* Posts by NightFox

643 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Oct 2009


Lawyer's Microsoft email snafu goes from $1.75M lawsuit to Ctrl+Alt+Settle


Aren't service providers' liabilities normally limited in cases like this? Same way that if I post something worth millions with just a first class stamp on it and it goes missing, I couldn't then expect Royal Mail to be liable for its value. Given that service providers have no control over the value associated with use of their services and in the absence of any specific guaranteed level of service, then this would seem reasonable. If loss of an email account could have such massive financial consequences for a business, then maybe better business continuity planning was needed?

IBM shows off its sense of humor in not-so-funny letter leak


"While the content of the letters is seemingly intended for IBM staff only, Big Blue's customers that rely on the venerable firm to care for their important data might perhaps wish to ask how this silliness made it into view."

Suggesting that the only thing that has less of a sense of humour than IBM is IBM customers.

Microsoft wants Activision so badly, it's handing streaming rights over to ... Ubisoft?


Part 2: Microsoft Shocks Market with Acquisition of Ubisoft

Tesla knew Autopilot weakness killed a driver – and didn't fix it, engineers claim


From reports I've seen before linked to autonomous driving, it's often been the case that Tesla's have just driven straight under trailers as the trailers floor sits above the camera's line-of-site, whereas they would have 'seen' barriers. The unfortunate end result is that trailer platform is often at the right height to slice through the A-pillars and decapitate occupants. Whilst hitting a trailer barrier at 70mph may still prove to be fatal, at least it gives the car's safety/crash system a chance to try to minimise the impact, and impacts at slower speeds would certainly be survivable, whereas I would imagine the speed necessary to take the top of the car and somebody's head off would be pretty low.


Whilst I know it's not the point of this article, I do wonder how many of these accidents and deaths (and others not attributable to autonomous driving) would have been avoided if American trailers had 'barriers' fitted underneath them between the tractor unit and the rear wheel(s) like they do in other parts of the world which (a) prevents vehicles driving under them and (b) enhances their visibility to autonomous driving systems.

NASA mistakenly severs communication to Voyager 2


Re: Off topic

Hell yeah, I remember some of those large software packages took up nearly a whole floppy disk


Re: Voyager 1 & 2

"It's still the same technology - what have we invented since the 1970's that wasn't invented for Voyager?"

I'll start the ball rolling with this: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2424996/Rollie-Eggmaster-gadget-puts-food-stick.html

Microsoft’s Dublin DC power plant gets the, er, green light


Re: Madness. but it is Microsoft so what do you expect

"Guess where the prevailing winds will push that CO2? Yep, the UK and IOM"

CO2 isn't localised like radiation, it's cumulatively and uniformly absorbed into the atmosphere, with a bit of seasonal and fixed geographic variation. You don't get a cloud of it blow over the UK and end up with a couple of days of climate warming over the Pennines until it passes over.

Microsoft whips up unrest after revealing Azure AD name change


Re: Azure AD

Advanced product* naming guide:

1. Pick a verb associated with the purpose of said product

2. Stick an 'a' or 'ia' on the end of it.

Voila. My invoice is in the post.

*Can also be used to name/rename companies; q.v. Arriva, Consignia

Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson


I once worked with someone who gave their son the same Christian name (and obviously surname) as them (it wasn't a son inherited from another marriage or anything like that). Why you'd want to do that in the first place seems odd to me, but also given the obvious problems and confusions it could only lead to I could never understand why it would seem like a good idea. At least the Americans use 'Senior', 'Junior' or I, II, III etc when they feel compelled to do that.

That said, I know from researching my family tree, this seems to have been quite a common thing to do in the middle ages - even recycling names if an earlier child died, but in those days it seems you only had about half a dozen names to choose from anyway, and I guess there weren't many problems with getting Amazon deliveries mixed up in the same household back then.


Re: Unique keys

It doesn't have to be the unique key for this to happen, all it needs is for the system to 'smartly' match an entry to an existing identical record linked to a unique key.

Key = 67, Name = "John Smith" - therefore if Name == "John Smith" then Key = 67


When I was in the military, I spent a couple of years on a base where there was somebody with the same name (and rank) as mine, which unfortunately led to a considerable amount of opening mail and trying to work out which one of us was the intended recipient. We got round a bit of it (such as bank statements) by getting the sender to include our middle initials, which were thankfully different.

