* Posts by John Brown (no body)

11368 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"I recall my first "PC" job involving a lettings agency with a coax cable network where just a careless touch with a foot would bring the whole network down,"

My own experience of that was that only the users upstream of the break lost their connection. Depending on the network server, eg Novel, the only way to get the affected users back on line after fixing the break was to re-boot the server so everyone else still connected had to log out anyway.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

The "turbo" button was, of course, exactly the opposite, it was a brake! Could never convince users of that though.

Ah yes, the button labelled Turbo that, when pressed, illuminated the Turbo LED to let you know the Turbo function has been activated. Genius. Not :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Cat-5?

"Don't want to sound pedantic, but in 1990 I think it was Cat-3, 10BaseT. Cat-4 and Cat-5 were introduced in 1991."

And likewise, it was either Windows 2.0, Windows/286 2.1 or Windows/386 2.0 or a very early release of Windows 3.0, so no built-in networking. As others have mentioned, hubs, not switches were likely the primary cause of the bottleneck and MS had nothing to do with either networking infrastructure or the client network stacks.

Windows for Workgroups didn't appear till about 1992 and IIRC TCP/IP was an optional extra.

Looming EU copyright rules – tackling Google news article scraping, installing upload filters – under fire from all sides

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: robots.txt

"The only way I will click a story by a "news" outlet outside my few regularly visited sites, is if interesting item appears in my news feed tool"

Similar here, but the problem with visiting most news site these days is that I have to unblock so many 3rd party scripts and allow so many 3rd party cookies to be able to see the story that I rarely bother any more other than for those sites where at least the story will appear if I temporarily unblock the sites own scripts.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Maybe if the House of Mouse hadn't utterly decimated the Public Domain we wouldn't be in this mess."

Technically, they have not "decimated the Public Domain" since the PD material they used a source material is still PD. It's only their derivative works which are not PD. (leaving aside their massively funded lobbying over the years to extend copyright)

No one is stopping you mentioning Sleeping Beauty without a Disney acknowledgement or even quoting vast chunks of the PD versions of the story (or the whole thing) without fear of retribution. Using quotes or images uniquely identifiable with the Disney versions is where copyright infringement may come in.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Fair Use

"Fair Use" was/is intended to allow the use of quoting sections of copyright works as part of a further work. It may be stretching things to call a Google search page consisting entirely of quoted sections of copyrighted works as a further work since there is no original content, analysis or comment on the quoted copyright sections. In fact, this is probably one of the fixes that is needed. A new and slightly wider definition of "fair use" to allow search engines to legally do exactly this, maybe with limits on how much can be quoted, eg headline + 20 words or something of that order.

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


My uncle, aged 60-meh, is definitely a Smart Young Thing. He has every Apple gadget he can lay his hands on*,

Surely the latter disproves the former :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Nothing new...

"Of course keyword recognition is itself a bit dodgy - personally I would by far prefer an assistant that only activates with something a bit less ambiguous like a button press combines with a "Hello Assistant". That is double excellent because it's like intercomming your personal secretary in the next office :)"

I'd prefer it if I could set my own activation word or phrase. No button required because, like most people in the world, I have no idea what it's like "intercomming your personal secretary in the next office" :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "Failure" can be more profitable than success

"I won't have Alexa in my house. My in laws do, and my offspring uses it to play their favourite music when we visit. It wouldn't be so bad if their favourite music didn't keep changing every 20 seconds..."

Next time you visit...

Alexa, pour me 5 olympic sized swimming pools of water.

Alexa, shut down all audio input for 3 hours.

The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "Massey died in a fusillade of bullets"

"Good to see that English gun control is working!"

Don't the Scots, Welsh and Norn'rish get a look in?

IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Eh, what?

"It depends on the federal government's interest in having age data accurately reported," she said, noting that the Trump administration has rolled back employers' data reporting obligations.

As far as I can see, they broke the law before the law changed so it still applies to the situation.

Microsoft partner portal 'exposes 'every' support request filed worldwide' today

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Good stuff

Not this time. MS carefully avoided mentioning "a small number of users" and instead said "a small subset of functions". So that's all right. Only a few things were broken, but everyone was affected.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: ...every ticket title for every support request worldwide!

Maybe the Ticket Management systems runs on a Quantum Computer?

FCC: Oh no, deary me. What a shame. Too bad, so sad we can't do net neutrality appeal during the US govt shutdown

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Trump is the one who is refusing to negotiate."

The thing is, there's nothing to negotiate in terms of The Wall. It's yes or no. The Dems can't part fund it and Trump can't accept less than the full amount based on their current positions. One side or the other has to back down and either forget it, or get something else in exchange.

