* Posts by an it guy

120 posts • joined 22 Nov 2011


Boffins get routers spilling secrets through their LEDs

an it guy

unfortunately for you, chocolate teapots do work, though a one-time use.


and to purchase ... http://www.schokolat.co.uk/chocolate-teapot/

McDonald's India's delivery app was a golden honeypot

an it guy

Quite a few things are bad here

1. user profile without authentication

2. data served over http, not SSL

3. complete address information is not needed to process an order. the only part needed is the house number and the numbers from the postcode. that's what actually gets matched. the rest is fluff to make the user know it's their address.

4. All that and a global company has not been responsive on security issues.

But seriously, a delivery service? when I've (really rarely) had stuff from the "yellow crayon arches", I see that nuggets are lethally hot, but everything else is lukewarm. delivery will only help the lukewarm get even more so...

My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

an it guy

Re: sunnies after dark ?

okay, cyclist here who's used yellow tinted sunglasses after dark. I know the physics mean less light, but having used them, they're seriously effective in the (almost) dark of cities, and very good when it comes to arc welders headlights, and being able to see. everything appears clearer even though the total energy of photons is less

might look a bit odd, but they do work

Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs

an it guy

Re: Used to be great quality, now "meh"

Not everything is bad. laptop here now on year 8, coming up to year 9. okay, so the battery is dead (any battery would be), but it was coaxed into running windows 10 up from XP -> 7 -> 10 which for hardware that old is pretty good

Apple and Android wearables: What iceberg? It’s full steam ahead!

an it guy

Re: An analogy

hear hear on the the Casio watches.

Own a g-shock, and over 10 years on, same battery, and whatever it hits comes worse off (including the odd stone wall just to prove how tough it is). Only had to replace a plastic part because they broke - £12 including shipping. Not bad in my opinion.

Only considering a replacement given that the other plastic parts are starting to deteriorate and they make an all-metal watch now..

TLS proxies: Insecure by design, say boffins

an it guy

Some proxies are very useful

I don't work for Charles Proxy, but it's very useful as a local proxy. I'd wish they'd tested this as I'd be curious to know their opinion about this

Spanish launch heroic bid to seize Brit polar vessel

an it guy

Re: Offended by Blas de Lezo...

They've taken that too :-(

edit: it's not in the latest list. links and all that jazz. not that I work in IT for a living (whoops)

'Right to be forgotten' applies WORLDWIDE, thunders Parisian court

an it guy

rewriting history

I have an issue with removing accurate and lawful information. Inaccurate information can be defamatory/libel (whichever the correct one is).

Yes, people have a right to a private life, but if the information in the public domain is not defamatory, then having it in the public domain can be a good thing for future historians. We as humans have a tendency to forget, but if we always 'forgot' something 'conveniently', then we might allow people to 'forget' certain acts of history that need to be remembered. It's a potentially slippery slope.

And, yes, I know the argument about 'nothing to hide' I'm not talking about that. I'm being very specific about something that got into a newspaper for a (hopefully) good, accurate and correct reason - gossip magazines don't count here (usually)

UK safety app keeping lorries on the right side of cyclists

an it guy

Re: Abolish the Left Hand Access Lane

Or, do what some countries do and simply install lights for cyclists, but that's costly.

Yes, cyclists can be incredibly stupid and crawl up the LHS of a big vehicle. Swift movements when you know it's safe is better than being unsure and chancing it. That's where common sense should prevail to be careful and leave room for manoeuver.

I agree cycling can be faster, make you more fit, but sensible judgement is needed. As others have stated, sometimes it's safer to move up the right hand side, especially if a left-turn signal is indicated, but I guess I'm preaching to some form of choir given the number of comments I can see (85 before posting)

Note: I also rollerblade on the road and am continually educating cyclists I meet (in person) to not hang completely left as it makes the lane look wide open. Sitting more prominently in a lane and forcing cars to overtake (assuming you're doing a reasonable speed for the road) is much safer, and what's taught to motorcycles who are also be affected by this left hand turning business.

Netflix goes TITSUP worldwide (Total Inability To Support Usual Programming)

an it guy

new serviec from netflix?

