* Posts by Richard 12

2646 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Plusnet slapped with £880k fine for billing ex customers

Richard 12
Silver badge

We'll do you

0
1

Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

Richard 12
Silver badge

So now large, fragile batteries must go in the hold

Where several of the tens of thousands of innocent batteries will get crushed, start a fire and bring the airliner down.

Either they think the security at these airports can find prevent bombs getting onto planes, or they don't.

This ban greatly increases the overall risk of a plane falling out of the sky.

I won't be flying to these places because I don't want to be in a plane where the hold is filled with Li-Ion batteries.

Lithium batteries aren't permitted in airfreight. What kind of idiot forces them to be?

3
0

Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: 5 times more likely to be hacked

Perhaps because Linux makes up about 99.999% of Internet-facing devices?

Including a lot of IoT crap that isn't even pretending to be secured.

4
2

User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: On where power buttons are...

They used to be good. The "cheesegrater" desktop was indeed very good.

The current keyboards are poor laptop ones. No feel, too small and so many keys missing.

Charging the mouse means flipping it upside down or resting it on the charge cable.

There's no indication of charge level whatsoever - when is it fully charged? The paired Mac will warn you if it's nearly flat if it's running, but there's no other indication at all.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: On where power buttons are...

I despise Apple desktop design.

It's clearly only for looking at, not for using.

The keyboard and mouse that come with them are almost unusable, and charging the mouse is ridiculous!

Yes, I also wasted 20min trying to figure out how to turn it on. Why hide the power button? TVs have put them on the edge for decades.

3
0

Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Long overdue John Brown

No, courts don't.

The law is the law, and (at least in the EU), T&Cs and contracts cannot remove any consumer protections whatsoever. (Businesses are assumed to employ lawyers)

What happens is that they either drag it out until the consumer gives up, or they settle out of court.

26
0

Face down in a Shoreditch gutter: Attack of the kickstarting hipster

Richard 12
Silver badge

Duct tape works perfectly

As long as they have a beard.

Unfortunately it only works once, as the second time they don't have a beard.

9
0

National Insurance tax U-turn: Philip Hammond nixes NIC uptick

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Old Tom

You must have voted in a different referendum to the rest of the country then.

The ballot papers I saw said "European Union".

There was no mention of the Single Market or the Customs Union for that matter.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

"safeguard British interests in the Single Market"

Direct quote from page 72. It's in the header and in bold, right after the "run a referendum on membership of the EU"

May has annouced her explicit intent is to remove all British interests from the Single Market. The exact opposite.

4
2

Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Dark Matter? WTF?

For a while there were competing WIMPs and MACHOs. MACHOs have since lost, but WIMPs haven't been found or disproved.

I live in hope for another "that's odd!?" Perhaps this observation will get us somewhere!

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

It's from before the photino birds evolved

Obvious, right?

5
0

SpaceX yoinks $96m GPS launch deal from under ULA's nose

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: reusable rockets

It's also a long way from land. With a boostback burn, SpaceX are landing around 200miles out to sea. That's within the (eg) Sea King endurance but doesn't leave much margin for time on-station.

And very heavy, orders of magnitude heavier than anything previously attempted.

Helicopters aren't particularly stable at the best of times, and the airframes aren't designed for shock loading.

Ditching a helicopter is not fun.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: reusable rockets

It has the advantage of being something that the US military have tried before.

They've even successfully done it once or twice, and so far no aircrews killed! Majority of payloads lost of course.

Frankly the FAA should shut them down. This operation is ridiculously dangerous and simply cannot be considered for routine operations.

Risking an aircrew is just stupid. There's a reason SpaceX use a robot barge.

6
1

Headphone batteries flame out mid-flight, ignite new Li-Ion fears

Richard 12
Silver badge

Hurray for wireless earpods!

Or maybe not. Maybe I'll stick with headphones that take alkaline AAs.

