

Blocking mobile adverts just became that little bit easier

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Asia’s richest person Li Ka-shing....

No.

He invented the Ka-shing server.

0
0

Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

David Roberts
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: John Deere's the real threat to car sales

Sorry about the down vote.

Bloody tablet switched from portrait to landscape in mid type, lost my post but recorded a keyboard finger tap as a vote.

I would also like to plead guilty to a further 20 offences of random voting when incompetent scrolling has resulted in my finger touching a vote button.

I realise this may have caused upset and offence to innocent posters and deeply regret my actions.

9
1
David Roberts
Bronze badge

Parking?

We live near a primary school.

Twice daily there is the scrum from the school run.

This can involve some quite innovative parking.

So how will these driverless cars handle parking for 15 minutes in a congested residential area?

Will all urban streets have to be upgraded to designated parking bays with machine readable markings?

Will a herd of driverless cars just circle the block for 15 minutes?

Will you have to book two trips with a flock of cars leaving and meeting a second flock of cars arriving?

Can you mess with the system by parking in two bays with your old style car, or putting minor obstructions there?

Programming conflict resolution where cars are trying to use the single lane between two rows of parked cars in opposite directions should also be fun.

As others have said, sharing may be a theoretical aim but it is already possible with driven vehicles.

First get people to share short journeys in electrical vehicles (such as local mini school shuttle buses) and then worry about replacing the driver to save money.

Who was it who said "You will prise my steering wheel from my cold dead hands!"?

6
1

Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP

David Roberts
Bronze badge

Re: @Simon Watson

Yes I did(am?)........

.........and don't call me Shirley.

/Pedant

(with a dodgy memory)

0
0

Page:

Forums