* Posts by VinceH

3288 posts • joined 26 Nov 2009

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

VinceH
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Re: It's not a sink

I wonder if it's the same people who pronounce scones as scones instead of scones. Crazy people.

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

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

No, that's why you put the CD into your computer *once*, open your favourite ripping tool (which adds the track names) and then dump the tracks to your PC before hiding the CD away in a dark and forgotten cupboard."

The missing step in that is correcting the track names because whoever added it to the online database (or someone who subsequently updated it) got them wrong.

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New Monty Python movie to turn old jokes into new royalties

VinceH
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Thumb Up

They should therefore extend the cycle more fully. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (and the other fillums) probably wouldn't have happened if there wasn't the original TV series, Flying Circus.

So the full cycle would actually be:

TV Show -> Fillums -> Musical based on one of them -> Fillum based on that musical -> TV show.

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Blame everything on 'computer error' – no one will contradict you

VinceH
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Re: I have days like this

"Finally I can pay for my rapidly cooling coffee...except that the other teller is shouting, the card readers just gone down.

I reach into my pocket for change, lucky I am still old school and carry some real cash."

You're using cash as the backup method - for me, it's the other way around. As a general rule, if I'm buying something over the counter in a shop, I pay with cash. The only exceptions are when I don't have enough cash on me (i.e. unusually large purchases - which is rare) or fuel. In the latter case, I always use pay at the pump at the filling station I use most often. I used to pay in cash, but a particular assistant there annoys me, and I just don't want to deal with him. (When I use other filling stations, e.g. when I'm away from home, I pay in cash).

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Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

VinceH
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Joke

Re: I only want to know one thing

I think John McAfee's solution for uninstalling McAfee antivirus works for Windows 10 as well.

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VinceH
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"Windows 10 is pretty stable these days, but we’re sure there’ll be a mess or two to uncover, too"

I look forward to a slight increase in the amount I invoice during May, then - but not to the return to normal from June onwards.

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Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA

VinceH
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"Scientists hoping to get some real Martian muck under their microscopes should not hold their breath. ... Any potential mission involving posting materials back to Earth would therefore be some distance into the future, beyond the 2020 and 2021 robo-excursions.

Which means the zombie apocalypse is still some time off yet.

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Facebook confesses: Buckle up, there's plenty more privacy lapses where that came from

VinceH
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Re: Emotional appeal

After watching that - and for anyone else that does, please have a sick bag at the ready - my first thought was where they sourced all the images and videos used, and whether or not the people who uploaded them were contacted for their explicit permission.

After all, "For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, such as photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide licence to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP Licence)."

Hmm. Although it was the above I was thinking of, the next sentence has a lovely bit in it: "This IP Licence ends when you delete your IP content or your account, unless your content has been shared with others and they have not deleted it." (my emphasis).

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Brit MPs brand Facebook a 'great vampire squid' out for cash

VinceH
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Facepalm

"As the past few weeks have shown, outside the user testing environment, people were shocked to find out just how much information Facebook holds on them and what it can be used for."

Before spotting a funny cat video one of their friends had posted and clicking "Like" on it.

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RIP: Sinclair ZX Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson reaches STOP

VinceH
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Pint

Optional

I too am okay. I come from the BBC BASIC stable, so I can REPEAT UNTIL FALSE.

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Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

VinceH
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Pint

Re: Next stop, the EU army.

PINT FOR LEE D, PLEASE!

Also:

"integrating with the other countries on the continent that we live in. Interbreeding."

And reading that was the moment I finally remembered the name of the law introduced in Piers Anthony's Ghost as a means to prevent the population growing too fast: The miscegenation act.

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VinceH
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Re: If this was Uno...

@Dan 55

What I think he's saying is that if this were a game of Countdown, the UK managed to write every single one of its letters down incorrectly, while the EU managed to get a nine letter word.

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Turn that bachelor pad into a touch pad: Now you can paint buttons, sensors on your walls

VinceH
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May as well add in the ability to pick up sound. Then we can truly say "walls have ears".

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Happy having Amazon tiptoe into your house? Why not the car, then? In-trunk delivery – what could go wrong?

VinceH
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Facepalm

Optional

The stupid - it's getting worse!

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Petty PETA rapped by judges over monkey selfie copyright stunt

VinceH
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Pint

Re: It flung feces at the lawyers...

It's calling "filing flinging a motion".

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More than 87m Facebook profiles farmed, says second ex-Cambridge Analytica witness

VinceH
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WTF?

Re: somebody, somewhere will begin a campaign to try to get us back in.

Guaranteed.

Now, normally I don't do this, but this time I will: would the person who downvoted my post care to explain why - because that one is baffling me.

