* Posts by GekkePrutser

40 posts • joined 16 Jan 2020

There's no Huawei a virus can stop us! 90% of our staff in China are already back at work, says CEO


Re: Stealing a (long) March

To be fair, we're beyond locking off cities. That only works if the virus isn't everywhere else already.

Taiwan collars coronavirus quarantine scofflaws with smartphone geo-fences. So, which nation will be next?


Re: Which is more important, Privacy or Death?

Yeah I know, I was just referring to the red pill / blue pill argument before. The OP mentioned 2 months there as a solution window which is not true. There is no easy option :( China's 3-month lockdown of Wuhan has been claimed a success. But what remains to be seen is what happens when it ends.

Lockdowning for 18 months obviously is not an option either. Completely removing privacy isn't either in the western world. I bet we'll have a hard time with a combination of these measures (and more) being throttled on and off for more than a year to come.

One thing I'm worried about is if they will ever go away completely.


Re: Which is more important, Privacy or Death?

It won't go away in a month or two... That's the problem. It's impossible to kill it completely even with extreme lockdowns.

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin


Re: Naomi Klein

I don't mean right now of course. I know it's real now. And such an app may be needed. I mean when it's all said and done.

Then the virus will become an imaginary boogeyman still popping up its head in some mini outbreaks here and there that will be blasted all over the news as a major scare. Just like they did with the terrorists. For years there was a terrorist lurking behind every tree and secret measures were implemented to monitor everyone. Illegal measures, but after all the Snowden revelations what happened? They're still here.

However nobody questioned the fact that the 9/11 terrorists were already being monitored and on watch lists, but the intelligence community screwed this up. The existing powers were sufficient to prevent this but the bureaucracy was too large to deal with it. And has only been increased since. See the revelations by Coleen Rowley.

I have no issues with a temporary tracking app. But the problem is, governments don't like releasing power even when it's no longer needed for the original purpose.


Re: Naomi Klein

Yep, what will happen is that the virus won't quite go away. It'll go in lingering mode, just like the terrorism. Every few weeks some scare will crop up here or there. They'll keep us on our toes by regularly raising the 'threat level'.

And of course they will want the tracking to remain so that "it can be used immediately if needed". Meanwhile, it'll be expanded to tons of other uses 'because the data is there anyway'. That's how you get Chinese levels of surveillance in "free" nations.

Dell publishes data centre cleaning guidance, suggests hiring pros to disinfect enterprise kit


Re: How about...

With the added benefits it kills any computer virus running on the hardware too!


Re: Indeed

It's possible cough droplets get sucked into it by the fans, I guess.

Still, working on them for a while with gloves on should mitigate it enough I think. It doesn't seem to live for very long outside of the body.

I'd be much more worried about datacenter door handles, shared cage keys, and those KMM trolleys people use there.


Re: Isopropyl Alcohol

Since you are in the know, would you know if H2O2 works to kill the virus too? Alcohol is pretty much sold out everywhere here but H2O2 in low concentrations is still available.

The Unihertz Atom XL: An iPhone SE-sized rugged phone that's also a walkie-talkie


Re: DMR ?

No, Unihertz have said they're not locking it to any frequencies on the kickstarter comments. I spoke to them about it as I was planning to buy one (I'm an amateur radio operator so I wouldn't want it locked).

However I decided against it in the end. I'm not doing so much with DMR and usually use dedicated radios anyway, and it's only a so-so phone. And the software for DMR usually leaves a lot to be desired in these Chinese phones. So I decided not to bet on it :)

PS: I do have a Unihertz Jelly which is really nice for what it is, but part of what's so nice was the price of $69 in the kickstarter at the time.


Re: DMR ?

Tier III is really cool but you can only use it if you are a big business with a suitable infrastructure for it.

Not even ham radio amateurs have set up such an infrastructure. If it was possible it would have been done, I'm sure. For Tier II there's a massive network linked all over the world ( https://brandmeister.network ). And there's some local ones as well like the Phoenix network of the UK.

And you'll need a license anyway. Even though you could technically use the 446 or dPMR band, this is only allowed with devices built and certified specifically for that. Part of that requirement is a fixed (nonremovable) antenna which the Atom doesn't have. And the regular 446 band only allows analog modulation anyway. dPMR would be an option but like I said not legally as this device is not certified for that.

Firefox 74 slams Facebook in solitary confinement: Browser add-on stops social network stalking users across the web


Re: Extend this mechanism

I'm sorry to hear that! I sometimes have flashbacks of IE6 too in my nightmares. I hope you will recover soon!


