* Posts by mark l 2

2112 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Brexit dividend? 'Newly independent' UK will be world's 'data hub', claims digital minister

mark l 2 Silver badge

Since its looking like the way mad Lizzy is running the Tory party that they realise they will be gone by the next election, so they using their majority in parliament to push as many laws through as possible to make their mates and Tory party doners richer.

Elon Musk tells Twitter: My takeover deal is back on

mark l 2 Silver badge

If this Musk take over does go ahead, I expect in another 5 years people will react to someone mentioning Twitter like they do now if someone says they have a Myspace account, with: 'Is that still a thing?'

Don't mind Facebook, just putting its own browser in its Android app

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"Additionally, people who do not wish to use all the features of our technologies (including the in-app browser) are able to access Facebook and Instagram through the web instead of our apps."

Yes for a worst user experience, especially on mobile browsers as features such as the messaging don't work instead telling you to download the app, unless you fetch the desktop version of the site and then by some miracle it works fine, if you can deal with the fact that the websites UI elements then become tiny on the screen.

So it clear that FB are deliberately making their mobile site less usable to push people to download their apps.

Google kills off Stadia

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Considering Microsoft lost $4bn on the original Xbox but yet stuck with it and now has a successful games platform coming from nowhere, its a pity Googles stance is to can things unless they are a roaring success within month of launching.

That said im surprised Google hasn't used their clout on the phone and browser dominance to push Stadia more over these last few years, like they did to get Chrome the dominant browser.

Uncle Sam to unmask anonymous writers using AI

mark l 2 Silver badge

Hmm my cynical side wonders whether the goal of the intelligence services wanting an AI that is able to identify anonymous writers text is less about attributing text to a particular author and more about trying to identify whistleblowers or others that speak out against the government anonymously.

Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: but if you prefer something ... more like Office 365

A 'lifetime of use' is not your lifetime but the lifetime of the product which is decided by Microsoft, who might EOL it in a couple of years which means your £120 is not as much of a bargain as you make out it to be, unless you want to risk running an out of date version of the software? In which case you might was well pick up a copy of MS Office 2007 for £10 from ebay which will probably do 99% of the stuff you will ever do on a newer version of Office and save yourself £110.

Ive never tried Onlyoffice myself as I don't really need MS Office compatibility but if i did require to collaborate with MS Office users then it might be a better choice than Libreoffice - which i currently use - which can have issues when opening more complex documents created in Microsoft Office.

ChromeLoader, what took you so long? Malvertising irritant now slings ransomware

mark l 2 Silver badge

Since the malware is taking people to a page full of ads, surely it should be possible for the authorities to identify which ad network is serving the ads and get them to shut the scammers account and cut of their revenue stream?

Don't say Pentium or Celeron anymore, it's just Processor now, says Intel

mark l 2 Silver badge

If i even asked my family or none techy friends what name the CPU is inside their PC they would not know or even care. Intel have for years been trying to make themselves into a household name my slapping Intel inside stickers on PCs, having a catchy jingle and giving their chips names. But barely anyone outside enthusiasts give a toss about this sort of thing. I mean its just as important to have a decide SSD and RAM, but i don't see stickers for Hynix RAM or Samsung SSD inside on PCs. So why do we care when it comes to having a CPU from AMD or Intel?

No doubt before you know it will go from being just Intel Processor to having a Gen 2, Pro, Silver or Gold versions with whatever model number tacked on to differentiate the number of cores, cache etc so will be just as confusing as it is now.

Appeals court already under fire for upholding Texas no-content-moderation law

mark l 2 Silver badge

Since when has being able to post on social media been a 'right'? I don't like Facebook and other social media platforms, but they have a long list of term and conditions that you have to agree to when making an account to use their services. Breach those rules and they can remove your posts, restrict your access or suspend you.

Twitter, Fb etc are bad enough already with the limited moderation they do now. Look at something like 4chan for what happens when you allow hateful /awful but lawful content on a website with no moderation.

Arm execs: We respect RISC-V but it's not a rival in the datacenter

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Toast

I don't think ARM are going to struggle, even if RISC-V does become a mainstream ISA taking away some business from ARM, there will always be a need for ARM compatible cores, its been a ISA that has survived for over 30 years.

