* Posts by bombastic bob

5178 posts • joined 1 May 2015

Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Width

I'd like the editing font size (like in this edit window right now) to match the article display font size, so I don't have to zoom in/out to get something readable for editing. When the article display font is correct, the edit font is one or two sizes too small. This causes eyestrain and a LOT of typing mistakes that I have to correct later. The alternative is to zoom in once or twice, and then the article is displayed in a 'ginormous' font. I just want both to be the same, ya know?

Anyway it's been "like that" for a while now. I mention it occasionally. I'm mentioning it again.

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The current eight personnel are to be expanded to 14

I smell an excessive corporate influence, resulting in what happened with Firefox:


b) no more UI tweeks

c) removal of whatever customization is left, with limited 'theme' options

Yes, two companies currently do this, Google and Micro-shaft, and i don't use Chrome on the desktop because of it, and 52-ESR Firefox is still working for me... but may deserve a fork, soon.

I hope I don't have to do this with T-bird to avoid the FLATSO and the HAMBURGER MENU.

But that's the trend of ARROGANT developers who *FEEL* like WE want what THEY "Feel". And removal of choice to FORCE it.

Grab a bucket and spade: Sandbox open for Insiders again with fresh Windows 10 build

bombastic bob Silver badge

phone-based logins

'both good and bad' - imagine your 4 character PIN number for your smartphone being the only kind of security a company's IT manager can rely on...

After all, how many people use 1234, 0000, the last 4 digits of your taxpayer ID number, or your phone number, or your birthday, or something equally easy to guess? "That's the combination I use on my luggage" "And change the combination on my luggage" (Hail Skroob!)

However, the potential is good as long as there can be 3rd party applications with security token storage that can manage it. I do not want to rely on Micro-shaft slurpware phone applications to do this kind of thing, with hidden "features" that phone home to Redmond. I've been concerned about the whole 'Micro-shaft Logon' thing from its inception, because it automatically has a unique identifier for YOU out on "the cloud", and Micro-shaft already admits in their EULA that they can share that information, and I don't know of any way to STOP them.

But if a 3rd party application, say one WRITTEN BY THE COMPANY, can be use to provide a secure login on any Windows computer in the company, it would be VERY useful for IT managers, wouldn't it?

(I'd consider open-sourcing a framework for one, just for grins, with a 'donate' link, see what happens)

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Its worse than he is making out.

yeah China has way too much economic disparity for it to be a big market for 'rich boy toys'.

Henry Ford's thinking comes to mind, that those who build the cars ought to be able to afford to buy them. Predictable results in China. What are their assembly plant employees earning these days? And if THEY are considered "well off", I think Apple's marketing needs to take THAT into account.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Why can't I feel sympathy?

I simply don't "feel" anything...

bombastic bob Silver badge

"removable batteries"

ack on removable batteries. who wants a $1000 'throwaway after 2 years' phone...

my dumb phone has a replaceable battery, and it costs less than $50

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Overpriced kit

"CO2 crisis"? thanks for inserting _THAT_ topic. NOT.

icon, because, facepalm.

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Wait, what?

how about this one: IT recruiters requesting your resume in WORD DOC FORMAT

(pause for effect)

yeah no security problems THERE.

I wonder how many IT pros would say "here it is in plain text" or "I have a PDF, how about that?" knowing that perhaps sending MS Word format documents as e-mail attachments is some kind of "test" to see how security-savvy you are?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The real solution


The terms BIOS vs UEFI [which really _IS_ a type of 'BIOS' ok?]

yeah ok, nit-picking terms. whatever. not laughing. too many people actually DO this sort of thing. OK maybe THAT is the joke, on people who DO this sort of thing IRL and not just as a joke...

(unless for some reason I misinterpreted what you meant, I haven't finished my coffee yet)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The real solution

"Have a backup automatically made of the BIOS at the time of update"

Not bad. Even simpler, a mirror of the factory default BIOS, with a built-in ability to EASILY reset to factory default at the hardware level, before the BIOS/UEFI setup screen shows up, like for an embedded device [hold this button down for 'n' seconds while powering up - like that - could also be a jumper].

