* Posts by Baldrickk

603 posts • joined 26 May 2016


Microsoft gives users options for Office data slurpage – Basic or Full

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Simple crash dumps...

Are dumps not a dump of memory so that the flaw can be found?

What about when that flaw is directly related to a user's data?

MS's descriptions of what is sent:

At the Basic level we collect only data necessary to keep Office programs up to date, functioning properly and secure. Basic data includes information about the program itself, the proper function of Office, and basic error data. We collect the following data at the Basic level:

- Connectivity and configuration data such as the version of Office in use; and the name, version, and publisher of any add-ins installed and being used in Office

- Whether Office is ready for an update and if there are factors that may impede the ability to receive updates

- Whether updates install successfully

- Data about the reliability of the diagnostics collection system

- Basic error reporting, which is health data about the Office programs running on your device; for example if a program such as Word hangs or crashes

Full data includes everything collected with Basic data, plus additional information that enables Microsoft to fix and improve its’ products for all users. The following list includes examples of the additional information Office collects at the Full level.

- Additional data about Office connectivity and configuration beyond that collected at the Basic level

- Application usage, such as which Office programs are opened on a device, how long they run, which processes they use, and how quickly they respond to input

- Enhanced error reporting, including the memory state of the device when program crash occurs (which may unintentionally contain parts of a file you were using when the problem occurred)

- To help you get the most out of Office, we may tell you about features you may not know about or that are new

Under Full, there is definitely potential for confidential information to be sent.

Now that's old-school cool: Microsoft techies slap Azure Sphere IoT chip in an Altair 8800

Baldrickk Silver badge

Someone has to pay for hosting. Even if it's ad vendors on a popular site or self funded, you don't get something for nothing.

You know me, I don't know you: Hospital reportedly raps staff for peeking at Ed Sheeran data

Baldrickk Silver badge

such controls should provide the same level of protection for all patients, rather than reviewing special controls for celebs and high profile characters

Agreed, but then again, someone is more likely to want to snoop on their records than mine.

You send fire engines to the house on fire, not to all houses just in case they catch fire.

One hopes that the system ends up covering everyone properly, but cases where people are more likely to have their personal details abused probably should take priority.

Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

Baldrickk Silver badge

Can I downvote because of envy? (Don't worry, I won't)

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: WiFi

It's also the device AND the speed test that play a role in the result.

The following is a comment of mine, copied verbatim from an article on ISP-Preview, resulting from giving the referenced speedtest a try and getting a really poor result (the links may very well be dead now):


February 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Oh no. The thinkbroadband data is not necessarily going to be representative.

What devices are going to be the most common through which the service is accessed?

Even if it is not mobile/tablets, they’ll be a large number.

Let’s take a look at some results shall we?

#1 Samsung Galaxy S7 802.11n (5Ghz) connection, no other network traffic, same room as router (direct line of sight):


Sustained single thread download of 17.7Mb/s

Sustained multithread download of 84Mb/s

#2 PC, same network, but two floors away and a tiled bathroom between, also connected via Wi-Fi (no wired ethernet)


Sustained single thread download of 75.8Mb/s (4.2× faster than phone)

Sustained multithread download of 107.1Mb/s

(Considering I’m on 100Mb/s that’s a pretty good score, beating the advertised speed, while the phone couldn’t manage it)

So choice of device used definitely impacts the result.

And if I use an alternative service, for example https://speedof.me on my PC, what is the result?


Sustained download of 120.5Mb/s

If the speedtest site can’t always saturate the link for whatever reason, that’s also going to affect the results

What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console

Baldrickk Silver badge

By the time this comes out

(If ever) it'll be a retro retro gaming console

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Baldrickk Silver badge


This article

A woman who slung an assault-style rifle across her shoulder for her graduation photos in the US has sparked a fierce debate over personal freedom, student protests and white privilege.

Bennett, who later posted the photographs on Twitter, says she was protesting against a university policy that prohibited students, professors and employees from carrying "lethal weapons" on campus - but allows "guests" to possess them on school grounds (but not in buildings).

