* Posts by David 18

115 posts • joined 27 Jul 2010


How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

David 18

Re: Long way around the barn!

"I hit the roof, then hit the bar. There was no reception desk, only grinning children with tablets (they were probably labelled, "you miss your pet, so here's one, only more stupid!"). Awful!"

So you have stayed in the Liverpool Ibis too then?

Science says death metal fans delightful and intelligent people, great at dinner parties

David 18

Boring Pigeonholes

Too many people listen to certain genres of music to project a persona. Then there are the bores (a few in evidence here) who are all about desperately trying to appear more knowledgeable about their chosen genres, delighting in pointing out the minute differences between sub-genres and prattling on about how x genre or artist is not "real" music, because it is not to their taste, or "call that cheese-grater-mousetrap metal! Kuh, any fule knows that's INDUSTRIAL-cheese-grater-mousetrap metal!"

I say to all of them, grow up and just appreciate what moves you. Music and art are to be enjoyed for so many reaosns but mainly they make you feel something - and that will be different for everybody. What you listen to does not reflect who or what you are, but might provide a glimpse of what is going on in your head at that time, if you are clever enough to interpret it and know the listener well.

I am just as likely to be listening to Slipknot to wind down on my commute if angry (it helps get the frustration out) or some nice Baroque music to soothe it away. But I am equally as likely to be listening to a bit of SRV, Albert King, JJ Cale, Pink Floyd, Count Basie because I like it and it moves me in different ways. I'm not so keen on Pop, because a lot of it does not move /me/, I suspect most of it is not intended to. There are exceptions, I like "Happy" for example and many Abba tracks - well constructed. Even some Rap, Hip-Hop, trance etc is excellent.

Just enjoy music for what it is and stop trying to read crap into it.

What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

David 18

Bad/Good(?) article timing.

I wonder if Dabbsy is annoyed at being just to early to make reference to the "Smart" car alarm problems all over the news today, or feeling like a soothsayer by pre-empting the Beeb.


In hilariously petulant move, Apple shuts Texas stores and reopens them few miles down the road – for patent reasons

David 18

Re: Perhaps an empty gesture

What a strange place the Disjointed States of America is.

Wanted: DVLA CTO. Must love cloud, open standards, agile – and retiring outdated kit

David 18

Great :(

Oh Gawd! The only one of the .gov.uk sites that works really well, is quick and intuitive - can't have that now can we!

Accused hacker Lauri Love loses legal bid to reclaim seized IT gear

David 18

Yep, without knowing all the facts it seems like colossal prejudice, not a quality one wants to see in the judiciary.

David 18

Is this how far we have sunk?

Disclaimer: I have not followed all the intricacies of his troubles.

From the content of this article, no presumption of innocence, not even charged with any crime yet treated as a criminal.

A simple magistrate ruling on what a hard drive contains, without any evidence one way or another.

A magistrate chastising an autistic man for not being able to get a job, not only autistic which makes it hard enough, but one living under a cloud of suspicion but never charged with anything so unable to prove his innocence in a real court of law. Then further belittling him because the tax payer has to fund his court appearance to get his equipment back. I hope some right-thinking brief offers to take up his case pro-bono and reams that magistrate a new one!

I used to think we had the best judiciary in the world (probably still do if you exclude the magistrates).

Charge him with something, or give his stuff back. We are not a police state yet.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

David 18

Plenty of financial institutions need to buck up.

I always point people to the XKCD when they extol complex passwords, and always use pass phrases where possible.

It grips my shit when sites then LIMIT you to 8-20 characters (I'm looking at you NS&I), prevent you using spaces or certain special characters. What god-awful sort of plain text, crappy storage are they using behind the scenes to warrant that downright negligence. Arseholes.

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

David 18

Re: Time to have another public Brexit vote?

Upvoted for the nice analogy, but please don't lump all of us UK citizens in the same boat please.

I'm as embarrassed by the Brexiteers as I suspect most thoughtful, intelligent and imaginative Americans are by their sorry excuse for a president.

David 18

In her letter, Moriarty said: "We have identified key communication milestones and are developing messaging with specific calls to action for IT readiness in each project's communication plan."

