* Posts by Baldrickk

649 posts • joined 26 May 2016


Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: This is Getting Out of Hand


In fact, dropping something by 'chute sounds like a way of introducing uncontrollable randomness into where the package actually ends up, which can be only a bad thing. What's to stop the package drifting off and landing in, for example, my pond? "

At least with all the bubble-wrap it'll float

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

Baldrickk Silver badge

Paid consumption

Ad slinging pages have themselves to blame here - Ad-blockers are popular because ads are annoying, and to a lesser degree (though more serious) potential ingress routes for malware.

The more pages sling annoying ads, the more people get annoyed with them (surprising, eh?) and want to stop them. So the more people block them.

Advertising in the street may or may not be eye-catching, but the majority is billboards in set locations, or bus stop advertising boards, or on the side of busses. It is passive, and people generally just get on with their lives.

If the web had followed suit, and restricted themselves to static banner ads on web-pages, then we probably wouldn't be talking about this now. People would just accept it and get on with their lives.

But no, we get popups, pop-unders, banner ads that spread across the page, ads that get in the way of what you want to do on the site, auto-playing videos, auto-playing videos with audio, and combinations of the lot.

So we want them gone. Is anyone suprised?

I don't see pay-per-view being a popular choice either. Most things don't exist in just one place on the internet.

Your emotionally absent pic-snapping partner's going to look you in the eye again

Baldrickk Silver badge

Why would anyone want one of these?

They look terrible.

Besides, a camera, or phone held so that you are looking at the screen or through a viewfinder will be from "a human perspective" so again, why?

Only purpose is making you look like a Tw_t

Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices

Baldrickk Silver badge

I want one, but...

I have tried phone based VR, with Cardboard, but even on a fairly powerful phone (Galaxy S7) the latency is too high. Shake your head at a relatively low speed and you still end up with the scene 100% out of phase with your motion - that's what makes people feel ill.

I have tried the Rift (Developer kit) but the resolution on those was far too low - the cardboard solution with my old phone at the time (LG G3) was of better visual quality.

I have heard some very good things about the Vive, from people I know online who own it, but it is both too expensive at the moment to be a viable purchase for me, and something that costs that much, I want to try before I buy. I believe the only place I can do that at the moment is a store in central London. Not exactly catering to the larger market here... So far, I have chosen to buy a (cheaper!) 50" smart tv, as something that will see much more use overall.

Playstation VR seems to be doing well, and at that price it is definitely more affordable. Something around that price for the PC would be attractive. There seems to be a couple more products getting towards release, such as Lenovo's offering. It looks like some interesting things may happen on this front, so for now, I'm watching this space.

Windows XP crashed too much to spread WannaCrypt

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Funny

Well if they are all those big businesses, then they should be able to provide updated software that can run on an OS for which support ended 8 years ago, and extended (paid) support ended over 3 years ago.

Security company finds unsecured bucket of US military images on AWS

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Id imagine...

"Tell me again, why putting sensitive information in the cloud is a good idea?"

A question I've struggled with since the cloud became "a thing"

NASA boffins find an explanation for Saturn's wonky moon

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Astonishing. This would have been hit very hard indeed for that tipover

From reading the article, it wasn't the impact itself that 'tipped' the moon. Instead, the impact destabilised the surface, changing its shape.

Imagine a lead ball spinning on your desk.

Now hit it with a hammer, deforming it

Try spinning it again - it's unlikely that it will spin as smoothly as it did before - it is now unstable and flops around because the mass isn't evenly distrubuted. - the centre of mass is now not at the centre of the sphere.

Over time, the moon stabilised again, now with the misshapen bit at one of the poles, where it has the least angular momentum, and the least impact on the stability.

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Well..

The company I work for didn't get affected by Wannacrypt, at all.

Obviously we were the ones behind it... (not)

How good are selfies these days? Good enough to fool Samsung Galaxy S8 biometrics

Baldrickk Silver badge

What happened to blinking?

My old HTC Desire (or my Galaxy S3, I forget which) back in the day had facial recognition to unlock it as an option. An additional option required you to blink on demand to prove that you were not a static cutout.

I'm surprised something like this isn't implemented in addition to the iris check. Still not secure, but it prevents just a photo getting you in and should be trivial to (re)implement.

"selfie flash" feature as mentioned somewhere above to incite iris contraction would also be a good feature to 'prove' that it is a real eyeball, somewhat.

8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

Baldrickk Silver badge


I remember hearing that before.

Thing is, I always interpreted the updated message as "of those that responded to the survey"* when of course, they are discounting everyone who said "my cat doesn't exhibit a preference to a brand"

So even the "clear" explanation can be mis-interpreted

*note; I was a lot younger and much less of a sceptic at the time

Go ahead, stage a hackathon. But pray it doesn't work too well

Baldrickk Silver badge


As this is basically how Kerbal Space Program came into being, I can't really complain about this.

