* Posts by FIA

399 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft


Re: IE??? Really??

Do you mean IE (Internet Explorer) or do you actually mean Edge?

Server 2016... yup... they mean IE....

It's really quite jarring when you're not expecting it.... it looks like Win 10.... oh.....

(Shame really, as Edgium (??... Croge??... whatever...) is actually quite nice).

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


I know , lets get rid of a word, that will make everyone feel better about history...

No, let's not do that, but lets also not dilute it by using it as a casual term for things that can, retrospectivly, be much better named.

The use of language, and what's acceptable, changes over time, it's not a huge issue, move on.

Or should we value the offence of those who want it to remain over the offence of those who want it changed? (Because glorifying slavery is good? Intrangience is good?? Not really sure tbh).

I think the latter probably outweigh the former.

Jusy FYI, for those that don't really get it (and I would include myself in this) this might help:


OOP there it is: You'd think JavaScript's used more by devs than Java... but it's not – JetBrains survey


Re: I just can't get away with them...

vi! You lightweight. What's wrong with edlin, or maybe even punching your own cards. Sheesh, what a snowflake.


Then simply make no mistakes.

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021


Re: It's what a sad, angry minority wanted

I have absolutely no desire to destroy the UK, I want it to remain a strong world power.

The UK hasn’t been a ‘strong world power’ for about 70 years at least. Although to be fair we did punch above our weight for a good few years afterwards, but even that facade has diminished somewhat.

But be in no doubt, few countries really give a shit what we think these days. (And personally, I’m okay with that. Let others play at empire building. We had our turn and all the good and bad that came with it).

For the price tag, this iPad Pro keyboard better damn well be Magic: It isn't... but it's not completely useless either


Re: Because ... it’ll just work : Nope

The same can be said of a lot of less expensive kit. I've got a 16 year old HP pavilion laptop that I dragged out of a cupboard and booted up a month ago and it... just worked.

HP....... Wow! You got lucky! :)

Find your wallet, Apple: Ex-engineer adds eight more patents to lawsuit seeking credit for his developer work


Re: He was an employee

SWMBO is always asking me to find hers, for starters. Not helped by it always being switched to silent mode, so have to roam the house listening for the vibrate-noise while ringing it.

On iOS you can assign a contact to bypass silent so they'll always ring. Has helped me find my SOs phone (and the other way round) a few times as we both leave it on silent 100% of the time.

Contacts -> edit contact -> ringtone -> check 'Emergency Bypass'.

Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft speech-to-text AI systems can't understand black people as well as whites


It's otherwise great for white people, or people who sound like them.

What do 'white people' sound like? Do you mean 'Americans from a paticular geographical area?'

I'm white, but with a reasonably strong regional (non American) accent and there's quite a lot of things Siri simply can't understand me saying. Ya gets me?


So, erm not English then.

There is no one definition of English.

I'm sure if I used a lot of b*llshit words instead of well established and understood ones, it would have a hard time understanding me.

What's a 'bullshit word'? You seem to expect everyone to talk like you do, the world doesn't work like that. Regional/cultural variations exist; they need to be dealt with.

Wake me up before you go Go: Devs say they'll learn Google-backed lang next. Plus: Perl pays best, Java still in demand


It still takes the know how, but an engineer won't be stopped by the lack of unavailable modules.

This has really started to annoy me recently. I'm increasingly meeting 'programmers' who seem to not actually want to program.

"So what library do we use?"

"Well, you could just write it??"

"Hmm, but then we'd have to maintain it...."


(I'm not talking about anything particularly complex either, don't re-invent the wheel but sometimes you do still have to actually write code....)

Is Chrome really secretly stalking you across Google sites using per-install ID numbers? We reveal the truth


Re: WHY anyone uses Chrome is completely beyond my comprehension

I could re-phrase: people use Chrome because it WAS by far the best browser and they haven't had the motivation to switch.

This could also be it's undoing. Pretty soon most new installs of Windows will come with the new version of Edge. I wonder how many people will simply stick with that now it's good enough?