I think it works great. I've been using the more generic multi-account containers and they are amazing.

Also really helps logging into multiple O365 instances for work purposes. Normally this isn't possible at the same time.

Microsoft throws a bone to those unable to leave the past behind: .NET 5 support on the way for Visual Basic


Re: We knew this in 2005?

VB6 didn't really die - in a way it lives on in VBA in MS Office to this day. It was also used in some commercial projects until the early 2010's, such as Avaya's AIC (Avaya Interaction Center)'s desktop client. It could be customised using VB6. When I started to work on this I was really suprised it was still around, though my experience did come in handy :)

And yeah I also thought they were extending the real VB support. Mainly because of the screenshot of VB6 on this article is a bit misleading.

I did a lot of VB6 in its heyday. But to be honest I don't miss it either. Multithreading was really really sorely missed. Even in the age of single CPUs it was necessary to do multiple things at the same time. I tried to get around it at times by making everything event driven as much as possible, but one procedure would hang on something and the whole thing would collapse. And you had to scatter DoEvents all over the code. There was also the option of starting threads using the Win32 API but because the language itself was not thread-safe it would turn into a crash-fest very quickly.

It was nice in 1999 when the whole "draw a button, click it and type code" was a fresh approach and a huge boost to productivity. It really set the standard for RAD and had an excellent IDE for its time. Now there's much better options.

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research


Re: And in comparison...

I don't agree with the "less secure" part.

In particular iOS apps are very well sandboxed and have a strict review process with a trust chain. Feature access has to be approved indivudually. This is a strong contrast to Windows PCs where an application with admin rights can do pretty much anything it wants. Same with Linux desktops. Sure, there's SELinux and AppArmor but they're rarely used and complex to configure. Android has this much more worked out with its SELinux by default.

Of course a mobile phone *should* be more secure than a PC. It's usually carried around everywhere and a compromise could lead to the ultimate snooping device. But it does feel like the 'root/admin can do all' model needs to go. Especially because too many apps require these rights for basically no reason.

macOS is already heading in this direction though hasn't found a great compromise in terms of usability. Too many approval boxes: it'd be better have an option to deny by default or have a bulk permission approval like what is seen on Android.

Chips that pass in the night: How risky is RISC-V to Arm, Intel and the others? Very


For now market forces are not corroborating this though. For the 10 years it's been heralded as the saviour of open computing it's still very marginal, sadly.

One thing that could be an issue IMO is the extendability itself. Customised instruction sets means customised software, customised compilers to make the most of it, custom drivers, and basically a lot less reuse on the software side. So there has to be a really strong benefit to invest the time and money into this. The same reason that everyone is now using Linux instead of rolling their own OS: It's not always a great fit but it's just not worth the trouble to roll your own.

Arm and intel are pretty good at introducing new features to support new trends, like their encryption and virtualisation extensions that are now commonplace and really beneficial. Yes, they make mistakes too, but as a smaller company, can you really do better?

I would really like to see RISC-V take off but I have a feeling that its biggest benefits are also its biggest obstacles.

Watch this space: Chinese mobe flinger OPPO flexes first shot at the wearables market


Well... I wonder. There's many Apple design ripoffs lately that haven't been (at least publicly) challenged.

I think Apple has had enough of this since the drawn-out lawsuits with Samung whose early Galaxy phones were very Apple-ish. It also caused a lot of proprietary Apple design documents to become public record, which is not very comfortable for a company so heavily invested in secrecy. They battled in many countries and verdicts fell back and forth.. After all was said and done I doubt it was actually worth it. They got half a billion in one of them which is pocket money for Apple.

I could imagine they don't deem it worth the effort as they're probably not really losing sales over it. People that want an Apple watch will not buy this just because it looks so similar.


It vaguely reminds me of something... I can't remember what :P

And seriously, don't bring up the excuse of "There's only so many ways to make a smartwatch". This is designed to look exactly like an Apple watch, not a result of a separate design arriving at the same conclusion.

One thing that surprises me is that they skinned WearOS. I thought that was expressly forbidden with WearOS (a stipulation from the time when it was still Android Wear). Manufacturers were no longer allowed to customise the OS that way, due to the mess that created with Android in terms of usability and updates.

Microsoft's Cortana turns its back on consumers as skills are stripped from Windows 10


So Microsoft are going to punish me for not using a Microsoft account by removing features I don't like.. Great, bring it on!! :D

While you're at it, please punish me more by removing telemetry and Edge from my computer!!


