* Posts by Cruachan

104 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Jul 2023


Voyager 1 makes stellar comeback to science operations


Astounding that they've kept both Voyagers going so long, great work by all the team yet again.


In space, no one can hear you poke.

Tesla shareholders agree to pay Musk staggering sum of $48B


I don't know numbers, but the whole reason it got blocked by the courts was legal action by shareholders, and indeed this vote may not be binding due to that decision (Hence the attempts to move the corporate headquarters as well).

OTOH people buying stock in Tesla are likely to look at Musk as being essential to it's success, he seems generally to be a bit of a marmite personality.

X marks the spot where Twitter's severance math doesn't add up


Re: "Thanks for your support!!"

He was sacking people on twitter for publicly disagreeing with him at one point, so safe to say at this point whoever is left is either desperate and/or extremely docile.

Good thing he can't see who's liking the tweets calling out his behaviour though, but sadly according to the BBC he HAS won the shareholder vote over the Tesla payout.


Beijing wants more outfits like Temu teeming around the world


Re: Who buys from Temu?

I've seen a few youtubers who do outdoors stuff (camping, hiking etc) testing their gear, which is how I first heard of Temu and various other similar sites. It's a common type of video for youtubers though, regardless of their niche. James Hoffmann has done a few "buy all the coffee things" from a site videos as well, which are usually entertaining even if there's nothing you'd want to buy yourself.

Adios, accountability: X to hide 'likes' for everyone this week


Re: Smash that Like button like there's no tomorrow

They're certainly playing a game, not sure it's a long one. Seems more like throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Musk wants to ban Apple at his companies for cosying up to OpenAI


Huh, just assumed he'd be constantly getting corrected given his stream of consciousness posts with no filter.


The only surprise to me about any of this is that Musk hasn't exempted himself from being "community noted" given that his free speech absolutism is a one-way street.

Elon Musk ends OpenAI lawsuit without explaining why


Re: AIs hang together

Being told what to do by an AI would explain some of his decisions, like rebranding one of the most recognisable companies in the world as "X".

Microsoft's Recall should be celebrated as the savior of SMEs and scourge of CEOs


Re: What it would actually look like

On my current contract it would be log request for something, wait weeks for it get approved, more weeks for it to actually be implemented, jiggle mouse periodically to stay available in Teams.

AI PC vendors gotta have their TOPS – but is this just the GHz wars all over again?


Coloured pencil departments, no matter the industry, love quantitive marketing. Top trumps if you like. More horsepower, faster 0-60, higher ABV, more mg of caffeine, highest PPM of peat in a smoky whisky, thread count in fabrics, broadband speeds etc etc.

Twas ever thus, it used to be the GHz race then everyone moved to advertising the best numbers from benchmarking software.

Support, don't micromanage, say researchers who find WFH intensified 'anxiety' in some


Can't definitively say WFH is good or bad for everyone, but (IMO) having the choice IS definitely a good thing. Going to the office 1 day a week is OK for me, and I'll usually do one or both of going to the gym or doing the shopping on the way home. The rest of the week, I'm happy with the extra hour in bed and the freedom if the weather is good to go out for a bit rather than losing an hour or so commuting.

I know people who hate it though, but WFH was common for me even pre-pandemic as a contractor - on big projects there were often more contractors than desks.

Defiant Microsoft pushes ahead with controversial Recall – tho as an opt-in


I never opted-in to Copilot, and frequently change the settings to turn it off, yet mysteriously it seems to pop up regularly on my searches.

(Yes, I use Bing for searching purely to get Game Pass for free via Microsoft Rewards. Most of my searching is done for work anyway looking up PowerShell command syntax and things like that.)


Re: Hardly the first time, is it?

To this day every time we roll out new security policies or new versions of Office (or whatever MS call it this week) the beancounters start screaming about their macros. I'm still yet to see a company push back on them and say no, no more macros in all my years as a contractor.

Chucking Trump etc off Twitter after Jan 6 provides key data for misinfo experiment


Re: Who knew so many social science / studies majors read el Reg

It's incredible how many people swallowed that nonsense. A self-styled billionaire real-estate tycoon promises to fight for the little guy, "drain the swamp" and stop "political dynasties" like Bush 1 & 2 and Clinton 1 and attempted 2, then immediately gives jobs to his daughter and son in law and now daughter in law (head of the RNC)


Plenty of it over here too, especially when OFCOM is so toothless. One "news" channel almost exclusively hosted by members or sycophants of one of our political parties.

