* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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

Re: Slow learners

The inetrnet took a tragically awful wrong turn in permitting the "free use" to arise in the first place.

How would "the internet" allow or disallow this? It's a communications network, nothing more, nothing less. Get a domain, set up a server with the protocol of your choice and link its address to your domain. People will use it or not as it suits them. From my point of view a paid for mail service is worth while, a paid for search engine at present isn't. The economics of free search engines probably depends on the balance between those of us who use ad blockers and those who don't; yes it's still September.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, capitalism at its best

"your browser only has Google & Bullshitipedia as search options and apparently nothing else exists?"

Here's a tip:

1. Navigate to the search engine of your choice on the browser of your choice.

2. Find your browser's setting for home page - every browser I've seen has one so if yours doesn't try a different browser.

3. Select the current page option - see comment on 2.

4. Save the setting.

5. When you want to search just go to your home page.

US lawmakers furious (again) as mobile networks caught (again) selling your emergency location data to bounty hunters (again)

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"blame head of FCC"

And he cares how much?

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

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"One word?"

It should have been.

LibreOffice.

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Re: Office 2003

"Quite a lot of spreadsheets and VBA coding prop up some ailing legacy systems, and slavishly following the Office iterations would result in several multi-billion pound organisations collapsing into nothingness."

Dead men walking.

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Re: LOL

Once you've got them locked into B) you don't need to worry about A), avoiding soaking customers or anything else. At least not until the customers realise there really are alternatives.

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Re: LOL

"Microsoft's traditional model only worked if customers needed to routinely update to the latest version, and so pay for it"

That model worked fine when the format of a .doc file changed with every version so victims had to upgrade whenever someone sent then a file in the new version.

Then they got sucked into having to arrange an international standard format for themselves. Now they can't play tricks with the file format. They got round that with a change of UI so that once a cohort of new recruits had been trained on the new UI by the MS education programme hit employment they had to have the new version bought because they couldn't use the old one.

You can't play that game too often so they discovered subscription - lock-in on steroids.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"has had a stroking from the cloudy tickle-stick"

Well played, sir.

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

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Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

"Worse than either full Remain OR hard Leave."

AFAICS it's about the only sort of Bexit arrangement that leaves us with a working economy. That much was always clear. What wasn't only clear was that it's been achieved as a side effect of something else.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: As a yank

Politicians across the EU have for a generation found it expedient to blame "Brussels" for anything unpopular even though they have more than likely voted for in the European Council.

The fact that they're choosing to deprive themselves of that expediency cays a good deal about their capability of forethought.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So predictable !

"Notice that the emphasis for Brexit is all about trade - all of them are deliberately ignoring the destruction of the countless rights, agreements, treaties, subscriptions, memberships etc which we enjoy under EU membership."

Which, essentially, are about trade to a greater or lesser extent. Even things like food quality, worker protection etc. have a trade element in them to prevent one country within the group gaining trading advantage by adopting lower standards. If the things you list are things you care about, you care about trade.

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Re: So predictable !

"They're not taking back as much control as they fondly dream."

So little that the actual net quantity will probably be negative.

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Re: So predictable !

"It seems a little unfair to blame MPs when May and her devious government have not allowed parliament much say at all on how brexit will be."

Has it not occurred to you that how Brexit will be is what can be negotiated? Short of sending the whole of Parliament over to negotiate is about the only way they'd all be able to get a say. I can imagine how well that would go.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So predictable !

"Many of us knew that the poorest areas gained most of the benefit."

And the realisation of that was demonstrated PDQ. The morning after the vote some Welsh politician who'd campaigned for Leave was demanding the the govt. replace all the EU funding his constituency had been receiving.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So predictable !

"also want a seamless border with NI/RoI"

I doubt many of those who voted leave have given the NI/RoI border a moment's thought, either before or after. If roaming charges come into operation it will make using mobiles near that border interesting. Cell edges don't respect borders.

