* Posts by Joe Harrison

588 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

Joe Harrison

Re: Hmmm

Surely though these days nearly all tech is made in China. Buy your stuff directly from China in dollars and Bob's your uncle. You might (very unlikely) have to pay a bit of import tax, and if need to send back for repairs then it's more work than taking it back to Currys, but you're only paying 2/3 of the piss-taking price.

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Joe Harrison

Re: @UncleNick

The pound was worth 1.50 dollars as polls closed, then dropped to 1.33 the next day - the lowest since 1985. Now we are all saddled with expensive computer parts. How can you blame the BBC

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Inept bloke who tried to sell military sat secrets to Russia gets 5 years

Joe Harrison

Re: Selling out the US to Russia...

... I thought that was Donalds job.

Well, so it is said in campaigns by his political enemies, based on no evidence whatsoever...

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RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

Joe Harrison

And let's not forget this other bloke

Seems like Vasili Arkhipov did a very similar brave deed on a different occasion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Arkhipov

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Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

Joe Harrison

Half-apologies? Please use the correct technical terms

I believe "unpology" is more correct ☺

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Pennsylvania cops deploy electronics sniffer dog to catch child abusers

Joe Harrison

Just get a dog

In my experience dogs are obsessed with the smells of other dogs above all else.

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AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

Joe Harrison

Bitcoin

"Ah but mining isn't economical any more because electricity costs."

I never understood this at all. The electricity doesn't disappear it just turns into heat - so put your miner in your house and turn off the central heating in that room.

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Ex-EDS bod at DXC Technologies? Sign up to new pension scheme - or else...

Joe Harrison

Depends what you call proof. When I was a pension rep at work it was clear that management were looking at more than salary when deciding how much an employee was "worth".

For a while my own company had an intranet thing where you could see your total reward package as a pie chart with slices for company car, private health, and so on. It was not at all unusual to see people with 50 percent of that pie saying pension contributions. It's hard to believe that it did not factor in to "how much pay rise shall we give this guy".

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El Reg is hiring an intern. Here's the lowdown...

Joe Harrison

Re: My first job!

The new boy/girl traditionally gets sent to the stores to get a long weight, tin of striped paint, or a left-handed spanner. Not sure what the digital equivalent would be but I am sure El Reg will think of something when the time comes.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Joe Harrison

I am a road-safety freak but even I can't agree with that. The primary reason for using a mobile phone in a car is surely for satnav, which definitely counts as part of "driving your car" given that the driving test is soon to include it.

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TalkTalk plans to bail on mobile in major shake-up for beleaguered biz

Joe Harrison

A few random comments

  • I have a dual SIM phone with Three and EE. I do a lot of mainline train journeys between South East and North of England and mostly lose Three but retain EE signal. So maybe go for EE if you travel by train a lot.
  • A friend's experience of Talk Talk involved being expensively billed for four SIMs they didn't know they had, and finding it hard to get anything resolved
  • A phone which supports Band 20 could get you better indoor coverage, also some cell sites report themselves as Band 20 only so I am guessing this means without it you will have no signal at all.
  • The correct spelling is "supersede", just sayin

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Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

Joe Harrison

Copied the idea?

Vkontakte (Russian copy of Facebook) had free unlimited music from day 1 more or less.

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Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

Joe Harrison

Re: Time flies like an arrow.

English language is like that. "Alice made an Ikea bookcase with a screwdriver". "Bob made a coffee table with Charlie". How confusing is that to a someone learning English?

Is it just me but genetically modified flies with glowing green brains? What if they escaped and mated with the genetically modified frikkin-laser flies from someone else's research project? Remember you heard it here first - if you want the film rights we'll talk.

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UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

Joe Harrison

Briefly tried Android Pay but honestly cannot see the point. Especially as it specifically won't work with a Revolut card, which by the way I can seriously recommend.

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Joe Harrison

Bossy lady in McDonalds in America got quite cross when she saw me moving my card towards the top of the weird-looking reader where I saw the contactless logo. "SIR YOU CAN'T -" . Her face was priceless when it beeped and said authorised. Apparently she had never seen it happen before.

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It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Joe Harrison

Lappy

What is it with "Lappy"? It's hardly much of an abbreviation as it only saves one letter. "Addy" saves three letters but somehow even more annoying. Although even so not quite as annoying as people who insist on"firing up" notepad...

