* Posts by gobaskof

51 posts • joined 4 Dec 2015


OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...


Re: Yes we know they squeak

Just your air gapped PC in a room with incredibly loud white noise right across the audio spectrum. That won't annoy anyone.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?


But it is quite good!

I have often been described as a "tin-foil twat" based on the strength of my anti-Microsoft sentiments. I am one of those people that migrated away from GitHub the week Microsoft bought it. However, I bent the knee and installed VSCode about 2 months ago as I couldn't get the refactoring tools I needed into Kate, and I hate the full fat Eclipse IDE. It really is a great editor.

What I came to realises is that if I can't get behind a cross-platform open-source project with over 1000 contributors, then what am I really fighting for? Having to turn off the telemetry crap was rather discouraging, but the actual editor experience is really good. I cannot think I have ever said that the user experience was good for any Microsoft software before, and that is the power of open-source users added the features they needed. I think we the nerds won this round, Microsoft are doing it our way, we should encourage that.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word


Re: Isn't it just a historical anachronism?

LaTeX adds a stretched space between sentences, so that there is extra spacing than between words unless \frenchspacing is enabled. See https://latexref.xyz/_005cspacefactor.html#g_t_005cspacefactor


Re: The Brexit brigade will be up in arms!

Doesn't matter how many spaces I type LaTeX will remove excess ones. I always get an extra space after a sentence even when I don't type it (unless I enable \frenchspacing). All spaces are equal but some are more equal than others.

We could all do with a bit of empathy in our systems, says Mozilla as it ships Firefox 75 in the thick of global pandemic


Re: I wish they'd stop messing with things that don't need "fixing"!

I might have to give that a go. I can't see any benefit to the God-awful new bar.

Canary-build Microsoft browser blocks Microsoft extension from inflicting Microsoft search engine

Thumb Up

Re: "I just can't take it seriously with a name like that."

As a weirdo Duck-Duck-Go user that hates Microsoft the only thing I have to say is.. Good point.

Thunderbird is go: Mozilla's email client lands in a new nest


Re: I've stopped using it

How do you use TB when forced on Exchange? Do you use DavMail or ExQuilla? I have not tried ExQuilla (it doesn't support calendar I think), and I have found that DavMail auto accepts calendar requests which is really annoying as everyone at work uses calendar requests.

I am stuck in webmail hell as my work machine is Linux, would like a way out.

Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft



It seems Microsoft will never stop being a company that abuse their monopoly to promote their other "services".

The delights of on-site working – sun, sea and... WordPad wrangling?


Science equipment to this day is still sometimes shipped new with GPIB (IEE-488). Some are finally taking up USB. However often if there is USB and GPIB, you find yourself using the GPIB because some companies do crap proprietary DLLs for the USB communication that go out of date or don't work on your operating system (some of us run experiments on linux). Some do use USB as a simple virtual serial port, and slowly people seem to be moving onto USBTMC.

Oracle and Google will fight in court over Java AGAIN and this time it's going to the Supremes


Oracle’s innovations

"for copying Oracle’s innovations"

You mean "for using something that Oracle purchased afterwards, just so they could sue"

Larry, Larry, Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow

With patent fights and IP rights

And lawyers all in a row

(Poem attributed to an El Reg comment from donkey's years ago)

Microsoft's phrase of the week was 'tech intensity' and, no, we're not sure what it means either


Re: Tech Intensity is nearly always 1

Exactly, I have a negative amount of trust in Microsoft yet they still get a positive result!?

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out


Re: Standing

Christoph Hellwig sued VMware not SFC. He is a key linux dev who wrote the code and owns the copyright. SFC, supported and financed the lawsuit.


"hasty" litigation

SFC started trying to negotiate with VMware in 2011, and were instantly directed to the lawyers. They tried to negotiate without litigation for over 3 years, then eventually filed suit in 2015. If this is too hasty, what do you want? Should we wait until everyone who wrote the copyright has been dead for 70 years, that would solve the problem.

Stallman's Free Software Foundation says we need a free phone OS


Fingers crossed

I hope they will succeed in a feasible phone operating system where others have failed, as android is getting more and more frustrating. Hopefully they will take the easy route of starting AOSP and building something from there. No it is not perfect or ideal but it would foster compatibility and it might actually get finished unlike GNU HURD.

Also a pity to see octave fall off the list. I know many people are moving over to numpy, but personally I still prefer Octave for data analysis over numpy.

'Geek gene' denied: If you find computer science hard, it's your fault (or your teacher's)


'Big cock gene' denied: If you find your penis is small, its your fault (you didn't wish enough!)

