* Posts by hairydog

59 posts • joined 24 Oct 2011


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


Interesting that Huawei phones have better RF performance than all the others.

Must be something suspicious. After all, how could foreigners be better at making things?

Build a wall!*

*and wall up all xenophobic, moronic heads of state in a single pen.

German cybersecurity chief: Anyone have any evidence of Huawei naughtiness?


Seems to me that Huawei products upset the competition by outperforming other brands. So they seek to smear the brand in retaliation.

It's not as if any other other major brands don't also have a hefty proportion of their innards made in China.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing


Re: Why?

The stronger the mixture, the lower the freezing point.

You can put pure antifreeze into a cars cooling system. The only reason not to is the cost. Piston-engined aircraft use pure antifreeze because it gets cold at high altitude.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers


Re: Bollocks

You titled your reply well: it was indeed bollocks.

Managers do indeed press developers to make things happens cheap and fast. But that doesn't stop developers having to say "no, it takes longer to do it properly"

The reality is that it doesn't take much longer. Start with the "cope with error" template and it becomes second nature.

The extra dev time is compensated for by easier integration testing.

Few developers even understand the concept of a "failure first" approach, so it looks hard to them and they react with moronic comments like "Bollocks"..


V2X "vehicle to everything" - really? To pedestrians? cyclists? horse riders? flocks of sheep? cows going to milking? Circus parade elephants? Sleepy kangaroos? Spilled loads? Fallen trees?

Technology needs to address itself to the real world, not the "simplest case" that the spec had in mind.

Software and systems should be designed from failure backwards: every function should initially be designed to report and cope with failure, then the "non-failure" case should be added as an exception.

But this doesn't often happen becasue the developers are so focussed on what they want it to do.

UK's BT: It's not unusual to pull Huawei from our core mobile networks


Remember System X?

A vast amount of money was wasted on System X, devloped just so that any call could be tapped automatically and remotely.

Noone else in the world thought this an acceptable idea so it didn't sell.

So now BT are worried? Bunch of incompetent hypocrites.

And as for their track record on mobile networks:

They had Cellnet and screwed it up to the point where it was disposed of in a fire sale. Now they plan to wreck EE.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship


"What if Huawei used OnePlus's Oxygen UI, I found myself musing recently. Wouldn't it be the perfect package?"

Why not get a Huawei and install a different launcher? This is so obvious that I must have missed something.

The launcher on my (elderly) Huawei had a new launcher within five minutes of starting it up.

UK.gov: New London courthouse will focus on crimes of a cyber nature


Difficult to think of a more stupid place to build it. Whose pockets does it line?

It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos


Those cowboys dug up a private road without permission, cutting through the tree roots so the trees will die (or fall over) in a year or two.

When challenged, they initially said they had the council's permission (a lie- the council doesn't own that road and had told them so). Then they claimed the work hadn't started on that road yet. (It had started and finished by then).

The careless incompetent of the contractors is nothing to the unbelievable ineptitude of their admin and planning.

If they run their network as well, you should buy some carrier pigeons before signing up with Virgin.

BBC extends Capita Audience Services contract to 25 years


Surely there is no way that Crapita could win such a contract legitimately, so it would make sense to look into whose pockets (or whose partners or cronies' pockets) are being lined by this deal.

As for signing a 25 year contract with such a dysfunctional corporation that has such an appalling record; well, that really needs legal challenge.

O2 wolfs down entire 4G spectrum as pals fiddle with their shiny 5G band


Re: Bully for O2 - and me?

I think the most attractive virtuals piggyback EE, unless you are only interested in data. And in my experience, O2 data is sloooow much of the time, so it isn't a great deal at any price

We put Huawei's P20 triple-lens snapper through its paces


Re: Just to be clear ...

I agree. Just about any smartphone will do. The main differences are in the RF performance and the camera quality. My Huawei phone is wonderful at RF. It works where other phones can't even detect any signal. Reviews never test this though. They concentrate on camera performance because it is easy to compare.

The one thing that REALLY annoys is Huaweis extreme power saving mode. Yes, it means you get two weeks standby on the phone, and that's really great. But why does it disable the alarm clock? It's a feature I would use in "remote" circumstances. Have they fixed it, at long last?

Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser


Echo chamber feedback

In my view, Microsoft has put itself in a position of getting feedback from an echo chamber. So the feedback is entirely worthless.

The preview releases of Windows 10 seem to consistently offer "improvements" in features I would never use or even look at.

Cortana, Edge, Windows Apps. Nothing actually relevant to my use of a PC.

