* Posts by Lusty

1653 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Microsoft defends intrusive dialog in Visual Studio Code that asks if you really trust the code you've been working on


Re: To be fair

These days I think it's generally easier to write a paragraph describing in detail what the code does at the top. Saves a lot of time looking at the code because you can probably then just write a new function to replace it rather than maintaining your own crappy old code! Also means you can skip the commenting throughout because during the month you originally write it you'll know everything about it. 10 years later you won't care because the blurb at the top should be sufficient to start from scratch and produce something better in less time

'Biggest data grab' in NHS history stuffs GP records in a central store for 'research' – and the time to opt out is now


Re: "The UK enacted GDPR through the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018)"

"Still UK can change it at its will now, without being bound to GDPR any longer"

Actually it's more complex than that. We were never bound to implement the GDPR regulations into UK law because Brexit was already far enough along. When we did implement the DPA in the UK though, "we" chose to point to the central EU list of countries. As such, unless something has changed this year, the UK DPA considers the UK a third country.

OK, so we don't have a flying car yet, but this is possibly even better: The Internet of Beer



I wrote a presentation about Internet of beer once for a pub and restaurant chain. The loss of barrels is a very low value part of what this could do. Improvement in beer quality and creating a community around beer was the primary goal. Just like the fetishisation of coffee the extra info about origin and treatment would drive interest. The ability to show new beers arriving at a pub can lead to events for beer lovers and tracking cellar conditions against beer quality would allow patrons to choose when best to enjoy their pint.

Ever wondered what it's like working for Microsoft? Leaked survey shines a light on how those at the code coalface feel


If you notice though, the only thing the "complainers" complained about was their deal. This effectively means that when asked "Do we pay you enough?" they decided not to click the "Oh yes, too much if anything" button and instead opted for "I like money, and I'd quite like more please".

That's not a complaint, it's common sense. Everyone involved knows that and realistically the score achieved is probably the highest possible in a normal employee population.

Facebook uses one billion Instagram photos to build massive object-recognition AI that partly trained itself


Re: They cannot be trusted.

The point is that the terms should be simple enough to recite if they are genuine.

We’ve fallen into a situation where businesses think they need to trick customers into buying things. The idea that you can just be good at something is almost forgotten.

Google admits Kubernetes container tech is so complex, it's had to roll out an Autopilot feature to do it all for you


Re: Totally

"Ads, search, email, streaming video: abandoned and dead!"

No, they aren't selling any of those as a product. They're selling your privacy, and that died almost immediately.

Microsoft's underwhelming, underpowered dual-screen Surface Duo phone arrives in the UK this month for £1,349


Re: How much whelm depends on the user.

"Overall saving £1300. Result happiness."

Where did you get a phone and bluetooth keyboard for £49? Must be a shocking phone.

Surface Laptop Go: Premium feel for a mid-range price, but Microsoft's Apple-like range once meant more than this


Re: Proprietary ports - DIE DIE DIE

If by "a lot of devices" you mean one model out of the whole range, then yes you're right ;). The Go, Pro X and Pro don't use that connector for the keyboard, at least not on any of the modern ones I've seen


Re: Surface power supplies

WTF Really? Argos sell them, as do John Lewis, and neither of those are even computer shops so you clearly didn't look very hard as these things are everywhere. They are also stocked in most airport electronics outlets and Amazon can have any of the models of power supply with me by 10pm today.

Hardly difficult to get hold of!


Re: Proprietary ports - DIE DIE DIE

@HildyJ the MS connector doesn't connect the keyboard it's generally on the side. The keyboards have various connectors on different models.


Re: Proprietary ports - DIE DIE DIE

The Surface connector predates USB-C by quite a bit, has a magnetic connector so you won't trip and kill your device, works with every portable surface out there and supports two large displays even from the Surface Go while delivering a very fast charge both to the laptop and any accessories plugged into it. This means I can switch between my Surface Book for work, my Laptop for home, and my Go with one cable in half a second. Sure, USB-C would have been nice, but backwards compatibility is also nice, and all of the modern Surface line since the Go also support USB-C for connectivity and charging so no big deal


Re: Shite warranty...

You can't start litigation based on something that you imagined happening. Microsoft would obviously fix a genuinely broken machine after a month if the issue was down to manufacture.