Re: Apologists

Yep Windows 8 was absolutely horrible. Personally this is what got me to really hate the tiles, its association with the horrible (for a desktop) windows 8 start screen. Once they toned it all down they were already firmly established into the 'hate' corner and gone from my mind forever. What didn't help is a lot of them were just used for dynamic display of marketing messages offering other MS products & services and not for stuff that would actually interest me.

This is the thing with Microsoft. They're more concerned with marketing than with customer experience. They wanted to make headway into the tablet market, and forced everything in this direction to pump up market share, customers be damned.

The same with the constant rebranding of their products (think Office communicator -> Lync -> Skype for Business). Just because they wanted to inflate related brands they force customers through complex change management cycles.

I don't agree with everything Apple do with macOS (In fact I think it's becoming way too locked-down and prompts for approval way too much) but at least they have clear reasons for it that are customer-centric.

I think people are not resistant to change. There's just good and bad change. If the change is good and actually aimed at improving the customer experience, it will feel so natural that it's intuitively liked by the majority.

'Developers have lost hope Microsoft will do the right thing'... Redmond urged to make WinUI cross-platform


Re: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yes and it's not particularly good nor powerful. And so bland.

Microsoft isn't great at user interfaces, let's face it. Windows 8 was a disaster, Windows 10 is still a confusing mix/match of control panels, scaling that half-works. What they design now is wasting way too much space because everything has to be touch-first (thinking of MS Teams here with huge bubbles around everything). The new iconset where they all look about the same.

I would pick a framework of a company that is actually good at UX unless Windows was absolutely my primary target for the app.

If you're serious about browser privacy, you should probably pass on Edge or Yandex, claims Dublin professor


Re: use the URL bar only for URLs,

Thanks! It doesn't get rid of the "Search with DuckDuckGo" text though, strange enough. Maybe they forgot to do that.


Re: Duck duck off!

Altavista is dead, it just redirects to Yahoo now.

Of course it's really been dead for a long time.. Every since we all thought Google was going to be a respectable company ("Don't be evil" - LOL were we fooled then).

I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go: Yes, Sony's Xperia 1 II has a 3.5mm headphone port


I think that concern was also the reason for the iPhone 1's deeply seated 3.5mm connection. It was mechanically very stable.

Sadly Apple dropped it in the next version even though every pair of headphones that came out by then had switched to a thin plug case to match.


Nice! Sony was one of the first to jump on the "nobody needs 3.5mm anymore" bandwagon, probably because they sell many expensive wireless headsets. I'm glad they reverted course. I hope Samsung will as well (I still use their phones because of DeX)

'An issue of survival': Why Mozilla welcomes EU attempts to regulate the internet giants


Re: RE: big_D

Firefox Focus does exactly that, so it's not like they haven't considered the option.

Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months


Re: I understand

Yes this is also why I still do the LE renewal manually.

I leave 80 off in my firewall which is on a different machine and thus can't be temporarily opened by the VM with the server running certbot. They make this needlessly complex.

Hey, Brits. Your Google data is leaving the EU before you are: Hoard to be shipped from Ireland to US next month


Re: Do No Evil ?

Mainly because they don't really do anything that affects consumers anymore. They're just an oversized consultant shop now.

Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming


Xamarin.Forms isn't really a Microsoft product. It was a Xamarin product they bought, rebranded to Visual Studio for Mac and then left it to rot, like most of their acquisitions.

I hardly see anyone using it now for crossplatform iOS/Android devs. When it was invented it made some sense to develop in .net because Windows Phone was still a thing so you got that platform basically for free, and iOS/Android with a bit of extra work.

Now it's more common to see stuff like react mobile (from facebook) and flutter (from google) which basically do the same with webapps. Develop a webapp and get basically native-like mobile apps easily. But not really native, the experience is still not as good as a real native app IMO, especially with flutter which 'redraws' most UI elements to look like native.

The virus curing the mobile industry's chronic addiction... and sparking an impressive algorithmic price experiment


I have to say you're right about the peer-run conferences. I always thoroughly enjoy the 'hacker' conferences in the Netherlands and the presentations from Chaos Computer Club Congress etc. I learn so much from them. It's so great to see how knowledge flows so much better without the suits in attendance. Everyone you speak to is open and collaborative, nobody is trying to sell anything but free knowledge. In those cases I think there is real added value to meeting up in person.

