* Posts by Rich 2

482 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


Mozilla doubles down on anti-tracking tech: It'll be tougher for wily ad-biz cookie monsters to track Firefox

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Time-based cookie clearing

There is a Firefox addon called “auto cookie delete” or something like that. That does pretty much what you just said

UK data watchdog having a hard time making GDPR fines stick: Marriott scores another extension, BA prepares to pay 11% of £183m penalty threat

Rich 2 Silver badge

What a shit show

Instead of having the fine over time, they should be adding interest!!

It’s pathetic. It really is

Apple re-arms the iMac with 10th-gen Intel Core silicon

Rich 2 Silver badge


I thought the Osbourne effect was that they announced the new model prematurely. Their sales tanked because nobody wanted to buy the “old” (current) model and the new model wasn’t ready, hence they went bust.

Have I got my history wrong?

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

It’s all bollocks

No idea what MS are up to - apart from the obvious tired idea of buying a company that has an interesting and popular product, and then running it into the ground with “enhancements” and “innovations” that make it utterly unusable - but Trump really is a cockwomble of the highest order. He wants to ban tiktok because it’s slurping the private details of good ol’ God-fearing AMERICANS (never understood why one is supposed to be afraid of ones chosen deity, but I digress). And he might well be correct in his assessment - I don’t know - but at the same time he (in fact the US gov in general) couldn’t give a gnats bollock about googlies, faecesbook etc etc doing exactly the same thing and selling the details of good ol’ God-fearing AMERICANS to the highest bidder.

What a messed up “free” country they have there

Visa fraud charges: Uncle Sam accuses four Chinese eggheads of covering up their true ties to China's military

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Links to the army is a bit vague

Exactly. It’s a bit like the recently proposed law to require spies in the uk to register as such. Nobody is actually expecting anyone to register. It’s just a legal tool to nab anyone who misbehaves.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Rich 2 Silver badge

Tiresome nonsense

I’m impressed he even bothered to waste his breath to deny this claptrap.

I’m no fan of Bill Gates but really! You have to be a complete moron to believe this stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump believes it, for example; yes I’m talking THAT moronic.

After banning Chinese comms bogeyman, UK asks: Huawei in this mess? It was a failure of capitalism, MPs told

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Obvious

Exactly. Not that much is it?

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Obvious

2.7 million people isn’t that many for a country of 60 million

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Devided Opinions Anyone

For many years, GEC and Marconi were populated at the top by useless ex-army colonels or some bloody lord Farquhar and the like and it was perpetuated when they retired on lovely pensions. It was nepotism personified.

BAe is exactly the same but somehow managed to hang in there. Of course when I say “somehow” I mean the same ex-army top bods have lots of friends in government. Which happens to come in very handy when some low life tries to expose the open secret of bribing the Saudis. Now that was rather inconvenient. Good job the government decided it “wasn’t in the National interest” to actually admit publicly what anyone working in that area had known openly for decades; they even used to figure bribes into the project budget (not a joke. Not made up).

Rich 2 Silver badge


Can’t comment on Canada and the US but here in the UK we have a strong tradition of treating industry as something you scrape off your shoe.

Thatcher very famously stated “we don’t need a manufacturing sector. The country can survive on service industries alone” (I paraphrase).

And so 30 years or so later you end up in a situation where you have lost almost all your top talent, and the manufacturing companies that are still trying to make something of worth are unsupported by government and ignored by the banks (now THERE’s a worthwhile “industry” - very nice suits and shiny boardroom tables, and none of that demeaning “manufacturing” nonsense).

On top of that we allow any industry of any worth at all to be sold to (literally) anyone - Arm probably being the latest high profile example. But that should come as no surprise - we don’t even own our own water supply any more in this country (and allow said water companies to run up huge debts just so they can pay out a nice dividend to shareholders and pay their “top” peeps big money - it is quite literally a scandal but that’s another subject)

In the meantime we happily POUR money into China so that it can make stuff for us and fund its military that it might want to use against us in the near future.

Really. It’s not rocket science. It’s bloody depressing. But it’s not complicated

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Don't need it

Another option is uMatrix - gives fine grained control over what you will let your browner do and read (and which cookies it will accept), on a per-URL basis. It’s a faff and takes time to set it up so that stuff you’re interested in still works, but if you want fine control it’s difficult to beat

An axe age, a sword age, Privacy Shield is riven, but what might that mean for European businesses?

Rich 2 Silver badge


The article repeats that SCCs are still legal. But when this story broke the other day, it seemed that that was not actually the case (the judge did not say they were ok and it was a mid-quote / wilful misunderstanding by some bod at the EU).

