* Posts by Timmy B

687 posts • joined 30 Mar 2011

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One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Goodbye Youtube?

I've got books on loads of those and a good few OS maps sat within arms reach of me right now... Not to mention in the room next door I have boxes full of materials that could be used to make weapons (primitive bows, flint knives, etc...). These laws are just barmy. Eventually we'll have one law and the text will read:

"If said person looks a bid dodgy then he may be liable to arrest and imprisonment for a time left to the judges discretion (oh, unless they are an MP or friendly with one)"

Oh dear! Amazon's facial recognition is racist and sexist – and there's a JLaw deep fake that will make you want to tear out your eyes

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: mashup

Winters Bone is an excellent, but certainly not happy, film. If you don't think she can act watch this.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Why not just

"and you think it's not listening anyways?"

Yes. It is a mechanical switch that turns of the mic circuit.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Why not just

"I would consider allowing one of these devices into my home if it had such a button, provided that the button operated by physically removing power to the microphone pre-amp. It would also require an LED on that power line so I could see if the device was capable of listening or not."

Teardowns of some (not seen all) of the Amazon devices seem to show that this exactly what the mute button does. Physically cuts power to the mic in a way that can't be switched back on electronically.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Again I have to ask...

"Why do you call it "paranoia"? Paranoia is irrational fear of a nonexistent threat. I don't think this qualifies -- the threat is real and is demonstrated on a regular basis."

I call it paranoia because, and look at the vast majority of posts on this topic here, most people are basing their worries and mistrust on the fact that "we simply don't know what's going on in these companies". There is no solid proof they are doing anything that a) wasn't already being done and b)is anything like they assume. Worst case baseless assumption is best summed up as paranoia.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Again I have to ask...

@MachDiamond...

Two Questions:

1. Who are they?

2. Why are "they" doing this?

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Again I have to ask...

1. Scope creep and potential (ab)use for things you (and they) haven't thought of yet

That's simple paranoia - you could argue that against anything at all. Don't watch TV as they may find some kind of subliminal way of controlling you. Don't go outside in case of snipers. Where do you stop. I find that any reference to the nebulous "they" usually doesn't really mean anything. Except to those living in a hidden bunker in the wilds.

2. For all kinds of reasons the default in life should be that things are private, not shared. These things are trying to make it the other way round.

We are always, always, giving up little aspects of our privacy. Unless you want to retreat to said bunker.

Timmy B Silver badge

That actually makes sense. In fact I would even consider it because they only have multiple syllable trigger words for Alexa (3 in the default) and that's a struggle for one of our users. If I could replace it with "Hey!" and change "Alexa, turn lights on" to "Hey light on" that would be great. I may have to get my soldering iron out now.... If only I had a friend with a new 3D printer.... oh...

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Why not just

If only they had a button on the top to turn off the microphones....

Timmy B Silver badge

Again I have to ask...

Why the paranoia? I take it anyone complaining about having one of these devices never uses anything on the internet they enter any information into. Certainly not Amazon, Google, etc.

I say this because we use Alexa a lot. But we have a disabled elderly relative and it makes so many things very handy. I do understand I could put in the effort and time and cost into other methods - but it's so easy. Amazon can know when I turn on the lights - I don't care. We make sure that when we are plotting our overthrowing of western capitalism we are well away from any electronic devices...

Are you a Windows 1 in 10 (1809)? Or a mighty 80 percenter (1803)?

Timmy B Silver badge

All but one PC on 1809.

The one that isn't is an HP PC that absolutely refuses to install it due to some kind of driver conflict that I don't really feel inclined to sort out as it's running fine. It'll get it eventually.

Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020

Timmy B Silver badge

"The first thing I've done on pretty much every Windows server I've worked on was to install Firefox. And that probably took an hour or so each time accepting security warnings."

It took you an hour to install Firefox on a Windows Server? What the hell were you doing? I just did the same in under 2 minutes - including downloading it.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Browsers

Why not have the browsers use native controls for the OS that they are running under by default. By all means allow theming for people that care - but otherwise allow me to skip the bloat of a whole new set of ui controls and stick to the look of the OS I am using.