However, at one point I tried to open, by mail (this was in the early 1990s), a share-dealing account with The Share Centre and that got really messy, as it happened that my namesake already had an account. It would seem that when TSC received my application, some bright spark saw that they already had somebody with the same name and address in their system, so decided I was the same person (this was before anti-money laundering legislation) and executed the buy instruction I'd included with my application against their account without digging deeper, such as noticing that bank details and signatures were different. In those days of quarterly statements by post, It took a several months before this came to light, and then a lot to-ing and fro-ing to sort the whole mess out.

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


If you know you will comfortably get through life without ever needing a mortgage, a business loan, a phone contract or making any other similar financial commitment - or at least not being concerned over how much extra you have to pay for these things compared to most other people, then I guess not. However, I would suggest that for the vast majority of people, that isn't the case and therefore your advice is irresponsible at best.


Is 'credit rating' something that doesn't really feature in your life then?


I guess things must have changed a lot because I always remember several years back wanting to cancel a prime subscription that I'd stupidly allowed to go beyond the free trial period - I was all set for the usual helpless battle and being tied in for the next 12 months, but the process couldn't have been simpler and the money was refunded in full within a couple of days.

Apple stomped all over NYC store workers' union rights, judge rules


Re: The managers who removed the flyers ...

> "The managers who removed the flyers can, presumably, be identified from the CCTV. They were breaking the law, they should be held personally accountable"

Whilst true, this wasn't Tim Cook going into the break room and removing the flyers. I imagine some of these 'managers' would just be one level up from the floor staff, so not exactly C-suite, and would have just been implementing directives from above rather than acting on their own initiative on behalf of Apple. Although 'only following orders' is no defence, to go after them would seem to be using them as scapegoats.

Virgin Media email customers enter third day of inbox infuriation


Re: Critical emails on vermin? You've only yourself to blame

A bit unfair and unrealistic I think - these days email plays a pretty critical part in most people's lives, not just the small percentage who have the technical know-how to understand the need and be able to diverge their email service from the company who also brings them Facebook, Xbox Live and Netflix.

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries


I bet all those people with pacemakers are delighted they won't have to rely on hospitals to replace their batteries any more.

With dead-time dump, Microsoft revealed DDoS as cause of recent cloud outages


When your target gives you a cooler name than you gave yourself.

Users of 123 Reg caught out by catch-all redirect cut-off


Re: 123-Reg still have customers?

I transferred all mine to Cloudflare last year. No transfer fees, no renewal fees till the original renewal was due (so you don't lose anything if you've just renewed with your current provider), and at-cost pricing.


iPhones hook up with Windows as Microsoft’s Phone Link dials up Apple's iOS


It always surprises me how people who wouldn't touch Facebook with a bargepole are quite happy using WhatsApp. Yes, your actual messages may be encrypted, but the traffic data (which is still personally connected to you) is massive. What groups you connect with, how often, who your contacts are, how frequently you message them, what groups they're members of, etc. And of course, all your friends' and contacts' phone numbers that you've shared with Meta without your friends' knowledge or permission.

UK watchdog blocks Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition


Re: Disagree

"UK bans an American company from acquiring another American company. Yes I can see this being effective. Unless the 2 entities have a uk office, there’s not a jot the CMA can do about it except moan."

Judging by MS's reaction, they seem to see this as more of an issue than you do: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-65407005

Scientists speak their brains: Please don’t call us boffins


Re: Hmmm

Egg-heads, because surely an egg has to be gender-inclusive?

The most bizarre online replacement items in your delivered shopping?


Re: Years ago....

Not an online thing, but I bought a power saw from Argos a few year back - came in a brown box which I though was rather large. Got it home, opened the box to find two-individually boxed power saws.

Normally I'm the kind of person who'd have returned the spare, but given I'd had an argument with the Store Manager just the week before because he refused to accept my return of an un-opened item (in line with their returns policy) because he knew I was just going to re-buy it at the new reduced price - well, karma.


"The principle difference is cat food contains much higher levels of the amino acid taurine - which cat's can't synthesise in abundance."

That's why ours have a can of Red Bull a day. They've scratched the ceiling to sh*t, but damn they're healthy.