Most of the overheating problems on Surface Laptop can be fixed with a driver update from Intel. My Laptop 3 heated up when new, I updated the drivers and it was sorted, no big deal.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Gen 8: No boundaries were pushed in the making of this laptop – and that's OK



Until they sort out the function and control key positions it's still a no from me. Hopefully they've sorted out the screen vs laptop weight too as the previous gen one I had was extremely top heavy and felt like they'd used double glazing on the screen. I am a fan of most of what they do with these, but there are a couple of niggles that really make them unusable for me. Thankfully these days there are other good options for Windows laptops!

Surprise, surprise: AI cameras sold to schools in New York struggle with people of color and are full of false positives


Re: Public confidence?

"scrap the entirety of software development after experiencing the multitude of shitty mobile apps"

Honestly, most days I'd vote for that, seeing how bad pretty much all modern software is. We've had half a century to get it right and we're further away now than ever.

Ordnance Survey recruits AR developer to build 'geolocated quests' to help get Brit couch potatoes exercising outdoors


because the two AA batteries last for several days even in cold conditions and can be replaced or recharged easily in the field in the waterproof and ruggedised device with a sunlight readable screen?

Contrast that to the phones we all have which last about 20 minutes outside if it's too cold or too bright, can't be easily seen in direct sunlight, and break with the slightest hint of a drop or something else in the bag with them. There's no comparison for the outdoors. iPhones also have a tendency to not switch on if they've been in the sun or the cold for more than a few minutes. That's not helpful for navigation!

Regardless, there is no reason why the same digital mapping has such contrasting pricing between use cases. nor is there a justification for the extremely high price they are charging.


A phone and browser are utterly useless in outdoor pusuits. Check the pricing on a real outdoor GPS such as a Garmin and you'll see what OP presumably meant. currently £334 without updates and has limited areas at useful scales. https://shop.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/activity-gear/walking/gps-devices-watches/?_bc_fsnf=1&brand=41

Aruba warns of storage destruction flaw that bricks some switches


Re: SD Cards?

Better, though, than replacing network equipment every 2 years. Modern SD cards don't burn out so often as they used to, and there are some designed for very heavy write cycles (designed for car cams, for instance). The flash inside the SD card can be any enterprise grade flash you like, at any capacity. The point I was making was that if you have a swappable hardware interface then you CAN swap the storage, otherwise the device is permanently borked. Network gear should last 10 years easily.


Easily solved with an SD card slot by hardware developers. Storage is a consumable and should be treated as such.

You can forget your fancy ERP customisations because that's not how it works in the cloud, SAP's Oliver Betz tells users


Not wrong

He's completely right, this is a great move for many reasons. On the other hand, there are going to be a lot of consultants out there who will no longer have multi-year SAP projects. Will they go along quietly, or will they start to recommend other, more flexible, solutions? SAP are probably big enough to pull this off, but it's still a very brave move

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


Re: Weasels

@Mark 65 only if Vauxhall had somehow prevented you from selling seat covers through any other outlet, and even then only if concumer choice was Vauxhall or Ford and nothing else. The problem is that consumers have precisely two choices of phone, one privacy sucking ad slinging monstrocity and one overpriced monopolistic walled garden. This is definitely a case where the courts should help and should push Apple back. Do I think Epic are being reasonable? No, absolutely not. They just happen to be one of the very few in with a chance of stopping Apple and making the situation better. I support the lawsuit, but not necessarily Epic.

The future of signage is here, and it wants an update


Re: re:future of signage

@G2 you seem to have misunderstood GDPR. There is zero requirement for a window sign to worry about GDPR. Zero. It has no inputs, how will it collect PII?

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother



It’s funny I thought it was a reference to black and white magic by the nerds who created computing and our community/culture. As such I actually do see this as undermining my own culture and history. If you see race everywhere these colours are used then that’s on you, leave my culture alone because I see it as a reference to a great wealth of fantasy and fiction you’ll probably never understand.

Tribunal halts all Information Commissioner's Office cases because UK data watchdog can't print or organise PDFs


Re: Same in the county courts

Hahahahhahahahahahha MegaBytes. LOL

Astroboffins may have raged at Elon's emissions staining the sky, but all those satellites will be more boon than bother


Re: Missing the point

“ make an array you need mix the light from all the telescopes while arranging for the optical path length to be the same to sub-micrometer precision no matter which telescope the light enters.”

Not true at all. If you want an easy build then yes, but computational photography techniques in 2020 can easily compensate for different placements if the devices are in space. It may not be easy, but it’s certainly possible. We don’t do these things because they are easy...

'Windows Vista' spotted doing a whoopsie over EE's signage


Re: Why use Windows?

