* Posts by Gene Cash

4500 posts • joined 22 Mar 2007

Microsoft seems intent on buying the gaming industry with $68.7bn purchase of troubled Activision Blizzard

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Oh No!

Then you've got stuff like HALO Infinite where I'm in a "boss battle" - except my rockets and other weapons go straight through the enemy without affecting him. So I've given up.

I remember when you got a console because the games were better QAed.

And there's no way in hell I'd play a game on my phone and that postage stamp theatre crap. I want a reasonably comfortable controller and a monitor where I can actually see what's going on.

Foxstuck: Firefox browser bug boots legions of users offline

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: "Waterfox users were totally unaffected. ®"

Or had the URLs changed to "https://localhost" in about:config, just to be sure

International police shut down 15 server infrastructures as part of VPNLab.net's takedown

Gene Cash Silver badge

Over here, if you're carrying a screwdriver, that's a "burglary tool" so the cops get carte blanche to shake you down.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Stuff Happens

I saw an issue where the fuel tank wasn't vented, so it would run for a while, then the vacuum would stop the fuel draw.

US Senator Marco Rubio calls Intel cowards for scrubbing remarks about Xinjiang and apologizing to China

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: What would happen if

Amazon would go under because 95% of the trash it sells now is Chinese alphabet-soup brands.

I've basically stopped shopping on Amazon because I can't find anything decent with search any more.

Logitech Signature M650: A mouse that will barely emit a squeak or a clickety-click

Gene Cash Silver badge

"distinctly cheap feel"

Yup, that's Logitech these days. I've got a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard that first started refusing to pair with anything, and now refuses to charge. The Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard bought at the same time is still going strong.

Secure boot for UK electric car chargers isn't mandatory until 2023 – but why the delay?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: A little calm ...

Similarly chargers not connected to a communications network are exempt

What do they mean by "communications network"? Does that include my home wi-fi? And if so, does this then include my open-source/open-hardware OpenEVSE unit?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: A little calm ...

I have an OpenEVSE charger. It's quite nice to finally to have something that a) works, unlike 3 other chargers I tried, and b) doesn't phone home every time I use it.

Canon: Chip supplies are so bad that our ink cartridges will look as though they're fakes

Gene Cash Silver badge

I should sue Canon

They're selling me counterfeit ink cartridges! Their own printer says so!

China puts Walmart in the naughty corner, citing 19 alleged cybersecurity 'violations'

Gene Cash Silver badge

Now the question is...

Does Walmart have more backbone than Intel, or will they back down?

The James Webb Space Telescope has only gone and deployed its primary mirror

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Excessive - but a Space Camera Drone?

No, because the sunshield would be extremely vulnerable to thruster exhaust from any such drone, and the exhaust might deposit on the mirror.

Also, can you guarantee your drone won't malfunction and crash into your $10 billion observatory?

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver

Gene Cash Silver badge

I moved into a new (to me) house and the breaker box was labeled in Egyptian hieroglyphics so I figured I'd update it by turning on all the lights, turning off all the breakers, and flipping them one by one, then going into the house and seeing what lit up.

There was a lot of "HUH, that's INTERESTING" said that day, especially seeing when one room lit up, as well as the closet in an unconnected room. And when one breaker turned on the light and one outlet in the "family room" but all the other outlets were on another breaker.

Granted, this is a house old enough for a NEMA 10-30 for the dryer, which has a neutral but not a ground (which is why it's no longer code)

Worst of CES Awards: The least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable

Gene Cash Silver badge

I'd like the same thing, but there's no reason for any of that to go to some server halfway across the continent. If the app talked directly to the thermostat or light bulb across my wi-fi, that would be ok.

All the thermostats I've found do phone home, but it takes a bit of digging to discover that.

Halo Infinite ups the nostalgia factor for fans of the originals, but it's not without limits

Gene Cash Silver badge

Great game, but it's not HALO

It feels like the HALO team did the original cutscenes, then got laid off and the Modern Warfare 2 guys had to finish it from their notes.

There's literally nothing aside from "kill aliens" so far. There's a dig site I'm supposed to get to, but I have no idea how, and a team of guys on a hill apparently that I'm supposed to save, but I have no idea how to get there.

I've found a tank, but there's nowhere to take it because it's hard to drive and the trees and rocks are in the way, and there's nothing obvious to attack with it.

There's ghosts scattered around that I can't drive.

The marines are stupid. I saved a bunch and now they're all clustered around the tank and won't leave to come with me.

I have had a couple boss fights but I've learned almost nothing from them, except one guy's name. There was "sooper dooper sword elite dude" who instead of attacking me with his sword, just spammed me with impossibly accurate grenades from an absolutely impossible range.