That built-in ability, of course, would have to be in a truly read-only memory area with no possibility of 'updating' or circumventing it, and ALWAYS run on startup to check for factory reset.

Also, from the article: "not opening emailed applications as a system administrator helps a lot"

i.e. "Practice Safe Surfing". And no e-mail views/previews with HTML enabled nor attached/embedded thingies previewed.

Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7

bombastic bob Silver badge


I did some testing for that a few years ago, but the gnome 3 thing put me off...

however the 'boot into live system' install concept isn't bad.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Only if Apple does

Yeah didn't MS say something about Win-10-nic being "the last version of windows" or something?

Wait until they pull Win32 API support. You *know* they wanna! It won't happen until after Win 7 loses complete support, probably. But you _KNOW_ they wanna! Everything UWP or whatever "new,shiny" Micro-shat decides to excrete into the public, against our will, changing the rules so that old devs will be "junior" again, just like it's been with so many other technologies starting with ".Not" back in the early 2000's...

I think Windows has gone beyond a product that people are willing to pay money for so they can have it. It's become a pre-installed "you have to take it or else" monopoly, locking in all but those savvy enough to know how to install a different OS. It's as if all cars [assuming all must run gasoline except those converted by end-users to a different kind of fuel] MUST use a particular brand of gasoline, which is continually re-formulated without our wanting it to change... [wait why is my car performing poorly now, why does the engine light come on, why does it make that noise when I punch the gas pedal to the floor...]

Think of it THAT way and anti-trust anti-monopoly government forces would ALREADY be all OVER Microsoft for monopolistic practices, etc.. And their lack of quality and "take what we give you" attitude toward customers is just par for the course.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: It's my fault

"I haven't seen a UI for any OS that isn't a pancake lately"

Mate on Linux or FreeBSD, using one of the 'classic appearance' themes, is as 3D skeuomorphic as you can have with a 2D monitor, with gradient colors and buttons that LOOK like buttons and sizeable borders that actually LOOK LIKE BORDERS. It's VERY easy on the eyes.

But yeah that 2D FLATSO FLATTY MC-FLATFACE FLUGLY crap has *GOT* to *GO*. It's been SHOVED UP OUR RECTUMS for TOO LONG. Blame Google, Gnome 3, Microsoft, and to some extent, Apple for that.

In Linux (and FreeBSD) you have CHOICE, something that "the monopoly" does NOT want you to have!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Not surprising with corporate refresh cycles

you have my pity. just make sure they don't blame YOU for migrating to it and creating all of those new 'unexepcted' problems related to Win-10-nic.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Where we are vs. Sci Fi predictions

years ago I did a de-motivational featuring the space station [incomplete but spinning nicely in orbit] from '2001 A Space Odyssey'. The caption was something like "If it were not for LBJ and 'The Great Society', we'd be COLONIZING MARS by now".

Sci Fi, even in a dystopic work, tends to be more optimistic about our future than reality. This is because in the Sci Fi world, there aren't a bunch of ninny-nanny wealthy "I have mine but you cannot get YOURS" socialist types that use their power and influence to "keep the rest of us in our place". This includes literallly standing in the way of progress, at every turn. Think of the OVERCOMPLICATED AND UNNECESSARY STEPS you must go through just to build a HOUSE nowadays. I rest my case.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: surpass humans in specific intellectual tasks

in one particular video game, Final Fantay XIII-2, there are some clock-related puzzles that become impossible to solve within the given time limits [unless you cheat and hit the 'save' button which pauses the action]. The only solution was to write a program to do it for me. I published the source on usenet after doing so. A few others have creeped into 'teh intarwebs' since but I might have had "the original".

Cruel humans, programming impossible puzzles into a video game, only to drive people like me into countering their madness by writing a 'bot' to do it FOR me (and giving it away to the world).

[the current incarnation lets me use a fondle-slab via a web page to do it, one written with PHP and NO client-side scripting, very 'REST'-ful even]

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: But in a lot

"Obligatory Asterix joke"

I have only one asterisk. Only one '*'. Not like the man with 3 buttocks [from a Monty Python sketch]. He'd have 1 and a half...

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: old 70's song

I was hoping for something by Monty Python's Flying Circuses

After Brexit, I wonder if France and Germany will be next? Frexit and Dexit? or will Italy break away next?