Thunderbird is go: Mozilla's email client lands in a new nest


Re: "Around 0.5% of emails opened in the 'bird today, apparently"

And how does Mozilla know if I'm opening an email without the telemetry to tell it ?

They ask Huawei.

The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit


Re: "Intel dumped full 16 bit support from x86"

Actually AMD dropped first the Virtual86 mode in 64 bit mode because AMD doesn't know how to design an advanced chip.

What are you on about? It was dropped in 64 bit mode as it was an opportunity to remove legacy cruft. Virtual86 mode was/is still available in 32bit mode. The silicone is there.

Also, what do you mean AMD doesn't know how to design an advanced chip? The designer of the AMD 64 bit stuff was one Jim Keller, who's previous work included the DEC Alpha. You know, that 64bit chip that was one of the most powerful in it's day?

It also dropped the segmentation model which will need to return if we warn really secure applications at the hardware level and not address spaces where everything is writable and executable,

Unless you set the 'not writable' or 'no execute' bits, both of which are enforeced in hardware.

But AMD can see only "performance, performance!" (and Intel followed, with the Spectre/Meltdown bugs) and so removes any feature to truly isolate applications and kernel.

Eh? Intels first superscaler CPU with cache was the Pentium Pro, in the mid 90s. Spectre/Meltdown was a side effect of this design decision that took YEARS to be discovered, please don't pretend like it's an obvious issue that should've been spotted at the design stage, it wasn't. It was also nothing to do with AMD. (AMD were still making mediocre 486 clones when the PPro was designed).


Re: Mixed messages

I have a hard time coming up with a rationale for accounting software to really care that much to take multiple years to "port"

The main issue is probably the data files. Accounting software is quite likely to have a reasonable amount of data that it still has to be able to access. Also, software written that long ago was running on hardware with much less memory and storage available, so it much more likely to be using binary file formats designed for compactness and memory efficency rather than ease of porting.

I'm currently working on a piece of software of a similar age, and whilst the codebase is suprisingly well written it is most definatly not 64bit. Converting the software to 64 bit would just be a recompile in a more modern version of the IDE, however then ensuring that all the data files it relies on, full of packed records that are basically just in memory structures dumped to disk, would be a nightmare.

Doing this with financial data; data that probably has to be correct and has regulatory issues regarding it's quality would not be a task I'd like to undertake lightly. It only takes one customer with a corrupted accounts system to give you a load of grief.

Combining that with most managers aversion to 'risk' when it comes to work that has no new feature benefit and I can understand how it's happened.

They still have had enough warning though.

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?



Sure;y we already have a standard? Most chargers I have have a USB-A socket on them? Other than a laptop pretty much everything I own will charge off the generic USB charger I got of Amazon.

NASA is Boeing to get to the bottom of that Starliner snafu... plus SpaceX preps to blow up a Falcon 9


SpaceX has responded by trying out a darkening treatment to stop the things looking so gosh darn bright.

I wonder if it was VANTA black?

World's richest bloke battles Oz catastro-fire with incredible AU$1m donation (aka load of cheap greenwashing)


Re: The problem with small-scale private philanthropy by the wealthiest is that it achieves little

but in the UK we have 'gift aid' whereby you sign a form to say you have paid tax on income that can be reclaimed from your donation.

Gift aid is fairly imoral though, and probably should be scrapped, or at least forced to use different wording. It always implies that the charity gets more money at no extra cost to you, however never mentions that the cost is born by everyone else, which most people don't consider.

If I give a charity 10 pounds, that's money I've earnt and paid tax on and is mine to do with as I see fit, however if I then tick the gift aid box I give a further 2.50 to that charity, which is taken from general taxation, ie, the money that pays for schools, hospitals, the police, etc etc. I am in effect saying that I value the work of the particular charity over the rest of society as a whole.

So whilst I think the motive behind gift aid is noble, actually when you think about it it's probably not the greatest idea.

