* Posts by Kevin Fairhurst

189 posts • joined 25 Aug 2008


iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: I can confirm...

His problem with snow was obviously that there was none, and therefore he was having to go to work.

(Corby based but drive through Northampton on my commute)

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

Kevin Fairhurst

New Road bad!

This is a local shop for local people! There’s nothing for you here!

Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest fling new bank cards at folks after Ticketmaster hack

Kevin Fairhurst

Halifax changed my card last year

A couple of months after I’d phoned and asked if it needed changing due to Ticketmaster and British Airways. “Not at all” they said.

Then they did it without warning, meaning repeat payments screwed up. Typical. Except PayPal somehow managed to get the new card number without me needing to tell them...

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Horrible

We picked up an electric meat slicer (can also be used for the bread from the bread machine!)

It’s fantastic for when I cook the Sunday roast on the BBQ... it slices really nicely so leftovers can be easily used for sandwiches the next day :)

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: click this

Sod this football / tennis malarkey, what’s your take on Greenalgh’s vs Galloways?

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Kevin Fairhurst

Came in to work one Monday to find that the Unix system was borked... on investigation it appeared that a large number of files & folders had gone missing, probably by someone doing an incorrect rm.

Our systems were shared with our US office who supported the UK outside of our core hours (we were in from 7am to ensure trading was ready for 8am, they were available to field staff until 10pm UK time) so we suspected it was one of our US counterparts who had done it, but had no way to prove it.

Rather than try and fix anything, they'd gone through and deleted all logs and history entries so we could never find the evidence we needed!

Restoring the system from a recent backup brought everything back online again, as one would expect!

'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

Kevin Fairhurst

"We are deeply sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused."

It's criminal that they allowed a breach of this scale to 1) happen, 2) continue happening for two weeks!

Hackers clock personal deets on 'two million' T-Mobile US subscribers

Kevin Fairhurst

Ah what's the problem with that? Okay so my bank uses my mobile phone for 2FA, and this means that the crims can take over my mobile number, and therefore intercept the 2FA messages from my bank, meaning they can take over my bank account too. But what's the big deal, right?

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: what the fuck does PC LOAD LETTER mean?

I always went for NEED NEW CRAYONS but was asked to stop as there had been “complaints”

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Kevin Fairhurst

Not sure if I’ve posted this one before...

Working in an office overlooking the M1 about a mile north of J14, and one day there’s a commotion outside. Two pigeons are either fighting or being amarous, but it’s enough of a display whatever it is to attract our attention.

About five seconds later the pigeons decide to fuse themselves against the transformer of an overhead power line and there’s a bright flash!

My first concern is whether or not the lines will separate and end up showering electrical goodness across six lanes of motorway traffic. Thankfully not...

The second concern was what was I going to do for the rest of the day, as computers all started switching off due to a lack of power.

Apparently the feed for our office came from a substation fed by that pigeon-coated transformer!

Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: You're in the wrong, not Atari

Different processors have different power and thermal - and therefore cooling - requirements. If you’re contemplating changing the CPU that lump of plastic you’re waving around goes in the bin and you *start again*.

No amount of “he might be under an NDA” changes that one iota. It’s all vapourware.

Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Other Pie & Cake outlets are available. !!!

Ah Greenalghs... and Pooles Pies, before Whelan stuck his dirty thumb in...

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Had the fire brigade called to a five star hotel, in Malta....

Goodricke College, would have been spring ‘95 I think, some twat deliberately put a wet tea towel on a baby belling and turned it on, wondering how long it would take for the fire alarms to go off...

(I was just about going off with a young lady of my acquaintance at the time, the bastards)

1.5 BEEELLION sensitive files found exposed online dwarf Panama Papers leak

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: No exposed RDP?

Not just you, no...

Remember the Yorkie pizza horror? Here's who won our exclusive Reg merch...

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: truly a north-south thing?

Scraps are certainly a thing west of the Pennines as well... I never went for gravy on chips when growing up, although due to being a fussy kid didn’t have proper roast dinners so didn’t have gravy on anything.

