* Posts by ChrisBedford

208 posts • joined 27 Feb 2012


Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign


Re: Torn to Ribbons...

It would be most instructive to pit its productivity against a prior version with a menu rather than a ribbon - d

OK sure, let's all go back to 2003


Unfair comparison

Office Home & Student does not include Outlook. A fairer comparison of prices would be Home & Business, which works out at about 3.5 years instead of the less than 2 years of H&S.

But all comparisons are only valid if you only have one computer. O365 can be installed on up to five machines in the same household (as well as iPads and phones and Android devices) making it far and away the cheaper option.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10


With the minimum size hard drive installed in PCs today at 500 GB, if you are within 7 GB of your capacity you have more problems than Microsoft's usage of the disk.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Re: Won't someone think of the great, great, great grandchildren.

Rampant capitalism? [...unintelligible rant with lots of numbers...] ecoloon [...more ranting...]

OK I think I geddit, you're pro something capitalism related. But try to remember the UK is but a small part of the world economy the largest part of which - the US - is without any shadow of a doubt rampantly capitalist, has been for a long time, and shows no signs of slowing that particular train any time soon. And it's also obvious there is more broken in their society and economy than there is that works, so maybe it's not completely incorrect to say there's a real possibility that dealing with the aftermath of that could be a much higher priority than the incredibly remote chance of having to deal with aliens who take offence at a burst of laser light aimed at taking down a drone.

Which, is, after all, the topic.

However your apopletic essay could be said to be somewhat *off* topic :D

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Zip it! 3 more reasons to be glad you didn't jump on Windows 10 1809


Re: Regressions

I haven't [...] worked with Windows for decades

- and yet you are prepared to write a 275-word treatise on how bad it was back in the day.

Windows is a huge, complex, system

Yes it is

[...]based on an immense, mostly undocumented database

Oh no it's not. Unless you work at Microsoft, how can you possibly make such a wild assertion?

Windows has been completely re-written (twice, AFAIK) since 3.11. Yes by that time it was patches on top of patches and there were many secret features but since then the use of undocumented calls has been fairly ruthlessly eliminated.

More importantly, "undocumented" in your post appears to refer to *internally* but that is not possible - a development environment the size of Windows' could not get anything out the door without internal documentation.


What does Windows 10 tell us about the organisation at Microsoft?

It tells us they aren't too picky about minor details. All the bugs reported in this article are of such an arcane and minor nature that they are really really minor. Use 7-zip which is much faster and better at handling archives than Windows. And those 23 people worldwide using those characters in those fonts... well, ffs substitute another character or get a life.

OK it's not good that Redmond didn't pick them up earlier, and it's worse that they haven't fixed what sound like trivial problems, and it's terrible that a company the size of Microsoft who write literally reams of detailed legal conditions into every software release could overlook details like this, but it's really hard to find sympathy for anyone moaning about these nit-picks.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID


Re: Silly first name.

And then there are the Americans who think Caitlin is pronounced Kate Lynn

It is. It's pronounced any way you like. It's pure snobbery to judge people (Americans, or others) whose culture doesn't include speaking Gaelic for not pronouncing Gaelic names "correctly". Just get over it.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage


This Is The Silliest Ugly Pnemonic

...that I've ever seen retrofitted to a figure of speech...


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


I don't care how you try and swing it, is not right.

You are 100% wrong, mate. It is *TOTALLY* the responsibility of the company hiring the subbie. That has been a legal principle for hundreds of years and it remains so because that *IS* right and just. So swing it or not, you are totally in the minority in believing VM have no responsibility for the mess.

The other problem here is that, because they use multiple contract companies throughout the country they are all smaller companies who will just get any unqualified muppet to work for them.

Again, in this example, VM's problem. Not directly, but they have to keep supervision on every job and make sure any deviations are jumped on, right away, before it comes to litigation. Which they clearly didn't do in this case.

You wouldn't blame Ford or BMW if a mechanic did a piss poor job of replacing your breaks would you?

Abso bloody lutely I would. Seriously, if you took your BMW to a BMW agent and some half-arsed mechanic did a botched job, and you were injured as a result, do you honestly not believe BMW is not responsible?

If not you are a dream customer, letting companies get away with any damn thing they please.

