* Posts by Goldmember

512 posts • joined 21 Feb 2011


Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020


Re: It was...

Yep... Well not so much difficulty in writing apps, just a massive faff and needless extra effort having to rewrite apps which already existed. I wrote some corporate WinPhone apps. First on Windows 8, then had to completely rewrite for 8.1 as it was practically an entirely new OS and they weren't compatible. By 10, the company had become bored and ditched the platform (not that we had downloads in any great number compared with the iOS or Android equivalent anyway - it was more of a box-ticker).

It's a shame, really. It was a decent platform. It ran excellently on low end devices as well as high end, and had the potential to be a strong third option in the phone OS space. But MS totally fucked up the concept (releasing 8, rewriting and calling the next one 8.1, the total disaster that was RT after hyping up the "one OS, any device" concept), the marketing, the Nokia acquisition... Pretty much everything, actually. It was a huge wasted opportunity.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?


You never wrote (or took apart) a compiler in school, just to see what made them tick?"

Where I went to school (Lancashire, UK in the 1990s), we had a school assembly one day regarding 20 of our school PCs being "connected to the Internet", plus a permission slip home for parents to sign, stating we were allowed to use them.

The actual IT "lessons" consisted of "here's a page of text, printed out. Type it in Word" or performing a Yahoo search for your favourite PS1 game/ TV show (circa 1998). There were no IT lessons into GCSE time (after third year) as we simply did not have enough teachers to teach the courses.

So... No. I can honestly say we never took apart a compiler in school.

But to be fair, this total disregard for coding - and to be honest, general computing knowledge - has led me into a nice career as a coder... I've had to forge my own path and have not had to compete with many of my peers achieve it.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider


The guy in the video used his cat as a feline shield.


Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password


Re: Loopy passengers

In Manchester, there is no video. Just the airport drones giving you a repeat spoken-word performance of "Put your passport face down on the scanner and look ahead. Take off your glasses."

At least 50% of glasses-donned passengers fail to remove said item once they arrive. And probably more fail to look ahead.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame


Re: Access Denied

"There was a list of websites whose names took on unfortunate connotations when concatenated into a URL. Among them were Pen Island Stationers and Mole Station Creche."

And Experts Exchange. When they started appearing in "unfortunately named websites" lists, they added a redirect to a domain with a hyphen.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


Re: Environmental Protestors?

"That being said, the people flying off dont give a rats arse about the effect all the extra noise and pollution from the extra air and ground traffic entirely down to them has on local residents up to several miles from the airport. We're all selfish in our own way."

Gatwick opened in 1958. It didn't recently spring up out of nowhere. Virtually (maybe literally) all of the local residents were aware of its presence - and the associated noise etc. - before moving to their current homes.

Technical foul: Amazon suffers data snafu days before Black Friday, emails world+dog


Re: WTF?

Yep, I initially thought it looked dodgy when I received the same email yesterday. But the mailbox I use is only for that Amazon account and nothing else, and there were no spurious links in it or actions to take.

They could have done a much better job of the correspondence. But an explanation on exactly what prompted it in the first place would have been more appropriate and appreciated.

Well that's just spliffing: UK Amazon merchants peddling Mary Jane


"El Reg yesterday made Amazon aware of the weed being sold via its website."


Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP


Re: "ATM machine"

Believe it or not, earlier this year I got a letter from Natwest which stated that the "PIN Number" for my new card was on its way.

It seems the term has become de facto (or maybe they got the intern to write the letters that week).

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract


Re: Single Bidder

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Contrary to IBM's claim, having multiple vendors providing interlinking kit would logically be LESS secure than having one. Sharing the infrastructure would require a high degree of co-operation between vendors to maintain security, which as you say would lead to all concerned blaming the others when it goes titsup instead of fixing the problem. This is just asking for trouble.

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others


"It's not April 1st, is it?

Look up "hagiography" in the dictionary and this article will be the definition."

You must be new here.

Next time, may I suggest you read the first paragraph and the last before commenting, if you can't be arsed reading the whole thing?

