* Posts by PhilipN

745 posts • joined 12 Oct 2010


Turn on, tune in, drop out: Apple's whizz-bang T2 security chips hit a bum note for Mac audio

PhilipN Silver badge

Turn on ...

Those of us from an even earlier generation can visualise the sub-editor sitting cross-legged on the floor with flowers in his/her hair trying hard to remember anything else but this mantra from "back then'*

*the '60's, kids

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

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Re: Blame

Trivium .... quadrivium ....

By repute the typical school marm in the one-room school in every one-horse town in early US of A could teach Euclid

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

PhilipN Silver badge

Usenet anecdote

Tangential but worth recording for posterity.

A well known guitarist with an avid fan base passed on.

The next day a whole bunch of new newsgroups had been set up. Purpose? When looking at the list of groups by name in alphabetical order the new ones formed, graphically, the words "Jerry Garcia".

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence

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Doesn’t Work

“I never said a word.”

“Yes, he did, Your Honour. He admitted .....”

“Where is the bodycam record, Officer?”

“He snatched it, Your Honour, threw it on the ground and stamped on it. Hence the additional charge of criminal damage.”

Maybe I’m biased from (professional) experience with our wonderful London policemen some time ago but, put it this way, a Defendant with front teeth broken would have been charged with trying to bite the cop’s kneecap.

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

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Rent-a-parent; There's an App for that; student dating network

Got to be an actual IT angle here so it does not have to be a bootnote.

Rent-a-parent including a robotic one leads to the AI debate but there again I am old enough to pre-date the mini-skirt era. When I saw some of the Mum's (and their thighs) delivering the little kids to school I would have gladly swapped mine. (Sorry, Mum - kidding; and Freud can f*** off).

Apple hands keys for retail to HR boss amid flagging iPhone sales

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Re: At least they're consistent

I wonder who in actuality was responsible for the poor market analysis, sales projections and pricing.

Easier question : who was not responsible? Given the breadth of such executive failures I nominate the tea boy, the janitor and night-shift security. Maybe a coder or two. They are the only ones justified in wearing a “Worn’t me” badge. Pretty much everyone else should do the mea culpa thingy.

Oh forget it. Nobody resigns in shame these days.

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

PhilipN Silver badge


What are the blighters feeding on? And - side issue - who fed the first inhabitants, thereby engendering a whole colony (unless the household rubbish is not properly disposed of)?

Eliminating the food supply gets rid of a lot of animals, teenagers included.

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

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Ta, Dabbsy. Good choice, since we can look on in amazement that McCluskey and Co actually looked like that in the same way we can look back aghast at having the monstrosity which was Notes foisted upon us.

But Andy Stewart?? No, no, that was way below the belt. Now I shall be humming A Scottish Soldier all night. So - misery loves company :


Fine, we'll do it the Huawei, says Uncle Sam: CFO charged with fraud, faces extradition to US over Iran trade claims

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1/2 the world

A remark attributed to Gandhi : “Western Civilisation? Yes that would be a good idea.”

Otherwise you are free to hold your (not even tangentially relevant to the article) opinions even though they are completely justified only in the sense that a thousand Hollywood war movies are historical fact.

PhilipN Silver badge

The forge and the crucible

The era of the blast furnace is over and the era of the laboratory well under way. There were good reasons why Britain kick started the first, and why Silicon Valley was pre-eminent in the second. Here comes the next wave and Uncle Sam doesn’t like it. It started years ago when (for example) the latest feature from Nokia was replicated within weeks, or even days, by the energetic buggers in Shenzhen. Now it is unstoppable or, if as appears to be the case, the U.S. is bent on applying huge resources to preserve its diminishing advantages it will not be for the good of all.


Whats(goes)App must come down... World in shock as Zuck decides to intertwine Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp

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No need

It’s ok. He admits to being confused.

Hardworking Americans keep busy during the government shutdown driving up smut traffic

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Appalling, El Reg

How can you unashamedly publish such an article. "Very, very NSFW" is atrocious grammar!!

