* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Surprising nobody, lawyers line up to sue the crap out of Equifax

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Re: Credit reference agencies

"They get what they deserve."

Unfortunately those whose details were leaked got what they didn't deserve.

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Re: A modest proposal

"While jail is appropriate for truly criminal conduct, if it is used for simple negligence then CEOs will spend all their time butt covering and consult their personal lawyer before any decision."

The law has a concept of criminal negligence for situations where simple negligence is an inadequate description of conduct.

User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

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Re: CDs in 5.25" drives

"It turns out that a USB plug fits perfectly into an ethernet port."

Not that perfectly. If it was perfect it would work.

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“it would have been easy to do a smash and grab raid and pinch the PC.”

Not necessarily the only problem. A bank on Tottenham Court Road used to have desks beside the windows and their PC screens were visible to passers-by.

Shocking: Former Amazon analyst fed frat brother insider info

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Re: Epic fail.

"So Kennedy's mistake (well, apart from himself being an untrustworthy crook) was passing information to a world class stupid crook who was bound to get caught."

Yup. From TFA: "Mr Kennedy was little more than a kid (24) at the time of the incident, in 2015. He exercised very poor judgment in this case" He certainly did.

F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out 'like iPhone updates'

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Re: About our spiffy new aircraft carrier....

"What am I missing?"

A few bob out of your pocket, taken in taxes to pay for all this.

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The end result is that they can't know if the plane, including all its support infrastructure, is going to work in Korea until they actually test it in Korea.

"Are we ready for Operation Overlord?"

"We have a slight snag, Prime Minister. We don't know if our planes are going to be able to operate in France. We have to take them over there to do some testing first. Can the Foreign Office arrange that with the Germans?"

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Re: Versioning scheme

"If they're going from 3i to 3F it seems to imply that they didn't anticipate needing more than 26 interim versions between each major release."

i is interim and F is Final? Although it looks as if there's going to be an interim final. Will this be followed by a Nearly Final, and Almost There Final and a Real Soon Now Final?

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Re: Samsung TV software update comes to mind

"otherwise why are we spending $10bn on them?"

Come to that, why is anybody spending money on them when the software still isn't able to support the product's purpose, combat. And come to that why are we spending money on carriers which also aren't ready to do the same because we still don't have the planes to fly from them? Eventually, of course, they are hoped to be ready but we rather hope the Russians don't invade before then.

Yes Prime Minister: "So if the Russians are to invade, we'd prefer them to do it between Mondays and Fridays?"

Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

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So governments don't trust software from other countries because of the possibility of backdoors put in at the behest of those other countries' spooks and we as users increasingly don't trust software from our own countries because of the possibility of backdoors put in at the behest of our own governments' spooks. It's all going terribly well, isn't it?

London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

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Re: This...

"the convoluted route to get to Euston Square - it's a short walk along Euston Road"

Presumably you mean Euston Square tube station - Euston Square itself is just in front of Euston railway station. Euston Square tube station used to be called Gower Street which was appropriate because that's where the entrance is. When it was renamed Euston Square it really should have been provided with entrances & exits at the Euston end of the platform.

Back in the days when I commuted into Marylebone or Paddington to work very near Euston the route I'd take depended on the weather, something TfL should take into account. On wet days it would be the longer route via Oxford Circus on the Bakerloo & Northern lines to avoid as much walking outside as possible.

HSBC biz banking crypto: The case of the vanishing green padlock and... what domain are we on again?

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Re: People are Strange

"use that time to take your money elsewhere"

Good advice but sooner or later you run out of elsewheres.

Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

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Re: So what else is new?

"You'd think the ad droids would have figured it out by now."

Not really. It wouldn't be in their interest to do that.

The ad industry sells marketing. It would cut their income severely if they had to admit their product was junk. In a lot of cases even those commissioning ads in their customer organisations probably don't want to know: they're in marketing departments and their jobs depend on being able to generate marketing activity.

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Re: "...18 to 24-year-olds..."

"Greedy bastard."

Not at all. But the candles are getting to be a fire hazard.

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"We also know how long it takes you to forget and forgive."