The BBC, ITN (who produce the news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) and Sky News all do at least attempt to be politically neutral and maintain balance, how good a job of that they do rather depends on your point of view though.


Re: “social media users post a considerable volume of misinformation”

Authoritarianism 101 is to erode trust in the established systems, which includes the free press. Those foolish enough to believe anything such people are say are also likely to reject anything said by what would be considered reliable sources by most people.

The problem is even worse in some countries, Facebook for example was widely condemned and had to apologise for not properly moderating posts relating to Myanmar, a country where internet access isn't that widespread and access to Facebook is often free with their largest mobile carriers, to the point that many people considered Facebook "the internet" there as that was all they had access to. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook#Public_apologies There are also plenty of other examples on that link of similar fake stories on Facebook.


Hasn't stopped misinformation, just reduced it on one platform. If the media won't call out blatant falsehoods because of the source then it doesn't really matter what twitter did, and Musk allowed loads of them back as well.

Case in point this week, "I never said lock her up" said Trump on a Fox News show, and of course none of the hosts called him on it. Plenty of others did though.

Brit tech tycoon Mike Lynch cleared of all charges in US Autonomy fraud trial


Re: Also...

A settlement was agreed


Deloitte were also fined for some of their failings at a tribunal, however most of the HP bigwigs were forced to admit on the stand that they had (at best) only glanced at the reports anyway.


Re: Hilarious

There were 2 schools of thought after the English trial (I specifically say English here as there's different legal systems in the UK), one was that Lynch would get away with it as the overwhelming tone of the coverage was that everyone at HP, with the possible exception of Cathie Lesjak who said don't buy them (and she was the CFO, but was ignored), was an idiot desperate to expand via acquisitions, and the other was that HP's markdown of Autonomy, being sued by their own shareholders and the general air of utter incompetence meant that they'd be desperate to find a scapegoat.

IANAL but I won't deny I'm shocked that the legal cases have ended with the results the way they have.

HP-Autonomy: Attorneys wrap up arguments in Mike Lynch's stateside criminal fraud trial


It's crazy that this is still going on. It's also crazy that (in the UK trial) it read like a laundry list of incompetence at HP (ignoring people who said don't buy the company, not reading the reports provided at great expense by their auditors) and yet they still won the case.

IT infrastructure scared away potential buyers of struggling e-commerce site


It was just the tiny little bags that get put in kids lunchboxes etc, and Haribo are well known to be many cyclist's go to snack food on the bike as they are cheap, full of sugar and easy to eat.

You can buy "proper" energy gummies these days, they're expensive though and not as nice (IMO) as Haribo.


Don't care about the MAMIL, as I said I wear baggy shorts normally. I assume (as the author has posted that he is a cyclist) he was going for self-deprecating, and as that information was not in the article I felt it missed the mark, especially as the Daily Mail and such "newspapers" are constantly attacking cyclists these days.


I'm well aware of it within cycling sadly, there are plenty of gatekeepers who look at me with open disdain for riding a cheap bike and wearing baggy Endura shorts for most of my rides, cycling in general though is under attack from a lot of the media (legislation to prosecute dangerous cyclists for example and the overturning of a woman's conviction for causing a cyclist's death by shouting at her to get off a pavement and she ended up in traffic).

As for the kit, no idea if it's the same quality or manufacturer, but the "new" Wiggle/Sports Direct are selling at least some of the range, although I'm also well aware how a lot of people feel about Mike Ashley and his businesses. I've got a few base layers, a buff and a pair of the dhb Dorica MTB shoes myself and it's good kit for the price, although the sizing was often a bit on the wonky side.


Whilst this article is interesting from an IT POV, it's disappointing to see the writer jump on the bandwagon of adopting a sneering tone about cyclists.

I'd ordered a lot of stuff from Wiggle over the years, good prices for running, gym and cycling kit and also the free bags of Haribo that came in the box were a welcome addition. Sadly Haribo were owed a lot of money apparently when they went in to administration. Got some tools very cheaply in the clearance sale though.

Recycling old copper wires could be worth billions for telcos


Was immediately reminded of that story myself when I saw the headline.

'Little weirdo' shoulder surfer teaches UK cabinet minister a lesson in cybersecurity


Re: Basic failure

"Then again, this government has never taken responsibility for anything."