Me: "Oh, nice way to protest against people bringing guns to a school I guess"

Nope, she was protesting against not being allowed guns at the school.


This article.


A fairly good video on the subject of gun control

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "manually adjust thermostats"

Holiday button

Smarter than my Dad's then.

His solution is a phone call

"Pop round and turn the heating on again, will you?"

Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks

Baldrickk Silver badge

re: anything to add

The Typhoon is (primarily) a fighter with bombing capability

The F-35 is a fighter bomber.

They are designed to fulfil different roles, in the same way that the F-15 and F16 followed the same pattern and so both were in service alongside each other.

It may have something to do with changing ideas about what the priority will be for the Air-Force in the future.

Then again it could be a cost thing, something to do with trying to keep European relationships tight post-brexit, putting some distance between ourselves and the US following recent Foreign policy decisions that are not in our interest (the nuclear deals being dropped, the whole embassy thing in Jerusalem etc) or something else entirely.

Most likely all of these things are factors into decisions like this.

Git push origin undo-my-last-disaster

Baldrickk Silver badge

So basically... Stick all your configuration in source control and you can check out old versions when you screw it up?

Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "Surprisingly common"

Very soon it'll catch up to the number of deaths caused by autonomous driving (getting hit by a self driving car or being in a car and using "auto-pilot")

You should split those up - they are two very different categories. One is computer controlled driving, the other is person controlled - they should be in control at all times.

It's caught up to the former, but not the latter.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: limit vaping to 20 watts

60 a day... wow.

Assuming an 8hr sleep at night, that's one every 15 minutes all-day, every day.

Good on you for doing what you can to give that up.

Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Spectrum is Green.

Your title (and post) is Captain Scarlet but the icon makes me think Thunderbirds...

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Blown or sucked....

There was a discussion about this on physics stack exchange - there at least, it was decided that it would be blown - you follow the energy transfer.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Hero ?

@ handleoclast

How far does someone need to go to be called a hero in your eyes then?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Last time this happened...

The accident investigation report mentions that they found the windscreen, the outside corner post fairing strip and a number of bolts in an Oxfordshire field. There's no mention of it being in several pieces, so I take it that it wasn't. Plus, it's a five layer glass/PVB laminate; the glass layers may crack but the PVB should keep the lot in one piece.

Wow, that windscreen flew all the way from China to Oxford!

(one of you was talking about the new incident, one the old)

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Last time this happened...

The design worked fine, when installed correctly. Have there been any cases where the window fell out where the correct screws were installed? No.

Well, there might have been now, I guess we will need to wait for the report about this incident.

Boffins build a 2D 'quantum walk' that's not a computer, but could still blow them away

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: What sort of problem *is* this machine designed to solve?

That's the travelling salesman problem.

Well, the travelling salesman is one circuit visiting all nodes, the problem described (tankers) is multiple circuits collectively visiting all nodes with a bit of knapsack thrown in (limited load)

Sounds a little harder to solve, though segmentation would help.

Oculus Go: Capable kit, if the warnings don't put you off

Baldrickk Silver badge

And if you're skeptical about VR but nonetheless decided to see what all the fuss is about, the Go will make you glad you didn't splurge on more capable kit.

Or put you off without having the chance to experience what a more comprehensive VR (6DoF tracking for headset and multiple controllers AKA roomscale) is like.

The Go is like an up-market Cardboard experience - as noted in the article, it only has directional tracking, so it doesn't match up to the experience that VR can provide.

If you are considering VR, you owe it to yourself to skip going out and buying one of these, and instead go and try a proper VR setup - if you know a friend with one, try that, otherwise some stores will demo the kit, or there are VR arcades popping up for example.

Give them a try, for considerably less cost, and see what you think of that before going further.

you can choose to, or not depending on what you think of it, I won't try to force anyone's opinion.

It's like buying a car (for enjoyment) - you could buy a Ferrari, but it's expensive, so you decide to buy a second hand Fiesta from the 90s instead to see if driving is fun.

You end up with a car, but you don't get the experience of the more expensive item, so you can't make a fully considered opinion on cars in general.

