* Posts by Pen-y-gors

2778 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

UK consumer help bloke Martin Lewis is suing Facebook over fake ads

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Entirely agree. FB takes money to show adverts to specific targetted groups of people. It therefore has a responsibility to check those adverts. Would it let someone target an advert at 15-year-old girls that offered a lucrative career in glamour-modelling in Eastern Europe? I suspect not, so they have mechanisms in place to check adverts prior to publication. They take the money, they do due diligence. If that costs them money, then just put up the advert prices. Trump can afford it.

6
0

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Rental properties

It's not even much use for rental properties. Many cottages or flats I've rented in recent years just have a keysafe on the wall nearby, with a combination and a set of keys in. Change combi after each guest. Okay, trust them bot to cut a spare set!

1
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: High security?

Actually I communicate on-line by sending messages by semaphore to a mate on the next hill who types them in for me (hat tip to Owain y We - diolch boi!) .

I did think of that the value of computers, but to be honest I don't think the resale value of most computers and monitors, particularly 'hot' ones is particularly high these days. A new one suitable for most people is a few hundred quid. Hardly worth the hassle and risk to get £50 down the pub or the pawn-shop. A bad person has to do a lot of work to remove any identifying data and marks. I think upmarket phones are a better bet.

And totally off-topic, but the comment about a burglar not knowing it was rubbish. A mate used to work in IT for the Met plods quite a few years ago and had to go on raids with them to point out which things were computers, and floppy disks etc and actually needed to be seized and which things were adding machines and tills (old-style) which could be safely ignored.

3
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

High security?

Setting aside the usual 'elephant in the room' of really secure doors (the glass in the windows) I do have to question the basic premise. If you live somewhere where you are worried about the likelihood of people kicking in the front door, or drilling out the lock and stealing your valuables, or you are in the 28% who have home alarm systems, I have two suggestions. 1) Move or 2) don't bother with any valuables

Okay, I'm lucky. I don't have anything worth stealing and I live in the impoverished wilds of rural Wales, but what sort of life is it when you feel you have to live in a high-security prison, albeit one where you have a key?

15
0

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Most people are not just thick.

@AC

Our junior Physics teacher taught us that while liquid water is wet

That is open to a lengthy debate!

It can be argued that liquid water itself is not wet - it is the things that have been in contact with liquid water (skin, clothes, grass, roads) that are actually wet. Wet describes a state of something that is not normally wet.

5
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: DIME Bar?

a dentist-enriching packet of old english spangles.

Oh god, happy memories!

10
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

@short a sandwich

Is it me or does it smell vaguely of boiled cabbage and urine in here?

What's wrong with boiled cabbage?

4
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Saracen and Roland

No, just properly educated.

8
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Just don't ever casually mention to a USian that you've spent the weekend in Norfolk at a dyke-jumping contest.

21
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Are you seriously suggesting that schoolkids today don't read Chanson de Roland in the original Anglo-Norman? What kind of rubbish education our our children being given? How will they be ready for life in the modern world?

Next you'll tell me that they've dropped Thucydides and Caesar J from the curriculum!

23
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: That takes me back

@Rusrty1

or

--?-- --?-- - made to make your mouth water!

23
0

Soyuz later! Russia may exit satellite launch biz

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

TESS

There's a good story on the BBC news site about the TESS launch. Best bit was that the launch vehicle was mentioned almost as an aside. It's great that the payload is back to being the story, and not the Falcon. Cheap, private space vehicles are now routine.

19
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Maybe for commercial launches

Well, that's exactly what the article said!

14
2

We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Centre for Alternative Technology?

Given that these things are costing £25 million a pop and don't actually do anything, is it time for lateral thinking? How about a static met balloon on a long string with a camera attached? Or even a basket and a bloke with binoculars and a camera and parachute in case any of the Taliban Focker Triplanes get a bit close. A lot less than £25 million.

6
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

So...

they were due to be operational five years ago, and still aren't ready. They've gone way over budget. The Army has been on continuous active service in Iraq, Afghanistan and places around there for many years, but have managed without them. Time to cancel the order and get a full refund under the Sale of Goods Act - not fit for purpose. And add in a charge for doing their system testing for them.