So what’s the reality?

Privacy Shield binned after EU court rules transatlantic data protection arrangements 'inadequate'

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Standard contractual clauses

So faecesbook and similar pond life really are stuffed then? Their only recourse is to keep their (your) data in the EU?

Rich 2 Silver badge

Standard contractual clauses

I find it strange that the standard contractual clauses were not also struck down. Surely, any data transferred under them is also subject to US government snooping in the same way as under privacy shield. It’s not as if Joe Public has any say in what “standard contractual clauses” their bank/anti-social hangout/on-line supermarket/whatever signs up to

The Devil's in the details: Church of Satan forced to clarify that no unholy rituals taking place in SoCal forest

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Satanism

Thanks for the explanation. It seems a bit of a badly chosen name though; one likely to cause confusion.

I mean, Hitler was well known to like fine art. But if I started a fine art club, I probably wouldn’t call it “The Hitler appreciation society” - it could give the wrong impression

Rich 2 Silver badge


“Satanism ....is atheistic....”

Forgive my ignorance and simplistic analysis but I thought Satan was (essentially) the anti-Christ. As such, doesn’t believing in Satan also imply a belief in God?

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Here’s a thought - UK.gov to purchase

Arm should never have been sold to a non UK peep in the first place. If the uk gov has any sense at all (*) would repatriate it. And you could extend that sentiment to a boat-load odd other tech industry, starting with the now sadly long lost Inmos.

(*) Oh hang on - I’m seeing a flaw in my plan

If the Solar System's 'Planet Nine' is actually a small black hole, here's how we could detect it... wait, what?

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Five to ten EARTH masses

So when it explodes, the earth could be flung out into the void?

It would be like Space 1999 - oooo - how exciting!!

Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. Comcast to handle DNS-over-HTTPS for Firefox-using subscribers

Rich 2 Silver badge


I get all the arguments for DoH but the more I read the more I’m thinking what is the f’ing point?!

If you want genuinely secure DNS then build or find a secure service. However big a bow you stick on it, DoH is NOT such a service - it’s utter bollocks that has been and will continue to be bastardised by the tech industry to circumvent any perceived “security” it ever had (which, in practical terms, is fuck-all)

Internet Society, remember your embarrassing .org flub? The actual internet society would like to talk about it

Rich 2 Silver badge

Is this an “American thing”?

When I look at this mess and add it to the growing list of (mostly) tech companies that behave in an abhorrent way, one things bubbles to the top - they’re all American - I’m thinking faecesbook, MS, Googlies, etc etc... the list goes on

Is this a culture thing? “I am an American therefore I shall behave in a shockingly bad, amoral way”? Or is their regulation so non-existent that it allows all this shit?

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: This could actually make $$$

Yes it will cost money. But ANY solution will cost money.

And it may not be perfect but assuming the parents lock down their kids’ phones, it could cut out the vast majority of smut on little Johnny’s phone. Which is 100% more that is achievable at the moment.

Anyway, if googlies don’t like it, it gets my vote!! With bells on.

Are you having a hard time following what Microsoft is trying to do with .NET 5.0? You're not the only one

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: I can help.

Errr, what actually IS .NET? (any version)

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Political correctness gone mad

Actually, I would argue that it does make things worse. There is now a disparity in the naming convention with the Linux kernel (as described in the article). That reduces clarity.

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Land of the Free

Ok. The ‘land off the free’ remark is out of place. It’s still true though

Rich 2 Silver badge

What a mess we’re making!

Anyone who has seen the film Brazil Will recognise the similarity with the ‘unofficial ducts repair’ scenes.

Any wafer thin concept of social responsibility that there ever was with business is quickly evaporating. Especially in the land of the free. Where else?

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: What problem are the certificates solving?

I used to work on this stuff (TV streaming) and my overriding opinion of it was (and still is) that the majority of the complexity in this regard stems from broadcasters having an inflated opinion of the value of the content the produce. ITV player is probably the best example of this - the complexity involved in streaming an advert, breaking off to show a bit of a program (eg emerdale or corri) and then going back to an advert (sarcastic? Me!?) is bonkers complicated. I can’t remember now, but it involves something like 2 or 4 certificate servers, plus the actual content streaming servers (one for the adverts and one for the program) and the chain of stuff that has to happen for it all to work is nuts!

And all this complexity is mostly because ITV don’t realise (or don’t want to admit) that todays emerdale/corri is tomorrow’s virtual chip paper (when did you last see a thriving black market in corri episodes? Nope. Me neither).