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Is it possible to control Amazon Alexa, Google Now using inaudible commands? Absolutely

Joe Harrison

Private Eye

Funny cartoon in Private Eye print edition which I can't find online. Cat half asleep on floor looking at budgie in cage, Amazon Echo on coffee table. Budgie speech caption "Alexa cancel the cat food and double the birdseed order"

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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

Joe Harrison

That's nice

I posted earlier in the thread about counting on fingers and thumbs, now someone has given me 1 thumb up for it

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Joe Harrison

Re: So much for digital

You can do better than 1023 if you count up to 2 on each finger, I mean finger down = 0, finger halfway up = 1, finger completely up = 2. You could probably have even more finger positions but then it gets confusing.

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Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee

Joe Harrison

Surprised

Didn't expect how many think going out to shop and buying lunch is normal routine. Not sure how much you would spend but let's say 4 quid is conservative. That's at least 80 a month out of taxed wages. How do you afford that on a regular basis.

A lot of companies have a subsidised canteen. If you're out travelling somewhere you are missing out on the subsidy; that was what our accounts department once told me was the reason for being able to claim lunches.

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Cybersecurity world faces 'chronic shortage' of qualified staff

Joe Harrison

Experience not recognised

I have donkeys years of "cyber-" (dislike that word) security experience. This is basically because up until recently it was always seen as a hateful drudge job that nobody wanted to do and (as the least unwilling peon) I always got lumbered with. Now there are so many organisations who claim to be desperately short of cyber-securititians, but what they actually are looking for are pen-test script runners and box-tickers. No way am I getting suckered into that.

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Reality strikes Dixons Carphone's profits after laughing off Brexit threat

Joe Harrison

What is the attraction of a two-year interest-free period? I don't see it.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Joe Harrison

Nothing special anyway

I managed to find my way (not easy) onto Escondido Beach in Malibu and was rather disappointed. I suppose nice if you have one of the houses but purely as a beach it is nothing much in comparison to your average Spanish one.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Joe Harrison

It never used to be about money

I remember the early days of the www when it was a communal resource for information sharing. After a while people came along and said "you know what, we can use this thing to make money". Now they are complaining that my ad blocker is getting in the way of their business. Am I supposed to be bothered?

I suppose the difference between then and now is that hosting used to be "free" i.e. you leached off your university or employer. So I have some sympathy and recognise I need somehow to contribute to legit hosting costs, but even so I still don't want ads.

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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Joe Harrison

Obviously the shoes v. boots thing is ridiculous.

We would still need to keep the important and sensible parts of tax law though, for example above what temperature does a pasty become a hot pasty and therefore need VAT.

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Uber drivers game Uber's system like Uber games the entire planet

Joe Harrison

I had a mate used to work on the ferris wheel ride but he got the sack. Took them to court though - clear case of funfair dismissal.

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Virgin Media mulls ditching 1 in 3 UK facilities, starts £20m spend audit

Joe Harrison

Re: Virgin on demand (not)

Completely right. What is the point of cabling up a road except for three houses. You had to put up with the same roadworks inconvenience as did those who are getting the service.

Ultimately it's up to them to make their business decision but the most annoying part (and I speak from experience) is that they will still put an invitation through your letterbox to order their new service. When you do they are happy to take your order despite you asking them five times "are you sure because the street digging didn't come this far" and let you waste a morning off work. They will then mess you around forever neither fulfilling your order nor admitting they cannot deliver.

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You need to assemble a crack AI team: Where do you even start?

Joe Harrison

Think this was meant to be a joke but logically it's the right thing to do surely. I am not trivialising the massive amount of work to somehow bodge together an AI that is just adequately smart enough to design another AI, but once that was complete just leave it running while you go to the pub.

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Google Chrome's HTTPS ban-hammer drops on WoSign, StartCom in two months

Joe Harrison

So where to next?

Wosign was the only place I could find for a free email (S/MIME) certificate. Don't want to get involved in whether or not they should be black-holed but it does leave me without a paddle when my cert expires.

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UK.gov tips £400m into digital investment pot

Joe Harrison

Nag them

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport had a target "to provide access to basic broadband (2Mbps) for all from December 2015" which they failed to reach and had to revise. Until last month I was only getting 1.0Mbps which is totally not acceptable in 2017 UK.

https://basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk/

"A subsidised broadband installation is now available if you cannot access an affordable broadband service with a speed of at least 2 Mb per second." They really don't want to give you a subsidy; I found that after lots of loud complaining the magical Openreach unicorn fairy did a surprise upgrade of my local cabinet instead.

If you are looking for evidence of your slow speed I can recommend going through an EE broadband online application then screenshotting, as EE seem to be the most conservative in promising what your speed would be.

