* Posts by Len Goddard

381 posts • joined 4 Sep 2007

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Scrutiny? We've heard of it. Dot-UK supremo Nominet goes dark

Len Goddard

Re: Transparency = Honesty

Almost all big companies cheat lie and steal. Lack of transparency just makes it easier

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10 minutes of silence storms iTunes charts thanks to awful Apple UI

Len Goddard

Simple tech is good

I connect my player to the car radio with a wire. No autoplay to worry about.

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Nokia's comeback is on: The flagship 8 emerges

Len Goddard

Updates

I'm stull using my old HTC One. The only thing I miss is android updates. One of these days I might get around to jailbreaking it, but probably not.

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Ubuntu sends trash to its desktop's desktop

Len Goddard

Trash icon

I honestly don't think I have ever used this thing on linux or windoze (not an apple user). Dragging files/icons/whatever there is more effort than hitting del after you have selected them. TBH I'm not even sure if the trash can is enabled 'cause I've never used it to restore anything either.

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At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

Len Goddard

Re: I tried Vivaldi once...

uBlock origin works fine.

If you don't like something in an early release it is worth checking back before you slag the product off.

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The Next Big Thing in Wi-Fi? Multiple access points in every home

Len Goddard

nope

going through all this makes me more determined than ever to stick to nice ease-to-understand wire

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Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

Len Goddard

If thats a duck

I'd hate to see a goose.

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UK IBMers lose crucial battle in pension row

Len Goddard

Consultation?

I worked for IBM when this happened. From memory it went something like this:

Here is what we are going to do. We will consult for one month then do it.

Good faith? Only a lawyer could think that.

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

Len Goddard

Re: Another microwave story

I worked for IBM in Feltham for a while. The Heathrow high-intensity landing radar used to crash the small on-site mainframe until it was moved into a shielded room.

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Capita's smart meter monopoly is owed £42m by industry

Len Goddard

Unsurprised

British Gas were unsurprisingly unsurprised when I rang them and told them to put their smart meter where the sun never shines. "Yes sir, I'll make a note on your account not to bother you with this again". Seems it happens so often they have a procedure for dealing with it.

Great British public appears to have more sense than I gave it credit for.

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Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH

Len Goddard

Re: "They are no more sentient than a bowl of noodles"

As a firm believer in the Flying Spaghetti Monster I take exception to this blasphemous assertion

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Windows Subsystem for Linux to debut in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Len Goddard

Re: Standardisation is always welcome

Come off it. Unix had been using / as a directory path delimiter for years before DOS discovered subdirectories. Personally I can't recall any situation I've ever been in where it causes problems or ambiguities with written English or maths.

Backslash was used to maintain compatibility with the 1.x option delimiter. It has caused grief in things like scripts and makefiles ever since due to doubling up as an escape character. It is just about bearable if you work in an entirely windows environment but if you have, for example, a central unix-based build machine you can end up with nightmarish \\\\\\ sequences because you have to escape the backslash enough times that the next stage will still have escaped backslashes.

Also, from an ergonomic point of view putting the separator on a shifted key is irritating in an otherwise case-agnostic filesystem. I believe in some keyboards it actually is on an AltGr key, which is even worse.

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Len Goddard

Re: slash the right way round

I'd almost forgotten that. Yes, from memory you could reverse the \ to a / but not all utilities respected it. In particular, I think it worked for backup but not for restore.

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Latest Windows 10 preview lets users link an Android to their PC

Len Goddard

Wouldn't it be easier

just to open the link in your browser of choice to start with?

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Len Goddard

Re: Proper Full English

I mostly agree but ...

bacon should be smoked back bacon, dry cured by hand (none of this water-injected crap or spray-on smoke), and not cooked until hard.

I'd like some black pudding

Beans must NOT be Heinz - they have a distinctive aftertaste I despise

Side of toast? Depends on how generous the provision of fried bread.

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Got some pom-poms handy? UK.gov seeks a geography cheerleader

Len Goddard

Why

Why do I need geography when I have google maps?

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Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Len Goddard

My reasons for not using chrome are sort of the mirror of yours. I hate the appearance of the thing and I loathe the integrated search and URL bar. TBH, I don't actually use firefox any more either as I dislike the new appearance and mobile-phone style interface. I now use Palemoon which is an optimised firefox using the older front end.

