* Posts by Wibble

815 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Mar 2009


Microsoft fixes Windows 'idiosyncrasy' that hampered some SMB file transfers


SMB's sooo sloooow...

SMB's a shockingly lousy protocol, well, certainly as implemented by Microsoft on their operating systems. Even copying to an SMB share from a Mac it's so damn slow. Yes, it's a feature.

Microsoft to block downloaded VBA macros in Office – you may be able to run 'em anyway


Ribbon - just say no

The Ribbon is a minger. So much superfluous unusable guff for the one or two icons that might be useful.

Talking of icons, it's far harder to interpret icons than it is for menu text IF you are looking for something that's uncommon. Seems to have been designed for Chinese speakers (other pictogram languages are available).

That you can't edit it to move things around is the worst part of it.

Then again Microsoft have never built good user interfaces. That utter turd Windows hate, as it goes onwards.

The great thing about using a Mac is that poxy Ribbon is an option as the menus are still in place.

Meh. Double meh.

Log4j doesn't just blow a hole in your servers, it's reopening that can of worms: Is Big Biz exploiting open source?


Re: Don't forget the other bugs introduced by copy-n-paste software

Who was it that was fined millions for a poisoned JavaScript library that pilfered card details...?

Navigating without GPS is one thing – so let's jam it and see what happens to our warship


Re: I guess I'm too much of a navigation geek...

Natural navigation... Trees will have moss growing on their north side (in the northern hemisphere) as it doesn't like light. Use that for a bearing. The sun's simple to use, but slowly moves around at 15 degrees/hour, moon too. Slope of the ground helps with general direction. Bushes slope away from the prevailing wind, generally south westerly in the UK.

Cloudflare says Intel is not inside its next-gen servers – Ice Lake melted its energy budget


Re: Reminds me of a graphic I once saw.

Even relative newcomers to silicon manufacturing Apple are whooping Intel's backside. Faster, low-power chips and kit, not to mention price benefits (to Apple).

This drag sail could prevent spacecraft from turning into long-term orbiting junk. We spoke to its inventors ahead of launch


Had to double-check...

This is The Register, not the Sun. Readers of this fabulous organ aren't thicko technophobes.

Ex-health secretary said 'vast majority' were 'onside' with GP data grab. Consumer champion Which? reckons 20 million don't even know what it is



> joining boards of...

Hopefully for the brief interval before he's imprisoned for his part in the deaths of all the care home victims.

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'


AKA the Peter principle: people rise to the level of their own incompetence.

There's too many managers around that can't do the job of the people they're managing. Whilst there's *some* skilled and talented managers who understand this and effectively delegate and manage, alas they're a rare commodity outnumbered many times over by clueless management numpties throwing their (light) weight around.


"Quick, call the BCS" .. said nobody.

They're fine for academia (one ass-u-me s), but not when working at the coal face with unqualified 'managers' and dubious processes. Much like attempting to read 3 volumes of The Art of Computer Programming (Knuth) - which would probably qualify as membership, but you wouldn't get a job.

Apple reportedly planning to revive the MagSafe charging standard with the next lot of MacBook Pros


Re: Magnetic adapters are a thing...

If only people had developed them.

There were some far-eastern copies but were totally useless because they didn't have strong enough magnets and the computer side USB-C plug was too small.


Here am I using my "Magic Keyboard" to type this whilst looking at my Thunderbolt screen (still works, just needs the official Thunderbolt to USB-C adapter). The 16" laptop's sitting on a desk stand to get it to the same eye-line as the monitor.

I don't have a Touch Bar on this keyboard.

In any case, I'm a touch typist (like everyone is) so I'm looking at the screen as I type and won't be looking up and down at the pretty useless Touch Bar. Sure, it's amazingly well implemented, but fundamentally flawed in that your eyes are looking at the screen not the keyboard. So 10 out of 10 for implementation and minus several thousand for usefulness.


Re: Wish list

More USB-C chuffs. Sick of running out of holes and needing to use dongles all the time.

An Apple dongle that you can use it for charging as well as all the USB stuff.


