* Posts by Matthew 3

412 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009


Congrats, Satya Nadella. In just five years, you've turned Microsoft from Neutral Evil to, er, merely True Neutral

Matthew 3

Re: Yes to Media Center going open source!

I'd be curious to see how many WIn7 holdouts did so precisely because of Media Center.

It's why my elderly home PC resisted the near-overwhelming urge from MS to 'upgrade'.

At least Sony offered a t-shirt, says macOS flaw finder: Bug bounties now for Macs if you want this 0-day, Apple

Matthew 3

Re: In a way it is blackmail

It becomes blackmail when there's a threat involved.

Failing to disclose information that would benefit somebody else is not blackmail.

Saying "I'll release an exploit unless you pay me!" would be an example of where the line is crossed.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

Matthew 3

Re: Cloud casting shadows

They can try, but nobody will buy the 'not our fault, guv' line when Honeywell tries it.

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

Matthew 3

Re: Sounds like....

They're getting bogged down in the details.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

Matthew 3


I recall an anecdote from a certain Jeremy Clarkson on a particularly bad crossing - the toilets were awash with vomit which was sloshing from side to side of the floor. On which was laying one very unwell looking chap. He looked up, caught JC's eye, and just said: "Kill me!"

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Matthew 3

Serious question

How many of the big porn sites are based in the UK?

My *ahem* limited research in this area suggests that it may be 'none of them'.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

Matthew 3

"Not available in this country"

I predict tech companies will just withdraw their software from Australian sale or distribution as the simplest way to comply with the new law.

That has the benefit of not requiring any reprogramming effort, doesn't compromise security, and makes the Australian government directly responsible for end users' anger. Everybody wins. Except the Aussie government of course, but they don't deserve to.

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Matthew 3

It would be lovely to lose those grey bars down both sides of the screen. But I said that last time as well.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

Matthew 3

Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

Not while there are features that disappear with the upgrade. I'm not the only person who uses Media Centre as a television.

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

Matthew 3

Laserjets and double-voltage don't mix

Back in the early '00s I was working on a US Army base in Germany and needed to print something. There was a handy Laserjet 4 nearby but no power cable.

Being an inventive type I borrowed a power lead from a spare monitor and plugged it in. All seemed well at first, until the smoke started.I realised, as the alarms went off that the little box next to the printer - that I'd ignored - was a 120v to 240v transformer...

I pulled the power and followed everyone out whistling as nonchalantly as I could manage.

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Matthew 3

We all recognise HP there...

HP's site is and always has been tortuous.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Matthew 3

Hats in the gaps?

I recall reading that the heat expansion during flight was sufficient that a large gap opens up on the flight deck and that, for the last flights, the captains put their hats into the gap. After slowing down the gap closes up again. The hats are thus sealed in for ever, unless the plane flies again.

Is this true? And did it happen for this Concorde?

*Thunk* No worries, the UPS should spin up. Oh cool, it's in bypass mode

Matthew 3

Reminded me of the tube's 'control room flooded with wet concrete' story from 2014

You'd think it'd be a tale of months of disruption but, no, 24 hours later it was all fixed. I'd still like to read about how they did that.


US docs show Daimler may have done a Dieselgate – German press claims

Matthew 3


I was quite a long way into the article before I realised that this wasn't referring to upmarket Jaguars and might be a Mercedes problem.

Apple quietly wheels out 'Voxelnet' driverless car tech paper

Matthew 3

Re: If Apple can patent "round corners" and "paper bags" ...

Here's how it will pan out: Vauxhall will complain and Apple will give the Voxel the 'sosumi' start-up sound.

Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android

Matthew 3


I've been patiently waiting for Android 7.1 to come to my Galaxy S7. If Google could offer me the latest OS upgrade now for a modest fee I would jump at the chance. I think plenty of other people would too.