I didn't make a pro-remain or pro-leave comment, only made a prediction about what would happen if and when we are officially out. (But FTR, I voted to remain - and would do so again. And in the event of a referendum about rejoining, I would vote to join.)

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VinceH
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"- if we do leave now we can't 'unleave' later"

Well, we can, in the sense that we can (apply/try to) join. If and when we do actually leave, you can bet your last penny that somebody, somewhere will begin a campaign to try to get us back in.

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Facebook's login-to-other-sites service lets scum slurp your stuff

VinceH
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Re: And is anyone here surprised by this?

Facebook: The site that keeps on giving...

your information away.

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Google accidentally reveals new swipe-happy Android UI

VinceH
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Unhappy

Re: Pursuing swipability by removing/hobbling .. swipability

For that last sentence, you may as well replace 'swipable' with 'usable' - then the sentence generally applies to most modern stuff.

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Boring as she goes at Sage? Oh no, no, no! Shares slide as sales slip below forecasts

VinceH
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Re: Maybe ...

"The government appear to be forcing us all into cloud account packages."

No, that's the cloud companies misrepresenting what the government is doing.

MTD is set to be an absolute PITA - but it should still be possible to use desktop software, providing either the software you prefer is updated to keep in line, or you can find a third party product to sit between your software and HMRC's submission system. (Some outfits are working on such things.)

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

VinceH
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Re: I think I speak for everybody when I say...

"What is so offensive about such a letter?"

To you - you say you'd laugh about it if it had been sent to you - it's probably not offensive.

I, too, would laugh about it. I wouldn't personally find it offensive if I was the recipient. (Though I would be certain to put it online for all to see).

However, it wasn't either of us that received it. It was an elderly couple who, and I quote, "were more than a little upset to be addressed in this manner"

That's what makes it offensive - it offended the couple it was sent to.

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VinceH
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Re: I think I speak for everybody when I say...

On balance, I think the incorrect use of "your" vs "you're" by the previous poster is slightly less of an issue than the party in power not only getting someone's name wrong in a mail out, but so massively and offensively wrong.

Mind you, this is the same party that got confused about where they were a couple of weeks back.

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Mark Duckerberg: Second Congressional grilling sees boss dodge questions like a pro

VinceH
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Optional

FTA:

Throughout the majority of the session, Zuckerberg insisted that all of the information gathered on users would be handed to them in a ZIP file if they used the ‘download your data’ tool.

[...]

Er, no it's not

Exactly that - it's not.

About three weeks ago I mentioned Plex mysteriously (and creepily) appearing in my interests in Facebook's advertising preferences.

I subsequently did the 'download your data' thing, and that's not mentioned in there at all.

As the article continues...

This is - in short - incorrect. Because that file won’t include, for a start, the tracking data slurped up by Facebook’s advertising tool, Pixel, which is slurped up as you browse the web - and has even been banned by a Belgian court.

In this case, I'm sure it's not data collected by Pixel because of the controls I have in my browsers, coupled with timing (non-use of Facebook at the time I was trying Plex). I strongly suspect (but can't say for certain) this actually comes from something on my phone - and that that something was foisted on me by the phone maker in an update.

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VinceH
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Re: Nice summary of main Facebook gotchas here:

Hangonamo... has anyone studied the answers he gives and compared them to earlier questions?

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El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

VinceH
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Pint

Re: "shared collaboration space"

Now, where's that link I usually trot out at times like these?

Ah, yes, here it is. :p

As to solving the problem in the London office - I imagine there's a sprinkler system. Consider re-purposing it.

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Gmail is secure. Netflix is secure. Together they're a phishing threat

VinceH
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Flame

Re: Or: Netflix ignores periods in addresses.

"Or: Netflix ignores periods in addresses."

That would be Netflix and any other service that accepts perfectly valid email addresses, though.

Google has the broken system, so it is Google that should fix it, not expect everyone else to comply to how they think the internet should work.

Aside, in the article, it makes the point that Google have "promoted it as a useful feature" - except in the linked post, they give no reasons as to why it is useful. The person who wrote that Gmail blog post uses two bullet points to mention the "+extra" feature and the optional dots, then goes on to give examples of the usefulness of "+extra" (one off addresses that can then be filtered) but does not do the same for the dots.

ISTM, therefore, the only usefulness of the optional dots is to use a regexp1 to filter out anything with a dot on the left of the @ - which, again, would really amount to other people (Gmail users) doing something to counter Google's brokenness.

1. Assuming Gmail filters can use regular expressions. I've no idea.

Small correction: When closing the window I put that post in I spotted the image at the bottom. So the one useful thing they could think of is for when people forget if there's a dot. Because their email clients won't remember it for them, presumably.

