* Posts by DF118

562 posts • joined 2 Mar 2011

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

DF118

Haven't seen much of other people's code...

...but what I have seen makes me feel (a lot) less embarrassed about my own.

Worst was some consultant who'd taken what should've been a simple string padding operation in VBA to get a valid 8-character payroll number and turned it into a multi-line conditional...

If Len(strPayNo) = 1 Then

strPayNo = "E000000" & strPayNo

ElseIf Len(strPayNo) = 2 Then

strPayNo = "E00000" & strPayNo

ElseIf Len(strPayNo) = 3 Then

strPayNo = "E0000" & strPayNo

ElseIf Len(strPayNo) = 4 Then

strPayNo = "E000" & strPayNo

ElseIf Len(strPayNo) = 5 Then

strPayNo = "E00" & strPayNo

ElseIf Len(strPayNo) = 6 Then

strPayNo = "E0" & strPayNo

ElseIf Len(strPayNo) = 7 Then

strPayNo = "E" & strPayNo

End If

Not only had he done this, but he had replicated it EVERYWHERE. That code block appeared something like 140 times. At first I thought he'd cut and pasted it, but then one of the users told me the guy had been charging £1k+ per day for his services (working on site) and I got the sinking certainty that he had just sat there for days on end and typed every single line out by hand.

This was a public sector (NHS) organisation he'd fleeced, and it was just a one-man project for a few weeks. I shudder to think what else is out there in public sector land.

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How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013

DF118

Tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is not.

If I had a pound for every time I read that phrase in the comments to a piece on corporation tax, I'd have a hell of a lot of evading avoiding to do.

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DF118

Apart from his central premise characterising tax campaigns as being entirely made up of virtue signallers who will let Osborne and Google away with "an easy win". Yeah, apart from that, it's excellent.

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Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5

DF118

Re: ...of the dumbest ideas from dumbville

DRM on Streaming? Well, a decent HD camera and 42" HD monitor defeats it.

And what you get is a crap copy with saturated colours, bloom and excessive motion blur, assuming you don't get crazy flicker. Far better (not to mention cheaper and less hassle) capturing video directly from a VM.

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Top Android app devs found exfiltrating mystery stealth packets

DF118

Re: @Chris 125

No argument with any of that; I'm just making the observation. Plus, given the choice between:

A) Being unable to use an app because it refuses to work with a given set of restricted permissions, then seeking to spend time "reviewing" the app to gripe about said refusal to operate.

B) Finding something else

and

C) Simply granting the permissions.

...I highly doubt even a small minority of people would choose option A.

Like I say, I'm with you on what apps should and shouldn't be asking for/getting, however the trouble is the (apparent) quid pro quo of having some new shiny game/app/whatever is seemingly enough for them to just hand over control. Devs know this and exploit it, and until more people start to care about their privacy, that state of affairs ain't going to change.

I seem to remember reading also that part of the Google good-developer-guide-thing (probably not an official name) states that you have to intelligently handle lack of permissions come Android 6, not just bomb out totally.

"We're sorry, but you agreed to the EULA, which states this software requires the following permissions, which you have not granted. Please grant the permissions listed in order to continue."

To you and me, that's definitely bombing out, but at the same time it's a perfectly intelligent way to handle it. And more to the point, nobody can force your user to grant permissions, just like nobody can force you to provide a function/service without getting what you want in return for it.

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DF118

@Chris 125

Which is why the move to more granular permission with Android 6.0 is welcome

It's a great idea, but I fear the practice will simply become that any app, when so denied any given permission, will either refuse to operate, or operate in some kind of useless limp mode, until the permission is granted/restored.

Seems unlikely that Google would have any reason to force app devs to give up their user data addiction, especially when it comes to behemoths like Faceache.

This can already be seen happening with Facebook platform apps. FB now permits users some granularity of choice on permission requests, however when you deny one or more requested permissions many apps in return refuse to operate.

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Firefox 42 ... answer to the ultimate question of life, security bugs and fully private browsing?

DF118

See, out IT dept...

...loves jumping on stories like this as "evidence" that open source is inherently less secure, because open source.

This logic seemingly only applies to desktop browsers though. Smart phone and server OS's are apparently immune.

