* Posts by Dave K

362 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008

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Remember when Apple's FaceTime stopped working years ago? Yeah, that was deliberate

Dave K
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Sorry, they deserve it this time for trying to throw out the lawsuit with their "We can do what we want because you accepted the T&Cs" argument.

Idiots.

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Dave K
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Re: Give and Take

Not everyone likes updates. I've had too many phones that have been super speedy when new, yet have become slower and more stuttery with every update. Nowerdays, I often avoid major OS updates on my phone and have a 3 year phone which feels as speedy as when I bought it as a result. Seriously, what does Oreo (for example) do so wonderfully that I'm missing out on with Marshmallow except (inevitably) run slower?

Back with iOS, when I had an iPhone 3G, I deliberately kept it on iOS 3.1.2 as it ran like an absolute turd with 4.0.

And anyway, this is about Apple taking functionality that worked under iOS 6 and disabling it not long after iOS 7 came along. I don't recall Google disabling features on earlier Android phones the moment they release a new version?

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Dave K
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There's nothing quite like an enlarged photo of your nads to add authenticity to the article. Of course, quite what other tourists thought whilst Mrs D was taking a photo of you in that state is another story...

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Lenovo Thinkpad X280: Choosing a light luggable isn't so easy

Dave K
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Seems they're going backwards with each new model. Even the lauded X220 was a downgrade on the earlier X201 (16:10 screen with thinner bezels, trackpad with proper buttons), then with each new version the keyboard has got worse, the trackpad has been poor for a while, removal of status LEDs, lousy screen with awful fat bezels for a while now, then they go and kill the removable battery as well.

Such a disappointment to see what has happened to the X range over the last 8 years. Sorry Lenovo, I'll be sticking with my trusty X201 for a while yet! Love it for long-distance traveling due to being able to swap the battery over once the first one starts to run low

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You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Dave K
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Re: Do the right thing

Have to admit to doing the same. New games? I'll often pirate a copy initially to see what I think. Is the game enjoyable, available with no DRM (ideally) or at least none-intrusive DRM? Does it allow me to skip those infuriating into logos after the first run? Does it have a proper save-game system (no god-awful "Checkpoint only" system) If so, I will pull out my wallet and will buy a copy to support the developer.

Of course, if it is only available with some draconian always-online DRM crap, forces a dozen unskippable into logos down your throat every time you launch it and has a lazy and console-derived Checkpoint system, I'll usually keep my money in my pocket and will send the game to Davy-Jones locker courtesy of the Uninstall option.

The ball is in the developers court here. If you make a good game and do your best to make an enjoyable experience for the gamer, I will reward you by buying your game. If however you make every possible attempt to piss off and irritate your customers, I'll vote with my feet.

Unfortunately, finding out how the dev had approached the game does necessitate trying the game first, and it's amazing how few demos exist these days...

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

Dave K
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Re: Dear Microsoft

If it were aimed purely at testing, Microsoft would have said so in the pop-up. Or are you trying to say that Insiders don't know what Edge is? If so, MS really is in trouble...

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A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

Dave K
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Re: Noisy phone lines in building

Ahh the problems when people don't take into account cable lengths. Couple of years ago we had some major building work done at one of our sites. As part of this, they shifted the access gate for the car park and planned to move the security hut (small building with a couple of PCs and IP phones in it). Everything was planned to shift the hut and have a cabling firm in the same day to run new data feeds.

Except that later that day, the site called to say that the connectors looked different. Upon investigating, the old location for the hut was 80m from the nearest comms room, so just had a couple of lengths of CAT5e run to it. New location is 125m away, so the cabling firm ran a fibre feed instead.

And of course, nobody had budgeted or planned for an extra switch. The hut was without phones and PCs for a couple of weeks whilst everyone scrabbled around for more budget to purchase a switch and fibre GBIC for it...

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Microsoft takes a pruning axe to Skype's forest of features

Dave K
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Re: 'overcomplicated some of our core scenarios'

I agree with you about Skype, but have to disagree about Skype for Business. Leaving aside the similar name but lack of compatibility with desktop Skype, I personally find SFB's interface awful. It just looks too cartoony with awful, circular blobby icons. In fact, it looks about a "business" like as a Fisher Price toy.

We used to use Cicso Jabber for IM and that had a far cleaner and more professional-looking user interface. It also didn't randomly log you out every now and then and didn't crash for no good reason every few days like SFB does...