Intelligent Richard from the Institute of Male Members has a keen interest in other men's trouser snakes. Clever Dick, as he is most commonly known, has devised a hypothesis to disprove that penis size is genetic. "If penis size is genetic then logically there is exactly one gene that switches, and thus penis sizes will fall into two distinct categories: tiny todgers and enormous erections. If penis sizes show a single Bell curve then genetic theories of penis sizes will be at an end." Reports Clever Dick, explaining to us his Bell-End hypothesis.

The results are in with a clear Bell curve, thus disproving the genetic link to penis size. Clever Dick reports that the most likely explanation is that how much time children spend thinking about their penis size is far more relevant than genes. He goes on to explain that he hardly ever thought about his John Thomas as a child, a decision he severely regrets. He does, however, hope that online news will pick up on his dubious research and present it as fact with exaggerated headlines.

City of Moscow to ditch 600k Exchange and Outlook licences


Well if it can support standards then it is aleady ahead of the game

Put in some SMPTP, IMAP, LDAP, and maybe CalDAV, and you are well ahead of sodding Exchange for adhering to the standards the rest of the world use.

Exchange is the software metaphor for an iPhone7 lots of shiny alternatives you don't want and no way to connect it so normal stuff you already have.

GitHub gets all grown-up with better code review, project management, etc


Re: Getting ready to be bought by Microsoft

"That would certainly give GitLab a major boost in popularity."

I would move everything next day. Microsoft already deleted all my emails from a dormant hotmail account in an "upgrade". Customer service usefully told me to "log in more often" to prevent this. With GitHub they can delete my code too if they feel like it.

Baidu peddles PaddlesPaddles, floats open source AI tech


Not a promo

This article is clearly not a promo because I can actually comment on it. Huawei must have given them less money, as their article was clearly labelled as a promo (comments non-existent) rather than masquerading as tech news.

Ice to see you! Windows 10 fix for freezing PCs finally flung at folks


Re: WTF?

You portioned your system to put core OS files on one partition and data (including app data) on another? This way what ever happens to the OS you can replace it while keeping your data. Standard practice for the competent computer user...

"The competent computer user" - no wonder it broke Windows 10, no one expects a competent computer user to have Windows 10.

BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail


Re: and over at the entertainment industry . . .

Chinese knock off sound desks causing conference interruptions? Windows on supported hardware is normally the culprit. The only conference interruption I have ever had when speaking was at a conference where we couldn't use our own laptops. Adobe reader decided to notify me of a new version 10 mins into a full screen presentation. This, I suppose, is Adobe incompetence not Microsoft, but still it felt like a Genuine Windows Experience™.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere


It is good that microsoft is on hand with excellent advice

Just wipe your machine and re-install.

Luckily most of your average Windows users are completely backed up, and those who are not can easily get the files back with a linux live CD.

Luckily all their personalised settings are simply in a few plain text (hidden) files in their home directory so after the reinstall all personalised settings can be restored.

And most Windows users pick Windows due to the speed of the install and their love of making their own bootable disks. Not just because it comes as standard.

Personally, I feel I am missing out on the fun here. None of my Kubuntu installs have ever kerploded on me like this.

Quip away, but Microsoft Excel 365's REST APIs win the day


300 excel functions!?

I can just imagine the tears of joy streaming down the faces of web app programmers. Previously stuck in an environment where they are forced to use awful Turing complete languages, they will now have OVER 300 excel functions!!! It is like Christmas came early! I hope they integrate MS paint next, how can I design websites without a shitty spray can?

Mozilla 404s '404 Not Found' pages: Firefox fills in blanks with archive.org copies


As long as there is a big clear message saying that this is an archive and the real page is missing.. then this is a good idea. I assume they will do this, but who knows..

Microsoft takes five months to replace broken patch


5 months

5 months to fix a critical update to a core service? That is fast for Microsoft...

Apple gets judge to hit ctrl-alt-delete on $625m FaceTime patent troll


Patent reform

Now please

Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year


Other headlines:

"Despite being hugely unpopular, 150 million Windows 8 users don't want a free copy of windows 10."

"Nearly 80% of Windows 7 users dexterous enough to avoid Windows nagware!"

(I suppose 2 isn't really true with Enterprise being nagware free, but still..)

My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell


Re: Thunderbird with Lightening

Thunderbird is great. But if you are forced to use Microsoft's awful exchange nonsense to connect to the email server, you need to install davmail to translate (unless you want to pay for the custom exchange addon someone made). I use thunderbird and davmail at work, it works, but it is definitely not a simple solution would recommend to someone who isn't tech saavy.

