* Posts by Czrly

48 posts • joined 17 Oct 2014

Razer offers freebies to gamers who descend into its coin mine


Waste of Electricity

Razer have cleverly invented a way to achieve massively distributed crypto-mining without the need to pay for hardware or a room to house it and -- almost certainly -- with lower (and less fungible) upkeep costs than the electricity bill to run such hardware. I am sure that kids, everywhere, will grab this with both hands because they already have a machine on which to run it and the "Silver points" they will "earn" will be free from their perspective -- no need to ask mummy and daddy for the credit card to pay for them. Parents who aren't aware of this will probably never notice.

But electricity is not free and perpetual motion is not a reality and so the environment will pay.

The sooner we ban wasteful "wealth creation" scams like crypto-coins, the better. You cannot create "wealth" out of a random-number-generator. What is being created is a vehicle for redistributing pre-existing wealth: the very definition of currency and there are less wasteful ways to implement a currency.

People perceive crypto-mining as profitable because they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of crypto-coins: they have no value until someone pays real money for them. People do pay for them and so this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and inventing new scams to trick others into paying the mining costs remains a dominant strategy. As long as this is true, the only way to stop the madness is an outright ban.

Ban them all.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads


The iPad is here to stay.

I had a first-generation iPad, courtesy of my employer, and I concluded, then, that the device was "useful" but completely rubbish at the same time. Back then, the only channel to and from the device was iTunes and the concept of creating any sort of content on it was laughable. Roll forward to this year when I experienced the iPad pro (second generation) for the first time and the situation cannot be more different.

Today, my iPad pro and my phone are the only devices that I carry with me when I travel.

I am a software architect and the concept of coding on the iPad is ridiculous but, frankly, I absolutely loath coding on the run or on the factory floor and so I have no problem with this limitation. Instead, the iPad lets me draw sketches and diagrams and ideas and lob those over the fence in the direction of my dev. PC back in the office. That's a far more productive use of my time than hunching over a greasy coffee table, trying to hack out lines on a tiny notebook monitor and inadequate keyboard.

The iPad serves for communication, entertainment and more, too. I would never give up my beefy desktop workstation for it but it has already replaced my laptop and I am happy with the result. It also means that I can leave my Kindle at home without suffering the reading experience of a phone screen.

After the first generation, I thought that the iPad would whither and die if it did not evolve quickly. Apple have successfully effected the necessary evolution.

Disclaimer: my beefy workstation runs Windows and my phone runs Android; don't count me among the ranks of Apple loyalists. Also, don't even get me started on the topics of Windows 10, the Android platform and bloat and Android hardware disparity, diversity and quality.

The D in Systemd stands for 'Dammmmit!' A nasty DHCPv6 packet can pwn a vulnerable Linux box


Why is this a Thing?

Remind me why the DHCP client should be part of the init-system, please, for I seem, alas, to have forgotten.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November


I only want one feature from Windows Search...

Allow me to disable results from the 'web. That is all I want. Seriously.

For actual, real file-search, I use Agent Ransack which, amazingly, happens to be faster than any version of Windows Search, ever, and doesn't require an always-on indexing service. I only ever use Windows Search for start-menu search (autocomplete, basically) and the fact that the slightest typo sends you to Bing, requiring the tedious launching of Edge which I never otherwise use, is the most annoying thing.

Of course, it seems like there's a 20% chance that you'll end up on Bing even without a typo which is also extremely aggravating.

(Now some "Klugscheißer" is going to reply, telling me that you *can* actually disable web search, rendering this comment false. Please do! Call this a comment-gambit for useful knowledge. Any minute now...)

Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms


I exploit my vocabulary. It is a slave to my whims.

I read an excellent blog post about the word, "exploit", a few years ago. The thrust of the argument was this: nonsense words like "leverage" (which should only be a noun and never a verb) only serve to weaken communication when they are used in place of perfectly adequate and, in fact, ideal words that have long existed in the English language. If one wants to make an unequivocal point, one should use real words. Strong words are not offensive if used appropriately.