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing


Re: The problem is not Oracle (for once)

...Linux can't really change license at this point, so the ball's in Oracle's court.

It isn't though, Oracle closed sourced their ZFS implementation in 2010, the ZFS in question is OpenZFS which contains contributions from people other than Sun.

Oracle could open source their implementation of ZFS under the GPL, but not OpenZFS, without the explicit aproval of all concerned.


Re: The problem is not Oracle (for once)

Ah but that is not a benefit.

No, it's a choice. The benefits or lack of are pretty subjective. (A BSD advocate would argue it's better to have access to a well tested TCP/IP stack that you can use rather than inventing the wheel again, for example).

Thus the GPL gives you the protection from nasty people taking advantage of you and removing your freedom.

No it doesn't.

If your source code and susiquent modifications to it being made available is important to you use the GPL, if they're not then use something else. For some people this is important, for others it isn't. But to assume someone who choses a different licence is wrong or stupid is fairly disengenuous.

I am broot: The Reg chats to French dev about Rust tool that aims to improve directory navigation


You do understand the word arcane, right? It's easy when you know how...

Why is having to learn such a bad thing these days? Many of the GUIs in the 90s fell into that category too, you learnts how to use them then transferred the skills between apps. (eg, learning that the middle button woukld bring up a context menu for example).

Still a crap solution for those who have typical jobs/purposes

If your job requires you to do a 'thing' then learn to use the tools to do that 'thing'. I want some building work done I hire a builder, they know how to use all the oh so fun but dangerous building tools that I'd merely make a mess with. Computers are complex and sometimes require a bit of knowlage. (ie, if you learn about 'man' you can usually figure out most commands on a BSD...) We tried working with the assumption that everything is easy in the 90s which resulted in Wizzard hell. Great the first time, but those 94 screens to set things up are sure annoying the 1000th time through.

Most people would be better served learning that it's okay not to be able to do something the first time and having to learn isn't a bad thing or something that stops after childhood.


Re: Really?

Hence the reference to TreeSize Free, which is an incredibly useful tool.

[cough] WinDirStat. [/cough] :)

Linux in 2020: 27.8 million lines of code in the kernel, 1.3 million in systemd


Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

NOTE: I dislike systemd as much as anybody, but the old init system was long overdue for improvements, and something like upstart is worse than systemd.

I suspect that was the issue really, the system V init system was always a bit 'weird'. I still prefer the NetBSD and FreeBSD rc system to systemd (although that's probably more familiarity than anything; only used systemd on a debian box I had as a pvr).

Still think 'runlevels' are a thing that sounded like a good idea at the time though; my occasional forray into Linux (and Solaris) always confused me with the weird numbers and odd symlinks. But NetBSD's 'write a simple script then set a variable in rc.conf' seemed to work quite well.

The restarting failed daemons thing was a problem with it though.

Morrisons tells top court it's not liable for staffer who nicked payroll data of 100,000 employees


Lady Hale, president of the Supreme Court – wearing a purple jumper with a poppy brooch – commented

But what was Lord Pannick wearing?? Oh... no... wait... it's 2019.... does this really matter?

Top American watchdog refuses to release infamous 2012 dossier into Google’s anti-competitive behavior


Re: Splendid response

They'll also get in bed with China if the price is right

<Checks the 'Made in...' labels on a few things lying around....>

Well, we're all guilty of that it seems.....

If you're going to exploit work's infrastructure to torrent, you better damn well know how to hide it


Downloading resumed and all was well for another couple of months. Until the day the Security Manager stopped at my desk and said quietly – “Very bloody clever. Now knock it off…” and walked away. I was grateful for how he handled it,

I've always found it a good thing to be friendly and honest with the security/network peeps. I always work on a 'if you don't tell me I /can't/ do it...' attitude with using the works network, although I never did anything like this.