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Re: No one cares

"Coca Cola vs whatever your local brand of shitty coke is"

To be fair advertising "shitty coke" wouldn't be a great move unless "shitty" meant something different to the English meaning in the local language.

That doesn't alter the fact that the more I see Coca Cola advertised the less I want to buy it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"this does of course include the customers that have been put off"

You measure the increase in sales stimulated by the few percent who responded positively and wanted whatever type of product it was that was being advertised. What you don't measure is the future lost sales that could have gone to those who don't want that type of product at the time but are so annoyed at being pestered that when they do want something of that ilk will deliberately go to a competitor. Those need to be subtracted from your gross upturn in sales to get the overall picture.

TL;DR. Not all effects take place at the same speed.

But thanks for proving my point ;)

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One of my frequent comments on advertising is that the advertising industry never produces net statistics for its outcomes; they don't measure the number of potential or actual customers put off by persistent pestering.

In response there'll be occasional replies that the industry employs statisticians who thoroughly examine results. Given that the industry doesn't seem to have spotted this one I think I'll stick with my original thought: it doesn't and daren't measure what their activities actually achieve.

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"a new channel for regular information on metrics enhancements."

Metrics enhancements. You don't say!

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Re: What Is The Point of Facebook ?

"Genuine question - what is the point of facebook ?"

To make money.

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Re: "...18 to 24-year-olds..."

"Only the queen only has 2 birthdays. Nobody has more than that."

I've had over 70 already.

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Re: Dual accounts?

"Facebook has no mechanism to proceed since Facebook has zero customer service"

What you mean is that it has no product service. You're not a customer.

Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

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"We've all had little flashes of brilliance, some of us have worked on them and abandoned them. Over the last 35 years of working in IT I'm sure I'm invented some stuff that no one else thought of"

This is the essence of programming. You're presented with a problem and you invent stuff to solve it. The core of programming patterns was the realisation that in general programmers (or, as the law calls them, persons skilled in the art), faced with a given problem, will produce similar inventions.

This should set a bar for claiming a patentable invention: it should be demonstrable that the problem has been recognised for some time and acknowledged to have not had a solution. Only in that way does it become clear that the level of originality in the invention exceeds that expected of persons skilled in the art.

I suppose one of the few examples of this is HTTP/HTTPL. It should also be salutary to realise that it wasn't simply the invention itself that made the web successful; it was making it freely available. Without that it would have had as little effect as the patent of BTs which seems to have simply sat on the shelf until someone decided to try to use it to cash in on other people's work in producing working code.

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Re: To speak to someone?

"The strength of mail by carrier pigeon is that the message is supplied along with a tasty treat."

OTOH, given that you have to supply the pigeon you might wish to forgo the treat. Shooting the messenger is one thing, eating it, especially when it's your own messenger, is another.

BTW The big weakness is the difficulty of supplying the pigeons to people who might wish to correspond with you.

Heard the one about the two landmark EU data rights' rulings? These countries haven't

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Re: That's wierd


Are you a greengrocer?

Scottish pensioners rage at Virgin cabinet blocking their view

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I wonder how long the flats have been there and whether Scottish law has anything equivalent to Ancient Lights.

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"what in the name of your least favourite deity was Virgin thinking?"

There's a built-in assumption in that question. It may be wrong.

Pack up, go home to your family: Google Drive is flipping out

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Re: Do your own - it's safer


If his Synology box is in house he wouldn't be affected by loss of an internet connection and power loss is neutral: if he lost that it wouldn't matter whether cloud storage was up or not because the rest of his office facilities would have been taken out.

Remember when Lenovo sold PCs with Superfish adware? It just got a mild scolding from FTC

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Re: I like Lenovo hardware

"To comply with this Lenovo's risk assessment program must satisfy the FTC, naturally they will be the first to operate such a program."

The auditor would be well advised to take into account the attitude that appears to underlie their comment about disagreeing with the allegations.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"But in fact for years it's been my policy to wipe the hard drive and clean install any new PC as part of setting up."

IIRC the problem with this was that if you reinstalled Windows the firmware would just reinstall Lenovo's "enhancements".