32
0

Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Eh?

@Symon

"Scottish whiskey". It's Scottish whisky. The Irish have whiskey.

A common misconception - that's how it is usually seen today, but go back a hundred years and the two were interchangeable.

But to clarify, 'Bourbon' isn't whiskey OR whisky!

1
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Eh?

We distribute money and services to whoever, and wherever it's needed

ROFL! Barnett formula does not allow for differing needs, so the deprived areas stay deprived.

1
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Looks like the Register's expanded the use of the Silver badge...

@Not also known as SC

Edit - I’m intolerant of anyone with extreme views.

I quite agree - burn them! burn them AAAAALL!

5
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

@AC

Or, if we can edit your post slightly, in the context of the UK...

if they're lucky they pick up a few crumbs from policies built for the advantage of France and Germany England. And in all the big decisions, their democratic "say" is negligible. The EU UK runs for the real benefit of France, Germany England, and by historical accident, the tax haven of Luxembourg the Isle of Man.

So Wales and Scotland would be worse off how exactly? It's interesting that virtually every argument used by the Leavers for taking the UK out of the EU can also be used (in spades) to justify the breakup of the UK, but the Britnats don't seem to see the irony!

10
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Popular Front for the Liberation of England

Yep, it's a bit much, the Scots and Welsh whinging about being screwed economically for centuries. Tell, you what, I've a great idea. Why doesn't England just tell them to get stuffed and declare UDI from the Dis-united Kingdom. Then we'd see how Wales and Scotland can survive on their own, and how Norn Ireland copes in a united Ireland.

[And we can predict the result - Wales, Scotland, Ireland thrive in the EU and with their own UN seats. Much like all those other small countries without Tory governments manage to. No more being dragged into Westminster's wars. No more Tory governments. Good luck with that England!]

28
17
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Eh?

And there was me thinking that the Scots paid tax the same as the English. If it's actually a tax-free zone I may have to consider moving to Auchtermuchtie at once.

58
5

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

This echoes the earlier article today about the projected drop in smartphone sales in Europe.

The basic business model of the high-tech suppliers is screwed. In the reverse of the approach that worked for King Gillette and many others, they sell an expensive bit of kit and then walk away, hoping that when you get pissed off with it you'll buy another one (from them - how likely is that?). This doesn't guarantee a stable cashflow. Microsoft belatedly realised this with Windows and Office - sell it once, and people then expect support and updates free for the next decade. Now they're switching to (expensive) subscriptions, but they have a point.

If hardware manufacturers could work out a product structure which allowing incremental improvement and upgrade they could make a killing - sell the thingy for a reasonable price, but them sell some modular upgrades every year or two, until the customer finally goes for a new base unit after ten years. Steady income!

23
0

Best thing about a smart toilet? You can take your mobile in without polluting it

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Seen in an analogue lavatory years ago

@ John Presland

And that was a proper penny, big, heavy with Britannia on it!

11
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Na, wouldn't work for me. Coffee approx hourly until mid-afternoon. I am soooo looking forward to non-invasive continuous blood-glucose monitors!

Could be worse. My Dad had Parkinson's and was on a pill every hour throughout the day.

6
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

*** It is interesting that the Wikipedia biography omits to mention this unholy formative phase of his life.

Well, you know what to do - log on and start editing!

8
2
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Now with added functions

I saw an advert for one of these a few weeks ago. No wonder my life seems so empty and worthless.

10
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Method in their madness

Wouldn't be surprised if a bowl-cam is already on the way, as part of the diagnostic package. The top-of-the-range models already do a lot of medical diagnosis, and the cam will just assist with checking out the development of your Farmer Giles' - all uploaded to the Cloud and widely available on a YouTube channel near you.

8
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Method in their madness

I must confess that at times I see the adverts for the Japanese wonder-loos, with every mod-con, and wonder if one could be plumbed in to a Welsh cottage without blowing the village power supply. Warm air, warm water, music, bliss! I could take the laptop with me and it's the new office - not sure about client meetings though.