Re: Wish list

Covers for the video cameras (can't use the slender aftermarket privacy covers as they're slightly proud of the bezel ring, so when you close the lid, all the pressure goes onto the privacy cover and eventually breaks the screen.


£1000? Cheapskate! Try £4000 for the 16".

Magsafe's great. You put no pressure on the port, just let the magnets do their best. Sometimes needs an initial wiggle to get it all to connect, but it's been exceedingly reliable for me for the past 14 years or so on many different Macs.

Still smarting at 4 grand for the 16" although it's a work device and works brilliantly. Lots of disc space and memory.

Backers of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone furious after shock specs downgrade


Re: something out of the old Astounding Tales

So those devices catching fire weren't faulty batteries, they were in fact a micro-war going on within the chips themselves.

Taking machine learning a tad far!

Geekbench stats show Apple Silicon MacBook Air trouncing pricey 16-inch MacBook Pro


You're obviously not their target market then.

Whatever you think of the price, they're exceedingly good bits of kit that prioritise usability and reliability with tight integration with the hardware and software stack. Why do you think Microsoft try to copy Apple kit?

Microsoft unveils a Universal version of Office for Apple silicon



Maybe Microsoft are porting Office to ARM as they're about to bring out a copy of the M1 silicon for use on their Mac clones they call "surface".

Blazor: Full stack C# and Microsoft's pitch for ASP.NET Web Form diehards



Properly built WebForms actually have the three tiered structure of MVC: code-in-front=View, code-behind=Controller, rules/data tier = Model.

Unit testing client applications is always fraught because of the complexity of the UI. It's perfectly possible to create unit tests but it's further down the stack.

BTW 'classic' ASP was pretty good too and enabled people to start with lightweight coding and progress on to more complex projects. Of course .Net was a massive step up in the tools (Visual Studio) and performance. I'm no MS fan boy, but credit where it's due, ASP.NET is one of the best things that ever came out of Microsoft.

(The date's wrong. ASP.NET was released in 2000 with versions 1.1 and 2.0 soon after. Was developing a large ASP.NET project when 9/11 happened.)


Not web forms

It is also notable that the HTML delivered to the browser is little more than a div element to contain the application. At runtime the JavaScript populates this with the controls that form the user interface.

That is not HTML and nothing like Web Forms and drives a horse and cart through accessibility, performance and reliability.

What is wrong with nice simple HTML with a little bit of CSS and JavaScript for client-side validation plus some interaction? There's a reason Silverlight failed.

iPhone sales shrink for 2nd year in a row as delay to next-gen mobile launch hits hard


Re: O RLY?

Did the covid malarkey have any affect on Apple 'phone' sales?

Would be reasonable to assume yes as many (most?) people have had 7 months out of the office and working from home where the old phones will quite happily suffice. Shops were closed, so no impulse purchases of £1k+ phones.

It's hardly surprising that sales were down.


Why "upgrade"?

Certainly the phone functionality in a smartphone is only one part of the overall feature set. But when you've a perfectly good (smart)phone there's simply no compelling reason to upgrade. Struth, you can't wave it around in front of people to show how kewel you are - cos you can't go anywhere. Also who wants 5G when it causes Covid ;-)

The iPhone 12, at over a grand, gives you what... 5G which isn't yet fully rolled out (and we can't travel, etc.). An 'improved' camera. Wow. Oh, it's such a great reason, I'm so excited, etc.

Is it surprising people aren't rushing to splaff the cash at Apple. Especially as there's the mother of all recessions around the corner.

Could also be an indicator that people are fed up with Apple's pricing?

Devs strung up about .NET 5.0 string changes that may break working code are told: It's not a bug, it's a feature


Re: "... that doesn't create new productivity improvements for our users"

> If you then do use it where you can't have a null, you will get a Null Reference Exception.

So building bulletproof code requires the traditional two step shuffle; null check first with sensible default, then call the indexOf(str, search)

Relying on the compiler's all well and good, but strings frequently get nulled out through subsequent assignment/manipulation. Would be nice to know that the indexOf utility handles nulls gracefully.

Can't help but think this is one of those arguments similar to cAse sensitVity. More often than not a right PITA.