The "new girl" is too perky and idiotic. I feel like I'm traveling with Mr. B. Natural from MST3K.

The Pelican somehow has an unlimited supply of vehicles and doesn't mind coming to drop them off, but won't pick me up and take me anywhere.

I'm playing "normal" and Brutes and Elites fall instantly with simple faceshots, then there are these "fast attack" brutes that land and you have to grenade spam them.

I guess I'll go shoot some more aliens. I don't have much else to do.

Edit: and I started the game, and got "you are not the fireteam leader" and it refused to play the game.

I googled the error and "halo infinite" and "campaign" and got NO HITS. I updated my HALOBOX and it played. Yay. Is this fuckin' Windows 10 or what?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Confession: I am a massive Halo fan

HALO Reach is pretty good. It's the only other game with actual storyline.

ODST is "not bad" but I mainly liked it for the voice acting. The city is a pretty nice and well thought out setting, especially at night. It ranks above HALO 2 for me, but that's not saying much.

Time to party like it's 2002: Acura and Honda car clocks knocked back 20 years by bug

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Satellites?

I think they're just using the Microsoft-style "baffle 'em with bullshit" strategy.

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: USA and Teletext

Speaking of info in the US... my local station had a info channel that was just a camera sliding along a wall of instruments.

There was a clock, thermometer, wind direction, wind speed, barometer, a handwritten weather forecast note, and a couple other things I've forgotten.

The camera would slowly pan along, reach the end of the track and reverse, so you had to wait a minute if you missed the reading of interest. It would dwell on the clock and forecast note at each end for a couple seconds.

So anyone else have this? Nobody else seems to remember such a thing.

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Palemoon, check. Seamonkey, check.

I'm not talking about a text editor... any text editor can edit HTML

I'm talking about a word processor style WYSIWYG editor where you set text to bold and it adds [b] tags.

Indian government tells Starlink to refund pre-orders placed before licences approved

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Still Skeptical

I'd buy it.

There's very poor competition here on the Florida east coast.

I have a "choice" of AT&T or Spectrum, which is a choice between crap and garbage. For example, if the power wobbles, I lose connectivity, so obviously the local equipment doesn't have even the most basic battery backup.

I'm paying $80/mo for for 20mb/sec.

The thing that concerns me is customer service. I wouldn't put up with the condescending and patronizing crap that Tesla customers accept. However, being better than AT&T "service" is a very low bar to hurdle.

Bork ends where it began. At McDonald's, home of the finest bork product

Gene Cash Silver badge

"Despite the kiosk being closed in order to stop customers crowding too closely together"

So wait a minute, it's better to crowd together at a register for 3 to 4 times longer, instead? What?

The kiosks forced employees to bring the bags to a table, so they were hated.

They were the only reason I went to McD's, because the only time I get my order correct is when I type it in myself (and this includes Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Arby's, and other such monstrosities) and McD's was the only place with working self-order kiosks.

Apparently "add extra onion" is a feat beyond human comprehension at the register.

Anyway, it's been a really cool series, and thank you all for bringing a smile to my face (where it felt really out of place) multiple times

AT&T, Verizon delay 5G C-band rollout over FAA fears of passenger plane radars jammed by signals

Gene Cash Silver badge

Captain Joe DePete

That's a classic "baffle 'em with bullshit" statement if I ever heard one. I'd respect the FAA and the airline industry if they didn't blather and bloviate like that. You only do that if you don't have an actual position to defend.

The "real work" should have begun on this years ago, if it's an actual issue.

Remember all the "turn your phone off before you crash the plane!" that turned out to be complete bullshit and there was never any interference noted from cellphones?

As much as I hate AT&T and Verizon, I think they're in the right on this one.

The year ahead in technology fail: You knew they were bad, now they're going to prove it

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Nothing to see

HDMI isn't irrelevant, as now I have to wade through even higher levels of "it's not compatible and they won't tell you" when buying a monitor.

A time when cabling was not so much 'structured' than 'survival of the fittest'

Gene Cash Silver badge

"If God tells you it's locked out, double check with Jesus, then test it dead yourself."

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Was there no conduit?

Look up NEMA 10-30 standard plugs in the US that don't have a dedicated ground pin for 220v, because the appliance companies argued it would be too expensive.

The inspectors got paid off at the very highest level. They're no longer code, but I have one for my dryer.

Microsoft patches Y2K-like bug that borked on-prem Exchange Server

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Seriously?

This isn't "legacy" - it's a horrible hack, as they're trying to encode a character based representation into a numeric variable and seems to be the result of some horrible mental confusion. This should have never been written in the first place. They need an absolute thrashing.