Microsoft is not the same as the incompetent admin in charge of that billboard. Just like Ford aren't necessarily to blame when a car hits another car. It's unlikely that the systems mentioned are being used if a reboot warning is on the screen, since the system would just reboot at a suitable time.


Re: Why use Windows?

Management applications is probably the answer to that. Drivers, networking, remote deploy and more are all easier at scale with Windows (or were when these were created). At the time of Vista, Linux didn't even have good sound card support, let alone management apps to control hundreds or thousands of remote kiosks. For this reason, at the time, it would have been cheaper to just pony up for the fairly cheap licence.

in 2020 things have changed a bit and Linux is probably the better option, although Microsoft deployment and patching is still top of its game.

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps


Re: "saving more than £1m in taxpayer cash compared to more traditional methods"

"require additional supervision to check and manage. And no, I'm not joking unfortunately."

Your mistake there is the word "require". It's not required, it's just what councils do. Accepting that what is currently done is what is necessary is the reason councils are as bad as they are. We don't need to separate the finding and filling either. Send two workers out in a truck with everything they need to fix potholes. Have them document what they fixed and which roads are done. That's all you need. No work list, no database, no walkers, no additional layers of managers.

AI is fixing the wrong part of the process.

In deepest darkest Surrey, an on-prem SAP system running 17-year-old software is about to die....


Re: In danger of falling over?

Migration. The word is migration.

Well, well, well. Internet-of-Things speaker biz Sonos to continue some software support for legacy kit after all


"support ALL equipment for a minimum 10 years or longer"

support ALL equipment for a minimum 10 years or longer AFTER THE LAST UNIT GETS SOLD.

FTFY. They did support it for 10 years after the first unit shipped. The problem here is that units were still in shops last year.


That was me that spotted the privacy policy change and they eventually backtracked there too. Original articles were on el reg.

It’s worrying that the Reg have misinterpreted this new appology though which clearly states that old and new will continue to work but only separately. That’s the same message the original mail had just sugar coated with an apology.

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons



I think the Reg got a different mail to me. Mine said I can still use the old kit but as a result my NEW kit will never receive updates.

Hopefully they’ll go bankrupt, I’ll never buy from them again. Not that I’ve bought from them since the privacy policy debacle.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan


Fsck you Sonos

“ Please note that because Sonos is a system, all products operate on the same software. If modern products remain connected to legacy products after May, they also will not receive software updates and new features.”

So apparently my brand new Sonos kit won’t get updates if I don’t bin my old Sonos kit. WTAF?!

Image-rec startup for cops, Feds can probably identify you from 3 billion pics it's scraped from Facebook, YouTube etc



"Clearview says it's using publicly shared photos, and thus isn't doing anything wrong."

They are incorrect. This is the very definition of personally identifiable information - they are actually using the data to identify individuals. That suggests GDPR should give them a very heavy kicking over every instance of EU citizen data held.

It won't, because this is too useful to law enforcement. Best case is this gets pulled inside an agency instead of being a private company. Then GDPR won't apply anyway.

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."

Just imagine engineers saying "All bridges collapse" and just sort of accepting that under normal everyday circumstances a bridge might fall down. All software does not crash. Well written software will deal with known and unknown circumstances. Occasionally, yes, something weird might happen. At that point you want your system to fail to another host or stop, not just restart and hope for the best. We don't rebuild bridges to the same spec during a hurricane because we know the new one would break immediately. A crash should be your warning that something is very, very wrong and unusual. I'd almost suggest that instead of restarting the service a system ought to keep a record on a three strikes principle - if software crashes three times, permanently block it from running to force a real solution to the problem!

Admins sigh as Microsoft pushes Teams changes – let everyone play!


No, IT are on the hook for services they provide withint the SLAs agreed with the business. Everything else is out of scope. If you don't feel able to push back on things you don't support you either need to leave or get better at interacting with the business. It's not IT's job to shackle the business. It's not even IT on the hook for compliance, it's the business. In my experience the professionals within a business outside of IT are more attuned to compliance than IT are. It's rare to even find an IT person who's read the regulation docs, let alone understand them. Usually IT just block everything, store everything and hope; usually becoming non-compliant in the process. The number of 7 year backup retention regimes I've seen pointlessly implemented and costing millions unnecessarily is astounding.

And now for this evening's space weather report. We've got a hotspot of satellite-wrecking 'killer electrons' in the outer Van Allen belt...


Re: Feature not a bug?

