* Posts by mark l 2

1498 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Google to pull plug on Play Music, its streaming service that couldn't beat Spotify, in favour of YouTube Music

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: I've just uploaded my music collection to...

A work around to get unlimited song streaming is to use something like FFMPEG to make all your music tracks into videos, and then you can upload them to the Google photos service as long as you use the option of unlimited storage.

You could make the videos a low resolution and just a black screen with the artist and track title to reduce used data when streaming.

China slams President Trump's TikTok banned-or-be-bought plan in the US

mark l 2 Silver badge

Trumps statement that is has to be a American company that Bytedance sells its operations to, to stop them getting blocked in the US is pure for the US own financial gains and so the US 3 letter agencies can slurp the data themselves rather than it going to China

Considering how the US is supposed to be a model of free market capitalism why couldn't a non china based company purchase it? I would much rather have a European owned social media platform than another one operating from the US. As apart from a few smaller localised social networks like VK in Russia, all the big social media platforms are already owned by US companies.

Virgin Galactic pals up with Rolls-Royce to work on Mach 3 Concorde-style private jet that can carry up to 19 people

mark l 2 Silver badge

My brother in law had to fly from Brisbane to Sydney only last week for a meeting, which his boss insisted he had to attend in person and couldn't be done over video links despite the COVID19 pandemic.

He was lucky to be able to fly back to Brisbane just before they mandated a quarantine on all people coming in to Queensland from NSW due to there being several new cases of COVID19 in Sydney.

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

mark l 2 Silver badge

The US claims they are banning TIkTok on US national security grounds because the data is all sent back to servers in China where they could be accessed by the Chinese authorities. But considering the app is mainly teenagers lip syncing and dancing to pop song I fail to see how that is a national security concern?

It once again the orange one using a Chinese based company in his own personal war on China who he currently blames for the corona virus which has caused his approval rating to get hammered in the polls because he handled it soooo badly from the beginning.

As for MS buying Tiktok I am sure they will go well, I mean Microsoft are well know for improving platforms they purchase and making them much better. Just look at how well they have done after purchasing Nokia and Skype :D

Amazon gets green-light to blow $10bn on 3,000+ internet satellites. All so Americans can shop more on Amazon

mark l 2 Silver badge

What are the speeds you can get with satellite broadband such as what Amazon is proposing? As when I last looked at satellite internet services they offered a decent download speed but upload speed was dial up speeds meaning they are useless for stuff like Skype or posting on social media etc

In the market for a second-hand phone? Check it's still supported by the vendor – almost a third sold are not

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Expiration Date?

I agree with this, it needs to be mandated that the buyer is clearly informed when software updates for the phone is going to stop before they purchase the device.

If the buyer wants to then take the risk of buying a device which has short or no support then its their choice. I think it should also be required that manufactures release the boot loader keys on devices with locked boot loaders when they stop support them, so it is easier for the owner of the device to put 3rd party firmwares on such as LinageOS.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

mark l 2 Silver badge

I used to have a job working on the help desk of online PC manufacturer in the early 2000s. We had a customer who claims their PC had made a loud bang and smoke had come out of the back of the PC, 1 week before their warranty was due to expire.

When it was received back it was found that the scorch marks were actually caused by the customer using a lit candle to make it look like something had blown and they had inadvertently dripped molten wax all over the inside of the PC in their attempt to make it look like it had developed a fault. Yet when confronted with this they swore blind not only that they had not done it, but that they don't even own any candles.

As it was despite their efforts the PC booted up without any problems and so was shipped back to them, minus the candle wax.

Brave takes step closer to sensible business model by building subscription VPN into the iOS version of its browser

mark l 2 Silver badge

Every man and his dog is attempting to flog you a VPN, if its not TV ads for NordVPN nearly every video on Youtube these days seem to be sponsored by some VPN provider. So I am not sure how many people who don't already have a VPN and who want one are left who would be willing to subscribe to Brave VPN service. But I hope it does bring in enough new customers to keep alternative browsers like Braze and Firefox alive.

Gone in 15 minutes: Qualcomm claims new chargers will fill your smartmobe in a flash

mark l 2 Silver badge

Li-on batteries are a massive improvement over what we have had before, but their power density is still way off what you can achieve by burning a fossil fuel. I'd much rather the phone companies develop better batteries for their phones which could last a week on one charge than phones which produces marginally better photos due to putting in another camera or a slightly fast CPU than the previous generation.

Google allowed to remember search results to news articles it was asked to forget. Good

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: If only there were the idea of a spent conviction?

