* Posts by John Lilburne

989 posts • joined 3 Dec 2009


Sticking with one mobile provider gets you... Oh. Price rises, big exit fees, and lovely, lovely lock-in

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: And another thing.....

15 years ago I moved from an orange contract to an orange PAYGO. They sent just me the new SIM with the old number, replace and SIM carried on.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Hmm...

Hmmm. Recently went through this sort of nonsense with 3 my wife wanted a PAK code becuase she had changed her phone which came with an EE sim. Phoning 3 to get one resulted in someone talking about different options with 3 and her saying I want a PAK code not your bullshit. Eventually she handed the phone to me, and the 3 person says "I can't talk to you, I have to talk to her". Me "She no longer wants to talk to you, she wants a PAK code nothing else, none of your scripted nonsense just a PAK code." Eventually a supervisor sorted it out, but it shouldn't have been that hard.

Dixons Carphone smarting from £440m loss as it writes down goodwill on mobile biz

John Lilburne Silver badge


I have a old Nokia that is some 15 yo that still works and a 5 yo Samsung that is on its last legs because most of the apps don't work anymore, and google keeps wanting to update something amd crashes it. I expect this to become the new way to get people to upgrade: trash their apps, keep crashing their device, and bullshit that a 5 yo device is obsolete. Arseholes.

In 2018, Facebook is the villain and Microsoft the shining light, according to techies

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: MS is a shining light?

Back in the mid 1980s MS were the heros fighting against the EVUL Apple Corps regarding look&feel of WIMP interfaces.


Having earlier sued DRI's GEM interface only to have Atari stick two fingers up with the 520ST. MS following suite was considered a good thing. I gather that later on when Apple got into financial trouble MS bailed them out.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

John Lilburne Silver badge

Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell

"breakfast ale", which required a key ingredient in the form of muesli.

Whiskey is made from grain and thus equivalent to muesli. Just open up a bottle of Glenfiddich and cut out all the crap.

YouTube fight gets dirty: Kids urged to pester parents over Article 13

John Lilburne Silver badge

"So you did that instead of showing you children the tonnes of educational content that is on Youtube or showing them how they can use youtube to learn how to do new stuff."

There is a library with lots of educational material but to get there you have to walk past the drug dealers, hookers, and step over the dog shit. Do you really want your kid going there?

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Isn't it bad?

"Intellectual property is a "right" only insofar as the law says it is."

Real property is also a "right" only iIntellectual property is a "right" only insofar as the law says it is.

While it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from Nature at all ... it is considered by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no one has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land ... Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.

Thomas Jefferson

All property, indeed, except the savage's temporary cabin, his bow, his matchcoat and other little Acquisitions absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the creature of public Convention. Hence, the public has the rights of regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the quantity and uses of it. All the property that is necessary to a man is his natural Right, which none may justly deprive him of, but all Property superfluous to such Purposes is the property of the Public who, by their Laws have created it and who may, by other Laws dispose of it.

Benjamin Franklin

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Isn't it bad?

"What woudl the knock on effect be if the averager user uploaded a video and it took 5 minutes or 50 minutes for the system to "validate" it?"

It wouldn't they can detect stuff within seconds, and in many cases it can be detected as it is being uploaded.


There are edge cases where classical music gets wrongly tagged but the world ain't going to end if it takes a day or so to fix the glitch of a Bach fugue played by some one being rejected because it is reminiscent of some prior recording.

There are also cases where some usage is indeed fair-use but those are few and far between. It wouldn't actually take much to sort them out.

A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: How Can You Tell Without Opening it?

"it's really easy to spoof the sender field."

Indeed back in Uni someone had written a bunch of utils one of which would send a logout command to a terminal. Each year groups of students learnt of the script and would spend an afternoon logging out there buddies, etc and then move on to random users. Whilst they knew of the script they didn't know that it also logged the miscreant, the terminal that they were sat at, and the terminal they were logging off. Another script located the room and location of the terminal. So having been subjected to a bout of logging off an email was constructed using telnet from the 'Head of Computer Services" threatening to report them to their course supervisor etc.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: How Can You Tell Without Opening it?

Is the email from someone/someorg you know? Does the addressee correspond with the email address that you gave that person/org? For example if I get an email from this site it should be sent to xxxx@my.email.account.com if it is from the bank then it should be sent to yyyy@my.email.account.com, if from amazon then it should be addressed to zzzz@my.subsidary.account.com etc, etc.emails get filtered based on who they are from and addressed too. The remainder are random spam or scam.

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Web app? No thanks.

