* Posts by FlippingGerman

42 posts • joined 9 May 2016

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats



I don't think it means what she thinks it means.

It's a pretty easy problem to solve, though. Just give some kids air guns, they'll take care of it.

Boffins debunk study claiming certain languages (cough, C, PHP, JS...) lead to more buggy code than others



"the broader question question"

Interesting article.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it



The results are obvious, but someone had to go and do it. Well done Vermont and Mr Chase.

Also: "40Mbph" -> mph.

Giraffe hacks printers worldwide to promote God-awful YouTuber. Did we read that one right?



how many posters here in support of PDP joined just to make that post. No doubt some would attribute this to his "army" of supporters.

I have essentially no opinion on him, since I know little about what he does, apart from that I find it to be of little interest. Mass printer hacks are more my thing.

TV Licensing admits: We directed 25,000 people to send their bank details in the clear


Dreadful lying people

They once actually sent someone round to my parents. He walked past my father in the garden and dropped a "we missed you" note through the open door. Bastard.

I cannot fathom how the sending of letters as nasty and threatening as they do (and sometimes even containing flat-out lies) is legal - if I were to do it, I would rightly be classed and punished for harassment.

Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?


To put it simply, Microsoft:

Fuck off.

I paid for my OS. And my Surface Pro 4. Quite a bit. I'm not bitter, because yes, it takes a lot of work, and devs deserve to be paid. But please just let me use it without constantly nagging me.

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes


Re: Thanks for the God Mode tip

I find the biggest problem to be the glued-together piece of crap that is settings on Win10. There's there Settings app, in which individual settings are in the most bizarre places (notifications are in "system", app permissions are in "privacy" instead of in "apps"). Then there's still the old control panel we know and love, with a few things removed, or even still there but disabled. (startup in msconfig is now in Task Manager, but with the tab still there and a helpful link - why move it then?)

Windows 10 July update. Surface Pro 4. Working fondleslab. Pick two



is currently running 17134.228. Either I bypassed that one (I often have Battery Saver enabled, which stops updates, because MS's "8 hours" is a flat-out lie) or never had any problems. For which I thank the gods daily, because MS just can't get this right. I love thew device, I just hate all the problems I've had with it.

Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog's on the case


Did FB even read GDPR?

Doesn't look like it. Or perhaps they think they can get away with it? I rather suspect the ICO and EU equivalent are itching to give someone a massive fine.

Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist


He just happened to buy the one with a dud pin? Fuck off.

This ought to be counted as fraud, although writing a definition might be difficult. Obviously padlocks aren't supposed to be unbreakable, but harder than trivial would be good. The alternative is to say market forces make bad products disappear, but how many will see this for sale in a shop and buy it without checking up on it?

Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust


Possession is...

Who actually has the dust in their possession? Is she suing because NASA nicked it off her and she wants it back, or is this preemptive?

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



It doesn't have to be opt-in or opt-out in the way it's often used, where an option is preselected. It's quite possibly to have radio buttons, which if used HTML-style do not have a default one "clicked". The user MUST make a choice, and cannot simply click next. This seems much better for the privacy conscious, since it's not a default setting, and better for Canonical than opt-in because a default of "off" gets them hardly any useful data.

As Tesla hits speed bump after speed bump, Elon Musk loses his mind in anti-media rant


Taking it personally?

It seems the author may be doing just so.

That said, the article is a good one, and makes a point that too many seem to forget: "the media" is seen as some shadowy group of people who conspire to do evil.

Also, Twitter is not a good place to hang out for peace of mind. Alfie wouldn't approve. Those who regularly use it seem to think that those they encounter there reflect the broader population, which to me does not seem to be the case, for both the left who encounter the right, and vice versa, along with those who dislike being labelled as either.

Much as I admire Musk, he has an alarming tendency to get annoyed about things and then start a new company to fix the problem. I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive


Thin Blue Line

"You need to integrate the power supply at source. "


"Plug it in!"

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs


Re: That's Yorkshire fucked then

Took me a bit: Shitlington. Called Stitlington since 1929, probably because it was a little embarrassing.

Boffins baffled as AI training leaks secrets to canny thieves



An obvious problem, and not just in hindsight. Taken to extremes, if you give a NN a single picture of a dog and train a few million times, it'll correctly identify that as a dog. Other pictures will be identified at random. The same applies to not using enough data.

Lenovo's craptastic fingerprint scanner has a hardcoded password



Seriously, people this incompetent should be shot (well, perhaps not so seriously). Is there no one at Lenovo in management who says "ok guys, just to make sure, the fingerprint scanner stuff, you did it the right way, right?"

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe




Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion


Re: I'd happily own a phone

"Edges" - cough cough, my poor abandoned Robin...now bigger and more expensive as the Razer Phone!"

Used iPhone Safari in 2011-12? You might qualify for Google bucks


Re: Just iPhones?

Same applies to me (I miss my old iPod 4, lost it two years ago, life has never been the same since). I can't see a special case being brought just for the few iPod users though.

Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones


Significant Figures

There's no way they can justify all of those.

Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines


Re: Terrorism

Simple, yes. If we're both thinking some kind of QR-like sign, then it would be fairly easy for some pranker to stick one up on the motorway, and suddenly everyone is pulling over on their way to work.

Of course, it would be possibly to have something designed for a particular vehicle, and with a digital signature, but history makes me think that it would not be particularly secure.

Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?


I'm ok with the Edge interface. What I'm not OK with is the bugs. Try opening a link from Gmail, I just get a blank page. That might have been fixed in the last year, but I gave Edge a chance (when my Surface Pro 4 was new) and it fell short. Battery life used to be way better than Chrome, but that's changed. Stupid behaviour when I type in a new tab but don't search, (horribly clickbaity) advertising on the new tab page, and oh look, I just found another bug where icons aren't displayed properly (yes, really). Chrome isn't perfect, but at least it doesn't constantly annoy me. Opera's fine, Firefox is OK if you can get past some silly UI choices.

Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow


Python was my first language, and since I'm not a professional coder it's still my most used. I think it's been a wonderful language to learn with, and has some truly wonderful mechanisms that make many things easy.

That said, I don't like using it for moderately sized programs (i.e. longer than a few hundred lines) because I struggle to keep every last detail - like what type a function expects - in my head. A better IDE might help with that. Also decent error-checking such as gcc does - which presumably is difficult or impossible to do in Python - makes finding some types of bugs much easier.

Alternative headline that StackOverflow could have come up with: Python is the hardest programming language around, and it's getting harder.

Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee


"a profit of more than £2m in its last quarterly update" - that doesn't seem like much, particularly considering Wikipedia lists a profit for 2017 of £6 beellion.

VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code


Re: Did He Have An Option ???

"I was just doing my job" isn't much of an excuse. Your job or break the law was the choice. Whether the rest of us would make the "right" choice is perhaps debatable though.

Confessions of an ebook eater


Re: Great article

Reading two documents at once on a Surface? Well, it's just been shown above that A-series can simply be halved and rotated, and voila, you may read both at once!

Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers


"The base spec model is $999 (£780)" - ha, ha, ha, nope.

Base spec is £979.


iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war



Whilst spending a lot of time in Exeter a few years ago I noticed a fair few taxis named Apple Taxis, apple logo and all. Somehow they haven't been sued into oblivion; perhaps they're older then Apple Inc., or simply escaped notice (which seems doubtful).


Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't



I used Edge when my SP4 was new, for the first few months. It was OK, but it lacked addons - they're come now, but are a bit rare - and was buggy. I also didn't enjoy it was much; it's noticably slower for some things, like new tabs. It handles touchscreens much better, though, and has faster Flash performance.

Webcam sex blackmailer faces extradition to Canada to stand trial for bullied teen's suicide



He obviously deserves everything he's got (and may yet get), but I can't say I'm a fan of the idea that he could be prosecuted for murder in Canada without actually having been there. How do they even claim jurisdiction?

(I assume he was not in Canada but in the Netherlands at the time, that may well be incorrect).

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'


Well,he's right, but while I don't argue about the ins and outs of various picture-drawing software, those complaining may well have been correct. It's good that they at least try new things, and tried to do mobile as well before giving up on it the other day, although no one seemed to want any of this.

Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall



I think the main reason it's slowed is that electricity now costs more than you'll get using normal hardware. But if it's someone else's machine you're not paying for that, so it seems like it could actually work.

BOFH: Don't back up in anger


On an unrelated note, scrolling this page happens really weirdly. Anyone else got this? I'm on Win10/Chrome57.

It only seems to happen on pages with those full-length side ads.

Mumsnet ordered to give users' real life IDs and messages to plastic surgeon they criticised



I understand (though I'm not sure I agree with) revealing the identities of the posters, but their private messages? That's not defamation, since it's private.

I like to have my personal messages encrypted.

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks


This Devonian (though only through birth, not by heritage) doesn't get out much. And no, I don't want a whisk(e)y distillery, piss off back to Scotland.

Parallax Advert


Microsoft advertisements

I run an ad-blocker, but disable it for sites I want visit frequently and that don't have annoying ads. I've just seen my first video ad here, and it doesn't bode well; I killed Reuters' ads earlier for autoplaying videos, I've done it to ArsTechnica a few weeks ago (after contacting the editor, who told me it was a proper approved ad, not one that had slipped past, and that lack of sound made it ok (it doesn't)).

I get that advert platforms have to (or decide they have to) run increasingly intrusive adverts to get attention, but that does't mean I have to like it, or that I have to look at them (contrary to what der Spiegel believes).

That said, I wouldn't mind paying for ad-lessness, as I think the aforementioned ArsTechnica does. Any plans for that?

NIST requests ideas for crypto that can survive quantum computers


Re: I believe that One Time Pads can be reused a 2nd time...

I'm no expert, but I think the danger is that reuse means two messages XOR'ed toegther can be found, giving information. Your method should defeat that! I like it, I'd be interested to hear what an expert has to say.

A Rowhammer ban-hammer for all, and it's all in software


The most obvious way the defend against this that presents itself to me is to have a physical buffer of RAM around each process's memory. Just some unused space. It would waste some RAM, though I wouldn't have thought it would too much.

Small ISPs 'probably' won't receive data retention order following IP Bill


Can someone clarify for me - does this law require ISPs to store connection records for every single customer, or simply for specific ones?

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug


My SP4 does this, always has since the day I bought it. The red light for the IR camera comes on, but the screen stays resolutely black, and generally requires a two-button restart to fix (hold down power and volume up for ages).

My solution is to hibernate after just 10 minutes - any longer and I can't trust it to come on again. Hibernate isn't too bad though, it's awake in less than 30 seconds, but it's far from ideal.

Microsoft seem to be doing their best to be regarded as arseholes about the whole thing - forced Win10 updates, and shitty Surface support. Not bad for a £1400 machine.

Stop resetting your passwords, says UK govt's spy network


Re: No words in any language

I use a simple script I wrote myself, that simply generates random passphrases. Five (cryptographically secure, which is probably unnecessary) random words from a list of 40,000.

That beats your 12 characters in complexity any day, and is far easier to remember. Something like 76 bits of entropy. Note that I do have some idea how password guessing works, having done it quite a bit for fun fairly recently.

>>> 26**12


>>> 40000**5


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