There is a fine line on the right to be forgotten which needs to be balanced. If you were arrested for smoking pot in your youth and its now 10 years later, yet the first results on Google for your name are still details on that arrest I would argue that should be removed from the search results. As it could be causing them to not be able to get a job if prospective employers do a Google search.

But I don't think that someone should be able to use it to avoid scrutiny such as rich businessmen and politicians wanting to remove stories which might not be favourable for themselves but still of public importance.

New Google rules mandate Android 'Poundland' Edition, Go, for sub-2GB RAM phones once Android 11 is out

mark l 2 Silver badge

I have a Nokia 5.1 which as 3 GB of RAM so it can be done.

I am saddened by the fact that 2GB of RAM is now considered 'low end'. If developers weren't releasing such bloated code the majority of people could get buy with a phone with this amount of RAM.

India drops the bar on e-commerce seller's listings: You want to sell it? Tell us where it came from from then

mark l 2 Silver badge

While there are some China products are poor quality or even dangerous, there is still a lot of stuff made in China which is as good as locally made stuff, yet cost half the price. And a lot of buyers don't give a toss what country it was make in, as long as it is cheaply priced and is of reasonable quality.

I think this will be even more important once the economic effects of the recession start to hit home for people and they have less cash available to spend.

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law

mark l 2 Silver badge

Its my browser and therefore any cookies installed on my device are using my paid for storage space (even if a they only take up tiny amount) so if I want to delete them I can't see how the DMCA laws would have the power to stop me. Besides the DCMA is not a law where I live, and bypassing a paywall is hardly going to be a crime large enough to get extradited to the states over no matter what Team America world police think about how their laws should apply world wide.

Teardown nerds delve into Dell's new XPS 15 laptop to find – fancy that – screws and user-serviceable parts

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Why so few size options?

I disable the touchpad on my Lenovo laptop wherever possible because it is so sensitive that i end up accidentally touching it while typing and it clicks onto other parts of the document I am trying to write. So i nearly always have a USB mouse plugged in,

I never had that problem on my old Dell latitude laptop so it must be something about is location or just the general sensitivity of the touchpad that doesn't work well with the position of my hands while typing.

UK mobile network Vodafone channels its inner stroppy teen, begs government to cancel upcoming 5G auction

mark l 2 Silver badge

The UK government will be looking to make as much £ as they can from auctioning off the 5G spectrum considering how much money they are spending on the corona virus. So I doubt they will be willing to cancel the auction.

ReactOS hits a milestone – actually hiring a full-time developer. And we've got our talons on the latest build to see what needs fixing

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Here’s Hoping...

No need to worry about MS turning off activation servers for 7, Vista or XP. Just use royalty OEM activation by adding a simple line to the VM config files and a relevant OEM SLIC cert in windows which means no activation is required as the OS thinks is running on a Dell, HP, Lenovo system which don't require activation by the end user.

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Timetables matter

"By the time of the next election, we will have implemented in law, an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks."

He clearly is under the impression that laws cannot be repealed if he thinks it an 'irreversible path'. But then again i wouldn't put it passed the tories to try and make it so any laws they pass while in power can't be repealed later if they loose the next election.

Four years after swallowing Arm Holdings, SoftBank said to be mulling Brit chip biz sale

mark l 2 Silver badge

While it was sad that ARM was sold a few years ago to Softbank, I don't think that the UK government buying it back if it is up for sale is actually of much use for national security grounds. ARM don't make any of the chips they design, and even if it were fully UK owned and ran that wouldn't stop the Chinese, US or anyone else producing ARM SOC if they had paid for a license.

It does appear that Softbank are not great at doing due diligence before investing, as they don't seem to understand how ARM operates and look at the fsck up that was WeWork.

South Korea joins the ‘we’re going to be self-sufficient in more tech and then export bucketloads’ club

mark l 2 Silver badge

While I can understand why countries want to become more self-sufficient. I do feel like the environmental impact of everyone doing there own thing may take a backseat which can only be bad for all of us.

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

mark l 2 Silver badge

"The email informed recipients that their TomTom LIVE Services subscription was being renewed and would be billed for a month at GBP 9.99."

Who would pay almost £10 a month for a sat nav subscription? The TomTom GPS app for your phone is £14.99 for a year of updates, so how much more do you get for your other £105 on the Mazda ICE version?

