* Posts by nematoad

1827 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Sep 2009

Norway wants Facebook behavioral advertising banned across Europe

nematoad Silver badge

I see.

"Take back control."

And then give it to the likes of Facebook.

There's an old Latin saying "qui bono"

Do the Tories know something that we don't?

Like a nice little business in brown paper envelopes.

Switch to hit the fan as BT begins prep ahead of analog phone sunset

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Waiting game...

Vows it won't 'proactively' shift folks who only use a landline or have no mobile signal.

Too late. I'm old and if I had to wait for the likes of BT or Plusnet I might not be here to use the 'phone.

Luckily we have a local fibre company who seem to be on the ball with this. I switched to them a month ago, so I have now got 3 times the speed for 2/3rds the price. I also have my landline with them. I don't have a mobile, most networks don't work around here and EE, the one that does, can be a PITA to deal with.

What's not to like?

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech

nematoad Silver badge

I'm a personal PC user these days.

My sysadmin days are long past so I don't have to worry about changes to the OS I run.

That puts me in a position where a rolling release makes sense. In my case PCLinuxOS. It's always up to date and rarely breaks so I have managed to get off the upgrade cycle which does away with worrying about how long the OS will be supported.

Not for every one but for me it just makes sense

Now IBM sued for age discrim by its own HR veterans

nematoad Silver badge

Re: HR...


The biter bitten.

Ain't karma a wonderful thing?

Menacing marketeers fined by ICO for 1.9M cold calls

nematoad Silver badge

Gum them to death.

Since October 2021, the ICO has fined 16 companies a total of £1.45 million for dialing the phone numbers of TPS members,

Yes, and how much have they collected from these companies?

Not much I'm betting.

It would be much better if disqualification, personal fines and the possibility of jail time for the worst cases were put in place.

Otherwise these rogue companies will just be liquidated and replacements registered and the carousel will just keep on turning.

Uncle Sam names three Amazon execs as Prime suspects in subscription ripoff case

nematoad Silver badge

"...deliberately made it hard for them to cancel a subscription."

You can say that again.

As recounted in previous threads here, it took me ages to try and navigate Amazon's cancellation process. After what seemed to be days beating my head against a brick wall I rang the "help line" and after again waiting an eternity got through to an agent who seemed to struggle with English. Eventually I got through to her that I never wanted anything to do with Prime and would she please put a flag on my account declining their kind offer,in the unlikely event that I ever did business with then again.

Even so, I trust Amazon about as far as I could spit it so have not been to their tat bazaar since.

Just in case they trap me again.

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Been there...

The trouble with your idea is that there are not enough "techno-nerds".

Yes, people here might be able to see the problems associated with a universal subscription model, but most people don't know or care. They want the shiny thing now, and never worry if it's costing them an arm and a leg in perpetuity.

My sister is like that. She sees something like Netflix, Disney+ and so on, pays monthly and after a while never uses the service again. Then she moans to me about not knowing where her money is going.

I must confess that I do have a couple of subscriptions on Patreon. Only £5 a month but it's worth it for me as I value the content offered and want to support the creators of the channels.

Shearing a sheep is one thing, flaying it another altogether.

BMW got smacked in the face and they deserved it.

Google exec: Microsoft Teams concession 'too little, too late'

nematoad Silver badge

Pot meet kettle.

"Microsoft has so much market power that they can decide… how the market will evolve based on their rules,"

Well they would know, wouldn't they?

How anyone can come out with this bullshit with a straight face beats me.

Maybe that's why members of the C suite are so richly rewarded.

Soon it will be Microsoft's turn to moan about the stranglehold Google has on the online ad business and search and how that is unfair to a struggling browser owner like themselves.

Hypocritical, entitled and just downright loathsome the lot of 'em.

Linux distros drop their feelgood hits of the summer

nematoad Silver badge

Maybe not.

We don't know what the artistic differences are between Mageia and OpenMandriva, but they continue to pursue very similar goals and we still feel that they should try to settle their differences and cooperate.

I don't know about that.

I've tried both Mageia and OpenMandriva when I was having difficulties with PCLinuxOS.

True, they still have the good old *drak tools available. Which, in my opinion, is a very good thing. But OpenMandriva seems to have moved farther away from its roots than the other two. The installer is Calamares, and for someone expecting the familiar Mandrake installer, that struck a jarring note right away. After that the presence of systemd and sudo made me realise that things had changed, and for me not for the better. When I tried Mageia I found out that Mageia also used systemd. That caused some difficulties when I ran into sound problems and although the Mageia forum was friendly and helpful I felt out of place.

