* Posts by Mark Simon

326 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2006


And now for something completely different: Python 3.12

Mark Simon

Re: You monster

That’s starting to look like an f-ing-string.

We regret to inform you Earth will not be destroyed by an asteroid within 1,000 years

Mark Simon

Re: .. Do you know where your towel is? ..

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays …

Microsoft begs you not to ditch Edge on Google's own Chrome download page

Mark Simon

“… with the added trust of Microsoft”

And somehow they’ve missed the irony in that clause. Any browser that pulls a stunt like that on you can’t be trusted to do its job.

Microsoft leaves the Office, rebrands everything as 365

Mark Simon

That logo is really annoying.

If you go through the effort of following the edge that disappears underneath, it seems to get lost. If it’s supposed to be a Möbius, it is badly done. It’s more like a poorly implemented illusion.

Pretty well summarises my experiences with Microsoft Office. +1 for LibreOffice.

Nadella tells worried GitHub devs: Judge us by our actions

Mark Simon

Ahead of you there, Nadella

That’s what worries GitHub users. Your actions.

At least I have some time left to find an alternative. Failing that, I can always set up my own.

BCC is hard, OK? Quite a lot of orgs blurted your email addresses in GDPR mailouts

Mark Simon

As a contract trainer, I did some work for a training company which neglected to pay the trainers. The owner sent an email wishing us all a happy Christmas and craving our indulgence while the company worked its way through its cash flow problems.

Unfortunately, the owner put us all in the CC list, and one of the others replied to all of us that the owner has a history of bad debts and was never going to pay up. This quickly developed into an impromptu action group as we banded together.

It turned out that the owner had been barred from running a company, and had stolen money to manage his cash flow. He ended up serving time in prison.

We never did get our money, but at least I can say that somebody who foolishly CCed the mailing list ended up in prison, so that should be an object lesson.

Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

Mark Simon

What about J?

When Microsoft first copied JavaScript, they called it JScript. Technically, the JavaScript name was licensed from Sun, and then only to Netscape, so that was a pretty obvious workaround.

I see you're writing a résumé?!.. LinkedIn parked in MS Word

Mark Simon

Re: I knew there was a reason

Too bad you’re anonymous.

I wouldn’t turn up for an interview with someone stupid enough to trust LinkedIn and to rely on it.

Amount of pixels needed to make VR less crap may set your PC on fire

Mark Simon


Number of pixels.

Used iPhone Safari in 2011-12? You might qualify for Google bucks

Mark Simon

Nice tip. I don’t use Google voluntarily for anything, and it’s unnerving to see what they have collected.

Swiss banking software has Swiss cheese security, says Rapid7

Mark Simon

How is SQL Injection Still a Thing?

Bobby Tables notwithstanding, haven’t there been enough high profile incidents to highlight the risk of SQL Injection?

I don’t know what’s on the back end, but all modern databases support Prepared Statements. Three extra lines of code is all it takes to dramatically reduce the risk.

Was the developer called Rip Van Winkle?

Microsoft's fix for web graphics going AWOL? Disable your antivirus

Mark Simon

That sounds right …

Our software is broken. Please fix your computer …

Flight Centre leaks fliers' passport details to 'potential suppliers'

Mark Simon

re “I don't really want to get into ongoing Q&A.”

Nice one, Flight Centre.

I have tried Flight Center a few times, and they never got it right. Now they can’t be bothered answering what I consider to be a critical question.

Happy to have dumped them long ago.

O Rly? O'Reilly exits direct book sales

Mark Simon

Very Disappointed

I have bought ebooks directly from O’Reilly for many years. I even bought my SitePoint and Wrox books from O’Reilly because they’re better organised and have had a better approach to customer service.

I don’t like subscription services as a matter of principle, and I don’t like buying from Amazon because of how they have stuffed up the whole ebook thing.

I’m particularly cheesed off that this is the first I have heard of it.

Not sure where to go from here. Maybe re-read the Disc World series.

Pop-up Android adware uses social engineering to resist deletion

Mark Simon

Re: No other options but to press "OK"

Unless, of course, you take the Microsoft approach and interpret Back as OK.

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

Mark Simon

Google will also allow …

Fecking Hull

Who are these guys?

Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

Mark Simon

Pretty sad really …

We’ve all know people who try to corner you at parties because nobody else will talk to them.

Eventually they stop getting invitations to parties.