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Golden State passes gold-standard net neutrality bill by 58-17

Dave K
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No differences? Well in that case, why have the ISPs spent millions trying to thwart NN? You wouldn't spend time and money trying to block a law that makes no difference to your business operations would you?

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GlobalFoundries scuttles 7nm chip plans claiming no demand

Dave K
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Re: Not a complete surprise

It makes plenty of sense for GPUs though. Smaller process means more execution units, and that means more performance. Unlike CPUs where per-core performance is important, GPUs are all about massive parellism.

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HP Inc strips off, rolls around as Windows 10 money pours down

Dave K
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"Weisler added that customers were aware of the "Windows 7 sunset" – Microsoft ends support for the OS next year"

Technically the year after next. Support ends January 2020.

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Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

Dave K
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Re: For those in the UK...

I have the benefit of working in Scotland for an England based company, so I do get the Monday off. Most others don't though

</smug mode>

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EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Dave K
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Re: Just add wireless charging

Interestingly, I have more problems with Apple/Lightning cables.

I agree that USB Micro is flawed as a connector and USB-C is a nice improvement. However at my place of work, I rarely am asked for replacement USB Micro cables for the Android users. However almost every week someone comes along with a disintegrating Lightning cable asking for a replacement. The standard Apple ones almost seem to be deliberately designed to disintegrate after a year or so.

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CADs and boffins get some ThinkPad love

Dave K
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Nobody is suggesting 4:3. However, look at those pictures and of the display in-particular. First thing you notice? The massive bezel at the bottom of the screen. On a Macbook Pro (with its 16:10 screen), that space contains extra screen instead of plastic. Would you rather have a fatter plastic bezel, or more screen real-estate? 16:10 is still widescreen, can handle side-by-side pages fine, and often has the same horizontal resolution as 16:9 panels, but has more vertical space and resolution. Given that vertical space is often chomped up by the task bar, title bar, menu/toolbars etc, an extra chunk of vertical space there makes a *big* difference to usability.

Sorry, but every time I see a supposedly professional machine with a 16:9 screen, all I see is a laptop display chosen for its cheapness rather than for its functionality. That's why 16:9 screens have taken over most laptops - because they are cheaper to produce (due to being the same aspect ratio as a TV), that's the only reason. And if I'm splashing 2 grand on a professional machine, I want a display chosen for its quality and suitability, not its cheapness. Something that Lenovo, Dell, HP etc. all fail to grasp still...

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Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

Dave K
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Software has changed a lot in those times however. Windows 10 is a lot more demanding than XP/Linux distros on old netbooks, plus web pages now require a lot more grunt to render as well. It's not necessarily how fast something is in equal benchmarks, but how quick it feels in daily life doing basic tasks of today.

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

Dave K
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Re: Perfect...

If you're Microsoft, the only correct thing to do is to keep changing your mind about which pier you use. Then once people are used to it being at least one of Brighton's piers, switch again and start using the pier at Weston Super Mare. Because that's the Microsoft way...

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Official: AMD now stands for All the Money, Dudes!

Dave K
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Great news to see AMD back in the black. Ryzen is a very nice range of hardware - I've been very impressed with mine since getting it late last year. Also great to see Intel being given some real competition again. Long may it continue!

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From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit

Dave K
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Yep, where I work, shonky mouse and tattered USB Micro cable = always on desk. Shiny mouse and Lightning cable = nicked within a week if you forget to lock them in your drawer at night.

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Core blimey! Apple macOS update lifts boot from MacBook Pro neck

Dave K
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Re: They missed that one bit of code...

Quite understandable. We have a lot of mobile engineers running ProE and other CAD software on laptops - in our case Dell Precision and HP ZBook machines. We dont expect the same performance as a dedicated tower workstation, however a mobile workstation with Quarto or FirePro graphics should be able to handle moderate workloads without crashing and burning. Glad to see Apple has admitted the issue and pushed a fix, rather than just blaming it on their customers as usual...

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Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

Dave K
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Many thanks for adding further smiles to Fridays, and enjoy your future position. On-Call, BOFH etc. are a great way to wind down to the weekend, glad to see it's continuing under Rebecca's watchful eye!