Plus there would be nothing stopping ARM adding RISC-V compatibility to their own chip designs since it is an open ISA, just like Intel are offering RISC-V designs even if it might mean they sell less x86-64 CPUs. And ARMs chip designers are very good at what they do, and could create their own RISC-V designs which are better than some of their competitors.

Biden administration prepares to bring hammer down on Chinese chipmakers

mark l 2 Silver badge

Other than clearly protectionism of US based chips manufactures, what is the justification for banning the export of these technologies to China?

They already have nuclear weapons including hypersonic missiles so i guess the ship as already sailed on that one, maybe China are planning to build a death star or some other dooms day device we don't know about with all these cutting edge chips?

Dump these small-biz routers, says Cisco, because we won't patch their flawed VPN

mark l 2 Silver badge

Probably so Cisco can tell sell them ANOTHER router after their replacement goes EOL.

Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules

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Re: Security & Privacy

"People have been brainwashed into thinking open source is for their own good - but most of the time it is not. Sure, someone could fork and keep the old API and store alive - but where the resources would come from?"

I would definitely not say that MOST of the time open source is not for peoples own good.

There are a lot open source projects such as Linux, Libreoffice, Apache, Blender, Firefox, GIMP, VLC etc that respect peoples privacy and are often as good as proprietary closed source software.

Imagine we were all still reliant browsers such as Internet Explorer or original Edge, then you wouldn't have much choice if it were Microsoft that made this change as you can't fork them since they closed source.

FYI im not defending Google i personally use Firefox and open fire up Chrome for badly written website that break in FF.

Scientists pull hydrogen from thin air in promising clean energy move

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Re: Just wondering

It an interesting idea but if you are out in the middle of a dessert then maybe the technology would be put to better use to capture the moisture from the air and convert it into fresh water that could be used to irrigate plants or for drinking?

No, Apple, you may not sell iPhones without chargers

mark l 2 Silver badge

How is it different than the millions of toys that require batteries to work and the box says 'batteries not included' are all those going to be banned from sale in Brazil to?

OneWeb takes $229m hit from satellites not returned by Russia

mark l 2 Silver badge

So how much of the $229m loss is tax payers money? Id say it could be put to better things, but the way inflation is going it probably wouldn't cover the electric costs of a few weeks of keeping the street light switched on in London.

FTC presses ahead in its war on 'free' Turbo Tax

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I am not a massive fan of the UK's HMRC but at least i don't need to purchased 3rd party software to be able to submit my tax return. I guess in the land of the free you could at least submit the cost of purchasing the software as an expense when filing your taxes.

Banned Tornado Cash code reuploaded to GitHub in free speech test

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: This is all kind of pointless.

I haven't read the government ruling which led to the takedown on Gitbub, but wouldn't forking it, changing the name or a few lines of code make a legal way of getting around the restrictions anyway?

Even if that would still fall foul of the restrictions, once its out there, its very hard to put the cork back into the bottle. Ask anyone whos nood photos got leaked etc its wack a mole to try and keep taking down places where they pop up. And the more that people hear about the takedowns the more notoriety it gets which results in MORE people actually looking for it.

Elon Musk 'buying Manchester United' football club

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Re: Ignoring his very next tweet

More than enough time for him to come down from being high and realise what he had tweeted more likely

Australian court overturns 'Google is a publisher' decision

mark l 2 Silver badge

"The nation also retains powers to force tech players to identify users and produce their encrypted messages"

There encrypted message can be produced still encrypted? Or I assume they want them unencrypted, in which case how do you do that with E2E encryption on apps such as Whatsapp, signal etc?

Of course Australia is the country where their PM famously said 'The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia' So i am sure they have a way around it, or else they will just arrest and lock up mathematics for breaking AU law.

Epson says ink pad saturation behind 'end of service life' warning on inkjet printers

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Re: Why isn't it user replaceable?

