* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

The Internet of Things: a jumbled mess or a jumbled mess?

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Really!

"... intelligent assistants of various sizes ..."

Children can be useful and are sometimes great company.

Facebook tips India and Pakistan into NUCLEAR WAR of words

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Rock and a hard place

In situations like this, just mark the entire region in a grey colour labelled 'Here be tigers', which is probably true in this case.

BUZZKILL. Honeybees are dying in DROVES - and here's a reason why

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Neonicotinoids

Possibly in combination with an unfamiliar mite parasite. Life is complicated, as always.

NASA snaps first full family photo of Pluto and its five moons

frank ly Silver badge

Re: What happened to Charon?

Charon and Pluto wobble about each other, their centre of orbit being outside of either of them. That wriggling blob in the middle is probably the two of them and all that can be 'seen' at long range with a long exposure. The other moons might orbit around the centre of gravity of the Pluto-Charon combination since their orbits seem to have quite smooth paths in the animation shown.

Attack of the possibly-Nazi clone parakeet invaders

frank ly Silver badge

The fly among us

I saw four of them in a tree as I was waiting at traffic lights in Houslow (west of London) about ten years ago. They also seem to have a large colony in Kew Gardens, especially noticable in the summer.

I'd assume that the low genetic diversity is because they originated from a small population of escaped pet birds many years ago.

What the BLEEP? BitTorrent's secure messaging app arrives

frank ly Silver badge

@Credas Re: Works well

Stay away from Linux; it's too good to be true.

BONKERS apocalyptic WAR WAGONS circle Vulture South

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Where you using a camera on review?

I see large patches of blue sky and objects are casting shadows. That's what we call a 'nice sunny day' in the UK.

Elon Musk: I'm neither a samurai nor a bastard

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Not an actual rebuttal?

It's the opposite of plea bargaining. You plead not guilty to a more serious charge that you make up.


frank ly Silver badge

Re: Ceres bright spots iluminate without sun light

I'm glad you signed up to The Register to air your concerns about this obvious failing by NASA. You'll find a warm welcome and a home for calm and rational discussion here.

Oz gummint to empty another money-truck into e-health records

frank ly Silver badge

"... patients can edit their own records making the information untrustworthy from a clinical perspective."

Do you mean freely edit? No locked fields? If so, I'm amazed.

Google cloud: rubbish at updates, world-class at rapid rollbacks

frank ly Silver badge

"a world-class rapid response and rollback capability"

Maybe they make 'mistakes' deliberately so they achieve and maintain this. Just a sneaky suspicion.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

frank ly Silver badge

It's only a small step from here ....

.... to rat onna stick. Can we have named meat pies as the next article?

So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?

frank ly Silver badge

Economist's predictions

" Depending on the extent of trade policy isolation, the UK’s real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita would be between 0.6 and 3.0 percent lower in the year 2030 than if the country remained in the EU. "

When was the last time that an economist's predictions for fifteen years in the future were correct?

Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell

frank ly Silver badge

HD video?

Why do you need HD video to see and identify who's at your door? Surely a medium resolution still picture (maybe updated every second) is all you need.

Astroboffins eyeball MONSTER GAS HALO hugging Andromeda Galaxy

frank ly Silver badge


"... the halo appeared to be roughly 100 times the diameter of the moon."

On a galactic scale, that is incredibly thin, assuming that is an absolute size and assuming that it's 'our' moon they are referring to. Or, does that mean the observed area of our sky compared to our moon .....?

"Andromeda Galaxy's halo is the largest one ever to be eyeballed so near to Earth beyond the Milky Way."

Is there another, smaller halo, within the Milky Way?

'Photof*cket' men manacled, indicted over Photobucket password-protected pic plunder

frank ly Silver badge

Does this set a precedent ....

.... for NSA staff who access people's private video chats and photo-collections for their own amusement or interest?

Cop in gay porn film advised to put his helmet away

frank ly Silver badge

I wonder ....

.... which senior officer was watching the video and said, "Hey, I recognise that ... er .... face."

HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

frank ly Silver badge

So pleased with themselves

Those behind the deal boasted it would lead to “projected savings in excess” of £20m against “standard” pricing.

Translation: "They tried to screw us massively, but we only let them screw us a little bit."

NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

frank ly Silver badge

Where did he learn his use of analogies?

"The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."

I chose to join the 'grocery store' scheme and gave them a 'junk' e-mail address so I can ignore any spam. I never choose (and didn't even know until recently) that the NSA(/GCHQ/etc) were making notes of who I called and when, where I was and when and which website I looked at and when.

