* Posts by Tim 11

357 posts • joined 4 Jan 2010

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Hi, Google Duplex here, trying to book a haircut for a socially inept human. Sorry, 'COVID-19'?... DOES NOT COMPUTE

Tim 11

Relying on human operators

Aha! I bet if you took apart one of their so-called self-driving cars you'd find an illegal Bangladeshi child-labour immigrant stuck in the engine compartment with a periscope

'Azure appears to be full': UK punters complain of capacity issues on Microsoft's cloud

Tim 11

Re: Invalid and Valid

From memory, Microsoft service agreements use some kind of weasel words to the effect that a service is only considered down if no part of the service is running at all. Couldn't log in to your email? but the login page appeared didn't it? so the service was up but just in a degraded state.

Time to burst out graphing: Get the Windows Insider experience... by taping a calculator to your monitor

Tim 11

"Outlook search has also been fixed"

I presume you meant to say "one bug in outlook search has been fixed". Searching in outlook has been a debacle since day 1, and I doubt they've rewritten it from scratch now.

Log us out: Private equity snaffles Lastpass owner LogMeIn

Tim 11

Re: better solution?

correct horse battery staple

Tim 11

Re: why is this an issue

Theoretically they could change the encryption algorithm to one that has a back-door and re-encrypt your vault next time you type in the password, and you'd never know.

In reality, my hunch is that the risk is low - the bigger a company is, the more concerned it tends to be about internet security and obeying the law, but in the world of password management it pays to be a bit paranoid (especially as there have been demonstrated attempts of governments trying to interfere with encryption), and many would argue that unless it's open source, you can't rely on it. I certainly have some sympathy with that view.

JavaScript survey: Devs love a bit of React, but Angular and Cordova declining. And you're not alone... a chunk of pros also feel JS is 'overly complex'

Tim 11

Re: Not sure where to go

For anyone (like me) who has been out of the loop and feels overwhelmed by it all, I think this video is a useful way to spend an hour of your time - less if you skip over the bits you're already familiar with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pThnRneDjw

Microsoft's Teams goes to bat for the other team with preview on Linux

Tim 11

Electron?

I thought teams was built using electron? surely in that case portability is automatic?

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!

Tim 11

Re: A good u-turn

Notepad++ is, as its name suggests, the Notepad equivalent of C++. Too complicated and confusing unless you're an expert in it.

I'd be happy with normal Notepad if they would fix a few obvious things like (1) actually putting in line-ending detection (instead of just blatantly lying and pretending you have); (2) handle at least moderately large size files (e.g. 100MB - not exactly big for a log file); (3) put in a keyboard shortcut for "goto line"; (4) actually display the current line number. Surely this would be a trivial amount of work

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze

Tim 11

Re: Do...While

Most looping is iterating over data structures, and nowadays most languages have some kind of ForEach which is a godsend.

For the other type of loops where you're waiting for some condition before you exit, I almost always prefer an infinite loop with an explicit breakout when the condition is hit, rather than the different while/until constructs which force you to move the condition to the beginning or end.

UK public sector IT chiefs shrug off breach threats: The data we hold isn't that important

Tim 11

Evidence?

This is just shoddy shit-stirring journalism and we should be expecting better from el reg.

The article (and Sophos) are automatically assuming that the people they interviewed are deluded or dishonest but there's no shred of evidence that what they are saying is false - I'm sure there would have been just as much uproar if a small majority of private sector IT chiefs claimed their data was less important than that held in the public secctor.

Obviously tax returns, confidential medical records, passport details etc are important, but maybe they were included in the nearly-50% who didn't agree with the statement. We can't know unless there's some kind of analyis of what the true picture is.

I speak as someone who is about as far to the anti-public-sector end of scale as it's possible to get, but politics shouldn't trump truth.

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look

Tim 11

Welcome to America - the land of free speech

Back in the 90's the sales demo machine for one of our apps suddently stopped working and started generating very scary INGRES error messages. On closer inspection, it couldn't connect to INGRES because there were no database drivers installed.

