* Posts by MGJ

166 posts • joined 4 Sep 2007


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


Re: Because

Are you trolling? The US constitution is very clear that the purpose of the right to bear arms is associated with being part of a militia.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Its as relevant to modern day society as the local laws about having to take part in archery practice in certain parts of the UK. I put away my toy guns at age 8 and grew up. Would be good if you lot did too.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

Dont get Shellac records wet, they dissolve, leaving you the metal inside

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?


Spotted in New York; a "beef croissant" for sale*

*it was a sausage roll, but dont ask me why it wasnt pork


Re: About time

My ex did her best; she was in the pilot audience of kids in Manchester in the mid 70's and burst into tears when Big Bird come on. The other kids joined in, and Granada passed on it. It wasnt until C4 came along that we got the delights of Bert and Ernie, the Count and Oscar The Grouch.


Re: Doctor Who

My party all postal voted before heading to Glasto; the atmosphere there when the result of the advisory referendum came through was very sad. And as always it was muddy.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs


Re: Scaremongering

In 2 1/2 years, the UK government hasnt even managed to agree with itself what it wants, yet in nine months it can renegotiate all these trade deals that have a) been done over a 40 year period and b) were done by people who work for other countries or the EU now, not for the UK.

Good luck with that. Have you seen what happens to the shelves in shops when there is a bit of snow and deliveries are disrupted? By a two or three day event that they can presumably plan for at least shortly in advance? Do you really think the army would be talking about stock-piling ammunition if it wasnt considering/planning for martial law? In departments run by Brexiteers?

Nationwide UK court IT failure farce 'not the result of a cyber attack' – Justice Ministry



This is the MoJ. Not Scotland. So, say England and Wales if that is what you mean. (Although post Brexit a United Kingdom of England and Wales looks increasingly possible.)

Interesting fact: XHIBIT was originally designed to show a minister coming for a visit something, anything working in a court that looked like IT. There's a whole series of Dilbert cartoons that appeared inspired by the tales around it.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'


Re: Bloody typical

Have you been to a government office recently? All staff wear passes at all times, and they are required for entry and used for various systems (flexi, printing etc)


Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

Sid Vicious paraphrased this beautifully; "I've met the man in the street, and he's a c***"

Concerns over cops' crap computer kit: UK MPs call for cash, capacity, command


Scottish Police

The title of the piece says UK but with as with all El Reg articles it actually means England (and possibly Wales) but certainly not Scotland or NI. For all that folk like to have a go at our unified force, when you look at its key task of detecting and solving crime, there has not been a single unsolved murder (in best Taggart voice) in Scotland for years.

That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer


Re: Give the desktop some love.

Sitting at my Surface Book 2; earlier I was watching a film and allowing kids to scribble with the pen with the screen turned around. It just works, Yes it was expensive, but it does everything I need it to. Grand Theft Auto V to Word

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office


They do; they post them to 15 year olds, who then have to go through a complex process when they lose them to get it back again. Because of course 15 year olds look after such things.

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC


Re: Funny Sound Bite on Radio 4 This morning

Because of course you've had great success with a grumpy teenager who you've politely asked to switch off their phone during dinner or to allow them to get some sleep.



It would be great if I could run a script on leaving the house that switched off wifi, switched GPS on, turned volume to max, opened Runkeeper, ready for my commute by bike. Takes a minute or two just now, especially as location is hidden away behind the privacy tab.

(If I could already do this and just haven't realised, please poke fun at me and then tell me how to do it)

Autonomy ex-CFO Hussain guilty of fraud: He cooked the books amid $11bn HP gobble


God their software was awful too. We bought it as an internal search engine to combine a number of data stores (intranet, shared drives, Exchange public folders etc) but it never really worked, despite the number of times the consultants came on site and set up their spiders to crawl the network, and the huge security holes we opened for them to crawl through (Exchange admin account, NT domain admin etc). Probably worked ok on anonymous websites but that wasn't what they sold us it as.

Javid's in, Rudd's out: UK Home Sec quits over immigration targets scandal


Re: Fuckety bye...

Something that she had to be forcibly reminded of when she claimed not to have been briefed on the targets. Ooops, how did that leak out?

Ex-Google recruiter: I was fired for opposing hiring caps on white, Asian male nerds


Re: Applicants must be women of child bearing age only

I presume this is supposed to be a joke. And I also presume that you have never had someone working for or with you who has gone on maternity leave. Women returning to the workplace after they have given birth are awesome employees I have found; organised, focused, loyal etc


Because they don't; or are you somehow claiming that only dumpy white or Asian males are capable of engineering? A workforce that reflects society better is also likely to be better for the company. An engineering example; palm print recognition used to be excellent at differentiating between white male subjects but rubbish when it came to black palms, and black women in particular. I wonder why that might have been?

