* Posts by Franco

479 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

Franco
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"Please spare me "just because Apple says they aren't doing it doesn't mean they aren't doing it"."

Why, have Apple done something to make you trust them implicitly? It's clear that once one company gets away with something the others will follow. Apple were the first to risk non-user replaceable batteries and were slated for it, now it's the norm across almost all devices.

You asked why Apple might do such a thing, the article gives you the answer. If their devices are lasting longer then they can't make the same amount of money from people upgrading constantly, so they will need to find another way to maintain their revenue stream.

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Franco
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Apple sells media content via iTunes, and wants to also produce it's own content apparently. Are you seriously suggesting that Apple would not use the data they have on existing purchasers to suggest new content that they might be interested in for example?

Just because Apple say they don't do it and like to take the moral high-ground doesn't mean they aren't doing it too. Google's motto was don't be evil, yet they slurp everything and dump zero days exploits in other companies software on to the internet if they aren't patched as quickly as Google would like. Facebook are quite simply pure evil, and Microsoft have many questionable practices that are, if not as bad as the other two at least in terms of data mining, are certainly in the same ballpark.

Let us not forget Apple themselves have done some pretty shady things, with conditions at their partner manufacturing plants, their tax arrangements, excessive vendor lock-in on accessories and maintenance, pushing out new pieces of software as a "recommended update" and forcing the download of a U2 album that no one wanted.

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Franco
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I have the same issue with my Nokia 6.1. I've disabled access to location, contacts etc for pretty much every app that has no legitimate need for access AFAICS yet get regular warnings. The camera "needs" microphone access or it won't work at all, even for stills. Apparently the Play Store needs access to my contacts (but works fine without it, just moans periodically). My other major gripe is new apps appearing with each new Android upgrade that aren't required and seem to grab excessive permissions without asking as they are "system" apps.

However, given Apple's lack of transparency about pretty much everything the cynic in me wonders how similar iOS is to Android in some of these respects, it's just that it's hidden more deeply. I can't imagine that if Microsoft and Google are doing it that Apple aren't at least dipping their tongues in to the data pool and having a taste if not a full slurp.

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Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

Franco
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Re: Assange is a political prisoner, in the United Kingdom, end of

"Assange is a political prisoner, in the United Kingdom, end of"

By definition, a prisoner is deprived of liberty against their will. Assange chose to go in to the embassy of his own free will. Not the same thing.

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It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Franco
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Edge works OK, it's just not compatible with enough things IME. The last 2 desktop image rollouts I've done have been set to use IE, with Chrome as the alternate due to lack of Edge compatibility with addons, intranet sites etc.

I use Firefox myself most of the time, only ever really have to use IE to access the DRACs and iLOs on old servers that still have the ActiveX versions and even they are getting rarer these days.

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I was once one of you, F1 star Lewis Hamilton tells delighted IT bods

Franco
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"I don't understand peoples gripes with Hamilton, he's damned if he says something and damned if he doesn't, you just come across as jealous idiots."

I can't speak for anyone else, but my dislike of Hamilton (despite my respect for his ability) is due to his attitude. Rather like Novak Djokovic in tennis, instead of allowing the public to make up their own minds, he demands love and respect for his ability and funnily enough most sports fans don't like being told what to think.

He has shown a great deal more humility this year than previously admittedly, although that is a fairly low hurdle to clear.

Anyway, with my cynical hat back on, opportunities given to female drivers are (unfortunately) still largely going to come down to their marketability. I know an awful lot of people in IT who are aware of Danica Patrick but have no idea that she's a racing driver, they know her as the GoDaddy girl.

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Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Franco
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It'll be fun for anyone who works in a really secure site when they get chipped in the hand. And have to wear RFID blocking gloves when they aren't at work.

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Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

Franco
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Re: Shame to see it end like this.

"If you had wanted to stick with WinPho, replacing a 925 with a 950 would have been a quantum leap in performance, and it has a removable battery."