Now i’ve grown up & had some sense knocked in to me (ie Mrs refusing to let me get away with being a fussy bugger all my life!) I absolutely love proper roast dinners smothered in gravy, but still haven’t yet ventured in to having chips & gravy... or peawet* for that matter!

* scoop up some mushy peas from the pan, dribble the juices over the top of the chips, put the scoop of peas back in the pan!

ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Ut oh

i read that as rot10 and dryeqrd ofobidrsxq kpdobgkbnc gkc qysxq dy lo oxmbizdon vsuo drsc!

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: @A/C Fondly referencing 'Carry On',...

The people who get the joke are laughing at them, and the people who don't realise it's an elaborate act laugh along with them. Win/win for the comedian concerned!

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: The B ark.....

Surely this should be the obligatory video for cats playing guitar?


Anti-missile missile misses again, US military mum on meaning of mess

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: I give it about a week

You do need internet access...


Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Kevin Fairhurst

Sounds a better idea than

Cinnamon challenge

Tide challenge

Whatever else has been “invented” since I last looked

You get a lawsuit! And you get a lawsuit! And you! Now Apple sued over CPU security flaws

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Companies always withhold details of security flaws

If Apple had pushed a fix secretly, the black hats, hackers and others who constantly look for exploits in IOS would have found it by doing a diff between the two versions.

They’d then have known about the issue, and would have looked to exploit it. Whether they’d have realised it was a fundamental hardware design issue, and thus moved the exploit across to desktops, who knows...

WPA2 security in trouble as KRACK Belgian boffins tease key reinstallation bug

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: ...the attacker would have to be on the same base station as the victim...

As with all these things, this starts as “has to be on same base station” but people will work out a way to replicate this approach without having to authenticate first...

In the meantime, disconnect from public WiFi...

Rejecting Sonos' private data slurp basically bricks bloke's boombox

Kevin Fairhurst

I'm not sure why Sonos haven't...

Enabled firmware updates with a new *feature* that can be enabled/disabled, depending on whether or not you agree to the dta slurp.

Oh wait, that would mean very few people would agree to it, whereas with this method, people are coerced into agreeing!

I wonder how many T&C changes there have been where this kind of thing hasn't been noticed... how many jokingly added the Human Centipede clause? Does one unworkable clause render the whole agreement null and void?

Kevin Fairhurst

I do believe that was the point... your child may not be able to agree to the terms, but they are capable of clicking “ok” buttons to get things working again...

Want to keep in contact with friends and family without having to sell your personal data?

Kevin Fairhurst

Sounds tempting...

especially if you can get a shared google calendar on there...

(of course, for about the same money you can roll your own with a Pi, camera & a touchscreen monitor, but it won't look as nice)

Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Eeeew

And yet still you drink it...

US engineer in the clink for wrecking ex-bosses' smart meter radio masts with Pink Floyd lyrics

Kevin Fairhurst

If he hadn't been so stupid and done something that caused the towers to disconnect, he could have done something considerably worse for the companies involved e.g. Adjust all meter readings down by a given percentage, thereby reducing the bills of all customers...

Tory-commissioned call centres 'might have bent data protection laws'

Kevin Fairhurst

Apparently the CEO is an ex Conservative MP candidate, and a party member, so almost certainly a definite link!

Homes raided in North West over data thefts from car body repair shops

Kevin Fairhurst

Someone drove in to the side of my vehicle a couple of weeks ago, as I was on a dual carriageway. Got a call last week and the caller knew all about the accident, and made it sound as though he was from the third party's insurance company. Started going on about putting a claim together on my behalf to cover any injuries or twinges I might have experienced, with a value of £1500. At this point I asked him to call back as I was busy with something.

When he called back I got him to clarify who he was calling on behalf of, and it turned out to be a company called Motor Assist. Apparently they're a personal injury specialist, and are not affiliated with either my insurance or the third party's insurance.

So I asked where he got my details, and he said he got them from the central Motor Insurance Bureau Database, where all accidents are logged. He claimed that they had access and got the details from there. He got very tetchy when I paraphrased him and said "so you were scanning down the database for accidents to see who to cold call?" - refused to accept that they were doing anything so awful!

