* Posts by NightFox

601 posts • joined 23 Oct 2009


'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.

Microsoft, Activision Blizzard have days to show merger won't harm competition


"Windows still ruins Edge for its own purposes"

Freudian slip?

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down


Re: I have no problem with this.

'So let's hang all the ones who go a little bit too fast'


'Speed limits are too often arbitrary'

Based on the opinions of drivers 'who know better'?

'...and their enforcement isn't made for safety but for the State to pocket money.'

Sounds like an ultracrepidarian bloke-in-the-pub opinion.


Re: Technically correct

I'm always intrigued that I suspect if you asked the average motorist, they'd say that they were opposed to (other people) speeding, yet flashing oncoming motorists to warn of a speed check is almost seen as mandatory - especially if that oncoming vehicle is clearly 'giving it some'.

Google says there's no Waze forward, carpool app axed


Re: rendezvous with Manson

Yeah, let's look at all the very serious safety-related issues Uber has faced, ignore them and go a step further by removing any controls whatsoever.

Or did I miss something?

Compound that 'remembers' phase transitions could have uses in computer memory


Re: This is the kind of science I love!

Just as long as it's not that bloody awful ubiquitous Catherdral City stuff.

Cheese already exhibits unique characteristics. For example, the induced force (expressed in Cheddars [Ch])* it exerts away from the block on, and perpendicular to the motion of, a knife when attempting to cut a straight slice for cheese on toast,

*1 Ch being a derived SI vector quantity equal to 1 NSm^(-1), with S being the standardised Cheese Strength Index (1-5) as shown on the packaging and m being the thickness of the slice.

UK's largest water company investigates datacenters' use as drought hits


I think a better approach is an open, shared loop as I've seen used in data centres in Europe, e.g;

Cold water comes down from the mountains, is used by the DC for cooling. The now warmed water is then piped to district heating plants, and then out to households (with the cleaning process happening somewhere in that process).

Of course, we don't have district heating (hot water piped to homes) in the UK, but this 'bigger picture' approach must be the way ahead, after all hot water is not only H2O, but also a source of energy.

Tesla owner gets key fob chip implanted in his hand


Personally, I can't wait to get the 643 RFID cards I need to charge my EV out on the roads embedded wherever I can find the space on my body, and then memorising which body part I need to use for each charger.

Amazon has repackaged surveillance capitalism as reality TV


I'm all in favour of dashcams, but the untested legal fog surrounding them is a nightmare, which probably goes a long way to explain why car manufacturers are reluctant to offer them as OEM equipment (apart from Tesla of course, but let's face it, Elon doesn't seem to worry much about pesky laws and the like). By rights, I could approach anyone in the UK with a dashcam in their car and ask to see their documented system policy and to provide copies of all footage that included me in it, and if they failed to comply I could report them to the ICO. It would be very interesting to see what action the ICO would then take, as the legislation has kind of painted them into a corner.


This makes things interesting in terms of GDPR-related CCTV legislation, where generally there's an appointed person recognised in law (terminology varies between countries) who's the controller of the system, in principle the person who controls the footage and who can access it. Even on a cloud-based system, for something like Ring, this would generally be the homeowner who'd installed it. However, if Amazon are able to access footage directly, by design, then this arguably makes them the system controller/data custodian, which brings with it many legal obligations, shifting them away from the homeowner. Whether Amazon would meet those obligations is another question, of course.

Yes, there are systems that are intended for domestic use, so legislation may not be quite as applicable as it is for commercial CCTV systems, but even where it isn't, guidance by the likes of the ICO in the UK is that the spirit of the same principals apply, even if they're not likely to be actively enforced. However, there's nothing to prevent someone taking action against a homeowner; most legislation doesn't specifically exclude private/domestic systems.

And as for dashcams...

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up


Re: Memory is a weird thing!

He was doing *what* behind a bar?

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless


Re: Seems ok

Agree that charging at cost might have been reasonable - personally in this case for the sake of £6 I'd have been inclined to think 'well, at least I've now got a USB->SATA adapter that will probably come in useful someday'. And maybe just hoped that friend would have done the decent thing and bought me a pint next time we were out together.


Re: Seems ok

Wow, 2 downvotes already, what have we become? Are times really that hard? If altruism must come second to profit, even the big bad companies that we all love to hate on here understand the financial value of goodwill.


Re: Seems ok

If this was just a business client, then yes. But when even the bereaved relative of a friend is viewed as an opportunity for profit?

Yes, I know that 'time is money', but who else would really have even thought about charging for this?

TSMC sees slowdown in demand for PCs, smartphones


It always makes me think of a prop from 1970's Dr Who - the company logo that would have been on the wall behind the desk of the CEO who was under the control of the $ALIENRACE


For the love of God, can we crowdsource a new logo for TSMC?

Chinese drone-maker DJI denies aiding Russia's Ukraine invasion


Re: "One retailer – Germany's Media Markt – stopped sales of the drone-maker's products."

