* Posts by VicMortimer

26 posts • joined 14 Feb 2017

That's Huawei I like it: Chinese giant's cloudy arm dumps 19-inch rack for newer model



I hadn't been paying attention, but wow, what an incredibly f-ing stupid thing to do.

The 19 inch rack has been a standard for nearly a century. Everything ever has been built to fit a 19 inch rack. You can take racks built in 1975 and put brand new equipment in them. There's no need to replace racks, they last pretty much forever.

And then F*c*book comes along and does this. And we even let them get away with calling it 'open' instead of calling it what it really is, the "Stupid F*c*book Rack".

Sometimes "We've always done it this way" actually IS a compelling reason not to change something, because changing it means discarding many, many years of standardization that has resulted in a solution that may not be absolutely perfect, but is very much good enough and doing something like this will not just set up a competing standard but will let others know that this long established standard can now be violated with impunity, thus resulting in even more new 'standards'. See also: https://xkcd.com/927/

(Why did I mention 1975? Oh, because I've got racks in service that used to contain PDP-11 systems built back then.)

There was yet another net neutrality hearing today in America, and it was all straightened out amicably and smoothly


Re: If you know anything about US politics....

Oh, bullsh*t. The BSAB crap isn't gonna fly any more. The Rethuglicans made that VERY clear when Obamacare, which was essentially THEIR plan, got no votes from them and they spent the next 8 years fighting it and failing to properly implement it.

There's no compromising on needed tax increases with people who signed the Norquist pledge to never raise taxes. There's no compromising on healthcare with people whose healthcare plan for the poor is "die in the street, we'll have sanitation clean up the bodies". There's no compromise on voting rights with people who use disenfranchisement as an electoral strategy. There's no compromise on education with a president who literally said "I love the poorly educated." And there's no compromise on race relations when they literally say things like “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

Those last two quotes aren't made up, they're very real. Take your center and shove it, there isn't one that includes Rethuglicans. The Democrats ARE the center.

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7


System Requirements

The system requirements said "Windows 10 or better", so I installed macOS.

(No, not really. I've been using Macs since System 6. If you think Windoze 10 is bad, take a look at Windoze 2.)

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine


This sh*t again?

So, they think we need yet another browser from MS to download Firefox? Really?


US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That'd be the UK

Black Helicopters

Lots of whataboutism in the comments.

The US and UK have BOTH got some human rights problems. And they're frequently different human rights problems. So let's not play Reece's Peanut Butter Cups with them and combine them, they don't taste great together.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


Sounds like a Thatcher problem.

Seriously, you guys had a nationalized electric system, and you gave it up. Ultimately the only fix is to re-nationalize it. Natural monopolies have no business being in the hands of private business, ever.

We don't have it everywhere, but at least in my part of the US, power is generated by the federal government, and distributed by the local government. There is no profit motive, and it's relatively inexpensive.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Big Brother

Bad idea

This is obviously modeled after some American states, where voter suppression is in full swing this election season.

Voter ID schemes are not about fraud. They're about keeping "those people" from voting. You can sometimes even catch our Republicans being candid about what they're doing.

Don't fall for it. And note that these schemes are always pushed by the "conservative" party, because disenfranchisement works in their favor.

You can take off the shades, squinting Outlook.com users. It has gone dark. Very dark


No. Just no.

The last time dark mode looked good was when the only options were green text on black or amber text on black, and you had to choose those when you bought the monitor.

Stop trying to bring it back.

Scam alert: No, hackers don't have webcam vids of you enjoying p0rno. Don't give them any $$s



I mean, I've been getting these spams for months. Duh, there's no such video.

I laughed for a few seconds before I hit the junk button.

IT systems still in limbo as UK.gov departments await Brexit policy – MPs


One viable option

Honestly, you've got exactly one viable option at this point:

Stop Brexit.

That's it. Anything else, and welcome to your new third world economy. Britain will not recover from it for a very long time.

So suck it up, stop persisting in this foolishness, and start calling your MPs to let them know that remaining in the EU is the only choice you really have. Remind them that it was a non-binding referendum, remind them that it was damn near 50-50 anyway, remind them that the election was heavily influenced by the same Russian meddling that got the US the current Cheeto in office, and remind them that the British economy is toast if they don't give up on the ludicrous idea of leaving the EU.

Waymo van prang, self-driving cars still suck, AI research jobs, and more


Re: Clickbait headline

Wow, no kidding.

That video makes it pretty obvious that it wasn't the self-driving car's fault, I'm not sure how it could have avoided being hit. Maybe a quick cut to the right and full throttle, but it probably would have still taken a hit. Braking would definitely not have helped.

Bad headline, Reg.

Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?


Seriously, the god stuff?

Ok, so here's the deal. Can you disprove the existence of a god, of any kind, of any description, with 100% certainty? No, not yet.

Can you disprove the existence of the christian/jewish/islamic god with 100% certainty? Yes, of course, it's already been done hundreds of thousands, if not millions of times. That god isn't real. it utterly fails every test. it does not exist.