And its BRAKES, not breaks.


Re: @damien c

get a grip on your apostrophes, man

More than a couple "WTF??" commas in there too.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish


Re: "Peer-to-peer patch distribution over the LAN"

There's nothing Redmond won't do to help hackers take over its OS.

Now waiting for news that blackhats have found a 0-day and are plonking malware into the update system that gets distributed far and wide and auto-installed, courtesy of Microsoft's "bandwidth saving" measures.

(1) Yes, and Linux is the saviour of the world and I have this lovely little bridge in Brooklyn I'm sure you'd be interested in

(2) Conspiracy theory, anyone?

For Pete's sake, don't be such a drama queen. I've worked extensively on OS X from Leopard to High Sierra, on a dozen different flavours of Linux, and every version of Windows since 3.0 and they *ALL* have issues of one sort or another. There *REALLY, REALLY* is nothing to choose between them for bugs, usability, malware security, or update integrity. They *ALL* have to have updates from time to time.

It's unavoidable that the most popular of them is going to be the target of more malware attacks, and therefore have more patches. So what? It only happens once a month, and then after hours.


Re: Users, start your updates...

to make the OS work as you want it and not as the 'nanny from Redmond' wants you to

...as opposed to the way the nanny from Cupertino wants you to work, of course, which is *S-O-O-O-O-O* much more agreeable and easier?


Re: "Keep clicking, Windows-lovers! It's bound to come along soon."

Or they could be like me. *BOTH* machines I had been running the Tech Preview on died to the point they won't even *power on* anymore. Not sacrificing any more hardware.

Oh, right, hardware failure is *OBVIOUSLY* the fault of the OS, since it happened to both of them. There's *NO SUCH THING* as coincidence, right?


I mean, for real, seriously?

If your computers don't power on, that's a PSU or mobo problem. PLEASE explain how Windows is to blame for either of those. No, go on, I'm dying to hear your rationalisation.


Re: Focus Assist

constant bloody updates. If I wanted to send this much time managing my PC I'd have become a systems administrator.

Stop being so bloody dramatic. If they didn't do updates you'd moan about that instead. "Constant" updates = once a month, BFD, and it happens after hours (or didn't you set your working hours correctly?)


"Bit late to call it April update, no?"

No. It's still April.

Aah but it's the "1803" version. Definitely a bit late for that nomenclature.


Couldn't be something Microsoft is doing to sabotage Windows 7 by any chance? Nah, not our old buddy MS... [and so on, and so on]

Hey buddy, we've all heard the anti-MS / pro Linux rants. B-o-o-o-o-ring. Wind your neck in and put a sock in it.


1. It landed. One of several PCs I was working on last night started downloading it

2. Delivery Optimisation has been around for years. I have no idea how it is being touted as something new.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive


They really don't make them like that any more.

Uh no, TG they don't make them that expensive any more.

There's always lots of discussion around how wasteful it is to replace rather than repair, but for the price of say a LaserJet 2000 - especially given inflation adjusted money - you can easily buy 10 years' worth of this month's model, with toner replacements.

SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere


Re: Meter GPS no big deal?

your bum is being kicked for 100 mm discrepancies that shouldnt be there

What absolute bollocks. GPS is not specced to be accurate to 100 mm, so you should be using something more accurate if you are working to that sort of tolerance.

In the building example above, for instance, using GPS as a substitute for a land surveyor is a piss-poor excuse and just downright lazy. You'd deserve to have your bum kicked - right out of a job.


Re: "...still need to reach '[orbital] velocity'..."

Balloon McBalloonface carries the satellite and continues to float up slowly, straight up and up and up..., and gently deposits the satellite payload into a geostationary orbital slot. Where of course, it stays.

Ummm. You posted this as a joke, right? You do realise a balloon (aka lighter than air flight) can only take a payload as far as there is air? And that geostationary (or any other) orbit is "somewhat" beyond that?


Loaded with emotive superlatives

I had thought El Reg was relatively immune to the desperate sensationalism of tabloid-style reporting, but apparently I was way off the mark there.

Ex-Google recruiter: I was fired for opposing hiring caps on white, Asian male nerds


Re: Political correctness BS

"centuries of racism, sexism and bias mean that ..."

