* Posts by Richard Boyce

296 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007

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I've got a verbal govt contract for Hyperloop, claims His Muskiness

Richard Boyce

Sadly, I think the security problem will also be the main obstacle preventing the contruction of a space elevator, even when we have materials of sufficient tensile strength.

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Virgin Media broadband latency headaches still not fixed six months on

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Not the only problem with the SuperHub 3

My SH1 died and I asked to have a replacement sent to me. Not possible they said. Wait days for an engiineer to come, they said.

He installed a SH3. I later found that it can't support port forwarding rules and DMZ at the same time. With the "firewall" on, one works and the other doesn't, and vice versa.

Never heard of that, they said. Not possible to send you a different SH, they said. So I asked to refer them to the Vigin Media support forum. The effect was the same as if I'd used a Jedi mind trick. A SH2 arrived the next day.

I'm sure the individual staff members aren't inherently dishonest; more likely it's a bad management ethos that's filtering down to the support personnel.

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Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Richard Boyce

Food

Even Tardigrades are part of a food chain. On their own, they're doomed.

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Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio

Richard Boyce

Rotatable

I only buy rotatable monitors, so I think I'll give this one a miss. :)

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SpaceX halts Intelsat 35e launch twice in a row

Richard Boyce
Joke

Re: "it depends on whether the customer is willing to use a cheaper, second hand rocket. "

If they start to use the term "pre loved", they should be "first against a wall when the revolution comes".

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Richard Boyce

Re: That's a very restrained response from NASA

The Register may have damaged its own reputation by wasting NASA's time in this way.

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ICO fines Morrisons for emailing customers who didn't want to be emailed

Richard Boyce

Sainsbury's did worse

In 2010 ( think), Sainsbury's were sending out marketing emails despite my account settings recording that I had opted out. Towards Xmas, they were sending emails most days using a third party spamming house. My complaints and instructions to delete my account information were not acted upon.

I considered getting heavy with them, but instead I set an email filter to forward all Sainbury's emails back to Sainsbury's, with the hope that they would automatically acknowledge receiving each one.

It wasn't until five years later that I found the filter was no longer needed, and they got another order from me. During that time, all my online grocery shopping went to rivals. Ultimately, that's the real cost of doing this sort of thing, not a token fine.

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Toshiba bowls out small but nippy enterprise spinner

Richard Boyce

My next computer is likely to have an SSD, not an HDD. However, admittedly a few years ago now, I traded in one netbook with sold state memory whose performance quickly degraded to the point where it was hardly usable. That experience informed my comment.

One alternative technology that intrigues me is SONOS.

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Richard Boyce

We want something fast that doesn't have the built-in obsolescence of SSDs.

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Richard Boyce

Photo

"Seagate has a 15K 2.5-inch Enterprise Performance drive, launched in October 2016, that also has 300GB, 600GB and 900GB capacities. It has three platters and six heads at the 900GB capacity level, which suggests Toshiba has an areal density advantage."

Maybe the photo is of the 600GB model.

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Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads

Richard Boyce

Re: PC World still exists?

"Don't forget it needs to be gold plated as well, you can really tell the difference when they are, honest!"

Especially valuable with optical connectors, of course. It's not just PC World offering such bargains. http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-digital-optical-mini-tos-adapter-a14ny .

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Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Richard Boyce

Re: Whatever the technical merits/flaws

Speaking of white elephants, they don't get much more expensive than the International Space Station. No chinese involvement in that, AFAIK. We could've had a huge number of interplanetary probes and landers for what that cost, and the cost is still rising because noone will cut the losses lest the prior waste be more obvious.

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Richard Boyce

Re: Total travel time?

"I reckon the main use of this would be for freight, not people."

The likes of Amazon may be interested, but most freight is more sensitive to cost than to delivery time.

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Apple gives world ... umm ... not much new actually

Richard Boyce

Mac mini

It's nice that my 2010 Mac mini is still running, but the main reason is that Apple still can't manage to offer a quad core replacement. When it fails (likely to be its hard drive), it will get immediately replaced by a PC, not a £1,200+ quad core iMac with a fixed landscape-oriented display. I'm not in the market for a computer that is expensive furniture first and computer second.

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Russian data scientist unable to claim £12,000 prize in Brit competition

Richard Boyce

Reputation

At least he can put this result on his C.V. to enhance his reputation. I suspect the organisers are not too keen on transparency in this case.

