* Posts by Adair

351 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008

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UK.gov's Brexiteers warned not to push for divergence on data protection laws

Adair

Codejunky...

your arguments would make sense if we were starting from scratch as a newly formed independent state floating far out in the Atlantic. But we're not.

The argument you should be making is why leaving the large trade bloc we are already in (and have influence over) is going to be so much better (not just ideologically but practically) than staying with what we've already got.

If you can make that argument stick you will do a lot of doubting people a big favour. So far no one has even come close, in fact people seem to actively avoid trying to make a cogent case, resorting to vacuous and laughable 'trust me' arguments instead.

Fire away.

PS - Please remember that many/most of the problems besetting the UK currently are of our own making (little or nothing to do with membership of the EU) and within our means (legally and economically) to deal with, if our politicians and ourselves have the guts to tackle them.

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Are you an open-sorcerer or free software warrior? Let us do battle

Adair

Re: blacklash against GPL viral clause

@AC - 'But if I write 1000 lines of unique code but incorporate 10 lines of GPL I don't see why I should be *forced* to make mine free as well.'

To be blunt, you're being a whiner. Why did you choose to incorporate 10 lines of GPL code - you knew the deal (and under the law ignorance is not an excuse). You deliberately chose to flout the intent and spirit of the GPL, and now you're complaining about the GPL!

Attitudes like that are exactly what the GPL is designed to confront, expose, and defend against for the sake of people who put time and effort into creating code that offers genuine freedom to contribute and share.

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Adair

Re: @Charlie Clark - blacklash against GPL viral clause

True, but then we get other 'zealots' jumping up and down on the GPL like it's the devil incarnate, when in fact it's just another way of 'doing software'. No one is forced to use it, and if they encounter it attached to software they really want to use in a way that denies the spirit of the GPL, well that's just tough -- the same as with any other licence when it doesn't suit a would be 'user' (abuser).

There is never anything stopping someone going off and writing their own code, if it really matters that much to them, and then they can stick any licence they like on it.

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Adair

Re: blacklash against GPL viral clause

@ Charlie clark - '...the GPL is for many developers becoming an anachronism.'

That perfectly captures the complacency and lack of understanding of those who take for granted something they depend on, but have never given any thought to why it actually matters.

The GPL isn't perfect -- nothing is -- but it does pretty well capture and uphold the principle of 'freedom' as applied to the generation, use, and transmission of software, in the same way that we all breathe air without anyone being able to lay claim to the lungful that I just breathed in, breathed out, and allowed someone else to draw on.

If I am involved in research or development I might find proprietary code 'good enough', but I may easily find that I need to be free to build on someone else's work, but in a way they never needed to or thought of, and then someone else is free to do likewise with the code that I have passed on.

The GPL is not a replacement for proprietary code, it's not even much of a competitor, but it fills a role that that proprietary code at best fills only partially and at worst fills in a toxic and destructive way. 'Open source' licences fall somewhere in between, but in the end they fall short in what they offer when it comes to 'freedom' to use, adapt, and pass on, but it requires a generosity of spirit that 'business' struggles to share.

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Adair

Re: blacklash against GPL viral clause

@ Charlie Clark

When someone is a slave, the meaning of freedom becomes important. Stallman didn't 'lose' the argument. The fact the argument exists is enough. The fact that the concept of 'software freedom' exists is enough, it's the irritant that constantly reminds the money grubbers and the wall builders that their ways are not the only ways, and they can never claim that they own the field of play.

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F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

Adair

Not quite the perfect boondoggle ...

Yes, it's going to keep stonking quantities of cash rolling in for as long as the program lasts; slightly let down by the fact that everyone can see it happening. Just got to hope the politicians and other needed actors are now so far in they just can't withdraw until the very last drops have been squeezed out. In time for a better plan to slip into its place.

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Can't login to Skype? You're not alone. Chat app's been a bit crap for five days now

Adair

Re: MS killed off Skype for 32-bit Linux and Windows

Try Wire. Works well for me, and for my old Mum on the far side of the planet.

Ring is an interesting distributed-secure setup, but still a bit raw for non-user users, if you know what I mean.

