* Posts by Novex

261 posts • joined 20 Jun 2011

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Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Novex
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The BBC article on this mentions that some kind of 24 hour restriction could be put in place to stop repeat orders if the button is pressed additionally within the 24 hours.

I think this is neat in one way, but entirely wrong in execution. The idea of the button, fine, but it should send a note to a shopping list that you can check at the end of the day or week for things you need to buy, which can then be ordered online or sent to your mobile (or printed even) for when you go to the shops next. Ideally the item 'request' wouldn't be sent to a shared server shopping list but to a local one, but of course knowing all these cloudy companies that wouldn't happen.

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OneLogin breached, hacker finds cleartext credential notepads

Novex
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Facepalm

Dear god, when will people realize that putting any kind of authentication or authorization details in the cloud is a REALLY STUPID IDEA!

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Novex
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This head office that is only 'on paper' - don't we mean 'in the cloud'?

Oh, and 13bn Euros, that's pocket change if the reports of Apple's cash reserves are anything to go by.

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Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

Novex
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IMO HS2 should be put on hold, and there should be a proper plan to put FTTP to all premises in the UK, regardless of where they are.

Why?

In the not so distant future, much of the world of work will be knowledge based, and won't need (or even be cost effective) to do in central offices. So getting the whole country hooked up to good quality fibre is pretty much essential.

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Go forth Spitzer! To infinity and....

Novex
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Coat

Er...

...I think I spotted a problem: at some point in the future Earth is going to crash into Spitzer! Where's my tin foil hat, I'm going to need it!

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WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

Novex
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Re: To FB or not FB, that is the question.

You do realise don't you that Facebook puts a lot of effort these days into tracking non-users as well as users?

You don't have to have an account for Facebook to have information on you.

With NoScript, Privacy Badger, Adblock Plus, and clearing cookies regularly (not just on exit), I think it will be harder for Farcebook to reliably track me.

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Novex
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Re: To FB or not FB, that is the question.

Same here. The best way to avoid such an intrusion is not to open the door to the 'burglar'.

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Kindle Paperwhites turn Windows 10 PCs into paperweights: Plugging one in 'triggers a BSOD'

Novex
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Good Grief

This is why I don't use Windows 10. Just how many things can go wrong with this OS? And MS think it's right to force this crap on users? It seems almost every day I get a feeling of deja vu all over again! I said it before, I'll say it till I'm a horse: forced updates are a fucking mistake and we should be allowed to keep them out, and telemetry is something we should be able to stop completely and verifiably.

Windows 7 + Linux Mint FTW.

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MySQL daddy Widenius: Open-source religion won't feed MariaDB

Novex
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Whether we like it or not, professionals in any industry need to be paid in order to have a home and eat food, so they can continue to produce. Advertising will only ever go 'so far', frequently not far enough when we also have to consider that we like our internet free of intrusive advertising. So some kind of payments back to the professionals have to be made. Or are we willing to just put up with the half-arsed results that all too often come about from the efforts of hobby coders volunteering their valuable free time away from serving people coffee and cakes for minimum wage for ten plus hours a day, seven days a week?

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No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

Novex
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Joke

Seems to me that the only way to find out...is to go there ourselves. Enough with these namby-pamby robots, send real men, with really powerful power tools, and go dig up Mars! ;-)

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Mozilla's trying on seven hot new spring/summer logo looks

Novex
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Re: Meh

I agree, in the sense they all look weak. The Firefox and Thunderbird logos still work as far as I'm concerned.

In the poll, on the first question we need a 'None of the Above' option, and on the second a 'because they'll all naff' option.

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Five-storey Blue Screen Of Death spotted in Thailand

Novex
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Thumb Up

I've just come back and reloaded the page, and now the image for the airport signage is in place, so that appears to have been fixed.

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Novex
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As the images below show, some digital signage at the airport was running Windows XP

I'm not seeing any images from an airport...?

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My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Novex
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But that’s OK, because repeatedly failing is now supposed to be such a positive thing in tech startup culture that investors rate it more highly than success, profit or ROI.

I wish. If that were really true, I'd be a billionaire several times over! I've failed more times than I've had hot dinners.

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

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Re: Passweird Generator

"my password database stays out of other people's hands"

Dream on.

Er, well, short of the NSA or GCHQ breaking in to where I live and cracking the password on my laptop, then cracking the password for my encrypted partition; and bearing in mind I am absolutely not putting my password database file anywhere near a cloud service; and noting that I don't let most javascript run in my browser so there's little hope that a script could get a virus onto my laptop via web browsing; and no-one else has a login to my laptop so they can't get anything on to it; and it runs Linux Mint for general work; I don't quite see how anyone else is going to get hold of the database file. So what is my dream exactly?