Google is still chasing the self-driving engineer that jumped ship to Uber


Re: Spazturtle

"No one in the right mind would risk hiring someone who sees nothing wrong with stealing. Trust is an actual thing"

You've heard of Uber before, right?

Volkswagen faces fresh Dieselgate lawsuit in Germany – report


Re: Tze Germans...

"If buyers in the US get recompensated whilst German buyers don't, that would be seriously telling."

This happened. As soon as the lid was lifted on the scandal, all US customers were instantly given the right to return affected VW diesel cars to the dealer for a full refund, no questions asked. As a result, there are literally thousands of returned diesel VWs rotting away in a disused football stadium car park in the US.

No such facility was offered to EU customers. Instead, EU buyers have to submit a claim through the courts, which may or may not result in monetary compensation.

Guess who's still in charge of your gas safety, Brits? Capita


Re: If ever there was a time...

"You are glad you use electricity for hot water?! The lifetime cost is about 3 times higher than gas."

That's a generalization. If you don't use a lot of hot water, the cost of simply having a gas supply can outweigh the savings. I have an efficient electric boiler, a shower with its own heating element, and storage heaters which are only active during off-peak hours (no central heating, but no need for it really - there are flats above, below and at either side). I live alone and am only at home evenings/ weekends. As such, I spend considerably less on electricity than I used to spend when I lived in a house which had both elec and gas supplies.

Then there's the fact that gas supplies are finite, and are increasing in cost as supplies deplete.

So to answer your question... Yes.


If ever there was a time...

... to be grateful that I live in a flat with no gas appliances... this is it.

Soft eng salaries soar by 25 per cent – and, oh yes, devops is best paid for non-boss techies


Re: Enjoy it while it lasts!

Absolutely... In my 10 years of commercial coding, I've been hearing the exact same thing. But the demand for local Devs (UK) and the difficulty in finding them is as high as ever.

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands


Re: After the last childish outburst...

"the fact that somebody has died needlessly due (IMHO) to the ongoing over-promise and under-delivery of autonomous vehicles"

This is not the case. Teslas are NOT autonomous vehicles. They don't claim to be such, either. The problem here is that it seems people treat them as though they are. Like the bell end in the UK a few weeks ago who was filmed climbing into the passenger seat of his car with the autopilot engaged. Or the other guy to be killed a couple of years ago, who was too busy taking selfies and watching DVDs whilst driving in Autopilot mode to notice a bloody great truck ahead of him.

Tesla has to change its attitude with regard to the "Autopilot" software; it should be renamed, and the point stressed that it's purely for aiding driving. They really should market this differently, as you can't eradicate the inherent stupidity of humans.

But for fuck's sake... if you're driving a car, YOU have a responsibility to give your full, undivided attention to the task at hand. It's a huge responsibility. A simple mistake made in a split second can permanently alter or even end lives. Ultimate culpability has to lie with the driver, unless the car is fully autonomous. Which these ones are not.

Yes, the tech drove the car into a part of the road it should not have driven in. The driving aid failed in its task. But based on the information provided so far, it seems that the driver had transferred too much of his responsibility to the tech. Had he been paying attention he could have seen the trouble ahead and applied the brake, and things would have worked out very differently.

HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag


Re: No Headphone Jack, No Sale

I thought I would hate not having a headphone jack on my phone. But it's something you just get used to. It is also the final defence in making the phone fully waterproof; a major plus for holidays or just peace of mind against accidental damage.

My U11 came with an adapter for 3.5mm headphones and some excellent noise-cancelling USB-C headphones in the box.

But having to choose between charging or headphone use is an annoyance on plane journeys.

Hitler 'is dead' declares French prof who gazed at dictator's nashers



... What about the tests done around 10 years ago on Hitler's remains (by an American team), which revealed the skull held by the Russians is actually a female skull?


It would appear this line in the article is inaccurate:

"Last year Russia's secret service, the FSB, and its state archives authorised a team of foreign researchers to examine Hitler's mortal remains for the first time since 1946."

