* Posts by stuartnz

250 posts • joined 26 Sep 2009


There are pictures all over the internet of a big dark spot on Uranu... Oh no, wait, it's Neptune


Re: Units

Either way, very sloppy coverage by El Reg - why only provide SI conversion and not official El Reg units?

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters


Re: People stil falling for the fake email.

"What can they possibly be thinking?" I would suggest your question could be improved by removing the first word. :)

Google: I don't know why you say Allo, I say goodbye


Allo Allo

Amazingly how aptly named it was in terms of my usage - turns out to be true that like everyone else it seems, "I Shall say this only once"

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades


Aksherly, it did, but the torrent of inverse femtobams instantly replaced it with something even more bizarre and inexplicable. Or so Prak told me.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity


Rutherford didn't wear a wig

At least not as depicted on our banknotes. Our highest denomination, too - of which we'd still need a truckload to buy a Tesla. Maybe there's some cosmic significance in that, who knows?

Mac users burned after Nuance drops Dragon speech to text software


Re: "pick up where Nuance left off"

" It understands my (US) Southern accent, and co-workers with strong Welsh, Scottish, Australian, or Indian accents, even in a loud bar."

Yep - one of the things that quite frankly stunned me when I upgraded from 13 to 15 a couple of years ago was how quickly my DNS learned to recognise Panjbi names and Hindi words *in my Kiwi accent*. It really is the only game in town.


Re: So let me get this straight

"when one uses the command line."

In my 4-5 year flirtation with various linux distros it was the cli that was the magic bit. Of course,that magic wears off quit quikly when you can't typ so god, or at al


Re: Hc Sunt Dracones (AND Windows)

I have no problem with paying for DNS - none at all. Because I use it for work, I can even claim it against my tax :)

My initial reply was simply in reaction to the almost Pavlovian "Windows? AVOID!" comment. For Mac users like Colin who need DNS, such advice is even more pointless than trying to help a sinner accept the superiority of the Emacsulate conception :)


Re: Hc Sunt Dracones (AND Windows)

He did say that, but he also said, as I quoted originally " I don't care HOW good DNS on Windows claims to be, it'll never hold a candle to the level of productivity you enjoy on a Mac" - that claim could only be made by someone with no experience of how outstandingly good DNS is, and how it makes productivity possible when one's hands simply don't work. My productivity on Windows with DNS would be far greater than on an OS without i, such as the MacOS is apparently becoming.

I am no fan of MS but I'm a pragmatist, and their OS is (now) the only one that supports a tool which people in my (and Colin's) situation need. So ranting about how how awful it is serves no purpose.


Re: Hc Sunt Dracones (AND Windows)

"Good FLOSS solutions for accessibility lag behind commercial offerings by quite a bit,"

If I could have upvoted your comment more than once I would have. When I was playing around with Mandrake 6/7 and learning to take the right side in the vim/emacs war (emacs OFC), I fell in love with FLOSS and would have ditched Windows in a heartbeat. Then my CP started to make itself more noticeable and I started to need using DNS (then around v7 iirc) more. It wasn't bad then, but was also far from great, especially with my thick Kiwi accent. But, it was the only game in town. FLOSS solutions didn't "lag behind" they didn't exist. I reluctantly gave up my dualboot setups and kept an eye on the situation over the years, as DNS kept getting better and better and better. For those who need it, there really is NOTHING else, sadly. I wish there were, but, afaik, there still isn't

That's why the (ironic) lack of empathy in the original post irked me so. When one's hands don't work well enough (or at all, as for Colin), being smug about the awfulness of a non-FLOSS os is not a luxury one can afford. I just discovered yesterday that my version of DNS (15 Professional) is "out of warranty" which means Nuance won't help me if stuff goes wrong. That made me very irate, but the reality is, I will have to suck it up, and save up for a newer version to get the support I will need. Because for some of us, DNS is still not simply the best solution, it's the only solution.