I tried PCLinuxOS one last time and to my joy it worked straight out of the box. No wading through obscure, to me, error logs and mystic incantations to get stuff to work. I was home and glad of it.

One thing I will say is that all of the people I contacted when I had problems with all of these distros could not have been kinder or more patient. The Mandriva derivatives may be unfashionable and some what sidelined by the likes of MX Linux, Mint and Ubuntu but they are all still easy to use and configure with the *drak tools provided. It may be that a bit of cross-fertilisation would help but the basic approaches by the devs seem a bit too wide to bridge.

My choice is PCLinuxOS but the other two are just as easy to get started with.

Mozilla calls cars from 25 automakers 'data privacy nightmares on wheels'

nematoad Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Obsolete

Well the article makes me regard my 25 year old Mini Cooper S and my older Vauxhall Corsa as even more useful than they are.

The Mini has an ECU which I suppose could be used for snooping on my driving habits but as far as I know nothing else. As for the Corsa, who knows, I don't delve under the bonnet of my cars and the Corsa was very much second-hand when I got it.

It may be either paranoia or the effects of old age but I have always steered clear of "connected" devices but reading the surveys that keep coming out I'm glad that I don't have such things tracking what I do, say or if the article is true think.

We're about to hit peak device count, says HTC veep, as AR takes over

nematoad Silver badge

I needed a good laugh.

"What we're going to find is that by having a device on your head,"

I read that and laughed out loud. Everybody wandering around hooked up to a visor?

Let's leave that to films like Ready Player One and enjoy reality. It is as James Halliday says the only place to get a decent meal.

Seriously, I have enough trouble avoiding 'phone zombies wandering around with their gaze stuck to their 'phones' screen without having people loose on the street who are not really aware of what's going on around them. That, coupled with "self driving cars", seems like a recipe for disaster.

It's all self-interest and marketing. Like their visors it's not anchored in the real world.

And don't get me started on brain implants. I can see the governments of the world salivating at the prospect. Why bother spying on people when their implants are doing the job for you?

Rising labor and component costs lead to UK product and service price hike at IBM

nematoad Silver badge

Well, duh!

"One of the challenges facing IBM was a spike in the cost of bringing new workers on board."

Then perhaps they shouldn't have sacked all those experienced, but older employees that they already had.

What are the top brass at IBM being paid for?

It's certainly not competence.

Graphene foam is the future of IoT power, maybe

nematoad Silver badge

Uh, oh.

"...a reliable and cost-effective energy harvesting power source for autonomous sensors and electronics,"

Using humans as some kind of battery?

Where have I heard that before?

This sounds like something straight out of the Matrix.

Middleweight champ MX Linux 23 delivers knockout punch

nematoad Silver badge

I am all in favour of distros free from systemd and might take MX Linux for a spin in Virtualbox just to see what it can do.

I don't think that I will be installing it permanently though.

Because MX Linux is derived from Debian I assume it has inherited sudo as well. Now it might be the old sysadmin in me but I never liked the idea of having a user getting admin privileges on a computer. It strikes me as asking for trouble if you are the got-to-guy for support with family and friends.

I think that Texstar and the folks at PCLinuxOS have the right idea and stick to the UNIX way of doing things and only allowing root have access to the sensitive parts of the system.

Now I have, in the past, been down voted for voicing concerns about sudo but cases differ and if you're happy with sudo then use it.

Part of the joy of Linux is that your boxes are your boxes and no-one can tell you what is right and what is wrong.

MX Linux does look good though.

SAP CEO push for cloud-only 'innovation' shatters users' trust in German-speaking heartlands

nematoad Silver badge

Yes and no.

"Businesses are facing volatile macroeconomic environments and markets that favour flexibility."

Well he's right in saying that with this diktat the financial environment is going to be volatile. Companies will not know what they are going to have to pay. But he's wrong if he thinks telling his customers "The only way is the cloud." is offering flexibilty. That is a straightjacket for firms who use SAP products.

I also seem to remember SAP saying that firms will have to adapt their business to fit in with SAP's requirements not the other way round.

Who is paying who here?

Meta says it'll ask Euro peeps nicely before hitting them with personalized ads

nematoad Silver badge

Nice one Boris

"We are assessing what this means for information rights of people in the UK and considering an appropriate response."

