* Posts by JohnFen

1603 posts • joined 20 Feb 2015

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

JohnFen
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Always makes me chuckle

"to look seriously at proper plumbing for moving bits between services in a secure manner"

I know what they mean (they mean "secure from anybody who isn't them"), but I always have to laugh a bit at the notion of any of these companies caring overly much about the security of user data, given that their business models are all based on the opposite of that.

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

JohnFen
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"No problem with the Ribbon as such"

I have a big problem with the ribbon as such. It wastes a ton of screen space in exchange for making it much more difficult to locate the buttons that you need.

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JohnFen
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Plus, the very idea of software subscriptions/SaaS is a nonstarter for some people. Personally, I prefer being able to have faith that software I rely on won't disappear or change underneath me.

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

"In my opinion Microsoft is capable of doing some great things"

They are capable of it, which makes it all that more tragic that they so rarely actually do anything great.

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JohnFen
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Know what you are

"Microsoft risks becoming a Wang or a Computer Associates – a B2B brand miles from the bleeding edge."

This made me remember what a wise man once told me: "Know what you are, and be that to the best of your ability." Microsoft is, and has been, primarily a B2B brand for a long, long time now. It's what they are. They should just be that and leave the rest of us alone.

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

JohnFen
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Re: superuser rights on the vacuum

You are aware that there are numerous Unices that are intended for dedicated systems and are lean, not multiuser, and not even multitasking, right?

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JohnFen
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Re: superuser rights on the vacuum

I disagree. There's nothing wrong with the choice of a Unix derivative as the base OS. The primary issues here (ignoring ancillary ones like why in the world is there a camera on this thing at all, let alone a night vision one?) are that the device has network connectivity at all, and that the network connectivity was poorly implemented.

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JohnFen
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IoT foolishness

I can't think of a good reason why your vacuum cleaner needs access to the internet at all. This is just more IoT madness.

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JohnFen
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Re: superuser rights on the vacuum

"Perhaps they could have taken steps to minimize their use of root for network facing services"

Not perhaps. There is no reason for network facing services to have real root access.

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Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers

JohnFen
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Checks out

That's about what I see on the websites that I run.

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Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

JohnFen
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Re: And the alternatives are?

"Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, and Facebook all come to mind."

None of whom I trust any more than Google.

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JohnFen
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Re: Another Appstore?

"I don't see how anyone else is going to fair any better."

Microsoft and Blackberry were not able to provide a reason to develop for their platforms that outweighed the downsides of developing for their platforms. I don't think their failure is in any way indicative that it can't be done.

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JohnFen
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Re: What I want (i.e. will pay for) in my smartphone OS

""rooting" has become a dirty word"

It has? Even though if you don't have root access, you don't have control over your own computer?

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JohnFen
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Re: What I want (i.e. will pay for) in my smartphone OS

I'll add to that: and end to all the spying, not only by Google but by the app developers.

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As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?

JohnFen
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Re: Phone appearance

"What is the advantage of incorporating this material into the phone itself, as opposed to allowing a user to fit a case of their own choosing?"

Building the phone like that is better than using a case because if it's part of the phone's design, then you can avoid the various issues that cases introduce that make it a bit more annoying to actually use the phone. For instance, cases make buttons and jacks more recessed than they would otherwise be.

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JohnFen
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Re: Phone appearance

"Why can't phones be made a bit bigger and tougher...with maybe room for a bigger battery while they are at it?"

I can't upvote this enough.

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JohnFen
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Re: Seems obvious ...

"it's the insistence on not keeping the phone in a decent case is where the idiocy lies"

Not wanting to use a case isn't idiocy. Cases have downsides that not everyone is willing to put up with. Personally, I haven't used a case in a decade, and it's never been an issue. But I treat my phone like what it is: a sensitive electronic device.

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If only 3D desktop printers could 3D print sales! Units crash in Q1

JohnFen
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My printer is a very low-cost one (a Monoprice Maker Select), and I don't have to recalibrate all that often. If I'm doing heavy printing, I need to do it about once per week.

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JohnFen
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But they can. There are a number of printers that do just that. As to size, the most common build volume is about 200x200x200mm, which is quite large. If you need a larger size than that, there are also printers that can accommodate that.

You won't find the larger print volumes or multiple filament printers in the extremely low cost printers, of course.

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Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

JohnFen
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Re: Dependency hell

"I run a BBS under Slackware (yes, that kind of a BBS)"

Kudos to you! Is it on FidoNet?

My hat is off and my respect is given to each and every person who continues to run these systems. I think it's extremely important for that old-school infrastructure to continues to exist. Some day, the internet will fail us.

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JohnFen
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Yay Slackware!

I used it man years ago, but then switched to Debian. However, since Debian adopted systemd, I've been increasingly itchy to move to a distro that serves me better. I'd looked long and hard at switching to BSD -- a very strong contender -- but a few months back, I think I decided to return to my old friend Slackware.

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Mmm, yes. 11-nines data durability? Mmmm, that sounds good. Except it's virtually meaningless

JohnFen
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Vendor data

It sounds like people are taking vendor performance promises far too seriously here. Surely we haven't forgotten what those are worth, have we?

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Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

JohnFen
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I have exactly zero interest in fitness tracking, but if it can do the other things the Pebble can do, then this looks like a winner.

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JohnFen
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Re: I agree

Thanks, I will!

