* Posts by David Austin

518 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007


Quest Diagnostics pays $5M after mixing patient medical data with hazardous waste

David Austin

Re: Quest takes patient privacy and the protection of the environment very seriously

"We take [x] very seriously" should become legally binding - I'm fed up of spokesfaces rolling that line out when it's patently untrue, and would love to see them squirm trying to prove how seriously they take it to a court and jury.

Users now keep cellphones for 40+ months and it's hurting the secondhand market

David Austin

Re: Deep Pockets

I miss the Galaxy Mini and Xperia Compact ranges so much; mid to high end phones that you can hold single headedly are becoming so hard to find - honestly may be a case that the iPhone 13 mini may be the best one around, and at 5.4", that's stretching the definition of mini a tad too much for my liking...

Adobe warns it may face massive fines for subscription cancellation practices

David Austin

Fuck Adobe

I hate them on the quantum level, and deeply resent the fact they basically have a sizable amount of creatives held hostage at this point through their unfair subscriptions, Embrace extend extinguish company takeovers, and just generally being monumental dicks whenever they think they can get away with it.

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

David Austin

Nintendo's legal department accidently issue proceedings against Chris Pine instead of Chris Pratt for Mario copyright Infringement and Brand Damage... And win on the basis the jury decides Star trek wormholes copy Rainbow Road from Mario Kart.

Intel's Gelsinger grades his chip flip a hit, but AMD exec thinks it's more silicon slip

David Austin

Is fabless a risk?

I'm not an expert in either finance or fabrication so I may be barking up the wrong tree, but to me, outsourcing a key part of your business like the actual manufacturing sounds like a great idea until it isn't - what if the fab partner pulls a Unity and alters the deal, or they have a catastrophic event, and have to decide which chips to prioritise building?

Capita class action: 2,000 folks affected by data theft sign up

David Austin

"Capita strongly rejects any suggestion that there is any valid basis for bringing claims against it as a result of the cyber incident."

- You promised to securely store personal data.

- That personal data was illegally accessed and stolen.

That sounds like a pretty solid valid basis to me - It's about time companies like this stopped taking all the profits, and passing on all the liabilities.

Netflix flinging out DVDs like frisbees as night comes for legacy business

David Austin

Re: DVDs beat the film

I vividly remember being mad when they advertised the extended edition DVD's on the standard edition I rushed out to buy on launch day.

...then not being mad when I saw the staggering amount of extras that came with the extended version that kept me glued to the screen for a week.

I get some people preferring the standard cut of the films, but the extended disks are worth it for all the documentarys, commentaries, and behind the scenes footage.

David Austin

One advantage with DVD's

Your films and shows don't magically disappear next time two rights holders have a public spat, or someone decides to junk our culture as a tax writeoff.

More UK councils caught by Capita's open AWS bucket blunder

David Austin

Points of order

"We have taken extensive steps to recover and secure the data."

How? Secure, maybe, but you can't recover it once it's out in the wild.

"We have worked quickly to provide our clients with information"

Not according to the impacted customers in the very statements your spokesface was countering.

Until line managers are fined/jailed for such IT mismanagement, this will keep happening - this isn't a sophisticated cyber hack which would offer a fig leaf of defence: This is an unsecured AWS bucket, the type of misconfiguration we've been warning about for over a decade.

Intel to rebrand client chips once Meteor Lake splashes down

David Austin

The current system works

for nigh on a decade, my simple advice for people that wanted an intel system was "Buy something with an i3 or i5" for a standard PC, or "Buy something with an i5 or i7" for performance PC's.

It's so simple and straightforward; buy the current Gen i3 for decent entry level, buy the current gen i5 for standard business use, buy the current gen i7 for gamers and content creation.

And I just know whatever bollocks Intel are cooking up is going to needlessly complicate that system.

BOFH takes a visit to retro computing land

David Austin

It's true, but you didn't need to say it out loud, jeeze...

Meanwhile, in Japan, pet fish run up credit card bill on Nintendo Switch

David Austin

Fun, but Buggy

For those out of the loop, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet came out last November: they've been massive sellers (10 million copies in 3 days), and they are undeniably fun (First game in the series to allow players to adventure together in full multiplayer), but they are plagued with bugs and performance issues, the most serious being the Crash to Home Screen error (Switch equivalent of a bug check) that led to the fish shenanigans (And many, many lost Pokémon over the world).

Nintendo are promising a patch in late February to fix some issues (As well as 1008 Pokémon), but we'll have to see if they manage to hit all the worse pain points...

Elon Musk to step down as Twitter CEO: Help us pick his replacement

David Austin

Re: How could you

Well That's a mental image burned into my retinas I did not need.