You are seeing the world with the spectacles of the New Marxist Left.

Naah, you are seeing the world with the spectacles of the new Trumpist Right.

RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics


Re: Well at least

Yeah I agree, having to change the batteries in my mouse once every 18 months is such a pain...

Yup, it's also such a nuisance not having a wire getting caught under the edge of the monitor stand, getting in the way of my coffee cup, or dragging papers around the desk.

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work


Re: This one, every time

"Thus a simple question would resolve it: Do you mean ..."

Indeed, I often think IT support people are needlessly arrogant (or themselves a bit clueless) about users' ignorance. So they can be dumb clucks, and they often use incorrect terminology, but I guarantee there are fields *you* don't know about so give them a break. If you aren't patient and don't have people skills you shouldn't be in support.

Which is not to say some users shouldn't be allowed to touch computers. There are some irredeemably thick people out there, and it sometimes feels like I've met all of them... until, that is, I read these columns in El Reg.

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'


Re: I'm not sure what's worse

"The number of times these pictures have turned up with 50 Shades of Grey in either print or video form in the picture is impressive. Some have had a few R18 films..."

So what. Fifty shades is mainstream, the movies might be adult rated but are not illegal and anyone who denies having looked at anything in this category is either lying or over 80.

What about when the glass door or shiny chrome finish clearly shows the picture was taken naked... and in at least one case I have seen, dangling. Eurgh.

80-year-old cyclist killed in prang with Tesla Model S


Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"On balance, it would seem to be more likely that the car hit the cyclist than the cyclist hit the car. Under UK law (and based upon common sense) this would make it the car driver's fault (unless some mitigating circumstances can be found)"

...mitigating circumstance like maybe the old codger fell or swerved or shot out in front of the car, for instance. Let's be fair, not many 80-year-olds are completely as wide awake as, say, the average 40-year-old. Facts are facts. Yes I know, "collision avoidance", but with the best will in the world, and the best programming and brakes and suspension and anything else you can think of, you can't avoid 100% of collisions.

Attention adults working in the real world: Do not upgrade to iOS 11 if you use Outlook, Exchange


Re: Bastards?

Anti-competitive behaviour.

where's a regulator when you need one

Regulators would be applicable to open standards. Exchange is a proprietary standard, with published interfaces. If Microsoft makes changes on the fly, that's their prerogative (and their problem, when you consider interoperability). Might not be to everyone's liking, but that's what happens when de facto monopolies develop.


Bit late now

I updated to 11 so long ago now I've forgotten when it was, so this warning is just so much wasted space and reading time...

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild


touchpads, pfft

so why do they ship crappy touchpads with laptops? It's obviously possible to make one that works

IBM came up with that *HUGELY* inferior pointing-stick-thingy that looks like a pencil eraser in the middle of the keyboard - what in the blue blazes were they thinking?!?


Reactionaries everywhere

Of all the *NOTEBOOK* computers ("laptop" is an old term that vendors haven't used for 25 years) ever released, the IBM Thinkpads that this model emulates is probably the ugliest. All sharp corners and that rubbery stuff only looks good for the first 3 minutes after you take it out of the box.

Also (in South Africa anyway) Lenovo's after-sales service is probably the worst I have ever encountered so even less incentive to buy one of these horrid things.

I say, BING DONG! Microsoft's search engine literally cocks up on front page for hours


Re: muhaha


Colonel: Get on the horn to British Intelligence and let them know about this.

top marks for this frivolous mis-use of a futile imagination :D :D :D

The Next Big Thing in Wi-Fi? Multiple access points in every home


Re: messing with meshes

Mesh APs are still not a panacea for crap WiFi performance

No, not panacea - solution.

It's not just signal strength that matters, but signal integrity

Yes, that's what a mesh means.

Methinks you haven't understood what a mesh is, exactly. It's not just a bunch of APs all shouting as loud as possible, it's an intelligently managed collection that acts more like one AP with distributed antennas, but with each one able to moderate its signal strength according to usage.


Is 2.4GHz viable for such a use of wi-fi?

Certainly it is

Not to mention microwave ovens

Umm I don't think you get enough leakage from microwaves to affect your WiFi. They are after all very carefully shielded against radiating.