And that has exactly zero to do with the existence of life in other places than earth. The chances that life exists somewhere else are incredibly large, approaching 100%. The chances that that life has ever been to earth or will ever come to earth are infinitesimally small, approaching 0%.

The universe is a big place, with big being an understatement that the vast majority of humans cannot even begin to comprehend the magnitude of. Unless we figure out how to warp space, we're not going to get very far off this planet before the sun goes supernova. And to the universe, that's not even slightly relevant.

But hey, somebody wins the lottery, so maybe, just maybe, somebody will come visit us and not annihilate us to make way for a hyperspace bypass. But probably not.

And particles will keep coming, from other places, because that's what they do.

Oh good. Transport for London gives Capita £80m for WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi


I'm glad I don't live in London.

As an American, I'm glad I don't live in London at this point. I've never interacted with Crapita, but I'm aware of how horrible they are to you poor sods. They've got a corporate reputation on the level of Comcrap, but with even more fail and with the ability to harass even non-customers.

Console yourselves with not having to live with Donald Drumpf as head of government, Theresa May is bad, but she's not Orange Tweetler bad.

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered


Re: "Least(sic) the Linux fanbois..."

Yup, shockingly it turns out that all software has bugs, and Linux is no exception. Windows is certainly no exception either, nor is MacOS.

To be fair, Windows doesn't have bugs, Windows IS a bug.

No, Samsung, you really do owe Apple $120m for patent infringement


Re: Who invented what?

You're taking a mix of truth and pure fantasy and mixing them into a tale of silliness.

The reality is that Apple did what every other tech company did and does: Invent some stuff and borrow some stuff. They just do a very, very good job of it, better than anybody else.

Apple released the first good GUI operating system. Xerox showed them some demos, but they hadn't actually done a few critical things, like the concept of overlapping windows. Apple guys actually thought the Alto did some stuff that it didn't do, that Xerox couldn't figure out how to do, and the Apple guys implemented it anyway. The Lisa was already in development when the Apple guys got the hour and a half demo from Xerox. And Apple shipped it in 1983, it took Microsoft until 1995 to get anywhere close, and they still did a horrible job of it.

The Sony X505 was expensive crap. The technology wasn't ready, and they released it anyway. It was slow, and had almost no battery life. The MacBook Air was a thin machine released when the technology was up to building a thin machine, and they did it right. Sony didn't.

And while yes, macOS runs on a BSD-ish core (it's not BSD, it's Darwin, but it's definitely BSD inspired and BSD-ish, and that core is open source, you can download it from GitHub and build it yourself if you want) macOS is NOT just Darwin. It's a complete GUI operating system, with everything working far more smoothly than, well, anything else out there. The filesystem is Apple's design, the GUI is Apple's design, the "it just works" is Apple's design. Nothing before in the history of computers has just worked like macOS.

And while Apple isn't always the first with a technology, they're often the first to do it right. Look at the trackpad, while the PowerBook wasn't the first computer with one, it was the first with it centered in front of the keyboard, and it was the first with a truly usable trackpad, one that handles finger movements properly. Even today, Apple designs the best trackpads in the business, most PC laptops are incredibly frustrating to use with one, and many PC laptop users have to carry a mouse because their trackpads are so incredibly bad.

That said, yes, the fight over the roundrect is stupid. Apple didn't invent the roundrect, though they were the first to implement it in an OS the way they did, back in the early '80s. But the concept of a rectangle with rounded corners being an Apple invention is silly, and they need to back off on that.

But to call Apple a fashion house is disingenuous. Apple IS obsessed with making technology look pretty, sometimes to the point of hampering functionality these days, but they really do have some serious advantages over everything else out there as well.

And I'm not disparaging Samsung innovation either. They've done some great work on components, their screens are great, their SSDs are good, they've done some good stuff with RAM, they do top-notch components. But they're not good at fitting it all together like Apple is.

And every computer company out there copies Apple. Windows is and has always been a bad copy of macOS, going all the way back to Windows 1.0. Every laptop today is essentially based on the design of the PowerBook, the last time somebody tried something different it failed miserably - the IBM keyboard nipple, while still unfortunately with us on some laptops, is now always paired with a trackpad on the wrist rest. All-in-ones look like iMacs, laptops look like MacBooks (not infrequently with aluminum-painted plastic instead of machined aluminum like the MBP), and yes, phones look like iPhones, the others are even copying Apple's bad ideas like dropping the headphone jack.

Some of it (like the headphone jack fiasco) is fashion, some of it is just that Apple gets technology right. And unlike some Apple fans, I'm good with others copying Apple. Copies of good things are a benefit to everybody.

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


Re: The notch fades after a few days

If you asked for a list of things I hate about my current iPhone 6+, the bezel will NOT be one of them.

