* Posts by Mark White

32 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jul 2008

Brit publishers beg Apple not to hurt online ad revenue

Mark White

Bring back directly purchased ads

If it seemed like the journalists cared about what ads were displayed and didn't just stick ad boxes from major ad services then I'd be more inclined to allow them.

It would probably work better for the advertised product/company too with the potential customer knowing that they are being targeted by an actual person instead of an algorithm. Also, knowing that their advert won't appear next to something which would be damaging to be associated with.

Microsoft teases deepfake AI that's too powerful to release

Mark White

Re: Priorities

Just imagine if this was 90% of Windows 12

Your trainee just took down our business and has no idea how or why

Mark White

VM Network

I was doing some investigation on a cloud hosted VM to see why it wouldn't connect and for some reason thought it would be a good idea to turn off the network.

Yeah, never spoke to that VM again, quickly spun up a new one and didn't try that again.

DPD chatbot blasts courier company, swears, and dabbles in awful poetry

Mark White

Alternate swear words

Darn, my dastardly chat bot is chuffing useless. Mucking around with the source model and overloading it with too dang many alternatives would give these rapscallions difficulty in reducing bots effluence.

CEO arranged his own cybersecurity, with predictable results

Mark White

Re: Unannounced security tests


Damn, even the Pope thinks AI and autonomous weapons need reining in

Mark White

I'd think he would be more worried about it usurping his boss!

You don't get what you don't pay for, but nobody is paid enough to be abused

Mark White

Resilience and redundancy

Reminds me of a story of my Dad's...

He was setting up a call center so ordered two lines in with one being the backup in case anything happened to the first.

All went well until some digging work was happening in the car park. One scoop later, all comms went out in the building... both lines were cut in one go.

IIRC the result after a lot of shouting was fees refunded and a new line put in by the provider to the other side of the building at no extra cost.

User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work

Mark White

I've done that... the document was improved by making sure the text about the screenshot was on the same page as it.

Done that bit, skip

Done that bit, skip

Doing that bit... where are the instructions? Can't be on the previous page because I've done that bit!

No, no, no! Disco joke hit bum note in the rehab center

Mark White

Re: Why stop with a music track?

There was the one time I left my phone on the other side of the office and the Benny Hill theme came blaring out...

PEBCAK problem transformed young techie into grizzled cynical sysadmin

Mark White

Re: Plausible...

There's the point when you can't remember if 32mb was the memory requirements or the file size...

You're too dumb to use click-to-cancel, Big Biz says with straight face

Mark White

Date subscription ends

One thing I would like on the cancellation screen is the date the subscription ends if I click cancel now.

It would avoid the annoying bit where I want to cancel on day one but want the rest of the month that I paid for. The text used is generally so ambiguous that you can't tell if the service is going to stop now or tater.

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris

Mark White

When I was at uni, there was a wide selection of foreign students and I got quite proficient at installing Windows in whatever language was required. Even got reasonably proficient in AZERTY touch typing even though I can barely speak a handful of words in languages other than English (UK).

Microsoft wants to stick adverts in Bing chat responses

Mark White
Black Helicopters

I see you're looking...

how to build a pipe bomb, why not just buy one from your local terrorist specialist store.

Anyone want an International Space Station? Slightly used

Mark White


I don't think they should be allowed to decommission it until they have replaced it with a more advanced version.

Rebel without a clause: ISP promises broadband with no contract

Mark White

Re: Same old tech.

I know there is a FTTP in the north... my mum lives miles from the nearest village and has it. (B4RN, Broadband for Rural North)

It can be done, perhaps someone just needs to open bars in the south?

Sure looks like Beijing stole blueprints from chip fab world's ASML

Mark White

Creative naming

Just make sure the next couple of iterations (foremost ultraviolet lithography (FUV) and greatest ultraviolet lithography (GUV)) safe.

Results are in for biggest 4-day work week trial ever: 92% sticking with it

Mark White

What day wouldn't you work?

I do a 4 day week with Wednesday off and think it is great.

Accidental WhatsApp account takeovers? It's a thing

Mark White

I can understand how they say you need to delete your account and other things to keep it safe but I wonder how members of group chats are kept.

If they use a list of phone numbers to maintain the membership then it is unlikely deleting your account would take you out of the group.

This just goes to show that phone number is a terrible key... one person can have more than one phone number and one phone number can belong to more than one person (hopefully at different periods of time)

Netflix changes CEO-sharing arrangement, teases paid password-sharing

Mark White

One person, one account

Why can't Netflix move to the model employed by other streaming services where everyone has their own username and can be added to a group plan?

