* Posts by Paul Shirley

2260 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source

Paul Shirley

Re: So...

...if life is long another Balmer scale asshole will inevitably end up in control again

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

Paul Shirley

I take that as confirmation it doesn't work well and covering your face doesn't make it much worse because it simply can't be much worse!

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Paul Shirley

Re: Clowns in a Blue Rosette

For far too many politicians having a real job before joining the gravy train just provides the enabling contacts for corruption. Work experience is not the problem, politics enabling corruption and protecting the corrupt from punishment is. And corruption hangs around politicians like flies around shit.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Paul Shirley

Re: It asks for your location?

If everyone entered SWA1 the trackers will have a headstart working out where the diseases attacking the UK are spread from.

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...

Paul Shirley

Re: Hours???

You've apparently never tried to kill Cortana in Win10...

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

Paul Shirley

Re: Difficult choice

There's no comparison between the damage a profit driven private company will be prepared to do by abusing surveillance and the ability, willingness and mild consequences (and the ability to exempt themselves from them) a government or political movement has to abuse surveillance.

The current malign, incompetent UK gov and majority of politicians infesting all parts of our supposed democracy are infinitely less trustworthy than the worst anyone believes of Google/Apple/Amazon etc.

If tracking is needed, I'll go with the provider with less motive&ability to shit on my life through doing it.

Got room for another probe up there, Google? Jobs sites ask EU antitrust tsar to look at how search giant ranks them

Paul Shirley

Re: 'by restructuring its websites to follow Google's rules'

Sounds more like opt in to me and usable unlike the sledgehammer of robots.txt the clueless suggest for every Google problem.

Having been on both sides of the job agency process, I'm firmly on the “they're parasites“ side of the debate though. Anything that lets direct job adverts compete will be a valuable service.

Australia to make Google and Facebook disclose ranking algorithms and pay for local content

Paul Shirley

too few Australian eyes

A company that profits from the number of eyes seeing it's product, that was prepared to cut off 47mil Spanish, won't think long before cutting off 28mil Australians.

Until small minded politicians worldwide stop looking for headline grabbing, easy but badly targetted actions that support only their own backers, the Googles & Facebook's of the world will face no pressure to change where they actually are wrong.

Mayday! Mayday! The next Windows 10 update is finally on approach to a PC near you

Paul Shirley

Re: Just wait

Paranoia is imaging to a NAS closer to the emergency exit and another copy on USB stick in my wallet.

Guess what's heading to trial? IBM and its tactic of yoinking promised commissions after sales reps seal the deal

Paul Shirley

Re: I've Been Mangled

Maybe their quantum computer research finally paid off and their sales team is in a quantum superposition of contract/no contract?

French monopoly watchdog orders Google to talk payment terms with French publishers

Paul Shirley

Re: Moneygrab?

With the important point that the experiment has been done and shown it actually drives more visits to the underlying news sites than it removes. In real life punters have little reason to go to the sites at all, have overwhelming choice of sources and prefer watching cat videos instead of news.

Should we just shut Google news down and watch the news sites drown 10% faster?

Paul Shirley

Re: Dear Google

The Spain precedent suggests Google wouldn't miss dealing with the notoriously difficult French :)

Or listen if they beg to come back...

Consumer reviewer Which? finds CAN bus ports on Ford and VW, starts yelling 'Security! We have a problem...'

Paul Shirley

The not well enough flagged (apparently) issue is you can possibly connect to CAN from it and do it without breaking into the car.

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions

Paul Shirley

Strangely matches other observations

The range of Hubble values in that map is similar to the range of values different groups using different measurement methods are still coming up with for the constant.

Maybe a clue that there really isn't a single correct value and our patch isn't quite as flat as believed.

Please, just stop downloading apps from unofficial stores: Android users hit with 'unkillable malware'

Paul Shirley

Re: nice to see a breakdown of how it persists

Flashing simply means overwriting the systems flash memory. Overwrite the partitions the OS runs from, zero the data partitions and nothing survives of any infection (unless it can run from external storage - which nowadays would require a hacked firmware).

Stock recovery mode is how you flash signed stock firmware images, often to recover a bricked or corrupt phone, or force an OS upgrade. For tinkering we flash the stock recovery partition with something more hacker friendly.

Paul Shirley

Re: "and assume root privilege"

Trusted rooting implementations require apps to be whitelisted or one time authorised before they can successfully call su.

Malware on a user rooted device will need to trick the user into authorising it or find an exploit to replace the existing su. Rooting a device is pretty safe unless you're easily tricked.