Eh, time to make popcorn I guess

Uncle Sam fingers two Chinese men for hacking tech, aerospace, defense biz on behalf of Beijing

bombastic bob Silver badge

QuasarRAT - "malware" ?

On a side note, the reported "malware" aka 'QuasarRAT' appears to be a legit application.

However, being an open source project, someone(s) has/have apparently forked it into a privately modified malware tool. I found at least one good web site that has information on how to detect it. Since it's a windows tool written in 'C-pound' it may also be possible to run it via mono on Linux, but I suspect that's not actually happening...

The legit version is on github, here: github.com/quasar/QuasarRAT

One web site reports that the malware version is "heavily modified" but uses the same name.

from www.enigmasoftware.com/quasarrat-removal/

"The QuasarRAT is a Trojan that is a heavily modified version of the open-source project carrying the same name 'QuasarRAT' by a programmer dubbed 'quasar' who has a page on [Github]"

I just thought I'd mention it, anyway, since there's apparently a legit version, too.

Corel – yeah, as in CorelDraw – looks in its Xmas stocking and discovers... Parallels

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Parallels bought 2X

Virtualbox started out as an open source fork of qemu, and so it could return to the community if Oracle were to ever decide to EOL it. But why WOULD they? As long as they don't break it by re-inventing the entire UI or something equally redonculous (like Microsoft might do for a "new, shiny") I don't see it as requiring that much effort to maintain...

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: What moon landing?


if you were serious, I pity you.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Apollo 8 in 1968 - IT! WAS! AWESOME!!!

must've hit a nerve. heh.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: No LM = No "lifeboat"

I'm pretty sure that "LEM-->lifeboat" was at least talked about among the various crews and there may have even been a procedure written for it.

Being in the nuclear Navy, there are procedures for EVERYTHING. Usually it's for single-failure, though, so if you have a multiple failure, you basically have to use the knowledge and skills gained in drilling for the single failures and 'wing it'.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Remeber those heady days of the Apollo missions well

"the Challenger disaster, and my mom saying very nonchalantly 'oh, look at that, it blew up'"

When THAT happened, I was underway on a submarine, and the captain made the announcement to the ship. He thought it was important enough news to announce it to the crew like that.

Space flight - still dangerous. But less so than 1968.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Remeber those heady days of the Apollo missions well

real heroes, YES, and with '2 rockets ago' nearly self-destructing on launch, it was extremely dangerous and only the best of the best were involved. 'The Right Stuff'

bombastic bob Silver badge

Apollo 8 in 1968 - IT! WAS! AWESOME!!!

People forget how GREAT things are when you do somthing like a WINNER, when you take the RISKS necessary, and you push past the limits and do something like this. It's better than your favorite football team (U.S. or Soccer, whichever) winning the championship. When you do something that is TRULY great, there are NO losers, and the winners are worth cheering on.

And it's a HELL of a lot better than "participation trophies" for being MEDIOCRE. *GREATNESS* should be celebrated, and navel-focusing "feelies" shouldn't be SJW'ing it for "those who aren't" because "they might feel bad about themselves" when SOMEONE ELSE is "a winner".

/me watched every launch and mission coverage on TV in the Gemini and Apollo programs (I was too young to remember the Mercury program), unless it was during school, and even THEN, the teachers would usually roll a TV into the class and leave it on with the sound turned down for us to watch it. This was BIG STUFF, and I hope nobody EVER manages to 'tone down' that fact by revising history. EVAR.

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Look out

"Smoking where you eat in public is generally not acceptable"

Nor is farting. Mine clear rooms. So I don't do them in enclosed spaces or where people are eating. A well ventilated public bathroom is adequate. Except when at home [in which case I'll lift one leg and lean, and laugh afterwards, or maybe poot out 'shave and a haircut' for laughs].

So yeah. So maybe vapes can have an obnoxious smell, like some perfumes, and bad intestinal gas, and your neighbor's dog when he doesn't clean the crap up for a while. But there are no known lingering aftereffects that I'm aware of...

