* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

frank ly Silver badge

Sauce for the gander

Has anyone asked Amber Rudd what she thinks of Boris Johnson and others using WhatsApp?


Perhaps Boris Johnson counts as an 'organ of the state' and so it's ok for him to use such technology?

Life began after meteorites splashed into warm ponds of water, say astronomers

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Why highlight meteorites?

The meteorites and large asteroids of the early solar system were probably important for delivering water to ancient earth, with dust delivering carbon compounds. Any delicate carbon compound in a meteorite would probably be vapourised by the impact.


Telco forgot to renew its web domain, broke deaf folks' video calls – now gets a $3m paddlin'

frank ly Silver badge

Raking it in?

"The $2.7m will be used to pay back money Sorenson received from the TRS fund while its service was down."

That's a lot of money for three days of service!

IKEA flat-packs TaskRabbit to crack assembly code

frank ly Silver badge



Twitter: We also made a shedload of cash from Russia's trolling during US White House race

frank ly Silver badge


"At the same time, the company all but acknowledged it can no longer manage miscreants on its own, by welcoming regulatory intervention."

So, if a company can't manage something well, regulatory intervention will enable it to manage it well? Does this also involve writing off expenses for 'managing something' against tax?

MoD brainbox repo opens up IP treasure chest for world+dog

frank ly Silver badge


Are the examples given actually patentable? That rucksack power supply seems obvious for anyone who needs a rucksack mounted power supply. Etc.

Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book

frank ly Silver badge


“The quest to rediscover Microsoft's soul”

I'll sit back and wait for the comments.

Boffins sling around entangled photons at telco wavelengths

frank ly Silver badge

re. hot-boffin stuff

I was hoping for a picture of a hot boffin, for educational purposes.

NASA, Roscosmos: We're building a lunar space station!

frank ly Silver badge

Profit ?

"NASA hopes the gateway would provide what private Mars missions cannot: ..."

Then maybe NASA could lease docking facilities and associated support services to private Mars missions.

Out, damned Spot! Amazon emits Echo ball with screen, inevitable ever-listening mic

frank ly Silver badge

"Alexa, .....

.... I'd like to buy a .amazon domain name."

FCC commish cites infamous porn ruling to slam shady US mobile competition report

frank ly Silver badge


"Congress creates new terms in legislation all the time and it's up to expert agencies like this one to define them. "

Surely it's up to the lawmakers to define any terms they use in the legislation they create, discuss, debate and pass? Oh wait, I'm sorry, I'm an engineer, not a lawyer, so my view of the world is warped.

Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars

frank ly Silver badge

Twitting Twitter

"... a "small group" of twits ..."

I wasn't aware that 'twit' was the noun for a person that tweeted. You learn something every day on El Reg. Is there a collective noun for twits?

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Fun times....

"... castor oil, which was the electrolyte used"

It was a dielectric. Just saying.

Hurricane Maria leaves Arecibo radio telescope damaged and dark

frank ly Silver badge

It's big


Kebab and pizza shop owner jailed for hiding £179k from the taxman

frank ly Silver badge

How on earth ....

.... did he think he'd get away with it?

"But HMRC investigators found he earned far more after examining bank records, his personal income and records of sales made through a website."

Oh, good grief!

Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware

frank ly Silver badge

These patents

Red Hat has 2,000 and Microsoft has 10,000. How many would stand up to the cold light of examination for prior art, genuine novelty, not being obvious to anyone with technical experience and ability, etc?

Falling apart at the seamless: Inside Apple's LTE Watch fiasco

frank ly Silver badge

Some pedantry:

"Watches that don't tell the time have been normalised."

A 'watch' that doesn't tell the time isn't actually a watch, no matter how much you may watch it.

Behold, says robo-mall-cop maker: Our crime-busting dune buggy packed with spy gear

frank ly Silver badge

A vacuum cleaner with a red LED chasing you, with the hose moving like a snake?

frank ly Silver badge


Is the mobile K7 autonomous in any way or is it driven and steered by a remote operator? I'm wondering what would happen if a K7 chased down and injured a trespasser by physical contact.

Programming in the Middle Ages: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

You're thinking of Doc Martens, which are actually very functional so your error is relevant.

Pirate Bay digs itself a new hole: Mining alt-coin in slurper browsers

frank ly Silver badge

WTF ?!

"It turns out that "a typo" caused the mining operation to try to eat up every available cycle, rather than the 20‑30 per cent usage that The Pirate Bay planned for. And the initial installation may also have worked on every tab instance, ..."

Testing? Much?

Brit ministers jet off on a trade mission to tout our digital exports...

frank ly Silver badge

Flying to Finland and Japan?

They should do it using Google+ or maybe Slack their way through it.

Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

frank ly Silver badge

@Geoffrey W

Your past experiences may have been common when you first tried Linux, whenever that was. In my experience, starting just over four years ago, the Ubuntu and Mint forums are very useful and helpful places to go looking for information. Debian forums can be a bit 'wizardly' but if you have hairy problems then you need hairy wizards.

AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

frank ly Silver badge

Nominative stuff

Will it be called a Quarnot cycle heater?

Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

frank ly Silver badge

Commerce without human contact

I have that at my local Morrisons and I'm so used to it that I've stopped saying "thank you" to the automatic checkout machines when they give me my change.