I would not call them a "coder" any more than someone that "programs HTML"

Gene Cash Silver badge

"the fix can be tricky to apply, and sometimes fails"

So not much different that most other Microsoft or Oracle patches, then.

A kitchen splashbork on sale at the Cardiff IKEA

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Oh dear!

Now he's got TWO problems.

You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: HAZMAT suit please, nurse, gloves please!

It was funny... my mother had a terror of cancer, yet still smoked 2-3 packs a day. Cancer didn't get her, but COPD did.

Gene Cash Silver badge

Cat litter

I used to heard CompuPro S-100 boxes in a cat litter plant back in the '80s. They put fuller's earth through a long kiln fired by waste oil.

I had to periodically pour "fines" out of the machines in a small pile.

If you went into the actual plant, you had to wear a mask, and you couldn't see more than 20 feet.

Predictive Dirty Dozen: What will and won't happen in 2022 (unless it doesn’t/does)

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: I predict .....

Wow, I actually did buy a Magnavox Odyssey in 1972... but aside from that, I bought the HALO box and that's it, mainly because the damn controller was actually big enough for my hands.

Gene Cash Silver badge

Will Happen #2: All goods are purchased through crowdfunding

Nope. Crowdfunding is cyber-panhandling.

"Established companies launching standard products and new editions" - isn't that actually pre-ordering? I've preordered a Prusa XL because I'm very satisfied with my i3 Mk3, and Prusa has always delivered in the past. I do not in any way consider that crowdfunding.

I do know webcomics artists and stuff do kickstarters for things like shirts, pins, posters, and other merch, but that's because they really need to know the demand (or lack thereof) and they can't be stuck with a closetful of shirts for the next decade. So they use the Kickstarter framework because it's the easiest/cheapest way to do it, but it's not really crowdfunding either. All the people that back the Kickstarter get their shirt with the witty saying or whatever.

I have noticed however that I'm buying a ton less from Amazon because I can't find shit in the page-after-page of alphabet-soup Chinese company names all using the exact same stock photo of their supposed product.

My last 4 large purchases were directly from the original vendor website. It seems people have finally a) realized how to make a shopping cart that works, and b) pushing people off to a distributor or reseller or "find a dealer" does NOT work.

You've got someone that made all the effort to find your widget AND your website.., don't alienate him by refusing to sell to him, like selling your own damn widget is dirty work that's beneath you. I never understood that.

Especially when you list 3 local stores as "dealers" and I already know for absolute certain they DO NOT sell your product, which is why I'm looking at your damn website in the first place!

Yule goat's five-year flame-free streak ends ignominiously

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: The Point of November 5th

Eventually we may get an executive capable of planning their way out of a paper bag, although I won't hold my breath.

I think the irony of democracy is that those most qualified to run the place really don't want to, and they're busy doing other things. So you get actors, failed businessmen, and other useless idiots.

Please pay for parking – CMOS batteries don't buy themselves

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Tesco....nicked our car park..

WTF happened to the previous planning conditions?

Absolutely nothing, they're still there. They're counting on people forgetting about it. Nothing will get done unless someone digs it up and does it.

We don't do paid parking in the US. People go elsewhere and the business fails.

You geeks have inherited the Earth, but what are you going to do with it?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Hmm ...

That's why the most important thing in the house is the backup drive, kept in a very thick data-rated fireproof safe. If the house burned down and I still had that drive, life could go on.

Cloud is just a copy. There's nothing there that isn't already on my computer locally.

I've moved houses and I'm now facing the task of tossing my old Creative Computing magazines. It's amazing to read through those and remember stuff.

Remember when object-oriented languages were called "actor languages" and class inheritance and methods were called "message passing"? I mentioned that to a CS PhD at work and had to drag out the old Creative Computing articles to prove it.

Can you get excited about the iPhone 13? We've tried

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Iphone to linux?

I, personally, use the Files app to connect to a samba share on my Linux server.

That info would have saved an iPad from the hammer a couple years ago...

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Thanks!

Well, the issue is actually getting anything to/from the iPad... for example a PDF to read at lunch.

There's simply no way to do it from Linux. And when you talk to Apple, they tell you to "get the manufacturer of your Lee Nooks to write a transfer application"

With Android, you can use adb or an FTP client. I couldn't find any FTP clients for an iPad (at least not 2 years ago)

Also, I can't write an app to turn GPS/cell on/off as necessary for my garage door app. I can root my Android device and then it'll let me do so.

Gene Cash Silver badge


I'll be sure to keep steering far, far away from Apple.

Both Android and iPhone suck hard, but Android talks to other things and lets me get work done.

So it doesn't have a fingerprint reader? Even my cheap shitty Moto G6 has one.

On Christmas night, a computer logs a call to say his user has stopped working…

Gene Cash Silver badge

It's all broken...