Rip and replace is such a long Huawei to go, UK telcos plead, citing 'blackouts' and 'billion pound' costs: Are Vodafone and BT playing 'Project Fear'?

mark l 2 Silver badge

Using the sanctions that Trump has imposed as a reason not to use Huawei seems a rather poor excuse. Where as no doubt Huawei's growth has been impeded by the sanctions they aren't exactly at risk of going bankrupt. And even if Huawei suffer supply chain shortages then telcos can just buy more Nokia or Ericsson kit to fill the gaps.

Plus with Trump in the Whitehouse you would have more luck spinning a roulette wheel than trying to predict what the orange one is going to do next regarding China. He might not even be in power in another 6 months time if the election doesn't go well so the sanctions may get lift by whoever replaces him.

China’s preferred Linux distro trumpets Arm benchmark results

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Remind me

How is ARM (which is owned by Softbank a Japanese consortium) under the control of the Chinese government?

The ARM based kit the Chinese government are using for these benchmarks comes from Huawei which is just a has a license to product chips to ARM's design. Neither Huawei or the Chinese government have any influence to put backdoors into ARM designs which can still be manufactured by other ARM licenser such as Broadcom, Samsung, Qualcomm etc. Who i assume their engineers have enough knowledge about processor design to spot deliberate backdoors in ARM core designs anyway.

If the Huawei chips do have some backdoor mandated by the Chinese government, it will be discovered eventually. Very clever people are probably probing and poking at their kit right now looking for such things.

FYI: You do all know that America's tech giants, even Google, supply IT to the US military, right?

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: ALL of the tech giants?

I have suspect the US military and the 3 letter agencies have backdoor access to Facebook's data so they can gleem intel on potential targets and there associates.

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'

mark l 2 Silver badge

I see no issue with Libreoffice partnering with companies to offer paid support for Libreoffice if it means that they can spend some of that money to make the software a bit more polished. As having a decent alternative to MS Office is important.

If they need to make money to pay their bills they don't have a lot of choices, if they stick ads into software people would be up in arms. Look what happened with the Amazon search thing a few years ago with Ubuntu when they tried to generate some extra revenue from that.

Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150

mark l 2 Silver badge

My Nokia 5.1 has just recently upgraded to Android 10 and originally came with Android 8 when it was released in 2018 and it updated to 9 about this time last year. So it still much better than some of the competition whose 2018 phones have not received updates in a while.

So for that alone I would consider another Nokia phone when my 5.1 becomes out of support or breaks.

And although NFC would be handy to have the only thing i would probably use it for is contactless payments. And my phone case as 2 slots for holding credit cards, so i can pop a bank card in there and still tap my phone on the card reader if i want to pay contactless and no apps to open up.

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

mark l 2 Silver badge

No doubt the uni will drop the wording that says women only can apply from the adverts, but that doesn't mean that any of the men who now apply are going to get the job, as its easy enough to just cherry pick female applicants to offer the job to, no matter how many males apply.

I know because i have been on interview panels before where the management were wanting to hire a female or minority to tick boxes. So lots of good candidates were just never going to get the position because of their gender or skin colour didn't fit in what they needed to meet their 'equal opportunities' quota.

The good news: Vodafone switches on first full-fat, real-life 5G network in the UK. The bad news: it only got sent to Coventry

mark l 2 Silver badge

It seems a waste of resources for one of the place to install it be Coventry university. Universities usually have good internet links already compared to other places, plus since COVID 19 means there are no student in the uni and its about to be the summer break so there won't be any until the autumn assuming even then. So Its going to sit there virtually unused for month.

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb

mark l 2 Silver badge

If it turns out Oneweb satellites aren't suitable for anything other than broadband, its a lot of taxpayer money spaffed on a bankrupt company, to supply a few thousand homes and business that can't get decent broadband via fixed lines or mobile.

How many miles of fibre or 5G masts could be installed for those rural areas for that amount of money?

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Whoops

It may only be a brochure site, but this fail could have resulting in their site being pawned by someone who could alter the JS on wayback to add a fake link to their secure online banking for a nice phisiing attack on barclays customers.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

mark l 2 Silver badge

I can listen to radio at home through the stations broadcast on DVB-T and through the internet so I don't see any point in going to buy a DAB radio for home.

Especially as the quality of the audio on DAB is pretty questionable. The bit rates they are using to cram in as many stations as possible (32 to 64kbps) means its often better to listen to the FM broadcast if available.

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches

mark l 2 Silver badge

I thought it was only the Chinese and Huawei we had to worry about putting back doors into their kit, I mean US 'intelligence' agencies would never use the Intel management engine for spying on people would they?

