* Posts by Michael

140 posts • joined 12 Apr 2006


The outfit where the NHS England Digital boss is headed? Turns out their code is 'not technically suitable' for the £6.4m NHS App


I'd recommend

Ember and PostgreSQL because its low cost, can be developed quickly and will work on all platforms such as Apps and PWS.

Brit hacker hired by Liberian telco to nobble rival now behind bars


Trial in the UK

I note that we seem able to hold a trial in the UK for a crime that was carried out in other jurisdictions. Why can't this be done when the attack is against America? Although I note he was in Germany for trial also.

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans


Re: Just like buying a magazine.

I have three kids. I don't negotiate. I am their parent. They will do as they are told or there will be not internet access. I fail to see the complexity involved in this process.


Re: Just like buying a magazine.

Yes all children should be supervised online at all times until they demonstrate that they can behave as their parents deem appropriately. If they do so, give them the opportunity to demonstrate that they can do this without supervision. If they break the rules, no access without supervision.

US govt concedes that you can indeed f**k Nazis online: Domain-name swear ban lifted


Re: How long...

Or a group of women suing him will register trumpjustwantedtofuck.us

Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines



I'm slightly amused at the use of the term dramathon. It's also the name of a marathon. They happen to have a Japanese whisky available for limited finishers. I wonder if it will have detectable levels of caesium 137 too?

Buggy software could lock a Jeep's cruise control


Re: Automotive Systems & Software

Yes there is. Mistakes can still happen. Given the failure combination that is required to happen and the fact that you can over come it by pressing the break this isn't really that significant. Beyond the number of vehicles that require to be reprogrammed by a dealer. This is more annoying as they deliberately make it difficult for non dealerships to fix, which in turn slows the whole process down.

Ah, uni days! Drugs, sex, parties... sci-tech startups? Not so much


Support for researchers not academics required

The on-going issue is that academics (in the main) don't want to accept the risk associated in a spin-out. The reality is that most spin-outs would be better run and managed by the research fellows/assistants/PhD students that actually develop the technology. A large number of universities continue to make it very difficult for people to spin out due to their desire to claim 20-30% stake in the company and maintain high levels of control over the company. This doesn't sit well with VCs and angel investors making it harder still to succeed.

Academics tend to try to use the spin out process to help their academic career by proving the impact their research is having in the real world and using the company to gain further research grants that require a commercial partner. The motivation for academics is to stay in academia. They should be given the option, leave the uni, with the option to return in up to x years, or leave control to someone else that is willing to take the risk.

Data-by-audio whizzes Chirp palmed £100k to keep working with EDF


Re: Apps??

No they were programmes back then. They still are to me.

Microsoft sparks up Ignite with fresh Azure, Office 365 features


Linux support yet?

Any chance they have announced support for video calls in Skype for business in Linux. I'm fed up searching for a windows PC to be able to join meetings and can't get the company to switch to anything sane that works everywhere.

GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail


Disaster recovery

It is all relative.

For example, in our small team, we destroy our entire staging environment and perform complete restore from backups once every month or two. We also use the production backups for restoration to verify that these are working in a separate environment. I deliberately get someone that hasn't done it recently to check the documentation is correct and everything works. Given that we also have the git repos and source on multiple dev machines also for everything, the worst case data loss is from a dev not committing regular changes. But everything is tested, and I believe regularly enough for a team of 10.

If I was hosting thousands of peoples data, I'd expect a more regular testing of the backup and recovery procedure. The can never have tested it with production data as they have no working backups. That is just incompetent.

UKCloud: We ARE cheaper than Microsoft or AWS online storage


real time costs

You can get real time costs if you put a little effort in and try something like Netflix ice:


Although pricing estimates can still be somewhat confusing.

Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report



If Microsoft join in we could see some spectacular crashes.

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


ARM released new bug capture system to shocked dev community

Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right


Article is wrong

If anyone from the register cared to look up the regulations you can make the CE marking hollow:

http://ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/11502 Principles of affixing the CE marking

"The CE marking can take different forms (e.g. colour, solid/hollow) as long as it remains visible, legible and respects its proportions. It must also be indelible so that it cannot be removed under normal circumstances without leaving noticeable traces (for example some product standards provide for a rub test with water and petroleum spirits).

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the CE marking must form an integral part of the product. "

One Sync to rule them all: How Microsoft plans to fix OneDrive


Re: Linux

Nope, we have been forced to use office 365 as other departments are using it. Only, no Linux support so we need to either restart into a windows machine, run a VM or remote desktop onto a Windows PC to work on documents or browse the random locations where others have shared files.

