* Posts by Herby

2959 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

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We don't care...

...We're Microsoft, we don't have to.

Seems this is the slogan they're working with these days.

At least the phone company and IBM did care to some degree. Maybe someone WILL get fired for buying Microsoft products. We can only hope.

Chinese smartphone cable-maker chucks sueball at Apple

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Wait, more is coming...

Wait for USB-C connectors and their ilk. From what I understand most (not all, thankfully) cables will have some sort of chip in them to diddle pins around.

It is coming folks, just wait and see.

US government: We can jail you indefinitely for not decrypting your data

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Can you keep a secret??

Well, so can I.

A secret is only a secret if ONE person knows it. I guess the same goes for encryption. Of course, we forget ALL the time.

I've always wondered what would happen if I had files of landscapes labeled as "suzie.jpg". Somehow I really don't want to find out.

Now where is the "Forgot password" for the encrypted file......

Trump-hating Iranian is the new Uber CEO

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Uber...San Francisco...

...Trump bashing...

Nothing to see here, please go away.

Boffins bust AI with corrupted training data

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maliciously trained network...

Or training in general. Please take note of the VW Diesel emissions software. It was "trained" to pass tests. Not the best, but an example of what can go wrong.

VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

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Done all the time...

In a galaxy far far away, and a long time ago. Back when it was fashionable to benchmark compilers using specific programs (Drystone is but one example) is was found that some compilers had recognition code to detect such programs and emit a HIGHLY optimized program that would score better than the typical code emitted by the compiler. This was done to get specific sales to governments that used said benchmarks. I understand that the code involved had a more detrimental effect (health wise), but the cases are similar.

I would hope that the prosecutor would go up the food chain to find out the correct person to throw in the clink, but alas, those exact people are the ones that will have the highest priced legal assistance to (likely) get away with the crime. From appearances this guy was involved in the specification, but the orders must have come from higher up. We shall see what happens next.

New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

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Why does she still have that job??

The answer to this is obvious: She is a civil servant, and they have (union) jobs for life at exorbitant pay rates. Also no higher-up is willing to take the hit for hiring her in the first place.

Life goes on. So does politics.

Now all of this begs the question, can someone who is very enterprising re-purpose these "surplus" phones to be something modern (an Android port?)? You might be able to get them pretty cheaply!

Node.js forks again – this time it's a war of words over anti-sex-pest codes of conduct

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It is called...

Sillycon Valley for a reason.

For all concerned, the new "Code of Conduct" (all inclusive if you ask me) should be:

1) Be Nice.

2) Don't be a jerk.

Enough said.

Of course BOFH's excluded, but that is another story.

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

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We're all in a hurry...

And the nice autonomous driving vehicles we all want rarely take this into account. Having just driven around 600 miles two days ago (coming back from the eclipse watching), I saw lots of people just doing bad things. Yes, there were all types and then you mix up trucks (aka lorries) on the road that desire to pass one another at speeds about 10 mph below passenger cars, you get frustrated. Compound that with cranky passengers that demand food/drink/rest stops NOW, and you get an interesting mix of conditions.

Autonomous driving hasn't come here yet, so we must drive ourselves around and go long distances. I challenge Elon and Company to get his nice electric vehicle from here in Sillycon Valley to greater LA all by itself. The distance is around 300 miles, and (thankfully) I can get that on a single tank of gas (petrol) in my big ugly SUV that I drive. It takes around 5 - 6 hours (traffic on I-5) but it can be done.

Yes, warning systems are nice, but educating drivers is a good start. Remember:

"Ban low performance drivers, not high performance cars"!

Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

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Lesson to be learned...

Nice goes a long way. You hope that the user is as nice as you are.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always go that way. I've learned that starting out "small" and then escalating is much better than starting out at the loudest level.

Patience is a virtue.

Singapore court awards $2.9m over bad job reference

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That's one way of doing it!

"The letter requesting the reference torn into quarters and posted back."

I like this! Of course this is but one way of providing references. Look, if you are giving references, you should know what the reference is going to say. Anything else is just plain dumb.

The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu

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I'll wait...

For python 4.

It will happen someday, and then the 2/3 mess will be behind us. Until then, I'll keep my whitespace to myself, one tab at a time.