I will get a slap for this but as I use windows 10 I use Edge - I try others for a while when new releases come out and still don't find them as fast or stable. But Edge - why do you have silly tabs at the top of the window? Why no proper title bar? At least your tabs look decent, unlike the badly drawn curvy horribleness that is Chrome. chrome who don't even respect the inactive windows colours set in windows. And while I'm on it - Chrome has dialogs - like the task manager - that don't even use standard controls for the buttons and Icons that vanish (default highlight colour in windows is blue - so don't use the same blue for your icons and buttons without inverting when selected.

UI is what I do all day. I like the modern flat look as it allows less clutter and more user focus on the important stuff. But do it right...

Sad relics of UK launch capability returned to Blighty while NASA fiddles with Boeing crew

Timmy B Silver badge

Penicuik....

The place that gave me my worst ever hangover... There is a hotel there I stayed in for work that had the most amazing collection of malts. Dozens of them. Me and my manager made the daft mistake of asking the barman his favourite. It's a quiet Sunday night and the next thing we know he's walking over having poured out samplers of nearly all of them and the 3 of us proceed to stay until the wee small hours discussing each in turn...

Totally amazing hospitality but ouch the next morning.

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

Timmy B Silver badge

"But these are American lawyers...."

And if I understand them right they are spending too much time chasing would be British princesses to do actual courtroom stuffs.

Timmy B Silver badge

Isn't it more like a car than a house? In that if you took your car to be repaired and the mechanic turned round and said, "We fixed it but now if your fuel tank is less than 1/4 full you won't be able to do more than 30mph". All the high priced lawyers arguing against Apple can surely come up with that as a counter argument.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD

Timmy B Silver badge

We have both - which I think is the best way to deal with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.gb

Timmy B Silver badge

"Except for .uk when ISO says it should be .gb"

We have both and can use either.

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed

Timmy B Silver badge

That's twaddle. A species is more than its collection of genes. Certainly until we are able to remake a genetic makeup and reform a living creature from that. Otherwise we could just store the genetic makeup of any creature - kill them all and still maintain they exist. The same as knocking down a building, looking at the blueprints, and stating the building still stands.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Umm... nope.

" is getting 5 to 10 degrees warmer and 3 to 7 degrees colder"

Have you got any documentation to show any of that?

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

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Unlike others I can actually see the point.

Not many that you can say "Pour a cup of tea" to. There are some with sensors, etc. But if you have very limited mobility the ability to say "Alexa, pause the TV and turn on the kitchen lights" then to move to the kitchen and say "Alexa, pour me a cup of hot water". I have some of these things in place and it just makes everything easier for them. Also for us being able to check from upstairs what's ben left on, etc. I could write a solution - I could buy alternatives - I could.... but why when the Alexa stuff is so easy. I couldn't give two hoots if Amazon knows when I turn the lights on.

Timmy B Silver badge

Unlike others I can actually see the point.

But then I have spent over 10 years living with people with serious disabilities. If you can tie a smart assistant into a tap that gives tea or coffee temperature water you would turn what for fully able people is a 5 minute task, but for a disabled person 20 minutes, back to a 5 minute task. Contrary to what others are saying - that is very humanising for them.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: forward looking

What underhand seditious plots do you talk about when you go to a friends house? In fact, now I think about it, I bet you don't actually have friends and this is very hypothetical. If you do, though, and you really want to cause fun then when you are at their house say something like "Oh! You have one of those Amazon things? What does it do? Can you say things like "Alexa order me 10000 rolls of toilet paper?" Then watch the panic.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

Timmy B Silver badge

Downvoted. Not because you're wrong but because "Satnav Nutella". That's terrible. And naming someone after Nutella is no kind of insult.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Clickbait

I really likes WP. But the lack of support in apps killed it for me. It's simply no good if the few apps I need don't exist. ViewRanger being the main one. But it was fast, efficient and not resource hungry (oddly the opposite to the way its big brother can behave sometimes).

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: WAIT! Hang on, back up a second ...

"I hired an eGolf with Zipcar recently. 160 miles left according to the computer. Turn the heating on, dropped almost instantly to 106 miles. So probably 30%, give or tak."

That's terrible. We lose less than half that in our leaf. But I suppose it depends on the weather - if it was very cold it may be different. In the UK we tend toward wet and chilly rather than properly cold and I don't really like temps above 18C anyway.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: WAIT! Hang on, back up a second ...