This is Microsoft’s desperate attempt to increase statistics by forcing their products onto you and then pretending it’s a sign of popularity.

Apple blocks comms-snooping malware

Mark Simon

… as well as

  • “Press Update All button”
  • “When Admin permissions dialog appears”
  • “enter password”

Unfortunately, for people who just click on a link in an unsolicited email from an unknown source, poor grammar is probably the least of their problems.

Beware of geeks bearing gifts: Evil game guides infect 2 million Androids

Mark Simon

Re: Maximum permissions

That’s assuming they’re paying attention …

Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce

Mark Simon

Do people actually use LinkedIn?

When talking to students about password security, I mention the LinkedIn Breach of a few years ago. 95% of the time, I find that they either don’t have an account, or never use it.

The students are all adults and work in the industry in some form — web development, database or some other related area.

All I ever get from LinkedIn is junk or invitations from people I don’t know.

Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware

Mark Simon

Did you even read the article?

The issue isn’t with the OS. The malware is looking for weak credentials.

Microsoft shrugs off report that Edge can expose user identities from JS Fetch requests

Mark Simon

It’s a feature.

I think Microsoft call this Telemetry.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Mark Simon

I don't think that snakes have feet.

To begin with, they were lizards …

Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Mark Simon

Re: Edge

Unless it’s to say “that bleeding Edge!”

Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Mark Simon

Re: Take your money out now - Outsourced IT support for your bank will be a disaster

Agreed. It’s hard to say the right words without sounding xenophobic, but the fact that support calls will now be sent to people with minimal training and barely passable English language skills will not do the company credit.

A typical support call to an out-sourced call centre involves repeating your questions and answers half a dozen times to people who are desperately trying to follow a script, being polite about the moronic questions which follow a misunderstanding of what you just said, and doing it all again for the next person.

I have found it is much easier to take my business elsewhere.

If you were cuffed during Trump's inauguration, cops are trying to crack your smartphone

Mark Simon
Big Brother

All this for protesting?

Did they all look like Muslims or Democrats?

How does it end? With a bullet in the back of the head?

Disney plotting 15 more years of Star Wars

Mark Simon

Did Carrie Fisher die … ?

Really, I can’t find any mention of it whatsoever on The Register.

I just thought it was everybody else’s imagination.

From those of us who did notice, RIP, Ms Fisher.

Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Mark Simon

Why the Apple reference?

Because Apple were the first to make the technology a popular fixture, and that probably counts for something.

Google Maps' Street View can now lead you into a bubbling lava lake

Mark Simon


… two chaps repelled 400 meters down into the crater …

I think that’s rapelled, or, if you prefer, abseiled.

Unless, of course, they simply pushed each other all the way down …

Apple urged to legalize code injection: Let apps do JavaScript hot-fixes

Mark Simon

Not Necessarily

There's a lot of shitty code being released

Not necessarily the point. Minor UI enhancements or improvements in functionality may simply suggest an ongoing process and possibly responsiveness to feedback.

I think there is a case to be made for not making small changes go through the the approval process and then yet another update, which, in some cases, means re-downloading a huge application.

The problem, of course, is where to draw the line safely.

Today's WWW is built on pillars of sand: Buggy, exploitable JavaScript libs are everywhere

Mark Simon

Too many dependencies.

So, does that mean that most web sites are not only bloated but also insecure?

Many developers are addicted to taking short cuts, even if that introduces overweight dependencies on too many third parties. Each third party is a potential weakness in the design, and if developers are not committed to maintaining the integrity of these dependencies then they should learn to do the job properly themselves.

  • You may not need CDNs
  • You may not need jQuery
  • You may not need Bootstrap

It’s more work to begin with, but much less stress worrying about someone else’s code.

Don't worry, slowpoke Microsoft, we patched Windows bug for you, brags security biz

Mark Simon

Just wondering … ?

Will this fall afoul of DMCA?

That big scary 1.4bn leak was 100s of millions of email, postal addresses

Mark Simon

… by why the drum roll … ?

OK, this is a sizeable breach, but, given the speculation on potential sources, it’s not quit as earth-shattering as might have been expected.

So why the dramatic wait for the announcement?

Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Mark Simon

Re: Little blue book

“I've always found entering passwords extremely difficult after I died.”

Really? I’ve never tried.

Linux on Windows 10: Will penguin treats in Creators Update be enough to lure you?