On finally getting hold of the person who had set up the machine in the first place, it seems he'd seen fit to install them in a directory called C:\TEMP which had then been deleted by a subsequent user who assumed that the contents of that folder would be a good candidate for purging to free up disk space

You rang? Windows 10 gets ever cosier with Android, unleashes Calls on Insiders

Tim 11

Unified comms anyone?

If you ask me, it's pretty shameful that in 2019 we've only just invented a way for your computer (which is probably already connected to the world's primary network) to communicate with someone on a phone (which is probably also connected to the same network). if you'd have asked me that question 30 years ago I would have expected us to have got that figured out by the year 2000

Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won't love this

Tim 11

Re: ETA

+1 - writing the app in javascript using a cross-platform technology and then not releasing it on linux is completely baffling, from a technical standpoint at least.

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

Tim 11

apple keyboard

even to this day you don't get the # key printed on a macbook air UK keyboard

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

Tim 11

Re: As you might expect...

In spain recently I asked for "te negro con leche" which I understand to be the normal way to request the closest approximation they have to a proper cup of tea.

A couple of minutes later, a teapot appeared, accompanied by an empty cup but apparently no milk. I thought I'd give it a stir before asking for the milk but when I opened the lid, I found the contents of the teapot was a teabag and hot milk - no water at all

Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

Tim 11

Don't diss skype until you've tried skype for business

The presence model of Skype for business is more like rolling a dice. often i receive an email telling me I missed a conversation when i've been online the whole time, then when I log onto the outlook web app on my home laptop a week later, the conversation appears there instead. if you happen to have S4B open on both laptop and phone, you will only get notifications to none-or-one of those devices, and it's totally random which one.

etc. etc. etc. </rant>

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

Tim 11

Re: How much?

"Apparently Windows 10 S has an app in their store which flicks the switch and changes it to normal Windows 10"

but this thing doesn't have an Intel (or Intel-emulating) CPU so presumably it won't be able to run x86 and x84 native windows apps. So this while thing really boils down to nothing more than a reinvention of windows RT. Can someone explain how I'm wrong?

Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

Tim 11

Re: @AndrueC

Not really.

Another way to overcome the problem would be to allow providers to charge more to the customers that it costs more to supply to, and let the market determine what is a reasonable price for broadband in a small village.

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

Tim 11

let's go back to the good old days... oh wait!

in the olden days (and probably still today for 90% of car owners) you can make a copy of the key before you sell your car (or house for that matter, or anything with a key in it) and still get access even after the ownership has been transferred. is this really any worse than that?

What happens to your online accounts when you die?

Tim 11

Re: IMHO

I'm not sure I see it as so much of a problem.

The world is changing fast and your kids don't like the same music/movies/games as you and generally don't want to *own* digital content in the same way older generations are interested in owning things. In fact, apart from houses and the odd sentimental keepsake, I reckon people will be increasingly less interested in inheriting things from their parents at all.

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

Tim 11

power consumption

Re: the TicWatch part of the story, what's sad is that the manufacturers have to switch to a different operating system to conserve power - surely any OS intended to be used primarily by battery powered devices (android, IOS etc) should be designed to use next-to-no power when inactive, and perform only the necessary functions at any point in time.

Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever

Tim 11

soon they'll be announcing an "upgrade" to a 24:12 aspect ratio for high end phones - bigger is better, right? ;-)

Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Tim 11

Re: Just do what the NHS does...

Here's another NHS secret: Want to break into any nursing home? the door code is 1066.

OTOH - Don't want to break into a nursing home? hmm yes I can see that :-)

Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Tim 11

not just for VR developers

I bet with one of these babies you could probably open up 6 chrome tabs at once without it crawling to a halt (or maybe even 2 tabs on zdnet with adverts enabled)

BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

Tim 11

least beleivable storyline ever

I know BOFH likes to stretch the boundaries of believably, but an outlook sync problem that wasn't caused by crap sync software?? sorry you've lost me there.

Quantum cryptography demo shows no need for ritzy new infrastructure

Tim 11

Current crypto is good enough. It's not perfect but it's sufficiently difficult to break that if the powers-that-be want to snoop on you they will resort to other measures (of which there are plenty).

Quantum crypto will always be so much more difficult to deploy that it will probably never find a real-world application.