I had one actually, I won it from windows central and so after using it for about a year I sold it. I got fed up with the constant bugs, and by the time I sold the 950 the 925 was locked at an older version. I'd lost Flip-to-Silence, Agenda view in Outlook (showing events only as opposed to ecvery day showing "No Event Today"), SMS reading with Cortana in the car and it was also the time of the GPS bug as well.

I tried a few of the Windows Phone launchers for Android, all were a bit buggy for me or expensive to get fully featured. I ended up using the Microsoft Launcher which although doesn't have live tiles etc is pretty clean.

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Franco
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Re: Shame to see it end like this.

And yet Android is what I switched to, as although it's not a patch on W10M as far as the interface is concerned, it's still a better option the iOS if you want budget phone options and even a vague semblance of control over how things look and what you can do.

I absolutely will only buy stock Android devices though, preferably those on the AndroidOne program so you have some sort of guarantee of support life cycle.

I actually switched because my Lumia 925 was barely making it to lunchtime most days before needing a charge, I don't really need all the apps I now have but sometimes they are nice to have.

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My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Franco
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Oh, I can go pre-PCMCIA if you want. I still have a 56K US Robotics external modem that would connect to a COM port.

Last used about 4 years ago, I found it in a box when moving a client to new premises and at the new premises the comms cabinet where the broadband line came in was 4 floors up from the office they were in. As all the phones were digital and I didn't have a butt tester but did have a USB to serial adapter the modem became the test device to find which cable was faulty and preventing the MFD from getting a dial-tone (It was an Accountant and they still heavily used faxes even then)

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Franco
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Perhaps we should all club together and start a legacy tech bank like the seed bank in Norway.

I'll happily donate a pair of PCMCIA cards, one 10/100 ethernet and one 802.11b WiFi.

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Stairway to edam: Swiss bloke blasts roquefort his cheese, thinks Led Zep might make it tastier

Franco
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Provolone by The Wildhearts (Everlone)

Mull of Dunsyre Blue

A succession of AC/DC based titles

Let there be Roquefort

Halloumi ain't a bad place to be

Rock 'n' Roll EDamnation

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Franco
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I remember it, when I was a student I worked in a supermarket and there were a lot of Irish and Northern Irish students there too, so lots of notes. Customers often refused to take the Irish notes, particularly the ones with the plastic window (can't remember which bank it was though).

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Franco
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Here in God's Country where we have our own banknotes (a cunning ruse designed to spike the blood pressure of London cabbies when they are presented them), we have nice feats of engineering on them (Bank of Scotland) like the Forth Bridge, the Falkirk Wheel or the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the Harry Potter bridge for the under 10s in the audience). RBS favours castles, and the Clydesdale Bank has famous people like Robert Burns or Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

On a side note, does "influencers" include the toolbags on LinkedIn who quote them constantly? If not, it should do IMO.

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BlackBerry KEY2 LE: The first budget Android QWERTY for years

Franco
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Re: Close but no cigar

"HTC Touch Pro (2008) - slider horizontal QWERTY with full size screen."

Still my favourite ever smartphone. HTC's TouchFlo interface was so good compared to the alternatives in those days.

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Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Franco
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Re: Racist?

"Did said Chinaman pee on The Dude's rug?"

He better not have done. That rug really tied the room together.

White Russian icon required for the 20th anniversary and I am referring to the beverage in case I am next to be accused of racism.

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Franco
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It's a good thing I've got so much money coming from the accident I had, my PPI refund, boiler scrappage, kitchen scrappage and that Nigerian prince, I'll easily be able to pay the black mailers.

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Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

Franco
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I use names.co.uk for my business. Don't actually have a website setup at present, but I use all of the DNS functionality for Office 365 and a few other things.

When I was setting it up 123-reg had accidentally deleted most of their customers websites in 2016, so were automatically off my list.

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Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

Franco
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Re: Peter Bright

"The Register is easily the most anti-Microsoft major tech site."

