* Posts by mark l 2

2394 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

FOSS replacement for Partition Magic, Gparted 1.6 is here to save your data

mark l 2 Silver badge

If i recall Partition magic was nuked when Symantec bought out the developers Powerquest, they also aquired the PQDI drive imaging software which they rolled the tech into Norton Ghost, but removed some of the handy facilities such as the ability to boot a PC directly into the drive cloning software from a restore floppy or CD to create the drive images.

But then that seemed to happen a lot in the early 2000s, Symantec went on an acquisition spree buying up several companies and making the products that eventually came out worse than they were before Symantec got involved.

China breakthrough promises optical discs that store hundreds of terabytes

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am guessing should these ever make it to being commercially available we will be back to having optical media in caddies to protect them from dust and scratches which could make GB of data inaccessible?

Apple makes it official: No Home Screen web apps in European Union

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am guessing iOS must phone home to the Apple mothership informing them on how many PWAs iPhone user install then? Considering they seem to know how many people make use of that feature?

Not that i don't expect Android does the same back to Google and a lot more besides. Although at least you can go down the E/OS or Lineage route to get rid of Google from Android where as there is no Apple free iOS device.

Forgetting the history of Unix is coding us into a corner

mark l 2 Silver badge

My first experience of QNX was around the turn of the millennium, they had a demo which had the a whole GUI, with TCP/IP stack, web browser, text editor and file explorer which fit on just one floppy disk.

You could also down a free ISOs for QNX 6.1 and I remembering burning that to a CDR (i still probably have the disc somewhere) and trying it on a Pentium 3. It was a fully functional OS that you could use as a daily driver, although the number of applications were limited as I think it was mainly aimed at developers looking to write programs for QNX.

European Court of Human Rights declares backdoored encryption is illegal

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Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

Its a few thousand that attempt to cross the channel a year in small boats, which compared to the number of actual legal immigrants we have had since Brexit when the numbers were supposed to fall is a drop in the ocean.

Its just the Tories can make out that a handful of people in a boat is a massive problem that only they can deal with by ripping up every ones human rights, so we can spend millions to send refugees off to an African nation 1000s of miles away with a recent history of genocide.

Europe loosens the straps tying Apple and Microsoft to tough antitrust rules

mark l 2 Silver badge

So does this mean that the promise of being able to rid Windows of Edge in the EU is down gone with this chance in ruling, and it will still be there trying to force its way as the default browser after every Windows update?

Meta says risk of account theft after phone number recycling isn't its problem to solve

mark l 2 Silver badge

Its mainly because even when services do allow better forms of 2FA such as TOTP they still require you provide a mobile number to 'prove identity'.

Paypal do this even though i have 2FAset up with TOTP they often still require i prove i am 'real' by having them send me a SMS which considering i don't get a phone signal in my office means i have to go outside an wave my mobile about like a madman to do something i have already done by logging in with a much more secure 2FA method

Closure of Windows 10 upgrade path still catching users by surprise

mark l 2 Silver badge

AFAIK security patches still work if you are running an unactivated Windows 10 install, as I have a VM with unactivated Windows 10 and it still works with Windows update to get patches. I know this because i only usually boot it up every few months and there is always a fsck ton of patches to download every time I do.

I think Microsoft do this to stop huge botnets of insecure PCs getting created because they didn't activate Windows.

European cloud providers locked in talks with Microsoft over licensing complaint

mark l 2 Silver badge

Microsoft's ability to give themselves an advantage when it comes to licenses for their own software, is the main reason they are able to be successful with Azure and so they won't want to give that up anytime soon to see AWS and others start to take away a slice of their cloudy pie.

You're not imagining things – USB memory sticks are getting worse

mark l 2 Silver badge

My father bought a 64GB Integral USB memory stick from a Tesco at Christmas so I could copy some videos from my PC onto it for him, and it was terrible!

I was trying to copy about 60GB of videos to it and i was getting max of 6MB/s transfer speeds, sometimes down to 3MB/s so it took me hours.

For a while I was even wondering if it was one of those dodgy ones that would report an incorrect capacity and start overwriting data after it filled up a couple of GB, but all the 60GB of data was accessible once it eventually copied over

If i compare it to my few year old 32GB Kingston Datatraveller G3 on the same PC i can get in the region of 70MB/S write speeds on that.

I have been trying to find a reliable USB stick with quality NAND to use a portable SSD, as the M.2 enclosures are a bit to big for my needs but not found one yet.