13
0

NASA finds India's missing lunar orbiter with Earth-bound radar

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Puzzled

So it covered a fairly large part of the expected arc, not the very tip.

My ASCII-art is terrible, but think on a circle and draw a line.

If the line is a true tangent (touches the very edge) to the circle you get one moment, and if you miss a little high you never see anything at all.

If the line crosses slightly inside, you get two chances and if you miss a little high you still see something.

17
0

Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

Richard 12
Silver badge

@Matt Bryant

Die.

Go bankrupt.

Go bankrupt and die.

Lose your job, go bankrupt and die.

Those aren't choices, stop claiming they are.

Under the rules you're recommending, if you get sick and are not incredibly wealthy, you die. In many cases painfully and slowly.

If you're lucky, you bankrupt your family to pay (or even "co-pay", what a term!) for your treatment. You then can't get any insurance at all ever again, and next time, you die.

When you get sick, think on the thousands of people you have doomed to die. Then die, alone, in pain and having spent everything you have.

A civilised society cares for its sick.

A civilised human being is happy to pay into a central pot to care for all the sick.

A self-interested human being is happy to pay into said central pot because they themselves may get sick.

Only a fool thinks that pot shouldn't exist. Only a psychopath thinks the only pot is for them alone.

21
0

Volkswagen pleads guilty to three Dieselgate criminal charges

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: That was never the test

Yes, the only conditions that matter are those defined in the regulations. That's what regulations are.

You are saying that if you can run 100m in 15sec at sea level, then I can also demand you do the same at 5km altitude. Or 10km.

According to you it can be done under any conditions at all!

If you don't like the regulations, lobby your politicians to change them. I think that they could and should be improved, specifying behaviour under some range of conditions that covers all expected European driving conditions.

But they don't. In fact they explicitly exclude low temperatures and high altitudes. The reason is probably clear by now.

1
1
Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

That was never the test

Useful tests are under controlled conditions. A particular set of ambient temperatures and pressures etc.

The regulations do not and never can specify "real world" results.

They only specify results under a particular range of conditions.

The regulations specifically allow manufacturers to have higher emissions when cold etc.

Yes, it would be better if the test covered more sets of conditions. It didn't.

But nobody else actually changed how their engines ran based on whether they were actively being tested.

There have been a lot of really shitty articles about this.

It is meaningless to compare the emissions in unknown conditions to the emissions in specified conditions.

That's like saying Bolt is a terrible sprinter because he can't run 100m in 10sec, without mentioning that it was at 10,000m altitude. Of course he bloody can't!

6
2
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Natural Law v Governmental Law

The emissions laws are met by everyone else.

The difference is that the other manufacturers use a bottle of urea and a catalyst to scrub the NOx.

VW claimed not to need the urea. Seems they lost the pissing contest

The regulations are set un consultation with manufacturers - the targets are set at a level the manufacturers think they can meet.

15
12

If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: TBH I suspect it's another case of pulsars.

FTL is probably impossible as it would violate causality, and offer infinite free energy.

Maybe that's what FRBs are! A civilisation inventing FTL travel...

And immediately exploding :(

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: "accelerate nano craft to speeds up to 161 million km/h"

Investmentments in Twitter and Snapchat are for the exact opposite reason. You can make a lot of money in the first few seconds.

And lose everything after that.

1
0

Favored Swift hits the charts: Now in top 10 programming languages

Richard 12
Silver badge

C is number one in microcontrollers

C++ is becoming more popular now that the really cheap ARM M0+ have so much RAM, but when you need raw speed in a tiny memory footprint, it's C or assembly.

And no commercial enterprise wants to write assembly. It takes too long.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Meh, iOS language at #10 Android at #1

Android itself is mostly C and C++, being a Linux kernel and custom userspace.

Go is rather clever for massively parallel jobs, but I doubt it will ever be very useful for an individual movile device.

Android apps are mostly Java(ish) or C++. Java has the advantage of not needing an x86 or Arm64 port, but lower performance.