In other words: said precisely nothing of any note or value, but no doubt had other know-nothings nodding sagely in full agreement at what a splendid roadmap it was.

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

David 18

Re: "Apple had no duty to disclose the facts regarding software capability and battery capacity."

I also agree with most of your point, except " Batteries last best if they have full charge/discharge cycles - a laptop pretty much living off a power cord will not have a battery pack that lasts long. "

Not with Li-ion batteries. You want one of those to last well, keep it topped up as often as possible.

It was an eye opener for me when I found out, and why I got 5+ good years out of my Samsung S5 battery.


Q. What do you call an IT admin for 20-plus young children? A. A teacher

David 18

"I'd've thought school students would be a good case for biometric security. "

Biometrics are also just an ID, not a password. At least a QR code can be changed when compromised. We don't want another generation thinking biometrics are effective and secure

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

David 18

Re: Cow orker

"How does one ork a cow? Is this a euphemism or a real thing?'

I'm not sure, but I believe it's the end-game of the cow-tippers, when they are left undisturbed for a while.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

David 18

I stand corrected, thank you. I hate making mistakes like that.

I don't speak Italian, but it does make me wince when I see sandwich shops advertising Paninis, doubly so when it's Panini's

David 18

"Single or double destiny?"

Bravo, sir! (Or madam)

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

David 18

Re: Military Ship Radar

Hope they don't do it again, I live very close overlooking the pond. My loft with my server in it is almost at exactly the same height as the radar arrays on Albion!

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

David 18

Re: Interesting idea


"Also climatology is no longer a science, it is a belief system. In any scientific field you can question any conclusion without being called a denier!"

I thought I was the only one! My biggest problem with the whole debate is the language of religion being used in science. Anyone (going back a few years now) who questioned that proven unreliable computer models were not scientific proof was pilloried. Disgusting, when directed at eminent scientists.

I have been labelled a Creationist Brexiteer by virtue signalling arty types (who now suddenly "FL Science" without any concept of scientific method) because I have some reservations. (I am an atheist, liberal remainer btw with a lifetime of concern for the environment and pollution by nastier things than plant food!).

A long time ago I did ponder whether the whole thing was cooked up to make people not want oil as it was running out anyway, and making people frightened to use something works a damned sight better than telling them they can't.

In the last year or so, I have come to think that it probably is happening - there is some good science happening after all, and the models are just about starting to reflect reality.

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

David 18

Maybe they are simply aligning products

The Xbox 360 was a huge hit, so maybe they are aiming for Office 360.

Although at the rate it's going they will be aligned their most recent console and will be producing Office One

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

David 18

Re: How are these supposed to save energy

@Steve K

But we all know that reality and science and engineering principles mean nothing in the debates about energy use. All that matter is that you are seen to be doing the right thing, however wrong or misguided. Hence the Toyota Pious

David 18

Re: How are these supposed to save energy

The only conceivable way I can see that they could ave money is indirectly. Meter readers get laid off, usage stats get sold = more money for energy companies that can be passed on as saving to the customer.

Yeah right! Big bonuses for the top execs more like.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

David 18

Re: As someone who currently designs chip-enabled cat interface devices...


"WTF. Are we getting a generation who can only do things via their phone?"

You have to ask? :)

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

David 18

Re: Pfffft.


Whoosh = The sound of low flying jokes passing overhead. I presume you missed the other deliberate mistakes?

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

David 18

Re: Hahaha...

@Kubla Cant

"It's hard to make walking expensive."

Millets et al seem to be giving it a bloody good try!

Bombing raids during WWII sent out shockwaves powerful enough to alter the Earth's ionosphere

David 18

Just the Allies?

"The volume of bombs dropped by the Allied Forces in the Second World War were powerful enough..."

Guess the Axis powers' bombs weren't powerful enough?

Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

David 18

What about the waste products?

Not the most charming of subjects while eating my lunch, but....

What about the inevitable waste products produced from eating the hipster sandwich and overpriced alpine spring water? How is one supposed to relieve oneself without losing the place in the queue?

Maybe I should create a disruptive startup called DeliverPoo, although that's a bit like a return to the night soilmen of old. But hey, if it's on a carbon-neutral bike and has an app associated with the service then it's new and disruptive right?

