* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

418 posts • joined 6 Feb 2015


Apple evacuates European HQ after bomb threat



<tinfoil_hat_time location="firmly on noggin">

Thought it was only paranoia if it wasn't actually true...

Seems exactly the kind of stunt these guys would pull to gain unfettered access for a while. Especially since Apple won't publicly play ball on end-to-end encryption.


So how's that dragnet working out, lads? Since the hoax was sent by email, isn't this exactly the naughtiness your all-encompassing bulk collection programmes are meant to be flagging? Or will it be flagged some time next month when you've finally had enough time to filter the kilobyte of wheat from petabytes of chaff...

RBS and Natwest online banking goes titsup



Not that I'm really surprised, but isn't it about time they were properly spanked for this crap?

And I don't mean a wet towel flicking session with their crony government mates...

Give the regulator some sharp teeth and pointy claws, stop the banks repeatedly shafting those whose money they look after.

It's all to easy to fuck up then say "we won't leave you out of pocket" but that doesn't alleviate or compensate for the hassle caused, time lost sorting out bounced payments, stain on credit record for missing a mortgage/bill/credit card payment etc.

Hit them where it hurts. Hard. Next time hit them harder.

NASA books space shuttle delivery truck


Re: Contract Out, Screw the Workforce

Umm... what? Are you on drugs? If you are - stop. If you're not, take some and chill the fuck out.

Pretty sure you'll find the private enterprises have the same worker safety and materials handling requirements that NASA does. They just don't have the pork and other massive administration overheads.

Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup


Re: DevOps for the win

Nah, if it builds, ship it.

Devops is expensive right? Surely we don't need all that added cost when you guys can just write some more unit tests? 100% coverage.

What do you mean that's impossible? Just test everything.

What do you mean you can't possibly know all the combinations to test for? Just test everything!

We'll craft some meaningless and unenforceable T&Cs pushing all responsibility for failure onto the customer. I get a big bonus and promotion for saving the company a shit load of cash, and if something does go tits up I'll just blame the devs for not writing the correct unit tests.

(Joking of course, but sadly I have worked in places where that was exactly the attitude from on high)

Seems like what all the other IoT shit does, so why would hipster shiny-shiny Nest be any different?


Re: I can handle this one


Close but no banana...

Defensive coding 101 - never assume side effects in functions, and avoid adding side effects to functions.

If (too_hot)





Else if (too_cold)









Plus there's no guarantee that turning the heater on turns off the AC, and vice versa. If the sample rate isn't high enough, transition from too hot/cold to too cold/hot could skip the Heat_and_AC_Off() call allowing heater and AC to be on together.


UK NHS-backed health apps 'riddled with security flaws'


Re: "Checklist security is easy, "

Always comes back to: good, fast, cheap... pick two.

And the two picked are always fast and cheap. What happens from there is the same shit it always is, and should be no surprise to anyone.

Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD


Re: Ah joke wallpaper ...

And you just know they unticked all the privacy invasion options on install, right?

"To improve your combat experience, Windows 10 for Warships sends application details to Microsoft which may include usernames, passwords, armament levels, crew compliment, readiness levels, fleet size, fleet makeup, fleet location, satcom transcripts, satellite imagery, radar contact and electronic intercept data.

Your privacy is respected at all times, but we will dump all this shit on a public server somewhere because we couldn't be arsed to secure it properly and figured we could make a quick buck off sale to carefully (yeah, right) selected third parties.."

CES tech show adds new security checks after fears of violence


Re: Won't do dick.

Not just that, but all these extra checks do is push the probable location for an incident from inside the exhibit halls to the massive lines outside. Theatre. Pure theatre. Doesn't deal the with source of the problems just shifts the attack vector.

Hundreds of thousands of engine immobilisers hackable over the net


Wait... what?

The same units are built into children's watches sold by ThinkRace...

They built a fuel pump cut-out into a kid's watch...?

National Crime Agency: Your kid could be a nasty interwebs hacker


Dear NCA...

Much of my programming as a yoof was self-taught through independent learning material. I also had irregular sleep patterns and was (and still am) socially introverted.

Yet somehow I failed to become a master cyber-criminal.

Please tell me what I did wrong.

I know lots of people with similar upbringing, yet mysteriously they aren't evil hackers bent on social collapse either. Did they do something wrong too?

Sincerely, Jimmy

PS. You clearly don't have a brain cell between you. Stop conflating puberty and a desire to better oneself with signs of criminal tendencies. Surprised you're not pushing phrenology to identify likely crims.

Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves



What it will do, though, is give the EM-sensitivity crowd a headache (another, anyway), trying to work out if it's good or bad.

You say that like it's a bad thing. I'm hoping their heads will explode so we can finally be rid of that particular shower of idiots.


Re: Just. Use. Wires.


Lack of range makes the suggested use of "Building-wide temperature maps" a complete non-starter.

Even at the theorised 5m range, if you need a router every 5m to supply enough power to the sensor, obviously you need to get power to all those routers.

The chips might cost 20c each, but sufficient routers, their power cabling, ducting etc certainly costs more.

Cheaper and easier to just use wired sensors. Less wifi noise too. Imagine the channel interference with a router every 5m...

Neat that it can power itself. Pretty much useless in situations where you want blanket coverage.

Brit hardware hacker turns Raspberry Pi Zeros into selfie slayers


a 'No social media bubble'...


LHC records biggest bang ever with 1 Peta-electron-volt jolt


Re: Hot density rocks

We're talking pairs of atoms, not handfuls of the stuff, and probably not even nanoseconds of time.

Localised energy may be incredibly high, but it's localised to a very very tiny volume and lasts a very very short time.

The liquid helium cooling is so the superconducting magnets, well, you know... superconduct.

Big Bang left us with a perfect random number generator


Re: Could this be faked

Not an astrophysicist, but it seems to me the frequencies wouldn't be a problem (just microwaves). The location however... CMB comes from all directions in the sky. To fake it you'd need a source that could blanket the entire sky to an extraordinarily high resolution that is better than the best radio and microwave telescopes down here (so I dunno... micro-arc seconds between sources maybe?).

Trillions of point sources? Quadrillions? More...? The material costs and launch logistics alone prohibit it.

And even if you could source enough material, and loft it, couldn't be too close to Earth or it'd be visible.

Then you have an occlusion problem where your orbiting cluster of quadrillions of microwave sources visibly blocks what's behind them. Suddenly the rest of the solar system and beyond vanishes from view? Think someone might notice...

Short answer: No, can't be faked

Feeble Phobos flaking as it falls to Mars


....don't you have to have tides( water/liquid) to have tidal influences?

No. Tidal. Not tides.

Tidal forces refers to the effects on Phobos structure due to differing strength of Mars' gravity between points on Phobos closest too and furthest from Mars. The closer bits feel Mars' gravity more strongly, and so are distorted more, than those further away. This puts the moon under strain.

Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries


one wheel at the tip, two at the back


T.I.T.s written down the side?

Delboy working in post office sorting now? Explains a few things...


Re: Postman Pat no more?!

Nah it'll just become Postman P.A.T. (Package Aerial Transporter) and his black and white C.A.T. (Complimentary Animal Technician)

And no, that's not your telly aerial. Unless the drone flies too low.


Re: Swallows...

That an African or European swallow?

UK's internet spy law: £250m in costs could balloon to £2 BILLION

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Re: The rule of thumb

Indeed. I'd be amazed if the final bill only reaches 2 billion, given that was about the level of previous cost estimates for IMP and CMB.

Following that rule, 6 - 20 billion is more likely.

Funnily enough (but not haha funny), their targeted 12 billion saving from benefit cuts lies pretty much bang in the middle of that range...

Financially cripple the poorest in society and spy the crap out of them for no overall cost increase. I'd like to believe gov can't sink any lower, but I'm sure they'll find some way to outdo themselves.

'I posted winning race ticket in Facebook selfie ... and someone stole it!'


Well blow me...

What a big mouth you have...

Ice 'lightning' may have helped life survive Snowball Earth


Re: Freeze Lightning Shirley!

My bad, it was Stargate Atlantis. One of the later episodes of season 5 I believe.

Kinda feel like a tool now...


Re: Freeze Lightning Shirley!

Upvote for SG1 reference

Pluto flashes its unusual pits


Never mind the pits...

It's the lighthouse/beacon/antenna/point-singularity-projector looking thing in the upper left corner of the first image they should be interested in...

Connected kettles boil over, spill Wi-Fi passwords over London

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Re: I wonder

However if this were to happen at say 3am, it would cause all sorts of issues.

Very true. Didn't occur.

Good point, well made.


