* Posts by Mage

7566 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

The case for ethical ad-blocking

Mage Silver badge

When is ad-blocking ethical?

When it's NOT hosted by the domain of web page?


It's quite ethical to block it even if it's from the same server, though I can't see how to do that as to a program it would be potentially the same as the content you want.

Since when was it a moral imperative to actually consume adverts (or lies).

Panama Papers graph database cracked open for world+dog

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Meanwhile the guy in Honduras Embassy

I've forgotten his name.

This is great work!

Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom

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– putting the internet in people’s pockets

Not the phone, but the cheap tariffs and plans. Before iPhone the Internet was unaffordable except for higher level corporate users. The Apple deals with carriers was the game changer.

Yes, the GUI (not invented by Apple, but bought in from Fingerworks) was far better than the existing smart phones (which had existed for over 6 years!).

Apple stuff is overpriced. People are increasing realising it. Also the market is saturated now with smart phones. The Apple Watch is the most crazy priced product. You can buy one (even versions with GSM built in as well as Bluetooth) for less than the price of an Apple strap. The highest cost part in a larger phone is screen. Small screens (like in a watch) are really cheap.

Is Dublin becoming as unaffordable as San Francisco?

Mage Silver badge

Dublin getting unaffordable?

No, it's been that way for 10 years.

Ghost estates were built where no-one wanted to live. There is MASSIVE shortage of council / social housing because like UK they started selling it off and building no replacements.

The new apartments are poor and needed for the Polish that came to Ireland to build the new apartments.

There has never been a glut of housing in Ireland. It's plagued by linear development in rural areas and lack of any coherent planning. Developers (speculators), not people, councils (bribed) or government decided where to build. They only wanted cheap land.

Cheap loans, loans based on two incomes, inflated earning reports, 90 to 100% mortgages, Buy to Let, first time buyer exemptions all drive up prices. The only way to substantially boost housing is for government to build the social housing, ban buy to let by inept middle class speculators that are not real landlords. Block vulture fund speculation. Force use of derelict houses or land, no eviction of people from re-processed property unless it's bought by an individual as main residence. Massive tax on "holiday homes" which cause rural housing shortages.

China's Dalek-like robots fear only one terrifying nemesis: Stairs

Mage Silver badge

It has sensors that mimic the human brain, eyes and ears.

a) I doubt it.

b) Wait ... a brain is a sensor?

c) Intelligent? I'd bet the rooks and rats here have much more intelligence.

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

Mage Silver badge

Re: Obviously a parody

No, almost all the first Christians WERE Jews.

Only Pastafarianism was set up as a parody, due to the minority of Christians with unrepresentative (in Christian terms) views and too much power in some USA schools.

Sadly that misguided minority of Christians were unaffected and now too many people are taking Pastafarianism too seriously. Along with Homoeopathy, crystals, "angels", electro-sensitivity and loads of other stuff even nuttier than some of the minority extreme Christian views. Or people that think 911 was the CIA, the moon landings faked and coca-cola is a contraceptive.

See snopes.com

And the Randi foundation.

The problem is obviously gullible people.

Europe's Earth-watching sat rides Soyuz to orbit

Mage Silver badge

The Worlds première space port.

In terms of Satellite launches is European.

Though physically in South America. Near the equator is good as having lots of sea on the east if the launch goes wrong.

Website extortionists rake in over $100,000 without lifting a finger

Mage Silver badge


Look what Adobe is making out of "Creative Cloud" website verified subscription instead of selling a licence?

Google, MS, IBM, Oracle, Amazon and others too.

Thunderbird is GO: Mozilla prepares to jettison mail client

Mage Silver badge

Thunderbird needed resources better spent on Firefox,

Well... in the past 8 years they seem to have been squandering their resources, what little they did do to Thunderbird wasn't what was needed.

Most of what has been done on Firefox has been stupid (GUI) or ill advised.

Can someone else look after Firefox too?

A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Mage Silver badge

Screens are not tall enough

I'd ONE toolbar/launcher (done that on Mint + Mate). But able to put it at SIDE of the stupid wide not tall enough 16:9 screen. Mate toolbar/launcher thing can be put at side, but compare to Win XP it's "broken" if on a side edge. No sensible change to layout.

I have Autohide on Windows & Linux Mint + Mate.

I do not want a clone desktop of Win8, or Win10 or OS X.

