* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

A Norsified Linux for Windows and OS X wobblers

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Bottom Dock/Panel

I have a 'pop-out' top panel with my favourite applications on it and a pop-out side panel with my favourite folders, including network storage locations. I also have a fixed 'system panel' on the bottom, because I like to think I know what's going on all the time. This is the arrangement I've used since the old XP days (a pox on Windows 7!!) and I've no intention of changing it. Modern UIs, bah, humbug!

BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

frank ly Silver badge

G.FAST technology

Does the cable jacket have stripes on it? That always helps.

Hot wet alien world discovered in constellation Cygnus

frank ly Silver badge

Clouds, blocking the view of water molecules

I am the only one who finds that funny and surreal?

BMC Software flings patent sueball at ServiceNow

frank ly Silver badge

I'm really wondering

" ... incident management, performance analytics, configuration management, discovery, orchestration and change release management."

These are 'technology'? How?

Google goes Dutch with new €600 MEELLION DC

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Grey water?

There are things called heat exchangers and protective coatings. Great big steel ships seem to last a long time at sea for some reason. Grey water contains contaminants and pathogens and the supply may not be constant and thus require holding ponds. Is there even an existing supply of grey water available at Eemshaven?

frank ly Silver badge

Grey water?

'Grey water' is waste from baths, showers, basins, etc. Why don't they just use the sea, since Emmshaven is a port city (adjacent to the cold North Sea).

Bracelet could protect user herds from lurking PREDATORS

frank ly Silver badge

I'm waiting

"When the user interacts with a computer terminal, the bracelet records the wrist movement, processes it, and sends it to the terminal,"

Waiting for a suggested application that could only be thought up by an El Reg commentard. Any minute now.

ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7

frank ly Silver badge

At last

"That means ovens with better voice-recognition when you speak to them ... "

This is what most people have needed all their lives.

UK banks hook themselves up to real-time cop data feed

frank ly Silver badge

My experience was not as deeply personal or sad, but:

One Friday evening, I drove home from work and (using my debit card) decided to fill the car up (£50), then went to the supermarket and bought £10 of groceries then stopped at the tobacco kiosk on the way out and tried to spend £10: - blocked, operator told to hold onto the card and call management.

I was told I had to accompany a supervisor to a phone where I was told by a bank representative that the card had a 'suspicious pattern of purchases' and was being held as a precaution (all this with me standing about 4 yards from busy checkout queues). They asked me to confirm what I had bought - I told them it was none of their business what I'd bought. I eventually persuaded them that I was who I was and had the right to have the card and use it. I managed to avoid swearing at them. After the call, the kiosk guy told me that he'd told them what I'd bought, because he had to.

I then phoned them from home to ask for an explanation. Apparently, I didn't use the card very often so my 'unexpected' use to make three rapidly consecutive purchases was suspicious and grounds for holding and questioning me, 'for my own protection'. I also managed to dig out from them that the fact that I'd bought cigarettes was held on file as part of the record of the holding enquiry. I told them that I'd use cash from that point on and I and do now (or use my credit card).

Tripadvisor site coughs to card data breach for a potential 800k users

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Sigh...

There's a paticular management technique that involves sticking you fingers in your ears and singing. It makes all problems go away until you find another job.

US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

frank ly Silver badge

re. the first picture

Is that actually an inflated condom?

Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

frank ly Silver badge

The judge isn't trying to make Microsoft Ireland do anything. He's trying to make the executives of Microsoft Corporation (USA) do something.

frank ly Silver badge

Well, if an Andorra based company, run by Andorran resident citizens was selling data storage services and then 'exporting' data to USA based servers, the Andorran government would probably bring sanctions against those citizens if they refused to hand over the data. I doubt that the US government would have any grounds for objecting. The data would not be obtained by Andorra sending in special forces troops with USB sticks, it would be accessed via the internet, under legal compulsion.

frank ly Silver badge

Will the German government be sensible?

" ...the German government reportedly stating that it won’t use data storage from US companies unless the ruling is overturned."

Overturned rulings can be turned back. New rulings can be made. Do the sensible thing and think about long-term possibilities.

80 PER CENT of app devs SUCK at securing your data, study finds

frank ly Silver badge

@Lis 0rRe: Another view...

My first reaction was to say, "no, they are two separate items and the user should be free to choose."

However, I wonder how many users actually do have identical usernames/passwords. Maybe experienced attackers try password=username as a quick and easy first attempt, just in case.

NASA's MAVEN enters Mars orbit to sniff its gas

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Collision alert!

Furthermore, Murphy's Law will ensure that the debris hits Curiosity.