So I stopped bothering to bother with preview releases. They have no real-world relevance to me.

Unless I'm alone in that, this means that the feedback they get will be from the people who think these stupid ideas are relevant and interesting. Microsoft will get a distorted view of public perception.

Boring. The phone business has lost the plot and Google is making it worse



Are mobile phones meant to be entertaining?

If Google can stop makers forcing all manner of garbage onto the phones to make them appear different, that's wonderful.

You can add stuff you want, change launchers, customise as much as you like.

But for most people "boringly reliable" is the ultimate objective.

iPhones are all the same UI, well behind in UX terms and you're stuck with that. Doesn't seem to matter much to their customers.

National Museum of Computing rattles the bucket: Help shift war-winning proto-puter


There appears to be something very wrong with how Bletchley Park is being run. I can't say from any position of knowledge: the admission price was ridiculous when I considered visiting.

I would like to see the national museum of computing, but for me it isn't going to happen if it is inside the rip-off Bletchley Theme Park.

It isn't clear from this article whether it would be moving away from the malign influence of Bletchley Park "management" or towards it. Let's hope it is the former!

Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?


The whole security thing is nonsense. GSM gateway-originated cals are just as traceable as any other mobile call.

The incoming leg via VoIP is just as traceable as any other VoIP call.

The only plausible reason is the commercial interests of mobile networks. But that's not a valid reason for a legal ban, so a pretence has to be built up.

Follow the money.

Trump to NASA: Fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon


Re: The world never has been better ...

If those "facts" were true, you would have a point. If you ever manage to get your nose out of Fox Fake News and see what has really happened, you will discover that the opposite is the reality.

SagePay's monster wobble... On the third day of sale week, UK retailers start to weep


Protx managed to survive a really nasty DDoS attack not long before Sage swallowed them.

Gradually, following the Sage takeover, the service got less and less good, then it got more and more not good.

I'm not sure what the current positions is, because all our clients who were forced to move from Protx to Sage Pay have now moved to different payment processors.

The problem is that most of the others are almost as bad. Oh for a reliable, sensibly-priced online payments system. And a sensible way to see what they charge.

Chainmail tires re-invent the wheel to get future NASA rovers rolling


Tires is a perfectly good English word. It means "becomes tired"which is more or less what is happening to the Curiosity rover wheels.

The round squashy things round wheels are tyres

Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update


Not really relevant to me

The sad reality is that the "improvements" that Microsoft is working on have no relevance to me.

I don't use their web browser, I don't use Cortana, I don't play games, I don't use any Windows apps, I am not interested in VR, headsets, 3D or eye control. I don't use OneDrive.

Perhaps I'm untypical of most users of Windows, but I suspect that I am not all that unusual.

From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong


Re: So when will the politicians learn? @werdsmith

The whole point of this election was that May was seeking to dump manifesto promises and return to power with a mandate unconstrained by promises not to increase tax and NI, and with policies like cutting pensions, taking winter fuel allowances, bus passes and the like from pensioners, and taking ownership of people's homes away (and their heirs' inheritance) as a punishment for needing home care.

Mean, nasty and economically illiterate policies driven by dogma.

New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability


The owner?

Everyone seems to be missing the core point here. Ths new legislation seems to be putting the liability onto the insurer and the owner of the vehicle.

So what does "owner" mean in this context? If (as I suspect will happen) lots of these vehicles are leased, the owner is the lease company, not the person with day-to-day control of the vehicle.

Clever as they may be, self-driving cars won't be able to check their tyres for damage or wear. They may or may not be able to decide that the weather is too bad to drive in. They will always be under some sort of human management, but probably not under the control of the person who is their legal owner.

I see the advent of self-driving cars as heralding the end of 'owner-occupier' cars. They will be more car sharing schemes, or leasing by the hour. This "owner" issue will be a really big deal.

'Grey technology' should be the new black


Re: Important safety information:

There's an app for that!

Seriously, when I want to read very small text, I use my smartphone.

Either the excellent (and free) Magnifier app, or take a photo and zoom in to look at the image.


Re: Thank you for a thoughtful article

You don't need permission to record a call.

The law says that ONE of the parties of the call has to know it is being recorded. The call centre operative may not know for certain whether or not it is recorded, so you are told.

If you record a call you are involved in, you must know it is being recorded. The other person doesn't legally have to know, though it may be polite to inform them.

Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis


Odd choice of photo

I was under the impression that students in K-12 schools would be twelve years old at most.

The girls in that photo look like teenagers. Could it be that El Reg choose eye candy over veracity? Surely not!

