* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

UK.gov commits to rip-and-replacing Blighty's wheezing internet pipes

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Re: Not wanting to state the obvious

"is far more efficient that thousands of little ones dotted all over the countryside where terrain gets in the way most of the time anyway."

Far more efficient in what way? If you want to cover a large area with homogeneous programming, you're right. If you want to address smaller areas independently then it's not so good.

To take a terrestrial example, when TV broadcasting started Holme Moss (band I) covered both sides of the Pennines and was picked up and relayed to the Isle of Man; in fact I think the Manx transmitter was in turn picked up at Divis and relayed to NI. When ITV came along their band III transmitters were Emley Moor & Winter Hill, east & west of the Pennines respectively so that they could have different franchises. When UHF came along the Beeb's transmitters were colocated with ITV which allowed the Beeb to have some regional broadcasting, Holme Moss band I was closed; these days it's FM on band II. Try to do the same thing with satellite and you end up using a lot of bandwidth to provide different channels instead of the regional separation that a terrestrial network provides naturally.

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Re: Others have tried

"look to the disaster that is the Australian NBN "

There's no way it will go as well as that.

Google's Alphabet hit by Europe's other GDPR: Global Domination = Profit Reduction

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"Advertising is a tax on Greed, not stupidity!"

Who, ultimately, pays the tax?

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Re: Oh, we "customers" or "products" always pay

"Your average commentator here never earned a honest buck in their life and has suckled off the teet of the gov't their entire life."

Citation needed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Oh, we "customers" or "products" always pay

Why should "$any_government" tax some outifit for which we ALL pay - and in turn, not share the proceeds with those who wind up footing the bill?

The money goes into the general funds. In theory it would offset taxation which is how you'd get your cut. In practice it would require a pretty big fine to be above the "noise level".

In a case like this there'd be something to be said for ear-marking it to finance other OSs. Not necessarily Android forks as such but OSes such as Sailfish or non-Google app repositories.

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"The bulk of Alphabet's revenue continues to come from advertising, which amounted to $28bn for the quarter"

And el Reg keeps calling Apple's pricing a tax on stupid!

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Re: Oh, we "customers" or "products" always pay

"why should the EU get all the money in this case? Or the US, or some other country in other cases?"

Because the US doesn't care about monopoly abuse in the same way as the EU so it doesn't prosecute. If it did they'd have to pay fines in the US as well as in the EU. If China or Oz or whatever enacted the same legislation and acted on it they'd be fined there as well.

Robo-drop: Factory bot biz 'leaks' automakers' secrets onto the web

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"Level One takes these allegations very seriously and is diligently working to conduct a full investigation of the nature, extent and ramifications of this alleged data exposure,”

But no mention of working, even casually, to fix it? After all it's only an allegation.

Is this sort of response just PR or does it also reflect the thinking of the management that got them into this position?

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

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Re: make up your minds

It's the EU that expects to can dictate terms,

Beggars can't be choosers.

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Re: make up your minds

"Today we have Jeremy Hunt saying the public will blame the EU if there is no deal. "

It's not surprising. Leave was all about wishful thinking.

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Re: As previously

"neo-liberal'??? Is that like new Labour - 'liberal' generally has a different meaning this side of the pond."

Dunno but I do get pissed off with this neo-this, neo-that stuff.

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Re: "Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?"

"This constant appeal to the Good Friday agreement by remainers is very interesting."

It's because it's an international agreement which places obligations on the UK govt. It's something the Leavers ignored. Or maybe they reckoned if they were going to repudiate one agreement they might as well repudiate another. BOGOFF.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?"

"there is going to be a LOT less enthusiasm for looking the other way while they raise money and buy guns in the U.S."

I'd like to think so but presumably there's still an Irish-American vote to placate.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

""Like any business, we consider a wide range of scenarios in planning discussions so that we're prepared to continue serving customers"

Translation: we'll be stocking petrol bombs and balaclavas.

IT biz embezzlement brouhaha leaves bloke with $456k migraine

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"an order enjoining him from future violations of US securities law. "

This is an odd penalty. It implies that normally it's OK ton violate US securities law.