UK peers: Is this what you call governance of facial recog tech? A 'few scattered papers'!


Re: Data retention

They really aren't. The problem with each force having a system for this and a system for that. No link between custody systems, criminal history systems etc, probably because someone in the past claimed that there were "Big Brother implications" of a link between someone not yet charged, and a later person who had been charged with something.

Facial Recognition works well enough for the police to be able to spot those members of the Green Brigade who have sent along someone else to the police station to sign the book while they are at Parkhead and shouldnt be there because of a Football Banning Order.


Re: Start With Your Passport Photo

And the opportunity for the person who is of good character and has countersigned your photo as being of a true likeness going to prison as a result is quite high.

Huawei's Not Hot Dog is possibly the Worst Tech Promo Ever


Optical Recognition

A friend of mine was working on object recognition like this 15 years ago. Unsurprisingly it had lots of military uses but he was trying to get it to read road signs and then tell the driver what signs he was going past; warnings, speed limits etc. It could recognise tanks, but only if they had a big white cross painted on them to help them stand out from the background.

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report


Re: Benefits

I like the idea of a fixed result in a democratic decision making process; can we choose the 1945 UK General Election please. No Tories ever again, nationalisation and socialist principles at the heart of a workers government.

Oh, was it just decisions you approve of that can never be overturned?

UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks


Re: Shame (the libs)

Abandoning democracy? Like having another vote some time later that might come up with a different result? Can we go back to the 1945 general election then, and just sit at that for the rUK for all time, with the 2015 result for Scotland. Or is it just referenda (advisory ones at that) that can never have their results changed?

The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab



When a Surface Book 2 appears, I have a credit card waiting.

I use a Surface Pro 3 at work, best laptop I've ever had.

UK's food, farms and greens dept gives in to IBM, Capgemini addiction



DEFRA deals only with reserved matters at Westminster; the Scottish Government has responsibility for fisheries, forestry, agriculture etc in Scotland.

Honestly, before devolution journalists used England and UK synonymously; now when they could just refer to England, they don't.

Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads


Re: PC World still exists?

There was a Chewing The Fat sketch with them flogging extended warranties 'for total peace of mind' on batteries.

From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong


Re: First Past the Post

Hooray, someone else who gets that electoral systems (and their names) are important. France has first past the post; you need to be elected with 50% of the votes, or the top two go into a run off. UK elections use plurality - 'most votes wins' - for each constituency. As a form of shorthand, FPTP made sense when there were two parties, now we have three and four way marginal, and it doesn't. Call it most votes wins, but even that doesn't work (as in 1951, where Labour got more votes overall, but lost the election). Its not like there aren't better systems to use with all the advantages (named representation is still a big thing) such as the Additional Member system used in Scotland. The disadvantage of that being that there is a likelihood of coalition unless one party gets an overwhelming support (Scotland in 2011 for example) but it has to be better than a system that allows a party with barely 40% of the vote to be propped up by 10 orange loyalists, whose opinions seem to count for more than they should.

UK Home Office spy powers unit pretended it was a private citizen in Ofcom consultation


Re: Get what you wish for

I cannot imagine the circumstances in which this would be allowed under the Civil Service Code.

That guy using a Surface you keep seeing around town could be a spy


Of course I cant connect over the wifi here, and have to use my Mifi device.


Oh no, I'm in a coffeeshop, using my government issued Surface Pro. Does this mean I am a spy?

Radical 5G rules proposed, but UK can address woeful coverage right now


Housing Control in 5G Standard?

Given that large numbers of folk live in partial or complete Faraday cages, how is 5G going to sort that out?

Rogue One: This is the Star Wars back story you've been looking for



It was The Incredibles that had a section on the dangers of capes, no?

Edna Mode was quite strongly opposed to them, and they [spoiler] led to the destruction of a certain baddie.

UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie


Re: Agreed

Pish, as we say in Scotland. It is not their main policy; that would be Independence. And the named person scheme is a formalising of good practice, where information known about a child is shared in their best interests with just one named individual. If it works properly, it can mean less data sharing of the trivial variety as professionals know who to speak to rather than ask around. Every time a Serious Case Review reports following a death, the constant refrain is that no one had the big picture about the child's life, lots of people knew a little but didn't know who to tell.

UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments


Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

MPs consistently vote in ways that a majority of their constituents may not want, on a variety of issues, but historically capital punishment is one where a majority of constituents are/were in favour of it returning but the representatives who we pay to think about things deeply looked at the complicated issues around the subject and decided on several occasions that they were not in favour of it returning (and would not be whipped into so doing).


Re: on the plus side?