Drones will be able to carry 120GB footage of you in the shower if Seagate has its way


You can buy 128GB microSD cards. They're pretty small and light.

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


I see that my phone is showing a couple of Galileo satellites as well as the US and Russian ones, but so far never more than two. Don't you need three or four for a fix?

Let's praise Surface, not bury it


Sales of PCs, phones and tablets isn't really the right indicator. The notebook PC I'm typing this on is four or five years old and I have no plans to replace it.

Since I've had this PC I've bought three smartphones and three Android tablets, but the PC is in full-time use. The newest smartphone is still used, but not its predecessors - and the tablets get powered up no more than weekly.

So let's not compare sales, let's compare use. The stats are available.

On her microphone's secret service: How spies, anyone can grab crypto keys from the air


I'm not convinced

I don't think that this is possible. If it were, they would keep quiet about it. But the physics simply doesn't add up.

I think this is a smokescreen for some reason or other. They want us to believe this is possible for some underhand purpose.

Geek's Guide to Britain – now a book. Permission to geek out granted


Re: "your pocket-sized guide"

True geeks have huge pockets to stuff lots of gadgets in

A Brit cloud biz and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story


But why get into that position?

I really don't understand why businesses put important functions and data into the cloud. If it matters to the business, surely you want to be in control of it. A few quid saved at the cost of major business risk isn't such a great bargain.

Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike


Why not review a good one?

These are rather silly e-bikes. I'd find it a lot more interesting to read a review of a good bike in the same price band. Something like a Kalkoff ProConnect or Endeavour. They are the benchmark, not the one reviewed here!


Now try reviewing a really good e-bike, such as a Kalkhoff ProConnect

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?


Almost true...

Yes, BT does have an obligation to provide a phone line everywhere, but they do NOT have to provide it to someone who doesn't want it. Yet they force it onto all subscribers.

I have FTTC using a copper phone line from OpenReach*. When it had a phone plugged in, it only got spam calls, so for several years there has been no phone attached. But I still have to pay for a phone service I don't want.

If BT wants to get rid of the obligation to provide the service, perhaps they could start by not requiring their customers to take the service. Then we'd see what the real demand is or isn't.

*Of course, I don't pay line rental to BT: I use a cheaper supplier.

Mad John McAfee: 'Can you live in a society that is more paranoid than I'm supposed to be?'


The bit about the police catching the criminals later is really important. Right now, the internet is the Wild West, but with no Sheriff.

Every web-connected server suffers thousands of intrusion attacks every day. Hopefully 99% of these are stopped at the firewall, and the rest fail to find a vulnerability, but they are evidence of thieves or vandals trying the handle of the door to see if it is unlocked.

The IP addresses of the attackers are known, and they could be tracked down, but the technical possibility is not matched by any administrative structure.

BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home


Monopolistic Move Unchallenged?

Sounds like another attempt at establishing a telecoms monopoly. Isn't there supposed to be a body that regulates monopolies in the UK?

REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control


Perhaps the software that installed the dreadful new El Reg page layout can be persuaded to go tits up.

OK, if you want to improve the back end code, but why such a terrible user interface? The old one was fine: the new one is terrible.

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.


This is truly horrible. It was a nice, neat concise layout. Now it's like a playschool chart.Massive fail. How about reverting to the old design?

ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10


Not all who signed up are users

I signed up and installed Windows 10 preview on a laptop. Seemed OK: much better than Windows 8.1 and about as good as Windows 7, apart from the enforced Windows Live link.

However, with the amount of spying in Win 10, I couldn't use it for any work, and when the first preview update came along, it lost the ability to find suitable video drivers for my hardware. (The original version had been fine)

A 1920 x 1200 LCD display running at 1280 x 720 is not a pretty sight, so it wasn't long before the machine was back to Windows 7 and Windows 10 preview was dumped for good.

I suspect that I'm not the only one to try it and decide not to continue with it.

Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing


Fuss over nothing?

For once MS are doing the right thing: they are releasing a preview to learn what bits people like and use, and to work out how to make something less awful than Windows 8.

They clearly say they will track how you use it. You have to agree to that to install it. So to be upset that they are doing what they said they will do seems a little silly.

So far, I think it seems like a step forward from Windows 8.1 and not much worse than Windows 7.

However, there isn't much I can use the Win 10 machine for because most of what I do on a computer depends on software I've not installed, or involved confidential information I don't want to share,

Who's that at the door, storage box flingers? It's the hard drive makers. No, they are not smiling


I have a couple of Synology NAS boxes. Neither were supplied with drives in them. As far as I know they are normally supplied like that.

iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?


Is this 1st April?

