* Posts by The Indomitable Gall

1560 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

'Admin error': AWS in dead company data centre planning application snafu in Oxfordshire

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Concealed planning applications

"But in contrast with Amazon a datacentre, especially a dedicated one from a giant like FaceMeta, Google or Microsoft, doesn't offer much in the way of local jobs."

You've clearly not noticed that the article is about AWS -- Amazon Web Services -- building... datacentres.

The unit of measure for fatbergs is not hippopotami, even if the operator of an Australian sewer says so

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Pural [sic]

So we've got the UK, then we've got Australia, which are antipodes. That leaves 6 octopodes to account for -- where are they???

Horizon Workrooms promises a virtual future of teal despair

The Indomitable Gall

Re: My experience is different

Yes, and a side-effect of the pandemic is a long-overdue move towards shorter and more focused meetings, which I'm hoping will live on in the back-in-the-office world.

As for work meetings, well if I'm in a "webcams-off" meeting, I'd started lying on the floor to eliminate computer-based distraction and continue to listen, and then I moved to putting on my VR headset and using virtual desktop to stream the browser wirelessly to my headset halfway across the room. With the mouse and keyboard out of my hands, I was able to focus, despite being in a dull, uninteresting management briefing.

Oh, and some of those conference talks were monumentally tedious too.

The Indomitable Gall

My experience is different

My experience is different.

I've "attended" a few conferences in online in the last couple of years, and I've actually found VR to be an immense aid to focus.

Sitting at a screen, it's all too easy to pull up a Facebook tab and zone out of the meeting/talk entirely, but in a VR headset, distraction is far less immediate. Hell, you can't even just glance at your phone under the desk, like we've all done in physical meetings.

Also, don't underestimate the power of positional audio. With voices coming from multiple directions, people can talk at the same time without any of them becoming incomprehensible. There are video-conferencing apps out there that take advantage of this (based on research findings that people don't care much whether or not the audio position matches the actual physical location of the screen avatar) but at the moment the "big boys" (MS, Zoom etc) don't, and I'm not sure why not.

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Flattering, but still nonsensical

" The majority of killings in America are committed by repeat criminals using illegally obtained "handguns"! "

My understanding is that the majority of these illegally-obtained handguns were legally sold into private ownership and were subsequently traded on illegally, often via gunshows where ownership registration can be legally ignored.

Not only is the USA's legal gun trade the source of most illegal guns in the US, it's also the source of most illegal guns in Canada.

So while your argument may be strictly correct, it doesn't prove what you want it to prove.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Problems

Well you're clearly not particularly concerned with actual law, because it's a matter of basic fact that it doesn't apply in Scotland. Whether you have a "problem" with this or not, it's just how the law works.

The Indomitable Gall

Ah, but...

" *As a Scot, the author sees it as his right to make fun of Scots. No genuine offence is intended, he knows how sensitive you can be. "

Ah, but no true Scotsman... (you know the rest!)

Microsoft defends intrusive dialog in Visual Studio Code that asks if you really trust the code you've been working on

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Running lint causes the code to be executed?

11 hours on and there's still only one downvote. Not quite a "brigade" then...

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Not that macOS is in any sense perfect …

Except that when you download and save as, the file reports as being from the local storage, doesn't it...?

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes

The Indomitable Gall

Oh the Audacity!

(I can't believe that no-one's made that joke yet!)

Perhaps the name for a fork could be an antonym -- Politesse, or something. ;-)

Petition instructs Jeff Bezos to buy, eat world's most famous painting

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Worth <> cash

Well in the case of Bezos, over 25 years of drawing a salary as Amazon's CEO means he's probably not merely rich on paper.

His salary is "only" $81k, but his total compensation package excluding stock is $1.6million.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: A very educational petition

What value has he created?

Everything I've ever bought from Amazon I could have bought from somewhere else.

Amazon shuffles goods from one place to another while avoiding taxes and dividends.

In the process it has made life harder for other middlemen who treat their employees well enough that they're not afraid to take a pee break.

Fewer jobs, less tax in the treasury... seems to me society isn't really better off for Amazon's existence...

Antivirus that mines Ethereum sounds a bit wrong, right? Norton has started selling it

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Hard disk failure

My hard drive failed hard when my grip failed over a hard floor.

Scottish National Party members found among list of names signed up to rival Alba Party after website whoopsie

The Indomitable Gall

What's with the constant Krankies references? Isn't that all getting a bit old now?

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Shocker

The Greens looked OK when Harper was their public face, but there are too many elements of eco-militancy rising to the surface as they get bigger for them to get broad public acceptance.