Two is daft on 1080 high 16:9 and on Netbook even ONE at top or bottom is silly compared to side edge/

If Android’s wings are clipped, other Google platforms may gain

Mage Silver badge

Re: Split the company

The ONLY thing that makes money significantly is Advertising. Everything else is worthless to a 3rd party, unless they are doing the exact same thing.

Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile

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Re: What a criminal waste of helium

Helium is only one aspect of the waste.

Mage Silver badge


Google are a pack of Loons doing this.

if they are REALLY serious, then they need an array of 2,500 LEO Satellites on a licensed band (LEO for latency, 2500 so as to deliver better than dialup speed, though still poor),

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Mage Silver badge

Google has a panel covering most of the screen with some boring

I read it and WOULD NEVER EVER Agree. It's an EVIL document.

So I block google cookies. Panel only comes if cookies are allows.

Also I block domains that ONLY serve ads.

Facebook clickbait cull

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Key Source of News?

What, along with Twitter for Media that's given up employing real journalists?

Facebook is a poor quality noise infested Tertiary source of news. It's social exploitation walled garden parasite, not a news source!

Microsoft, Google bury hatchet – surprisingly, not in each other

Mage Silver badge

Re: encourage government regulators to investigate each other

1) Macs are made for/by Apple, non-macs are not made by MS. MS makes Surface, but no true PCs / Laptops. Mac also small market share. It's the same idea of product as a TV, DVD, Amiga, PS4, Xbox One or Atari ST, though it's very similar architecture to an x86. I rather suspect Apple is moving to toward iOS replacing Mac OS X, (which ought to be called Mac OS XV or something by now and seems to be getting renamed to Mac OS).

The major selling point of Mac and OS X is actually they come from same vendor and thus are compatible. The Non-Macs are much more work to support. Apple is primarily Gadget and Services vendor. Their iOS and Mac OS only exist to make their own hardware work, unlike the money making near monopolistic sales of MS Windows with OTHER people's hardware.

2) Non x86 phones / tablets are diverse. They work best with an OS specially tailored. They are gadgets and while "open" is good and having them like routers that can be loaded with alternate OS is a laudable idea, in reality it's as practical as changing the OS on a TV, DVD or setbox (which is feasible, BT replaced Win CE with custom Linux on EXISTING customer boxes). It's not practical today for the average user.

Mage Silver badge

encourage government regulators to investigate each other


Certainly both need investigating.

MS: Windows should not be included with PC

It's reasonable that Macs and Phones and non-x86 tablets should be preloaded. But the OS on a laptop / PC / netbook should be an optional extra. By all means sell it in PC world as a bundle, and pre-configured so it just flawlessly installs. Then users also have media (SD card, USB stick, DVD or whatever) to re-install.

W10 telemetery must be stopped.

Forced updates must be stopped.

No bundling of MS Cloud services. Option

Google Android:

Permissions wrong, updates lacking

Playstore and rest of Google spyware should be optional install and have a privacy warning.

Google must be more seriously investigated as to manipulation of search results, hosting of fonts, java & analytics for websites, abuse of privacy and data.

How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

Mage Silver badge

Cockney Quiz


'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

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enables high speed interstellar travel – but with only minimal fuel

No, it doesn't. Even with 100% efficiency and fusion you have to coast most of the way and have enough fuel to decelerate.

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tests in Germany, China and at NASA have corroborated


I thought the results were statistically dubious and within margin of error?

Still, Microwaves and light are both EM and you can shove stuff with light.

12,000 chopped: Intel finds its inner paranoid

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Re: Citation needed

ECU isn't IoT, nor new, maybe more than 15 years old?

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

this technology is making jet travel safer

ZERO to do with the evil that is IoT.

Embedded CPUs are around since the 4004. 1971. wasn't it used in Minuteman Missile program as well as calculators?

Anyway Intel has been making chips NOT for servers or PCs for 45 years. They even had a few successful CPUs that were not x86. 8051, i960 and they didn't sell ALL the ARM SoC to Marvell (acquired from DEC).

Lock-hackers crack restricted keys used to secure data centres

Mage Silver badge

Or electric drill

Locks are only a time delay / deterrent or to stop casual stupidity by employees.

They are only part of an over all strategy.

Battery powered drills, bolt cutters, angle grinders, gas cutting torch, explosives ...

Any have decent locksmith can make a key from a photo that has something to give scale. The 3D printer and patents are irrelevant. A patent only tells you profile and method, not the actual specific physical "code".

A lock system with a single master key isn't really a lock.