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Len Goddard

This is the best tech news all day

It will save me having to figure out how to disable the stupid thing if I ever buy a phone with it installed.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Len Goddard

The end

There goes the last Microsoft programme (apart from the actual windows OS) that I use. Really useful when you want to crop, resize and change format of an image. Nothing I can't do in the Gimp but simpler and quicker with Paint.

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UK uni warns students of phishers trying to nick their tuition fees

Len Goddard

Am I missing something?

Stochasitc is usually a description of a type of (random) process or sequence. Did the author here mean scholastic or was he inferring that all pleasures in Newcastle are random?

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NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt

Len Goddard

Useful

Yay - new phone ringtones!!

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Len Goddard

An alternative

Has anyone considered that a small metal token with a difficult-to-duplicate inscription on each side might be a more viable alternative to this virtual nonsense?

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The great phone squeeze wheeze: Getting squidgy with HTC's U11

Len Goddard

Re: "range"?

Many many years ago the IBM internal dictionary had the following entry:

verb: verb-transitive. Any noun can be verbed.

Unfortunately this is even more true today than it was then.

3
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His Muskiness wheels out the Tesla Model 3

Len Goddard

Mass market?

The Model 3 is, as the BBC breathlessly billed it, "Tesla's first mass-market car".

...

The Grauniad reports Musk as saying initial production will be 100 cars in August, ramping up to 1,500 in September

This is clearly some new meaning of "Mass Market" with which I was previously unfamiliar

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New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

Len Goddard

Re: Ethical decisions

There is a variant of the trolly problem. The trolly is bearing down on 5 children. You are on a bridge over the tracks with a very fat man. If you push him onto the tracks the trolly will be stopped before it hits the kids. You can't jump yourself as you do not have the body mass to stop the trolly.

Amusingly the 1-for-5 brigade will generally flip the switch but not shove the fat man.

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Len Goddard

Zeno

Oh yes, and Achilles never overtakes the tortoise.

5
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Robocall spammers, you have one new voicemail message: CUT IT OUT!

Len Goddard

Re: Spammers/scammers

Yes it is, at least in the UK. In theory the telephone preference service list should be respected by callers but so many marketing calls come from overseas that there is not a lot that can be done unless you invest in a smart answerphone which deals with calls on the basis of their origin. Calls from autodiallers with pre-recorded messages are particularly annoying because you can't even amuse yourself by wasting the callers time or trying to get them so worked up that they swear at you.

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Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads

Len Goddard

Targeted ads

If the targeting algorithms were in any way accurate, I would receive no ads at all. In fact, on the rare occasion I actually become aware of what an ad is offering it is generally because it has irritated me so much I have made a resolution to never buy that product. I haven't eaten Shredded Wheat since the "there are two men in my life" jingle first aired.

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Len Goddard

Up to 40%?

"The ad giant says ad downloads shrink by between 15 and 40 per cent as a result and therefore delivers “faster page loads and less battery consumption.”"

Eliminating the ads altogether results in a 100 per cent reduction - even faster and even less battery use

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Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio

Len Goddard

Games

Useless for anything else as to see the whole screen you either have to keep swinging your head from side to side, which would give you a stiff neck in no time, or sit so far back normal sized text would be unreadable. Sure, you could bump up the text size but that would reduce the effective resolution.

I use a 3440x1440 34" monitor which works well for both work and gaming. Also, you don't need to phone a friend if you want to rearrange your desk layout. I'd like more vertical resolution but it starts to get expensive.

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Len Goddard

Reluctantly

I have to say that I have a degree of sympathy for M$ in this case. I think a vendor has an obligation to maintain a no-longer-sold OS (or application) for a reasonable period - to use the analogy in the article I believe motor vendors have to maintain spares availabilty for 10 years. However you cannot expect a vendor to continue to support the product indefinitely since it is in no way a cost-free activity. Vendors should be obliged to state a minimum period for which they will support the OS after withdrawal from market. Past that they can offer extended support as a product if they wish.

In this case the waters are muddied by the fact that M$ apparently had a fix which they did not distribute. You can argue that one both ways. The unsafeness of XP was the best incentive for tardy users to upgrade and to launch a fix would encourage them in their behaviour. On the other hand, had they released the fix in a timely manner they would have garnered some much needed kudos as good guys.