Ever since then, I have made a point of exploiting the word, "exploit", whenever possible. The same goes for many other words. "Implementing this feature should be easy, now, because we can exploit the additional ground-work that we included in sprint (n-2)," I might announce in a planning meeting. "No, the hardware devices should always be slaves to the software service running on box Y," I will continue to declare in the future.

Living in Germany, this is expected. Professionals communicate conclusively. There is no strange personification of software systems and hardware tools -- a fact that is astounding given that my testers often report things like, "He tells me that he cannot connect to the remote server," because of the fact that German nouns have genders.

I will continue to use the English language as she was meant to be spoke. If I have to continue to live in Germany in order to get away with that, I won't complain. I will leverage my proximity to some of the oldest and best breweries in the world and be perfectly content.

I, a master of my mother-tongue, shall never surrender!

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't


Re: Music...

More importantly, music is typically available in non-protected form.

As a rule, I listen to stuff on Spotify and buy what I like on good-old-CDs. Typically, this means that I discover an artist or band and order half-to-all of their entire discography at once and continue to follow them, afterwards. CDs are trivially easy to rip to FLAC and those files can be played anywhere, always, offline and even converted to aac for mobile devices with limited storage.

The same cannot be said for movies. If I buy a blu-ray movie, I can't easily rip it to play on my phone while travelling. Buying a physical copy of a movie is just another way to "rent" it; there is NO way to actually BUY a movie.

Conclusion: I never buy movies and almost never watch them, either. Just couldn't be bothered.

Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone


What's this Silverlight thing?

I navigated over to the SmallBasic landing page out of nostalgia for all those things I made in gwbasic, a... while... ago. Sadly, it needs something called Silverlight to run and I couldn't be arsed. Is that like Shockwave Flash or something?

In an era where complete emulators for entire processor architectures can be implemented in pure JavaScript, complete with VGA-compatible graphics adaptors and SoudBlaster 16 cards, this SmallBasic thing comes across as minimum-effort by relying on Silverlight -- a technology that should have been exposed at birth and is certainly dead by now, surely.

EDIT: Some of it does appear to run without Silverlight.

Teardown chaps strip away magic from Magic Leap's nerd goggles


Can't Replace the Battery. End of.

In my opinion, if you can't replace the battery of a device without wrecking it, that's a repairability score of zero, no matter what you *can* replace. Surely the battery is the thing that you are most likely to need to replace and why would you ever choose to swap out other bits if the result will only be crippled by an old battery that can't hold a charge anymore?

Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary


Jolly Good Journalism, El Reg.

I opened the article expecting to find fuel to fuel my instinctive, reflexive rage and urge to instantly denigrate redis and Redis Labs and, instead, I now find myself pondering whether my own fledgling project (as yet unreleased) should adopt the Commons Clause when it leaves the stable.

That is how journalism is supposed to work. El Reg, you have made me think.

I honestly don't know what one should do, today. I don't think that the Commons Clause is the right answer but perhaps it was the best answer for redis, today. I am sure it will spell the end of redis -- death by the forking doom.

We need a new generation of licenses for this cloudy world: one that protects open-source projects, protects contributors and protects corporations without whom those open-source projects are likely to remain in obscurity.

Span hits F#, LinkedIn gets mumbly, and UWP (yes, it's still clinging on) furnished with new toys


Does UWP have a purpose, yet?

The last time I tried to make a UWP app was long before UWP was UWP. It was back on Windows 8 and, after a brief play, I scrapped the sample and went on with my developer life. The whole experiment can be summed up in one exclamation: "You can't do wot !?!"

So... it's now 2018 and I believe that the sandbox is a little more diverse and that UWP hands developers a little more power but UWP apps are still not true desktop applications and can't do everything. If I was to start a UWP based project, I would have to do two things. Firstly, I'd have to accept that I'd be locked in to UWP and the only way out would be a total rewrite. Secondly, I'd have to completely plan the entire foreseeable life of the project and be absolutely certain that UWP allowed me to implement all the features I would ultimately need.

Sure, I could do these things. Why would I?

Both of those sound like a lot of hard work and a lot of risk and I still don't see the benefits that UWP offers in exchange. It just doesn't offer anything that isn't already available elsewhere -- most of which I have used or experimented with in the past, a lot of which is cross-platform.

