* Posts by nematoad

1578 posts • joined 17 Sep 2009

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed

nematoad Silver badge
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Re: Write your MP

"you could pin a blue rosette on a shit around here and it would get elected",

Sounds to me as if that is exactly what happened.

I get e-mails asking me to contact my MP from various organisations, I never do as I have had dealings with him in before and he is well aware of my different attitudes to events in the recent past. Brexit being one of the main ones. So I never bother to e-mail him and if I do have to contact him I write. By the rules of Parliament he is obliged to reply. Though I have never had a satisfactory answer from him yet.

Oh, he is a Tory and I, most definitely, am not.

Google updates timeline for unpopular Privacy Sandbox, which will kill third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023

nematoad Silver badge

No thanks.

"Kleber said: "The W3C doesn't get to be the boss of anyone..."

There speaks someone who knows that whatever Google wants, Google gets.

The arrogance is breathtaking and to actually come out and say, "The goal isn't to have one winner and everyone else losing..." Of course it is, and shows that with over 60% of the browser market Google has made sure that it alone is to be the beneficiary of any changes that it manages to ram through.

Google is likely to win if things go on as they are and the internet will be a poorer and more impoverished place for it.

And to think that I have always regarded Microsoft as the unacceptable face of the IT world. Google's hubris and disdain makes MS look positively cuddly.

Subcontractors working on CityFibre's £45m Derby rollout threaten to 'rip up tarmac' in dispute over payments

nematoad Silver badge


I'd like to know who the genius is who decided that it was a good idea to start digging up the roads in the busiest resort town on the Isle of Wight in the middle of the season.

The queues and disruption are horrendous and like others here where the roads have been dug up half the time there is no-one there and if there is anyone on site most of their time seems to be spent having a brew-up.

When finally the roads and pavements had been reinstated things got back to normal, for about a week, and then the gas network people moved in and dug up all the roads, again! And like their fibre laying brethren the holes are still not filled in and an eerie silence reigns.

I am surprised that valuable plant and equipment can be so easily left just waiting to be stolen.

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Asked whether they thought the criticisms were fair, a government spokesperson...

I agree and gave you an up-vote but you must realise that it is very difficult to defend the indefensible.

God knows, I despise PR people in general, but you have to feel sorry for the poor bastards having to go around polishing a turd like Johnson and his utterances, as well as the shambles masquerading as a government.

nematoad Silver badge

Re: small proportion of permanent secretarieshave first-hand experience of digital business change

"...too few senior government officials armed with the experience and skills to run such schemes."

Here's a suggestion.

Instead of filling up all of the new-fangled "Non-executive directors" with friends of Johnson and the Tory party, why not draft in a few experienced IT professionals to try and bludgeon the senior Civil Servants into understanding that an IT project does not just get there by uttering the words "Let it be"?

"Non-executive directors" or NEDS. People who have lived in Scotland will know how well regarded they are.

Pipe down, Jeff. You've only gone where Gus Grissom went before, 60 years ago today

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Do allow Bezos his moment of glory

"I am a fan of his business practices...."

Obviously not an employee then.

nematoad Silver badge

Snappy reply.

"Grissom himself would go on to fly the first crewed Gemini mission in 1965 (with the amusing call sign Molly Brown..."

Yes, named after a 1964 film called "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". A sharp shot at his critics over the Liberty Bell 7 disaster.

You're not imagining it. Amazon and AWS want to hire all your friends, enemies, and everyone in between

nematoad Silver badge

"AWS's spokesperson says it absolutely supports open source..."

I would have put it that open source absolutely supports AWS.

I'm not into open source development so I don't know how much AWS gives back to the ecosystem.

If they are like some of the other big boys, not much if anything. MS being a surprising exception to that.

England's controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time

nematoad Silver badge



A cunning plan that Baldrick would have been proud of.

nematoad Silver badge

Just ask first.

I can see that people here are pretty much in agreement with the idea that if you want to take someone else's private and intimate data you ask them first.

The trouble is we are dealing with NHSDigital and they seem to be of the same mind as the directors of Nominet and Icann not to mention the FAANGs in that what ever they can get away is fair game and allows them to make as much money for themselves as they can.

I had hoped that the GDPR would have put the brakes on this kind of thing but as far as I can see NHSDigital seems to think that because they are part of the respected NHS proper the rules do not apply to them.

Turds, leeches and the lowest form of life, I pray that someone with power comes in and puts a stop to their little schemes but I will not be holdiong my breath.