Re: I wonder


Happens all the time after popular TV shows anyway. Millions of viewers at the end of Corrie, East Enders, X Factor etc. all firing up the kettle during the ad break (or between programs on Auntie Beeb)

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back


Check your settings on Update as they're forcing them to Auto Update

@Mark85 good catch - thanks

Windows Update is now back how I want it. Not how they want it. MS, you sneaky bastards...

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars


Re: this issue will get solved eventually

Insurance companies would love you to have a safe driverless car.

They'll love paying out less.

Though it would be great to think this translates to lower premiums, corporate greed and thirst for ever greater profit means this is unlikely.

More likely premiums will stay the pretty much same for driverless cars, while skyrocketing for people who want to drive manually.

The only way premiums will drop is forcibly by legislation. With a corporate-friendly government in power, and large supply of cash-stuffed envelopes from the insurance lobbyists, don't expect to see that becoming law any time soon.


Re: Crash for cash

Recorded telemetry and sensor data in driverless cars (speed, GPS track, distances to cars in front/behind/oncoming, all-round video and radar/lidar data etc) prior to such crashes essentially rules out any profit to be had. That data is an insurance assessors wet dream and will prove categorically who was at fault.

That's if they can even get the driverless car to crash into them. These things will always react faster, out-brake, and remain at a safer distance from the car in front than any human driver.

Expect some attempts from the more stupid crash-for-cash tools, before they realise it'll be near impossible to crash into a driverless car and make it look like the driverless car is at fault. Then they'll give up and go on to easier pickings.

Cops must get a warrant before raiding phones, email, etc (in California)


Always follow the... um... proceeds of dodgy dealings...?

Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday signed off the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require a search warrant for electronic searches.

Almost as though there might be something incriminating or at least career-endingly embarrassing on his phone he'd want the opportunity to remote-wipe if the feds come a-knockin'...

Cynical? Moi? Mais oui mes amis!

Leno and Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) introduced the bill back in February.

These guys too perhaps?

NASA boffins on Pluto: We see skies of BLUE and... RED water ice


Re: All blue

But what if said atmosphere's content absorbs blue light while reflecting or not interacting with other frequencies...? Ain't gonna be blue then...

His advocate---------------------------------------------->


Why's it so red..?

Well.. duh!!! It's clearly bolognese sauce exuded by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

NASA has unexpectedly stumbled upon His lair, an incursion which cannot stand unpunished and humanity will suffer His wrath.

Eventually. I imagine the commute from Pluto is a bitch.

Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'


Re: Apple Security

Kinda agree with this.

Maybe not so much about relative security, more that the perps see Apple users as likely higher value targets. Which shows how dumb said perps really are, given Apple's 13.9% market share in Q2 2015


If the rest of the market is so insecure compared to Apple, surely it's worth targeting the 86.1% of the market that ain't Apple...? Low hanging fruit an' all that.

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On the other hand, he'd never find his way out either.

A plan with no drawbacks.

Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well


Of != Have

@future research:

What is the problem with that, Language does change over time?

Fuck it, why not just allow "of" and "have" to be used interchangeably? Nothing could possibly go wrong with that now, could it...?

May I of one have whatever you're smoking please?

If this is your idea have a brave new world, I want to of no part have it.

Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS


@Khaptain Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

I honestly couldn't care less for what anyone does in the privacy of their own home, that's their problem.

What I do not care for is the fact that the media, in this case El Reg, pump this crap onto the screens/newspapers/medium of their readers.

Society is being dumbed down to a level the leaves me in complete despair.. and what do I see, people on a tech site that defend this kind of thing.

Ummm... yeah... so you know this is Bootnotes, right?

In other words - expect inane bollocks just like this, which is a welcome relief to the overwhelming seriousness in the world. Seriousness that seems to have sucked you into it's clammy, graping maw...

It's not broadband if it's not 10 Mbps, says Ovum


Only 4 devices connected on average?

That all? Seems way low.

Phones, tablets, TVs, Sky boxes, streaming TV boxes, PCs, laptops, consoles, CCTV, alarm systems, smart (urgh) appliciances ... any household with kids is likely to have a some or all of these, perhaps many times over. 3 kids here and between us we've something like 15 devices online.

Anti-peeping-tom drone law nixed in California


Re: Super Cali's Governor Brown something, something ... ah screw it

Sub Ed's really not making the effort any more...

Apple hypegasm countdown. What will the new, big iPad ACTUALLY be called?


Re: Tellydangle

Low hanging fruit...?

