* Posts by Buzzword

945 posts • joined 30 Jun 2010


One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Re: Military installations

Such as www.secret-bases.co.uk ?

Nothing 'unites teams' like a good relocation, eh Vodafone?


Re: £8,000 to relocate from Glasgow to Newbury?

Fair point. But how many young people with no houses and no kids really want to live in rural Berkshire?


Re: £8,000 to relocate from Glasgow to Newbury?

Because it's where the bosses live. The company thinks it's cheaper and easier to relocate thousands of techies than to relocate a handful of bosses.

Plug in your iPhone, iPad, iPod, fire up the App Store: You have new Apple patches to install



Sadly not the antediluvian search engine.

NHS England digital boss in hot water over 'puff piece' written about her future employer


Jaw-droppingly inappropriate, yet perfectly legal

If only Meg Hillier was some kind of law-maker, perhaps even a member of the ruling party, and thus able to propose a new law making this sort of thing illegal.

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito


Re: F@$% the creapy stalker tech

The problem is when it becomes either mandatory, or significantly cheaper than the alternative. For example, you can't rent DVDs from local shops any more. In London, you can still buy paper tickets for the Underground, but you'll pay twice the price of the equivalent contactless fare.

Alexa may not be mandatory yet, but the "Eleven" lift is the kind of thing we can expect. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...


Re: Older long term workers cost more than newbies

"younger employees cost less, but they have to be trained"

I haven't seen a day of training since circa 2003. Companies just don't invest in training any more.

Florida man stumbles on biggest prime number after working plucky i5 CPU for 12 days straight


Re: Mersenne

Godwin's law has been updated. Every online discussion now ends up with a tenuous link to Brexit.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


Mass hysteria, sightings of the Virgin Mary, the Emperor's New Clothes, false positives

How much evidence of a drone do we actually have? The police reported fifty sightings, but that's from people primed to believe that any dot in the sky must be the drone. There's a video on Twitter which the videographer claims shows the drone, but is actually just the police helicopter looking for the drone. The handful of photos and videos show a tiny dot, which could easily be a bird. As for the people who claim to have seen the drone in the hours of darkness (or even dark + rainy) - that's highly improbable. The drone itself has supernatural powers: unheard-of battery life, ability to fly in the rain, larger than anything commercial yet small enough to disappear untraced.

I believe this whole thing is a false positive. We've got the usual fear of new technology, jet-lagged passengers not thinking straight, and everyone primed to believe it's a drone. Nobody in officialdom is brave enough to point out that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes, because the risk of being wrong is too great. There is simply no physical evidence that there was ever a drone.

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


Capacity, not speed

5G offers higher capacity. With wireless networks reaching saturation point, especially in big cities, higher capacity means actually being able to use your phone when you need it. Next time there's a train delay and you're stuck in the crowds at Clapham Junction, try using your phone to pass the time. Your phone will display five bars of 4G but you'll struggle to download even a text file, let alone modern web apps with their multi-megabyte payloads.

The capacity-not-speed argument also applies to the High Speed 2 railway line. The same arguments are made (people aren't willing to pay more for faster trains); but ultimately it's about increasing capacity, not about going faster.

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits


Ericsson software apparently to blame

According to the FT and the Telegraph.

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here


8GB of RAM seems to be the UK limit

The 16GB variant is hard to find. (There's one on Amazon from a third-party seller, but it's very expensive and appears to have a US keyboard, so probably a grey import.) Alas, 8GB of RAM precludes any serious work.

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?


Re: One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

No. JavaScript allows trailing commas, but JSON doesn't.


One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

When you're comparing the latest version with the previous version, YAML changes tend to be restricted to one line. By contrast in JSON, appending an item to an array means adding a comma to the previous line, so your DIFF highlights two lines as having changed.

China doesn't need to nick western tech when Google is giving it away


One word: Tizen

Samsung were in the same position as Huawei a few years ago. I don't expect to see Tizen dominate the market any time soon.

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert


Re: When visiting friends, do you click the doorbell?

I take the choo-choo to my friends' house where I ding the doorbell, we clink our wine glasses, then scoff & chomp our food. All very onomatopoeic.

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die


Re: No radio at all

"a third of households don't have a digital radio"

Some of those households (mine included) don't have a radio at all.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing


How about scrapping them?

Do we really need "notifications to manage food imports"?

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges


Re: So the police bear no responsibility ?

