* Posts by Fred Dibnah

260 posts • joined 29 Oct 2008


How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

Fred Dibnah

Re: DIY & Fingerprints

Register fingers on both hands, for when you break your arm and can't twist it to get onto the reader. Learned the hard way. I have also registered my partner's fingers for next time I'm laid up / when I'm dead.

Optimist, me.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

Fred Dibnah

Re: @ Anonymice

An even better response would be to buy Airbus next time.

Biker sues Google Fiber: I broke my leg, borked my ankle in trench dug to lay ad giant's pipe

Fred Dibnah

Re: @Yet Another AC

What a perfect advert for a healthcare system paid for through general taxation.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

Fred Dibnah

Re: More fear mongering on the way about 5G

You could also point out that there's already a 4G transmitter in her home, and probably in her hand, producing a higher field strength inside her than any nearby mast. Inverse square law & all that.

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates

Fred Dibnah

Re: Actually an AOL account?

If she doesn't know who runs AOL, she could do a search on Altavista...

Sent from Windows for Workgroups 3.11

Fred Dibnah

Re: Indefensible

Sounds like TT have read the NTL book on how not to do business.

Fred Dibnah

Re: It is too late

'His' name is Joanne.

Why are there never free power sockets when my Y-fronts need charging?

Fred Dibnah

Long HDMI male-male and male-female leads in the laptop bag deals with most of those problems. However HDMI-to-VGA & VGA-to-HDMI adapters are a lottery.

Fred Dibnah

Re: International plugs

When travelling I take a 6 way 13A UK mains block plugged up with all the power blocks & USB chargers, then fit a single international adapter on the 13A plug.

A long laptop lead is handy for hotel stays where the only 13A socket is on the other side of the room from the bed where I *cough* need to *cough* work on my laptop.

I'll get me bathrobe.

MPs tear 'naive' British Army a new one over Capita recruitment farce

Fred Dibnah

Re: Spotted the problem?

'Bespoke' is not a verb FFS.

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone

Fred Dibnah

Re: i believe it was a mistake..

Not if the alarm is supplied by Alphabet Burglarization Solutions.

Fred Dibnah

Re: i believe it was a mistake..possibly

Whilst that may be true, any manufacturer could deliberately sell devices with un-activated and un-publicised hardware at first, then activate it later without telling anyone. They could then claim it was a deliberate omission, but IMHO it's a sneaky way to behave (but to be expected).

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Fred Dibnah

Re: No, the sky will not fall in

I had a look for info on my Garmin Edge GPS unit, and found this thread about a 'Year 2019 bug' ....... from 2015. Hopefully Garmin have made an effort to fix it since then.


Fred Dibnah

Re: I've got an idea!


But you might be surprised how many organisations are using GLONASS and Galileo as backups for GPS.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

Fred Dibnah

Re: "Likely to be useful"

From the standard of driving I see every day, I doubt that many drivers have any idea what the Highway Code is.

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price

Fred Dibnah

Re: Prevaricating?

Wallace, In The Wrong Trousers: "Ah, well, it's no use prevaricating about the bush"

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees

Fred Dibnah

Re: Eh?

That would only make sense if the cost of two extra trips was minimal. It might be at the moment, but as soon as EV numbers rise significantly the government will bump up the taxes on electricity* to make the fuel price similar to ICE cars.

* I don't know how they they plan to differentiate between juice for EVs and juice for homes, but something like a mandated separate meter for the EV charger might be the answer.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

Fred Dibnah

Just give it time and it will fit, Minis are getting larger and more ridiculous by the week. Alec Issigonis must be turning in his grave.

NHS England claims it will be all-digital within the decade

Fred Dibnah

He was probably taking notes while you told him your symptoms. That's what my GP does and I've never had a problem with him providing a good diagnosis. Would you rather he'd scribbled notes in a pad and then entered them on the computer later, causing a delay before seeing the next patient?

My surgery uses the Evergreen app, which is brilliant for when you go to see a consultant and they don't have your records to hand. Want blood results? Just show them in the app.

Small American town rejects Comcast – while ISP reps take issue with your El Reg vultures

Fred Dibnah

Re: On your bike

It was the odious Norman Tebbit who made the comment, not the slightly less odious Michael Hestletine. But your point still stands.

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!

Fred Dibnah

Re: Flash, ActiveX, Office doc embedding/scripting - should already be DISABLED

I consulted some reference documents in The Beano and can confirm it’s definitely ‘Arrgh’

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

Fred Dibnah

Re: If you're going to put up a sign...

What’s a ‘speed trap’?

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die

Fred Dibnah

Re: Analogue Radio Must Never Die

Isn’t any service available only when the transmission medium works? The OP said that TMS and the shipping forecast were not broadcast on DAB, which is incorrect.