Leaving aside the issues of throughput, downtime etc. The main problem with web apps is that they tend to assume some form of cloud storage and push towards subscriptions. Surrendering your data to some organization that may or may not support your data/workflow in a few years time is suicidal.

The web is ephemeral and so are its apps. How many web based systems have gone? How many change their fundamental agreement between the user and app? There is no guarantee that any web app will be there next week, or won't have changed such that it no longer supports your workflow

You are far better long term relying on an app that you can download, that runs on your own hardware, and where you retain control of your data. Use the web for communication, and offsite storage.

Memo to Mark Sedwill: Here's how to reboot government IT

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Agilators are full of crap

Let them agilate a front end to a back end database. Anything else keep them well aware unless you are expecting to abandon the thing within a year, and go do something completely different.

The problem with 'Move fast and break things' is that the thing that they are breaking isn't a stupid website but something that is fuxoring with people's lives. Perhaps the benefit claimant can 'come back next week, when the thing is fixed', but meanwhile their rent is unpaid or they have no money for food or heating. Perhaps that operation can be put off for a few more weeks, or those test results can wait another month or so.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

John Lilburne Silver badge

Seems the court has just rubbed his nose in it.

Watchdog sceptical UK.gov's Universal Credit can handle 8.5m benefits claimants

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Why bring in a political party?

"without someone, somewhere being negatively impacted."

Its not someone ,somewhere. Its a shed load everywhere.

The system is in disarray, has a lack of staff, and has an IT system that is mostly TITSUP* every day.

From today, it's OK in the US to thwart DRM to repair your stuff – if you keep the tools a secret

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: You can already get arrested for having a screwdriver

"Gene, if that were true I'd have been shot decades ago."

Hey I've had a metal comb described as an offensive weapon by some cop. My response was "Leave it out mate its a fucking comb", his response "what are them prongs on the end for then", his partner "Oh those are for frizzing up a perm thing", me "well you learn something every day from the most surprising of sources."

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: But how are...

"If the modifications DO impact the safety of the truck, isn't this all covered in other sections of the law any way"

When there are similar issues with OEM components the things get recalled and fixed and there is large company behind the failure. With a Bubba and Cletus mod good luck with getting compo out of Bubba/Cletus.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: But how are...

Yay Wicked! Now we can have Bubba's engine management system modded truck scudding down the highway, with cousin Cletus's modded braking system in place. What could go wrong?

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: re: I read this news first from the RSS feed

Same here too. It was FF breaking my RSS reader in FF 56+ that caused me to no longer update the damn thing. OK so FF whines that "You Firefox is critically out of date ... blah blah blah" but they can fuck right off.

UK.gov withdraws life support from flagship digital identity system

John Lilburne Silver badge

Couldn't roll out ...

... a gov version of OAUTH, after 7 years, but will be 100% certain to get an import and export tax system up and running within 6 months.

Surprising no one, Google to appeal against European Commission's €4.34bn Android fine

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: "Google may reportedly pay Apple $9bn to ensure it is the default search engine in the iPhone"

Hey if the Google search engine was that much better than the rest they wouldn't need to be paying $9 billion to have it set as the default.

Google now minus Google Plus: Social mini-network faces axe in data leak bug drama

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Another One Bites The Dust

I normally get voted down for this but ... the internet is ephemeral and you are unwise to buy into any web based service as it could be gone tomorrow. For individual users that isn't to much of a probelm exceptfor the time wasted on the service, bitter experience says that user forums and the data put on them get trashed every day.

Systems that you build a workflow around are particularly sucky. Mozilla changed the way that addins have to be built and relied upon addins were trashed (no updates of firefox despite the daily nagging). Website content management systems change and render a bunch of modules useless, I've still not got my drupal 6 site fully working with drupal 7 as modules weren't updated. God knows how much will break with D8. Is it any wonder that people don't update web sites? As an aside they broke the Date module so that it no longer works with dates < 1000CE.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Whoops.

"they have to get over a woman being the new Dr.Who."

But will they ever get over her being from Yorkshire?


Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: New internet standard...

"Given that we're only talking about a handful of bytes here, I can't see any legitimate reason for stripping EXIF copyright data. It is an evil practice."

True. However, some people insert 100s of KB in the EXIF and IPTC data. Still one could strip most of the stuff and leave behind the copyright, author, photographer, and owner fields.

Not only is it evil it is also a violation of DRM.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: New internet standard...

"What can be done and should be made illegal to remove, is placing that information into the EXIF"

It is already illegal it falls under the prohibition against the removal of digital rights information under the DRM and is separate from circumventing copy protection:


Penalties for this in the US for registered works are $2,500 to $25,000 per infringement.