Windows 11 24H2 is coming so we can all shut up about Windows 12 for another year

mark l 2 Silver badge

"it looks like there will be at least one more hurrah for Windows 11 before the operating system moves to maintenance, and something with a less toxic brand takes center stage."

The only way the next version would be less toxic brand is if they dropped the Windows brand name altogether, which tbh i wouldn't put it pass MS marketing dept to do at some point, after all they have already dropped the Office from Office 365 so maybe it will just be 'Microsoft Copilot 12 Professional'

Restrictive licensing keeps businesses grounded in cloud vendor vortex

mark l 2 Silver badge

It the issue that there is zero cost to Microsoft to provide Azure customers with Windows, Office or any other Microsoft software license, even if they put it down as a cost for accounting purposes they aren't charging themselves a license fee for their own software. Where as any other cloud provider is having to charge that fee or absorb the cost themselves to stay competitive.

Now sure other cloud providers do this with their own software too,but the problem i MS have a huge monopoly on the desktop and office productivity software space that other cloud providers can't compete with on a level playing field.

Microsoft confirms Windows Server 2025 is on the way

mark l 2 Silver badge

Windows 2000 was the only time in the last 24 years when Microsoft Windows naming conventions made sense, you had Windows 2000 server and professional editions.

Since then its been a complete mess of names, numbers and dates, and its about time they just settled upon a standard naming convention for both the desktop and server versions.

Native Chrome arrives fashionably late to the Windows on ARM party

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am surpised to took Google so long to get an Arm version of Chrome onto Windows ARM, unless they thought the user base was just too small to bother with the effort?

Firefox 122 gets even more competitive with Chrome on translation

mark l 2 Silver badge

Since you mention you are only using the laptop for Office 365 I suspect that is your answer as to why it seems slower on FF than on Edge, Microsoft probably has Edge optimised JS code for 365 and then every other browser gets a load of unoptimised cruddy JS that loads up when it detects your not using Edge, which will make other browsers appear slower than Edge. Google have done the same technique before with Chrome and Youtube, of course it was just some testing that was going on and nothing deliberate yada yada.

Have you tried to spoof the browser agent in FF to be Edge and see if it speeds up 365?

Wanna run Windows on an M-series Mac? Fine, buy a license, but no baremetal

mark l 2 Silver badge

"The base tier will run you $31/mo and gets you access to 2 vCPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage"

Cloud PCs are ok if you only need them for a short term usage, but after a couple of months worth of cloud PC subscription fees you could have just bought a refurbished ex business PC such as a Dell Optiplex or Lenovo Thinkcentre which would have much better, CPU, RAM, GPU and storage.

And if you need the ability to it access it remotely then install something like Teamviewer or Chrome remote desktop on it.

Huawei prepares to split from Android on consumer devices with HarmonyOS Next

mark l 2 Silver badge

I guess all Huawei need is for Wechat to get ported to Harmony OS and that will probably be enough for a lot of Chinese users to consider it, as that has its own app store inside it.

I doubt its going to make much in roads outside of China though, iOS and Android are too entrenched in the west for a 3rd ecosystem to be able to get a large enough market share to encourage devs to port their apps over.

HP's CEO spells it out: You're a 'bad investment' if you don't buy HP supplies

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Security

Im fairly sure anyone who reads the tech news, already knows not to buy any HP printers already because of their vast markup of ink prices and shady practices. Its the none techy people who get caught out buying HP printers cos they look inexpensive to buy at the outset, but then you find your stuck with having to shell out another £75 for a new set of carts because the starter carts will only print a handful of pages.

Whenever friends or family are coming to buy a printer I tell them don't look at the up front cost, look at how much replacement ink is. And don't buy HP!

HP customers claim firmware update rendered third-party ink verboten

mark l 2 Silver badge

I really hope my 15 year old Epson carries on for a while longer, as its from a time when printers didn't require an internet connection, and it works with 3rd party inks which i can pick up for less than £3 a cartridge on ebay. And it still prints great quality photos after all these years and I have it plugged into a router running OpenWRT so i can print over the network to it.

OpenAI: 'Impossible to train today’s leading AI models without using copyrighted materials'

mark l 2 Silver badge

If the TPB and other torrent sites can be blocked for piracy and copyright infringement for merely linking to where to download copyrighted materials, then surely slurping up vast quantities and spitting it out from your LLM is clearly a infringement on the original artist copyright if you did not pay to license the content?