The cheek of it! Beach bar owner shoots nude bather in the booty

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Re: Low jeans

My sister was a principal at an elementary school where this fashion statement was in vogue. Her method of discouraging it was to say that "Looks like your diapers are a bit full there". The effect was pretty good.

Of course there is "plumbers crack" which is a whole different story.

Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

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Simple: Artificial Intelligence...


They have been trying for years, and haven't gotten much. I don't hold out much hope either. Of course, given the "Intelligence" of people these days, the standard they wish to obtain is getting lower and lower as time passes.

Life goes on.

A storage giant wants to give you 46,763...

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Possible "explanation"?

You see, the HIGHEST priced item is first on the list, and will likely do anything you want it to. The later descriptions are there to befuddle the purchaser into saying "forget it", just order me the first thing.

Of course the most expensive thing (first one) is the one with the highest margins, but who is counting.

Lots of people order things like that because they know not what they actually need, and say "Get it!". It probably leads to a bunch of WTFs along the way.

China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

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I suspect that there might be a small problem attracting people.

The home country will probably get first dibs on what goes on, and take credit for anything that happens. So:

All your base are belong to us.

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

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Silly "private" dns stuff abounds.

In a previous job, they had a control LAN for various pieces of kit. It was always intended to be a unrouted local network that was only to be used for this purpose. Then they decided to "document" it, and called it "private.lan.com" in the documentation. Not so fast. You see the national airline of Chile is called (wait for it) LAN Airlines. They have a web site "lan.com". The documentation looks pretty silly and I suspect that the name server probably gets LOTS of unwarranted requests from idiots managers who think they know better and like nice documentation.

Yes, reserving ".localhost" and ALWAYS returning "no such name" is probably a good idea. Returning anything other than that (like resolving to is probably a really bad idea. Yes, it should be in the "hosts" file, as it always was.

Mid-flight jumbo font smartphone text shock sparks kid abuse arrests

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Re: Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

Yes, just go down I-280, and you will make it just fine. Lots of exits from the freeway.

Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

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Then I remember...

The words to a theme song for a very popular TV show in the 70's. Something about doctors and war....

DJI drones: 'Cyber vulnerabilities' prompt blanket US Army ban

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Good argument for...

Open source if you ask me.

Not that it would prevent security problems, just make them more "hidden".

Microsoft breaks Office 365 sign-in pages ahead of surprise update

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"Is this work or personal"

This sounds to me like the question should be:

Can we really fleece you (business), or just mildly fleece you (personal).

Sorry, I don't use such products, I prefer to be divorced from the "cloud" as much as possible.

Largest ever losses fail to dent Tesla's bulging order book

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Lose a little on each one...

...And make it up in volume.

Sounds like the model Elon is attempting to follow. Electric cars don't make much sense when you take into account such things as battery life and subsidies. Both of these are kinda glossed over in the grand scheme of things. Battery life after enough charge/discharge cycles eventually goes to ZERO, and the replacement cost (parts and labor) is through the roof. It just doesn't make any sense. If you have a "plug-in hybrid", the worst thing you can do is plug it in, and cycle the battery to wear it out. I doubt that anyone would buy a "standard" (petrol) vehicle that would require a complete new engine after the warranty ran out.

Nice company you have there, Elon. Too bad it is doomed to fail.

p.s. I hear Twitter is sinking, you might try that.

Linus Torvalds pens vintage 'f*cking' rant at kernel dev's 'utter BS'

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Linus is a BOFH in disguise?

Lacking a cattle prod, and only words to motivate, he rants on.

Sorry, I just read the BOFH episode, as I was out of computer range for the last 3 weekends.

BOFH: Oh go on. Strap me to your Hell Desk, PFY

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Some of the places I've worked, the best excuse for a desk was a 4x8 foot sheet of plywood supported by a couple of crates. If it was too thin, it would sag in the middle.

Wrong height? "Do you have a chain saw?" might be the answer. Of course the use of a chain saw usually wasn't directed at the desk supports, but that is another story.

Windows Subsystem for Linux to debut in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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Re: 33ASR/33KSR keyboards...

Well, they DID have a backslash, you needed to look for it. Most of the time it was unlabeled.

If you have a model 33 teletype (or 35 for that matter), just press your friendly shift key and strike the 'L' key and it will magically appear. Other glyphs available are:

Shift 'K' - '['

Shift 'L' - '\'

Shift 'M' - ']'

Shift 'N' - '^' (usually an 'Up arrow').