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Joe Harrison

Re: Fnord

Mods there is something wrong with this post. I somehow can't read it my eyes keep unfocussing away from the screen.

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Blighty's first aircraft carrier in six years is set to take to the seas

Joe Harrison

Uninspiring choice of name for the ship

I'd have gone for Shooty McShootface

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UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

Joe Harrison

Mail readers

I doubt yer average Reg reader actually has any specific knowledge in depth about the years-long Assange story. I certainly don't. Of course as a handy substitute the media has provided a full-on Corbyn-style character assassination and it's frightening to hear otherwise intelligent people regurgitating that wholesale. Think for yourselves!

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Paxo trashes privacy, social media and fake news at Infosec 2017

Joe Harrison

I loved it when Jeremy Clarkson did exactly that and got dinged for 500 squids.

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Russia is struggling to keep its cybercrime groups on a tight leash

Joe Harrison

"The capabilities that were once indicative of a nation-state actor are now an affordable commodity for the private sector," reports Cybereason.<p?

This tries to say that the state and the private sector are competing equally for talent. Which can never be true because the state can pay in a coin unavailable to the private sector - the state has the power to make any awkward criminal charges just go away.

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Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

Joe Harrison

Re: How to switch it off

You HAVE to install Chrome if you want this to work. I use a different browser and the settings option is greyed out.

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Joe Harrison

Re: Why did I get a fragment of neocon central all of a sudden

RT is 100% funded by the Russian government?

That's terrible they should have a free press like our own BBC which is, er... 100% funded by the UK government.

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HMRC emits IR35 tax calculator onto the web for UK contractors

Joe Harrison

A decision at tax tribunal

www.thompsonstradeunionlaw.co.uk/information-and-resources/lelr/weekly-510.htm#checklist_approach

HMRC must avoid a "checklist approach" and look at the whole picture. Doesn't bode well for their checklist site then!

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Joe Harrison

Who me? I'm just a regular tech guy

We spoke to Affinity's manager, Bill Collins, who checked out the page and pronounced himself baffled. They're a small computer repair shop, he said, with no links to the CIA.

He would say that, wouldn't he.

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BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!

Joe Harrison

Re: No spectrum analyser?

lizard1: "How can we get the MP mind-control surveillance laser into position without arousing suspicion?"

lizard2: "gahh make up some shit about bell bongs"

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I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Joe Harrison

Re: @Ellier ... This will impact others as well

only to realise a fraction of a second after he hit enter

The technical term for that fraction of a second is an "ohnosecond".

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New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

Joe Harrison

Meanwhile back in May 2000...

http://www.zdnet.com/article/open-source-is-here-to-stay/

"Would you buy a car with the hood welded shut?" - Bob Young, founder of Red Hat.

He thought he was making a ludicrous analogy but it turned out he was making a prophecy.

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Scottish court issues damages to couple over distress caused by neighbour's use of CCTV

Joe Harrison

When are we going to stop

When are we going to stop calling video surveillance "CCTV"?

I'm guessing the term "Closed Circuit Television" comes from the 1950s so that people would not get it mixed up with Proper Television you know with the Test Card and Watch With Mother.

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College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000

Joe Harrison

Re: "African American"

I have been caught by this when I worked in the US. A colleague sounded to me just like the other Americans but proudly told me she was Polish. I complimented her excellent English and asked how long she had been in the USA. Cue stunned confusion - she was born in New York but third generation people still adopt the nationality of their grandparents.

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Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th

Joe Harrison

Re: Am I a killjoy

668 the Neighbour of the Beast

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Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo fit to go: Europe's GPS-like network switches on

Joe Harrison

Re: Cunning plan...

>>Am I on the watchlist now?

>You've been on it for ages

Everyone is on it

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National Lottery whacked with £3m fine for suspect ticket win

Joe Harrison

They miss-sold their product to me

I bought a Lucky Dip but it wasn't lucky at all

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Give us encrypted camera storage, please – filmmakers, journos

Joe Harrison

Don't see the point

The cops in the warzone don't much care about finding out what's on your photos - they already know what's on them, they're photos of a warzone why else would you be there with a pro camera? OK they would still look at them for intelligence if they could but their real concern is not letting the atrocity photos out of the warzone so will confiscate your camera encrypted or not.

What these journos really need is an invisible camera or one that looks exactly like a camping stove.

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Joe Harrison

Re: @ Alien Shouldn't be hard for Nikon to do

Is there even a single device on the planet which can use the theoretical SD capabilities? All of my gadgets just use SD card as a dumping ground for data and that's it.

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