Nervous Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes Turing Test in Congress


While I'm no fan of Zuk or Facebook...

... this seems an odd comment:

"... and three being Facebook Messenger."

How can Messenger be classified as a separate social network than Facebook? Fair enough, these days you have to install a separate mobile app to use Messenger. But classifying it as a totally separate social network seems a bit odd to me; it's integrated into the network.

Where did this assertion come from? Unless it's a typo and it's actually Whatsapp that's being referred to as network no. 3 here (and I'm not being facetious, I'd genuinely like to know the answer).

IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit


Re: Fax of life

You'd be surprised at how prevalent fax machines are in certain Western industries as well. Most independent hotels, for example, still use faxes to send and receive credit card info and invoices for business travel.

Things do indeed move quickly, but there will always be dinosaur companies, and even whole industries, who are a decade or more behind the curve.

uTorrent file-swappers urged to upgrade after PC hijack flaws fixed


Re: Just say no

Rookie mistake...

Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business


Re: Sadly true

"by allowing through millions of clearly tax dodging packets and parcels every year."

And how exactly do you propose to police that? Open every single parcel which comes into the UK from outside of the EU? The resources are simply not available. And if they were, workarounds would be found in no time (import into Poland first, for example).

Maplin's advantage used to be knowledgeable staff and the convenience of having everything on offer, instantly, in one place. Now most of the knowledgeable staff have gone, and people are used to ordering online so aren't as likely to pay through the nose for convenience, when it comes to electronics purchases.

They're running out of options pretty rapidly.

Japan's Robo-Bartenders point to a golden future


Those do exist. I was served a cocktail in a Las Vegas bar which was mixed by a robot. Here it is in action:

Robot Bartender

Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners


Re: "App on their smartphones"

"What's the problem? Are you similarly concerned that they take their uniforms, notebooks and batons home?"

It's more abuse of the system, I think. Imagine being in the pub and getting your mates to give the print scanner a go after a few pints. All fun and games, until it produces a match...

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America


"He will need to suspect anyone coming within a foot of him in the street of having a rag with chloroform and a car parked around the corner to take him to a "private" Cessna parked at a nearby airport. Everywhere worldwide. UK included."

I very much doubt that. The US has too much to lose by doing something so brash as to kidnap a UK citizen, on UK soil, for the sake of a failed extradition request. And just look at another prominent extradition request they lost in recent times; the Gary McKinnon case. That was a far more embarrassing hack for the US than this one, and he's still very much alive and kicking (he's now an SEO consultant, apparently).

Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?


This sounds to me...

Like they're trying to make a game, or are gathering data of some sort. But instead of hiring a dev and test team the traditional way, they're roping in developers and getting them to do various amounts of work and to generate test data, in exchange for an "accreditation" which will be recognise precisely nowhere afterwards.

Oh, and they're getting said devs to pay for the privilege.


Elon Musk offered no salary, $55bn bonus to run Tesla for a decade


Indeed... adding the words "each time" would have made this considerably easier to read.

Airbus warns it could quit A380 production


"... MH370 (and a bunch of earlier critical safety incidents) happened _because_ of it, not the other way around."


So you've figured out the answer to the biggest aviation mystery in decades? Please do share it with the rest of us.

Because no-one else alive has a clue what happened to it, aside from finding a few broken pieces and having a very rough idea of which section of the Indian Ocean it's possibly lying in.

Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner


Re: And what about the DVLA?

"I think the DVLA should be reported to the ICO for failing to have stringent checks in place. It looks like they give out info without any kind of due dilligence."

Big upvote for that. They've passed my details on to various cowboy private parking "companies" without any checks, and even allowed one of my previous cars - which was stolen and had been reported as such - to be registered to someone else and taxed.

It seems that not only do they not have 'stringent' checks in place, they seemingly have no checks at all.


Facebook confesses: Facebook is bad for you


I may be a cynical bastard....

