* Posts by LenG

74 posts • joined 19 Feb 2018


Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee


Re: Smart metres is an EU directive

You don't have to have a smart meter installed despite what the idiots who phone you about it might say. Even if the only meter available is "smart" you can have installed in dumb mode.

And of course you can always install a faraday cage around the thing.

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban


Re: The second amendment

That is the most peculiar interpretation of the second amendment I have ever come across.

A militia is "a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency". To think that the amendment was passed to give non-militia civilians the ability to fight the militia is completely perverse. At the time of passing able bodied men could be expected to turn out for militia duty if required and bring their own guns. Whether this is appropriate in a modern society is a valid question.

As for murder in London, it has risen recently and NY has made good progress in reducing the rate there, but it is still 2-3 times that of London.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees


What you need is a self-driving office cubicle. It parks inside an otherwise empty office building and hooks into the services on those days that you actually need to be in the office rather than working from home.

Are you a Windows 1 in 10 (1809)? Or a mighty 80 percenter (1803)?


Also 1709

Let someone else find the bugs

Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020


IE 11 ??

I have to admit I didn't even know that there was an IE11. Of course, as I do have a Win 10 box (for games) it is possible I even have it installed. Just never used it.

Ahhh - found IE. Started it to check the version and it told me I should be using Edge.

Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit


Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills

And this is a surprise ?

Actually, it should probably read "Facebook don't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills"

Computing boffins strip the fun out of satirical headlines


Was this phrase supposed to be satirical?

"It is hard to imagine a computer passing a rich Turing test without being able to understand and produce humor."

There are a significant number of humans unable to produce humour. Unfortunately a lot of them write comedy shows for Radio 4.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10


Changing programme files location

This can be done via a registry hack but MS does not support it. Early versions of Win10 allowed it from settings but then it got greyed out and last time I looked I couldn't find it at all.

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20


Check the die

Three 16's in 6 rolls??

Happy Christmas! Bloodhound SSC refuelled by Yorkshire business chap


Nominative Determinism

On a small scale ... with a man named Speed writing about 1000mph cars.

Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!


Install Linux

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention


You're kidding, right? My memory of bacon in the US was that there was virtually no meat on it at all - just fat cooked until it rivaled the hardness of my tooth enamel.

Nice dry-cured wood-smoked back bacon is what you really want - you can taste the meat and you don't get that disgusting scum from the injected water or the unpleasant aftertaste of sprayed-on essence of wood smoke (AKA tar).

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


The only measurable saving to consumers is that the best tariffs will only be available to smart meter users.

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update


Poor advice

"All in all, try it out before you deploy it on a system you rely on"

Do you really think I am masochistic enough to have more than one M$ system in my home?

It's November 2018, and Microsoft's super-secure Edge browser can be pwned eight different ways by a web page


Easy fix to some of this

Don't use Edge.

Wait, does anyone actually use Edge? I'd like to simply delete the thing.

So possibly an even easier fix is don't use MS or Adobe applications?

YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul


Too hard

As I understand it, Google is arguing it shouldn't have to obey the law because it is too difficult. I should try that out next time I get caught for illegal parking - "Sorry, your honour, but it was too difficult to find legal parking". Or maybe I shouldn't.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too



James Clerk Maxwell - best known for the unification of electricity and magnetism but also a major contributor in other areas of physics. Einstein described Maxwell's work as the "most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton". Plus he has a truly epic beard.

Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned


Multiple documents

"Many professionals need multiple documents to be open at once – two Word documents, for example... and this is still a problem. "

Of course it is not a problem. Just buy two tablets.

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym


You have to work really hard to get excited by something this trivial. Seems to me some people spend a lot of time and energy looking for something to get upset about.

Stealthy UK startup drops veil on next frontier of speech wizardry



It is not just the non-native English speakers who need this - a significant proportion of the population spear with an accent which is close to incomprehensible by another significant portion. The problem is summarized in the song from My Fair Lady "Why Can't the English (teach their children how to speak)" beautifully articulated by Rex Harrison.