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LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears

Dave K
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Re: LG? Never again

I have a G4 still and love it. Battery life is ok for me, and I love that the battery is changeable. However what I like most is that after 3 years of use, it's still slick and speedy. I've grown tired of Samsung phones that work great for a year or so before becoming stuttery and sluggish, the G4 is lovely at maintaining its performance over time. Updates could be better, but seeing as every Samsung update in the past drove my phone to slower and slower performance levels, I'd gladly take an older OS that remains fast.

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Dave K
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A number of years ago I worked in IT support for a local council authority. A new guy started (working for one of the systems guys next door) and immediately set a bad impression by asking how he could get copies of some of the software we had.

After a few days, he was tasked with installing some monitoring software for the UPS systems in our server racks. A short while later, PowerChute broadcast messages started being sent out to every PC in the building warning of a system shutdown. New guy insists to my boss that these are in error, nothing is being shut down, it's just a test of the messaging system. My boss is still annoyed about the fact that these broadcasts are being sent every few minutes to all 400+ machines on the domain.

Ten minutes later however, we have a strangely quiet rack, plus a lot of phones ringing due to our mail system, file server, plus several other systems all being down. My boss is fuming, new guy is suddenly very quiet, and about 10 minutes later the new guy is suddenly very unemployed.

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Chrome, Firefox pull very unstylish Stylish invasive browser plugin

Dave K
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Re: Developers becoming jerks.

Developers are (in general) no more corrupt than anyone else. Look at any walk of life and you'll find plenty of honest people, and a handful of dishonest ones who will always think of "making money" above all else.

For example, many car garages will do a great and honest job of fixing your car, but a few will rip you off by charging for fixing things that aren't broken. Plenty of electronics shops will provide sound and honest advice to help you buy the right piece of tech, whereas a few will sell you the nastiest piece of crap they have along with an "extended warranty" and some massively overpriced cables.

Same with developers. Some will rely on a few none-intrusive ads on their site, maybe a Paypal donation system or a premium version of their product with a few more features. Others turn to nasty slurpage and bundled malware. The latter group deserve criticism and for their products to be shunned, but you can't just tar every developer with the same brush because of the actions of a few...

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Dave K
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But why on the floor anyway? I've had several cars with a clear button on the centre console, or cars where you just flip open the filler cap (it locks automatically when you lock the car). That's fine. But a button on the floor? C'mon!

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Dave K
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I had a different issue entirely at a filling station in Italy. Pulled up at the pump in my hire car, before realising that I had absolutely no idea how to open the filler cap - and of course no manual for the car in the glove box. I looked all over the dash, the centre console, nope - nothing. Meanwhile, the filling station attendant becomes increasingly irate. After a trip around the block (to avoid the shouting) and back to the filling station, I finally found the button - passenger side, on the floor - such that it's only visible when the passenger door is open. Bravo Toyota!

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

Dave K
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Re: Trolling for comments

They did however rename Lync to Skype for Business, meaning that they have two products with Skype in the name that are totally different and incompatible with one-another. Given how MS then loves to try and bundle Skype (home) with Windows 10, it causes all manner of support issues here when people launch the wrong one then log a ticket because they can't sign in.

Sure MS will manage to screw things up somewhere here!

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Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

Dave K
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Re: Obsolescence

The X201 is quite an upgradable machine however. I have one as well with 8GB of RAM and an SSD in it, runs quite speedily for its age. The problem is more that Apple's later kit has the storage and RAM soldered down so you cannot upgrade it. Once a new MacOS comes out that requires more grunt, you quickly end up with an unsupported boat anchor.

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Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Dave K
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Re: I dont miss it

It's interesting, When Vista first came out and people hated it, I remember a few people (that actually liked Vista) pointing out that everyone also hated XP when it was first released, however I never did understand this. I remember very quickly liking XP upon release - mainly because XP was such an upgrade reliability wise from Windows 95/98/ME.

Of course, Windows 98 could run on 16MB of RAM whereas XP needed 256MB-512MB, but boy did you pay for it with the shonky reliability!

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HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...

Dave K
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Re: Interesting.

Some companies just love to try and ignore negative feedback until it really becomes an issue. Remember MS desperately claiming that Metro was awesome? It was only a fair chunk of time after Windows 8 came out that they finally had to wake up and accept that the UI was a failure in the market place.

Lenovo also dropped the ball a few years back with the utterly dreadful "Clickpad" on the ThinkPad T440. Again, this "feature" made it to market - despite being universally panned and the issue wasn't fixed until the T450 when Lenovo quietly binned the hated clickpad and went back to a more conventional (and usable) trackpad.

