* Posts by mark l 2

1074 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

mark l 2 Silver badge

I wonder if you used more exotic extended characters than what is available on the keyboard such as ὭӔꙬΘ whether this would make a 8 character password harder to crack?

My standard login password is 13 characters but maybe time to change to a passphrase. I saw a good article where someone mentioned about opening a book onto a specific page and then creating a passphrase from the page number, and then the first word on say the top 6 lines intermixed with a special character.

So doing that from a electrical parts catalogue I have on the table gives me a passphrase of:

222Long-domestic-paths-Polycarbonate-Lumens-LEFULLWH

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

mark l 2 Silver badge

So the law says that just one view of terrorist propaganda could get you upto 15 years in prison. Can't see anyway that could go wrong.

The police get a list of IPs that viewed a ISIS propaganda video streamed on the internet and come busting the door down of everyone on the list in an early morning raid. They are arrested and all their devices are taken away for examination, possibly being dismissed from their job over the arrests.

The police eventually months later can't find any evidence on the computers they have taken and when they check their evidence again, someone had typed the IP address incorrect, or the time stamp was wrong, or a router was hacked etc.

On another note though I used to have a copy of the Jollyrogers cookbook on a floppy disk back in the 1990s, copies of it used to get passed around the school yard yet afiak no one in my school went on to commit terrorist offences. Today it would get you serious jail time for having that information on your computer especially if you were sharing it around.

Accused hacker Lauri Love tries to retrieve Fujitsu lappie and other gear from Britain's FBI in court

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: He's lucky ...

The only reason they are still holding on to it all was in case the US were successful in getting him extradited as obviously they computers might contain evidence.

Generally any evidence seized during a search warrant would be kept until either after trail, unless the charges were dropped.

Defaulting to legacy Internet Explorer just to keep that one, weird app working? Knock it off

mark l 2 Silver badge

If MS were serious about getting people to stop using IE they would have backported Edge to Windows 7 and removed IE from 10.

But it is all about money, MS will continue to support IE just like they will continue to produce stand alone versions of Office for some considerable time to come, because big businesses demand it. If a corporation with thousands of clients that currently uses IE and can't use cloudy office versions, were to suddenly find that the latest MS products don't support these legacy techs, they may think twice about upgrading or god forbid actually switch to Linux.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Nothing like having your work day extended a few more hours

"Nah, the EES volume licenses are fairly cheap - around $10/user per year. "

Yes but if you have 1000s of users that is tens of thousands of dollars every year. Where as you could probably get away with free office alternatives for the majority of users and for those that have to use MS office buy it just for those users.

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

mark l 2 Silver badge

I know the staff at my local post offices have to use a Whatsapp group to find out which branch they are going to be working that day, I know this because when their was an outage on one of the mobile networks the local PO was closed one morning because the staff never receive the messages about which branch they would be working in that day.

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

mark l 2 Silver badge

Another example of how broken the US software patent system is.

Intel boss: Expect chip shortages into mid-2019, stumbling server processor sales this year

mark l 2 Silver badge

I bet some of these big buyers of Intel Xeons such as the likes of Facebook and Google will be seriously looking at alternatives such as RISC V and ARM as having all your eggs in the Intel basket for them can't be a good thing when Intel are charging thousands of dollars per chip.

Look out, kids. Your Tinder account is about to be swamped by old people... probably

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am no lawyer but it is clear to me that charging users over a certain age more for the same product/service would be against the age discrimination laws.

These companies are worth millions of dollars surely they have at least one lawyer to check these things before they rush them out to market?

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

mark l 2 Silver badge

Am i missing something here? I use Chrome with AdBlock Plus installed and can block ads from Google or anyone else. Since this article confirms that ABP will still work after this change I fail to see why it is such a massive deal. If you don't like ANY ads you can untick to 'allow acceptable ads' in ABP to block them all in Chrome. If you really must use Ublock Origin as your ad blocker switch to another browser where ublock origin continues to work, there are a lot more browser choices than just Chrome on both mobile and the desktop.

For all those mentioning about law suits, AFAIK Google have never allowed add ons on the Android version of Chrome yet no one has launched lawsuits to force them to allow add ons to be installed on the mobile version, so I doubt it would be coming just because a few changes to the way extensions would work, as they are not removing the ability to add extensions just changing how they work, just like Firefox did recently.