David Austin

Re: How could you

The parallels between Liz and Musk in their management styles, consensus building, and short-sighted policies has been astounding this year.

Cloudflare hikes prices by a quarter, blames the accountants

David Austin

The Great Mismatch

Cloud Providers: The great thing about cloud is it's elastic and will scale up and down to match your needs and budgets!

Also Cloud providers: oh btw annual bill upfront is cool, right?

Vodafone's software-defined silicon bet signals a biz model shakeup

David Austin

How does overprovisioning work?

How does this business model work for the chip builders?

They must have to ship the silicone with all the potential hardware features on die; how do they not lose out if people buy the chips, then turn on no/minimal additional features?

Intel's 13th-gen CPUs are hot, hungry, loaded with cores

David Austin

Seems an odd choice for 2022

With many people worrying about energy pricing and sustainable computing, it seems an odd choice to push such a power hungry chip family in 2022

You could kinda excuse it in the top end i7/i9 processors as you're paying for a performance premium, but in i5 land, is a 24 thread, 180TDP really a good choice for what will end up being the go-to business desktop?

combining that with talks of ever increasing clock speeds, it kinda feels like Intel has gone full circle back to the Pentium 4 era, where clock speed was king, efficiency be damned, and chips ran hot enough to melt motherboards (And gave AMD a unique and compelling USP with their "more is less" Athlon XP Range)

It's a long way from the original Intel Core design ideas.

Serious surfer? How to browse like a pro on Firefox

David Austin

Re: At this point

Probably too late to help you, but the -allow-downgrade switch normally fixes issues with failed upgrades, or jumping back to an older ESR Version over the current standard version.


Amazon drivers unionize after AI sends them on 'impossible' routes

David Austin

Re: Routing

Had Yodel deliver a computer to the Police HQ about a mile from my house a few months ago; Had to phone the desk sergeant to ask if they could put it to one side so I could come and pick it up.

On the plus side, I'm one of the few people that have had the Police help with my enquiries...

USB-C to hit 80Gbps under updated USB4 v. 2.0 spec

David Austin

Re: Oh god

You have a promising career as a Kingdom Hearts Game Namer

Ubuntu Linux 18.04 systemd security patch breaks DNS in Microsoft Azure

David Austin

The DNS haiku is distressingly well used.

It's not DNS

There's no way it's DNS

It was DNS

Want the very latest Windows Insider Dev Channel build? Check your disk space

David Austin

Re: I'm starting to feel a bit sorry

Not as bad as I do for the poor people suckered into a HP Stream laptop, with 32GB of eMMC Storage.

They're too light to even make a useful doorstop.

Outlook email users alerted to suspicious activity from Microsoft-owned IP address

David Austin

Re: poor nan

Outlook account; as in an outlook.com email picked up by her android phone's native email app (a special one designed for older, less technical users)

David Austin

poor nan

Happy but also very aggravated to see this - I spent a good chunk of time this weekend and beyond attempting to secure my 85 year old nan's Outlook account.

It didn't help the night before the sign in activity emails came through, my mum and aunt downloaded a suspicious Google play store app, which I assumed was the cause of it - looking at the activity, I could see they were Azure IP's but I assumed some miscreant had rented/stolen a 365 server to carry out an attack.

Still kept coming after a full account lockdown (Account sign out, new and Unique password set), so I went the full hog and enabled Multifactor Authentication on Monday.

That had seemed to have stopped the suspicious account activity, but now I fear this was all a Microsoft screw up compounded by bad timing, and I may owe my mum and aunt an apology...

Microsoft floats Cloud for Sovereignty

David Austin

US Jurisdiction

How does any of this help when the parent US company can be subpoenaed into handing the info over?

Heck, if it's done by a National security letter, they aren't even allowed to disclose they've been asked for the info.

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

David Austin


Did you know there's a maximum subfolder limit in a Microsoft Exchange mailbox?

We didn't, until we logged the PSS Request with Microsoft.

In their defence, neither them or us expected a user to attempt to file their email into 5,000 subfolders manually, and by the time we worked that out, the scope of the problem was well beyond a technical one...

IBM settles age discrimination case that sought top execs' emails

David Austin

Re: So goes the crooked world

massively over-simplifying it, but:

An NDA That stops you talking about the product is OK

An NDA That stops you talking about *You* is not OK

Micron aims 1.5TB microSD card at video surveillance market

David Austin

Re: If you want to make your own SD card

"once the demand and economics allow them to hit the market"

David Austin

Re: If you want to make your own SD card

The honest answer to that is the potential audience size for 1TB+ Card sizes is too small and price sensitive to be a viable market.

at the start of 2022, only 0.3% of all SD cards sold were 1TB - Several companies have Bigger designs ready to roll, once the demand and economics allow them to hit the market

Source: https://www.androidauthority.com/where-are-2tb-microsd-cards-3077526

David Austin


I don't disagree with the theory, but in all but the most insane edge cases, a single class 40 SSD would have so much I/O that Graphics or CPU would be the bottleneck, rather than storage latency.