About the only company I can think of that seems to repeatedly get away with annoying changes is Apple...

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Pwned with '4 lines of code': Researchers warn SCADA systems are still hopelessly insecure

Dave K
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Re: SCADA systems running windows

You think that's bad? At a site I work at, we have a lot of CNC machines running Windows 95 still. They are networked, but are on their own VLAN and are *heavily* firewalled with access only permitted to one share on a server for the upload of new models. All other network access to them is blocked at firewall level.

Of course from the company's point of view, they work, and would cost an absolute fortune to replace, so they keep trucking along. I think the bigger problem is when companies have vulnerable control systems that are just attached to a general network with no extra protection..

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Dave K
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Indeed, also see here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Cockup) - there is in fact a hill near Keswick called "Great Cockup" and another hill next to it called "Little Cockup". Again, all not censored...

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BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

Dave K
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Punishing liars

"I have to give the Boss a bit of respect for being able to lie on the fly like this, but he's still got to be punished."

It's great fun seeing just how far someone will dig to try and cover up for one simple, initial lie.

Great start to a Friday as always :)

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Microsoft says Windows 10 April update is fit for business rollout

Dave K
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Re: Wait

Because the update is already on 250 million of them, hence 450 million without that update.

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Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Dave K
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>> "So this presumably means an end to rotating tiles, adverts, self-reinstalling games, forced patches with the inevitable reboots and other such cruft that has crept into the OS"

And don't forget Windows 10's constant binging and bonging about every little thing. My area of the open plan floor I'm on at work has about a 50/50 split between Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines. The Windows 7 machines are pretty quiet, OK the odd little "ding" and other such noise, but not much. But the Windows 10 machines? "Bingy-bong", "Bing-bong-bing", "Bong-bingy-bong", "Bongy-bing". All the bloody time.

It's become a standard process for me when imaging any new Windows 10 laptop to slap the bloody thing on Mute as soon as I get the chance.

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Da rude sand storm seizes the Opportunity, threatens to KO rover

Dave K
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Re: A place in history

>> Not especially. They just didn't fill them with shite. Unlike your watch.

Amen to that! My first PC was a 386 20MHz system with 4MB of RAM. It could run Windows 3.1, Word for Windows, Excel, play various games, handle programming in Turbo C, etc.

We've become spoiled by fast CPUs these days. Fact is, you can achieve a surprising amount with older/slower tech if you are efficient with your code.

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Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

Dave K
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Re: @Dave K

I mean almost all PCs to be honest. MS's LTSC version of Windows 10 is deliberately crippled in many areas to try and dissuade businesses from using it on anything but mission critical shop-floor machines. Your standard office PC will be on the Current Branch for Business, and hence will still get bi-annual "feature updates" even though 99% of businesses couldn't care less about a new version of 3D Paint.

Of course, many of them do care about their PCs being down for 90 minutes or so whilst the update applies, and many of them also care when a handful of PCs break during the update process. Hence my question as to why MS doesn't see reliability as a marketable feature for PCs - home as well as business.

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Dave K
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Interesting that MS recognises that their bi-annual updates are a risk to stability and reliability, hence you can pay more if you want a more reliable and dependable Windows 10 (for your IoT device).

Yet if you have a normal PC, or even a typical business PC, MS doesn't offer the "reliable" option. Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?

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In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Dave K
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Re: If only I could pay

Got it in one. I do whitelist several sites that have sensible, none overly-intrusive ads that don't drag my browser to a crawl when rendering.

However these days so many sites moan about my ad blocker, and yet if you whitelist the site, it's then frankly embarrassing how many of them turn into an absolute and utter dogs breakfast:

* Pages that used to load in 1 second now taking 15 seconds to load, meanwhile your browser showing connections to about 2,000 different ad-agencies being steadily cycled through.

* Content that keeps jumping around for 10 seconds after the page has (finally) loaded as yet more ads insert themselves wherever there's more than 10 free pixels of space.

* Auto-playing videos that pop up slap-bang in the middle of content.

* Full-screen pop-ups that block the content whilst you desperately hunt for the 5-pixel-large dark-grey-on-black close button.

* Slow and jittery scrolling due to the thousands of lines of badly-coded Javascript all fighting away to keep the ads ever-present on the screen as I try desperately to read the article I came for.