Hc Sunt Dracones (AND Windows)

As a user of DNS on Windows for more than 10 years, and one who depends on it more and more, I can really empathise with his story. DNS is the reason I gave up trying to migrate to Linux, there was simply nothing that came close. And each release of DNS has got better and better. The reflexive "ditch Windows, it sucks" attitude of the initial comment here is to be expected from the El Reg crowd, but it betrays utter ignorance of how good DNS is, and how important is BECAUSE it's so good.

I've had Win10 installed for more than 2 years now and have not ONCE needed "to repair their systems themselves or pay constantly to have someone fix it. The constant updates *will* break something that is mission critical for you" Not for me it hasn't, And my PC is "mission critical" because I work from home and would be stuck without a working PC.

"I don't care HOW good DNS on Windows claims to be, it'll never hold a candle to the level of productivity you enjoy on a Mac" is, quite frankly, a STUPID thing to say to anyone who actually DEPENDS on DNS. If you need DNS, as Colin does, and as I increasingly do, your "level of productivity" will dive without it - whatever your OS. When you need it, you need it, and that's what makes Nuance's decision so devastating to its Apple user base, regardless of whose fault it is.

I know that "Windows is 100% crap" is the orthodoxy here, as so ably preached by the first poster, and so I know that all disciples of that cult will downvote me for daring to be so heretical as to offer a contrary POV - even though it is one solidly based on actual real world experience and deep familiarity with the very software being discussed. So be it - "what say they? Let them say!"

Hey you know what the smart-home world really needs right now? Yup, Google screaming in


Re: this is just the start of a very ugly battle for your home

Hooray! I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person left who was avoiding the "smart home" hoopla. Ours is a small flat and when I want to to turn anything on or off I have a portable digital control centre right in the palm of my hands. Actually, it IS the palm of my hands, and it does a splendid job of controlling my digits as I tackle such ferociously complex tasks as turning lights on, putting the kettle on, adjusting the thermostat on the AC. THey can force an IoT hub into my cold, dead hands.

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)


Thanks for including in the article the flag to change, El Reg. It made correcting this stupid change very easy.

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'


Re: The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

In my long ago far away teens, I had a shirt made that said this: http://likhaavat.com/share.jpg

in the life of the shirt, only ONE person remarked on it. Belgium!

Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves


Re: And...

This is a gross slander. After all, it's well known that nothing works better than homeopathy.


Re: That's what they want you to think...42

"Remember, it all, in the end, comes down to a really hot cup of tea." - which is unkind advice for those of us who never get invited to that sort of party.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage


I haven't read any of the other comments yet, I just wanted to say that one of the many reasons I love El Reg is that I know a very significant proportion of the readership would instantly have though of lemon-soaked paper napkins when they read this:

"Stuck on the ground awaiting a load sheet?"

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android


Re: I'm uncertain...

" I of course meant duckduckgo, not Bing. But still get better results in Google!" As do I.

. I use Google's result count feature a lot when trying to ascertain how common a particular word is in a given language. It lets me compare dictionary listings with real world usage, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and saves me choosing a dictionary entry which was last used 200 years ago in some arcane treatise.

I really like what duckduckgo is trying to do, but because it lacks a feature I find VERY useful I stick with Google. I'm sure many others feel similarly.

Kepler finds three Earth-sized exoplanets, but they're too hot to handle


"K-239 is about 160 light years away" Experiments keep confirming Einsteinian Relativity, so since it's all down to the observer, K-239 is roughly twice to Earth as close as Europe is to NZ (cattle class, of course)

The ice must flow: Dunes of frozen gas spotted on alien dwarf


Re: Bring it on!

Since this article was mostly about grains of sand, maybe it was a Mandala effect? :)

B-Ark passengers to control most IT spend from 2019 onwards


So close, and yet...