The trouble is when Western energy companies were falling over themselves a couple of weeks ago to get out of Russia, it wasn't Russia who came in and bought them out at a bargain basement price, in many cases it was China. So one of the side effect of sanctions was we handed control of a lot of the worlds energy to China on a plate.

OVHcloud datacenter 'lacked' automatic fire extinguishers, electrical cutoff


So many data centres got set up in any-old-building during the boom of the noughties, particularly in Europe where empty early 20th century industrial buildings were in cheap and ready supply. I've seen many sights - one where a data hall was separated by a plasterboard partition from an indoor go-karting track in the same building, one where some of the DC staff were using the currently empty floor above the data halls to rebuild a couple of old motorbikes - complete with petrol cans and welding equipment.

Germany advises citizens to uninstall Kaspersky antivirus


Re: Just don't use ANY anti-virus

"As someone that actually works in IT security,"

Using that on here to give credibility to your post is like posting on PistonHeads that you're someone who actually owns a car.


Re: Just don't use ANY anti-virus

Agree, but please: Mac, not MAC, it's not an acronym.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call


Re: I was there

You're making a massively flawed assumption that what you can buy an LFT for is what HMG would have paid. HMG would have had to absorb the true costs of these.

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again


I love all those solicited Amazon reviews by people clearly thinking that they're legally obliged to respond to Amazon's review requests within 24 hours:

5-star: I've not opened this yet but I think it'll be great

5-star: Bought as a present for my grandson, I'm sure he'll love it


Re: Adverts

I've long found a disturbing trend whereby my wife's Facebook/Google ads are frequently based on my own browsing. For example, I was recently doing a lot of research into buying a 3D printer. When I told my wife, she said she'd recently been bombarded with ads for them. We don't share computers or accounts, I'm not even connected to her on FB, but the dots are still being joined.

European watchdog: All data collected about users via ad-consent popup system must be deleted


Re: Agree 100%

I've never really got my head round how if I answer 'No to All Cookies', I don't get asked again on my next visit.

Samsung adds non fungible token trading app to its tellies

Paris Hilton

Re: Whaat??

Bragging rights.

Paris Hilton icon, because, well, bragging rights.

Is it decadent that I use four different computers each day, at different times?


Re: A Sage solution

"...but if they ever are curious about what something is..."

But isn't that *exactly* the sort of thing they *should* be taking a closer look at?


Re: A Sage solution

Yeah, I'm sure the buzz of constantly looking through hundreds of people's bags for hours upon end, one after another, day after day just never dies.

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul


Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

No. Even Lego on their own website say that it's incorrect to refer to Lego bricks as Legos.

You forced me to use this fancypants app and now you're asking for a printout?


Re: Holidays

When I first started work (mid '80s) everyone took 'holiday' off work. I then did a stint in the military so adjusted to taking 'leave', only to find when I came back into the real world that everyone there was now also taking leave. What did I miss while I was away?

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done


It was all going well for me (C64 version) until I picked up a dose of the Trumbles.

Angling (re)Direct: Criminals net website of Brit fishing tackle retailer, send users straight to smut site


Maybe they tricked one of the Angling Direct staff into divulging their account credentials? I think there's a name for that but it temporarily escapes me.

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call


Re: The joys of the phonetic alphabet

Just last week I had:

> "Hello, Customer Service - Can I take your order number please?"

"Hi, yes, it's November Five Three Charlie Echo Eight Two Six"

> "No, your order number, it should be eight letters or numbers"

"N 53 C E 8 2 6?"

> "Thank you, how can I help?"

Samsung releases pair of jeans that can't do anything except cover your legs and hold a Galaxy Z Flip 3


"Except the fact that your correspondent's regular-sized pockets hold a phone, wallet, vape, and keys all at the same time on every trip outdoors"

Completely missing the point. All you NEED is your shiny Samsung phone. Wallet? Samsung Pay. Keys? IoT door lock+app. Vape? Galaxy Note 7.

UK Ministry of Defence tries again to procure £1.7bn tri-service recruitment system


I'll bet that "Pointy-Bloke on Poster" and a few touring recruiting sergeants armed with the requisite paperwork came in at considerably less than £1.7bn and was demonstrably more successful.

Ransomware crims saying 'We'll burn your data if you get a negotiator' can't be legally paid off anyway


Negotiators can end up being a means of bypassing sanctions, either inadvertently or intentionally.

Scenario 1: Company receives demand for $5m, brings in a legitimate negotiator. They pay negotiator $1m to resolve the situation directly, with no further involvement by the company. Negotiator (who's not US-based) negotiates and makes direct payment of $500,000 to the bad guys, keeps the other $500k as his profit. End result = ransom payment made without company breaking sanctions.

Scenario 2: Bad guys demand $1m from company. They know that company can't pay them directly so they tell company to engage Negotiator X (who works for the bad guys) as a front and pay him $1m in negotiation fees.

Both of these things happen in human kidnapping, so there's no reason they couldn't be or aren't already happening with ransomware.