Looks like we "Took back control" and promptly lost it over the likes of Facebook,

The 27 nations of the EU plus the EEA carry a much heftier punch than isolated little Britain.

If Facebook can face down our puny regulators then I don't think we have a hope in Hell of stopping them doing exactly what they want.

As has been said "God favours the big battalions"

Soft-reboot in systemd 254 sounds a lot like Windows' Fast Startup

nematoad Silver badge

"...faster system reboots."

Just as bloody well given that everything that Poettering has his fingers in seem to require a reboot a la Windows.

I recently moved distros because of all the grief I had with weird glitches showing up in PCLinuxOS. I went to Mageia but soon beat a hasty retreat due to the nightmare I was having with systemd and Pulseaudio. Talk about verbose, un-parsable diagnostics. And the re-boots! Systemd might be right for some people but I went back to PCLOS where at least I can read what is going on in the various logs and edit any config files I need to.

Talk about taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

MIT boffins build battery alternative out of cement, carbon black, water

nematoad Silver badge

Ah, concrete. I get it now.

The article had me confused with ...45 cubic meters of the carbon-black-doped cement

I thought to myself how can a building or road be built on a loose pile of powder. Then the penny dropped, this piece was written by someone from the US who give different meanings to common words, like " gas powered". That could either mean powered by gas or by gasoline which is what they call petrol.

I think it was George Bernard Shaw who described the UK and the US as "Two nations divided by a common language."

GNOME project considers adding window tiling by default

nematoad Silver badge

Don't think so.

As arguably the single most popular desktop environment across Linux distributions...

Widely used may not equate to popular.

I've seen a lot of adverse comments over the years about the habit of the Gnome developers habit of taking useful feature away and then when asked why the reply goes along the lines of "My way or the highway."

I think that the desktops coming from the Mint team are more popular even if not so common. Basically what these do is work with the user and do not issue diktats from the developers.

Yes, there may be times when an innovative approach is needed but remember the UI is a tool, there to do what you want and then get out of the way. Change for changes sake is not always a good idea.

Twitter's giant throbbing X erected 'without a permit'

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Another..

I was mulling over this exhibition of Musk's ego and the thought crossed my mind. Why didn't he choose I instead of X for the new name?

It could have made a really phallic symbol to put on the roof of his HQ. That would show them who has the biggest dick!

Or, alternatively ME, reversed initials of "The Man" and let's face it this is all about "ME"

This man seems to have a lot of problems but self-regard and self-promotion really stand out.

nematoad Silver badge

"...the bright, flashing sign bathing the area in intense light. "

That's real classy Elon.

What must it be like to crave this much attention, all of the time?

I hear that they have guns in the US.

What's the betting someone indulges in a little target practice?

Google's browser security plan slammed as dangerous, terrible, DRM for websites

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Leap of faith.

No, no, no not Google.

I was questioning the sanity of people that think Google can be trusted in anything they do or say.

nematoad Silver badge

Leap of faith.

"...a trusted third party, like Google,

Trusted? Google? Are you mad?

I trust them and their ilk as far as I can spit them.

This is all backwards.

I was not put on this earth to provide revenue for the likes of Google, Amazon or Facebook. If they want to shove adverts in my face then prove you are who you say you are. If not then go and piss up a rope.

Not that I take any notice of such abuse. if I want something I will go and do my research and find that which best meets my needs.

Truly, the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Infineon to offer recyclable circuit boards that dissolve in water

nematoad Silver badge

"But Omdia Principal Analyst Manoj Sukumaran was more dismissive..."

Hmm, I smell special pleading here. It would be interesting to see who is pulling his strings.

As Pascal Monett says above, what price Earth's future?

We cannot go on like this and any possible solution, pun intended, is to be welcomed.

Apple owes Brit iOS app devs millions from excessively high commission, lawsuit claims

nematoad Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: The title is no longer required.

"Or ass, since it's gone all yank of late."

This +1

Google's next big idea for browser security looks like another freedom grab to some

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Bye-Bye WWW: Time For A New Internet Protocol

I'm not pointing this out as a pendant,

Oh are you just hanging around then?

I think the word you are looking for is pedant.

nematoad Silver badge

Too late!

"This therefore starts to slide the web toward a time in which only authorized, officially released browsers will be accepted by websites."

Tell that to the bloody BBC.

Just lately every time I go to iPlayer the BBC demands that I "...update your browser" or come the end of the month nasty things will start happening.