Yes, it is a good example of something that has, pretty quickly, taken over the company that spawned it, a company that originally had no designs in that direction, it's also a pretty great success story.

Kill Google AMP before it kills the web

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Turning it off

Firefox Mobile is good. addons mean adblocking on mobile! saves data (all those auto-running video ads, urgh) without resorting to static pages in mini-browsers (which are also good, but break some sites)

I do however wish they would improve the zoom though, only supporting two finger pinching right now, which invariably requires two handed use to be effective. They add this, I'll probably make the full switch.

So Pros and Cons

Three home security systems found to be vulnerable – if hackers were hiding in bushes

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Wireless is one of those ideas that sounds good but is rubbish.

Wireless infrared sensors will typically use a single D-Cell battery and last over a year (guidance to replace once a year)

Magnetic door sensors will run on two AAs and have a similar lifetime.

The battery life of these alarm system sensors is not a major consideration.

The real battle of Android's future – who controls the updates

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Google don't even Support Nexus

It might make it easier for them to support Nexus, if a phone is a phone is a phone, then the updates should be more universal. This /should/ apply to Nexus and other phones equally.

If this is the case, then "a proprietary Android." or not, I'll be happy to have an OS on my phone that doesn't become obselete before the hardware.

Yo, patch that because scum still wanna exploit WannaCrypt-linked vuln

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Why but how?

I would guess that these are either mostly businesses, probably small ones, and this was an easy way to make files accessable from home/client sites etc, or somthing going on with UPnP which could open the ports if requested.

I haven't looked into whether Windows smb can open ports via UPnP though. As a general rule, disabling it is one of the first steps to securing your LAN - you want to know what ports you are exposing to the world, and it's easier to track when they are not being opened automatically on request from whatever applications are being run.

Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

Baldrickk Silver badge

No, I think it is the one on the right, where a seat should be.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Huh?

It will still need to be customised for every type of plane, as they are all different with different characteristics - even moreso with a robot rather than fly by wire, as not only do the planes handle differently, the controls will be in different places in different cockpits...

Britain shouldn't turn its back on EU drone regs, warns aerospace boffin

Baldrickk Silver badge

If you are flying a drone with a headset (to fly via onboard camera feed,) does it count as in line of sight? because you can't actually see it...

Virtual reality upstart UploadVR allegedly had in-house 'kink room,' drugs, rampant sexism

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "monogamous reproduction"

This was a reply to PompusGit, who stated that for 25% of births the father is not the mother's husband.

I was enquiring as to whether he had the numbers on whether this was:

a) cheating on an existing partner

b) sex outside of a partnership

c) partners having children outside of marriage

The original comment seemed to imply a, and possibly b.

As for who's concern it is:

on a personal level, only those involved.

on a statistical level, anyone reading this forum thread?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "monogamous reproduction"

How many of those are cheating on their husband, and how many are partners but not married at the time?

Chrome on Windows has credential theft bug

Baldrickk Silver badge

Isn't this an issue outside of Chrome?

Chrome in this case appears to be doing _exactly_ what it is told to do. That being to download a file and store it in the file system.

The actual issue, that a shortcut file can cause your machine to attempt to communicate with a third party just by opening the directory it is stored in would seem to me to be more of a Windows issue.

Or am I wrong?

Bot you see is what you get: The cold reality of Microsoft's chat 'AI'

Baldrickk Silver badge

The way these bots approach gathering data reminds me of my old programs when I first started coding:

Hello, what is your name?

> Baldrickk

What is your date of birth?

> ## ## ####

Thanks Baldrickk!

You are ## years old!

Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

Baldrickk Silver badge

Most users...

"Since most users won’t be able to approve the permission manually, such apps could be hurt by it."

Most users should be able to follow some simple instructions on what to do, just tell them how to enable it in your app if you want to use that feature.

It's not like the android settings menu is as complex as say, the Windows Registry.

Heck, my file browser uses this method to tell the user how to enable SD card access, so it's not like it's not been done before.

Oh, and that facebook messenger 'bubble'? It can go die in a fire. I won't let facebook's apps anywhere near my phone, but on other's phones who use it, it is constantly covering useful bits of other apps which are, funnilly enough, not designed to have a chunk of their UI hidden.

Of course you can move it, but then it is hiding something else, if not in that app, in another.

Intrusive crud.

Amazon announces new Echo just as Microsoft's first Cortana-powered clone breaks cover

Baldrickk Silver badge

And... I won't be getting any of them.

They are pretty pointless gadgets really, a solution looking for a problem.