"The steaming service took a dive"

Excellent. now where do I get unlimited steaming from. I've got a few shirts that needs steam ironing ;-)

Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

an it guy

Re: Drepressing?

"Did they study people who just watch broadcast TV all weekend as well?

I think if I was stuck on that dead medium alone every evening, never mind a whole weekend, I'd be hanging from the ceiling by a rope after hour 3."

Um. based on your own hypothesis, not many of those people would be around. Thus no one to study.

Right, degree please! Boffin because, well, umm.. perhaps not...

Brits need chutzpah to copy Israeli cyberspies' tech creche – ex-spooks

an it guy

non-stick frying pans from the space race?

um. no.

Teflon was a commercial invention* that nearly flopped as a commercial product because it was marketed as a 'no-oil' product. It was remarketed as 'non-stick' and then took off.

*even 'commercial invention' is a misnomer. It was found when two scientists who were trying to work out an alternative to CFC's for a refrigerant realised a gas canister filled with tetrafluoroethene had no gas in it, but had the right weight for it to be full. They then sawed the canister open, and found teflon at the bottom as a white 'plastic'. For reference, a corroded valve provided enough iron (or nickel, I forget that detail) to catalyse the reaction to PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthene).

Boffin icon because, well I've researched this quite a bit

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

an it guy

Re: It's a Crock (Pot)

agreed. my thoughts exactly. was just trying to work out the inevitable 'how long' question, but hey, where's the fun in that?

flame, because it depends on how much chilli one inflicts on oneself

Microsoft wants LAMP for wireless mobe charger

an it guy

Re: Fantastic

Here's the thing. If it's intended for complete 'fast' charging of a phone, forget it. However, if, like some of the Casio g-shock watches it's intended to trickle charge throughout the day, then it sounds like a much better proposition.

the vast majority of us will work in some level of light (unless we're blind cavers, which I suspect is a rather small minority of the caving population), so having it charge while the phone is in light for 12 hours a day could mean that your phone would reasonably last the whole day and well into the night as it's being topped up, or simply using the solar energy for ticking over. That, in my opinion is a much better use case for it. Plus in an office environment the UV from a fluorescent light could help so long as actual glass is not used (quartz allows UV to pass through, but Silicon dioxide absorbs it)

On the G-shock front, had mine for over 10 years, always has a full battery, the battery has not needed changing, and it's always accurate on time. Yes, it has hands to move as well as a digital section, so it's not doing 'nothing' or having an e-ink display to sip power

Future imperfect: A UK broadband retrospective

an it guy

Re: Hmmm the Alcatel 'Snotblob'.

I remember the stingray much better than some it seems. It sucked if you had it plugged into one computer that someone used and then used Windows sharing to share it with the house. The initial computer got 90% priority on the line, and, at 512k that wasn't very good.

Take an old PC, install Mandrake and configure *that* to act as a squid proxy server (windows updates included) as well as not be one that anyone uses, and the internet connection ran fine thank you. I left the it running for the best part of two years, with only the internet connection password needing changed once. It actually ran very nicely under Mandrake, once installed (which was a massive pain)

Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo

an it guy

Ok. interesting, but...

So, all cyclists now need to purchase new helmets* and need to have an always on data connection...

What happens when a data connection is lost by the cyclist/driver? Do we now have to try to pair via bluetooth to see if each and every passing car will be problematic?**

Nice idea, but I think that the implementation sucks as we'd be forever using the battery life of a smart phone, which when using GPS and constantly using some other radio signal (or searching for wifi), drains a battery fast. Not a good idea when you're a vulnerable road user. Good lights (cyclists and car drivers) and retesting of car drivers every 4 years might be a better proposition, and good to build yet another section of the economy. I know a few people who drive cars that would never cycle because they perceive it as too dangerous to the cyclist and also afraid of cyclists who jump lights***

Yes, I am a cyclist, and I drive, but not as often as I cycle

* Actually you should do so every 3 years no matter what hasn't happened as ozone attacks the polystyrene

** also not every cyclist uses a 'smart' phone. I know a few people who use cheap phones because they've much better battery life. Yes, some of those are very geeky people.