And OpenAI have admitted that a public domain only trained AI would be sub par, so they therefore should have paid to license the copyright content they are training it on if they wish to make it a commercial product.

Microsoft pulls the plug on WordPad, the world's least favorite text editor

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Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

Probably to replace it with 'Wordpad Copilot' which requires an a PC with 32GB RAM, and min of 8 core CPU, plus a Microsoft account and an internet connection to to type a one paragraph document.

Is it time for 6G already? Traffic analysis says yep

mark l 2 Silver badge

"On the connectivity side, Nokia believes wireless networks will eventually replace wired connectivity, even in enterprise and industrial sectors, which may place greater demands on them to support all those devices. For this reason, the plans are for 6G to support 10 times more connected devices than 5G, Vetter said."

I call BS Nokia marketing on wireless completely replacing wired networks, I can actually achieve the speeds as advertised over Ethernet unlike the up to theoretical speeds you can get over wireless if all the planets are lined up in the right positions.

Amazon already has a colossal ads business and will extend it to Prime Video in January

mark l 2 Silver badge

So yet another platform where even though you pay for the service you will have a better experience pirating the content than watching on the Prime app come the end of January.

Ive paid up my Prime sub until July so if this comes in in the UK before then, I will just download all the shows I want to watch on Prime from TPB and won't be renewing again.

As for the quality of the ads they will have on the Prime app, if its anything like those on Freevee it will be mostly ads for other Amazon service or products, and hardly ever see big brand advertising on Freevee.

Google pencils in limited third-party cookie purge for January

mark l 2 Silver badge

I disabled 3rd party cookies on Chrome over 12 months ago, and not noticed any problems. Although if i did go to a site that broke with 3rd party cookies turned off I wouldn't bother switching it back on just for that, I would use a different site/service that isn't still operating likes its 2010.

Chromebooks are problematic for profits and planet, says Lenovo exec

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: "I don't know who makes the profit"

Chromebooks are just a laptop that doesn't run Windows, so how can Lenovo make profit on Windows laptops while paying MS a license fee for the OS and not make a profit selling Chromebooks where there is no OS license to pay?

Nvidia sees Huawei, Intel in rear mirror as it grapples with China ban

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"If you redesign a chip around a particular cut line that enables them to do AI, I'm going to control it the very next day," she said, referring to semiconductors bound for the Middle Kingdom. "We cannot let China get these chips. Period."

While you might slow China down with trade restrictions, they are already doing AI, so you won't be able to put the genie back in the bottle now banning Nvidia selling to them. China with still get there with their own AI with or without the US tech.

What's really going on with Chrome's June crackdown on extensions – and why your ad blocker may or may not work

mark l 2 Silver badge

If the ad blocking ability of manifest V3 extensions is a poor version of what you could achieve before the change, it might make people look at alternatives such as Brave or Firefox where Ublock Origin will carry on working to its full potential. So it might be a good thing to end the Chrome monopoly on browsers.

I think Googles recent ad block detection on Youtube which stories about have now reached mainstream news site not just tech site like the register, has made more people aware that you could block ads online, As I have had a few people who are not technically minded come and ask me how they can block ads after seeing articles about it on news sites.

So it could end up being a Streisand effect at work now that Google tried to stop people going on YT with ad blocker extensions its made people who weren't using adblockers actually want to try them.

Windows users can soon ditch Bing, Edge, other bundleware – but only in the EU

mark l 2 Silver badge

So the ability to remove MS bloatware is only going to be available for new installs where the location is set to a country inside Europe or will this function get enabled if you already have Windows set to a location in the EEA through a Windows update?

Im sure it will just be some patch and registry setting that people more clever than me will work out what it is and publish online for the rest of us outside Europe in no time once it goes live either way.

Google dragged to UK watchdog over Chrome's upcoming IP address cloaking

mark l 2 Silver badge

Surely if 1000s of users are all looking like they are coming from one IP this is going to lead to a lot more CAPTCHAs for the end users as website will not know if they are genuine users or bots trying to hide their IP behind proxys?

Apple exec defends 8GB $1,599 MacBook Pro, claims it's like 16GB in a PC

mark l 2 Silver badge

Where as 8GB is probably enough for a lot of people now, the fact is you are stuck with 8GB for the lifetime of the laptop with no means to upgrade it down the road when maybe you will need 16GB.

Plus charging an extra $200 at purchase to double the RAM is ridiculous when you can buy 16GB RAM DIMMS retail for $50 so it maybe its actually costing Apple $30 extra to manufacture 16GB machines over ones with 8GB.

