* Posts by fidodogbreath

633 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

Page:

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

However, there will be no warning before your lifestyle spontaneously reboots; you will not be able to change aspects of your lifestyle that SatNad thinks you must have; and every minute detail of your life(style) will be surveilled and data-mined in order to better understand how you use it (and to show you more relevant ads).

So, win-win -- at least, from the point of view of Miscrosoft-Microsoft.

18
1

Shouting lager, lager... Carlsberg's beer AI can now tell pilsners apart

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: The real test

Will come when it can tell the difference between horse piss and American Budweiser.

Budweiser, Miller, Coors, et al are pissed out by well-hydrated gorillas. The difference between gorilla piss and horse piss can be subtle, depending on diet, water conditions, and hydration levels.

Gorillas are expensive to obtain and their cages take up valuable space, so forward-thinking brewers in Oregon are exploring other sources for brew stock.

2
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Wall-E World

So now the automated beer factory can produce beer optimized for the automated beer taster.

We were so busy harrumphing about voice assistants and IoT sex toys that we completely missed the real threat.

2
0

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: What about disturbing others?

I'm just human. I like to talk to my fellow human beings F2F. It's how you get to really know them.

Your sunny, magnanimous view of other people is in the minority in the Reg forums...

5
1

OK, so they sometimes push out insecure stuff, but software devs need our love and respect

fidodogbreath
Silver badge
Megaphone

"It's like going up to a parent and saying that their child is ugly and then expecting to have a conversation."

That's how we do political conversations -- well, all communications, really -- in the US now. It works every bit as well as you'd expect.

1
2

How polite: Fun-bucks coin miners graciously ease off CPU pounding

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Missed one

At this point we ought to wheel out the standard security warnings: run up-to-date antivirus software on your machine, keep up with all patches, and don't open any attachments from unsolicited or otherwise suspicious email

One more: Run ad- and script-blockers in all browsers.

6
0

At last! Apple admits its MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards utterly suck, offers free replacements

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Er, this Doesn't Really Fix the Problem...

I know Apple devices are meant to be thrown away and not repaired (despite costing considerably more than my repairable Asus laptop), but that's just ridiculous.

Sadly, that seems to be the norm now with high-end "design-focused" laptops from many vendors, not just Apple. It's weird to me that I can easily upgrade the RAM, HDD/SSD, keyboard, etc. on almost any $400-500 laptop, while a $1500 model is likely to be a sealed-up, glued-together brick with soldered RAM and storage.

9
1
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Took me a minute...

I bought the only MacBookPro late 2016 model available without the OLED-touch-bar crap.

I waited for that round of new MacBooks to come out, then eagerly went to a store to try them. I absolutely hated the feel of the short-travel keyboard, even when it was brand new and the keys worked. This was also before it was general knowledge that you have to replace the entire keyboard assembly and half of the case if just one key goes bad.

I ended up buying a refurb 2015 core i7 MBP for several hundred dollars less, with a full complement of ports. I feel like I dodged a bullet.

(PS: Please don't bother replying about how I 'shoulda bought a Dell' or whatever. I have owned many PCs, and still have 3 Win7 boxen. The entire reason for buying a MacBook was to escape the Windows 10 slurp. And yes, I've tried Linux; the driver and hardware support for professional audio recording is terrible.)

6
2

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: PDF is clunky.

All of that because you can't convert a PDF back to anything else.

Well, you couldn't in 1998. Now there are tons of free and low-cost tools that can convert PDF content into numerous other formats.

Screw copyrights.

Including the copyrights that protected the product for which you had 5K pages of documentation? Or just copyrights that belong to someone else?

3
1
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Ahem

Next year it will probably be Acrobat DC 1880 just to keep us guessing

One thing we won't have to guess about: if it's an Adobe cloud product, it will be eye-wateringly expensive.

3
0

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits biz after fling with coworker rumbled

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Similar thing at HP

My guess is there was either a lot more drama than we're being told, or someone wanted Krzanich out.

Not necessarily. Intel has a pretty conservative corporate culture.

3
0

Private sector needs a little sumthin' sumthin' to get it sharing threat intel – US security chap

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

thought should be given to allow "deference in regulatory action" to companies that suffered a breach despite being involved in information-sharing programmes.

Anything you tell the US government could potentially become public, by loss or leak. I can't imagine that corporate legal departments would allow their company to voluntarily disclose information that might be used against them. Even "deference in regulatory action" isn't very enticing, since disclosure could lead to lawsuits from investors or (in the case of a breach) affected customers.

3
0

'No, we are not rewriting Office in JavaScript' and other Microsoft tales

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Not RE-writing in JavaScript

That could also be interpreted as meaning that Office was already written in JavaScript.