DXC CEO confirms boss of its field-based techies is OUT

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"roll-out of Bionix."

Did I misread that?

UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

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Things come to a head when HMG tries to get an equivalency ruling from the EU for data exchange post-Brexit. They're going to have to take steps to show that they've cleaned things up and they don't have much time to do it. More critically, they don't have much time to realise they have to do it. Even if they did the EU would be well advised to demand inspection rights by their own staff. That'd go down well with the Brexiteers. Not that any of those noise-makers would have anything to lose by the UK not having a Privacy Figleaf of its own; any of them with business interests likely to be affected will have moved them out of the UK by then.

How much do you think Cisco's paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?

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He was a PR man by trade so who's surprised to see him doing PR again?

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"They seem to want a return to the 70's"

Or the first half of the 50s. Then they could re-run Suez and get it right.

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

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"He's the only one to ever use that term."

Octothorpe was coined by AT&T who invented the symbol so I wouldn't be surprised if they use it sometimes. Why leftpondians call it a pound sign is just an indication of their strangeness.

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

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Re: Games too!

"That alone is why Windows hasn't lost half it's installed user base."

I doubt it. The majority of the installed base is surely in business and most corporations won't take kindly to their staff playing games (other than office politics games) at work.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: isn’t there a risk?

"They’ve already fecklessly dropped mobile, which is a kinda natural counterpart to fatter clouds."

Which is pretty well what SatNad said when he got the job.

I think there seems to be a sense of entitlement there now. They seem to have assumed that all they had to do was buy into the phone business and expect everyone to come running because of who they were. It doesn't work like that. They needed to put a good few years hard work into it to slowly build market share against a couple of incumbents. It didn't happen immediately so they dropped it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

And what's "lifestyle" anyway?

For many it will be social network and web-browsing. That's on the phone and they lost that one. Add in streaming media and gaming. After that you get into a lot of individual interests which don't fit well with a megacorp's way of doing things. What they probably mean by "lifestyle" in Redmond is "consumers watching adverts".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"And no, some households (on the other side of the world) can't afford that subscription"

And some of us who could afford won't as a matter of principle.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

"doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"

I don't know the context of the original quote but I expect it was aimed at the uncertainty principle in particular and quantum mechanics in general which rather takes the shine off it.

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Re: It's a sad story actually...

"The last couple versions of the Microsoft C compiler for DOS were great products."

I quite liked FORTRAN for CP/M

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Re: isn’t there a risk?

"If MS surrenders desk/laptop OSs to Apple"

Or Google with Chromebooks.

Doctor, doctor, I feel like my IoT-enabled vacuum cleaner is spying on me

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Re: IoT foolishness

"So you / I can control it from the comfort of $wherever you like$ without having to physically go and fetch it."

But do you need to control it from wherever you like? If you drop crumbs on the floor within range of the cleaner you don't need to be able to control it from somewhere else. The control never needs to go outside your WiFi zone. Your use case is valid, it's the implementation that fails.

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Re: Useless warranties

"you can literally see the looks on their faces"

Unless I were present I literally couldn't.

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

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Re: Plus sign in email addresses is often fun

"Forward everything to another a/c"

Why? Just use that domain as your email domain. All the aliases come into a single mailbox (you can check the alias name in the To: field if you need to see who spammed) and set up, tear down or set to bounce as you please.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Anyone got advice on password managers?"

Run it locally. KeepassX is what I use but then I use a single laptop most of the time so it's not too much trouble to occasionally copy the file if I need to but I'm planning on using a Nextcloud server at home so that will make synchronisation even easier. I believe Android & iThing versions are also available.

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"there is in faeces"

A lot of it is bacterial.

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I was also going to say that replicating DNA is "easy" for those that know how.

Of course it is. I've been doing it all my life.

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Re: Robert O'Tables

"an Irish family name ...I perhaps use this person's record on my dev server rather more than some others"

A certain large systems house on whom we all like to pour scorn were repeat offenders in sending badly formed XML with Irish names. After we'd explained it all to the developer doing the work they got it right. A few months later the developer we'd trained had had his visa run out and been replaced by another import, all ready to screw it up again.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Wrong" email addresses

"some don't accept email addresses from free email services - probably they believe you've just created one to give 'em to hinder them harassing you for the next several years."