This has been going on for at least 14 years from my reckoning. As I have an Epson CX3600 which I think was released in 2008 and this went into 'service mode' last year and I had to use the maintenance utility to reset the replace sponge error as it would refuse to do anything. And it was especially annoying as due to the age of the printer the utility wouldn't detect the printer when install on Windows 10 so i had to connect it to a spare PC and install of XP just to run the utility and reset the counter.

Meta iOS apps accused of injecting code into third-party websites

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: All part of the Fecalbook war against Apple

Unfortunately for Apple, a large amount of their users use Meta apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram and therefore banning those apps on iOS would make a lot of people move to Android where they are still available and this would ultimately hurt Apple more than it would Facebook.

Personally i don't have instagram or facebook apps on my phone, if i want to use those apps i fire up Firefox with Ublock origin addon and use them there. But i haven't been on facebook in months.

Google gets the green light to flood US Gmail inboxes with political spam

mark l 2 Silver badge

I mean google will no doubt use it to fling more ads at you anyway since they know which emails you read, delete without opening, or mark as spam, that more juicy data to sell you more relevant ads.

Elon Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9b as Twitter lawsuit looms

mark l 2 Silver badge

Yes he signed the twitter deal then decided to do his due diligence about how many bots after locking himself in, how he ever became the worlds riches man with that sort of business sense is beyond me.

Philippines logs on to Starlink for remote area internet services

mark l 2 Silver badge

Just watched one of Jeff Geerling recent Youtube videos on Starlink where he mentions that capacity seems to be becoming a issue on Starlink as when he first installed the kit he was getting 150Mb/s but now its down to 30Mb/s

Now for someone who is in a remote area 30Mb/s is often the best speed you can get, but its definitely something to consider when getting Starlink.

Google postpones Chrome's third-party cookie bonfire yet again

mark l 2 Silver badge

I got bored with waiting for Google to turn off 3rd party cookies in Chrome so I disabled them myself from the settings about 6 months ago, and never really noticed much of an issue on most websites. Although i do the bulk of my browsing using Firefox and Chrome is just there for when sites won't work correct in FF.

Browsers could face two regimes in Europe as UK law set to diverge from EU

mark l 2 Silver badge

If you are a UK SME that also deals with EU customers, are you going to bother with the time and expense to run two systems or just stick with the way you have been working for the last few years to comply with EU GDPR? So in reality I think the number of consent banners might drop a bit but not by as much as the Tories are making out.

Of course all those big corps like Meta, Google, Amazon will be quite happy to run a specific UK system where they can start slurping your data and tracking you again.

Either way im stick with Firefox containers, Ublock origin, and the strict tracking protection setting in my browser.

Microsoft closes off two avenues of attack: Office macros, RDP brute-forcing

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(The policy was to block these particular macros by default in Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word, though after a few months of – at times, negative – feedback from users, Microsoft put a temporary halt on the initiative. Complaints ranged from critiques about how the blocking was implemented to the negative impact it had on some users' systems.)

So a few users had a moan because it made their life more difficult so MS back tracked on improved security for the masses? Those complaining will probably be the first ones to get compromised because they just click on Yes/Accept/OK to every dialog box and pop up.

And lets be honest although im a LibreOffice user, those people who want macros in their docs won't switch away from MS Office no matter what Microsoft does with it, so they should just go ahead and make the security changes and be damned with the moaners who are complaining.

Dell and Ubuntu certify latest model of XPS 13 ultrabook

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Re: "When you hold down the Fn key..."

I find that I have a couple of issues with Linux Mint on a Thinkpad, the function keys work in reverse of how they should actually work as if you have the Fn key pressed when you don't, and the track pad right click doesn't work. Both of these issues work correctly on Windows 10 on the same machine.

But they are minor niggles which I can put up with as I use a mouse 99% of the time as i don't really like trackpads anyway.

Tesla jettisons 75% of Bitcoin holdings, boosting cash balance by $936m

mark l 2 Silver badge

Tesla's making money selling off environment credits to none EV making car companies. But with the EU and UK looking to phase out sales of ICE vehicles within a decade or so, the writing was on the wall for that as a long term money spinner for Tesla, as all car companies are now getting their own lines of EVs out, and eventually the big car manufactures like GM, Ford, Toyota, Peugeot etc will be the ones selling most of the EVs you will see on the road.