4
0

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Apple does more good

It's hard to get over the whole walled garden thing, though.

Honestly, it's not the BFD that people make it out to be. I got very tired of the wild wild west of the Play Store: relentless permission creep, apps able to use other methods (such as view wifi networks) to geolocate me after I'd turned off location services, "no permission" apps that could download and execute malicious payloads, etc. And, of course, Google's own relentless slurp. It made me weary, and I don't miss it at all.

2
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Break my pancreas!

So presumably apps like that will also stop working.. Unless app devs grease the Apple and pay to licence a feature that allows them to bypass the proprietary port locking

Or they could just turn it off in the settings app.

3
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Easy good passwords, here I go again...

Real people who can spell.

In the case of choosing an unguessable password, poor spelling might be an advantage. The root words do not have to be spelled correctly, they just have to be reproducible for the user.

3
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Easy good passwords, here I go again...

Using first letters of words from phrases also has weaknesses as the letters are drawn from typically a very limited subset of possible combinations.

Assuming, of course, that the attacker knows you have used this method.

What you describe is correct for a specific known password mnemonic method. However, an attacker typically has no way to determine which method the user might have employed to create the mnemonic. Or, in fact, that the user even employed such a method at all.

2
0

Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Automated recommendations reflect Microsoft’s belief that Office should deliver the commands users are likely to want while they work, rather than making them pause to hunt something down.

Or they could just make the interface not suck, so we don't need integrated Google Bing slurp search to find commands. A wacky idea, but it just might work.

3
0

Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

at 40mph the car suddenly and for no apparent reason tried to swerve off the road sharply

Other Tesla drivers soon chimed in with similar experiences since the software update was installed

If "Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety," they clearly need more resources.

3
0

Yahoo! Kills! The! Messenger!

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Thank Dog I can still use Compuserve

Which is yet another member of the Verizon / Oath "Greatest Hits of the 1980s" throwback band.

Boomer nostalgia is a much more potent force than I thought.

0
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: They already killed the presence icon

you try working in a department where everyone in the company knows you are available, you never get any work done for the constant interruptions.

I was required to use The Software Formerly Known As Lync at a previous employer. I hated it with the searing heat of a thousand suns.

I've managed to avoid it at my current gig, though; it seems that adding me to the company Skype cloud account would cost an apparently prohibitive ~ $2.50/mo. A rare case of bean counting FTW.

0
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Psst! you don't put a space before an exclamation mark. English 101.

Another item from the English 101 syllabus is that the first word of each sentence is capitalized. That sort of undermined the pedantic grammar Nazi claim of authority.

10
1
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Still ! with ! the ! exclamation ! points ! on ! every ! Yahoo ! story ! eh ?!?

11
0

GNOMEs beat Microsoft: Git Virtual File System to get a new name

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Along those lines...

Now, that's proper Gnomenclature.

1
0

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

So why do they hold on to your voice requests via Siri on their servers for 2 years?

It's stored associated with only a randomised ID as metadata, and it loses that association after six months. It then survives untethered for the remaining eighteen.

As far as I can tell, Google, Amazon and Microsoft retain voice recordings -- linked to your user account -- for eternity.

1
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Damn it

Unlike Google or Facebook, Apple has not built its business around acquiring personal behavioural data. It merely sells overpriced hardware, and does not have an advertising business to feed.

Or, another way to look at it: Apple's hardware is not subsidized by monetizing your personal information.

4
0

Now that's old-school cool: Microsoft techies slap Azure Sphere IoT chip in an Altair 8800

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: PFY?

some unfortunate PFY had to enter the code an opcode at a time by flipping switches on the front of the case

Don't know about BillG, but in high school in the late 1970s I was one of those PFYs. I worked summers for an academic research group that was doing bleeding-edge automated data capture and analysis from X-ray equipment and GC/mass spec machines using Altairs. (We also had some weird 12-bit computer from a company called Nuclear Data, IIRC.)

Program load was generally done from paper tape. If the machine got shut down or the power went off, though, none of that could happen until BASIC had been toggled in. I still have nightmares about trying to read crappy fifth-generation Xerox* copies of a mimeographed original of the switch positions. Is that an 8, a 5, or a 0? I dunno. If you're wrong, start over from the beginning...

The reward was an hour of wandering through "a twisty little maze of passages, all alike" in text-based D&D, on either a Teletype or (later) a glass terminal.**

* Yes, actual Xerox-brand photocopiers. Big as a house, and 2x as expensive.