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Novex
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Passweird Generator

I never relied on those strength meters anyway. I use KeePass, and it has a built-in password generator which seems to be pretty good at coming up with complex passwords, and has configurable options as well. And, because KeePass is a password manager I don't have to remember those passwords, just the hellishly long one I use for the master password. I also use a keyfile, so it's not just a case of getting hold of my master password to try and get my online passwords. And, because it's KeePass, it's a local solution with no cloud interaction that means my password database stays out of other people's hands.

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Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

Novex
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Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

But even though Windows admins might be used to PowerShell on Windows, they'll be used to using Windows commands. Linux doesn't use the same commands so those Windows admins are still going to have to learn the Linux CLI commands and all their options, etc, and the sequence they need to be run in, in order to get anything done on Linux.

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Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

Novex
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Re: Not listening ...

Pretty much where I am now running Windows 7 and Linux Mint in a dual boot arrangement, albeit with a ten year old laptop. I'm glad I'm not anywhere near this Windows 10 debacle!

The EFF conclusion sums up pretty much why I have stayed with Win 7 and investigated LM.

I still have to say though that if MS can provide a version of Win 10 with proper telemetry control (i.e., I can turn it ALL off, completely) and proper update control (i.e., I can reject in advance any updates I don't want) then I might consider testing it.

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Intel teases geeks with 2017 AI hyper-chip: Xeon Phi Knights Mill

Novex
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Paris Hilton

Er, I have a genuine question...

If the RAM is stacked on top of the die, just how well are the CPU cores going to get cooled? Or is this package going to be running at very low frequencies?

(Paris, because she's the only icon with a question mark in it. Oh, and I feel stupid that I don't know the answer to this)

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Intel's Optane XPoint DIMMs pushed back – source

Novex
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Why...

...am I not surprised? That announcement last year felt a little too good to be true, a little too early, with too little to actually see working.

Until the XPoint NVDIMMs are released, I am feeling this is still a bit vapour-like.

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VeraCrypt security audit: Four PGP-encoded emails VANISH

Novex
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Gmail...

...really? And you wonder why messages are no longer in your Sent folder? I would have hoped any such communications weren't going via such a service. They should really have their own email servers, or be using a recognized secure provider. I wouldn't call Google secure when they like to sniff into any email that goes via their systems.

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Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze

Novex
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Facepalm

Re: Wow.

Yep. Glad I'm on Win7 / Linux Mint.

So, in answer to the problems coming down the pipe with forced updates: "I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago."

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Farewell Patch Tuesday fragmentation: from October, MS will roll just one monthly patch

Novex
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Xbox...

...attitudes again, trying to work in the PC world.

It might be true with Xboxes that they can all get all updates all the time, but they are a closed system where they are all the 'same' and arguably need to have the updates in order for them all to play nice on the Live service.

PCs just aren't Xboxes. They are used in many different ways, and due to that the application of updates needs to be more finely controlled. That's especially true of business machines which need to be kept up and running reliably and only get updates when those updates are proven to be safe and not likely to take a needed computer out of service. And that applies to small and one-person businesses as well as bigger enterprise-sized conglomerates.

How does this affect WSUS by the way? Is that going to get individual update packages, or just a single file? If the latter I can see businesses simply not installing it in order to keep their machines available. How does that keep those PCs secure?

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Native Skype for Windows Phone walked behind shed, shot heard

Novex
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Re: This is what I call intrusive

How could you send a photo or video if it can't access them?

It's need verses want. I don't need to have such capability to make a video or audio call. I might find it useful, a 'nice to have', but it certainly isn't a need.

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Novex
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Re: This is what I call intrusive

And which ones do you think it doesn't need to use?

Well, it's an internet video calling device/service, so it doesn't need to use quite a few things. I've had a quick guess at the following:

Use your microphone - yes

Use devices that support Near Field Communication (NFC) services - no

Use your location - no

Use your webcam - yes

Use your device’s voice over IP (VoIP) services - yes

Use your maps - no

Use an anonymous Microsoft account - ?

Use information about your device - maybe

Use your device network services - yes

Use your phone - no

Use any of your Windows Phone sensors - no

Access your browser - no

Use your rear- or front-facing camera - yes

Use your contacts - yes

Use the appointments in your calendar - no

Use your music - no

Use the photos in your media library - no

Use the media items that are currently playing - no

Access your Internet connection... - yes

...and act as a server - ?