After answering a couple of questions negatively (Did anyone else send you the details? Did anyone else access the database and send the details on to you?) I restated my previous comment that they had been scanning the database for accidents for people to contact, as the data isn't going to magically extract itself. He went off on one before hanging up on me. Shame It was a withheld number or I would have made sure it got reported!

User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: You missed out

But if you didn't make the requisite blood sacrifice when dismantling/reassembling, you knew for a fact that it wouldn't work when you tried powering it on...

Parents have no idea when kidz txt m8s 'KMS' or '99'

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: More parental fun

A standard filter like you suggest cannot check that the kids have done their chores, homework, etc. It also cannot block devices on the nights when the kids aren't allowed wifi (which can change from week to week).

So resetting it daily to me is the best option.

Of course, this is on the kids wifi network... they're not allowed on the grown-up network where the password doesn't change :)

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: More parental fun

Install RMerlin on an Asus router, and implement a script that resets the wifi password to a random phrase at 10pm each evening...

Devs reverse-engineer 16,000 Android apps, find secrets and keys to AWS accounts

Kevin Fairhurst

From reading the article, and no specific knowledge, my impression is that you get a "master" api key when you setup the account. This has all of the permissions needed to do everything.

You're then meant to create an "application specific" api key, which will only ever have permissions to do what is needed for that application. It is this api key that should be hardcoded in to the application, not the master key.

Additional authentication/obfuscation (to ensure it is the application that is making the api call) would always be welcome :)

Nest Cam: A compelling piece of hardware-software

Kevin Fairhurst


No mention of fitting - how do you get this connected to power, is PoE an option if your wifi won't penetrate your outside wall, is configuration easy even when adding multiple cameras?

Would also be worth knowing if any such devices can do facial recognition, allow you can add names to people, and then set it to ignore warnings when certain people arrive between certain times...

Fanbois iVaporate: Smallest Apple iPhone queues ever

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: What else can you queue up for any more?

Your mortgage is £35 a month?? How old are you expecting to be when you retire? ;)

World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

Kevin Fairhurst

There's half a dozen in our house

One in each bedroom plus one in the lounge, all running OSMC/Kodi. And a Pi Zero that I got free with a magazine, that sits on my shelf in the bedroom gathering dust!

Argos changes 150 easily guessed drop-off system passwords

Kevin Fairhurst

So how long until...

someone figures out they're just changed it all to ArgosStore123 & starts redirecting packages rather than advising people of the issue?

Thermostat biz Nest warms to home security, touts cam with cloud storage subscription

Kevin Fairhurst

Plugged in outside?

All you need to do is cover your face while you unplug it, wait five minutes, and then rip it off the wall. And the owner pays a premium subscription for this shit?

Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: dollar = quid

Such comparisons invariably ignored the fact that the US prices always excluded any taxes, whereas the UK prices included them!

Current comments are that the top-end iPhone 7 will cost the same as the previous couple of models, i.e. $1050. From a UK perspective, we'll be paying an extra £100 if the current currency valuations were used to set the prices!

Apple TV can p0wn you in more ways than it entertains you

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Does this mean...

Links? And does it do Netflix? :)

The best I can find for that price range appears to be the Amazon Fire Stick, which is £35. The AppleTV 3 is £50.

Kevin Fairhurst

Does this mean...

A jailbreak is incoming for the AppleTV3?

New gear needed to capture net connection records, say ISPs

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: trackmenot?

Did not know about that, thank you! Will be downloading & installing that on all my home devices!

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: A couple of points

I actually had the idea of developing a browser plugin... while you were happily surfing, it would run a google search against a random word from the OED, and load up a random result (i.e. not just the first entry on the first page). And it would keep doing this on a regular basis, as long as your browser window was open.

Not only would this overload the monitoring systems with plenty more crap data to store, it would also ensure that you had plausible deniability in the event of something untoward appearing in your ICR history...