I am no fan of ads, but I do realise from running my own websites that content, servers and bandwidth aren't free. Sure there are a some people who will create stuff for free because of their passion for a subject or just because they wan't to get their works out in front of as many people as they can, but a large percentage of people want to be paid for their work. And at the moment ads are about the only way these websites can publish stuff for 'free' and still be able to generate revenue. There aren't really any alternatives - especially for smaller websites - as going behind a paywall is only viable for large websites like Newspapers and video streaming websites that have tons of content. Your average small/medium business or personal website would not have enough content to make it worthwhile.

Unfortunately people see that they have paid their ISP for their internet access and therefore shouldn't have to pay for content on the internet and I feel it would require a massive cultural shift to change peoples mind to alter that.

Looming EU copyright rules – tackling Google news article scraping, installing upload filters – under fire from all sides

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am sure a lot of newspapers get more eyes on their articles by being featured in Google News than they would if they were only found from regular search results. So I think if they manage to successfully get the snippets removed from Google news and then Google decide to close the service the news sites might find a big drop in their traffic, which would cost them financially.

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

mark l 2 Silver badge

I very much doubt the winning bidder would have paid up even if ebay allowed the auction to run to the end.

You can bid or buy on ebay as a guest with your Facetube or Googlebook logins these days with no requirements to provide verified ID or bank details before doing so.

I seem to get around 1 in 20 none paying bidders on ebay that are all guest accounts with zero feedback

Microsoft's Master Chief calls time on Cortana as a standalone AI platform

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am pretty sure that these smart speakers will all eventually die off in a few years when people realise that having a device in your home that is constantly listening to everything you say is not a great idea. So perhaps MS see this coming too and have decided to get out now rather than throwing load of money at trying to gain market share.

No more Windows build strings for you: BuildFeed has turned off the lights

mark l 2 Silver badge

"Many in the open source world will cheerfully fling out nightly builds to any that would like them (with, of course, a hefty health warning)."

Microsoft entire strategy with Windows 10 is to fling out builds with very little in house testing, but without the hefty health warnings. Then if it doesn't work they will try to patch it later.

Goddamn the Pusher man: Nominet kicks out domain name hijack bid

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: If the .EU can do it

Maybe the Romanian buyer bought the pusher.co.uk domain to set up a drug dealing business here in Blighty. Who knows?

Many domains don't require you be a resident of the country to register them, I own 2 domains that belong to countries that I have not even visited never mind lived in, purely because they are short, spelt out an English word and are easy to remember.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

mark l 2 Silver badge

I hope this is configurable and can be turned off. I currently have Windows 10 set to dual boot with Linux, with Linux as my primary OS. My Windows partition is about 40GB with just a few programs installed which have no Linux versions and I need to use occasionally.

I only have about 12GB of free space left in this partition and don't really want to loose another 7GB to the OS which already consumes around 9GB of space on the drive.

How did we get to the state where the OS needs so much storage space? Windows XP used to fit onto a CD-ROM and could be installed on a 2GB drive. I bet if you installed XP and Windows 10 on the same modern hardware you would get faster boot times and a more responsive system running XP than you would get from running Windows 10, and would still be able to run a lot of the same software.

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

mark l 2 Silver badge

The same problem with their 'Buy it again' buttons. It is a random lottery of which seller they will take you to not necessarily the one you bought from last time.

And although in reality you should get the same product, that isn't always the case, especially on unbranded items. And even if the items is identical the service offered by the seller and delivery options etc maybe substandard from what you received on your initial purchase with another seller.

This July, Google will weep for there are no more worlds to banhammer: 'Bad ads' to be blocked globally

mark l 2 Silver badge

"Brave just reported 5.5 million monthly active users and 28,000 publishers participating in its attention token system, which strips websites of their ads and trackers, and runs non-intrusive, non-tracking adverts from Brave's own network in their place "

I haven't used Brave but surely there is quite a difference between having an ad blocker in the browser and replacing ads on a website with your own ads that you profit from? Even if Brave claim that the publisher can get up to 55% revenue from those swapped out ads, it still means that 45% is going to line the pockets of the Brave browser creators.

The deal gets worse as well if you read the T&C for the ad swap program they advise you only get paid out once the funds reach $100, which could take years to achieve since only Brave Browsers can participate in this and they have a very small user share. They also pay out in cryptocoins so what might be worth $100 in Etherium now might be worth $5 by the time you get your payout with the exchange rate on these crypto currencies.

It is like Samsung or Sony bring out a new TV that replaces the ads shown in the commercial breaks with their own ads and offer the TV stations 55% revenue in exchange.

