* Posts by Dave Bell

2081 posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Dave Bell
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Re: Yeah - but if I am a "common criminal" I'll definitely find another non-indiegogo to pawn

Our dog was a failed lurcher, and one of those rescue animals. She knew to lead visitors to where we were about the farmyard. It was one of those awkward incidents, a local with severe mental disability, who was going around trying locks.

He got a nasty suck.

It was enough.

Security has to match the need.

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Microsoft loves Linux so much its R Open install script rm'd /bin/sh

Dave Bell
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I have seen some pretty awkward Linux installs, some on the lines of huge archive files that you have to manually open, put on the right place for your system, and link to the right executable for your desktop. No checks for dependencies, nothing.

It's not just Microsoft.

But then the program doesn't work, and you ask "support", and they ask if you have the same problem with the Windows version...

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Have to use SMB 1.0? Windows 10 April 2018 Update says NO

Dave Bell
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My experience has been that the people selling such rubbish are severely clue-deficient, and take the labelling on trust, which as often as not never mentions SMB version support. SMB is SMB is SMB.

So it's a combination of piss-poor documentation from the manufacturer, and low-paid sales staff.

For most of this century the well-informed salesman has been a dying breed, but at least I can download the manuals. But does that help?

Last week I was working on an old Dell workstation, it is good kit and I got a good deal. But the manual (and Dell support) are inadequate on how to fit anything in the front-of-case drive bays. Problem sorted, but it doesn't impress.

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

Dave Bell
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Re: An injunction to break the law?

I've seen several examples recently with a pattern of US lawyers with limited experience of a field of law collecting large fees for rather feeble cases. Most recently, it was a personal-injury specialist from Texas taking on a Federal Trademark case, and trying to dodge the whole Trademark Registration procedure with a court case. The laughter from IP lawyers was muted, but unmistakable. The style is very different.

Are ICANN that stupid? You would think they would at least have involved a competent German lawyer. Some of the labels and concepts are different, but this is part of the point of having Barristers in the UK. The boundaries have blurred, some solicitors can now do jobs that only used to be open to Barristers, but this does look like what you get if you ignore competent and relevant legal advice.

Though there might have been some time pressure. Things do, generally, look a bit too last-minute on GDPR, and not just because the UK government is running around like a headless chicken on anything to do with Europe. But how much of that is wilful American-led blindness?

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Dave Bell
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Re: ICANN not understand how you wrote this article !!!???

I have my doubts about the BBC on a lot of things, these days, but I fear it is a growing awareness of the crapitude of news media, rather than any change at the BBC.

And when it is the frothing anti-EU loonies running the country, I find it hard to blame the BBC for being a bit circumspect.

(The other angle is that, on technical issues, it only takes one journalist to skew things; no names, but there are people writing for The Register who have an obvious political bias on some issues.)

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Dave Bell
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Re: Should result in summary judgement...

That's well-established, not just GDPR. It's explicit in GDPR, and lawyers like "explicit", but if you didn't have something like that it would be a breach for somebody to put your name and address on a letter they post to you. I've had GDPR opt-in emails warning me that I won't get any notifications of dispatch if I don't opt-in. Which means they're saying they can't fulfil a contract. without an opt-in to everything.

How dodgy is that? A US service gave me a web page with default-on permissions for over 300 companies they share my data with. I tried to count them, as I clicked to "off", but lost track at over 270. As the Good Book says:

"Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out."

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FBI to World+Dog: Please, try turning it off and turning it back on

Dave Bell
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Re: but

It depends on your set-up, particularly your ISP, but one side effect can be to change your IP address. I doubt it will hide whether or not you are in the EU, but I am not sure it's a good idea to be a fixed target.

I don't think the code in any router/modem is all that reliable, long-term. I don't think it's strictly a memory leak, but something accumulates on mine until performance slumps. And a reboot fixes it. We're talking several weeks of uptime, and there is a downside to frequent reboots, but my system reports over a week of uptime, yet the line has only been up for an hour. Something must have glitched at the ISP.

So I think you might be a little bit optimistic.

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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Dave Bell
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Re: Wankers

There seem to be a lot of businesses lingering on directory sites. Several list the Scunthorpe HMV store which closed in 2013. So you search for a business, Google connects you to a directory site, and you are targeted by several adverts. It doesn't matter to any of them that they're handling false data.