I loved the headline, and was sad that I had to dock points for the explanatory addendum. Only B-Arkers would have needed it anyway. It ruined my bath, dammit!

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word


Re: Is that how you spell...

The reference to Venetians made me think "vetinarian" was a nod to my second-favourite Pratchett character, Lord Vetinari :)

Space, the final blunt-tier: Binary system ejected huge 'spliff' asteroid, boffins reckon


Re: That's as may be

Steve, that was exactly why I suggested it. Māori and Hawaiian are closely related, and I've been told that fluent speakers of either can converse with each other, albeit with some difficulty due to consonantal differences like this one. Māori has more consonants than most of its Polynesian siblings, so we're very used to seeing the glottal stop ' here, though more often in Samoan than Hawaiian


Re: That's as may be

Just think of it as a glot'l stop :)

Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion


"perched it awkwardly on the rear of its Galaxy S and Note models."

I don't know about the Samsung placement, but on both my V10 and V20, the rear placement of the fnigerprint sensor is perfect. MUCH more user friendly than the front placement of the fingerprint sensor on my Huawei M3 tablet. So much so that learning the Mate 10 has a front fingerprint sensor went into the "cons" column for me when weighing up the pros and cons of getting one.

Microsoft: Our AI speech recognition mangles your words the least

Thumb Up

Hic Sunt Dracones

"Computer speech recognition has come a long way"

It really, really has. I've been using Dragon for 10+ years now, and each new release gets better and better. As the effects of my CP become more noticeable, it's great that I can finally rely on my computer to understand 99% of what my thick Kiwi accent says. However, that's not my experience with the built in speech recognition in Windows 10. It's not awful, but it's not a patch on Dragon 15 for sure. If MS's new AI speech recognition i as good as claimed, I hope it does filter down to Win 10 sooner rather than later

Retired Philae lander slouches on Comet 67P


Where's the Trickle Down?

When will the technology that lets them find a probe a gajillion swimming pool lengths away be available to The.Rest.Of.Us, so we can find our missing socks and pens? My friend Veet Voojagig would like to know.

Android's latest patches once again remind us: It's Nexus or bust if you want decent security


Re: A pleasant surprise

That's odd - my wife's G4 got a patch update bundle just last month.


A pleasant surprise

When I bought my LG V10 a few months ago, I was pleased to see that not only did it come with Marshmallow, but LG seems to be one of the better manufacturers when it comes to patching. As of now, my phone has Android patches up to June installed - by no means perfect, of course, but much, much better than many handset manufacturers, I think. Based on the number of updates I've had since getting the phone, I',m hoping this next batch won't be too far away.

Cops hate encryption but the NSA loves it when you use PGP


Re: The more, the merrier?

Yes, I have used pgp on windows and linux, and yes I agree it's not optimal in terms of ease of use. Which is why I said "or something of similar strength".I was just checking that I'd understood the article correctly - that IF something as secure as pgp were to become widely used, then the sheer volume of metadata would dilute the value of that metadata.


The more, the merrier?

Am I correct in thinking that the more popular and widely used PGP or encryption of similar strength were to be used, the less useful the metadata would be? If every man and his gran were using it to do pretty much everything, that would be a headache for the spooks, no?

China names the date for dark side moon landing


Re: Just one question

Maybe an orbiter is planned as well, for communication relays?

Smart telly, router, app makers have left a security hole open for – drum-roll – three years


Re: Happy with my sneakernet TV

Yes, as I made my initial comment I did consider the possibility of USB malware, but I figure that since I never share the sticks I use, the risk is as low as it can possibly be. At the very least, the article suggests I have one fewer infection vector to worry about. Which might be about as good as it gets.


Happy with my sneakernet TV

This article cheered me up. my viewing is not so much uPnP as "YouPnP" and now the 3 metre walk from PC to TV carrying a USB stick looks like both good exercise and bood security practice.

Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10


Re: Can't find it?