I don't know if Tesla own any patents on EVs that might bring in some money from licensing them to other manufactures, but eventually people will realise that Tesla share price is over inflated and it will probably come down.

Tories spar over UK's delayed Online Safety Bill

mark l 2 Silver badge

Lets be honest all these 'won't someone think of the children' laws, are written because some lazy parents want to sit back watching TV and just let their kids loose on the internet unmonitored and when little Timmy find some inappropriate content, they can blame the government for not doing enough.

Plus its a good way for the Tories to add on clauses which undermine E2E encryption by requiring scanning for abuse images on messaging apps.

But by the sounds of it it has support from both Tories and Labour MPs so there is a good chance its coming no matter who is is power.

Microsoft tests CD ripping for Media Player in Windows 11

mark l 2 Silver badge

Did they remove the feature to rip audio CDs as I am pretty sure i remember it used to be able to do that in WMP back in the XP/Vista days? So its hardly a 'new' feature to add something back in that used to be the the software years ago.

It has been a long time since i used Windows media player though as I remember it didn't even used to come with codecs for most popular video types like DVD playback built in so I switched to VLC which played pretty much anything you through at it without having to go and hunt for the correct codec first.

SCOTUS judges 'doxxed' after overturning Roe v Wade

mark l 2 Silver badge

Its America where there are more guns than people, so considering that the overturning of Roe v Wade has got a lot of people pissed off, Even though most of the gun nut seem to be on the right, there are still enough on the far left with access to weapons.

So if all that happens is some doxxing, if i were the judges id consider that getting off quite lightly.

FYI i don't condone either the doxxing or any vigilante action against the judges,

What should happen is those judges that said in their congressional inaugurations that they consider Row v Wade as president and then later voted it down as soon as they got the chance, should be impeached for lying to congress and removed from the supreme court.

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: Dave at the garage can sort you out

Exactly I forsee a huge black market for back street garages to get you all the subscription features for a one of fee if the kit is already in their and just waiting for some software download to say its ok to use it.

New car sold in the EU now have to have speed regulators fitted since earlier this month, so i expect that another thing the dodgy garage will disable for you if you want ;)

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

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Jawbone fitness tracker bands all became unless overnight when they went belly up and the servers got turned off. Which taught me not to rely on anything that replies on cloud based services to work.

I only own one 'smart' device that relies on the cloud and that is a LED bulb, I did look at how easy it would be to jailbreak it and install an open firmware on it, but it appears that it involves destructive drilling in to it, to get to JTAG headers, and since it only cost me a a fiver i'm happy to leave it as is for now as id probably break it.

US military contractor moves to buy Israeli spy-tech company NSO Group

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"In June, NSO told European lawmakers that "under 50" customers use its notorious Pegasus spyware, though it admitted these customers include "more than five" European Union member states. "

Since the NSO group don't seem to mind selling it to the Saudi secret police and other dodgy organisations. Does that mean anyone with enough cash get a copy of the Pegasus spyware? I mean if i have a few million (guessing that is how much it cost?) could i put an order in for it? I promise i am only going to use it for research purposes on my own devices ;)

Choosing a non-Windows OS on Lenovo Secured-core PCs is trickier than it should be

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I still think that letting one software vendor (IE Microsoft) have control over the proprietary keys to what alternative OS can be booted on a piece of hardware was a bad idea. And now along with Intel and AMD having their own management software running underneath the OS we have Microsoft adding their own 'security' processor baked into the hardware doing who knows what.

Microsoft delays controversial ban on paid-for open source, WebKit in app store

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Microsoft rules to only allow Chromium and Gecko, doesn't just affect Webkit based browsers, but any other that uses a different browser engine. So a developer could develop a brand super fast lightweight browser not based on either Chromium or Gecko and can't submit their app to the MS store.

COO of failed bio-biz Theranos found guilty on all twelve fraud counts

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Re: Bloody good test

When right wing supreme court judges can overturn a 50 year constitutional right to an abortion, even after 2 of those judges stated in front of congress at their inauguration they considered Roe vs Wade as a precedent. Im not sure id say the US legal system really is working.