Sadly us Scots will be excluded from this (which is partly why the section has not yet been enacted) because Scots Law does not allow punitive damages like this.

UK digital minister denies legal right to 10Mbps is 'damp squib'


But What Does It Mean?

I'm stuck on 6Mbps ADSL in central Edinburgh; I could switch to Virgin and get more speed, but at the expense of having to change all the bundled services that I get from BT (the only option when I was an early adopter for ADSL in 2001), and disrupting my phone, tv etc, as well as adding to the cost.

What I'd like would be an option of FTTC or FTTP that wasn't as disruptive, and moved us away from bundled services, so I could pay a little for the bundled services (email, backup hosting) and separately for access, making competition between internet providers a reality.

A UK-wide fibre broadband investment plan? Don't ask awkward questions


Re: it amazes me..

I live in central Edinburgh and I cannot get FTTC because cabinet 17 on the Morningside exchange is not upgraded and there are no plans from BT to do so. I could get Virgin to install cable, but that involves drilling holes in my house and running cables over my garden as well as losing my email address etc. I get about 7mbps down on a good day, with disconnections if it is windy or rainy.

Snafu! BT funnels all customers' sent email into one poor sod's inbox


Not Just That

Yesterday I had the problem that the sub accounts on my main BTinternet.com address were all being polled at the same time as the main one. Those are used by my kids who don't get what 'spam filters' are for, so masses of ancient spam and adverts flooded into my mailbox. Happens every so often but not for a year or so.

Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging


What about if you are not compatible?

The pop up says my laptop is compatible; Sony says otherwise and says W10 will blue screen because of the switchable graphics on my Vaio that Sony say they wont sort or write a new driver for.

Pimp your TV: Goggle box gadgets and gizmos


If the One For All device allowed me to manage my Denon 2307 receiver that would be great value for money. The Denon manual is written in an entirely different form of English and the UI is impenetrable.

Police Scotland fingered for breaching RIPA code 'multiple' times


Re: Hold on there commander

Neither set of elections involve FPTP, they are not in France which does have FPTP, ie candidates are elected with 50%+1 of the vote in the first or second round of voting. Designed for the 4th and 5th Republics

Westminster elections are done on plurality, where the candidate in the constituency with the most votes wins. Could be 1 vote, could be by 1 vote. If there were only two candidates then one would by definition have 50% plus (outside of a dead heat), but very few Westminster elections (as opposed to LA ones) involve so few. More typical to have 4 or more, especially in a byelection.

Holyrood is most definitely not a combination of FPTP and PR, it is AMS, where candidates are elected in constituencies and then the regional votes (not national) are adjusted so that the result more fairly reflects the overall vote. It takes quite extreme voting patterns to get to an overall majority and it was assumed that this was never going to happen after the first two coalitions and then a minority government but the current SG had an overall majority, and on current polls that will continue after next years election. It has worked pretty well so far, with a few independents, greens, trots etc elected. I'd prefer if the party didn't get to agree the lists.



Given their helmets, those are not Police Scotland officers, and RIPA is not Scottish legislation (there is a separate RIPSA). Are you sure of your facts other than that?

BT boss: If Ofcom backs us, we promise to speed up UK broadband


Any chance they could finish the Infinity roll out first?

Central Edinburgh and I cannot get FTTC; my cabinet has been marked as due to get Infinity for over three years now but it never happens. I can move supplier (although getting Virgin to give you just internet access looks a challenge) but I'd lose an email address I've had for 16 years, and the hassle of that is probably not worth a faster download speed.

At least it isn't the old Syntegra business unit. They really were appalling - we had their call centre software at work.

HP and Dell flogging Surface Pro direct? No issues THERE. NONE AT ALL


Re: Only too right

I think you need to go watch the film 'Her' . Loving an OS is the plot.

More than 13,000 emails swiped in Edinburgh council cyber assault



My mobile has had 15 spam call centre rings today, where I normally get one a week. My data probably compromised in this. A coincidence?

Surveillance, broadband, zero hours: Tech policy in a UK hung Parliament


We don't have FPTP, for GB elections we have plurality, the candidate in the constituency with the most votes wins.

French elections have a post (50% turnout plus one) that you have to be first past. That has worked well in the fifth republic to allow (normally) a second round run off between the best placed candidate from the left and right.

And to talk about 'paying off the deficit' is just nonsense. The deficit is the growth in the national debt. The best way to pay off the national debt (and which the good Keynesian economists out there would recognise) is to do so when your economy is growing and there are more taxes coming in from workers and less benefits paid out to the unemployed.

Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles


Re: NI numbers?

NI numbers are issued when your parents claim child benefit for you. Its used as a proxy so we can all pretend that we don't have a national identity number; instead we have five or six.


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