There are other issues too, of course. Maybe some of it stems from the idea that people would use their “smart” TVs to do their shopping etc etc. Of course nobody does because it doesn’t work very well compared to using a laptop, or even a phone.

And being able to download updates needs the device to trust the source (oh the irony!)

Oh, and Of course there is the matter of a lack of forward thinking :-)

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

Rich 2 Silver badge

Don’t stop now

I’ve still got loads of popcorn left :-)

This is one of those arguments that’s up there with vim vs emacs, or C bracing style.

ps: vim. Obviously

Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: C rocks.

... whereas in some “higher level” (scripty) languages I can think of, the program doesn’t crash - you just get gibberish or because undefined variables magically come into existence!! That’s even harder to debug. At least when c crashes, you can get a core dump out of it which often points to the problem pretty quickly

Rich 2 Silver badge

“... tech industry needs software performance engineering, better algorithmic approaches to problem solving, and streamlined hardware interaction”

I read that and my first thought was “shame the world seems to be migrating to stuff like python“

... only to have the issue highlighted a couple of paragraphs down. It’s been said zillions of times before of course, but hacky scripty language’s like Python that pay no regard whatsoever to how the underlying hardware works are the reason we all use multi-GHz multi-core power-eating monster computers - just to do a bit of word processing.

Hacky scripting languages have there place but things would work a lot better if the authors of the bigger (in size and/or time) python applications learned to use a more effective language that runs (for example) 47 times faster!! What a pile of shite modern software is :-(

In Rust, we lust: Security-focused super-C++ language still most loved among Stack Overflow denizens

Rich 2 Silver badge


I sort of agree. But because of the efforts that are gone to to maintain backward comparability, on the whole, I don’t think it’s a big issue.

Except it makes keeping up with it a full time job.

Actually - yes you’re right - it’s too often!

Rich 2 Silver badge

I don’t think establishing a new version of C++ every 3 years is bad going. From an engineering perspective, this is much more preferable to something that jumps on the band wagon de jour only to abandon it a couple of years later when the next whizzy thing strolls along.

Rich 2 Silver badge

Five ways to initialise a variable?

C++ has much more than just five ways :-)


I like C++. I like it a lot. But I agree - it is much too complicated

Windows Terminal hits the big 1.0: Fit for production?

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: A terminal program?

Oh well if it was only 42 years ago, and not 60, then that changes everything

Rich 2 Silver badge

A terminal program?

Ok. I’m not a Windows person at all so I admit I might be missing something here. But...

MS are making a fuss about a terminal program? In 2020? That’s about, errr... 60 years after it was pretty much nailed on Unix and VMS and just about every other OS of any significance.


Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

Rich 2 Silver badge

Got to love ‘em

“....have until the end of June to switch to a supported language”

That’s ok then. I mean, who can’t fluently learn a new language in a month? Duh!!

Oh, and of course you need to tell everyone you might be writing to to do the same. Otherwise they won’t be able to read your letters.

It’s bad enough when “English” is taken to mean the Americanised mangled version, with no option to change it to real English.


And in true MS style, “consistency” is taken to mean “lowest common denominator” (because we can’t be arsed to do a decent job of it)

Rust marks five years since its 1.0 release: The long and winding road actually works

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Meh

I agree. I much prefer to use !x and only explicitly compare to zero when the boss complains - I just don’t see the point of an explicit compare to zero

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Meh

I consider myself a “long term” c person - 30+ years, and I’ve never got along with the 0 == x thing. It just doesn’t read right and makes my brain turn itself inside out. Mush easier to just write the thing correctly (x== 0) in the first place. I can’t remember the last time I accidentally used a = instead of a ==. Probably about 29 years ago

Node.js creator delivers Deno 1.0, a new runtime that fixes 'design mistakes in Node'

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Wonder how long it will take…

Firstly C does not have a steep learning curve. It’s really very simple and logical and if someone in the software field doesn’t get it then that probably tells you all you need to know about their abilities and education.

As for there being less stuff written in C, I think that is, quite frankly, bollocks. There is a gargantuan amount written in C. You just don’t know about it and you don’t see it. But it’s there.

And yes, there is a lot of crap C out there. But saying something (eg JavaScript) isn’t crap because there’s a lot of other (eg C) crap is no argument and never has been.

But JavaScript really is shite. It was shite when it crept out of the swamp and itt’s still shite. It has absolutely no redeeming features. It should have been strangled way back.