Oracle accuses US of underhand tactics because discrimination case 'doomed to fail'

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If they have a secret oral agreement how would Oracle know about it? And how would they know that what they think they know is real?

Freedom! Diodes Inc saves Scottish fab from closure in £50m buyout

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"This Model M keyboard I'm typing on was made in Greenock"

A shipyard job!

Born-again open-source enthusiast Microsoft rucks up at OpenChain

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I'm trying to get my head round project that aims to simplify things and has a name identical to some other project except for adopting CamelCase. Is the object that things can be simplified by calling everything names that matchf [Oo][Pp][Ee][Nn][Cc][Hh][Aa][Ii][Nn]?

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

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Good to hear that it's all turned out OK but it would be nice to think IANA would be prompted to look at succession planning.

Yay, we got a B for maths. Literally, a bee: Little nosy nectar nerds smart enough to add, abstract numbers

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Re: Geometry too

I think the ruler is the bee itself. The workers are pretty well standard in size. Regular hexagons are optimal for packing units into an area so if bees are making bee-sized cells as close together as possible regular hexagons are what are produced.

The really interesting geometry is projecting a scaled map of a the horizontal route to a food source onto the vertical surface of the comb.

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Presumably this is outsourced since we're regularly told that the private sector can to things far more efficiently than the government: in house capacity doesn't exist any more.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Look at it another way

"Lulu Press charge £12.80 for that in the sort of quantities required."

Are you comparing similar page sizes?

UK transport's 'ludicrous' robocar code may 'put lives at risk'

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First requirement should be to place a substantial amount of money in escrow up-front from which to compensate the collateral damage on a no-quibble, no-delay basis. Keep that topped up or the trial stops.

Bypass the insurance companies altogether. The trialists can put their money where their mouths are. It's the least they can do. After all the rest of us don't get to choose our risks from this.

Fujitsu pitched stalker-y AI that can read your social media posts as solution to Irish border, apparently

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I still have fond memories of the consternation caused by a group apparently smuggling 2nd-hand VCRs across the border hidden in a load of bricks in a pickup with no chassis number. It turned out that it was the bricks that were stolen. They'd have got away with it if they hadn't been overheard by an off-duty customs officer boasting about the red-diesel scam in a pub which got them stopped and searched next morning. Sometimes life exceeds all your expectations.

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What do the propose to do about the situations where the border runs through farms, even through houses?

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Re: I've got the perfect solution

You'll never get anywhere. It doesn't leverage a single thing.

London's Met police confess: We made just one successful collar in latest facial recog trial

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Re: *just* one successful arrest?

"Or am I missing the point?"

One point you're missing is that money wasted on this hasn't been spent more productively and even legally elsewhere.

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Re: Funding??

The commissioner's pay would be a good start. And anybody else who signed off on it.

Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I don't believe FreeBSD was notified."

AIUI they didn't know anything about it until elReg's story went out. All this tells us is that if something is responsibly disclosed to the vendor the vendor should take steps to responsibly disclose it to all those who could be affected.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Should this guy be teaching?"

I was wondering what branch of engineering he was teaching in and how to avoid any products his students might have had a hand in.

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"they're more likely to turn the updates back on and get the fix"

And have other upgrades break stuff. Sometimes you can't win.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Know thy enemy (bugs in this case)

"sometimes, camouflage is your only hope because your adversary has access to superior technology"

The superior technology may well be rendering your camouflage useless anyway in which case all it contributes is a false sense of security.

RIP, RDP... nearly: Security house Check Point punches holes in remote desktop tools

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"So the Microsoft client doesn't have any serious ... vulnerabilities but the Linux clients do?"

Either that or it doesn't have the code open-sourced for examination.

Not cool, man: Dixons spanked over discount on luxury 'smart' fridge with wildly fluctuating price

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If you're spending that much on a fridge are you going to worry about a grand here or there on the price?