***where's the skill in that? balancing on your bike at the lights is much harder, and safer than jumping out in front of the next mercedes/BMW that you didn't see...

Uber surge pricing kicks in during Sydney siege

an it guy

Re: Erm...

pics or it didn't happen ;-)

Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

an it guy

Re: Why the fuck ...

how about this (guesswork):

The porpose of the trip was to test radiation hardening of systems as well, so LEV on a chip produces small channels that cosmic radiation could distort.

The second chip had data flashed onto it, so checking if radiation damaged is a quick way of checking that the radiation shielding worked (or not), and if the circuitry had radiation induced shorts/data failure.

This would be why the chips were sent into space in my opinion

IBM Research wants laptop batteries to retire and slum it

an it guy

I presume they check them

mine tend to be fairly worn out before I send them off to the recycling heaven. not sure they'd provide much in the way of power at that point

NASA 'nauts have a go on Star Trek replicator IN SPAAAAACE (sort of)

an it guy

Re: Magnetic wall

flaw: not all metals are magnetic.

titanium, aluminium, magnesium, gold (for electronics), etc.

A better option would simply be a 'fume hood' or negative pressure enviroment where all the air moves to the back of a system and is cleaned using a filter, as you mention

We're not, er, 'cut-throat' capitalists – VC formerly known as ISIS

an it guy

ISIL, or IS, or ISIS. These guys need to work on their branding. It's getting confusing for all of us, and they effected the murder of a dog in downton abbey (so I'm told), so really cruel people!

My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

an it guy

Re: A missed opportunity

hear hear. collect plus has been very handy as well. Not sure about International delivery though having just checked their site.

on the plus side, their site does load very quickly

BEHOLD Apple's BENEVOLENCE! iMessage txt BLACK HOLE finally fixed

an it guy

hang on

so a former user of apple has to tell apple they went elsewhere, and cupertino can keep stats of this? can you imagine coming back and they tell you that they give you a discount (ha ha) because you're a long lost soul?

Since when is this a good use of personal data? And since when did this become acceptable.

Apple got more creepy when they automatically sent an email to a long-dead email address* when I had to buy something in store based on recognising a credit card number and I'd last bought something off them over 5 years ago. Clever, yes. creepy? Yes as well

* the email address was on the receipt.

Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

an it guy

Re: @Wolfetone - Speaking as a Linux user

k9 perhaps? Works well for me

Microsoft: How to run Internet Explorer 11 on ANDROID, iOS, OS X

an it guy

Re: IE5?

Not 4.7 - you might be thinking of Netscape communicator. It was that pain called IE 5.5. It didn't render anything like the windows version - partly down to System 9's controls (buttons, forms, etc) being different than windows, and partly who knows what.

I'm very glad that one never flew much further from the cuckoo's nest

LastPass releases Open Source command line client

an it guy

so,the millions of scripts that die and fall over when lastpass servers conk out

and you've just changed the password for all those scripts to pick up...

this could be fun

PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY

an it guy

Re: from stats, it's actually quite nippy

All right, for those who actually care, here's a rough overview of who *never* fully completed an interaction (requiring 2x automatic interaction with a server). These are from September. Note, you can't get a device type from the information we have (annoying by Apple). As it's anonymised data, should be fine.

iOS 5: 4.5%

iOS 6.0.x: ~6%

iOS 6.1.x: 8-10% (yep, got worse)

iOS 7.0.x: 10-11%

iOS 7.1.x: 9%

iOS 8.0.x: 3% <-- finally got better

Sample sizes run in the millions over a the last two weeks in September those wanting to try to nitpick.

Specifically this is measured over users of Safari

an it guy

from stats, it's actually quite nippy

Internal stats that I can't release show iOS 8 being a device that's finally quite good at processing the web. beforehand, I was lumping it as about as fast as Windows Vista running IE7 or 9 -- and that's not good, not at all.

While I prefer android, I think iOS 8 (performance-wise) is a better operating system, so people should be upgrading.

Auntie hires API firm to manage new online BBC Store

an it guy

finally. a nice place where, if executed well, the store could mean the BBC makes money. Perhaps reduces the license fee?

