* Posts by Steve Evans

2697 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Steve Evans

Re: It takes very little to be better than tha Harrier...

but it could never be a great fighter or attack plane in a difficult environment

The Argentinian airforce would beg to differ.

11
7

'No evidence' UK.gov has done much to break up IT outsourcing

Steve Evans

Re: Endless

Nearly every big government contract I've ever worked on had endless problems with the client not knowing what they want, coming up with a spec (over the top), then changing it, then changing it some more and repeat repeat repeat.

And that in a nutshell is it. The people asking for the system and specifying the system have never done an honest days work in that department operating the existing system (be it an IT based one or paper).

They don't know the day-to-day issues, and couldn't even provide a basic flow-chart of the tasks that need to be performed.

The only way to properly understand the system you are trying to design is to sit with the users of the existing system and watch (and question) them.

But no... Multiple layers of management/bureaucracy mean the person writing the spec has no idea how things are done. When a delivery is finally made, the users all go "WTF?!" and the feedback then filters back up the management ladder in some kind of golf-club hosted Chinese whispers, and then the change request (as heard by the last link in the chain) is passed onto the supplier. It will of course have next to nothing in common with the original feedback from the end users to their line manager.

10
0

Drone crashes after operator failed to spot extra building site crane

Steve Evans

Claims expertise...

Immediately proves he has none.

50m was about it for Joe public original GPS with the locked down military encrypted packet and only a lock on a 3 or 4 satellites. These days you get a lock on close to a dozen with a clear sky like that, and you're down to a couple of meters.

3
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Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Steve Evans

A drop down menu?!!

What idiot designed that interface? I must mis-select from those at least a dozen times a day!

For something as important as that you need a big red shiny button, a long distance from any other buttons, and as other have suggested, a confirmation box which looks absolutely nothing like any of the others, with hot keys disabled and the OK button not focused so an errant "enter" won't click it.

17
1

France may protect citizens' liberté with ban on foreigners buying local big data firms

Steve Evans

Re: How it will unfortunately actually work....

You missed out a step...

French govt will make it policy that all government departments must use a French supplier of services, keeping the company afloat for some time before the inevitable happens.

4
1

Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?

Steve Evans

Copy and paste...

Be careful El Reg... Copy and pasting to reveal the content of a badly redacted document is probably enough to have you grabbed by the fuzz, you circumvented a protection mechanism after all!

12
0

Heart of darkness: Inside the Osówka underground city

Steve Evans

Re: I don't suppose this is Himmler's project to awake some giant from Norse mythology

is Cheyenne Mountain a project to wake a mythical giant?

Nah, just a the Stargate which leads to aliens who inspired Egyptian mythology.

6
0

FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

Steve Evans

Re: Face Palm

It not just you in America, we have the same in the UK.

HM Govt continually want backdoors in encryption.

Neither realise that:

a) You can't just do that and keep its integrity.

b) HTTPS to Amazon and your bank's website is also encryption, so cybercrime will explode if that's broken.

c) The general public don't trust the Govt's ability to keep anything secret.

d) The general public don't trust the Govt not to abuse such access.

6
0

Parliamentary 'puters made 30k tries to procure pr0nz last year

Steve Evans

Re: SexyMP

I read your warning too late...

They need a 3rd option.

"I'd rather tie my d*ck to the next space-X launch rocket with piano wire!"

8
0

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

Steve Evans

That is quite impressive, although I'm curious to know the physics involved, especially for those birds that hit high up the windscreen.

It does however highlight an issue... Namely that drones aren't exactly the biggest problem the helicopter pilot had, birds were... That helicopter screen wouldn't have passed the bird strike test used on airlines let alone having a 3kg DLSR fired at it, so a little unfair to be levelling all the responsibility on the DSLR thrower/carrier.

1
0

UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Steve Evans

Re: Just checked

Quiet please, I'm trying to see how the "What the butler saw" story ends.