Use data stored on an external storage device - no

Use your video library - no

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

Novex
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Any mastering can be good or bad. For the consumer, what then ultimately matters is the quality in the product they get. I hated vinyl (and cassette tape) due to the inherently poor quality in the materials used in the pressings once mass production was done too cheaply. I frequently found vinyl had rough patches for which I'd have to return the disc and try and get a better replacement. In general I've never had that problem with CDs, DVDs or BluRays as the quality control around them is much better and hence I've never had once in my life to return a faulty pressed digital disc. Blanks for writing and re-writing are another matter though.

Digital files, be they downloads or streaming, don't suffer from physical production artefacts, however I find the compression levels for streaming far too high and prefer to have a disc with much lower compression and therefore a better watching and/or listening experience.

If lossless compression with high definition sound were to become a standard for audio, I'd certainly move on from CDs, but that would very much depend on artists and music producers actually making their music available in such a format. If I want a particular track or album that isn't available like that, then disc it still has to be.

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Adblock Plus blocks Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook ads

Novex
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Re: I find the best way to avoid adverts on Farcebook...

Only reason for me having a Facebook account is so I can sign in to forum posts on other sites instead of creating accounts on every damn one of them with more passwords to try remember.

I prefer to use a password manager, in my case KeyPass. It can generate the random-like passwords so that each is different, and it keeps all of those passwords away from the cloud (the database may be encrypted, but even I'm aware that one day that encryption might be hacked in some way, however unlikely that might appear, so off the cloud they stay).

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Novex
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I find the best way to avoid adverts on Farcebook...

...is to not use Farcebook.

* for the occasional time when I view a page when someone sends me a link to one, I block Javascript with NoScript so that I don't see the adverts most if not all of the time.

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Blighty's 24-hr Universal Credit outage caused by upgrade glitch

Novex
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Re: so ....

Both? According to the text of last paragraph of the article...

We are aware that our customer experienced an inability to access business applications.

...there's only one (and it's not me).

* and yes, I know that 'customer' really refers to the singular 'DWP', not the users of the facility.

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The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Novex
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Re: Two words

If I don't have potatoes on a regular basis, I start feeling ill. I can still lose weight though by having a balanced diet with bits of everything but not too much of anything, and getting a bit of walking in each day.

'Eat less, eat balanced, exercise more, not too much' - that is the mantra. If anyone bothers to look up all the articles and programmes and what-not in the world written by reasonably knowledgeable doctors and the like on how to live a reasonably healthy life, it all keeps coming down to that mantra.

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Re: Fat chance

I believe that the measurements on clothing are no longer accurate, instead being larger than indicated. So a 30" is now actually a 32". Apparently it's to do with customers wanting to believe they're slimmer than they actually are...

I have used an Omron pedometer for five years now. I've found I've become habitualized to using it every day to get around 10k steps on it. But it has one drawback: it has only got a USB connector and doesn't have Linux drivers for it, so can only be used with Windows meaning it's one of the reasons I have to keep a Windows 7 partition on my PC to be able to download the data... (I knew I'd get a dig in at Windows 10 and it's telemetry and forced updates somehow :-D )

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Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

Novex
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Deja Vu

That 350 million figure is still being bandied about. I seem to remember the lead up to a recent event where that figure was somewhat discredited...

...and it might just be that MS's figure isn't entirely above board either. AIUI, 350 million is for downloads/installs to all device types. So it's not just for PCs (although the vast majority of that figure will be, as the Surfaces and Phones probably don't amount to much).

Also, we don't know if that 350 million includes downloads/installs that have been rolled back, or for which PCs people who upgraded decided to wipe it out and start again with something else.

So basically, we don't know what the true active user base of Windows 10 is. I don't think MS do either. But I'm pretty sure it's a fair bit less than 350 million.

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Novex
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Re: Hounded

I was thinking the same thing. The BBC already has a log in system for saving favourites data within iPlayer (on Android at least) so all they need to do is add identification relating to address and licence number to that, and a way to verify it, and then the ability to use iPlayer could be restricted to those with a valid licence.

As for detector vans, the only way they could effectively have ever worked would be if there was someone inside snooping on the sound coming from a home with a fuck-off sensitive unidirectional microphone. Listen for whether a TV is on and playing anything, check the address has a licence, if not prosecute. The same technique could be used for any device, as long as it was playing audio over speakers. Headphones might be harder to detect audio from.

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Three times as bad as malware: Google shines light on pay-per-install

Novex
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Oh, the irony...

