* Posts by Neil Barnes

3256 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Visual Studio gains some go-faster stripes for Android emulation

Neil Barnes
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A Real ProgrammerTM

Does not need to write code. He merely arranges the starting conditions of the universe such that when he needs a program, it is already there.

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Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Neil Barnes
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Big Brother

you may stop seeing helpful recommendations based on the apps and sites you use

Helpful to whom?

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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: They need a lesson in grammar too.

The OED need reminding that all this verbing weirds nouns.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

Neil Barnes
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Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

Built a radio studio in a flat in Bangladesh once. Turned out that the habit there was (is?) to distribute the three phases coming into the building by lights, sockets, and aircon... but instead of rotating between flats they rotated between rooms to spread the load. Made for some interesting hunting down of earth loop hum.

(as an aside, they would frequently black out one phase - not always the same one - to save power, which also made things interesting.)

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Need a facial recognition auto-doxxx tool? Social Mapper has you covered

Neil Barnes
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matching a photo of your face to the selfies you used on each of the account pages

What photos? What social media accounts? Good luck with that...

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You can't always trust those mobile payment gadgets as far as you can throw them – bugs found by infosec duo

Neil Barnes
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There's a lot to be said for cash...

as title...

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Facebook insists it has 'no plans' to exploit your personal banking info for ads – just as we have 'no plans' to trust it

Neil Barnes
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Re: No wiggleroom to be given

Whatever the advantages of online services, there are times when there is no real option other than going to a place of business and banging a fist on a table.

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Sur-Pies! Google shocks world with sudden Android 9 Pixel push

Neil Barnes
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Re: Survey...

I have a long-time satnav gripe relating to their insistence on trying to get me onto toll roads - even when I'm already on a perfectly good parallel or close trunk road already. This seems to be irrespective of settings like quickest vs nearest or even 'avoid toll roads'.

I largely gave up on satnav years ago - dead tree 'n' ink for me, thanks - except for the tiny bit at the end of the journey, if I'm unfamiliar with it. If I must use it, I have found Navigator generally excellent with the free maps of Europe - loaded locally, so there's issue with connectivity.

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Neil Barnes
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Re: a question to ponder

"And then Hulk smash them into tiny bits!"

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Windows 10 Insiders see double as new builds hit the deck – with promises to end Update Rage

Neil Barnes
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Linux

19H1

Isn't that one of the bird flu family of viruses?

---> A bird. Possibly with flu.

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ReactOS 0.4.9 release metes out stability and self-hosting, still looks like a '90s fever dream

Neil Barnes
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Re: Try out the UI

>> ... or you can use Linux Mint with the effects switched off like I do... ;)

Upvote for that - the first thing to do on *any* UI is to find out how to turn off the time-wasting and distracting fades, slides, semi-transparencies, and other animation crap. Mint[0] makes this easy to do, for which kudos.

Yesterday MS updated the work W7 machines, and removed the register setting that disables the creepy slidey cursor animations in outlook and its friends.

[0] for complicated reasons I'm running Ubuntu with a Cinnamon desktop at present, and it keeps tripping me up where it's not quite like Mint, and rarely in a good way.

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Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

Neil Barnes
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But also the old saw concerning the gentleman, naked with a group of his friends in a changing room into which walked a woman. When asked by his wife to explain why he had covered his face and not, as all the others had, his genitalia, he pointed out that he knew how he was recognised around town...

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Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France

Neil Barnes
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If the Atlantic is so narrow...

how come it takes six hours to fly across it.

Someone is lying to me!

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Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

Neil Barnes
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Re: Luckily

The same way I've done it for years: follow the diversion signs for the closures and listen to local radio for traffic updates.

I notice (casual anecdotal observation) that with GPS system users, there tends to be a disconnect between location and route for the driver; they're quite happy to follow the instructions without knowing where they actually are until 'you have reached your destination'. That situational unawareness seems to make it, um, interesting for many drivers when the road the GPS wants them to use is unavailable for whatever reason; the concept of looking at the road signs seems to have passed them by, possibly because they no longer have a spatial sense of where places are in relation to each other.

The one with the A-Z and the Bartholomew in the pocket, please: it might rain. -->

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Universe slipped Milky Way a sausage galaxy to grow a big belly bulge

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Two thousand million or so years ago...

two galaxies were colliding; or, rather, were passing through each other. A couple of hundreds of millions of years either way do not matter, since at least that much time was required for the inter-passage. At about that same time - within the same plus-or-minus ten percent margin of error, it is believed - practically all of the suns of both those galaxies became possessed of planets.