Plus, it's the power of Salmond (like him or loathe him) that's likely to get significant numbers following a 2nd-vote-tactical strategy.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Shocker

Not sure about that myself.

I give the SNP one term post-independence before they collapse and end up reforming into something entirely different.

The SNP currently has several strands of appeal

1. Single-issue voters -- independence or bust

2. Perception of Scottish chapters of UK big 3 parties as "branch offices" representing the party over constituents

3. People who like SNP policies.

Group 3 has expanded significantly based on how the SNP have governed in 3 consecutive parliaments, but without groups 1 and 2, they'll be unable to command a majority.

That means that in the event of independence, there will be a rapid restructuring of the Labour, Conservative and LibDem parties north of the border, and a resurgence of Scottish Labour voting.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Shocker

No-one's suggesting otherwise.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: "Donald, where's your troosers?"

Which anti-English attitudes?

I keep hearing claims of Anglophobia, but with no specific allegations.

Are there anglophobes in Scotland? Yes.

Are some of them members of the SNP? No doubt.

Are they anything other than fringe elements? As far as I know, no.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: "Donald, where's your troosers?"

That's an adjective.

The Indomitable Gall

Why not? We've already got about five Free Kirks...

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Alba

Isn't that just Argos's own brand for rebadged Chinese commodity electronics? Were they ever available in Dixons?

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Purdah should not apply here

I would imagine that during purdah it'll be a matter for the Electoral Commission, hence the ICO's reluctance to get involved. Imagine if both investigated and came to different conclusions -- messy.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: The Scottish People's Front.

The people of Back would like to have a word with you about the appropriation of their name for their home by your party.

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Matthew and Son

The cake is a lie.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: "top business and technology professionals"

2x ?

I though contractor rates were 3 to 5x salary.

Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Edge using chromium

Puppies are better than kittens.

TCL's latest e-ink tech looks good on paper, but Chinese giant will have to back up extraordinary claims

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Looking forward to seeing this in action

To paraphrase:

"Cheap last gen tech is awful therefore this cutting edge future tech will be awful too."

Yes, it's highly likely they're overegging the pudding here, but you can't know for sure it will be in any way comparable to what we've seen so far.

Epic move: Judge says Apple can't revoke Unreal Engine dev tools, asks 'Where does the 30 per cent come from?'

The Indomitable Gall

When they first started, they expressly didn't want people doing the version number thing, and they deliberately did not build the infrastructure to facilitate purchasing of upgrades. In fact, I'm pretty sure they mandated no version numbers in app titles to begin with. What a lot of publishers ended up doing instead was using the "bundles" feature and creating a bundle of the new piece of software and the obsolete version so that you'd get a discount based on it subtracting the money you'd already spent on the old one from the cost of the new one. At the start, they did this by branding the new version as a new product rather than a version-number upgrade, and no, there was nothing Apple could do to stop them, so slowly they started letting people do the version number thing instead.

Upgrade by in-app purchase is antisocial, as you're using your customers' storage space on things they can't use. I bought the Pinnacle Lite+Pro bundle (the same price as Pinnacle Pro on its own -- one of those upgrade workarounds) precisely because I was short of space on my iPad and couldn't afford the space for the full app with its filtering etc included, so only installed it when I specifically wanted to do the fancier stuff and just kept the Lite version on for occasional casual use. (Of course, it turned out the workflow was utterly awful, so I stopped using it entirely.)

The Indomitable Gall

Apple actively discourage versions, and they deliberately built in no mechanism for license upgrades. It was a deliberate decision on their part.

Just because shareware authors were doing it doesn't make it standard practice -- none of the major commercial houses were doing it.

The Indomitable Gall

" consumers could choose when deciding to buy an Android device or an iPhone "

Ah, that hoary old chestnut. The thing is, Apple went out of their way to push app developers to adopt a free-updates-for-life model, which doesn't benefit devs in any way whatsoever... Who benefits...? Well, Apple would say the consumer, but in the end it's Apple, because all of us with iOS devices are then actively discouraged from ever switching to Apple.

I was given an iPad as a gift, bought some video and audio apps, and Pythonista, and then when I went to (finally) buy a smartphone, I bought the one I already owned the apps I wanted on... i.e. an iPhone.

Switching to Android would be an expensive proposition, as suddenly I've got to reinvest in all of that.