Mushy spam law's IDEAL for toothless watchdog: Spamhaus slams CAN-SPAM

frank ly Silver badge

If you have a 'business relationship', it's ok

I started getting spam for 'baby things' = disposable nappies, prams, etc., to a unique email address that I'd set up for communication with a retailer that I'd bought my old laptop from some years previously. A quick 'Google' told me that the laptop supplier was apparently no longer in existence but the 'baby things' retailer was operating out of the same retail park (= shabby industrial estate). I assume the laptop supplier had sold or handed over their customer email address collection as some kind of business asset.

A similar thing can happen to your eBay email address if you buy anything from someone on eBay, though that has been gratifyingly rare in my experience. A few times, after an eBay purchase, I did get phishing spam to the unique address which I use for Paypal (along with spam for cheap Ugg boots). That's because the idiots at Paypal give your registered Paypal e-mail address to anyone you use Paypal to make payment to.

Your location info is too revealing: data boffins

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Mobiles are the new email.

"Anyone with a full-time job and permanent place of resident can be found ..."

It's not about knowing where to look if they want to find you at work or at home. Anybody, with the right information, can do that and many people know where you work and where you live and you're certain to have voluntarily and knowingly given this information to many people.

This identifcation from partial location trajectory data means that your other movements and locations can be identified as being yours. Today, the police can get this information (with the appropriate authorisation), presumably for good reasons. Soon, any advertising Tom, Dick or Harriet will be able to find out where you were at what time; unless further fragmentation of the trajectory is mandated.

Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone

frank ly Silver badge

Re: It's not only whistleblowers who are investigated

That would be ok if impartiality and even-handedness is ensured by the simple process of investigating all police officers, starting with the highest ranks. Let's start with London's Metropolitan Police and, er, the South Yorkshire police force. Just a formality of course, I'm sure nothing untoward would be found.

Facebook's Oculus unveils 360-degree VR head tracking Crescent Bay prototype

frank ly Silver badge

Re: headphones

"So if you need to quickly look at something, tough."

It shouldn't be too difficult, or expensive, to fit a small USB camera to the front and have a small swith that you operate to have 'real external view' fed to the front screen. Can I patent this idea if I draw some suitable diagrams with appropriate waffle annotations?

Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed

frank ly Silver badge

I've been doing this for years

" ... you can play with the lyrics ... when you're sitting on the subway ..."

If you change your mind, on the Circle Line, go to Bank with me, go to Bank with me ....

Alien condoms. Stuck to the wall. That's entirely normal, y'know

frank ly Silver badge

It's all gone mass market, which was the intention I think


They had a 'booth' at my local Asda this morning but I was in a hurrry so I didn't have a look or even ask the prices. I'll try to remember to check it out tomorrow.

Your chance to win the world's only handheld ZX Spectrum

frank ly Silver badge

Can we be told ......

... how many accounts there are at The Register and (eventually) how many accounts were used to enter the competition. I'll eventually be wondering about levels of enthusiasm and what sort of competition I was up against.

Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Good news - it's got a wikipedia entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corian .... it's fascinating and admirable stuff.

Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: The possibilities are endless

It took me a while to figure out 'OpenSunroof'.

@Magnus Pym - Or maybe 'Halo'.

Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us

frank ly Silver badge

Re: 70% accuracy?

The local coppers could even predict the type of crime and its daily, weekly and seasonal variation in different areas. They don't need mobile phone data to determine footfall either.

Snowden's NSA leaks have galvanised the storage world

frank ly Silver badge

Making it stronger

" ... wrap it in one form, say AES, and then re-wrap it in another, say 3DES,”

Are 'strengths' of encryption actually additive in this way? I thought there was some aspect of the mechanism that meant it was only as strong as the strongest one?

Oracle's Larry Ellison quits as CEO – new bosses are Hurd'n'Catz

frank ly Silver badge

Controlling Oracle is not easy

It must be like Hurding Catz.

(The one with the Book of Immediate Plagiarism in the pocket.)

China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR

frank ly Silver badge

If I had the time and money

If that happened to me and if I had the resources to do something about it, I'd be tempted to keep quiet about it and set up a virtual 'shadow' system into which the external hacks were diverted. The shadow system would contain essentially all the information of the real system, except for truly secret info. Then, when the time came, I'd modify the contents of the shadow system in such a way that the hacked data would mess up the intelligence-led operations of anyone who tried to use it.

4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

frank ly Silver badge

This is the thing

"Only five of these can be unlocked to view, but that shouldn’t matter as only four are worth watching anyway."

If I didn't have any (or some) of those titles, it would be because I couldn't be bothered or didn't want to buy them. So the content owners wouldn't lose anything by letting me unlock all of them. But no, their content is so valuable that it has to be 'allowed' a little bit at a time, my precious.