It would give them a chance to monetise their investment, it would allow them to wrest control back from the phone companies and manufacturers with their added dross, and would let Google effectively dictate which devices were worthy of their effort, potentially steering purchasers towards vendors they like the most. It would likely distort the market by concentrating on premium devices but that would also go some way to solving the issue of devices lagging behind on updates ('our customers get them fast and first').

I'm not sure that this would be a good thing, you understand, but I can see that it could be done. I'd guess that it's politics that stops it, not any technical reason.

BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

Matthew 3

Re: Motion

Or because they used to be known as 'Research In Motion'?

Samsung shows off Linux desktops on Galaxy smartmobes

Matthew 3

Maybe they've seen the Gemini PDA?

That's a smartphone that's already running Linux and has a proper keyboard too.


Google Play Protect is 'dead last' at fingering malware on Android

Matthew 3

You've tested 'several' and have concluded that 'most of' them do nothing. Care to share your data for peer review, or name the offenders, perhaps?

RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

Matthew 3

"No living memory of the horrors of WWII"?

I can introduce you to my grandparents if you like. They both lived through it, and they're both very much alive still with memories of the war and its horrors. My grandfather was an RAF navigator so actively part of what was going on too. You could ask him about it but you might have to speak up. He's a bit deaf these days.

Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Matthew 3

Re: Numbers

Google does not collect, scan, or use data from the core services for advertising purposes."

Added emphasis to point out the possibility of 'non-core' services.

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Matthew 3

Re: Public wifi?

"...it is however quite possible I'm sure."

Yes, it is more than possible. Martin Lewis' site reports one victim still finding fraudulent transactions eight months after cancelling a lost card.

This is possible because banks do not automatically check all contactless payments immediately. Some are processed as 'offline transactions' and are only checked later. One bank told the Guardian that virtually all transactions for less than £15 were not immediately checked.

Why is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ project so delayed?

Matthew 3

Re: Crowdfunding is just an unsecured loan

You do it at your own risk.

If you've paid by credit card doesn't Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act protect you?

My understanding is that credit card companies are equally liable to deliver the product, or refund you, as long as you spent over £100. But does that not apply to crowdfunded sites?

Just curious - nothing to do with wondering if the Gemini will go the same way or anything...

Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

Matthew 3

Professor Frink

Am I the only one saying 'Hoyven Maven Glaven!' in Professor Frink's voice after reading the orbiter's name?

Brit lords slip 30Mbps Universal Service Obligation into UK Digital Economy Bill

Matthew 3

6Mbps per second?

Is broadband like gravity then? ;-)

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

Matthew 3

Am I missing something?

They are only talking about demoting the illegal search results. So anyone who wants a dodgy MP3 will simply click straight to page 5 of the search results, won't they?

IT team sent dirt file to Police as they all bailed from abusive workplace

Matthew 3

Re: Not a great surprise

If you are picking a union it's a good idea to make sure they're on the taxman's approved list. You can then reclaim the income tax you've paid on your membership fee. It saves a useful few quid.

Gov.UK link

BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

Matthew 3

Brilliant line.

"...the internet has been running a bit slowly recently."

"Did you call Vint Cerf?"

Encyclopedia Dramatica user hit with £10k damages after calling ex-councillor a 'paedo'

Matthew 3

Worth a punt on definitions?

Since the word 'paedo' literally means 'child' there must surely be a legal defence to that angle?

Without the addition of the suffix '-phile' it could be argued that the only criticism here is an accusation of immaturity.

Oooooklahoma! Where the cops can stop and empty your bank cards – on just a hunch

Matthew 3

Re: America? (while we are stereotyping)

If it had been named after him it's more likely we'd be talking about Vespuccia, based on the last-name-based traditions of the time.

Richard Ameryk seems like a more likely candidate to me.

RIP ROP: Intel's cunning plot to kill stack-hopping exploits at CPU level

Matthew 3

Re: It'd be nice to have a system...

Every PC is a VM? What would you run those VMs on? ;-)

"It's turtles all the way down!"

A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Matthew 3

Re: OK, I'll bite

"What problem is this a solution for?