For example in Spotify, I have an account, my sister has an account and pays for multiuser. I am a named user on that multiuser account so I get premium.

The main issue I have with password sharing on Netflix is the password sharing part of it.

Flaming USB battery halts flight from Taiwan to Singapore

Mark White

Speed of a battery in a vacuum...

Why not just remove all of the oxygen from the hold... not much chance of a fire then.

It might cause some issues with carrying pets but they won't catch fire...



Microsoft chases Google with ChatGPT-powered Bing

Mark White

More than a search engine

It is an evolution of how we search for information on the internet which currently seems to rely scraping information from a web page and then sending you to that page.

A lot of work would need to be done to stop opinions from being presented (especially out of context) but in theory it would revolutionise fact finding by giving a brief answer and then links to more indepth information about the subject.

Watch a RAID rebuild or go to a Christmas party? Tough choice

Mark White

It has to be a rule of IT somewhere, any routine task will fail once you stop monitoring it.

France says Google Analytics breaches GDPR when it sends data to US

Mark White
Black Helicopters

You joke but I know at least one popular national site which believes google analytics is a necessary for the site to function. The reasoning... it is on their cookies information page as necessary so it must be.

Weed dispensary software company's ambitions pruned after Spotify trademark clash

Mark White

Potiphar... had very few cares

Judge dismisses objections to spaceport in Scotland from billionaire who also wants to build spaceport in Scotland

Mark White

Re: Finally ...

"speed of a sheep in a vacuum"

Although the answer is probably obvious, is that an unlaiden British or Kiwi sheep?

Facebook granted patent for 'artificial reality' baseball cap. Repeat, an 'artificial reality' baseball cap

Mark White

The AR Hoodie?

A hood (soft or reinforced), attached to a top (t-shirt, sweat shirt or other object commonly worn on the top half of the body) with an AR display taking up some to all of the open area of the hood. The hardware can be stored in the hood, neckbank or top. Additional inputs such as a rear facing camera or a hole in the head are supplemental and should be patented before Facebook decides sticking a camera on the back of a hat is another possible revenue stream.

Don't forget, coming soon™ the AR balaclava, handy for avoiding police and cracking safes whilst keeping your identity secret.

Surprise! Copying crummy code from Stack Overflow leads to vulnerable GitHub jobs

Mark White

One answer is never enough

If I can only find one correct answer on Stack Overflow, I try a different question. If my investigation only has one answer then i haven't tried hard enough, any problem should have multiple solutions, especially transferring logic to a programming language.

Year 1 of GDPR: Over 200,000 cases reported, firms fined €56 meeelli... Oh, that's mostly Google

Mark White

Companies going too far.

The main issues I've had with GDPR are companies refusing to tell me anything because I haven't actively subscribed to them. As an example, my broadband price went up by £5 per month but I wasn't told as I had failed to opt in to marketing emails. After speaking to them, GDPR was blamed for being unable to communicate price changes to me.

The other issue is how much effort having to opt out of tracking manually on most websites I visit. On sites I have opted out before, there is no indication this was saved. The usual accept and continue banner is displayed at the bottom of the screen but when I go into the consent options, they can be opted out or they could be opted in.

I have been getting much better ads though... now I've opted out of targetted ads where I can.

GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…

Mark White

I have found that for a lot of sites where I just want to read a short news article, I have to spend at least twice as long going through accepting/rejecting tracking than I do reading the article.

I often think I'd rather have annoying adverts which fill half the screen (but don't track) than go through disabling tracking each time.

Blighty's telly, radio watchdog Ofcom does a swear

Mark White

I'm sorry, I haven't a clue

I always find the self censorship rounds amusing, the act of censoring turns even the most innocent of words/phrases into whatever the dirty minds of the public listening can come up with.

Criminal record checks could hit over 14 million people

Mark White

Does this include bar staff?

I see children when I'm working behind a bar, so does that mean every member of bar/waiting on or even shop staff has to have a CRB check? This will stop a lot of students and other casual labour from applying for these sorts of jobs and probably increase the number of unemployed youths and reduce the number of people who can afford to go through university.

Smells more and more like big brother is watching you.

At the cycling issue, I cycled round a corner last night to find 5 or 6 people walking along in a line across the entire width of the road. I had to go into the mud at the side because even after ringing my bell they did not even look round to see me. I expect it would have been my fault if I had hit them and I did not want to risk it.