Often you don't care about speed, often you don't care about x86 as there's hardly any x86 Android tablets.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

No increment/decrement?

Really?

But that is the one piece of syntax most used by anyone ever!

Sorry, but pulling that is just stupid and an indication that the design team have run out of things they can usefully do - either the design team must go or the language is dead.

What's the replacement syntax for "next/previous iterator"?

- many iterators fundamentally can't jump forward/back by more than one step, what would that even mean for a red/black tree anyway?

Or is nobody allowed to use while(??){...} loops on sets of iterators in Swift?

0
0

'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Better security questions needed

But those are all public knowledge!

7
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Why does anybody treat passwords as ASCII FFS

*cat* *sticking-out-tongue* *taco*

10
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Why does anybody treat passwords as ASCII FFS

Just accept almost any bytes above a certain length into your hash function.

This only needs to be entered by the user, nobody ever needs to see it. Who cares if the current font can't actually display it? You're only showing * anyway.

There should be nothing wrong with using an emoji sequence.

Oh dear El Reg. I can't post emoji? That's terrible!

5
1

Road accident nuisance callers fined £270,000 for being absolute sh*tbags

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: My policy is...

Bollocks. You can 'ing swear all you want, because they called you.

What you can't do is phone someone else up at random and swear at them.

Anyone calling you is fair game.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

It should be like H&S law

If you are prosecuted under the HASAWA, you have to prove that you did everything reasonably practicable to prevent anyone being injured.

Even if nobody has been hurt.

If someone has been injured, it's obvious that you didn't do enough to prevent the injury - but you still have a defence if you did everything reasonably practicable.

So why shouldn't telesales also have to prove that they did everything reasonably practicable to ensure that they never called anyone who didn't give explicit permission?

It's not like it would be hard to keep records of where the names and phone numbers came from and the specific permissions granted.

4
0

MAC randomization: A massive failure that leaves iPhones, Android mobes open to tracking

Richard 12
Silver badge

This isn't when the phone is connected

When wifi is on, your smart device regularly checks whether there is a wifi hotspot it can connect to - for example, as you get home it automatically connects to your home wifi.

When you open the "list of wifi", it also does this search and shows you the ones it found and their approx. signal quality.

Smartphones also use the visible wifi hotspots to determine their location without a GPS fix.

In order to do all this, it sends out wifi probe requests, asking for hotspots to answer with their MAC, SSID etc.

Those probe requests could have a randomised MAC, because they aren't used to connect anything. They are simply an "Is anybody there? Tell me about yourself please."

Once your phone decides that it will connect to a hotspot, it changes over to the "real" MAC address and attempts to connect to it.

The problem with the randomisation idea is that the hotspot can also send a "Tell me about yourself", and gets the real answer.

7
0

After 20 years of Visual Studio, Microsoft unfurls its 2017 edition

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: What's NOT new for Visual Studio 2017

The cross-compilation is based on support for clang, so it's there.

I believe they currently have three supported toolchain backends - msbuild, nmake and clang.

To be fair, msbuild is quite good and a lot of other IDEs use nmake.

VS still seems very naiive about multicore/multiprocessor machines though. /MP is a hit of a hack, and it seems that it is still completely impossible to put pre-build steps in parallel.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: The best IDE bar none

Nope. Not even close.

For example, "Find References" just doesn't work at all.

It's a naiive text search. Look for references to a private member variable and they appear *everywhere*. Makes it utterly useless

The refactoring tools are a terrible joke. It can't even recognise a constructor, and half the time it just doesn't work at all.

Not to mention that changing a method signature is stupendously difficult. Forgot to make something const originally? Need to add an extra variable? Welcome to hours of pain trying to fix it, because VS will not help you.

- at least the compiler might.

The "find callers" is also ludicrously slow. How can it possibly take VS longer to find the callers of a method than it takes the toolchain to do a full clean build?

The other IDEs I use do all that - and finding callers and references seem nearly instant. Perhaps clang is just a better backend than Intellisense?

