* Posts by Alan Sharkey

295 posts • joined 18 Jan 2009

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This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year

Alan Sharkey

I used Borland Pascal for years. Wrote EasyEdit (best DOS text editor in the world) with it and also various tools for DEC back in the 90's (someone may remember my LoginN tool which cut down logging in using PathWorks from 10 minutes to about 4 seconds).

Alan

Fancy some post-weekend reading? How's this for a potboiler: The source code for UK, Australia's coronavirus contact-tracing apps

Alan Sharkey

So, it relies on everyone having a modern phone. It relies on everyone installing the app. It relies on everyone carrying their phone with them at all times. It relies on some central service to do all the correlation. It relies on people behaving "sensibly" when they get pinged that they may have come near someone who might have the disease.

Can anyone see any issues here?

Alan

O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge

Alan Sharkey

I've had virgin cable for 20 years now - apart from the line dropping around once every 6 months for about 4 hours, it seems pretty stable. Virgin TV is OK - comparable to Sky (apart from Sky Atlantic). I haven't had any support issues and the deal I have is, to my eyes, pretty good (500Mb/sec broadband+all entertainment, sports and film channels + unlimited land line calls + unlimited everything Sim card for £99/month).

The O2 merger won't make much difference to me unless they start removing things.

Baby Diesel? Little d'Artagnan? There is another child of Musk in the world

Alan Sharkey

Re: X Æ A-12

I shall have a rant here.

As the child grows up, he (or she) needs a "normal" name for the society in which they live. Anything outside the 'norm' and they get teased incessantly - because that is what children do. So, giving a child a name like this one is not nice for the child and only reflects the parents ego.

rant over.

Alan

You like to Moovit? Intel snaps up Israeli mobility startup for rumoured $1bn as part of expensive mobility push

Alan Sharkey

I used Moovit when we were in Australia - it worked very well. I hope Intel don't mess around with it.

Alan

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

Alan Sharkey
Happy

I'm not sure my friend with a black belt in karate would be too impressed.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

Alan Sharkey

I have a 7740. I've turned off remote updates. Simple.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

Alan Sharkey

But...

It's always the cleaner. This story has been doing the rounds since the 60's (or maybe before then)

Time to svn commit like it's the year 2000: Apache celebrates 20 years of Subversion

Alan Sharkey
FAIL

VCS? I I remeber them from old.

Back in the early 90's, I designed a VCS for DOS. It was horrible. I'm glad I never implemented it.

Terrifying bug in WhatsApp allows hackers to steal files. So get patching all nine of you using it on the desktop

Alan Sharkey

I use the desktop one on Windows. It seems to have automatically updated me to version 0.4.315 - way beyond the one that fixed this issue.

Alan

'Cyber security incident' takes its Toll on Aussie delivery giant as box-tracking boxen yanked offline

Alan Sharkey
Happy

Re: Lack of due diligence?

And will they sue to get the money back - after all HPE are trying that tactic

Jet2 hacker who deleted every account on UK company's domain cops 5 months in jail

Alan Sharkey

Re: Good

His DBS record is never expunged. Information on convictions from many many years ago is still there - I know this as someone who does DBS stuff.

Microsoft enables phone calls from your Windows PC (as long as it's paired with an Android)

Alan Sharkey

I'm using the phone app with my oneplus 5 running android 9 and it works fine. I can send and receive texts - which is nice when my PC is the other end of the house from my phone.

Making calls with it? Not sure why I'd need to as I have a perfectly good landline phone on my desk.

Alan

Digital Realty chucks $8.4bn at Interxion for colocation mega-merger

Alan Sharkey

Not convinced

I see the growth mainly from the big cloud operators, who all have their own data centres. I think Digital Reality are trying to grow by acquisition, which to me means their market is getting saturated.

I could be wrong

UK ads watchdog slaps Amazon for UX dark arts after folk bought Prime subs they didn't want

Alan Sharkey

My Dad got caught by this - many times

He's 90 but still uses the internet and Amazon. He's been caught by this a few times now and I've had to remote connect to his machine and cancel it (which is NOT easy).

I wasn't aware we could complain.

Alan

Not so easy to make a quick getaway when it takes 3 hours to juice up your motor, eh Brits?

Alan Sharkey
Thumb Down

A waste of time and money

Anyone travellinga reasonable distance (and I mean over 100 miles each way) will not want to wait 3-4 hours while their battery charges up. Personally, I commute down to Cambridge from Rochdale at least once a week - that's 180+ miles each way - to see my elderly parents who don't have a car and therefore have no interest in putting a power point in for any leccy car I may want (or not). My diesel BMW X3 does very nicely, thank you very much - and, as it's reasonably new, doesn't have those horrible emissions that the world tells me all diesel cars have.

