* Posts by JohnG

1415 posts • joined 27 May 2007

Lords call for the end of TV transmissions

JohnG Silver badge

Re: I'll be damned...

It's just as well that 100% of the UK population have super fast broadband with no constraints at peak times, so that the average family can watch a few HD channels whilst simultaneously browsing and skyping in the evening - otherwise the government of the day would look fucking stupid when they switch off the broadcast channels and leave half of the population back in the Edwardian era.

Japanese giant sorry for Kobo launch balls-up

JohnG Silver badge

Latest firmware removes Cyrillic text support

Kobo delivers firmware updates without any confirmation for anyone rash enough to connect their reader using the Kobo Desktop software. The latest firmware (not for the Japanese version) removes support for books with Cyrillic text. Luckily, one can find downloads for older firmware and advice on how to downgrade in various online forums. This is especially lucky for me as the wife would not have been impressed if we had headed for a holiday with her reader effectively useless.

My other annoyance with Kobo is the inability of their web site to stick with the language you choose and instead, forces you work in the language of the country from where you connect.

Other than this, Kobo's readers work well and are excellent value.

Nationwide DOUBLES card payments in fresh banking gaffe

JohnG Silver badge

Charge 'em

If your bank or building society screw up in a way that costs you money and you have to contact them to sort it out, write them a letter and charge them for it. One of my colleagues used to charge his bank 50 quid per letter... When the bank asked why it was so much higher than their equivalent charge, he pointed out that his time cost more than that of their bank clerks and that he had no automated systems to produce such letters - they paid all his invoices.

IT departments are BRATTY TEENAGERS

JohnG Silver badge

Re: I smell BS

"Our ability to come up with a sollution that may not fit standards and didn't follow procedure, but it got the job done in record time."


The procedures are there to protect you. If something goes wrong when procedures were followed, blame is laid with those who devised and/or approved the procedures. If you do something outside of the procedures, you can be sure to receive the blame if something goes wrong afterwards. If the shit hits the fan, you can bet that the people who encouraged you to bypass procedures to deliver something to them quickly will not remember any such encouragement.

People in IT (and other disciplines) often fail to understand the best or most elegant technical solutions are not necessarily the best business solutions and management may have information which they do not want to divulge to the outside world (yet).

Girls tricked by STEAMY message: Webcam spyware student jailed

JohnG Silver badge

"People still take computers in for repairs?"

Bear in mind that "repairs" could include repairing things like "My browser has disappeared" when the user accidentally moved the corresponding desktop icon into another folder or "I can only see my old emails" when the user clicked on the date/time column header to reorder the inbox.

Apple wins EU-wide Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Headline: "Apple wins EU-wide Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban"

Does anyone know why a ruling made in a German court applies across the EU, while a ruling made in an English court does not?

Virgin Media's 'bye-bye to buffering' beardy Bolt boast BANNED

JohnG Silver badge

Re: "It's an expensive mistake for VM"

" Apart from the Virgin reps' time I can't see where the expenses are."

A big lunch for the ASA chaps?

Siemens squashes Stuxnet-like bugs in SCADA kit

JohnG Silver badge

Will the Iranians get the fixes?

IIRC, a Siemens spokesman said that they had not supplied Simatic and the associated kit to Iran - so, I wonder if the Iranians will get the fixes.

Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

JohnG Silver badge

Re: bloody ridiculous...

"Apple invented a slick device which was the thinnest smartphone device when it came out. The big novelty was that it hardly had any buttons and that the few there were were hidden. The front was all black, had rounded corners, the keyboard was the touch screen, the screen was exceptionally big for a phone ... no other phone on the market at the time had all these features"

But all of these features existed in different devices pre-dating the iphone. HTC grew from first producing large screen smartphones for HP and subsequently, in their own right. They and other manufacturers also offered large screen phones without buttons on the front. Apple's skill (as always) was in combining many existing ideas in well-marketed package - but it is a disgrace that they now claim to have invented all these things.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: "They did not invent."

"Yet there was really nothing like it around." ...from Apple.

I have two Siemens SIMpads gathering dust in my attic. These were sold in 2001, have 8.4 inch touch sensitive colour screens and black cases with rounded corners. Running WindowsCE, they had a web browser, email client, media player and could also be used to read documents, spreadsheets, etc.