Tablets at least had a role to play, but now the people who want one have one, less people are buying them.

There is even less need for these.

America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: it is unlikely that it carries any weapons... cough... cough...

relevent? https://what-if.xkcd.com/21/

Facebook loves virtual reality so much it just axed its VR film studio

Baldrickk Silver badge

Cost is a big barrier here

The problem with VR goggles is that, well, they are pretty restricted in what they can do. They just do VR human interaction.

I built a new gaming PC at the beginning of the year, pushing the cost/performance ratio about as close to the sweet spot as possible, resulting in a machine that can handle VR without breaking a sweat... ...if I had some VR goggles.

It cost me about as much as the Vive, which would be headset that I would go for, were I to get one today, yet, being a powerful computer can do, well, everything you would want a computer for.

In terms of what it actually /does/, VR headsets are still a peripheral, device, akin to my monitor and my keyboard and mouse (or my controller), albeit wrapped up in one package. The thing is, the package costs 6 times as much as the items above put together.

Assuming that you are not literally rolling in money when you go to bed each night, you have to ask yourself, is it really worth spending that much for what you get? And the answer is no. Well, it is for me at least.

The best way, as I see it, to make money from VR, is to make the cost of entry as unprohibitive as possible. In the same way that an Xbox console is a loss leader, with the money from the system being made on the content, that should probably be the way that VR should be monetised.

The unfortunate thing is that unlike the closed ecosystem that is a console, the PC market doesn't have a channel where the device manufacturers can offset the cost of the hardware by selling the content.

In a way, we rushed into VR when the Occulus kickstarter went live, and didn't really consider this enough...

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

Baldrickk Silver badge

I see I am definitely going to need to remember the "joke alert" sign next time.

I will admit to wondering what it would take to keep two halves of a disk -intact- connected when spun up to 52x. speeds.

Obviously, some tape isn't going to do it.

Baldrickk Silver badge

And taping the CD together would work?

I know CDFS is designed to be error resistant, but would that not be excessive, even if you lined it up perfectly?

I guess you couldn't lose half of it then...

ISPs must ensure half of punters get advertised max speeds

Baldrickk Silver badge

I've not had any bandwith/speed issues with Virgin Media, peak times or no.

And I couldn't complain even if my speed was to drop by 50% and stay there. I signed up for the 30Mbs service 3 years ago, which has been upgraded with no further cost to my contract to 80Mbs - and I've achieved downloads of around 100Mbs at times.

If it were to drop to 50%, it'd still be 30% better than what I started paying for...

Maybe not everyone has the same experience though, but I'm certainly happy.

Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Windows RT???

It's another £45 to upgrade to the full (Pro) version of the OS according to the article.

This is looking like an attractive peice of hardware for a new laptop, whether I keep Windows on it or replace it with a Linux OS, though the fabric does seem to be an odd choice, I can see it getting very dirty, very quickly, with just old skin flaking off your wrists, yet alone any other source of grime.

I can see this being more aimed at University level students - with either a part time job or student loans to afford the HW.

M6 crowned crappiest motorway for 4G signal

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Hadecs 3 Cashcow, it's worth reading up on them to save yourself £200.

There is a very easy way to not get done for speeding - Don't speed.


If you have a driving license, then you know the rules. Why do you think you should have a way around them?

Seven in ten UK unis admit being duped by phishing attacks

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Take any population of > 10K users

I'd be interested in seeing which side of the line different universities fall...

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Dear Apple.


Well done you. Here, have some Guardian points to make you feel all morally superior.

Doesn't matter you'd be better off actually VOTING for someone to change the system itself.


Well, if I lived in the US, then maybe I could.

Instead, all I can do is "WTF-facepalm" like the rest of us.

Samsung Smart TV pwnable over Wi-Fi Direct, pentester says

Baldrickk Silver badge

Maybe, but I can't find a way to access it other than through the ethernet. It certainly isn't broadcasting anything over Wifi.

Unlike the three Samsung TVs that are advertising themselves for the world to see that I can pick up from my Lounge.

Baldrickk Silver badge

I can't speak for security - I'm not a pen tester, but my new LG WebOS 3.0 TV works well.

The interface is smooth and crisp, as is app performance.

I was able to disable the WiFi in it entirely, and instead it is connected via ethernet - so you already need to be on my network to talk to it.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: But who need a smart TV

I recently bought a new TV - I couldn't buy a non-smart one for the same price - for that, I would need to go to en enterprise display panel, which would cost more.

If it goes out of date, then I can always use an external PC to provide input...

Amazon may be using disk drives with hot-swappable components

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I did this once to recover lost data

I did this once too - in my case, it was the other way round, and to a disk drive instead of a hard drive.