Microsoft sides with Epic over Apple developer ban, supports motion for temporary restraining order

The Indomitable Gall

They're not feigning ignorance -- they're deliberately challenging it as sharp practice and suggested that it is an unfair contract, and they wouldn't have taken that step if they didn't think they've got a very strong case. The key word here is "tying" -- they're making the point that Apple's business practices are exactly the same as car manufacturers who actively prevent 3rd-party servicing of vehicles, which is now banned in most major jurisdictions.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Cynical

Apple created the situation for themselves, though.

They started out with a goal to remove versions and upgrades, and create a buy-once-for-life ecosystem. Prior to this the productivity software market relied on upgrade cycles for steady income to fund upgrades.

They encouraged low pricing with a claim that what you lost out in individual sales would be made up for in volume, and you got apps providing 90% of the functionality of desktop apps for a tenth of the price... with free upgrades for life instead of a £50 or more every year or two.

They set up this gold rush race to the bottom, which led to a massive marketplace of "ad supported" apps when they must have known that the market wouldn't support it, and devs the world over wasted innumerable person-years making software that no-one ever got properly paid for.

The only people who ever benefited from this setup were Apple. They made lots of money from cheap app sales. They made lots of money from advertising. Because they were the ones who had scale -- while everyone else got a miniscule slice of the pie, they got 30%. And the reason I have an iPhone is not because I wanted an iPhone, but because I was given an iPad as a gift, and I bought apps for many thinks (mostly sound, video and programming) that I liked, and I didn't want to have to buy them again on Android, or hunt around for suitable substitutes if they weren't available. So I give money to Apple to avoid having to give money to the people who made the apps I use.

It's a messed up market, and it was never sustainable. That's why apps have moved more and more towards subscription models -- it's the only revenue stream that stays (mostly) open to them.

Yes, it's also happening in the desktop space, but as yet on a smaller scale. The death of physical media coupled with the increasing confidence that Windows 10 is going to offer the long-term stability that Microsoft promised at its launch is also probably making desktop app devs worried that for most users a license-for-life will end up being treated as such, rather than buying into an upgrade to get round backwards compatibility bugs in their OS.

So yes, the market was going that way, but Apple accelerated it, and they created a rod for their own back.

Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles

The Indomitable Gall

Re: International Recognition

" Thus all this government-sponsored life support for languages is quite likely a waste of time. "

That is a perfectly logical argument, because we all know Wikipedia is run by the Scottish government.

You see, once you join in on a discussion about a news article and say something about government/subsidies/taxpayers, you inadvertently show that all the talk about government money is just a smokescreen to present your bigoted opinions as calm rational analysis...

The Indomitable Gall

Re: International Recognition

As I understand it, one of the biggest social pressures in Czechoslovakia was linguistic: "Czechoslovakian" essentially meant "Czech" and "Slovakian" was consider "Bad Czechoslovakian". Slovakian people were considered stupid, and the evidence was that they spoke "bad Czechoslovakian". Even to this day, we have the same problem in Scotland -- that speaking like yer mammy is taken as a sign you're thick, and speaking like someone from miles away is taken as a sign you're sophisticated.

It is not as much a matter of identity [i]construction[/i] as it is of "identity positivity" -- what's being called "reclaiming" these days. For people to stand up for the identity [b]they already have[/b] and defend their right to speak [b]in a way they already do[/b] is very much not "construction".

Quite the opposite, in fact. The real "constructed" identity is the one that denies variation and tries to impose a single uniform cultural identity on diverse peoples.

There are many people inside the independence movement that want nothing to do with Scots, and there are many outside the independence movement that support it. Same with Gaelic. Neither is a party-political issue.

This'll upset the Apple cart: 1,200 iOS apps downloaded 300 million times a month include 'ad fraud' code

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Genuinely Puzzled....

It's the stat that's used, because it's the stat that's most easily measured. If you can suggest a scaling factor that approximates the number of active users based on research, go ahead.

So... just 'Good' then? KFC pulls Finger Lickin' slogan while pandemic rumbles on

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Different countries, different flavours

As I was told it, most of the variety in KFC is just down to frying temperature. With all frying, if the fat isn't hot enough when the food goes in, it doesn't crisp up immediately and the batter absorbs shedloads of grease.

It was suggested to me that many UK-based KFC branches let the fryers cool too much and don't wait till they're back up to temperature when the customers come in, and reuse the fryers too quickly when busy, meaning the cold chicken hitting the fat cools things back down to "greasy sponge" point again.

50%+ of our office seats are going remote, say majority of surveyed Register readers. Hi security, bye on-prem

The Indomitable Gall

What's up with that graph?

Your chart of the percentages is kind of screwy. You have under 25% next to 75-100%, at the opposite end to 25%-50%, making it impossible to read as intended.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Major benefits

" The disposable income people are still prepared to spend will go somewhere. "

China, as we buy more cheap tat on eBay and Amazon Marketplace.