Google was guilty of this, so is flickr, and of course wikipedia actively strips and clones out watermarks. It just needs someone with deep pockets to screw them over.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: That old legal 'stealing' chesnut

You may have your dates a decade or so off. TWOC was part of section 12 of the 1968 Theft Act. There is case law going back to the mid 1960s.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: New internet standard...

"Why should the onus be on a website to put countermeasures inplace?"

I agree it shouldn't. Suppose I license an images under a creative commons license the website is obliged to to add any technological measures to stop the copying. If a website can't employ tech measures to ensure it isn't misused by some one not adding attribution etc then what becomes of the legal bases of CC?

Anyway we should be suing the W3C over the IMG tag.

John Lilburne Silver badge

That old legal 'stealing' chesnut

Theft has many definitions that don't necessarily require 'permanently depriving someone of their property'. For example if I take a car from outside someone's house and drive it from Lincoln to Grantham and abandon it outside Grantham police station, there is no intent of "permanently depriving" the owner can always collect it from the cops. However, I could be arrested for Taking Without the Owner's Consent which is part of the UK theft act.


John Lilburne Silver badge

The City of Cordoba

Didn't create the image with a specific viewpoint in mind, nor arrange for the specific weather/lighting to occur at the precise time that the photog was there, they didn't organize the post-processing of the image, and besides most of the objects in the image where created 100s of years ago.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Not a joke

Finding out the photographer of an image that was taken in recent time isn't hard. If the photog is a professional the contact data is bound to be in the EXIF. Otherwise locating other sites that use the image will almost certainly give you information wrt the photographer, you may even find the photogs website. Requesting a license isn't expensive it involves an email in most cases. If you can't get permission for the specific image, or the payment required is too much then there are almost certainly alternatives that are under a CC license.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Prepare for...

"Well, I'm sure every school in the world will be able to afford ..."

Its not that hard. If the attribution wasn't on the original site, they could have a) asked the site for contact data, b) looked at the DRM in the image, c) used tineye or something similar, d) got an alternative image from wikipedia commons, or searched flickr for a CC licensed one

Facebook: Up to 90 million addicts' accounts slurped by hackers, no thanks to crappy code

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Has anyone been informed by FB?

"I had to relogin this morning ..."

And you did? That was your opportunity to dump.


Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Technology that doesn't exist

Just more of the Unicorns that BoJo, Fox, Mogg, and IDS have come to believe in. Though this one seems to be part of May's Dogma and Disarray as well.

Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: As usual Andrew hates Google

Google lost. Guess they'll have to get a new business model that is adequate for the modern world, alternatively they can just fuck off.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: takedowns

Ah yes 1 billion correct take downs are out weighed by a 100,000 possible over reaches.

By your logic one would never take an aspirin, for rear of sudden death.

Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

John Lilburne Silver badge

In another time ...

... I was working in the night shit production control in a chemical factory and senior trade unionist I'd been called in early as the afternoon shift was ill so I'd been there since about 9pm. At about 0745 I was shattered and part dozing on a stool, and waiting for my relief to come in at 0800.In walks the deputy works manager, whose first words were "I thought you said you were really busy." Cheeky bastard is going to pay I thought. Shrugs shoulders and said "Oh I'm glad your here I've got something to show you." Walks into other office and show him some floor tiles that are coming loose. "Those need attention before they become a trip hazard." So he's down on his knees pulling them up, and I'm standing over him smiling and thinking: I may be dog tired but I can still get you on your hands and knees like the bitch you are. He looks up sees the smile realizes what has happened and mutters bastard.

Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Moron!

I doubt I'm the only one that is annoyed with those FB ads that are all over TV at the moment. Don't we have some advertising standards bod that is responsible for removing bullshit and lies from ads?

Sen. Ron Wyden: Adobe Flash is doomed, why is Uncle Sam still using it?

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Flash is still used on a bunch of

There are some excellent educational websites that use flash, the content may have been written a decade or more ago, but they are still both relevant, and better than content written in other systems. And those that wrote the originals may no longer be about, having retired, or moved onto other things, schools, etc.

This just goes to show that much of the data on the internet is ephemeral.

Saving the internet, fake news warts and all

John Lilburne Silver badge

Some mistake here ...

... I think you have miss spelled Dr Pangloss.

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

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

I have a NERO backit up version circa 2008 that is more useful than the current version of the software. Indeed I could install the entire 2008 suite of software and wouldn't really miss anything from the latest offering.