When they're so obviously getting data wrong, I can't really expect them to stay within the law on personal data.

Oh, you used to hear about a "Chattels Auctioneers", and it looked like a defunct business, with part of the sign remaining. Problem is, "goods and chattels" is a term of art in the auctioneering trade, the sort of general auctioneering business associated with house clearance. I found an older picture showing the complete sign, with a business name and that phrase.

The GDPR isn't going to do anything to stop that sort of bad data.

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Domain name sellers rub ICANN's face in sticky mess of Europe's GDPR

Dave Bell
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Re: In reality

I think I prefer the EU attitude to personal data to that exhibited by the USA.

I was around for the original green-card lawyers, and now I get spam emails begging me to let them send me spam. They have spent the years since the previous generation of EU law, implemented by the UK Parliament as the Data Protection Acts, finding new victims and new loopholes. And now they're going to have to do that all over again.

'Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive

But to be young was very heaven.'

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UK's Rural Payments Agency is 'failing on multiple levels' – report

Dave Bell
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Re: Adjusting maps

Back when the system started, somebody in DEFRA specified a higher precision of area measurement than practical surveying allowed, and the Ordnance Survey figures assumed a flat landscape. Not even Norfolk is that flat. Just the ordinary variations in cultivation, year on year, could lead to bigger variations in the cultivated area.

This isn't rocket science. (DEFRA are the sort of people who want to use satellites in a retrograde geostationary orbit.)

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Dave Bell
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The RPA and DEFRA are the latest version of a continuing pattern of failure to adequately handle the EU's direct payments to farmers. Most of Europe has some sort of central record of land ownership and occupation, often for tax purposes, and when the EU started payments for land rather than produce, they already had the basic records needed.

We had to start from scratch.

30 years ago...

It was a big change, you could have expected this sort of mess back then, but things should have improved.

Brexit will be a bigger change. How long will it take for us to sort out the changes from that?

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Dave Bell
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They hath not the eys of mortal men.

The program was first released in 2003, and had several choices of colour scheme; text, window backgrounds. and the like.

In 2010 v.2 came out. The colour scheme was brown on brown., no choices available, not even an option to switch from light mud on dark mud to dark mud on light mud. A huge effort has been made to increase the loading on the graphics hardware, but the interface colours persist.

Fortunately, there is an alternative that uses human-compatible colour schemes. It is also something of a memory hog.

Since 2010 there have been changes to the major version number. So everything is OK.

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Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

Dave Bell
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Be careful about version numbers.

Readers should know this, but the Linux Kernel version numbers don't look right.

I checked the Ubuntu link, and the version numbers they use are different. I'm currently running Ubuntu kernel version 4.13.0-39-generic and the patch is in version 4.13.0-41-generic, which has just come up as an update. I don't know why they don't use a format such as 4.13.41 but they have lists, they have versions for different processors, and they all have that extra zero in the version string. So do other Linux suppliers.

The difference between you and the rest of the world looks so consistent that I am wondering just how reliable your reporting is.

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Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Dave Bell
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Meh

This isn't just a Windows thing, it goes back through DOS, but the alternatives are older.

Back in the day, it might have been problematic to handle the different styles, code size was an issue and RAM could be very limited. Once we got Win95 it was time to fix this. Win98 looks to be the big missed chance.

33 years... It should have been fixed 30 years ago

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It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

Dave Bell
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Re: What about paper?

Having a paper notebook in a safe place is a good situation for using a written record.

But what's a safe place?

At one extreme is the sticky note on your office computer's monitor. That's the total insecurity that prompts "Don't write your password down" rules.

Stupid users, it seems, prompt stupid rules. I think, with my personal situation, I'd be more worried about the other end of the chain. The Twitter example resembles other cock-ups I know of, and it could be an instance of poor management of programmers. Specifications and documentation are critical weaknesses.

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Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience

Dave Bell
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Re: Tech firms are putting huge resources into VR/AR at the expense of everything else

That's essentially the level of VR tech in the Charles Stross novel "Halting State", more focused on overlays on the real world, though the bank robbery by a band of orcs with a dragon is wholly in VR. I enjoyed the book, and it's about the people, more than the technology.

