* Posts by Baldrickk

645 posts • joined 26 May 2016


Down productivity tools: Microsoft Teams takes a Monday tumble

Baldrickk Silver badge

At least

it wasn't office 3xx again!

Solder and Lego required: The Register builds glorious Project Alias gizmo to deafen Alexa

Baldrickk Silver badge

If I was to have one

It would only be acquired after I was convinced it wouldn't be trying to listen on me... and I found a use-case that I really need it for.

My heating system is designed to maintain constant temperature, so no turning it on or off, my lights have switches in useful places so I can toggle them as I walk into / out of rooms, and I even have an extra switch by the bed, avoiding the issues of avoiding debris getting to/from the bed in the dark.

I could get it to play music, but I have a good sound system linked up to a computer that can do all that, controlled either by a controller or a wireless keyboard with it's own trackpad for easy remote access.

As much as I'm a bit of a geek and like cool tech, I'm also practical about it. And really, something that avoids my needing to get off my rear every once in a while is something that I probably don't need.

Windows Subsystem for Linux adds pop to release, SAC-T sacked, crypto-jacking apps: It's Microsoft's week

Baldrickk Silver badge

tutorials on efficient use of batteries

Oh the irony. I guess whoever made that one thought they were clever...

Best advice it could give: - uninstall this app. Of course I doubt it did that for some reason.

Surface Studio 2: The Vulture rakes a talon over Microsoft's latest box of desktop delight

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Re: "The alternative is a 12.9" iPad pro."

They're also apparently very well optimised for the input. And still cheaper than this.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Before people jump...

Still going to.

My PC matches the top end specs of this thing, CPU, RAM, graphics card. it cost ~£1100

A separate touchscreen should cost less than £3000, right?

And unlike the surface, it doesn't become junk as soon as the PC isn't up to the task any more.

Sure, it's not as sleek as an all-in-one, but at the same time, if you need to move the monitor more than just tilting it, you don't have to move the whole PC either, so...

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban

Baldrickk Silver badge

If he had machined and manufactured his own AR-15 the traditional way, buying only raw materials, as soon as he had done so, and put it together, he'd be in possession of a fire-arm, at which point, being the idiot he is, he would have taken it out and shot it as he did with the 3D printed one, getting him caught.

Though the effort required to machine the parts may have slowed him down. It might have taken an extra couple of weeks, so maybe we should be happy that he 3D printed the parts, so that he could be caught with a weapon while still under court order. One less gun toting guy on the street with a history of violence.

Baldrickk Silver badge

People say guns don't kill people, people do.

And so a degree they are right. The bullets do the damage, the person shoot them, the gun is caught in the middle as a tool.

Granted, one essential to the act, but as cyberdemon says, bullets are also dangerous, why are they sold to people who can't buy guns?

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: The Usual Response...

If you use a password manager, (last step) all the preceding steps are useless - use long random passwords instead - you don't need to remember them.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1: Sumptuous pro PC that gets a tad warm

Baldrickk Silver badge

Having to max out the fans for web pages? Uh oh. What would happen if you tried doing video encoding.

I was discussing performance with a Lenovo P40 user the other day. A game we play recently upgraded the engine to be properly multi-threaded.

Now, instead of the single core used for rendering being a bottleneck for performance, the entire CPU now heats up to the point it has to severely throttle itself, making performance worse than it was with the bottleneck...

I hope the cooling in this is better, but if nothing else, the strapline alone doesn't seem promising on that front

Cover your NASes: QNAP acknowledges mystery malware but there's no patch yet

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Re: New year?

That sounds more like providing access...

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

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Urgh, you're infuriating!

I recognise the reference, but can't remember where it is from...

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware

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Thumb Up

Linux on an ARM laptop does indeed sound like a nice pairing. Once, of course, drivers are sorted out for hardware acceleration and so on.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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Re: My satnav tells me...

Reading this comment, I had the urge to check the date, despite knowing that it's a month and a half away...

Baldrickk Silver badge

Or maybe the fancy GPS's software was written to be able to handle the rollover?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Google maps

Google already had geolocation via wifi access points.