I have recently installed a Ubiquiti UniFi mesh which covers both 2.4 and 5 GHz and it works very very well. Costs a "bit" more than conventional WiFi access points / repeaters but by golly it's worth it when you have a large number of people and difficult geography to support. The management software is great, and gives some fascinating insights into what's going on in and around the house.

In this particular scenario (a rambling two-storey guest house catering for up to 19 transitory and 3 permanent users) there are 6 access points, 5 upstairs and one on the ground floor, providing fantastic, seamless coverage. No latency, just smooth coverage (not a lot of enter-device traffic, it's pretty much all device-Internet). Most devices that aren't iPads, iPods, or MacBooks use the 2.4 GHz band.

Here's the astonishing part: at any given time there are 100+ (yep, over a hundred) visible APs in the neighbourhood. This is an ordinary suburb in Cape Town, not high-rise, not even high density cheek-by-jowl housing. OK, only the UniFi software can show me those SSIDs, and obviously many of them are unusably weak, but still... over a hundred, and zero noticeable interference.

I had another customer near the International Airport - right by the runway threshold - and conventional WiFi just didn't work. As someone else mentioned here, turn up the power and you only make a small difference for a short while. Installed one of these meshes and it was like night and day.


If Comcast's support people can control wifi following a script, surely software would be able to do a better job automatically?

Yeahhhh... if Comcast's support people are anything like the average ISP support person in South Africa, this won't work. Not by a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g, long shot. The mind boggles at the thought, in fact, of an ISP call centre agent managing even the simplest home "mesh".

Also... these things are "tiny devices plugged into the wall", right? Getting signal from... ethernet over power, I assume? Yeah, works great as long as you only have single phase power in the house, and you only want 11 Mb/s or slower (not much good for streaming hi res video).

€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine


Re: There is quite a bit of that floating around Eastern Europe

[i]I couldn't have lasted a week without drilling a hole and taking a look.[/i]

Umm yeah the owner's not telling you what his grandparents told him about the 2 nazis he stuffed in there

Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight


Re: Engines

Exactly, there are two completely separate factors at play here: the supersonic bang (which on the NY-London route AFAIK always took place well out to sea) and engine noise. The article is written as if these were one and the same.

A major reason why most modern aircraft are cheaper to fly and quieter is the use of the wide "high bypass" engines

In other words Turbofans as opposed to turbojets I believe? Something like that, I read once a hundred years ago that there about 7 distinctly different "jet" engine designs but I couldn't be bothered looking them up now. Anyhow this can be seen in the shorter, fatter engine nacelles of modern airliners compared to the more pencil-like engines of the 70's aircraft. The problem with Concorde was you couldn't bolt bigger engine housings on the wings - they were enclosed in a box under the body where I guess there just wasn't any room for big fat engines and modifying that housing would have changed the a/c design too radically to keep its type certificate.

Huawei Honor 8 Pro: Makes iPhone 7 Plus look a bit crap


Yes but then you have to use Android.

I had a Galaxy S II for about 14 months and hated every second of it. I've had 2 iPhones since then and while there are still somethings that are a bit frustrating, it's so far ahead of the user experience I remember from the Samsung that the thought of going back makes my blood run cold. I think I'd rather not have a mobe.

Probably the worst part of Android as it was then was the predictive text and the stupidity of the keyboard, and possibly it has improved since then, but I'm just not prepared to take a chance. And no-one lets you the general public test drive a phone for a week before buying one so I guess I'll never find out.

Quite happy with my iPhone 5S, thank you, see no reason to change.

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'


Given that most software folk are deeply nerdy, how is this news?

As Gordon Pryra says, probably 90% of a "community" is the silent people. But it's the same in real-world politics, isn't it: it's the voiciferous minority who drive all the rhetoric.

User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work


It's hard to believe that a clear-cut case of user vandalism as described could not be unequivocally proved to have been exactly that - (a) the drive was full of butter and (b) it worked when the button was pressed properly - so if that's all there was to it, the techie in question should have been able to prove his innocence beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt. If not, I have to question either the truthfulness of the story or the competence of the techie - sure, I know there are dumb-ass companies that will allow (or attempt to allow) marketing drones to get away with s#!t like that, but, seriously now...