Okay, that last part might be wishful thinking

Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

an it guy

I've seen a the compact with a tiny bit of sand in the pocket. scratches really easily. not exactly what you want after going to the beach with your phone...

that's the reason I'm considering the HTC One (M8)

EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app

an it guy

and all this is why...

my next phone is going to be unlocked, and stock. Then I only have to worry about the firmware the manufacturer adds.

The discussion of which phone is best is another long one, and it's going to take me time to find. Any suggestions? Not the New Z1 mini because someone I know has it, and it scratches a tad fast with sand (front and back) when on holiday.

Sorry to derail the discussion, but suggestions?

- MicroSD is a must,

- 4G not worried about

- removable battery not worried about as current removable batter is original to an HTC and over 4 years old, with enough to eke into the second day if needed

Driver drama delays deep desert XP upgrade

an it guy

I reiterate the point of Belarc advisor

works really quite well. From their own site and personal tests, the below is accurate, and insanely useful. If anyone else is likely to be in a pinch, get that information in advance.

No, I don't work for them. Just been very happy with it in many cases, and so happy to recommend it

from: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

Researcher lights fire under Tesla security

an it guy

and botnet herders via a Tesla?

surely methinks the date should be checked

Dell tells customers: 'Opt out' if you don't want a channel service

an it guy

hmm. dell. The company who I tell every three months that I'm not planning on buying from them as I don't have the authority (and we don't need to buy new computers at the moment). However, they call me back with a new account manager like clockwork.

You'd think that someone would have noted it down, and re-read it realising it's a broken record.

As an aside, I like dell, and have one at home that's lasted for 6+ years and I hope will continue to last as the hardware is good (not a cheap laptop at the time). just please, sort out your agents. Please, and don't sell my data onwards.

Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

an it guy

peripheral vision

use it (or lose it -- potentially)

'nuff said

Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

an it guy

I'm with @tony here. I've an old Dell D820, and ubuntu's install of '12.10' and '13.04' was quite a performance drag. Xubuntu which I've now got installed works fine, and is very quick especially given it's installed in the slow part of the hard drive.

Next, I'll see how the Windows 7 upgrade works (or not). It's worth a try for some gaming, and some things that just are harder to get to work under Linux (age of empires 1, for example). If I look around, I've even got Chip's Challenge kicking about (Win 3.11).

Aah, nostalgia.

The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed

an it guy

I agree with you for *my* use. However, it's not got the most intuitive of interfaces. Come to think of it, most non-technical users still have trouble with zip managers...

This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

an it guy

Re: upgrading old boxes

Well, I've had a Win 7 license transferred to me just recently. Think I'm going to give it a go, and try not to format all my data away (very glad to have been insistent on my data on a separate partition). I'm currently on Xubuntu, and the install has so far been fiarly pleasant and painless. Much nicer than standard ubuntu.

*I like ubuntu, but the interface is also a radical change, and actually hard to get on to. I like a nice organised start menu. it works really well.

Planes fail to find 'credible' candidate for flight MH370 wreckage

an it guy

Re: @p_0

I think a few people here are posting without pilot's licenses. I've taken tests in a couple countries, and the same thing is the case. You learn to communicate without radios. Even ATC has a means to communicate without radios.

If went for a straight in approach to an airport without radios, you'd be assumed to be a maverick as well as a liability, but an ATC would clear the area for the nutter coming in, and prep the emergency department. They would try to communicate with you using light guns (not as fun as they sound). You can acknowledge these with a waggle of the wings.

Let's assume that this 'flotsam' is not the plane for a moment (last I checked it's not verified), but assume the comms/controls were stopped by a glitch.

SO, as the plane changed direction and flew for a while it was flyable, and at least under *stable* flight. that means it wasn't entirely damaged. If the systems were causing problems, a clever pilot might even assume that Rolls Royce (or others) were monitoring things, and use Morse code in the engine speeds to send a signal assuming it were impossible to alter the controls. It would probably log something in the black box as well.

Tedious, but doable, especially if you suspect the connections to the black box are severed. Doing that when over a country would make for some odd changes in altitude to say *something* was odd. We're not hearing much anything about this though.

