* Posts by Mage

7760 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Mage Silver badge

Chip & PIN or Contactless

Both of these reduce Fraud. In a sense!

Except they reduce it MORE for the bank than for the customer. Because Chip & PIN fraud is usueally deemed to be customer carelessness. Contactless was designed for warehouses. It should NEVER have been used for payments, it's not secure and people are being harvested with portable devices. Chip & PIN as implemented has a MASSIVE flaw as it doesn't depend on connection to bank to verify PIN and there is inadequate physical security of shop terminals. MITM attacks.

All widely documented.

Banks are also stupidly outsourcing IT when it should be a core activity.

Dropbox gets all up in your kernel with Project Infinite. Cue uproar

Mage Silver badge

browser is “a clunky user experience at best”

Well, I'd not touch these opaque web based cloud providers with a bargepole.

I use SFTP and a graphical GUI.

I'd not trust Dropbox to support random not current or very popular OS, or do security or privacy properly.

Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars

Mage Silver badge

Re: As a consumer - 2 key issues ...

Worse than Apple Pippin.


Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: The very high price of loyalty

Nokia did OK.

Yet again they re-invent:


Welly boots

Satellite boxes




They've eaten Siemens and Motorola in the Network Infrastructure space. Ericsson and Huawei is maybe main competition left.

Nokia Networks: Make, install and maintain the infrastructure the phones use. They never sold ANY phone IP to Microsoft or the Name. They got all the money from MS in exchange for stuff they were going to dump.

So was Elop a Trojan or a double Agent? :)

Mage Silver badge

Re: Probably cheaper


Three times, maybe.

Original Win CE based (Quite high percentage in USA before 2005?)

Sidekick Danger

Zune Inspired Windows Phone.

They destroyed the Desktop product for a market they will now never crack.

German boffins smash records with 37km wireless spurt at 6Gbps

Mage Silver badge

WiFi Mesh

Last month they switched off the 2.5GHz MMDS in Ireland. So loads of rural roofs with "free" 20dBi to 24dBi mesh dishes just like the one in the link. The older ones use a dipole and N -connector, so are fine for 2.4GHz. Newer ones need the LNA which replaced the stalk on old ones replaced.

Mage Silver badge

Re: A 37km radius

No, it's PURELY point to point links, like we have up to 1Gbps now. Just better.

It's not to the end user. It MIGHT feed a ADSL+ cabinet with 250 users in a village, or 25 users with VDSL

Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

Mage Silver badge

Alternative is'nt pain free

I've used MS Windows, and supported it, sold, training etc 1991 to 2004

User 1991 to 2014

There has been some pain moving to Linux Mint + Mate Desktop + WINE, but for me it's far more functional than Win10 (old specialist programs, some have free alternatives on Linux, only costly or no alternative on Win10). OS X seems poorly supported for th stuff I do and a Mac costs too much. Linux runs on all my existing netbook, latop, PC etc.

We changed the server first a few years ago (we quite often had UNIX or Linux on something since 1986) from Windows 2000 (Win 2003 was too bloated for the old Hardware that had been running NT 4.0.) to Debian. Maybe that was 2010.

Mage Silver badge

Re: so Desperation

Seems they are rather desperate

Irish data cops kick Max Schrems' latest Facebook complaint up to EU Court

Mage Silver badge

Re: "The Like Button"

Those "buttons" have scripts running from the SMDJ servers. They can track users.

I rather suspect it might be criminal to put them on an EU hosted site.

Mage Silver badge

Re: What's betting....

Why would the EU do anything for USA companies? It's not like they make stuff here (Made in China) or pay much or any tax (anywhere).

They are just exploiting EU people to line their own pockets.

Booming sales of flippy detachables offers hope to glum PC market

Mage Silver badge

Re: Laptop sales down

You didn't find it in the UK or Irish High street.

There are sure to be some decent laptops out there.

Mage Silver badge

Laptop sales down

Could it be because the ones under $1200 are essentially nearly junk? Low resolution shiny screens similar to $50 tablets. Higher end tablets do have far better screens than $600 laptops

Toyota not shybot about whybot it will trybot the iBot

Mage Silver badge

Re: Big Thumbs Up!

Yes, exoskeleton mobility is possible too, yet most trials are for military guys in the field to substitute for a fork lift. How sad.

There are LOADS of things possible for all kinds of disabled people. But the makers don't see big enough market.