Now, if I felt inclined to be really cynical, I might wonder if he was awarded the result for the purpose of depriving someone who was eligible for the money.

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NASA Sun probe named for solar wind boffin Eugene Parker

Richard Boyce

Re: 1300c + continuously.

Not continuously. A speaker at the event indicated that it's hard to cope with the repeated heating and cooling during the probe's eliptical orbit.

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Dixons Carphone: Brexit not a factor as Brits' gadget lust holds strong

Richard Boyce

"I think I was going for the decent selection of PCs in my hometown, you have no choice which is rather more correct."

By all means make your choice at the store, but make sure you buy online from someone else. The chances are the online equivalent has a higher spec, even if the main part of the model number is the same, or will at least be cheaper, even with delivery. If you get a dud (it happens) and have to return it, you likely won't get an argument from someone professionally obstructive.

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Richard Boyce

Re: Alternatively

"It is not a shock that the survivability of the EU is always in question (at least in its current form)" .

The same is true of the UK.

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SSD price premium over disk faaaalling

Richard Boyce

Unused capacity

I think a lot of installed HDD capacity is going unused, especially in domestic PCs and that will tend to increase as areal densities increase. Manufacturers of PCs know that if they have a choice of fitting a 1TB HDD or a 500GB SSD at the same price, the 2x price premium of SSDs is not sufficient to choose a HDD.

HDD manufacturers could offer crippled drives at a lower price, but that won't change the manufacturing cost. One option might be to shift to making a lot of drives smaller than 2.5" .

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Richard Boyce

Re: For the phone scammers ...

I usually do similar. Some are clueless about what they're involved in, just following a script until they find someone who qualifies to be passed on to someone more knowledgeable. Most know what they're doing, but give excuses.

One lady quoted my address and said she was going to come and kill me. I laughed and considered that a success.

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Male escort forgot pregnancy protection, scores data protection instead

Richard Boyce

Re: In the UK

Eight years later, even the couple will not reliably know whose fault it was. All we know is that the man wanted money then, and that the woman wants money now.

Poor kid.

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BMW complies with GPL by handing over i3 car code

Richard Boyce

Patience, grasshopper.

Alas, there are fewer people these days who are old enough to remember where this phrase was first popularised.

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Toshiba spins out new NAS disk drive with its fastest transfer rate yet

Richard Boyce

A million hours MTBF?

That's over 100 years. Curiously, only a three year warranty. Which suggests Toshiba thinks the mean time to the first (and likely final) failure is very, very different.

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Brazilians whacked: Crooks hijack bank's DNS to fleece victims

Richard Boyce

Re: "Let's Encrypt" abused. What a surprise...

Criminals use security, so maybe you're thinking that security should be banned. Are you a politician?

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NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

Richard Boyce

Re: Another slight issue?

Getting info through the atmosphere is the tricky bit, hence the desire to point near vertically. A few routers hanging above ground stations using tight laser beams, can then use relatively wide beams to talk to other fast-moving spacecraft.

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Cisco reports bug disclosed in WikiLeaks' Vault 7 CIA dump

Richard Boyce

Re: How Long?

Could Cisco afford to be behaving any differently?

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

Richard Boyce
Joke

"My phone is currently called 'GCHQ Network Monitor'"...

Now they can link that moniker to GruntyMcPugh. And so the links build up. They're coming for you.

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This is where UK's Navy will park its 75,000-ton aircraft carriers

Richard Boyce

Re: "...a local transformer which takes it up from the standard 50Hz to the carriers’ 60Hz..."

Why is the conversion equipment not on the carrier itself to make it more independent? It isn't just Portsmouth that uses 50Hz.

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Oh my God, 911 is down. Quick, call… aaargh!

Richard Boyce

Of course, it's already designed and everything's been thought of....

"The next-generation system is designed for resiliency. It is designed for redundancy. It is designed to move. .. there is a critical need to ensure federal support for upgrading our 911 systems into a next-generation 911 environment..."

What could possibly go wrong?

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Richard Boyce

Smart meters and dumb buyers.

Don't blame the "smarts" if the problem is the quality of the basic measurement circuitry. What's likely happening is that people are taking advantage of the replacement program to sell crap guilded with some shiny IT.

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Baby supernova spotted, just three hours old and a real cutie

Richard Boyce

Just like others?