Not at all convinced about the smartphone control though. In fact totally unconvinced. For something like that you need a simple control panel next to the device. I mean, what about visitors? Do they lose out on all the 21st century wonderfulness? And for the 3am visit, the phone is probably on charge.

Just like all almost all IoT kit, goes way too far and becomes negatively useful.

23
0

British government to ink deal for yet another immigration database

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Continuing to waste public money

"There is simply no way to have an effective immigration control system in a country without a mandatory identity system."

Not at all. If you have an effective border control system, then you know that anyone who is within the borders has a right to be there, so no need for any form of identity.

27
4

Rudd-y hell, dark web! Amber alert! UK Home Sec is on the war path for stealthy cyber-crims

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Lots of our money being spent

"A trivial amount of money being spent" basically sums up the government/police approach to tackling cyber-crime. On the few occasions when I've had some interesting and solid info (IP addresses etc) to pass on about some phishing or actual attempted fraud, the only reply the local force give is "not us guv" (well, not us gwboi, actually) - they then point you at some London-based cyber-crime reporting unit, who don't actually do anything either, although they make their info available to the Met, who probably ignore it as well.

17
0

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Before the electronics...

Suspended cradle? You mean like the trays/tables etc they've had on small boats for donkey's years?

0
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Before the electronics...

I assume the original closed beer containers are 11 gallon barrels, (or even 22 gallon kilderkins) so transporting to the desk, while admirable, might be tricky.

1
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: More information

Can we assume standard beer glasses, or are they pint pots with handles?

Au contraire, mi amicus, this is the South of England we're talking about, so probably the naff weirdly-moulded things with handles.

2
1

Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Don't get it - It's like a competition to see who has the most stupid.

@A non e-mouse

" Who can handle the pain the longest?"

Wouldn't it make more sense to see who can handle extreme pleasure the longest? I'm thinking possibly Tantric sex here...

7
0

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Such a backdoor could be exploited by skilled miscreantsRussian hackers to also read people'sUS politicians's files and communications,"

FTFY - and that should be the death of any proposal

32
1

Holy helmets, Batman! Bane-like mask lets you 'talk' to computers without making a sound

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge
Headmaster

Spelling?

gadget on your fizog for it to work.

I'm sure it should be "phizog" - truncated form of physiognomy

14
1

Don't want to alarm you, but defence bods think North Korea could nuke UK 'within a few years'

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

You want to have something to worry about?

The USA already has nuclear missiles that can reach the UK - and Trump's little fingers are holding the button.

20
1

1.5 BEEELLION sensitive files found exposed online dwarf Panama Papers leak

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Nothing to see here...

Quantity is not the same as quality. Not good to leak personal records like payroll etc as it might open an individual to potential fraud, but billions of dull files are rather less important than the stuff in the Panama Papers, which was really very revealing.

8
6

Shhh! Don’t tell KillBots the UN’s about to debate which ones to ban

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Or GOGEOTHCPTTCOPOROTUOCCWWMBDTBEIOTHIE for short.

Yep, it's a village on the way to Llanfihangel-nant-Melan - it means "The cave by the pile of coprolites where the sheep graze in the long valley" (Cwwm is a long valley)

6
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Cynical? Moi?

Moving people with possible spinal injuries is not a good idea, I agree.

But my original point is more about the moral or ethical right thing, rather than practical physics, engineering or medicine. It's about behaviour.

4
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Cynical? Moi?

Some commentards are understandably a bit cynical about this. But we shouldn't be. Yes, we can't just ban war and violence overnight, but every step towards reducing and ending it should be welcomed. With laws in place there is the potential for perpetrators to face justice for their crimes. It's distressingly slow, and many people literally get away with murder - but some don't. And if we can make war, and those who assist by making and selling weapons, unacceptable then we will be going in the right direction. Let's start by ostracising arms manufacturers and sellers. Let's hear more voices raised against May and the Tories helping to kill children in the Yemen.

