* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Brit banks must disclose outages via API, decrees finance watchdog

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Bank of Scotland is part of the Lloyds group.

Google bod wants cookies to crumble and be remade into something more secure

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Re: What's the betting...

"What's the betting that these tokens will be an absolute nightmare to block compared to cookies?"

Blocking is done at the browser. The choice of browser is yours. Even if Chrome were to refuse to block them or give access to add-ons which did other browsers would be unlikely to follow; even if most of them did blocking would become a USP for the one that didn't.

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Re: Beware those bearing Gifts esp Banksters & Techsters

"If your real name is all over the internet, that's because you put it there."

Not necessarily. Real names are seldom unique. 192.com finds a whole slew of other mes although many can be distinguished by a middle name. Linkedin finds more.

Just because someone's real name is all over the internet it doesn't mean you put it there.

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Re: Riiiight....

"Surely Google will make sure that THEIR cookie replacements can't be deleted."

How? It's the browser that stores them. Even if Google decided that their browser wouldn't delete them the rest of the browsers wouldn't be bound by that.

TSB takes on 250 complaint-wranglers to absorb £200m outage fallout

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Only now?

You'd think they'd have realised at the time they were going to need extra hands to help this. But then you'd think they'd have realised a lot of things at the time but they didn't.

You: 'Alexa, open Cortana.' Alexa: 'Who?'

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“Currently this experience is available in the US."

They used the e word. That's all anyone needs to know.

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

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"Can't I'm afraid; elderly relative has a Homecare contract with BG so there is no option."

Why not ignore the contract and just get someone in to fix it? I doubt Homecare will care if you don't call them. In fact, your experience seems to be that they don't care if you do.

Our first boiler in this house had the manufacturer's own alleged cover which was subbed to a local business who didn't have to depend on us for repeat business, failed to make appointments or turn up when appointments were made etc. I'm not sure, but I think a lot if not all these schemes are managed by a very few companies in the same way.

We got in a local guy who eventually got the job of replacing the dripping, irreplaceable mess of the old one and turns up to service it and fix other problems as needed (plumbing is one job I really, really hate doing myself). He also got the job of replacing the boiler in my daughter's house.

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"BG's voice recognition system in trying to sort out a boiler service"

I think I can see where your problem is. BG (or any other big organisation) and boiler service. Get a good local tradesman who knows they depend on repeat business to make a living and repeat business depends on satisfied customers.

Australia's Snooper's Charter: Experts react, and it ain't pretty

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“will ultimately diminish the presumption of innocence and the privacy of all Australians online”

Ultimately? All these proposals, whatever the country they emanate from, are founded on a presumption of guilt.

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Re: Pressed Internet users. Pre-, Re-, De-

"Please downvote if you detect pessimism."

Seems unduly optimistic to me.

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Re: The East is Read!

"So Australia has been taken over by China!"

Or Australia has overtaken China.

CADs and boffins get some ThinkPad love

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"Why are Microsoft and Apple the only manufacturers that can grasp that for a professional user having a screen optimised for movie watching is just stupid?"

Last time this came up it transpired the real complaint wasn't aspect ratio. It was lack of 1200 px vertical resolution for someone editing text on a single, presumably not very wide document and would like more lines. That's one use case. Just one.

How about:

Transcribing text from images - two documents, image and text side by side






WIde spreadsheets


There's a whole load of applications which all benefit from a wide screen.

Yes, by all means complain that you'd like more pixels. But if, as here, there's an option of a 4K screen that complaint really won't wash.

Then there's the simple observation that for a typical laptop the screen matches the width of the keyboard. If it doesn't then you just have a couple of black panels either side of screen utterly wasting space that could be put to better use.

Why is that? Look at the average keyboard. It's wide. As far as I'm concerned narrow keyboards went out about the time the VT220 replaced the VT100 - mid '80s IIRC. So, if you have a reasonable keyboard layout and make use of the width that implies, how are you going to fit a full width but still 4x3 screen above it? You are going to end up with a massively deep back to front piece of kit that nobody, probably not even yourself, wants to carry round.

As far as I can see the only way you're going to have your 4x3 ratio screen without wasting space on either side of it is to go back to using one of those dumb keyboards that reuses some of of the letter keys as a numeric pad.

You don't believe me? Try laying out a laptop design that fits your 4x3 aspect ration, has a decent keyboard, is a size and shape you'd be preared to carry and doesn't waste real estate under the lid that some of us could usefully use for pixels, even if you don't want that many.

Too many leftover screws? Ikea website backend goes TITSUP

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"I get a hot dog and chips at the end."