Facebook's turbo-charged Instant Articles: Another brick in the wall

Mage Silver badge


STUFF Google, Facebook, and Apple for attempting to create pointless standards. RSS works to feed Goodreads and USA Amazon Author page (Goodreads is owned by Amazon).

Stuff Facebook and Apple for trying to create walled gardens too.

Try getting stuff on/off an Apple gadget without iTunes, even if it has USB.

Cock fight? Not half. Microsoft beats down Apple in Q1

Mage Silver badge

Re: Education

indeed ANY tablet is a bad idea for most subjects currently:

Too many distractions

Poor applications

Even laptops etc are bad in the class room in MOST subjects.

Loads of surveys showing it makes performance worse. Kids not paying attention to Teacher and rubbish courseware.

Apple: Another bug fix. Er, thanks, GCHQ

Mage Silver badge

Attack vs Defence

That suggests GCHQ know their enough of their enemies (which include governments, terrorists and criminal) know this bug, thus defence is more useful now.

The underbelly of simulation science: replicating the results

Mage Silver badge

Re: and this is called chaos theory...

The problem isn't just Chaos theory.

You have to ask how reliable some simulations are at all. Reproducible results does not equal correct results. If an equally good library or different hardware gives a different answer, which one is right? Maybe neither.

Modular phone Ara to finally launch

Mage Silver badge

Re: Hobbyists

Is it much more than a modern version of Nokia's snap-on covers? If not it's pointless.

Options for a modular phone:

flat camera or one with big zoom lens

Swap radio 2g/3g/4g module for new bands or different market or new standard

Swap GPS module

Swap WiFi module

battery for compact phone or big one for long life

Easy replace screen

Clip on qwerty cover

eInk back or cover

Interfaces such as GPIB, parallel, serial, firewire, PS/2, wired ethernet without bottlenect of USB or Bluetooth or SDIO

SD card slot

joypad controller

IR remote controller and reader to learn controls

barcode scanner (cameras only work well with certain codes)

ISO card reader


Photoplethysmography up

Mage Silver badge

Carbon Monoxide

Gives a lovely colour.

Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have different effects. Smokers have higher monoxide levels in their breath even when they are not smoking.

The Sons of Kahn and the Witch of Wookey

Mage Silver badge


Some day I most collect the entire Codex.

Typewriter for iPad review

Mage Silver badge

But $350?

Mad price. Otherwise interesting if the switches are like an old IBM or Cherry mechanical PC keyboard. Keyboard only good bit on an IBM PC.

I made a custom PS/2 keyboard about 10 years ago by opening a regular keyboard (with two membrane layers under the real looking keys). Then 15c (retail, but not Maplin) miniature switches on matrix strip board / veroboard wired to the IC.

I'd guess, including Asian labour, this costs under $15 to make. I use a USB miniature "server bay" keyboard with USB2go adaptor on my phone, or sometimes a USB 7" tablet cover I picked up for a fiver.

I got rid of the fake mechanical keyboard on my workstation and found an early "Win keys" real mechanical keyboard in the attic, much better for typing 10K words a day. I'd not like stiffer keys.

Adobe launches Spark: Amateur graphical fun!

Mage Silver badge


Sometimes "free" is too expensive.

I only buy clothes with out logos or names on the outside.

You wanted innovation? We gave you Clippy the Paperclip in your IM client

Mage Silver badge



"What the chatbot wars reveal, then, is a Silicon Valley that, far from being disruptive and innovative, is desperately uninventive, and creepy with it. Now that the low-hanging fruit (search, free music, free email) has been plucked, we can see them for what they are, quite transparently, which is consumer data slurping operations."


Hacker rescues Hollywood house from URL scam squatters

Mage Silver badge

Not just websites

Fundamentally email and web has tried to add security afterwards.

Phising / malware emails often copy large chunks from the legitimate site in realtime as well as during design. The email addresses can be meaningless.

With more TLD being added the potential to have fakes has increased, though the real problem is solvable except by scrapping HTTP and HTTPS and inventing something new. Not going to happen.

Electric Babel Fish swims into crowdfunding

Mage Silver badge

Seems misleading

I saw this on newspaper sites.

1) Google Translate and Skype etc are only good to translate to your own language, and then poor

2) You need phrases etc for context. Word by word doesn't work, so latency.

3) Bet anything it's just a wireless earbud, likely bluetooth.

4) It MIGHT run on phone, this is unlikely, probably the phone just connects earpiece and microphone to a remote server.

Nothing to see. This won't be in-ear translation. What ever it is won't be better than Skype, QQ or Google Translate and worse than the text interface to those as there is the addition error prone voice recognition.