Storage with the speed of memory? XPoint, XPoint, that's our plan

Mage Silver badge

Paradoxically, storage media that doesn’t move is faster ...

How is it paradoxical?

Moving discs, drums, tape can be faster for pure sequential writes, but for RANDOM seeks, random access, multi-threaded multiuser access of small files etc, it's inherently slower than any storage without moving parts..

'Technology enablers' will help Ofcom determine if spectrum can be shared

Mage Silver badge

Sharing Spectrum

Generally it can't. Basic physics as ANY communication engineer will tell you.

Ofcom, will you actually REGULATE and PROTECT spectrum and Consumers, instead of trying to facilitate large corporates (esp. Mobile) and raising money from licences. Your job isn't to make money for you or anyone else but to SENSIBLY manage, police and protect Spectrum. Ban interfering devices rather than ignore them. Co-ordinate with neighbours (Ireland, France, Netherlands etc) and ITU.

Stop trying to destroy the infrastructure of UK by running it like a supermarket for corporates.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

Mage Silver badge

Centos & Mint

Well, Centos is basically RedHat, a more sensible choice for a server than eye candy Ubuntu.

Mint with Mate desktop is far closer to what a user workstation / netbook / laptop /desktop should be, but it and Ubuntu are basically Debian, Unbuntu with more stupid bits. I used to use Ubuntu, now I use Debian, Mint + Mate, sometimes Centos.

Clucking hell! Farcical free-range egg standard pecked apart by app

Mage Silver badge


A smart phone app that's not just a locked in alternative to a web site.

Exploit kit writers turn away from Java, go all-in on Adobe Flash

Mage Silver badge

Flash and Java.

Both disabled by default. No site is whitelisted for Flash as even BBC.com has served malware.

Only whitelisted Javascript.

While loads of sites use Flash and Javascript, I can't remember the last time a website wanted actual Java, so it's surprising ANY malware writers bother with it. Flash is the low hanging fruit, followed by hijacking an advertiser's domain and thus getting "reputable" web sites to distribute malware via java script because most people either don't run Noscript or enable whole page rather than whitelisting important bits. Some sites (Twitter, Google, Facebook etc) only get temporarily enabled for session. because of the evil tracking scripts in the buttons/icons people sprinkle on their sites.

It would be better if the icon was static HTML with an argument. But that would not suit the parasites.

If website wants me to see an advert, it's simple. Put a static jpeg + text ON YOUR OWN SERVER you moron!

Otherwise I will block it FOREVER.

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

Mage Silver badge

which fortuitously has its jets aligned towards Earth

Even more fortuitously it is far enough away that we are not fried by the jets.

Belgian boffins breed 'digital canaries' to test your random numbers

Mage Silver badge

Re: In theory the canary number will be affected first

Like a Zener diode thermal noise source getting modulated by power supply noise (SMPSU ultrasonic or mains hum).

A Zener diode feeding an ADC sounds like a nice idea for a RNG, but it's actually quite hard to do it properly.

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

Mage Silver badge

Re: that's not even a Cloud issue, it's a hosting one,

Cloud is just market speak for certain kinds of remote hosted services,

Embrace, extend – and kill. Microsoft discontinues RoboVM

Mage Silver badge

Microsoft was sued by Sun for its implementation of Java

Which is why J++ became C#

Oracle is a less sympathetic company than Sun. It was a sad day too, when Sun's SW portfolio became Oracle's.

Windows 10 Mobile races to summer with useful facelift

Mage Silver badge

Icons, buttons, menus

Win 3.1 & Win 9x

The designers should try them, Takes 2 seconds to load Win 3.x in a VM on a 14 year old laptop.

They may think minimalist and pretty, but UX wise it's moronic.

Solid shapes.

Colour when needed.

Highlight and shadow to show if pressed in or waiting to press, or grey all round for disabled.

No need to to go Skeumorphic or photo-realistic.

URL shorteners reveal your trip to strip club, dash to disease clinic – research

Mage Silver badge

Re: Beware Pron ahead

It's Twitter's fault.

The privacy issue isn't important. Short URLs are irrelevant to that. The issue is similar to stupid phones that go to URL in a QR code without showing destination FIRST.

All short URLs are evil because you can't know what domain / website it goes to before you click. An intermediate page with simply the real link would maybe make short URLS acceptable.

ANYTHING that "sees" QR codes ought to prompt and not automatically "execute" them. Does QR use short URLS making that idea useless?