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Is the writing on the wall for on-premises IT? This survey seems to say so

Adair

'What has been will be again, ...

what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun' (Ecclesiastes 1.9).

Way back in the dark ages, when I started by IT career, everything was done off-site by 'bureaus'. The only difference now is the reality of the 'internet'. Back then one of us had to carry the tapes up the road for processing.

Then suddenly it was possible to keep all our precious data on-site, and everything changed.

In the end it's all about knowing the right tool for the job, which involves actually knowing what the 'job' is.

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UK.gov slammed for NHS data-sharing deal with Home Office

Adair

Historic precedent ...

and common sense about human behaviour tells us that regardless of what is said or written those in positions of power will always find ways to access and use information that is useful to their purposes.

Any data about you will be used in evidence against you (or used regardless of your permission) if it suits the powerful to do so, and they think they can get away with it.

The only question is, how willing are other powers to enact and uphold the spirit of laws intended to limit the overweening powers of 'the state' (and any other entities)?

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PowerShell comes to MacOS and Linux. Oh and Windows too

Adair

A response to ...

'I've been always surprised how much Linux punters advocate "choice", "freedom", but they hope to have only one kernel and one OS to rule them all. Good-bye then to to any choice and any freedom.'

Personally I've only come across that attitude amongst the immature 'script kiddy' end of things. Most people I know who prefer Linux to Windows don't want Linux to replace Windows, they just want such a shonky toy of an OS as Windows is to disappear into a corner, die if it must, but otherwise just be there for anyone who is interested, just so long as it ceases to have any relevance in environments where 'real computing' gets done, and where the people concerned need to have access to and control over what their chosen OS (Linux or whatever) is doing.

As for the great unwashed who can just about find the I/O switch, they deserve better too.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

Adair

The Responsible and Experienced User ...

will of course automatically take steps to protect the integrity of their important data. Just as we always ensure our data always exists in at least three separate locations, so we ensure that should we 'lose control' of the device we are currently depending on for access to our data, either temporarily or permanently, that our data remains uncompromised.

Performance below this basic standard, whilst perfectly understandable, is naive and is to be pitied.

IOW, given the reality of the world why would anyone in their right mind assume that their data is 'safe' when crossing national boundaries, entering foreign jurisdictions, and is in any way exposed to parties beyond the control of the data's 'owner' - at home or abroad?

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Skynet it ain't: Deep learning will not evolve into true AI, says boffin

Adair

'Skynet it ain't: Deep learning will not evolve into true AI, says boffin' - well who'd a thunk it?

'AI', one of the great hypgasms of the early 21stC.

When a putative 'AI' can decide it 'can't be arsed' to do what it's told, can put 'moral sensibility' ahead of 'empirical determinism', and generally be awkward then I may begin to be impressed.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

Adair

Re: The no true Scotsman argument

Hollerithevo, interestingly you have omitted to engage with any of the points on my actual post, i.e. the impact of a verifiable 'proof' of 'God' (even though many would argue very persuasive evidence already exists, for those who wish to interpret it that way); and the trruth about real 'Love' as an indicator of why things are the way they are. But, you are certainly free to make your own choice, and to live with the consequences, as we all do.

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Adair

Depending on your understanding of 'God' that particular viewpoint may indicate a complete misunderstanding of the nature of 'God'. OTOH, it may also indicate how wilfully blind human beings can be even, or especially, when 'evidence' is staring them in the face, it just happens to not be the 'evidence' they want to see.

Lets add to the mix by asking, assuming there was 'evidence' that satisfied you as to the presence fo 'God', what would that actually mean to you. Two possibilities come to mind (no doubt there are others): one is a loss of agency and freedom that could be psychologically crushing, the other is 'well fuck you God', I'm going to carry on as though you aren't there because my life belongs to me, and no one, not even 'God' is going to change that.

So, maybe there is a very good reason why God's presence is not 'provable' in any meaningful empirical sense -- true love set the beloved free, it does not compel.

We are also free to decide that God is not. Either way we get to be responsible for our choices and the consequences that flow from them -- no scapegoating or whiny excuses for why we live the way we choose to.