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge

David 18

@ Martin Gregorie

"OMR is old, tested and reliable technology:"

See the problem word there is "Old". Every fule know old=bad, newer is ALWAYS better. Tested and reliable are not important.

HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

David 18

"Not aware"

"We've identified that this issue has happened very recently, and we're not aware of anyone's data being compromised."

If the men in the middle did their work properly how would they be aware!

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

David 18

Re: Anonymous apparel

"We could all simply wear sheets on the streets and no longer brand anything. Then you wouldn't need ads on websites making you buy the latest whatever. What a dismal state of affairs. Just like North Korea."

I can't quite decide whether that's a better example of a false dichotomy or a straw man.

Either way it's total bollox. Presumably from someone wasting their life working in marketing, or a victim - in which case it's not too late, you can get help, keep reading comments on here from the grizzled oldsters who have been there, seen it, done it and got the (unbranded) T-Shirt.

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

David 18

Re: University

What a monumentally stupid university! They are just absolutely ensuring that their users will write it down, almost certainly somewhere stupid.

Whenever the subject of password strength arises here, I refer them to this:


Don't get me started on bloody stupid biometrics - they should never be used for anything but identification, never authentication. I haven't made any friends pissing on the parade of breathless tech junkies extolling the virtue of their super-secure fingerprint enabled phones. "But it HAS to be super secure, it's NEW and BIOMETRIC!"

Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach

David 18


I bet what really happened is they just ran the Access upsizing wizard on it.

Actually no, that's not funny, you could probably cobble together a better database in Access!

David 18


"More than 21,000 schools trust SIMS everyday"

I suspect significantly fewer than 21,000 trust it each of these last few days.

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

David 18

Re: Real benefit—or entrapment?

@Milton - It's a shame I can't upvote you more than once, so have a pint instead.

You've hit it right on the head.

Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

David 18

How about...

/dev/null ?

UK military may recruit wheezy, alcoholic keyboard warriors

David 18

Re: "At last! A valid use of a 'hacker in a hoodie' stereotype stock image"

@Adam Foxton Have a pint, couldn't remember the exact quote and you go there first ;)

No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

David 18

Burn the heretic!

"....and the amount of solar radiation received on Earth also changes affecting the climate."

I thought it was heresy, punishable by death by a thousand cuts from the pseudo-scientific Twitterati, to even suggest that solar radiation could affect climate in any way.

Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

David 18

Re: Help me with my latin here…

""tuitive", same root as tuition, so it means "teachable", or, I guess "learnable"? Says the right thing about in-tuitive things, really."

Not quite. I did wonder myself, but different etymology.

Tuition from tueri (to watch, guard)

Intuition from intueri (Consider)

Anyone with a classical Latin education please feel free to correct me, I am not at home with access to proper books so had to trust Google.

Grab your lamp, you've pulled: Brits punt life-saving gravity-powered light

David 18

Re: Oh look

"And for our next trick - the waterwheel!

If you can make one that works in a desert, I'm sure the world will beat a path to your door."

If you combine it with something to catch small rodents and use them to drive the wheel they certainly will!

David 18

"Who is the hater downvoting all the comments? Weird to see 1 downvote of every post. Disgruntled competitor maybe?"

An idiotic, ignorant, imbecile with an aversion to alliterative annotations?

‘I broke The Pentagon’s secure messaging system – and won an award for it!’

David 18
Black Helicopters

Wonder when the NSA will notice this

I expect El Reg towers will get a knock on the door soon from some serious looking blokes with odd bulges in their jackets, asking for the details of this contributor.

Or they may have already had a good poke around the files of course.

Can't log into your TSB account? Well, it's your own fault for trying

David 18

Re: Arrrgh!

"I recently wasted 15 minutes watching a sci-fi movie called Arrowhead. (2016) I honestly thought that they had stopped making such crap in the 80s. It should have gone straight to VHS tape and only be shown in Alaska!"

Nooo, they are still churning them out 10 a penny, you can find them on SciFi Channel, I occasionally get duped by the synopses if I have a rare couple of hours to kill at the weekend and get drawn in. Often they are so bad it's funny, so i watch the whole thing.