The problem with this is that the information given out is piecemeal and handled badly. Other than that, I hope and pray some other explanation other than a crash is found. For the families of those on the plane at least. The rest of the misinformation peddlers can then wonder what to do in penitence (I hope).

Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

an it guy

Re: Golden Image

Your comment on extra RAM made me think. I would personally say: get someone there to install belarc system advisor and email that document per machine.

It's a small file, but has masses of information (and sometimes product keys, I'm told) and I've used it before to get information to prep a machine install for someone who was in london with no internet connection, in the days of very non-smart phones.

turned out handy as I'd downloaded the drivers, and the source of the problem was a USB keyboard driver trying to 'ping' a server and causing the machine in question to hang. Why? the keyboard had a light on it to tell you if you were connected to the internet.

So, Drivers, drivers, drivers. It's going to suck if you don't know exactly which one(s) you need for a certain hardware configuration.

Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

an it guy

Re: Bah!

that works until someone actually buys you one of those for a present.

"But, but, it was on your wishlist!"

Hope you made it private.

Seven Great Moments in World Wide Web History

an it guy

Re: Futurama?

the world would evolve beyond all recognition, and he'd be left with many useless facts from yesteryear. Perhaps the rest world would thank the archaic organisation called BBC for its foresight, and increase of actual knowledge in the world. Then again, the BBC might actually rule the world by that point via dissemination of news that causes the world governments to implode, and fund itself by forcing the world to pay a license fee.

SATANIC 'HELL DIAMOND' tells of sunless subterranean sea

an it guy

Re: Fountains of the deep

well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of that. I was debating posting that because it has always struck me as something odd, with many people saying it's rubbish because it doesn't make sense.

Except now it looks likely that it does make sense

Mathematicians spark debate with 13 GB proof for Erdős problem

an it guy

wikipedia download too big?

Um. What about zipping it up. lots of +1 and -1 sounds like it should zip (or rar, or bzip, or etc.) fairly well.

Or, does wikipedia allow .torrent files? What about wikileaks? Private data that's not being made public? sounds like a sort of fit...

Ways and means exist.

Google warns Glass wearers: Quit being 'CREEPY GLASSHOLES'

an it guy

website design

I guess that their do's and don't's are annoyingly hard to read so no-one does?

Seriously, light grey on a white background?

Yet another Brit mobe tower borg: Three and EE ink network-sharing deal

an it guy


You're kidding, right?

an it guy

Re: Thank God for O2

Yes, bars are a non-reliable indicator. The only way to tell signal strength is to download something like root metrics - http://www.rootmetrics.com/uk/app/

that gives you coverage details and signal strength. I'd test with that, submit the data as well, so the relevant operators know it's a little worse. Will it help you? probably not, other than to know what's good/bad, but you can also use their online map to see coverage data for each operator in your area. It's handy

Sync'n'share firm Box secretly files for IPO

an it guy

re: $2m valuation for 100M

glad I'm not the only one who went 'eh?'

Rap for KitKat in crap app wrap trap flap: Android 4.4 is 'meant to work like that'

an it guy

okay, there is one possible reason. Google wants the web to work the way it wants. So, mobile themes/designs for mobile users. It's perhaps a huge stick that might get the rest of the web to follow. I'm kind of surprised that reddit does not have a mobile theme (no, I've not taken the time to actually check).

Should we follow Google's every whim? Perhaps not. But a good mobile device design is hard to get working and so that's the bit that needs fixing.

The other thing is what John said. an excellent tap to zoom essentially renders desktop ads useless on a mobile device as you see the content and nothing else. Low click through rates means less income for the site and google.

That said, opera mini on kitkat works just like it always has: well. When on an underpowered device I can have 18 tabs open and the phone is usable, I consider that good engineering. Oh, and many advertising companies don't bother with Opera Mobile, which seems like a missed market, given it's 12% of mobile devices...

Foot-loving cat burglar nicks THREE THOUSAND individual socks

an it guy


but where's the it angle?

okay. I know, it's bootnotes, but no veiled attempt to get anything IT into the story at all...


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