In fact, it probably gives you bragging rights:. You only spent how much? Mine cost a grand more than that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: DFS

"Also, when are ASA going to grow a pair and actually punish retailers for misleading consumers?"

They're essentially a trade body. AFAICS they have no statutory powers. Unless the industry itself agrees to fine itself (the money presumably to go on trade junkets) they can't issue fines.

The real question is then is a govt going to grow a pair and replace the ASA with a statutory body that does have such powers?

I won't bother hunting and reporting more Sony zero-days, because all I'd get is a lousy t-shirt

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

will actively attempt to have those reporting such vulnerabilities portrayed and/or prosecuted as "hackers".

Years ago, when open FTP was still a thing (don't tell me it still is) I went onto a download site - a Norwegian Universtiy IIRC - and realised that I'd just cd ..ed past my original access directory. And then realised I could keep going. Maybe to / if I'd tried.

Maybe I should let them know. Maybe not. I decided "not" would be easier.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"see my mail sent to you at 18:37 on 15 Sep 2017"

Or in my case 11:57 11 Oct 2018.

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'

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Re: Crypto-busting test case

"any decent encryption is unbreakable in useful timescales"

And at any appropriate cost. There's be no point if it could be decrypted by use of resources that might cost 5 times the value of what's on there.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: As we get older...

"there is/was a widespread superstition that making a will brings forward your demise."

Or the simple fact that thinking about one's demise is not a pleasant thing to do and hence gets put off...and off ...and off.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Bullshit

"the company would put all the cold storage cryptocurrency in one wallet"

The article puts wallets in the plural. But it still makes no sense to have a sole password holder. If there are multiple wallets then the passwords can be shared out between multiple trusted employees. A business such as this does have multiple trusted employees doesn't it? For extra security the passwords themselves could be split and handed to different employees.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Bullshit

"If ...only one person held the passwords, then they deserve to be sued into oblivion."

If only one person held the passwords they don't need to be sued.

Civil liberties groups take another swing at Brit snooping regime in Euro human rights court

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Don't panic. The HO will already have the next bill with some variation on Investigatory Powers in its title already to go to the printers bu the time a verdict is given. They probably have it ready now, just waiting for the dates to be added. Then we start all over again.

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

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Re: So, at what time on Friday 29th March 2019...

Probably April 1st after a weekend's panic buying has cleared the supermarket shelves.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Brexit updates ...

"In all this time Theresa May and her collaborators spent a lot of time making nice speeches and appearing on the media and very little time at the negotiating table."

To be fair to May she did send one of her True Believers to negotiate. Then another. How many is it now?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Brexit updates ...

Or his no true Scotsman story.

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Re: Time to have another public Brexit vote?

"an unelected head of state"

Still preferable to a combined head of state and head of government - even if that combo were elected on a straight majority of votes.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: a second *binding* referendum and cancel the madness that is Brexit.

"How is it a dictatorship to implement a democratic vote?"

How democratic s it to implement an advisory vote as if it were binding?

European Commission orders mass recall of creepy, leaky child-tracking smartwatch

Doctor Syntax Silver badge
Unhappy

"Sort of like what parents did in the olden days."

That might be an assumption too far for some parents.

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"He is not a politician but a civil servant and as such is obliged to explain his actions to Congress."

I can't help thinking that a useful weapon to have in dealing with refractory public servants would be the ability to put them under a degree of financial micromanagement if their relevant oversight committee becomes displeased with them. Each month they are required to report back to the committee on what they've done in regard to their key objectives and their monthly pay is only signed off if the committee is satisfied with what they're reported. Obvious precautions could be taken to verify the reports from time to time.

OK, it's early 2019. Has Leeds Hospital finally managed to 'axe the fax'? Um, yes and no

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"can we cull the people who write a Word document and email it as an attachment when plain text would have been entirely adequate"

Yup, just as soon as we've finished culling all those who write emails in HTML without embedded links to graphics (we cull those after we've culled those who include links).

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