* Posts by Barry Rueger

827 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007


Do Martians dream of electric Nimbys? Selling 5G needs steak, not just sizzle

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Nah, I'll wait for 6G!

It has been at least a decade since I actually worried about the specs of anything tech that I've bought. OK, in fact the last time that I built a new desktop PC I did take the time to futureproof it to a reasonable degree, but even then it was a couple of years behind whatever was new and shiny. I'm confident that as long as I can add more RAM, more drive space, or the inevitable power supply it will last me at least a decade. I'm not a gamer so my needs have become fairly stable.

Beyond that though, if I need something I buy what fits the budget and it seems to work just fine. Cel phones, routers, printers... pretty much any mid-range off-the shelf brand name will do a fine job without a lot of time comparing specs.

That's the challenge for the guys flogging 5G: 4G is mostly perfectly fine, and the complaints are seldom about speed or capacity, they're about areas with crappy signal, or about the extortionate prices being charged. (I speak as a Canadian who just got a new, better deal on wireless - $50 a month which includes a whole 4 gigs of data. Woohhoo! I can even update my podcasts once in a while without hitting the data cap!)

For me the killer sales pitch wouldn't be 5G, it would a battery life of more than one slightly short day. It would be OS updates for more than twelve months. And OS updates that don't break what I using now. I'd actually pay a bonus if it could be guaranteed that the basic software on my phone didn't change from year to year.

From an end user standpoint technology is pretty much mature and unchanging. You might be able to sell some bells and whistles, but a laptop or a cel phone or a router has reached the point where it's an appliance like a toaster or kettle. And no-one reads the specs on a toaster - either the bread turns brown, or it doesn't.

Trying to convince people that 5G is superior to 4G is about the same as trying to make them believe that the AC power from your wall socket is better than what comes of of your neighbours'.

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Significant difference

Surely one of the most powerful examples of getting old is when something you remember as pure sci-fi becomes reality.

Except that the sci-fi versions actually worked, while contemporary technology is usually utter crap.

Skype for Web arrives to bring the world together. As long as the world is on Chrome and... Edge?

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: Finally

My thoughts exactly. I recall the bad old days of Web sites that only worked with IE or Netscape, but never both, and recall applauding any site that managed to accommodate both.

Have we really gone backwards by twenty years?

Windows 10 1809 looks unlikely to overtake prior build before 19H1 lands

Barry Rueger Silver badge

And why the Linux update "just works", while Win 10 breaks stuff.

LG's new gesture UI for mobes, while technically interesting, is still a little hand-wavy at the mo

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: One to watch ...

This is the first serious development looking at (2)

Unless you're one of those with Essential Tremor, Parkinson's, or other degenerative conditions. Call me old but I will happily abandon voice commands and waving for a couple of good old mechanical buttons.

Chrome ad, content blockers beg Google: Don't execute our code! Wait, no, do execute our code – just don't kill us!

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Oh great (:

Just this week I ditched Firefox and moved back to Chrome. FF consistently ground my laptop to a halt if it wasn't restarted once a day.

I was hoping that Chrome would work adequately for at least a year before I had to move back to Firefox.

Seriously browser developers, I got 99 problems, but ad-blockers ain't one of them

U wot, m8? OMG SMS is back from dead

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Trust Google? Never.

Aside from the sheer ubiquity of SMS, which Google will never match, the risk in this scheme is Google's track record in crippling or shutting down apps and services.

I actually expect that SMS will survive long after I've logged out, but anything Google will be lucky to last five years.

WWW = Woeful, er, winternet wendering? CERN browser rebuilt after 30 years barely recognizes modern web

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Sigh. Those were the days.

I was thinking this weekend about what the web was when I first got onto it - something like twenty+ years ago. Checking out a few familiar sites with this browser reminds me how good it was.

The Internet before advertising, before video, before CSS and javascript, was a pretty special place. Because no-one was trying to monetize it - and lord knows there were long and impassioned debates about that subject -- almost everything on-line was a labour of love. That meant that content trumped style.