[minor irritations are everywhere]

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Look out

"Nicotine literally turns you into a mindless child who can't do without a substance that they would never have been exposed to in natural life"

WRONG. get your facts right. some of your points are 'ok' and the biscuit analogy wasn't bad, but then you went off the rails making claims about nicotine that just are NOT true.

Nicotine exists in some foods. Potatoes are one. Maybe that's why we like them so much!

Also included, eggplant, green tomatoes, and cauliflower. Potatoes are actually the lowest of the 4 in content of nicotine by weight.

[I take it you've never had ANY of those, right???]

Aside from the physical (and possibly psychological) addiction, what's really WRONG with people using nicotine?

[I'm not a smoker, never been one, and probably won't vape. But if it doesn't bother ME or anyone else, why not just let people do what they WANT to do??? If this were ABORTION, they'd be no argument other than "it is her body" that would EVEN be TOLERATED, right? So why not the SAME argument HERE???]

icon, because, facepalm.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Look out

"the success of Juul is alarming because it is creating a whole new class of nicotine addicts"

I suspect they would've smoke cigarettes (or worse) instead, had Juul not existed.

Amazingly, people will do things you and others don't want them to, especially when they're young. That's what *PARENTS* are for, to guide them properly before "that" happens [assuming it's something that's TRULY bad, and I have my doubts, as previously stated].

And if vaping is the WORST they do, parents should count themselves LUCKY. In my day it was cocaine and marijuana, rampantly so. I understand that some of the girls were regularly doing lines of cocaine in the bathroom...

Seriously, the control freak health fascists need to back off and mind their own business.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Look out

"here come the health nazis with their controlling chant of 'its for your own good'"

[my opinion] "They" are control freaks whose fears and general lack of self-confidence take the 'outlet' form of CONTROLLING OTHERS "for their own good", and they seek positions of power and authority in gummint to make this sort of thing easier.

If "they" had their way, for one clear example, butter and meat would have been OUTLAWED years ago, even though NOW it can easily be shown that margarine is WAY worse for you than animal fats could POSSIBLY be [though a high fat low carb 'atkins' diet often results in healthier weight], and elevated overall cholesterol levels aren't the reason behind heart diseases [it's the HDL/LDL ratio], and so on. "Trans Fats" is yesterday's "Poly-unsaturates" which were presumed to be BETTER for you. We are far more enlightened now.

Yeah, "they" were SO wrong, weren't "they" ?

And THAT [along with many other 'health fads' the FOOD NAZIS have pressured us with] brings me to a point regarding nicotine [which naturally occurs in some foods] and it's (alleged?) "harm" for every one/thing that is exposed to it. OK it makes a good insecticide, and will kill you in high enough doses. Like a lot of things.

Has there REALLY been a VALID study that shows how *horrible* nicotine BY ITSELF is? We're talking about shortened lives, horrible diseases [like cancer], loss of limbs, and things like that which are NORMALLY associated with tobacco addiction, and not merely the addiction to nicotine itself.

It's kind of funny how a number of BENEFITS of using nicotine have shown up in a simple online search. I also recall one man who had bad hand tremors until he started smoking [just a little, when the tremors started]. Vaping isn't smoke, and I have seen studies that show how benign they are.

So I have to ask: FOR WHAT REASON are the "health nazis" so AGAINST nicotine usage? What _EVIDENCE_ do they have to support their position?

Or is it, as I suspect, JUST a PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER that these health nazis have, one that drives them to OBSESSIVELY WANT to CONTROL OTHERS!!!

A web site I found, for what its worth, identified 4 positives and 3 negatives for nicotine. One of the negatives was addiction. One was an increase in tumor growth [due to increased blood flow, interestingly], and the other was a study regarding use by "under 25's" and development of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. OK fine. Anything else?

Maybe the 'health nazis' should just TRY TO MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. When their lives are 100% perfect, maybe I'll consider what they have to say.

Microsoft's 2018, part 2: Azure data centres heat up and Windows 10? It burns! It burns!

bombastic bob Silver badge

All that elderly code is one reason for the current woes of the OS (?)

Normally when you have "elderly code" (think "the BSDs") you do NOT have this problem. A lot of code can remain 'as-is', well tested and relatively bug free, when you have a VERY OLD code base.