The mechanical side of the drive had failed, and as it was from an XBox 360, a replacement drive wouldn't work as it was not registered. The solution was to take the electronics from the broken drive and pair them with the working drive.


TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Baldrickk Silver badge

This is what most people I know with Rasberry Pi's bought them for - well, the first one at least.

And because it's not a closed system, it can be updated with ease.

/me wonders if 'custom' firmware would allow the old tv in the article to support the 'new' codecs.

Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

Baldrickk Silver badge

Get firefox to show the IE logo and point the shortcut at it?

We're 'heartbroken' we got caught selling your email records to Uber, says Unroll.me boss

Baldrickk Silver badge

Google Now - or whatever they are calling it now used to do that for me. One part very creepy, one part very useful. Fine if you trust them with your Data.

It now just serves me news stories I'm not interested in...

Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

Baldrickk Silver badge


My new word of the day.

No, Microsoft is not 'killing Windows 10 Mobile'

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: 2014's flagship Lumia 930 is no longer eligible for new versions of Windows 10

"Which iDevice did you have that you claim had a short support life? "

The original iPod Touch, bought not long before the second generation one came out.

It had two OS updates, both of which I had to pay for (iPhone users got them for free) and support was dropped before the copy-paste update which was never brought to the first generation iPod Touch.

I don't know if IPhone support for the 1st Gen was dropped there too.

I did keep using it for a bit, for a while, the apps in the app store were backwards compatiable (or rather, they were forwards compatiable from the last version, and had not been updated). It didn't take long for the majority of apps to be updated and non-installable though.

When my phone contract came up for renewal, I packed in the old Nokia, bought a HTC Desire, and haven't looked in Apple's direction again.

Baldrickk Silver badge

2014's flagship Lumia 930 is no longer eligible for new versions of Windows 10

Technology moving on is one thing.

Stable technology needing no updates is another.

Forced obsolescence due to lack of updates is another entirely. I spend that much on a bit of kit, and look after it, I expect to be able to continue using it.

I upgraded my mobile at the end of last year, having destroyed the screen in a rather unfortunate drop, and the upgrade worked out cheaper than my previous contract, but not as cheap as the sim-only deal I was going to go for - using the same hardware because it was, prior to it's percussive demise, still working perfectly.

Companies should support devices for their expected lifetime. With current technology, that should be at least 5 years. - They should expect to do this, and imho should be held to do this - especially with security issues being a worry - just how many unpatched phones are out there right now?

I don't have a Windows Phone, but I experienced exactly the same with my first, and last ever iDevice. This abandonment is one of the reasons that I'm not going to buy another one.

Mastercard launches card that replaces PIN with fingerprint sensor

Baldrickk Silver badge

Hygiene concerns

"Having the sensor on the customer's card also avoids some hygiene concerns that come up related to shared fingerprint sensors."

Because the difference between a fingerprint sensor that has had fingerprints on it, and pin-pad butttons that have had fingers on them is?

Parcel bods Hermes become latest London drone delivery droogs

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: But sometimes, random comedy gold...

I've started to catch them at their game now - old mobile phone acting as IP camera hooked up to motion dectector - alerts me even when they don't ring the doorbell.

Microsoft's new hardware: eight x86 cores, 40 GPU cores

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I'll buy it

Linux support for games - mostly ports, admittedly, rather than developed for - is increasing.

Most slightly older games run fine under WINE - a few even run better on certain hardware, not quite sure why.

All in all, my gaming library is mostly playable on Linux.

Overwatch can definitely be played on Linux with WINE

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I'll buy it

Custom "Steam Machine" time then (actually, just Linux running Steam, but that's _more_ useful)

Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I can hear sirens

Ti tree?

Does it grow calculators?

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Baldrickk Silver badge

It's something I have disabled on my phone - My 5Ghz wifi is strong in all areas of my house, bar my bedroom. If I'm in there and watching the latest youtube video in 1080p@60fps (because why not?), I don't want it going "oh, the wifi signal to the current network is weak, lets switch to the (admittedly brilliant, because the nearest base-station is right outside my window) 4G connection and consume an entire month's allowance." In cases like that, I would prefer for the connection to die, (and I get a pop-up notification about this if/when it happens) to allow me to kick it onto the 2.4Ghz wifi, as it is somewhat reluctant to switch automatically ("but I can still just about connect to the 5Ghz, lets keep trying to reconnect to that!")

Adblock Plus owners commandeer Pirate Bay man's tip jar Flattr

Baldrickk Silver badge

I'll turn off my adblocker when I can trust ads.

Sites I visit often who I trust to just use dumb adds, I'll whitelist them. Everyone else legit? Sorry, but I'm not so trusting, and tbh, I'm lazy enough to not want to go through the hassle of adding you.


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