* Posts by Wyrdness

313 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009


Amazon sues 10,000 Facebook Group admins for offering fake reviews


Amazon's sorting algorithm

Amazon's own algorithms don't help here. You can sort by 'average customer review' to see the highest rated products. However, Amazon seems to sort by a simple mean average, so a product with just a handful of (possibly fake) 5 star reviews is placed higher than one that has gained thousands of genuine positive reviews. They really need some kind of weighted average that takes into account the number of reviews.

Apple's latest security feature could literally save lives


Re: WebKit, anyone?

It sounds as if you're suggesting that the people who care enough about their security and privacy to enable this lockdown mode are also likely to install 'any old browser engine that the user cares to install from some random place on the internet'.

I don't think that this is going to be the problem that you seem to think it is.

openSUSE Leap 15.4: The best desktop on the RPM side of the Linux world


Re: OpenSuse is a good distro, with a few bugs

I sometimes really hope that the inventor of autocorrect spends an enternity in Hull. I actually corrected autocorrects 'correction' of distro, only to have it have the final laugh.


Re: OpenSuse is a good distro, with a few bugs

I tried OpenSUSE a couple of years ago and really wanted to like it. Installation was really straightforward and YaST seemed really good (if somewhat hard to type). But I ended up abandoning because of the bugs. One particularly nasty one is that it wouldn't talk to my printer. After hours of searching, I found that its default firewall rules were blocking printing. I've never seen any other Linux distro that does this. There were also many other minor but annoying bugs. I ended up switching to Mint, which also installs nicely and didn't have all of the minor annoyances of SuSE. It's a pity because SuSE looked like it could be a really great Linux bistro if these issues were sorted.

Apple offers improved Linux support in macOS Ventura


Re: Docker already runs x86_64 images on mac

True, but Rosetta is almost certain to be able to run x86 binaries much faster than Docker (which I believe uses QEMU for this).

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems



There are a couple of things to note here. First is that it's described as 'a European test site' (so probably not UK) and, secondly, the spelling of whiskey.

Now read the story again, this time with Father Ted in mind. It all makes sense now.

Meta materials: Facebook using AI to design green concrete


Farcebook's AI?

I wouldn't trust Farcebook's AI to get even the simplest thing right.

For example, I'm in my mid-50's and haven't cycled since I was a teenager. Yet Arsebook kept showing me ads for cycling clothing, cycle saddles, bells and much other pedalling paraphernalia.

Despite me marking these ads as irrelevant, I was continually bombarded with these. So I clicked on 'why I am seeing this ad'. The answer 'because you are interested in cycling'. No idea how FB's artificial intelligence got that idea. So I removed cycling from my list of ai-generated supposed 'interests' (which also included music and movies that I'd never even heard of).

So the cycling ads stopped briefly and then started again. Off to check 'why am I seeing this ad' once more. 'Because', Fartbook tells me, 'you are interested in British Cycling'. No idea where Facebook's artificial stupidity got that idea from. So I removed that from my 'interests' (again finding that I'm apparently interested music, movies, books etc. that I've never heard of).

No more cycling ads for a while then....

You guessed it... Buy saddles! Buy yellow Lycra jerseys! Buy cycle phone mounts!

I check my ai-generated 'interests' again and this time...

"You are interested in cycle commuting"

No Fuck-You-Book, I am not. I'd die on the North Circular if I was dumb enough to ever try that.

Anyway, no more cycling ads for a couple of years. Then they start again. Check my 'interests' again (more crap I've never heard of) and....

"You are seeing this ad because you are interested in cycling".

So we start the whole cycle (pun intended) again.

The point of this whole rant being, if FB's 'artificial insanity' is given the task of creating Green Concrete, I wouldn't be surprised (based on my experience) if it devised a recipe containing Green Cheese, Green Tea, Green Marahishi's and Blue Jeans.

Help, my IT team has no admin access to their own systems


Re: Miracle workers

We gave up on scrolls when Apple invented the book.


We take Asahi Linux alpha for a spin on an M1 Mac Mini


Re: It works until it is blocked

If Apple is really against this sort of thing, why have they recently added an unlocked boot loader to the M1 Macs?