The problem is NOT old code. It's more obvious, to me. It's (most likely) a combination of an addiction to "new, shiny" and a GENERAL LACK OF QUALITY AND EXPERIENCE on the part of THE DEVELOPERS, THEMSELVES.

It is my impression that the new crop of developers, who aren't the ones that gave us Windows 2000 and XP (and even Windows 7), _ARE_ the problem.

The fact that they are *STILL* putting lipstick on the NON-OINKY end of "The Boar" formerly known as 'Metro" (and its bastard child UWP) _IS_ a BIG indicator.

Blame where blame belongs. It's in the "new, shiny" code developed by a bunch of programmers who (most likely) grew up with PARTICIPATION TROPHIES and majored in SELF-ESTEEM, with an addiction to being told how SPECIAL they are.

Murphy's law needs a "special addendum" for THAT bunch. Because it DID go wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

icon, because, FACEPALM

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: "Santa Claus..."

"Computers of the day were BIG things"

The first hand calculators were just being invented, and the first minicomputers. So yeah. But the design for Apollo's computer was from several years earlier, 1965-ish (and some documents I found go back even earlier).

ROM firmware on the Apollo computers used 'rope' memory, sorta like read-only core memory, where the presence of a core or absence of one determined 1 or 0. They were strung by women who were good at sewing, as I understand.


I also downloaded another document from a related Apollo archive that talked about the ICs chosen in that computer. Apparently it was a dual 3 input NOR gate, plus a memory sense amplifier. Yeah, JUST the two. These were primarily the only things available at design time in or around 1965 in sufficient quantities to be practical. Another photograph at the archive site showed the Fairchild 'F' clearly visible, but the intent was that many manufacturers could compete for producing these things for the Apollo program. And I'm not surprised it if was RTL... one of the 'first and worst' designs for logic ICs. But yeah, it worked. And it was small/light enough to fit in an Apollo capsule [and the LEM had its own as well]. The gate circuit diagram in the document shows 3 transistors and 4 resistors... wheeee!!!! Not sure what the logic gate 'fanout' of a collector resistor would allow you to have, but it probably wasn't much.

The sense amplifier was a bit more complex, consisting of 6 transistors and 8 resistors, with 3 external ref voltages, and an external balanced input transformer with 2 external resistors, and also used a strobe pulse to enable the open collector output. Most likely it was configured as one amp per bit per core board.

I got that particular PDF document from "https://authors.library.caltech.edu/5456/1/hrst.mit.edu/groups/apollo/bibliography/q-and-a.tcl_topic_id=11&topic=Document%20Library.html" (I would put a link but I don't wanna deal with captcha).

The actual PDF was titled 'A case history of the AGC integrated logic circuits'.

Several other diagrams show discrete components being used as interfaces and signal shapers. Additionally it shows how 'unpowered' gates could be combined with a single gate (that has power applied) to increase the number of inputs on the gate. If you look at the circuit diagram of the RTL logic it makes sense, basically "leave off" the power connection and you can combine two by tying the outputs together.

The full schematic is probably in there someplace. I'd like to see it as a logic diagram, but that's a lot of downloading and searching... and I think someone already has a simulator out there someplace.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Lunch from both ends?

I've heard a lot of things attributed to ginger, but as a motion sickness remedy? Naw.

I was in the Navy on a sub for ~4 years, and my first underway was in state 5 seas (for sea trials after shipyard, meaning we were on the surface for quite some time) taking 30 degree rolls for hours on end (and those 'TDU weights' baked by the cooks at breakfast sat in my stomach until they had to come back out the wrong end). After a while, nearly everyone [including seasoned veterans] were sick. You learn how to deal with it.

Motion sickness is more of a 'control' thing. You have to learn to calm your mind and "go with the flow" because you can NOT control the rolling motion. You can only control yourself. So that's what you focus on. And if you're sitting down, keep in mind that nobody gets seasick in a rocking chair, so if you can orient yourself to make the motion "kinda like that" it's a whole lot easier. Of course, that last part isn't what makes people sick in space, but there's probably something about it that's "equivalent" to something familiar... so you find 'that' and make it 'ok' again.

/me points out that submarines have round hulls, and as such, roll pretty violently when on or near the surface, which [fortunately] is NOT 'most of the time'.