As I read this, Google Mail gives:

Corrupted Content Error

The site at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/ has experienced a network protocol violation that cannot be repaired.

The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because an error in the data transmission was detected.

Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

And Twitter gives:

Something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot. [Try Again]

And Google Maps dies and causes stuff to segfault in Firefox.

So I'm sure some folks are really enjoying their Christmas eve.

James Webb Telescope launch delayed again, this time by weather

Gene Cash Silver badge

Details & numbers


"The first deployment takes place 33 minutes after liftoff, when it releases its solar panel. That will be followed by its first midcourse correction burn, called MCC-1a, which will take place 12.5 hours after liftoff. Those two events are the most time-sensitive ones for the spacecraft"

"there are 344 single-point failures in the spacecraft, 80% of which are associated with deployment mechanisms"

"The sunshield, for example, includes 140 release mechanisms, 70 hinge assemblies, eight deployment motors, about 400 pulleys and 90 cables that are a total of 400 meters long"

"A maneuver 29 days after launch will place JWST into its final halo orbit"

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Please, please, please

Spare? At US$10bn per copy? That would be a "NO"

A proposal to beat below-the-belt selfies: Crowdsourced machine learning using victims' image stashes

Gene Cash Silver badge

Just prosecute.

Uh huh. And after the cops laugh their black little hearts out and walk off, what do you do then?

I don't see any police force willing to seriously follow something like this up and spend more time than necessary to round-file the complaint.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Colour me impressed...

Watching a MotoGP race (or other race - but this is my experience) on TV is a complete waste of time.

The compression blocks don't even allow you to read the numbers on the front of the bikes, it's that bad.

My TV died 8 years ago and I've not seen anything that would suggest it's worth paying the money to replace it.

Belgian defence ministry admits attackers accessed its computer network by exploiting Log4j vulnerability

Gene Cash Silver badge

So if "computer engineering is fundamentally broken" what's your solution, other than "do it different"?

I'm serious, we need all the help we can get.

I see it's a basic consequence of the fact that every time we write an application, we're mostly doing something completely new, that hasn't been done before, under tight time and resource constraints.

I've seen dozens of major coding methodologies in my life. Flowcharting everything. Gotos are bad. Structured programming. Top-down design. Functional programming, Object-oriented. Pair coding. Agile. Copying from stackoverflow.

People are (mostly) doing their best, but programming is hard and irreducible complexity is irreducible.

Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 model until 2023, thanks to a few good chips getting scarce

Gene Cash Silver badge

Are you sure? There's a bunch of people that "have things in stock" then you actually order one and it's backordered until the second coming. So I no longer trust any of that.

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Technically fantastic but...

Eh, as I see it, they were provided a free target for training exercises. The RAF usually has to pay for that.

CISA issues emergency directive to fix Log4j vulnerability

Gene Cash Silver badge

Ah, Java

Write once, crash everywhere.

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it

Gene Cash Silver badge

AT&T disconnected my phone service to try to sell me a new phone

I had a problem where my calls would get routed to AT&T customer support, but rebooting the phone fixed it, until one day recently when that didn't work, and no one could call me.

"You have been rerouted to customer service because your phone has been determined to be incompatible with AT&T's new 5G service, coming in February. Please hold for a representative."

So I waited on hold to speak with someone. I was rather steaming because I was trying to dial into a meeting to fix someone's computer issues.

The guy started off repeating that my phone was incompatible with 5G, then went into "would you like to purchase a new compatible phone..."

I said "wait, you disconnected my service to try to SELL ME A NEW PHONE? SERIOUSLY?" and continued with my opinion of his customer service, and possibly his genetic heritage, and his mother's service to the local army battalion.

He made some clicky-click noises and informed me that my phone service had been restored.

And yes, I filed an FCC complaint. The "President's office" has emailed me to call them. I replied that I have no interest in calling and speaking off the record. If they have a statement or questions, they can email me. I've also switched to T-Mobile, for whatever slight good that might do.

Facebook locks out 1,500 fake accounts used by cyber-spy firms to snoop on people, alerts 50k potential targets

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Well done on the naming and shaming

I'm pleasantly surprised they actually named them. As I was reading, I was absolutely certain it was going to remain "seven surveillance-for-hire firms" and that's it.

East Londoners nicked under Computer Misuse Act after NHS vaccine passport app sprouted clump of fake entries

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: The Yellow Advertiser

Could you get a job at Oracle, then, please?

Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently

Gene Cash Silver badge

Whenever your device's IP address changes, it sends a message to each of your friends saying, "Hey, my IP address has changed." You use your OpenPGP identity to sign this message so they can tell it's really from you.

Congratulations, you've done a shitty reinvention of DNSSEC.


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