...that Google are investigating what amounts to 'bundled' software. OK, I'll admit that the article is referring to software for which there is most likely no option to not install it, unlike purchased software where hopefully there either is no bundle, or it's at least possible to select not to install it.

* ironic, in that Google bundle a fair bit of stuff which I'd certainly not really want into the code of things like Android and Chrome, though it's not actually separate software.

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

Novex
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Happy

I find other people's computers like me, and behave themselves most of the time when I'm around just to annoy their users who don't 'show them enough love, man'.

As for some of my own PCs: give them half a chance and they'll misbehave like naughty children just to piss me off, while smiling sweetly and wondering what they've done wrong, the little buggers! I love them all dearly, of course...

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Novex
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Re: Dune

But if you don't read some of the sequels, you won't get the B-52s reference...

Actually, there's enough in the original to get a gist of a reference to that specific B-52s' song that Dabbsy linked too.

+1 for reading the first book. Watch Lynch's film as well though, for all it's oddness it's still a valiant attempt to put the book on the big screen. I wouldn't bother with the Brian Herbert sequel books though. They're not a patch on the original or any of FH's five follow-ups.

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Microsoft: You liked Windows 10 so much, you'll get 2 more in 2017

Novex
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Meh

I don't suppose...

...either of those updates would include a consumer / small business version without the telemetry and forced updates?

No, I thought not.

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Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

Novex
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What is there left to be said...

...with this kind of sh!t? We've known it was going to happen ever since MS had all that telemetry pouring out of the preview versions of Windows 10. Then when the belief that that telemetry was just for beta development was proved wrong with the full release of Windows 10 still having it all, we were told again where MS were heading. Now with the Anniversary release and these updated policy elements, it's being told to us again - MS want to stick their nose in to every part of your online life (and probably a fair bit of offline life too) in order to monetize it for themselves. This is exactly the same as Facebook and Google, and probably Apple too (though I don't use their stuff so don't know for sure).

Windows 7 FTW. Linux Mint FTW. At least for the foreseeable future. I just hope hardware makers keep writing drivers for Windows 7, no matter that MS might try to buy them off. And I also hope that hardware makers wake up to the need to write Linux drivers as standard at the initial release of a product.

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Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

Novex
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Re: Bit Miffed..

"Errr..... ChromeOS is a Linux OS."

True. But it is somewhat modified (as are the other Linux-derived OSes like Android, etc) from what is generally understood to be Linux, such that they are separated out in that list.

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Novex
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Bit Miffed..

...that ChromeOS is higher than Linux!

But, IMO we need to be cautious about that U.S. list. It's only for visits to U.S. government websites, which I reckon must be a bit distorted. How many people visit it, and who are they likely to be? I don't believe I've ever visited it, let alone in the last three months, so my Linux install isn't in that list.

As for hiding from the stats only using NoScript, don't most browsers reveal their version and OS independent of Javascript? Surely the hiding would have to be done in some other way, i.e., spoofing the useragent information, as well as blocking Javascript?

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Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

Novex
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Re: Well done for trying to find the good points of Win10.

"I think Windows 10 is good if you don't care about controlling your own computer or your privacy. But for many of us, those are non-negotiable."

^ This. I read much about Windows 10 that makes me think that under the hood there's some decent stuff going into it. However, those good things are seriously outweighed by the telemetry systems (including Cortana) and the forced updates. I said these were deal breakers back when Windows 10 was announced with these invasive things in place. My data and what I do with it do not belong in anyone else's cloud, and if I get used to the way an application works I don't want that way of working fucked around with by a forced update.

So I stay with Linux Mint for general use, and Windows 7 (even beyond support in 2020) for specific hardware and software that Linux can't handle.

My biggest worry is future custom build PCs: I might not be able to get a Win7 license for them, and future hardware might not have Windows 7 drivers.

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Novex
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Re: Boils...

In my general use of Linux Mint 17 the fact I haven't had to frequently use the command line after initial installation suggests that in general use a distro like Mint is heading in the right direction. ISTR that the kinds of things where I needed to use the CLI was in order to check settings when advised to by other users when I was having issues with a Bluetooth adapter and needed to check the recent USB activity, and for hibernation issues which needed tweaking in order to change the swap file arrangement. In both cases the advice coming back from others was CLI-based, not GUI-based.