Microsoft's 2018, part 1: Open source, wobbly Windows and everyone's going to the cloud

bombastic bob Silver badge

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: "They checking to see if someone boarding the aircraft has malicious intent"

oh yeah like your password of "jihad" and your facebook page honoring Osama bin Laden are some kind of clue that you're a terrorist. So they look for that to keep you off of airplanes.

[seriously those wannabe types leave rat droppings all over the place, no need to use their phone passwords to spy on them like that, just do simple search engine queries and they'll pop up from time to time so you'll know who they are - use existing laws to get user info from the service providers and a warrant to spy on their activity, and you're all set]

As for the REAL terrorists and spies, they're hiding in plain site and look JUST! LIKE! EVERYBODY! ELSE! and you can't find them by insisting on getting their phones unlocked at an airport.

Next time I fly with a computer, I'll set it up with FreeBSD and I won't encrypt the hard drive. I'll just make sure that it boots into a console and that EVERY virtual console goes to a JAIL. And the root password in the jail will be something like "TSA Sucks".

[its easy to get from a jail to the host; just run ssh to localhost and log in with the host's security, then you can use 'startx' to get the GUI etc. and it'll be fine]

So [b]lame, "them" and their attempts to control and spy on us. TSA and FISA need a _BIG_ _REVIEW_ anyway, and hopefully that will be on Trump's plate in his 2nd term. Under GW Bush (whose administration invented TSA) everybody expressed their concerns that it would get "this bad", eventually. Under Obama it *DID* get "this bad". It hasn't gotten (perceptively) better under Trump, though I think to some extent it [independently] HAS gotten 'less bad'. Let's see how it goes.

Seriously I want things the way they were pre-9/11. Smarter scanning methods, and PROFILING, is more likely to get us there than the current "take of your belt and shoes and hold onto your pants so you don't flash everyone whle you're being scanned" method. And oh, by the way, give up your passwords, too.

post-note - I've been 'more thoroughly examined' at the Mexican border before, car seats removed and left for me to put back, etc. - I had a big car with a big trunk, and so they 'profiled' me for a bit of 'extra' inspection. Whatever, yeah. The agents were polite and it didn't take that long, but yeah, it was kinda 'a pain in the ass'.

Ho ho ho! Washington DC sends Zuckerberg a sueball-shaped present

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: @AC Good. Now close FB down

"(Hate speech and illegal speech [e.g. Nazis in Germany] are a different issue)"

No, they're NOT different than any OTHER 'free speech' issue. Aside from inciting riots (or inciting other crimes), libel, slander, threats, false accusations, false police reports, lying under oath, and other similar 'illegal speech' (which our courts have upheld as NOT being covered by the 1st Ammendment), pretty much ANYTHING ELSE is 'free speech', *ESPECIALLY* speech that people DISAGREE with [or feelings hurt, wah wah baby's feewings werwe huwt, awwww, poor baby...].

And that's the point. If you go back to the 1950's in 'The South' in America, you find cases where businesses were regularly discriminating on the basis of RACE, and justifying by saying things like "we retain the right to refuse to do business with" etc.. OK, but if you refuse to do business with black people, we NOW consider that "illegal" under Civil Rights legislation. Actual discrimination is NOT "free speech" or anything similar. It's illegal, and upheld by decades of precedent.

THE SAME PRINCIPLE exists when it comes to the 1st Ammendment, in the USA anyway. So when there is WIDESPREAD "DISCRIMINATION" against SPEECH, it's really a CIVIL RIGHTS issue, and should be TREATED as such by the law!

If additional laws that specify this MUST be legislated before they can be ENFORCED, then I guess Con-Grab (and other legislative bodies) need to get their collective ASSES in gear and GET TO IT.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Good. Now close FB down

"Send Zuck to jail."

well, aside from the OBVIOUS 'lynch mob' tactic, this ain't gonna happen. You know, "Due Process" and all of that. It's something that mob mentalities often forget [or disregard].

Now, wouldn't it be nice if the TWO TIERED justice system in the USA (you know, one for 'US', and the other for those who are 'NOT US', from the perspective of the elitist "ruling class" ) were applied CONSISTENTLY?