Re: "... that doesn't create new productivity improvements for our users"

If str is null?

QUIC! IETF sets November deadline for last comments on TCP-killer spawned by Google and Cloudflare


Faster loading web pages!

How about removing the megabytes of javascript driven cruft, the hundreds of (useless) images... It's like Javascript's the new Flash.

Oh to have accessible pages again.

BTW isn't UDP's other definition "Unreliable Datagram Protocol", i.e. fire and forget. Seems odd to add it to web pages. Makes sense for broadcast protocols though - the famous driverless cars telling all the other cars where they are.

Huawei mobile mast installed next to secret MI5 data centre in London has 7 years to do whatever it is Huawei does


Re: So....about the Cisco/NSA/GCHQ Snoopers......


Alles turisten und nonteknischen lookenpeepers!

Das maschine-kontrol ist nicht für der gefingerpoken und mittengraben! Oderwise ist easy to schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparksen.

Der maschine ist diggen bei experten only!

Ist nicht für gewerken bei dummkopfen. Der rubbernecken sightseeren keepen das cottonpicken händer in das pockets.

Zo relaxen und watschen der blinkenlights.

Be very afraid! British Army might scrap battle tanks for keyboard warriors – report



Tanks are so last century/millennium. Seems that they're of very limited use compared with other technologies, such as drones and lightly armoured vehicles. They'll never again be used in large numbers crossing a battlefield. About the only place is driving across protesters in Tiananmen Square or Red Square (look at the size of my knob)

One would expect that a Challenger 2 would be slightly more expensive than a Mastiff or Foxhound, not to mention somewhat more difficult to transport to theatre.








Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)


Re: Privacy?

Isn't an Apple application required to meet certain standards? A condition of using the API is not slurping data -- and the application being deleted when the pandemic's over.


Re: with respect to the UK app

More like Only Fools and Horses

Del Boy Johnson, Hancock as Trigger and Cummings as Uncle Albert

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR


Re: Last month's solution?

> Russia is currently managing 200,000 tests a day at the moment.

Has the other one got bells on it?

Still struggle to understand how our "Dear Leader" can include tests in the post and say that with a straight face. Unless, of course, he's a liar.


They changed how death certificates are issued; only reviewed by one doctor who doesn't need to physically examine the body.

Some argue that the 40,000 includes lots of people who died with Covid, not because of Covid (i.e. infirm, weak people).

The only figure that will really count is the "excess deaths". But it's all nigh-on impossible to determine this accurately.

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban


Re: Oh dear

Isn't that in Egypt?

Indonesia imposes 10% digital services tax


Higher or lower for online v. bricks&mortar?

There's also the massive evasion of VAT and import duties on goods too; there's no way the cheap Chinese (and other origins) tat can be sold fairly and paying local taxes -- being sold through eBay, Amazon, etc.

Microsoft puts dual-screen devices and Windows 10X in the too-hard basket


Re: Dual Screen Woes

You're missing the point about it being a completely different model; applications need to behave in a radically different way, it's not just another screen. Look at Apple's TouchBar, where applications will need to present new menus.

For example, you could locate the "Ribbon" down there to free up the main screen for content.


Re: X like in Chrome...

Why no gimp icon?


Keyboard & trackpad location

In the beginning, laptops originally had the keyboard at the front of the laptop, with trackballs all over (even located on the screen on the Compaq LTE). Apple's Powerbook 100 was the first laptop where the keyboard was at the back, with wrist rests and a trackball between. Masses of advantages, not least ease of use and comfort. Trackpads became normal, replacing nipples and trackballs. Almost all laptops follow this defacto standard configuration... because it works.

Changing to put the keyboard at the front and a giant secondary display out of eyeline and removing the trackpad doesn't do anything for usability, especially if on a lap (legs sloping, wrist rests hold the laptop in place). Anyone with a modern Apple Macbook Pro will know the limited use of the trackbar above the keyboard -- useless for a touch typist.

Maybe, just maybe, a grown up in Microsoft woke up and smelt the coffee before the children wasted enormous effort on a fundamentally flawed design?