Because pages only included HTML and images they were simple, and they loaded fast - even on dial-up, which was all that most people had. More to the point, if any page had half as much useless crap and stuttering delays as we're used to now it would also find that it had no visitors.

And because there was no money to be made, you didn't have Google and Facebook controlling great swathes of the 'net, and you certainly didn't need to worry about being spied on and tracked.

For my money the Internet peaked about ten or twelve years ago when Google was just a very good search engine, when Amazon was just a really good bookstore, and when web pages were about words and stories, not videos and cheap effects. Over the last year or so I'm struggling to understand what the point of the Internet is anymore. Even simple tasks have become way, way too hard, and there seem to be barriers in every direction to things that used to be simple.

Maybe because we actually did write web pages by hand, in notepad, we also felt obliged to really think about what we were creating. All that I know is that using the Internet has become a chore, not the delight that it was two decades ago.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

Barry Rueger Silver badge

What? Me worry?

Relax folks. Surely this new law will only apply to people with brown skin. Most of the people here won't need to worry at all.

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

Barry Rueger Silver badge

There is a solution!

Who needs data transfer and fancy IT? I'll sell you a truck load of fax machines.

A truly 1980s solution, which should make Brexiters happy.

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Multiple cars, multiple Bluetooth phones, headsets, etc. I've yet to find one that works consistently and reliably. Sometimes it connects immediately, sometimes I wade through menus. I've yet to discern a pattern, aside from phases of the moon.

At this point if there's an option to using Bluetooth that's what I'll choose.

Q. What do you call an IT admin for 20-plus young children? A. A teacher

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: "Young students, for example, cannot be expected to remember and enter a password. "

teachers, usually from the generation before computers were commonplace

Wow. you must have some significantly old teachers.

Guess what? Pretty much anyone under sixty years old, or even seventy to be honest, has been using computers for several decades. IBM PCs began to be commonplace 30+ years ago, and were becoming ubiquitous a decade later. Apples, Commodores, and Ataris were well known too.

And of course the entire computer industry and the Internet was developed by people now nearing their allotted four score and seven years.

It really is time that we discarded the cliche that old people can't understand computers. It's insulting and inaccurate.

Fine, we'll do it the Huawei, says Uncle Sam: CFO charged with fraud, faces extradition to US over Iran trade claims

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Possible Positive Outcome

Maybe on his next trip to China Mark Zuckerberg will be locked up for some real or imagined illegal activity?

The Apple Mac is 35 years old. Behold the beige box of the future

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Apple? Never again.

Sometime around the turn of the millennium I had become fed up with the endless hassle of beating Windows into submission. It was upgrade time so I decided to treat myself to an Apple computer because of promises that it would offer me a carefree existence. What I discovered was that it was now me being beaten into submission by Apple.

I know that there are many people who utterly love the Mac operating system. I'm not among them. Finder alone drove me mad when it refused to do things that were standard practice in Windows. I found it endlessly frustrating and not at all intuitive. Or, more to the point, I found out that in Apple land "intuitive" meant "I've only ever used Apple machines and have become trained to do things the Apple way."

Over and over I found that simple tasks were needlessly complicated or just couldn't be done, not for any good reason, but because Apple in their wisdom had decreed that it was a Bad Thing. It was that arrogant attitude that eventually drove me away, although the relative lack of freeware and shareware software were part of it too. The problem with the Mac was that everything cost money, and usually a rather larger amount than seemed reasonable. I remember shopping for a new AC adapter and being shocked that the price on the Apple product was somewhere in the neighbourhood of $100. The claim was that an adapter made by anyone else would destroy the computer and probably burn down the house. Needless to say, the factory Apple adapter was well known for having a short life span.

iTunes? Dear god. Has there ever been a worse music program? If so I haven't seen it. And again, the attitude was "take it or leave it," but if you don't like it it's your fault, not ours.