Shift 'O' - '_' (usually a 'back arrow').

Shift 'P' - '@' (this one was usually on the key).

If you got stuck with a non-parity keyboard that had 'alt mode' and not a true escape key, the proper incantation was: Control/Shift/K.

We now return from the 60's/70's to your regularly scheduled program.

Wisconsin badgers Apple to cough up half a billion dollars for ripping off chip designs

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Just the cost of doing business.

Given how much cash Apple has, it probably isn't much. Of course, I would like that amount in my pocket, but Apple's pockets are HUGE! Mine are but a microdot by comparison.

Virgin Media's profanity warning triggered by chief exec's name

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This is a clbuttic problem.

At one time when spell check was run, it highlighted as a spelling error the competitors program, and suggested their own as the correct way of spelling. I don't remember exactly which programs they were, but one might be Aldus pagemaker. I'm sure someone will correct me.

Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

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Re: Can we replace Siri

No, replace Clippy with Siri. Much more soothing.

You need to watch the episode of the _Big Bang Theory_ that discusses this.

US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

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Note to users...

Be very sure that the escrow account for removal is updated and well funded for the "lifetime" of the insertable.

When they start putting these in newborns, I'll be very afraid!

Then again, chipping convicted felons might not be a bad idea.

Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

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Taken to extreme??

They might decide to depreciate Windows itself. After all it is pretty virus prone, subject to many faults, not well liked by users, and not well maintained.

Of course some users have already done that, and use an alternative. Fruity and Penguinistas abound.

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

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Remember: When all else fails...

Morse code will get through. Easy to send, easy to receive. How fast is a matter of practice, etc...

'Coke dealer' called us after his stash was stolen – cops

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You won't be lying...

If you say criminals are dumb. If they were smart, they wouldn't be classified as "criminals", just businessmen.

Cops harpoon two dark net whales in megabust: AlphaBay and Hansa

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Now if they went after the spam hawkers...

It would be a much nicer day. Maybe some has been done already, but you never know. Freezing assets sends a powerful message.

Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

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It seems to me...

That if chipzilla doesn't want to do fixes to a chip, then they should hand over the capability to the user community so they can do the job. Of course it won't happen, because the chip has some proprietary stuff that is still used in current devices or some such legal talk (resolved to "NO").

If this keeps up, we will do CPUs as they do automobiles in Cuba. Just fix it.

I don't hold out much hope.

The Atari retro games box is real… sort of

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So xmame for RPi

Put inside the box and call it a day. Might even work on a Pi zero.

HDMI output and Joysticks and buttons in.

Most of the work has been done to some extent.

Broadcasters, advocacy groups and nonprofits weigh in on Microsoft's magical broadband

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Good luck.

They will need lots of it. A few years ago, some idiot "genius" thought it be nice to have internet over power lines. What a total disaster (as it should have been). Now this?

I don't hold out much hope. Somebody "owns" the spectrum, and is woe to let squatters use it.

Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

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Let someone try a nice electric car and have it travel across the state of Nevada in one go. That's 400+ miles of nice comfy desert on Interstate 80.

My mom did it in four hours once (it was a while ago), but in an electric car, I don't think so in anything less than around 10 hours. A practical vehicle can do it in around 6 hours, and it DOES require a petrol/gas stop along the way. No, I don't want to stay a night in Elko!

Yes, when my mom did it, the speed limit in Nevada was "Resume speed, thank you". No longer (*SIGH*).

Speaking in Tech: What is a Windows 10 licence worth these days?

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True story: I was working at the "calf lab" (part of the medicine department) of a major university. As is well known, calves produce manure, and since it accumulates it needs to be gotten rid of. Rather than lab workers doing this (somewhat messy) task, someone suggested an advert in the student daily paper. After recovering from the phone ringing off the hook for "organic manure", inquirers were pointed to the corner of the corral and told that it was very "self serve". Yes, I did see a couple with long boots pitchforking waste products into a nice garbage bag.

Yes, that's what I think a Windows 10 license is worth. At my home we use Andersen windows actually.

Ready, aim... Ignition! Valley VC bigwig ejects after conduct complaints

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Grown up?