Clearly you have never read The Inquirer.

El Reg is (IMO) one of the less biased sites, pretty much every major company who deserves a public slapping (which is most of them at one time or another) gets one.

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Franco
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The fact that the September releases have been switched to a 30 month support lifecycle shows the pressure MS are under from the very people they shouldn't be pissing off. Enterprise is their core market, and flinging out these crappy releases as essentially public betas does not inspire confidence.

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London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

Franco
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"The WikiLeaks supremo is fed up with being essentially held in near-solitary confinement in an Ecuadorian embassy broom cupboard in London, England."

Simple solution there Jules, walk out the front door and face the music.

Regardless of whatever good wikileaks has done, and Assange as a part of that, this has long since ceased to be about "the truth" and has become the Assange show. I don't wish harm on the guy, but I am sick to the back teeth of him claiming martyrdom for his own decision to hide in that embassy. Come out or shut the fuck up.

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

Franco
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Re: Oh Gawd...

That's just reminded me of the first Macs with accelerometers that I encountered, I think it was about 2006, and the Mac guy in the office had hacked his so that every time he moved it you got the sound of light sabers swishing. Then of course some twat created similar apps for the first iPhones...

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Franco
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mIRC is the worst offender I have used recently for gratuitous sounds, sticking with The IT Crowd as mentioned above it's the equivalent of Denholm getting in your face and asking "ARE YOU SURE?" repeatedly.

Other readers of a certain age will remember when everyone had Casio digital watches, which by default emitted a double beep quite similar to the Nokia text message alert tone every hour on the hour, but of course no one had exactly accurate times in those days so in a classroom of 30 or so children this could go on for about 5 minutes.

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Amazon Prime Music turns the volume down a little too much

Franco
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I have too, but the snowflakes seem to think I am some sort of luddite for not streaming music.

I have bought some music from Amazon, but I always immediately download the MP3s.

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That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

Franco
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I'm not guessing, as success in this instance is not purely measured in terms of finance. Yes, they have their issues with updates, battery life and repairability but even the tech sites that hate Microsoft and Windows admit that the Surface line are nice devices.

They are not, and never were intended to be, high volume low cost machines but they give Microsoft a level of brand recognition and desireability as high-end devices that they've never really had before.

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Franco
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I can't see why they would, other than XBox and some of their peripherals Surface is (now anyway) one of the few hardware successes for Microsoft. They might make a quick buck selling the Surface brand to someone, but it would be short term only.

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Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

Franco
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Re: A different name for every site?

"because naming girls after virtues is an ancient and unremarkable tradition"

Adam Hills did a very funny piece on this and why it wouldn't work in Australia, working on the assumption that the virtue you name your children after is one you would like them to have. You would end up with sons called "Opening Batsman" and daughters called "Big Tits"

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Franco
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Re: Silly first name.

"You just need to listen to how it is pronounced, Alistair, Alastair etc."

Yeah, try explaining to an American that Stuart is a Scottish name and therefore I am more qualified than they are to know that it is categorically NOT pronounced Stoo-art or for that matter spelt Stewart if it's being used as a first name.

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Franco
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Re: Silly first name.

Have you seen the Billy Connolly sketch where he talks about doing an autograph for someone called Alasdair (the Gaelic spelling before anyone thinks I work at Starbucks....) and how Alasdairs always spell it for you? Very amusing.

Almost as amusing is the variations you see on Siobhan or any other Gaelic or Irish name.

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On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

Franco
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Re: Crimble Free Zone?

I mostly agree, but about 5 years ago I was driving home and nearly crashed my car I was laughing so hard at what I saw.

I was driving through Allanton in North Lanarkshire and the council lights were designed to resemble candles. However the light at the top representing the flame was in two stages and flashed on and off, and combined with the holly wreath round the base meant that driving down the street you would quire literally feel that Christmas had "come" early.