3
0

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare

Steve Evans

"operating as designed"

So your design was bad then...

10
0

IBM lobs sueball at travel site Expedia for using some old Prodigy patents

Steve Evans

The US patent system strikes again... Patents are granted by default. Inspection/testing and possible deletion of the patent only occurs if they are contested in court.

So it all comes down to who has the most expensive lawyers.

11
0

First Allied submarine lost in World War One, found near New Guinea

Steve Evans

Re: Lest we forget.

Short answer... no as the steel is contaminated. Apparently (I'm not sure why) even "new" steel is contaminated.

It's due to the production methods. Basically blowing huge amounts of air through the molten steel. "Modern" air contains radioactive contaminants thanks to all the nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s.

Any steel which was made before that is low-background. Anything after, sorry, no good.

0
0

Comms-slurping public bodies in UK need crash course in copy 'n' paste

Steve Evans

Re: IPv6

My thoughts exactly!

3
0

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the data centre temp's delightful

Steve Evans

Re: RS232 Frog

I've seen aquarium thermometers stuck on the inside of glass rack doors before - actually not a bad idea. Certainly more reliable than some newfangled digital thingies.

21
0

TalkTalk banbans TeamTeamviewerviewer againagain

Steve Evans

TalkTalk...

Putting the Dumb into dumb pipe.

1
0

HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

Steve Evans

The Beeb are obviously having a slow news day too and have dragged the non-story out all day.

Including interviewing a retired submarine captain... And even having found a man who should have a mortal terror of a leaky boat, even he was pretty "meh".

Back of the envelope calculations tell me that at only 200 litres an hour, with no pumps running, and all water-tight doors (of which there are many) left wide open, she'd still be floating into the new year!

(Assuming she she didn't just fill up on one side and tip over of course).

7
0

Yes, Britain has an urban-rural 4G schism. This is what it looks like

Steve Evans

O2 and Voda...

So the two old names (well O2 was Cellnet) show all the signs of being able to handle change and maneuver to cope pretty much on-par with an oil tanker.

All the flexibility of a gymnast with rigor mortis.... etc etc...

There are certainly villages in my "East of England" parts which are lucky to get 2G from O2 and Voda.

BTW, Ofcom have an app which should track all this bad coverage, and allow them to provide a very accurate picture.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/coverage/ofcom-mobile-research-app

4
0

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?

Steve Evans

Re: Just popping down the battery station for some half dead flowers

That's true for basic functional technology like torches or radios, ane even milk floats if it comes to thta, but cars have never been that sort of consumer good

Depends how far you dismantle them... eCar battery packs are nothing but a collection of standard 18650 cells, the same as you have in torches, e-cigs and laptop batteries, just a lot more of them!

Unfortunately they're boxed up with control/protection circuitry and cooling systems so swapping out the individual cells would be far slower than just recharging the whole lot overnight!

3
0

Then there were four: Another draft US law on 'foreign' (aka domestic) mass spying emerges

Steve Evans

We will not spy on American citizens...

(We'll get some other government to do that from their taps, and then they'll just send it over).

6
0

Stop your moaning, says maker of buggy Bluetooth sex toy

Steve Evans

Cheat!

That's a pretty lame way of winning at pool...

Wish I'd thought it it!

On second thoughts, I doubt I'd be able (or want) to be able to convince many of my normal pool friends (male) to "just put this up somewhere"!!!

3
0

will.i.am's tech tat biz is going enterprise, snags $117m from Salesforce

Steve Evans

Re: "your imagination's the limit"

Well he imagined he could sing once...

And low and behold, the autotuner almost managed it!

3
0

BT hikes prices for third time in 18 months

Steve Evans

They didn't offer me a speedboost (already going as fast as the FTTC can manage), they just offered me some more of their cloud storage (of which I have used 0 bytes)... Yeah... Right... That's about as tempting to me as being trapped with a @btinternet.com email address.