Mark Simon

I only use Windows when I have to for teaching. I use a Mac for my own development work and Linux for my server.

Running Linux on Windows will only serve to make some small tasks easier, and will also remind me why I prefer a *nix environment wherever possible. It certainly won’t encourage me to actually like Windows, or to use it with any enthusiasm.

With complete betrayal of trust in the while Windows 10 disaster, they are slowly providing a reason to prefer Windows 10 to, say Windows 8. Better still, they are clearly helping technical users to prefer *nix.

I’m not sure that’s what Microsoft had in mind, though …

Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook are buying all the best cloud tech

Mark Simon

Re: Big three … ?

Got it … this is where the famous Oxford Comma would have been handy:

Big three clouds, Apple, and Facebook …

Mark Simon

Big three … ?

Could someone please explain the title:

Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook …

… get acquired by one of five companies …

As far as I can tell the Big three either refers to Apple & Facebook, or the five companies mentioned in the article. I thought we had gone past the New Math … ?

Roses are reddish, exam-takers more so: Cisco's test price hike's a smack to the torso

Mark Simon


“… course prices may have increased due to currency fluctuation”.

Do they know what fluctuation means? It could go up or down. Or have Cisco invented a one-way fluctuation?

You know, it’s really hard not to squeeze in a joke I heard about Asians …

Mag publisher Future stored your FileSilo passwords in plaintext. Then hackers hit

Mark Simon

It’s about time …

I know that Britain is leaving the EU fold, but isn’t about time to look at legislating a more responsible approach to storing user data?

The EU has the Cookie Law, which requires user consent for using cookies or any other form of local storage on a web site. Why can’t governments understand that insecure handling of user data is much more serious than storing cookies, and require organisations to conform to a minimal standard which includes better handling of user data?

Brexploitation? Adobe gets creative with price hikes

Mark Simon

The bigger scam

Remember that Adobe subscriptions are automatically renewed, and if you attempt to cancel before the next renewal you get hit for half the remaining fees.

I had to cancel my credit card to stop them from ripping me off further.

Microsoft foists fake file system for fat Git repos

Mark Simon

Good thing Git is Open Source

That Microsoft were able to adapt Git to suit their own needs is largely due to the fact that Git is not itself a Microsoft product.

Humanity needs you... to build an AI bot that can finger rotten headlines

Mark Simon

Re: "but we can spot lies in headings"

So many of The Register’s headlines defy understand let alone verification. This poses a real problem for humans, as well as machines.

Cassini sends back best ring-shots yet en route to self-destruct dive

Mark Simon

Getting Better

Every news item about Cassini is just better than the last. Stunning images and tremendously valuable new information.

Even the swan dive will be amazing: we’ll finally get a better look at the surface of Saturn, and maybe even work out the length of a Saturn day.

GitLab.com luckily found lost data on a staging server

Mark Simon

Just wondering … ?

I signed up for GitLab just a few days ago, and haven’t started using it actively yet.

Would that be why I haven’t received any notification about this incident?

Doomsday Clock moves to 150 seconds before midnight. Thanks, Trump

Mark Simon

Re: They've neglected Leap Seconds...

Could it be that the Dump also denies Leap Seconds … ?

Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?

Mark Simon

Re: Trump has become more deranged

I think it might go beyond the security services. It could also mean that US based companies might promise not to share the data of US citizens with third parties, while not necessarily extending the same promise to dangerous foreign types like me.

Viral Chinese selfie app Meitu phones home with personal data

Mark Simon

Say what … ?

“This app I pretty benign to what could have been done.”

Speaking of Chinese, is this something caught up in translation or is it supposed to make sense?

Meet 'Moz://a', AKA Mozilla after it picked a new logo

Mark Simon

Re: Looks like

Actually, one thing about Apple that they know how spell the name.

The styling was Apple ][ at first, then Apple //e when that came out.

Ransomware scum infect cancer non-profit

Mark Simon

Bounty Hunters

Remember the move “Ransom” (1956, remade in 1977). The twist is when the father of the kidnapped child goes on television to announce that the money won’t be paid as ransom, but as a reward to whomever turns in the kidnapper.

I think that if enough agencies get together, this might be an alternative strategy to tracking down these bastards. I can’t imagine they spend their time entirley in the company of wholesome and upright humans, and sooner or later someone will value the reward more than their association with them.

Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th

Mark Simon

Re: Hmm...

or hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia for that matter …