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

DF118

Re: Time to Evaluate Alternatives

Absolutely. Tonight, after months of fighting with XBMC on Windows, I finally ditched MS on the HTPC and installed Kodibuntu. Everything now works as it should. The only pissing about I had to do was temorarily disconnecting the HTPC from the telly and plugging it into a monitor because the TELLY is crap at low res i.e. changing BIOS settings.

The desktop OTOH might take a bit more effort to make the switch!

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DF118

KB3035583 came back

Just checked after reading this, and there it was, KB3035583, in the optional updates, ticked again. I had previously uninstalled and hidden that update. Will now be keeping an eye on this daily, and watching out for the Upgrade to Windows 10 "optional" update, cheers Reg.

Somewhat annoyingly, I have just sent a freshly-minted W7 laptop out into the wilds of the in-laws' house, taking care to hide 3035583 first. No doubt the next time I see it, it'll be infested with W10.

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OFFICIAL: Zuck's BIG in-your-face Facebook Messenger SHOVE finally pays off

DF118

so they can retain the ability to send Facebook messages on their phone

I investigated this. It turns out there's this thing called the "World Wide Web", and Facebook has a "website" on it, which can be used to send Facebook messages from any browser-enabled mobile, without having to go anywhere near either the main FB app or the FB Messenger app.

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Hey, Facebook – these are the new Like buttons you should have used

DF118

Re: UMMM

the Reg doesn't take over people's lives the way Facebook does

Dunno, for a while there back in 2002-9 (ish) when LP was on top form as a contributor, the Reg did take up a considerable portion of my day*. Defence procurement being one of those things you don't know you're angry about until someone like Lewis comes along, lays it all out for you and goes: "SEE?!"

* Work day, of course.

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NHS to go paperless by 2020. No, really, it will, says gros fromage

DF118

Doing it all wrong

When will the NHS get that massive top-down, global IT projects in an organisation of its Brobdingnagian magnitude, are guaranteed doomed from day one?

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Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

DF118

@alimack

Salmond was pro-business, backing both Murdoch and Trump (two noted socialists), and the SNP's policies have broadly favoured the middle class rather than the poor.

It was McConnell who sucked up to Trump. Salmond got rid of that bampot in short order after Labour got booted out of Holyrood, and noised him up into the bargain with an offshore windfarm within sight of his precious golf course.

Pure speculation here, but I'm minded to think Murdoch was the one sucking up to Salmond, not the other way round. Salmond probably rues the day he stupidly let the dirty digger get within a hundred feet of him.

They're basically Blairite.

That might've been worthy of consideration as valid criticism if the SNP had ever invaded Iraq. To the best of my knowledge they have never done this.

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A Brit in California moves to the Lone Star State – just swerve the TexMex grub

DF118

Smiling isn't forbidden here, being polite to other drivers isn't deviant behaviour

I've never been to Milton Keynes, but all my smily happy friends from Scotland and Yorkshire (who are also, much like myself, polite to other drivers) tell me that everyone there is lovely.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

DF118

Complete bollocks of course, but then that's Marx for you. Reasonable, even excellent, analysis up to a point and then the leap off the 10-foot board into the deep vat of stupid.

In that respect exactly the same as Ayn Rand.

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

DF118

Re: Wot, no Data?

Or Bishop, or the T-1000, or, or....

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DF118

Wot, no Data?

As far as I'm concerned the result will be null and void unless you put Data in the list of candidates.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

DF118

Oh, Andrew!

I do love it when you go off on one!

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Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

DF118

Re: What?

Wouldn't HAVE.

FFS.

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Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'

DF118

@Zoopy

The FBI has no business pursuing silly crap like someone exposing Emma Watson's personal photos, when somewhere a child is working forced prostitution on American streets.

Ah, the fallacy of relative privation. Sorry, doesn't wash. The mere fact of the high profile nature of this case means it is equally if not more important to deal with than the examples you mention, pour encourager les autres.

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EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

DF118

They are atrocious

No mailing address on the bills, email enquiries just get bounced. Interminable helpline calls or social media are your only options for dealing with them.

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

DF118

Re: And we should care what this clown thinks because why?

Don't be a fanny.

