* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Backward compatibility

"the intervening years had certainly wiped all knowledge from my brain"

I found that exams did that. I was OK doing the exam but walked out of the level 2 chemistry exam, sat on a bench on the Embankment and realised I no longer knew any chemistry.

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Re: 646464

"These aren't even obscure distros either."

Debian Stretch for one. That's because they're Just Works rather than Only Just Works distros. They run versions which were sufficiently mature when the release was frozen. You can uninstall the standard version and install a more recent version if you like. Alternatively you can keep the standard version just in case and install a more recent one alongside. In Debian that goes into /opt. I've just removed 5.2 from this laptop having installed 6.1 alongside 6.0. Having 3 versions seemed like overkill.

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Re: machines with 32-bit uefi and 64-bit Atoms

Welcome to planned obsolescence and other marketing badness.

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"I wonder if it's time to give 6.1.5 a spin."

Seems OK. The bundled icons seem to be the extremes of line drawings my granddaughter would have discarded when she was 7 and the slightly garish. Fortunately the Oxygen add-on still works. I don't know why, under Linux, they can't just use the current icon set from the OS.

I wonder how long it will take 6.2 to settle down. The prospect of being able to use KDE file dialogs on KDE is appealing.

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Re: 6.1.5 a spin

"If you are nostalgic about 2014"

2014? Kids today.

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"The new version 6.2 is the first release in 2019. 6.0 appeared just over a year ago and 6.1 turned up in August."

I wonder if it's time to give 6.1.5 a spin. Last time I tried 6.1 it seemed problematical in various respects so I stepped back to 6.0. Unreasonable? No, at that time 6.1 was the bleeding edge just as 6.2 is now. 6.0 was the choice for "just works".

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Re: the UI still feels a little last-decade

"Do you hear me Mozilla?"

Seamonkey. Sensible interface for both browser and email.

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Re: the UI still feels a little last-decade

Tell it like it is!

If you use KDE can I recommend Reactionary as window decorations: https://store.kde.org/p/1252412/ ? A gem amongst all the Win7-alikes, Win10-alikes and Mac-alkes.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

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Re: Soon never seems soon enough

"a very heavy, overhead object topples toward the hardware in desperate need of recycling."

If you're going to invoke the BOFH you have to remember that he'd probably do things more economically. Like have the hardware itself toppling towards a boss in desparate need of recycling.

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Re: Future year bugs

I think they missed one of the past dates. IIRC Sun had a date bug in 1988.

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Re: This reminds me of the

"somehow it got either missed or overlooked"

Or maybe not. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

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Re: Not really a license story, but...

Maybe he did. He got the green light in advance. The really ungrateful bastards are the ones you save despite themselves.

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"If you're running on old-style Unix kit then 'soon' is January 19, 2038 03:14:08 GMT. "

It'll keep on running. You'll just get some odd dates. And in the example given the certificate won't have expired.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Remember Y2K?

"Loans and mortgages that have 25 or more years of life in them were seeing the Y2K "problem" by 1975 or sooner."

I remember reading of a company being asked to tender for software to manage a property registry. Their proposal mentioned 4 digit years as Y2K was approaching. The prospective client said they didn't want that. The company noticed that the spec mentioned leases running back into previous centuries. They decided not to tender.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Remember Y2K?

"not paying for electricity and getting a diesel generator instead"

Red diesel?

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Re: I generate the licenses..

"The keys are somehow linked to the maintenance contract."

I had a client who reverse-engineered the keys because the vendor's maintenance was so dire. He reckoned I did a better job. Over the years I certainly dug out a few very peculiar things they'd done. That's apart from the things discovered right at the start such as the scripts to set up the system which had .sql suffixes and weren't SQL.

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Re: Soon never seems soon enough

"It does however require email registration once a year."

Back to the point of the original story.

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Re: The benefit of being forced to accept a customer's licencing terms

The document was big, very big, but the supplier was small in those days with no funds for a proper review.

Big customer, small vendor. Just the situation where a review is essential. They were very lucky in their customer.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I generate the licenses..

"My company sells permanent licenses for software but issues activation keys with expiry dates. The keys are somehow linked to the maintenance contract. It makes no sense and the bosses keep contradicting themselves about what the rules are."

Perhaps you should enquire if they've checked with their legal advisors. It sounds as if there's a distinct possibility of it being considered fraud.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Never assume 'soon' means less than lifetime of this Universe when it comes to software,"

At least, not if you're running on old-style Unix kit.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Indeed

"I agree on the not learning thing"

Are you sure? He might just have learned to avoid bagpipes after drinking.

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

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I repeat the questions I posed to the A/C above.

I take it you don't work freelance yourself. Why not? Are you too moral to undertake what you consider to be a tax fiddle? Do you think you're not good enough? Or is it just too much for your risk appetite but still haven't worked out that the risk factor is why it should be treated as a business and not employment?

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Re: The only way is BREXIT!

The same methodology used for BREXIT related most tasks by departments across government.

FTFY

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Re: FTFY

From the article: "appears to have taken advantage of rules that legally allow firms to minimise tax bills when their profits are unpredictable."

Unpredictability of profits is what business is all about. That's why business income is treated differently to PAYE on a regular job but as the above furniture item says, the rules I'm aware of wouldn't account for what the article says. Unfortunately it doesn't spell out what rules were used.

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Re: It seems government is as bad as corporations

As bad? Don't forget governments have years more experience at this than mere corporations.

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Re: FTFY

@A/C

I take it you don't work freelance yourself. Why not? Are you too moral to undertake what you consider to be a tax fiddle? Do you think you're not good enough? Or is it just too much for your risk appetite but still haven't worked out that the risk factor is why it should be treated as a business and not employment?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"El Reg asked for clarification as to whether there have been further tests since the 24 cases mentioned, or whether the test results simply weren't recorded. We have yet to receieve a response."