** Get off my lawn, kids today have no idea, etc.

0
0

Activists hate them! One weird trick Facebook uses to fool people into accepting GDPR terms

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Big-Tech vs Big-Tobacco vs Banksters

GDPR is a mere experiment, no one knows how the law will shake out...

...which is equally true of any law; or indeed, of most human endeavors.

2
1

USA needs law 'a lot like GDPR' – says Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff

fidodogbreath
Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: It already has a law a bit like it

The funny thing with the US is that there are reasonably strong controls over what the government can do with the data of US citizens but virtually nothing about companies.

Which provides a convenient loophole for government / LEOs, who can just obtain tracking data from private companies. No need for Constitutional impediments such as warrants, since the .gov is not technically performing the surveillance activity.

A few examples (of many): wired techdirt zdnet etc

Pro tip: Whenever an LEO describes something as "just another tool," the phrase "for creating an Orwellian dystopia" should be appended.

3
1

Is your smart device a bit thick? It's about to get a lot worse

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

my computer does not like what it detects as I tickle fitfully at the keys

Yesterday, it offered to track my periods.

Given Dabbsy's notoriously grumpy nature, it's an understandable mistake...

16
0

Uber robo-ride's deadly crash: Self-driving car had emergency braking switched off by design

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Depends on your perspective

It's to avoid 'erratic vehicle behavior'

Emergency braking is only "erratic" from the point of view of the car's passengers.

That's probably not the descriptor you'd use if you're the pedestrian or cyclist, though.

2
0

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Edward’s advice

Ed suggested you desolder mic and speakers of any connected device if you don’t want to be easily bugged.

Hm. Buy a voice-controlled smart speaker, then disconnect the mic and the speaker?

That seems inefficient...

14
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Come on, who wasn't expecting this to happen?

The fact is that if you have these sorts of devices, you are trusting the company providing them in two ways -- that their software is bug-free, and that they will never abuse their system's capabilities.

I'd add a few more trust points:

* that their traffic is sufficiently protected;

* that all of their third-party add-ons are bug-free, and have been screened for malicious capabilities;

* that they and their 'partners' do not have secret agreements to provide backdoor access to TLAs;

* that they don't ignore their own already-pathetic privacy options.

The list could go on and on. And we haven't even gotten to privacy and security issues with the devices that you bought Sirigooglexa to control...

14
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: And that....

And that....Ladies and Genlemen, is why I prefer a dumb home.

Indeed. Smart-home tech is the solution for the ultimate First World Problem.

And really...have we become so dissolute that flipping a light switch is an intolerable burden?

77
1

About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

More like the five stages of a Windows 10 update: frustration, fury, despair, resignation (to a full re-install), and downloading (of Linux).

13
6

High-end router flinger DrayTek admits to zero day in bunch of Vigor kit

fidodogbreath
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Story image kudos

Hat tip to whoever found the story image. It's a veritable trope cornucopia:

* Laptop (of course);

* Hacker wearing hoodie AND balaclava (in case the tape over his webcam is hacked?);

* Random wall of vaguely computer-y images in background (because, computers);

* Magnifying glass (the better to see small bugs with);

* All-gray color palette, except for his evil, beady little eyes ("shadowy hackers," get it?).

No trope left behind.

3
0

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt

fidodogbreath
Silver badge
Childcatcher

Shocking

Brits trolling the French? Who has ever heard of such a thing?!?

1
0

Look, we're doing stuff: Facebook suspends 200 super slurper apps

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

this privacy stuff is difficult right

The difficulty is striking the right balance of "lip service to the concept of privacy" vs "the financial needs of a global multi-billion dollar corporation whose entire business model is raping privacy."

3
0

Peak smartphone? Phone fatigue hits Western Europe hard

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Peak smartphone quality is well behind us

until a disruptive competitor eventually comes along and undoes most of the damage done in path 2, and establishes itself as a long term player by following path 1

Or creates an entirely new product class, starting the innovation phase anew.

3
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

But if the problem is a slower purchase cycle, then the top-tier vendors risk making things worse by making their flagships ever more expensive. It simply prompts many to defer a purchase. Call it a “runaway contagion”, if you like.

In a mature market, YOY volume growth is not always sustainable.

PCs have seen a similar drop in sales volume, but IMHO mostly due to the fact that older PCs are still plenty good enough for a lot of common tasks. It's not like the early days, when a 2-year-old PC would struggle to run current software -- a Sandy Bridge Core i5 box with an SSD will still run MS Office and a web browser quite well, thankyouverymuch. For the non-enthusiast, there's no particular benefit to replacing an appliance that still does what you need.