Don't get me wrong its not just Apple who are pulling these sort of tactics either, more and more x86 laptops are coming with RAM soldered to the board with no option to add extra down the line, i eventually can see a time where you will have just a couple of high end pro models in a range of laptops with socketed RAM and the rest will all be fixed size at purchase.

Musk thinks X marks the spot for Grok AI engine based on social network

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Elons plan for Grok is probably to be able to replace even more Twitter staff with AI to try and save a few more bucks and get X even closer to finally stop circling the drain and actually going down it and becoming one giant fatburge AI turd.

Mozilla tells extension developers to get ready to finally go mobile

mark l 2 Silver badge

I can confirm that Ublock origin has been an available add on for Firefox for Android for at least a couple of years it was the main reason I installed Firefox on my phone in the first place. But I will look to see if the containers add on is available and working for the mobile version as that is a very handy extension i used on Firefox on my PC.

YouTube cares less for your privacy than its revenues

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I have a YT channel and Google decided that my channel was not monetizable, yet decide to still run ads on my videos. So yeah im gonna block ads on Youtube cos i don't give a toss if Google are loosing a few dollars from me not watching ads.

As a way to compensate creators whos videos I watch, that don't have their own sponsorship in their videos, Ill play their videos without adblocker in a browser inside VM, where the ads don't bother me and their is no risk of my computer being compromised by malware.

Apple slams Android as a 'massive tracking device' in internal slides revealed in Google antitrust battle

mark l 2 Silver badge

From a purely business prospective it makes total sense for Apple to accept the several $bn from Alphabet to have Google as the default search. As if Apple wanted to develop their own search engine it would cost them money to develop and would probably take years before they would be seeing anything like $20bn a year profit from their own efforts.

Mid-contract telco price hikes must end, Ofcom told

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am lucky enough that I moved into my new house in April just at the time when these prices rises all kick in so my internet contract runs out just before they want to jack up the price the following year as long as I stick to 12 month contracts.

Theora video codec to be coded out from Chrome and Firefox

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am guessing only a few websites with content going back over a decade would still be using Theora encoded videos now? As much better royalty free codecs have been around since 2010 with VP8 and then VP9 in 2013 and AV1 in 2015 all of which offer better compression than Theora would do.

Cybercrooks amp up attacks via macro-enabled XLL files

mark l 2 Silver badge

Whether MS Office is inherently insecure is up for debate, but the fact that Microsoft Office has a virtual monopoly for office software in businesses mean that these sort of things are going to come up time and time again. Software mono cultures are a bad thing. Windows and Office are such as huge target for criminals attacking businesses as they know they are 99% likely to be using one or both products.

X says it's only worth $19B after year of Muskmanagement

mark l 2 Silver badge

I just don't see how Musk ever thinks he can make it worth what he paid for it never mind grow the business to be worth more than $44bn without the advertisers?

As they will never be enough people willing to pay for what Twitter offers to make money from subscriptions. Personally i wouldnt be willing to pay for access to any social media app. But no doubt a lot of people would if they were told they would get locked out of Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok if they didnt sign up for a subscription as they spend hours on these every day. But for access to Twitter, i think most people would just go meh, oh well never mind ill use something else, if they had to pay.

Trademark fight: Brit biz Threads has a teeny tiny problem with Meta's Threads

mark l 2 Silver badge

I didn't even know that Metas Threads app had even launched in the UK, I thought it was only available in the US due to it not being GDPR compatible? Show how much attention people paid to their UK launch as I don't remember El Reg covering it on here or on any other big news sites

If i were Threads UK id have said to Meta give us £100M and you can buy our entire company domain name, trademark and all or else see you in court.

Microsoft's 11-year itch: The uncelebrated anniversary of Windows 8

mark l 2 Silver badge

MS dropped the ball on the Windows 8 UI, it should have been a simple option when installing Windows 8. Are you using a touch screen device or a PC with a mouse and keyboard? And then it loaded up either classic start menu or Metro depending on the choice. With maybe a simple toggle to switch between the two for people who used both.

As the metro interface was just horrible on anything other than a touch screen device or a media centre PC

Sorry Pat, but it's looking like Arm PCs are inevitable

mark l 2 Silver badge

Certainly for those millions of boxes that sit on desks in offices all over the world that mainly run Office 365 and a browser, the CPU in an ARM based Windows PC wouldn't even need to be particular powerful as ARM native versions exist of browser and Office software so no translation needed. And thanks to there generally better performance per Watt over x86, they will probably save a ton of money on the electricity running costs if you are a large enterprise who has thousands of machines to swap out.