Doc Smith, Triplanetary

Be afraid. Be very afraid...

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They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today

Neil Barnes
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It doesn't get a lot of traffic

But I've had the same account since before MS bought it. Too many people worldwide know that account, but maybe don't know my paid-for private domain accounts.

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So... where's the rest? Xiaomi walks away from IPO with less than hoped

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Re: Xiaomi the money!!

Second the comments on the Redmi Note 4x - one each for me and the missus. The price was so low that I had no compunction about using GearBest. If only there was a little more information about GearBest's purchasing options, which are rather confusing - but the product is fine.

It occurs to me that I bought them on the recommendation of someone here - might even have been Ledswinger.

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Registry to ban Cyrillic .eu addresses even if you've paid for them

Neil Barnes
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Here's a thought...

Let's just go back to ascii numbers instead of all these new fangled utf-8 international letters.

More seriously - as pointed out this has been a nightmare and a black hat paradise for years. Perhaps a temporary fix might be a browser plugin that does the bells, whistles, and flashing lights thing if it finds something potentially suspicious: a url with two different scripts, or indeed a url not in a language that the browser is currently set to?

While wholesale nuking of domain names might be a bit draconic, I'm struggling to think of a valid site that does this.

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Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb

Neil Barnes
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Re: On the eighth day machine just got upset

Uptick for the Hazel O'Connor quote.

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SUSE Linux Enterprise turns 15: Look, Ma! A common code base

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Pentium

Perhaps *that's* what happened: the Pentium-that-couldn't-get-the-numbers-right was actually doing its best to save us from our poor triskadecaphopic selves!

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Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Neil Barnes
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Don't you love the way that...

almost everything with an IoT label appears to be both attempting to solve a problem that doesn't exist, and simultaneously provide a solution that is more complex and less secure than traditional methods?

Just get something with a key. It's not there to protect the crown jewels; it's to slow someone down long enough to make it not worth them bothering to try and break it.

But, oooh, it's shiny!

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Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

Neil Barnes
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Re: I was only following orders

There was a documentary about that. 'Christine', I think it was called.

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

Re: Dictionary anyone?

But, but, but... we've got our country back[tm].

It just has little in it that most people seem to want, except in collaboration with the EU. I'm already planning my move back into the EU once we leave. I wonder if I can sue anyone for removing my rights?

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So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?

Neil Barnes
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Frog

meet warm water.

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Astroboffins trace mysterious noise from hard rock in space

Neil Barnes
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Alien

My god, it's full of

spinning nanodiamonds... er, was that all right, Mr Kubrick?

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PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

Neil Barnes
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Overheard by me in a steak restaurant in Arizona, years ago:

"What do you recommend for vegetarians?"

"Ma'am, I recommend you move to California."

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Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon

Neil Barnes
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Black Helicopters

New, from D'Agostini

Build your own air force, in just 153 monthly parts.

Learn about the history and operations of the air force as you slowly build your collection! Every monthly edition includes a new part of your air force, for you to build and enjoy.

Part two free with part one!

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Uh oh! Here's yet more AI that creates creepy fake talking heads

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Mycroft is looking more and more possible...

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Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

Neil Barnes
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Re: Well, we went out last night...

Verified by visa for the cinema ticket, bought online.

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Neil Barnes
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Well, we went out last night...

A minor celebration, a meal and the cinema (I know how to show the missus a good time!)

And the whole evening was ruined - ruined, I say! - when both the restaurant and the cinema cheerfully accepted my visa card.

The only problem I noticed was a rather long response time - minutes - on verified by visa.

The one with the chequebook in the pocket, please --->

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Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark

Neil Barnes
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The ability to set specific colours, brightness, not just on/off

I just don't know how I've lived sixty years without that capability. And yet, in all that time, I can't *ever* recall a mechanical switch failing.

</click>

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Doctor, doctor! My NHS Patient Access app has gone TITSUP*

Neil Barnes
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The old emiaccess server was down last mid-week (yes, I called it in). Name was resolving to IP, but nothing from the server, not even a ping. Got miraculously better a couple of hours after I flagged it - perhaps they were practicing?