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Biz quadruples value overnight by adding 'Blockchain' to name

Adair

Hooray for algorithms!

[see title]

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Adair

The Clown Show continues, and now with added Brexit...

the entertainment value has gone through the roof. There simply is not enough popcorn to see out this festival of idiocy and incompetence. It doesn't matter though, the audience will die laughing; running out of popcorn is the least of their worries.

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You can yacht be serious: Larry might be planning his own version of America’s Cup

Adair

It might be fun...

but it won't be 'The America's Cup', just another '...dirty little regatta'*.

The AC, meanwhile, is what it is, and there's nothing else quite like it, thanks to the 'Deed of Gift'. The gift that just keeps on giving as it scuppers the plans of mighty men (mighty women too maybe one day) to own the AC.

The AC, as long as the DoG continues to hold sway, will remain simply a yacht race, boring as that may be to the uninterested. A yacht race between monied people willing to throw their money away on technology and muscle power for the sake of holding a very ugly piece of silverware, but one that represents a long and gloriously turbulent tradition. Long may it continue.

* Mr. Grant Dalton's terse put down of the Coutts-Ellison attempt to turn the AC into yachting's version of 'Formula 1'.

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Ah, good ol' Windows update cycles... Wait, before anything else, check your hardware

Adair

Let's face it, the vast majority of people (commercial and private) only use Windows because they have no choice, think they have no choice, or they don't think at all because they just don't care.

Microsoft exploits it's 'monopoly' to extract as much financial benefit as it can, because Microsoft's business is making money. Software development is simply a means to that end. Add to that any 'arrangements' it may have to look after the needs of other 'interested' parties, and we can see what should come as no surprise to anyone: looking after the best interests of their customers/users/victims (take your pick) is only of interest to Microsoft insofar as doing so supports it's primary goal of making money, i.e. they will attempt to get away with as liitle as possible, for the least possible cost (to them).

In short: caveat emptor -- it's a very old story, but in the case of multi-national corporates you are generally treated as a host for their parasitic practices. Assume the worst, you are unlikely to be disappointed, but may very occasionally be delighted by customer care that is somewhat higher than mere irresponsible exploitation.

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Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

Adair

Re: Cough

OMG!!! How has humanity survived for all these thousands of years without CCTV, and being able to watch it all on the 10pm news afterwards?

Funnily enough, good security does not, and never has, come from treating everyone as criminals that just haven't been caught yet, nor from spying upon the everyday activities of as many people as possible.

'Terrorism' is a miserable fact of human life, and always has been. The whole point of 'terrorism' is to become the focus of attention; to become the tail that wags the dog; to terrify 'the people' and 'the leadership' into the naive belief that they can 'stop terrorism', if they just try a bit harder, pry a bit more closely, lock down a bit more tightly, become just a little bit more like the monsters they are frightened of, then it will all be okay---no more people will die. It's a lie.

And meanwhile, hundreds and thousands die premature deaths by other means, but that's okay, we can live with that.

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SanDisk's little microSD card sucks up 400GB

Adair

Now, can we please ...

have a proper general purpose operating system on our phones, to go with all that lovely memory.

Or, are we just going to fill it with selfies and cat videos?

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UK.gov wants quick Brexit deal with EU over private data protections

Adair

Re: They need us more than we need them

Evidently it is not the latter, i.e. 'a delicious sense of the ironic and the absurd'. How disappointing.

And, for anyone who hasn't encountered David Low's 'Colonel Blimp', I think the esteemed Wikipedia offers a decent insight:

'Blimp issues proclamations from the Turkish bath, wrapped in his towel and brandishing some mundane weapon to emphasize his passion on some issue of current affairs. Red faced with rage and emotion, his pronouncements are often confused. Blimp's phrasing often includes direct contradiction, as though upon starting the sentence he did not know how the sentence was to end. His initial words were always a part of an emotional catchphrase. For instance: "Gad, Sir! Mr Lansbury is right. The League of Nations should insist on peace — except of course in the case of war.", or: "Gad, Sir! Lord Bunk is right. The government is marching over the edge of an abyss, and the nation must march solidly behind them." Blimp is usually depicted speaking to a cartoon version of David Low, the cartoon's creator, and Blimp's comments are not infrequently directed at the opinions of Lord Beaverbrook, the owner of the newspaper in which the cartoon appeared.[citation needed]