(what a Christmas present *THAT* would make!!!)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: There is morality and there are laws

"It is the perceived task of the government to connect these two, and they often nearly always fail, or lag decades behind the facts."

(fixed it. you're welcome)

Since when have 'morality' and 'law' had any kind of CONNECTION?

There's also the likelihood that ANY law that is 'moral' will come with HOWLS of "legislating morality" and things of THAT nature.

Gummint does NOT define morality, either. Society itself does, and to some extent, religions, philosophies, etc.. And the law is regularly polluted with loopholes that "l[aw]yer buddies" can exploit for the purposes of running up astronomical legal fees for themselves. In short, the best you can hope for is a corrupt partial-"solution" that creates more problems than it solves...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Now EU use GDPR

Well, hitting the stockholders and the board of directors is likely to have a bigger impact, yes. The question is whether or not it would be ENOUGH.

in the late 19th and early 20th century, there were major trusts that had to be 'busted' (Teddy Roosevelt was 'big stick' on this) including Standard Oil and U.S. Steel and J.P. Morgan's banking empire and a few other things.

In the 21st century you have Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and to some extent, Apple, each with their own monopolistic 'trust'. Similar action will be necessary to protect the consumer, because they're pretty much doing what the late 19th century trusts were doing.

1. Control a huge percentage of the market;

2. Setting terms and prices (or in this case for FB, user privacy as a 'price')

3. Owning/controlling enough of the supply chain as to shut out competition

4. Predatory practices (literally ATTACKING competitors or PREVENTING competition from surviving)

A good example of '3' is when an oil company (for a geographical area, let's say) owns the majority of the oil wells, refineries, AND gasoline stations. By fixing prices at the wholesale level, then can keep the profits to themselves and make it impossible for independent gasoline stations to compete by having the profit margin at the RETAIL level be SO impractical as to drive them out of business.

So Google [their search engine is 'free'] and Microsoft [their OS comes bundled with EVERY new computer] and Facebook [there aren't any real alternatives that "all of your friends" are on] present their 'products', it's perceptively "no other choice" besides *THEM*. And _THAT_ is when it becomes A MONOPOLY.

Queue the usual behavior, like exploitation and poor quality product/support, bloated bureaucracy inside the company when you want resolution, and so on.

Bust the TRUSTS!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: @AC Good. Now close FB down

well, you DO have to assume that corporations, run by people, will be acting in their own best interests.

that would be 'human nature' in general. Actually, it's _NATURE_ in general.

So in addition to "the stick" a carrot may be needed to get Fa[e]ceB[itch,ook] to behave. This would actually be consistent with what Sun Tzu wrote about in 'Art of Warfare'.

If you want an enemy to attack a specific place, you'll make it attractive to them. Move something they want into that position. Weakly defend it (or give a perception of weakness). In effect you're offering something up that THEY want, while simultaneously controlling the situation. You can use it as a trap, or you can use it to let them take the thing they want which might be valuable if you do NOT want it any more for some reason.

in any case, using the stick against "the Zuckers" is likely to drive them into being more deceptive, finding new ways to screw their customers over, etc.. But a carrot, one that also protects privacy [maybe a GDPR-like solution] is more likely to work.

When I go to the grocery store, I use a card that gets me a discount. They now know everything I buy there [which is less and less these days, as Target and Walmart have way lower prices on most things]. I nearly always buy liquor at the grocery store because it's constantly "on sale" [the stuff I want] so they know it's getting me into the store. And they're right.

So they can see that _I_ buy liquor at their store, nearly every time I'm there. Their algorithms can track that, and that particular liquor has been "on sale" for about 2 years as I recall. Win-win.

So now here's a carrot for Fa[e]ceB[ook,itch]: What if they can give people an ADVANTAGE for "being tracked", and CONTROL the level of tracking in a GDPR-compliant way? And, maybe they get 'special offers' or discounts for doing so? You know, a win-win.