Dog food as they'd run out of the brand of cat food my wife had specified (despite having other brands of cat food in stock when we had to drive there later)

OpenAI opens ChatGPT floodgates with dirt-cheap API


Re: Very intelligent

"I am not a human"? I think you fell into their trap.

UK tax authority nudges net 'influencers': You may owe us for those OnlyFans feet pics


Re: I think you'll find...

Maybe The Palace is just hoping to keep quiet about it and avoid the IHT?

Another RAC staffer nabbed for storing, sharing car crash data


Re: Grinding nomenclature

I recently saw a van liveried-up as "Xxxxx Seafood Solutions". I tried to imagine what the problem might be to which seafood was the solution, but I only managed to come up with a scenario whereby I'd just taken unexpected delivery of a sealion left to me by a previously-unknown distant relative in their will.

This can’t be a real bomb threat: You've called a modem, not a phone


Re: Work bomb scare

I got told off for using a break-glass fire exit during a drill - because those were only meant to be used in the case of real fires.


It wouldn't be the first time deliberately confusing or incorrect information was given in a bomb threat. Also - see Warrenpoint - placing a device at a known or obvious evacuation point.

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building


Re: Rather than Lethal Weapon 2

I always get those two movies mixed up

JP Morgan must face suit from Ray-Ban maker after crooks drained $272m from accounts


I have to admit, I sometimes don't get round to checking my bank statements every month.

Blockchain needs a reason to exist, Boris Johnson tells roomful of blockchain pros


Re: Johnson on the post-PM lectures circuit gravy train, yes, but...

Sometimes there's value in hearing the view from outside the bubble. I've wasted more days than I care to count listening to experts tell a specialist audience what they already know, and to great applause, but the real value I've taken away has often been the perspective of speakers one step removed from the industry.

Guess the most common password. Hint: We just told you


Re passwords: when a system fails to take into account end-user behaviour (especially after years of compelling evidence), then it's a failing of the system, not the end-user.

You can't blame humans for inherently behaving like humans. Saying 'well, they shouldn't behave like that' may be a wish, but it shouldn't be a requirement.

San Francisco politicians to vote on policy endorsing lethal force for robots


Assuming there's not a typo in the article, the original piece of contention was "Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person." - not specifically lethal force. So this would also seem to exclude the use of 'robots' to deliver non-lethal force, including tasers, CS and other incapacitants which there may be a more reasonable case for.

Waiting for speedy broadband? UK's Openreach prioritizing existing work over fiber expansion


The whole FTTP strategy (yeah, I know) confuses me. I live in a small, rural market town of about 10,000 people, which only got FTTC a couple of years back, so I hadn't even thought anything about FTTP until Freedom Fibre, an altnet, announced it was putting in infrastructure by the end of this year. Yay! Then suddenly out of the blue, a couple of months back Openreach invaded the town and flood-wired it with fibre. Openreach is now available to order by ISPs, and FF are just finishing off (although I guess having to re-install a lot of the cable where they used 16-feed instead of 48-feed might have delayed things), but by the end of the year we're going to have two separate sets of FTTP infrastructure serving the town.

I'm not complaining by any means, I'm just (a) surprised that we're getting FTTP, and (b) confused as to why we're getting it twice! Surely where an altnet is building out infrastructure, Openreach should be looking elsewhere?

Tesla reports two more fatal Autopilot accidents to the NHTSA


Re: Wrong question

The trouble is with stories like this, people also assume that the the deaths where ADAS was engaged were due to ADAS and wouldn't have happened otherwise. I'd guess that in a considerable number of these, the accident would still have occurred, it was more an issue that even ADAS couldn't prevent it. Any maybe ADAS in fact lessened it, reducing the consequences.

Red Cross seeks digital equivalent of its emblems to mark some tech as off-limits in war


Re: an emblem to signify that certain digital resources are protected ...

But for nation-state attacks (which this seems to be aimed at), wouldn't the same principles apply to physical assets 'protected' by a red cross/crescent - yet that seems to work well enough for it to still be considered viable even though the modern manifestation of warfare is very different to what it was 150 years ago?

UK comms regulator rings death knell for fax machines


Resistance is Futile

My first job, back in the mid-80s at 16 was at British Gas, working in an office full of women 'of a certain age' who didn't have much of a grasp of technology. Every evening, when the office shut, it was necessary to fax job documents for any outstanding call-outs due to be done that night to our sister office, which operated 24/7. However, quite regularly there was issues where the faxes would come through corrupted, and by then the sender in our office had gone home. Multiple engineers' inspections of both sending and receiving faxes were undertaken, but no issue was ever found.