Presumably they come from a van parked some distance away. Because you can't reasonably count your penance at Ikea being at an end until you've finally escaped from the car park. It's possible, of course, that they've improved but there's no way I'll discover that.

Never again.

Vodafone's spending pays off - but EE hangs on to UK network crown

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Re: Location, Location, Location...

"if you are usually only in one or two locations then it's going to be whatever works there."

It makes you wonder if any of the networks have given thought to the meaning of "mobile".

Oh my Tosh, it's only a 100TB small form-factor SSD, SK?

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The obvious use case is security by obscurity. Your 10kb plan for taking over the world hidden in 100Tb of fake news.

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Re: Lazy Devs

"Do you ever get a chance to remove items from it?"

Only when it finally and irreversibly collapses in a heap. Even then you might spend a year or two walking round it.

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Presumably the price will be such that your insurance company insist on your having a security guard to carry the laptop around.

Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

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Re: budget?

"Win10 running on cheap (low powered) chromebooks is going to be"

It could be a smart marketing move. Let the punters make a direct comparison on the same hardware.

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Re: Over 30 years of personal computing and printing is STILL and issue!

You know the saying about idiot-proofing and nature building better idiots? There seems to be something similar with printing.

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"You can guarantee this won't be reciprocal. No chance that MS will want PCs running Chrome OS."

MS don't have any sway on what goes onto a PC other than OEM deals about what's on there when you buy it. The big problem with getting ChromeOS onto random H/W is that, at least last time I looked, builds of ChromeOS were H/W specific and if you wanted it for something other than a standard Chromebook product you had to build it yourself, always assuming you could get the requisite drivers.

MS aren't in the frame for this one. Unless Google have a change of heart it's always going to be easier to put a standard Linux or BSD on your PC than ChromeOS.

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Re: Can't stop DOCX

"For as long as no one else can open documents and such reliably from other vendors."

Can anyone open Office documents reliably? My experience was that MS couldn't reliably open their own docs on different versions of their own application. But at least on Linux the doc that had meant Big Red Switch time with MS Office on Windows only hung LibreOffice and not the entire OS.

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Re: OS/2

"A better DOS than DOS and a better Windows than Windows"

AKA "damning with faint praise".

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Re: It's happening...

"Sooner or later, the various OSs will just run each others' apps."

And each others' slurping.

Boffins: Confusing distributed ledger tech definitions create 'unrealistic expectations' about what it can do

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“the widespread use of language and terminology which is frequently fuzzy, imprecise, and inconsistent across different projects”


"widespread formation of unrealistic expectations as to what this technology can achieve"


"Left unsolved, this disorderly use of language and conceptual terminology could" lead to sales.

In short, IT vendor SOP.

When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't

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"a word that sounds like something a child would make up"

OK, someone had to

If we have to wait until they finish dealing with the fiasco we don't have to worry. That'll be a very long time.

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Re: Baud rate

"You may be able to pinpoint a recipient to a rough continent"

Is there a continent that isn't?

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Re: The Holy Trinity


Did you forget this icon?

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Re: Question:

" if Alice hands letters to Bob, Bob reads and then burns them, they cannot be compelled to supply the information lost surely?"

It doesn't work like that. Alice hands the letters to the gummint. The gummint reads them, makes a copy, decides whether to hand them on. If they decide to hand them on they do, Bob reads them and burns them. Gummint keeps its copy.

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Re: Double Plus Good

"Bereavement, redundancy, bankruptcy, terminal illness, domestic abuse victim, rape victim, marital troubles, criminal convictions to name the ones I can remember from my argument with the MP."

You asked her the wrong things. You should have asked her for her bank, Amazon, eBay etc details and passwords. And been prepared to explain why in words of one syllable or less.

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Re: Double Plus Good

If you do have something to hide it means you're abiding by the T&Cs of your bank, online vendors etc etc etc. I take it Oz doesn't have much of a financial services or ecommerce sector; either that or they're trying to get rid of them.

Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November

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If it''s been working with those file systems up to now why would it suddenly stop? Must have got one of those national security letters.

Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

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Re: Alternatively

"can't someone come up with an app to spaff false location data back to Google to make their data sets useless ?"

What makes you think they aren't? What's really needed is an app to make the advertisers realize they're useless.

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Re: you may stop seeing helpful recommendations based on the apps and sites you use

"Helpful to whom?"

Helpful to Google because they've conned their customers, the advertisers, into thinking this is valuable* data for which they should pay.

*although almost inevitably worthless

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Re: You got to love Google and their ilk! Ha!