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Dave Bell
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Re: Joint jaunt into fantasy land

That sort of activity has been around a long time. It's different when all you have is text - one-handed typing is a problem - but two people interacting doesn't depend on VR.

The one-handed typing problem might be why they only give you one controller.

They had pairs of hand controllers working with the PS3, and the PS4 has a headset as well, hardly surprising since the Oculus Rift project started out in 2012. Oculus might do some things better but it's the apps it has which will matter more.

I think I shall stick to text.

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Windows USB-stick-of-death, router bugs resurrected, and more

Dave Bell
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Re: Oh, that's one I recognise

It looks as though Microsoft are splitting hairs over fixing it, saying that because it needs "social engineering" it isn't a software security problem.

A flawed filesystem on a USB stick shouldn't cause a blue-screen-of-death, however it gets attached.

If Department A at MS say it isn't a problem they deal with, and say they have passed the report on to Department B, who do handle those problems, that's OK. Telling you to submit it to Department B might not be the best answer, but it isn't bad.

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Dave Bell
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Re: Oh, that's one I recognise

One of the problems is that there a a few things that MS Word did which have become standard in places such as the publishing industry, and the alternatives struggle with them, It's mostly centred on change-tracking on a document in the editing process. You can produce a compatible file to submit to the publisher, but there's a lot that has to be done to that version, both the obvious area of spelling errors and more complicated fine-tuning of the flow and pacing and storytelling.

It's different enough a process from ordinary office work that it doesn't surprise me. It also means that some Word bugs in the area can now be regarded as features that have to be emulated.

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Dave Bell
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Re: TESS GNC issue

That doesn't even work in Kerbal Space Program.

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Dave Bell
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You're being a bit negative about the TESS launch.

spaceX spot a problem, three hours before launch. And they stop the process long before any loading of fuel or liquid oxygen. It's about the time the humans leave the area of the launch pad. How is this a bad thing? Why should the satellite be "nervous"?

Anyone can check the countdown sequence, find out these things. You don't have to watch launches for half a century to have a clue.

Meanwhile the engineers check the details, and decide whether or not you will go to space today. This is thing going right.

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Router ravaging, crippling code, and why not to p*ss off IT staff

Dave Bell
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Re: Akamai report flawed.

The Akamai report mentions "Open WRT" with a note that they couldn't tell the version.

Well, it's open source software for any number of different boxen, so maybe the model number is pointless, but it looks a bit odd how they handled it.

On the version I have on my router, UPnP is not enabled by default. It's a bit reckless not to check the Firewall settings.

I suspect that finding whether UPnP is enabled is easier to check than some think, but many users will need some hand-holding while they do the check. And that can start getting expensive.

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Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

Dave Bell
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As mentioned above, there are various clues, even in just the domain name. And if the corporate entity chooses to be anonymised, you have to wonder why.

I started out in this lark via a Fidonet BBS with a usenet gateway, and we reckoned it would be trivial for a phone number anywhere in the UK to connect to a dial-up modem in Cheltenham. I remember one day when most of the sysops in the UK claimed to be running on a UPS because of a thunderstorm, all at the same time.

If you can't trust your sysop, who can you trust?

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Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

Dave Bell
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This is one of a small group of programs that set the common ground for so much software. Apple were earlier, of course, but so many people have used this that it would be folly to be too different. English has its Great Vowel Shift. For computers, this was part of a similar big change.

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El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block

Dave Bell
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Here we go again...

It's happened before.

1999 in the US, a company called Landslide, providing adult verification services, involving credit-card payments as authentication.

Trouble was, some of the site using the service were making child porn available, and there was a lot of credit card fraud mixed in.

The operators of the site ended up in jail, with one of those crazy multi-lifetime sentences.

The names of credit-card holders in the UK were passed to the UK Police, who appeared to assume that every credit-card use was genuine and was linked to accessing child porn.

I remember, in my early years on Demon, the struggles there were against the misconceptions of people in power, the tendency to assume everything on the internet was illegal and dangerous. It's hard to avoid wondering how much of this has the same roots, particularly people who have to deal with the genuine bad stuff: the dangerous idiots were, in those days, a part of the Metropolitan Police called "Clubs & Vice".