I have reasonable confidence that the grocery store will never try to blackmail me or embarass me in any way by revealing my purchases of tobacco/condoms/pile-ointment or try to spy on me while I use any or either of my purchases. I know that the NSA(etc) have already used their powers to spy on people's private web-cam chats for their own personal amusement and to spy on their own spouses to sniff out infidelity etc. For this, the individual operators get a 'stern talking to'.

So, why should I trust them in any way and why should I pay attention to this idiot's analogies?

The United States' first official BitCoin exchange goes live

frank ly Silver badge

But, but ...

.... they used to shout out loud that Bitcoin is mostly used by drug dealers/users and terrorist weapons dealers and to evade legitimate financial controls and taxation. Are all those activities 'ok' now?

EC probe into murky cross border e-commerce kicks off

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Language, time, etc.

You can order Demask products from Target.


Systemd hee hee: Jessie Debian gallops (slowly) into view

frank ly Silver badge

Re: How stable is stable?

Which number base are you using? I can't figure it out. (13 is still in its LTS period so I'll stay with it and it always takes a year to get most of the wrinkles ironed out.)

frank ly Silver badge

How stable is stable?

I'm happy to try new things and have a spare SSD to play with, but for the 'ordinary domestic user' I'm fairly sure there would be no advantage for me over using Linux Mint 13, as I have done for two years now (I accept all level 1,2 and 3 updates and make partition clones at regular intervals). Can anyone say if I'd see improvements or anything notably different?

frank ly Silver badge

Could you write a shutdown script that warns you if you have open files? (I know you shouldn't have to).

Oculus Rift VR bucket will be seen on noggins near you in 2016

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Look on the bright side

They would be ROFLing but the head bucket wearer would see them smiling and giving approving/admiring glances (until the bus ran over him).

Nothing BEATS a good anti-trust investigation, eh, Apple?

frank ly Silver badge

Apples and Registers

"As a search term, Apple Inc. returns literally thousands of hits on the FTC site."

So do Microsoft Inc and Google Inc and also The Register. Is this guilt by association?

Digi content market set for vast embulgement, will be $154bn in 2019

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Sat at home playing games?

Some of us know how to have fun.




Hey devs! Confused by EU privacy law? Pull out the FLASH CARDS

frank ly Silver badge

We need better writers

"... regulation is out-of-touch and can be better explained with printable image cards."

If a 'regulation' is written so badly that it can't be easily understood by a competent person who makes an effort to read it, then it needs some serious rewriting.

Snowden scandal latest: NSA, GCHQ lingo-spies replaced by unstoppable RHINEHART robots

frank ly Silver badge

"Hello, could I speak to Mr. Semtex please?"

Wait a minute, black helicopters are landing in front of my house!

Three's 'Home Signal' femtocells fail, restore mobile black spots

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Three in Touch versus Home Signal

You seem to be missing cynicism, distrust and paranoia. Don't worry, they all arrive eventually.

Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Did I miss something

Here, let me take a video of your watch face because it looks so cool and I admire it so much.

EXTREME FEEDING: BLUE whales' gluttonous gobbling of fishy fluids

frank ly Silver badge

Nothing new under the sun

"... nervous fibres were wound tightly about a central core which itself unfolded as the cable stretched."

They invented the telephone cord :)

French BIONIC EYE sits IN your peeper, feeds infrared light into nerves

frank ly Silver badge

"How do they get the rats to read the alphabetical chart to test their eyes?"

They probably made a calculated assesment based on theory and definition:


(Until I just read that, I didn't know what "20/20 vision" actually meant.)

Mars needs TRAFFIC COP to stop probe prangs, says NASA

frank ly Silver badge

"... the odd orbits we've selected ..."

I hope they were selected because they're useful/sensible/logical?

Boffins' ball barrage bombardment biffs bumbling bimble biped-bot

frank ly Silver badge

Not a realistic test

If that plasma cannon it has mounted on top had been charged and enabled, those boffins would have been toast.

Analogue modems allow UNSTOPPABLE Android attack ... at 13bps

frank ly Silver badge

Wouldn't the user notice

When their phone made burbling noises?

Sally Beauty Supply breached AGAIN

frank ly Silver badge


"The twice-breached company says security "remain our priority" ......"

Is this just a cosmetic PR statement? Lipstick on a pig, etc?

OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

frank ly Silver badge

Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

Yes, but newer, brighter, more relevant and more flexible; adaptable to your lifestyle and aspirations.

Carders crack Hard Rock casino

frank ly Silver badge


This is going to keep happening until companies and their directors are kicked hard in the wallet when it does happen.

