* Posts by big_D

2345 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

New prison law will let mobile networks deploy IMSI catchers

big_D
Silver badge

Ah, now Brexit makes sense... No more goody-two-shoes sticking their oars in.

0
0

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

big_D
Silver badge

Re: You can remove my adblocker

I have no problem with adverts per-se. But until the ad-slingers guarantee me, that they will not serve me malware - and that if they do, they will take responsibility for the clean-up, then I will not allow them to execute ads on my machine.

In Firefox I use NoScript - they can serve me static ads, but no animations or scripts. Unfortunately Chrome doesn't seem to allow this level of filtering, so I am stuck with using uBlock Origin.

5
0

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

big_D
Silver badge

Re: What information does Win 10 slurp?

At the most basic level, if you turn on all privacy settings, about the same amount of data as Windows 7.

If you want to use Cortana and search, then you give away more data.

If you want personalised advertising, then you give away more data.

If you want Edge or IE Smartscreen to protect you, you give away more data (same as Windows 7).

etc.

8
1

Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

big_D
Silver badge

Re: This behaviour

Not neccesarrily opensource, but it will make people look more closely at their contracts and maybe walk away from such per-named-user contracts.

It might make room for smaller companies to establish themselves with more "sensible", Internet orientated licensing.

At the end of the day, something as complex as an ERP system isn't going to be easy to make in an open source world. It needs dozens or hundreds of full time developers to keep it up to date and to fix bugs. It also needs to be very carefully defined and the specs adhered to, otherwise chaos will ensue.

If there is a bug in a graphics program or a driver, it isn't too serious. You patch it and carry on. If an ERP program has a bug, it is very likely that not enough material is being ordered, too much or that different production steps are being held up, that can cost serious money. And often a simple patch isn't enough to correct a problem, the data will also need to be corrected.

We are starting to see big open source projects come to fruition, but I don't know of any successfuly open source project on the scale of SAP HANA.

Another point is, the supplier of the software will often need certifications, like ISO 10001, for example. I doubt any open source project would be able to pay for, let alone gain such a certification.

I don't mean to belittle open source, I use a lot of open source software and I have helped out on some projects over the years. But at this level, I just don't see open source being an acceptable alternative, at least not at the current time.

1
0

Google bellows bug news after Microsoft sails past fix deadline

big_D
Silver badge

Re: ...the company all-but-accused Google of...

In this case, it looks like MS had problems with the patch generation infrastructure that was causing problems with the quality of the builds, so they delayed the patching until they can clean up the build system and generate patches.

If that really is the case, then Google should have given them the benefit of the doubt. If MS had released a bunch of patches this month and ignored the Google bug, then I would say, fair game, Google should let users know.

If however there is no known zero-day and MS are really having problems (which the complete absence of patches would seem to illustrate, then I think it would have been better to sit on it for a further month, or until a zero-day appears.

4
4

Smash up your kid's Bluetooth-connected Cayla 'surveillance' doll, Germany urges parents

big_D
Silver badge

Re: @ Dwarf

@John Brown exactly. If her eyes lit up red, when she was listening, then it would be fine.

The other services mentioned all make a tone, when they start listening and give a visual clue to the fact they are recording voice.

That said, Alexa has only just started shipping over here, in Germany, and it is likely to meet some resistance. Certainly my wife won't let anything like that into the house.

3
0

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

@serendipity yes, I was on PCPro. I've been posting here since the late 90s. The silver medal next to my moniker means I post here a lot, so you haven't been looking hard enough. ;-)

1
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

@Doctor Syntax

That could be part of the problem. Their preferred distribution is Linmux, an in-house concoction, as you say, which means that their IT department is busy packaging it, testing updates, checking software compatibilities etc.

No just chucking Ubuntu onto a PC. They are writing scripts to set things up and configure the environment themselves. I would guess that that is pretty much a full-time job for several people, just keeping the patches documented, integrated and tested.

Standard Windows 10 + WSUS would probably save a lot of time and money. They just need to test the patches, before they roll them out.

That is just supposition, but running standard Windows 10 is going to be simpler than rolling your own distro.

1
6
big_D
Silver badge

Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

Licensing makes up a small part of the TCO. Once you take into account roll out costs, maintenance, support and training over the lifetime of the machine, the cost of the licence usually works out to be a small part of the TCO.

