* Posts by fidodogbreath

688 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009


Turn on, tune in, drop out: Apple's whizz-bang T2 security chips hit a bum note for Mac audio

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Who Actually Wants the T2?

It's the SSD controller, fingerprint controller, boot-loader, an image processor for the webcam, an audio controller for the microphones, sensors to detect if the lid is closed on laptops, etc.

A hardware implementation of systemd...

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Astounding, indeed

"It frankly astounds me that Apple, a company that was and still is considered by the industry the pinnacle of stable work tools, did not care to test their products in environments where they will be used"

Pro audio gear is notoriously slow to change; products stay on the market unchanged for 8-10 years or more. Many (anecdotally, I'd say most) pro audio interfaces on sale now -- including some relatively new designs -- use USB 2.0. Why? No clue. But for whatever reason, there's a shit-ton of USB 2.0 audio gear in stage and studio rigs all over the world and Apple should make it their business to know that. FWIW, I have never seen a Thunderbolt or USB-C pro audio device in the wild.

I have Apple products, but mostly because they are not other things. I'm typing this on a MacBook Pro -- because it's the only* way to get away from the Windows 10 slurp and forced updates. I have iThingies, mostly because it's the only way to have a smartphone or tablet without the unblinking gaze the Google or Amazon panopticon.

Apple's hardware and software quality were never perfect, but they have absolutely cratered in recent years. Butterfly keyboards, free 'root' logins for everyone, the Group Facetime faceplant, a new massive Keychain security fail, the ongoing saga of iOS 12.x updates breaking cellular and WiFi, hockey-stick-shaped $1000+ iPad Pros, ThrottleGate, the entirety of iOS 11. The days of Apple products displaying the quality that is expected at their premium price are long gone.

Apple supposedly has 132,000 employees, but I can't for the life of me imagine what most of them do all day. It's obviously not QA testing or code review.

* I tried to make Ubuntu Studio do something useful in a music context, but the very, very short list of supported audio hardware did not include anything I own. Also, JACK is an abomination.

Dratted hipster UX designers stole my corporate app

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Manual work...

The poor sod writing the manual will thank you.

It's not just poor sods (like me) who write manuals. Users will thank you, too.

Business users are paid to get shit done. Once they learn the application, speed, efficiency and consistency are far more important than acres of white space*, giant sans-serif text, and a periodic table of indistinguishable flat icons.

* EDIT: make that white and dark-gray space, because the cool kids all use dark mode.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Do what Microsoft used to do...

sit someone in front of a computer and get them to talk about what they are doing and what they are thinking when they click menus and buttons. Let them br honest. Then it will help you design a better UI.

Microsoft as UI design paragon? This was intended to be sarcastic....right?

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

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Terrorists have used cars for both transportation and bombs; so clearly, reading car specs on a website would be "useful" by that definition. Also, trip planning. Terrorists have a thing for trains & airplanes, and thus need to know when and where to find them; so planning your vacation is exactly the same as being (or aiding) a terrorist.

Don't forget clothing and shoe shopping. Terrorists wear clothes and shoes, after all. Oh, and food. Terrorists gotta eat, too; which also means that bog roll / TP will be "useful" to them a few hours later.

As written, this dictat criminalizes information about anything that is "useful" to humans. Well done, bureaucracy. Well done. (slow clap)

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Goodbye Youtube?

what constitutes terrorist propaganda isn't set in stone and will change over time

It's only a matter of time before the definition of terrorism becomes "anything in opposition to the policies of the current government."

This is a well-worn path in human history. The terminology changes, but the underlying concepts do not.

The state always seeks to protect itself from the governed; it's just a question of degree, and the amount of time it takes for that to become the state's primary operating goal.

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Internet of Stinks

I'm assuming this product will be distributed by TP-Link....

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Use of the term 'female' and 'male' when referring to adapters

We should refer to connectors and adapters based on how they self-identify, using their preferred pronouns...

Mobile network Three UK's customer details exposed in homepage blunder

fidodogbreath Silver badge


We don't need no steenkin' testing!

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: As a dev system?

The future had arrived.

I used a Lisa 2 back in the day to produce proposals and docs for stage lighting control systems. I could create really attractive system block diagrams in LisaDraw, pricing tables in LisaCalc, and integrate them both directly into the LisaWrite bid package (complete with matching typefaces).

LisaDraw was object-oriented drawing before most people had any idea what that was...

Yeah, it was pokey, and I certainly didn't spend my own money on the thing; but our proposals and post-sale documentation were light years beyond what our competitors were able to produce, and presentation matters. The Mac wasn't able to do anything nearly that nice until years later, when Excel and MacDraw came along.

Once Macs caught up with those capabilities, the company bought a blindingly expensive upgrade to run Mac software on the old Lisa. It soldiered on as a shared / backup computer for several more years.

