* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: RE: As a never-signed up non member....

"What kind of monstrous parents would have identical twins and name them identically?"

I don't know if they were identical but I do know of one pair of twins who were given the same name. It was in the C18th.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Facebridge Analytica

"I don't think he would ever have imagined that a significant proportion of humanity would freely generate and willingly consume their own prolefeed"

It turns out that Orwell was an optimist.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: RE: As a never-signed up non member....

"I imagine this will involve a lot of banging my head against a wall at least until GDPR kicks off, but I'm going to keep badgering them out of principle."

Maybe the best approach is to lay it on the line for them: "Do you want to deal with it now or would you rather wait until GDPR applies?".

Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

He probably stopped listening when he discovered it wasn't Twitter.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

"Have the RAF's two remaining Tornados tour the nation, using precision weapons to take out golf club houses"

No. Some of them were perfectly respectable historic buildings before they became club houses. They should be rehabilitated.

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Bring my optical disk drive back!!

"If anyone knows of any other solutions, please reply."

Use more up-to-date hardware. The fashion there is to leave optical drives out "because there's no demand" as I was told when I asked about it. Lack of software support won't matter.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Windows insider Program

"3) You can't improve products by testing, but by improved design & implementation"

Not testing certainly doesn't improve products.

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

"Which means utilisation will have to be high, in order to cover costs."

Which in turn means there'll not be enough to go round when everyone wants one for commuting.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

"Some sort of cross between taxi and car share seems viable."

What do you want out of a car? A reasonably clean vehicle available when you want it? With your own car the degree of cleanliness is what you decide is what's worth putting in the effort and availability is assured by not competing with someone else for the vehicle. Can you guarantee either with the taxi/car share model, especially if you want the car to go to work in at the same time as most other people?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

"And that year, it will be pointed out that although 50% of the cars on the road are human driven, those 50% are responsible for 99.9% of the deaths."

That makes an assumption as to the relative driving abilities of self-driving vehicles vs tired and drunk humans. That remains to be established.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"As more of us clamber into cars with self-driving capabilities, that advice may become words to live by."

And if the car has no manual controls? Words to die by?

Google, AWS IPs blocked by Russia in Telegram crackdown

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: MInor Correction

"if you trawl through their raves over the years Josephina Vissarionovna May wanted to ban VPNs for private individuals as far back as becoming a home secretary under Cameron."

It's standard HO house training. Once a Home Sec always a Home Sec, even in Downing Street.

Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"In-country data storage? Nope, unless your country is the US. It's sitting on Amazon's Cloud, but on US-only instances."

Once the first Slack user gets hit under GDPR the panic is going to be worth watching.

Intel's security light bulb moment: Chips to recruit GPUs to scan memory for software nasties

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Weasel words alert

In general, data is anonymized and generalized.

HPE donates 3 mini-supercomputers to UK universities boning up on Arm

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"largely identical"

Is that more alike or less then "almost different"?

Congressional group asks FBI boss Wray to explain Apple lawsuit

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Likely answers

"I cannot disclose that for operational reasons."

Repeat for each question.

NHS Digital execs showed 'little regard' for patient ethics by signing data deal

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Little regard" seems to be overstating it. "None" would be more appropriate.

New Galaxy un-smartphone can’t go online because Samsung's thought of the children

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The Sand, the Ocean, and the Damn Phone

"Along with the phone."

Or just the phone.

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I also note that some people showing users ( or running training) will omit steps, because they are "obvious."

I used to find this was a problem with schoolteachers. If it was a subject that fitted your thought patterns, no problem. If it wasn't you got left behind trying to puzzle out one thing when they'd moved to another.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"a huge power button, a 3 inch circle on the front of the case, with a much smaller reset button inset into the edge of it"

You're describing the effects of style over function, the bane of the IT world over the last few decades.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

"Help! The moon's all covered in walnuts wrapped in paper"

It's not easy trying to explain to SWMBO what I'm laughing at when every attempt results in a fresh outburst.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Me, mine, not the late mother or father, nor the wife

"you can end sentences ready to start a new one"

But that means using capital letters.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Me, mine, not the late mother or father, nor the wife

"wants to print out an email attachment, has an android phone"

Ah, the old email on someone else's computer thing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge
Linux

Re: Dad wanted a PC

"Had he previously used a non-TIFKAM system? Because if you're going to end up there anyway, one might as well start there instead of having to change."

No you don't have to end up there. Just sayin'

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Peculiarly, my mum has embraced text speak"

Rather like SiL. Back in the days when I had a Nokia Communicator (full but minuscule keyboard) I made a point of sending replies which were not only in regular English but also had upper and lower case as appropriate and punctuation.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Could just shove that down the back and take a photo, then enlarge it - and get something readable."

Our gas service man tried that with the pilot assembly the other day. Still couldn't read it and went to get his torch. Took my glasses off (short sight) and found it perfectly readable by Mk 1 eyeball. Sometimes you can go over the top with technology.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I want a nailed-down-by-default

"Doctors, Lawyers and Politicians.

Life's too short"

It could be even shorter if your doctor's IT isn't working.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Worse than a mum

"So many solutions."

None of whichare going to occur to someone who doesn't even know how to save a document.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Rebuilt my sister's machine

"Clean install of windows"

"Friends don't let friends use Windows" also applies to family.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Walls can be useful

"Anon, 'cause she reads El Reg too."

But can put two and two together. You're in trouble.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Walls can be useful

"you presumably mean a wall placed between him and the PC?"