Blimp was a satire on the reactionary opinions of the British establishment of the 1930s and 1940s. The cartoon was intended to criticize attitudes of isolationism, impatience with the concerns of common people, and a lack of enthusiasm for democracy. These were attitudes which Low, a New Zealander, considered as being common in British politics. Although Low described his character Blimp as "a symbol of stupidity", he lessened the insult to the British ruling class by adding that "stupid people are quite nice".'

I find, "Gad, Sir! Lord Bunk is right. The government is marching over the edge of an abyss, and the nation must march solidly behind them." particularly apropos. It seems that some things never change.

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Adair

Re: They need us more than we need them

maxfm, I'm sure you are trolling because you sound exactly like a blustering jingoistic xenophobic Colonel Blimp. I think it's the 'They need us more than we need them' that really gives it away. Such a quixotic backward looking view can only come from someone who is completely delusional, living in some invented reality based on the myths of an imperial past (now quite long past), or by someone with a delicious sense of the ironic and the absurd. I do hope it is the latter.

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Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year

Adair

Obligatory anecdotal evidence...

Daughter working as TA at a decent secondary school (~1000 students), while waiting to move into her first 'proper job'.

Only the Head of IT knew anything about IT, all other teachers dragged into covering, but basically knowing nothing, e.g. one describing the base units as 'the CPU' -- this to the whole class, repeatedly!

Daughter has a degree in Eng. Lang. (but a personal interest in IT -- builds her own machines, basic knowledge of scripting, etc.). Instantly becomes 'essential' teaching staff to the Head of IT, as the only other member of the teaching staff who actually knows 'anything' about IT, and can usefully deliver the curriculum. And this is in a school well regarded locally and by OFSTED!

Daughter has just left her TA post; Head of IT disconsolate; students - high and dry (apart from the ones who teach themselves).

[sigh]

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US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

Adair

Re: Worth a read

If you were in a yacht in a' shipping lane' off Harwich it was your duty to keep clear. Law regarding large vessels navigating in restricted waters (includes designated 'shipping lanes'): the vessel with 'unrestricted' manoeuvrability keeps clear, regardless of port/starboard rules, etc.

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Scrutiny? We've heard of it. Dot-UK supremo Nominet goes dark

Adair

So, are there any 'morally sound' alternatives for us UK based domain holders?

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Can GCHQ order techies to work as govt snoops? Experts fear: 'Yes'

Adair

Re: "threats about what would happen if they revealed its existence"

'If it is a fake, you can seek legal advice to find out if it is real. If not, getting advice is a crime. Complying with a fake warrant to install malware is crime. Imagine you get caught obeying a genuine warrant - you cannot mention the warrant as part of you defence without breaking the law.' - @ Flocke Kroes

In which case 'the law' is obviously bollocks -- in terms of justice and in terms of morality. It may be a bureaucratic authoritarian wetdream, but as far back as Magna Carta, etc. this is exactly the kind of self-serving immoral kind of injustice that generations of people have sought (to the point of bloodshed in some cases) to prevent.

So, what is the betting that if a case of this ever actually came to trial that, sans dictatorship, our lovely Govt. would get the kicking it richly deserved. 'They' are betting on fear and bully tactics ensuring that day in court never happens, as the kind of scum who promulgate this kind of thing always have done, and always will.

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

Adair

It's worth remembering...

that 'stupid' and 'intelligent' are not opposites, in fact all too frequently they can be found working happily together. Some of the smartest people I know do, and think, the dumbest things.

MPs, by and large are simply the monkeys dancing to the tune of the organ grinder/s. Those wankers -- mostly greedy people intent on embiggening their parasitic hold on the general population -- can be and often are spectacularly stupid, but the sad thing is that the consequences of their stupidity tends to fall first and hardest on the heads of those least able to protect themselves, and then on all of us.