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies


I don't even trust Farcebook with my real name. I certainly wouldn't trust them with a copy of my passport. If this became mandatory, then Arsebook would probably lose most of their UK users. Not that would be a bad thing at all.

Joint European Torus more than doubles fusion record with 59 megajoules


Re: More megajoules

Sky News says "enough to power around 10,000 homes". I'm not sure how they're going to manage with only 60 kettles between them. I can imagine the headlines now: "Fusion Power Causes National Tea Crisis".

Infosec chap: I found a way to hijack your web accounts, turn on your webcam from Safari – and Apple gave me $100k


Re: Apple: It just works

Not unique to Apple. There's also a story on El Reg today about a Linux bug that can grant root access.


One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it


Re: Spec?

Macbooks and iPads already use usb-c for charging. Since they haven't crippled that in any way, why would you think that they might do so for phones?

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status


I've never tried Tim Tams, but Anzacs are amazingly good.

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks


Re: Ask the dog - it has an 80% success rate

I heard of a company that had two developers who always pair programmed. One seemed to do all of the actual development and the other just sat and listened. The company considered sacking the developer who appeared to be doing nothing. But then they realised that these two were achieving far more than any other two developers were able achieve individually.

Apple's M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege


Re: Not bought a Macbook

They're not shoddy at all. If Apple sell millions of a product and half a dozen fail, then some greedy knobs will start a class action suit to try to extract $$$$$$$ from Apple.

Woman sues McDonald's for $14 after cheeseburger ad did exactly what it's designed to


The Sin of Gluttony

She was supposed to be fasting for Lent, and instead committed the sin of gluttony by eating McDonalds. If she'd been smarter, she'd have eaten some pie instead, since the sin of pi is always zero.

84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement


Re: Did I miss something?

I'm left wondering how large is his basement?

IPv6 still 5-10 years away from mainstream use, but K8s networking and multi-cloud are now real


Re: Is this the most sensible Gardner report ever?

"I bet the vast majority of that is mobile phones." - I'm not so sure. My home broadband and mobile phone are with Sky (who have millions of customers in the UK). The home broadband uses ipv6, whilst mobile uses ipv4.

New mystery AWS product 'Infinidash' goes viral — despite being entirely fictional


Re: Here at Signal

My assumption what it was either tongue-in-cheek or a clever way to spot candidates who are lying about heir experience. Or maybe a bit of both.

The M in M1 is for moans: How do you turn a new MacBook Pro into a desktop workhorse?


Re: Why only M1? Also applies to Intel Macbook's

I plug my Macbook into my Dell monitor using a USB-C cable and the monitor charges the Macbook. So I'm only using a single port for both video and charging.

I can also plug in a cheap (£12 off fleabay) USB-C hub and have monitor, charging, ethernet and USB-3 ports whilst only using a single laptop USB-C port. I don't find the lack of ports disturbing.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request


Re: Worth ?

"...never interact with the rest of humanity again"

Surely you mean "never interact with humanity again"

Debian's Cinnamon desktop maintainer quits because he thinks KDE is better now


I used XFCE (on Fedora) for years as KDE seemed too bloated and as for Gnome 3...

I moved to Cinnamon on Mint last year and it's pretty good. Cinnamon did seem very buggy and I was having to restart it at least once a day. It's become a lot more stable recently and restarts are a thing of the past.

Australian Federal Police hiring digital evidence retrieval specialists: Being a very good boy and paws required


Man's best friend?

They say that dogs are man's best friend, but cats won't grass you up to the feds.

RIP Spencer Silver: Inventor of the Post-it Note, aka the office password reminder, dies


Re: RIP Spencer

A career in adhesives sounds like a sticky situation to be in.

Namecheap hosted 25%+ of fake UK govt phishing sites last year – NCSC report


Re: "a 28.8 per cent share of known UK government-themed phishing sites"

"a 28.8 per cent share of known UK government-themed phishing sites" leaves the question of who is responsible for the other 71.2%

Philanthropist and ex-Microsoft manager Melinda Gates and her husband Bill split after 27 years of marriage


In addition to the comments above, I can't see anywhere in the article where Bill Gates is referred to as a philanthropist.

