* Posts by Dave 126

9301 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Attorney General: We didn't need Apple to crack terrorist's iPhones – tho we still want iGiant to do it in future

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: This statement:

I haven't seen Chris Morris's latest film The Day Shall Come yet. Apparently it's a comedy based on the farce of real-life FBI sting operations. The premise of useful idiots being cajoled into extremism by FBI agents hoping to infiltrate a nonexistent terror network sounds like classic Tom Sharpe writing about South Africa in the 80s.

Dave 126 Silver badge

If it were a hardware device- hidden in the Lightening socket - it might be possible to log the owner's passcode by 'listening' to electrical noise. Heck, if the phone is in a case, a small bug with two microphones inside said case could determine the X Ys of a user's taps.

If the cops had more time, then whipping the phone apart and logging data directly from the screen digitiser might be an option. I don't know how current iPhones are built.

None of the above would require the phone's software to be compromised. These are just guesses though. This is not my area.

OnePlus to disable camera colour feature with pervy tendencies in latest flagship smartphone

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Some materials are see through in infrared

> using this tech to see if people gave weapons in public

Only people hiding guns under thin black clothing.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Some materials are see through in infrared

Would a case that is transparent to Infra-red help dissapate heat from the internal components in any significant way? Enough to make the vents a tiny bit smaller?

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

Dave 126 Silver badge

I was in a Cardiff pub many years ago when Arthur Pendragon announced his presence towards last orders. He then cajoled most of the drinkers into joining hands in a big circle and having a dance in the courtyard after kicking-out time. He said he was in town for an "inter-faith concert with the Right Reverend Lional Fanthorpe at Raja's Snooker Club" the next evening, obviously.

Ok, Arthur Pendragon is a druid (indeed, Britain's top druid) and not a knight, but still, as sightings go it seems in the same ballpark.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Meanwhile in Bristol....

A man has been seen walking around with a shed on his head. A shed that blasts music and has disco lights. Oh, and has flames coming out of the chimney.


Google says it'll pick up the tab – and stick it in a lovely colour-coded Chrome group

Dave 126 Silver badge

Does any browser have a feature to make temporary bookmarks of tabs that you close? By temporary bookmarks, I just mean a group of bookmarks that are presented to user as being different to the permenant bookmarks.

Breaking virus lockdown rules, suing officials, threatening staff, raging on Twitter. Just Elon Musk things

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Dear Elon ...

Yep, even when eating vegetarian food and hugging two tiny horses in his kitchen, Arnie seemed sane and caring.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Dear Elon ...

-The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library?!

-Yes. Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment...

Demolition Man, 1993.

Elon, like Arnie, wasn't born in the USA. You can be a governor of a state but not Potus.

Hmm, I wonder what Jessie Ventura is up to now... was in Predator, check, been a governor, check, born in the USA, check

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

Musk has been questioning the severity of the pandamic and the responses to it since the beginning, so again, it's not new enough to be attributable to new fatherhood - though I doubt it's helped.

Didn't he allude to his mental health in 2019, something about having taken too much on? I can't remember now.

As a businessman, his approach to the factory could perhaps be smarter - it's not good PR. Good PR would have been to go above and beyond reasonable precautions for staff - working distances, protective equipment etc - and then point it and request it be allowed to reopen in consultation with his staff.

Anyway, for a bit more context of his current state than can be gleaned from Tweets, he was on the Seth Rogan podcast last week.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

> A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure that there is a behaviour change (sudden or otherwise) here to be explained.

Musk has got himself in trouble with tweets for a few years now - with the SEC for tweets about Tesla stock, or accusing a British of being a paedophile (a baseless accusation that came from a scam private investigator that Musk hired).

Still, I can't put him into either the hero or villain role... it seems that his impulses that make him do ill-advised things are likely the same impulses that lead to his successes.

Dave 126 Silver badge

No alien spaceship factory

His original plan was to have his factory far more automated than is the norm in the car industry, so full of automatic machines that there would hardly be any space between them for an (unrequired) human worker - hence 'alien spaceship'. That plan didn't work out.

Curiously, the German auto industry has gone the other way - spaces between production lines have been made wider to facilitate more ergonomic working conditions for its aging workforce. Not 'alien spaceship' but still a but sci-fi, with some workers wearing exoskeletons to reduce fatigue and strain injuries


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

Certainly Newton was more business orientated, aggressively pursuing the death penalty for a forger. I don't know enough about Newton's time to judge him for his belief in alchemy. It's fair to say he wasn't a particularly nice individual, but definitely very smart and self made. Perhaps not a person I would have on my company logo (See: Apple Computers' first logo).

Einstein comes across a nicer chap, but the popular image of him isn't accurate. For starters, the genius Einstein wasn't the white haired old boy as he is often portrayed, but the younger man.