Then there were the various UMPC devices from an assortment of manufacturers..... All of these preceded Apple's ipad by some years and none of the manufacturers involved considered their tablets to be novel enough to warrant design patents.

Iranian nuke plants rocked in midnight 'heavy metal blast'

JohnG Silver badge

Re: What's with the partizan posts?

For some years now, détente in the middle east has been based on Israel's "secret" nuclear weapons versus the "secret" chemical weapons of some Arab states and Iran. With the current unrest in Syria, Israel is now worried that some of Syria's chemical weapons could end up on the hands of almost anyone - so the irony is that Israel would likely prefer Assad's regime to stay in power.

The reason why Iran and North Korea get so much shit over their nuclear weapons programmes while India, Israel and Pakistan are left alone is because Iran and North Korea signed the NPT, while the other three never did. Iran and north Korea are under sanctions for breaching the terms of the NPT. India, Israel and Pakistan are not because they can't be punished under the terms of treaty which they did not sign.

US deploys robot submarine armada against Iranian mines

JohnG Silver badge

Re: So scared

"...whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter."

Iran is under sanctions because they are in breach of the NPT, which they freely chose to sign.

Iran signed the NPT so they could have access to nuclear technology from other NPT signatories (e.g. Russia) but have been and continue to be in breach of the treaty. Under the NPT, all NPT signatories (including USA , Russia, etc.) have to submit to inspections by the IAEA - Iran has not fully complied with such inspections. Signatories without nuclear weapons are not entitled to develop nuclear weapons but are entitled to obtain nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes. With their previously secret underground nuclear facilities now exposed, even the Russians now acknowledge that Iran is breach of the NPT.

India, Israel and Pakistan are not signatories of the NPT and are not entitled to obtain nuclear technologies from NPT members but they are not under any constraint as to their own development of nuclear weapons.

Although North Korea has withdrawn from the NPT, they are under sanctions because they were members of the NPT when they were found to be in breach of it.

Israel and others now expect Iran to have viable nuclear weapons in about 2 years. As other countries in the region feel threatened by Iran (it isn't all about Israel), some of them are likely to want to match Iran's capability, probably starting with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Hams: We're good in a disaster – UK Radio Society boss

JohnG Silver badge

Breaker, breaker....

I always thought this CB radio stuff was a bit sad but its nice to know it has some use.....

Disable Gadgets NOW says Redmond

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Of course!

"That's the best way to install Xeyes and thus pretend I'm using (Linu)X!"

Xeyes is included in Cygwin/X

British Gas bets you'll pay £150 for heating remote control

JohnG Silver badge

Re: what? why?

My heating system (now 5 years old) has a seven day timer, along with Holiday and Party modes. I could also buy an add-on remote control unit, which would allow me to control the heating remotely, in the same way as British Gas are suggesting - it is hardly revolutionary.

UK is first class for train Wi-Fi in Europe

JohnG Silver badge

Work not possible without WiFi?

Whilst there are activities which require Internet connectivity (like email), reviewing documents, writing documents, changing project plans, creating drawings, coding, etc. are all things which can be done with a little forward planning and not internet connection.

'Young people don't want to become like us', say IT pros

JohnG Silver badge

IT was never cool

Take it from someone the wrong side of 50 - IT was never cool, even when it was called "Data Processing". IT is about as cool as accountancy : boring but the money is good. IT may have become even less cool with the effect of outsourcing and Intra Corporate Transfers on salaries.

ISP CAN cut off pirates with 'three strike' rule, says Irish beak

JohnG Silver badge

EU rights

In addition to the right to privacy in personal communications, there are also rights issues about collective punishment and self incrimination. If it would have been wrong to punish a group of policemen when they all refuse to say which one of them altered surveillance logs following the shooting of a Brazilian electrician, then punishing entire families for the actions of one of them would also be wrong. Then there is presumption of innocence, as opposed to be required to prove it and the right to a fair trial. I think these "3 strikes" laws in various EU countries are going to run into more trouble.

Microsoft names Zeus ringleaders and notifies FBI

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Double jeapardy

Double jeopardy says that you cannot be tried twice for the same crime and, whilst that may be true in the USA, UK legislation was changed under Tony Blair's government such that a person can be tried as many times as is necessary to get the correct verdict of "guilty".