All RAID 0 does for most gamers is be an expensive way to double the chance of data loss.

And as someone that's had to do grief counselling for lost animal Crossing islands and SIMS 4 Saves, I can assure the importance of the data is not matched by the backup regime of the average gamer.

David Austin


The amount of gaming machine suppliers still offering RAID 0 as an option suggests no they do not...

David Austin


Just found my new Nintendo Switch memory card - I've nearly filled the current SanDisk Extreme Pro 1 TB.

- Yes, I'm fully aware this is definitely a problem, but not of a technical nature...

Open-source leaders' reputations as jerks is undeserved

David Austin

Re: rude maintainers

The counterpoint to that some open source projects can end up in situations where the documentation lags far behind the software (As code is cool to write but documentation is not)

It may have been written over a decade ago, but The Luxury of Ignorance is still sadly relevant today.

If you don't write the documentation, don't get huffy when people come to you repeatedly asking the same question.

Coca-Cola probes pro-Kremlin gang's claims of 161GB data theft

David Austin

The Important question

Did they nab the secret formular? I'd be quite interested in seeing that...

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP

David Austin

Re: Rock solid HP

Still have a few Core2Duo equipped HP DC5700 and DC5800 machines out in the field; they originally came from 2007 and with Windows XP, but took Windows 7, then Windows 10 fine with just an SSD Upgrade.

They're as of last year now slowing the users down (mainly because of modern web pages spiking the CPU), but they certainly don't owe us anything.

For a laugh, I may try and put Windows 11 on one that's TPM Equipped before scrapping it to see how it runs.

We know the hardware spec is at least partially artificial: Typing this from a 4th Gen Intel Core system with a TPM that's running Windows 11, as it "Soft Failed" the spec check. Trouble is, we can't recommend this for business, because Microsoft may flip the softfail off switch at any given time...

Cooler heads needed in heated E2EE debate, says think tank

David Austin

Glad the report mentioned...

...The main reason we collectively started looking at E2EE was because governments and security service were caught with their hand in the cookie jar already:

"The growth in popularity of E2EE was a direct result of the Snowden revelations in 2013, which sparked fears about global surveillance and the mass collection of

personal data by intelligence agencies around the world" (page 11)

Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements

David Austin

Wait for v2

Windows 11 is stable thanks to it's Windows 10 core, but it's in a state of rapid flux, with features being added and changed at a rapid pace.

We're waiting for the 22H2 build of Windows 11 before we unpack it and test it properly with business systems.

In this way, it's pretty much the save as Windows 10; The RTM was a little wobbly, the November Update fixed the big issues, and the Anniversary update was Business ready.

They'll probably be a little uptick then from business rollouts and new buy PC's coming with it, but I agree the strict hardware requirements are probably the limiting factor now.

Epson payments snafu leaves subscribers unable to print

David Austin

Every day that passes, I'm happier and happier with my decision in February to replace my 2002 HP PSC... with the exact same model I picked up on eBay second hand for 99p

No smart anything

No Subscription cartridges

PCL Print Drivers

Works with Windows Fax and Scan

It just works verses "It Just Works!"

Amazon cuts credit for charities to access web services

David Austin

Just give it to them.

In 2022, Amazon make Over $4,500 a second - While they are perfectly entitled to make this change, it's kinda crappy doing it without notice, and with those profit margins, you honestly don't need to do it (or indeed, even charge non-profits at all)

The only reason the general population and governments let Amazon get away with the frankly terrible things they do is because they're convenient evil - it's in their best interest to keep appearing as a benevolent overlord.

Happy birthday, Windows Vista: Troubled teen hits 15

David Austin

Re: 512MB ram minimum memory requirement

I agree, but remember in hindsight a lot of that was Intel twisting their arm to make the 915 Chipset "Vista Capable"

David Austin

Vista Stumbled so 7 could Run

As the article pointed out, Vista and 7 aren't too different under the hood; I'm still impressed that if your system could run vista, there's a pretty good chance it would run 7, 8, and 10 just as well (and probably 11 in a very unofficial, unsupported way)

Vista had some odd design choices (The too noisy User Account Control popups, terrible file access performance Pre SP1, and a last minute sound re-rewrite pretty much breaking Creative's stranglehold on premium audio spring to mind), but with the rough edges smoothed off between NT 6.0 and NT 6.1, the solid design principles could shine through.

The biggest positive change I think was breaking the Windows-land user and developer assumption of having admin rights at all time.