Privacy advocate challenges YouTube's ad blocking detection scripts under EU law

mark l 2 Silver badge

Newpipe for your phone, Smarttube for your Android TV / Firestick and Minitube for your PC it is then. They are standalone apps so the recently added Google adblock detecting JS doesn't do anything to their ability to play back without ads (for now at least)

CEO Satya Nadella thinks Microsoft hung up on Windows Phone too soon

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: I'll be happy when they bring back the Windows phone..

Very doubtful we will see another Windows OS phone from Microsoft, they might have a go at doing a Android reskin to make it look like Windows Phone, but the combination of Windows OS running the Android subsystem and Amazon app store is not a winning formula that is going to convince many Android or iPhone users to switch to Windows.

Millions of smart meters will brick it when 2G and 3G turns off

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Powerline?

Apparently E.on do use BPL (broadband over power lines) for their smart meter comms in some places with tech from corinex.com.


There's no Huawei Chinese chipmakers can fill Nvidia's shoes... anytime soon

mark l 2 Silver badge

I am not well up on how to train an AI, but does it have that much of an impact if your not using cutting edge tech is from companies like NVIDIA or Intel?

So even if the Chinese companies have to use home grown kit which is only half as fast as what the US companies can offer, would it not just take longer to train them up their AI but they will still get their in the end?

And can it not be scaled up by throwing more GPUs at the issue to compensate for each individual ones not being as fast?

Admin behind E-Root stolen creds souk extradited to US

mark l 2 Silver badge

I don't get how for someone running a website which is full of comprised server accounts and other illegal stuff they are identified and caught so easily, is it just a simple mistake like with the silk road admin where they used the same pseudonym on the Silk road site and also on another website which linked their identify or are they stupid enough to use their real details when signing up for servers/domain names and access the site from their real IP and not through TOR or similar to hide their real IP address?

The problem with Jon Stewart is that Apple appears to have cancelled his show

mark l 2 Silver badge

I mean considering the US and other western countries have banned Tiktok and other Chinese apps from government devices for fear of spying by the Chinese gov, i wouldn't be a surprise if China did mandate no iPhones for people in government positions for the same reasons. Especially when they have influence over companies like Hauwei that can make fully China developed hardware and software which they can be more confident won't have backdoors added by western governments.

More X subscription tiers could spell doom for free access as biz bleeds cash

mark l 2 Silver badge

Philippines and New Zealand seem odd choice to experiment with charging for subscriptions to stop bots, are they particular hot spots of bot activity?

I'm sure any spammers who want to sign up to Twixer to create bots from these regions can quite easily just use a VPN or proxy to mask their IP and create an account in another country to avoid the restrictions though, so I don't really see how this is really going to help reduce spam/bots.

And putting a charge on users of the Philippines - which is not a rich country - even if its is a nominal amount its probably a big deal to them and will put off legitimate users from even bothering to make an account.

Biden has brought the ban hammer down on US export of AI chips to China

mark l 2 Silver badge

Once again no matter what the restrictions the US announce, it won't stop the Chinese government getting hold of whatever AI accelerators they want through the grey/black market. So this is just another way of claiming they are stopping them being used for military use but its more about trying to stop Chinese companies catching up or getting ahead in AI.

After all the US can't stop the tonnes of illegal drug and weapons flowing across its border every year what makes them think they can stop high end GPUs getting smuggled out?

First Brexit, now X-it: Musk 'considering' pulling platform from EU over probe

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Re: Tesla's Q3 earnings call

No Tesla isn't worth the huge amount its share price indicates which says its worth more than several other car companies combined that sell vastly more cars every year such as Volkswagen + BMW + Ford.

By all accounts even though Tesla cars are priced in the same region as luxury cars such as as Mercedes or Audi the build more like they are a mid tier priced car. Badly fitting panels, dodgy paint, cheap feeling interiors and loads of teething issues that mean they are often need to go back to the garage for repairs are often gripes that Tesla owner report after buying.

And then there feature such as 'full self driving' which is supposed to be rolled out with a software update to the existing cars. Which no doubt some thought it meant you can buy a Tesla now and in a few years you will be able to just tell it where to take you and then have a nap and wake up at your destination, but this is never going to happen as Tesla choose confusing terms such as Autopilot and Full self driving for what still amounts to just driver aids.