* Posts by Mage

8928 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Europe mulls anonymous crypto-wallet ban, rules to make transfers more traceable

Mage Silver badge

Re: Inevitable

Always been the big issue for kidnapping, blackmail and now ransom-ware was getting paid. You can only do the trick of the trash can over the secret tunnel once. With GPS and spread spectrum bugs, tagged cash and surveillance the cash drop hasn't been viable for years.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Inevitable

And Crypto and Blockchain ONLY "solves" the issue of a bad government controlling a Fiat Currency. In every other respect it's worse:

1) Environmentally damaging

2) Unstable

3) No sensible control of supply, the "Mining" is the stupidest part.

4) Transactions don't scale.

5) Transactions are 1000s of times more costly in time and computers and energy than IBAN.

6) The only reason for Blockchain is to decentralise, have no control and enable a degree of anonymity. All naive and stupid design decisions.

7) It looks like a Pyramid scam

8) It is purely speculative in value.

9) Not actually a currency.

Most existing currencies are also digital.

The lights go off, broadband drops out, the TV freezes … and nobody knows why (spooky music)

Mage Silver badge

Free Satellite TV

It will have some free channels, no matter which satellite it's pointing at. It might need a new LNB (cheap). It's not impossible to point it at a different satellite, but time consuming without decent test gear. The Satellites are about 36,000 km away spaced around an imaginary line above the Equator.

A box with an HDMI out is about €45. I use one on the TV that has dual sat tuners because the Android TV is such a rubbish GUI for actual Terrestrial or Sat TV. It's designed for someone using a screen sitting at desk using Internet services and Apps.

I have 5 LNBs in an arc on a bar in front of a 1m dish for 28E, 23E, 19E, 13E and 9E approximately and a box that that takes four Quattro LNBs. I sacrifice one port on 23E (a 1/4 approximately) to have the 9E which only provides one band and polarisation.

I use it also to listen to TSF Jazz, here in Ireland. The magic box in the shed under the dish has 12 outlets (an earlier one had 16). I use little €6 FM transmitters intended for phones or mp3 players to car radios on 3 satellite boxes, powered by the USB port (the boxes have two and work a USB HDD fine for timed recording). So I have three extra FM channels derived from Satellite, though I've nearly stopped listening to BBC R4. The FM radios in house, workshop, phone etc get good stereo.

I set the boxes to only store the free TV & Radio at install. Cancelled Sky nearly 15 years ago. Wife watches free tennis on BBC and German Eurosport and uses timer on the €45 box to record on the SATA HDD, from a scrapped laptop put in a €8 USB case. Unlike the Sony TV it doesn't want to reformat and encrypt the disk.

About 2,500 free radio stations and about 1800 free TV. Both mostly either garbage, or in languages I don't know or both.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Supply pipe location

They complained I had a leak or excessive consumption.

We turned off the main stop cock and consumption continued.

After an hours investigation he turned off the water entirely. Except it didn't.

The meter and tap in the street in front of our house works next door's water.

Ours is two up the street. He thought the one in the middle didn't have an outlet.

So next door had high consumption.

But the toilet and washing machine in the shed gets water from somewhere else.

This page has been deliberately left blank

Mage Silver badge

Collusion with Nazis

A large part of France colluded and helped ship Jewish people to camps.

A large part of the UK Elite wanted to collude with the Nazis.

Italian, Spanish and Irish people colluded with the Nazis.

You'll want to shut down the Windows Print Spooler service (yes, again): Another privilege escalation bug found

Mage Silver badge

Airgap and Sneaker net?

I suppose you can unplug the network, enable spooler, print, disable spooler then plug in network. But no shared printers unless spooler only enabled when only clean trusted PCs on LAN and decent separate firewall?

LibreOffice 7.2 release candidate reveals effort to be Microsoft-compatible

Mage Silver badge

Re: Use early Microsoft formats where possible for interchange

And DO NOT open and resave an extra "doc" or "docx" you created by Save As in LO Writer as editing THAT will convert it. Edit ONLY in ODT and "Save As" and EXTRA copy in "doc" or "docx" for the MS Office users remembering to embed fonts.

Or for Read Only Export save a PDF. Works better than any MS Office PDF creation.

There is a bug in many versions of MS Word where the last line before a page break looks ok, but is fully justified when created to a PDF or imported elsewhere. MS know about this:

"Add an extra carriage return by pressing enter on the end of the last line, then Backspace to delete it"

(From their site).

The coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why

Mage Silver badge

Re: why can I get a more reliable connection to a cell tower

They use 700, 800, 900, 1800 or 2100 MHz bands and more power as they are licensed. WiFi uses low power "pre-licensed" 2400 MHz or 5800 MHz approx.

The 900 band used in Europe is good, the USA equivalent is 800 MHz and 1800 MHz in Europe isn't bad.

DECT (1900 MHz?) has MUCH better range and battery life than a WiFi VOIP phone.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Long term I expect WiFi and LTE to converge.

No, that's nonsense, unless you purely mean the air interface. But various versions of WiFi and various versions of Mobile have had similar Air interfaces.

WiFi is a free connection to your broadband. You can to an extent controi how many devices use yours, but the spectrum is shared.

LTE is designed for mobility, seamless handover between masts (bases) and CHARGING you. There is no control of contention other than refusing connections. You may not connect at all if it's busy. The spectrum is shared with an unknown number of other customers.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Easy peezy, lemon squeezy

We had Thin-net aka cheaper net from 1994 to 1998. A 10 M bps shared medium. We moved in 1998 and installed cat5 (not even cat5e) and used initially 10/100 Hubs, then 10/100 switches and now all 100/1000 switches with no change to the cables. The distance possible is just shorter on Cat5 and some of it might be as good as Cat5e.

Wifi was a shared 2 Mbps in 2001. Then 54 Mbps, then Turbo 108 Mbps Some of it can do over 300 Mbps but mostly a SHARED 100 Mbps approx due to all the neighbours with SkyQ and WiFi Printers as well as regular WiFi. Our server, modem, on microwave link, firewall/router, Airpoints x2 and switch is all on UPS, so the wifi goes twice as fast during a power cut.

WiFi 6 as per previous versions has a fantasy headline speed in most of the real world, as has 3G, 4G, 5G with economical numbers of customers.

If you can put mains wire, then you can run LAN cable, Most of the cost in an office might be cable terminations, the patch panels and managed switches. Not the actual cable and install.

Similarly any premises with mains electricity, water and sewage can cheaply have fibre. Promotion of Satellite and Mobile for basic premises internet (and it's not broadband) is due to market distortions and poor national comms regulation.

Mage Silver badge

Re: The Wire - without the drama

Power Line ethernet is really wireless using the entire AM HF and part of VHF. It will work with an airgap. They cheat in the EMI testing.

Researchers warn of unpatched remote code execution flaws in Schneider Electric industrial gear

Mage Silver badge

Re: air gap - Air Gap - AIR GAP

Many used today were designed before Websites existed, though embryonic Internet did exist.

1) Best solution: Don't network at all.

2) Next best: Hardened secure Linux host with secure VPN access to that via dedicated port.

I was warning people about this 20 years ago.

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip

Mage Silver badge

Re: Where does Space begin?

Proper deep space is beyond the Kuiper Belt, or between it and the Oort Cloud, or maybe beyond the Oort Cloud. Compare those distances with Galactic distances.

Linux kernel sheds legacy IDE support, but driver-dominated 5.14 rc1 still grows

Mage Silver badge

Re: did not work with a SATA-IDE adapter

I remember some slimline Wang 286 PCs with drives that LOOKED like IDE. Same rear, same ribbon.

But they used a ROM and socket on the riser card for the I/O cards. No actual IDE drive would work on the PC, nor would these "IDE appearance" drives work on anything else.

Never had a problem with my SATA-IDE interfaces, or indeed the IDE-SATA (except the laptop BIOS would refuse to load if more than a 120G drive (IDE or SATA) detected in the Media Bay. Just about space to fit IDE-SATA adaptor in the media bay HDD case and add an 80G SATA drive.

Mage Silver badge


SATA - IDE adaptors at about €6 work for HDDs, CD-ROMs and DVD drives.

Far more compatible and faster than a USB adaptor.

I do have one older Mobo with Linux and a floppy port. The 5.25", 3.5" and 3" drives do work and using a library, even CP/M formats including Amstrad. I compiled the Joyce Emulator too, which was a bit of work to get all the aged dependencies. But it works with real 3" drives or files emulating drives.

Warning: the 3" drives have the +5V and +12V reversed, but I knew that from using a 3.5" drive in the PCW8256 (with RAM upgraded to 512).

You can use 8" or 3" drives on a regular floppy port just with a dumb cable adaptor. But Apple II 100K 5.25" drives won't work on anything except an Apple II; proprietary.

USB Floppy adaptor/drive ONLY works for regular FAT12 MSDOS discs. No good for CP/M, Amstrad or Amiga.