Tracking cookies found in more than half of G20 government websites

mark l 2 Silver badge

Don't wait for Google to switch of 3rd party cookies in Chrome, you can turn it off yourself right now in the setting. I did it over 6 months ago and not noticed hardly any issues with most websites.

Although i do most of my browsing through Firefox and just go on Chrome when a website isn't working on FF due to a lazy developer.

US expands efforts to hamstring China’s chipmaking mojo

mark l 2 Silver badge

If the entire worlds chip manufacturing ability relies on just one company (ASML) supplying the lithography equipment then we really do have all our eggs in one basket and we are asking for trouble should something catastrophic happen to their facilities.

Supply chain blamed amid claims of Azure capacity issues

mark l 2 Silver badge

This is the problem with tying yourself in with one cloud provider, if you want to deploy more or grow instances and they are running at capacity, its not trivial to switch to another provider once you are locked in.

Rufus and ExplorerPatcher: Tools to remove Windows 11 TPM pain and more

mark l 2 Silver badge

Re: I wish it was retroactive.

I have not even bothered to try Win 11 in a VM machine yet, as I know its basically Windows 10 with a new shiny interface, and even 10s start menu is littered with ads for games on the 'professional' version of Windows.

The fact 3rd party tools exist to put Windows 11 back to looking like the previous versions, shows MS don't care about their end users, as how hard would it be to give you the option of which start menu layout you prefer as part of the OS?

UK signs deal to share police biometric database with US border guards

mark l 2 Silver badge

Just another reason to not visit the US for me then, along with their right wing supreme court taking away a right to have an abortion after 50 years and thinking a law written in the 18th century on the right to have a gun, has any relevance in modern society.

The App Gap and supply chains: Purism CEO on what's ahead for the Librem 5 USA

mark l 2 Silver badge

While it seems a interesting concept, at nearly $2000 its only going to appeal to those who really need a super private phone and is never going to gain mass market appeal, so therefore the app developers won't have much desire to port their apps to it.

As for the tethering situation the last time i tried on Android it was super easy, barely an inconvenience to get around those restrictions. There were several work arounds and apps you could download to let you tether when the T&Cs said you couldn't.

Intel ships crypto-mining ASIC at the worst possible time

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[Intel has painted itself as somewhat of an environmental savior for the crypto-mining market. This is because the company claims its Blockscale ASIC is much more energy efficient than GPUs for proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining.]

Apart from the fact that a GPU can still be used for other things other than crypto mining, where as these ASICs are going to become e-waste rather quickly if the crypto market carries on dropping as they serve no other purpose than to create made up fun bucks.

Moscow court fines Pinterest, Airbnb, Twitch, UPS for not storing data locally

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Re: Pointless fines

These fines amount to rounding errors on these tech companies accounts, it would like being given a £1 speeding fine, you would just thrown a fiver on the table and tell them to keep the change.

But maybe things are so bad in Russia right now that even $20K seems like a lot to the Russian judges.

Arm says its Cortex-X3 CPU smokes this Intel laptop silicon

mark l 2 Silver badge

Although it would be good to see ARM CPUs being able to compete with Intels top end laptop CPUs, I still don't see there is much demand for ARM Windows laptops, and that's partly MS fault by treating Windows on ARM as a second class OS, not even porting over a lot of their own software for years after launching.

And although Chromebooks can have some success with ARM versions, they tend to be priced to compete with low end Celeron laptops rather than anything at the top end.

China's blockchain boosters slam crypto as Ponzi scheme

mark l 2 Silver badge

I mean outside of China who actually trusts that 'China's Blockchain-based Service Network' not tot have some ulterior motive to their statement against cryptocurrency?

Personally i wouldn't be investing in crypto myself as I can see that although I don't believe the major players like bitcoin are operating a ponzi scheme, I can see that the market will eventually crash as people are investing in made up fun buck, which no one is actually spending on anything.

ZTE intros 'cloud laptop' that draws just five watts of power

mark l 2 Silver badge

The article doesn't mention whether this desktop as a service is a Windows desktop or their own home grown one?

I guess if its their own developed one maybe built on Linux then they could get better results than using standard RDP


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