* Posts by Baldrickk

649 posts • joined 26 May 2016


What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently

Baldrickk Silver badge

randomised passwords

are probably not random.

For example: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/23/virgin_media_router_security_flap/

Baldrickk Silver badge

I haven't changed the firmware on my router...

...(barring a short experiment on a disposable netgear to install openwrt) in at least a decade.

Not that the firmware hasn't been updated - Virgin Media push updates from their end. As a service they provide, it makes a lot of sense that they keep it updated (especially as it is technically their device - it is provided as part of the service). It means Joe Bloggs is freed from needing to keep track of router firmware updates and so on.

I do make sure that the passwords are all set by me, and stored in my password manager, and make sure my father at least has done the same.

OTOH, my sister's boyfriend "doesn't do updates" because they "are annoying, take time, and introduce changes" - this is on his mac, which is, as far as I can tell, running without updates from 4 years ago.

He was espousing the "if it ain't broke" idea, to which my "but it is broken, hence the fixes" fell on deaf ears.

At least my sister is a bit better at this sort of thing.

'Our way or the highway' warranty scams shot down by US watchdog: It's OK to use unofficial parts to repair your gear

Baldrickk Silver badge

Broken screens

I somehow once broke the internal LCD on one of my old Nokias by dropping it - about two inches from the top of my pocket to the bottom of my pocket... Fixed under warranty - no additional cover needed.

The only other screen I have broken was my LG G3 - a phone I thought was brilliant. I managed to knock my elbow against a door frame in a sports centre, flinging it from my hand. It managed to land perfectly horizontally on the polished concrete floor - cue an exquisitely fractured glass panel.

In that case, my contract was almost up, Black Friday was two weeks away and I had a spare phone I could use in the meantime. I ended up with an S7, a sizeable upgrade to my contract (unlimited minutes and 6x as much data) and a smaller monthly bill. Not as small as it might have been if I had gone Sim-only as I was planning, but the difference between that + fixed screen vs new contract was pretty much pennies.

In neither case have I actually been in a position where the cover would have really helped, and so it would not be worth it to me.

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

Baldrickk Silver badge

So at what point will legislation force all public servants and politicians to use the "magical" proposed system and only the proposed system?

After all if it is secure and never going to be abused then they have nothing to worry about and surely will be delighted.

heh. They'll still be hosting their own illegal servers in their bathrooms if they think it will be an advantage to them.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Too late

I don't see the Police arresting that many criminals with guns though. False argument, totally based on trust of people who have abused our trust, repeatedly.

That would be because most people they arrest don't have guns. Gun crime is exceedingly rare here, despite what the news may report.

If someone is seen with a gun, and they don't have a good explanation for it, then they will be arrested, no questions asked.

As for those automatic weapons that can be purchased e.g. AR15s with bump stock conversion? Not readily available here, even the police have custom modified weapons, that are limited to semi-auto, despite the gun not being produced with a semi-auto option.

White House: Is it OK to hijack, shoot down, or snoop on drones? Er ... asking for a friend

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Ironical really

Because alcohol isn't in the Constitution or one of its amendments?

Personally, I'd like to see someone say

"no, we're not going to take away your right to bear arms, but we've been having a think about it. The intention at the time was to allow you all to carry muskets, so we're going to honour that. The only gun ownership now allowed is muskets. Those of you who love your guns still have access to those enshrined by the Constitution, and concealed carry and semi/full automatic slaughters will become a thing of the past.

We are sure that everyone will see the benefits all round"

It's never going to happen, but I would love to see it.

Linux Beep bug joke backfires as branded fix falls short

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: A stand-alone program to send ^G to the terminal?

Well I believe it provides the ability to change the and duration. Something that I used to great effect at college, writing a little app that played a little tune, then proceeded to warble out a sort of siren, slowly rising and falling in pitch. (This was on windows though, not using the beep app here).

Somehow, I managed to make it (purely by accident) continue running even after the user logged off unless they killed it first.

Probably inevitably, having shared it with a friend, it ended up daisy-chaining around the college.

IT ended up going round all of the computer rooms (and this was a big college) disconnecting all the internal speakers from each and every machine, all thanks to me. Whoops.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Of course it's not an important security issue

But also it would be installed by default on Windows, and likely couldn't be disabled through the control panel settings some combination of two different control/settings interfaces...