Trump's visa plan leaks: American techies first


Re: "SV companies ... weren't willing to offer adequate compensation"

That actually translates to "we want more scientists". The more who are trained the easer it is to keep the pay rates down. It was just as true 50+ years ago

Well apparently pay rates are already down, so actually you need fewer scientists, don't you?

In any event, equating "scientists" with "tech jobs" is like saying engineers and mechanics are the same - a mistake the press makes all the time, where I live and probably in the UK too.

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers


Touch Screens and Buzzing Briefs

I really don't get touch screens on computers that have keyboards. Either it's way uncomfortable to use ("Remember the gorilla arm") or I keep inadvertently touching the screen when using the keyboard, with all the frustration that ensues.

And apart from that, I wonder how many times you can accidentally close the notebook without first removing the Airbar before the lid hinges break. Try getting *that* covered under your Apple warranty.

Haptic jeans? You know how tight your trousers have to be for that to be effective? I've lost count of how many times has my phone buzzed silently in my pocket and I've not felt it - besides, as has been pointed out elsewhere, lots of times directions that are simply "left/right" are oftentimes misleading at best. This idea truly belongs under the "bonkers" column and I doubt it will be a commercial success.

Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment


Re: But how to know if someone has an implant?

@ Wzrd1:-

"But I imagine that, say, titanium wire bound round a femur to hold it together could just conceivably form a multi-turn coil, in which case it might be dangerous due to circulating current in a rather high resistance metal."

Only if you have some magical overriding law of physics that surrounds you and turns titanium into a ferromagnetic metal.

Last I heard copper wasn't ferromagnetic. However current is induced in copper wire loops. So maybe your theory needs re-thinking.

Security! experts! slam! Yahoo! management! for! using! old! crypto!


In! Other! News!

El! Reg! Continues! To! Use! Lots! Of! Italicised! Exclamation! Marks!

Readers! Irritated! By! Hackneyed! Technique!

Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab


Re: Maybe

A country [Americans] mostly populated by the descendants of people 'fleeing religious persecution'

Religious persecution? Really? So starvation, wanderlust, adventure, or anything like that played no significant part in the population of the country?

Seriously, dude, that's like saying Australia is "mostly" populated by ex-cons.


Re: Most of the creationists I know also believe in evolution!

Or maybe they just prattle on with no idea of what the theory actually is.

I think that's the more accurate assessment. Evolution is probably the least widely understood theory amongst the general public. Lots of people have the idea mutations happen to individual specimens, but that is probably only the grossest mistake. The "I was not descended from an ape" argument probably sums it all up quite well.

I think more people have a better idea of Relativity than they do of Darwinian evolution.


Re: frog becoming a giraffe - is it just me?

...or does anyone else find this incoherent?

[...]basically I accept the possibility of time dilation with an expanding universe, where some of the universe has experienced illions or billions of yaers of time while the Earth has not despite all being made at the same time. I cannot accept that God made light of a supernova only as light from that where the nova did not occur, if we see it then it happened.

I re-read it a few times but couldn't make head or tail of it. Not just this but pretty much the whole post just reads as a confused rant to me.

Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out


They seem to have no idea wtf they are doing

I think it's more like the person who wrote the article had no idea wtf they [the hackers] were doing, and wrote a dumbed-down version of the story as s/he understood it. Resulting in making the whole thing incomprehensible, but it's hardly the first news article I've read that is guilty of that.


Re: Push The Button To Exit

What I'm wondering is how they safeguard against someone sneaking in through these doors DURING a fire, hiding

Huh? With a human guard of some type stationed at said door?

Security sections aren't all complete idiots. I know the average rent-a-cop walking around with an ill-fitting uniform is a minimum-wage, minimum-IQ drone, but any company worth anything meaningful has somebody with a bit of brains in charge of the loss control department.


Re: Push The Button To Exit

rotating doors with single person sized vestibules that would turn just enough to allow one person through

Unbelievably annoying to try getting through this type of door (let's just call it what it is: a turnstile) with anything larger than a Tupperware lunchbox in your hand. Totally forget a substantial toolbox. Cue up the just as annoying bureaucratic process of getting clearance to bypass the turnstile and use the large (fire escape) door, after security has overridden the alarm, blah blah blah yawn...


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