I'm not sure if Amiga discs can be read on the setup and I have an idea the Hard Sectored discs (a hole per sector instead of just one) might not work. ACT 1/ Victor 9000 5.25" floppies won't work either as they are variable speed to increase capacity.

Periodically backups need transferred to new mediums. Writeable CDs, DVDs and Flash can fade. Other formats of tape, MO disc, floppy, HDD etc need interfaces and/or drives unavailable.

I THINK I've everything copied off old IDE drives lying around and I did copy the old MFM drives content on XTs and ATs to IDE on an AT clone. (5 M, 10 M and 20M byte drives).

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection

Mage Silver badge

Re: a real wall full of loaded bookshelves.

My library-office room was once a bedroom. The wall behind me is entirely books. In front of me is mostly books. Front of desk has 3 x book cases.

Side walls about 1/3 bookcases.

I only WFH now because I packed in Electronics and IT and only write fiction that's officially fiction. Both sorts, SF and F. Either can have all other genres.

Some of the reports in the old days were fiction. We rarely did video or audio conferencing, so tended to travel.

I upgraded to a lovely 2560 x 1440 screen and closed the laptop lid. I went into Currys to look at webcams and ordered from China at 1/20th the price, because I use Viber and Zoom to chat with family members and if I open the laptop they see the side of my face.

Why do they all have microphones and assume you run Windows? I use a headset.

Pentagon scraps $10bn JEDI winner-takes-all cloud contract

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: For once the most obvious outcome actually occurred

Perhaps Military IT shouldn't be outsourced at all.

DARPA nails cash to project 'FENCE' — a smart camera that only sends pics when pixels change

Mage Silver badge

Dates from analogue era

The analogue ones in the late 1970s didn't work well with Image Intensifiers as they are noisy, so cameras with motion detection in the dark used a pair of IR flood lamps. Actually a pair of 200W heat lamps with black filters. Then later CCD replaced tube cameras and IR LEDs replaced the filtered heat lamps.

There must be more to this than suggested in the article. But the word "smart" on a product or project is meaningless.

Microsoft wasn't joking about the Dev Channel not enforcing hardware checks: Windows 11 pops up on Pi, mobile phone

Mage Silver badge

More usable, however, is Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi.

Maybe than on a phone, but how does W 11 on a Pi compare with Linux or Risc OS on it?

Leaked print spooler exploit lets Windows users remotely execute code as system on your domain controller

Mage Silver badge

Print Queue on a server?

Putting a printer on a Windows Server is SO 1990s.

Use ones with ethernet built in or a raspberry PI for USB only printers.

Best security advice maybe 30 years ago:

Disable all services not actually used.

Facebook CEO puts picture of himself wearing too much sunscreen on new board

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: weird that I am having to agree with him.


Mage Silver badge

You can't wear too much sunscreen

maybe he's a vampyre?

One bit of advice, if you take no other; wear sunscreen.

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication

Mage Silver badge

Re: I now have an identical model as backup!

All the 2FA that I'm forced to use, uses SMS. Those can be diverted or intercepted.

But it's the PHONE NUMBER you need, not an identical phone. I've tested by putting the SIM in a basic GSM only 2.5" square screen feature phone. Still works.

So how do I clone my SIM for my backup phone (a nice 4.3" Sony Android)? You can get a new free SIM from an operator. Getting the same number from a lost or stolen SIM is hard. In contrast, changing operator and having existing number from a not-lost SIM transferred works in less than 15 minutes.

I view Apple's software SIM idea as simply Apple's way to lock you to an iPhone.

Mage Silver badge

Re: cultural issues

Why? It's to acquire information about USA roads. They don't much care about the EU, UK, Kenya or Chinese roads.

Mage Silver badge

Re: If you don't use Chrome

I can confirm some sites have 3 or 4 pages of images on Waterfox and the same site might have 1 or none on Chromium.

Also some sites simply don't work at all now except on Chromium based browsers, such as FEC (Farnell etc).

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: their cars are using to identify stuff

USA Roads.

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

From these tests

They are not really about validating you. It's crowd funded machine learning.

I put on my web form, in different places:

The Subject must be at least a ten character phrase.

Please enter a sentence of at least ten characters as your message:

and the CAPTCHA is a simple addition question like 3 + 2 =

Spam has dropped to zero.

Yes, it useless for people that can't read and write English, but I as the recipient can only read and write English. I did upgrade to HTTPS: which has increased page hits by about x100, though I suspect bots, even though my counter is supposed to ignore bots. How does that code know?