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?


Re: Multiple monitors

It's a bit annoying that they don't support more than one external monitor. I opted for an ultra-wide monitor, which is preferable (IMHO) to two screens. Other people have reported that DisplayLink adapters work well with M1 Macs and that there is native support for them, so that might be an option if you don't want to replace existing monitors.

India appoints ‘IP Guru’ to push nation towards IPv6


Re: Time to give up on IPv6?

According to Google's IPv6 monitoring, the take up is approaching 35% of all internet traffic globally. In the USA, it's almost 45%, whilst in India it's now a surprising 56%.

So 'poor take up' isn't really an argument against IPv6. I would have generally agreed with your sentiment until I started using it myself. Once you've taken a little time to learn about it, it's not as complex as you might think.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children


Re: 11 stone..

From the article: "On July 17, the developer(s) working on the check-in application "adapted a piece of software, which changed the title of any adult female from Miss to Ms automatically."

So if they don't have the passenger's date of birth, how are they able to change the title of adult females in the application. And if they do have date of birth, why didn't they use this for the weight calculation?

The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that they have some exceptionally dumb software developers. But then, pretty much every airline website I've ever used appears to have been created by exceptionally dumb software developers, so perhaps this is standard for the airline industry.

Facebook says dump of 533m accounts is old news. But my date of birth, name, etc haven't changed in years, Zuck


Re: I need to look this up

"After several attempts to create an account they told me that they told me that they would sue me if I tried to setup an account again."

You should have let them try to sue you. The court filing would have been hilarious. "We're suing you for attempting to use a fake name which, coincidentally, just happens to be the same as your real name".

AI recommendations fail fans who like hard rock and hip hop – official science


Spotify's spotty recommendations

I never bother with recommendations. Spotify (which I don't use any more) used to recommend either music that I had never heard of, or music that I did know but hated. Given the latter recommendations, I never dared listen to the former.

Cherry on top: Dell shoves MX keyboard into its Alienware m15 R4 ultrabook


FTA: The mechanism consists of two opposite-facing “wings,”

These "wings" - they wouldn't happen to resemble a butterfly, would they?

So it appears some of you really don't want us to use the word 'hacker' when we really mean 'criminal'


This debate has been around for decades. I remember it in the 80's but, back then, it was in the pages of computer magazines. Much as I'd like this to change, if we haven't won this after 4 decades then we're pissing in the wind.

17 years since release, iMac G5 finally gets an upgrade after tinkerer shoves M1 Mac Mini inside


The Reg article says it's a 17" iMac and links to a spec sheet that says that the 17" is 1440x900, whilst the 20" is 1680x1050. Since the video says 1680x1050, I guess that the Reg has reported the wrong screen size and it's actually a 20" iMac.


The G5 iMac was 17 years ago? How the tempus doth fugit.

I bought one of these iMacs for my (then) partner, expecting that she'd use the Mac and I'd continue to use Linux (Gentoo back then) for my main PC and Windows for games. I played around with Mac because I though that knowledge of OS X might be useful (and it was Unix underneath). What I didn't expect was that I started to use the Mac for almost everything and, eventually, retired the Windows and Linux machine and switched completely to Mac.

These days, we've still got Macs at home for everyday use, plus a couple of Linux Mint machines for WFH and NAS.


Maybe because the original panel is 1440x900 and a new 17" LCD is likely to be, at most, 1920x1080. It's probably not worth the trouble and expense of replacing it, considering that it's not a vast increase in resolution.

Remember that day in 2020 when you were asked to get the business working from home – by tomorrow?


Re: Nice article

My solution to home wifi issues was to ditch consumer kit and buy a Ubiquiti access point. I also set it to use the DFS channels, which tend to be unused by consumer routers, meaning that I'm unlikely to be sharing a channel with neighbours. The difference in speed and range is between this and cheap (or 'free') consumer gear is incredible.