At a previous job many years ago I used to maintain an SSH connection to my home server for reading emails at work (it was never used as a SOCKS proxy... ever....) but was quite honest about it if asked. A few years passed and the network firewall got upgraded and required authentication. Because I'd never hid what I did the network manager actually disabled the requirement for me for a couple of weeks until I found a replacement solution. He said 'There's 4 people who do what you do, 2 of you are open about it, so I ignore your IP coming top of various tables every month; the other 2 think I don't know....'

Treat people with mutual respect and don't be too cheeky and you can get away with a fair bit.

Samsung on fridge cert error: Someone tried to view 'unsavoury content' in middle of John Lewis


Re: Wi-Fi for all!

Using non-BT routers is a bit of a faff if you want all the services to work correctly.

Once you get it setup it should be fine. My parents are on BT on a TPLink router (bought a few years ago as the homehub at the time could barely maintain wi-fi for a day without a reboot). Worked when they moved to Plusnet, and then again when they moved back to BT.

They have the BT tv too (although I don't think they do anything 'advanced' with it).

Also, the hub is now serving me as a cheapo wi-fi access point (and late night disco light until I remember to tape over the flashing purple light of 'no internet connection').

Chemists bitten by Python scripts: How different OSes produced different results during test number-crunching


Re: "the order in which files get compared affects the results"

So where I'm going is that it's actually a Python problem rather than an OS problem. Or just a "programmer failing to read the manual" problem,

No, it really is just a programmer failing to understand/read the docs problem.

but I think that you can also blame the design of the language routine for not producing deterministic output by default...

That's just a misunderstanding though. The results may not be what you expect, however they are deterministic, it's just that determining requires far too much information about the underlying system in use, hence the ordering is documented as undefined. (If you knew the underlying filesystem in use, and the full info for each file, and how the filesystem stores the metadata, and how it's readdir implementation walks those data structures you'd be able to work out the order the files would be returned.)

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still


Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

I've just invented a new word "Upgrates" which defines as "People who don't like updates".

Sounds like something you do to artisinal cheese.


Re: All’s good here...

It's a comment section of a website!! Most of what's posted is uninteresting and unimportant!!

Plus, the 'Works fine for me' do help to give some balance; and potentially allow a indication of how serious the issue is. (The linked rant was very specific for example).

Sometimes it's good to know the settings on the internet echo chamber.

(Apologies, I may still be upset that it got compared to the Vista release.... you weren't there man!!)


Re: All’s good here...

I've found that same experience with all these hand-wringing update articles on The Register.[...]

My personal favourite was:

"Then there are the posts that purport to be from Apple employees and describe the company's internal disarray and lack of communication. The Register is unable to verify who these people might be,"

ooh, that's good journalism right there....

" but other people posting to the thread confirm that Apple employees they've known have raised similar concerns."

Ah well...


Re: Apple is deprecating Macs

Next stop - macOS for sale as an OS in its own right that you can install on any compatible hardware, [...]

Not a chance, the support headache would be a nightmare.

Why bother making your own hardware when the margins are minuscule

Apple make 'high end' hardware, the margins are probably anything but. :D

and everyone else does it better?

Define better?

In my (very limited) experience, if you get to Apple build quality from another manufacturer then the price different seems to dissapear. My current (second hand) MB Air is lovely, and probably as expensive as the Lenovo Thinkpad it replaced, which was also bullet proof. :)

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked



It annoys me that websites that have arbitrary password rules don't show them on the login page.

If you're going to artificially limit the brute force search space it's probably best not to advertise it on the front door. ;)


Re: re: He was quite apologetic when I emailed it to him.

Really? I'd have told you to do my password then gone over your head to find out why you were fuckarsing around cracking passwords instead of doing some work....

Really? I always thought a good sysadmin should do exactly that?

Get rid of all the silly requirements that don't actually make passwords harder to guess, and just run a constant crack against everyones password. When found, force a password change on the account, send the user an email explaining why.

The people with good passwords don't get bothered, the people with poor ones will hopefully soon learn.

Much better than 'change your password every 3 seconds' that seems so popular.

Teardown nerds return to the Fold with word of warning: Samsung kit still 'alarmingly fragile'


though there is a special price of $149 for the first repair if you purchase before 31 December 2019.