And another thing - why do electric cars cost so much? They are a much simpler device with far less moving parts. That, surely, will deter most normal people from buying one.

OK - Rant over. I'll get my pills and wait for the man in the white coat

Look, we know it feels like everything's going off the rails right now, but think positive: The proton has a new radius

Alan Sharkey
Pint

Why?

What enhancement in our everyday life willbe affected by knowing this? I can't say it has affected anything I intend to do this week (although, now I know, I may just have to bring it up in conversation).

I feel a pub quiz question is probably the most useful outcome.

Alan

Dion? He off: HP Inc CEO Weisler quits over 'family health matter', Lores will be High-res

Alan Sharkey

But...

They were hived off because HP (at the time) thought PC's were heading for the dustbin. But they are they only part of the orginal HP to actually do OK in todays climate.

Alan

Criminal mastermind signed name as 'Thief' on receipts after buying stuff with stolen card

Alan Sharkey

Re: What ?

It doesn't explain how Ellis, who said he made up the name "Latimore", know his date of birth when asked.

There's more to this....

Alan

Alan Sharkey
Pint

Register - Fail

All of a sudden, the tale ended. Huh! There's so much missing from this story.

I think news has taken a day off and gone to the pub - Ah, it's Friday.

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego

Alan Sharkey

Re: Heavy...

I've still got a Compaq luggable in the loft.

I used to live in a village where the train station was at the bottom of a hill. One day, it had snowed and the only road out was blocked. So, train it was. The luggable had a lovely nylon slip case to go over it. Which was great when I sat on it and sledged down to the train station. And, of course, at the other end, just pulled it behind me as though it was on wheels.

Ah, the youth of today - they don't know what they were missing.

Alan

Summer vacations put an end to rampant desktop crimewave

Alan Sharkey
Facepalm

Umm

What's a pen? Is it like a keyboard?

Virgin Media promises speeds of 1Gpbs to 15 million homes – all without full fibre

Alan Sharkey

Re: Don't forget the price cut

I was told about a price rise. I had 200mb + free phone calls and all TV apart from the movies.

After a couple of false starts, I spoke to a lovely lady who offered me 500mb/s, free phone calls, all TV including movies and a sim card for my mobile with unlimited 4G - for £15/month less than I was paying. All on a 12 month contract.

Of course, I said yes!!!

Alan

Investor fires shot at 'sinking ship' Google in battle over privacy-menacing Google+ bug

Alan Sharkey
Happy

It's a shame GDPR doesn't exists in the US

Fined 4% of gross turnover? That could be interesting

'This repository is private' – so what's it doing on the public internet, GE Aviation?

Alan Sharkey

A couple of clicks?

Possibly a little more than that :)

Two pentesters, one glitch: Firefox browser menaced by ancient file-snaffling bug, er, feature

Alan Sharkey

Fixed in 68.0

I just updated to version 68.0 (dated today). One of the fixes - " Local files can no longer access other files in the same directory."

Code crash? Russian hackers? Nope. Good ol' broken fiber cables borked Google Cloud's networking today

Alan Sharkey

It could be coincidence

I was working for a large telecoms company some time ago, They had links from the UK to Ireland. One in Scotland, and one in Wales. One night there was a huge storm in the Irish sea. A tanker dragged its anchor over the Scotland cable and a wall fell down in Wales, severing the cable there.

Oops!

Alan

$30/month email upstart Superhuman brought low with a blast of privacy Kryptonite

Alan Sharkey

Your article misses the point

It's not read receipt per se that are the issue, but the fact that the app can track WHERE you read the email - and where you re-read it. So, it's tracking you without your consent - which is against GDPR, I think

Alan

HP CFO Cathie Lesjak didn't even read KPMG's Autonomy due diligence before $11bn biz gobble

Alan Sharkey

What's wrong with a proper reporting tool?

As a complete aside - why do companies write reports in Powerpoint?

Buy, buy this American PCIe, drove my PC on the Wi-Fi so the Wi-Fi would fly

Alan Sharkey
FAIL

Bus?

" "Bus" comes from "omnibus," meaning it accepts all manner of devices."

No, a bus is a device (4 wheeled or backplane) for carrying things from one location to another. Your description makes no sense at all.

Pendantic Al.