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"Lenovo said while it disagrees with the allegations"

On what basis? Are they saying they didn't do it at all or that they weren't wrong to do it? I'm not sure which is worse but maybe the latter. Neither interpretation says anything good about them. It would have been far more reassuring if they'd admitted it was wrong. As things stand it labels them as not to be trusted.

Twitter is just randomly deleting people's lists – and no one knows why

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Treny word use doesn't necessarily mean what it says

"Twitter has silently, and without warning, deleted reams of lists users have spent months curating."

Curating means taking care of things. Simply building a list of stuff perceived to be important without backing it up doesn't really amount to taking care.

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"except they care enough to read an article on a platform they apparently don't use"

You don't get it?

"laughing at people"

That's why we read it.

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Re: Give the users a break

"Lists are actually incredibly useful"

If so, why leave them on someone else's computer?

Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

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"Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook"

You might not even be there so why would you leave. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/06/facebook_claims_more_users_than_exist/

Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

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"I bought an LG Smart TV that had Skype pre-installed so went out and bought an LG Cam to Skype with my family."

Hope springs eternal.

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"a more secure locked down environment would be better if it was a mode you could turn on once your PC was how you wanted it, a simple toggle switch."

That would need to be a hardware switch otherwise all the malware writers would be going for it.

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Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

"when your only meaningful competition is Google in the thing that Google do best, you're bound to look crap."

BT runs a free hosting service for community groups under some community obligation. Google doesn't find these sites, Bing does. An aspect of search at which Google isn't best. There may be others.

It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

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Re: Semi visible text

"now, if El Reg could fix the font size in the edit box for comments"

Tell them that that's why you use so many caps and if the text was a decent size you wouldn't. They'd probably prioritise the change.

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Re: A serious question.

And "Cogs".

Yup, those too. What does a cog say to the rest of us? This is a moving part.

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Re: The studies were done in the 80s

"Forgetting past studies about flat design is another sign that people in Computer Science need to have a better training in science."

This is all about art-based designers - sorry, Designers. Scientists, computer or otherwise, need no apply.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

You're looking at it wrong

Users aren't spending more time trying to understand the page. They're lingering there to admire the cool design.

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Re: Fashion victims

"every GUI using it looks like coming from 1982. No surprise it's also inefficient."

Actually the example you linked is efficient. There are relatively few objects systematically laid out, you can navigate them with the keyboard, menus are clearly labelled, there are no extraneous graphics and there's no cause to wonder where you are on the screen. It's everything a modern flat design is not.

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"On small screens, a flatter UI can have some advantages because it uses less screen space"

Could have. But my bank with its flat design uses so much white space on its web site that I can't use it without maximising the browser window and they've even taken to adding text hints about where to click as a substitute for a control that might be out of sight. Lunatics and asylums.

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Re: Balls

"If you don't know by looking at a webpage where you can click then you should go back to licking windows."

No. The designer should go back to whatever. If the user can't use the interface the designer should be held to account.

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Re: Mr Nielsen

"Oooh, lovely text only interface."

It might not be pretty but you don't have to hunt for the functions and that's a win.

I can imagine the flat interface carried over into a self-driving car. Suddenly the car announces you have to take control. You look around and can't find the steering wheel or brake and the accident is fast approaching...

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Re: To all that replied.

"Thank you!"

You're welcome.

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Re: A serious question.

One gem of the flat style is the so-called hamburger menu. On a reasonable design if you have a link which expands to give a choice it will at least be labelled "Menu" and might even be in the form of a button. Or it might even be a series of first level items on a menu bar - much like our beloved "DATA CENTRE SOFTWARE" etc menu across the top of elReg and each then dropping down to give more choices. With a hamburger menu you get 3 short lines, supposedly a schematised drop-down list but looking equally like a schematised hamburger. This will be lurking in an odd corner somewhere and quite possibly looking much like some of the other irrelevant bits of graphic design on the page.

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Re: @artem

"at the time Microsoft desperately wanted to be Apple (as opposed to now, when they desperately want to be Google)"

I thought they wanted to be both of those and Amazon.

Kurat võtku! Estonia identifies security risk in almost 750,000 ID cards

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Re: "digital government, huh?"

"Perhaps someone would care to explain?"

Let me answer that with another question. Have you heard of "single point of failure"?

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