Given that most people are familiar with Windows, support costs might be much lower - we have 200 users and we have so few calls, that we don't even have a ticketing system.

26
21

Kids these days will never understand the value of money

big_D
Silver badge

Re: The problem with this is spending discipline

The bank automatically attaches the credit card (Visa or Mastercard) to your current account and they take 100% of the balance at the end of the month. No option.

I also have a debit card, which works like it should. I only use the credit card for online purchases.

4
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: The problem with this is spending discipline

I was brought up with pocket money, and what I didn't have in my pocket, I couldn't spend.

That carried over to when I started earning and, apart from 2 occassions, where I was travelling and didn't get the credit card balance paid off in full in time, I have never paid interest on my credit card - in fact, between 2003 and 2008 the card had a balance of +42UKP on it, because I overpaid and then didn't use the card for a couple of years. Unfortunately, they don't pay interest back, if you are in credit.

Now, the credit card I have in Germany is directly linked to my bank account and is always paid off 100% at the end of the month, if I don't have the funds to cover the balance, then it goes on my overdraught. That is the way credit card work over here, for the most part.

But the discipline I learnt as a child means that I don't spend money that I don't have. I don't pay for anything without first calculating, whether I can afford it and that I won't slip into the red at the end of the month.

The only thing I have paid for on credit is the house.

My wife grew up the same way and her children have also learnt the same lesson, so they are very careful in what they pay out and make sure that they never go overdrawn and always have a small reserve for emergencies.

I feel that this lesson is being missed out on by an ever larger part of the population.

19
2

IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick

big_D
Silver badge

Re: True! @Baldy50

We use standard images. A new PC is up and running (with all standard software installed) and fully patched in an hour or so. The images are re-done every few months, so that only a handful of patches need to be applied, once the image has been copied onto the PC.

The old HD goes in the cupboard and waits to see if a decrypter tool becomes available at some point.

12
0

Android's February fix-fest flings 58 patches

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Nexus 6P owner

Nexus 5X, no updates available - they usually take a week or so to get to my device.

0
0

Apple weans itself off Intel with 'more ARM chips' for future Macs

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Doesn't seem very feasible

That is the tricky bit, when the Intel shuts down and ARM takes over, you need to kick out all Intel machine code and replace it with ARM, and when the Intel takes over again, the ARM code needs to be shoved and the Intel code re-loaded.

You could, possibly, have both in memory at once, but you still need to stop, mid process, and copy all Intel register values out to memory, where possible, copy them into ARM equivalents. The stack needs to be built up on the ARM side. Any discrepancies between big-endian and little-endian need to be sorted.

Even if the ARM is doing Intel x64 code emulation, it still needs to set up its own registers and initialise its stack etc.

Easier would be to either use a big-little Intel processor, with Core i cores and Atom cores for low power, or a big-little ARM processor. I don't see any situation, where switching between processor architectures on the fly makes any sense.

At best, I can see the ARM taking over for a "connected stand-by" mode, having its own memory and "apps", which are there to process push messages etc. That said, my old Atom based Windows tablet could manage a couple of days of connected stand-by...

5
0

Has President Trump’s executive order on 'Public Safety' killed off Privacy Shield?

big_D
Silver badge

Privacy Act != Privacy Shield

From what I am reading, the two have little to do with one another.

The Privacy Act is for the transfer of data between Federal Agencies in the USA.

The Privacy Shield is a blanket statement for companies transferring personal data from the EU onto their US servers. As these are not Federal Agencies, the changes in the Act should not change the viability of the Shield.

However, if the Act says that the Federal Agencies can access EU sourced personal data stored under Privacy Shield with gay abandon, then it is a very serious problem for Privacy Shield.

7
0

US govt can't stop Microsoft taking its Irish email seizure fight to the Supreme Court

big_D
Silver badge

Re: @Oh Homer ... So basically...

I expect that it might also apply to Office 365 hosted servcies as wel

That is why MS are opening co-op centres like the new one in Germany. It is run for MS by DT (Deutsche Telekom) and MS don't have any administrative or physical access to the site. DT host the servers that provide Azure and Office 365 services for Germany (and Europe).

If MS gets a court order, they can legitimately say, that they have no access to the data and that the USJD must go and talk to a German court to get their hands on the data.

8
1
big_D
Silver badge

Re: So basically...

The problem is, if they don't hand over the information, the US board could end up in prison, if they do hand over the data, the Irish board will end up in prison.