Drunk Japanese warrior cuffed after NINJA STRIKE on shop robot


Pics or it didn't happen...

Am I the only one who's disappointed there's no video showing this heroic ninja warrior in action? I wanted to see a 60 year old roundhousing the robot...

I'd offer this beer to the guy, but it seems like he's had enough already...

British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike


Re: Victims?

Re: Victims?

And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly? Ah they are not a nation how convenient for us.

Nation state or not, ISIS are a (somewhat) organised military force with a stated goal of eradicating our way of life.

Pretty sure we effectively declared war with them some time ago, this is just a continuance of military operations. Had it been two non-Britons killed by drone strike, I doubt there would be anything like the fuss this has generated.

We don't have boots on the ground because we are not at war with the sovereign states ISIS is attempting occupy, control and turn back into a Caliphate.

This could have been done legally and above board instead we have our politicians playing real life Call of Duty.

How, exactly? Send local plod round with an arrest warrant?

You need to grow up. These aren't criminals, they are traitors who decided to become enemy combatants in an ongoing military operation that was entirely started by ISIS / IS / ISIL / whatever the fuck they're calling themselves today.

I for one will lose no sleep over the death in combat of two treasonous scumbags.


Re: Victims?


Wrong word.

Completely agree. Traitors. Nothing more, nothing less.

Join an enemy military force, official nation or not, you're fair game for military engagement.

Astroboffins EYEBALL 13 BEELLION-year-old galaxy far, far, farthest away from Earth


RE: There is no fixed speed of light. It is just a huge lie.

There is no fixed speed of light. It is just a huge lie.

Whatever we see is in realtime always.

Unfortunately it is still like in the Middle Ages and soon after that... pseudo-science lies claimed to be the absolute truth.

There are people that know the truth and they hide it from the public.

Dude... whatever you're on... do less of it. A lot less.

Anti-botnet initiatives USELESS in sea of patch-hating pirates


Re: Who's responsible

Sounds like where I work, only your place has more "IT" people (they clearly aren't actually proper IT people, or they'd be able to configure the server themselves). Actually the place you're at sounds like a cushy job for 6 people to sit around doing fuck all and get paid for it...

Here, the only guy who knew much about IT (wasn't actually an IT guy, just happened to grasp the enough for us to get by) has just left, and now any and all IT consideration is a finger waving exercise outsourced to the lowest bidder. Sad.

US Air Force: 'Loose tweets destroy fleets'


How many is too many?

Choose your preferred metric! If we assume that it's population, then I have to ask why with only 5x the population, the US needs 70x as many combat aircraft as the UK? Even on the suspect land mass metric, they've either got twice as many as they need, or we've got half the number we need.

From a naval point of view, the CIA World Factbook identifies the US coastline as only 1.6x that of the UK, so I have to ask if you're arguing that the UK needs 14 aircraft carriers, and nearly 400 frigates?

Doesn't necessarily mean they have too many. One can equally argue we don't have enough...

There's no "right" answer to that. Depends on which side of the equation one sits. That and threat landscapes shift all the time, suddenly an excess can become insufficient.

Australian court slaps down Hollywood's speculative invoices


I should be an account

No, no, no... You should be an English teacher.

Flying Spaghetti Monster spotted off Angolan coast



The somewhat fawning line "through the generous help of offshore oil and gas companies" does stick in the throat somewhat.

Yeah it's a bit sickly, but at the same time BP etc don't have to let these guys use their ROVs. So in that context, they are being generous, and chaps benefiting from this generosity are politely acknowledging this.

I think to call it "fawning" is unfair. They aren't saying BP are on wondrous and magnificent endeavours for the good of all mankind, just thanks for letting us play with your toys.



In other news... FCC members early adopters of iRobot automated lawn mowers

Mysterious benefactor supplies FCC panel members with auto-mowers prior to presentation of the case, the damn things are just too convenient to risk being made inoperable due to pesky things like broadcasting in a restricted band. Won't somebody please think of the FCC!?!


So who care's if it pisses off some geeks looking for booze in deep space, right?

We're the freakin' FCC! We don't mow our own lawns.


Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right


Re: Red-top article?

Not clocked the bright red top banner heading on each page on El Reg, huh...?

Too subtle perhaps?

Safe as houses: CCTV for the masses


Netatmo's Welcome costs €199, which is presently about £140.

That may be the exchange rate, but oddly it never works out that way.

It'll be at least £199 and you fucking know it!


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