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

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‘Cos nobody’s mentioned it.

{waves ‘bye going out the door and no-one looks up}

I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

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Honor Blackman

Probably the UK's best ever sex symbol. She and Patrick Macnee once had a record out called "Kinky Boots". One of Kenny Everett's Top 30 Worst Ever, but if memory serves it got into the Top 20, maybe even the Top 10 real Hit Parade.

Are we even allowed to say "sex symbol" or "kinky" these days? I guess nobody today understands the resonance of "Carry On Up The Khyber" either. On the other hand, Kenneth Williams' "fakir off" would most likely raise no eyebrows, even Matron's, who would probably use it daily.

Lawyers' secure email network goes down, firm says it'll take 2 weeks to restore

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Old Tech Solution >

The Senior Partner in a law firm I was with in a previous lifetime once said only half joking he wanted a neon-lit sign on his door saying "Fuck off".

Somehow I think he would have reported his email system broken and useless, perhaps on a daily basis.

Now that would be a "MeToo" movement for the rest of us.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

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Weren’t accessible from the main roads

And a miserable to non-existent mobile signal?

Way-hay! Show me where! That is exactly where I want to be at weekends.

Well, weekdays too but .... needs must.

Zuck's 2019 tech talk tour should tackle the questions Facebook spent 2018 dodging

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Second rate country

How dare you, sir! I am damn proud to be a citizen of a second rate country run by Muppets.

Pistols at dawn!

PhilipN Silver badge

"..as an engineer.."

Explains everything. There was a time back towards the '80's when more and more large companies were being run by "engineers". Fine. Indeed very fine when things were going swimmingly. Not when they were not. The typical engineer running a business with balance sheets and such could not rationalise the tanking in sales, ballooning of debt and mayhem caused by markets, customers and banks. "Me...? ME????"

My Dad was an engineer ("Hello World") but he was equally cynical of "engineers" who never had to plunge their arms up to the elbows into a bucket of Swarfega.

Smartphones gateway drug to the Antichrist, says leader of Russian Orthodox Church

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Re: "A lawless, dangerous world"

Spot on. And even earlier. Take a shufti when you have a moment at the Code of Hammurabi. Won’t take long ‘cos just a glance at the first few items indicates how many things you could be executed for back then*. Many subsequent cultures took the lead from it so it has influence all the way up to today.

*In a glaring omission, did not include using a mobile phone.

Reg Standards Bureau introduces the Devon fatberg as coastal town menaced by oily blob

PhilipN Silver badge

Close to the sea?

You mean - that is where the pipe is aiming and where its (usual) contents will go?

Point 1 - Urggh.

Point 2 - Can we have more fatbergs please.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

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Blade Runner

If anyone has already commented approvingly on the pic at the top I have not spotted it, so : good choice, AD.

Smart move of the film makers to choose a look-alike sound-alike young version* of Harrison Ford to do the interrogation.

*Clone? Replicant? Now, now - do NOT hijack this forum with a BR digression.

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

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Proving a negative

Yup - cannot as a matter of logic be done. Although I cannot prove that ....

Can’t wait for AI to take over and eliminate humans completely, because after all this is what this article and commentary prospectively is all about.

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

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Re: Ruler and compass

Someone is going to have to tell me how long this may take.

I am genuinely intrigued because I learnt just enough maths at school to understand there is a point to such exercises without knowing WTF it is.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

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Crossing the Line

That was when FB, a simple social facility, following the decision of its bankers drooling over fees, agreed to list at US$100B+.

Then (1) the upper executive echelon inside FB were carried away in a total state of hubris and (2) they had to adopt one desperate measure after another to generate income to justify the hype, and the price. Item (2) was made easier because high-flying IT graduates* with the same dollar signs instead of irises flocked to FB and its incentive schemes expecting to get wealthy within 3 years or, hopefully, sooner.

*with apologies to the vast majority of IT graduates who maintain their prInciples.