"I doubt it."

I fear you're lacking in ambition. Everything that has energy can be used as a power source, and these have enormous energy. What we currently lack is the ability to harness that energy. When I was growing up it was a "fact" that slowing an F1 car wasted energy and required brake blocks and heat. Now we have KERS in every day EVs being driven on the streets. NEVER underestimate how quickly humans can innovate, things will always move faster than you expect.

Uni of London loses attempt to block mobe mast surveyors from Paddington rooftop


Don't panic everyone, BoJo is going to fix mobile reception when he wins the election. By magic, apparently.

Questions hang over Gatwick Airport after low level drone near-miss report


Re: Drones

"The issue is not the cameras, but rather the height and distance that modern drones can fly"

No, the issue is that when they did a "chicken test" against a jet engine, the Titanium drone parts ripped the plane a new one rather than just killing the engine like a frozen chicken would.


Re: Magnetic

GPS units generally have a magnetic compass input via some kind of canbus (or similar). They also have an input for a proper altimeter rather than assume GPS knows the altitude.

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro


Re: Selective deafness

So you'd prefer they mandate a $2300 Apple laptop? I feel like most parents would struggle to afford that...

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers


Re: "Fall Creators Update"

"I think many of us live under the basics of maritime law - essentially 'the bigger vessel has the right of way'. "

Maritime law, or Colregs as they are known don't say any such thing, and a supertanker or container ship will absolutely give way to a small sailing boat - I've seen it many times from the deck of my small sailing boat. The exception is that if either vessel is constrained in some way (draft, manoeuvrability etc.) then they need to make that known via signalling and will get precedence.

What the colregs also say, which is the smartest part, is that no vessel has "right of way" and that in collisions all parties share responsibility. To put this in car terms, I could be driving the wrong way up the M40 and you're still to blame if you hit me, because you should also have been looking where you're going and at a reasonable speed to be able to avoid collision. Works better at sea, but it's definitely words to live by. Personal responsibility is key.


Re: "Fall Creators Update"

"approximates theory of mind"

Nope. It's perfectly feasible to do this without AI, just slow the car to a stop in any and all circumstances when the lane is not clear then let the human take over. It's not a requirement for cars to proceed at speed or at all, and until we get that out of the design we'll keep failing. It's the same reasons humans keep crashing - we think it's necessary to go at speeds which are often too fast for conditions. It's not.

Microsoft explains self-serve Power platform's bypassing of Office 365 admins to cries of 'are you completely insane?'


Re: Many moons ago

"why aren't there processes in place to intercept the requirement and do the job "properly" *before* someone else does the job?"

Because most people in IT don't actually know how and are too busy hiding that fact to learn. Instead, they divert attention by moaning about lack of policy and requirements or documentation until the business gives up and cuts them back out of the loop.

The business only approaches IT when they forget how incompetent IT is


"Microsoft are basically enabling users to (inadvertently or otherwise) subvert the data governance of their employer."

Utter nonsense. If I don't have permission to access data, Power BI WILL NOT magically give me that permission.

If your data governance isn't sufficiently strong to include permissions on your data sources that is not Microsoft's fault. Neither is it their fault that you've not provided the users a suitable way to access the data they need to do their job (and pay for you to do yours!).


Re: Employees buying software for their company?

Do you do the same with stationary? Must be a barrel of laughs working there.

Boffins hand in their homework on Voyager 2's first readings from beyond Solar System


Scary isn't it, we've just started to understand global warming and here we are punching holes in the galaxy!


Re: Some surprising results (for the layman)

"so its really nice to have two independent measurements that confirm it."

No, this is science, so...

"so its really nice to have two independent measurements that agree."

It's still a theory, and probably always will be.

Microsoft sees sense, will give Office 365 admins veto rights on self-service Power tools


Re: Make the process simple

You seem to have confused tools with policies. GDPR doesn't differentiate between electronic and paper - perhaps we should prevent people bringing their own pens and paper just in case they write down some PII? Electronic tools have many uses outside of PII, and it's your job to keep the PII in a secure location, not to prevent people using tools to achieve their goals.


Re: Make the process simple

That has literally nothing to do with GDPR compliance.

Experts warn UK court digitisation is moving too fast and breaking too many things



The word you're looking for is digitalise, not digitise. Digitise is scanning a document to make a digital copy. Digitalise is making an electronic form so that there never was a paper copy to digitise. There's a world of difference in the value offered by these things so it's important to understand the difference.


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