* Posts by 0laf

1339 posts • joined 25 Nov 2009


Brit Mars bot named while NASA 'nauts must wait a bit longer for a US rocket trip to the ISS

0laf Silver badge


I thought space was 100km not 82 (Kármán line)?

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

0laf Silver badge

If it's outsourced then the private sector body needs profit. Plus building costs, insurance, pension contributions for the workers, an HR department and other related management structures.

Also delivery.

I'm sure there is a business commentard can explain what a normal profit margin would be on this.

Windows Defender update: So secure, it wouldn't let Secure-Boot Windows PCs, er, boot

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Windows fukdates

Windows update recently nearly bricked a netbook I have. I switched it on for the first time in months and ran updates. On the reboot it demanded a bitlocker key.

I hadn't switched on bitlocker (didn't even know it was available on W10 home) or drive encryption of any sort (it's a crappy low power netbook) so in no way did I have the bitlocker key.

after quite some delving I found I could log into an MS account from another device and determine the bitlocker key to unlock my own machine. WTF is this shit?!?!

Tedious Service Bulletin: No prizes for guessing which UK bank's services are DOWN for business users

0laf Silver badge

Do we have any pictures of the Spanish parent company IT team cheering the 'sucessful' roll out just like the last time?

What's that, Skippy? You want a taste of Windows 10 19H2? Oops, too late

0laf Silver badge

I didn't think Occulus and MS Hololens were in the same market at all. Occulus was VR for gamers and Hololens was AR for work.

iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?

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Re: Why do people think phones ring?

I've got Two Tone as used by Matt LeBanc in Episodes. It's pleasingly irritating and actually works well as a ring tone.

0laf Silver badge

the whole range is just too expensive

They've hit the needs and wants trigger point with prices and very little has change with mobiles in the last few years. They've all evolved but not big changes. So now there really isn't a huge difference between a £200 phone and a £1200 phone. Thre probably isn't even that much difference between a £50 seocnd hand phone and a £1200 mobile.

Many people might want a new Iphone XS but precious few really need one.

I wasn't biught into the Mac ecosystem so it was reletively painless for me to jump ship. My GF however is very tied in with iCloud/itunes subscriptions and a MacBook for business use. But she is choosing to run down these items rather than buy a new phone. Her old SE packed in recently but she chose to switch to my old SE rather then buy new.

I studied hard, I trained for years. Yay, now I'm an astronaut in space. Argggh, leukemia!

0laf Silver badge

I wonder what the actual cause of the change is?

Low G, radiation, light cycles, lack of exposure to other environmental factors?

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

0laf Silver badge

Self inflicted trauma here.

If they'd been open and upfront they wouldn't have an issue.


(Assuming phone is out of warranty)

Your phone is older, the battery is not good enough any more. you can either -

a- pay us to change the battery

b- allow the performace throttling patch to be applied to stop your phone crashing

c- not apply the patch and accept your phone will crash

d- buy a new phone pretty please

But insted they went for b, without asking then denied it and are now excusing themselves using some stupid argument.

Raspberry Pi Foundation says its final farewells to 40nm with release of Compute Module 3+

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Thumb Up

Like warm apple pi?

I got my first Pi just the other week with the intention of turning it into a filtering proxy server for my son's kit.

I've not had much luck with the project as such but it's still a remarkable little device.

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

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Re: Rescue

Sadly after a while we'll stop listening. So even if a freak gust of thin wind moves the dust and just by chance the batteries and electronics have survived the deep freeze and it sends a signal.... no one will be there to hear it.

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers

0laf Silver badge


the govenment is beaming words into my head!

The outfit where the NHS England Digital boss is headed? Turns out their code is 'not technically suitable' for the £6.4m NHS App

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Re: Sounds like they've already choosen LIVI

That sounds par for the the course for most of these procurements.

It'll go in anyway, won't work, no one will use it, money will get written off and world will keep turning.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

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Yep. I hated the desktop Win8 UI but really liked it on the phone.

If MS had really invested and worked on it they could have made a real killer secure usable business phone to replace BB which was going down the tubes at the time.

But they were clearly obsessed with chasing the iPhone shiny. Despite it being pretty obvious to everyone that MS will never be shiny. It's like trying to make a washing machine sexy.

They should have seen it. Make MS Phones tools but the best damn tools out there. But they didn't.