If you were to go to a track day on the other hand, you could experience it without having to shell out the full price for one, and then decide what you want to do.

UPnP joins the 'just turn it off on consumer devices, already' club

Baldrickk Silver badge

USB cables

(* If using unknown USB chargers, use a cable that has no data connections. Don't plug in unknown USB things and note what messages appear on screen).

So if I borrow a charger, I shouldn't be able to have it quick-charge (because detection of that is done via the data lines)

What about a new charger from a store? do you trust that?

At some point you either have to have a full chain of trust (like with certificates) or you have to take a leap of faith.

Where you draw the line is the important thing. This line may change depending on who you are and what you are doing.

And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor

Baldrickk Silver badge

How often is a reboot necessary?

How good is the battery?

I reboot my phone only when I can't plug it in for a while, or it needs to to run an update.

So not too often.

Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Older stuff WAS simplier...



You have GNU sense of humor! Glibc abortion 'joke' diff tiff leaves Richard Stallman miffed

Baldrickk Silver badge

$ unzip; strip; touch; finger; grep; mount; fsck; more; yes; fsck; fsck; umount; sleep

What? it's just console commands.

No need for anyone to get triggered.

My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I recall even my mum (a bit like Dilmom) telling me a fire story

That fire story seems familiar:


Scrap London cops' 'racially biased' gang database – campaigners

Baldrickk Silver badge

I made a similar assumption on first reading. Reading again, it's saying that 27% of offenders are black.

This is still indicative of a problem though, as it is about twice as high as you would expect by population, all else being even.

You would think that the database would be closer to the 'real' value of 27% than the 70-odd that it is.

But there could be a reason for this - is the database/matrix a relatively recent thing to be used to counter an increase in violence in those areas? It seems small enough. Are there other reasons other than just racial bias?

I don't know, I don't know anything about it. Just the raw numbers don't necessarily tell the full story.

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Re: Notepad++ @veti

You do know that there is the "Style Configurator" in Np++? Where you can adjust all the colours, fonts etc used to your heart's content?

Yes, people see straight through male displays of bling (they're only after a fling)

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Who owned the money

If I've been told that someone will spend up to £20,000 to get a car for me and make whatever changes to it that I want, and can only spend it on the car - nothing else (i.e. I get to keep the car, but not the money if there is any left over) then you betcha I'm spending that £20,000 on the car.

Depending on what it would get me, I may even put some of my own money towards it too if the reward is good enough.

I get what you mean with the quiz show though.

45-day drone flights? You are like a little baby. How about a full YEAR?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Looks pretty thin (wings, fuselage)

And at those heights, you probably would have a hard time making it out.

It'd be like a U2 but harder to see.

Last attempt to find MH370 starts this week

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: What is important is why, not where

Depends exactly where it ended up and why - if it was purposeful, they should show that the crew was in control - if something had happened to the crew, e.g. depressurisation (for some reason) knocking them out - it would show that they were unresponsive. If there were faults with the plane, these should be able to be determined too - at least the cause of the eventual crash, and maybe whatever caused it to be off course could be determined by the state of the system before that.

There would be some important data to recover, even if not everything was recorded - though I have to admit that I don't know how much capacity they actually have.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: What is important is why, not where

Though of course, the flight recorders are what would be most valuable now - assuming they are still intact.

We might never find it, but its disappearance has started a push towards better tracking of aircraft - so hopefully we won't lose one like this again.

Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience

Baldrickk Silver badge

I would like a VR headset

Watching and waiting right now, would have bought a Vive back when they were first released, but at the time I was spending 90% of my time away from home.

The Vive Pro seems like the biggest change was the price. An original Vive or Rift is an option, but there are some interesting things coming up, not least the new LG headset which is supposed to be shown off later this month - and the gossip on that one is substantial. Supposedly, we are looking at a partnership with Google with 5k displays per eye and foveated rendering.

Also in the near future (but not quite as close) NVidia are working on new graphics pipelines (I'm sure AMD are too) allowing for real-time raytracing and asyncronous updates of displays (you've seen the real-time Unreal ray-tracing demos released recently right?)