This article has been deleted

frank ly Silver badge

a $20 “whip cream show”

Are they sure it wasn't a "whipped cream show"? There's a big difference...... or is there? I can't figure things out anymore. Did the bikini barristers wear those old-fashioned horsehair wigs?

Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

frank ly Silver badge

I wanted to buy a real leather strap for my 'Limit' wristwatch. I decided not to bother when I realised that leather straps cost more than I'd spent on the watch (£10).

El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: De-clunkify

Well done, you've got the job!

'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Hmm..

You can be bothered? Or could you care less?

ICO slaps cab app chaps for 10-day spam crap

frank ly Silver badge

Cue a puzzled "Que?".

Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

frank ly Silver badge


Walks around in a bathrobe. Wants to recruit people before they go to the dark side. Works with some kind of arcane and almost mystic knowledge. Who does that remind you of?

Microsoft fixing Windows 10 'stuttering' bugs in Creators Update

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I rebuilt an old 486 DOS box

That would make an interesting article if you wouldn't mind putting the effort into it.

Rubrik to hit enterprise with double whammy

frank ly Silver badge

Confusion or playfulness?

The picture: Rubik's cube, ....... Rubrik's backup.

Totally uncool California bureaucrats shoot down drone weed delivery

frank ly Silver badge

The reason

They don't want the drones to get too high.

Crackas With Attitude troll gets five years in prison for harassment

frank ly Silver badge

Straight Inta Jail

It's a word that imitates a particular pronounciation of the word 'crackers', i.e. people who perform the art/act of cracking. The entire title is inspired by, but not an exact copy of, the N.W.A who were a musical performance ensemble, active during the late 80s.


Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

frank ly Silver badge

No, VAT is payed by the end consumer/user, which is you when you buy a packet of soap powder, etc. It is collected by the business that sells you stuff, since they have tax payment and accounting systems already in place which makes it easy for the goverment to use them as tax collectors.

Developer swings DMCA sueball at foul-mouthed streamer PewDiePie

frank ly Silver badge

Oh Really?

"All streaming is infringement ..."

Is it really? Surely that's only if you're trying to sell it as a product being 'passed off' as the genuine article, which in this case is a playable game. Nobody who watched the stream is playing the game, they are watching somebody else play the game and they know that full well.

Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

frank ly Silver badge

Apple has redrawn the poo emoji

So, these emoji things are not standardised in terms of appearance? Is this like a font change? How many different representations of poo are there?

Stuff the movement of celestial spheres, let's sit down and watch Bonnie Tyler on TV

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Excellent

I haven't watched (UK) TV for a long time. Has it really got that bad?

Pack up, go home to your family: Google Drive is flipping out

frank ly Silver badge

Re: We reached out to Google for additional information

Now if you feel that you can't go on

Because all of your data is gone ........

Secure microkernel in a KVM switch offers spy-grade app virtualization

frank ly Silver badge

"... no naughty cutting and pasting ..."

Except for eyeball to fingertip copy/paste activity.

Close Encounters of the Kuiper Belt kind: New Horizons to come within just 3,500km of MU69

frank ly Silver badge

Future report

The puzzling thing was that no matter what course corrections NASA made, New Horizons was unable to get close enough to MU69 for detailed pictures. (Ominous music follows.)

Dolphins inspire ultrasonic attacks that pwn smartphones, cars and digital assistants

frank ly Silver badge


Why are these microphones and audio processiong circuits made so that they respond to ultrasonic signals?

Why do the voice recognition algorithms respond to ultrasonic range voices?

I thought it was a generally understood principle that you filtered out any 'out of band' energy at an early stage.

You are the one per cent if you read Firefox's privacy spiels

frank ly Silver badge

Re: because it users to the preferences where they fumbled about

Exactly! You found it confusing. I'm sure that was Simon's point.

Twitter is just randomly deleting people's lists – and no one knows why

frank ly Silver badge

I assume .....

.... that you can't do a backup onto your PC? Is it possible to load anything from your PC to Twitter or vice versa?

Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

frank ly Silver badge

Re: "...18 to 24-year-olds..."

Calm down or you'll have a heart attack or stroke at your age.

France to tack weapons onto spy drones – reports

frank ly Silver badge

Geneal Atomics Reaper drone

That sounds scary!

What's your flava? Ooo, tell me what's your flava... of Ubuntu

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Worth a look

It's a cloudy afternoon so I thought I'd try it. What follows is my personal opinion.

The panel style/layout changes that can be chosen from MATE Tweak are 'interesting' but only to people who pine for Unity or some Mac lookalike. If you're used to standard MATE then they will be of no interest at all to you. Note that you can save the panel style/layout as a named custom setting but this 'saving' does not include the exact contents location and layout and so you will mess up any existing icon layout if you select something different and then try to go back to a saved setting. This is a one-off decision that you should make at an early stage.

MATE 1.18.0 here has exactly the same cosmetic 'glitch' and functionality shortfalls that I've seen in the Linux Mint version.

It has some new themes - woohoo.

I'll wait for the LTS in 18.04 then see if they've fixed the MATE problems.

Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

frank ly Silver badge

"scalpel-fodder" ?

Do they use specially made tiny scalpels? Really, I'd like to know.

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

frank ly Silver badge

"... after giving Wickes DIY my mobile number ..."

Ah ha! Have a cheap PAYG mobile for this purpose, if you really have to give a mobile number to anyone. You can store the number on your 'real' mobile to read out to people who 'need' it. You can always dump and replace the SIM card after a while if scam texts and calls get annoying.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019