I actually LIKE the bezel, and I think an edge to edge display is stupid. A bezel is an area that can safely be covered by a case if you'd like, it gives you a bit more space to hold the phone without covering up the screen, and it's a spot for really useful stuff like speakers, proximity sensors, and the home button. The X method of swiping is NOT as good, not as convenient, and not anywhere close to as intuitive.

If I replace this phone in the next year, it's probably going to be with a 7+ or 8+, not an X. (And I'd consider a really good deal on a used 6s+, my main issue at this point is speed, and the 6+ is a little too slow now, not way too slow.) But Face ID is clearly not ready for primetime, and may never be. Apple would be wise to go with something like the amazingly advanced technology, far ahead of its day, of a decent-sized bezel.

If they really want to innovate, they could make a thicker phone with larger, significantly higher capacity, easily swappable battery so you can have one charging while the other is attached to the phone; and of course the marvelous invention of a standard headphone jack, but that would probably be too courageous for them.

Intel launches 64-layer 3D flash client SSD


Re: Who cares?

Except it's not a lower price right now. It probably will be eventually, but right now it's just not very interesting, particularly when Newegg has the similar-performing Samsung 850 Evo for $30 less.


Re: Spinning Rust

The most spectacular failures were always the big drives, I've seen pictures of drives that had broken loose from their floor mounts, my understanding is that those were like those out of balance washing machine destruction videos on Youtube.

But the best one I've personally seen was a much smaller drive, a 2.5", the glass platters (does anybody still use those? They were supposed to be the next great thing for a while, I've not seen a drive with them in years) had apparently exploded at speed.

When I got it drive rattled weirdly. Acted really strangely when power was applied, the spinup/spindown sounded very odd. After poking at it for a bit, decided that data recovery wasn't going to happen, opened it to see how bad the head crash was.

There were no heads. There were no platters. The head carriers were mostly there. And there were lots of little chunks of broken glass and glass powder.

The user claimed that the computer hadn't been dropped. I tend to disbelieve the user's account, but there wasn't any obvious sign of drop damage.

(Of course there wasn't a backup. The user was initially upset that I hadn't tried harder, then I showed him the drive internals and the internals of a normal-looking drive. A quick explanation of how a hard drive worked, and he believed me that there was absolutely no point in further recovery attempts.)

'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google


But what if you're googling something with Bing?

(Yeah, I know, nobody would actually do that unless they're googling porn.)

Apple accused of counter-revolutionary pricing in Russia


Set retail prices at stores that they don't own? For products that aren't "their" products any more, because they've been sold to that retail store? No, they can't do that.

Why would you think they could?

Adult toy retailer slapped down for 'RES-ERECTI*N' ad over Easter


So, the UK has a problem with the jesus dildos too? Because here in the US, we have those.

When 'Saving The Internet' means 'Saving Crony Capitalism'


Seriously? People are buying this garbage?

If nothing else, the opposite of net neutrality is double dipping. I pay Comcrap for a connection to the internet. Anything that comes down that pipe is something that I have already paid Comcrap to transport.

Now what they want to do is charge the other end of the connection too. The site sending me content paid for their connection to the net. I paid for mine. Now Comcrap wants to charge not only their customers, but their non-customers too.

Yeah, Amazon and Google and Netflix are in favor of net neutrality. Yeah, they have a financial interest in it.

But that doesn't mean it's not also the right thing to do.

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al


I don't know, sounds like a pretty good approach to me. It should do a good job discouraging Google et al from trying to filter for copyrights, and that's a major win.

If Google et al want to do something useful, they should start referring all of those bogus DMCA takedown notices for prosecution, because those things are certified to be correct under penalty of perjury. Make a deal with the prosecutors that if they'll actually go after a few of the bogus DMCA filers, Google won't start submitting a million or so requests a day for prosecution.

Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly


So, the real problem here is that all browsers suck.

Obviously the worst ones are anything MicroSloth has touched, but Chrome is a close second.

It's absolutely awful.

Firefox used to be good, but it's getting more stupidly Chrome-like with recent releases, so we're probably going to need somebody to fork it soon, probably back at 48 or something, but putting back in menus and tabs from much earlier, or at least installing Classic Theme Restorer as part of the standard build.

I have no idea what's wrong with the developers at Mozilla these days, but dropping plugin support and crippling addons like they want to do is NOT going to fly. It's like they want to go from being the absolute best browser to being the worst.

Unlucky WD Ultrastar drives are knackered, need replacing ASAP


Western Dataloss

I've called them Western Dataloss for years. Looks like they've finally brought down the HGST line to their standard lack of quality.

I've installed more Seagate drives over the years than any other. I've pulled more dead Western Dataloss drives out of systems than any other. At least 50% of the dead drives I've had to replace over the years (and yes, that includes the IBM Deathstar drives in the total) have been Western Dataloss.

No drive manufacturer is perfect.

And none is as bad as WD.

Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia


Ugh. Dumbphones were awful back then, I never want one again. (No, they're not called "featurephones" - they're called dumbphones.) You could call them "lack of features phones" I suppose.

And a Filofax is a calendar for people too dumb to use computers.

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