...ok, I definitely AM a cynical bastard, but I took the statements to mean something like;

"You're much more use to us and our big data-gathering bots when you write, Like and click than you are when you're simply looking at shit. Please start playing ball"

High Court judge finds Morrisons supermarket liable for 2014 data leak


He got 8 years....

I'm in no way condoning his actions and I'm sure the distress caused was genuine. But 8 years... You generally get half of that for manslaughter, or for killing someone with your car. It seems a tad disproportionate.

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate


Re: Threatogram received from Crapita today

"Bunch of cheapskates."

Not really. It all depends on what you want to watch.

18 months ago I cancelled all services and switched exclusively to non-iPlayer streaming - some paid for, some free - and I've never looked back. But back in the days of me having broadcast TV at home, I only really ever watched the F1, a few Sky Atlantic and HBO dramas (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones etc) and car-related shows (Wheeler Dealers, Fast 'n' Loud). None of which were available on the BBC. And yet, I still had to pay the ridiculous licence fee to watch all of this stuff, on top of the extortionate Sky subscription.

So no, it's nothing to do with being "cheap", it's all to do with being FORCED to pay for a particular media network's entertainment output, even if you have no intention of using it and only want to watch commercial output (note the word Entertainment here, before anyone pipes up with the stupid "how often do you go to hospital? You're happy to pay for that and not use it" argument).

It's great that you're happy to pay for the BBC. If the government ever see sense (a paradox, I know) and decides to switch it to a subscription-only service, you can enjoy paying for it. But I shouldn't have to.

Your next laptop will feature 'CMF' technology


Re: 'HP Inc is not alone in this thinking.'

They're losing touch with the sort of consumers who frequent sites like this one. We're (generally) going to buy a device which most fits its intended purpose in terms of performance, over how it looks (Apple fanbois not included, naturally).

But your average punter really will care more about aesthetics than performance/ usability. As long as it switches on, displays the latest Facebook drivel and comes in a pretty colour which matches the curtains, they really couldn't give less of a shit about anything else.

Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger


"infamous Festive Bake"

Crikey, even their own spokespeople admit their food products are sketchy.

Doesn't stop me really wanting a Festive Bake right now, though...

Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!


Re: Safety-critical updates?

"Patch released at (for argument's sake) 12 noon. Accident at 2pm. Is that negligent? Or is it a reasonable delay?"

It would make sense to remove the user from the software update process entirely, especially if the updates are potentially safety critical. Have over the air updates automatically download and install. Then the insurers would have to pay out to the user and to any third parties in the event of an accident. By all means inform the user when an update is ready/ has been applied, but removing the responsibility and putting this on the manufacturer should solve that particular problem for the most part.

This would then mean insurers can only reasonably wiggle out of paying if the user has purposely modified the ROM to stop updates, or has installed custom updates.

However if an update fails, although I would hope the car would let the user know about it, it could create a pretty big legal headache and would possibly shift some of the liability back onto the manufacturer/ software publisher.

BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date


Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"rush to the bottom with 3 minutes of programming per 30 minutes of adverts."

This is incorrect, actually. The ratio of ads to programming is regulated. It was increased for Sky when it launched to give it a chance of survival. A few years ago, the other providers complained and were given the same increased level (Sky's should have been decreased to match in my view, not the other way around). It's not done hourly but over a day, which is why you see more during peak evening times and fewer late at night. But the disappearance of the licence alone will not cause an increase in ad frequency.

And oddly, as others have mentioned, the BBC almost matches commercial radio and TV in terms of ads promoting itself anyway. Radio 2 is unbearable for more than a couple of hours for me, for this very reason.

It's definitely time for a serious discussion on the future of TVL.

BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss


"it seems you can get PTSD from a violent pneumatic ram insertion"

Ha! Excellent.

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


Re: Over my dead body!

Since the Surfrider Foundation clearly has considerable funds at its disposal (they've already shelled out nearly half a million fighting him), if I were them I would set up a daily boat service from further down the coast, to Martin's Beach.