Just for EU, just for EU, just for EU: Forget about enforcing Right To Be Forgotten outside member states

mark l 2 Silver badge

This judgement is the correct way to interpret the right to be forgotten. We already have one country - the USA -who likes to think that their laws apply globally without the EU thinking the same.

Amazon exec tells UK peers: No, we don't want to be dominant. Also, we don't fancy being taxed on revenues

mark l 2 Silver badge

It is easy to bash Amazon for the way it handles it's taxes by syphoning profits of to other jurisdictions. While doing this might be morally wrong it is perfectly legal in the way the law stands. I doubt there are many business or individuals who would volunteer to pay more tax than what they were required to do by law.

A change it the law could fix this but I doubt we will see this happening as MPs and the rich backers who fund the political parties use these schemes themselves to hold funds offshore and have no desire to see their own profits cut.

US trade watchdog, mobe makers queue to smack Qualcomm as antitrust trilogy opens

mark l 2 Silver badge

The phone manufacturers have got to take some blame for the situation by signing exclusivity contracts with Qualcomm that forbids them sourcing from other suppliers without having to pay more for Qualcomm parts.

If one of the other 4G modem suppliers don't have these clauses in their contracts, why not just go with Intel or someone else from the beginning than get involved with Qualcomm?

Being locked in to one supplier is never a good idea, if that supplier raises prices or has inventory shortages it directly effects your bottom line.

Huawei or the highway: Chinese giant whacks marketing drones for tweeting from iPhone

mark l 2 Silver badge

I suspect Apple pay a nice wad of cash to Twitter and other app makers to have it notify that the Tweet, photo email etc comes from an iPhone. As after all with the amounts of tweets sent in a day that would be a lot of mentions of iPhone in a 24 hour period, so some nice subliminal advertising.

I have never seen anyone tweet that they are doing it from an Motorola, HTC, Sony etc, so the rivals need to catch up if they want to get their brand out there.

Chip-for-tat escalates: Qualcomm's billion-Euro bond to block Apple iPhone sales in Germany

mark l 2 Silver badge

I don't know the numbers for people buying direct from Apple as opposed to 3rd party sellers in Germany, but in the UK a lot of people get their phone when they take out a contract with the phone networks. So if this is the same in Germany then the ban on sales is hardly going to put much of a dent in Apple's profits in the short term.

I assume the ban does stop Apple importing more stock into the country to pass on to 3rd parties though? If it doesn't then it is hardly an effective ban as Apple could just ride it out without too much bother just restocking the 3rd parties as needed and still selling potentially infringing iPhones.

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass

mark l 2 Silver badge

No doubt while fixing this bug MS will mess around with the UI as well as that is all they seem to do with Skype these days.

Skype had its hey day in the early 2000s, it time to take it out back and put it out of its misery along with Myspace and Yahoo.

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Hermès

"The Swiss sell watches for 3 times the price of the aforementioned top-of-the-range iPhone"

Yes but in another 15-20 years time, a well made Swiss watch that has been looked after will still hold its value and may have even increased its worth, unlike a $1000 iPhone which probably won't even switch on in 20 years.

I am not saying there isn't a market for a luxury brand of phone, there are certainly people out there with the money to spend a $1000 on a phone. But Apple also need to consider the current owners of older and the SE models that have been left out of any affordable upgrade route. Many iPhone owners are young people who want iPhones because that is what *insert vacuous celebrity* has, but they can't afford to pay iPhone X prices.

Found yet another plastic nostalgia knock-off under the tree? You, sir, need an emulator

mark l 2 Silver badge

As Cloanto are one of the companies to hold some of the Amiga IP they should perhaps look at releasing some hardware based Amiga running UAE that more just plug and play like the NES mini, Playstation classic etc.

Raspberry PI style hardware is cheap and capable of running Amiga emulation well enough to not require a PC these days, so with a nice official Amiga branded case and a good software front end I think they could be on to a winner for those less technically minded who just want to play retro games.

I recently fired up my actual Amiga hardware and played Another World which still stands up both graphically and gameplay for a game that is approaching 30 years old. One thing that is noticeable of old game compared to new is that retro games tend to have the difficulty level much higher than modern games. Perhaps this is because games were not a big so they needed to make the game harder to make it last longer and worth the money, or the more cynical might say that modern games are made easier so the player completes them quicker and is therefore more likely to go and spend more money on other games.

Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7

mark l 2 Silver badge

I believe that even now you can still upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 for free just by putting your Windows 7 product key in when asked for one during the install. It certainly worked for me last summer when I upgraded the OS on a family members laptop. This is despite the official free upgrades period ending 2 years ago.

I don't know of anyone who actually bought a version of Windows 10 other than paying for the OEM version that comes with a new PC. So the fact that it has only just crept passed 7 suggests that a lot of people really don't like it.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

mark l 2 Silver badge

I remember we played a prank on one of my colleagues back in the early 2000s who liked to waste time browsing ebay rather than working. So we changed the host file on his PC so that the ebay website would resolved to some pr0n website.

Then we all waited for him to fire up his browser and surf to ebay. You have never seen someone shut down their browser so quickly. None of us had considered the fact that his browsing history might get him fired, but he managed to get himself sacked anyway about a year later when he was caught nicking parts from the stock room.

Google settles Right To Be Forgotten case on eve of appeal hearing

mark l 2 Silver badge

I guess having the details of his criminal conviction easily found online goes against the principle of the Rehabilitation of offenders act which says after a certain period of keeping your nose clean your conviction becomes spent and you no longer need to disclose it when applying for jobs, insurance etc.

A spent conviction would still show up on a police criminal records check, so he would no doubt not get a job working for any organisation that required DBS checks before employment.

A much simpler option for NT1 would have been to just change his name by deed poll to David Jones or another common name. Then any Google search is likely to reveals millions of results and make them very hard to tie down to one individual. Doing that costs nothing as you can print out a deed poll for free online as opposed to paying for high priced lawyers to fight Google in court.

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

mark l 2 Silver badge

Unfortunately while there are some good suggestions to avoid getting your devices checked at the US borders, for the majority of people they aren't going to do them. Either they won't have the knowledge to do it or perhaps can't afford to do it. ie buying another laptop just for the purpose of travelling for what might be only 2 weeks seems a bit much.

Most people are just going to take the same devices they use daily (phones, tablets & laptops) and expect that, unless there is some real intel that they are are trying to enter a country to commit a crime, their devices should remain private.

The whole war on terrorism is purely a way for governments to be able to control their citizens. The actual number of people killed by terrorism in say the last 20 years, is less than how many people are killed every year on the roads or through pollution related illness. And yet the governments could introduce legislation to reduced these vehicle related deaths, such as increasing fuel duty to encourage people to use more public transport rather than cars, banning diesel vehicles, mandating all vehicles were fitted with telemetry devices and reducing speed limits. But this would be very unpopular with voters and the petrolchemical industry so they don't.

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: The First day of Christmas

Or if you go by the dates the shops use, Christmas starts at the beginning of September. At least that is when I saw Christmas decorations for sale in stores near to me.

I can only guess that people aren't using IE by choice but they are forced to for various reasons, as it seems very dated and basic now compared to more modern browsers.

Whether MS will eventually kill it off completely remains to be seen since there are still lots of expensive CMS that were bought by big businesses that won't work in anything other than IE.

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is

mark l 2 Silver badge

The Edge rendering engine must be a bit sh1tty if one empty DIV slows it down that much on a Youtube page that MS are complaining about it?

I use both Firefox and Chrome on a daily basis and so I assume that Firefox would have the same issue as Edge, in that it wouldn't know how to handle the empty DIV element and would be noticably slower to load Youtube compared to Chrome.

Yet If I load up the same Youtube video in both FF and Chrome browsers I hardly notice any difference in the page loading speeds. I Haven't tested Youtube speed in Edge because my daily PC runs Linux and my only Windows machine was borked by the last Windows 10 feature update which I haven't had chance to fix yet. But I am sure someone else can perform a test and see what MS are crying about.

What makes MS think that switching to Chromium HTML renderer is going to fix this problem anyway? If Google are deliberately breaking other browsers and fixing Chrome, they could do still do this even if MS are using Chromium for Edge. Yes Chrome and Chromium share a code base but Chrome could have extra bits added which aren't present in Chromium.

Cloudflare speaks out amid allegations it safeguards banned terror gangs' websites

mark l 2 Silver badge

Even if Cloudflare were to start to check websites before they were allowed to use its services, it would be trivial for these terrorist groups to upload an innocuous website template while the site was moderated and checked. Then ones the service was activated change it to host terrorism related content.