Microsoft are asking me to leave a known world of infinite possibility in favour of an unknown sandbox governed by arbitrary decisions. That's like asking someone to give up their somewhat aged but perfectly reliable Skoda in favour of a shiny new toy car. However awesome the toy car may be, it is still a toy!

The only reason I would ever use UWP would be if an employer dictated that I do so and even that seems vanishingly unlikely because UWP is not really suitable for business applications -- most of which now run in the browser, anyway, unless they need very specialised access to local hardware which UWP probably doesn't permit.

Oh... and on the LinkedIn thing: you can now send people a one-line voice clip saying: "You've got mail!". That's totally a use-case!

Windows 10 Insiders see double as new builds hit the deck – with promises to end Update Rage


Re: Predictive Fuckups

I have had to support and fix a lot (really, very very many) of end-user Windows desktops all the way back to 98 ME and the number of tickets associated with update neglect is truly minuscule.

The vast, vast, vast majority of borked boxes are borked by hardware issues (mostly disk drives), malware, viruses, browser toolbars (including those shipped with the official eff'n Java RE!), free games carrying trojans, general incompetence (You could rename the Windows dir, in Windows 3.1. Don't try it at home.) and, yes, Windows Updates gone wrong.

Actually, even just the number of Updates-Gone-Wrong, taken alone, dwarfs the number of machines borked by update neglect.

Microsoft need to employ a bit of subtlety. Paint "Updates are Available" on device-context 0 in hot-pink Comic Sans for all I care but just stop restarting my PC when it's training my models, downloading my stuffs, encoding my things, doing the jobs and processing those datas.

Elon Musk, his arch nemesis DeepMind swear off AI weapons



Didn't we just have a story a few months ago about Google employees complaining that Google's algorithms were aiding the US military in surveillance video analyses and target identification in their war in the middle east?

If anyone says that's not a weapon, they'll be technically correct. It still serves to demonstrate how such a pledge is completely meaningless.

A stronger pledge would be one in which the signatories agree not to build any algorithm or A.I. system that facilitates conflict at arms in general.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Not since 1998...

Personally, I cannot believe how unstable Windows 10 is, today. I'm not a rabid anti-Windows-10 hater. I use Windows 10 professionally and at home and I have been developing on Windows-based platforms since 2000 and I feel that Windows 10, in 2018, is about as unstable an operating system as I have seen in a very long time.

To put a number on it, my workstation up-time is measured in hours! Even on the hated Windows 8, I could go for over a week without restarting, without a BSOD and without a total failure of Windows Explorer or some other vital piece of the shell. And that's on a developer desktop that gets all kinds of abuse thrown at it.

It's like being on Windows '98 SE all over again. Multiple restarts a day -- and most of them involuntary and unannounced.

I don't like the Slurp. I don't like the Store. I don't like Metro or Modern or whatever but even if you write all of that off as the status-quo and just accept it, Windows 10 is still failing to perform its basic function: providing a stable operating system, i.e. a thing that runs applications.

Every time I debate this with colleagues, we come to the same conclusion: Microsoft don't care about Windows anymore. They'd be quite happy if you were connecting to Office 365 and running stuff in Azure from Mac OS or Linux. Cloud matters; desktop does not.

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04: Make yourself at GNOME. Cup of data-slurping dispute, anyone?


Thin End of the Wedge, though.

Bravo for their implementation and transparency but, frankly, I'm still going to opt all the hell out because I perceive this to be the thin end of the wedge. Is Canonical going to pop up a notification, asking for my consent, every single time that data file's schema changes because someone decided it would be cool to add an extra field? Do I have the time to vet all those changes, even should they do that?

Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME


Does Wifi Work?

Personally, I can live with just about any Linux desktop skin if the damned WiFi would just work without requiring a reconnect after the first WPA group re-key. (Damn the Atheros ATH10K firmware all to hell and back!) I'll give this new Ubuntu a whirl and see if Linux 4.15 and (presumably) newer firmware actually fix stuff for me.