The web interface is a joke for document editing.

The fact that you can't selectively sync files is painful to deal with.

Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first


Stating the bloody obvious

What would we do without academic studies to tell us what is bloody obvious.

There are plenty of large scale sensor networks have been running for years without issue. You design your system for the environment and make compromises based on real measurements and deployments.

MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross


Re: @LDS (was: Yes, Word is the worst word processor....)

Lyx for those that want to see as they type.

Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me


Methane production?

Build enough nuclear power stations, use excess power to generate hydrogen.

Build some zero emission methane burning power stations next to the nuclear plant


Combine the two gases to get more methane.

Should keep the lights on for the next 1000 years or so. Might be inefficient, but at least we'd have a relatively easy gas to store and burn on demand to account for peaks in demand.

Apple dodged all UK corporation tax in 2012


25% duty on branding costs

cross borders used to offset a reduction in beer duty!

Gigabyte's BRIX fall into place



Get a USB IR receiver stick it somewhere unobtrusive and mount the PC on the VESA mount at the back of the TV. Or in a drawer. Having the IR on the PC means I need to have it on show.

Crowd-sourcing interpretation of IBM RAID 5 extension paper


Quick answer

RAID 5 can handle one disk failure. If there is a sector failure also you can not recover the associated data.

RAID 6 can handle two disk failures, or one disk plus one sector but not two disks and one sectors, or even one disk and two sectors.

The proposition is for encoding of sectors to enable recovery of disk failure and a simultaneous disk failure. By adding additional parity to the disk contents you can recover from a disk and sector failure in RAID 5 which you could not do normally.

Architect pitches builder-bothering 'Print your own house' plan


Re: do for building what Linux did for software

Will slowly over time take control of the mobile home world?

Apologies, that was bad.

Google Chrome feature helps you silence noisy tabs


There has been a work around for years

I have no speakers attached....

Competition crowdsources blisteringly-fast software


Re: Glad I don't work for the firm that developed the original software

No, I'd be quite happy if I was able to massively over charge because I didn't want to spend the time developing one algorithm.


Re: All your IP rights are belong to...

An algorithm can not be patented.

Of course, solving a problem that potentially you could sell for thousands more may be considered stupid, but is does show you skills off and perhaps some of these people will be employed by the supposed market leaders to improve their software.

Linux HTPC <£300


Thought I'd update on my purchases:

£180 Lenovo Q180, ebuyer

£55 PCTV 290e USB dual DVB-t USB stick, and USB DVD drive. PC world

£30 samsung se 208ab tsbs external slimline DVD writer

Total cost £265

Installed mythbuntu, TV tuner just worked, sound for live TV and recordings no problem. Still haven't got sound working in mythbunutu dvd plyer, but works in VLC.

HDTV not working unfortunately. I assume that this is a driver issue as the ATI 6xxxx series graphics card should handle it no problem. Tried the AMD drivers rather than the ones in the repository but to no avail.

PC fan could be quieter, but you don't notice when the TV is on.

Still to get a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Using my android phone for the remote.

Thumb Up

No display required

Plugging this into the TV, so need HDMI only.

I like the sound of your setup. Nice and simple.

I was considering a lenovo Q180, dual DVB-t USB stick, and USB DVD drive. Should be a similar price point and looks nice in the living room.


Linux HTPC <£300

I'm looking for hardware recommendations to build a Linux based HTPC for less than £300.

System needs to have HDMI and support for 1080p. Not overly fussed about blue ray, but definately want DVD support. This can be via USB.

Also looking to record and watch live TV simultaneously so DVB-T tuner suggestions would be welcome. Everything has to be on one system, running in the living room and as close to silent as reasonably possible for the price.

Raspberry Pi signs big-name sellers


Re: Re: And Splat!

Yep, very pissed off I can't get on to either to order components.

Potent proton pulse to BOMBARD EARTH Tuesday morn


EST UTC - 5 hours

The post is required, and must contain letters.

Taxman two months late on cyber-crimefighters deadline


Is this a problem

Maybe they are trying to hire someone who can do the job, rather than the normal muppets government agencies always seem to find.

Or maybe not...

Scottish Boundary Commission: We don't need no stinkin' PDFs

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Nice to see

that screwing things up the first time around has been tried out in England first. Makes for a pleasant change.