A form like this? https://xkcd.com/970/

iPhone XR, for when £1,000 is just too much for a smartmobe


Weak reception is a serious fault

It's not just a problem for those who "live in a region with weak mobile coverage"; it affects anyone who uses their phone indoors, on the train, or in the car. £749 for a phone that you can't even use half the time is criminal.

Tata on trial: Outsourcer 'discriminated' against non-Asian workers, claim American staff


Do you mean this case? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46065766

"Over a period of months, Mr Chan repeatedly said that he wanted to replace Caucasian employees with ethnically Chinese employees to reduce labour costs," the judge wrote.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call


Mac OS X Server isn't what it used to be

As your colleague pointed out - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/29/farewell_to_macos_server/ - a few months ago, Mac OS X Server has been thoroughly gutted. Gone are the mail server, web server, VPN, and more. It's now just a tool for administering other Mac and iOS devices.

Of course you can still use a Mac Mini as a departmental server; but you'll need third party tools, and you can no longer expect Apple to support your efforts.

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage


It'll be a crossover with the movies which starred Matt Damon as an undercover spy: "Ghost in the Bourne Shell". The sequel will be "Ghost in the Bourne Again Shell".

Pull request accepted: You want to buy GitHub, Microsoft? Go for it – EU


Microsoft had CodePlex

Microsoft already had a popular open source code repository, in the form of CodePlex. What happened? Benign neglect, until all the users shuffled over to GitHub.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax


Actually, they haven't stated the price.

Price matters. Is it €0.01 per handset? If so, handset makers will pay up, and absolutely nothing will change. But the Commission probably won't accept that figure, on the basis that it's anti-competitive.

Conversely if it's €100 per handset, nobody will pay for it. Somewhere in between €0.01 and €100 there's a sweet spot: low enough to ensure mass take-up, but high enough appease the Commission.

I like BigGANs but their pics do lie, you other AIs can't deny


Is it just regurgitating the training dataset?

"the generator ... creates images that are similar to the training dataset"

Can it generate original images, or just tweaks of the training dataset?

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?


A/B testing

I propose two streams. In the A-stream, you create fancy new apps with all the latest bling. Calc.exe does blockchain, notepad.exe becomes notepad.js, Paint uses AI to predict what you want to draw, etc. In the B-stream, you leave everything exactly as it is. Randomly assign users to A/B, and after a few months see which is more popular.

Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm



I was a contractor for a government body which, every week, had to record a short document into two different systems. I was asked to quote for a script which would link the two systems together, ensuring that whatever data was entered in one system would automatically be forwarded to the second.

I gave them a quote, but pointed out that the potential savings were meagre (15 minutes of clerical staff time each week) and unlikely to cover future support costs. The manager concurred and I never got the job.

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price


Only 4GB of RAM ?

Even mobile phones have 6GB these days. For similar money I'd rather have a Samsung Galaxy S-whatever and a DeX dongle.

Surprise! VAT, customs likely to get a bit trickier in a Brexit no-deal world


Re: Good job the UK has

But what do you do with the goods once you've brought them ashore? Let's say you've snuck in a container-load of cheap phones from Shenzhen. From a tax point of view, it's as if they'd grown on trees. Customers will still need to pay VAT on the phones when sold in shops or online. There's simply no money to be made by sneaking goods into the country undeclared.

Notable exception for cigarettes, where VAT + two forms of duty add up to over 400%. That's enough of a mark-up to attract criminal enterprises.

If it doesn't need to be connected, don't: Nurse prescribes meds for sickly hospital infosec


HTTPS doesn't solve much

"Since the infection, most hospital websites have moved from HTTP to the more secure HTTPS, according to Milosevic – a move that wouldn't have halted the virus's spread but is indicative of IT staff taking security more seriously."

Or, it's indicative of IT staff fixing the easy and most visible stuff, while leaving gaping holes open elsewhere.

Forking hell. It's summer, and Windows 10 is already thinking about autumn


Notepad to support *nix line endings

This is long, long, long overdue.

It’s either a case of too little, too late; or Microsoft finally listening to end users. Time will tell.

You know who deserves more help from UK.gov? Startup investors, say policy wonks


Since it obviously works for government contracts ...

Not so long ago, our great government promised to award more IT contracts to small businesses and/or startups. This implies that "If the startup failed to deliver, the scheme [i.e. the government] would pay the first customer [also the government] the contract value".

Since the government has roundly failed to award more contracts to smaller suppliers, perhaps the whole principle of providing government backing to startups isn't all that wise.