No problem. I use a paid email service and create addresses to stop them harassing me for several years. What's more, if I think I might need to use the service in the future I can keep the address in place but just set it to bounce until the occasion arises.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: University

"unless you are extremely confident etc."

And the people running the site.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Let's call out the bollox of using email addresses as login IDs. A user ID and a password taken together are a long string. Doesn't it make it easier to guess the string if you're given half of it? And an email address is one thing that you do tend to give out. It's a mitigation, but no more, if you're able to set up individual addresses for individual sites but the basic rule should be to have email address as a separate field.

Example 1. PayPal. The ID is the email address. OK, I can set up a unique address for this but I then find that hands out that address to merchants. Evidence? I had to change the PayPal ID (a pain in itself) because a merchant to whom I purposely hadn't given an email address decided it was a good idea to spam me using my PayPal ID. So PayPal, acting as a banker in that it's able to handle my money, is happy to hand out half my login credentials to a 3rd party. I'd like to think that they've stopped that crap under GDPR but I don't expect they have.

Then there's the assumption that an email address is a guaranteed to be unique and permanent ID personal. It's neither.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a unique individual address. Companies who adopt this tactic are quite happy to tell you to contact them on something like sales@numptiesrus.crap.

And it certainly doesn't have to be permanent, especially if it's an ISP provided address.

Example 2. I have a login at IBM which includes the name of my second (or last but one) ISP who, before I left them, had been taken over at least 3 times and hasn't been a valid, or at least a used, email address for at least 10 years. They won't allow it to be changed but do at least allow a separate, working, address to be provided.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter make it easier to download your info and upload to, er, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter etc...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the misinformation and ads platform has decided to build a data takeout service for account holders"

And what about the data they've built up on non-account holders?

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

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Re: Look at all those wonderful alternatives insight.....Oh wait

"Android is now very popular because you know what you are getting when you buy it."

Is it popular or just the thing you buy because it's the only thing you can buy?

Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix

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"I've given up calling Talktalk's support."

Who's to blame for them being the people you have to call for support?

Brit watchdog fines child sex abuse inquiry £200k over mass email blunder

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"Didn't give training on BCC emails? seriously? your staff need training on BCC?"

Clearly they did need training.

PayPal's pal Venmo spaffs your pals' payments – and yours

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“Our users trust us with their money and personal information"


" we take this responsibility and applicable privacy laws very seriously. Like on other social networks, Venmo users can choose what they want to share on the Venmo public feed”

Translation: We take it as seriously as other social networks, i.e. not at all.

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

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Re: Mainframe?

"I wondered if this was Microsoft's cunning plan too. Computing as a service."

Than somebody'll reinvent the PC to be disruptive.

What's in a name? For Cambridge Analytica, about a quid apparently

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

This offers for the name. Maybe someone was confused and that was their quote to take it away and dispose of it.

TalkTalk shrugs off moaning customers to claim 80,000 more

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Re: Why? Just Why?

"Indeed, but there are probably still people out there who don't have friends who are either in IT or who have been previous TalkTalk victims customers."

It's the PT Barnum effect.

Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach

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"More than 21,000 schools trust SIMS everyday"

This will have been written by marketing. You simply follow the rule of always negating the word "trust" in relation to marketing, then it makes sense.

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

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The joke doesn't get less funny* the longer it goes on.

* Funny peculiar.

Privacy Shield under pressure as lawyers back MEPs' call for suspension

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Re: Sources?

"How about providing a link to an authoritative source for something with such far-reaching implications?"

Isn't tweeting the official means of US govt. communication these days?

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Re: Toothless Tiger

Yet another numpty of poor reading comprehension.

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Re: A multinational is a multinational.

"If the laws of region X and region Y are incompatible, it is going to have to choose which region it wants to do business with."

There are alternatives such as a franchise arrangements which would enable business to be conducted in both regions according to the local laws with the former multinational profiting from royalties. This assumes, of course, that the business is even legal in one of these regions. Selling other people's data presents a problem in this respect.

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