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

mark l 2 Silver badge

Why do you need a driving license to rent an electric scooter but any one can go to Halfords and by a peddle bike and ride down the road (or often the pavement near me even though the council spent money painting cycle lanes on the roads) without even having to have demonstrated they have basic road sense?

Perhaps the e-scooters can accelerate faster than someone on a bike, but if a cyclist hits someone doing 10+ mph they can cause just as many injuries to pedestrians as a e-scooter rider, and that's not accounting for other accidents untrained cyclists they might cause by running lights, pulling out without looking etc causing other drivers to swerve to avoid them.

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack

mark l 2 Silver badge

Good idea in theory, but no doubt they would just have pages of legal jargon that people would just click YES on like they do on EULA already.

Better option is to make it a legal requirement that they must get full banking licenses and therefore be covered under the FSCS if they want to open such services.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

mark l 2 Silver badge

Well it think it was pretty obvious that bootcamp was for the boot on an ARM based Mac. Unless MS come to some sort of deal to boot to the ARM based Windows on them, but then I suspect most people would be wanting X86 Windows compatibility anyway. Although it might be a nice feature for some people who have to occasionally boot into Windows to run some program where no Mac version exists, you would have more money than sense to buy a Mac and run it under Windows as your main OS, as they aren't exactly cheap compared to buying a similar spec laptop from someone like HP, Lenovo or Dell.

Laws on police facial recognition aren't tough enough, UK data watchdog barrister tells Court of Appeal

mark l 2 Silver badge

COVID19 and the wearing of face masks have made the police use of facial recognition pretty useless anyway. The accuracy rate was poor when it could see the full persons face, now when it can only see a half of it, surely that will reduce the already poor hit rate to 50% less. Which might as just be flipping a coin to decide if someone is wanted or not.

Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop duke it out: Only Electron left standing

mark l 2 Silver badge

I only continue to use Skype because MS release a Linux version, but if Whatapp was made available for desktops OS's, so I could video chat from my laptop I would probably switch to using that as I found I get less problems with video and audio quality compared to Skype. sometimes I have to hang up the Skype call and contact the person back to stop the video looking like a Picasso painting and then it seems to work fine. So I can only assume the 'poor connection' messages were actually overloaded Skype servers and calling back puts me through to a different server which isn't overloaded and then the videos look OK again

Former UK Labour deputy leader wants to know how the NHS's contact-tracing app will ensure user privacy

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: It will ensure user privacy

I don't foresee it will every appear now, they are now requiring places like pubs and restaurants to record customer details instead when they reopen next month.

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez

mark l 2 Silver badge

The only reason Microsoft is not in the dominant position for its app store is that they failed to get on board with a decent mobile OS until too late. Back when they had the CE based Windows OS hardly any phone manufacturers wanted to sell a phone with Windows OS because of the shady practices that MS had used to bully out the competition on the desktop, so they came up with Symbian to keep MS off their phones.

As for the current status of the smartphone app stores Apple is definitely more restrictive than Google, at least with Google you can offer to take payment outside of the play store, or even just have a free place holder app that instructs someone to download an app from your own website and then side load it onto your device.

But the issue with Google is more about Google play services which many apps dont work correctly without them being present, so phones like Huawei without the Google services have less apps available.

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

mark l 2 Silver badge

As the article points out Google could mandate all manufactures follow the Android one model and supply updates for at least 3 years if they want to get certified for Google play services.

The governments could also pass laws to make manufactures list how long they will supply software updates on their advertising for new handsets, so buyers can be better informed before purchase.

And finally consumers can choose not to buy phones from manufactures that don’t provide updates. I replaced my phone with a Nokia last year and one of the reasons was that it came with Android one and I would get 3 years of security patches.

One other issue though is that a lot of users don't even know that their phone should be updating with security patches. People like my elderly parents who only fairly recently got their first smart phones would have no idea that they should be getting regularly download security updates on their phones. So the manufactures can get away with not offering them.

Winter is coming, and with it the UK's COVID-19 contact-tracing app – though health minister says it's not a priority

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Well that aged well

My guess is the delay until Winter is because their centralised app probably didn't work as expected., so now they have to go back and start over with a new one based on the Google/Apple APIs.

The danger with waiting until winter is that will there be enough up take of it? as there is already some COVID19 fatigue where people have started to switch off from the news because they are fed up about everything being about the virus.