Happy Christmas! Bloodhound SSC refuelled by Yorkshire business chap

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Fuel pumped by a Jaguar V8 engine

My Jag has what I suppose is the same engine. Since I already have the base module I just need to bolt on the jet engine. There's a fixer-upper on eBay :


Anyone got a garden shed so I can get started?

Explanation for across-the-ponders : example of self-deprecating British irony.

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Lance Percival sketch

From long ago, LP climbing in pantomime fashion up a sheer rock face, the commentator posing the same series of "why?" questions.

LP reaches the top, looks at the camera, says "Because it's there" and extending one arm points to : a small wooden hut labelled "W.C.".

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

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Ugh. Do not know whether it was actually the graphics on a VGA monitor or (or as well as) splattering organs but I succumbed to something like motion sickness in less than 2 minutes. Is it any better on modern systems? Cannot try since just thinking about it makes me queasy. Ok so it was the blood and guts.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Stupid Yank Phrases

As you wish. In that case I shan’t visit with you either.

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning

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Alternative business model please

Today's internet was built on the back of advertisers' dollars, yes? Was there another way? I am genuinely interested.

We all or most of us pay a monthly stipend for the bandwidth, not that much different in principle from the days of ftp, gopher, etc but would we have had all the graphical and multimedia content?

Reminds me the thinking is that porn was behind the growth of VHS.

Any advance on ads, porn ..... ?

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: I give you...

UV to FB* for the FZ reference

*The poster not the site

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

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Surprised nobody has yet said it

but memories fade, even about "embrace, extend, extinguish".

And the Browser Wars

And the DoJ case against Microsoft (q.v.)

At least MS have learnt : last time around they went with the NCSA Mosaic donkey. Now they are riding the competitor's thoroughbred.

P.S. I would not have wanted an Andreessen-controlled planet either.

Surface Book 2 afflicted by mystery Blue Screen Of Death errors

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Re: A veritable smorgasbord of fixes

Yes - Classified as a fix as in “I am in a bit of a fix”.

Which means, allowing for British understatement, all hell just broke loose.

Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch, finance VP Stephen Chamberlain charged with fraud in US

PhilipN Silver badge

"hit quarterly targets so as to pocket fat performance-linked bonuses"

Uhhh yeah? Thought that's how all US executives operate?*

So if sales are flat find another company to buy to hit the target by consolidating sales.

Even better make it an overseas company so the executives can go off for a jolly occasionally.

and again and again

*On the other hand I was a pimply-faced newbie in the City of London when I first heard the expression "window-dressing" to (cough! cough!) "improve" the balance sheet ahead of results time.

Dog with 'psychotic tendencies' escapes home to poop on his neighbours' pillows

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It's a what?

Must confess I look askance at people, and the animal, when they say "It's a XYZ/ABC cross". Some things are not intended by Nature.

Q: If Pesky Pepper had a peek at patient papers, at how many patient papers did Pesky Pepper peek? A: 231

PhilipN Silver badge

(for US readers)

Many of them have been there. Suffolk too.

Went to school there. Flew for the USAF there ...

Look up Feltwell, Lakenheath and Mildenhall

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

PhilipN Silver badge

Not surprised

Good article. FWIW since it is tangential I took delivery of the Mate 20 Pro phone a week ago and I am mightily impressed, not just with the phone but in the sense that Huawei are making some very smart, coherent and thoughtful decisions to push themselves up the sales charts in both phones and PC’s.

Bound to be in fact already is political pushback against Huawei but if this gives the PC industry a much-needed boot up the arse it is a Good Thing.

P.S. 32.5 cm tall? You mean y.... Oh the bag is 32.5 cm. Phew!

International politicos gather round to grill Dick, head of Facebook policy, on data slurping

PhilipN Silver badge


Love it! Phonetically almost identical to “F-Word”.

Think I’ll use that name as part of all my login credentials from now on.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg can't remember smear firm, but 'some of their work' crossed her desk

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Did you see it?

The main statement : “ double-check whether anything had crossed my desk”. Smart move - making sure first there is no paper trail so she can say whatever the hell she likes. How could she not know?

