* Posts by alain williams

849 posts • joined 29 May 2007

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Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

alain williams
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Was I the only one ...

to read the headline, pick out 'Piccard' and 'warp drive' and assume that it was a story about Star Trek' ?

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

alain williams
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Wrong question ...

the article started by asking who would bear the brunt of this. It should have started by looking at who benefits: the large consultancies. If they can remove many contractors there will be a bigger market for their overpriced people ... and, oh, it is not their workers who get most of the loot but the upper management.

I seem to remember that these same consultancies where behind IR35 in the first place.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

alain williams
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Can you see what MS sends to itself ?

I have seen articles describe in vague terms what this telemetry data is supposed to be, but I have not seen anyone actually reading and inspecting the data - which is encrypted when it is collected and stored on the PC prior to transmission.

Has anyone decoded what is sent by their PC ?

Until you can see it I don't think that you can really believe what you are told.

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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

alain williams
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Boon for burgulars

and overseas call centre staff seeing that your power use suddenly dropped on Saturday when you went away on holiday ...

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We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it

alain williams
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Well, just download

a rock solid database: PostgreSQL that will work on rock solid operating systems as well as MS Windows.

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Shelfware wars should be conceded, admits Microsoft compliance boss

alain williams
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Paid licensing is a thing of the past

for the infrastructure and main software items. Just use Open Source. There might need to be some solutions that are only available as proprietary systems, but most of what you need get for free and sleep well, don't worry about a license audit.

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FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

alain williams
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Cost is more than just purchase price

People will also have spent a lot of time installing them and setting them up, maybe getting some paid help. This should also be compensated - there seems to be the idea that customer time has zero value.

Other costs: getting to/from the store where they bought it, also had to return to get a refund (presumably).

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You really do want to use biometrics for payments, beam banks

alain williams
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Re: I didn't even want contactless

I took a chisel to my card and cut the antenna - result: no contactless.

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Facebook deleted my post and made me confirm pics of my kids weren't sexually explicit

alain williams
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Re: Enough

That "shooting victim" was a well-known black thug with a long rap sheet ...

Evidence please.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

alain williams
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Re: What a choice

UK adult population ~61 million. Number of people who voted out ~17 million, number of people who didn't vote out ~44 million. Which number is the minority?

Using that logic, we count that ~16 million (35%) voted to remain. Or number who did not vote to remain: ~45 million.

So stop pissing about and abusing the numbers.

(Me writing as someone who voted remain)

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alain williams
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Re: Regression to the really mean

Suddenly the Labour party is starting to seem electable.

Her and May - not much to choose from is there ?

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UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

alain williams
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Re: To be honest, who cares?

Teenagers watching porn can't screw them up any more than UK secondary school sex education does,

Nah, to really screw kids up just give them a dose of religion. I think that we should also insist on age verification for religious web sites.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

alain williams
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Disability legislation

"blue on blue! Nobody can read that !"

I wonder if that makes the screen illegal under the UK's disability legislation -- re those who have poor sight.

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Jury awards US$3 BEEELION to HPE in Oracle/Itanium lawsuit

alain williams
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Porting software ...

Back in the days when many CPU types were common I used to regularly port software to new hardware, no big deal. OK: I needed to get the source in good shape (proper typedefs, etc) & once I ensured that I had got rid of all warnings when compiled with the Most Fussy option. All assuming decent compilers and a known operating system - which HP have got.

So why does Oracle, apparently, have a problem ? Their database already runs on several different platforms, so it can't be that hard. Agreed: every extra platform does involve more work, but it isn't as if they don't charge enough to cover that.

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Those Xbox Fitness vids you 'bought'? Look up the meaning of the word 'rent'

alain williams
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Re: Indeed...

I have an ongoing case against a UK based content streaming service ...

Do, please, let us know how you get on.

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Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty

alain williams
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In truth they haven't a clue ...

so why not wait a bit for the dust to settle ?

Oh, its Gartner: they make their living by puffing all sorts of reports and quietly forgetting the ones that are disasterously wrong.

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Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

alain williams
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Re: Big government is watching you

Data protection and employment protection were the the reasons that tipped me over the line to vote remain - I do not trust UK governments to not play fast and loose with that, to benefit political and big business ambitions.

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Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

alain williams
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Re: See what can happen when you work together?

My head is spinning!

As is mine ... and the reason is that most of the politicians have said almost anything to get people to vote the way that they want us to; regardless of evidence or consistency with previous assertions.

They disagree even facts that should not be hard to verify; just call each other liars rather than try to agree numbers (possibly with error bars).