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Franco
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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

I heartily agree with the addendum that the thing that REALLY pisses me off about Christmas is being told to "cheer up, it's Christmas" by miserable bastards who wouldn't give you the steam off their shite the other 11 months of the year.

Back on topic, what was wrong with tea flavoured tea and coffee flavoured coffee? I know the usual consensus round these parts is everything is better with bacon (just read the comments sections on any article about food by the sorely missed Lester Haines) but I draw the line at adding pork products (or the taste of them) to beverages.

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Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

Franco
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"we might be able to pack an entire smartphone in our schlongs."

I can't wait to be forced to unlock it at US customs, and the mind boggles at the case and customisation options that might be available. Although the removal of the 3.5mm jack might be a good thing at that point....

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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

Franco
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One of the towns nearest mine is accessible via a back road, at the end of which is a very narrow single track bridge which won't take anything bigger than a transit van. Since the invention of the sat-nav there are signs every 100 yards telling lorry drivers to ignore their sat-navs cos they can't cross the bridge, but at least twice a year a wagon gets stuck and has to be towed backwards back up the hill from the bridge.

I don't like tea at all, but I'm always amused by how it's depicted on American TV. The Big Bang Theory for example, they pour hot water out of a kettle in to a mug with a tea bag in it, then immediately drink from it and the bag is always left in the cup. My thermos travel mug has a hook on the bottom of the lid for hanging a tea bag!

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WLinux brings a custom Windows Subsystem for Linux experience to the Microsoft Store

Franco
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Re: The Other Way Round

"But run Linux under a Win host? What on earth for?

Really cannot imagine what purpose this could serve ..."

I can't give exact specifics, as I am neither a linux expert nor a developer, but I just did a Win 10 1803 image creation project for a software development firm and they asked for WSL to be included as part of the build. I was told the developers wanted to be able to run bash scripts rather than having to figure out PowerShell, but as I said I don't know the specifics of what the scripts were for.

I also know a few pen-testers who use WSL with Kali, although not all of the tools will run under WSL.

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HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

Franco
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Talking to HMRC is much like the "these go to 11" conversation in This is Spinal Tap. Wilful lack of understanding on HMRC's part, I don't know how many times they've been told their IR35 reform is nonsense and that taxing people as employees incorrectly would lead to demands for equivalent benefits, but they don't listen and will still force the reform in to the private sector.

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I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Franco
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Re: Another reason to keep on truckin' a WinPhone

I used the Greggs rewards website on Edge up until about 6 months ago and it was utterly reliable. It makes me wonder what it says about Greggs IT that it works on Edge though....

Greggs is the only one I am signed up to, given their lack of pretension. However that has rather changed lately as I have had free offers (unredeemed) lately for a caramel latte, a choice of premium "teas" (don't like tea at the best of times, never mind flavours that sound like shampoos) and last week a pumpkin spice latte.

Cue angry Denis Leary rant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f_dxLiuXuw

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Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

Franco
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Re: I bash google when possible

I'll grant you Microsoft have upped the ante here, but this sort of nonsense has been going on for years. Google with their pop-ups and drive-by downloads bundled with Adobe apps amongst others, and Apple have also had a try when they started pushing out Safari as a "recommended update" to iTunes.

I've also noticed on Android that certain apps will default to sending hyperlinks to Chrome, even though Firefox is my default browser there.

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Post-silly season blues leave me bereft of autonomous robot limbs

Franco
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Glad I'm not the only one thinking that James Gunn's "Awesome Mixes" aren't really that awesome, and giving David Hasselhoff a reprieve is almost reason enough to have him fired even before the tweet storm.

Still could have been worse. When people say to my how much better music was in the 80s I make them listen to Vanessa Paradis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulay2FvUEd8

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Strewth! Aussie ISP gets eye-watering IPv4 bill, shifts to IPv6 addresses

Franco
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Re: Has anyone truly made the switch?

"I've yet to work in a company that has used IPv6 internally."