Nvidia pulls sheets off EGX, an edgy machine learning platform based on Kubernetes

Alan Sharkey

Confused

Is it just me? I thought Kubernetes was an orchestration management product. What's that got to do with machine learning?

Alan

Veteran vulture Andrew Orlowski is offski after 19 years at The Register

Alan Sharkey

Thanks for all the fish

Andrew,

I've enjoyed reading your articles - have a great time in whatever you get up to next

Alan

Self-taught Belgian bloke cracks crypto conundrum that was supposed to be uncrackable until 2034

Alan Sharkey

It wasn't running Windows then

three and a half years continuously? Not a Windows PC then.....

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

Alan Sharkey

You missed off "42"

Alan

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Alan Sharkey

But...

We want to know who the culprit was and what actions you took .

The story isn't over.....

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

Alan Sharkey

EM Client is the answer

It's as good as Outlook and is free for 1 or 2 accounts. Vote with your feet.

Alan

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

Alan Sharkey

I am a home user

and I have 5 network drives (to different areas of my NAS) and 5 subst'ed drives. They all seem to be OK in 1803 but I did have an issue for a while with one of my networked drives having a red X. It went away after a small update some time ago.

I would like the 1809 update purely so I can respond to text messages on my PC - but it's not worth blowing away my network drives just for that.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

Alan Sharkey

My 5 is still good

I've had the OP 5 since June 2017 and it's still working fine and being updated. I may go for an OP7 if thee's enough new stuff to justify the cost.

Dell Corp UK makes 1.46% net profit margin on £1.556bn in sales – 'satisfactory' apparently

Alan Sharkey

Something's not right

They do more than 10K's worth of PS business in the UK. I see some "creative accounting" here.

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships

Alan Sharkey

why all the fuss over a headphone socket?

Most people I know use bluetooth headsets (and yes, you can use them on aeroplanes). Having leads dangling around is so 1980's :)

As to the notch, does it really matter?

For the price, it's a cracking phone.

Alan

PS - I have the OP5 but I doubt I'll upgrade - that does everything I want.

Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

Alan Sharkey

I use it because...

It has proper bookmarks. Not those sill tabs that Chrome has. Now it has proper sync, I will replace Firefox completely.

HP Inc strips off, rolls around as Windows 10 money pours down

Alan Sharkey

How many?

" according to Gartner it grew 6.1 per cent to 13,589,000,000 units as the total sector grew just 1.4 per cent to 62,095,000,000"

But there's only 5 billion or so people on the planet - so that's around 12 PC's each. I only own 3 - who's got my other 9?

ALan

Facebook flat-out 'lies' about how many people can see its ads – lawsuit

Alan Sharkey

Re: And, of course....

Just turn off blocking for that site while you get what you need.

Alan Sharkey

And, of course....

The also OUGHT to take note of all those users who have ad blockers and don't see any adverts (it's quite pleasant in an ad free cyber world)

No one wants new phones – it's chips that keep Samsung chugging

Alan Sharkey

Look at the OnePlus 5 or 6. That will do what you want.

Imagine a patent on organizing computer files being used against online shopping sites. Oh, it's still happening

Alan Sharkey

Re: But but but ....

MY RDOS search was "files" as it saved all the found data to a new file and then used that for the resultant prinout/view.

So, I can claim "prior Art" here :)

Alan

Alan Sharkey

But but but ....

Surely database searches, which then output to a "hybrid" or "virtual" table have been around since the start of databases.

I can remember writing something like that back in about 1980 on a Data General RDOS system. And, doing it again in DBASE3 when we used that - and so on.

How did that get to be a patent?

Alan

A volt out of the blue: Phone batteries reveal what you typed and read

Alan Sharkey

Now they are just getting silly

I am sure, once someone has physical access to the phone, there are easier ways to intercept what is going on. This sounds like a solution waiting for a problem.

HPE CEO pledges $4bn Edge R&D splurge

Alan Sharkey

And things go round

"Edge computing, for the uninitiated, puts compute and storage capacity closer to where data is created, so it can be processed locally. Doing so avoids the cost of shipping data to a cloud and improves response times too. If an edge system spots something worthy of more attention, it will ship that data to a core cloud so that more processing power can be brought to bear."

Doesn't this just mean a local data centre? Like what we always used to have?

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Alan Sharkey

Quite a sensible discussion

For a Friday.

I agree - I like the internet being "free" and will put up with the ads and data slurping. As I am now a poor pensioner (thank you DEC, for your final salary pension scheme), I do need to know what my outgoings are - and having "free" internet does help.

Alan

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