Lots to look forward too

I don't think I'll be after a Go or the vive equivalent though. Lower quality visuals, lack of proper controllers and 6DOF tracking is a turn-off.

Baldrickk Silver badge

"1903: Kitty Hawk, 1909: Bleriot crosses Channel

Up in the loft last night, I came across a first edition book by Arthur C Clarke - The Exploration of the Moon.

In another box, I found a special edition of Life Magazine - "To the moon and back" which was about Apollo 11

The time between these publications was only 15 years...

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down

Baldrickk Silver badge

Conventional wisdom says...

wrong according to the latest advice.

Apparently it's best to keep your phone topped up to within 60-80% charge - taking it off when you get to 80% and charging again before it drops below 60%.

If you do need to charge it fully, then do so, at which point there is no benefit unplugging the charger, so you can just leave it plugged in until you need it.

Personally though, my phone goes on charge overnight, and then is carried around with me all day, because that's an actually useful use case, as opposed to one that maximises the battery.

if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Maybe a silly question, but...

Same question here.

I also don't know how people might be singled out for race, maybe by their name? But then again, that's why I have an online handle - you don't need to share it.

I personally haven't seen anything on the site that I would take to be racist or sexist - it's a technical site, and that's pretty much all that is there - technical answers.

At the risk of angering some people, I wonder how much of this is people having a persecution complex?

If you actually read the blog post, it starts by mentioning women, races and new visitors. The vast majority (~99%) of the post is tailored to that last group - the need to make it more welcoming for new users etc. Its notable that the post doesn't talk at all about reducing gender beyond that first paragraph, and 'race' is touched on in a comment about imperfect English.

So I'm wondering if their view is similar to mine - that improvements can be done, but some people just want to play the gender/race card even when the real issue is more universal?

Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

Baldrickk Silver badge

Why 90%?

90% surely applies only if you have 10 machines - I don't see how you could only download 10% of what you would otherwise without missing data.

And how many home users have 10 machines? It's a good thing for people on metered connections, but that 90% seems unlikely for most households.

But what if I have more than 10 machines? Am I only allowed to share updates with 9 other PCs, and then I need to download it again?

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

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: So many bosses ....

What? you mean you can't?

Scratch Earth-killer asteroid off your list of existential threats

Baldrickk Silver badge

Wait, isn't today the *new* date for when the world ends because [that imaginary planet I can't remember the name of] is supposed to collide with the Earth?

Is someone trying to distract us?

Happy having Amazon tiptoe into your house? Why not the car, then? In-trunk delivery – what could go wrong?

Baldrickk Silver badge

And Amazon couldn't set themselves up for delivering at the same times?

Do you also think that their delivery vans don't deliver to multiple people?

If it can be put through the door, it still can be at the later time if that is desired.


"Fed up of deliveries not arriving in delivery period and drivers filling in a "we missed you" slip instead of actually attempting a delivery of the item" of Tumbridge Wells

Microsoft Lean's in: Slimmed-down Windows 10 OS option spotted

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I'm sorry Dave I can't do that

I believe the biggest problem is the supply of memory chips into Nvidia / AMD to put on the cards.

Russians poised to fire intercontinental ballistic missile... into space with Sentinel-3 sat on board

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: A lot of work

Rapping on the windows, whistling down the chimney pot

Oh dear... Netizens think 'private' browsing really means totally private

Baldrickk Silver badge

They didn't come up with useful alternative names for 'private' or 'incognito' then.






This is surprisingly hard, I don't think any of the above adequately describe it / don't add other connotations.

"Hidden" for example has the same problem as "private"

*which is ironic considering what many might be searching for

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Like with a cloth or something?

Ususally, it uses `/`es. many will accept `-`s though in addition. These days it's rare that both are not supported, but not rare enough imho.

X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die

Baldrickk Silver badge

I can see a person D category too - wants a decent phone with a decent feature set for a decent price.

You can have all your notches, curved screens etc, your latest processors and so on.

You can have your feature phones and feel superior because you "don't need" other features.