Just ask them if they've any evidence that any testing took place.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"determining IR35 status from the employee to the employer."

The terminology seems to be assuming the outcome.

DXC Technology utters words 'hiring' and 'digital' 105 times in Q3 earnings car-crash

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Re: Que?

It sounds like you have a clue. That's what they do, useless management drivel. It's a sort of variation on the Beeb's motto: management shall speak drivel unto management.

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Re: Exciting

"Who are these clowns that write these job specs"

They're obviously highly principled, otherwise why would they put in such warning words?

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Re: The invisible hand will make it all better.

"Unfortunately, the board has a legal requirement to put the interests of the shareholders first."

Interests. Long or short term?

"If the shareholders can prove that they haven't, they can sue."

If the shareholders aren't happy they don't need to prove anything. They can vote out the board at the next AGM. If enough of them get together they can probably call an EGM and do it sooner. Whether they're happy depends on the nature of the shareholders and the above question applies. Long or short term?

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"This, El Reg is sure, will bring some comfort to the workforce, who have seen 40,000 colleagues already sent down the redundancy chute since the business"

I wonder if it'll also bring some legal ammunition to some of those 40k. Surely nobody'd be so mean as to use his own words against him.

Big trouble Down Under as Australian MPs told to reset their passwords amid hack attack fears

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Re: Deflection

Don't they realise statements like that just make them sound dodgy?

Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

What continually amazes me about Amazon is that how they repeatedly make themselves appear inept at the operation of that shopping cart.

Only this week SWMBO required seven pens which were ordered as one item in the cart, qty = 7. Amazingly seven separate emails were sent over the space of about an hour reflecting that each pen was separately packed, posted and delivered.

I can't imagine any business I've worked with getting away with that and the many other logistical faux pas I've seen from Amazon without being bankrupted. It seems quite likely that when they say they don't make a profit it's no more than the simple truth.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Wow

I doubt it's a matter of journalists learning to "code". More a matter of management talking to their technical staff who know the answer already. But the technical staff are minions and this is Policy and even Politics which is way above their pay grade.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Slow learners

"Had we all had to pay for email and search and social messaging etc right from the start"

As regards email we generally do pay for email even if we don't all use the paid-for provision. All ISPs I've used included email in the bundle. People who've been burned by finding it ties them to an ISP they want to leave will then usually turn to Gmail or the relentlessly rebranded Microsoft option.

On the broader point having to pay for an ISP still excludes the poorer who may then have to make use of some public facility such as a library. For these the free email providers are essential.

Given email I remain unconvinced that so-called social messaging adds anything useful.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Slow learners

"I think what Milton is talking about is the culture of expecting services on the Internet to be available to the end user without a fee. He does have a point there."

Maybe. But simply blaming "the internet" is a massive oversimplification.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the fundamental problem facing publishers – the fact that Facebook and Google dominate the online ad business and online content discovery channels."

The publishers have only themselves to blame.

In print they've sold advertising space and put it on the pages themselves. Online they chose to hand it over to Google.

For search - and this applies to far too many vendors' sites as well as publishers - on-site search is generally so poor that all too often it's easier to go to an external search engine than try to find what you're looking for on the site itself. This includes at least some of the largest tech vendors who really should know better.

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"Amazon becoming a third advertiser is a good thing"

Because the search engine on their selling site is so good at not presenting irrelevant results.

After Amazon's Bezos exposes Pecker, National Enquirer pushes back, promises to probe itself

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"Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”

Translation: "We're choosing a scapegoat."

Leaky child-tracking smartwatch maker hits back at bad PR

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Re: Dammit you guys!!!!

"It also says you can track almost to the meter, which is somewhat at odds with his 500 meter range defence."

Next thing he'll be complaining that you're expecting his marketing bumph to be true.

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Re: "But, at this stage, this security is not 100 per cent available"

Between "could be hacked only by determined skilled hackers with enough time and resources to find a a previously unknown vulnerability" and "can be easily hacked by a casual script kiddie" there is a big difference.

And all too often the big difference is only a matter of months - if that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Reductio ad absurbam

"Instead, he pointed to a one-page assessment from the German federal agency Bundesnetzagentur that the watch didn't violate that country’s Telecommunications Act."

I once had to investigate a case where a home-made roof ladder broke. I'm sure it didn't violate any country's Telecommunications Act but unfortunately that didn't help. The bloke who fell off the ladder was killed.

Defaulting to legacy Internet Explorer just to keep that one, weird app working? Knock it off

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Re: I've always felt uncomfortable with this statement

"which work perfectly... but management needs to be done via IE8"

Maybe your definition of perfect isn't.

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"Microsoft's obsession with backwards compatibility"

Whether backwards compatibility is good or bad depends on whether what you're trying to be compatible with was good or bad in the first place.

EE customer: Creepy ex used employee access to change my mobile number, spy on me

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"EE told the BBC that its own internal polices weren't followed in the case, but that its employee had been given the heave-ho."

Employee in the singular is a problem here. There are at least two involved, her ex and the one, or maybe several, who "didn't follow procedures" in handling the complaint.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

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I know this is the age of the blog and so forth but if he's threatened by blackmail I'd have thought the correct course is still to report a crime to the police.

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"We don't have to sell to you."

OTOH this could have been the outcome they were looking for.

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Re: I have some questions

I doubt a court would make any distinction between your versions.

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Re: balls

"So so many combinations."

Don't be a meanie. If you keep doing that the commentards might take their balls and play elsewhere.

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