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


Re: Run both applications?

Assumption wrong. Apparently it relies on a key-exchange "alright mate" protocol.



Run both applications?

Can't both be run in parallel? The GCHQ sponsored centralised database one for those who don't care about privacy issues (numbed brains from years of Facebook/etc.); and run the decentralised version for those who do care.

It will then be the problem of "the centre" to do the data merge when someone catches the plague and reveals their contacts.

(Assuming that it logs the Bluetooth ID of all mobile devices and doesn't need to run some "alright mate" protocol -- or they mod the centralised version to take the anonymous data which isn't revealed until the "reveal" command is given)

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file


At least it's not that minging Bootstrap. Where's the pointless "hero banner" when you need it. Oh, nobody's ever needed a hero banner.

Ex-TalkTalk infosec exec's equal pay and unfair dismissal claims tossed out at tribunal


Has this got anything to do with gender "equality"?

Admittedly we weren't there nor do we have the facts. It is hard to see what a small rollout project has got to do with information security, especially to a company who suffered so badly as a result of security blunders.

Ransomware scumbags leak Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX documents after contractor refuses to pay


Re: You are not really familiar with computer security, are you?

* Security

* Ease of use

* Low cost

Pick any two

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much


Re: Wear face protection?

> bar-tenders

Aren't they furloughed under the government scheme? Or are they now reduced to penury and selling the big issue.

Long-term, can see a considerable difference in government approach; aside from your looney bell-end in chief. Looney bell-end in chief. Looney bell-end in chief. (How many times does he repeat himself whilst rambling?)

And since when do we need masks when out in rural areas? You town-dwelling nonces are a PITA to us carrot crunchers who's life carries on pretty much as it was. Get orrf my laaand...

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again


To summarise

Most people here think:

* DAB has problems, especially mobile

* DAB can be expensive to install, especially mobile

* DAB uses a lot of power, especially portable

* FM just works, uses less power, is ubiquitous, is popular

* Offcom sucks donkey balls

(I made the last one up)

We're number two! Microsoft's Edge browser slips past Firefox in latest set of NetMarketShare figures


Re: Why the decline of Firefox?

Thanks for the uMatrix tip!


Re: A glorious No 2

Are we sure it's not the turd version?


What's the 'new' edge UI like compared with "legacy edge"? Always found the later IEs and legacy edge to be a bit shit; stupid dropdowns, ugly animations, and general cack rendering of widgets.

Don't have a recent VM of Win-DOS to run it on so have never seen it. Have always had this issue where part of me thinks that people who run IE just don't know any better - we forgive them as they know not what they are doing.

Apple's latest macOS Catalina update mysteriously borks SSH for some unlucky fans. What could be the cause?


Catalina; not their best effort

Catalina's a bit of a mess. Loads of bugs compared with previous versions, especially by the time it reached the 4th update. Problems here include:

* Crashes - almost Microsoft levels of crashes, generally on waking from sleep

* Display driver problems - secondary monitors intermittently blank on waking from sleep, flickering hue; incorrect contrast

* Sleep problems - like won't sleep

* Airplay problems - unreliable connections

* Security and other changes means lots of time messing around answering silly "security" popups - very MS like.

Really not their finest version. That there's SSH problems doesn't surprise. The loss of some 32bit utilities also annoys.

Stuck with Catalina because a 16" machine depends upon it.

Drones intone 'you must stay home,' eliciting moans from those in the zone: Flying gizmos corral Brits amid coronavirus lockdown


Makes you want to develop an anti-drone drone. Drops a net over the offending drone / operator.

But my exercise is drone bating officer...

After 20-year battle, Channel island Sark finally earns the right to exist on the internet with its own top-level domain


TLD's of interest to radio amateurs (hams)


UK government puts IR35 tax reforms on hold for a year in wake of coronavirus crisis


Re: Better than nothing

And the unfortunate sods who were 'converted' to full time employees can be sacked as they're "new employees".

As opposed to laying off all the contractors as they bare the risk of self-employment, i.e. they are contractors so aren't subject to employee regulations. Yet the HMRC couldn't give a damn about that crumbled 'pillar'.