From appearances it seems that many of these idiots never had their face slapped by someone in authority (a parent?) when doing "inappropriate" actions. If they want action that has no recourse, there ARE places in Nevada (as shown on HBO) that will accommodate said interest (for a small substantial fee). That being said, the fee in Nevada might be less than the legal hassles that might rise from such actions here in sillycon valley.

Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

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40 zero-days??

Looks a bit excessive if you ask me. Similarities to Swiss cheese come to mind.

Blue Cross? Blue crass: Health insurer thought it would be a great idea to mail plans on USB sticks

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Memo to Blue Cross....

QR Code. Much cheaper, and can be printed on a letter that MIGHT have some credibility (like a letterhead, and an addressed name).

No excuses for a USB stick.

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

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I thought PETA stood for...

People Eating Tasty Animals, but now that I see "Patently Evil Tedious Arsenugets", I stand corrected.

Now where is that nice steak I want! Yum, tasty!

Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

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Interesting solution to "illegal" flying...

A shotgun (look, I'm in the USA, we have guns) comes to mind. Great practice.


New sport. Taking out drones.

Largest advertising company in the world still wincing after NotPetya punch

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Why why, why...

Doesn't this type of problem attack the command/control of the spam networks. I get multi-megabytes of junk about Glucophage (or whatever it is called) all day and all night. Please have an attack vector that looks for spam generators and KILLS them.

I might even contribute, but in the end it is probably illegal.

BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

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Yes, users ARE fickle things...

Two (personal) examples:

One: Our company installed terminals in answering services (in the 80's), and in those places the operators smoked like chimneys. The CRT terminals would attract the smoke and slowly deposit a layer on the front of the screen. We would go to the customer site, and with Windex in hand clean all the terminal screens. Invariably this would elicit comments like "Gee, it works much better now.", without comment about the lack of crud on the screen.

Two: Scene: A recording studio. One day a kid of one of the engineers is fooling around, and gets ahold of the Dymo labeler, and goes to town. He decides to label LOTS of things. At the time the TV show "Laugh-In" was on the air and one of its sayings was "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls" (a dictionary). So he proceeds to label a few things (dumb controls that do nothing) as "Funk" and another as "Wagnalls". Fast forward to another day, and another client at the recording studio. Some "executive" is in the control booth and spots the "Funk" control and says "Can I control the funk with this", and the bewildered recording engineer says (knowing the control's history) "sure". End result, a very happy "executive".

So, it happens ALL the time.

Well, that escalated quickly: Qualcomm demands iPhone, iPad sales ban in America

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Pretty soon...

This might escalate to Nuclear Weapons or something equivalent. Then again, maybe I'm reading the North Korean missile thing incorrectly.

But the advice of stocking up on popcorn is a pretty good one. I see salvos coming in from both sides. Both sides have lots of $$$ to spend on legal beagles.

McAfee settles McAfee lawsuit over McAfee name

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Moral of the story...

Don't name a company after yourself and sell it off. Require that as a condition of having the name, they must keep you on salary at $$$$ every year.

To said companies: Wait until the founders die before doing anything rash, it is a bit easier.

Think what it would be if that company were called "Bill Gates' Software", maybe shortened to "BS".

Tape lives! The tape archive bit bucket is becoming bottomless

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Interesting how it has evolved...

"Still miss my old QIC tapes. ". Interesting devices. For me it was the nice 10.5 inch reels of 1/2 inch tape. On a good day you could back up a single disk pack (IBM 2314) to one reel. There were times when a tape merge/sort could be faster than one on a disk drive set.

It has some a long way. I started out with 7-track 200 bpi (IBM 727 tape drive). LONG time ago.

Microsoft hits Alt-F4 on 3,000 global sales staff

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So a few less arm twisters are around.

Who knows, they might even call the left overs "sales" and not "insurance salesmen" for the protection racket (see BSA for details).

Then again I always thought they had "extortionists" trying to squeeze every last dollar out the unsuspecting directly, or indirectly.

Me? No, I don't use Windows, at work, or at home, thankfully.

Speaking in Tech: Rock your body now, Java's back...All Right!

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Nail clippers??

So very Un-geek. I use nice big bulky wire cutters. They work wonderfully. The one time I asked to borrow a pair at a place I worked at (to cut my fingernails, toenails is way to gross!), I was asked to leave the "lab". Live and learn. I haven't tried on flights, might be interesting.

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