"...because it's a Type II, the most common type of supernova, it's a reasonable bet that other Type IIs do something similar."

That seems to be uncomfortably close to circular reasoning. We need to get lucky a few more times.

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Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

Richard Boyce

Re: Fake News

It's possible the 19 were required to prevent it becoming major.

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WTF is your problem, Netgear? Another hijack hole found in its routers

Richard Boyce

Default port numbers

This is a reminder to use non-default port numbers for services such as remote management. This will sometimes prevent zero-day expliots as well as provide a little protection for those who are slow to patch.

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Virgin America mid-flight panic after moron sets phone Wi-Fi hotspot to 'Samsung Galaxy Note 7'

Richard Boyce

Re: Risk Management Consideration

... or the pilot was bluffing and had his bluff called.

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Whinge on: T-Mobile US docked $48m for limiting 'unlimited' data plans

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

4GB data credit?

What use is a 4GB data credit to people who are already on "unlimited" plans?

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BT Yahoo! customers: Why! can't! we! grrr! delete! our! webmail! accounts!?

Richard Boyce

A reminder to...

Never use an email service that's tied to your broadband provider. You can't move email addresses in the way that you can move phone numbers.

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Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

Richard Boyce
Trollface

Re: Is there a story here?

Don't forget Volvos. People drive Volvos after learning they need protection from themselves.

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Apple kills its Stores

Richard Boyce

Not convinced. Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to rename the App Store?

Another possibility is that someone thought the word "store" was too downmarket.

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New Mars rover is GO for 2020 says NASA

Richard Boyce

Wheels

I suspect the wheels will have a new design. Curiosity's wheels have taken a beating.

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Graphene is actually self-folding origami, proclaim physicists

Richard Boyce

Tapering

The tapering suggests that the flaps will only pull back so far before breaking off.

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Huawei: Our fake phone camera pic shame

Richard Boyce

Sloppiness and dishonesty are not mutually exclusive. When people are caught, it's often because of the combination.

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'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

Richard Boyce

No need for installation; just run it. You can then delete it. The effect is persistent because it sets registry settings that Microsoft has promised will be effective. If Microsoft reneged on this there would be legal fireworks from businesses which Microsoft still has some respect for.

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Sophos U-turns on lack of .bat file blocking after El Reg intervenes

Richard Boyce

Re: Hang on a second

So if your friend gets an email that purports to be from you and has an .exe file attached, he should run it, right?

Are you sure he's your friend?

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Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

Richard Boyce

iDrive

Cynically, I wonder if the iDrive optimisation refers to a future optimisation of profits, i.e Apple can now provide a smaller and cheaper SSD as standard, and no socket to plug in an external drive, while charging people for the extra cloud storage they now automatically use.

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Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Richard Boyce

Wait and see

Never believe claimed hardware capabilities even after a product release, let alone over a year before release. Always wait to see what level of software or media support for the hardware is actually available in your country and what the price is.

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eBay boss joins Thiel critics

Richard Boyce

Winner pays?

AFAIK, in the US, unlike here in the UK, a plaintiff can damage a defendant financially, even if the defendant wins the case because a successful defendant is expected to pay his own legal costs. In the UK, the loser generally pays both sides' costs incurred before any reasonable settlement offer.

Assuming I'm correct, can someone please explain to me why the US operates in this apparently unjust way? It would seem to encourage vexatious lawsuits by the wealthy.

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Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Planet 9 a captured alien, astroboffins suggest

Richard Boyce

Re: It could be...

They have but slept.

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TeamViewer denies hack after PCs hijacked, PayPal accounts drained

Richard Boyce

Re: Sounds like bad config to me

I suspect the same. You can protect your account with a strong password and two-factor authentication, but that doesn't protect the computers, which can be reached without knowing which account, if any, they belong to.

Getting through two-factor authentication that's protecting the account requires the private key, unless the criminals have found a weakness in TeamViewer's site that allows the need for that to be bypassed. I would hope that TeamViewer does not keep a copy of that private key.

Always make sure that no computer can be accessed without a good password, even if your account is compromised. That password should not be known by TeamViewer or anyone else, so should be different to the password protecting the account. Additionally, disallow the use of PINs.

Finally, there's always a possibility of a vulnerability in the software itself, so keep it up-to-date, and don't have it running without a good reason.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Richard Boyce

Re: It's GWX Control Panel or Linux

Use Never10 from grc.com. That way you don't need to install anything.

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