(For the record, I managed to set up a stable system with this silly Gigabyte motherboard of mine exactly once, using Linux Mint with a tonne of hacks and some custom firmware. Unfortunately, I then updated my BIOS (Intel ME security patches, I recall.) and that trashed my Windows 10 (dual-boot) activation and the only way to re-activate Windows ended up being a reinstall. Reinstalling Windows screwed the UEFI configuration and, in a moment of craziness, I decided to reinstall Linux rather than try to fix the UEFI boot. Never again have I enjoyed trouble-free WiFi.)

GitLab crawling back online after breaking its brain in two


Re: GitHub > GitLab

You can't compare them at all. GitHub is a service. GitLab is an open-source server software with an official hosting option. Sure, that official hosting option does rather suck in terms of reliability and that's why I don't use it, personally, but I'm still a huge fan of GitLab as a software. House-of-ten-thousand-dodgy-dependency-cards (written in at least half a dozen different languages, too!) it may be, but, once it *is* up and running, GitLab is sublime.

And, frankly, on a shallow U.I. level, GitLab is way ahead in terms of usability. GitLab's Repository -> Graph page knocks the pants off any linear list of commit history with a combo-box for changing between branches and tags. If you're managing a team of developers, all collaborating on various branches in various repos. to create real products, being able to see a high-level, graphical overview of the graph straight in your browser is a hugely convenient tool. (If such a thing exists in GitHub, PLEASE let me know. I haven't been able to find it. Oh, and also how to see a list of the repositories I have starred but not contributed too without having to navigate to my own public profile page -- an obtuse route that requires at least three page transitions!)

Microsoft Lean's in: Slimmed-down Windows 10 OS option spotted


Exactly this. `regedit` is probably tiny, even if you add up everything it needs. But I bet Windows 10 Lean still comes with Candy Crush in the box. And Cortana. And the totally broken Main and Calendar and People rubbish that's baked in, now, and doesn't work at all. (Not that I would want it, if it does. I prefer to choose my software, thanks all the same.)

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


Re: Weasel words alert

No worries, though, because there's a hardware switch to disable this new telemetry channel, permanently: don't install an Intel processor.

Meet the open sorcerers who have vowed to make Facebook history


Don't we have this, already?

Didn't TextSecure already invent an open group-chat mechanism with proper end-to-end encryption? They're called Signal or something, now, I think. I'd check, but I left my phone at home, today.

Between TextSecure (for friends) and good ol' email (family, more friends, customers and suppliers) and issues on our GitLab server (hosted in-house), I'm flush with ways to communicate with anybody I'd care to contact. I also have a phone. And I think the printer can even send faxes.

I'm honestly not sure what else one needs. What do people actually *do* on Facebook? Play Farmville and poke people's walls? (Ewwww...!)

Rhode Island proposes $20 porn tax. Er, haven't we heard this before?


Re: @Yet Another Anonymous coward, 7 Mar 2018

Actually, they have. But, it should be noted that they declare that they are blocking the content "until the issue is resolved during appeal" which is the proper and correct way of dealing with the law: first you follow the law, as it is, now, then you contest to change it.

I'm actually in Nuremburg and tried to search for „Mein Kampf“ from P.G. and I received the following message before I even received a search-results page: "A Court in Germany ordered that access to certain items in the Project Gutenberg collection are blocked from Germany. Project Gutenberg believes the Court has no jurisdiction over the matter, but until the issue is resolved during appeal, it will comply."

Google assisting the Pentagon in developing AI for its drones


But TensorFlow is Open Source!

TensorFlow is Open Source and Google and the whole machine learning sphere draw extensively from the open source community, raising a chewy question to those of us who are NOT citizens of the USA and who do not get a democratic vote (degree of democracy and utility of electoral mechanism to be debated elsewhere) with which to make a stand for or against the actions of the US military.

Essentially, whether one approves or disapproves, if one has submitted a patch to TensorFlow or any upstream component, one is contributing to their effort. If one has helped diagnose and debug an issue, one has played a role in this. Even those innocent and ubiquitous Google Captchas feed into this in some way -- how else will the DoD identify vehicles, shop fronts and street signs with high accuracy?