The Android market is a competitive one, so margins are tight, value for money is good.

The IOS smartphone market is a monopoly so margins are huge and value for money is poor.

There will always be fools who pay a premium price for shiny stuff, fools who buy the cheapest rubbish they can find, and a range of people in between who balance value and quality. Some of them will buy Apple, some will buy Android.

Apple has targeted a userbase that is willing to pay a lot for attractive products. They have persuaded them that the missing features are unnecessary. Apple is good in this market. When they tried to do down-market, they failed big time.

The best Android smartphones are easily a match for anything Apple makes, but the lower-end ones are not. They're cheaper, probably better value and unquestionably more successful than Apple's downmarket offerings. But they are less profitable.

That proves nothing except that Apple only does well in one slice of the market. And although Apple dominate the US smartphone market, most of the world is NOT the US, and Apple does much less well almost everywhere except the US.

All these are facts that you know already, but they do not sit easily with the article. So why is such a misleading article published? April Fool or something more sinister?

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network


Share Internet Access - why not?

I have a Fon Spot here, being a proper Fon member, not a BT user.

But that doesn't give access to the network and is only available to Fon or BTFon members.

So I also have an open access signal. Why?

For one thing, I don't mind sharing my unlimited, fast broadband. If it helps someone else, why not?

For another, it is still separate from my network, with no security issues.

But most importantly, it is helping to undermine the state's ability to track my internet use and that of other people.

There is no reason not to share. I'm not Margaret Thatcher. And there is no law against it.

BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist


Re: Its a shame really

My local cinema is owned and operated by the local council.

It is frequently full. Yes, full, with hardly any seats left.

And why?

Because it is not a rip-off: just £5 or £6 per adult,

Because it shows films that people want to see (not necessarily just the current crop of recent releases)

Because it is not filled with noisy louts.

Becasuse there is plenty of legroom.

Because it is clean and pleasant.

Because it is part of the local community.

Because it is in the town centre.

And of course, it is successful because it is sociable. Seeing a film with lots of other people is not the same as seeing it at home.

The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?


I tried to like it - but failed

I installed Windows 8.1 on a non-touchscreen laptop. Yes it works, and yes I can use it.

But all the time you are reminded that this is set up as a toy, not as a business tool.

Those metro apps have less functionality than real programs, and are not what I want a computer for in the first place. All those stupid boxes in the way instead of helpful menus.

The App Store is no use on a business machine: you don't want users installing software.

Despite being fast and in a powerful machine, every task takes much longer than it does on Windows 7, because the 8.1 UI is both unintuitive AND inefficient.

It might be good on a touchscreen tablet computer, but they are normally unsuitable for serious work because the input obscures the output.

The machine now only gets powered up for the odd Windows Update. When I have time I'll wipe it and install Windows 7 again.

Sorry, Microsoft, Windows 8.1 makes Windows ME look like a good idea.

Unless you get it right with 9, you will lose even more users.

Satellite 'net hype ignores realpolitik


Here I am, posting through a BT Openwoe FTTC connection, in an area with no Virgin or Sky connectivity. Wonder how that happened?

Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem


Re: Great!

Better than that: you won't need a car at all. Just hire a self-driving car for a half hour for a one-way trip. Right now taxis are expensive because of the driver* and hire cars are expensive becasue of the insurance. But with plentiful self-driving cars, that will change!

*And the insurance. Taxi drivers are often incompetent, aggressive and accident-prone drivers, and their insurance premiums reflect that!


Re: 700,000 miles

How many miles and how many situations did you drive before getting your licence to drive unsupervised? A lot less than that, I suspect!

How many people have driven 700,000 miles in traffic without having an accident (not counting being hit by incompetent human drivers)


Not just from getting home from the pub

It's way more useful than that. About 50% of people are too young, old or infirm to drive - they need to travel too.

A huge amount of today's traffic is children going to school and then their parent going home again. No need for that any more.

Cars that drive themselves won't need to park as much. They can go and take someone else on a journey instead of just sitting there all day.

Self-driving cars will replace most taxis (taxi drivers are the expensive part of taxis) .

A huge number of people would no longer need to own a car at all: they can just click their smartphone to call a car when they need to go somewhere.

Ad-funded mobile carrier goes titsup


Good while it lasted

I used it for about two years and Ovivo was excellent value.

My PAC code arrived about an hour ago, but as yet I've not decided where to go next. No rush: any number port won't go through till Monday now in any case: they don't happen at weekends.

GiffGaff is no good for me because of O2's dreadful coverage.

So it seems to be a choice between Asda and Three.


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