Ultimately I struggled along with a G4 Powerbook for three or four years, so you can't say I didn't give it a chance. When it died I very happily jumped back to PC architecture, and Linux, where I've been happily ensconced ever since. I am very happy that I can pick and choose my distro, and desktop, and have a plethora of tools and applications at my fingertips for almost any task - Photoshop being the one significant missing item of course. It's more than a little ironic that the thing that I hoped for with an Apple - that things would "Just Work" - is actually easier with Linux. I can take any reasonably modern box and have Mint installed and tweaked to suit me in fifteen or twenty minutes. Once that is done I can ignore it entirely for months or even years and it will just let me get on with my work.

If you're one of the Cult of Mac, be happy. If you find that the one Apple approved way of doing things works for you, that's a good thing. But don't get all high and mighty because for some of us it just doesn't work.

And oh yeah, "Apple will sell you an expensive extended warranty" is not the same as "reliability."

DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one

Barry Rueger Silver badge


The real problem here is the inevitability that insurance companies, especially American health insurers, will start buying DNA info from these companies, or will start demanding that customers provide it ("10% discount for your DNA profile").

3) Profit!

Facebooker swatted, Kaspersky snares an NSA thief, NASA server exposed, and more

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Take down the power grid? Old News.

Don't panic, but Russia might be able to kill the US power grid

From David Sanger's "Perfect Weapon."

As the lights went out in western Ukraine the day before Christmas Eve 2015, Andy Ozment had a queasy feeling.

The giant screens in the war room just down the hall from his office—in an unmarked Department of Homeland Security building a quick drive over the Potomac River from the White House—indicated that something more nefarious than a winter storm or a blown-up substation had triggered the sudden darkness across a remote corner of the embattled former Soviet republic. The event had all the markings of a sophisticated cyberattack, remote-controlled from someplace far from Ukraine. ...

The more data that flowed in about what was happening that winter day in Ukraine, the deeper Ozment’s stomach sank. “This was the kind of nightmare we’ve talked about and tried to head off for years,” he recalled later. It was a holiday week, a rare break from the daily string of crises, and Ozment had a few minutes to dwell on a chilling cell-phone video that his colleagues were passing around. Taken in the midst of the Ukraine attack by one of the operators at the beleaguered electricity provider, Kyivoblenergo, it captured the bewilderment and chaos among electric-grid operators as they frantically tried to regain control of their computer systems.

As the video showed, they were helpless. Nothing they clicked had any effect. It was as if their own keyboards and mice were disconnected, and paranormal powers had taken over their controls. Cursors began jumping across the screens at the master control center in Ukraine, driven by a hidden hand. By remote control, the attackers systematically disconnected circuits, deleted backup systems, and shut down substations. Neighborhood by neighborhood, the lights clicked off. “It was jaw-dropping for us,” said Ozment. “The exact scenario we were worried about wasn’t paranoia. It was playing out before our eyes.”

And the hackers had more in store. They had planted a cheap program—malware named “KillDisk”—to wipe out the systems that would otherwise allow the operators to regain control. Then the hackers delivered their finishing touch: they disconnected the backup electrical system in the control room, so that not only were the operators now helpless but they were sitting in darkness. All the Kyivoblenergo workers could do was sit there and curse.

For two decades—since before Ozment began his career in cyber defense—experts had warned that hackers might switch off a nation’s power grid, the first step in taking down an entire country. And for most of that time, everyone seemed certain that when the big strike came, it would take out the power from Boston to Washington, or San Francisco to Los Angeles. “For twenty years we were paranoid about it, but it had never happened,” Ozment recalled.

“Now,” he said, “it was happening.

Huawei and Intel hype up AI hardware, TensorFlow tidbits, and more

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Seperated at Birth?

Suddenly it struck me: Donald Trump : Max Headroom.

Reddit locks out users with poor password hygiene after spotting 'unusual activity'

Barry Rueger Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Death to passwords

I cannot say how many passwords and IDs are floating around for me, but it's at least in the dozens. The likelihood that I'll use a different password for every single one of them is zero. Even with Chrome of Firefox saving passwords, or one of the password manager things, it just isn't going to happen.