Kill all geoblocks says Internet Society of Australia

frank ly Silver badge

Hard-ball bollocks

"With Hollywood hard-balling (all the way up to wanting VPNs to be banned in Australia) ..."

That is amazing arrogance and sense of entitlement. If they don't like it, they should refuse to market their tat in Australia. I'm sure they'll be sadly missed.

London Coffee Festival: Caffeine, tech and martinis on show in Shoreditch

frank ly Silver badge

Getting a good cup of coffee?

I make coffee at home by grinding some beans (Talylors of Harrogate bought from Asda) then using a cafetiere (french press) for a three minute brew with very hot (not boiling) water. I put a small amount of Nescafe non-dairy whitener in it and I find it to be delicious and smooth tasting. People I've made coffee for in this way say it's a nice cup of coffee.

Whenever I buy a coffee (cappuchino or americano or whatever) in a cafe or restaurant, it almost always has a harsh taste and a bitter edge to it. This includes small high street cafes as well as the well known chain outlets. They use an espresso machine then add milk or hot water to the 'shot' to make the coffee.

Are they using cheap beans, is the water too hot, is there residue in the filter/pipes, .......?

Many people I've spoken to, who make 'proper' coffee at home, by whatever method, say that they have the same experience and do not buy coffee in cafes for this reason.

Shields up! Shields up! ASTRONAUTS flying to MARS will arrive BRAIN DAMAGED, boffins claim

frank ly Silver badge

Tinfoil Hats?

For the duration of the journey? Or maybe plastic as mentioned in the article, or lead .....

New Windows 10 will STAGGER to its feet, says Microsoft OS veep

frank ly Silver badge

I'm too old for this

I've been away from Windows for two years having moved from Windows 7 to Linux Mint. I tried the Windows 10 Technical Preview and it was like an alien world. I tried to mount/map my network storage devices and it saw them but I couldn't access them. I never had any problem like that with Win XP or Win 7 or with Linux. I managed to install Firefox and I tried to make a 'shortcut' but it asked me if I was sure I wanted to run it every time I clicked the shortcut icon. I gave up at that point.

iOS and Android apps on Windows 10: How is this supposed to work?

frank ly Silver badge

@chemnerd Re: I just love it

It couldn't get any worse in my experience. Maybe I was expecting too much. Bluestacks was much better but is Windows/Mac only. I haven't tried Bluestacks under Wine yet - any advice anyone?

Age guessing with Microsoft is FUN! Now give us your metadata

frank ly Silver badge

"... to help Bill Gates sell his services ..."

I don't know how old the author is, but things have moved on quite a bit.

Who thinks Microsoft Edge sucks? Erm, Microsoft

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Hatters Will Hate!


I was waiting for someone to notice and say it.

NASA's Messenger craft SMASHES into Mercury: See ya later, alien crater

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Dear engineers,

Did you accept and install all those updates to 'improve your experience'?

UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

frank ly Silver badge

Re: No poll here

I'm only allowing scripts from theregister.co.uk and have full adblock running; I seemed to have no problem submitting my answer to the survey. Are you blocking third party content from regmedia.co.uk or theregister.com? Are you logged in?

High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

frank ly Silver badge

Plug crowding

If you have lots of fixed low power mains powered items, it's often worthwhile to fit IEC (kettle lead) mains plugs on them and get an IEC connector strip or two. These are readily available on ebay. This saves a lot of space and the leads come out vertically, which helps with space saving and lead stess.

I also use a TP-Link 5-port switch for any group of two or more items that need a network connection because the cost is less than that of a HomePlug adapter. I recently upgraded to Solwise AV500 and the major factor for speed seems to be my mains wiring (especially downstairs to upstairs, going through the fusebox, with old fashioned fuses) since the speed increase is not much over the old 84MB/s ones I had.

Facebook serves up shaved, pierced, tattooed 'butterfly' as CAPTCHA

frank ly Silver badge

The eye of the beholder

Many years ago, (the best parts of my life are way behind me) I made a quick visit to the toilet when I arrived at a 'hip' restaurant-bar for a meal with friends. On the wall was a framed photograph, of a close-up of a human eye and my immediate impression was of an old sun-weathered farmer staring at me. The skin was wrinkled and the eyebrows were ragged; he had a large tear duct and the eye itself was remarkably clear with healthy blue iris and no blood vessels in the white of the eye. A very 'arty' picture, quite nice.

I mentioned it to my friends as we had our meal. I was told to go and look at it again and turn my head ninety degrees to the left. It was an artificial eye in an unusual setting.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019