The result is that I will take whatever they say with a larger dose of salt than I have in the past. Seriously: when one of them pronounces on something in the future - who will believe them if they do not come out with good evidence with all the points carefully attributed to an unimpeachable source ?

Politicians have become the big losers in this campaign, it will take a long time before I trust them again.

Actually: I suspect that many have been reasonable, but (as a result) have lacked media attention and have thus been ignored. Thus I (falsely) denigrate all politicians due to the antics of a few.

*

But that rant does little to help me decide which way to vote. I might spoil my ballot in protest.

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Queensland creep cops charged with snooping through police records

alain williams
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What is rare about this ...

is that it has been exposed. A lot more like this happens but no one ever knows about them. The current spy's charter going through Parliament will make this harder to detect.

(OK: I know that this is OZ and not the UK, but cops/... are much the same the world over.)

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UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

alain williams
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Who to outsource ?

It seems to me that the manager should have been outsourced rather than the engineer. Presumably also earning more than the engineer - so that would have resulted in an even greater saving!

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Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest

alain williams
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Nightly downloads ...

how long before someone at the energy company writes a script to find those who are using less electricity than usual - so probably away on holiday - pass that info to his mate Burglar Bill.

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Sneaky brown dwarf gives us a bright flash and astroboffins are confused

alain williams
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Re: It's obviously trying to start a fusion reaction...

It needs some obelisks.

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Brexit threatens Cornish pasty's racial purity

alain williams
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Champagne Cider

Several years ago some British cider makers sold what they called 'Champagne Cider'. The EU stopped them selling that - apparently confusing with something made with grapes in North East France.

If we leave the EU will they be able to market it again ? (In the UK/world, but not the EU).

Yes: the French would complain about their sour grapes - but would we care ?

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Get ready for Google's proprietary Android. It's coming – analyst

alain williams
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The more closed Android becomes ...

the more that I will worry that it will have MS Windows 10 style 'remote diagnostics'. Google is subject to the USA Patriot Act.

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You've got a patch, you've got a patch ... almost every Android device has a patch

alain williams
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Re: Good Luck on that...

My Samsung - stopped getting updates very quickly. I contacted them and was told that they had done a study and that what I was running was optimum for me -- or some similar bollocks; they had sold it and maintaining updates cost - so why bother ?

Their ideal customer is one who wants a new 'shiny' every year.

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Top EU data cop slams Safe Harbor replacement as inadequate

alain williams
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USA & standards ...

and when they start using the A and B paper sizes like all the rest of the world.

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Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY

alain williams
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So following that advice ...

Microsoft, knowing that the 'upgrade' to MS 10 will not work, will presumably not push the automatic upgrade out to Samsung machines. Or, maybe, if it does then MS will pay for someone to downgrade the machine again.

Oh, I thought not.

So: when we were told ''you are better off with Microsoft for their support than you are with Linux'' - what did they really mean ?

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Labour asks for more concessions on the UK's Snoopers' Charter

alain williams
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Sunset clause

Claims that they have to rush it through because of the sunset clause are yet more lies - they could quite easily get it extended by a year or so; but that would give time for proper debate - which is not wanted.

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Marketing by opt-in, opt-out, consent or legitimate interest?

alain williams
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Re: Marketing email

(iii) the ability to opt out at any time - I mean really opt out, not just some link that pretends to do that and, in reality, confirms that I am reading their spam.

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ISS 'nauts to inflate pump-up space podule

alain williams
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Initial testing

Presumably NASA before putting real live astronauts in this capsule will want to check that it works, is big enough, etc. I suppose that they will want to make it realistic, so are they also shipping up some plastic inflatable people for testing purposes ? I wonder what the astronauts will use them for once their testing job is done ?

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Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

alain williams
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Re: aerosexuals

Before I read the footnote I assumed that this referred to members of the mile high club.

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

alain williams
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GM crops will happen, like it or not

A large part of the problem is that most people have an instinctive fear of new things - this is a good survival instinct. But it does not mean 'never touch' but 'proceed with caution'. This is what has been done by scientists who have tested them and not found them to be harmful to eat, thus we can use them for their benefits: increased yield, pest resistance, extra vitamins, ...

A large part of the problem are our vote grubbing politicians who see few votes in accepting them but don't want to lose the votes of the braying morons who call them 'frankenfoods'.

Having said that, we do need a labelling system so that the customer can make their mind up, maybe paying a premium for non GM. Something like the 'organic' tag would do nicely.

We do need to continue testing new ones; we only know that the ones that we have tested do us no harm, when shuffling genes from widely different organisms we can end up with the unexpected, in a way that millennia of selective breeding has not done.