IBM invents printer that checks for copyrights

Mage Silver badge

Re: "A wizard did it" - again

Watson is a party trick, it's far more human curated database than AI.

Essentially it's a clever interface to a database.

Mage Silver badge

Relies on a database.

Who is going to manage the database?

Also how does it manage:

Geo variations


Fair use

copyright holders

This is unworkable.

No printing allowed if internet connection goes down?

Privacy: Snooping on what people are printing. Iran, NK, Saudi Arabia etc will love it.

New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy

Mage Silver badge

Sounds good

Unlike a lot of lab ideas and many VC scams this has very sound logical science.

No doubt rather than solid glass prisms it will use flat film dichroic filters

Magento attacks uncanny hacks-men with shopper-popper patch

Mage Silver badge

vulnerability in Magento e-commerce


Oh dear.

Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

Mage Silver badge

idyllic English village

Even Anthony Horowitz (the writer) thought Midsommer Murder series had too high a body count. So he didn't explain that paganism was the REAL cause.

Sloppy security in IoT putting 'life and limb' at risk, guru warns

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

"a flaw everyone 1000 lines of code"

"a flaw everyone 1000 lines of code. Windows comprised around 10 million lines of code, he said, while a modern connected vehicle featured 10 times that number, and featured multiple attack surfaces, from in car Wi-Fi, to entertainment systems and Bluetooth locks."

What?! Ten times as much code in a car than Windows? I don't believe it.

People are using bluetooth for locks? Madness.

Why does in Car WiFi connect to anything other than Mobile?

Is there some exaggeration here?

Meet the man who owns his own piece of the internet

Mage Silver badge

And grey text, "flat" buttons that might just be headings, links that are only underlines...

Mage Silver badge

Re: "It's in the article."

Thanks, brain faded out during article.

Mage Silver badge

So it's $249,985 extra

with richardii.com is there any limit to subdomains? They don't cost extra. So it's $249,985 extra to save typing .com

Or 62496.25 per character.

These TLD are rented or owned? Do you have to pay $250,000 every year?

Ofcom serves up an extra helping of airwaves for Wi-Fi

Mage Silver badge

PR spin

I'm not sure how this makes much difference unless you are on cable or fibre.

If the WiFi is the bottle neck, then a few more 5GHz channels won't solve it. Propagation / Range is poor at 5GHz.

How do existing router/Airpoints and clients use these channels? If they can use them, they probably already are, as almost no-one buys a gadget and then checks that its spectrum usage is Ofcom compliant.

If no existing gear has them, and the Chinese add them for UK, won't everyone else, not supposed to have them, use them. Has Ofcom heard of ITU, EBU, EU, FCC etc?

So I'm bemused by this announcement.

Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

Mage Silver badge

Re: and people ask why I'm not on any (anti-)social media site?

Just use a fake identity ...

Boffins flip the unflippable: Meet the latest storage extender contender

Mage Silver badge


He's got one on his desk. So is it years, decades or "I quite like having the only hover car"

Mage Silver badge

manipulating the magnetic ordering of antiferromagnets is tricky.

If not nearly impossible. However makes what you manage to write quite robust?

Mage Silver badge

Re: "it'll take years"

It was about doubling of transistors in ANY chip, originally same size chip and annually, then 18 months, 2 years, any size chip or anything!

It's been a bit dead since about 2003. When CPUs (or anything) used 90nm, that was the general geometry. But 14nm chips are not really as the 14nm isn't even close to average size, but smallest feature.

Since this might be more like bubble memory rather than spinning disk, I guess it's like a chip?

Bubble memory WAS used in production, a great future claimed in 1970s, but never survived due to Static Ram + Lithium cell, then Flash and also miniature high capacity HDD and even MO 128M and larger drives killed it.

It could be a decade or never before we see this.

Google open sources Thread in bid to win IoT standards war

Mage Silver badge

Re: Not sure I get the point...

Free versions been around since about 1997, that's when I tried automatic image grab & upload to Internet (I was using ISDN at home).

Mage Silver badge

Re: f'n retarded names: Thread

Or maybe they don't want you to search for 3rd party info?

made up & unique names are also FAR easier to trademark. It's got to be deliberate.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Do we all need to feel like we're in a sci-fi movie?

No proper security / alarm system relies on wireless either, those are the consumer junk for people not wanting to run 4 core. Denial of service is trivial on a wireless alarm/lock/security. If it has an "RF interference / blocking alarm, then the criminal will set that off frequently ($50 handheld gadget) till it's disabled (Cry Wolf attack) then do DOS to break in.