John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

Even non-US citizens have to prove that they are not USA and fill a USA tax declaration every 3 years if they have any sort of sales account with any USA based company. Even if there is no income, otherwise the USA taxes any income at source.

You have to give up USA citizenship or be a US Corporation to avoid USA Tax. Some other countries do this too. Your OWN country has to have a tax treaty with the country you are working in, and/or you need to prove you are not resident etc.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

Mage Silver badge

Windows 10 is so much better


Loads of people prefer more productive XP and 7. It's the worst UI since Windows 2.0, or 3.0 on a Hercules card.

It might have better insides, but it's horrible to configure and use. Many people have no choice due to corporate applications, payroll or accounts.

A Windows 11 more like Win98/XP/2003/7 GUI, with properly configurable themes, a single control panel and an end to all the stupid crippled versions: Just Workstation and Server. Maybe a Tablet Edition.

Control & Setup back all in one place.

Put back all the GUI stuff removed in Home (most crippled) Edition.

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

Mage Silver badge

Re: Well I plan ...

I guess it's working so far?

Tim Cook: Sideloading is a disaster and proposed App Store reforms would harm user privacy and security

Mage Silver badge

Re: User's best interest?

Discussing sideloading, Cook said its inclusion on the iPhone would "damage privacy and security."

No, he's worried about Apple's totally obscene profit margin. Not about the users.

It increases landfill too! I was able to install archived apps on an Android 2.x gadget last year and specialist direct from Git applications as APK for current Android that are not on Google's PlayStore.

An iOS device feels like it's rented from Apple. I won't get another.

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like

Mage Silver badge

Linux build from about a decade ago.

No, I've used Red Hat from 1999, Ubuntu in 2007. Also plain Debian, Suse, DSL etc. It's nothing like any Linux desktop ever was. I've tested loads of Linux desktops for usability and CPU resource on Netbooks and servers.

Win10 is worse than any Linux ever was since 1999. Win 11 looks like a minor change.

Mage Silver badge

Re: But is it better than Window 7?

Win 7 was a service pack for Vista. Nice visually, no over done, but you COULD make Vista/7 almost like 98 / XP / Server 2003.

But File-manager and access to settings WORSE in Vista/7 than XP.

I'm using Server 2003, Win9x and Oxygen Icons as the theme components on my Linux Mint with Mate Desktop, and I can log-on with alternate desktops. Win10 is the least configurable GUI since Win 3.0.

NT 3.51 with the Explorer Preview Desktop and original style File-manager was better than NT 4.0 or Win 10, though NT 4.0 could use the old style File-manager. Explorer File manager is a disaster. Especially on 7 & 10 with the fake paths.

Mage Silver badge


Still totally flat buttons and text that might or might not be a menu or a link or text.

MS has lost the plot on Desktop GUI design with the Ribbon, Tiles and featureless windows where you have to already no what to click on or where to hover.

Funny how Sir Tim Berners-Lee, famous for hyperlinks, is into NFTs, glorified hyperlinks

Mage Silver badge

Re: I guess it might have a use...

Just pay real artists real money they can buy food and shelter with. Cut out the environmentally damaging and scammy NFT and cryptocoin exploiters.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Nothing Fecking There

A paper (or vellum) document, certified by accredited witnesses is real and could last 1000s of years. Notarized, certified copies can be made.

An NFT is simply a scam and doesn't prove ownership. It's environmentally unfriendly and relies on complex infrastructure owned by third parties. Another speculative vehicle to snare people, like cryptocurrencies which are not digital currencies. Any existing currency can be purely digital. No new software or technology needed.

Mage Silver badge


He has just lost all credibility with me for endorsing this evil scam-ware.

'Welcome to Perth' mirth being milked for all it's worth

Mage Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: meanwhile in Old North Wales


Mage Silver badge

Re: Sydney thinks it is Oz

It's 14,665 kilometres between Sydney and Perth if you can fly direct. Which you can't. Driving is impossible unless you mean the OTHER Perth.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Mage Silver badge

Re: The light..

Then they designed the Apple Magic Mouse. The unergonomic puck. I used to GIVE regular mice to Apple users.

Excuse me, what just happened? Resilience is tough when your failure is due to a 'sequence of events that was almost impossible to foresee'

Mage Silver badge


We need to stop using GPS as a cheap clock. Atomic clocks are not so expensive now and a decent solar flare or a system error can take out GPS based time world wide, then DTT, Mobile, DAB, Internet and other stuff needlessly fails. Jamming can take out or spoof local use of GPS.