I had to use CLI with ClearOS as it had no desktop at all (mainly using a web GUI for basic app installs and settings). To do anything more detailed with it required CLI, especially installs of software not included in the ClearOS management system, but I cannot remember most of the commands and stuff I had to use with that to change settings. I deliberately went with ClearOS because I knew that gaining some mastery of the CLI was essential to be able to cope with Linux, and I would have to confront it. I did start to keep a file of command lines for some of the things I had to do, as I had to go back to them just enough times to need it. However, I still dread having to use the CLI, it's not something I feel at home with even though I know I need to understand the way Linux programmers use it.

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Novex
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Re: Boils...

Dadmin: there are some GUIs out there, and I do use a few, but the inconsistency in their design and deployment leaves much to be desired. I have done some CLI work in Linux (mainly on ClearOS a while ago now, as it doesn't have a desktop as such).

I think there are actually several things I struggle with, which isn't the CLI itself, but more the way programs are implemented:

  • I don't have a good memory for all the different possible settings and all their possible values in abstract. I find physically seeing the settings and having the choices for their values visible on screen much easier to remember than relying on pure memory for text/number values.
  • When it comes to text files, again having a whole load of settings just in text is hard to remember, especially when many values aren't known. I then find myself having to find the man pages, struggling with those as they often only show available values, not what those values are really for. So I then have to find more illustrative help pages somewhere in order to remember what setting needs adjusting for a given usage of a settings file. I find I have to keep doing this every time, as I'm not using those commands/files often enough to get them to stay in my memory.
  • Dependency is also a problem. Having to remember what order a set of commands have to be run in, or even worse, not knowing that there is some earlier command I have to run in order to get the thing I want done to work often causes me trouble.

So it's not literally the CLI that's the problem but more the way most developers rely on pre-existing knowledge, and dependency on other programs (without a proper explanation of how to use said dependencies) in order to use their programs, that's just way too convoluted for me to be able to reliably commit to memory. Having GUIs which are well designed and programs that let the user know about dependencies that might be missing is more what I need, and no version of Linux seems to be able to nail this one. Admittedly I don't think any OS vendor has ever got this right, especially not Microsoft, although their GUI has been more workable in the past (less so now with some of their screwing around with Win 8 to Win 10). I wonder if maybe this CLI reliance is one of the reasons why Linux struggles to get mainstream desktop adoption?

(I'm not an Apple user, never have been (and have no intention of entering their walled garden), so can't comment on the way they implement system controls, but I gather their general UI is considered more user friendly.)

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Novex
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Boils...

...down to the problem really. MS so want us to move to Windows 10 for us to be fed their forced app installs, malvertising, etc, that they're basically trying to upgrade PCs that aren't suitable for it. Most likely this is because they're hoping that the bricked PC that results causes us to go and buy a new PC which can only run Win10 because disks to install older versions aren't readily available to allow a downgrade.

On my ten year old Acer laptop I use Linux Mint 17.3 for general use now, dual booted with Windows 7. I'm happy to stick with that even after Win7 support ends. But I still hate Linux relying on CLI for way too many critical system adjustments.

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The return of (drone) robot wars: Beware of low-flying freezers

Novex
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But shirley...

...direct drone delivery is a still born idea. I much prefer the idea of having delivery lockers at strategic places around when stuff can be dropped off by WVM and I can go and collect, and that's already happening. Drones might replace WVM to get stuff to the lockers, though said drones might struggle to get items into the lockers, but isn't that what university graduates are for?

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Locky now top email menace

Novex
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Facepalm

Am I right...

...in thinking that in order for a javascript file attached to an email to be able to work, it would have to be proactively opened by the user, in their browser? Are people still doing that? Are email clients still allowing such things to be done? Really??

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Novex
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Re: am i the only one resisting this

+1 for The Resistance here. I dual boot my laptop now with Linux Mint 17.3 as the general use OS, and keep the original Win7 install for running hardware/software that Linux doesn't have drivers/versions for.

I updated the Win7 install yesterday for this month's Patch Update Tuesday and it seemed to take much less time than the several hours it had, until recently, been taking.

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She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Novex
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Happy

Unmitigated Arse

Yep, that sounds about right. Thank you for a break from it, and bringing back such happy memories of times I've had that were similar :-)

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Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

Novex
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The two main dickmoves being telemetry and forced updates. I feel like the needle stuck in the groove when I say that if I could have verifiable control of all data within the telemetry (so I can turn it all off), and could have full control of updating back, then I'd like to try Windows 10. I'm not fussed about the interface so much though I know others are.

But MS seem to be intent on trying to turn Windows PC into Xbox PC where everyone gets updated or they don't get online.

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Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Novex
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Re: The whole thing

No Bronies, then?

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