Cloudflare is not like Facebook or Youtube who host the content so should have some responsibility to take it down, the content is hosted on the clients services and Cloudflare are mealy acting as a proxy to get to it. The servers that the terrorist site is hosted on could even be hosted with US web hosts, as web hosting providers pretty much let you upload whatever you want. Website will often stay up until there is either a report of abuse or the sysadmins spot illegal content while investigating another issue such as excessive resource usage on the server and then suspend the account.

Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with facial recog tech

mark l 2 Silver badge

It looks it might be a good time to invest in some eye glasses or a cap with some IR LEDs built in to stop the facial recognition cameras being able to track you. Like the cinemas have to stop people using camera to record the films off the screen.

If most punters are unlikely to pay more for 5G, why all the rush?

mark l 2 Silver badge

The only reason I would pay extra for 5G is if they removed the annoying data caps that are present on virtually all 4G plans. Even the 4G contracts that do allow unlimited data usually specify that tethering isn't allowed which means I still have to have WIFI at home and data on my phone.

If I could get unlimited 5G data I could then ditch the home broadband and just use my phone for all my internet as my router allows you to plug in a dongle or Android phone and use that data instead of the Adsl line.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

mark l 2 Silver badge

China have made the mistake of arresting Canadian citizens in retaliation for Meng's arrest in Canada, but Canada were acting on the arrest warrant from the US. So if they want the US to drop the charges they need to look at getting a high profile US citizen on some made up charges who is visiting China. Trump has pretty much said he will intervene in the interests of national security (read between the lines that means money) but at the moment there is no incentive for him to do so.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

mark l 2 Silver badge

I was still using my Amiga back when Doom came out on the PC and it was said because of the way the Amiga handled graphics Doom couldn't be ported to the Amiga as it would be too slow.

Dispute that we did get a few Doom inspired clones (Gloom, Fears, Alien Breed 3d plus other) which would work on a stock Amiga A1200 in a 1/2 sized window and some of them were actually pretty good.

Ports of the official version of Doom did eventually arrive on the Amiga when ID released the source code a few years later. I remember the cover disks of the Amiga magazines having a different port nearly every month and that was my first experience of Doom, I actually bought the PC version to copy the WAD files onto the Amiga to be able to play the full game rather than just the shareware levels.

Microsoft says it's time to get serious about facial recognition rules: 'Laws and regulations are indispensable'

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Invest in hoodie production now

"There are plenty of ways to recognize a person besides face. For example the way you walk is as distinctive as a fingerprint and frankly easier to convert into a machine learn-able form than a face."

Your gate might be unique but I think any trails of identifying people by their walk would have been done in ideal test conditions. Where as then putting that into practise on a public CCTV system may prove to be ineffective. CCTV cameras are usually positioned up high and not making it easy to to see someone's legs especially in busy area like a train station where there would be loads of people walking in different directions at once.

Even though it might be time to invest in a Segway or scooter. Or for those too cheap to buy those just pop a sharp stone inside one of your shoes just in case.

Qualcomm lifts lid on 7nm Arm-based octo-core Snapdragon 855 chip for next year's expensive 5G Androids

mark l 2 Silver badge

"The hardware can, therefore, record and render video and images with more than a billion shades of color thanks to the 30 bits-per-pixel range."

Since scientists think most humans can only recognise around 1 million colour shades. Offering a billion colours sounds like marketing hype to me. Even 24-bit colour with 16 million colours has 15million more shades than most people are able to differentiate between.

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!

mark l 2 Silver badge

Another security fail from MS and Adobe. Why is Active-X even switched on by default since it pretty much died when IE? The 1% of people that actually need Active-X on should have to enable it rather than it be a gaping hole ready to be exploited by any bad actors.

As for Flash, DIE, DIE, DIE! I wish Google would remove Flash support from Chrome, as this would force those developers who are hanging on to it to finally do something about moving to HTML5. Or risk the majority of users not being able to access their websites.

Tumblr resorts to AI in attempt to scrub itself clean from filth

mark l 2 Silver badge

Well that is a large proportion of Tumblr blogs moving off to alternative platforms then. I am guessing the owners don't understand what they bought when they purchased the platform that is had always been adult friendly.

So rather than just sort out the problem with kiddy pron that caused the issue with Apple pulling their app, they used a sledgehammer to crack a nut and ban all pron. The site could still be access through a browser anyway so its hardly loosing much not to have the app.