People have lives, and aren't going to do backflips to try and create multiple passwords to multiple sites, each of which wants some specific format and combination of letters, numbers, and emojis. It's just way to much hassle. Besides which invariably it's the junk sites that I likely will never visit again, or where I would never think of posting anything remotely valuable that want superduper, two factor authenticated passwords, while my friggin BANK only accepted uppercase letters starting late last year.

Yes, the truly important things in my life have big, complex passwords, but stuff like user forums don't because honestly it's just not that important to me. And besides, I'm a hardcore user of the "Forgot password" link.

The time has long since passed when we should have come up with something to replace passwords. They made sense thirty years ago when you might have one or two log-ins, but it's insane to try and use them today. Lecturing users about "hygiene" does nothing of value - it just irritates people who already know at least vaguely that passwords matter.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: Google ratings

I'll second that. I truly dread trying to find an (non-corporate branded) app for any use. The ratings are utterly useless, so I'm left to play download, install, try, remove, repeat.

I would pay for an app store that had all products tested and certified useful.

Thought Macbooks were expensive? Dell UK unveils the 7 meeeellion pound laptop

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Eyeballs trump algorithms

By now every company should understand that as you increase your use of automation you also increase the need for living, breathing proofreaders.

Google CEO tells US Congress Chocolate Factory will unleash Dragonfly in China

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Conspiracy Theory #8639

Has no one else considered that Google et al are grooming and infiltrating moles into congressional staff specifically to feed these old farts questions designed to make them look like idiots?

Tumblr resorts to AI in attempt to scrub itself clean from filth

Barry Rueger Silver badge

But I'm Canadian!

Many years ago a woman named Gwen Jacobs fought all the way to the Supreme Court for the right to walk topless on Canadian streets during warm summer days.

She won, enshrining the principle that male and female nipples should be treated equally.

Will the Tumbler nip-blocker be disabled us?

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Edge on Android

Really? This exists!? Who knew?

I'm tempted try it just to say that I did.

Comparison sites cry foul over Google Shopping service

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Good riddance

These stupid sites are always the first page of search results, and never have any information of value. I will cheer the day that they disappear.

This week I finally gave up on Google search. It had been years since they returned useful results even half of the time. Right now I'm giving Bing a spin, and don't find it too bad.

It's really sad how almost all Google products started out as lovely useful tools, but have now deteriorated into cluttered, clumsy mish-mashes of useless "features" and vendor lock-in.

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Waste of time.

I remember my first virus, off of a floppy disc, setting off klaxons and flashing red warnings from Central Point Anti-virus.

For many years I reported such things to wherever they came from, and went to considerable lengths to point out security problems. I was the poster-boy for proactive user behaviour.

Ultimately I stopped bothering when it became clear that the majority of companies and institutions just don't care, and especially don't want customers wasting their time on such things.

I guess there was just one too many times when the offending party replied with "Don't bother your little head with it dear."

There a few companies that treat these things seriously, and I'll bend over backwards to help them, but in most cases I've simply given up.

One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

The problem is as people get older, they'll find bigger screens easier - if not essential - to use.

It's less about screen size and more about the size of the type and the contrast. And of course some kind of half-ways intelligent layout that doesn't bury content under pointless pop-ups and subscription nags.

Too much tech is so in love with the newest, coolest thing that they lose sight of basic functionality. Less is more. With respect to every phone maker deciding that they need to customize Android, there's also a lot to be said for maintaining a consistent interface across devices. I dread hardware upgrades because I know that functions that I need will disappear or be hidden, and I'll have to waste time learning a whole new workflow.

I challenge phone makers to offer a choice on first boot: the manufacturer's customized interface or straight Android.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Oh God! The Click Of Death!

Kids today have no idea of the trials and tribulations we suffered!

Xiaomi anarchy in the UK: Chinese tat-flinger wants to slip its cheapo flagships in Brit pockets

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Redmi 6A at £99

My reasonably top of the line at the time LG phone has turned out to be one irritation after another. It does most things OK, and nothing really well.