A service with one of those "party boats" which plays loud, banging music and is full of rowdy drunk people. With bars, drinks promotions and all-night parties on the beach itself.

May as well piss him off if he's insisting on tangling the matter in red tape for as long as possible.

O2 admits to throttling network bandwidth for EU data roamers


Last year, I used paid-for O2 roaming in Greece, Netherlands, Czechia and Italy, all with no problems. I didn't always have 4G, but there was no noticeable throttling of speed.

Funny, eh?

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...


The Alexa app shortcut appeared on my U11's home screen yesterday

And it was instantly uninstalled.

But instead of displaying the usual "uninstalled" message, it told me it would be "reset to factory", so there's still something baked in to the ROM somewhere.

It'll be interesting to see if it keeps coming back, of its own accord.

MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked


The point is...

"navigational and gps transponder equipment"

... the transponders were switched off. Whether manually (by the pilots) or through another means (fire, electrical short) we don't know. Which is why we could really do with finding that plane.

But the only other means of tracking it - the 15-minute interval satellite "handshakes" with Inmarsat - were not designed to be used for tracking, which is why the potential final flight path was (and still is) so varied.

It was basically an accident that we even knew it had gone into the Indian Ocean.

Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck


Re: Being human

I do as well. Although the truck driver apparently pulled a pretty stupid manoeuvre, the driver of the Tesla should have been paying attention, should have seen the truck and should have taken evasive action. Quote from the article;

"Brown's final trip lasted 37 minutes, from buckling in until the crash. During that time he had his hands on the wheel for 25 seconds"

Twenty. Five. Seconds. In a 37 minute journey. Completely entrusting his life to beta software.

I remember seeing one of the driver's previous dash cam videos where he'd been paying no attention to the road (he was too busy taking "no hands" selfies) and had relied on the Tesla to stop him from crashing into another truck which he should have seen but didn't. On that occasion the Tesla saved him.

Advanced driving aids are nowhere near ready to take full control of our vehicles, no matter how good they appear to be. It was only a matter of time before this happened to him, sadly. And quite frankly, it scares me to think I have to share the roads with such reckless people.

Capita call centre chap wins landmark sex discrimination lawsuit



It couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

Let's hope the appeal falls flat on its arse, as they blatantly ignored the law in this case.

First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired


Yep. To give production credentials to a junior, on their first day of employment, is asking for trouble. They should never have been written into this document. Not even a rough draft.

And as far as "legal" getting involved? Well, surely any type of investigation would highlight serious security flaws internally. So the CTO and subordinate managers would be far more screwed than the (ex) new guy.

Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31


Re: I don't see the problem

"The purpose of a date is for each party to learn something about the other."

Indeed. The idea of going to the cinema on a first date has always seemed an odd one to me. So you're meeting for the first time, then you're going to sit in the dark, in silence, for 2+ hours?

Maybe it's a case of starting as you mean to go on for some.

Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden


Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

"Now that they have just dropped the case, we are left with the bill. Shouldn't the Swedes pay the cost of this?"

The case hasn't been dropped, it's just been suspended as they can't physically get to him while he's here. Quote from the article:

“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately,”

But you're right in that a ridiculous amount of resource has been spaffed on guarding him. He has cunning, and a team of loyal backers/ supporters who can make a lot of noise in the media. It was clear he wasn't going to back down and give himeself up.

Years ago, they should have instructed officers to quietly turn their backs and quickly have a taxi take him to Heathrow with a one-way ticket to Ecuador. It would have saved millions.

Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour


Recently they've started to announce that "the next station stop will be... " on trains in the grim North West.


Re: Does it have to be a train station?

Yep... Even the stuff behind the 18+ curtain in Japanese DVD shops is censored. Er, so a friend told me.

I'm pretty sure they can just do a Google video search nowadays, so the obscenity laws are mostly pointless.

HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa


Can Alexa...

... be removed without flashing the ROM and going to stock Droid?

My last 3 phones have been HTC as I really like them. But I really, REALLY don't want the Amazon creepware...


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