I think we're seeing a similar phenomenon with phones. I know lots of people (myself included) who are still using phones from the Galaxy S6 / iPhone 6s era or older. As long as the one you have does the job reasonably well, why spend the cash and go through the disruption of changing devices until you have to?

Ironically, that phenomenon could drive prices up, not down. From the user perspective, it's easier to justify spending the extra cash for a premium phone that you'll keep for 2-3 years. From a manufacturer perspective, if they're only going to sell you a phone every 2-3 years then it's in their interest to have premium products that will capture as much revenue as possible from less-frequent sales.

We already see this focus on higher margin and trade-up customers with Google and Apple (and Sammy, to a lesser degree). They're happy to skim off the cream, and let the 2nd-tier manufacturers grind out low-margin devices for the price-sensitive.

3
0

Can't wait for Linux apps on Chrome OS? And you like stability? We'll see you in December, then

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Better options

Just install Linux on the Chromebook in place of Chrome OS.

Or buy a mid-priced Windows laptop -- which will have more flexibility, grunt, and disk space than even the most expensive Chromebook -- and install any Linux distro that you want on it.

27
9

Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

They must be fearful of public trading, with a very small pool with access to the data. Or did they sh*t themselves and delete?

You're assuming that they stole the data for financial purposes. If it was a nation-state attacker, they might be looking for private data / blackmail material on a limited number of high-value intelligence targets. Stealing the whole database obscures the actual targets.

Combining the Equifax data with other government hacks such as OPM could reveal illuminating info.

1
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: And how...

To be honest, the chances are that the US credit agencies *will* just delete any EU citizen's data on request

These companies don't delete, they "delete." Data is a fetish for them, like the 'souvenirs' that serial rapists keep.

They'll just add a flag to not surface your records in response to external queries. Rest assured that your data will still be sitting in the same poorly secured database, waiting for some script kiddie to steal it using a five-year-old vuln...

11
0

Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

It used to be that most sites would have a "continue without registering" option (even if it was a tiny link you could easily miss), but that seems to have fallen out of fashion.

By the simple act of ordering you are "creating an account," insofar as your personal info will be thenceforth be in the possession of the seller, and the details of your purchase will be associated with you by name.

In practical terms, what then is the difference between registering and guest checkout?

1
0

Mystery crapper comes a cropper

fidodogbreath
Silver badge
IT Angle

SH-IT, I assume?

3
0

Exclusive to all press: Atari launches world's best ever games console

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: C=64

20mins loading for non 'turbo' games.

Ha, yeah, as the lame-ass disk copy protection scheme forced the floppy drive to knock the head positioner into the plastic case over and over again. Gave new meaning to "head banger."

1
0

HP Ink to compensate punters for bricking third-party ink cartridges

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Obvious answer..

The real obvious answer : buy a color laser printer.

Funny you should mention that. New Egg recently advertised a Canon color laser all-in-one for $249. A quick perusal of the "recommended accessories" upsell showed that standard-capacity carts are $73/ea for color and $63 for black. Even as an arts major, I was able to determine that one set of consumables totaled $282, or $33 more than the printer itself.

My last Canon monochrome laser used chipped carts. It would grudgingly work with 3rd-party toner, but it complained bitterly the whole time. The constant "low toner" beep-beep-beeping was so annoying that I almost went full Office-Space on it. Ultimately, my wife's cooler head prevailed and we sold it at a garage sale.

0
0

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Grew revenue...

SHOCKING REVELATION. NOT ALL ANDROID PHONES ARE THE SAME.

No, but they all share the common purpose of sending mass quantities of your personal data to Google.

But yeah, they have various processors, screen sizes, and skins. So, vive la difference.

1
0
fidodogbreath
Silver badge

Re: Grew revenue...

In other words, "bend over and open wide Fanboi!"

market economy n. An economy that operates by voluntary exchange in a free market and is not planned or controlled by a central authority; a capitalistic economy. Free Dictionary

Apple sells a product that people want, for a price that they are willing to pay. In so doing, they make a shit-ton of money.

Those do not agree with their value proposition are free to choose from numerous competing products.

These are features of capitalism, not bugs...

2
0

Democrats need just one more senator (and then a miracle) to reverse US net neutrality death

fidodogbreath
Silver badge

"Soon, the American people will know which side their member of Congress is on: fighting for big corporations and ISPs or defending small business owners, entrepreneurs, middle-class families and every-day consumers."

Oh, puh-leeeze. If the cable companies and ISPs were bribing donating more to Democrats instead of Republicans, the script would be flipped. Dems would be decrying net neutrality as an evil Republican plot to block ISPs from giving American families the premium services that they want, and Republicans would be defending NN as a bastion of freedom.

2
3

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018