US legal eagles representing Apple, IBM, and more take 5 months to inform clients of ransomware data breach

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Reviewing our existing policies

"The company has also offered those affected a 24-month subscription to credit monitoring, fraud consultation, and identity theft restoration services –"

Well that's very commendable but would it not have been cheaper to have actually thought about and implemented some sort of security on all your customers data?

As for keeping it quiet for five months surely some lawyer will see a pay day in that.

Microsoft reveals pay-to-Ping plan for advanced Azure availability testing

nematoad Silver badge

Hmm, I suppose that if MS can't charge you for breathing then the next best thing is to charge for using PING.

How useful all those added features are to people will show in time I suppose, though it does look as if MS are scraping the bottom of the barrel here with this proposal.

Huh, it's as if something happened that made people not like CentOS so much

nematoad Silver badge

It's obvoius.

"We asked the Open Infrastructure Foundation why it thought CentOS had taken such a dive,"

Well, if you shit on someone from a great height then don't be surprised if they move.

OK, you're paying data charges in the EU, but you can still roam free in, er, Iceland

nematoad Silver badge

A rose by any other name...

Norway, Iceland, and, er, Liechtenstein.

Aren't they part of EFTA? You know that association that Britain joined in 1960 before moving to the EEC in 1973.

I seem to remember a suggestion put forward after the Brexit vote that we should rejoin EFTA which was summarily dismissed by the Tories. Are we now trying to sneak back in now that the reality of the post-Brexit world has become apparent?

Still ,they are nice places to visit. If only they had a bit more economic clout we might be able to make up some of the ground we have thrown away.

Oh, a fun fact. Liechtenstein is the false teeth capital of the world.

IBM insiders say CEO Arvind Krishna downplayed impact of email troubles, asked for a week to sort things out

nematoad Silver badge

Memories, and not good ones.


Ah yes, I remember struggling with that pile of dog's droppings. It was as far as I was concerned jack of all trades and most definitely master of none. The email side of it was appalling and in comparison with Exchange was an absolute nightmare. The database side was so convoluted that I had to keep a crib sheet near me whenever I was forced to use the bloody thing.

Luckily we only had to use it for those things that came from our employer who had contracted for the support of the call centre we were working at. The call centre's system was, thank God, based on Microsoft stuff and speaking as a committed Linux user I do not say that lightly.

The migration might be a nasty, sticky business for IBM at the moment but providing that they don't just run Notes in-house they may well be grateful in time.

NASA readies commands to switch on Hubble's back-up hardware

nematoad Silver badge

Here's hoping.

"...some within NASA may wish to cut their losses and focus on the impending launch of the James Webb Space Telescope,"

Well as the old saying goes " A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," so I think that NASA would be wise to try and get Hubble working again before relying on a system that is massively over budget and years late and is still to get to orbit and actually function once there.

There are some really smart and capable people working at NASA and if any one can pull off the revival of the old girl then it will be them.

Good luck!

Gov.UK vows to chop red tape in the digital sector. What could possibly go wrong?

nematoad Silver badge

Re: The usual piffle waffle

"... a set of volatile aspirations with no concrete objectives or deliverables attached."

And as such has our Beloved Leader( Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's) finger prints all over it.

The man is a lightweight buffoon who should not be in charge of a whelk stall if this sort of nonsense is supposed to chart the UK's path to IT supremacy.

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Brain-Damaged IT Youths (Depressing)

"- Google having the gaul to read and mine e-mails."

A Gaul? Do you mean Asterix?

The word you are looking for is "gall"

Rudeness and the quality of being unable to understand that your behaviour or what you say is not acceptable to other people:

Cambridge Dictionary

UK's competition watchdog preps to shoulder post-Brexit workload from European Commission

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Oh, right.

I agree with you. He did say that the CMA needs stronger powers to punish wrongdoers.

My point was that the CMA does not have such powers and given the current government is unlikely to be granted them.

We left the EU and have now got to go around re-inventing the regulatory wheel.

The best deal on offer at the time was to remain in the EU and it amuses me now to hear the likes of Tim Martin of JD Wetherspoons pleading for special treatment now that the reduction of labour in the hospitality industry caused by Brexit means that he can't get enough staff.


nematoad Silver badge

Oh, right.

"... things should get interesting."

Yes maybe, but judging by the sums quoted in the article not more expensive for the guilty.

£60,000 versus €110m? That's loose change for some of those in the CMA's sights.