Working in the XP Era, the normal workflow (Especially for programs with 9x lineage) was;

- Try running a program as a limited user

- It does not work

- call the support for the program

- get told running as a non administrator was not supported

- Sigh, curse, and try and trick the program into working in a Varity of different ways.

With user Account Control on by default (And viciously rabid in it's first iteration), this was no longer a sensible option, forcing many smaller software companies to get their house in order - It made things so much better for security in the long run.

I don't love Vista; I never did, but I appreciate what it did right, and allowed for it's successors to do better.

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success

David Austin

Re: Can't disagree with anything there

Agree with you there: I wasn't clear with what I meant.

IPv6 could have "just" been IPv4, but with eight/ten/twelve octets, saving all the current IPv6 bells and whistles for optional extensions, IPv8, or something else entirely.

Yes, everyone would have needed new routers and edge gear still, but it would have been a much simpler drop in replacement, with backwards compatibility baked in to handle legacy four octet traffic - I can't see any way that would not have been adopted much faster than the current IPv6.

Again to stress: All this IPv6 stuff is great, especially if you're a carrier or work at a national/international scale, but it's undeniable it's made deployment more drawn out and complex than a drop in upgrade, and means SMB management and budgets can just be vaguely aware of it until it hits critical mass.

David Austin

Can't disagree with anything there

IPv6 works (well, assuming you have no vendor bugs and a helpful ISP to hand), and does solve all the technical hurdles it was meant to.

The problem is it very much looks like it was developed in a lab by very clever people under perfect network conditions, with scant regard to how people do things in the real world due to a lack of knowledge, budget constraints, or complete apathy.

Compared to the simpler, backwards compatible option of dropping a few extra octets onto IPv4 to solve the address shortage, it may be a case that IPv6 let perfect be the enemy of good.

No-one's arguing IPv6 won't eventually be the dominant protocol: We're too far down that road, and too much has been invested into it, and again, it does actually work and solve these issues. But until you *Have* to use it, you may as well plod on with IPv4 which can do everything you need it to, and let the bleeding edge companies (And server to server traffic) work out the kinks for you, then worry and spend on it when you need to.

I've tried on and off every few years to get a Dual Stack link to the outside world on my home network; every time, I got so far down that path before hitting a roadblock (Flaky ISP Support, router support, router bugs, Happy Eyeball issues), before stopping and seeing I'd be spending a lot of time and money to make things technically better, but not letting me do anything new, and shelving the attempt again.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

David Austin

Re: Pronouncing...

Definitely the most important question to answer.

My gut reaction is "Koi", but there's still time to be corrected before that view is entrenched and I'll defend it to the death.

Better CEO is 'taking time off' after firing 900 staff on Zoom

David Austin

Re: Being a better workplace?

They already said the CFO is taking over for the time being - you don't need to show you have what it takes to get to the C-Suite of Better.

Intel audio drivers give Windows 11 the blues and Microsoft Installer borked following security update

David Austin

Re: I'm confused...

A weird outlook MAPI problem with Windows 10 is the only time I've ever seen sfc /scannow actually fix something in 20+ Years of doing this job.

Twitter's machine learning algorithms amplify tweets from right-wing politicians over those on the left

David Austin

Re: Black Box

I don't disagree (hence the modifier of relatively), but in this case I was comparing the AI outcomes to safety critical systems like say, Car Crash avoidance, Missile Guidance, or medical AI's, where the black box problem has more immediate and concrete (Read: Harder to deny) ramifications.

David Austin

Black Box

This is something that has been talked about before, but the fact we're so happy to deploy "Black Box" AI - where no-one, not even it's creators, know why it's making the decisions it is - is mildly concerning.

In this case, it's relatively benign, in as much as it's giving right wing talking heads a boost, but how many other, more critical AI's are doing the same?

It's the AI equivalent of asking someone how they came to decision x, and getting a shoulder shrug.

Microsoft does and doesn't require VMs to meet hardware requirements for Windows 11

David Austin

Re: This may sound crazy, but

Current dev build does not feel like a release candidate 3 weeks away from launch; It's stable (Thanks to it's Windows 10 core), but the UI has so many holes and bugs. My personal favourite is drag and drop via the taskbar does not work, which is currently has 4500 votes and #WontFix in the Insider feedback channel.

Windows 11, Hardware requirements aside, has potential, but I can't see me using it for production or business use until the 22H2 version, much like Windows 10 Anniversary Edition.

UK.gov is launching an anti-Facebook encryption push. Don't think of the children: Think of the nuances and edge cases instead

David Austin

"NCMEC generates around 20 million reports of child sexual abuse material"

That's OK - We can just ignore their screeching minority voices