0laf Silver badge

Re: Clickbait


I dumped my Winpho 920 when other services I began to use were unavailable on it. But it was a solid, usable phone and still my favourite phone UI.

Still have the 920 in use as a backup and car satnav.

I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

0laf Silver badge
Big Brother

It's a Hugh-Weeee in my house. I've a P20 Pro spying device.

I figured that since Google, Facebook, the USA and GCHQ would slurp everything anyway I might as well give it to the Chinese too, only fair.

I get a decent phone / camera device for a reasonable price out of it too.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

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Bit harsh to say the experiment failed. It germinated and it grew. It might not have met all the desired outcomes of the experiment but it doesn't seem like a failure.

I'd love to be privvy to some of the discussion in the US about Chinese space developments. Oh right they're won't be any because the government has shut down over a planning issue.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

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New name needed


I wonder if the LHC could become an accelerator ring for the FBC (Fucking big collider) like the SPS is to the LHC?

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock

0laf Silver badge

For most it's about the price

I went from Windows to Apple not liking Android at that time. The iPhone was the cheapest model but still expensive however I enjoyed it's reletive easy of connectivity and my partner has the same phone so transfering photos and messages to her was very easy and all within the same ecosystem. I don't like the UI however.

Fast forward 2yr and I'm getting annoyed with the small screen on my SE. New Apple phones have come out and for me the prices on the larger devices are just too much in comparison with the competition. I'm not tied to the ecosystem since most of my cloud services are carried over from Windows and my other machines are mostly MS based. Looking around I give up and get an Android. I still dislike Android as an OS but I never really liked iOS either. The phone specification I got was 50% the price of the cheapest new Apple but exceeds the performance of everything including ther flagship.

It doesn't conenct as well with my car and sharing files with my partner is harder but thats about the only drawbacks.

My partner is very tied into Apple with Macbooks and phones. She's considering moving to the same supplier as me because she is so impressed with the camera on my new phone and the prices of the new iPhones are so high. I think she'll stay with Apple but is likely to get an iPhone 8 rather than a new one to avoid the prices. If Apple cut prices it might change but that seems unlikely.

I think realistically Apple have just pushed things too far with pricing and people are considering switching now when they wouldn't have before. Just having that thought is a problem for Apple since now people will start to compare specs etc and not just look for the next shiny apple.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

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Re: Possible detection

"Detection systems do exist although they are probably quite expensive"

In comparison to the costs of disrupting an airport the size of Gatwick for a day they are likely quite reasonable.

0laf Silver badge

I suspect the problem is being able to do this in a way that doesn't involve large quantities of high speed shrapnel or 5Kg of drone landing in a built up area.

I'm a layman but a quicker answer may be to have a qualified drone pilot/s that can fly a large drone to knock the other one out the sky over a safe area. Have some of these guys on call.

A technological answer is likely a while away. Drone V Drone you could do tomorrow and a human could chose to leave the drone or hit it depending on the location.

0laf Silver badge

Prisons seem to have an effective antidrone tech in place to stop drug drops. I appreciate that the area to be covered for an airport is vastly more but have the airport authorities been loking into the tech that is available.

It's all well and good talking about legislation but if you have some headbanger that wants to casue disruption they're probably going to do it no matter how big the writing in the statute book is.

0laf Silver badge

Re: Wow, blundering around like freshly castrated cattle.

Crossed my mind as well but likely they are too high to be hit with shotgun pellets in an effective way. And having been sprayed with shot that has come a long distance I can state that although not life threatening it still bloody hurts and you really wouldn't want to be hit in the eye with it.

0laf Silver badge


I would suspect prank. And I would take reports of them being 'large, professional' type devices with a pinch of salt for now.

But.....As an act of state sponsored disruption it's pretty low risk for the effect. Send in some low rent heavies with off the shelf drones to repeatedly buzz large airports causing millions of pounds worth of disruption. If your guys get caught they'll probably just get a summons by which time they are safely back in the motherland. If they do end up in the clink for a short while I'm sure the offer of some adequate compensation will make their time go past fast enough.

On a long term basis this is cheap, effective and and as said low risk to state and operative. Much like Facebook or Twitter trolling.

If it's not the Russians or Norks this time I'm sure they are taking notes on the respons to a couple of drones.