"hese companies spend millions on ML systems research to mine all that juicy data to be able to predict the next big thing we the plebs will want."

And get it wrong.

Not that it makes any difference to them. They sell the results to their mug customers, the advertisers, who promptly pass on the costs to us, their (the advertisers') customers.

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Re: Firefox and DuckDuckGo

"So yeah, use a different browser sometimes."

Only sometimes?

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Re: Google takes revenge

"If you have trouble understanding the difference between non-compliance and permission, ask a grown up for assistance."

If you have difficulty understanding the difference between opt-in and opt-out, ask a grown up for assistance.

Likewise if you have trouble understanding "Avoid making consent to processing a precondition of a service" ( https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/consent/ ) ask a grown up for assistance.

Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

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"The only reason anyone would want to keep it secret is if it's doing something it shouldn't be such as profiling by race."

A few other possibilities. One is that it's such a pile of crap that they wouldn't be able to sell it or those that bought it would want their money back. Alternatively, it's such a pile of crap that the victims would take them for everything they've got and more in damages. More likely it's another of those AI things where nobody knows how its arriving at conclusions so it's not so much they don't want to disclose anything, more a case of they can't.

When NI had the judge-only courts the judge had to give a reasoned account of how he came to his decsion (which, of course, is more than a jury has to do). If S/W were to be a tribunal of fact I'd expect failure to give a reasoned decision to be basis for appeal against conviction. I'd also be interested in how S/W instructed itself in matters of law; with a jury trial this is always done in open court and can be a basis of appeal on the grounds that the judge made an error in law.

If the S/W is determining sentence then I'd expect lack of explanation there to be the basis of an appeal against sentence.

Former NSA top hacker names the filthy four of nation-state hacking

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Re: Rofl

"Remainers still trying to claim it was Russia wot won the Brexit vote despite there being no evidence of it turned up"

I tend to agree with you. Hanlon's razor is sufficient explanation for the Brexit vote.

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So which of those miscreants should be dropped off the list to keep it to four but with the US in its rightful place at the top?

Database ballsup: NHS under pressure over fresh patient record error

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Re: Between my wife and myself

"despite being techheads of the first order, we both insist on getting paper letters for appointments which we take with us to the actual appointment."

Despite? More likely because of.

We had the experience of turning up for an appointment of my wife's complete with letter and being told it had been moved to the previous day and we'd been notified (Oh no we hadn't) about 3 months previously.

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

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Re: Business as usual

"Cue my boss patiently trying to explain how SMTP works for an hour, before giving up and pointing out it's about as secure as a postcard."

And the irony is that in all probability the business's marketing department were paying some marketing company to spoof emails to customers in exactly this way.

It's high time email clients, as a default, would raise a conspicuous flag on messages that don't originate in the domain they purport to come from. Yes, it would make life difficult for marketing departments and the spammers they employ (I can scarcely contain my indifference) but it would also make life a little more difficult for malware flingers if their spoofing were to become exposed.

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It probably wasn't a consideration but it's never a good idea to fire someone who's just demonstrated they know where your IT system has a security hole.

Firefighters choke on Oracle's alleged smoke-and-mirrors cloud

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"against not just Oracle but also executives Safra Catz, Mark Hurd, Larry Ellison, Thomas Kurian, Ken Bond and Steve Miranda, citing allegations of fraud."

Suing the named execs I can understand. But, assuming they still hold shares, they are part owners of Oracle. Why are they suing themselves and their fellow (alleged) victims?

The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?

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Re: Confused

"But maybe I'm just odd."

Maybe but in view of the rest of the comments most of us are similarly odd. But we always knew that.

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Re: Desktop front-page should be three stories wide


Agreed but as I don't even bother with Top/Most read I'd ditch those as well and make it even less cluttered.

I/We read ElReg for the content, not the displeasing layout.


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"I don't really care about the front page, since I use RSS."

Is the RSS still working? I used to see it on Myth TV and it stopped updating a week or too ago so I unlisted it.

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Re: Its too busy...

"let the working age people sort the website out."

They did and this mess is what we got.

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Re: Lipstick on a pig

I use the front page but dispute the lipstick. It's what you get when you fix what wasn't broken.

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

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Re: Actually back in the 1990s I was at a company...

certain letters would "drop out"

That's the trouble with loose letters. Should have fixed them securely.

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"“We’ve been trialling a new IT printing system and a number of mistakes were unfortunately not picked up before this letter was dispatched.”"

Translation 1: We didn't bother proof-reading the boilerplate.

Translation 2: Our proof reader was illiterate.

Translation 3. We told our proof reader they were just being negative and passed the boilerplate as correct.

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