If a low end Xiaomi will handle email, texting, some GPS stuff, and play podcasts, and can make phone calls and take adequate pictures, I'll be first in line. I just don't believe that any phone is worth $1000.

Web domain owners paid EasyDNS to cloak their contact info from sight. It was blabbed via public Whois anyway

Barry Rueger Silver badge


Not highlighted specifically in the story: EasyDNS shut down access, then almost immediately contacted the affected domain owners, including information about any IPs that accessed the data.

How often does that happen? Usually the company that's been hacked tries to hide it, or releases a vague statement days or weeks later. I can't recall a recent case where a company was this proactive.

Good guys at EasyDNS.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Murica, land of freedom!

Americans really do believe that their Constitution gives them the greatest freedom of speech ever known.

While allowing broadcasters to be regulated by an FCC that, among other things, still maintains a list of seven words you can't say on TV or radio.

At one point the FCC even cracked down on broadcasters playing "radio edits" of hop-hop tracks because listeners might be able to identify the bleeped out words based on context.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Thank you Google

While nearly every service that they offer seems to have become useless, I will applaud Gmail"s spam filtering as still superb.

It is exceedingly rare to see spam in my in-box, and the filtered spam folder almost never includes a false positive.

I would dearly like to remove myself from Google's clutches, but the thought of hundreds of spam every day is a big disincentive.

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Second vote for

easyDNS. They are independent, and have a REALLY good attitude re privacy and such. Decent support.

Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Please, give me an OFF switch

I can see no way this will be a good thing, if for no other reason than the likelihood that Google will break or turn off whatever PWA you've built your work flow around.

More and more I really do prefer to keep data and significant applications as local as possible.

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Tiny Tiny RSS

Is all you need. Nice Android app too. https://tt-rss.org/

Don't rely on some outside company, stick it on your server and rest easy. Some Web hosts even have autoinstallers.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 owners: So, about that other broken update…

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Ah, Microsoft

Having spent much of a weekend figuring out why my wife's Win10 laptop refused to connect to one specific, yet critical, hotspot, I'll ask:

Does the MS Surface run Linux?

Google now minus Google Plus: Social mini-network faces axe in data leak bug drama

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Another One Bites The Dust

Yet again we learn that you simply cannot rely on any service provided by Google. How many times do we get to play "Here today, gone tomorrow" before we all learn to stay away?

Regardless of what the Google+ actual user numbers were, there are people who've built an environment around its functionality who will now be scrambling to replace it. How many times has this happened before? A dozen? Two, three dozen?

The death of social media won't be because of data leaks or general pissy attitudes, it will be because Google, Facebook, and Microsoft continue to break or destroy the very tools that bring users to their door.

Wi-Fi Alliance ditches 802.11 spec codes for consumer-friendly naming scheme

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Actually , no.

For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions...

No, for two decades people bought whatever router met their budget needs, ignoring specs, and assuming it would just work. And usually it did.

Holy smokes! US watchdog sues Elon Musk after he makes hash of $420 Tesla tweet

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Lord Save Us From Lucky Geeks

All of this proves yet again that hitting the jackpot with an Internet idea does not in any way prove that you have either business chops or even basic managerial skills. And that a couple of billion dollars can carry just about any idea long enough for it to seem credible.

I actually like Musk's products, but it really is time for someone to move him gently and quietly into a less prominent role. I'd rather lose Musk and save Tesla and SpaceX.

Of course, on the other hand, this at least keeps him busy enough that he won't run for elected office.

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Barry Rueger Silver badge

F*ck Apps

Nine times out of ten the Android app is signicantly poorer than a company's Web site.

And demands ridiculous permissions to boot.

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Ye Goode Olde Days

Sigh. WordPerfect 5.1.

Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

Barry Rueger Silver badge


Surely I'm not the only person underwhelmed by this? The only one that looks at this and sees nothing more than incremental change?