The trend over time has always been to reduce the amount of our outgoings spent on labour costs. Sandwich shops were one of the last few labour-intensive drains on our wallets.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Loss of human contact

On the other hand, recent decades have seen society degenerate further an further into siloed "tribes" that rarely mix. When we spend all our time with people "like us", we let ourselves get narrow-minded.

Socialising by geography (a.k.a. "Talking to the neighbours") means exposing yourself to more ways of thinking.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff


"Asking somebody to explain it forces them to think about it. "

Unless they've already thought about it (or had someone think about it for them) and they already have an answer, such as "the brain--why do you think tinfoil hats exist?"


But if the question is repeated again and again with no malice or implication of stupidity, over time it might have an effect. Lots of us here will remember the long, slow decline of racism, sexism and homophobia... that is still going on, decades after it started. Ignorance is never dispelled overnight. Patience is required.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

If you can't change their minds, don't talk to them.

Educating the ignorant is a slow process, and for those of us who try to act with patience and help people slowly move out of their cognitive traps, it is supremely frustrating when people blunder in and shout "YOU FUCKING NUTTER!" then run away proud of themselves for speaking up in the name of truth, having demolished our attempts to get the ignorant to start to understand the truth a bit better.

Trump bans Feds from contracting H-1B workers and makes telehealth the new normal

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Really a ban?

Has Trump not already shown himself to be extremely flexible on definitions, restrictions and limitations...?

Google extends homeworking until this time next year – as Microsoft finds WFH is terrific... for Microsoft

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Self Control

" The 4 hours extra of working a week, can be offset by the reduced time wasted commuting. I've worked in jobs where commuting wasted 10 hours a week, so spending 4 of those working and 6 of them relaxing is a win for both sides, and helps justify the idea to the company. "

Your company hasn't paid you for that time, and hasn't "gifted" you that time -- that's your time, and you shouldn't be giving it away for free. If you need to put in the extra time to buy yourself the ability to work from home, that's a bit shitty, but go ahead. But to rationalise doing more work for no active recompense from your employer... that's being complicit in your own exploitation.

Unshackle the proletariat, and fight for a better tomorrow, comrades!

The Indomitable Gall

Re: ... welcome to the machine

Yeah, a dystopian sci-fi kick in the teeth.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: WFH is also good

I always felt stared at and disapproved of when I took an afternoon constitutional out of the office to try to get my head back in the game. But I did it anyway, as I knew it was helping, whatever the other drones thought of it.

The Indomitable Gall

Re: WFH is also good

Disturbing no-one? The mere thought that there exists a plushy form of the source of all human misery disturbs me, for one!

The Edinburgh Fringe festival isn't happening this year, but that won't stop a digital sign doing its own comedy routine

The Indomitable Gall

The gates have been locked almost continuously since last century. I walked down those steps maybe twice. They stank of urine, or, as we say in Scotland, they reeked of pish. And that, dear reader, is why they're locked.

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?

The Indomitable Gall

I would do anything for an upvote...

...but I won't do that.

Virtual reality is a bonkers fad that no one takes seriously but anyway, here's someone to tell us to worry about hackers

The Indomitable Gall

Re: VR is a fad?

" 2) "VR" Games. They suck. I don't want an immersive VR experience, where I have to mime getting out of the car and twisting off the gas cap in order to refuel. I want to press "Y" while next to the pump and have my tank meter zip to "F" on its own. In fact, I don't want to even stand up.

3) No/crap support for non-VR games. The main reason I want 3d is for stereo 3d, not for a VR experience. I like traditional styled games, where you sit and use the keyboard or maybe (for the less cerebral games) a console style controller. "

Lots of development houses thought that way, and started trying to do traditional gaming in VR (the original Oculus dev kits didn't come with motion controllers, after all) but in the end, they all came to the same conclusion -- that the sense of presence was too much, and using a controller just felt weird.

The Indomitable Gall

VR security...?

VR security is a non-issue. Not because it isn't a potential problem, but because either your headset is just a fancy display controlled by an external computer/console or it's a display with an Android device built it. That means VR security is IT security, and business as usual, not a new category. VR attacks will exploit the exact same attack vectors as every other attack, but there will be far fewer of them, as it's a small target group. Furthermore, with the exception of the Quest and similar standalone units, it's going to be pretty much impossible to identify potential targets from internet metadata, as there's nothing to set a VR-equipped PC or Playstation apart from non-VR ones unless you happen to be browsing the web from a inside a headset.


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