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£12k fine slapped on Postman Pat and his 300,000 spam emails

VinceH
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Optional

"Royal Mail argued the email in question was a service because it was telling customers there was a price drop for second-class parcels – but the ICO disagreed."

Pretty much the same excuse I received from a genealogy website back in 2011 when they sent out a marketing email claiming to be a "service update" - the ICO disagreed with that, as well.

Back then, their practice was to (get permission from the victim and then) pass the email address to the perpetrator and say "don't spam this person again" - so while the fines now are woefully inadequate as a deterrent, they're an improvement on what used to be done.

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Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector

VinceH
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Re: apples with oranges again

This would probably be a good place to leave this Jonathan Pie skit.

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AI can't help without your data, says Gartner, so share, share, share!

VinceH
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Re: And how is Uber going to know you need a lift?

" a good few years ago when on holiday my phone (which has since been hobbled in this respect) told me when my flight home was leaving. It seems google were scraping my emails for it's assistant and picked up my booking."

If that had happened to me I wouldn't have stopped at hobbling my phone in that respect - I would have also stopped using Google for email.

(I do have a Gmail account, used for one thing and one thing only to keep it separate from my proper email accounts.)

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Microsoft's five-billion-buck IoT R&D plan is just business as usual

VinceH
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Trollface

Re: US$5,000,000,000

Yeah, be realistic - it'll be at least 15.

Mind you, that means it'll probably be the most reliable and secure Microsoft product ever!

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Facebook dynamites its own APIs amid data slurp scandals, wrecks data slurp applications

VinceH
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Re: Why Facebook etc., will win...

"No matter how much effort we go to individually to fight this, it is clear that the vast majority will not fight, not even realizing that there is something to fight about."

As I've said before, for most people it's only when they personally are directly and identifiably affected that they sit up and take notice - just as (for example) people only realise the need to back up valuable data when something goes wrong and they lose valuable data.

And the worst part is that n months down the line they'll forget and fall into old habits - people are stupid.

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UK regulator bans slasher-flick parody ad for OnePlus 5 mobe

VinceH
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Trollface

Re: Bah!

Part of the Easter story is about a zombie, isn't it?

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Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots

VinceH
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Re: I see you've already filled the rôle

Oh, I just assumed every poster was an Australian troll.

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$0.75 – about how much Cambridge Analytica paid per voter in bid to micro-target their minds, internal docs reveal

VinceH
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Mushroom

Re: "...psychological profiles...from roughly 75 cents to $5 apiece..."

If you'd only go as far as firing squads, you're probably much more suitable than me.

See icon. It's the only way to be sure.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

VinceH
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Re: At least

Time to start practising the "I know, I know - but I voted to remain" shrug with which to respond.

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Cambridge Analytica 'privatised colonising operation', not a 'legitimate business', says whistleblower

VinceH
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Re: Really?

" it assumes that only one side pays Advertising companies."

Which is why there are spending limits, and there is an issue that one of the leave groups allegedly exceeded that limit by funnelling funds through another supposedly independent one.

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VinceH
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Re: The BBC

"... continues to be very, very quiet on this."

Far worse, in my opinion, is the number of our representatives who were present in the House yesterday to participate in a debate on the matter.

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Tantalising Tabby's Star teases watchers with big dimming event

VinceH
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Alien

We may have found Alderaan.

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Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg has flunky tell UK MPs: Nope, he's sending someone else

VinceH
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Re: Ah. Nothing at all learned by Farcebook then

"Erm, Shouldn't that be at the users approval not Farcebooks?"

It should be better than that, though - it ought to be granular, with a list of all the types of things the app wants to access, with each one having the option to agree or not (defaulting to not, obviously).

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VinceH
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Re: The heat is on

"To be fair to the sly Zucker. This is why you have underlings/minions isn't it?"

Exactly. Unless he knows exactly what's going to be asked in advance and is given time to formulate answers, he could say the wrong thing. If he does it, he has only himself to blame - much, much better to get someone else to do it.

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Fleeing Facebook app users realise what they agreed to in apps years ago – total slurpage

VinceH
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Re: I'm (not) sorry

No, read the original post again - their response about the security of their phone is how he decides whether or not to answer their calls. Otherwise they have to use a landline or email.

Fair enough, he's now explained his logic - but I still consider it to be ignoring the problem.

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VinceH
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Re: I'm (not) sorry

[I referred to 'people' telephoning 'All gods are bastards']

"But I didn't, did I? I specifically said "family" and "friends" - and, once, even "contacts" - all of which implies people who ALREADY have my telephone number - not "people"."

Irrelevant. Your friends, family, contacts (who, I might point out, all fall under the category of 'people') have your number already - fair enough - but if you're refusing to answer the phone to even one them because you haven't whitelisted them (because they haven't given you the assurance you insist on), then the damage is already done.