Apple owes us big time for bungled display-killing cable design in MacBook Pro kit, lawsuit claims

Rich 2 Silver badge

Class action

Why does anyone “hope” for class action status? All it seems to mean is that nobody actually gets anything out of the litigation - the usual result seemingly being “we won! Great - everyone in the country gets 20 cents”

Fancy some post-weekend reading? How's this for a potboiler: The source code for UK, Australia's coronavirus contact-tracing apps

Rich 2 Silver badge

Trust no one

The problem I have with any of this is that on the face of it, it may be a good idea. But (and it’s a huge but) the tech industry has such a shockingly bad reputation when it comes to privacy and generally being decent and honest that even if someone could show me that the apps themselves are 100% secure, I STILL won’t subscribe to the idea. Because the app security is only half the problem. It’s what happens to the “secure” data afterwards. And the answer too that is nobody knows apart apart from the tech companies and spying governments that will have access to it. And neither of those parties are honest enough (at all!) to tell the truth.

And anything that uses googlies analytics is, by definition, insecure and privacy-invading. So the app can’t even get past the first hurdle

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

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Depends.

While I’m all for meaningful variable and function names, the only thing that helps with comments is actually writing comments.

And please don’t go down the “self commenting” argument - it’s bollocks and perpetrated by lazy people who can’t be arsed to document the (usually crappy) software they write

Linux fans thrown a bone in one Windows 10 build while Peppa Pig may fly if another is ready in time for this year

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Linux developers

So what are the Windows-only applications are essential for writing stuff for Linux???

I’m at a loss.

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Windows awoke to discover it had metamorphosed into...

With way, what’s the point?

Really - if you want Linux then run Linux. If you want Windows (or has a snack on the head recently) then run Windows. I simply don’t see the point of this Frankenstein-esc mess

Twitter takes away twits' ability to limit ad data sharing – after telling investors its own privacy settings hurt revenue

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Targeted advertising

Unfortunately, it is this very simple concept that you highlight that the likes of faecesbook, googlies, and twattripe don’t get (or more likely choose to ignore)

UK government puts IR35 tax reforms on hold for a year in wake of coronavirus crisis

Rich 2 Silver badge


Sooooooo... if the contractors are all evading tax and being generally quite naughty then that's BAD, isn't it?

So, yes, of course, you want to (indeed are compelled for the good of the nation) to clamp down on their behaviour. Can't let these thieves and vagabonds carry on like this!

Buuuuuut.... if you are prepared to delay such obviously important action against these terrible contractors, then ....errrr ....doesn't that show that HMRC are either;-

1/ Happy to allow this terrible crime to go unpunished. Surely, that can't be right can it? I can't think of any other examples where the govt have a plan to stop crime but then decided it doesn't actually matter any more. That would be very odd


2/ HMRC don't actually believe that what the contractors are doing is actually THAT serious? In fact, it's perfectly legal within the normal bounds of business law, and HMRC is and has been talking complete bollox all this time and are actually just on a witch hunt

So, which is it HMRC?

Browser minnow Brave nips at Google with GDPR complaint

Rich 2 Silver badge

I Hate the lot of ‘em

“These repeated allegations from a commercial competitor don't stand up to serious scrutiny."

I think you’ll find the allegations stand up to any kind is scrutiny. Googlies is and has been taking the piss for many years. Just why the EU didn’t slap a massive GDPR penalty on them as soon as GDPR became law is unfathamable. Same goes for faecesbook (obvs).

And, as a side note, Googlies always answer these “allegations” (aka facts) by pointing out that users can change the settings in their accounts. But this does absolutely nothing to address the issue of them stalking people who do not have and have no wish to have any kind of account with them.

White House turns to Big Tech to fix coronavirus blunders while classifying previous conversations

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: it's classified

Isn’t that what Twitter is for?

Yelp finally gets its chance to tell US Congress how Google screws its listings service every minute of every day

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Google Fu required

Another couple to try are Mojeek (they are UK-based) and Ecosia (I think they're Spanish - more to the point, they're NOT American). Both worth a look

Be handy if they would make a firefox search addon widget though (hint hint)

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: People need to be more selective

StartPage - you might want to check this out before you use it...


Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Google Fu required

As Chris G points out, the problem with DDG (at least the last time I looked) was that it's not regionalised. It is hugely US-centric. And I'm not convinced it's even that good, despite all the fuss that seems to be made about it.

For Euro-centric search (actually, just non-US-centric!), you're better off trying something like Swisscows, or MetaGer or Qwant (other search engines are available).

I used to use StartPage until I found out that it it had got bought-out by some US advertising outfit, or something like that - can't remember. Anyway - not recommended now - it's gone to the evil googlies-esc side - don't use it.



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