The only people willing and able to pay for it will be high level politicians and military types who will have to rely on a massive hierarchy of underlings to actually implement it, and the attack points will be in that hierarchy of human fallibility not the crypto tech itself.

Men are officially the worst… top-level domain

Tim 11

Is this even useful?

What is the point in analyzing dodgy domains and sites by the TLD they are in? do punters generally think a .com is more likely to be legit than others?

As far as I'm concerned the TLD is about as meaningful as the day-of-the-week it was registered as an indicator of whether the domain is likely to be dodgy or not.

Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ if it stuffs up GitHub, says future CEO

Tim 11

Re: Decentralised

"Back to a world of mailing lists, personal websites and tarball downloads"

Not really, just forward to one of a million github imitators that will spring up (assuming the current trend of cloud companies offering services for free with no sign of a business model continues unabated as it has for 20 years).

Switching between git suppliers is trivial thanks to the basic nature of git, so I don't think many devs will lose sleep over that.

Kill the blockchain! It'll make you fitter in the long run, honest

Tim 11

Real Gains

However you call it, there's no doubt that a lot of people have made a lot of *real* money on crypto-currency speculation.

All that's required to make money is that we're not at the top of the hype curve yet. That's why people buy houses and twitter shares and lots of other things that are hopelessly overvalued, not because they think they are undervalued but because they believe that someone else in the future will be even more gullible and will take said asset off their hands for more than they paid.

Although like (presumably) Alistair, I haven't put my own money into crypto, I think a lot of the negativity that comes out of some commentators is because (like me) they're just pissed off they think they've missed the boat, and they want to justify it.

Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones

Tim 11

Re: As long as they run a 3G service ...

As a proud owner of a Nokia 130, I can vouch for the fact that 2G is alive and well (though obviously not for three customers). I don't generally get signal strength problems and battery life is in a different ball park to 3g and 4g phones.

Twitter: No big deal, but everyone needs to change their password

Tim 11

Re: So all websites store your plaintext passwords for batch-hashing later on?

@nifty when a user logs in, their plain text password is symmetrically encrypted in transit (i.e. using HTTPS), then at the other end it is decrypted and then hashed to compare against the password database. any logging that takes place during this window after decryption and before hashing would have access to the plain text password.

GoDaddy exiles altright.com after civil rights group complaint

Tim 11

Human rights

It's all about a trade-off between the rights of non-white people to go about their lives, the rights of white-supremacists to air their views and the rights of go-daddy to choose who they want as a customer. All of these are enshrined in law.

Just as white-supremacists can't be forced to shut up unless they break the law by violating the rights of non-whites, go-daddy can't be forced to give white-supremacists a voice unless that breaks the law by violating their free-speech rights (which it clearly doesn't).

In the same way, Wal-Mart refuses to sell CDs with the "explicit lyrics" sticker on - that's their choice

Airbus plans beds in passenger plane cargo holds

Tim 11

reclining seats turn into bunk beds

It seems to me that 3 flat "beds" stacked vertically would take up no more space than 3 normal seats one in front of another. I'm sure this could be achieved by some kind of rotating mechanism.

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

Tim 11

The fault is with Netflix

Having a many-to-one mapping between email address and mailbox is not the problem; there are plenty of ways to do that even without this gmail feature.

The fault is entirely with Netflix - they should not allow someone to sign up for a site without validating the email address to ensure the person signing up owns that email address.

Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design

Tim 11

Re: Still Not Getting It

"I don't how understand how they can be so thick that they haven't realised this yet."

they have done plenty of much more stupid things than this in the past - I am not surprised at all.

Microsoft Store adds ‘private audience’ apps to its Store

Tim 11

Microsoft store

Is that even a thing anymore?

Hate to add to the wanky jargon – but your digital transformation is actually a bolt-on

Tim 11

Survivorship bias

Even though it may seem that some companies are struggling with digital transformation (or any kind of business transformation for that matter) and maybe even questioning whether it's worthwhile bothering, don't forget that most of the time you are only comparing them with other companies that still exist.

Even if your stock price or market share has gone down while you were undergoing transformation, that doesn't mean it would be better if you hadn't done it; in today's world, companies have to run just to stay still.

Airbus ditches Microsoft, flies off to Google

Tim 11

Desktop Apps?