It's not all bad news, but we really cannot afford to be complacent; as the aphorism goes: for wicked (and stupid) people to flourish it only requires good (and wise) people to do nothing.

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Southern awarded yet another 'most moaned about rail firm' gong

Adair
Happy

Yes, please don't come to Hull

We like to have reliable, fast, uncrowded trains, and affordable family homes, and all the other benefits that come with living in an area that the easily prejudiced and terminally ignorant prefer to avoid.

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Linus Torvalds slams 'pure garbage' from 'clowns' at Grsecurity

Adair

Re: Linus exhibits all the qualities of pure sociopath

I baffles me why so many people waste so much of their time whining about someone who is doing his job, and who isn't particularly interested in wasting time with people who can't be arsed to do their work properly, or who spit their dummy out if their ego isn't regularly massaged.

Yes, Linus can be painfully direct and even downright rude, but I can't say that I've seen much evidence of that behaviour arising without justifiable provocation.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Adair

As far as I know ...

TeX is officially 'done'. Donald Knuth said so. The bug bounty is still open, but I don't think anyone has claimed for years. There will, however, be a final version issued after DK's death -- just to round things off nicely.

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Amazon and others sniffing around Slack

Adair

When I looked ...

at Slack there seemed to be zero encryption, and the EULA made it clear they made no assurances as to the security/confidentiality of anything sent through their system.

On that basis, why would any business -- let alone private user -- bother?

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Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

Adair

@David Webb

The vast majority of hospital staff don't care what OS they are using; what they care about is the application software. they care about that on the level of: are the buttons in the same place they were yesterday, and do they do the same thing they did yesterday?

Changing the OS is, to a large extent, a non-event as long as the software they actually use is familiar; and even when it isn't, within a few weeks the crying and the whining stops as the 'horrible changes' become the new normal, and life goes on.

This above is written from experience---I work in a hospital. Last year we changed from XP to 7, AND changed the basic patient management system. Also in my experience changing to Linux causes non-IT literate people no more difficulty than changing from one version of Windows to another.

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Adair

Re: Only one question

There is nothing new here, you only need to look at the history of government in Britain to see the trend (not that most other countries are much different).

Britain has hundreds of years of government and civil service acting in a patronising and autocratic way towards the people of the nation. The governing system is, after all, a reflection of and a means of sustaining the 'class system', or more accurately, a means of the privileged maintaining their privilege, regardless of where they fit into the 'class' structure.

Power and money - how to get them, how to hang on to them, and how to prevent, limit, reduce the power/money available to others, especially those who you depend on for your own excessive acquisition of the same. It's an old game, and a dirty one.

That is not to say there aren't very 'good' people working in the system who through their working lives do a lot to mitigate the worst excesses of the wankers, idiots, and scum who work the system as hard as they can for their own advantage.

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Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

Adair

Re: MS is daft.

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. TLDR version: 10S aimed at hardware spec, c.£150.

QUOTE (from http://tinyurl.com/lzk2jjs - Guardian report):

'Jeff Orr, research director for ABI Research, explained that the education market is tough to design for, with extensive requirements for durability, flexibility and affordability. Orr said: “Both Apple’s Mac laptops and Google-powered Chromebooks have offered a combination of hardware and software to keep Windows from being as dominant in education as it has become in the workplace. The affordability of Chromebooks and the benefits of cloud services has propelled the low-cost laptop use case even further.”

It is here that Microsoft hopes its Windows 10 S and new education initiative will be able to make inroads where more expensive solutions have faltered against stiff competition. Industry partners include Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba, producing Windows 10 S-compatible machines starting at $189 (£146).'

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Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Adair

Just remember...

It's all about money.

Imagine a hand dipping into 'your wallet'(TM) forever.

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The brave British boat men hoping to poke Larry Ellison's lads in the eye

Adair

QUOTE: 'A number of other countries are also taking part.'

Which include the two teams most likely to leave LBAR as sad 'also-rans': Artemis, and Emirates Team New Zealand.