Amazon shareholders revolt on Rekognition, Nvidia opens robotics lab, and hot AI chips on Google Cloud

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: I guess the problem is in the White House

After all, if you'd never use it that way what's the issue with fixing the legislation such that it can't be used that way?

Assuming that the TLAs bother to follow the law at all.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Facial recognition

In case anyone was wondering why Amazon, Google, and Facebook provide "free" photo storage for you geo- and name-tagged smartphone photos.

To paraphrase Douglas Adams: "So long, and thanks for all the AI training data."

Huawei sales director nicked in Poland on suspicion of 'spying'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

I prefer to be hacked by the chinese govt than by the US.

You'll probably get hacked by both of them in any case.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Too late

A greed driven mega corp who treat their customers as a cash cow to keep investors happy.

Corporations exist to return value to shareholders. That is a core feature of capitalism.

You are free to choose not to buy Apple's products; but if your standard for choosing a vendor is that they do not profit from their buyers in order to please their investors...well, let's just say 'good luck with that.'

It's a Christmas miracle: Logitech backs down from Harmony home hub API armageddon

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Joy to the World

The message this sends is that a handful of crybabies paying customers can leverage the media to influence companies that have made arbitrary product decisions which fundamentally change the function and usefulness of the hardware and software that said customers have bought and deployed.


In a market economy, customer influence is a feature, not a bug...

UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'...

fidodogbreath Silver badge


bulk EU would require "particularly rigorous and technically-informed oversight"

Spook: I need an EI warrant.

Overseer: Why?

Spook: I can't tell you, it's classified; but trust me.

Overseer: OK, then. <rubber-stamps application>

Scumbags cram Make-A-Wish website with coin-mining malware

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Do they accept Monero in Hell?

Only if it was stolen.

Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"ATM machine"

Is that where you enter your Personal Identification Number number?

Insects with farts that smell like coriander assist in covering up Paris's aroma d'urine

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Bah!

Or there's San Francisco, where people drop a deuce in the middle of the sidewalk.

Raspberry Pi fans up in arms as Mathematica disappears from Raspbian downloads

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: 300 baud!? You were lucky...

cueing up once a week for a chance to use the village carrier pigeon

You had pigeons?!? We used to dream about having pigeons!

Ding ding! Round Two: Second annual review for transatlantic data flow deal Privacy Shield

fidodogbreath Silver badge

The name "Privacy Shield" could also be interpreted as shielding users from privacy. Obviously that is how Facebook, Google, Microsoft, et al will approach it.

In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Installing Windows 7 on Sky/Kaby Lake CPUs

I dont have any issue's, butthen

I was about to search Urban Dictionary for "butthen" when I realized it was just a missing space.

Intel's commitment to making its stuff secure is called into question

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"protecting our customers’ data and ensuring the security of our products is a top priority"

Facebook Equifax, and Yahoo said that, too.

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: If this was an Apple product

Microsoft's advice to those who have downloaded the build is: for goodness' sake, don't install the thing.

Good advice for Windows 10 in general.

fidodogbreath Silver badge
Thumb Up

However, if you have gone ahead and allowed the update to do its stuff and been hit by the missing files issue, leave your PC alone and give Microsoft a telephone call for help.

Their customer service is great! "Microsoft" actually called me this morning to say that they found a problem with my computer, but they're able to remote in and fix it for me. He already fixed my Amazon, and now he's fixing my bank login. Super impressed!


Facebook's new always-listening home appliance kit Portal doesn't do Facebook

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"Facebook doesn't listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls," the company said.

Translation: We created a shell company that is not called "Facebook" to do all those things.

Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Edge?

thats not quite as much spyware by design

If you don't count the spyware built into Windows 10 itself, I suppose.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Cancel? Yeah, sure thing, buddy.

A particularly stunning bit of interface design means that clicking "Confirm" on the warning screen will actually cause the update to install regardless.

So, the person who designed the GWX prompt still works there.

Ex-Cisco chief John Chambers: Tech biz bods are 'too arrogant'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Too prolix

...it's a tug-of-war between overconfidence, bordering on arrogance among some of the leaders...


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

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Don't tell them your name

Or just make one up...

"Medium latte for Fido!"

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: In view of the site preferences

I use it for email, messaging and (surprisingly) phoning.

They can make phone calls, too?

Huh. Who knew?

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: 'Proud owner of notepad and calc. What should we do'

Clearly MS need to Cloud & AI them urgently. How can MS not know this?


(^^^ I'm joking. Please do not do that. ^^^)

My guess: Notepad, Calc. et al will become "ad-supported;" ad-free versions will be available, but only in a bundle with Candy Crush Soda Saga and Solitaire.