It's like squaring up to a 16 inch battleship armed with a peashooter.

Pipsqueak threats from a sorely diminished country.

Is that what we were promised when we "Took back control"?

Boffins promise protection and perfect performance with new ZeRØ, No-FAT memory safety techniques

nematoad Silver badge

It make you weep.

"...but the real proof is in the pudding,"

Arggh! No, No, No.

It's not in the pudding, you idiot, It's in the eating thereof.

How else are you going to find out the quality? Interview the bloody thing?

I know. Pedantry rears its ugly head again but I do wish that when "experts" make a public statement they actually quote the saying correctly.

Systemd 249 release candidate includes better support for immutable OSes and provisioning images

nematoad Silver badge


"...there is also a bunch of key/value pairs..."

Correct me if I'm wrong or does not sound like a registry?

Maybe Poettering is going the same way as Miguel de Icaza and plans to jump ship to MS after royally buggering up Linux in passing.

nematoad Silver badge
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"Slackware does not use systemd :)"

Neither does PCLinuxOS.

Sorry. I had to plug PCLinuxOS.

Say helloSystem: Mac-like FreeBSD project emits 0.5 release

nematoad Silver badge

Re: The UI

"...not needing to use the mouse so much and the lack of all that overlapping window juggling and other crap makes my life much easier..."

Yes, maybe for you that's the way to go, but it always seems to me to be a mistake in generalising and assuming that what works for you is the only way to do things.

Speaking for myself I appreciate being able to use a mouse as well a CLI. Being a Linux user I don't have many problems with juggling windows, the virtual desktops I have set up see to that.

One last thing. In the IT world things that work tend to stay around and if as you say the Xerox Parc developments got it right then the fact that they are still in use must mean that someone somewhere has found a use for them. Otherwise they would have been consigned to a footnote in the history of computing.

Ireland warned it could face 'rolling blackouts' if it doesn't address data centres' demand for electricity

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Lucky Ireland

Well it's not like the Irish government is all that keen on taxing these big IT corporations, is it? After all look at how they helped Apple dodge that €13bn tax bill imposed by the EU,

You can't build infrastructure without having the resources to do so. So this little problem is entirely down to the tax strategy of the Irish government.

I loved the place and the people when I was lucky enough to live there but someone has to see the error of their low tax ways, but as far as I can see no-one is prepared to stick their neck out on this.

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary

nematoad Silver badge

Re: "Data saves profits, people are dying"

"I'm fine to sell them my data, where are the money? Or anything produced using people's data will be free and available to every body?"


So you are happy that people can snoop into people's medical history recording abortions, drug treatments or mental health issues and the like?

If it was only for research and development it might be acceptable, though I would still opt-out, but to just throw it open to those with the biggest wallets makes the proposal totally out of line.

One other thought occurs to me. If the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook are made to jump through the hoops and ask your permission to set a cookie, why the hell did anyone think that just scooping up people's most sensitive and potentially damaging data and placing it on the open market was either a good idea or even legal?

Surely to God the GDPR has something to say about this.

Google ad biz shenanigans smacked down by French competition regulators

nematoad Silver badge

Ain't going to happen.

“This sanction and these commitments will make it possible to re-establish a level playing field for all players..."

Yeah, right!


Google could find that down the back of the sofa and if you are gullible to believe that there won't be "great minds" working out ways to get round any controls and/or agreements placed on Google then I have a bridge you might be interested in.

Just business as usual with all the platitudes and false promises Google and their like bring out when ever anything like this happens.

Break 'em up and really put the shackles on their monopolistic tendencies.

If that happens all those lovely campaign contributions so freely offered and willingly accepted will vanish. And that would never do. So it will take a spine of steel and purity of heart and I don't see much of that in the politicians.round here.

I won't be holding my breath.

US House Rep on cyber committees tweets Gmail password, PIN in Capitol riot lawsuit outrage

nematoad Silver badge


"...and confirmation that the credentials are now useless."

Much like Representative Brooks then.


Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America

nematoad Silver badge

"Maybe Hong Kong should have stayed British. "

Sadly that was not possible.

The 99 year lease on the New Territories was running out and although Britain could have retained Hong Kong Island itself plus Kowloon it would have been difficult to maintain these parts without the New Territories which make up a great percentage of the total area and housed a large proportion of the population. So instead of just handing back the New Territories a decision was made to return the whole area.

Relying on the good faith of the Chinese government was a gamble and one which has sadly not paid off.