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'Autopilot' Tesla crashed into our parked patrol car, say SoCal cops

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

Think of it

as evolution in action.

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RIP to two 'naut legends: A moonwalker and a spacewalker

Neil Barnes
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Pint

This --->

That's all.

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Is your smart device a bit thick? It's about to get a lot worse

Neil Barnes
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Louis Le Prince

Now there's a name from the past. I wonder how many know what it was he did without looking him up?

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Swiss sausage sizzler 4.0 hits 200 bangers per hour

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

What a time to be alive

Truly we live in an age of wonders.

And he has the proper boffin's pipe.

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Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

Neil Barnes
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a camera. There is no escaping this

It'll be interesting to see how well these AI chips cope with tape over the lens, or a screwdriver through the sensor chip.

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Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

Neil Barnes
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It's no good BT complaining 'WiFi'

When that's how the majority of the customers connect.

When did you last see a wired mobile phone?

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Boffins bash out bonkers boost for batteries

Neil Barnes
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Re: Diode or Storage

Unobtanium. That's what's missing. And maybe a soupcon of expensivium, too.

What the hell as a diode got to do with a battery (or perhaps a cell)?

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MPs petition for legally binding target of 95% 4G coverage across UK

Neil Barnes
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Imagine

how much simpler life would be if roaming between networks was allowed? Seems to work for other bulk suppliers - water, gas, electricity...

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Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit

Neil Barnes
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Perhaps clever Apple software

is recognising that the keyboard is wearing out due to being struck too often and throttles it? Purely in the interest of the user experience, of course.

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So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year

Neil Barnes
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Fortunately

By the time I am old enough to need a self driving car, they probably still won't be available, at least with the ability to do everything I can do now and would therefore need it to do.

Taxi!

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Peak smartphone? Phone fatigue hits Western Europe hard

Neil Barnes
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Re: Oldy but Goody

"don't you find any use for a proper camera"

As above. I have a proper camera; it produces a negative 4 by 5 inches across. The phone is probably the worst possible format for a camera; an ergonomic nightmare.

But of course, others' opinions probably differ.

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Measure for measure: Why network surveys don't count what counts

Neil Barnes
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Re: Try including the "not-spots"

Portree is a *good* spot for my father: from his croft at Struan he can get signal only if he climbs on the roof and hangs on to the chimney. And at pushing ninety, he's a tad old for that... that my parents have to use hand-held radios so one can be informed - if not in the room - that the land line is ringing is rather sad. The only time I can call them on the mobile is when they're in Portree.

I, on the other hand, work five miles from Cambridge - allegedly the technological hub of the country - and I have, er, no signal. Nor much of one all the way down the A428 until I get to the A1.

I don't ask much. Like the bulk of the users questioned in the survey the primary function I want from a phone is the ability to make calls. And that requires some signal. (Which is why, on occasion, I have asked this question after Register phone reviews: how well does it work to make calls?)

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SpaceX Bangabandhu-1 launch held up while Dragon splashes down on time

Neil Barnes
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Alien

It took me three goes to discover that it didn't.

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Astroboffins score a first by spotting traces of helium on an exoplanet

Neil Barnes
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Re: Natural Reactors?

In which case, the inhabitants will not only be superheroes, but they'll all speak in a squeaky voice.

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Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week

Neil Barnes
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Which reminds me...

I just installed a new Mint complete with FF - I need to work out all over again how to get rid of pocket.

(In case you're worried, ublock origin and noscript are already on there; that's a reflex action).

But on the subject of the subject - I'm not quite sure how FF are planning to show these adverts, but if they do, they won't be showing them to me.

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DRAM makers sued (yet again) for 'fixing prices' (yet again) of chips

Neil Barnes
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Re: Artificially restricting supply to jack up prices

Now if there were a DRAM maker out there who was providing chips with the same perceived 'value improvements' as the high-value car makers you cite - say, diamond encrusted packaging' and a similar premium over the commodity product, your argument might have a point.

As it is, you have utility makers apparently agreeing with each other to keep their prices at Ferrari levels.

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Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA

Neil Barnes
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Just cracked? I wanted an earth shattering kaboom!

Love,

Marvin.

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Cosmic prang probe: Euro space boffins to smash sats, virtually

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Did they not see that recent documentary on the subject?

I think Sandra Bullock narrated it.

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