* Posts by tfewster

980 posts • joined 18 May 2007


Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'

tfewster Silver badge

Neither car nor driver noticed the man in the road waving down traffic either. Maybe he was the wrong colour too?

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'

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"and broke an OEM's production line... for a week."

It's broken.

What changed?

We updated Windows.

Revert the changes.

It's working.

That took a week?

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Only way

You use the ignition key to switch off the engine on most cars. And the power button to _remove_power from a device. And you don't even see the start button until the PC has already started.

Sorry, what was your problem again?

Sky Broadband is not the UK's cheapest, growls ad watchdog

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Re: "As for their misleading adverts..."

If anyone signed up to Sky on the basis of these ads, wouldn't that be actual fraud then? So those customers should get an automatic discount to match an equivalent price/quality service. To save Sky the costs of investigating each case, anyone who signed up during the time the ads were running should get a discount. Sorted.

India to build contact-tracing app for feature phones that still use 2G, don't have Bluetooth and can't run apps

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South Korea managed to limit the spread of infection very well, so it's worth looking at anything they did.

But NIH syndrome abounds, so every country and tech company is developing their own apps.

Stop worrying – Larry Ellison and Prez Trump will have this whole coronavirus thing licked shortly with the power of data

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Re: clearing house

If only there were a global organisation concerned with health that could do this already, so Larry didn't have doctors duplicating their reports for his perusal

From Brit telly presenter Eamonn Holmes to burning 5G towers in the Netherlands: Stupid week turns into stupid fortnight for radio standard

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Do celebutards ever matter? Or are they always a poison?

Samsung's Galaxy S7 line has had a good run with four years of security updates – but you'll want to trade yours in now

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Re: I'd love to see a law...

I'd be interested to see test cases:

- If an unpatched security bug counts as a fault.

- If a "reasonable" lifetime for the software can be agreed (The hardware is probably fine)

IANAL, but the UK Consumer Rights Act indicates that you can make a claim against the retailer for up to 6 years after purchase.


Automatic for the People: Pandemic-fueled rush to robo-moderation will be disastrous – there must be oversight

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Re: pandemic's no excuse

Staff cuts and increased posting volumes

Tech services biz Allvotec furloughing staff, asking remainder – including top brass – to take pay cut

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Voluntary pay cuts are unlikely to work; A corollary to Parkinson's law is that expenditure expands to take all the money available, so few could "afford" to volunteer, and they'll resent those who "can't".

Employment law prohibits reducing a workers salary (citation needed?), but that could be temporarily rescinded by Parliament if there are appropriate safeguards and transparency, e.g. Directors are hit first and hardest. The decision makers (MPs and Directors) need to be seen to be leading the way on this.

And let's not forget shareholders - Ownership comes with some responsibilities, not just benefits. I own some shares though unit trusts (pension plans etc.) and I fully expect those shares value to be diluted if the companies need extra funding. Again, as long as it's transparent. No one should be getting rich though this crisis.

I'm also mentally prepared for taxes to rise, to cover welfare and economic costs.

TL;DR: I'm never going to be able to afford to retire.

Icon: PPE ----------->

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

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I think we're agreed that Boris is a cnut.

(Although King Cnut actually knew he couldn't command the tides, even if his followers believed he could)

tfewster Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: The emergency regulations...

As usual - one law for them, another for the plebs

- Flying a drone near people

- Getting tested, when NHS staff and the general population can't

- Encryption

And don't expect any "emergency" powers or increased surveillance to be rescinded. Remember, Income Tax was an emergency measure to fight the Napoleonic Wars...

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Spam spam spam spam

WTF is "Protect the NHS" even supposed to mean? What am I expected to do here? And aren't they there to protect us?

"Stay at home. Don't spread the virus. Save lives." would make more sense.

I gave up watching the live televised briefings as they were mostly waffle. Not just BoJo, the reporters asking questions sounded more they were making a speech themselves, so the good questions got subsumed in the rambling sound-bite responses.

The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times

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Re: Interpretation

Traditional Unix:

runlevel 2: multiuser (everything except networking, so hardwired "terminals" only)

runlevel3: multiuser with networking

Linux etc. originally followed the same model, allowing for hardwired terminals in /dev and /etc/securetty, but runlevel 2 is pretty much obsolete now. If you really don't want networking, disable or remove it.

tfewster Silver badge

Re: This can't be Linux

A full filesystem won't actually cause a crash. Crash/core dumps might have filled the filesystem after another issue caused the crash.

Unlikely, but certainly possible.

IBM fires up the big iron, Facebook hands out masks, Cisco splashes cash, and CDC gets an Azure-powered bot

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Big Brother

There is, alas, no word on how well it will run Doom Eternal

I thought the El Reg standard benchmark was "But can it run Crysis?" [A more appropriate name for these times too]

Online face mask sales scams, 400% uptick of coronavirus phishing reports: Brit cops' workload shifts online along with the nation's

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Would you really expect the Education Secretary to know all the details of a fast moving situation far bigger than their department? Especially when they'll be swamped with education issues and Central Policy is flip-flopping on the fly?*

* That's not really a criticism - Even Churchill would have been hard-pressed to manage this war

Apple updates iPad Pro with a trackpad, faster processor. Is it a real computer now?

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Re: Trackpad is a misunderstanding

1) one [sic] a touchscreen device – THE SCREEN IS THE TRACKPAD.