Let's see what device permissions the new app requires first. My guess is that it will want to read all your known associates, sorry, 'contacts', and it'll want location data too.

They'll have almost everyone who signs up effectively carrying around a trackable ID card which can be cross-referenced with ANPR cameras...

Still having trouble working out why they like this idea?

Come get your free Opera VPN (and bring along something to read)

Matthew 3

Re: Raising more red flags than a Soviet military parade

Don't forget that Opera is data collection and advertising company first.

Thank goodness Chrome comes from an organisation that avoids these areas. *snort*

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: Betting on VR with a dash of Vulkan

Matthew 3


It seems that Samsung are again supporting two processors - either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or one of their own Exynos ones, depending on market.But my understanding is that Cyanogenmod's developers prefer the Qualcomm. Anyone yet know which processor the UK will get?

Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Matthew 3


A 60W incandescent bulb that's three times more efficient than before will still lose over 50W of that as heat. But if you're comparing it with a 6W LED, the inefficiencies surely don't change the fact that it is still cheaper to run for the same amount of usable light?

Happy 2016, and here's the year's first ransomware story

Matthew 3

Re: Ouch

I seem to recall reading that some ransomware variants now wait a month or more before appearing, precisely so that your backups are all also compromised.

Randall 'xkcd' Munroe. Live. You get to ask him stuff. No biggie

Matthew 3

Re: Ugh

At least part of that difference is accounted for by VAT - ebooks are taxed and real ones aren't.

BlackBerry opens its Priv kimono just a little wider

Matthew 3

Finding the ability to selectively grant permissions to apps is my favourite feature of Cyanogenmod's Android builds. It was also the only way to get my ageing Galaxy S2 to a current-ish version of Android.

Microsoft offers to PAY YOU to trade in your old computer for a Windows 10 device

Matthew 3

Re: If you really - really have to run Windows 10

The operating system isn't called 'Window' and neither are its owners. So you don't get a 'Window's Store'.

Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood

Matthew 3

Re: Faraday cage with a window ...

We know the base has wifi - it's mentioned in the story. And Android phones can route calls over wifi.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Matthew 3

Leaving me here in the desert? Wow, Dad really doesn't like Apples.

BOFH: I'm not doing this for the benefit of your health, you know

Matthew 3


It's always fun to deliberately trip over a 'Caution: wet floor' sign and then complain about the hazard.

Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!

Matthew 3

Re: "the UK's attempt at high-speed rail"

As the first production use of maglev technology was in Birmingham airport they're used to the tech already. Theirs was a bit slower though.


Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice

Matthew 3

Re: Handmines

I took this as movement-detection, rather than just seeing who was there. Many animals (including humans) are able to pick out movement more easily than a stationary object.

AT&T fingers BT's brass neck, wishes it could throttle it

Matthew 3

Customer service...

"...a regulatory regime similar to that of the UK would mean significantly less broadband investment, higher prices and bad customer service."

Because American telecom companies are famed for their high quality customer service...?

Has anyone lost 37 dope plants, Bolton cops nonchalantly ask on Facebook

Matthew 3

Re: The Facebook Generation

And Mel Smith answering the 'How did you work that out?' question with 'That's how much we got for it!' in another sketch.

Capita: Listen up redundo staff, we know you're leaving but...

Matthew 3

Brings back memories

My former employer sent our jobs to India and also expected us to train our replacements. We also exhibited a staggering lack of commitment to that task, not least because our redundancies were involuntary.

There was lots of schadenfreude when the newbies were asked to shut down one data centre for maintenance and instead accidentally shut down every single datacentre, globally.

The estimated losses were far greater than the gain from losing all those years of experience and goodwill but, hey, they were cheaper...

North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

Matthew 3

Don't the British government have a spare range?

I'm sure that I read that the British government have an unused IPv4 address range (

Surely that would be worth a couple of billion to someone?

So why not sell it and reduce the deficit?

Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

Matthew 3

Re: What is needed...

They were banned from the roads in 2003 and all bar a handful were crushed.

BBC article


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