I don't "have to login". I can walk to the car and get the information. It's just simpler not to. I also don't give two hoots who knows how much electricity I use, how much I have left, how far I can drive on it or if I have the aircon on. If I was to worry about that then goodness only knows what else I could find to worry about. I'd certainly not go anywhere near the internet.

For someone keen on "giving up teenager range anxiety" you're very keen on keeping hold of teenage conspiracy silliness. I have an EV because it drives better than any other car I've ever driven, is more comfortable than any other and is cheaper by far than any other. But it did cost more than anything I could afford as a teenager for sure!

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: WAIT! Hang on, back up a second ...

"You mean you have to login to a REMOTE computer to use DASHBOARD GAUGES?"

erm - no. All of this information is available on dash gauges. But it is useful to have some of it available to the app. For example if you are at a service station and the car is charging - you are having a coffee and check from inside to see the state of play, or you're shopping for the day and you want to check the progress of charging, or plugged in at home and want to check. There is a whole load of information that's available without being in the car or turning the car on.

You're totally missing the point.

Let me put it in non-EV terms. You're going on a journey - perhaps to an appointment at a set time - and the fuel station is in the opposite direction to the appointment. You can't remember how much fuel is in the car. You can simply check on the app to know if you have to leave earlier to be at the appointment on time. All makes total sense to me.

Timmy B Silver badge

The worst thing about owning an EV (we have a Leaf) is the app. The software is terrible, slow and buggy. There are some 3rd party versions that are a little better - but not much. We frequently have issues getting the car to pre-heat (something important on very cold days as it can add sizable range) so have learned to set the pre-heat using the timer the night before. I don't think this is a cover up - I think they are just rubbish on the software front.

Everything else about having an EV is great.

And amusing you chose to post a Juke engine bay. We have one of those too....

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

Timmy B Silver badge

"Too many little bones."

I prefer to just section out the rear legs and loins - jrt gets the rest. No bones then. Easy to prepare too.

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

Timmy B Silver badge

"PC sales are down a lot (mostly due to Win 10 being a bag of nails that tries to advertise and sell your soul). Most have moved to tablets and mobile phones, Mac's and Linux machines."

But that's simply not the case. I looked at statistics sites, such as netmarketshare and on the desktop the percentage of users of desktop OS's has been pretty constant for ages. The use of Linux on the desktop has lurked at about 2% for years and Macs tops out at about 13%. But these both waver. People, as a percentage of end users, simply aren't moving in the way you say. Just ain't happening. Unless you want to just go on word of mouth and ignore statistics sites.

Timmy B Silver badge

".. And they wonder why people are moving away from Windows where they can, you simply can't rely on Windows to work reliably any more."

Moving to what? Android tablets and phones? Yes - because they are so much more reliable, aren't they? The market share of desktops for Windows is fairly static. In fact the market share of all operating systems for desktops is pretty static at about 85% for windows 10% for OSX and 2% for Linux. In the west the flow is actually away from tablets towards a two device laptop/phone combination.

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

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: A very odd way of working...

"Just to add some facts to the discussion-"

I had facts - just in shorthand. Obama and Clinton both had shutdowns that added to weeks.

Timmy B Silver badge

A very odd way of working...

Why not keep everything as it is and then change when agreements are reached. Nothing shuts down, etc. It's nothing new in the US, though. Clinton and Obama both had multiple week shutdowns too. Just seems a bit "It's my ball - you're not playing my game" to me.

Hands off that Facebook block button, public officials told by judges in First Amendment row

Timmy B Silver badge

Would be nice to see this extended to the UK. I am currently blocked by my local MP because I dared to ask 2 questions. 1. How much, as a percentage of nights per year does he spend in his actual constituency and 2. Does he include private dinner parties with business associates in his list of MP surgeries? I knew the answers to both as I had been told them in private but wanted a public record. According to his website he did enough MP surgeries to do one every 3 days but of these only on a month were actually open to the public! Marcus Fysh - if you're wondering.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Ticks and Lymes disease

Bzzt, wrong.

Read https://www.lymedisease.org/hard-science-on-lyme-ticks-can-transmit-infection-the-first-day/

TLDR version: 5% transmission with the first 24 hours. 50% between 1 and 2 days. I would not want to risk being in that 5%.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Ticks and Lymes disease

No. No. No. No.