This is why we have standard! It annoys me when a proprietary protocol becomes more common that a recognised standard. It is a step backwards and everyone else suffers.

Microsoft adds useful feature to PowerPoint. Seriously


This will make conferences hell - like prezi did

These features are probably good in the hands of serious presenters. As a scientist at conferences, there are too many people who present badly, and spend too much time designing overcrowded slides rather than considering 3 things:

1. What do I want the audience to learn?

2. What do I need to say so they can learn this?

3. What visual information will add to this?

When Prezi first introduced its non-linear presentations, suddenly a bunch of enthusiastic PhD students spent hours writing incomprehensible talks, where the field of view spirals around zooming in and out of a giant page, inducing motion sickness to the audience. The first one I saw got people somewhat engaged, I heard the audience guessing where it would next zoom, no one learned anything.

Bringing these features to powerpoint will bring the ability to write mind warping presentations to everyone who has never strayed from powerpoint. And you just know that everyone who still uses slide transitions will be all over this feature, like a tramp on hot chips.

We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it


Was this an advert or an article?

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018


Re: "run MS Office"

"Appears you can use Office365 using a Linux based web browser:"

I have to do this at work occasionally when people send me things. Normally presentations to look over and forms to fill in.. But large files wont open in the browser version so the presentations rarely work and lots of other features don't work including the in-word form thing. Maybe this improved over the last few months. I just log into a VDI machine for these things, but it is ridiculous that we need to do that.


@ mark 177

"Historically, yes. But those monopoly days are over for MS. Now we can tell them to take a hike."

Try buying a laptop from a major vendor without Windows (or Mac). You can either go the somewhat specialist route of system76 or the like, or start arguing with sales about Windows refunds which is often near impossible. Acer will let you buy the computer then mail it to support (at your own cost) for an unspecified refund. Dell used to offer some linux machines but that is harder and most Dell's suck.

Looking good, Gnome: Digesting the Delhi in our belly


Re: Dead Parrot

Also the F3 to split screen in Nautilus disappeared. When people complained on a forum that it was a good feature, they were told to set up pack left/right hotkeys. Simply failing to realise that on a small screen the sidebar now appears twice and there is little space. Plus all the move/copy to other pane options disappeared.

Still, Unity is the worst. An almost uncustomisable is about the most arrogant program you can design. Do you really believe your favorite layout is SO much better than anyone else's in every single possible situation that you can just remove any other options. Are you Steve Jobs?

Microsoft joins battery-saving browser bandwagon with Edge claims


Billions of data points of aggregated telemetry

"Average power consumption per browser based on billions of data points of aggregated telemetry."

What is the power consumption associated with monitoring, logging, and sending data about everything the user is doing constantly?

Stopped buying Oracle's kit? You've literally decimated its profit


Re: "[L]iterally decimated"

Good use of the word "Decimate" bad use of the word "profit".

Kill Flash now. Or patch these 36 vulnerabilities. Your choice


US Goernment also hooked on flash

I am currently working across the pond at a US Federal government institute. On one hand they talk the talk about how all the computers must be super secure, on the other hand all of their IT security training (and all other online training) is only accessible with Flash.

Microsoft planning blockchain-as-a-service for Azure apps


Re: BaaS

BaaS, Nowhere near as useful as FOaaS!


Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS


Great idea!

'an "SOS" function that automatically places an emergency call and sends medical ID information (such as allergies or health conditions) when the side button is held down.'

Luckily the emergency services wont have to deal with nuisance calls, because no on has ever accidentally held in a watch button.

Facebook to kill native chat, bring opt-in crypto to Messenger



I hope the browser chat will still work on the desktop site. I work in a basement deep underground. No phone signal, no internet for non-work devices, and I don't install non work software on work machines. Facebook is very useful because I can still contact people if I need to and have them respond quickly. (Email would work except most people check it so infrequently.)

Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does


This article conflates two important issues

There are two distinct issues in this case and they have very different results for the FLOSS community.

1. Is and API itself copyrightable

An API is how other programs interface with your software. The people writing that code, as far as I am concerned, are users of your software. Hence the API is the user interface. Copyright doesn't extend to user interfaces as was decided in the case Lotus v. Borland. If the court rules against Google this then this is devastating for open source efforts to duplicate the functionality of propriety software while maintaining compatibility.

2. Direct copying of code sections:

IF it is clear that google did copy the Java source code then this article is correct. THEN result for FLOSS should rule in Oracles favour, as we need to be able to protect our source for the GPL to be powerful. It is a big IF and a big THEN and I admit I haven't delved into the code, but a cursory glance at the example seem to point to code stealing as all the private variable have identical names.