We need to use the benefits of GM crops to help feed the world, but must realise that unless we stop population growth no amount of future GM advances will stop people going hungry.

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Microsoft .NET Core update asks developers: How you doin'?

alain williams
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''not include personal data''

I thought that the myth that you need to collect a name to know who is using something had been laid to rest a long time ago.

If it is truely open source, how long before someone releases it with the default to no spying \w telemetry?

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The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever

alain williams
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Re: So...

and when there finding that RedHat/CentOS is supported for 10 years - which means that existing applications will not be broken by OS patches for a decade.

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Nuisance caller fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO

alain williams
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Of course they go into liquidation ...

just like dodgy builders. The only way of stopping this is to go after the owners.

This is, I think, a civil offence otherwise they could use the 2002 proceeds of crime act.

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

alain williams
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Battery or capacitor

What word does the man in the street understand ? To most 'capacitor' means nothing, but he well understands what a rechargeable battery is all about.

Not everyone here is techie enough to understand 'capacitor'.

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Researcher arrested after reporting pwnage hole in elections site

alain williams
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Gary McKinnon

This is what the USA govt was trying to do to Gary: shoot the messenger.

The 'crime' that they are worried about is causing embarrassment by showing that their system administrators are incompetent.

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Google-backed Yieldify has acquired IP from ‘world’s biggest patent troll’

alain williams
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Bought for offense or defense ?

Were the patents bought to hit other companies with or to stop google being a target ? The article was not clear to me.

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Woman charged with blowing AU$4.6m overdraft on 'a lot of handbags'

alain williams
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How do I get that unlimited overdraft ?

Then can you tell me when the next flight to Rio leaves.

Or: these days is it not Rio but Panama or somewhere else - please advise.

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Another failed merger, Carly? Ted Cruz to bring in ex-HP boss Fiorina as running mate

alain williams
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Re: Cruz and Carly?

It looks as if there will be a contest between Trump and Clinton. Of the two Clinton would frighten me most, so I would favour Trump.

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Colander-wearing Irishman denied driver's licence in Pastafarian slapdown

alain williams
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Where he must wear the colander ...

Shurely he should point out that the ultra-orthodox pastafarians believe the holy colander(*) is only to be worn at home?

In that case he does not need to wear the colander for his driving license - unless he lives in a motor-home.

Surely everyone can see that a colander is a holey item!

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Microsoft headhunters seek Linux folk for secret open source unit

alain williams
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API Shim

I would like that - it would mean that all laptop hardware would have a Linux driver that worked (or at least provided by the manufacturer, so could be improved on).

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Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

alain williams
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Alternate operating systems

with a bit of luck this will open up phones so that it will be easier to either order them with a different OS or install one - so things like CyanogenMod will become more common and easier to install.

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They Came From Beyond Our Galaxy And Landed In The Ice!

alain williams
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Brexit

I am waiting for some politician to tell us that we have less to fear from this if we leave the EU, or maybe that we will be able to get them from anywhere and ignore 2,000 pages of EU rules on neutrino quality.

It would make as much sense as the other things that they are saying.

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Brexit would pinch UK tech spend but the EU wouldn't care – survey

alain williams
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There is so much bollocks ...

being spouted as truth by both sides of this that I am struggling to not switch the radio off when discussion starts.

This is a shame as it is important, but the 'debate' seems to be more a matter of using dubious extrapolations to beat up emotional froth. Finding hard facts or good analysis is almost impossible.

Politicians: a pox on the lot of them !

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UK web host 123-Reg goes TITSUP, customer servers evaporate

alain williams
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I left them years ago ...

I used to use them as a DNS tag holder, but departed after yet another screw up. Some companies you learn to avoid.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

alain williams
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The judge will soon be in hot water ...

to which tomatoes, spices, herbs and all manner of tasty things are added as he is slowly cooked to become a pasta sauce.

That will teach him!

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How to not get pwned on Windows: Don't run any virtual machines, open any web pages, Office docs, hyperlinks ...

alain williams
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I am told ...

that keeping it switched off keeps it secure.

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Feature-rich Vivaldi rolls out, offering power users a choice

alain williams
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Been using for a bit

as a secondary browser. Can be nice to have something different when debugging web pages (javascript). I also use it as a browser where I regularly trash all remembered data (cookies, etc) when I can't be bothered working out what I need to enable with adblocker, etc, to see some site.

I can't understand why they want to put an IMAP client in it .... it is a web browser; please stop the bloat!

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UK Home Office seeks secret settlements over unlawful DNA retention

alain williams
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Documents not deleted ...

just been moved to Panama

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