Having said that, Trumps campaign promise was that US tax payers would not have to pay for The Wall, so Trump is the one breaking the promise and putting new and unexpected demands on the tax payer. The Dems are just trying to assist him in keeping is promise of no taxation for The Wall.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: well one thing

The problem there is the Law of Unintended Consequences, and not forgetting Feature Creep. It's asking for a ban on vertical integration, albeit in a very specific area. What happens when others start calling for the same in other areas?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Now, Pelosi wanted a free (or at least very cheap) ride on a military aircraft. It's well within Trump's authority to say "no". Besides, she's one of the richest women in the US and can easily afford to pay for the flight herself. Which she most certainly has the right to do. "

She probably could afford it, but she can't go now anyway now Trump has told every terrorist in the world her itinerary. If anyone did that to Trump he'd call them a traitor. It's all a bit childish, but that last stunt was another step too far.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Please explain: why do we NEED this so-called "net neutrality" again?

"The solution is not to socialize the system but to stop the corruption."

I know anything with the root "social" in it is anathema to many Americans, but a supposedly "free market" can't work amidst the corruption you mention or the powerful monopolies in many areas. Sometimes, regulation is the only answers. See the "Robber Barons". Regulation of the "free market" is not socialism.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Please explain: why do we NEED this so-called "net neutrality" again?

If everyone had a clear choice of ISPs offering similar speeds and facilities, it'd not be an issue since any slowdowns or service prioritisation which adversely affected customers would simply result in customers jumping ship to whoever was being the least dickish/greedy. But for much of the US, there is only one practical choice for an ISP so users at their mercy to take it or leave it. If the only ISP in your area decides to start charging pay services like Netflix for access, and then charging the users to make sure their Netflix access isn't de-prioritised, who are you going to switch to or complain to?

Vodafone signs $550m deal with IBM to offload cloud biz

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

invited to move

Invited? Really? What happens if none none of them RSVP?

I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Radio Commercials

Sounds like California, where Hyundai is pronounced "Hun-die"

Not forgetting "Poo-jho", even in the parts of the US with a French speaking heritage.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Error messages

Sounds like the sort of person who takes their car in to get the washer bottle re-filled.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Error messages

They where maths PHDs not English PHDs :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: You've already had a second vote

"87% voted for parties that supported Brexit"

So, when you vote for a party you fully support their entire manifesto without question? Most of us are just voting for the least worst option that most aligns with what we think. Personally , I voted for an candidate who is against Brexit. His party is for it. What I a quandary!!! Should I have voted for a different candidate who I didn't agree with just because his/her party was anti-Brexit?

Of course not. That would be silly. It was a General Election, not another referendum!!!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I can believe it!

"Not entirely illogical. Open it to everyone, and someone is sure to mess it up. If not changing the toner, then trying inexpertly to clear a paper jam. Or something."

Like trying to clear a printer jam in the fuser with a kitchen knife and tearing out chunks of the £200-£500 fuser roller?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I can believe it!

"In quite a few organisations I have seen, each print job has a header sheet with the name of the person who sent the job. Each job is looked at by the front-office person when it comes out of the printer to ensure it is bone-fide (e.g. not confidential information an employee is intending to take out of the building), and then the print job is carried to the person who sent it or deposited in their pigeon-hole."

Oh FFS! In this era of technology, why don't they just scan it and email it to the person who printed it and save all that physical walking around?

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"This is a classic case of making required evidence nearly unobtainable, in order to prevent questioning of the current truth."

An alternative way to look at it is that every State submits "made up" figures for their coverage areas and leaves it up to the FCC and/or Telcos to prove them wrong by going out and getting their own data. You can't disprove the States submitted data by wishing it away. You need evidence. :-)

Oracle boss's Brexit Britain trip shutdown due to US government shutdown

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Not to worry. They advise if you need legal assistance then just consult your personal attorney. Yeah. I keep my personal attorney in the closet. Don't we all?"

Based on my experience (of US tv and films, natch), every US citizen has their own personal attorney, physician and therapist on speed dial.

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Bah!

"This Means Something."

It means the site needs money to operate, hence the prominent donation button.

China's really cotton'd on to this whole Moon exploration thing: First seed sprouts in lunar lander biosphere

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I would like to see the aims of the experiment.

I also mostly agree, but 1/6th G can be achieved in a centrifuge in a space station too. I suspect this was as much a PR thing as it was a case of, "we have a some more mass/space to allocate, what would be good to try out?"

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Just a PR stunt

"In the 19th century selling everything and buying a one-way ticket to the Americas moved 10s of millions across the Atlantic on ships built purely to satisfy the demand."

Although I agree with you in principle, setting sail across the oceans on Earth is a bit easier. You can breath all the way and know you can carry on breathing when you get there. There's also a high probability you can live off the land when you get there with minimal technology.

FCC's answer to scandal of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US selling people's location data: Burying its head in the ground

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: You don't understand how it works

", I would think pretty poorly of the financial management skills of anyone who failed to become a millionaire on a senator's salary."

Really? How much do they get paid?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: You don't understand how it works

"The Clinton's were just about broke when they went to the White House,"

Is that a normal persons definition of "almost broke" or the definition used the 1% of 1%ers?

World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Please select the number of people who will use the bed."

Is there a single occupancy surcharge?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

If the BOHF had been there, it would have been armed with a flame thrower and enhanced cattle prod.