Introducing 'Happy Quit', where Chinese smokers are text-spammed into nicotine abstinence

0laf Silver badge

No but you can get a Palm Palm suppository. £350 a go though so only for the highly addicted.

0laf Silver badge
Big Brother

Phones are good mmmkay

Being phone addicted keeps oyu nice and trackable by the one party state. A win-win for the Chinese government.

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

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If only...

If only this could be repurposed so that it would dispense perfectly cooked quality dry cured back bacon, delicately placed upon a floury bap, spread with real butter and with the customers choice of (proper) red or brown sauce.

Future machines could include the option to add a fried egg done how you like and/or a meltingly delicious slice of Stornoway black pudding.

This would be the lord of machines and I would worship at it's little plastic feet.

The Palm Palm: The Derringer of smartphones

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Punkt 2

Remember this one -


Cost $350 does even less but the batter does better. I'm sure it faired really well in the comments....

0laf Silver badge




I'll just buy one of those small chinese phones. Or maybe 5 of them and pocket the change.

Dunno where I'll put it. Dman change pocket filled with phones

Should have been £75 with an ePaper screen and 4 weeks battery.

If most punters are unlikely to pay more for 5G, why all the rush?

0laf Silver badge

Depends on the use case. Right now people with 4G in crowded areas aren't getting 4G speeds due to contention. They might be persuaded to move to 5G although they'll probably be disappointed again when high contention 5G gives them slower than expected service as well.

For people getting reasonable 4G service there isnt likely much of a push at least for now. I don't see many people really watching TV on phones right now so it doesn't seem likely they'll start doing that with 5G. Especially if 5G comes with punative data limits. What's the point of the speed if you only get 2Gb.

I agree with the other commentards though that it could be of substantial benefit for bsuiness users with 5G providing links to networks in otherwise inaccessible areas.

The fastest, most secure browser? Microsoft Edge apparently

0laf Silver badge

Windows Phone was also very secure. It wasn't worth malcontents bothering with.

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

0laf Silver badge

Space, not quite as above and beyond as before

Space = 100km

Rocket can't reach it.


1> Make rocket go higher and cross 100km line

2>Change definition of 'space' to one we can reach

Which did they go for?

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

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Thumb Down

Here we go again...

Been involved with government IT for many years. This idea of "just get over it" tends to come in with any minister who sets up a new division and then staffs it with the hip, cool, trendy, inexperienced, overconfident and under 25. The solution for every problem involves "cloud", "Google AI", and "iPads".

Basically anyone who points out a flaw in the design is shouted down as inhibiting transformation (or other such buzzword shite) and moved aside. Invariably the issued pointed out come to fruition the project collapses in a frenzy of finger pointing. Then everyone moves onto the next project to fuck that up too.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

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Take your browser and fuck off

If you try to forecfully get me to use something I don't want to you can go fuck yourself sideways with a pointy stick and I really don't care how good/fast/shiny it is. You've pissed me off therefore I will not use your goods no matter what.

I didn't even mind Edge that much functionally but the constant popups of "why not try edge" when I clearly DO NOT WANT TO USE EDGE get on my tits.

This goes for all manufacturers. So fuck Chrome as well.

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

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Moarrrr Powwah!

I for one will welcome our interdimensional overlords when they arrive shortly after this upgrade.

Pints for boffins meanwhile.

It's nearly 2019, and your network can get pwned through an oscilloscope

0laf Silver badge

So the attacker already has physical access to your network. You're in a bad place anyway.

Hacking the oscilloscope probably isn't next on their agenda with that access.

So a nice unsual vulnerability but probably not very important. If you're running a high assurance network I would hope you'd be examining every bit of network aware kit coming in and making appropriate descisions regarding their use.

NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform

0laf Silver badge

Re: You're stuff is going in the cloud regardless of this.

But doctors can use their own equipment (BYOD) in many trusts and they like dropbox and Whatsapp so you can have some certainty a lot of PII is in those cloudy shitboxes as well.

CubeSat buddies, like those sent to track Mars InSight landing, can be used in future missions

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Re: Lifetimes?

Indeed these little critters were just a proof of concept. Indeed they exceeded their remit since they weren't really needed to relay the data, that was an added bonus.Surviving the journey was the main objective for them.

It will be more likely now that future missions will include micro sats to perform relaying duties for larger probes. And some of them will be orbiters I'm sure.