The data is held on servers owned by an Irish entity, on Irish soil, falling under Irish law. The Irish entity just happens to be owned by an American entity. But they have to follow Irish law.

There have been processes in place for decades for the application for legal support for foreign jurisdictions in such cases. If the US Justice had followed those processes, they would have had the information by now and saved the tax payers (and Microsoft customers) millions of dollars in the process.

12
0

Trump's FBI boss, Attorney General picks reckon your encryption's getting backdoored

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Back to MD5, et. al.

The problem is, the good encryption is already out there, so the bad guys will continue to use it and he "good guys" will be forced to use breakable encryption that can be exploited by bad guys.

If you are already breaking the law, what is another law on the way? Just use unbreakable encryption, at worst you'll be done for using that, if they can't prove anything else.

22
0

Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

big_D
Silver badge

Re: As a long-time Vim user (since 2005 or so)

I much prefered EDT and TPU, personally.

11
0

College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000

big_D
Silver badge

@NoneSuch Re: I've been in that situation.

I was laid off as well, and the first thing I did was make a list of all of the corporate accounts I had access to and gave them to one of the directors, with the comment that all these account passwords should be changed, and that I had no copies of the passwords on my systems. I then got him to sign a copy for my records.

4
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: And using Google is a good thing?

What does free have to do with it? If they won't cooperate and return control of the domain back to the "rightful owners" after they have dismissed the administrator, as in this case, then it is irrelevant whether the product is provided "free of charge", if you incur costs through not being able to use the service, then being "free" isn't an argument for selecting the service.

13
5

Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

big_D
Silver badge

Re: When in the us

ISTR Apple used £1==$0.50 at the time...

0
0

CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

big_D
Silver badge

I hope not, I have some European friends living and working in the UK. Also, what happens to people like me? UK citizens living and working in the EU?

Tit-for-tat? I hope not.

I'm married to a German and I am looking at getting German citizenship, if the worst comes to worst.

13
0

Autocomplete a novel phishing hole for Chrome, Safari crims

big_D
Silver badge

Re: lastpass-cli: a safe and open-source work-around

Because there is no equivalent to NoScript on Chrome...There are several that block scripts, but they block wholesale - either the whole page can run scripts or not, no choice of allowing certain domains (E.g. main website), but blocking others (E.g. malware slinging ad domains, google-analytics etc.).

0
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: lastpass-cli: a safe and open-source work-around

Or just switch off the Autofill in LastPass.

2
0

Microsoft goes retro with Vista, Zune-style Windows Neon makeover

big_D
Silver badge

@bombastic bob Re: Still not as good as it used to be...

Moi? A millenial? How dare you, Sir!

I started using Windows with version 2.0 and progrmaming Excel Macros. I've used every version, although ME and XP were the worst, I just never got on with the Fisher Price look of XP, there the classic shell was a godsend. Vista was a huge improvement, 7 an improvement over Vista, 8/8.1 was "different", but some of its additons made it worthwhile over 7 and 10 is, for non-touch users, another leap forward over 8.1. For touch users, it is a mixed bag.

And, to be honest, I still remember the arguments about how bad Windows 95 Start Menu was and it was lucky that it still came with the Program Manager for "real" users.

1
0
big_D
Silver badge

Blur disbanded

No blurring, please!

My eyes are somehow very sensitive to blurring and I just can't cope with looking at blurred images for more than a couple of seconds. My eyes "hurt" as they constantly try and adjust and focus on the blurry image.

I can't watch a lot of reality TV and news reports, where faces, logos etc. are blurred out. It just makes my eyes sore and gives me a headache. (On a side note, why don't they sort out before filming, which logos can be shown or not? "Sorry, you can't wear that T-Shirt, it is not suitable for broadcast / we don't have the rights." With live news it isn't an option, but if you are going to be filming people for a long period of time, get it sorted before you f'ing well start filming, don't do it in post!)

12
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: Still not as good as it used to be...

I'm having to use Windows 7 again for the first time since 2012. It feels so "icky". I much prefer the cleaner look of Windows 10.

12
42

MacBook killer? New Lenovo offering sexed up with XPoint booster

big_D
Silver badge

@AC Re: Hardware's half the story

Exactly, the OS is the small part of the equation, the workflow and the applications are the important bit.