Both men come across as fairly well socially adjusted compared to some mathematicians and physicists though!

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

We wish you luck in continuing to tune the best work life balance for you.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Plandemic? Oh well, another portmanteau that marks out the person using the word as holding the odd belief that an idea is true because they've invented a word for it. File with 'sheeple', 'feminazi', 'remoaner' etc

Press F2 to pay respects. New Xiaomi Poco Pro has 5G, top-drawer Snapdragon chippery, 64MP camera

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: I'm a wierdo

Hmm, I might just super glue one of those Bluetooth tracking Tile dongles to my tape measure - seems like a practical solution! Having the wretched thing in high-vis fluorescent orange has proved to be only a partial mitigation against its tendancy to hide.

The Tony Starck-style workshop, where the room itself can scan and measure in real-time, will have to wait til next year!

Dave 126 Silver badge

I'm a wierdo

... so there is no feature yet available that is tempting me to upgrade my Galaxy S8.

I'm still waiting for accurate 3D scanning and measuring, be this done via a laser Time of Flight sensor or by using two cameras, a la Project Tango. I want to wave my phone around and grab real measurements I can take back to the workshop. Qualcomm and Sony, amongst others, have been pushing this for a few years now.

The biggest Galaxy S phone, the S20 Ultra Super Duper (or whatever it is called) has a VGA-resolution ToF sensor, as does the current 12" iPad Pro - leading to fair speculation that the next iPhone will too. The very pricey and unwieldy iPad is a strange place to put a sensor that requires the device to be waived around, but as a test bed for the tech before rolling it out on the iPhone it makes sense.

I suspect the Apple system will work better than the Samsung system, given the work Apple has done on making their GPUs suitable for this sort of task.

In the meantime I'll continue searching for a tape measure. Damned things hide for a hobby. I think they're shy.

However, I'll probably wait for the tech to become more mainstream in Android before going for it, when it will likely be cheaper, better supported and more capable than Samsung's first foray into it.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 120Hz refresh rates

As Anthony said, it's reported to make animations and interactions feel more fluid. Most midrange+ televisions sold today can operate at 120hz or above - either for gaming, interpolating frames on 60hz sports broadcasts or alternating frames for 3D content.

I believe some chips and bits of Android provide the building blocks for varying the frame rate between 60 and 120Hz as required to save battery life, but I haven't heard if it actually being implemented in a phone yet

Incredible how you can steal data via Thunderbolt once you've taken the PC apart, attached a flash programmer, rewritten the firmware...

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A reason for all the glue?

Glue doesn't save a lot of money over screws during manufacture because jigs and machines can be set up to do it. However, during end of life dismantling, glue saves a lot of human labor - and thus cost. And you don't end up with steel screws contaminating recovered Aluminium.

A pile of glued devices can be placed on a conveyor through an oven and then easily pulled apart afterwards. I've just counted twenty screws in the bottom of my old style laptop, heavens knows how many more inside - or how long it would take someone to reduce it to component parts.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: more of a neat trick than infosec Armageddon

It's common practice for law agencies, when planning to arrest someone on cyber-related charges, to do so when they are at their computer. This attack vector might be a handy tool for them in some situations - certainly it seems less faff than cryogenically freezing the RAM.

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

Dave 126 Silver badge

It's 2020 for Pete's sake, and despite word processed documents being mainstream in the home and office for thirty years we still have no guarantee that a document will display and print properly. What the hell humanity?

Dave 126 Silver badge

It's 2020 for Pete's sake, and there is still no guarantee that a word processed file will display and print properly across different machines. In thirty years of office and home computers being mainstream this shit us stil

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

Dave 126 Silver badge

Petrol pumps have a horizontal surface for placing the fuel tank cap with keys attached - a surface on which my local Gulf petrol station helpfully taped a tent-shaped advertisment for their loyalty card, leaving nowhere to put one's fuel cap.

I appreciate many vehicles have a hinged fuel cap that stays attached to the vehicle, but it would seem that the advertising team thought that *all* cars have them.

The iMac at 22: How the computer 'too odd to succeed' changed everything ... for Apple, at least

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The last cool Apple computer.

I think Mr Goldblum also hawked the G4 Cube, which was released a year or two later.

Dave 126 Silver badge

To make streaming TV and movies more comprehensible to your ears, a simple EQ tweak might not be the best route.

There may be software available that reduces the dynamic range of the audio, so that voices are loud but explosions aren't deafening.

There may be software that uses cunning algorithms that make voices clearer, such as the Dolby Atmos-branded audio settings on Samsung phones.

Extracting the centre audio channels from the stream.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Nowadays Macs don't look different than PCs

The form of the iPod had nothing to do with Apple's choice of DAC.