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Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

Len Goddard

it is not just that they sell my data

which they don't to any great extent as I do not have a FB account, but they are now charging me for their advertising services. I had two credit card transactions recently from Facebk (sic) which apparently came from FB in Ireland for advertising costs. Googling reveals this is not unusual. There was no evidence that the credit card (which never leaves the house) was otherwise compromised ... just these two transactions near Xmas. So far I have seen no response from FB to the various complaints but I will be interested to hear what my cc provider has to say.

2
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Transatlantic link typo by Sweden's Telia broke Cloudflare in the US

Len Goddard

Is there anywhere left?

"In addition to connections in North America, the outage caused problems for Cloudflare services in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Oceania region."

Antarctica, perhaps?

6
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What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

Len Goddard

Giving up on smartphones

I've looked at my phone usage. Basically I make phone calls and occasionally listen to music/audiobooks. I think I will be backing off to a feature-phone and an mp3 player.

2
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Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

Len Goddard

Mint is not harmless

Ask Ubuntu

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Well, hot-diggity-damn, BlackBerry's KEYone is one hell of a comeback

Len Goddard

Reduced crapware

At last, a phone without twaddle and farcebook baked in and unremovable! I'd almost buy it for that alone

2
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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Len Goddard

Pear computer

In the days of the Apple II there was a company known as Pearcom which marketed the Pear II computer (an Apple II compatible with extra expansion slots and a numeric keyboard). They briefly used a rainbow striped Pear as a logo but gave that up when Apple made threatening noises. That logo obviously a direct ripoff, but this case is farcical.

5
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We're 'heartbroken' we got caught selling your email records to Uber, says Unroll.me boss

Len Goddard

IReadItForYou

May I offer my latest service.

IReadItForYou (IRI4Y)

All you have to do is give IRI4Y complete access to your system so I can trawl through and find out exactly what apps you are using. Then IRI4Y will access the T&Cs and, using fractal heuristic AI deep learning altgorithms, identify the pitfalls and tell you what you should not have signed. As a bonus, it will trawl through all your data and tell you where you are in violation of the T&Cs and also what private data has likely already leaked.

Note: Due to the dangers of infinite recursion, IRI4Y does not read its own T&Cs or issue warnings about them. Just trust us.

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Len Goddard

Ugh

I think I prefer Sadville

3
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Zuckerberg: Escape from the real world into my goofy make-believe science-fiction fantasy

Len Goddard

This guy scares me

He has so much money and media presence that people actually take his drivel seriously, which is worrying.

8
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Governments could introduce 'made by humans' tags - legal report

Len Goddard

How much has to be made by humans?

like a machine made garment with a hand-sewn made-by-human tag?

5
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UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Len Goddard

Excuses

Anything serves as an excuse in this ridiculous debate. It is quite sickening.

22
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Our Sun's been using facial scrub: No spots for two weeks

Len Goddard

Predictions?

Where does the data for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018 come from?

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Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash

Len Goddard

Re: "...when it’s least likely to irritate the user,"

The only time it won't irritate me is when I'm not there.

3
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Microsoft nicks one more Apple idea: An ad-supported OS

Len Goddard

Never seen this

Maybe because I replaced the start mess with Classic Start Menu, File Manager with MultiCommander and both M$ browsers with Palemoon.

And I don't have an M$ account, I use local login.

7
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Firefox 52 kills plugins – except Flash – and runs up a red flag for HTTP

Len Goddard

Palemoon

You could try Palemoon. It is a firefox fork with the old firefox UI and seems less intent on making life difficult for its users.

Or there is always Vivaldi ...

6
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Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

Len Goddard

No guilt

I have no compunction on using adblockers on sites which do not offer me an alternative way of avoiding the ads. I would rather pay real money (in small amounts) for content I wish to view rather than have my enjoyment of that content spoiled by ads.

I don't know how much sites get for just displaying ads - certainly from me they never get click-thru payments - so allowing me to make a small donation for a period of ad-less viewing would probably put them ahead of the game.

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IBM to UK staff: Get ready for another game of musical chairs

Len Goddard

Consultation?

Is that like the consultation on pensions a few years back where they told the staff what was going to happen at the beginning of the "consultation" period?

3
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Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Len Goddard

What happens

... if you don't have any social media accounts?

Obviously an anti-social sociopath - send him home.

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Hard numbers: The mathematical architectures of Artificial Intelligence

Len Goddard

Not AI?

It seems to me that most of the examples of AI around (such as this one) are far better described by a term which seems to have gone out of fashion:

Expert Systems.

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