* Posts by Andy Goss

23 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Sep 2007

Academics demand answers from NHS over potential data timebomb ticking inside new UK contact-tracing app

Andy Goss

Minimalist OZ version

The Australian app will, purportedly, only log the id's of lengthy close contacts, and not locations. The data will stay on the phone for 21 days before being deleted. It is only uploaded, by permission, if an app user is diagnosed as positive. Then all stored contacts can be traced and checked for the virus.

There are several issues, one being that the uploaded data will be stored by Amazon, another that the data and key will be stored together, a bit like putting your door key under a flowerpot.

The govt has promised to publish the source code, I suspect somewhat redacted, but has yet to do so. The app is a bit buggy, especially the Apple version, and the Android one needs Android 6 or better, not the "all Android" that was promised.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Andy Goss

Two spaces? How quaint.

That's typewriter era stuff. I've been using one space since some time last century.

Microsoft, not that I use them these days, were they not the outfit that for many years thought Oklahoma was spelt "Okalahoma"?

Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

Andy Goss

The Old Portal Fantasy

"refreshingly uncluttered Google front page." Still works better. But I keep seeing portal-like ideas being floated, the concept has a hypnotic effect on people with a lot of money to invest.

I use Startpage mostly, and Duck Duck Go, but Google pioneered the search engine that just searches. One big plus with Startpage is that it does not warp the search by referencing previous searches.

Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

Andy Goss

Re: Linux

Anyone coming from Windows may find the KDE desktop easier to relate to. I've been on Netrunner for a couple of years now and it does everything I want.

People say Linux is hard to look after, but I also support my wife's Windows 7 and it gives me a lot more trouble than Netrunner. There is an LTS version of Netrunner, and a rolling update one that I have not tried. Looks like Microsoft are copying that idea. But done The Microsoft Way, just like they thought the Internet was a neat idea so created The Microsoft Network thinking there would be queues round the block for it. Not quite.

What does the Titanic's sinking tell us about modern science?

Andy Goss

Only the "best" rivets

I too saw the doco, ages ago. Due to a shortage of rivets, they used "best" instead of "best best". Whatever that signifies.

This is scarcely news.

Gay-bashing cult plans picket of Steve Jobs funeral

Andy Goss

WBC in it for the money

As as already been posted, WBC is a money-making enterprise - annoy people so much they attack you and then you sue them. Simple but effective. But they need to be careful to annoy only decent law-abiding citizens who won't respond with a timing chain.

Facebook hurls insults, punctuation at growth slump report

Andy Goss

Inactive users

I have a couple of "real world" friends who are also on Facebook, but are inactive, they have no use for it. I find it cumbersome to use, all I want to do is go to the page of one of my very short list of Facebook "friends", but there seems to be no straightforward way of doing so. I would have thought a simple link to a list of friends would be an obvious function, but no, that would be too easy.

The Facebook mission appears to be to cozen people into forming huge networks of meaningless relationships and exposing whatever information they have uploaded to anyone who wants it.

I don't get the point. World domination? Or perhaps the whole thing is the creation of somebody so terminally insecure that they want to reduce the whole of humanity to their own level of futility. And no I have not seen the film.

Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

Andy Goss

If so ...

this will give us time to work out some less primitive method of energy generation than burning stuff. We need to do that if we are ever to get off the planet and into space, which is where the future really lies.

Phantom Menace to be released in 3D next Feb

Andy Goss

Disappointed kids

My kids had worn out our VHS eps IV, V, VI by the time Ep I came along. I took them and they were somewhat critical. Ep II was no better. Ep III we never saw. From my point of view Ep I was pathetic, Ep II was boring, if pretty.

I read that Lucas was trying to re-create the Saturday morning serial of his childhood. However, he fell under the spell of a guy named Joseph Campbell who had a much better idea. Alas, Campbell died, and so Eps I to III are what Lucas originally intended to make. We can only be thankful that Campbell lived as long as he did.

Hobbit helmsman Jackson hit by $190K credit card scam

Andy Goss

Everything looks better on radio

Radio 4 definitely came up with a better Nazgul scream, but I reckon Andy Serkis did a great job with Gollum. CGI humans don't work too well as yet, but Gollum is not human, and the "creep" factor actually helps.

Microsoft holds Androids hostage in open source wars

Andy Goss

somehow Microsoft managed to sell DOS and Windows for PCs.