I know of a major aerospace company that uses manufacturing software from about 2010 because it works and the cost of re-certifying the latest release is prohibitively expensive.

I have a version of PhotoImpact (c2006) which was replaced by PaintShop Pro it has functionality that is not available in the PaintShop version.

As I said originally a wordpressor. spreadsheet, database, and powerpoint app from the 1990s contains all the functionality you really need.

I doubt that if were to install a 1980s version of emacs on any of my machines that I would notice any real functionality changes.

File formats are irrelevant. I can work with lotus lpw files all day without encountering any issues. I don't generally need to read docx files and if I do I can always use a docx viewer. It is the idiots that are buying into new file format versions that are the cause of trouble.

HEVC / x.265 encoding why would I need that I'm not that stupid to pay for some bullshit 4K screen. Jeez just how dumb are people. Remind me what the figures are, something like needing to be within 5 feet of an 80 inch screen to resolve the difference between a 4K screen and a 1080p one. Most people using 4K screens have the display set to 150-200% just to see the text.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

Hardware fails and becomes obsolete far quicker than software. I have a 1999 CD containing the Lotus suite of software, spreadsheet, wordprocessor, presentation manager, etc for windows 98. All of those apps still work today on a win10 machine. I used the presentation (freelance graphics) just the other day. I have an install of Windows Live Essentials 2011 because I still prefer the photo gallery thing that came with it.

From a home user's perspective one rarely needs the latest update of anything. It is why we all dread it when some software we use on a regular basis gets updated/upgrade as we never know how much of our existing workflow will be broken as a result.

I suspect that it the main driver to subscription based models for software companies. They need to get you locked in to forking out regular payments.

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: At least it's not BING

Everything Google want to know about a user is for advertisement and product selling.

Not so they gave up trying to understand the meta content of the web a decade ago. If you look carefully all the search engines now throw up a couple of wikipedia links, and sites they know you've visited in the past. They have also got better at detecting content free spam sites.

Once you've got past the layout differences the search results are equivalent.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: Maps

"No one else has anywhere near the richness of data (and metadata) that Google Maps has"

That will be because they are charging people to put listing there, and scrapping sites like yelp, tripadvisor, and other such databases. Once you get an effective monopoly you can start charging.

In the early days of GM they scrapped images with geodata from flickr to tart up their map pages. Their streetview pages contain still images, the photographer won't have licensed their images for that. I know because I've found a number of my photos on streetview and there is no way to get Google to remove them. Except by kill the flickr URL and removing metadata. This is one of the reasons why you won't see any of my photographs of Google Images they are robot meta banned from indexing my site.

Put site:professor-moriarty.com into a GIS and see the difference in a bing images search. Its not perfect theycan still show up if they are linked to from elsewhere on the web.

John Lilburne Silver badge

And not just metric and imperial...

You've forgotten Groats, Fathings, Crowns, and Guineas.

John Lilburne Silver badge

apple wont let anyone else make an apple phone.

Yeah and Ford will let anyone else make a Ford car, and I don't recall seeing a Bosch washing machine not made by Bosch, etc.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: At least it's not BING

Bing, vs Google -> not much difference.

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: You can't fork Android

I don't want any Google shite apps on the phone. I have an old S3 which has crap like Google Play Books, Google Play Newsstand, Google+, gmail, etc. I'm never going to use any of that stuff so why should it be there taking up memory? I want rid of it. For several weeks the phone kept wanting to download some update and constantly failing. Today apparently its no longer doing that maybe it eventually managed to do the update I don't care I just wanted it not to do it anyway.

Get rich with Firefox or *(int *)NULL = 0 trying: Automated bug-bounty hunter build touted

John Lilburne Silver badge

They have two bugs

1. My workflow addons don't work since they changed the scheme so I had to go back to an earlier release.

2. They keep whining about the version of the browser being out of date.

I know its out of date 'cos you bastards at FF screwed up the later releases.

Neil Young slams Google, after you log in to read his rant with Google or Facebook

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: ...not have the best grasp of tech...

I don't think advising on getting a sexually transmitted disease is the correct thing to do.

Call your MEP! Wikipedia blacks out for European YouTube vote

John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: The people who run Wikipedia

They will all be sockpuppets of this one:


John Lilburne Silver badge

Re: The problem I have so far...

"or using our work without our permission to promote ideas or organisations we object to, then we tend to get a bit shirty"

Indeed one of the memes currently being used by the supporters of Masnick, DFoctrow, the EFF and others has been so adopted by racists and anti-Semites that the creator has dropped the character from his comic.



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