When in a built up area, it could give you a pretty good position. Never had an iPhone, but I did unfortunately have a first gen iPod Touch (though I liked it at the time)

Baldrickk Silver badge

I'm wondering about my Father's Discovery 3. You'd hope that the satnav it uses would handle it fine.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Are they not geostationary?

If they were, you'd be pretty boned trying to get a signal near the poles.


From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

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Re: I was wrong

That's the one reality tv show I stuck with. It was surprisingly good, probably because they were not trying to make it out that the participants were just average Joe's, but instead picked for their um... gullibility. We got to watch the deception, not have them trying to involve us in it.

It made for a good drinking game too - drink every time one of them missed an obvious clue.

If I recall, two figured it out and were removed from the crew for "health reasons"?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "reality TV "stars" dying from crash landing, habitat failure, or slow suffocation. "

Sounds more entertaining (though I guess horrific too) than the usual dross.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: EIther way

What sort of swag?

British cops told to scrap 'discriminatory' algorithms in policing

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Re: Bias is self-perpetuating in lazy statistics

But statistics come from far more than just stop and search, things like reports of crimes committed, which will report the actual numbers.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: @ Graham Cobb

Agreed, but where do you put those on-the-beat police?

Do you spread them around evenly, or put the majority in areas where these crimes happen more, even if those areas may tend to be populated by people of a specific ethnicity?

Reading an article last night, it suggested that these gangs responsible for most of the... incidents are actually multi-cultural in that there are many races in them, though they appear to be non-white for the most part.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: @ Graham Cobb

There are unwelcome guns too...

Oh dear! Amazon's facial recognition is racist and sexist – and there's a JLaw deep fake that will make you want to tear out your eyes

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I was exaggerating, but then again polar bears are also not snow-white ;)

Baldrickk Silver badge

There may also be technological issues beyond any bias in the training data. It could be because imagery of people with darker skin naturally ends up with less contrast, making it harder for the system to pick out the relevant details.

Think Polar Bears in the snow.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Telewest

Never done that job, but learned the lesson not to make assumptions

a "what sort of movies do you all watch?" would have worked a lot better here.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: The old Reply-ALL

Sometimes I think reply-all should be the default - the number of times an email chain falls silent because someone just hit reply, so vital info just ends up going to the last one to make a reply to the chain.

Sender thinks he sent it, one receiver got it, the rest remain unaware.

It would also be the usual behaviour, so you would be used to checking who the email is going to, rather than just reply, type, send.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Help desk

One could argue that if he was so dedicated he could:

A) Just escalate the call and get onto the next L1 issue

B) Get some training so they know both how to handle things, and what they know how to handle

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Baldrickk Silver badge

We have an Archimedes (yes, from the 80s) that still sees use testing equipment that comes in for maintenance.

Its running software to do the testing, and we have no way of moving it to a more modern machine.

Though I hear that there might be a new re-write of the system to remove the dependency on a machine for which we have no spares... sometime...

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

Baldrickk Silver badge

I still have my Office 07 disk. Not bought a newer version since. Yes, it brought the ribbon (I can live with that) but it did bring the new formats and expanded Excel sheets.

What microsoft need to do is try and convince me that I need either 365 or 2019.

German competition watchdog tells Facebook to stop combining user data without consent

Baldrickk Silver badge

Remove WhatsApp microphone permissions

And here's where I remind people once again to revoke microphone permissions for WhatApp. It listens in the background to what you are saying, which is _supposedly_ to be used for targeting ads, but it all adds up.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "its usual argument that people want highly tailored content"

Contextual ads should be enough. And would probably be better given how often "targeted ads" keep advertising things I have already purchased to me for months afterwards.

No, I really don't need 5 tvs, thanks, the one I JUST bought is good enough, thankyou very much.

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

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Re: Obligatory XKCD

He does somehow manage to get them in just in time, doesn't he?

London's Met police confess: We made just one successful collar in latest facial recog trial

Baldrickk Silver badge

arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment...

... but was also released

So arrested (and presumably stuck in a cell) for false imprisonment.

So false imprisonment for false false imprisonment? (and no, that is not a double negative)

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: you could simply not put the creepy things in your home

Do you have Whatsapp installed on said phone? Because that does most definitely listen in to conversations in the background, with no warning that it is doing so.

