* Posts by Lord Kipper III

12 posts • joined 27 Sep 2017

Own goal: $280,000 GDPR fine for soccer app that snooped on fans' phone mics to snare pub telly pirates

Lord Kipper III

I'd expect more than a large GDPR fine from my partner (or indeed someone else's partner) if I were following the football on my phone whilst, ahem, partaking of some horizontal jogging.

Amazon boss snubs 'expensive', 'sub-optimal' relational databases. Here's looking at you, Larry

Lord Kipper III

I briefly hovered over the 'report abuse' option but then thought that El Reg is a broad church and perhaps the gnome has an equally broad mind.

UK chip and PIN readers fall ill: Don't switch off that terminal!

Lord Kipper III

Cars alternative

Meanwhile in Bristol (UK) where I work we have our own currency called imaginatively the Bristol Pound that many fine retailers and even the council accept in payment for goods and services. Should you live in Bristol and not just work there (rules of the Credit Union that runs the scheme) you can upgrade from the paper notes to an app based currency that uses text messages to carry out the transactions using either good old SMS or for the more advanced, a smartphone app. Each retailer in the scheme has a cheap candy bar phone that confirms the transaction between punter and the shop by receiving at text message. Not sure what the security model for that system and what the backend is like but provided the phone network stays up then it should be pretty resilient.

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Lord Kipper III

Re: Re:Victorian railways had a few exploding boiler incidents

As a young boiler maintenance engineer at Didcot Power Station in the early 1990s,the coal fired boilers had several safety relief valves dotted around the boiler operating at various pressures. Sometimes the valves would just begin to pass steam at normal operating pressure and make a noise which would put us in breach of our noise limits so we would have to drop load. Less MW generated meant less £ so especially in the winter we were encouraged to fit a device called a gag that would force the valve stem down onto the seat to stop the valve passing. This of course meant that the valve could no longer serve its intended function but as we had sufficient other valves and a repair would be immediately scheduled. One evening I was asked to install the gag on one especially noisy simmering valve but having applied the recommended force to the gag the valve was still passing steam noisily. I phoned the Charge Engineer (shift manager) reporting failure and that I was giving up and going home for my tea to be told to try a little more force as this evening, MW were really quite expensive and the suits in HQ would be quite disappointed that load would have to be reduced. I tried a little harder, still no success and was joined by a colleague offering a large spanner to apply more force to the gag. At this point I concluded that I did not wish my life to end in a sudden bang and steam whiteout due to the safety valve body splitting apart due to the use of unreasonable force, invented some Engineering Directive (a bit like Space Corps Directives but less funny) about the use of gags and went home.

My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

Lord Kipper III

Re: You ever wonder?

Why wait ten years. Come on, you know you want to...

Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Lord Kipper III

Cryptocuisine

Naturally, I would rebrand it as a Yorkshire Artisan Blockchain Pizza then it would fly off the shelves. Quite possibly, given time you would find this in Waitrose and even Bettys.

Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun

Lord Kipper III

Where's my towel?

Great. Thanks, I won't panic then. Oh, hang on. I have a house full of computing gear with Intel processors, our Chromecasts are regularly DDoSing our wifi and Donald Trump is still US president.

Perhaps I will panic after all.

<glass _half_full>The good news is I suppose that as Earth is getting further away from the Sun, the possibility of our home planet plunging into the Sun is receding.</glass _half_full>

China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

Lord Kipper III

Re: Coming home

Sheer jealousy mainly because they don't live there but of course there is Swindon's epic Magic Roundabout (oh just Google it!) which is nearly unique in the UK (and would absolutely terrify most American drivers who freak at the prospect of a normal roundabout).

Disclaimer, in don't live in Swindon but live sufficiently close to appreciate it from a suitable distance.

Lord Kipper III

Re: Coming home

It was certainly north of the M4 earlier today as I was there.

Lord Kipper III

Re: Coming home

That's a trifle unfair. Whilst there are undoubtedly parts of Swindon that would be significantly improved by a direct strike from a falling space station (the Brunel Shopping Centre being one such place) there are some lovely places, one of which possibly could be the Intel offices which will be needed intact to deal with the impacts of Meltdown and Spectre with UK punters.

OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Lord Kipper III

Re: BT HomeHub?

I too had concluded that our BT Home Hub 5 was living up to its (perhaps unfair?) reputation of being terrible due to frequent Wifi problems at home preventing our teenagers from using their gadgets and me watching Star Trek on Netflix via Chromecast and I was on the cusp of binning it and buying someone else's router. First step on that BTexit journey was the £18 Openreach VDSL modem off ebay. Next step was finding a router that did not resemble a randy porcupine that Mrs Sinclair would be happy to see on the telephone table in our hall (in fairness, the Home Hub is relatively anonymous looking except when being hit by angy teenagers who can't find the reset button). As an interim, I plugged in a Home Hub 4 that I had serving up wifi in our garage and that appears to be working fine so far.

So it would be Google and not BT I have to blame for this personalised DDOS system that out four Chromecasts are providing (three permanently on and one plugged into the TV USB port). Thanks a bundle Google, at least I didn't splash out a sizable sum for a replacement router (although that's only because I couldn't get my wife's permission to buy something that had the performance plus bells and whistles).

Over to you Google.

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

Lord Kipper III

Re: Didn't they used to have a flywheel?

I was a graduate trainee at Didcot power station in the early 1990s and the control engineers desk had a special light marked JET Pulse that would flash when they spooled the machine up to warm the plant operators. Very impressive to see the impact the pulse had on the local system.

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