British government to ink deal for yet another immigration database

David 18

How does one get a slice of this pie?

Is there a secret club that one must be a member of, which allows access to this trough of cash that all these incompetent outsourced companies have their noses in?

Nice work if you can get it, almost limitless cash for a relatively simple database project, with the the bonus that you do not even need to deliver!

I'm guessing the costs are so high because there is an army of "project managers" on ~£100k pa who waffle endlessly with each other about stakeholders and owners in their interminable meetings, but know nothing about actually managing a project, or the work involved. They then employ consultants at £000s per day to tell them what their tech guys have already told them and then pass the work (and the buck) to third parties, who have their own "Project Managers".

Eventually the actual work ends up in the lap of one or two developers in a windowless room getting paid peanuts, in the form of a vague, but wordy spec with some pretty diagrams and a ludicrous project "plan" drawn up in Excel with arbitrary deadlines plucked out of the air.

'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

David 18

@Lee D

Did a similar thing years ago, but still get between 5 and 10 mailings a month from the evil cult of scientologists to a former resident. We have lived there for over 16 years now.

They have an office in town, I sometimes wonder what nastiness I could post through their door and stay on the right side of the law....

Cambridge Analytica 'privatised colonising operation', not a 'legitimate business', says whistleblower

David 18

Re: The BBC


"I often think this.. but afraid to admit I'm a closet Radio 4 listener.. as my wife says, "Isn't that a station for old people?".. Unfortunately I leave evidence (forgetting to switch stations before getting out of the car!)."

Sorry had to downvote, just for your wife's comment, please pass it on.

Please also let her know that no, it's not for "old" people, it's for intelligent, articulate people of any age who are interested in a wide variety of interesting topics, who wish to expand their knowledge and experience. it is the last bastion of truly balanced and challenging debate you are likely to find on any broadcast medium anywhere in the world.

I would happily continue to pay my TV licence fee purely to keep Radio 4 going in its current state.

It is not for vapid, boring, people interested only in fashion and celebrity who just want to absorb and consume. (Not casting aspersions on your wife by the way, get her try it, she might like it. Tell her not to worry what other people think.)

Cambridge Analytica CEO suspended – and that's not even the worst news for them today

David 18

Re: OK, that's it!


"By the way, I didn't use the word "racist", but you did. Nor did I say you had a FB profile, so I'm not sure what "facts" you think you're referring to."

He did provide ample evidence of being a simpleton however.

Stephen Hawking dies, aged 76

David 18

Re: @ Professor Clifton Shallot

"I'm of the opinion that the average effective IQ of this species just dropped by a statistically significant amount :( "

Could return to yesterday's average if anything unfortunate were ever to happen to Trump.

Copper feel, fibre it ain't: Ads regulator could face court for playing hard and fast with definitions

David 18

Re: Alternative naming?

Don't forget the added AI!

A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

David 18

Re: And despite all this users telemetry...

"You still need UI experts, not "designers"."

Thank god, I was getting worried, almost at the bottom of the page and nobody had mentioned it. Although the article is giving proper designer a bad name I think, real designers are like engineers and make things work, stylists and marketeers have taken over the real designers' jobs, sadly.

I thought the other premise of the article that "this is what improves software over time" way off the mark. I have come across very little software that is actually better in any meaningful or productive way with every release. Still got the same bugs; more bugs introduced; familiar, de-facto standard, UIs re-arranged or stripped; lots of shiny added for no benefit; then the original, minimal and useful shiny taken away so you don't know which window is active.... I could go on.

UK.gov calls on the Big Man – GOD – to boost rural broadband

David 18

A case of Bits in the Belfry then.

Gawd that was bad, sorry.

Oh dear, Capita: MPs put future UK.gov outsourcing in the spotlight

David 18

Commercial Confidentiality? This is public work.

"Dowden said the government met with Capita yesterday to discuss contingency plans, but declined to discuss details, citing commercial confidentiality."

"Commercial?" This is a company taking massive wads of our money, in a democracy they should not be able to hide behind "commercial" reasons without an extremely good reason. If they can't be open and transparent in their dealings with local and national government then they should not be dealing with them.

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

David 18

Old Version?

Have they tried http://www.oldversion.com/ do you think?


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