The project files are really scary in a multi-developer environment, as they are very hard to merge and VS will not help you.

Lost a closing tag in the merge? Poof, your project is gone. Not even an "invalid blah at line X". Just gone. Hooe you're good at manually manipulating XML.

VS does have some very nice debugging tools, but the rest is really very poor.

1
1

Shopping for PCs? Ding, dong, the Dock is dead in 2017's new models

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Or we can read this as

RJ45 depends what you do.

If your use of the network connection needs high bandwidth or low latency, you will curse every device without an RJ45.

Adapters on laptops are a curse. A bundle a extra bits - that all look very similar - will get forgotten, lost and broken.

I can't count the number of times an important Macbook user forgot the Mac-to-projector adapter and had to do the presentation on a small screen...

RJ45 adapters on laptops are even worse, as the RJ45 locks but the USB doesn't.

Many applications can handle hotplug of the network connection, practically none can handle hotplug of the network adapter itself...

1
0

Your Amazon order is confirmed: Eutelsat via Blue Origin. Estimated delivery date: 2022

Richard 12
Silver badge

One presumes this is an option, not a booking

Given that Blue Origin have yet to stage a rocket at all, let alone put anything into orbit.

SpaceX had a lot of trouble getting the staging sequence right, it seems likely that this is because it is hard.

I wish Blue Origin all the best, but this announcement is several years too soon.

6
0

Facebook shopped BBC hacks to National Crime Agency over child abuse images probe

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Answer

A successful defence is however meaningless in this situation.

You have already lost your job, your home, your family and your entire future.

Because you don't have anonymity, the news and the local gossips have destroyed you before your lawyer even speaks.

And the "enhanced" DBS will include this as well ("hearsay" is in there), so even if you move away your career is still ended if you were a teacher, care worker or other post where the Enhanced DBS searches are done.

7
1

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery

Household loads are becoming increasingly non-linear with really awful harmonics.

For example, most LED lamps draw a huge surge partway up the rise, then snap off partway down the fall.

Then there are the electronic motor drives in modern washing machines etc, and the turn-on surfes of the SMPs in all the household equipment.

The only linear loads in my home are the kettle, coffe maker and electric oven. Everything else is an SMP or a motor drive.

This is only going to get worse, of course.

9
0

Pence v Clinton: Both used private email for work, one hacked, one accused of hypocrisy

Richard 12
Silver badge

Abject and total fail on your part

You *do not know* what Pence emailed using his personal email service.

He, the operators of his email server - and the group that hacked into it - are the only people who might.

He demanded that Clinton's use of a personal email service for Government business be investigated by the FBI.

Pence's use of his own personal email service for Government business also be investigated by the FBI.

There is no difference here. Both breached their duty, both must be investigated and, if anything is found, prosecuted.

In fact, so far we know that a great many, possibly a majority of US officials have used personal email services.

Clinton is the only one who has been investigated, and it was found that she had no case to answer.

Unless you are willing to subject your own side to such investigation, you are a pure, unadulterated hypocrite.

19
1

Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Java generics

Inheriting a dozen interfaces doth not make for understandable code. It also makes it much harder to add new generic library functions.

Needing to bring in multiple interfaces is generally bad - not because it has any effect on speed or compiler/interpreter efficiency, but because it scatters a huge amount of verbose stuff all over. ISortable, IHashable, Icarumba... God forbid you need to sort by hash...

C++ templates mean I can make my new class X-able simply by making sure I implement the one or two methods needed to X it.

I don't have to add another line to the inheritance and implement everything in that interface.

I also don't have to re-write a pile of existing classes to add X-ing to them, just write the template that uses the methods they already have.

Even if they don't inherit any particular interface.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Crippled C++

Somebody who thinks Java can't leak memory? Hate to break it to you, but it does and for basically the same reasons as C++.

You can write crap software in any language.