It only took four years and thousands of complaints but ICANN finally kills off rogue Indian domain registrar


This happened to my domains

Some years ago, I had my domains registered with a registrar that fell afoul of ICANN. I'm not sure if this registrar was actually doing anything dodgy, it seemed more like they weren't doing anything at all. So ICANN shut them down and decided to transfer all of their domains to another registrar. In their infinite wisdom, they chose a Chinese registrar. With a website that was entirely in Chinese. That was a fun experience.

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech


Re: ZX Printer

No, it was an electrostatic printer. It used a spark to burn dots onto horrible metallic paper. They gave off a horrible smell as they vapourised the thin metal layer of the paper.

There were some third-party printers for Sinclairs that did use thermal paper, which may be what you're thinking of.

Linux Mint sticks by Snap decision – meaning store is still disabled by default in 20.1



Handy tip for Mint users - use Ctrl-Alt-Esc to restart Cinnamon when it fsck's up. I've got two Mint machines here (typing this on one of them) and I sometimes have to restart Cinnamon several times a day, when it takes a break from it's job of managing windows.

It's particularly bad when switching users. That always requires a Cinnamon restart.

Apart from that, it's a decent Linux desktop and I'm also using it for my home server (on a Terramaster NAS).

Crowdfunded Asahi project aims for 'polished' Linux experience on Apple Silicon


Re: Why do some people feel compelled ...

It’s usually not hard you just hook up the IO to a console and monitor the output and you manipulate the device, from there you can write a driver.

At least, that's what an moron on Macrumors told me (exact words quoted above) when I pointed out the difficulty of reverse engineering the custom Apple Silicon SOC to write Linux drivers. I didn't argue with him further, as he clearly had far more experience of being an idiot than I have.

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


Re: The same review in just a few words.

I read it as "Microsoft's ambitions were high, but their delivery of those ambitions was too poor".

Raven geniuses: Four-month-old corvids have similar cognitive abilities to great apes at same age, study finds


Bears too

It's apparently proved tricky to design bear-proof food lockers for campers to use in Yosemite National Park. The locker mechanisms needed to be simple enough for a human to open, but too complicated for a bear to manipulate. This presented a bit of a design challenge because, according a Park Ranger, "There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists."

Apple aptly calls its wireless over-the-ear headphones the AirPods Max – as in, maximum damage to your wallet


You can have custom engravings

You know that Apple's gone to far with their pricing when even the fanboys on MacRumors are doing this.


They're also suggesting that these should come pre-engraved with the word 'Sucker'.

Behold the drive-thru of the California Highway Patrol: Fry me a river, has 'CHIPS' stopped working again?


Do you want fries...?

Those proper chips in your image look infinitely better than the horrible thin fries that Macdonalds serves. I'm feeling hungry just looking at them.


Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?


Re: Inside joke?

Back when Siemens had their headquarters in Staines, the receptionists apparently used to answer the phone with "Hello, Siemens Staines"


Re: Cubic metres? cm^3? ?? What is its abbrev.??

"It's probably used in construction, mining, forestry, freight or something similar"

Forestry? By lumberjacks? Leaping from tree to tree? As they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia?

CodeWeavers' CrossOver ran 32-bit Windows Intel binary on macOS on Arm CPU emulating x86 – and nobody died



I only have one AS Mac so can't try this. But I have disproved your assertion above that it's not possible to build and run code on AS.

One of the articles you linked to even states:

"This new behavior doesn’t change the long-established policy that our users and developers can run arbitrary code on their Macs"



I'm not sure what you mean by this. I've just tried the following on my Apple Silicon Air:

me@Air ~ % uname -a

Darwin Air 20.1.0 Darwin Kernel Version 20.1.0: Sat Oct 31 00:07:10 PDT 2020; root:xnu-7195.50.7~2/RELEASE_ARM64_T8101 arm64

me@Air ~ % gcc -Wall hello.c -o hello

me@Air ~ % file hello

hello: Mach-O 64-bit executable arm64

me@Air ~ % ./hello

Hello, world!

I ain't signed nuffink and it seems to compile and run "Hello World" just fine. Can you explain what you think that the problem is?



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