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iPhone owners EARN MORE THAN YOU, says mobile report

DF118

HIGH EARNERS MORE LIKELY TO OWN EXPENSIVE PHONE SHOCKER

News at 11

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Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

DF118

Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Or maybe it wasn't a mistake. I used to work for them and I spent every lunch hour reading and commenting on sites like the Reg. Maybe AC is perfectly happy to openly admit s/he is a Microsoftie, and all your pointing and going "HA!" is just that and more.

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EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore

DF118

Re: customer service

On that measure EE falls flat on its face. I've both written and read many rants about various companies' CS over the years, and they're the sort of thing you usually take with a pinch of salt as they tend to be perhaps a little unrepresentative. EE on the other hand really are nothing short of abysmal. No criticism of their CS performance can be too harsh. Consumer watchdogs, consumer help sites/forums, the lot: they are all reporting a huge rise in the number of complaints against EE/T-Mob/Orange and in my own personal experience (dealing with my partner's Orange account on her behalf after she lost the will to live) they were by a country mile the worst I've ever had the misfortune of interacting with.

To be fair though I don't think Vodafone is any better right now. I was thumbing through Which? magazine at the dentist recently. It had a "mobile phone service provider" round-up type article. They didn't even bother reviewing either EE or Vodafone and had them lumped together in a special paragraph headed: "ORANGE, VODAFONE, EE AND T-MOBILE AT ROCK BOTTOM - WHY YOU SHOULD CUT OFF THESE FOUR MOBILE PHONE PROVIDERS".

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Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

DF118

@NoneSuch Re: Whatever the system.

I count myself lucky to have somehow miraculously ended up with an SO whose first question about any film is: "Does it have lasers and aliens? If not, I'm not watching it." and who was the first to venture the notion that we maybe need a bigger sub for movies. And no, she's not a dude.

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

DF118

Re: Realism

the godforsaken hole that is Scotand

Never heard of Scotand. Is that your pet name for yer maw's fud?

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14 antivirus apps found to have security problems

DF118

Re: Point of Issue

Not sure if 'relevancy' is better or worse than 'expiration' on the scale of weird things North Americans do to the English language.

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Say goodbye to landfill Android: Top 10 cheap 'n' cheerful smartphones

DF118

Kestrel connectors

Sadly, the Kestrel has the same rather odd connector positioning as the G6 - micro USB at the top, 3.5mm audio at bottom left.

Ha! I've been wanting a phone with exactly that setup for years. Makes so much more sense to me. You can use the phone more easily whilst charging (no wire poking out of the bottom/side) and the headphone connector position makes absolute sense whilst on the move. No fumbling to rotate the phone the right way up when you put it into or take it out of your pocket.

No, IMHO there's no "sadly" about it - this is how they should be positioned.

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

DF118

Or save yourself the effort and make the username/registered email address the thing you change from site to site.

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DF118

Hey, idiot!

Beginning your post by labelling a self-evidently non-idiotic group of people idiots is the best way to indicate that it's probably not worth reading. Thanks for saving us all that wasted effort.

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

DF118

1.5 million m²=339 acres, not 370. One figure or the other is arbitrary

They somehow fucked up the procurement of the paint (I know - hard to believe, right?) had a few million tins left over and B&Q wouldn't take them back without a receipt so they just splashed it around a bit?

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Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

DF118

Re: Missed some

> Errant car drivers are dealt with. Arrogant (probably uninsured as well) cyclists do not.

Ha! Pull the other one mate. I've lost count of the number of times this has been wheeled out by the anti-cyclist brigade... "oh vehicles have reg plates and insurance and their drivers are highly trained individuals so they don't get away with anything". Utter bull.

Sure we (as in drivers) get caught by speed cameras but whose fault is that exactly? Certainly haven't heard of anyone being prosecuted for sailing through a red light, and I see other motorists doing it dozens of times every day. To illustrate the attitude that exists amongst some motorists I actually got grief from some woman behind me the other day when I stopped at a light that had just turned red. She was screaming and shouting that "there was plenty time you f*ckin wanker". What part of red=stop is so difficult for some people to understand? Sure cyclists do it, and it's annoying and when I'm on my bike I will have a go at other cyclists for thinking they're above the law but don't even TRY and tell us cyclists get away with more because that's just nonsense.

Arseholes are arseholes no matter what mode of transport they choose.

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The cute things they say

DF118

"Hello, $corpname service desk, how can I help?"

"Hi, I'm just wondering: is there a way to add two numbers in Excel without using a calculator?"