Only for the first year after purchase though.

Which makes me wonder how long the actual warrenty is??

Microsoft has made an Android phone. Repeat, Microsoft has made an Android phone. A dual-screen foldable mobe not due until late 2020


Re: No thanks

Too bad it's not running AOSP.

They'd never do this though, it would be the worse of both worlds. Any changes they made would benefit Google, whilst they'd not get the benefits of any of the Google ecosystem; required by an increasing number of Android apps.

So you'd just have another mobile platform that doesn't do the stuff most users expect (payments/location services/cloud sync/etc...) If you're going to do that you might as well continue with windows phone as at least you control the entire ecosystem.

NASA Administrator upends the scorn bucket on Elon Musk's Starship spurtings


Re: He'd better hurry - Virgin Galactic only a year away from launch!

I'd be interested to know how many lifecycles these landing rockets can achieve before they need a rebuild or at least a major refurb.


They take several months to refurb and check between flights, but the plan is to reduce this significantly.

Margin mugs: A bank paid how much for a 2m Ethernet cable? WTF!


Re: you wouldn't use a cat 5 patch lead and expect 10Gb/s performance

HDMI, last time i looked, doesn't even have error detection never mind correction or retries, so if the data is wrongly received it stays that way.

Which you can see, with your eyes....

So better make sure you use a decent cable. Or maybe not.

True, but 'Decent' just means 'up to the job', and the cheap 2 quid HDMI cables are up to the job.

I have a friend who works for an A/V place, and have stopped asking him for free HDMI cables as he always gives me some super thick braided mostrosoty, which I find generally worse than the cheap 2 quid amazon basics ones I buy. They're too thick so don't stand a lot of flexing and break quite easly, and in some instances are so heavy that they slowly work their way out of any verticle HDMI ports I have.

Cheapo amazon basics tend to just work.


Re: Not just business

Gazes in awe at the awsome badge powers!

Chef roasted for tech contract with family-separating US immigration, forks up attempt to quash protest


Re: Flaming idiot, social justice warrior and political hack

[...]if you don't like the laws, BLAME THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THEM (Congress, over the last 20 years or so).


See your first point; or does it only apply to laws you believe in?

What about the human rights laws? Or do they not apply too? There's a difference between detaining immigrants and inhuman detention without basic access to sanitation.

Also, how did your ancestors get there??

Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid rape remarks outcry


Re: He should have stuck to what he knows

Not much love for people with Asperger's, I see

Asperger is a disability, that like other disabilities brings with it various challenges. Whilst it’s good for others to respect these and accommodate where possible it doesn’t absolve one of personal responsibility.

I suppose what I’m saying is people with Aspergers can still be arseholes too.

UK ISPs must block access to Nintendo Switch piracy sites, High Court rules


Re: Quantify losses...

people playing with stealing pirating games they wouldn't have bought


(The distinction is subtle but important).

Lights, camera, camera, camera, action: iPhone, iPad, Watch, chip biz in new iPhone, iPad, Watch, chip shocker


Re: "start pulling that content away from Netflix/Sky etc."

They will soon discover that the balkanization of services will lead to less customers, not more.

The problem is they've seen people /will/ pay 80 quid a month for things like Sky. So as long as they keep the cost roghly a portion of this people will pay.


Re: Do you think Grandma cares that her phone is 20% faster

This is the real idiot tax extracted by apple, the age tax (it has always worked and probably will, can't help).

Who's buying their kids thousand pound phones???!

All the kids I know with iPhones have second hand hand-me-downs from their parents. (Okay, so my sample size is negligable, but lets not have facts get in the way of a rant eh.)

Bus pass or bus ass? Hackers peeved about public transport claim to have reverse engineered ticket app for free rides


Re: Why have the Plod become involved?

The only crime committed here is that by Corethree, and nobody else.

Well, apart from the year of fare dodging you mean?