This raises an important moral question about Open Source software. Your amusing cat-riding-a-skateboard detector might be used to target bombs in the future -- are you sure you want to give it away on GitHub or Kaggle Notebooks? Sure, this outcome is vanishingly unlikely. Sure, you can invent the "pacifist BSD" license and/or write "may not be used to target bombs" at the top of each Python script. The chance is still there and so the question remains open.

Targeting bombs may be hyperbole but the automated and wide-spread surveillance of private citizens of another sovereign nation -- citizens who have no vote against such actions -- is still wrong in my opinion. Whether some extra-judicial entity on the other side of the world labels those citizens as "terrorist" or "non-terrorist" is entirely irrelevant. Air-strikes are also a reality and those air-strikes are triggered and guided by such surveillance. Air-strikes are unilateral acts of war (let's call it what it is) and do kill civilians. According to the USA, they also eliminate targets labelled as "terrorists" by the aforementioned extra-judicial entities. According to me, that is debatable at a higher, international level.

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook


THAT Price for one View?

Seriously, 20 quid for a single view of a single boxing match? In quid-per-hour, that's damn expensive digital entertainment.

"Pay for what you watch," is a great concept but surely it can't draw that sort of price.

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming


Re: Timeline...

Also: "the very first thing I'll turn off when the new build lands"

Seriously. Who wants that? Sending recent activity data to Microsoft just for a pimped Alt+Tab experience that nobody other than Microsoft fully support?

If Microsoft actually wanted to innovate, they'd accept the innovative idea that Windows is supposed to be an operating system and, as such, is not supposed to innovate. It is supposed to run programs. End of.

Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?


Re: Fuck Jimmy Wales

It's because they have to pay all those contributing authors who wrote, proof-read, edited and continue to curate high-quality, referenced and well researched content for them, innit? Those hours of dedicated work don't come cheap. I'm sure my cheque is right there, in the post. Yours too, probably.

Right there...

Any day now...

Until it arrives, I'll just leave this, here: *.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=*:Banner

It's a decade since DevOps became a 'thing' – and people still don't know what it means


No Thanks!

And, consequently, the company saves money by getting rid of all those operations teams and the developers quit because they're never not working, having to be developing during the day and fixing some bug that's 99% caused by something entirely outside their control (like a patch to a dependency or OS component or the simple fact that some other muppet pulled out a vital cable and tanked their services).

As a developer, I'm quite prepared to say: "No thanks!" to that. There's a reason why operations are operations and I'm development. They don't have a clue about heaps and stacks and memory and how interlocked synchronisation primitives really work or how to design an indexed relational SQL database so that it doesn't crawl under real-life loads. I don't have patience to fix stuff broken by other people in the wee hours of the morning.

As a developer, I'm also quite prepared to write extraordinarily good tests and to implement a good workflow for my team, complete with continuous integration and staging environments and automated rollouts and all that other stuff. Not because it's DevOps (TM) but because those things just make sense when you're running a large team and some of the team members aren't all that experienced.

I'll never call what I do "DevOps", though. Just like I don't use hashtags.

German Firefox users to test recommendation engine 'a bit like thought-reading'


Bookmark Lock-In!

So I'm more or less tied to Firefox because I use bookmarks and those seem to have fallen out of fashion with the other browsers. Even with extensions, there's just no substitute for the Firefox bookmarks sidebar.

Please! If I am wrong, tell me where to look for an open-source, secure and standards-compliant browser which supports both Adblock Plus and a proper bookmark experience. Honestly, those are the only two features that I want from a browser.

Don't panic, but Linux's Systemd can be pwned via an evil DNS query


Re: 2017 and inaccurately implemented protocols causing buffer overflows are still a thing.

Logically, the correct patch would be to remove the entire reverse-lookup component, yes? As far as I'm concerned, they can patch until the cows come home. If systemd continues to bloat itself with functionality that simply does not belong in Init, I'll be sticking with Gentoo and its perfectly adequate OpenRC.

Three-quarters of IoT projects are failing, says Cisco


I don't believe that 1/4 succeed.

So... that's like saying that one quarter of IoT projects succeed? But where are they? Because, honestly, I can't think of a single one that I'd want in my house - let alone one for which I'd volunterily pay hard-earned money.