Boffins shine 800Mbps wireless network from flashlight


removal of wires

How exactly? You still need the wired back haul to the room. Personally I'd rather the hospital paid for a nice reliable cable if they need network access so that the receiver/transmitter doesn't get block for any reason.

Or you know, use maybe a tube to focus the light beams to a specific point in the room....

Booze for wrinklies: Good or bad?


learn to read?

You aren't a regular reader are you?

Trick cyclists = Psychiatrists

study-study, did you read the article? The study was a study of other studies. Or a study-study.....


Stand by for more big, windfarm-driven 'leccy price rises


Hydrogen -> Methane

And why not then convert from hydrogen to methane.

Sure it is even less efficient use of the energy, but we have this massive distribution network already in place and power stations that can use it when required.

4G auctions - illegal and immoral?


Lease the frequency

Why can't the government just lease the frequency for say 5 year periods with the current holder guaranteed the lease again so long as they meet minimum requirements?

Place minimum requirements on operators for usage of the spectrum, and coverage, with the requirements becoming more stringent over time. This enables operators to build up nation wide coverage over time, ensures people don't hold on to spectrum they aren't using and reduces the one off cost to operators. Longer term, they may pay the government as much, or more for the spectrum.

Want an untracked Android? Here’s how



I think El Reg could do with adding a clear colour code system to highlight this in future. Will save confusion....

UK net banking website falls flat on its bank


try blocking scripts

their website is piss poor. The flash and background scripts constantly hang and cause issues when loading. Block scripts and it is surprisingly quick at loading.

TI acquires National Semiconductor for $6.5bn



TI have been buying up fabs over the last year or so. They have now got massive capacity. So it is more an issue of chip shortages for everything but TI parts...

Nokia: Keep codin' for Symbian and Qt!


yep great phone

Nokia sent me one to apologise for cancelling training on Qt due to the MS announcement. The phone has far better reception and battery life. It has been quite nice to play with. Pity it is now not worth switching to Qt.

Football goal-line tracking tech delayed

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check your figures.

I know that crowds at matches in scotland over a weekend can easily clear 100K and that is only those attending the match.

English premier league averages a higher number of spectators a week than your figures:


Couch potatoes riddled with heart disease


cause of death

"People who spend excessive amounts of time in front of a screen - primarily watching TV - are more likely to die of any cause and suffer heart-related problems.

more likely to die of any cause? So someone who spends all day watching TV is more like to be killed in an avalanche whilst skiing than anyone else? Amazing bit of research that, probably the avalanche will be a result of the heart disease....

Anyway, I'm off for a mars bar supper and to catch up on some TV.

BT mulls upping apprentice numbers


which is how it should be here

Technicians fix things and the engineers design them.

Phonemakers cry foul on Steve Jobs 'We're all alike' attack


real measurements

I don't have one of the phones Jobs' mentions, however, here are some real numbers for the HTC hero.

Lying on desk signal strength -95dBm

holding single handed (left or right) signal strength -101dBm

completely shielded with both hands I eventually managed to drop it to -109 dBm.

Is this unacceptable or unexpected. Not really, there isn't much that can be done if you have an antenna internal to the phone and someone picks it up. Fortunately, I rarely use my phone with both hands wrapped completely around it to answer/make calls.

The iPhone 4 I tried at the weekend immediately dropped ~22dBm when I placed one finger over the link between the antenna. Add that to the problem of shielding and signal reception degrades beyond use very quickly. Other smart phones share the problem of shielding, some are better at coping with this than others. The iPhone is the one that is incompetently designed because it looks better. Style over substance as per usual.

Brazilian banker's crypto baffles FBI


negative stance

Well as far as I'm aware he is still innocent. They haven't yet convicted him of anything yet have they?

We are all just happy that a bank somewhere in the world has heard of security.

Statistics prof nails Blackpool hoopla scam


how thick

do you need to be to waste £1200 on hoopla?

I can agree that the stall being set up such that the items were wider than the rings is wrong. But surely people aren't that stupid to spend so much money on hoopla. Go buy the bottle of champagne.


Acer Easystore H340 2TB Nas box

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no RAID?

why? I like the idea, but I would need to have RAID support.

OU: Digital divide now between clued and clueless



The day that teachers accepted that it was a trusted source of information was the day that education died.

NFC? It might work says Department for Transport


to be fair

it is standard and accepted practice to define acronyms. Especially when people might not have heard of it, when we are talking about, what for many people, is a new technology.


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