Fred Dibnah

Re: Analogue Radio Must Never Die

TMS & the shipping forecast are both on DAB.

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Fred Dibnah

Re: Other solution

In that case you could simply go to one of those other outlets which take WP copy, and read it there. No news is so important that a few minutes delay is going to make a difference.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Fred Dibnah

Is your office on Mornington Crescent?

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

Fred Dibnah

Re: Windows Search

It’s telling that the shortcut Win-f opens Search now, when originally it opened Find. That’s progress for you.

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

Fred Dibnah

Re: Lose one bloody capsule in 50 years


1967 (OK 51 years ago, but still): Soyuz 1 - 1 dead (Komarov)

1971: Soyuz 11 - decompressed on re-entry; 3 dead


New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Fred Dibnah
Thumb Up

Re: Have fun!

Thanks, I was looking for ideas of old films to watch.

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

Fred Dibnah

Police station mapping

Back in the very old days when every town had a police station that actually opened its doors more than one hour a week, they were usually well signposted and always had a town map on the wall in the lobby. Other good alternatives were petrol stations and estate agents.

Even now there's always the option of winding down the window and asking for directions. Human interaction has its advantages sometimes.

Fred Dibnah

Re: Alternativly

You wake up Mr Barraclough and go back to Slade Prison.

Fred Dibnah

Re: Tea with milk

Sshhh, nobody tell the God's Own Country mob that their water is soft and not dead hard, they'll never live it down.

Fred Dibnah

Re: As you might expect...

"Unless someone turns off both GPS and the phone system it will always be able to triangulate you and so it is impossible to get truly lost."

There is one other scenario, in which your phone's battery runs out. Which is why taking a paper map & a compass as backup is sound advice.

BTW don't get me started* on how shit google maps and their alternatives are. White roads with grey edges on a pale grey background doesn't make for readable mapping, especially on a phone in broad daylight. OS is the gold standard to which all other maps should aspire.

* Looks like I did that myself. I'll get me gore-tex jacket.

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Fred Dibnah

For your next challenge, Mr Dabbs...

...buy an electric car and have a go at using public chargers.

Brit airport pulls flight info system offline after attack by 'online crims'

Fred Dibnah

Good for them

So it is possible to have an IT outage in an airport without generating hordes of angry passengers who have been kept in the dark about what's happening to their flights.

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

Fred Dibnah

The radiography department's Christmas party might generate a few.

You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

Fred Dibnah


That explains the Globe Theatre.

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

Fred Dibnah

From their FAQs

"Should I call my bank or cancel my credit cards?

We recommend you contact your bank and follow their recommended advice."

Talk about passing the buck. WTF is 'recommended advice'?

Glad I'm not a customer (never liked them, especially since they started flying international only out of London).

HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

Fred Dibnah

Re: We take security very seriously


I'm just out for a swift half.

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Fred Dibnah

New laptop wanted

I was having my laptop repaired or upgraded (I forget which), and had a moan to the support guy about how flimsy the (Dell) laptop was. He suggested I could get a new one by switching it on, hard disc spinning, wrapping it in bubble wrap, and throwing it at a wall.

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Fred Dibnah

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

Thanks for reaching out, Flossy. :-)

Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

Fred Dibnah

You’re not a geography person either. The Netherlands is in the EU :-)

Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Fred Dibnah

Re: Just remember

”It is using our roads, partly paid for by vehicle excise duty and partly by fuel tax..”

...but mostly paid for out of general taxation. Which, imho, they don’t make a fair contribution to, given their enormous income in this country.

Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3

Fred Dibnah

It would be fun, but it might also make people do proper research and think twice before slithering from one company to another, and as a result ‘encourage’ incumbents to keep their house in order.

Fred Dibnah

Re: Have I shopped with them?

IANAGDPRExpert but I thought it required such selections to be opt in?

Shock Land Rover Discovery: Sellers could meddle with connected cars if not unbound

Fred Dibnah

When you sell a phone with your data still on it, the buyer gets access to your data. In this case the seller gets access to information about the buyer such as location data, with the added ‘bonus’ of being able to remotely control the vehicle they sold.

Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix

Fred Dibnah


I'm going to whinge about your mis-spelling of 'whingeing'.

East Midlands network-sniffer wails: Openreach, fix my outage-ridden line

Fred Dibnah

"But given the problems being reported, we're going to investigate further. "

What they really meant was "Given the bad publicity that this article could generate, we might get off our lazy arses and actually make an effort to fix the problem. However, if we don't see the story picked up by other news outlets, we'll make a carefully considered decision to not do anything at all."


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