Mage Silver badge

IP addressing is increasingly accepted as the best way to build out an IoT global infrastructure

Only if you don't care about security or privacy. It's also a huge overhead in memory and CPU

I'd rather they all used zigbee or simpler (even an encrypted ASK/OOK 433MHz/385MHz or whatever depending on country) and then a single secure dongle connected at your router via ethernet. Hardly any of these companies have shown any competence in WiFi security, allowing miscreants to use the coffee maker to filch your WiFi password/security settings!

Also they should be 100% functional without

a) Providers' so called "cloud"

b) Optionally any internet at all.

Unicorn adopts rainbow as logo

Mage Silver badge

Re: Well to be honest, it was dealing with photographs

"Just think about Apple which is a rainbow. (I believe it was in a circle, but I haven't seen it for years)"

The original was an apple with a bite out of it with six color stripes, no gradient. Inspired by Beatles "Apple Corp". They got sued several times by Beatles.

Original Apple Logo

Curiously the order is Green, Amber-Yellow, Orange, Red, Violet, Cyan!

A rainbow would be Red, Orange, Amber-Yellow, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Violet (with no steps, pure graduation of millions of hues in reality). There is no magenta in a rainbow, as those "colours" are mixes of red and blue parts of spectrum with no green part of spectrum. Because we have three overlapping sensors peaking in Red, Green and Blue, the "magenta" is a sort of optical illusion. With a prism it gives light at both ends of spectrum and gap in the middle.

[Apple also pinched iPhone name from Cisco and iPad name from Fujitsu and their clock's appearance from Swiss Railways. Ives minimalistic white styling is "homage" to the designs Dieter Rams did for Braun, nothing original]

Windows 10 build 14342: No more friendly Wi-Fi sharing

Mage Silver badge

Re: symlink support for Linux subsystem

Existed in NT3.5x if not always in NT.

Mysteriously the user interface changed or something on later versions. Not new for Vista.

Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Who knew ?

The stupidity is 3rd party domains with SCRIPTS and iframe being used for ads on a website. That's a potential malware vector, so I block all behaviour like that. I don't specifically set to block adverts.

Static images and text hosted by the website you are visiting might be less convenient to bust people's privacy or manage for the advertiser, but it's surely not going to get blocked!

I've no sympathy for the big players or small ones serving adverts, and slurping privacy, both using tech in an irresponsible way!

Ireland's international tech sector bumps up against language barrier

Mage Silver badge

Re: Other languages

C#, C, C++, PHP, Java, javascript, coldfusion, actionscript, ASP, SQL, php, ruby etc.

I totally agree actually that you need native speakers for localisation. The only thing Native Irish speakers of German, Chinese, French etc would be useful for is translation of foreign documents into English.

Due to USA dominance in software and Internet global companies, and the "English" nature of programming languages, the "foreign" person with English as a good second language is at an advantage over UK, Irish or English speaking Americans.

Mage Silver badge


All the people I met in MS Dublin "localisation" were from rest of Europe. French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese people.

"Native" Irish are rubbish at languages, on average, there are brilliant people. Despite Irish in every primary and secondary school, less than 10% have any Irish fluency, likely outnumbered by Chinese speakers. Loads of Polish, but only by people from Poland!

Even for jobs only needing English in High Tech Dublin, there are loads of French, South Africans, Germans, Polish, Ukrainians etc. There are not enough local people with suitable qualifications. Also people from elsewhere don't realise how expensive Dublin is till they have the job and it's too late!

Can ad biz’s LEAN avert ADPOCALYPSE?

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Blocking ads OR blocking potential malware and preserving privacy?

I have never set out to block adverts.

Some sites I visit with ads (according to others) are ad free to me.

The issue is 3rd party hosted scripts and iframes on a site you are visiting. By default I have to white list any javascript. This is to protect privacy and security. I almost never whitelist 3rd party domains. Some 3rd parties may use unique per session URLS to track (thus ANY content can track you) or javascript. Not just cookies or a transparent GIF with unique name.

Each of those 3rd party servers also will know what page you are on and due to privacy fail in Browser design / HTTP what your previous page was?

Many websites are now a total mess of different sources.

Privacy and Security are my issues. "LEAN" does nothing for that.

Also "cookie" design is the wrong way round. You have to blacklist sites and delete cookies. Why the hell isn't it the other way round for privacy?

Any adverts that are static and hosted by the site I visit are 100% seen. I don't have an issue with that.

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