Note to 'content' producers: I can get a good two or three days of intermittent immersive entertainment experience by reading a good book, and those are widely available though monochrome and quite low resolution. Maybe you should up your game and produce content worth consuming and let me decide which five minutes to watch as a 'trailer', instead of your two minute choice of extracts in YouTube (or wherever).

justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups

frank ly Silver badge

Times ... changing

"... who will either recoil with horror at your inglorious visage or fall into bed with you."

Don't people have conversations or share a walk in the park anymore? It's all very different from when I was young.

US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux

frank ly Silver badge

@John Robson Re: Numbers always confuse me

Of course!

frank ly Silver badge

Numbers always confuse me

" .. a spectral efficiency of 16 bits/second/Hz on a 28 GHz carrier." gives 448 Gbps ?

"claiming an impressive 32 Gbps transmission, ........, using eight OAM channels – four independent OAM beams on each of two polarisations."

Can anyone explain that?

Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Pet password hates

My mother's maiden name is "Correcthorsebatterystaple". I was lucky there.

Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

frank ly Silver badge

So true

"At some point you get to be middle aged and realize your life isn't like others,"

Indeed. I realised I was special when I turned 40. People had been telling me for years. Now, for a reasonable fee, I'll be able to mingle online with my peers.

Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure

frank ly Silver badge

He goes into a special error handling state and begins to sing a medley of popular songs. (There are other possible outcomes but that's the one i'm hoping for.)

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Bias

But ... but ... lots of people and organisations give Linux away. That's how I got mine.

'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Not even that...

Excellent idea. Use a similar technique on dry land with a 'careless' digger driver to cut the cable and your tapping crew a few miles away along the run, all ready to make a neat tap.

Hackers-for-hire raided 300 banks, corporates for TWELVE YEARS

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Did they by any chance have red hair?

They certainly have some twisted mentats working for them.

Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen

frank ly Silver badge

Re: The region lies at the top of the comet

It's the part that gets most of the sunlight at noon.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

frank ly Silver badge

Re: At last the 1936 Show, Folks!

" I mean iPlayer is great but only if you want to revisit last week."

Or watch a broadcast as it happens (if you don't have a televison), or watch after the programme has just finished because you wanted to walk the dog, or watch from yesterday because you had better things to do at the time. For some programmes, they have the links to all previous episodes in a series, which has been very useful for me in the past.

I can find out all I need about a TV programme from Wikipedia (hurrah for volunteers) then do my own searches (in various places of variable quality). What the average Joe(line) needs is a simple way of finding content they'd be intersested in and then a means watching it at their own convenience. We're not there yet and probably never will be.

LOHAN tin-rattles to a whopping £27,000 on Kickstarter

frank ly Silver badge

Just a thought

As a result of pipe smoking in my 'youth', I have a crooked tooth on the upper left side. I hope the young lady only does this for the short time required to take a picture.

Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Ah, the t'internet of things ...

That should be: Ah, t'internet ... What do you think t' stands for? (Actually, the entire word "the" is elided with a lingual stop but you need to indicate it in writing, hence t')

Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

frank ly Silver badge

@ 'Faux' Science Slayer

From one of your previous posts:

" ... i started writing Satire....posted at Canada Free Press and even more at my website..."

It's interesting to see how you've developed.

eBay DROPS DEAD AGAIN - tat bazaar says sorry, scrambles to resurrect site

frank ly Silver badge


.... they bought their servers on eBay.

'There is no downside – unless you count the total bath you take moving your stuff'

frank ly Silver badge

I'm sorry, can you say that again? I can't understand your accent.

Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

frank ly Silver badge

Re: weakness in this story

I use the Solwise AV500 around the house for an upstairs WiFi repeater and various non-demading connectivity. I have noticed that if I stream two videos from my network storage box via Homeplug, then there is the occassional stutter, compared to ethernet cable connection to the router. That might be my house wiring or various other factors.

Is there still any argument running about the Homeplug devices causing interference to various radio bands?

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Security?

" ... or to store images off-site, a potentially expensive aspect."

That's what the 'cloud' is for, 10GB of free storage from many suppliers. With a mildly clever monitorung system, it will only store images or video if the scene changes. For 'evidence', you're better off with a few high resolution snapshots than a low resolution video recording.

The sound of silence: One excited atom is so quiet that the human ear cannot detect it

frank ly Silver badge

I've started wondering about the sound made by two excited atoms but I want to keep my comments 'family friendly'.

DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster

frank ly Silver badge

In the Arizona desert

A company called ACME has been formed to produce a non-military version. This will be cheaper and surprisingly effective but will lead to disappointment and/or disaster for anybody who uses it.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019