First are terrible, but 'political statement' or not, they waited a year. A year of free bus travel is still several hundred pounds; Ironically paid for by all the people they're aparently trying to help.

Call Windows 10 anything you like – Microsoft seems to


Re: Confused

I thought the software entitlement followed the hardware in this case? I've re-imaged several second hand macs from network recovery and had nary an issue. In fact, I am not even asked for an iCloud account until after the OS has installed, so I don't really understand your issue.

Well. colour me embarassed, just sacrificed the MB air to test it, and you're correct.

Although it also downloaded Mojave, which wasn't out when I last tried it.

But it's also possible I'm an idiot too. :D


Re: Confused about Mac's

"Oh what fun if you've bought a second hand mac and you don't have the version of the OS it ships with tied to your iCloud account."

You can download a .dmg file that contains the whole MacOS install. There are plenty of instructions on the Internet about how to convert that to a .iso which can be burnt to a DVD and installed without going anywhere near an iCloud account.

Sorry, I wasn't clear; what I meant was... 'Oh what fun it is trying to use internet restore if it tries to restore a version of the OS you don't have tied to your iCloud account'

I have a 2012 air and if completely hosed it will try and download the version of OS X it shipped with; which I don't have a licence for, so it fails.

Downloading the dmg and building a USB/SD bootable media is indeed the solution. :)


Re: "expand to fill all available space"

Linux can [expand filesystems] as well. Poor Windows (as installed on PC's) still lagging behind then.

IIRC the filesystem support has been in NTFS since day one. (All FS structures are stored in files so can be extended), and you've been able to grow paritions to fit free space since at least windows 7 via disk manager.

It's not ZFS/BTRFS/APFS volume growing, but neither is extending an ext2/ffs partition either.

(Personally, I wouldn't be happy extending any FS that doesn't nativly support it, but then I wish most FSs were ZFS these days. :) )



Rather than having to fumble for media or hope that no super-secret restore partitions have been deleted in the quest for more disk space, Windows 10 will now download and install a fresh copy of the currently installed version of the OS.

So, how does that work then? If I've deleted the super secret restore partition where does the code to do the download come from? Won't this require firmware support?? (As I believe Apple does*)

* aside: Oh what fun if you've bought a second hand mac and you don't have the version of the OS it ships with tied to your iCloud account.

Teletext Holidays a) exists and b) left 200k customer call recordings exposed in S3 bucket


.....(Though I'm Bamboozled to think AWS and Teletext could ever have overlapped.)

+1 for that reference. If I could vote you more I would.


Re: [S3] users have to actively turn off security

I'm quite sure that most of the time, what happens is a DevOps developer sticks some data in a bucket

You need better devops.... all the ones I know would never let this kind of stuff slide.... (Lazy developers however; or clueless managers with time pressures are another thing...)

Enjoy the holiday weekend, America? Well-rested? Good. Supermicro server boards can be remotely hijacked


Re: How many ?

I want to like AMD BTW (even though I've been fucked by them hard with the HP laptop of fire, going mad when that broke and the fan wasn't awlays on on the next laptop, not even needing a book to have it on ALL THE TIME because idling on a surface will cause it to shutdown for thermal reasons, the fx-8350 "8 core" crap ect)

You're mad at AMD because HP can't design laptops??

FWIW the intel based HP laptop I once had was a piece of shit too.

Really interested in the new Zen stuff, just trying to get over aforementioned fucking

Apart from being released too early (the early motherboards were a bit.... fun) the Zen stuff is really good. Plus being able to swap my 1600X for a 3xxxx and get the performance boost is a boon too.

Been building computers for years, had similar issues with both Intel and AMD over the years. Have had some complete rubbish, but also some amazing stuff, in both camps.

It wasn't the fastest, but my bought on day of release 'Bulldozer' box is still going strong; My current i5 box is a bit 'funny' in some situations, whereas the previous core 2 was bullet proof. The first Zen box I got was a bit flaky, but after a drunken accident took it out I bought better quality stuff and that's been super stable ever since.



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