Mozilla rejects your reality and substitutes its own … browser for VR and AR goggles

Baldrickk Silver badge

Making use of space

I have to admit, I was expecting to see something along the lines of separating the tabs out and arraying them out in space - allowing you to grab the one you wanted to look at, wave it around etc like you might do with multiple tablets, all showing different websites if you had them in real life.

More than just a projected screen which might as well be a standard desktop browser.

Six months on, and let's check in on those 'stuttering' Windows 10 PCs. Yep, still stuttering

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: There's you problem right there...

What card are you running? Nvidia actually have impressive legacy support for their GPUs

Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

Baldrickk Silver badge

They hardly jumped out right in front of it. As the post directly above yours points out, they were crossing the road in the open long before the car even got close.

As other posts have made clear, the "dashcam" footage of the incident is very underexposed, making it appear a lot darker and makes the pedestrian visible in the footage well after the point in time when they should be spotted, even by a purely optical system - dash-cam footage taken by other people on the same road shows that it is actually well lit.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Driver in charge?

But someone in control of a multiple Ton piece of machinery, especially one that needs to be "managed" on average at a higher rate than every 13 miles, that is still under test as it isn't proven technology, as their job?

They need to be paying attention at all times, no matter if it gets boring.

They are there to be the lifeline in the system.

There is no excuse for being inattentive in this situation, and I would hold the driver - yes, driver, because they are sitting in front of controls, and they are responsible for the vehicle responsible for this as much as Uber itself.

Microsoft's Windows 7 Meltdown fixes from January, February made PCs MORE INSECURE

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: You know things are bad when you trust malware more than Microsoft.

Me, I'm dishonest, and you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you have to watch out for.
Captain Jack Sparrow

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

Baldrickk Silver badge

A very big catapult should do it...

Well I believe that we are the only country to develop orbital capability and then kill it off...

Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Yeah... Right

We have some bike lanes that are only on one side of the road, and are bi-directional.

We have some cases where that is also the case on both sides of the road.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Yeah... Right

My cycle route to my old part time job back when I was in college involved a cycle lane, and also involved a significant portion of the journey spent on the pavement instead.

This was due to the lane hopping on and off the road at different points, whilst having no dropped kerb to allow for it. Going up and down curbs while travelling in the general direction of the road is more dangerous as it requires you to pull out into traffic to get a decent angle to mount the curb, or worse cycle out into the road coming off it.

Obviously you look at the traffic and do it when safe, or you try to, but staying on the pavement (there wasn't heavy foot traffic) was safer.

Contrary to that, when I was cycling to or from College itself, the bike lane was on the pavement.

Pedestrians (mostly other college students) would often just walk along both the path and the cycle lane, right in the way of cyclists.

One afternoon, someone deep in conversation gesticulated wildly, and flung out his arms to full stretch, just as I was passing by.

He wasn't on the cycle path, but he was right next to it, and there was nothing I could do about it in the fraction of a second before we made contact.

Thankfully I knocked his arm out of the way instead of being knocked off (though it did hurt). The open bottle of drink in his hand went right over him.

I was quite happy to tell him that it was his own stupid fault, just like it would be if he stuck his arm out into moving traffic on the road.

Your mouse can't reach that Excel cell? Buy a 'desk extender' said help desk bluffer

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: mouse balls

This one?


So it's real but not official.

Sorry to spoil the fun

ESA builds air-breathing engine that works in space

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Look on the bright side ...

I know the story about the experiments, but what is this about an egg? link pls

US Army warns of the potential dangers of swarming toy drones on US soldiers

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Coo . . .

Project X-Ray seems to be even more apt.

It would have worked too.

Half the world warned 'Chinese space station will fall on you'

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Hit the US?

Easy solution - hit it over the ocean (ship-borne missile or as it is entering the ocean. For each resulting piece, surface area:mass ratio massively increases, the deceleration due to air resistance becomes a major factor and it falls out of the sky in the safest area possible.

If used as a missile test, then it wouldn't even cost as much as you might think (means you don't need to do separate test launches - assuming that one would be needed at some point)

'Repeatable sanitization' is a feature of PCs now

Baldrickk Silver badge

not intended

"not intended for use in diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of disease or other medical conditions."

I prescribe two hp laptops a day, to be taken before food. Ingest orally.