BMA and Royal College of GPs refuse to endorse NHS Digital's data grab from surgeries in England

nematoad Silver badge

No, No, thrice no.

Well, the good news must be slowly leaking into the public sphere. My sister who is a rampant technophobe caught wind of it yesterday and immediately asked me if I had heard of it. Of course I had and got in my opt-out in sometime ago when this topic last aired on El Reg.

If my sister is now aware of this data-grab then I reckon that the shit is about to hit the fan big time as people find out about the greedy manipulative bastards running this scam.

If they wanted to be a leech on society why don't they go and get a job with the Facebook, Amazon and the like?

Oh, my sister has now got her opt-out in as well.

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

nematoad Silver badge
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An alternative to FF.

"I might go back to SeaMonkey if this UI change dumbs things down too much."

I got royally pissed off when FF introduced that "Australis" shit so I went looking for a new browser. Eventually I found Palemoon, a fork of FF. Now it has moved away from FF but it still uses much of the underpinnings and look of the old FF.

I have never been sure why Palemoon doesn't get more exposure as it's a good compromise between what was best on the old FF and newer and better security. It looks good and runs well on my ancient desktop, so why not give it a try?

Big Tech has a big problem with Florida passing a law that protects politicians from web moderation

nematoad Silver badge

Not quite.

"If they are private why do the members not pay a membership fee?"

Private in the sense that they are private property not private as in exclusive or of restricted membership.

Do try and keep up.

The Audacity: Audio tool finds new and exciting ways to annoy contributors with a Contributor License Agreement

nematoad Silver badge

"the ability to use the Contributions in any way"

Yes. it looks that way, doesn't it?

I've heard of customer lock-in but contributor lock-in?

That's a new one on me and it seems to me as if this character really doesn't get the "Free. Libre and Open Source bit". The only part that has got through is the "Free" wherein he is free to take other people's work and use for his own ends.

What's that ringing noise? Fork coming up I reckon.

Brit watchdog shows some teeth over McAfee antivirus auto-renewals

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Good. Now for the rest.

"...It should be as easy to leave as to join..."

But it's not as I have found to my cost. It's made as difficult and complicated as possible. A deliberate decision by Amazon.

Having said that at least I did manage to free myself from their clammy grasp which is more than I can say about EVE. I stopped playing EVE about a year ago due to some unfair and discriminatory changes CCP made. I let my my subscription lapse and thought no more about it until I recently got an e-mail from CCP congratulating me on renewing my subscription and taking £ 29 from my bank account. I asked that the unauthorised charge be reversed and told them in no uncertain terms that I would be the one deciding if I wished to spend money with them again, not them. I did get a reply from a GM telling me that they had cancelled the subscription and refunded the money.

Why should I have to have done all that? Are these companies so short of money that once they have you they are most reluctant to let you leave.

No, didn't think so. They seem to regard their "customers" as a resource not people to do business with. Remember a good shepherd shears his sheep, he does not skin them.

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

nematoad Silver badge

Re: "on the desks of enterprise workforces"

I agree.

When I was working at an oil refinery we had users ranging from the PR office, engineering and safety as well as all the process operators, HR, research and development and training. I don't think that it would have been possible to have discrete systems for each department . As it was it was God's own job looking at all the specialised programs needed for the work being carried out and that was based on a common operating environment.

Chromebooks and their ilk maybe suited to some roles but trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is never going to work.

Google's 'Ask me anything' on Privacy Sandbox was more about questions than answers

nematoad Silver badge

"So while most of the sites in the world would lose 50-70 per cent of their revenue in the alternative you're advocating for, Google is not one of them."


UK pharma supplier put into special measures after new IT system causes almost 10,000 missed medicine deliveries

nematoad Silver badge

Re: We deeply regret the difficulties

"...a result of a short-lived problem with our new computer system"

The trouble is, some of the patients affected were also in danger of being "short lived". That statement by Darryn Gibson could have been cut and pasted out of the book on managerial excuses.

Putting this bunch of incompetents into special measures is one thing. Getting some of the dead wood out the door as quickly as possible, starting at the top, is quite another and much more to the point.

Apple sent my data to the FBI, says boss of controversial research paper trove Sci-Hub

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Apple sent my data to the FBI, says boss

"Now, as to that Terrror Mastermind Osama Elbakyan that poses a Constant Threat to American Way of Life."


A threat to the bottom lines of companies like Elsevier, that's much more important. After all, where would the campaign contributions come from is such "socialism" was allowed?