The whole smartphone market really has reached the point where it's flat, dull, and stable - which has to pose a problem when you're trying to shift phones at $1000+ a pop.

A real shot in the Arm: 3% of global workforce surplus to requirements

Barry Rueger Silver badge

"Common" sense?

Lord save me from peons who think they're managers. Or even middle-managers. Staffing a large organization is complex, and the folks at the bottom seldom understand what those above them do.

Has it not occurred to all the clever folks here that it is "middle-managers with PowerPoint" that collect data that is subsequently used by the CEO to make decisions? That it is the manager class that makes sure that the electric bills are paid and salaries appear in bank accounts?

There's deadwood at every level of an organization, but I'd much rather have someone that understands the Big Picture making important decisions than a coder with no other knowledge or experience.

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge

Barry Rueger Silver badge

In Canada at least ballot counting is done a local level, by lowly paid election employees, with party scrutineers looking over their shoulders. It's reasonably fast, fairly foolproof, and includes a paper trail just in case. It would be very hard to significantly swing a vote.

I just don't see the rationale for trusting technology in this case. There are just too many ways that it can be hacked or gamed to be trustworthy.

make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

Barry Rueger Silver badge

What happens when he retires or dies?

My thought as well. I'm enjoying the likelihood that we're now at peak Linux, when everything just works, and works well. I can't begin to list the number of wonderful software packages - or hardware for that matter - that were wonderful and useful, but which wound up becoming great, lumbering blobs of useless code, or worse were bought, ruined, and then abandoned by the likes of Microsoft or Google.

Regardless of Linus' reputation in terms of people skills, it seems that he's managed to keep the product moving forward, improving, and stable. Microsoft should be so lucky.

Google's 'other' phone platform turns up in post-apocalyptic mobe

Barry Rueger Silver badge


I'm in. I've been phone shopping, but refuse to drop $1000 on something that might only last a year. Semi-landfill Androids are tempting, but this may be better - especially at that price.

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

Barry Rueger Silver badge

One problem nobody seems to be look at though is for 'always on' 4G

Trust me, the vast majority of Canadians thought of that immediately. The greed of our wireless oligopoly will ensure that only the very well-heeled will consider this.

The rest of us will rely on ubiquitous WIFI coverage, which is usually free.

No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: Quality output

Then there's the black text, with a font size that is too small and a font weight that's too thin to be easily read without magnification, by anyone over the age of 35.

Up vote for this. Also, so-called "dark themes."

What happens to your online accounts when you die?

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Not Twitter....

...they will give advice should you contact them, whether social network, email service, or web host.

Says someone who has never tried to communicate with Google, Facebook, or Twitter. It is nearly impossible to raise a living breathing human at these companies.

Your Twitter app stopped working? Here's why

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Counting the Days

Twitter is the one social media that I use constantly. Facebook became irrelevant years ago for anything beyond family news, and Google+.... Well, you get the point.

Still, I can see the writing on the wall. The beauty of Twitter is the sheer simplicity of the platform, and a user base that can get the most out of it.

Sadly I expect that Twitter will jump headlong into a Facebookization, adding piles of crappy features in an effort to make money. Quality will decline and loyal users will walk away as soon as something better appears.

The crazy thing is that I would happily pay for Twitter as it is, and suspect that a large group of users would do the same. Surely all of us understand that "Free" is just an illusion, and that the user is often the product.

It's time for that to change.

Faxploit: Retro hacking of fax machines can spread malware

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: Why still a phone line on it??

Fax machines are ubiquitous because even the most technically illiterate punter knows how to use one.

Every year our accountant emails us a fancy Adobe e-signature thingy. Every year it fails to actually work, or seems to involve way, way too many steps to bother.

So every year we print, sign, and fax back the signature page.

In an average year we likely send 20 pages by fax, and maybe receive a quarter of that amount, but when we do need it it is still perfect for the job.

Even though I now default to gscan2PDF for almost everything, there are still a handful of times when fax is what's needed.


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