I use Pale Moon, and when I contacted the BBC complaining about them taking away my choice of browser, I was told that because the BBC has only limited resources they can only certify a restricted number of browsers such as Chrome based ones, Safari or Firefox.

How much effort does it take to check that a certain browser meets all applicable modern standards, and what about the open nature of the internet anyway? It's not as if I am using Lynx, now is it?

I'm old enough to remember the warning that came up saying "This site is best viewed in IE 6." No, enough of that nonsense.

Oh, in the end I just edited my user agent string to Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:109.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/113.0

Bollocks to the lot of them.

Have we got to the stage when the governance of the internet is by the advertisers, for the advertisers? If so, how long will it be before these advertisers declare that choice and control of your computer are no longer allowed and lobby for penalties against anyone foolish enough to defy them?

Oracle's revised Java licensing terms 2-5x more expensive for most orgs

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Hey Oracle

"How can you expect customers to do likewise? "

Maybe it's a feature not a bug.

If Oracle do not make licence compliance easily understood how will their Auditors AKA the Stasi have an excuse to rummage through the equivalent of a business' underwear drawer?

Euro monopoly cops to probe Microsoft for slipping Teams into Office

nematoad Silver badge


"The EU told us previously it had received several complaints regarding Microsoft's policies and licensing behaviour..."

Who is remotely surprised at this?

Microsoft is unable to kick the habits of a lifetime and will always try it on if it thinks that it can get away with this sort of behaviour.

As Sir Terry said "A leopard cannot change his shorts."

Three signs that Wayland is becoming the favored way to get a GUI on Linux

nematoad Silver badge


"...the Linux world in general was going to stop complaining and just accept systemd"

That might be an overstatement.

I'm looking at distros as I am considering moving from my current distro due to some sort of weird compatibility problems, and from what I see there are a lot of distros still, blissfully, systemd free. That, and judging from a lot of the comments here and on other sites, although the volume of complaints may have moderated, they are still being expressed.

It may be that the part of the Linux community that is more receptive to systemd are the developers and maintainers. Even so the fact that there are distros actively avoiding incorporating systemd shows that not even all of these people have been assimilated.

Linux Mint cuts slice of 'Victoria' as 21.2 beta lands with dash of fresh Cinnamon

nematoad Silver badge
Thumb Up

Thank you!

"Mint's equivalent of an app store, the Software Centre, has been refined.

I've always been attracted to Mint, especially the Mate version, and the spelling of "Software Centre" is just the icing on the cake.

I am currently looking to rebuild my main box and I might give Mint a try.

I think I'll stick to Mate as personally I don't like vertical taskbars.

The death of the sysadmin has been predicted for years – we're not holding our breath

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Biased A.I models written by white men

"...the knowledge in the head of a typical, experienced, sysadmin."


Back when I was working my colleague and I were turfed out to make way for some people who apparently came at a lower cost. It didn't go well from what I heard.

The thing is; me and my colleague had built the systems from the bottom up. We knew where the bodies were buried and all the little quirks and foibles of the system, This was in a financial call centre, remote from our head office, in another country, so we more or less had carte-blanche to set up the server room. Any down-time would have meant a considerable loss to the business.

We left and as Terry Pratchett so elegantly put it "The fewmets hit the windmill" and chaos ensued.

Karma can be a bitch.

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office

nematoad Silver badge

Re: For a contrarian take

"...three in four (75 percent) of their respondents, said they had "increased their real estate portfolio" in the last two years."

What's the point of empire building if there are no peons present so that you can lord it over them?

Google asks websites to kindly not break its shiny new targeted-advertising API

nematoad Silver badge

Ten foot barge pole, please.

"Topics are selected entirely on your device without involving any external servers..."

If true then you might have a measure of control over this snooping.

I don't know if Noscript would be able to kill it but as soon as it is released some public spirited person or persons will figure out a way to knock this nonsense on the head.

Alternatively don't use Chrome or any of its derivatives.

Red Hat strikes a crushing blow against RHEL downstreams

nematoad Silver badge

"... the only code on which RH can impose these new conditions is code entirely created by RH"

Does that include systemd?

If so that could be the spur to get distros to dump that POS.


Amazon Prime too easy to join, too hard to quit, says FTC lawsuit

nematoad Silver badge
Thumb Up

Yes! Yes!

I have been banging on about Amazon Prime for years.

The involuntary lock-in, the convoluted escape process and the danger that the next time you want to get anything from this bunch of cowboys you run the risk of getting sucked in again.