Tried it once for a Server 2008 R2 DirectAccess implementation. It was less fun than drowning, although that was more to do with DA not working than IPv6. Lesson learnt, stay away from the bleeding edge and let some other poor sod do the heavy lifting.

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Your Phone prematurely ejected, Skype texting on the way, and 900 more years of Windows

Franco
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Re: Skype??

They used to love that feature "spun out in to a different product" press release. Removing IMs from Exchange 2003 for example, and the utter chaos they caused by trying to remove public folders from Exchange 2007 and forcing everyone to SharePoint with no direct or easy migration path.

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Franco
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Re: Been texting from Skype

I'm amazed anyone COULD use that, it spectacularly messed up my message backups before MS swiftly pulled the feature and went back to the standard messaging app.

Haven't tried it recently though, still have my Lumia 925 but it's battery life is approximately one half of 10 minutes ( (C) Strong Bad) these days.

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When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't

Franco
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A mate of mine is off to Australia for a month, so I'd better exchange OTPs with him before he goes lest his pictures of the Great Barrier Reef be interpreted as scouting an attack on it.

Only making jokes because Australia will most certainly not be the last country to try and get this kind of nonsense in to law.

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Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Franco
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And here was me thinking "opt-in" meant I would be asked if I wanted to share this data, I think they mean "opt-out if you can find the settings and translate the doublespeak"

I've done granular permission changes to pretty much every Android app on my phone, it's pretty scary how many of them "need" access to my contacts, phone calls and location. Google Play does occasionally throw up a message that it won't work without access to contacts, but it does.

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UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

Franco
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I did read and respond to HMRC's consultation document. It was utter nonsense, full of self-congratualatory twaddle about how great their public sector rollout has been.

MOO is ignored, use of work equipment is still considered an issue despite no IT department anywhere allowing BYOD except on guest networks and they continually lose in court, but they will still force this legislation through.

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Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

Franco
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Zuck pats himself on the back for being marginally less useless than before.

I still can't decide what's worse, people thinking that Facebook is a valid source of news or Facebook themselves deciding that fake news isn't their problem

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Span hits F#, LinkedIn gets mumbly, and UWP (yes, it's still clinging on) furnished with new toys

Franco
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Re: Perfect...

"Why the hell would Microsoft drag their redundant platforms all the way to Blighty, to drop them off Brighton Pier?"

Legacy compatibility, there's a line of code hidden that requires disposal off that pier that's been there since Windows 3.11

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Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

Franco
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I've had no issues with 1803 at home, what's ripping my mitten right now is the number of customisation options that have been changed since 1709. I'm in the middle of updating an SCCM task sequence for a client and most steps for setting default apps, removing store apps, customising layouts and adding corporate branding have changed with little to no notice or documentation.

Oh, and getting rid of Cortana is like playing whack-a-mole.

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Franco
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Where do you draw the line with advertising of the brands you have bought though? Clothing is one thing, but taking it to extremes you'd need to use a cover or tape over the logos on your phones and tablets, cover up the logo on the lid of your laptop and de-badge your car, the latter of which is only done (at least where I live) by people who have more power in decibels in the boot than they do in horses under the bonnet.

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In Microsoft land, cloud comes to you! Office 365 stuff to be bled into on-prem Office 2019 Server

Franco
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Re: Reality

They assume it is inevitable, as the average PHB loves buzzwords. They won't be using the cloud, they'll be leveraging an agile private cloud or some other such nonsense. They don't use technology, they integrate it in to their workflows.

If Microsoft could just get Blockchain in there as well they'd have a stampede to migrate...

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Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere

Franco
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Not the first attempt at such things and certainly won't be the last.

I remember a company we supported back in about 2010 insisting on BlackBerry devices so they could issue Redflys to their sales droids. Link below for those who don't remember or have never seen a Redfly. Could probably say the same about BlackBerry for some of our younger readers too...

https://www.pcworld.com/article/158820/redfly_review.html

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