And then the site wonders why Ad-blockers are such a hot topic these days. Too many sites have destroyed the user-experience through aggressive and excessive advertising. That's why blocking ads has become the norm.

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No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

Dave K
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Agreed! Now, how old will I be once we get that magical 25th hour in each day I wonder...

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Dual-screen laptops debut at Asus' Computex chat

Dave K
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Re: FFS...

I doubt you'd see 4:3 again, but 16:10 or 3:2 would be a nice upgrade.

I'd love to see *anyone* try and make a laptop by thinking, hey why don't we put a good, generous screen (ie, not a cramped 16:9 screen), decent keyboard and top-notch trackpad into a laptop and see how it sells.

Instead, it's gimmicks and thinness meaning that crap screens, lousy keyboards and nasty trackpads continue to be the order of the day...

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Sysadmin's PC-scrub script gave machines a virus, not a wash

Dave K
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Maybe she borrowed a floppy from work? One that had been shared around a lot? Finding the source of the infection is just as important as treating it...

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Microsoft gives users options for Office data slurpage – Basic or Full

Dave K
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Re: Basic or Full ?

If you check, you can see exactly what Canonical collect (if you enable it), as they'll let you view the data they collect, and it's pretty minimal stuff. They're a world apart from MS here...

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ISP TalkTalk's Wi-Fi passwords Walk Walk thanks to Awks Awks router security hole

Dave K
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Re: Dido - Router for rent?

I want to thank you for giving me free wifi from your house

Oh just to be online with you is thanks to free wifi from your house

Push the button, I'm logged in at last cos I'm vulnerable through and through

Then you handed me your passwords I see all is true

And even if my router falls down now, I wouldn't have a clue

Because you've breached me....

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LG chairman Koo Bon-moo dies, aged 73

Dave K
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Agreed, Goldstar were seen as very budget indeed. I remember once having a Goldstar CD drive that wasn't exactly the best piece of kit I've ever used.

Of course, you can give credit to Koo Bon-moo for upping the quality of LG's products, and rebranding them as well to distance from the reputation of their earlier stuff. Result is that LG now make some pretty respectable kit overall.

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Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive

Dave K
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I've seen that before. Someone who religiously backed up every day and presented me with a floppy when I asked for said backup.

"How did you perform this backup" I asked?

So they inserted a floppy, "format A:" and then once it was finished - backup complete!

Result, lots of blank floppies, all nicely labeled - and all of course completely blank.

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Dave K
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Re: We need some ...

And of course the obligatory signs warning people that hot water comes out of the hot tap - who'd have thought!

Ours here are also liberally decorated in signs eschewing the virtues of using the hand-dryer over the paper towels due to the environmental impact of paper towels. Of course, it'd help if the hand dryer fitted in each set of toilets didn't have the power and drying capability of a snoring field-mouse...

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Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

Dave K
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Haven't had a battery split like that, however I've come across numerous situations where the battery has failed in a UPS, the site has been too lazy to do anything with it for months on end, then when we finally turn up to look at it, the ancient battery has started to swell - such that it's no longer possible to remove it from the UPS. Most sites aren't impressed at being told that the entire UPS now needs replacing due to their laziness...

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Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit

Dave K
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Re: Quote of the year...

I'm expecting a typical "you're typing on it wrong" response...

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Dave K
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>> "Thats why you play CDs on a PC which then looks up the CD online and displays a list of tracks (on the CD you have most of the time!)"

No, that's why you put the CD into your computer *once*, open your favourite ripping tool (which adds the track names) and then dump the tracks to your PC before hiding the CD away in a dark and forgotten cupboard. Then every time you want to listen to that music again, no finding the right CD, loading it, waiting for it to spin up etc, just select the MP3 and away you go.

MP3s (or whatever format you use) have made the management of lots of music a lot easier than the olden days with several dozen CD racks...

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Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Dave K
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Re: but just like vi you know that notepad and wordpad will always be there.

"News of the change at Microsoft's Build developer conference on Tuesday prompted the loudest cheer of any of the announcements."

When the announcement of fixing a simple issue in a text editor gets the biggest cheer, you've clearly (as an organisation) got your priorities wrong.

Still, this sums up MS perfectly. Windows 10 is full of annoyances that could be fixed without too much trouble, yet MS prefers to focus on improved AI, 3D Paint and other gimmicks instead of fixing core things like the Control Panel/Settings mess etc.

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