* Posts by philthane

20 posts • joined 5 Dec 2015

CrashPlan crashes out of cloudy consumer backup caper

philthane

Re: The real reason ?

Yup that's me, an old PC in the shed running LAMP plus Crashplan. Looks like I'll have to go back to Rsync...

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

philthane

email?

If I were a terrorist, or bog-standard criminal, and any of the mad proposals currently floating around the political word were to be implemented I would assume that all messaging and social media platfoms were compromised and revert to old fashioned email with PGP. Let Rudd/Turnbull/Trump etc crack that.

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

philthane

Relying on apps and ISPs to make encryption easier may become a thing of the past but anyone who feels the need can set up encrypted email, I'm not an IT pro, just a freelance journo with an interest in tech and I can do it. Unless the govt bans private mail servers and forces everyone onto one their approved mail systems the whole thing is pointless.

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How would you pronounce 'Cyxtera'?

philthane

A word means what I say it means

Long ago Cambridgeshire schools needed a pupil appraisal scheme and ran a pilot 'Cambridgeshire Records of Achievement Pilot Scheme' (check the acronym). After the 'success' of the pilot it was hastily renamed Cambridgeshire Pilot Record of Achievement (CPRA) which we were instructed on a training day was to be pronounced 'Sipra'. It was still crap.

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'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

philthane

good old days...

when every schoolboy (schoolgirls didn't seem to bother) could go to the computers on display an Dixons, Currys, Boots(!) and type:

10 PRINT " BOLLOCKS"

20 GOTO 10

RUN

Then run...

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BS Detection 101 becomes actual University subject

philthane

Political Bull

Please make this course compulsory for politicians. Maybe then they'll stop buying the latest gold-plated bull with our tax money.

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

philthane

Re: Yes we do, but it'll never happen

I have a Wiley Fox Storm phone that came with Cyanogen installed by the OEM. It's 'free enough' if not quite Stallman compliant. I use Fdroid as my preferred app store and don't use Google's Play. But then it's been the year of the Linux desktop for me since about 2000.

Most users do not care a bit about software freedom, or understand any of the privacy and security issues that bother free software advocates, they go for the best hardware in their price range and just take the software they are 'given'.

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Hate 'contact us' forms? This PHPmailer zero day will drop shell in sender

philthane

(Don't) Contact Us Forms

More and more companies have removed email addresses and phone numbers from their websites leaving either forms or 'live chat' with a operative who has no clue about the thing that interests you. About 50% of the forms I fill in are never answered, and most of those that are provide the wrong information, or promise to call me but don't. I suspect in most offices the latest intern is given the job of dealing with the forms on a friday afternoon when no-one else can think of anything for him/her to do. I hope all their damn forms are plagued by malware and disappear for good.

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Capita STILL hasn't delivered usable Army recruitment IT system

philthane

Too many politicians and senior civil servants with degrees in History, Classics and PPE. And no idea what they are doing.

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

philthane

Re: Textron AirLand Scorpion

Seems to be designed for third-world air forces that can't afford..., oh I see what you mean.

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

philthane

Infinite Economics

Conventional economics assumes that increased productivity (due to automation or any other technological change) leads to increased consumption and we all get more things and feel better. Unfortunately the planet is finite, you logically cannot have economic growth for ever on a finite planet.

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Facebook pays, er, nope, gets £11m credit from UK taxman HMRC...

philthane

Re: Suggestions? - VAT

Abolish all tax except VAT, which is imposed on all transactions. Annual budget speech takes about 2 minutes, expected GDP divided by expected govt expenditure multiplied by 100 = VAT rate. Curently about 40%. But I do mean ALL transactions. Want to invest umpty-billion you don't have in an off-shore vehicle then sell a millisecond later? That's fine, but we'll have 40% thanks. Obviously welfare payments would have to take account of increased retail prices, and currency controls imposed to prevent cash earned here being spent elsewhere. Simples.

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UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

philthane

"... cannot know what new dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s."

But can anyone really think of any situation that would be improved by the UK firing off a few missiles? Given that, how can anyone believe they have deterrent effect? Even the maddest meglomaniac will realise that the UK won't use them and be grateful that we spent so much money on them we can't wage a conventional battlefield war.

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But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD

philthane

Linux on my desktop

I've run various Linux distros at home since I replaced Win98 with Suse 8.0 around 15 years ago. Since I went freelance in 2005 I've run my business on it. Not to mention my wife's desktop, various Android devices and an old PC that runs my Nextcloud server.

Linux on the desktop will never happen for most ordinary home users, and most of them are moving away from PCs anyway and doing all their IT via Faceache on a phone. It is used at work by millions of people many of whom don't know anything about the OS, they just get a login screen and an app to use.

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User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

philthane

Schools Defaults

Years back I worked for a company that supplied CAD/CAM software and machinery to schools and colleges. To try to avoid complications there were some pretty sensible defaults that Just Worked(tm) but one regular problem was teachers complaining that our software worked in Imperial measurements but schools have used metric since about 1970. Worse still there was no option to change it. One of the decisions our developers had made, thinking it would simplify things, was to have the software automatically use whatever measurement system had been set up in Windows settings. It would appear that every UK school PC at the time was using US measurements. I bet most still are.

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Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

philthane

1 Use alternative search, maps, docs,

2. Manage your own backup and sharing via Nextcloud

3. Use open source Android such as Cyanogen.

4 Do not sign in to any Google service.

Too much hassle for most maybe but it works for me

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TTIP: A locked room, no internet access, two hours, 300 pages and lots of typos

philthane

Who knows? Really?

No-one I know in the old-fashioned, real life, face-to-face sense has heard of TTIP. When I mention it people's eyes glaze over and they seem to assume I'm either a raving commie or an anti-EU Faragist. In fact I'm a quaint old liberal who thinks democracy is the least worst form of government we've invented so far, and is saddened to see it imperilled by a combination of avarice and ignorance.

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TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

philthane

saved by the T&Cs

Last year, looking for a cheaper ISP, I asked TalkTalk for a contract. It was >5000 words, nearly as bad as a Microsoft EULA, I gave up reading it and refused to sign up. Lucky escape!

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

philthane

Re: Start Button

I also use KDE and had the Broken Windows call in 2011. Luckily I have a voice recorder on my phone:

http://pthane.co.uk/broken-windows/

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JD Wetherspoon: A 'hacker' nicks 650,000 pub-goers' data

philthane

Why?

Why would 650,000 drinkers give their details to a pub chain in the first place?

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