Besides, any businessperson knows that landing the first contract is easy; it's the second one which proves far more difficult.

Facebook stuck with IRS bill after court tosses $7 BEEELLION appeal


“the IRS gets to decide what does and doesn't get an appeal hearing”

Rather defeats the purpose of an appeals hearing, if the opposing side gets to decide whether to let you fight.

Uber JUMPs, slurps San Francisco bike biz


Re: moving bikes to popular start points

Always in San Francisco. It’s rather hilly.


Re: moving bikes to popular start points

For regular bike hire schemes, popular start points are at the top of a hill and popular end points are at the bottom. Hence the need for an army of drivers to shuffle them around.

Battery-powered bicycles can go uphill quite easily, thus neatly avoiding the problem in the first place.

El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block


Re: Bang on!

Yep, and very tastefully done too!

Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week


Shoved down our throats

Dear Reg,

I get that you’re trying to be all grown-up by dropping the innuendos, but couldn’t you have slipped one in for us loyal readers? Perhaps ask Dabbsy to write next week’s piece if & when the spec is actually released.

Boring. The phone business has lost the plot and Google is making it worse


Re: Stock Android

Yep. Recall the period from 1995 to 2012, when Windows barely changed. You could learn Windows NT 4 (released back in 1996), fall into a coma for a decade and a half, and come back to find the Windows 7 desktop experience almost exactly the same. Same for Microsoft Office, right up until that bloody ribbon. Users didn't have to re-learn everything every two years. Given how much crap we've suffered in Win8/10, I'd love to have that stability back.

Ah, uni days! Drugs, sex, parties... sci-tech startups? Not so much


Meanwhile in America ...

... someone stuck wifi on a doorbell and sold it for $1bn.

If I had a brainy idea, I'd be on the first flight to Silicon Valley to bring it to market.

BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown


I’ve never seen an IT contractor send an equally qualified substitute to a client site.

Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!


Unspecified amount of money

I too have invested an unspecified amount of money in Magic Leap.

But since you ask, I’ll specify: zero.

UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool


99.995% is impossible

Even humans aren’t that accurate.

If you’re positively identifying terror videos at that rate, you must have a huge false-positive rate. So a movie like Mad Max Fury Road, featuring fighty young people with big guns on dusty desert roads, would probably be flagged as jihadi propaganda.

UK reaches peak Bitcoin as bin firm accepts cryptocurrency



Ahh, that cherished outfit. They really are quite thick. The blogger Tim Newman has eviscerated their press releases in the past:


Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday


17" laptops

I'll direct you to this handy chart of laptops with matte screens (because glossy screens are the devil's creation): https://www.productchart.co.uk/laptops/sets/1

Basically the only 17-inch options are gaming laptops such as Asus ROG (Republic Of Gamers), Dell Alienware, Acer Predator, or MSDI Dominator. There's one decent-looking HP Pavillion laptop too.

Screen size seems to be inversely proportional to screen resolution: my pocket smartphone has something approaching 4K resolution, whereas hardly any of the 17" laptops have anything more than 1920x1080.

2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware


If it's good enough for Google and Apple

> The logical thing to do would be to let the manufacturers innovate and produce these devices while Microsoft concentrates on the operating system, software provision and services, Azure, etc.

Just as Google are concentrating on services, and not rolling out their own line of Nexus phones, having bought up Motorola in 2014 and HTC in 2017 ?

Not to mention Apple, whose tight integration of hardware and software has long been the envy of Microsoft.

NFS is now on tap in Azure – and NetApp is Microsoft's provider


Migrating without adapting

: enabling on-premises NFS-using applications to move into Azure

Great, we're going to see on-premise apps loaded half-arsed into the cloud, without any accommodations for cloud-specific issues (latency, bandwidth, etc.). This is unlikely to end well.


Re: NFS?

Looks like the same NFS. This is a joint development with NetApp, and their existing NAS products use the standard NFS protocol.

What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly


Re: Let's be real here.

It's not always obvious though. Can you tell the difference between someone who is still drunk from the night before, and someone who has a cold? What if they simply haven't slept properly because of external factors (heat wave, noisy neighbours, etc.)?

Brit prosecutors fling almost a million quid at anti-drone'n'phone ideas


Re: would a

And to stop mobile phone transmissions, can we make the net's mesh size small enough to block mobile phone signals (i.e. a faraday cage)?


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019