So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone


Locked out forever?

So, if I buy a phone without the Google App store installed, does that mean that Google will not make the App store available to me? I don't believe that ... they would be breeding a race of Goole-resistant consumers. More likely there would be a way to download (or purchase) the App store and, if purchased, I would be the cost would be less than $40 ... more like $4 for the app store and a free (crappy) game.

Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio



What is Edge?

Windows 10 1809: Now arriving on a desktop near you (if you want it)


Not worried for the next 12 months

There is nothing in this release I want so I will continue my policy of delaying all feature upgrades for the maximum permitted time while the rest of the world tests and debugs them for me.

A web where the user has complete control of their data? Sounds Solid, Tim Berners-Lee


Re: "That's an argument that doesn't address the problems with the EME"

I don't pirate but I have major issues with DRM interfering with my ability to play what I want where I want on my own equipment.

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?


I really don't care

he can do what he likes with them. I have better freeware programmes for the few in-box apps that I might otherwise want to use.

Except paint. That is still occasionally useful.

Got any ecsta-sea? Boffins get octopuses high on MDMA – for science, duh


Average weight 60kg? You have got to be kidding!

US govt concedes that you can indeed f**k Nazis online: Domain-name swear ban lifted



<quote> John Douglas claimed to have heard the show while driving in his car with his 15-year-old son.</quote>

Does he really think a 15 year old boy doesn't already know all those words?

Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design


I agree

This was one of my major dislikes with the original home page design. If I were you I would try the weekly summary. A chronological list of stories so you only have to scroll in one direction and not figure out which pieces of the page go where (or even discover that the same article appears more than one because it falls into several categories).



I gave up the old homepage in favour of the weekly summary some time ago so I can't comment on this as an improvement or otherwise. All I can say is that I'll stick to the weekly summary - its very much easier to work with.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms


I am seriously concerned that we will have to give up the use of the English language in the near future because there will be no words left which can be used without causing offence.

AI beats astroboffins at sniffing out fast radio bursts amid the universe's clutter



Those concerned that the FRBs constitute communication would do well to read Charlie Stross' wonderful little short story MAXO (to date the only thing he has had published in Nature).




FRB 121102 is clearly an interesting object of study, but since it is fundamentally different from every other discovered FRB why is it assumed that figuring out what makes it tick will reveal the nature of the one-time FRBs?

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)



I just fired up chrome to disable this stupid "feature". I was immediately reminded how much I hate that browser and why I never use it except for compatibility checking.

Funnily enough, no, infosec bods aren't mad keen on W. Virginia's vote-by-phone-app plan


Old fashioned

I rather like the idea of putting an X on a piece of paper using a pencil stub tied to the plywood voting cubicle by a piece of garden twine, after which I can see the vote disappear into a large tin box.

Later, lots of lucky people get to stay up all night counting (and recounting, if necessary) all the pieces of paper.

Old fashioned and labour intensive, the system is nevertheless very difficult to hack in a country with a reasonably effective police force. Also, it introduces children to the voting process at an early age as they often get the day off when schools are used as polling stations.

The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?


Lipstick on a pig

I stropped using the front page years ago - I come to the Register via the weekly summary page. I'm not sure if the new page is an improvement or not. I'm not convinced the boxes add anything and the Top Stories/Latest News/Most Read divisions mean a number of stories appear twice on the homepage - in some cases adjacent to one another which just looks silly.

The weekly page gives me a chronological list of stories. I can go to the top and scan down picking up the new stories I want to read, stopping when I reach the material I have already seen. Maybe I'm just an anti-social old fart but I don't care if a story is most-read or unvisited by anyone but me - I actually deplore trending/most read as it pushes people to all read the same stuff at the expense of other potentially more significant material. As for Top Stories - decided by who? Without knowing how they are selected the category is more or less meaningless.