Gamers red hot with fury over Intel Core i7-7700 temperature spikes


Sadly, this article was published one week too late, for me. I bought mine already and instantly hit these problems. Sure, I could send it back but how would that help? I'd have to send the motherboard back, too, and basically start again from scratch!

The strange and annoying thing, to me, is that the temperature spikes almost instantly and yet the outside of the chip remains so cool you can touch it. The back of the socket on the motherboard and the board itself are also barely warm. This means that you can waste all the cash you have on the best cooling in the world and it will not do any good at all - heat dissipates according to the heat equation and you can cool the cold surface of the IHS all you like, if the heat isn't getting to it, it isn't going to help.

Mine spikes from 28 degrees to 100 degrees, where the chip is throttled, within under two seconds when I fire up Prime95. I first thought it was a bug with the temperature reporting, it was so bad.

Also, if Windows Update or starting Firefox roasts the CPU, exactly how do Intel expect it to perform under real load, such as execution of my machine learning and image processing algorithms?

Personally, I think the Intel bean-counters caused this by "cutting costs" and I hope and pray that AMD school them for us. Unfortunately, Ryzen isn't going to do it unless regular generational updates keep up the pressure.

Headphone batteries flame out mid-flight, ignite new Li-Ion fears


Who made the 'phones?

Publishing a photograph of the victim is fine, assuming you have their consent, but what I cannot understand is why the brand or manufacturer of the actual headphones isn't mentioned, here. Why protect them? The single news-worthy point in this incident is the brand-name of the headphones and that simply because catastrophic failure - like this is - is NOT tolerable in consumer hardware.

I don't care what Samsung say, I won't buy their phones post 2016 because I value my health way more than my mobile phone. Similarly, there's no way I'll ever buy a product from a headphone manufacturer that has been involved in a fire or a climbing rope from someone who has been involved in a rope-failure due to defects in the rope. (As far as I know, all known rope failures (of rated ropes from certified brands) have been due to damage from rocks, chemicals or improper use - never due to defective manufacturing. There's a reason for this: the manufacturer would be out of business the next day if such a failure occurred. This is just.)

Microsoft catches up to Valentine's Day Flash flaw massacre

Thumb Up

Re: Only way to fix Flash...

And how, pray tell, do you do that? I'd love to completely purge "Flash for Windows 10" from my Windows 10 boxes. I'd also love to completely purge Edge and IE. But you can't really accomplish that, completely, can you?

Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview


Edge & OneNote

When did updates to Edge and OneNote, both user-space applications (or, at least, they damn well SHOULD be user-space apps) count as updates to the Operating System itself? Updates to Cortana are just as meaningless to me. Even folders in the start menu are not going to be useful - what I really want is for the start menu to be a proper Windows launch surface again (like the desktop and task bar.) Perhaps, then, it would stop losing or changing the icons for the things I pin to it!

El Reg just saved your Wikipedia Xmas


Re: Arrgh


I used to be fairly active on the site in the 2000's, writing content for Wikipedia and actually bothering to track down citations and references and link them diligently. That was when Wikipedia was Free. I'll never submit another sentence to the muppets, now. Their begging campaigns are far too obnoxious, far too greedy and completely unwarranted and I don't even get the option to permanently dismiss them in way of thanks for the content that I wrote - content that they're making their salaries from! Additionally, there is NO reason whatsoever that a begging-box needs to take a third of my vertical screen size and return daily or whenever I don't have the right cookie. That's taking the piss.

Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer


In 2016: If it isn't water-resistant, I'm not interested.

Since the beginning: If it doesn't have an SD-card slot, I'm not interested.

Since the beginning: If the bootloader and recovery are locked in a way that I can't unlock, I'm not interested.

I honestly hate Sony with a passion (for their bloatware, ad-ware, business practices and DRM and "acquisitive" corporate anti-competitive strategy...) but I have to say that I have high hopes for Sony's open device programme. I am stuck on an old Xperia Z1 for the moment, but it's rooted and that makes it brilliant - everything just works and the bloatware is gone. It has all of the three features mentioned above and would work out the box for consumer use, too.