Paul Shirley

nice to see a breakdown of how it persists

Earlier reports seem to have not known how factory reset works and how little it actually does. If you're not into flashing 3rd party OS images I guess you just wouldn't think about recovery mode and reflashing - nuking the partitions from orbit.

Paul Shirley

Re: "and assume root privilege"

...and user rooted devices will block unknown apps by default.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount

Paul Shirley

Re: I actually believed it for a moment ...

No serious failures in manned/real missions. Fascinating read at Apollo 6: The Saturn V That Almost Failed on exactly what went wrong on the unmanned Apollo 6 test flight.

Paul Shirley

Re: I actually believed it for a moment ...

There's also the story that NASA only got approval for the shuttle programme if it destroyed the Sat V plans.

(I make no comment on the truth or otherwise of that 'story')

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...

Paul Shirley

Re: Ventilators: "You need millions of them, tens of millions..."

Between about one third and two thirds of the population have to become immune to COVID-19 and before the spread will peter out. Too many leaders (I'm looking at you Johnson) initially chose infection and recovery over maximizing the chance of vaccination as the route to that, economy over lives.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

Paul Shirley

Re: You solved the problem, goodbye

If he was literally only told to click on entry 2 there aren't many clues about files, recent lists or why that even worked!

First impressions count when the world is taken by surprise by an exciting new (macro) virus

Paul Shirley

Re: It seems almost the entire world ignores warnings

It's fair to say government always lies about everything to get re-elected but somehow you slept through the lie being downplaying the covid19 threat, completely denying it in the USA. Lies far too many here in blighty seem to have swallowed whole even after the u-turn at 'vote for us' central.

A u-turn weeks too late.

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

Paul Shirley

Re: Expensive

The original DN3D rendered at whatever resolution you told it to. It did however only reserve enough rendering buffer for something like 1600x1200 (if I remember right) and crashed if you went too high. Wasn't a problem at the time because monitors couldn't do hi-res and hi-framerate simultaneously and we all chose fps, though I don't remember ever needing to use 320 - our developer boxes were more powerful than office PC's :)

FYI: When Virgin Media said it leaked 'limited contact info', it meant p0rno filter requests, IP addresses, IMEIs as well as names, addresses and more

Paul Shirley

Re: Which is why...

It's fun calling it the porn filter but the fscking things block much more and aren't much good at stopping porn. First time I had one disabled it was keeping me from vital engagement with various beer sites. Most recently I discovered the 3UK filter has a love/hate relationship with the Internet Archive, as in sometimes it blocked it, other times it didn't, demonstrating how bloody useless the filters are!

Like a Virgin, hacked for the very first time... UK broadband ISP spills 900,000 punters' records into wrong hands from insecure database

Paul Shirley

Beware, recently they've only offered insultingly small retention deals unless you wait till the about 2-3 weeks before disconnection after actually giving notice.

Paul Shirley

Re: Might be wrong

The last few run ins I had with them I told them I couldn't remember the password, threw some random guesses out (all wrong) and waited till they said 'OK'. Which is frightening, albeit damn useful given VM had never once managed to have the same password or even secret question that I'd set before I gave up remembering it! Even worse, that worked on a mobile number they'd never seen before when I was trying to get my line reconnected!

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks

Paul Shirley

Re: IT nerds?

The advantage of working for an IT company is everyone knows when the gaming hour or hours are ;)

Only complaints about game performance matter. And get fixed.

Paul Shirley

In case anyone missed it, all the earlier Half-Life games are free to play on Steam until the new one launches. I'd recommend installing "Half Life 2 Update" instead of just the base game.

The Ghost of Windows 10 Past shrinks back as Microsoft's axeman tiptoes ever closer

Paul Shirley

Re: Ah, but can we get

Still watching Win10 carefully for the inevitable day it replaces my 64bit TV tuner drivers with broken 32bit ones. Again.

An OS where it's less disruptive repairing malware than stopping it being infected or simply killing itself :(

Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard

Paul Shirley

Re: Gold plated cables

I particularly enjoy the ridiculously expensive power cables, £1000's to get that lovely clean (NOT) power from your wall socket to the amp psu.

I can't work out if the idea is that a dumb conductor with or without ferrites and shielding can magically turn the sea of noise, spikes, voltage and frequency fluctuations into pure, clean 50/60Hz sinewaves or getting all that noisy shit faithfully to the amps PSU is a benefit!

Or why they think they bought amps without PSU's designed to handle that noisy input better than any cable could.

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'

Paul Shirley

Re: French company

In my only year working onsite the office was almost opposite a pub and team meetings were usually scheduled for the end of the day, in the pub. When the CEO was visiting from down south the entire office decanted itself into said pub mid afternoon and hammered the company credit card. Remote work doesn't get all the perks :)

The office secretaries job at my last employer has an element of keeping the fridge stocked with drink...