I'm struggling to think of any contemporary MP3 as well done as the iPod. And I had a few.

I had an iRiver H320 - similar form factor as the iPod, same HDD and battery even, it had a colour screen, mic and line in, audio quality to appease snobs... But the UI didn't have a scroll wheel which made long lists of folders a chore to navigate.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Sorry Charlie, you're right, you didn't say that. The OP did, and I hit the wrong Reply button. Cheers!

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No comments about the one obvious failing so far...

Microsoft Arch mouse was released in 2008, so not desperately new :)

Logitech's MX series of mice (with darkfield laser sensors and free-spinning scroll wheels) are also superb, and they work well near any surface, including on glass.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Hype

The iMac did serve a focus point for the floppy disc drive debate. Whether it actually hastened the demise of the floppy is debatable, but I suspect it contributed in a small part - Apple's 'Don't do it like that, do it like this' attitude can be a good thing, like ripping off a plaster instead of protracting the inevitable transition.

Of course wider internet use, cheaper CDR drives, usb 2 and cheaper solid state storage (thumb drives) had a larger role in the floppy's death.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Wot about the eMac?

I'd forgotten about that. I remember the eMate which predated the iMac. Apple using a lower case letter followed by Sentence case word as a product name predating the iMac.

Steve Jobs was originally resistant to the iMac name. Interesting that Apple would ressurect the e* naming convention for another eduction market-only product.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Hype

> I, nor any the computer people I know, ever used an original all in one iMac. I think I've only seen them in photos.

Perhaps you might consider broadening your social circles? Some of my best friends are computery people, but so are artists, musicians, circus owners, lunatics, drunks, scientists and athletes. The parties are better.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No comments about the one obvious failing so far...

The original iMac used Harmon Kardon branded speakers. A nice touch is that if you plugged in the iconic transparent Harmon Kardon bass woofer via USB it played the bass leaving the iMacs built in speakers to play the treble.

The 20th Anniversary Mac came with a Bose subwoofer.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: So near, yet so far

Try https://community.spotify.com/t5/Desktop-Mac/Equalizer-for-Mac-Finally-a-solution/td-p/4374561

You could also look at Sony's TV Demumbler


Though be aware that Macs won't work with Bluetooth speakers when watching Netflix... something to do with Silver light and DRM.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Remember when *everything* was translucent "Bondi Blue"?

The horror. Yeah, I remember when every piece of tat going was available in translucent blue though never quite 'Bondi Blue' (because producing plastic parts to an exact colour is time consuming and thus expensive).

There were some *transparent* devices around from the late 80s and early 90s (if not before) including the Sony Walkman WM 504 and Gravis Joystick limited edition.

Jony Ive's first translucent Apple product was the eMate - a clamshell device that was a Newton with a keyboard, only sold to schools. Translucent dark green.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Nowadays Macs don't look different than PCs

The iPid was not form over function - it fitted in your pocket, unlike Creative's jukebox which for reasons unknown styled itself on portable CD players.

The iPod more resembled a cigarette case (in size and rounded corners) a product which has a hundred year track record of being easy to pocket.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Nowadays Macs don't look different than PCs

The original cheese grater Mac Pro was not form over function. It was considered one of the most accessible, easy to service computers going. And with no sharp edges inside to cut your fingers on, joy! Its base configuration was fair value (according the The Register, no less) - it was it when configuring it with Apple-installed RAM etc that it got pricy.

Dave 126 Silver badge

More context:

A Wired opinion piece from 1997, 101 Ways to Save Apple.

On some things - Get out of the hardware game, encourage clones - Wired were completely off the mark.

On other things - ditch the multicolour logo, make a computer appealling to children, use NeXtStep - Wired were correct.

So roughly, Wired were 50% correct, which is what one expects of a chimpanzee answering a binary choice questionnaire.


Dave 126 Silver badge

Context of floppy disc drive

At the time of the iMac's release:

- Floppy discs weren't always big enough for a single Word document if it contained too many photos. Photos were finding their way into more documents because scanners were cheap and digital cameras were becoming mainstream.

-Floppy discs were unreliable.

-My fellow students and I were encouraged to buy Zip disk drives by the university.

-Solid state storage was making an appearance but was impractically expensive.

-There was only USB 1 which was very slow for transferring data. This didn't matter to Mac users because all Macs had FireWire, as did many scanners, external hard drives, camcorders, sound cards.

-Non-metered (dial-up) internet was beginning to make an appearance in the UK. The existence of the internet was Apple's stated rational behind ditching the floppy disc drive.

I was studying Product Design, so I had a PC dual booting NT 4 (for CAD) and Win 98 (for USB support). The lectures often had the latest gadgets (pre-iPod MP3 players) and my graphic and and art student mates had Macs, some iMac G3s. Bang to the buck went to PCs - I could have a lot more Photoshop layers than the poor iMac G3s. Getting data off a camcorder? Macs much easier.