I'm proud to say, I solved this one waiting for a lift home one night from the lady who was sending that night's faxes. Because the fax machine was so slow and it was home-time, it had become the practice of many of the ladies to give the fax machine a helping hand and speed things up significantly by pulling the documents through it as quickly as they could.

I guess that's the difference between eras - with technology, resistance normally means 'stop - something's wrong' whereas to previous generations it just meant 'try harder'.

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess


Re: Manual is optional,

To be fair, YouTube gives the publisher an opportunity to monetize the information they're sharing without costing the viewer anything but time.

If I get to save £100 callout fee for the cost of having to watch a video, I can live with that. But on the other hand when all I want to do is add a transparency channel to an image layer in GIMP then it's just f***ing annoying to have to sit through 10 minutes of something that starts with "Hey guys, whassup?"


Re: Manual is optional,

I've just watched your video showing me how to replace the pump on my Bosch washing machine. Thank you very much, you just saved me a lot of money. But that does not mean I have any need or even interest in your upcoming video on replacing the thermocouple on a Worcester combi boiler - nor probably any other video you ever have, or ever will publish.

Nvidia admits mistake, 'unlaunches' 12GB RTX 4080


Voodoo FTW!

Microsoft HoloLens proves to be a headache for US soldiers


Re: AR wouldn't be such a problem

"If you had completely transparent glasses which added a very small amount of additional context to what you are seeing, like pointing out IR heat sources to detect people or vehicles behind a tree"

So, basically a HUD, which we've had in various forms for some 80-odd years?

Now you can't even scale Mount Everest without a drone buzzing overhead


Re: Looks nice

IIRC, there's a small cave that provides a degree of shelter just before the final approach where climbers typically take time for a last brew before they attempt the summit - and they get to share that time next to the perfectly preserved dead body lying in the mouth of the cave known as 'Green Boots' who's lain there since the 1990s. Whilst I've heard that Green Boots' body has finally been recovered at some point in the last couple of years, I think that must have served as a very strong reality check for many climbers with the end so nearly in sight, particularly given how dangerous that last push is when altitude, low oxygen levels and being so close to the goal start to effect common sense.


Re: Looks nice

I think Starbucks, Costa et al seem to have this same issue even at low altitudes.

PC component scavenging queue jumper pulled into line with a screensaver


We were more subtle - we'd just leave a couple of small windowed programs or folders open, leaving the existing wallpaper prominently visible on the absent user's desktop, screenshot it, then set that as the desktop wallpaper. It would then be amusing to see the user spending the rest of the day trying to close the 'stuck' windows.

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left


Up till less than 10 years ago I still found myself re-installing an old piece of legacy software that came on 14 floppies every time I updated my PC. However, the best part was, as was quite common back in the day, when you ran the installer it gave you the option to back-up your entire HDD to floppies before starting. I think last time I installed it I calculated I would have needed about 700,000 floppies and quite a bit of spare time to do so.

No, Apple, you may not sell iPhones without chargers


Not the best argument, as in many countries/market jurisdictions, manufacturers have been required to include batteries for many years now.

I still remember when in the UK, mains-powered electrical goods frequently came new without a mains plug. Thats was a right PITA and dangerous too, relying on every customer being competent enough to safely wire-up a plug and know not to just leave the 13A fuse fitted that plugs were usually sold with.


Re: The rest

Agree, this sounds like a case of just going for a high-profile target for the visibility it brings. If I think of things like bike computers, smart watches and general USB-powered tat I've purchased over the last few years, I don't think any of them have come with a charger.

Of course, Apple doesn't help itself by not adopting USB-C for iPhones (yet...), so many people will still want a dedicated charger with their Lightning cable plugged into it, but I'd still reckon that the majority of those people will already have one. If they don't, I've got 14 spare sat in my cupboard at home right now.

I think there's an argument that if something requires permanent power over USB, then a charger should be provided. However, where it's effectively a battery-operated device which in 'the olden days' would have had a user-replaceable battery (with dead batteries usually going to landfill) but is now fitted with a USB-powered rechargeable battery, then providing a charger in every instance just seems to negate any environmental benefit.