A big enough solar flare is a certainty, we just don't know when. GPS should only be used for navigation, and critical systems should have some sort of alternative navigation, even if only dead reckoning (inertial) that's normally corrected by GPS and can take over.

The Newton lives, kinda: Boffin turns Apple eMate 300 into Raspberry Pi laptop

Mage Silver badge

Re: If I could invent a replicator

Any decent scratch model maker can replicate any case. No need for Calvin's box or a 3D printer.

If you have access to an original case it's not hard to make a mould.

Though the market is really small unless:

1) Very iconic model

2) The new insides do all the current stuff and run emulator for original.

3) The cost is OK

4) Quality is OK

Loads of retro styled computers have failed. People's memories are fading too so the shops are full of so called retro styled kettles, toasters, mixers, radios, record players etc that look nothing like anything ever did, but some graphic designer once saw a Ladybird book illustration 20 or 30 years ago when 3 and half remembered it. Also means they can't get sued as copyright and registered design protection might apply. Which is why some global marketing companies have bought up defunct names famous 20 to 30 years ago. Most of the labels in shops now are brands and the product has zero connection to original company or designer and sometimes function.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Hmm could be another pi project…

But the article describes vandalism. How hard is it to add a custom case & keyboard to a Pi + Display?

I was doing that nearly 15 years ago with Tact switches, pcb from a USB keyboard and dremmel on stock plastic case. Li-Polys sold as iPod classic battery replacements/

Thirty years ago I made prototype cases out of balsa wood and after sanding they could be finished with base coat and car spray paint to look like plastic or metal.

PrivacyMic looks to keep your home smart without Google, Alexa, Siri and pals listening in

Mage Silver badge

Re: Roll Yur Own

Coincidently I was in the attic and top of an old heap of CDs was IBM Viavoice98.

Voice to text -> then parser (The code of Eliza is available FOSS on Linux repositories inside a version of EMACs). Bob is then a close relative.

No "so called" AI is required. Eliza, Alice etc are not AI.

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

But They WANT to listen

We had voice control WITHOUT recording OR Cloud Provider servers over 20 years ago on devices a lot less capable than a Raspberry Pi or a even a 10 year old smart phone.

The inescapable conclusion is the the companies want to capture the activity of use of the TV, phone, home hub etc.

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

Mage Silver badge

Re: What sort of interface would you like?

Waterfox Classic with Classic Theme Restorer.

Tab against the pages.

Scroll bars always there.

forward, back, home, downloads, history on same tool bar as URL and Search.

NO search or guessing in the URL bar.

No hiding of prefixes like HTTP, HTTPS, WWW etc.

On Android (for 10" and bigger), a real desktop mode instead of is switching back tp mobile each time.

No trying to make desktop like mobile. Respect System Theme.

No, I don't want a stupid ribbon on ANYTHING. You can get a 3rd party Office 2003 style GUI for Office 2007 etc. LibreOffice has proper user editable toolbars and proper menus and the stupid Ribbon is off by default.

Mage Silver badge


You should never design a GUI based on Telemetry. Only use it to fix bugs. Because it doesn't tell you WHY people click on things. Some rarely used things may be very important occasionally.

FF GUI has became a bad copy of Chrome. Menus dumbed down, configurations disabled, setting removed, vital plugins blocked, mobile centric design to desktop and mobile version settings and plug-ins dumbed to near useless.

Also too many websites are designing for Chrome and also too many using Google resources.

Will the real IRC please stand up? Freenode’s forest fire leaves ashes – and fresh growth

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: sex-pandering-pissheads

Aren't they on the Web/App based SM mostly owned by Zuckerberg, though there is Twitter, Tumblr, Google's Youtube and MS Linkdin?

NASA to return to the Moon by 2024. One problem with that, says watchdog: All of it

Mage Silver badge

Re: Soviets getting the upper handGet real.

Photographed and mapped the Far Side.

Lunar Rover.

Though they never mentioned the failures.

Mage Silver badge

Re: JFK-style President

The 1950s and 1960s Space race was partly replacing bombers with ICBMs and partly the Cold War. JFK's Charisma certainly was a factor, but overstated. To-day maybe competition between USA and China? But that's not of the same ilk as the Cold War. Which the USA didn't win, it was more that it was bankrupting the USSR and they decided they wanted a different goal. Current Russia seems to have returned to Czarist ambitions. Will they want Alaska back? They only sold it to the USA so that Britain wouldn't get it. They'd just lost a war with Britain.

I just hope M.A.D. is off the menu in China and USA as well as Russia.


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