Paul Shirley

Your accounting software has an undo button. The undo process for an unexpected or incorrect trade is rather more frightening, not least because it could cost more than your annual income to perform!

UK's Virgin Media celebrates the end of 2019 with a good, old fashioned TITSUP*

Paul Shirley

When I was dumping Virgin after much more than few days repeat outages, their commercial 350 down/50up business service was slightly cheaper than the consumer 100mbit service! Also no chance of being constantly nagged to add TV services or phone lines. Just had no faith they could actually fix the myriad of problems significantly faster, same ancient cable, same crappy engineers, the difference was mostly just a quicker way through the frontline support crap Virgin provide.

Xbox Series X: Gee thanks, Microsoft! Just what we wanted for Xmas 2020 – a Gateway tower PC

Paul Shirley

I ran a pair of Xbox Ones vertically on my desk, stuck between the monitors and wall, for 4 years. Picked up plenty of dust but never complained about overheating. Rarely used the Bluray drives but they're slot loading and worked perfectly.

The One X sat horizontal, buried under a pile of crap simply because I ran out of safe places to sit it vertically!

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you

Paul Shirley

3's 'unlimited' 4G broadband does say if you hit 1TB in a month they'll check for 'commercial use' so it's not such a crazy suggestion. Well, if you ignore the extremely optimistic description of the service as broadband! There are believable claims of being checked (and cleared) for hitting up to 1.3TB on it.

If Virgin had put a similar clause in their cable contracts there would have been fun&games every month in my last gig. Wish they had, might have noticed their commercial service is cheaper and faster!

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!

Paul Shirley

Re: Drive the drivers out

Yes, manufacturers are responsible for bad driver updates but unlike Win10 (before they were shoute at enough to stop) they generally don't force update themselves me middle of the night.

Had to block any connection to Microsoft on my PVR pc to stop update updating tuner drivers and turning it into an ex-pvr. The combination of forced updates and a MS certification system that doesn't guarantee the drivers actually work was deadly.

Paul Shirley

Re: A good u-turn

Win10 still has file suffix association in desktop mode. Can probably even bind crippled UWP apps nowadays after the climbdown on running them on the classic desktop.

I have most likely types bound to an ancient copy of wjed! The 'open with' context menu sorts out the odd times that's wrong.

High-resolution display output or Wi-Fi: It seems you can only choose one on Raspberry Pi 4

Paul Shirley

Re: An RPi as a desktop computer ?

Desktop/gaming/workstation are (fairly nebulous) workload descriptions, not silicon dick size comparisons. Compared to the crippled laptops most people do 'desktop' tasks on, a Pi holds up well.

Paul Shirley

A little more experience of the real world of cheap 'good enough' hardware and they might have realised if lithium cells are charged to 4.2V max, charger designers are likely to ignore the USB spec.

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light

Paul Shirley

Re: Definition

I believe the argument is more: it could push bits faster and more bits means higher quality. Which would be good if they actually used more bits on each channel instead of actually using less bits per channel across far too many of them!

I'll stick to high bitrate internet radio on my av amp/Kodi boxes/pc. Never heard a dab channel that didn't hurt my ears.

Paul Shirley

Re: Definition

True but mp2 also doesn't waste bits coding all that hiss analogue throws in free ;)

Bad news: 'Unblockable' web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much

Paul Shirley

Re: I guess that...

In my experience those gov sites tend to not work even if you disable every layer of browser protection.

High Court dismisses nameless Google Right To Be Forgotten sueball man... yes, again

Paul Shirley

Re: It seems that ABC is well aware of the Streisand effect

Must be able to, requiring a bank account or equivalent would mean the courts are not available to all.

Astroboffins rethink black hole theory after spotting tiny example with its own star buddy

Paul Shirley

Re: Fabled quiescent black holes

The object is not showing 'weak interaction', it's not showing the expected effects of actively consuming matter - not showing signs of interacting with surrounding matter. That could be as simple as there being nothing left close enough to capture and being too light to disturb anything further out in any detectable amount.

Delayed, over-budget smart meters will be helpful – when Blighty enters 'Star Trek phase'

Paul Shirley

use what ever you have, broadband or mobile

Would certainly make it easier to disable the signal or hack it when the inevitable exploits were found!

Paul Shirley

I just let them book the survey without mentioning we have solid walls ;)

Paul Shirley

...and the number of reported fires after botched smart meter installs is frightening.

Paul Shirley

I learned to guesstimate accurately enough how much the kettle weighs with the amount of water needed. Next time we'll buy one with a fill gauge to make it easier. Something a smart meter can't help me with in any way.


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