Mammoth grab of GP patient data in the UK set to benefit private-sector market access as rules remain unchanged

nematoad Silver badge

"...as well as the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD), also part of NHS Digital."

How the hell can they be independent if they are part of NHSX?

No,this is just smoke and mirrors to try and hide the commercialisation of peoples medical histories.

I have sent in my opt-outs from this raid on my personal medical records and I really hope that many others will as well.

Who do these leeches (pun intended) think they are, God?

Google Docs users, you are on notice: Code rewrite may break browser extensions

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Time to split the "browser"

"Unfortunately, the history of computing is to keep reinventing the wheel. "

Well maybe, but to me it looks more like "gilding the lily" or perhaps more appropriately "putting lipstick on a pig".

There does seem to be a tendency for IT companies, once they have a foot in the door, to try to get a lock on their consumers so as to extract high rents and charges.

Personally I avoid the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple as much as I can, treating them like an infection and sanitising my systems after I use any of their services.

Microsoft embraces Linux kernel's eBPF super-tool, extends it for Windows

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Microsoft embraces... extends...

Microsoft embraces... extends... falls flat on its face when it tries to extinguish.

How can you extinguish some thing that is like the Hydra? Cut off one head and another will appear, stronger and fiercer than the last.

A lot of people dislike and mistrust RMS but you have to give him credit for working out the GPL and also thank all those who took it up and applied it to their work.

MS can scrump as many apples from the Gnu/Linux orchard as it likes but it has no chance of taking it over and wiping it out.

Chinese rocket plunges into Indian Ocean, still lands sharp rebuke from NASA

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Perhaps,

" It couldn't just be irresponsibility on China's part,..."

Why not? They routinely drop bits of spent rockets on their own soil so why would they worry about dumping something on the rest of the world?

See here

and here

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing

nematoad Silver badge

Two faced?

"...addressing the risks of growing congestion due to space debris and growing activity in space."

That's all very well and I agree that the situation should be addressed as soon as possible. But it is a little hypocritical to say that and then allow SpaceX to throw all those Starlink satellites into orbit.

What was the number stated? 42,000?

That's a lot of potential trouble and that is not taking into account the concerns that astronomers have about light pollution.

Microsoft's Edge browser for Linux hits the Beta Channel ... if you're into that kind of thing

nematoad Silver badge


"Linux fans were able to synchronise their settings using their Microsoft account."

You need a bloody MS account to use a browser?

As someone allergic to all things Microsoft I think that I will give this one a miss.

Oh, it's a clone of Chrome?

Double no thanks.

UK Court of Appeal rules Tiny Computers' legal remains can sue Micron and Infineon over 2002 DRAM price-fixing cartel

nematoad Silver badge


Moon Beever

"We build watertight cases."

I nominate this firm of solicitors for the coolest name of the week.

GCHQ boss warns China can rewrite 'the global operating system' in its own authoritarian image

nematoad Silver badge

Re: China without Xi, Russian without Putin

"Truman and Churchill gave the Russians East-Europe as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact..."

You need to check your history.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop was cooked up just prior to the start of hostilities in August 1939. In it the two parties agreed to a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and further assigned spheres of influence over states in the central part of Europe.

The agreement reached at the Yalta conference between Britain, the USSR and the USA in 1945 was aimed at settling the post-war states of Europe which ultimately led the the Iron Curtain and Cold War.

The two agreements both set out to arrange European affairs to the benefit of the contracting parties. Both failed in their aims.

Watchdog thinks Google tricked Australians into giving up data, sues. Judge semi-agrees

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Opt In

No I don't think that they (Google) would.

In the old consent form Google had for anyone wanting to use their YouTube service all the settings were set to opt in. With the new look consent form all the options are left blank, neither in or out. So my guess is if you have not positively opted out Google will take that as saying "OK, take all my data to do with as you please."

These people are not to be trusted.

Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Is this a flash in the pan

"Is this a flash in the pan"

No, more like a "floater"

Now I can't code my way out of a wet paper bag but I did learn SQL.

For some reason it just made sense. I think it was the "English" style of expression that helped me overcome my mental block on anything resembling maths or logic. The same with Cobol which I also had to learn. As others here have said the example looks to me like the SQL version is more comprehensible. The Logica one has more of a feel of a high level programming language so my mental block comes into play and it all looks very confusing. I would hate to have to work through a more complicated example.

Still having said all that I am not in the target audience for this so others may find it easier to use.


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