23
0

Google's phone woes: The Pixel and the damage done

Steve Evans

@A/C re: Nokia 8

I actually handled a Nokia 8 the other day... Almost dropped it, and that was whilst being careful looking at a friend's new phone... Damn those things are slippery.

I foresee a good market in replacements screens for those things.

As for Nokia's original reputation (pre-Elop), the hardware was generally ok, but this was just at the beginning of the OTA patching era, and Nokia were playing catch-up, so a lot of phones got shipped with "beta" software, with the intention to fix them with updates over the air. Unfortunately once the carriers got involved, did their spin on the firmware, sold the phones, that was that... They never bothered spinning their bits onto updates Nokia issued and the phones were locked to that specific carriers firmware fork. The result that many owners were left with the "beta".

For example, the N95 actually got very good with later versions of firmware. Not that anyone in the UK would have ever noticed, unless they'd jump through all the hoops to change the model number of theirs to generic EU model, and then manually done their own update.

Then there was the after sales support, and the Nokia support forum... I got moderated for disrespecting the company once... I pointed out that if they continued with that level of support, customers were going to go elsewhere, and the support droid who moderated me would be out of a job. I tried to not to smile 9 months later when Elop arrived...

3
0

No, the FCC can't shut down TV stations just because Donald Trump is mad at the news

Steve Evans

Re: Ein Trump, Ein reich...

I wonder if he's thought of writing a book?

Mein Trumpf.

14
1

WPA2 KRACK attack smacks Wi-Fi security: Fundamental crypto crapto

Steve Evans

Re: Security is dead, long live security

Blimee... You're not sceptical enough to be in here!

"I guess most devices will be patched to fix this within a year"

Noooo... Most manufacturers will use this as an excuse to push a new model out within the month!

25
0

Shhh! There's a new BlackBerry and... no, we've said too much

Steve Evans

Unfortunately the integrated messaging of the Blackberry Hub seems to be a huge must-have for many trying to move on from their aging Blackberrys, something that even BB have failed to replicate properly on their Android offerings.

For those people, anything new is going to be a very painful experience.

0
0

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Steve Evans

Re: Metric please

Don't be silly.

A Metre is perfectly well defined in day-to-day terms. It's the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299792458 seconds.

36
3

Google touts Babel Fish-esque in-ear real-time translators. And the usual computer stuff

Steve Evans

Re: Sometimes I wonder...

I have broken one screen though...

Well actually, I didn't break it... My brother did... With the wheel of his Landrover as he drove over it after it had slipped out of my pocket as he dropped me off.

But that was way back in the day, and it was a nokia, so it still worked, I just couldn't see anything.

IIRC the replacement screen cost me less than the beer and curry I had after he had dropped me off.

I did kill a Thinkpad keyboard with a pint of beer once.

Ah... The Thinkpad... I wonder if the new one has the under keyboard liquid catcher and gutter drainage system. Not many laptops would bathe in a whole pint of beer and only require a £30 keyboard.

1
0
Steve Evans

Sometimes I wonder...

I must be the only person left on the planet who hasn't dropped his phone in the sea or peed on it and flushed it...

I do worry about the population of this planet sometimes.

5
1

Is that a bulge in your pocket or... do you have an iPhone 8+? Apple's batteries look swell

Steve Evans

Re: It's a feature

No more melting glue or attacking tamper-resistant screws. The phone opens itself when it needs a new battery.

Has anyone checked to see if they've applied for a patent on that?

27
1

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

Steve Evans

No Thinklight?!

*wails*

3
1

Essentially invisible: Android big-daddy Andy Rubin's hypetastic mobe 'flops in first month'

Steve Evans

Re: Shame it's not available here

About three hundred quid in change?

Well said!

I hadn't even got as far as finding it was impossible to buy in the UK, it had looked interesting right up until I saw the price, and at that was the end of my interest.