Hopefully Ben will manage to avoid steering the boat into the dock, or any other solid object, when the racing actually starts - http://www.xssailing.com/article/video-be-a-barry-not-a-ben/

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Good job, everyone. We're making AI just as tediously racist and sexist as ourselves

Adair

'AI' = just another hypegasm

This misuse of language really rattles my rusty cage. It's just another example of marketing bullshit. It may be artificial, but it certainly isn't intelligent in any meaningful sense of that word which is remotely connected to standard usage.

A series of algorithms, however sophisticated, is not intelligent, it's just another 'slave to the rules'. There is no possibility of creativity, lateral thinking, disobedience, or slacking off---all hallmarks of actual intelligence.

So, get off humanity's lawn, you marketing shitheads! Go and live in some hellhole for a while, and if you survive come back when you've learned some humility, and do something useful and wonderful with your lives.

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Cowardly Microsoft buries critical Hyper-V, WordPad, Office, Outlook, etc security patches in normal fixes

Adair

"If the PC uses an AMD Carrizo DDR4 processor, installing this update will block downloading and installing future Windows updates."

Hey, it's a feature not a bug! You're onto a winner there mate, AMD clearly have their customers' interests at heart.

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Adair
Trollface

And people...

actually pay for this shit!?

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Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue

Adair

Spyware

Whatever excuses are made, however much there is the appearance of choice, that is what it is in the end.

If there was a credible option to genuinely turn it all off, and then switch individual reporting on/off as desired; with an absolute guarantee that all choices would be respected without question or arbitrary reversal by MS, then there might be a shred of credibility in saying 'We're not offering spyware'.

But there isn't, so they are: Windows <whatever it's current iteration> is spyware.

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Adair

Re: "There you have stated perfectly the tarpit that proprietary software "

@LDS

Let's be clear, both 'proprietary' and 'FOSS' have their place, and there is no reason why FOSS can't be 'paid for'---'free as in beer' is not obligatory; just as proprietary software can be offered, and frequently is, for free---as in 'no financial charge'.

The problem is our mentality and attitude. I would also pay for a service I need, and I do, when I have established that I am not going to be screwed over or held hostage more than I am willing to be. As a result I long ago abandoned the 'services' that asked more than I was willing to sacrifice, either in freedom or in money, and have found other ways of achieving my ends. In a few cases I have just had to accept that there are things I cannot do, I can't say I miss them.

The thing is, in a commercial environment businesses often can forge their own way, unencumbered by grasping and idiotic third part solutions, but it takes a real vision and determination to leave the herd and retain some kind of integrity. Sometimes it is impossible, but too often the problem is lack of vision, lack of integrity, and a simple desire to 'make money' above all else---and we all live with the results, repeatedly.

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Adair

Re: "The problem isn't lack of software alternatives, the problem is lack of will to change"

@LDS

There you have stated perfectly the tarpit that proprietary software offers to its customers/victims.

You made the best choice you could at the time you made it, but now (partly because, perfectly sensibly, you have stuck with 'what works', both economically and productively) you now find yourself facing a very difficult predicament. You are literally trapped.

There's no point whining about it; you/we have to suck it up, unless we set in motion a process, however painful and costly, of extricating ourselves from the situation so that we are 'free' of the clutches of an agent who, benignly or otherwise, has us over a barrel.

FOSS, whatever its drawbacks, and like everything else it certainly has them, at least offers the possibility, and the opportunity to get the job done out from under the control of an irresponsible self-serving entity. But there's that 'change' thing, and the whining sound of those who will die, or pay and pay and pay... rather than do that.

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Adair

Re: I thought

@Charles9 - 'They've dominated the OS atmosphere for so long that most software has no viable substitutes outside Windows.'

I'd argue that this is, in a large proportion of cases, a bullshit statement. While there are some use cases where the only viable software has only ever been written for the Windows platform, for a very large proportion of use cases the wheel has definitely been reinvented elsewhere. The problem isn't lack of software alternatives, the problem is lack of will to change. 'Change', that thing too many of us are very bad at.

Instead of exploring, learning, adapting, even doing something new from scratch (perish the thought) we become 'Whiners'.