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JohnFen
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I agree

I've been using a Pebble for years now, and once Pebble bit the dust I started looking at the other smartwatches. I haven't found one that actually meets my needs -- it seems like they're all trying to be a "smartphone in a watch", meaning that they're overly complicated and have terrible battery life. I'm still looking for a suitable Pebble replacement.

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Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever

JohnFen
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Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

Hmm, that's not what I've observed. Maybe I need to look at other implementations.

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JohnFen
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Yes, I understood that. But since I am not willing to put up with this nonsense (as well as the other decisions), and won't be buying phones that are inferior to the ones I was able to buy in the past, I am still not part of that collective "we".

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JohnFen
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"They (currently) have to go somewhere that's not got a screen over them."

And, as millions of phones have amply demonstrated, you don't need a notch to accommodate them.

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JohnFen
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Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

I have. The notch sits in the middle of the line where the notifications go, and is taking up valuable space there.

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JohnFen
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I hope you're right. But Apple has been making a number of terrible design decisions over the past few years, and other manufacturers have blindly adopted them (they apparently still buy into the myth of Apple design infallibility). It's a tendency that needs to stop, and I hope it does.

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JohnFen
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External power banks don't really solve the problem that non-removable batteries cause.

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JohnFen
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"the notch is a comprimise, we want to have both things"

Who's "we"? Personally, I actively don't want face unlock, so the presence of the notch is sacrificing functionality in exchange for nothing.

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JohnFen
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Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

"On OLED screens the notch doesn't have to visible. "

My problem with the notch isn't that it's visible. It's that it takes up valuable screen real estate that I want to use for other purposes (like being able to make full use of the status bar).

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JohnFen
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Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

"These glass slabs aren't slippery if you put them in a case."

Cases suck. If a phone requires the use of a case, then that's a very strong argument to not buy that phone.

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US voting systems (in Oregon) potentially could be hacked (11 years ago) by anybody (in tech support)

JohnFen
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Re: Misleading headline

"The problem with elections isn't the counting and tabulation of votes, it's people voting who have no right to vote"

Please supply evidence to back this up. Every impartial study that I'm aware of indicates that this isn't a real problem.

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JohnFen
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Re: Solution

Oregon uses a Scantron-like system.

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JohnFen
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Details

"The software was not in the voting machines themselves, but rather in the election management system (EMS) terminals"

This is a given.

Oregon started vote-by-mail in 1995, before the time period that ES&S is talking about, and never used electronic voting machines in any form. If you want to vote "in person", you can -- but the voting machine you use is still not electronic.

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

JohnFen
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Good lord

I hate Chromebooks so much.

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

JohnFen
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Re: So it's OK 4 the West but .....

"So it's all good if the West shows 'strength and power' by illegally invading other nations under false pretences"

Nope, that's not OK either.

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JohnFen
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"Trump probably has a higher IQ than most people would give him credit for"

I agree. I don't think Trump is stupid. I think he's mentally ill.

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JohnFen
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Re: FAKE NEWS

I dunno about that. He got at least one of the contestants to do something even more disgusting: fuck him. Money does funny things to people sometimes.

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JohnFen
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Re: Don't get sheep herded by the fake news media

"criticizing president Trump his efforts to make the world a less dangerous and more peaceful place"

I don't believe that's what Trump is trying to do at all. I think he doesn't give two shits about making the world a less dangerous and more peaceful place. I think he only cares about enriching himself and boosting his own ego.

I honestly believe that Trump is looking to start a war somewhere. It's good for business, and tends to rally the citizens behind the President. I believe he wants to to be a sizeable war, but not a world war. However, he's playing with fire (not to mention behaving like a sociopath).

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JohnFen
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Re: Trump does not recognise fake news

"of course we will be honest with each other"

It's truly astounding that Trump, perhaps the most overt and blatant liar in US Presidential history, has this horrible weakness of actually believing what other leaders say just because they say it "strength".

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JohnFen
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Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

Or, even scarier, he isn't being blackmailed, but is honestly ideologically aligned with Putin. I think there's substantial reason to suspect this, given that there isn't a tyrant that Trump hasn't expressed admiration for, and there isn't a free nation that he hasn't expressed contempt for.

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JohnFen
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Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"Because the USA has a big trade deficit with the EU"

So what? How does that make the EU an enemy?

"These points might have something to do with why Trump thinks the EU is taking the piss and considers it an enemy."

I suspect those are indeed the reasons why, in Trump's pointy little head, he thinks the EU is an enemy. But he's disastrously wrong. What he's doing is making enemies of all our friends, and making our actual enemies more powerful.

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

JohnFen
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Re: Windows 8

"various references in the interwebs to ways of bringing hot corners back to Win 10."

That's pure insanity. "hot corners" was a horrible, horrible decision -- arguably even worse than that awful "start screen" bullshit.

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JohnFen
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Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

"it's quite possible to do"

I'd love to know how. I'd spent quite a bit of time trying to figure that out.

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JohnFen
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Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

"I have noticed recently that start menu searching"

Windows 10 search facilities are broken to the point of being useless.

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Official probe into HPE’s Oz 3Par crashes would create 'further negative publicity' if revealed

JohnFen
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Very clever

"disclosing the final report raised “the prospect of further negative publicity it could generate for HPE” "

This is very clever. This statement is an invitation to speculate about what is in the report that would be so unfavorable to HPE, and when people speculate without evidence, the speculation is usually even worse than the truth.

Could this be a bit of jiu jitsu? Everyone will think the HPE is hiding something truly awful, so they'll push to release the report in order to reduce the impact of that?

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