3
0

EasyJet: We'll have electric airliners within the next decade

Steve Evans

They're gonna need a bit more than a fast charge to even get close to the usual 30-40 minute turn round they like to perform...

Unless QueezyJet are happy with only one flight a day for each plane!

8
0

Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

Steve Evans

I think I'd rather have an OS/Software which didn't require a special key, or key combo for "OIY! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! YOU'VE GONE WRONG AGAIN!"

0
0

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Steve Evans

Even stranger considering Apple’s biggest acquisition was Beats, and behind the scenes it consistently challenges the music industry supply chain to higher standards.

Sorry, you equate Beats with high quality?

They're a fashion brand, with an over-inflated price tag.

20
1

Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

Steve Evans

Re: "I doubt the RN has the reliable operating capability...."

"I'm also fairly sure the Argentines aren't quite a gung-ho as the Junta was back then."

It all depends what their current leader needs to distract people from.

That always seems to be the way down there. Got crippling financial problems, huge unemployment, easy, get the natives worked up about a little island.

Rumours flying about corruption, fear that you're going to be caught for lining your own nest? Quick, stir up the natives again about a little island.

2
1

UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

Steve Evans

Maybe if some UK banks would actually wake up and smell the coffee, we could actually use their cards for our Google Wallets, instead of them living in a dream world where their own, single bank offering was actually relevant.

2
2

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Steve Evans

Oooh...

Non Chiclet keyboard - Yay!

Nipple - Yay!

I wonder if it has a thinklight?

Oh please have a thinklight... and a screen with a good colour gamut...

14
0
Steve Evans

Re: Screw 16:10

I still miss my R52 and its 1400 x 1050... :'(

A laptop that was a convenient size, and still had great vertical resolution.

Sure, these days I have a 1920x1080, so even more vertical dots, but then I also have a load of excess horizontal dots with it, which make it much more cumbersome.

15
0

Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Steve Evans

Indeed.

It made me sad, and smile, both at the same time.

Although the PTerry was such a well known techie geek, I find it hard to believe he trusted his hard work to a single lump of spinning rust... and an IDE connected lump of spinning rust at that!

3
1

EE!? The sound customers make when the interwebz don't work

Steve Evans

Given the bad PR a failed DNS can generate for a company, it amazes me they still continue to pretend to be more than a dumb pipe, and insist on providing their own servers.

I forget the number of times I have improved friend's internet just by pointing their machines (or router when permitted) to some proper DNS servers.

6
0

Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

Steve Evans

Re: Who Cares

I remember channel hopping whilst abroad, and discovering Knight Rider in German.

I couldn't really understand a word of it, but the original voice sounded positively butch and macho compared to the German dub!

An interior retrim in the style of a Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen boudoir would have completed it beautifully.

1
0
Steve Evans

6. All robots must complain about being cleaned with a brillo pad, and express a preference for a car wash .

4
0
Steve Evans

I think the El Reg standard units need updating.

7
0
Steve Evans

Re: Who

Would a computer make the same life (or possibly death) decision facing the same situation? I doubt it. It will most likely attempt breaking and kill a person as a result.

In that instance, the computer guided system removing a death trap from the road, and converting the driver into a Darwin award contender, could be seen as progress!

0
0

Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

Steve Evans

Re: close only counts with hand grenades and thermonuclear devices

I wasn't expecting that.

10
0

German court reveals reason for Europe-wide patent system freeze

Steve Evans

Re: Oh! the pretty patterns

I'm not even sure there was a 1000 lire note!

IIRC I've got a 1000 lire coin kicking round at home somewhere. It was worth £0.42p when I got it.

2
0

75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Steve Evans

Re: 22yr olds today

How about:

Robert Watson-Watt, widely regarded today as the father of a radar system that was actually useful for something more than casual amusement?

There are plenty of historical instances where someone has been about 5 seconds of thought away from a huge breakthrough, but then wandered off for a smoke/tea break.

10
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