The whiner always seems to want the new to be the same as the old: 'Why isn't <software/app/car/nation I'm not used to> like <preferred software/app/car/nation>; <unfamiliar x> is crap! In fact this is the whiner's justification/smokescreen for their own refusal to put any effort in. They want life handed to them on a plate because they are too stupid/lazy/arrogant to shift themselves. Such creatures generally ensure their own extinction earlier than might otherwise have occurred.

Having had my little rant, I will cheerfully admit that in some instances there are grievous gaps in the software libraries of other OS's, but that applies across the board.

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US border cops must get warrants to search citizens' gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges

Adair

Re: Can Canada sue?

@anothercynic

I thoroughly endorse Singapore airport as a civilised transit hub. My experience of Dubai has only been as a transit passenger, and so far my experiences have all been good. Will be passing through again later this year - fingers crossed all will be well. :-)

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Adair

Re: Can Canada sue?

@'Your alien overlord'

Times change. The holding pen (transfer under armed guard) is long gone.

Now, it's straight into the 'papers and fingerprints please' hellhole where you fester with many others for as long as it takes. Assuming there is insufficient evidence to detain you further, you then join a queue through security for your connecting flight. Having negotiated that with whatever dignity you have left, and with blood sugar now at dangerously low levels (especially for those with a short fuse), you may be lucky enough to have time to grab some sustenance and recover your equilibrium; otherwise it's a sprint for the boarding pen and another wait until you are allowed to enter the tubular sanctuary for more hours of your life spent in a gentle sauna of BO and farts.

Much of this pain is easily avoided by simply avoiding the 'Land of the Free(TM). Personally I now find Dubai quite an acceptable stop on the way to almost everywhere else that I am interested in going to.

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

Adair

You gotta know...

when to hold'em,

know when to fold'em,

know when to walk away,

and when to run...

The thing is that too many of the people involved know nothing, except money. And they don't know much about that either.

What a clown show.

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With Skype, Microsoft's messaging strategy looks coherent at last (almost)

Adair

Re: I'm out...

Currently Ring < https://ring.cx/ > looks very promising, but I've only played around with it. I would like to adopt it for daily use, but for the sake of non-IT literate family members whose systems I help keep up and running, and who are scattered around the world, I'm using Teamviewer, which isn't necessarily any better than Skype, either technically or ethically, but it works and combines the two services which I really need: the VOIP and remote access.

Clearly other options are available. :-)

1
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Adair

I'm out...

Not because I've found something massively better, but because why would I want to offer my personal communications to a huge irresponsible corporate entity. it's cronies, and it's puppet masters.

I can take all of those risks with someone else who just may care a little bit more, and even if they don't what I really want is the choice, and supporting one of the big monopolistic dinosaurs is one sure way of adding yet another brick to the wall the monopolist's want to build to limit choice to what suits them.

6
3

Brit infosec's greatest threat? Thug malware holding nation's devices to ransom – report

Adair

Even better...

more of us need to wean ourselves off the idea that we 'need' to have every ridiculous brain dead bit of tech that cynical marketeers push at us because: 'oooh it's shiny', 'but everybody has one', and all the other bullshit justifications we come up with for 'consuming' yet another piece of unnecessary crap.

7
1

Sir Tim Berners-Lee refuses to be King Canute, approves DRM as Web standard

Adair

Re: All the whining in the world - 2

No, I know what you mean, but the 'world' is not a 'jail' because the 'world' lacks intent (I am not suggesting the world has consciousness) to deliberately deprive people of something that is intrinsic to their being, and/or to restrict access to that intrinsic 'right' by means of some arbitrary 'payment'.

The only reason the DRMers can get away with their action is because sufficient people allow them to by 'buying' into their jail. If what they are buying truly 'belongs' to the jailers then it can be considered a legitimate trade---I regard the benefit I receive to be worth the price I pay. If the 'product' truly belongs to the 'jailers', and we don't like the price they are asking that's our tough luck.

If the 'product' does not in fact 'belong' to the jailers, then it really is open season. The jailers can make their jail as shiny as they like, and try to get the law on their side, but in the end they are trying to lay claim to something that is not theirs any more than it belongs to anyone else.

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