* Posts by Mark #255

390 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


Apple to let reader apps steer users towards out-of-App-Store purchasing following Japanese watchdog probe

Mark #255

This is about the likes of Kindle, Audible, Tolino, Storytel, Nextory, BookBeat etc.

Maybe even Kobo, purveyors of eReaders and eBooks?

Owned by Japanese company Rakuten, who also offer a streaming video service.

One wonders why the JFTC would be getting involved...

Mark #255

My first thought, on reading the involvement of the JFTC, was that this must be about Rakuten/Kobo.

Windows 11 will roll out from October 5 as Microsoft hypes new hardware

Mark #255

If it's not used, see if you can disable the TPM in the bios?

Senators urge US trade watchdog to look into whether Tesla may just be over-egging its Autopilot, FSD pudding

Mark #255

Re: I am kind of surprised...

Alternatives could be just as bad.

I recently drove a hire car (a VW Passat) which could alter the cruise control speed to match the road signs.

Except it was clearly also using a database of speed limits: there's a stretch of road nearby where the 40 limit was extended for a further quarter-mile, about 6 years ago. As I passed the 40 repeater (at the old derestricted post), it decided that 60 was clearly the speed I ought to be doing, and activated the loud pedal.

Perhaps regretting those Instagram, WhatsApp acquisitions, UK watchdog suggests Facebook offloads GIF haven Giphy

Mark #255

just because it says it's a gif...

The "GIFs" that WhatsApp saves on an Android phone are MP4s

Giant Tesla battery providing explosion in renewable energy – not as intended

Mark #255

Re: Smoke 'em if you've got 'em.

If an element that comprises 0.004% of the earth's crust is not "rare", then what is?

Oooh, I know the answer to this.


4 parts per billion, or 0.0000004% of the earth's crust; 10,000 times less abundant than neodymium.

Five words everyone wants to hear: Microsoft has 'visually refreshed' Office

Mark #255

Re: Task bar positioning

From the horse's mouth:

Feature deprecation and removal

  • Taskbar functionality is changed including:
    • [...]
    • Alignment to the bottom of the screen is the only location allowed.

Mark #255

Re: Task bar positioning

In Windows 11, the task bar is irretrievably glued to the bottom of the screen.

Firefox to adopt Chrome's new approach to extensions – sans the part that threatens ad blockers

Mark #255

Did you actually read the bit of the article that explained that Mozilla would be keeping the blocking webRequest API, so that uBlock Origin etc. can keep on blocking ads/trackers?

Home office setup with built-in boiling water tap for tea and coffee without getting up is a monument to deskcess

Mark #255

Re: it's a joke right?

Speed limits for trailers depend where you are in the world; in France, small trailers don't have lower limits applied.

Also, I've never found my fuel consumption to increase significantly when towing.

Shedding the 'bleeding edge' label: If Fedora is only going to be for personal use, that doesn't work for Red Hat

Mark #255

I think I've got to the age where if it works I'm less inclined to start messing with it (life is too short).

Me too. My home PCs are currently running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and will get upgraded to 22.04 at some point in 2023.

What happens when your massive text-generating neural net starts spitting out people's phone numbers? If you're OpenAI, you create a filter

Mark #255

Re: Just sayin’

And for the UK, Ofcom have reserved sets of numbers for TV and radio dramas to use

Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death

Mark #255


(1) Fortnite on PC is Windows-only...

Linus Torvalds issues early Linux Kernel update to fix swapfile SNAFU

Mark #255

Re: Windows 10 20H2: CHKDSK /F damages file system on SSDs with KB4592438 installed (08.12.2020)

Anyone not running regular, verifiable backups of any machine they give a shit about is asking for it.

Or, as I've seen it stated elsewhere, "Data you haven't backed up is data you didn't really want."

Kinoite: Immutable Fedora variant with KDE Plasma desktop on the way

Mark #255


Microsoft issues emergency fix for Wi-Fi foul-up delivered hot and fresh on Patch Tuesday

Mark #255

Re: We used to be able to choose when we update

With Pro (not Home), you can use the Group Policy Editor to defer Feature and Quality updates for a period of time.

For example (but do scroll down to get to the gpedit bit)

Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond: Oracle launches rugged edge-of-network box for hostile environments

Mark #255

Re: Not true without picture

40 cores, which could be done with a single AMD processor, or 2 xeons. 61 TB can be supplied by 4 HDDs, and 512 GB is 8 sticks of 64 GB (or 4 sticks of 128 GB, but that's even pricier).

In Rust we trust: Shoring up Apache, ISRG ditches C, turns to wunderkind lang for new TLS crypto module

Mark #255

Re: Real problem mentioned first

A bad worker blames their tools.

A good worker decides that

(a) their hammer has a loose handle, and needs throwing away; and

(b) the correct tool to use is actually a screwdriver

My coat is the one with the metaphor-torturer in the pocket.