0laf Silver badge

Re: Lifetimes?

They'e done already. They weren't orbiters they are just doing a Mars flyby to test that the tech can survive the journey and to aid relaying telemetry when the lander was on it's journey down.


Again pints and shot for those steely-eyed rocket men (and women) at NASA for landing yet another critter on Mars.

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

0laf Silver badge

Just clean up the old one and rerlease it to the cinema.

Cheaper for the studio and I might actually pay to see it.

If you must you can do a He-Man reboot, the film was crap so you've got a good base to work from

Office 365 Exchange enjoys a less than manic Monday. Users? Not so much

0laf Silver badge

I got O365 for home recently.

It works other than Outlook. It won't connect to an existing Outlook account.

MS advice to tweak a setting. Only problem is that the setting they sugget tweaking doesn't exist anymore. Thanks.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work

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Ipads @ work

Ipads are for shallow people to be seen to be doing work, generally by other shallow people probably with job titles including the words "influencer"or "evangelist".

Laptops are for people who need to work on the move.

PCs are for proper work. I've been at work with PCs since 95 and have used pretty much every class of machine and every form factor. I'm yet to be convinced that anything beats a reasonably powerful desktop with multi screens for doing proper work.

even with MS's attempts to royally fuck this up every chance it gets

Black Friday? Yes, tech vendors might be feeling a bit glum looking at numbers for the UK

0laf Silver badge
IT Angle

I have bought a few things as a result of the sales.

I changed my mobile phone contract but it was a deal to existing customers which was better than the Black Friday offerings. I only looked becaue of the sale notice.

But I did get a new shower tidy for £20 less. Struggling on the IT angle with that.

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

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Re: Infosec staff quality

It's not hard to blag the certs. It just costs money.

0laf Silver badge

Re: Infosec staff quality

Infosec bod here.

Yes I too know of this dogmatic mentality. However that can stem from corporate culture. If it is the culture of that airline to use the infosec team as blamehounds whenever a project goes wrong then it's not really a surprise. But it can also stem from a lack of confidence.

I get quizzed every day all day with 'is this ok?'. This will be on every IT subject from server setup (Windows, Unix, Linux and propriatory), cloud architecture, software development, web development, databases, legal and compliance ramification GDPR, PCI, SOX etc etc. I'm expected to be an expert in them all at the moment the question is asked and my answer makes me responsible for the outcome.

So I have become good at asking questions and mostly all I do is guide the subject matter experts who are asking the questions to the reasonable answer they probably knew in the first place. And I learn a little bit more in the conversation.

I might identify risks and take them to the right person to sign off but it is not in my authority to say no or yes to anything. Getting is across that the risk is never mine can be quite hard. Speaking to an infosec bod is not outsourcing the risk.

3 is the magic number (of bits): Flip 'em at once and your ECC protection can be Rowhammer'd

0laf Silver badge

Interesting but not for the majority to worry about

Although these types of vulneabilities are interesting I suspect the majorty of us will soon go back to the day job of worrying about users clicking on links in badly spelled emails with invoices for products they've never ordered.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: out of topic question

There is a commentard out there that gives every post a downvote. Keeps all our feet on the ground and stops us getting big headed.

It's his/her task, duty, mission from God.

Thou shalt not have 0 downvotes! For that way lies hubris, vanity and a directorship in Capita.

0laf Silver badge
Thumb Down


Shit name. Yawnfest.

With the subversive names of his landing barges I'd have thought he could come up with something less dull than that. BFR is still far better.

Joe Public wants NHS to spend its cash on cancer, mental health, not digital services

0laf Silver badge

Digital. It's just the current shorthand for "shiny thing make it all better".

Might as well just hand £20B to Fujitsu etc and tell them to go enjoy themselves. I think we all know this will make nothing good, late and for double the initial price.

Britain may not be able to fend off a determined cyber-attack, MPs warn

0laf Silver badge

I find it hard to take anyone seriously when they bang on about cyber security being so important then in the next sentence sign off yet more cuts to the IT department that does the majority of the work.

If you want resilience and response you can't get it by paying overyone off.

My own organisation's IT guys are now starting to cut corners becasue they have so little resource to deliver when they are being told to do. Point out the risks and all you get is an exasperated shrug and senior managers who paste on a smile and swear everything is wonderful.


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