Not defending our (soon to be ex) Government, but they are not unique in this and I'm sure their successors will be just as bad for taking responsibility, as indeed all previous administrations have been too.


Re: Situational awareness is rare

Using technology to change behaviour (IME) rarely works, either someone senior enough to have influence will object to it and become an exception which immediately dilutes the purpose of the policy, or the company implements the technology but does not include compliance with IT policies in their code of conduct so HR can't do anything to stop repeat offenders.

Used to do security audits for a firm and every year was the same, passwords blank, non-expiring, written on post-its, shared accounts all over the place, browsing habits that would even shock the people looking at "tractors" in parliament. Document it all, write it up, then a year later find the same people were doing the same things. My firm were getting very well paid to visit all their sites for this audit, but they never did anything we recommended until a password was compromised by a disgruntled former employee. Even then most of the directors wanted to be made exceptions to the new password policy.

Uncle Sam's had enough of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, sues to end monopoly


Pearl Jam were campaigning against Ticketmaster and their dominant position 30 years ago, can only assume it's got even worse since the LM merger.

The service charges are outrageous, especially for e-tickets.

Julian Assange can appeal extradition to the US, London High Court rules


Re: Corruption all the way down

Also journalism 101 is don't make yourself the story, and Assange has most certainly done that.

HR expert says biz leaders scared RTO mandates lead to staff attrition


Re: Perhaps

Can't speak for everyone obviously, but not sure it would make a difference. I'm a contractor, so in the past have been able to expense travel time to work. That of course stopped when the pandemic hit and I'd personally rather have the 2-3 hours a day I spent commuting in that job to myself than the mileage expenses.


Re: Ain't nothing going on but the rent

Very much so. I've worked places where it's "we need you in the office" and then no one comes near you or talks to you except via Teams etc all the time. Other places it's "come in when you need to". and if I'm working on a desktop rollout or Intune deployment and I need to get hands on with devices on a regular basis then that makes more sense.

It also makes sense for (at least some) businesses to be flexible on it, as (in the UK anyway) with current contractor laws it's difficult to get people to travel for contracts.

I also know people working in financial services in Edinburgh, and a lot of them are down sizing office space and/or looking to move out of the city centre, whereas in the past a big shiny city centre office was a requirement to prove that you were a big player.

You want us to think of the children? Couldn't agree more


The most telling thing IMO with RIPA and similar bills worldwide is that the politicians trying to implement it also want to exempt themselves from it.

Also as is always pointed out here, anyone using E2EE is probably also encrypting their payloads, and if they are not they certainly will if E2EE gets weakened.

Apple crushes creativity and its reputation in new iPad ad


I know a lot of people don't like Metallica in general, and don't like Kirk Hammett owning "Greeny", the guitar previously owned by Peter Green and Gary Moore. I'd like to hope though that there is appreciation for the instrument still being played both in the studio and on stage, rather than hanging on a collectors wall as it did until Hammett bought it.

Fair enough if the instruments can no longer be played, for example Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitars are well known to have needed new necks regularly as his style of aggressive string bending meant his guitars needed to be re-fretted often.


Re: accused the ad of "crushing human creativity"

A re-enactment of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's marketing department being first against the wall when the revolution comes is likely to appeal to a lot of techies.


Saw the story and the celebrity outrage on a few websites and had a laugh, didn't know till know it was also a rip-off of a 15 year old LG campaign too.

Never been a fan of the musical instrument smashing even when musicians do it, I'm sure it was an impressive statement back when Hendrix and The Who did it, but feels a bit old hat now.

Ten years ago Microsoft bought Nokia's phone unit – then killed it as a tax write-off


Re: "The... Maemo operating system failed to take off"

I liked it too, nice clean interface and the multiple email accounts handling in different icons was really useful to me. MS (not for the first time!) really screwed devs though, with the constant changing both of platforms and development tools. If they'd launched with UWP it might have taken off, at least as a business phone anyway. Was never likely that the consumer apps would have had the same selection as iOS or Android (hence the bridges, which never really worked by the time it was killed off).

Apple's 'incredibly private' Safari is not so private in Europe


Re: Ah Apple

What's really funny about this is that the iDiots will continue to defend Apple and blame the EU for forcing them to make this change, rather than admit Apple did anything wrong.

UK's Investigatory Powers Bill to become law despite tech world opposition


Re: is crucial to keeping the public safe

"known to the police" or in the case of the Met "in the police" sadly.

Meanwhile the rest of us have nothing to fear as usual, unless of course we have something to hide.