Yes, I'm an idealist, even if I'm also a bit cynical. Remember the wise words of E F Schumacher

"We must do what we conceive to be the right thing, and not bother our heads or burden our souls with whether we are going to be successful. Because if we don't do the right thing, we'll be doing the wrong thing, and we will just be part of the disease, and not a part of the cure."

8
7

Commonwealth Games brochure declares that England is now in Africa

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: That's Brexit for you

Well, give it a few years and England will be economically indistinguishable from the Gambia. It's an understandable error.

9
5

Danish Navy expert finds no trace of exhaust gas in private submarine

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

...allegedly

9
0

Which? leads decrepit email service behind barn, single shot rings out over valley

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Transfer?

Good point. I was thinking more of a deal with a GDPR-compliant mail provider, who will host the addresses on their existing set-up. Ideally several months ago they e-mail clients about the transfer, with clear guidance on downloading and saving old e-mail (but I bet most of them are running Outlook Express on XP anyway), and then the active customers start with a clean slate on the new supplier, but keeping their lovely old address. Inactive ones are dropped before GDPR deadline.

3
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Transfer?

Shirley they could have negotiated to transfer the service to a new provider, so that users can retain their @which.net addresses ? Might have cost a few quid but good publicity (as opposed to the publicity they'll get for this)

20
0

Indian comms satellite gives boffins back home the silent treatment

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Wrong Priorities

And one of the best tools for educating people, and improving economic possibilities is the mobile phone, so trying to improve national comms capability makes a lot of sense for India. In parts of Africa the humble feature phone allows people to check prices at nearby markets, and to transfer money without a bank account. And as for education...where do I start?

5
1
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Not good news

...for the hundreds of call-centre staff on board.

33
0

One solution to wreck privacy-hating websites: Flood them with bogus info using browser tools

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Spam-fighting?

Several comments have likened this to the war against spam, but it seems to me that potentially we are winning the e-mail spam war. It used to be dire. I have used hundreds of throw-away email addresses and many made it on to 'useful' lists of e-mails for spammers.

These days (everything forwards to gmail) I get about one or two spam messages a week in my inbox, and about 30-40 a day in my spam box. False positives (good stuff in spam) about one a month. That's a pretty good hit rate.

So if we can get the same results with killing tracking I'll be happy.

2
0

Happy 100th birthday to the Royal Air Force

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Somewhere I think, buried in a box, I have some old publicity brochures that my father was given in the 1960s(?) about the P1127 - the Harrier prototype. They may be of interest to a museum somewhere if I can find them.

2
0
Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

And another grandfather...

Joined the RFC in WWI, learned to fly (I have some lovely photos, including one of an unidentified aircraft nose down in the mud with him next to it) - he was at Brooklands (think Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines) and I have a photo of him in some racing car by one of the stands.

He must have been a good pilot as he seems to have never seen active duty, but stayed on at the Flying School as an instructor. At least one of his pupils became quite famous.

<rambling anecdote mode>

Many years ago I was watching something on telly about George VI and his stammer. "It's funny", pipes up Mam, "When Papa knew him in the war he never stammered" - quick double take - "Yes, they used to go for long walks in the country together. Got on really well" Whut?

Next part of story - discovered from an odd source that the Duke of York (later Geo VI) was the first member of the Royal Family to learn to fly, in 1918. So, I wonder who taught him? One day I may contact the Royal Archives.

<off>

Tadcu served until 1919, then went off to do other things - including a failed attempt to re-open a Welsh lead mine - before returning to the RAF in 1939. He was based at St Athan throughout the war and had the amazingly dangerous job of flying damaged aircraft back to St Athan for repairs, and then back to base once they've been (hopefully) fixed. After the war he notionally stayed in the RAF for a few years but was transferred to the Allied Control Commission, and was based in Solingen in Germany, supervising the destruction of weapons and the conversion of industry back to civil work.

Fascinating career, but he sadly died in 1963 when I was but a lad. I wish I'd known him better.

In pride of place on my wall are his commissioning certificates as an officer in the RFC and the RAF (twice), plus my own father's RAF commission.

I'd include a link to some of the photos, but that would give away my secret identity!

12
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018