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app

mark l 2 Silver badge

$99 per year for a subscription email service with a few filters built in seems a lot to me. So even with them having to give Apple 30% of that, they surely should still be making a profit? If not what exactly are their running costs? My domain registrar offers me unlimited email accounts with my own domain name and 5GB of storage for just £12 per year and I assume they are making at least some profit on that service.

Not so nice, we investigated them twice: EU opens double whammy of inquiries into Apple's biz practices

mark l 2 Silver badge

Stopping apps from even mentioning that you can pay outside of the app store does seem to go against Apples statement that they embrace competition.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

mark l 2 Silver badge

"..corporate communications director promptly replied that GE sold its appliance unit to China-based Haier in 2016, which continues to use its brand"

Well perhaps GE should have considered that people will assume that a product with GE on it was at least endorsed by them and therefore it won't be good for their overall brand that people are pissed that their fridge has DRM.

The whole who own GE appliance division now remind me of 30 Rock when Jack Donaghy explains how NBC, is owned by GE, who is owned by Kabeltown which is a division of Sheinhardt wigs.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

mark l 2 Silver badge

Call me cynical but a lot of these changes we are seeing in light of the George Floyd death and black life matters protests, are not usually brought about because someone of black or ethnic minority has actually made a complaint, but because of what some white person deems MIGHT be offensive if taken out of context. And after a quick google search of Matt Ahrens the person referenced in the article shows he is white.

It is similar to the BBC and Netflix removing shows like Little Britain from their platforms, I doubt they have actually done any public consultation with people of BAME to see if they are offended by it. And with comedy there is ALWAYS going to be someone who finds a joke offensive.

Changes like this really mean nothing in the big picture as they are not tackling the underlying racism that exists in society. We still allow gobshites like Farrage and Trump a platform for their racist agendas.

AWS flexes more cloudy Arm CPUs – and suggests they'll outpace competition over time

mark l 2 Silver badge

I wonder what the power requirements are for running a similar ARM vs Intel instances? If the ARM is lower power draw even by just a small percentage that could save someone like AWS tens of thousands of dollars per year in electricity bills.

I looked at a ARM instance with Scalaways when I needed a VPS but they never had available so there is obviously a demand for ARM instances, especially if they can be done for a lower price than an Intel one

Sony reveals PlayStation 5 will offer heretical no-optical-disk option. And yes, it has an AMD CPU-GPU combo

mark l 2 Silver badge

I suspect the PS5 and the new Xbox will be the last generation to even give you the option of a built in optical drive. I do feel a sadness that we will loose the second hand games market though, as not everyone can afford to buy games at full price. Maybe we need to go back to the budget labels games of they 80s and 90s where older full priced games are re-released for £4.99 6 months after their initial release.

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps

mark l 2 Silver badge

Google Docs, Maps, Facebook and Twitter can all be used in a browser without the need to have the app installed.

But I am surprised no one on here has mention that you can install the Google Play store pretty trivially on Huawei phone that doesn't come with it installed by default and then you would get access to all the apps from the Play store, and it doesnt require you to root the phone to do.

Google could make it harder for people to do this if they wanted but it's in their own interest for it to be not too hard to do, as after all they make their money collecting your data and showing your ads. So they want as many people using Google services as possible.

IBM quits facial recognition because Black Lives Matter

mark l 2 Silver badge

With even the WHO changing their stand on the wearing of face masks in public. I suspect IBM won't be the only ones looking to get out of this market. As any wide roll outs of facial recognition tech are about to hit a brick wall as suddenly half of the data points to identify someone from will be obscured by the face mask.

Brave soz about coding snafu that sent search queries to affiliate links but insists practice is 'industry-standard'

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: First Opera, now Brave ....

I use FF and i have Startpage as the default search engine so Google don't get any money from my web searches. IDK if Mozilla get any money from Startpage for the traffic they send. But if they do, I don't have a problem if with that. I would rather it go to Mozilla than Google or Microsoft.

I still remember when i first started to use the internet having to buy web browsers like Netscape Navigator and it wasn't until MS came along and bundled IE with Windows for free that it forced other browser makers to also offer their software for free too as. But then they needed to find funding from other sources such as collecting private data and ads.

I think it would be hard to get people to go back to paying for web browser software unless it was an nominal fee like 99p that some apps go for

China's silicon-self-sufficiency plan likely to miss targets due to Factories Not Present error

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: CPU architecture

I believe Zhaoxin Semiconductors is still making their x86 compatible CPUs. As its VIA who own the X86 license to product them and they are a Taiwanese company, I don't see how Trump can stop them with the US trade restrictions. Especially since as far as China is concerned Taiwan is part of the PRC.


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