In this case, these guys are serving time for their crimes in the UK, whereas the USA wants to punish them for their crimes in the USA, etc. Just because they may have used a single scam to commit crime in several countries, it doesn't mean that their crimes will all be considered as one.

Mac-based Trojan targets Uyghur activists

JohnG Silver badge

Re: a few questions

I thought it was pretty clear: the email has a zip file attached. The zip file contains a jpeg and an OSX app. Perhaps the jpeg file was included to provide a preview image in a file finder. I guess they expect the user to open the app file, ignoring any warnings from the OS.

Where did you see Windows tools used by the Kaspersky security researcher and, if he did, why would it matter?

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Seriously?

"You have to be a really silly user since OSX already warns that:"

"Windows has done that for years."

Even that wasn't enough so, for some years now, Windows email clients simply deny users any access to certain types of attachment, telling them that they should contact their system administrator if they wish to access the attachment concerned.

Two weeks 'til the internet disappears, for 58 Fortune 500 companies

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Infected Routers!

I guess the bit of DNSChanger that tries to change the DNS settings on a broadband router is unlikely to affect the Fortune 500 companies, although some of them may use broadband for guest Internet access.

Apple wins US ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Ouch!

I don't think it will hurt Samsung but Apple may feel some pain from the bullet in the foot. Banning anything is usually a good way to get people interested - especially teenagers.

"Look kids! The Tab 10.1 was so good, Apple had it banned - but we do have another one that's almost identical: the Tab 2 10.1. Get it before they ban it!"

JohnG Silver badge

Rounded corners - prior art

Somewhere in my attic, I have a Siemens SIMpad that came to market in about 2001 - it has a touch sensitive screen and a black case with rounded corners.

Australia sanguine on Assange-to-Ecuador, would fight US extradition

JohnG Silver badge

Re: CIA @Don Jefe

"Show us what the WikiGeeks exposed"

Wikileaks released a database of US military reports from Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of the reports included things like the surnames of informants and the town or village in which they lived.

As regards the Wikileaks embassy reports, a quick thumb through will show cables labelled with various classifications, including some marked "Secret". That's why Bradley Manning is in so much trouble.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Has this really been thought through?

"The only viable way to get him out from the embassy would be to issue him his own Ecudorian diplomatic passport."

...and the UK would have to recognise his status as an Ecuadorian diplomat, which seems unlikely.

Assange's Ecuador asylum bid has violated £200k UK bail, say cops

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Don't understand... @DrXym

"The fear is that if he sets foot in Sweden that it is far easier to extradite him the US where potentially he could be looking a death sentence."

For starters, as signatories to the ECHR and as EU members bound by the CFR, both Sweden and the UK are strictly forbidden to extradite anyone to a country where they may be subject to the death penalty.

Secondly, the UK's extradition agreement with the USA is virtually identical to Sweden's extradition agreement with the USA. However, whilst Sweden is an unaligned neutral country, the UK is a NATO member and a close ally of the USA - the UK is far more likely to find a national security reason to act against Assange.

Thirdly, Sweden would still have to refer back to the UK if they were to consider extraditing Assange to the USA.

Given Ecuador's record on the treatment of journalists, Assange must be daft if he thinks he will be safer there than in Sweden.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: So what happens if Assange is given asylum? @Tom 7

The people at the Libyan embassy all had been sent by Libya as diplomatic staff and their diplomatic status had been accepted by the UK. The Libyan government did not agree to waive or withdraw their diplomatic status after the killing of Yvonne Fletcher, so the UK had to allow them to leave. None of this applies for Assange - he is not a diplomat for any country and the UK isn't likely to accept him as such.

Honour for Queen's IT manager

JohnG Silver badge

Re: It's not like The Queen actually knows what IT is

" I was shocked when they allowed him to not only learn to fly, but actually partake in Helicopter operations"

I think that was a different prince - Andrew flew a helicopter for the Royal Navy during the Falklands conflict, not Charles.

Girl Geek Dinner lady: The IT Crowd is putting schoolgirls off tech

JohnG Silver badge

Apart from the obvious problem for teens (girls or boys) of being labelled as a nerd, perhaps the smarter ones have noticed statistics that show over 30% of graduates in IT related subjects are jobless. Graduates in medicine have much higher prospects for employment - a field in which women are well represented. Maybe the dinner ladies think that girls are too stupid to consider the probability of employment when selecting subjects and careers.