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"In any normal business, heads would roll for this....."

I wonder if they have enough people and equipment to form a firing squad?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch

A pity nobody thought to ask him "If, as you tell us, the army has enough soldiers to keep the country safe, then why do you want to recruit 40% more?"

I came here to raise the exact same question :-)

Spektr-R goes quiet, Dragon splashes down and SpaceX lays off

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Spektr-R was only supposed to last 5 years

I find it interesting that it's rarely if ever been mentioned in the western press until now.

Maybe because it's doesn't produce pretty pictures like Hubble does for the meeja.

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

" I don't think this is a cover up - I think they are just rubbish on the software front."

Now, I do understand that the app is not part of the safety critical systems, but you'd think companies such as car manufactures dealing day in, day out with safety critical system would at least apply similar work practices if not the same stringent testing principles to everything they do.

Computing boffins strip the fun out of satirical headlines

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"When I contact customer service it's because I already couldn't find the answer online, so it's not going to be a simple question that the AI can parse. I end up getting passed along to a human anyway, which means the AI interaction was a waste of my time."

That's because, like most of the readers here, you are exceptionally intelligent. The vast majority of people who call any Customer Service line can't find their arse with either or both hands so the so-called AI or button press "jail" solves about 90% of the issues.

Maybe those systems should have an intelligence test at the start. Those who pass get through to a human :-)

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Better One Innit

"If you can find a book of four-figure mathematical tables somewhere, and someone who still knows how to use them, try to multiply 2 * 2 using logs."

Oh wow, that's a blast from the past. I'm of the age (in the UK at least) where we learned with books of log tables but ended up using calculators by exam time. Log table books were still provided though, not everyone had calculators. And you still had to show your method/working out so the calculator was little more that a tool to remove the drudgery of the arithmetic and act as a look up table for Log/Sin/Cos/Tan.

Huawei and Intel hype up AI hardware, TensorFlow tidbits, and more

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Deepfakes

"Since Trump IRL looks like something left to decompose on a beach for a day or two and then dunked in fake tan, the bar is pretty low."

Wow! 2 downvotes. So at least two people find Trump attractive! It takes all sorts to make a world I suppose.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Sales site categorization

"What would actually be useful is full text search, with booleans, of a free text field describing the object. Categories are nearly always 'fuzzy' and subject to ambiguity and misuse."

Sounds like an excellent use case for what currently passes for AI these days. It would have a much wider and more immediate use for a far wider range of people than so-called autonomous cars. But it's probably not "sexy" enough for the millennial devs (or lucrative enough!)

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Comparison

"Except that in the meanwhile they can't pay their rent or buy things like food, gas, clothing, etc."

Yeah, but the OP has all that stuff stockpiled in his bunker and enough cash on hand to not have to worry. Those who didn't prepare in advance for every eventuality have only themselves to blame. OP's ok so the world is fine.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Comparison

"Forget the person, and forget the specific policy. All I'm trying to saying is that if the Executive in a democracy gets voted in after campaigning / about a certain policy, then is it not rather undemocratic for the House to block / prevent / refuse funding for the policy?"

The manifesto promise was that the Mexicans would pay for the wall, therefore no government funding required. The Democrats are merely attempting to help Trump fulfil his promise as stated :-)

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"I don't see that point. Every time I order something from Amazon, I receive an order confirmation complete with the amount charged to my debit or credit card. They also drop a note when my items are shipped. Is this different from Germany?"

When you place the order, do you know for certain what the actual product is and how much it will cost you BEFORE the order is actually placed? That's the bit that doesn't happen with a dash-button and is illegal under German law.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Say WHAT?!?

Not only are you ms-lead in that way, you Amazon reserve the right to mis-lead you, and say so, as per the article a little further back up where it states

"the consumer body – Verbraucherzentrale NRW – pointed out in its filings that Amazon reserves the right to charge a different price and even deliver a different product to the one that the shopper configured for the button."

You press the button and get a lucky-dip at some random price. I suppose, technically, Amazon may not be mis-leading the customer if they come out up-front an actually say the price and product may differ every time you order.

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Wouldn't mind but it's kind of obvious if you look at me 25 was a long time , and a lot of hair ago."

Unlike in some US states where you must always show ID when buying booze, looking well over 25, I have never been asked to prove my age in a supermarket when buying any "age restricted" items.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

"UK-based smut viewers seem to be filling their boots

As far as I'm aware, that's not how smut works."

You never heard of sploshing? Even the BBC broadcasts it on a regular basis. They even do it for Red Nose Day and that Pudsey Bear thing, laying in bathtubs full of beans or custard to raise money for the kiddies. They're always thinking of the children and helping to raise money ;-)

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


"its time they turned the activation status system off and just let us get on with it;"

You trust them to send out an update to Win7 will stop looking for the activation server?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Evidently in a call center they have to use a phone - to place phone calls.

FWIW, it's more likely to be a head-set plugged into a PC and making calls via a VOIP system.

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