IPv6 and 5G will make life hell for spooks and cops say Australia's spooks and cops

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Backdoors don't matter.....

I don't know about Instagram, but on Facebook at least, they re-compress the images (and jpg is lossy). Good luck hiding your message and not having it destroyed.

But yes, you could use a service that serves up the png you upload to do the job just fine.

Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Baldrickk Silver badge

The new intel + amd graphics chip also looks quite nice

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: An actual usefull scenario...

You can buy apps that enable an "emergency button" on smartphones. You can buy a bluetooth alert button that does the same, and you just wear it like a necklace.

In both cases, they just call the emergency services or another number (e.g. a carer.) Emergency calls do allow the operator to get your location these days I believe.

And I can always just say "ok google, phone 999 on speakerphone" if I have, say fallen through my glass coffee table and my hands are busy trying to staunch any wounds.

Samsung left off Google's new official Androids-for-biz list

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: China seems fine to me

I'd say that any company with important IP would want to stop China snooping on their data as much as the US.

The YouTube crackdown on fake news: Promoting bonkers Florida school shooting conspiracies

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: This entire problem only exists...

Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

Probably one of the best lines to come out of a cheesy comedic sci-fi movie ever.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "Operation Northwoods was a proposed"

And Project Pigeon worked but electronic guidance systems came along.

Same with the bat-bomb. That was very effective, gave the world napalm, and only didn't get used because the nuclear bomb came along and the funding was funnelled into that instead.

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: it's too big

It's too small for me.

As you said, it's better to have e.g. a surface and the keyboard on there.

Even that's not really good. I have large hands and typing (properly) on anything smaller than a standard size keyboard is an absolute pain - I can't fit my hands on it and reach all the right keys with the right fingers.

I'd love one of these but I can't help but feel that I would be reduced to pecking at the keyboard with index fingers

The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Linux Mint is free

As an experiment, while I was recovering his disk after Windows borked the MBR, I stuck a live disk of Mint on a USB drive in my Father's PC

He's not a techie, but was perfectly capable of finding Firefox, browsing the sites he wanted to go to, found the office suite labeled as such in the applications menu and wrote up a document there and then.

He then got his drive back again and hasn't touched Linux since, but I'm pretty sure he would be fine.

Most PC users, on any OS these days need the browser, email, an office suite, and maybe one or two applications suited to whatever their job is. As long as they know how to do those, day to day issues will be minimal.

I've found that most people are capable enough to look for the settings menu when they want to change a setting. It might be called something different, and in a different place, but most people know what they are looking for, and will recognise it when they do.

There are some users who would not be ok dealing with the change, but in my experience, these are the people who also struggle with Windows too, it's not like things have stayed exactly the same on the UI front from XP to Vista, 7, 8, 10...

Many people might say that Windows isn't exactly consumer ready yet either, I mean why is there still a control panel and a settings screen in Windows 10? Why are some things in one, and not the other, and vice versa?

Mint for example does have all its settings in one place. One could say from this that mint > Win 10 on being consumer ready o_O

It's not complicated, confusing and difficult. It's just different and has less exposure to the average person off the street.

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Baldrickk Silver badge

But what if we want to do both?

I could see a VM running via a hypervisor able to switch from low powered chips for browsing on the go to a fully fledged processor & graphics card as and when the power and demand are there being able to satisfy both sets of workloads.

Some "gaming" laptops are getting thin now, and the addition of a low power processor would not really have a very big impact.

At a high level, it could be no different than when a laptop switches from using the on-die graphics (for low power consumption) to using the discrete graphics card (for performance), only it's shifting the CPU workload over, instead of the GPU workload.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Going from 32 to 64 bit was so simple nobody really noticed it happened

Somebody never tried Windows XP-x64...

Horrible driver support, terrible application support. It was a terrible mis-step.

MS did improve on this with Vista - though that for many was still a 32-bit OS, and it's only with Windows 7 that 64-bit became mainstream for Windows users at home. By that time MS had had many years to get device manufacturers on-board with driver support. Even now, how many apps are 32-bit only?

It's a bit like the Millennium Bug. Basically, nothing happened, but only because a lot of work was done to prevent it from happening.

Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

Baldrickk Silver badge

I actually don't mind this - much... but...

This would be terrible on mobile though, the last thing I want is a site hammering my battery - this applies to laptops etc too.