Supreme Court dismisses Assange bid to reopen extradition case

JohnG Silver badge

Beyond reasonable doubt

"Surely someone should only be extradited if it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that they committed the crime?"

In order to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone has committed a crime, then the entire case would have to be heard - in which case, you can proceed straight to sentencing. Extradition treaties vary but typically require that some evidence is presented which implicates the suspect, to demonstrate that they should be extradited to face trial. The European Arrest Warrant (under which Sweden sought Assange) requires little more than the declaration that someone is wanted in another EU member state.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: A great incentive to live a crime-free life

When I served on a jury, I found that everyone took it very seriously. There was no rush to judgement but a discussion of all the facts and testimony available. If there was any bias, it was to acquit.

PGP founder, Navy SEALs uncloak encrypted comms biz

JohnG Silver badge


Silent Circle would have to comply with any relevant US legislation, such as laws concerning lawful interception and key retrieval = so users would have to assume that the US authorities would be reading their emails..

Microsoft 'mulled Nokia buyout, ran away screaming'

JohnG Silver badge

Re: No, it wouldn't.

"Nokia didn't need Elop to mess up. The Finns have already demonstrated that they are highly incompetent in managing a complex enterprise"

Nokia has this year been pushed into second place (by Samsung) in terms of numbers of cellular handsets sold worldwide. Before Elop took over, Nokia had 36% of the global handset market - more than Samsung and LG together. Those Finns were so incompetent to have held the top slot for so long.

Vint Cerf: 'COMMUNISTS want to seize the INTERNET'

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Which evil you choose : More than just two choices

My impression is that the ITU has done a relatively good job of keeping politics out of telecommunications. I doubt that it would be possible to make telephone calls to and from countries on America's shit list if a US body had governance of those aspects of telecommunications.

When US politicians started talking of controlling the Internet for political and foreign policy ends, alarm bells rung in Moscow and Beijing. The snag is that there are not just two alternatives: another possibility is that some countries or even groups of countries may choose to go their way. China is not known for an open approach to the Internet and the Russian government has indicated that they may take steps to protect their part of the Internet from anything that they perceive to be external interference. It would be a pity if the Internet becomes segmented because some US politicians and corporations want to enforce their view on the rest of the world.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 'a harmful drug', says Apple in ban bid fail

JohnG Silver badge

Black rectangular case with rounded corners, touch screen.....

SIMpad from Siemens, circa 2001.

Ten... bits of Jubilee tat tech

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Here in Sonoma, CA ...

"... nobody gives a rat's ass about your tiny little monarchy."

It may have escaped your attention but The Register is a website from the UK. This means that it sometimes covers topics of interest/amusement to people in the UK and these are probably not as US-centric as you may be used to. However, nobody is forcing you to read El Reg. I'm sure a quick search would find some other websites discussing equally tacky products covered with stars and stripes, eagles and other stuff with which you could feel right at home.

Wealthy Kensington & Chelsea residents reject BT fibre cabinets

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Not all residents

If you don't Virgin Media, Hyperoptic have indicated that they are happy to fill any gap left by BT in RBKC. Hyperoptic are offering fibre with speeds up to 1G without any boxes in the street.

Steve Jobs speaks from beyond grave: 'iPads are toys'

JohnG Silver badge

Re: We look at the tablet and we think it's going to fail.

"What we have now are devices built from the ground up to be touch devices. Microsoft's approach was a thin veneer over full blown Windows and there was no multitouch or capacitive touch at the time"

I'll agree about the multitouch but you do seem to have overlooked WindowsCE, which has seen some considerable success, not least with GPS navigation devices.

Assange loses appeal against extradition to Sweden

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Allow me to preface....

"Turkey is a member of the EU and the EAW model."

Oh no they are not! The European Arrest Warrant applies (by treaty) in EU member states- Turkey is not a member of the EU and does not receive or issue EAWs. If what you said was true, the Duchess of York would already be in a jail in Turkey. having been tried there in absentia.

Complex cyberwar tool 'Flame' found all over Middle East

JohnG Silver badge

Re: countries like Iran and Israel???