Never ever use chemicals on ticks. They may well hate it and fall off but they may also disgorge (vomit) stomach contents back into your own blood stream as they do. Even if the eww factor of that isn't enough for you the increased chance of infection and Lymes should be.

Me? Not a hippy - just a trained outdoor instructor and wilderness medic.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: UK has its dangerous species too. Not a lot, but they do exist.

Rabies in bats is not the same as land rabies. https://www.bats.org.uk/about-bats/bats-and-disease/bats-and-disease-in-the-uk/bats-and-rabies

Adders are certainly not extinct. Far from it. I see them quite often, but I do spend a lot of time outdoors.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Cows

Living with a field of cows (usually bullocks) at the bottom of the garden I'm used to them and don't really have issues. Even when there are mothers with calves they get used to me and the dogs and are generally more curious. When there are sheep with lambs in there - that's a different thing. I wouldn't dream of taking the dogs out then. They get very feisty!

Timmy B Silver badge

Corner a big brock late at night and you'll see what we can really do in the way of grumpy snarling scary beasts. Though being in the woods in the pitch black with a rutting buck roe following you is very scary indeed.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

Timmy B Silver badge

Fine article. Interesting, well written and great reading. I hope for more like this as 2019 carries on.

Microsoft's 2018, part 1: Open source, wobbly Windows and everyone's going to the cloud

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 S

"i nave NEVER had to use a mobile number in the form of 7123 567890 rather than 07123 etc so why should I in MSland? It isnt as is the UK is a backwater emerging country with a newly established phone number system"

Never phoned a UK number from outside of the UK? That's when you drop the leading zero and replace it with the country code. I write code to talk to a myriad of SMS providers and they all do it differently. The fact that MS do something in another way again isn't shocking or unexpected to me.

Your two-minute infosec roundup: Drone arrests, Alexa bot hack, Windows zero-day, and more

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Roundup

I have three things with passwords I commit to memory. 1. The login for my password manager, and 2. Any banking credentials. 2FA on anything I can use it on and unique passwords for everything. What I do wish is that sites always asked you for the special numbers on the back of your cards before making any sales (Amazon....). Other than memorising every single set of credentials I don't know what else I could do.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: "environmental rights terrorists"

Terrorist - a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

According to the dictionary. If they are activists and they are using unlawful intimidation against civilians they are terrorists. Just because people aren't running and screaming their upset is no less real.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: "environmental rights terrorists"

"Please don't use that word to describe people who aren't actually in the business of causing injury or death*. It's inaccurate and makes you sound like the Daily Mail."

You don't have to actually be in the business of causing injury or death to be a terrorist - just threaten injury or death or destruction of property. If indeed (which I doubt - my money is on a couple of numpty kids) this was environmental activists of some kind then it is an act of terror - as in the threat of harm to life or property was caused by the actions of the drone flyers.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

Timmy B Silver badge
Pint

Re: Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave

One for the Paranoia reference... Though I do hope you have the security clearance for such knowledge or spare clones ready.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Next question - Video

RE: "I think you'd be crazy to let a microphone connected to a US megacorp in your house, let alone a camera."

Unless you are disabled / infirm and the said microphone allows you to do many things with great ease that you previously had difficulty doing, or are a carer for said person and find it a great aid to looking after them. Your lifestyle isn't the only one. Before you say about it - yes there are other non-connected solutions - but they aren't as easy to use for an 86 year old, or as easy to configure for someone who hasn't go the time.

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

A grizzly and a white tail will do about the same top speed with a grizzly just about topping it on a sprint. About 30mph iirc. They also, like many other predators, will out stamina a deer.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Shoot 'em all

RE: "IANAL but I understood, at least in England and Wales, that such action may be construed as poaching. The driver behind however, would not be guilty. PP"

Actually untrue. If you accidently hit a deer you are required to find the landowner and report it or you are poaching. If you pick up a deer that someone else has hit and don't try to find the landowner then again you are poaching - possibly. Deer all belong to somebody. But the hitting of the deer with the car is not a crime. If you hit other things such as rabbit, squirrel, etc (but not badger - different protection rules) then you are good to go - take it. IANAL but I do know the law surrounding game and foraging.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

@AC: RE: "You've conveniently forgotten that Britain used to allow private ownership if firearms and HUNTING?"

No. I hunt and have guns. You are simply wrong.

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