That outfit, and later the NSPCC with "Satanic Child Abuse", had a reaction I can understand, but they came across as gullible, suffering from some sort of institutional PTSD that had them starting at shadows.

I don't think their solutions are any better.

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Whois? More like WHOWAS: Domain database on verge of collapse over EU privacy

Dave Bell
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Re: What about proxies?

I have had a domain name since the last century, as a private individual, from a UK-based registrar. My name and address is protected by the current Data Protection Acts, which implement current EU law, and this GDPR doesn't seem to implement anything new for me.

The basic privacy rules are so old that they applied when I was using a 2400 baud modem to access FidoNet. And, every so often, the USA has signed up to some agreement to protect personal info, so they can trade with the EU, and gone on, after a couple of years, to ignore it.

The USA has form on the abuse of personal data, going far beyond the allowed Law Enforcement access that Europe already has. Facebook and elections have made headlines over the weekend, and if they are rich (and white) Americans will ignore all these laws.

ICANN may be stupid, but it's a part of a pattern of American criminality about our personal data.

Since we're leaving the EU, we're going to be outside their protection, and I am not sure we can trust the UK government to to even maintain the existing protections.

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Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report

Dave Bell
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Re: Return of the Battleships?

A huge element of that was bad ammunition-handling procedures in the Squadron of battlecruisers that Beatty commanded. He wanted a high rate of fire, and cared less about accuracy. One of those rather dangerous officers who talked a good line. Essentially, there were bagged cordite charges exposed to the flash from explosions, all the way between the turret and magazine. When there was a penetration, and battlecruisers were relatively lightly armoured, there was the inevitable earth-shattering kaboom.

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

Dave Bell
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I saw the mention of failing memory, and nobody has followed that up, here.

Another year of operations, with careful attention to that angle, could pay off well for future spacecraft, both in designing and operating them for maximum life.

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

Dave Bell
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Re: How it should have been handled

It can be read that way.

It doesn't really make it explicit. It should.

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It knows where the gravel pits and power lines are. So, Ordnance Survey, where should UK's driverless cars go?

Dave Bell
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Maps are useful, but things change

I hope this involves up-to-date mapping data, because I know that some published OS maps are at least a couple of years out of date, still missing new roundabouts on major roads, and it took time for both roundabouts to get onto other on-line maps and sat-nav databases.

And GPS or map data just isn't going to be good enough to stop vehicles hitting anything.

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Have three WINEs this weekend, because WINE 3.0 has landed

Dave Bell
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Re: End of the Road

I know of a couple of programs that don't have Linux versions, and explicitly test with Wine. I use one of them, and maybe the biggest problem is that different Windows programs work best with different Wine versions. There are fixes for that. I use PlayOnLinux.

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PC lab in remote leper colony had wrong cables, no licences, and not much hope

Dave Bell
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Obvious.

If you're going to hand out Ubuntu CDs, make sure it's a current LTS version.

It doesn't need recent hardware to run, though I have doubts about physically old hard drives. If the machine can be fitted with a current-production SATA drive there's not likely to be anything dreadfully out of date. Fans also wear out, but can be replaced.

If you're making a donation. a new 500GB hard drive makes it not-junk, and also covers you against data security issues. Pop Linux on it, and you're also covered on licensing issues.

That bunch of machines in New Ireland, I wonder if they have on-board graphics hardware because I'd expect it to be VGA. Performance would be OK. Change the BIOS setting (some boards can autodetect) before you remove a graphics card.

Some people can likely think of ways to do these things better, but I reckon these are the things you need to get right for a worthwhile donation of old hardware.

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Good lord, Kodak's stock is up 120 per cent. How? New film? Oh. It launched a crypto-coin

Dave Bell
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Re: Zombie brand

I don't care what Kodak still makes film for. All I know is that they took MY Kodachrome away

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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

Dave Bell
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Something isn't right about this.

Unless I am confusing Meltdown and Spectre there's something very wrong here.

1: Meltdown only affects Intel CPUs but it can be patched.

2: Spectre affects all CPUs but can't (yet) be patched.