It took me days, 'phoning, arguing, trying to understand an agent for whom English was not her first language to prise myself from Amazon's clammy grasp.

In the end, although I made it clear that a flag should be put on my account indicating that I should never be enrolled in Prime, I decided to refuse to do business with such a shady bunch of chancers.

The spider can't catch you if you do not walk into their web.

Out with the old, in with the new – Accenture declares AI is 'mature and delivers value'

nematoad Silver badge

Nice one.

"...a round of layoffs that mostly affected staff working in HR, finance, and legal."

Now that's what I call a good start!

HCL proves Lotus Notes will never die by showing off beta of lucky Domino 14.0

nematoad Silver badge


"...an installed base that still relies on the software."

Poor bastards.

Will Flatpak and Snap replace desktop Linux native apps?

nematoad Silver badge
Thumb Down

Lucky you.

"I run my Linux desktops on modern systems with powerful processors, 16GBs of RAM, and speedy SSDs. "

I don't.

My main box is an elderly Viglen desktop with 6GB of RAM and a couple of HDDs.

It works for me and does all I need it to do in a fashion that I find acceptable.

Are you suggesting that we all go the Win 11 route and splash out on the latest kit just so the the OS will boot?

There are many reasons why people run Linux and the ability to run the OS on what others might regard as obsolete resource starved systems is one that I have seen mentioned many times on El Reg and other sites.

Just because you have access to top of the line kit does not mean that everyone else has.

There is an old saying "I'm alright Jack."

MediaTek accused of setting 'patent troll' on rival, says it will defend itself

nematoad Silver badge

Re: "a fabless chip company"


Sysadmin and IT ops jobs to slump, says IDC

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Phew.

"Can you get a disability pension for the condition?"

Not to my knowledge. Though it is recognised as a disability it is not life-threatening and other abilities may not be affected.

In my case I cannot grasp even the simplest of mathematical concepts. Someone can sit with me and talk me through the problem, with coaching I may be able to solve the problem there and then, but hours or minutes later if I try to remember what was said I usually fail. Maths does just not stick.

I did however attend university and gained a BA (Hons) in Archaeology. No maths involved but analysis of finds and their context and their possible meaning was.

People are different so being dyslexic or dyscalculic are things that can be worked around and need not impact your life unlike other disabilities like blindness, deafness and so on.

nematoad Silver badge


If the article is true then I'm glad that I am a retired sysadmin.

I am dyscalculic which means that coding is not something that I can do very well, if at all. So the thought of having to transition to becoming involved in coding gives me the chills.

I was good at my job and could knock out a script or two when required. This I found both interesting and fulfilling.

Having to mix and match sysadmin with hard-core programming would have killed my career.

Australia to phase out checks by 2030

nematoad Silver badge

Re: Checks?


Better check to see if you have any cheques lying around!

Microsoft Windows latest: Cortana app out, adverts in

nematoad Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: You ain't seen nothing yet

"...but considering they've been buying up sites like Abe Books"

Yeah, I once used ABE Books until I realised that they were part of Amazon, so I went looking for an alternative and found Alibris.

They do a good job of offering all of the books I want to buy and some of them can be a bit specialised, their delivery charges aren't too bad especially of you get multiple books from the same vendor.

You might want to give them a try.

nematoad Silver badge

Re: You ain't seen nothing yet

"Wait until AI signs you up for some extra 'services' because it decided you needed them. You can always cancel."

No need for AI. Just go and buy something from Amazon, no, really, don't.

But if you do you will be sucked into the "Amazon Prime" nightmare and believe me, it is hellish trying to get out of that trap.

I speak from bitter experience.

Microsoft has made Azure Linux generally available. Repeat, Azure Linux

nematoad Silver badge

Re: I don’t think I really get it

As it happens PSA3 was designed to run Linux.

For a while. Then Sony decided that people didn't want to be able to use Linux on their console so in 2016 they sent out an "update" which permanently disabled that facility.

There are work-arounds out there but to be honest too much time has passed and I have lost the urge to tinker with my systems.

Yes, old age and laziness have struck!

Mozilla so sorry for intrusive Firefox VPN popup ad

nematoad Silver badge

I agree that if a site does not want to play properly then they don't deserve my attention.

Unfortunately in this instance the site happens to be my webmail client.

nematoad Silver badge

No, it's not as if Pale Moon caused sites to break.

It's because the site in question still has the mind-set that "This site is best viewed in IE 6."

Sad, pathetic and extremely annoying, but not as much as their suggestion to switch to Chrome was.