Thanks. I'd deleted that service when I first installed Windows 10, following the instructions of a tutorial on Youtube.


Re: My corporate Windows 7

The tutorial here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rczgCmoNSSE for Win10 gave the suggestion to enter this in the AdminCommandPrompt "C:\Windows\system32\ sc delete DiagTrack" - it worked for me in 10, would it be worth trying in 7?


Can't find it?

I can't find any service in my Services with the exact name "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry", nor any with either "Connected User Experiences" or "Telemetry" in their name. I'm running 10 Pro 1511 build 10586.14, all updates installed. Is it perhaps not part of Pro?

Windows 10 download doesn't work?


Re: Windows 10 download doesn't work?

Thank you all very much for taking the time to reply with suggestions. I apologise for my tardiness in checking the thread I started!

I did have the licence, for both the Win 7 and Win 8 PCs, and despite the assistance of an MS staffer on another forum, in the end I had to format both and do clean install of their original OSes to enable the Windows 10 upgrade.


Windows 10 download doesn't work?

I wanted to download Windows 10 directly, to give myself the option of doing a clean install. I went to this page


and downloaded the Media Creation tool, but when I try to run it, on either my Win 7 64Pro PC or my 8.1 Home laptop, nothing at all happenes. That is, the UAC dialog comes up, I click "Yes", and then, nada. Checking Task Manager shows now new applications or processes running after clicking "Yes" on the UAC dialog. I have tried turning it off then on again, that didn't help either. I'm assuming this is a pebkac issue, but what sort, exactly? Any suggestions will be received with profound gratitude.

Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station


Re: Boo, hiss

Shuttle Program

"Final total was 2 failures from 135 launches (98.5%)

Falcon9 is currently 1 failure from 19 launches (95% success)"

THANK YOU for this clear comparison. Simple and straightforward, it makes me wonder why there is so much antagonistic hyperbole in this thread. Many posts read as if Space X's record were more like 1 success from 19 launches, so this counterpoint is appreciated. Sufficiently appreciated for me to sacrifice my high upvote ratio to the flood of down votes I know this post will generate.


Re: Better than most

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I asked because I was genuinely curious. The impression I have is that Space X's failure rate is low, but I'm very willing to have that impression corrected if the numbers show otherwise.


Better than most

How many launch failures has Space X had? Obviously the attempted landings are irrelevant to a discussion of their launch safety record, but am I correct in thinking that the one catastrophic failure El Reg chose to dwell on at length, via the headline image and commentary, was a rare exception for Musk's company?

Boffins: Comet Lovejoy is a cosmic booze cruise spewing alcohol across the Solar System


If only

It wasn't in a heliocentric orbit - it could have been truly a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Apple: Samsung ripped off our phone patent! USPTO: What patent?


Lunkwill Fook & Sons

This fight looks like lasting long enough to keep all the lawyers involved happily on the gravy train for at least as many generations as it took Lunkwill and Fook to become Loonquawl and Phouchg, with billable hours exceeding the age of the Universe, by the application of legal mathematics (that highly specialised subdiscipline of irrational & imaginary numbers).

Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

Thumb Up

No sign of it here yet

New Zealand was first in the world to get it, but despite having registered early, still no sign of it being available for either my Win 7 64 Pro PC or my wife's 8.1 laptop. Which fits with my plan to wait until the eager beavers (lemmings?) have done the worst of the bugfinding for me.

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin


Once again Randall Munro is on point

With his suggested name for the new super-Earth


NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND


Re: 1400 light years

And that's optimistic - New Horizons, the fastest ever launched, is at 50K kph and slowing.

Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD


Re: Shibboleet

Yes, my original comment was stuck in moderation. Made just minutes after the article went live, it would've been the first had it not received the special treatment. A comment I made in reply to Cristoph about that did not survive moderation, sadly, and will be honoured in a private service later today. :)



An oldie but a goodie, https://xkcd.com/806/


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019