I have a watcher that caught it and alerted me to it's microphone use, at which point I was able to check and find out that yes, it does do that.

Unfortunately, I have family who use it, so have had to make do with removing the microphone permissions. Bit of a pain to turn it back on when someone uses whatsapp to make an audio call, but I'm working on getting them to switch to something not run by farceborg

Baldrickk Silver badge

yeah, but if you have an Android phone, it'll tell google that stuff anyway :/

and you can get it to work with other GPS apps too, but you do have to be more specific and tell it the app to use.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: High voltage? Nope not at all

I'm with the public here - anything strong enough to kill you should be named as such. "low voltage" sounds safe to those who don't know the definition.

SELV sounds like the only range I actually want to poke around with. If I were to do the naming, that would be "low voltage" and everything else would be "high voltage" with modifiers "super high" etc.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Mice are not particularly intuitive

I don't know, all you need to know about controlling it you can get from accidentally nudging it and seeing the cursor move, even if you originally thought that it should be used in the air as per the story.

Even if you don't do that, just take a look. Back then it would have had two buttons (no scroll wheel) and the ball.

Well, that's three possible sources of input to try. Left click, right click, move the ball.

Oh! the ball moves the arrow on the screen! maybe I shouldn't be waving it around in the air, as it obviously needs something to move it, maybe by rolling across the desk as the mouse moves?

By gum(stick): Samsung speeds up 970 EVO Plus drive

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Re: Lets hope

camelcamelcamel is a friend here

edit: really should have bought one on Black Friday...

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

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Re: Dirty Scammers

The longest I managed was about an hour. They called early in the day, so while my breakfast was being made, I made a show about how the computer was taking a long time to turn on (is that the virus?) and dragged it out through other methods. Things like "press the second key along the bottom row" (they wanted me to hit the Windows key) resulting in nothing happening (why would it? on that keyboard it's a "fn" key)

I eventually got to the point where he'd managed to "teach" me enough about how to use a computer that we might get to the interesting parts, when the call came up the stairs that my Porridge was on the table, so I stopped the charade, told him precisely what I thought of him, thanked him for allowing me to waste his time and thus preventing him from scamming someone else, and hung up on him.

I think I struck a nerve, because over the course of the next hour, I received no less than 8 calls from him over the next two hours, all of which were... rather full of expletives.

I just put the phone down on the table and carried on having the usual morning conversations with family, and when he seemed to be done, once again thanked him for his time before hanging up on him again.

All in all, about 3hrs of scammer time well wasted.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Deadpool

He's definitely an antihero. Alignment? Chaotic neutral? anyone who actually plays DnD care to weigh in?

So this is how that terrifying killer AI will end us... by pushing us down hospital wait lists?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Worse Case 1% - Isn't That 3000 Fails Per Month?

As someone who spent a week with his arm in a temporary cast with a "broken wrist" only to have it taken off when turning up for the proper cast to be done with a "yeah, that's not a break, that's just a growth line", I can tell you that they still make mistakes.

A Delta IV Heavy heads for space at last while New Horizons' fumes OK for 'future missions'

Baldrickk Silver badge

SpaceX also thought they would be slinging people around into space by now. They obviously are not.

Slippage is to be expected for things like this. It's not just rocket science - it's rocket engineering.

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Re: Aerospike

Indeed, the science is there, practical application - not so much. If they can get it to work as intended, this will be a very interesting development.

Qualcomm: Please don't hate us just 'cause we're so freaking excellent

Baldrickk Silver badge

So it's a case of "some good, some bad, what's new?"

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: DNS blocking will not work for long...

While I like the idea of DNS over *secure transport*, it should be via a DNS service running on your PC, so that you retain control.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Firefox forever (except at work)

Interesting. Our official browser at work is Firefox ESR. Seems to support AD just fine.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Google are cunts

That's fine then, your site gets its scripts allowed.

Western Digital deploys heatsink on remodelled M.2 to tempt gamers

Baldrickk Silver badge

I do remember hearing that some of the early M.2 implementations had thermal problems. I'm guessing that's less of an issue now, heatsink or not.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Baldrickk Silver badge

This is where "it isn't working, so poke all the controls" would have helped.

Or "order out of chaos"


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