For me, I found I could achieve the same workflow, with the same software on Windows for a fraction of the cost - I looked at a MacBook Pro, but ended up with a Sony Vaio, because it had a better processor, BluRay, the same RAM and disk capacity, for half the price of the "equivalent", if by equivalent you count an inferior processor (at the time Apple didn't put any quad core i7s in their MBPs) and that it only had a DVD and not BluRay.

At the time, OS X didn't offer any advantages over Windows 7 that would justify paying twice as much for inferior hardware.

2
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: Hardware's half the story

I switched from Mac to Windows a few years ago. All the software I needed ran on both platforms and most were on dual platform licences - the exception being Office - or open source.

Given that Apple stopped providing security updates for the iMac in 2013, it now runs Ubuntu.

4
4

Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

big_D
Silver badge

PCock-up

My brother worked for a temp agency and was desperate for qualified PC tinkerers to work between Christmas Day and New Year.

The problem? His client, a German food discounter, had bought a container load of PCs from their German distributor for their UK stores... Only they sent the wrong HGV to England and the PCs sold in the stores were German specification, with German keyboards and German Windows 95 installed... Unfortunately, they only found out after they had sold the complete batch!

As these PCs were mainly going to be given as Christmas presents, the discounter was looking for tech support staff to driver around the country and swap out the keyboards and re-install Windows on those PCs.

The pay offered wasn't bad, but I decided that the wrath of hundreds of unhappy families watching over my shoulder as I reinstalled Windows wasn't worth it.

16
0

Uber's self-driving cars can't handle bike lanes, forcing drivers to kill autonomous mode

big_D
Silver badge

Is it really a surprise? They have been driving illegally in Germany (with drivers) since the beginning.

(In Germany you cannot drive paying passengers without a professional driving license (this is not the same as a taxi license, the taxi driver also has to have a professional license, before he can apply for a taxi license). Without that, he cannot get commercial insurance for carrying passengers. He cannot drive his vehicle whilst working for Uber without commercial insurance and if he is caught driving for Uber without commercial insurance, he will be fined and banned from driving. Additionally, if the driver is involved in an accident, the insurance is null and void, so all parties involved will be compensated out of the pockets of the Uber driver.

Depsite this being pointed out to them, Uber seem to have refused to ensure their drivers are properly licensed and insured. Therefore they were deemed to be illegal, but they carried on anyway.

That was the last stand that was reported in the press. I don't know if they have now changed their ways, but they were claiming at the time, that it had nothing to do with them, that they were using illegal drivers.)

16
0

Microsoft's Edge to flush Adobe Flash in Windows 10 Creator’s Update

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Not possible to ban smoking in the office?

Here, if you smoke, you have to clock out when you go outside for a cigarette and clock back in, when you are done. There is an extra electronic terminal for clocking in and out next to the door to the smoking area.

1
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: Not possible to ban smoking in the office?

What I find really reprehensible is the practice of people smoking around the main entrance to a business.

It doesn't provide a very good first impression for visitors, when the first thing they experience is a dozen people milling around outside the entrance and they have to walk through a thick cloud of smoke. Then you have all the discarded cigarette butts on the ground outside the entrance.

Where I work, the smokers have a dedicated area outside the back of the building, where they cannot be seen by visitors.

19
0
big_D
Silver badge

Good riddance

I banned Flash on my machines in January 2015. Since then, the first thing I do with all new installs is remove / disable Flash.

I haven't missed it so far.

11
1

German infosec agency urges security review after Yahoo! flensing

big_D
Silver badge

German E-Mail

Services like GMX, Web.de. Telekom and a few others have set up their mail servers, so that all mail addressed to German servers stay within the country and, when the recipient is part of the "E-Mail made in Germany" initiative, the email traffic is encrypted from end to end.

Obviously, if you send an email outside of Germany or to a recipient who is using a mail server not in the EmiG initiave, then the email will be sent the "old fashioned" way.

2
0

Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

big_D
Silver badge
Coat

No Sex please, we are Uber

Wasn't there a play about this in the 70s?

0
0

Standards body warned SMS 2FA is insecure and nobody listened

big_D
Silver badge

Re: SMS messages ... may be ... redirected,

You can have more than one SIM with the same number - my current contract includes 2 free additional SIMs with the same number (for use in tablets or laptops for data, for example) and I can pay for more.

All use the same number and, if you put all 3 SIMs in phones, they would all ring at the same time.