After all that! Ofcom proposes BT as only broadband universal services provider for whole of UK (except Hull)

mark l 2 Silver badge

So let me see if I have this correct. So BT are obliged to provide a minimum of 10Mbps as they are a universal service provider by 2020. So in 2 years time could I move from my current ISP to BT then demanded they provide me with a minimum of 10Mbps? Even though it is only a ADSL line and I live quite a distance from the exchange and at current only get around 5-7Mbps?

YouTube fight gets dirty: Kids urged to pester parents over Article 13

mark l 2 Silver badge

I really don't see how this article 13 benefits anyone other than the big media companies who are trying to grab every opportunity to try and make money no matter how small of a portion of copyright work is used.

I have already found that the content ID filter on Youtube will pick up the slightest bit of copyrighted music when you upload a video. I tried to upload a video which was recorded on the spur of the moment and had the radio on in the background, the music can hardly be heard when watching the video but never the less I end up getting a copyright flag for about 20 seconds of the audio in a 4 minute video. Your then faced with the options to accept to have ads on the video with money going to the copyright holders or remove the copyrighted audio portion completely. Removing the audio portion doesn't work if there were people speaking or other sound in the video in that audio portion you want to keep though.

So I hardly see how people are using Youtube to upload loads of copyrighted stuff at the moment when I cant even upload a video with a tiny bit of music without it being detected.

Usually when you see videos on Youtube being the latest movie or TV show, they are actually fake videos trying to direct you to another website to download the file rather than actually hosting it on Youtube itself. And I doubt article 13 will change that.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

mark l 2 Silver badge

The only reason MS produce a free web browser is to direct users to ads and services they control to try and monetise the end user. To spend money on developing your own rendering engine just to do this does seem like a waste from a commercial perspective. So if you can just use a already existing open source engine with your own skin on top you can achieve the same result for less costs.

Most users of Edge probably wouldn't realise that the underlying rendering engine had even changed. They just use it because it has the 'e' logo which is what they have always used to connect to the internet since the days of IE.

OneDrive Skype integration goes live aaand... OneDrive falls over in Europe

mark l 2 Silver badge

I hardly see this function as a major improvement to Skype and it is probably something that would be used by less than 1% of Skype users.

I don't know what the usage stats of Skype are but I bet they are down from the pre-Microsoft owned days. All they have done since they bought it, it fsck around with it, killing off legacy versions which meant that hardware devices like Skype phones no longer worked, changing the UI in every version making it hard to use, and I have found recently that even the quality of the video chat is poor compared to rivals.

Trying to Skype with my elderly parent and it kept freezing, dropping the calls, bad sound quality. Yet when we switched to Whatsapp video chat it worked flawlessly for the whole chat.

I wish they had killed Skype in favour of keeping the MSN messenger app, before they stopped developing it, MSN was better than Skype is now.

HP's Neon Dion says if anything goes wrong, it's totally Intel's fault: CPU shortage may hit PC maker's financials

mark l 2 Silver badge

Now if only there were alternative x86 compatible CPU that HP could put into it's PCs? Oh wait there are...

As most of the boxes that HP sell will be sat on a a desk running office software it really doesn't make much of a difference whether they have Intel or AMD CPUs

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

mark l 2 Silver badge

It does annoy me how the recent trend by web developers to change useful error messages to something akin to 'Ooops something went wrong!'

I had an issue while trying to do something on ebay and it kept reporting one of these useless error messages, I had already tried it from different PCs and browsers and even a different ISP and always got the same messages. Yet ebay support claimed their was nothing wrong with the site and it must be a problem at my end.

US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That'd be the UK

mark l 2 Silver badge

We have seen the UKs definition of 'serious crime' for asking for data from ISP become as low as where someone could be given a 6 month custodial sentence, which pretty much covers all crime even petty theft such as nicking a chocolate bar. If this definition is carried over to request data from the US for the UK to investigate 'serious crime' I can see the requests coming thick and fast I would have some concerns about that if I were the US.

It's a patch bonanza as Microsoft showers its OS platforms with update love

mark l 2 Silver badge

I got the update and ended up with a black desktop with the error:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable and a desktop screen where explorer is borked and you cant use the start menu.

From Googling it appears that rolling back to the previous Windows version is the only fix so that is around half a day of my time wasted on the POS operating system.

Australia to build a pirate-proof fence: Brace yourselves, Google

mark l 2 Silver badge

I doubt Google will be worried but if your a VPN provider or proxy I bet they are in the target for these new law to get blocked under the grounds that they can be used to get around the blocks put in to stop access to pirate sites..

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