WEBCAK!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: My Dad...

"at the age of 78 he's taking his revenge out on me for all the years he spent trying to calm me and his other students down!"

You take your pleasures where you can.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: My Dad...

"But I've lost count over the years of how many times he's handed me his computer and only half a browser window is visible below all of the various add-in bars and other shite he's managed to install."

In my case it's SWMBO and tabs. "I keep on clicking [the close tab icon] but nothing happens". That's because there are way too many tabs open for the one with current focus to be seen closing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Which is why I keep refering people to this."

Nice. But needs a trackpad adding to it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Adults have the intelligence and experience to think this out of course"

Sometimes. Not always.

"Slowly showing them how to do stuff"

The key word is "slowly". Far too often people demonstrate stuff too fast. The watcher needs to be able to watch what's being done, what the consequences are and also take in the explanations of what and why. That's a lot of information to assimilate and it takes time.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Then let the person play a little bit to get accustomed to the mouse and pointer concept."

Wasn't that the rationale for including a number of games in Windows?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Some parts of the unmarked pad result in scrolling, some selecting."

"Or the user disables it and then demands IT come down and fix it"

Laptops are portable. Perhaps a rule that for all laptop issues the laptop should be brought ti IT, not the other way around. It might have a substantial effect on the effectiveness of telephone support.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: and also Ahh sub folders Ahh, parents

"There was little to no real estate available on her desktop."

Conveyancing is a different department.

I know the feeling. When the files get half-way across it's time for a tidy/clear-out. I'm just about there now.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"No its C:\'s evil brother"

No, C:\ is /'s evil brother.

HMRC delays digi tax plans amid Brexit customs woes

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I hope that HMRC...

"The leavers are right that leave isnt a problem at all."

Did you read the article?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I hope that HMRC...

"have a 'Plan B'"

Plan B? A plan A would be a good start.

That's a plan A for the whole sorry mess.

Plan A should involve a feasibility study, a list of requirements and a project plan to have the whole thing in place with "Trigger Article 50" set well down the list so that everything else would be sufficiently advanced to be ready for the go-live date.

Did they do that? Of course not. The Leavers were handed the job and as they were convinced it would be no problem at all they charged straight ahead.

Fail to plan means plan to fail.

Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Unstable operation coming soon...

If operator's details are found to be not correct the domain gets suspended

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: All bow to the data protection Gods

"The European data protection bods couldn't care less if they managed to wreck the entire internet"

How would it do that? If the data concerned were essential to the operation of the internet it wouldn't be affected. All that's affected is the publication of certain data fields and, if you bother to read the article you'll notice that some TLD authorities manage this perfectly well. Could it be that ICANN has had its head up its arse for the last several years whilst it gets on with its own governance issues which have been amply reported here?

"Hopefully this won't encourage other governments to pass local laws to demand world wide changes."

What other governments did you have in mind? The US for instance?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Unstable operation coming soon...

"Don't they need to get all registrants to sign a waiver?"

The authors of GDPR saw that one coming. One aspect of the regulations is that you can't tie provision of a service to a waiver on data that GDPR covers. Breaking that one would just bring bigger fines.

UK health service boss in the guts of WannaCry outbreak warns of more nasty code infections

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Sigh. You don't put in disaster recovery measures because something bad happened. You put them in because something bad might happen.

Facebook scandal: EU politicians should aim for straight answers, not star witnesses

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This is possibly true – but only to an extent. Congressmen and women did push him on whether GDPR rights – such as the right to data portability or to object – would apply to everyone, but he slipped out of those questions just as he did the ones on shadow profiles or tracking logged-out users."

From a purely European PoV that's something FB will have to work out for themselves. A better question will be what they plan to do to satisfy GDPR rights in Europe, including those of non-account holders.

If - and it's a big if - they can achieve that then they need to work out whether it's easier to simply apply them system-wide. That must be a question a lot of corporations will have to decide once they've taken on board the fact that the EU means business over this. And, if EU politicians didn't mean business before, FB and CA between them have definitely raised the profile of privacy.

Schrems' Facebook case edges closer to ruling over EU-US data flows

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I'm prepared for a whimper

"I frankly doubt that the EU courts will have the balls to force Facebook to balkanize its data into independent units."

I don't think they have the power to do that. It would be a legislative requirement.

What the courts do have is the power to do is to react to specific claims that might arise from that and issue fines against the companies concerned or even take action against senior officers of the companies and I can't see why the courts would have any compunction in doing that. It's ip to the companies to decide whether they can accept those sanctions on a regular basis or whether they need to find a means to avoid them. If they choose the latter course, and it seems likely, then they have option of setting up some arm's length operation which may be what you mean. They also have options of quitting the European market altogether or of ceasing to be US corporations.

Whilst I can't see the courts being reluctant to take such action where cases are put before them the willingness of the regulators to play their part is a different matter.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: They forgot an obvious question

It may be an obvious question but it's not a question at issue in Schrems' case against Facebook. If you want that question to be asked you need to find some body against whom you have a specific claim relating to that and raise that claim with the regulator in whose jurisdiction it falls. Then it will become not only an obvious question but also a relevant one and it's relevance to the case in hand that determines whether it can be raised at the ECJ.

'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Member of the bug bounty industry opposed to regulation to discourage release of buggy products. Wow!

A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand!

"Nice idea but who's going to pay for all that documentation?"

As ever, the correct question is "who's going to pay for not having it?".

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019