Scottish brewery recovers from ransomware attack

fidodogbreath Silver badge

the decision meant accepting the loss of three months worth of sales data from one infected server

"Recovers?" Sounds more "gives up and moves on." But good on them for not paying the scammers.

They can probably recreate most of the sales data from credit card transaction logs and their customers' records, anyway.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

I hope he steps away, gets healthy, then kicks back and watches the whole thing burn to the ground as the rainbow haired pronoun crowd destroy it.

Only abusive straight people can 'do things right?' There's no {point | fun} in even doing something if you can't abuse people in the process? If an abusive straight person is not in charge, Snow Wombat wants the project that runs most of the world's IT infrastructure to crash and burn?

Lots of bigotry and stupidity to unpack in that statement...

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Situation Normal

In this scenario, the IfG said, “just a fraction of the processes and systems required for life outside the EU will be in place” – there will be only time for “temporary sticking plasters”

So, a typical government operation then.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

For us that means paychecks!

Assuming, of course, that there's a functioning financial system.

Microsoft accidentally let encrypted Windows 10 out into the world

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Does anybody here remember...

Had it been something preventing cortana starting, they would have flew in a team of developers.

Or interfering with slurp telemetry.

Benchmark smartphone drama: We wouldn't call it cheating, says Huawei, but look, everyone's at it

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: VW

Or competitive cyclists doping.

Skype can now record your 'special moments' in front of the computer

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Web-app-ify all the things!

According to Ars Technica, the new Skype apps for all platforms will be built with HTML5 and JavaScript. Skype users can look forward to the snappy performance and low resource overhead that are the hallmarks of running interpreted code in a container.

On the plus side, the pokey and bloated new apps will supposedly focus on features that people actually want to use, rather than trying to be a crappy Snapchat / Instagram ripoff.

So, yay.

Security bods: Android system broadcasts enable user tracking

fidodogbreath Silver badge

“While functionality exists to restrict who is allowed to read such messages, application developers often neglect to implement these restrictions properly or mask sensitive data”

So it's up to the developer to enable the "security" that protects sensitive data -- which they might want, but otherwise could not access without permission?

No one could possibly have anticipated that anything could go wrong there.

No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

fidodogbreath Silver badge

But the Help Desk have all been replaced with an AI chatbot that really only knows to tell people to restart their devices.

In fairness to AI, that's also the only thing that most wetware tier 1 support reps know to tell people.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: The return of front page

I like the sentiment, but Front Page was an abomination. It was like a printing press that used plague corpses instead of paper.

^ ^ ^ ^ Comment of the Day ^ ^ ^ ^

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: The return of front page

Can we have the scrolling, animated text back?

And a 900kB "AI" JavaScript that dynamically adjusts the number of dancing baloneys to fit the viewport.

I've heard that FrontPage 2018 Sketch2Code will also automatically create and join webrings.

Facebook pulls 'snoopy' Onavo VPN from Apple's App Store after falling foul of rules

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Out of sympathy

Facebook's venality and ruthless tactics have been widely reported in general media all over the world.

For anyone who continues to use Facebook apps, the resulting surveillance and privacy loss are the price of ignorance.

SuperProf gets schooled after assigning weak passwords to tutors

fidodogbreath Silver badge

At Superprof we take security seriously

pop "It look like you're apologizing for a massive privacy cock-up. Would you like me to insert six paragraphs of meaningless corporate platitudes about how much you supposedly value the users you have screwed?"

Gartner's Great Vanishing: Some of 2017's emerging techs just disappeared

fidodogbreath Silver badge


The Hype Cycle Gartner has been criticised for bearing only a tenuous relationship with reality.


Face-PALM: US Patent and Trademark Office database down for 5 days and counting

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Oh, no!

How will I file my patent for "representing a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system?"

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

fidodogbreath Silver badge

We have also just future proofed our entire IT network

Sadly, they did not present-proof it.

Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Pulling a freight train with a tricycle

I bought a little micro computer thingy on Amazon, which was basically equivalent to most Chromebooks: wimpy Atom processor, 32 GB of dog-slow flash storage, 2GB RAM. The plan was to install Ubuntu server, but it came with Windows 10 preloaded. Out of morbid curiosity, I fired it up to see how it ran.

As one would expect, running 10 on that hardware was excruciating. The only thing it did quickly was get worse, as Windows filled up the meager flash storage with non-declinable updates and then consumed all available RAM and CPU cycles for >8 hrs installing them. Even after the update spasms had subsided, it was an absolute dog.

Windows 10 should run passably on premium hardware like a Pixelbook, but it will be bitterly disappointing on the zillions of $200 Chromebooks.

Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Clippinator: Judgement Day

"You have been found guilty on all counts. Your fate will now be decided by the Microsoft Sentence 365 Condemnation Wizard."


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