3: There is a third AMD bug, which apparently needs physical access to the machine to exploit

So just what is the update supposed to be doing, because i am not sure it should even be trying to install on an AMD machine?

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Dave Bell
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Re: athlon

I have AMD hardware, and it's a Phenom rather than an Athlon, and I am very glad I don't run Windows

Because, when I looked this up, the particular core design was sold as both a Phenom and an Athlon

I am not sure if the afflicted users know or care about such nitty-gritty details, but just saying "Athlon" is perpetuating the confusion, and mistaking AMD branding for a chip ID is putting systems at risk

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Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

Dave Bell
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Re: Where are they now

This may be why Elon Musk can sell fake roof tiles that generate solar power.

American housing is, compared to Europe, a bit fragile, and roofing can need replacing more often. A solar panel system that can be fitted instead of roof tiles, instead of on top of them, could drop the labour costs a lot. I am not sure about the electrical connections, but total labour cost, compared to roof and solar panels, could be even less.

A quick google show remarkably short roof life in the USA. But can people find the extra money today for a more durable roof?

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Dave Bell
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Re: Great News

It's a structural problem.

Three cases in a folding stack are not going to have a third of the thickness of casing for each subunit, though a smaller unit might have a thinner case for the same stiffness. Can you make a reliable PCB at a third of the total thickness (and I doubt you can reduce the thickness of the metal conductors)? Can you expect a thinner touch-screen?

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Dave Bell
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Re: Nevertheless...

A better battery, more charge for the volume and weight, could mean smaller and lighter devices. Extra processing power often comes with more efficiency. A bit longer life as part of the deal is something that could be easy to sell.

It may be that phones have become too thin, and that is forcing compromises on details such as the durability of the connector. Compare your mobile with the typical low-cost cordless phones on your landline. They're too bulky, but they don't feel fragile. A bit extra thickness might make a better data/power connector possible.

Stepping back from the thinness race might make all the difference, without new battery tech.

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UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Dave Bell
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Which IP version

We might have a list of domain names, but will that stop people using an IP address?

And could an IP-level block ever work with IPv4? An IPv6 address doesn't really feel human-usable, I am not sure I would want to read it out over a telephone, or listen to it and get it into a computer.

Proving age could be a problem too. I am old enough to have been spammed by the Green Card Lawyers, and old enough to remember the frauds that have surrounded proof-of-age systems, but how do I prove it this time?

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Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

Dave Bell
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Re: Lateral Thinking

Total energy content matters, and there is evidence accumulating on the bad effects of a high-carb, low-fat, diet. There's a clear correlation, and there has been some pretty smart testing done to tease out the direction of causality. There are a lot of diet fads which go to extremes, based on slight evidence, and they go bad. The big change I have seen is the rise of "energy" drinks, and Irn-Bru might just be exotic enough to sell for some of the same reasons. A sugar cut isn't a bad thing, but whenever somebody goes for something obvious and simple, I suspect they are wrong.

I don't know why people have this idea that Irn-Bru is unknown in England. Maybe they live so far south that they get their info from the French.

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Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

Dave Bell
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Re: What's all the fuss about?

I use the Xfce version, and it's working fine.

I run some Windows-only software using the PlayOnLinux version of the Wine system. This lets you use multiple Wine versions, and find the best one for the program you want to use. It's an annoyance that so many people will say Wine works, and not mention version numbers. I am using the current Windows version of Scrivener with Wine 2.10, without problems.

I do use the command line for some things. What I find most comfortable is that I am in control. I hear too often of people getting hassled by the Windows update system. And Linux just keeps working.

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Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Dave Bell
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Re: Debian SID

This is why I use Linux Mint. They base it on an LTS kernel/distro from Canonical. And, if you change kernel version, their upgrade won't change the kernel version you're using. And you have a good program to control updates for anything on your system.

Any OS, you can treat it like Windows and blindly accept all updates, and you would probably get results of this sort from time to time.

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Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief

Dave Bell
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Re: Not a new threat

My guess is that there's a bit of a question mark about how we can defend ourselves against submarines. We haven't had any maritime patrol aircraft since 2010 (and that was a Labour government decision). We depend on our NATO aliies, most of them in the EU. Dodgy project management is a part of the issue.