Things like this do NOT have to be win-lose, or worse, lose-lose. It does NOT have to be "the exploiter" vs "the masses". It _CAN_ be something people are willing to accept [like the store discount card, dating back over 20 years], even for a privacy-conscious person like me, because you GET something for it.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Good article. Assuming TheRegister is clean with our data.

well, when I read the following:

"in an era where the defining characteristic of the President of the United States is that he lies with impunity"

I just have to cringe. That is, unless you were talking about the PREVIOUS president, in which case lies were his NATIVE LANGUAGE. "You can keep your doctor. You can keep your plan." etc.

But politicians in general are the biggest liars of them all. It's what they do. That's pretty much a universal thing.

Microsoft: Come and play in our Windows SandBox

bombastic bob Silver badge

in the POSIX world...

I just create a new user with a separate home directory, and 'guest' level group permissions.

if X11 desktop access is needed, for a different user alongside the logged-in user, you can use DISPLAY and xhost and whatnot to configure it. Yeah I do that _ALL_ of the time. Literally.

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE

bombastic bob Silver badge

remote-code execution hole in the browser's scripting engine.

and THIS is why I use NOSCRIPT. Because, you never know when "yet another" script vulnerability will end up spreading malware to YOUR computer, and so it should be disabled by default on all but THE most trusted web sites, and that list should be very, very, very small [and exclude ALL advertisers and CDNs].

From the article: "A possible alternative is to not use Internet Explorer, of course."


Introducing 'Happy Quit', where Chinese smokers are text-spammed into nicotine abstinence

bombastic bob Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Not much to brag about

ack - more effective "non government mandate/irritate" methods exist already.

A lot of people switch to vaping, which every study I've ever read suggests is SIGNIFICANTLY less hazardous to the user, and practically benign to everyone else [unlike smoke, which generally irritates EVERYONE, etc.]. But here in Cali-Fornicate-You, the ninny-nanny types are NOW altering the anti-smoking ads [paid for by deliberately excessive tobacco taxes] to _INCLUDE_ vaping, which I believe is incredibly STUPID...

so maybe "that" is next. Then it'll be caffeine and alcohol. Well, alcohol has been tried already [and the dramatic failure of U.S. prohibition stands as a testimony to why such things should NOT be passed into law]. And in China, I suppose anti-gummint thoughts will need to be purged, too...

bombastic bob Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Finally

"As long as you don't expect TPTB to leave it at that, before moving on to other 'undesirable' behaviour..."

ack - and, who knows, maybe California is headed that way as well, very soon... [if Silly Valley has their way]

it is the nature of gummints to be this way, as "big nanny" types weasel their way into positions of power so they CAN impose themselves on the world. The only thing "them" is "us".

Houston, we've had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants

bombastic bob Silver badge

all that alien schtuff...

maybe the leaked info will make it to wikileaks? THE EVIDENCE of the CONSPIRACY to HIDE THE EXISTENCE of EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE will FINALLY be REVEALED!!!

or not...

Microsoft flings untested Windows 10 updates to users! (Oh no it doesn't!)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: gained the tools necessary for hosting a static website back in 2011.

"unless you were barking mad and tried to host via DSL in your own small office or bedroom."

I am _NOT_ barking mad! bark! Bark! BARK!


bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: An opening is here

"Please do not suggest Linux of any current variant thats a little like saying a coal fired steam turbine is a better way of making electricity."

Your lack of knowledge of steam plants, in particular coal-fired plants, is blatant. Believe it or not, a well designed coal-burner is efficient, clean, and relatively inexpensive to operate. Having operated a nuclear steam plant in the past, and understanding basic thermodynamics and engineering and physics, it's pretty obvious to me that, yes, compared to MANY ways of generating electricity, a coal-fired steam plant is a tried and true method, that with modern technology, can be made efficient, clean, and cost effective.

Oh, and Linux - good OS. I prefer FreeBSD but Linux gets more love and hardware support, so it might make a better OS for end-users than FreeBSD would. And, of course BETTER THAN WINDOWS, I say, if the devs would get OFF OF THEIR ASSES and make LINUX versions of their applications.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Firefox

"Or, for those of us who dislike Chrome, some other browser."

I'm considering forking 52-LTS or ESR or whatever they call it. If I had more time... and could get paid to maintain it. At least you can build it on FreeBSD without mega-downloads or stupid build environments.

I'm considering a proper port of midori without the hamburger menu crap. Maybe a fork of an older version of it... one that still had a menu.

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