But issuing a # command on a handset, you can tell the provider that this is the "primary" device and SMS should be sent to it - SMS only gets sent to the "primary" device.

So a hacker just needs to get the carrier to issue a secondary card and, once they have received it, they can issue the # command and intercept your SMS..

Given how easily providers give out new SIMs, this isn't hard. Some will even send it to an alternate address, otherwise the hacker just needs to hang around outside your residence and then sign for the mail, when the postie delivers the new card.

2
1

MP Kees Verhoeven wants EU to regulate the Internet of S**t

big_D
Silver badge

Finally someone in politics talking sense?

But putting in such controls will only improve the lot of consumers in the EU. It probably won't stop cheap devices with vulnerabilities being sold in other countries, outside the EU.

14
0

Amazon's Netflix-gnasher to hit top gear In December

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Yarrgh

It was released here last week (Germany). Got around to watching at the weekend.

0
0

Google's neural network learns to translate languages it hasn't been trained on

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Not bad

I can only speak for DE - EN, but it has problems with the actual subject most of the time, let alone the subtext. Something else you have to think about, is that translating from a language to a foreign language and back does not really mean that the foreign translation is of good quality or even accurate, just that the translation engine can understand itself good enough to get there and back again.

A friend of mine's daughter had to hand in her Doctoral thesis in English and he ran it through Google Translate and thought it would be OK. After I stopped laughing, I re-wrote it.

In general, before the introduction of this new AI technology, I would say that Google Translate has about a 30% hit rate for an average piece of text - by that I mean that at most 30% is good enough that it has the right subject matter and that the sentence makes any sense.

It seems to work better, from English to German, when you use abbreviated text, for example "do not" often misses the "not" from the translation, whereas "don't" is generally translated correctly.

I went through a phase of sending corrections to Google, but I usually don't have the time.

Generally, I just keep Leo.org or Linguee open and just translate certain words that stump me - and sometimes it is the easy, everyday words that escape you. You know the word in English and you know the word in German, but somehow your brain doesn't make the connection.

1
0
big_D
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Not bad

That is a move in the right direction. Until now the DE-EN EN-DE translations have been hilarious at best, dangerous at worst.

Google did one safety translation that told me to "open the case, high voltage inside". Not sure if it had something to do with me using a Windows Phone at the time.

I am currently working at a translation office and I can tell you that Google Translate cannot, generally, translate very well. Certainly not enough that it would make me worried about working as a translator.

2
0

Low-end notebook, rocking horse shit or hen's teeth

big_D
Silver badge

Re: RE: Chromebooks

But if they can sell it for $199 in the USA, why does it cost over 2.5 times as much in Germany, when Windows devices have at worst a $1 = 1€ conversion and are sometimes cheaper (when you remove tax).

1
0
big_D
Silver badge

Either will work...

My mum came over to visit and said that my Windows was better than her Windows... She ended up taking my 6 year old notebook with SUSE on it back with her!

On the other hand, I cleaned away the Lenovo crud on another machine and use Windows on it. Without the crud it is actually pretty good.

3
0
big_D
Silver badge

RE: Chromebooks

The problem is, most of the Chromebooks over here (Germany) cost more than a cheap Windows notebook! The $199 Acer ARM based Chromebook was going for around 450€ on Amazon last year! With prices like that, it is little wonder than at its peak (2014), there were no Chromebooks in the top 50 most sold notebooks on Amazon and only 2 in the top 100.

0
0

Bungling ATM thieves blow up bank statement machine

big_D
Silver badge

Re: Might be Dutch

Gas, not petrol. As in propane.

0
0
big_D
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Alte Wilhelm

Although the correct term is "die Bullen".

But yes, a great translation of the English into German.

1
0
big_D
Silver badge

They don't use explosives. ;-)

They use propane gas tanks and some tubing.

1
1
big_D
Silver badge

Re: Might be Dutch

Although Berlin is a way aways.

They usually do it around here (Lower Saxony). They pump gas into the machine and then ignite it, blowing the machine apart, so they can get at the cash.

The banks are now retro fitting the ATMs so that in the event of such an explosion, the money will be sprayed with dye.

2
0
big_D
Silver badge

Re: It's "Kontoauszugsdrucker"

Yep, the ATMs usually show the balance, but you use the printer to get your bank statement - or you wait a couple of months and they send it to you...

0
0

Forums