Never mind the cables, what happens if ships start getting sunk in a war? But I might just be remembering the stories of my parents, of times when we were struggling to feed ourselves and there was food rationing. But it's the internet that is sexy today.

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Berners-Lee, Woz, Cerf: Cancel flawed net neutrality vote

Dave Bell
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The USA is different

One thing I have heard from American sources is that much of the country has little choice of internet providers. I can, here in the UK, fairly easily switch from one ISP to another. We have the BT Openreach monopoly on the physical connection, and a free choice over who provides the service. Most of the country doesn't have any practical alternative to that, no cable TV network, though mobile phone tech give a back-up in most places. There are still gaps.

Most of the USA is served by vertically integrated phone/ISP operations, with no competition unless you can get Cable TV, or can pay mobile phone charges (again, with coverage problems).

Setting up an ISP business in the UK isn't trivial, but it is still possible. In my time on broadband I've dealt with four companies, partly down to take-overs and re-branding, partly my choice.

We have the net neutrality that the USA is trying to cling to. We have choice and competition for our custom by the suppliers. It's not that close to right, but it works.

How would feel if you only had one practical choice of internet supplier, and no guarantee that you could use the bandwidth you pay for for what you want to do (assuming it's lawful)? It's a question of balance, and the USA is getting extreme.

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Someone tell Thorpe Lane in Suffolk their internet sucks – they're still loading the page

Dave Bell
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People do miss one big factor in the usefulness of Internet connection speeds. My connection would be classed as horribly slow, but I am the only one using it so it's OK. Yes, I'd like more, but shouldn't we at least have some idea of the number of people we assume are in a household when we're looking at these figures?

Let's say three people. It's enough to need 10Mbs for adequate performance.

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Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges

Dave Bell
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Re: Can I buy Tulips with Bitcoin?

Charles Mackay: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Tulips, the South Sea Bubble, and a lot more. But the accounts are poor-quality history.

When the legend becomes fact... print the legend.

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Google prepares 47 Android bug fixes, ten of them rated Critical

Dave Bell
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I'm confused.

Google say they have bugfixes for the OS on my Nexus phone. The OS version gets repeatedly listed.

But nobody is saying anything about whether there will be an update distributed.

Every OS manufacturer stops support for older versions. I can live with that. But I wish there was a bit more clarity about which OS version will get updates on which Nexus phones. Just a clear link to a "supported versions" page would be enough. It looks like the info is on Wikipedia, but I'd rather trust a page provided by Google.

Frankly, this story on The Register has too much of the feel of a press release by somebody who has no stake in the game.

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Once again, UK doesn't rule out buying F-35A fighter jets

Dave Bell
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If the possible F-35A purchase is extra, for land-based use, it's at least worth a serious look for eventual Typhoon replacement.

Whatever will be available when that comes due is going to be hellishly expensive, and the F-35A will be be effectively new aircraft to an established design. It could be a good deal. I'd be wary of a totally new design, that's part of the problem with the F-35B. We can have a pretty good idea of when Typhoon spares run out, and a replacement has to be ready on-time. But a delayed carrier force isn't as critical as an inability to defend the UK. Maybe NATO allies could deploy some squadrons, if they have the capacity, but will they want to?

But it's going to be a choice between Europe, the USA, China, and Russia as a source, and I have some doubts about all of them. Will any of them want to do a good deal with us, or will we end up paying through the nose for a second-rate export version?

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Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login

Dave Bell
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Re: The baby white elephant in the room

That's Nic Dakin, who shows himself to be at least adequate in computer matters.

The Workington constituency includes Cockermouth, while ther's also the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency.

All of these places have had problems with poorly-designed internet filters. Surely Parliament can cope with English placenames?

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Dave Bell
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In the old days

It used to be, in the days of paper, that somebody had a secretary, and maybe other staff, who handled correspondence. And if you got a reply to the letter, it might be signed "per procurationem", an identified person sending a reply on behalf of the boss. Nothing was being hidden.

It was so standard a practise that it is incredible to me that this situation has developed. Though some of what I have seen on Twitter involves some Olympic-level jumping to conclusions.

The rest of today's news is inclining me toward interpreting some MP's Tweet as stupidity, rather than merely being ambiguously laconic. Why are we trusting this shower of incompetents?

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