Ex-DJI veep: There was no drone at Gatwick during 2018's hysterical shutdown


"As the lead of the hardware design team that has brought the majority (apart from DJI) of autopilots to the market worldwide either directly, or having had Chinese copies of our gear hit the market..."

So, a minority then.

Music festivals are back in the UK. So is the background bork


Thomas Dolby at a packed Scala in Kings Cross back in 2006 - big screens mirroring the sequencer software on which the whole gig was running, a few minutes into the show up pops "Your Cubase trial has expired"

Apple's iPhone computer vision has the potential to preserve privacy but also break it completely


Re: Capability

My point wasn't that Apple should or shouldn't be doing that. It was more that people are seeing this could be a step to something more sinister, missing the point that the 'something more sinister' never required this step to happen first.


Re: Capability

A lot of people seem to see this as the emergence of a new capability that could now be open to abuse. However, that capability has existing for years already - this is just the case that Apple are now talking about implementing it. It's potential for abuse is no greater than it was previously.

I'm not saying there's nothing to be worried about here - just that the genie's already out of the bottle and whichever way Apple goes with CSAM scanning doesn't really change that. Concerns that at oppressive regime or whoever could persuade Apple to scan content for something else were just as valid 5 years ago - all this does is serve as a reminder of what technology is capable of.


A critical mistake in the third paragraph: "...will scan all those you have sent and will send to *iPhotos*" should be "iCloud Photo Library".

iPhoto was replaced by Photos many years ago, but more significantly that is/was just a local app, it's only if you're using the iCloud-based service that Apple will scan those photos AFAIK.

Internet Explorer 3.0 turns 25. One of its devs recalls how it ended marriages – and launched amazing careers


Nah, I had a life back then.


I remember having finally got my 14,000 baud dial-up modem and my Demon Internet account details through the post (having filled in, cut out and sent off a form in the back of a book), connecting to THE INTERNET... then staring at a blank screen with a command line prompt. I phoned Demon's helpline to find out what was wrong, where was the information superhighway? to be told that was expected behaviour. I now needed to open up my browser. My what? My browser. Oh,.. what's that then?

So then a trip to Escom and £50 paid for Microsoft Plus! (sic) to get Internet Explorer 1 (that on the back of the £80 I'd recently spent on Windows 95). That was money I barely had back then - the irony was that within a year or so virtually everywhere you turned an ISP was trying push a free CD with their customised version of IE under your nose.

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!


You're hanging on to your stuff too long between replacements by waiting for kit to fail or become obsolete. You can drastically shorten the cycle with the "I can sell the old one on eBay while it's still current and worth a bit so the new one will only actually cost me £xxx" self-justification - then with the purchase made, put the old one in the roof/cellar until 5 years later when you do actually finally get round to listing it on eBay to find it's now worth about 7p.

‘What are the odds someone will find and exploit this?’ Nice one — you just released an insecure app


Re: aren’t fully confident that code isn’t free of vulns before going live in production

I'd be more concerned about the 29% of CISOs who were confident their code wasn't vulnerable.

Name True, iCloud access false: Exceptional problem locks online storage account, stumps Apple customer service


Re: Importance of capital letters

Agree - people who can't even be arsed to press shift when writing their own name, how much pride and effort is that person going to take in anything else they do?

I used to make a point of whenever somebody bought something off me on eBay who'd entered their entire name, address and postcode completely in lower case, I'd delay sending the item for a day.

I have however finally come to terms with the fact that my eldest daughter (who's a computer-literate student) insists on Caps Lock On X Caps Lock Off rather than just hold down shift to capitalise a single letter.

The 40-Year-Old Version: ZX81's sleek plastic case shows no sign of middle-aged spread


I never had a ZX81 - at the time I was going from Commodore PET to a VIC20, but I did go on a school French exchange where the family I was staying with had one. I remember spending what seemed the best part of a day typing in the code for "that program" that had the tyrannosaurus rex advancing menacingly from a 3D maze (without the benefit of the muscle-memory ZX81 owners developed for which keys corresponded to which BASIC commands) only to have it totally crash when I tried to run it. No idea why I didn't save it first, I think I was just used to the Commodores where the worst you'd get if something was wrong with a BASIC program was a ?SYNTAX ERROR IN 270

ADT techie admits he peeked into women's home security cams thousands of times to watch them undress, have sex


Re: Cassandra

@John Brown

I'm not convinced by your dismissal of the use of live video to reduce unnecessary responses to false alarms. It's not excessively expensive and isn't restricted to commercial monitoring services. For example if my Ring alarm system tells me it's detected motion in my hallway when I'm away from home, there's little I can do with just that information apart from worry until I can get home. However, if I can remotely check a live video feed of my hallway, I can then either relax and carry on with what I was doing, or call the police.

And I don't see how money that consumers might spend on CCTV relates to money spent by manufacturers on alarm system development.

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


Re: Can only trust myself

Fine for those who can afford to - thousands are struggling just to 'source' the food their kids eat.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022