Got an Apple Mac, iThing? Update it right now – there's a shedload of security holes fixed

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Closed that jailbreak hole pretty quick

9.1 has been in beta since before 9.01 came out; I suspect that Pangu knew that the full 9.1 release would close the hole, and therefore released the jailbreak for those willing to put tweakability* before security.

* having insisted on only getting an original iphone once they could be jailbreaked to allow unlocking & custom apps to be run - remember this was before the original app store launched - i have now gone the other way; I no longer see a value in jailbreaking, as it causes more problems than it solves. e.g. my online banking apps can tell if the phone has been jailbreaked, and thus they refuse to work!

Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Kevin Fairhurst


get a dog :)

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Kevin Fairhurst

Bit pricey in the UK currently...

So based on the Amazon RRP of $180, and today's exchange rate, and add VAT, and you're looking at £140. So to allow for currency fluctuations, it will probably retail for £150 if released in the UK.

Looking on Ebay, they're going for £230-240 for UK stock (i.e. it's already been imported). Even allowing for postage & VAT/import duty, that's quite a markup!

Apparently most things work reasonably well, although it helps to have a VPN to hide the fact that you're in the UK. I think it would get a huge amount of usage in our house, and I would be all over it like a shot if it wasn't quite so expensive currently! Hopefully Amazon UK will start selling it soon so I can put it on my Christmas list :)

Testing CarPlay with Apple’s most expensive ever accessory

Kevin Fairhurst

after Siri finished reading out a text message the radio failed to resume

Having used CarPlay on a Pioneer head unit for a couple of months now, this is a fundamental failing in the way CarPlay works...

If you're listening to a non-CarPlay audio source (cd, radio, hard drive full of mp3s, etc) and CarPlay cuts in to tell you about a message, or to provide a map direction, it is unable to switch back to the non-CarPlay source to resume playback of whatever was interrupted.

It works on phone calls as that acts as a system-level interrupt, and the whole device switches to the phone call and then switches back. They would need to change CarPlay to work in the same manner, which would probably make other functions screw up, so it may not be an easy fix...

Another flaw due to the lack of supported apps is that as the head unit becomes a secondary display for the phone, you cannot have the music or podcast app showing on the head unit and a different app (Waze, for example) showing on the phone! Either the music app shows on both, or you have Waze on the phone and the CarPlay menu on the head unit.

The workaround I currently use is to listen to music from the phone & use apps for radio stations if required. I run Waze on the phone for mapping, and put the head unit in Pioneer mode where you can still see track information etc. Would be good to have it all kept in one "system" but that would require "splitting" the display so that the head unit was seen as a second screen rather than just the first screen remapped...

332M Kick Ass pirates get asses kicked by scareware ass-kickers

Kevin Fairhurst

Other than the reporter...

There surely can't be that many visitors to that website who don't have adblockers on in full. Assuming they're actually visiting the site directly, and don't just have an automated system to do the dirty deeds for them (eg SickRage, HeadPhones, CouchPotato)

Crash Google Chrome with one tiny URL: We cram a probe in this bug

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: RE: Dear Coders - Rules You Learned in Kindergarten

It's getting on for 20 years since I studied it at uni, but there are methodologies to development and testing that you simply have to follow when working on critical or embedded systems. This allows for you to consider race conditions and unexpected input values as well as simple coding mistakes. Once you go live, patching is incredibly difficult, so yeah i imagine it is possible for someone to have gone years without a bug being found in their code once it had gone live.

I'm sure quite a number of bugs get found during unit testing, then more once your code gets to interact with others in system testing. As was highlighted, a bug in the production environment could be catastrophic - be it nuclear meltdown or planes dropping out of the sky!

Ashley Madison wide open to UK privacy lawsuits, claim lawyers

Kevin Fairhurst

Any financial institution with an ounce of sense is going to be searching the dataset to see if any of their staff are on there... there could be an increased risk of blackmail with that person, and it needs to be managed accordingly. Imagine your partner finding out through THAT rather than searching through the dataset herself...

"HI dear, you're home early, how was work? Is everything okay?"

"I've been put on gardening leave as I'm at risk of blackmail due to the Ashley Madison data leak..."


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