She ain’t presidential material though: they are past masters at “plausible deniability” without so clumsily demonstrating how they achieve it.

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

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Re: You paid

You may need to explain to non-Brits that a Danegeld is a large dog which has been neutered.

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

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No no you have it all wrong

Not broken. NOT withdrawn. Just paused.

It was pining for the fjords.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

PhilipN Silver badge

It works

Exactly. Coincidentally just before seeing this piece I was thinking of winding back a Mac Pro to an earlier iteration of the OS, under which a super-duper Esi-audio card not only worked but worked magnificently. Unplug/switch off the ‘net, plug in the drive with the FLAC’s/MP3’s and time to wake up the *****g neighbours. Now why would I need Mojave or W10 for that?

Bill Gates joined on stage by jar of poop as he confesses deep love for talking about toilets

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Attack the Source

Respectfully, seems you misunderstood the connection alluded to in my post between todgers and infants.

I could explain but this is one time I can felicitously say I can't be arsed.

PhilipN Silver badge

Attack the Source

No, that’s not what I meant.

I know this is going to attract an inflammatory response and, tragic it is that so many infants are at risk, might I suggest it would be better in those places where the risk is greatest if the blokes were encouraged to keep their todgers under control?

In memoriam: See you in Valhalla, Skype Classic. Version 8 can never replace you

PhilipN Silver badge

“..based on your feedback...”

Is what MS always say when they’re harpooning another user favourite.

Be happy : “The theoretical argument against democracy is, of course, that man being prone to evil, something external to him and indifferent to his passions must be put up to govern him; the people will corrupt themselves, but a despot or an oligarchy, when it has satisfied its corrupt desires, still has a wide margin over which it may rule well because it is indifferent.”

I was stifling a chuckle nay a guffaw while writing that. Must be ‘cos I take comfort from MS’ protection against you corrupt bastards.

Grumbling about wobbly Windows 10? Microsoft can't hear you over the clanging cash register

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Buzz words - the more times you say it ......

“Innovation” dates back to Ballmer - and he even remembers to say it again.

“Digital transformation” is a new one on me : count how many times MS execs use it in the next 6-12 months.

I wonder how much they pay the PR people to come up with these Orwellisms?

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

PhilipN Silver badge

Senior European Politician

Who's that, then?

Thought it was an article about Clegg.

Crucial P1 minicard flash drive? Not if you grabbed Intel's 660p

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: I'll never buy another

Same here.

That is to say I have forsworn getting another Crucial NVMe thingy.

Not because the one I got was crap (although eventually that was proven to be the case) but because I was too late (thinking the problem may be with my machinery - which is quite picky when it comes to NVMe - and then trying different formulations) to get help from Amazon, and when (per Amazon suggestion) I emailed Crucial to recover the ridiculous amount I paid they did not even reply.*

Once bitten .....

FWIW one of the things I tried was a PCIe adapter which takes NVMe SSD's. The Crucial one did not register. Threw it in the bin. Bought another - non-Crucial - and it is fine.

*P.S. I do not live in the USA so getting redress is sometimes too much of a PITA.

That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

PhilipN Silver badge

Will die - no

Judging by the number of punters at the Surface counter at the local digi-shop compared with those at other counters, it is already dead*

*Save for corporations finagled into buying them in bulk

Apache OpenOffice, the Schrodinger's app: No one knows if it's dead or alive, no one really wants to look inside

PhilipN Silver badge

Re: Reminder for macos users

"the NeoOffice engineers have continually added improvements to NeoOffice that you will not find in OpenOffice or LibreOffice such as:

Native Dark Mode

NeoOffice > Open at Launch menu to open Calc or Impress instead of Writer at launch

File > Browse All Versions menu to restore previous versions of your documents

Native file locking to safely edit files in iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or network drives

Native Mac grammar checking

Native Mac text highlighting

Support for Mac Services

Native floating tool windows"

And :

WordPerfect support

PhilipN Silver badge

Reminder for macos users



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