I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

Mage Silver badge

modern era’s obsession with misspelt branding

It's not modern. At least to 1880s. It's to do with trademarks etc, easier to protect "Batrymax" than "Battery Max". Or Kleen than Clean (Kleenex).

Though Google slipped up. Enid Blyton has "Google buns" in the "Faraway Tree" series, I think maybe 1942.

ExoMars works! 2 Mbit/s link established and camera snapping

Mage Silver badge

Re: Astounding !

Yes, 2Mbps is its UPLOAD speed. I have 8Mbps down, but only 1Mbps up. 8Mbps DSL is usually worse upload, about 0.4Mbps?

Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs

Mage Silver badge

Re: Real Player

Yes, or at least disable it in Browser.

Real Alternative



Mage Silver badge

Re: Trailers Site?

Also you can only browse iBook Titles on an Apple thing. What if I was thinking of getting an ipad and wanted to know what's on offer?

Mage Silver badge

QuickTime and iTunes

Removed both* these pests long ago.

Shame on Apple they don't implement proper USB mass storage for their devices.

[*I'm not partisan, I removed Silverlight and replaced Realplayer with "real Alternative"]

I have bare minimum of stuff that is allowed to run in a browser. I use NoScript, Java is off and Flash is set to prompt, never auto run. Anything else has to be downloaded.

Microsoft explains which cloud security problems are your problem

Mage Silver badge


Great for temporary collaboration and non-critical data you can afford to lose or have public or temporarily inaccessible

Madness for core business.

Euro watchdogs give America's data-sharing Privacy Shield an 'F'

Mage Silver badge

So it's dead.


The American Mega Corps with have to set up companies in Europe and data centres in Europe.

Despite Ireland being expensive for Electricity Apple, Facebook etc ARE build more datacentres in Ireland.

What I don't understand is why the German 1 & 1 hosts UK customers in UK, mainland European customers in Europe / Germany but Irish customers in Kansas, USA.

HGST has an entry-level 14PB archive box... is that enough for your, er, home collection?

Mage Silver badge


That's from RAM, ROM and now I suppose Flash, because it's addressed in powers of two.

It was always wrong. K is NOT 1024, M is not 1024 x 1024. K = 1000 and M = 1,000,000

It's not even an SI unit issue.

Bug hype haters gonna hate hate hate: Badlock flaw more like Sadlock

Mage Silver badge

So ...

If your LAN doesn't leak via WiFi or Internet Router and is in a private location, no public. Then it's not a big deal?

Uber hands over info on 12m passengers, drivers to US officials, cops

Mage Silver badge

I was surprised ...

Do the Uber Drivers realise that Google is a major investor? That other abuser of privacy.

Does Uber actually exist simply to collect data or also as a trojan for future Google self drive cars.

Are the Autonomous Google Wagons really about scraping more info about the public?

The future of Firefox is … Chrome

Mage Silver badge

Re: Choice

I added "Classic Theme Restorer" to Firefox and some other sauce to fix GUI stupidity in Thunderbird.

Why can't Mozilla fix bugs and stop buggering the GUI?

Print Selection still non-existent in Thunderbird, still buggy in firefox (may throw blank pages with header & footer for part before selection) and Print Preview only does whole page.

Lots of other bugs ... "forgets" blocked cookies settings is an annoying one.

Windows 10 debuts Blue QR Code of Death – and why malware will love it

Mage Silver badge

Re: Penguin

In the last 20 years every crash (since NT4 release) has been faulty hardware, or rubbish graphics driver or rubbish printer driver.

Reusable autonomous swimming microbots soak up 95% of spilt lead

Mage Silver badge

I'm confused.

If they are self propelled, how are they powered? What sort of propulsion?

Are these really bots (programmed, CPU, engine & PSU) or a meta-material?

Websites take control of USB devices: Googlers propose WebUSB API

Mage Silver badge

Re: Where to begin?

Esp. when the proposed API is proposed by Google, who would no doubt love to know what you are doing with your dongle.

This is worse than IoT.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina buys a Huawei superdupercomputer

Mage Silver badge

maybe they are going to run a copy of the Internet?

As per title.

Spinning rust fans reckon we'll have 18TB disk drives in two years

Mage Silver badge

Re: They should make 5.25 hard disk drives

They'd probably have to be 4,800 rpm max. Calculate linear speed and also force at edge? Differential expansion is an issue too for larger platters.

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