"one is a rogue state intent on genocide though nuclear war, and the other is iran."

Israel has probably had nuclear weapons for about 25 years (maybe longer) but I missed reports that they had actually used any of them.

UK man to spend year in the clink for Facebook account hack

JohnG Silver badge

Re: 12 months porridge for a FB 'hack'?

The yob who burgled my house and five others (whilst on probation) got 120 hours community service and took over a year to pay the 100 pounds compensation awarded to me. None of my stuff was recovered. By comparison, 12 months for illegally accessing a few FB and email accounts seems a bit severe.

Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

For your average user, Facebook is wherever Google says it is - remember this?


I know several people like the folk commenting to the linked article, whose approach to Internet use is to start their browser, type the name of what they want and take the first link offered by Google's search. It works for Facebook and it works for widgets, so widget sellers understand the importance of being high in Google's search results. If Google screw that up, then they may go the way of webcrawler, excite, etc.

North Korean GPS blocking sparks cyber war fears

JohnG Silver badge

GPS reliability

AFAIK, commercial aircraft are required to alternative means of navigation (e.g. INS), as GPS is not (yet) deemed reliable enough to be used in isolation. The first problem being that the commercial GPS signal may be disabled at any time for military reasons.

'Fake Carla Bruni' Twitter account spreads Thatcher death rumour

JohnG Silver badge

"...if we were all accessing the Internet via a government controlled ISP, it would be a lot easier to censor and tap."

...and it would cost 100 quid a month or 150 quid a month if you want to use your own router that wasn't designed a decade before.

For those who never had to deal with the GPO, they used to charge you an extra 75 pounds every quarter if you used your own phone with buttons, instead of one of theirs with a rotary dial - but one of their engineers had to check your phone first. This what at a time when you could buy a new car for less than 1000 pounds.

Pirate island attracts more than 100 startup tenants

JohnG Silver badge


Why not just open a company in one of the several Caribbean tax havens? These have banks, airports, fresh water, women, warm weather (although there is the hurricane season to think about), sand, nice food, etc. I know it is on the other side of the USA but it is only a short flight to FL.

Evil plot to control souls via Wi-Fi thwarted

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Never apologise to superstition

"It's high time we stopped treating religion in such a privileged manner and regarded it as the hate-filled, child abusing, reason stunting, war causing hokum that it is."

You may be right, although some religions are more chilled out than others. Anyway, we'll let you tell the Muslims of this new policy.

Jolly rogered

JohnG Silver badge

So many problems

First of all, who decides what is pornography and therefore, which sites should be banned? The legal definition of pornography (in England and Wales) is vague and open to interpretation. After that, we can get into the whole argument as to what is art and what is pornography.

Some online porn sellers in other parts of the EU may take a dim view of having their perfectly legitimate business routinely blocked from customers in the UK and may take legal action against the UK for interference in the single market.

What the "think of the children" brigade seemed to have missed is that, despite having some of the most puritanical pornography laws in Europe, the UK consistently has the highest teenage pregnancy and abortion rates in Europe. This tells us that the draconian approach is not working at all.

Something else that the "think of the children" brigade have missed is violence. Whilst they seem desperately worried that some pubescent kids will see some nudity or some people engaged in sex, none of them seem at all worried that their kids might view videos of someone having their throat cut by some terrorists or some Chechen girl being kicked and then buried alive for alleged adultery or ...

McAfee founder raided in Belize by gang-busting police

JohnG Silver badge

Belize has been independent from the UK since 1981, so we don't have any say in how they run their affairs. I guess it is technically still a Crown Protectorate, meaning we are supposed to help out if they get invaded (although that status didn't help Grenada in the 80s).

Apple to dominate tablet biz, PC market for years

JohnG Silver badge

"This forecast estimates that in 2016 more tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs,"

I'd bet against that.

My tablet cost almost as much as my notebook. If I want to make notes in meeting, I need a proper keyboard - the touch screens methods simply aren't fast or reliable enough. If I need a proper keyboard, I might as well take the notebook instead of the tablet. Then there's the tablet's lack of processing power/memory/storage and the tablet apps being baby versions of what I have on the notebook. The tablet is fine for reading documents and emails, web browsing and the like but whenever I need to do some real work, I go back to the notebook or the desktop system and the tablet tends to be gathering dust.

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