So as long as the court decides that an API is a user interface and copyright doesn't extend to it, this becomes just a code stealing case. I am disappointed that the API distinction is largely glossed over in this piece.

Broadcom, Apple sueballed


This nonsense has to stop

All the patent nonsense has to stop. Look at the first patent it is essentially a mathematical formulation. If we can patent maths then all bets are off. Normal software patents, are bad enough, but this is frankly insane.

US tech CEOs demand Congress programs US kids to be tech workers


Re: @noh1bvisas

I am in the US on a J1 visa in a university setting. There are academics who are exceptionally important to the work that goes on in this physics department who are past 5 years on their J1. These people are on H1B and applying for green cards. This is very common in an academic setting. Yes tech companies abuse H1Bs, but just completely removing a system rather than clamping down on abuses is crazy.



If you end the H1B visa program entirely you are screwed in science. All over the world science is done by the best in niche fields travelling to the best groups all over the world. If America block all talented scientists who are past 5 years on their J1 scholar visas from staying it will fall into ruin. How ever good you try to get your education, science works best with easy spread of knowledge and expertise over borders.

Linux greybeards release beta of systemd-free Debian fork


Init freedom

You have "init freedom" as demonstrated by your new distro, easily created with your favourite init system. Other people exercise their "init freedom" by choosing to use systemd. And others are aware they have an "init freedom" but are unsure how best to use it so they stuck to what they knew.

In short, some people didn't like a new feature so they used the free software to make a version they were comfortable with. This is perfect, however much you do or don't give a shite about systemd, you have to love that people have the tools to do what they want.

Not sure it is "news", but then El Reg has the freedom to decide what it calls news, not I.

Microsoft sets date for SQL Server on Linux


Re: Microsoft SOP == FUD

But that was old Microsoft. I thought their new strategy was:

1. Announce date for exciting new product

2. Release product on this date even though it isn't ready

3. Start trying to force people onto the incomplete product

4. Profit?

AdBlock replaced blocked ads with ads for Amnesty International


Well in the strategy.

1. Build add blocker

2. Get add blocker onto computers to block ads

3. ???

4. Profit

We finally learned what '???' is: Serve only ads that pay them or which they really like.

Debian 6.0 about to take flying leap off long term support cliff


What a ridiculous title

I like the register, but I would rather slow news days were quiet rather than blowing tiny things out of proportion. I assumed the LTS was cancelled early after this headline, otherwise why would it be a story? If this really is a story how about:

"Long term support of Debian Squeeze happens at time originally announced"

"5 years have passed since Debian 6.0 was released, this marks then end of its support"

Gates Foundation to insist on Open Access science


This is a good thing but the journal owners are just using it to rip off scientists further. I was part of a project where we were rightly told to publish open access. To publish open with most journals we have to pay money. Other groups with other grants don't publish open (plus there is the whole back catalogue) so we also pay for a subscription. Open access just becomes another revenue stream for these predatory publishers.

What we need to do is stop the reliance on stupid journal metrics. The journals the bean counters claim rate as good, know that we must publish there to please our bureaucratic overlords. Hence they have us by the balls and can charge us insane prices both to publish and to read what is published. While providing a bit of web-hosting and a name. What really takes the biscuit is they then get us to review work for them free of charge.

Visual Studio Code: Let's talk about Extensions


I don't get the hype

I don't really understand why El Reg is giving a whole series of articles to what appears to be a rather normal code editor with pretty standard features and a rather ugly default theme.

At least it seems pretty upfront on the the website about what data they are slurping from you.

Samba man 'Tridge' accidentally helps to sink request for Oz voteware source code


Re: Is source code necessary to validate correctness?

I doubt they will be happy to freely allow an executable version of the code to be available to all who wish to test it. They would need to do this along with enoug description of the required inputs and outputs.

Even then, personally I am uncomfortable using people analysis code unless I can see the source. While yes I can run some test cases, it is nice to be able to dissect the code to know what mistakes might happen. And to be able to output what is happening in the middle of some analysis. If the analysis is difficult enough it is hard to know who made the mistake when two codes disagree. At this point is is nice to be able to run through both with a fine-tooth comb until you find out what the source of the disagreement is, and from there who made the error.

Still running IE10? Not for long, says Microsoft


Re: Google isn't great either

I also use Firefox, but I am really not that sure if it is my dislike of Chromium/Chrome or my own habits. The first version of Chrome that everyone shat a brick about didn't have RSS feeds as bookmarks (natively, perhaps via and addon), since that I have to admit I have barely tried it. But either way, at least like Firefox, Chromium consistently adheres to web standards.



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