Dave 126 Silver badge

The SGI boxes looked nothing like an iMac! They were made of stamped mild steel with a curvy moulded ABS shell - much like many beige PCs at the time, only coloured. The iMac used polycarbonate structurally - honesty of materials and form (since it was enclosing a curvy CRT tube, and injection molding doesn't like sharp edges or 90 degree angles). The Pixar Image Computer and the NeXt workstation (both designed by Esslinger who had developed the Mac's 'Snow White' design language) were both more honest to their pressed steel in a cube construction.

Industrial and Product Designers at the time would have been familiar with SGI boxes because they were used for CAD.

Data centre reveals it modeled interiors on The Hunt for Red October sets

Dave 126 Silver badge

The design of Cray supercomputers (as shown in their 1980s adveets in National Geographic) are reminiscent of hibernation cells in Alien, the radial layout. Hmm, actually, just looking at images of the Cray-1 now - it actually looks more at home in Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssey.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: They got it WRONG

In the film the Red October is a Soviet sub not a US sub!

On US craft the reactor is a sealed unit. On Soviet craft it was possible to get close enough to be irradiated.

I went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole a while back on Soviet Nuclear Submarine disasters, making me no expert. I was chilled by reading of men who went to repair the reactor cooling system knowing it would lead to their slow and painful deaths.


Proof-of-concept open-source app can cut'n'paste from reality straight into Photoshop using a neural network

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: I've no idea if it's particularly useful

Software that removes the background of images has been around since the 90s, though it needed a human to hold its hand. It cost hundreds of pounds. Removing the background of an image is very widely used as a matter of course - think of brochures, adverts, images inset amongst text in magazines - and so for many art departments it was just a matter of doing the sums; does this save us enough man hours to be worth buying? Of course the technique used by the software was different and the output required more human tweaking - just as we had speech recognition in the 90s.

Object removal and 'Backgroud aware' transformations are the main carrot that Adobe used to entice people to the SaaS Photoshop CC from its standalone predecessors.

So yeah, there has been money in it. This guy's decision to offer his work open source may have influenced by his understanding of what similar software is already available.

Now we know what the P really stands for in PwC: X-rated ads plastered over derelict corner of accountants' website

Dave 126 Silver badge

In other news, theregister.co.uk served up ads for a scam company two days ago - one claiming that £800 iPhones are surplus stock and must be sold for £89.

This isn't the Reg's usual policy, so assuming it slipped through the net at this time when people's minds may understandably be on other things.

That awful Butterfly has finally fluttered off: Apple touts 13-inch MacBook Pro with proper keyboard, Escape key

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No option to upgrade GFX

> but why are you doing that in a laptop and not an actual workstation or a server

You still need a terminal to use the headless sever, so why not a laptop shaped terminal? If you're using a server, what advantage does using a workstation give you?

If you're dealing with high Input Output - say video editing - then yeah, you need a local machine that can handle it. Workstations will have more Thunderbolt channels than laptops.

Another thing for video editors - the Red Cinema hardware decoder is £6000. It makes sense for it to be an external unit so that it can be used by whichever member of the studio needs it at the time - or taken to shoots.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Apple have lost it

>My main concern is whether they work well with high-powered devices--for example, I really don't want to end up melting something into my USB port by running 87W through a £5 adapter, so I really hope they've been tested to that level.

I guess a 6" USB C extension cable might give you some peace of mind - £2.50 from eBay. Any failure in the magnetic connector will melt the ectendiincae and not your computer.

But yeah, do research the magnetic breakaway adaptors, might be better to spend a little more for a reputable brand.

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Elementary ...

> how did it get there?

As per the article, they use an Evil Maid attack. The point is, the maid, or cleaner or whoever, only has to act once - to plant the malware. After that information can be extracted.

Look, security researchers need to research potential attack vectors before deciding whether or not they could be used by genuine bad actors. Note that the research comes before the decision, which is the correct way round.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: In Langley, Virginia, USA...

Ideally there would be some randomn noise amongst the music, otherwise someone with the exact same recording could attempt to subtract it from the signal.

Given that the CIA employ bright people, they likely already do.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Just introduce some noise, randomly ramp the CPU up to 100%, monitor the CPU usage for unnatural patterns...

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Of course you've got to know what you're looking for

> I reckon the chances of extracting a usable amount of data would be low to nil

A single word might be of huge tactical or strategic importance... the name of a human agent, or the date and location of the planned invasion. A password.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy is named because the head of MI5 wants an agent to discover a mole and then report back using a single word.

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Nothing like having an open mind.


I had attributed that quote to Bertand Russel, not Einstein - it turns out that we are both wrong! :)



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