I'm sure google would like you to think this means that everyone in airbus will be doing their word processing and spreadsheet work using google's JavaScript office apps, but anyone who's tried this for real knows it's just not realistic.

I suspect what this means in reality is that although they'll be using the web version of gmail, they'll still be using word and excel but just storing their documents in google's cloud. Even if that's not their plan, I'd wager that's where they'll be in 5 years time.

Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Tim 11

MacOs

There's 2 huge reasons a lot of non-technical people are prepared to buy apple kit regardless of the cost/performance: (a) the apple logo and (b) the simplicity of the interface. This can't touch either of those.

For sure there are reg readers (like me) who have bought apple for other reasons, and might be tempted by kit like this in the future, but we are in the tiny minority of mac users.

That terrifying 'unfixable' Microsoft Skype security flaw: THE TRUTH

Tim 11

Re: I'll quickly check my Skype version

Hmm, I'm on version 7.40 (the proper windows version, not the UWP version). if I click "check for updates" it says I have the latest version. I have no wish to "upgrade" to the UWP version so I guess I'm sticking with V7 for the moment

Oracle: We've stuffed automation in 'pretty much' all our services

Tim 11

Re: Yeah, real soon now...

They also use the old Microsoft technique of just self-referentially redefining the latest buzzword - e.g. last year "we're now a cloud company, so the definition of cloud is everything we do, so everything we do is cloud" without actually changing anything.

From July, Chrome will name and shame insecure HTTP websites

Tim 11

Re: yet more encouragement ...

"...SSL certificates are free and take little effort to install, add virtually no load or problems for your website"

This is exactly the problem. Google are training naive users into thinking that just because the site is HTTPS, somehow it's bona fide. When any old idiot can get a cert for free, that's a very dangerous assumption.

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Tim 11

LR14 !?!?

I presume you mean HP2s or HP11s - nobody in the 80's had heard of things like D size or LR14

It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

Tim 11

Re: Could mark the end of the celebrity/political sex tape

TBH I don't really make a distinction between fake and real politician/celeb any more. They're all just bodies for hire to promote a product, and whether they're the "real thing", a human impersonator or a digital avatar doesn't make much difference.

Skype for Biz users: Go watch nature vids. Microsoft wants you to get good at migration

Tim 11

Good Riddance to bad rubbish

We're a long way from Teams being good enough to replace proper skype, but there are some areas where it works well. SfB on the other hand has never been usable or stable enough to be a viable product.

Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

Tim 11

1TB flash

"The three-grand asking price of this particular Book 2 is because it carries a 1TB flash SSD"

No it's not. I have 1TB flash SSD on my dell latitude. It cost about 200 quid from what I remember, and I got to keep the HDD I took out of it

PHWOAR, those noughty inks: '0.1%' named Stat of The Year

Tim 11

Re: 7.7 billion: the number of active phone connections in the world

it's not very clear but I would assume it's the number of land-lines + active sim cards (i.e. either on a contract or with credit balance). if you include business, most people in the UK probably have between 2-3

@Aaiieeee I believe a lot of people who don't have access to mains electricity live can charge mobile phones through solar panels or wind-up

Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?

Tim 11

better than nothing?

Of course Wikipedia isn't perfect, nothing's perfect. Everywhere you look in the world there is injustice, and journalists make a living from being outraged by it, as if we (humanity) had a choice between doing things right and doing them wrong, and we chose to do them wrong.

But that's not the way the world works. We invent things at random all the time, some are good, some are bad, we usually don't know which is which when we invent them, and on the whole the ones that don't work fall into disuse. Could anyone really claim that the world as a whole would be a better place without Wikipedia in it?

Coventry: Once a 'Ghost Town', soon to be UK City of Culture

Tim 11

What is this award supposed to indicate?

Is it intended to revive the culture of a city which is ailing, or celebrate one which is thriving?

The name would imply the latter, but assuming it comes with a slab of cash to promote cultural events, giving that cash to the city with the worst culture would make more sense.

Microsoft adds nothing to new Semi-Annual Windows Server preview

Tim 11

worth installing

I assume the new release contains fixes for bugs that are more scary than the ones they are prepared to tell you they left in.

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