On the desktop? Well, I do have some computing power to spare if I am just browsing the web.

If a site isn't charging for access to content, they do need to pay the bills somehow. Trying out these sort of strategies can only be a good thing - we find out if they are accepted and work, or are not and don't.

My preferred strategy would be to have an ad system that only has certified clean ads on sites like these.

If a site can promise that they will only have some banner ads, no autoplaying videos, no third party scripts (potentially malicious) from the ad slinger etc, then I would be happy to white-list their site - there are sites that I do indeed to that with already.

If a site has offensive, or badly behaved ads then that adblocker is staying enabled.

The ad industry only has themselves to blame for adblockers existing. People don't go around tearing ads off of bus-stop billboards etc because they are there, and you can ignore them. They are not a significant detriment to the people they are being shown to. Popups, autoplaying videos etc are.

US cable giant tries to wriggle out of 'crap ISP' legal battle now that net neutrality is dead

Baldrickk Silver badge

Oh no FCC...

Of course cable companies can be trusted to be play nice if you give them free reign...

Hot NAND: Samsung wheels out 30TB SSD monster

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: nate1981

What? Are you wanting 30TB in a laptop?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Not a single 5.25" slot.

There is a 3.5" 'bay' and a 2.5" 'bay' (actually, both drives are attached to the back of the same plate the Motherboard is attached to) which house my 2TB spinning metal data drive and my hybrid drive respectively.

If I get an upgrade, it'll be to replace the hybrid with a full SSD. I'm fine for slow spinning metal for my movies etc.

Baldrickk Silver badge

So now we can have 30TB SSDs, can we reduce the price of the smaller ones, as they are obviously much easier to make, right? right?

I was hoping that the price of SSDs would have begun to normalise by now, but to take https://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-Sata-Solid-State-Drive/dp/B078WR35K7 for example, vs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-P300-7200RPM-SATA-HDWD110UZSVA/dp/B0151KM3I0

Now obviously there is a very big performance difference here, but is it really worth over 10x as much? YMMV on that.

I have a compact case, and limited room for disks unless I duck-tape them to the inside of the case. If I replace my spinning platter (I actually have a 750GB hybrid drive right now, which is great, but a bit small) I don't want to have an even smaller drive, and for >£400? I'd prefer a VR headset - I'll personally get more out of it.

One does wonder if the high prices are in some part due to artificial scarcity...

Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Baldrickk Silver badge

I shopped at Maplin this Christmas. They were the only actual shop that stocked the correct bulbs for my Father's extractor in the kitchen. None of the three DIY shops nearby had the right rating to match the specced bulbs (and to match the other installed bulb/s)

I also bought myself a maplin own-brand wireless keyboard with trackpad which has been brilliant. It's better (for me at least) for typing on than a couple of other brands including the equivalent Logitech model which I had been considering, plus it was slightly cheaper.

It's a shame that they are in trouble, as I like being able to poke around and see things in person, even if I am just picking up the boxes - it's a much more fulfilling experience than shopping online.

A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Baldrickk Silver badge


Way back in 2009, taking advantage of this methodology a famous Microsoft study (PDF) found that only a third of the features in their software were used as intended, or used at all. Think about all that fat in the other two-thirds that could be trimmed!

I remember reading about that study (I couldn't be bothered to read it at the time, but various summaries have found their ways in front of my eyes since)

It seems that the report was saying that any one user only used roughly 1/3 of the features, but that that 1/3 set of features was not the same across the userbase.

Therefore you cannot just wipe out 2/3 of your application and call it streamlining / removing bloat / technical debt reduction etc.

Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Robot manufacturing

What am I missing?

For starters, the moon is a pretty terrible place to put stuff, or refuel for inter-planetary travel. The ∆v to get there, and the ∆v losses from losing the Oberth effect (accelerations closer to the bottom of a gravity well are more effective) make it pretty much a wasted trip. Sure, if you were visiting from elsewhere, and the choice was between visiting the Moon for fuel, or going down to Earth's surface, the Moon is the better choice, as long as you can process the fuel when you get there.

Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Baldrickk Silver badge

USB-C docks are not great...

I have one at work, it's fine, except from when it crashes and my external monitors, the network, keyboard and mouse all stop working.

It's also not supported by bcrypt, so I need to have the laptop open anyway to use the built in screen and keyboard every time I want to turn it on, which means it requires desk-space and can't be tucked away under a shelf and just left there.