All I want is more of the same - better batteries and Gorilla Glass for longevity.

Oh... and Android had that notification bar with the ability to swipe down (and then in various other directions for various other effects) while iOS was still showing modal pop-up dialogue boxes and Apple were still trying to convince the user-base that true multi-tasking wasn't a real requirement. Get your facts straight!

Mozilla wants woeful WoSign certs off the list


Re: Get in first

Didn't work for me. They just reappeared in the list after I closed the dialogue and clicked "View Certificates..." a second time.

BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement


The very real danger is that they might win, anyway, and if they do, they basically destroy the web and everything we love goes the way of the one-click checkout.

Their legal team have decided that the product of the utility of winning (insanely huge) and the chance of winning (at least measurably positive - they'll know better than us) is greater than that of the utility of losing (patents get torn up and discredited, which means pretty much nothing since the patents are so vacuous) and the probability of losing.

They probably picked Valve because they actually want to end up in court. If they had been trolling smaller companies, that would mean the patents are still worth something as a threat for bullying people without a massive legal team. Of course, they might also have picked Valve because they hope to settle and will demand so little that Valve just swallow the costs.

Windows passwords leak tip


Re: Assumptions have been made and statements were issued.

Passwords are content. Set them free!

(Seriously, are there still people in this world who use their Windows login password for anything other than Windows logging in? That's like using your Internet Banking password for a free porn site.)

It's time for a discussion about malvertising


Solution: Humble Journalism Bundle

The solution is really simple: a single subscription service that gives you premium access to any allied news source. Whenever you read an article on any of those news sources, you can allocate a number of points. At the end of the month, your subscription is divided amongst the sources according to the points allocated. Think of the money distribution sliders at the bottom of the Humble Bundle order form.

The problem would be that the news sources would all be too insecure to ally with the scheme, fearing that their content wouldn't get people's points.

Also, it would be very necessary to make sure that it remained independent of Medium-like algorithms that favour attention-grabbing clickbait instead of real content.

But it would allow skint people like me to join the party and support great journalism (can't even imagine affording $100 dollars a month for one news source...) and it would solve the biggest problem with premium content: you can't explore because you can only read what you've bought.

Barclaycard axes bonking payments bracelet


I am still feeding a month-old piece of orange paper through every railway turnstile. Honestly, I'd settle for the ability to link my season-ticket to Surrey to my Oyster card. That would be enough and ALL that tech. is already in the stations. Once that's sorted, we can talk about new-fangled bonk-strap-ons.

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks


Who wants MORE recurring payments? More importantly, who wants recurring payments for something that is certainly LESS functional than their existing, mechanical lock?

There are two problems with this whole IoT malarkey - and that's the right word indeed, google it.

The first is privacy: no company is going to manufacture a smart Thing and spend the effort making it compatible with some hypothetical standards (still to be defined) so that it is able to talk to your smart Other Thing, by another manufacturer, and allow you to buy it and run it offline, on a private network, owning your own data. The only reason they'd ever collaborate would be if they got the data. Collaboration will cost them, but it is necessary for IoT to succeed. They will want data in return.

The second is usefulness: quite simply, a smart door-lock is not a functional improvement. Electronic locks on a car make sense because every passenger enters through their own door and all those doors must be controlled, together. For a house, it adds no value.

Struggling through the Crystal Maze in our hunt for a spare CAT5


Ah! Alistair! You forgot the other critical tautology of impromptu office subdivision: when erecting glass fish-tanks inside open plan offices for any purpose (usually, a manager want's a nicer office) it is mandatory to ensure that the newly divided areas each contain EITHER the air-conditioning vent OR the air-conditioning controls and thermostat but NEVER both.

I see you have the gTLD that goes .ping!


Why sell both .game and .games? Surely this will lead only to more domain squatting when sites forget to register or renew their entry for one or the other.

Windows 10 will finally drop in 'summer' says Microsoft


Re: Hello? Who are you?

I am a security stalwart and fully acknowledge that biometric authentication is flawed in many ways but I still want it and I will definitely use it for many things.