I just want something that works, lets me do what I want and that doesn't cost the earth.

I guess that makes me the phone manufacturer's worst customer. I'd still be using my perfectly capable G3 if I hadn't smashed it. I'll likely be keeping my S7 for at least another tick-tock cycle, presumably on a sim-only contract.

Baldrickk Silver badge

I "bought" my S7 when new (out one month) on a £24 month contract (unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 6GB data)

Is 6GB not "decent"? I don't tend to get near unless I have turned wifi off "by accident" (usually as a means to stop it trying to connect to use a weak network when the connection is poor, e.g. after leaving the house, getting into the car, then trying to put in an address into the sat-nav app.) and then start watching lots of YouTube, forgetting to turn it back on again.

'Your computer has a virus' cold call con artists on the rise – Microsoft

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Re "putting the phone down is almost always the right thing to do."

They seem to disappear pretty quickly after than IMHO.

Not in my admittedly limited experience. My Father had one of these calls, which he immediately handed over to me.

Cue the PC taking a long time to turn on, not knowing my way around a keyboard ("press the key next to the CTRL one in the bottom corner of the keyboard" - cue "pressing" the "Fn" key multiple times with no response. etc)

After about half an hour, my breakfast was served, so I told him just what I thought of him, and thanked him for letting me waste his time.

This seemed to particularly vex him, so he kept calling our number for another half an hour, to which I dutifully answered, ignored the insults, laughed, and put the phone down again.

I'm not normally anywhere near that good at aggravating people.

Sysadmin unplugged wrong server, ran away, hoped nobody noticed

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: its like the leads at the back of my desk at work.

You don't need house spiders to explain this - or rather, they don't explain it, because wire tangling is an essential property of the universe. If physicists weren't too busy messing around with trivia such as dark matter, string theory and quantum entanglement they'd be getting to the bottom of this. Cable entanglement is far more fundamental to understanding the universe.

I believe that there is in fact an entire branch of mathematics that describes how cables get tangled.

Or I at least remember my A-Level Maths teacher telling me that there is.

The story goes that the guy who started it got fed up of his headphones getting tangled in his pocket, and set out to understand just how it happens, and needed to come up with some totally new methods for handling it.

Motorola Z2 Force: This one's for the butterfingered Android lovers

Baldrickk Silver badge


I can't help feeling that mods are mostly superficial.

Battery mod? I could just use a usb battery pack, and quickcharge my phone from that. It'll also be compatible with other devices

Speakers? At home, I'll either use a 3.5" or bluetooth to play on "proper" speakers. While out and about, travel speakers should fill the same role, with multi device compatibility again.

The keyboard mentioned in a comment above sounds nice, but a small bluetooth keyboard, or one that uses the usb connection is again compatiable with more devices.

I can't help but feel like they are more of a gimmick than anything else, which is a shame.

Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

Baldrickk Silver badge

And to be fair to him, it's an international sport with many different nationalities present, in a country where you can't expect everyone to speak your language. It's not someone well known on the track, not a driver or a team boss etc.

To me it seems like a perfectly polite way to check that you can communicate in the language of the people watching on the other side of the world, before launching into a full blown series of questions that they might not understand a word of.

This feels like the result if a slow news day...

Exposed: Lazy Android mobe makers couldn't care less about security

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Any chance?

My just-over 2 year old Galaxy S7 has received two updates in the past two weeks (I'm on O2).

Mine (On Vodaphone) hasn't had an update since late Jan or early Feb this year.

Wouldn't be annoyed too much about that, but now some process keeps crashing, which causes other apps (browser, gmail, camera etc etc) to hang up. Rather frustrating.

Sysadmin shut down the wrong server, and with it all European operations

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: It can be the simplest of things ...

But seriously, I reckon there are 10 types of IT person: Those that have accidentally shut down or powered off something, and those that are lying when they claim that they haven't !

I'm yet to kill a server and take out anything like that (I'm still young, there is time), but it's not uncommon for me to issue a shutdown command on my own PC, and 10s later remember something that I needed to do...


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019