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify

Mark #255

Re: You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right?

Fixed domestic wiring in the UK is generally "twin & earth", so there isn't a second layer of insulation on the ground wire, just the (usually grey, sometimes white, with white latterly signifying low smoke insulation) outer layer.

When you get to a socket or switch (or ...) the earth conductor must be sleeved with a green/yellow stripe. According to wikipedia, a green sleeve for earth wiring was required prior to 1977.

(When we moved into our house in 2003, most of the sockets had green earth sleeves.)

Quixotic Californian crusade to officially recognize the hellabyte and hellagram is going hella nowhere

Mark #255

U prefix

I'd like to propose the Reeves-and-Mortimeresque Uvavumetre. And, given that "I" is also free, the Iranumetre.

Not just Microsoft: Auth turns out to be a point of failure for Google's cloud, too

Mark #255

Re: Thanks be to God

That seems unduly harsh... on the Falklanders.

Why not Rockall (with mandatory residency)?

Asus ROG Phone 3: An ugly but refreshing choice – for gaming fans only

Mark #255

Re: Aspect ratio?

All the different ratios also make the single (diagonal) number pretty useless in telling you how big the screen actually is.

Icon is me realising this is a hill I'm willing to die on*.

* Argue about.

AMD performance plummets when relying on battery power, says Intel. Let's take a closer look at those stats

Mark #255

Re: RUGs

Also, the Mail Merge is RUG 1220.

Where are the results for RUGs 0001 to 1219?

It's this sort of cockwomblery that gives honest marketers (both of them) a bad name.

Billionaire's Pagani Pa-gone-i after teen son takes hypercar out for a drive, trashes it

Mark #255

Re: Ask any actuary

Evidently, insurers increase the premium for unlucky drivers.

Police warn of bad Apples that fell off the back of a truck after highway robbery

Mark #255

Yes, they will.

The hapless, naïve mark (or negligently myopic receiver-of-stolen-goods) is not intended to come out of this situation ahead of the game.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

Mark #255

Re: Why are sockets switched?

My UK 3kW kettle (230V, 13A) is a different beast to a 3kW US kettle.

I'm assuming that left-pondians do have high-amperage kettles: I can't imagine them being happy to wait twice as long to boil water, though maybe they do, and that's why they're culturally unable to make tea properly.

Oculus owners told not only to get Facebook accounts, purchases will be wiped if they ever leave social network

Mark #255

Facebook telling you who they are - we should listen

Facebook said that "Apple [...] continues to exert control over a very precious resource". They are, of course, referring to people.

'This was bigger than GNOME and bigger than just this case.' GNOME Foundation exec director talks patent trolls and much, much more

Mark #255

Re: I'm just rebuilding my desktop ...

Like alain, I don't want to spend significant amounts of time upgrading a computer.

So, the canonical anti-pattern for me is Windows 10: twice a year it demands your attention, it requires shepherding through multiple reboots, and then makes each user sit through a faux-jolly passive-aggressive "Hi, sit there and wait, because it's not your computer: be grateful we're doing this for you".

And Ubuntu's LTS + HWE (but skipping every other one) is what currently works for me: we're on 18.04.5, and I don't have to bother myself until 2022.

LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice's 20th anniversary parade, tells rival project to 'do the right thing' and die

Mark #255

Re: Libre Office missing feature

Erm, yes it does. If you don't believe me (Some Random Bloke on Those Interwebs), the online LO help also says it does.

Mark #255

Re: Probably a license issue

there was an interesting article somewhere not too far away saying that Apple seem to have stepped away from CUPS...

Third time's still the charm: AMD touts Zen-3-based Ryzen 5000 line, says it will 'deliver absolute leadership in x86'

Mark #255

Ryzen 3

The Ryzen 3 3100 (Zen 2, like the 3300X) is generally available (I got one 6 weeks ago, and Scan still have them in stock), and has the same core/thread/TDP/cache; you lose 200 MHz base, 400 MHz turbo vs the 3300X.

A decades-old lesson on not inserting Excel where it doesn't belong

Mark #255

Re: You want how many leases?

No, Excel was not right at all (recent versions are better).

Also, (as a statistician told me), if you have to worry about choosing between the "population" and "sample" standard deviation, your sample size isn't big enough.

Mark #255

Re: Similar issues

Read carefully, then scream.

yyyy-mm-dd # this is ISO 8601

. . . \ /

. . . / \

yyyy-dd-mm # this isn't

Mark #255

Re: Thingies cat

I know we're getting perilously close the "unknown unknowns", but if you're that far out on the Dunning-Kruger inability-to-recognise-your-own-limits scale, you should be (at best) Assistant Manager of a motorway services franchise, not leading a government's response to a global pandemic.

Death of the PC? Do me a favour, says Lenovo bigwig: 'I'm expecting the biggest growth in a decade... for 2021'

Mark #255

Re: What growth?