Fundamentally, your windows log-on and your phone's lock screen are not security features. They're there to deter your colleagues from hijacking your PC while you're making tea and to make it difficult for the people sharing your pub table to read your girl-friends messages on your phone. They're trivially easy to bypass. Similarly, I don't care too much about 99% of my online accounts - only email and banking matter. For all the non-critical scenarios, being relieved of the need to type passwords (particularly on mobiles) will be a huge benefit.

I don't even have a lock screen on my phone because it's in a cover that prevents "arse-calling" and I consider the hassle of the pin-pad to be more significant than the security it would provide.,

For pity's sake, you fool! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it worse


The two most relevant words I have to offer are... "Google Maps"

Honestly, who permitted the "new" version of Google Maps to be thrown over the wall? It is so pathetically slow (on desktop and Android) that there's no point even considering whether the new "user experience" might be nicer than the old one and, like all "upgrades" everywhere, the old version is gone. (On desktop, at least, you can have it if you dig through menus every single time you visit the page. On mobile, there is no way to get the old app back.)

Get coding or you'll bounce email from new dot-thing domains


This is not the Badger

The history of the web teaches us that this is not going to be fixed. Simply put, problematic GTLDs will never be used in anger because legacy systems won't work with them and legacy systems will never be repaired because nobody really uses those GTLDs in anger.

The only possible way the cycle can be broken would be adoption by one of the major incumbents.

Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players


Freedom to Cheat!

I can't help but think that all the problems this game has suffered are not really problems, they're inherent attributes of online-only multiplayer games. Offline games suffer from neither griefers nor server failures. Offline games also grant you the freedom to cheat!

I do not cheat, as a rule, because it removes all sense of satisfaction from anything you might achieve but I do value the freedom to cheat and I value it highly. Being able to cheat or profit from an exploit, such as the one reported in this article, protects me as a player in two important ways.

The first is the least important: it means that I get to experience the content in the game even if I lose patience with the grind required to achieve it or run out of time to play it, as is often the case. I can choose to cheat and go gallivanting about the game-world with the best equipment, having cathartic fun, even if I don't have years to invest.

The second is the crux: being free to cheat removes the developers option to charge me real-world money for in-game items in a game I have already purchased and this, in turn, means that the game is far more likely to be balanced such that those things are achievable by occasional players, not only by the dedicated few or those with no qualms about micro-transactions in games.

I am really surprised that the developers let the newly minted Elite Oligarchs keep their ill-gotten gains because that seems contrary to their desire to earn real money from in-game items. Perhaps there weren't enough of them to pose a threat to their planned revenue stream.

Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?


OEM Bloat not Decreased since Z1?

"As you’d expect, there is a fair amount of questionable OEM bloat but you also get Sony’s excellent Album, Movies and Walkman apps and OfficeSuite 7, so it’s not all bad news."

I currently own a Z1 and have been using it for some time and, whenever anyone asks me whether they should buy and Xperia phone, I tell them to avoid it at all costs because the Sony application are absolutely dire!

Honestly, the Album, Movies and Walkman apps are among the worst apps I have ever used. The stock android ones are much better - even those from early Android versions. I wish Google would force OEMs to include the stock apps, at least. Even if they do foist rubbish OEM apps on us, even if they make them the default apps, having the stock ones on the phone would give the users a choice!

Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet


The Hardware is Not the Problem

The problem lies with the content. It seems to me that publishers are not willing to expend any effort at all in producing high-quality electronic books. Books are frequently unavailable through legal channels and every single book I have ever purchased from Amazon's Kindle store is littered with blatant spelling mistakes and punctuation errors - the worst being the almost universal case of hyphens (often without *any* spaces) where em-dashes or properly spaced en-dashes should appear. (I am not being a pedant, this completely breaks the text because it makes a compound word out of something that should read like a very important comma) - or the loss of section breaks between scenes within a chapter, causing paragraphs that should be separated to flow together. I have compared some e-books to their printed editions and noted that these errors are not present in print.

If there was an e-reader that fixed poor content, I would upgrade.

(I originally thought this sort of error was common in pirated ebooks because they weren't officially published files. They are no less common in legally purchased, officially published ones.)

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