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: What PII? Static IP

Everyone on Virgin has a static IP.

Lots of other ISPs offer a static IP, some don't charge more.

Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: *Shrug*

>I doubt you've had FTTC for 16 years as it has not even been around for that long.

In a sense he is right as that's what Virgin more or less run.

Well, he probably had cable for 16 years (I live in the inital roll-out zone for cable, and have had it for about 18 years now). At some point the connection to the cabinet was upgraded to fibre.

Virgin's network is fine (unless you apparently live in an oversubscribed area, but as that doesn't apply to me, I can't really comment on that) in terms of downlink bandwidth and latency. As can be seen by the numbers in the OP though, the upload is limited. Very limited.

What the numbers don't show is that there is a 1GB soft cap on the upload, at which point your upload speed is halved. Upload another 1GB in the next two hours, and it gets halved again.

Now try playing competitive real-time online games while other members of your family are filming full HD videos of themselves and uploading them via WhatsApp to their friends...

My biggest frustration with the Virgin Hub (we have a Hub2 so no Puma related problems, though my father hasn't run into those either, probably just lucky) is the lack of QoS built in.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: It doesn't help

Virgin advertise "Fibre" which is FTTC. They offer speeds of up to 300Mbs which is perfectly attainable by the coax running the last few of tens of metres to your property. You can get 1Gbs over Cat5e/Cat6 copper cables (Cat6 will do 10Gbs)

Nowhere do Virgin claim they do FTTP, and I fail to see where the problem lies here.

Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!

Baldrickk Silver badge

If they meet their promises...

You can be sure I'll be lining up to get one.

Far more likely I'll be sat here behind my desk feeling sorry for the suckers who believed in the product like those poor unfortunates who put money behind the Vega, because you can be sure that I'm not putting any money into this pre-release.

Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: blast away

He's literally using the processor named in the linked article. The one that actually says the exact opposite of what Orlowski says it does.


I didn't go searching for a comparison, I was pointing out a factual error in the article.<br>The article states that the iPad chip outperformed the listed Macbook's processor. This is not only false, it isn't representative of the source (if the source had claimed that the iPad outperformed the Macbook, then this would be more understandable)

Personally, I would have looked for a benchmark vs the latest Surface and maybe a Macbook Air, as competitors in the same market.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: blast away

Too late to edit to update my original post, but here are the numbers:

the A10X achieves:

a single-core score of 3929 and a multi-core score of 9372.

the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro achieves:

a single-core score of 4255 and a multi-core score of 13,727

Baldrickk Silver badge

If you want to do "proper" work, you need Windows (I hate to say it), proper Windows, not half-baked Metro-eqsue Windows CE equivalents

Well I'd say you need a proper desktop OS, be it your choice of Windows, *nix or MacOS in whatever is your preferred flavour.

On the rest we agree.

A good few years ago now, my father was looking at getting a tablet for when he was away from home. I pointed him at the Asus Transformer line, with the Atom processors, so they could run full x86 Windows. It's been working great for him.

Baldrickk Silver badge

blast away

more than sufficient to blast away a desktop chip in benchmarks.


Reading the linked page, the processor "comes close" to matching the entry level macbook's processor on the benchmarks.

While this may be great for a tablet and totally sufficient for the work you are doing, it's hardly blowing away desktop chips, is it?

1) You're comparing it to a processor in a laptop, with tighter power requirements than a desktop chip

2) It is still slower than said chip

Who wants dynamic dancing animations and code in their emails? Everyone! says Google

Baldrickk Silver badge

I hate AMP

Having pages actually laid out nicely for mobile consumption is nice, but it didn't need AMP to happen.

Especially if you visit an AMP page in Chrome on Android, the page takes over your browser... DO NOT WANT.

Hyperoptic's overkill 10Gbps fibre trial 'more than a clever PR stunt'

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Poor contention?

I've got the 1Gbps symmetric connection here in Bristol and with SpeedTest on my iPhone I get ~400Mbps over wifi

I wouldn't expect a faster speed from a phone. In fact I'm surprised to see you got that much. I've yet to see a phone max out my 125Mb/s download at home (Though my desktop hits the limit just fine over wifi)

Physical connections with quality kit are the way to go for reliable high speeds.


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