"Um. I think so, let me just check"

*stabs mute button*

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

*falls off chair*

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Tech companies are raising their game (and pants) post-Snowden

DF118

Re: The spooks and flacks really do read El Reg!

Yeah! Those evil downvoting G-men!

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Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

DF118

Re: US gas 1/3 price of UK gas.

hyperthermic OAP's

Well if that's what'll be piling up in the streets why don't we use them for heat and power then? Given the state of our ageing population I can see a few crumbly-fired power stations being economically viable.

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Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'

DF118

@ Tom Welsh Re: The russian record != the record

And yet despite these Orwellian levels of brainwashing and the unending Five Minute Hate you manage to see through the Great Satan's dastardly schemes to tell us all about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the USA, its foreign policy or its untrammelled version of capitalism that has its government bought and paid for, but it never ceases to amaze me how people can equivocate this with active and malignant repression then go on to favorably compare ACTUAL repressive governments and leaders in light of that skewed assessment. Just because so many people agree with the assessment of Putin and his motives makes them neither wrong nor brainwashed.

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Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

DF118

Re: Return to sender

Given NK's laughably low standards when it comes to Photoshop you wouldn't even need to go to much effort either.

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Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

DF118

Where a "charity" is more than 50% government-funded it should be subject to FOI legislation.

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Seattle pops a cap in Uber and Lyft: Rideshare bizs get 150-driver limit

DF118

Shocking!

"The question I have for the hotels is this: are you also OK with AirBnB operating in Seattle and providing the same service as hotels but without paying hotel taxes and fees? ... Are the restaurants OK if the City Council goes back and amends the food truck regulations to lift the restrictions we placed on how far food trucks can operate from existing restaurants? Are the tech companies OK if we allow companies to come in and pirate their software as long as the pirated products are popular and consumers enjoy it?"

Well, the last one's a bit disingenuous and doesn't really fit with the first two, and the first two are just examples of a free market. I'm shocked, shocked to find that anyone in the good old USA would agree to anything that restricts the operation of a free market.

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Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

DF118

Great article

Good to read some actual balanced thoughts on the matter for a change.

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Samsung flings sueball at Dyson for 'intolerable' IP copycat claim

DF118

Re: hearing loss isnt funny!

troll against those people of the world with hearing issues/problems

seriously... that's what you took from that comment? get out and about more dude.

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DF118

Re: The picture ..

@Ledswinger

I have both a Samsung hoover and a Dyson (yeah, we're a two hoover family). The Samsung is much (much) quieter and has much better suction. It was also less than half the price. In conclusion, I think your sample size might be somewhat lacking.

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Capita and Updata ink £325m Scottish PSN deal

DF118

Re: Sigh

More likely they bamboozled the NHSS IT and procurement bods. They will sign literally anything if you give them a free pen.

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It's a scientific FACT: Online comment trolls are SADISTS

DF118

Cheers Reg

Now I've got Cyndi Lauper stuck in my head.

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Sony set to axe 5,000 workers worldwide as it flings PC biz overboard

DF118

Cameras

As an old Minolta fan of yore, I really hope Sony don't screw the imaging biz. Many of us were worried what might happen to the Minolta legacy should Sony run into financial difficulties, and it looks like over the next few years we may be about to find out. At the moment however it does seem to be an area in which they're excelling, on both innovation and profitability.

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

DF118

Re: Learn something new every day

Nah, that Indian one clearly took years to accumulate and perfect. Kellys can do that in a day.

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Hello Moto: Lenovo grabs Motorola biz for $3bn. But Google's KEEPING the patents

DF118

Well this is a surprise

I honestly thought the Moto G was the start of something interesting, and that Google were going to keep Moto, losses and all. Oh well that's probably why I'm not an industry analyst. Mind you, it's not as if I get these things wrong any more frequently than they do.

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DF118

Re: @Vociferous - Hmmm... Should probably order that Moto G I've been thinking about.

+1... with the exception of the display, it's easily as good as my One X and in some respects - notably HSDPA signal retention in borderline areas (like my bloody desk) - it's noticeably better.

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Five UK banks sign up to hook up customers' ACCOUNTS to their MOBILE DEVICES

DF118

Re: Dodgy

Ahem... None of my banks HAS been stupid enough.

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