As an experiment I turned my adblocker off on the new front page. It has animated ads so I turned it back on again. I don't object to a limited number of static ads but animations are a no-no for me.

Not, I'm sure, what you want to hear and maybe I am an atypical reader. But you asked.

Politicians fume after Amazon's face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks


And this is a surprise how?

"Amazon’s online facial recognition system matched pictures of US Congress members to mugshots of suspected criminals in a study by the American Civil Liberties Union."

(my correction of original text)

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep


Re: Just to mudddy the waters a trifle ...

The £ is actually a fancied up L, from the Latin. Pre-decimal pennies were denoted by "d" (for denarii). The middle item, shillings, was postfixed s (solidi) and the currency was frequently referred to as Lsd.

We should have stuck with it. It was really fun to watch foreigners struggle. Maybe we can switch back after brexit.

<computer angle> - early computers had such a hard time handling 3-element mixed base currency (12 pence to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound) that they often had hard-wired pound-shilling-pence conversion units. I believe those could also handle halfpennies and fathings (quarter=pennies).

Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers


Re: password reuse

Even a poorly implemented login tends to be significantly more convenient than trying to find somewhere to park near a bank branch. Or are you going to do all your banking over the phone?

In the bad old days you tended to have to have a user-id and a password. Nowadays the user-id tends to be an email id which is unique to a user and is used across a range of accounts. This effectively means that your security is dependent entirely on your password rather than a PW/id combo which was intrinsically stronger as there was no guarantee that the id was fixed for a given individual.

Two (or better) factor id, preferrably with biometric or random-number gizmo involved, really needs to become more ubiquitous. Unfortunately coping with the "thats too much of a bother" mentality makes these more or less unavailable even for people who are willing to use them.

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking


Re: If this becomes widespread

That was my first thought. Studies have shown that a worrying number of keyboards in offices exhibit fecal contamination.

'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey


Not copper. I'd love copper. My connection to the cabinet is aluminium.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Re: Microsoft’s apology for the Windows 8 generation

To misquote the late great Douglas Adams

"There is a theory that states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what Windoze is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” Several times.

The last two words are my addition.


Don't upgrade

I'm still on 1709 and will be for at least another 6 months thanks to the limited extra control you get from Windoze Professional. Mind, it doesn't matter too much as nowadays my windows PC is just a games machine - all my "serious" computing is done on Linux.

Notes/Domino is alive! Second beta of version 10 is imminent


Re: The way things are going with Office 36x (where x >>> 0)

And I make do with Libre Office and Thunderbird on Linux and Windows. It does all I need and the price is right. Notes style groupware may have a place in a large organisation although I always disliked it. Even outlook may have a place ... probably in the trash bin.

Do you really want your kids' future in the hands of Capita? Well, too bad



Why are we still dealing with this bunch of yahoos?

Ready, get Sets... no? App-grouping whizzery for Windows 10 killed


Why tabs?

I just put shortcuts to all the related apps in a folder then put the folder in the pulldown menu,

Pulldown menu? Yes, still using classic shell.

Buttonless and port-free: Expect the next iPhone to be as smooth as a baby's bum



So if I go somewhere I now have to take a contactless charger for my phone rather than plugging it into my laptop or the backup battery? Plus I cannot connect my phone to my laptop without some wifi hotspot. Another thing to carry around?

Triumph of form over convenience.

So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?



Maybe if people actually had a choice of internet provider this whole problem would solve itself via free-market forces?

Comcast's mega-outage 'solution'... Have you tried turning your router off and on again?


Or that they have no idea what is wrong and all their engineers are running around like headless chickens

Who had ICANN suing a German registrar over GDPR and Whois? Congrats, it's happening


Re: mis worded?

So what? If the registrar needs that information to determine eligibility then it is entitled to collect it. But if the only reason for obtaining the info is for that determination then it is not entitled to use it for other purposes without setting out those purposes. Nor is it entitled to pass that info on to a third party without the permission of the registrant.


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