Each time you receive a phone call from a number that you haven't whitelisted, you know - no matter how much you're trying to deny it - that the person calling you may be using a Facebook app or whatever, and that your number (along with any other details they have about you on their phone) is being slurped.

Otherwise, you would have whitelisted them.

TBH, what I think is that you came up with an idea for slurp-avoidance that you thought would make you look really clever, and now you're digging a big hole for yourself trying to deny a massive flaw in it.

I'm tin foil hat careful, but I'm also wise enough to know that Facebook will still have data about me beyond what's actually in my account, because 'other people'. I'm not happy about it - I've never been happy about it - but I'm not hiding behind a faux shield, pretending to myself that it hasn't happened.

Edit: But I like tfb's thinking! :)

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VinceH
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Re: I'm (not) sorry

"Incorrect: When calls and messages go unanswered - and they will - those who really need to contact me will either comply with my policy, or not bother contacting me."

Most decidely NOT incorrect - not if you read what I said and understood the point I was making.

In order to call you, unless these people are communicating over the telecoms network using psychic abilities, they are putting your number in their phone.

If they are using Facebook's rubbish on said phone, Facebook is slurping that information - and If they put other information about you in their phone along with that number, Facebook is slurping that information as well.

Data is being slurped about you whether you like it or not, and all you appear to be doing is burying your head in the sand.

If you'd said you refused to give people your number without said commitment, that would be a different matter - but you didn't; you simply said their calls would go unanswered.

"On the other hand, tolerating (and even shrugging off) the digital equivalent of a Stasi informant network is, in my own opinion, going full on batshit insane."

Yes, those people who tolerate or shrug this off - and I include those trying to convince themselves they are some way immune to it in that - are indeed batshit insane.

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VinceH
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Re: Virtual vs physical.

"Can you imagine if instead of a free virtual space to keep in contact with friends/family & join various interest groups & setup business booths etc., Facebook provided a free physical space (building) which was littered with cameras & microphones recording every single move you make?"

If it wasn't made clear up front, and was instead buried in the small print, people would still use it.

However, if it was made perfectly clear, I bet the effect would be that some people would steer clear, and some would still use it but their conversations would be more guarded. And others (those we continue to see feeding their lives into Facebook in spite of all the recent news) wouldn't bat an eyelid.

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VinceH
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Re: Facebook forcing people to use Messenger on mobile

Er, no, it's their website, they can update it however they see fit.

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VinceH
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Re: Round-one to the people, but Its going to be a long war to reclaim privacy rights

"Come off it, the people have been knocked about for at least 10 rounds and have just received a blow that actually knocked some sense into a worryingly small number of them"

FTFY. Sadly. :(

(Based on my own observations, anyway).

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VinceH
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Re: I'm (not) sorry

"I have already informed my family and friends that SMS and phone communications from non-whitelisted mobile numbers will be ignored. Numbers are whitelisted only when I have extracted a commitment from its owner not to run spyware on their device - and when I trust the owner to keep their word. If they're not happy to do this, they will need to get used to calling me from a landline, or using plain, old e-mail."

It doesn't matter if you whitelist them or not. The person at the other end of the call - irrespective of whether you answer or ignore it - has your number. They're using it to call you. If it's in their mobile phone, and they're using the Facebook or Messenger app, bang, Facebook has your number - and depending on what else the caller has in their phone regarding you, they have that as well.

All you are achieving is for Facebook's data to show that these people called you, but didn't get an answer, rather than did.

As Snorlax said - that's bonkers, mental shit that takes the biscuit. And its a pointless biscuit at that.

The best you can do, until the regulators and enforcers wake up and take some proper action*, is try to limit what the likes of Facebook can collate about you - strict cookie management, different email addresses for different log-ins, and so on. They'll still garner shit about you, but won't be able to piece it all together and associate it with a single identity**.

In most cases, anyway. (Which I think I'll try to write in more detail about this coming weekend).

* I've seen elsewhere comments to the effect that they need to "nip this in the bud" - but I think we're a long way past that.

** Just for a laugh, I downloaded my own data from Facebook this morning - the file was laughably empty. I'm sure they have more data on me than what is there, but haven't been able to link it to my account.

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VinceH
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Colour me surprised.

No, really. I definitely am surprised. You can tell by just how hard I am trying to look it. Honestly.

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You'll like this: Facebook probed by US watchdog amid privacy storm

VinceH
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Re: To all my relatives who said I was paranoid about Facebook privacy problems

I'd like to say the same, except... most of them still don't seem to get it, even now.

I think it's because it hasn't directly impacted them, personally - or at least they don't see it as having done so.

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