My desktop is sat in the office, unused since March; it's an i5-2xxx (four actual cores, unlike the i5-7200U in my laptop).

The death-knell for it wasn't the CPU; it's the surroundings. It will take a maximum of 8GB, which just isn't enough when IT load up the images with enterprise-worthy sundry stuff; it's got a 1TB spinning rust HDD (>10 minutes booting to Desktop, 15 minutes before everything's actually usable), and there's no USB3.

And so, while the HDD is a straightforward fix, it's not worth it for the business...

We don't need maintenance this often, surely? Pull it. Oh dear, the system's down

Mark #255

Re: The people who wrote it said that it would take them weeks to fix, at a cost of ~£5k

PC Pro have an online store. (They seem to have rolling "time-limited" deals)

As if you needed another reason not to use Visual Studio, C++ extension for Visual Studio Code is live

Mark #255

Re: C++

I think it's been a bumpy path...

I used VC++6 and it had Intellisense, which was awesome.

When I later tried (the free editions of) VS 2008 and 2010, C++ support was barely visible (compared to C#): you could type, create projects (e.g. add new classes [header and body files per class]), and compile, but the clever stuff didn't work.

I always felt that if I wanted to stray outside the .NET bubble, I'd need to pay up for a real version.

Evidently, that's what's changed.

Apple hits back at Epic, says Fortnite crew wants a 'free ride' on fees: Let the app store death match commence

Mark #255

Re: Weasels

This is one of Epic's points.

If I buy a melon on a supermarket app, no cut to Apple.

If I buy a digital melon in Fortnite, Apple want 30% of that.

Mark #255

Re: Weasels

It would also only really work if a significant number of people in the world could only buy books from one shop, controlled by a particular publisher.

Look, Jeff's working on it, OK?

Oracle and Salesforce targeted in €10bn GDPR lawsuit backed by profit-making litigation fund

Mark #255

#insert princess_bride_clip014.jpg

[...] Despite Oracle's fulsome explanation[...]

fulsome, adj: "expressing a lot of admiration or praise for someone, often too much, in a way that does not sound sincere"

Synonyms: oily, oleaginous, smarmy, unctuous.

source: Cambridge dictionary

As hospital-based infections set to rise, best not change the vendor behind the system that tracks them, hm?

Mark #255


For lots of public health, national bodies are the best level.

I have a professional interest in non-ionising radiation. The National Radiological Protection Board was created in 1970, became part of the (UK-wide) Health Protection Agency, and then part of Public Health England.

Scotland and Wales both defer to PHE for their non-ionising radiation issues, because the expertise handed down from the NRPB can sit quite happily in one office, covering the entirety of the UK.

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

Mark #255

Re: @HildyJ - Free

I'm sorry, this just won't do.

Coming into the comments with logic and reasoning like that.

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

Mark #255

Nexus 7

Ah yes, years ago I heard a repeated "boodle-um boodle-um" chime coming from somewhere. I tracked it down: it was my Nexus 7, sat on a pile of library books.

One map to rule them all: UK's Ordnance Survey rolls out its Data Hub and the juicy API goodness that lies therein

Mark #255

Re: Could this become the official UK postcode and address database?

Ugh. Proprietary product with good marketing.

Meanwhile, OS Opendata is on a very encouraging trajectory.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

Mark #255

Re: 555

In the UK, Ofcom maintain a list of numbers reserved for TV shows.

I couldn't possibly comment on whether I've used any of the numbers in online forms.

Customers of Brit ISP Virgin Media have downloaded an extra 325GB since March, though we can't think why

Mark #255

Video confs

I checked early on, and found a half-hour Skype video call used half a GB downstream (and was presumably symmetric, though I didn't monitor the upload). Then a film in HD, plus half a dozen episodes of whatever cartoons my son's watching. It all adds up.

I think back in slight terror to the first broadband package I ever had, which had a 10GB/month limit.

Work stuff is slow, but it's not my connection (I have a mere 30Mb/s over ADSL) that's the bottleneck, but rather something between the far end of the work VPN and the actual server.

I've found that learning how to use robocopy has been very worthwhile.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Mark #255


I bought my first PC in 1995: a Gateway P75 with 8MB of RAM and a 630 MB hard drive. Soon upgraded to 16MB and Windows 95 was much happier.

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

Mark #255


433 milli-Hertz is around 26 bpm, or one cycle every 2.31 seconds.

Yes, people confusing m and M in SI units is the hill I've chosen to die on.

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere

Mark #255

...what is it good for?

But what else can you use PHP for?

I have used it for semi-automated graph generation (drawing primitives in GD). A version of this ran on an intranet site for a few years, but its main use was from the command line.

Most of the logic was folding, spindling and mutilating text input (file names and then their ASCII contents) into numbers, though, which is a strong fit for PHP.



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