I visit some major company-sponsored events as well but I don't find them nearly as useful. You only get a carefully crafted spin on the real story which doesn't tell you the pitfalls of a 'solution' and even when you meet peers they're afraid to say anything critical as nobody paid for their own ticket.

And I think it's partially counterproductive too. I'd be much more inclined to choose a solution from a company that's actually honest about their product, and easy to work with (rather than being stuck in ticket queues at an outsourced support desk because nobody really cares about support after the contract is signed).

Windows Terminal and Azure Data Studio both get a tickle from the Microsoft update fairy


I wonder, if WSL2 is no longer directly tied to the core OS, doesn't that limit its usefulness and "raison d'etre" a bit? I thought the whole benefit was that it was tightly integrated and you could run Linux with very little overhead. If you just run Linux in a VM it doesn't sound very much more useful than just spinning up Linux in VMWare or Hyper-V which has been possible for ages.

To be honest I haven't used it that much as I generally prefer to run my Linux bare metal but I just wondered about this bit after reading that.

MWC now means 'Mostly Without Companies', as Nokia, HMD Global, Facebook, and BT drop out


That picture with the lines through it looks like the one from last year. Unless they kept exactly the same layout for that hall which I doubt. And it's only showing four of the many halls in MWC, so the effect of the cancellations is a bit exaggerated.

Having said that I wouldn't mind if they cancel it now. It's going to be pretty boring and I'm sure more companies will bail out. I expect many of them are simply waiting to see what the GSMA will do (if the event is cancelled they don't get the blame themselves for not showing) or if the virus magically becomes conquered in the next weeks. I assume all the costs are already committed so there's no benefit in cancelling early.

Xiaomi what's inside: Wow, teardown nerds find debut smartwatch isn't actually a solder-and-resin nightmare


Re: Repairable but

iFixit sell a lot of such parts. They're quite expensive usually but they can also be found on ebay as well for cheaper. Usually aftermarket / fakes or taken from used models with irreparable damage to other parts.

There's definitely a market for this - this is also where all the 'unofficial' phone repair shops get their parts from.

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees


Re: Gobsmacked!

Aviation safety is a combination of equipment and human factors. There's a lot to be said for allowing pilots to use a relatively benign stimulant when they need it. Them falling asleep or being dozy could also lead to dangerous issues. They're supposed to sleep well bedfore a flight obviously but personal worries could keep them up and their irregular schedules don't help. People are flawed by nature.

And also: Spills can happen even when rules are followed. It's better to prevent damage if it happens.

Google's OpenSK lets you BYOSK – burn your own security key


Re: It's all very fascinating

What I do on all my personal stuff is register more than one key. I have one on my keyring, one separate one, and one backup smartcard in my safe at home. This way I can always get in. I use multiple modes of authentication (such as PIV, OpenPGP and Fido2).

Many services also offer backup one-time codes. Unfortunately not all sites offer multiple tokens but they really should, for this reason.


"Rolling your own" is generally a bad idea when it comes to crypto. I'd rather spend a bit more on a Yubikey which is designed by experts.

For example: How well is this thing secured against side-channel attacks (e.g. power or timing based?). Real hardware tokens have substantial measures against these types of attacks.

From WordPad to WordAds: Microsoft caught sneaking nagging Office promos into venerable text editor beta


This is just as annoying as all those socially depressed mobile apps that constantly need confirmation that you still love them. Yes I like this app, otherwise I wouldn't use it. No I don't want to rate it in the store. And then it keeps coming back every few days :(

This is just as bad. At least there's no need to use WordPad anymore now that Notepad finally supports unix line-endings :) That was the only thing I ever used it for.

Looks like the party's over, folks: Global PC sales set to shrink as Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off, says Gartner


Re: "there will not be a Windows 11"

Indeed Windows 10 has already dropped some systems - albeit some very ancient low-powered atoms. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/20/microsoft_blames_intel_for_clover_trail_pcs_left_out_of_creators_update/

I wouldn't be surprised if the major hardware vendors would put pressure on Microsoft to increase doing this (as Intel effectively did that time).

On the other hand, most of the PC business is purely the business market and those will generally stick to a 3-4 year replacement cycle. There will be a steady stream of sales there. I work for a major enterprise and even though some sales departments have tried using iPad Pros as their sole computing device, trials have not been very successful.

The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit


Re: Mixed messages

Yes Apple generally requires that apps meet their latest standards. Especially on the iOS side but I assume the Mac app store is similar.

However the Mac app store is not a big deal. They could just offer it standalone. In fact most business apps aren't in it.


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