In practice, though, they gave them away. DOS and Windows 3.1 were so easy to copy that few people bothered to buy them, even if they could find a shop that sold them. Companies, on the other hand, bought PCs with DOS and 3.1 on them already, and were provided with a manual and set of floppies for every machine. These sat unopened on a shelf, I wonder how many went home with the staff's empty lunch boxes?

Andy Goss

King Canute trying to hold back the waves

Actually he was demonstrating that it wouldn't work.

Greenland ice loss rates 'one-third' of what was thought

Andy Goss

Engineers know how things work

Aeronautical engineers have had over a century to refine their expertise. "Climate science" is so new that most if not all the "climate scientists" were actually trained in other disciplines, which they are now valiantly bringing to bear on the horribly complex task of understanding how our climate works.

That's the first task, the second should be to assess how our activities are impacting the climate. Unfortunately the scientists are being pressured to perform the second task first, with predictable consequences.

Most people would agree that polluting the air, sea, and land is a bad idea, and is going to have unpleasant consequences sooner or later. Irrespective of the AGW debate, perhaps this would be a good time to recognise this and act, before the consequences manifest themselves.

Cyber-jihadists deface home of teddy bears' picnic

Andy Goss

Perpetual recyled virgins

They are supposed to miraculously "re-virginate" every morning. Sort of like "Goundhog Day" meets "The Prisoner", only there's no escape.

And don't blame the Christians, it was the Romans' fault for re-structuring Christianity for their own imperial ends, until then it was fairly benign.

US colonel blasts PowerPoint bureaucracy in Afghan HQ

Andy Goss

Why keep promoting?

I believe the idea is that when you get into a "real" war and suddenly need a big army or navy, you have enough trained officers and only need to conscript the lower ranks who can be trained fairly quickly. There is nothing wrong with this as a concept, but Col. Sellin has illustrated perfectly how in practice empire building, Parkinson's Law, and the Peter Principle all come together to breed a kind of Frankenstein's Cuckoo.

Train rebrand costs us dear

Andy Goss

Name the line, not the company

Here in Melbourne, after several pointless name changes, Connex having been usurped by some other mob, the state government appears to have done what a previous poster says ScotRail has done and given the commuter network a name, and appointed a company to run it. As rail operators are generally loathed, they are better off being as anonymous as possible anyway.

Oz censorship debate censored on Comms minister's website

Andy Goss

Someone must have noticed this conversation

I just tried it and ISP filtering came back with 66 results.

Ares I-X trundles to launchpad

Andy Goss

Why the Moon?

The Moon is covered in fine abrasive dust.. We're better off with space stations. Actually the money would be better spent on unmanned but increasingly autonomous probes, at least until some good reason for sending people emerges.

Trojan plunders $480k from online bank account

Andy Goss

Running as Administrator

I gather almost all domestic Windows PCs run as Administrator. Buy a pre-configured Windows box and it will have the one, all-powerful user. From what I have read it looks like Vista had a heap of extra control stuff added to it to try and get round the problem, which people found very irritating. Any Linux distro will have a root user, even if you can't actually log in as root, to quarantine administrative functions. I'm sure that when Linux achieves a critical level of market share the crooks will devote time to it, but it remains an inherently far more securable OS than Windows, which was originally designed as a single-user, stand-alone OS, and, due to the marketing imperative of continuity, has what amounts to severe genetic defects passed on from version to version. If Bill Gates had known what he was creating, I bet he would have taken more trouble over it.

Oz Firewall still standing after inconclusive filter trial

Andy Goss
Black Helicopters


I wondered why K Rudd had that secret meeting with China's propaganda chief.

Gov launches 'Healthy Bees' plan

Andy Goss

Import them from Australia

US agriculture relies on billions of Australian bees supplied annually, as their own ecology has been rendered terminally bee-hostile. I'm sure we could oblige for a consideration.

Infra-red cameras to tackle congestion in Leeds

Andy Goss

20/20 hindsight

I remember when Leeds had trams, lovely double-decker trams with stained glass windows. Trains, trams, park-and-ride, we have the answers, but we lack the political guts to implement them.

EC competition commissioner slams US dissing

Andy Goss

New York Times a M$ sock puppet too?

Surely not! But look:


Not so much a puppet as a parrot.

Curiously, a blog, which I can no longer find, run by one of the writers of the article, takes a different view.