Massive multithreading is easy in C++11 and C11.

- It wasn't so great before as the STL didn't specify how, so you'd need to use one of the tens of great 3rd party libraries, but many of those also made it very simple. Of course, some places rolled their own of variable quality...

More importantly, as is scaling the number of threads to the actual hardware you're running on, and pooling them.

Hundreds of threads is very likely to be much slower than ten threads on commodity hardware. In general, thread pools are so much faster.

4
1

Did your in-flight entertainment widget suck? It's Panasonic's fault, claims software biz

Richard 12
Silver badge

Some of them are pretty good.

One wonders if the good ones aren't Panasonic, as they're very rare. Only had a really good inflight entertainment system once - A380 to Jo'burg, IIRC.

Every other time it's had a truly terrible UI, and often very unreliable.

This is not a difficult thing to do, and the hardware has been well below $100 per seat for over a decade. Even museums do a better job most of the time!

6
0

COP BLOCKED: Uber app thwarted arrests of its drivers by fooling police with 'ghost cars'

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: You gotta give them credit

It is the expected result when the upper management are evil.

Ref. Capita.

11
0

Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Really smart meter?

If it could do load shedding

The UK smart meters can.

You're the load, you get shed. There's a 100A contactor inside, what else could that be for?

Well, other than destroying grid balance when there's a high enough market penetration for somebody to think it might be fun to draw a cock and balls visible from space.

Or when a foreign government wants fo cause us real - and very deniable - trouble.

3
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: That doesn't sound ridiculous

It is ridiculous.

According to several people who work in RF, the developer time cost of such a change is about a fortnight.

Then a week of compliance testing, and if it fails another two weeks of dev and compliance to make it pass.

868MHz is not a difficult band. There are many standard modules.

We have swapped in the other direction a few years ago. It took a month to go from requirements to shipping product!

This is all assuming that the existing design actually works at all, which it must do because they are not allowed to charge twice for the same work, right?

The numbers and timescale are very suspicious. One suspects the existing system architecture and software doesn't actually work.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Really smart meter?

government grant/bribe gave a return of 10~12% pa

It's not a government grant, it's directly paid for by everyone who uses electricity.

So I'm paying you for that solar PV, as is the poor sod in a council flat who can barely manage to keep in pre-pay tokens.

We are also all paying for the "smart meter" rollout. Several times.

7
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Solar Panels

The fact that it's a tax on poor and lower-middleclass people.

The subsidy directly increases the cost of electricity by a significant margin.

The only people who can take advantage of the subsidy are those who own a house (not a flat) and have £6-10k sat in the bank or sufficient equity to add it to a mortgage.

The solar panel subsidy is almost purely a method to steal from the poor to give to the rich.

15
0

Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: James May Reassembler

Nope. Either the YouTube advertising fees are going to BBC Worldwide, or it's an infringement of their copyright and will eventually get taken down in the perpetual game of whack-a-mole.

In the UK the BBC has no adverts at all - and no product placement either.

In other countries BBC programmes are sold by BBC Worldwide to various broadcasters, mostly advert-driven.

3
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Daily Mail

Not in print. Yet.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: the Campaign to end the BBC Licence Fee

If they are harassing you, prosecute them.

Seriously. Send them a formal letter demanding that they cease and desist, and then call the police if they come back.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Yup. I don't require a TV license, but...

Have you formally revoked their implied right of access to thr land between the pavement and your front door?

May be worth doing.

TV Licencing people used to be reasonable, seems that Capita have done their usual :(

5
0

LUNAR-CY! SpaceX announces a Moon trip-for-two it'll inevitably miss the deadline on

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: true cost?

guidance and navigation

Though frankly, the cost of perhaps 20 people for a fortnight is insignificant compared to the fuel. Something like $80-100k, depending on what you pay them.

And that does assume they don't do anything else at all for that time, which seems unlikely as most of the mission time will be spent watching. They just need to be ready to act quickly if something goes wrong.

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017