Official: EU users can swerve App Store and download iOS apps from the web


Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

That would be true if you were looking at the right market, but you are equating Apples with Oranges. Apple do not have 100% of the smartphone market and have not been restricted in that market. They DO have 100% of the application installation, distribution and in-app purchasing market within their own platform which is there they HAVE been restricted and ordered to open up distribution to app developers.

I stand by what I said. In terms of the overall smartphone market (I.e. sales of devices), Apple's share is irrelevant.


Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

Making an argument like you did above about downvotes with no comments, I'd expect an actual explanation of why you think I am incorrect as opposed to this flippant nonsense.


Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android


This argument comes up every time Apple are in the firing line and it's not accurate. Apple's market share is irrelevant, what is relevant is that they have 100% control of how software gets on to iOS devices and that IS a monopoly, hence why this legislation explicitly only applies to the app store and the provision of alternatives to it.

Microsoft are by far the dominant player on the desktop/laptop OS market, but they don't have a monopoly on software distribution. Google are the dominant player on the phone/tablet OS market, but they allow installation of apps from sources that they do not control.

Post Office slapped down for late disclosure of documents in Horizon scandal inquiry


Re: Why the focus on Vennells?

It's the usual anthropomorphise/put a face on it by making a person seem like the main culprit rather than a big faceless organisation.

Not for a second defending Vennells but as I said on a previous thread this scandal long preceded her and carried on long after she left. We've seen it with the banks prior to the financial crisis, and we see it regularly with HMRC, whenever people are left to mark their own homework chaos ensues.

Microsoft thinks bundles are great and customers love them


The trouble is MS are right, at least in terms of "average" users rather than power users (which the vast majority of El Reg readers would fall in to the category of).

They want the browser they are used to, the PDF app they are used to, the email client they are used to etc and they certainly don't want to have to change or think about what to change to.

Office is a major PITA for deploying, it's a big app and they constantly change what's part of it, how to deploy it and especially how to customise it (lots of companies IME want Access removed because they don't want people to use it for example)

Microsoft unbundling Teams is to appease regulators, not give customers a better deal


Be interested to see the numbers after this is in the wild for a while, but I strongly suspect it will go the same was a Windows XP Edition N (No media player was included due to antitrust issues) and be as rare as rocking horse shit in the real world.

FCC to reinstate net neutrality in the US until someone decides to scrap it again


Re: Framing the issue

I seem to keep referencing John Oliver of late, but he did an excellent show on this that served as a really good layman's guide a few years ago and led to a surge in searches about it.

That of course only helps people who watch his show, who are (likely) to be overwhelmingly liberal on the US political spectrum though.

I'd like to think even idiots like Ajit Pai are sensible enough to at least prevent companies paying to deprioritise other companies traffic though, only allow them to prioritise their own. You never know with the judicial system though.

Microsoft Teams decouples from Office 365 suite globally


Re: "The Coalition for Fair Software [..] backed by Google and AWS"

Said the same thing the other week on the thread about Apple being sued for antitrust violations. It's a good thing that the companies are being picked up for doing it, but the fact that 2 out of 3 of Microsoft, Apple and Google are ganging up on the third over antitrust is about as hypocritical as it gets.

Twitter's lawsuit against anti-hate-speech crusaders gets SLAPPed out of court


Re: Costs

The point isn't risk though, it's that despite anti-SLAPP legislation being designed to stop people suing to silence critics, unless the people being sued get their fees in judgement from the courts or can afford it, then people like Musk or Bob Murray will continue to file SLAPP suits to silence their critics.

I only cited Oliver as a public example of fees and premiums, something most people would not publish, and he will get sued again and knows it, but for a regular person to even get an anti-SLAPP suit filed, never mind win it, the hurdles are pretty high.


Re: Costs

Sadly, the "winners" probably will still get stung here. John Oliver got sued by Bob Murray for a piece about his coal mining business and their business practices. Despite winning it cost $200,000 in legal fees and their liability insurance premium was tripled.

It's worth looking in to this story just for the musical number "Eat Shit, Bob" that was on a follow-up show.


Boeing top brass stand down amid safety turbulence


John Oliver's show on 3/3/24 was all about this and was very interesting, despite Boeing essentially taking over McDonnell-Douglas (who were in dire straits because of their own similar issues with failures, even though it was called a merger) the McDonnell-Douglas culture has apparently taken over Boeing and the bean counters have won out over the engineers.