Came here to say this myself, but with a different POV - Why would you want to "replace" the accuracy* of drawing directly on a 11" screen with a 3" trackpad? Or have that huge keyboard extension just to house a trackpad? Better to use a mouse, especially if it supports variable DPI.

* Though the trackpad does re-introduce the paradigm of a visible cursor (not hidden by fat fingers)

Your data was 'taken without permission', customers told, after personal info accessed in O2 UK partner's database

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Yeah, yeah

Another copy-pasted statement* in response to a breach. If only they had spent as much time Googling "security" before the event as they did finding the Excuse Database afterwards...NSFW

*At least they didn't include the lie the "security is paramount".

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Who was really at fault?

Douglas Adams nailed that one...

The Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B was a way of removing the basically useless citizens from the planet of Golgafrincham. The ship was filled with all the middlemen of Golgafrincham, such as the telephone sanitisers, account executives, hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, and management consultants.

A notation in the Guide about Golgafrincham after the departure of the B Ark states that the entire remaining population subsequently died from a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.

White House turns to Big Tech to fix coronavirus blunders while classifying previous conversations

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Oh my goodness -- the US administration is thrashing?

"If big tech gains access to medical data and patterns, they can support containment efforts by quickly pinpointing the source of illness within vulnerable communities."

Purely coincidentally, that's exactly what big tech have wanted for a while. Even better if it's an emergency measure bypassing current safeguards. Conspiracy theory about the root cause of the virus, anyone?

FYI: When Virgin Media said it leaked 'limited contact info', it meant p0rno filter requests, IP addresses, IMEIs as well as names, addresses and more

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Internet facing database?

Vermin Media by name and by nature.

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores

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Re: I'm just waiting...

My local Asda say they order on a just-in-time basis, but then get shorted on deliveries.

If only there was a way to improve on traditional stock management by the Mk1 eyeball and brain. Some...device..that could accurately track sales and stock, and do that fiendishly difficult logistics programming.

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Makes me wonder

> How did the seller come into possession of the thing...

It fell off the back of an aircraft?

(Too soon?)

tfewster Silver badge

Re: LA Science museum

At around 240 deaths per 10 billion vehicle-miles, it's almost twice as dangerous as driving!

A 1.5% chance of death on each mission!

I'd take those odds.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Want cynicism? Try customer success

I must apologise to you then - when I heard about vendor "Customer Success" teams, I immediately thought they were just trying to get more of my time to pitch their latest shiny. Oh yeah, Simon already mentioned "customer relationship managers".

That's not cynicism, it's just 40 years on both sides of the fence.

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Veracious

Maudlin? Meh. I call that Tuesday, after the memories of the weekend have faded and the view of the next weekend is blocked by hordes of idiots.

Rotherwood Healthcare AWS bucket security fail left elderly patients' DNR choices freely readable online

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..though their spokespersons response was still copy-pasted.

London's Metropolitan Police flip the switch: Smile, fellow citizens... you're undergoing Live Facial Recognition

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Big Brother

Re: "appalled that [city mayor] Sadiq Khan has approved such....surveillance technology for London"

One party justifies it for national security against furrin terrists, the other for protection against the greater threat of domestic criminals.

Anyway, it''s for your own good, citizen. You have 10 seconds to comply.

Hey, Brits. Your Google data is leaving the EU before you are: Hoard to be shipped from Ireland to US next month

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Look on the bright side - post transition, Google will need a UK presence to sell ads. Which will pay GB taxes, and be accountable for GB-DPR breaches.

In theory. Now that I've said it, it seems a bit unlikely!

Oracle plays its Trump card: Blushing Big Red gushes over US govt support in Java API battle... just as Larry Ellison holds Donald fundraiser

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Larry and Donnie

On the other hand (side) is Google, who have also played dirty. And in the middle, lawyers taking away money from scumbags but getting richer themselves

I'm quite torn on this one.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Is this a joke

> If you're already on TACC it won't make a difference.

That seemed the unlikeliest part of the article - that TACC would ignore a sign ahead and obey a "remembered" one. Which would imply it wasn't "adaptive" at all.

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Sigh.

True, but irrelevant. A slow driver is increasing the chances that a bad driver will rear-end them or have an accident overtaking.

You may be legally in the right if you get rear-ended, but all the compensation in the world doesn't take away the pain and debility of whiplash.

GRU won't believe it: UK and US call out Russia for cyber-attacks on Georgia last year

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"The Russian government has a clear choice: continue this aggressive pattern of behaviour against other countries..." "Spasibo, comrade! We learn from Imperialist running dogs!"

Yo, Imma let you finish, but for the 6,000 people still using that app on a daily basis ... we have a question: why?

tfewster Silver badge

As long as I can have a "What's the ticket number?" widget to respond with.

IMs with just "Hi" in them get ignored until the sender has actually supplied some content to the message.

Vodafone: Yes, we slurp data on customers' network setups, but we do it for their own good

tfewster Silver badge

Re: So...

Similar experience here, Sky Customer Service refused to supply the connection details but the agent did suggest looking on the Sky broadband forums for "semi-official" login account details. Which only took 5 minutes ;-)

Ring in the changes: Mandatory two-factor authentication, login alerts, targeted ads opt-out after punters voice privacy gripes

tfewster Silver badge

Re: "personalized advertising can deliver a better customer experience."

Ah, the Amazon model: "You just bought a Sony TV. Therefore you must 1) Have money 2) Like TVs. Would you like to buy a Samsung TV?"

Er. 1) No, because I just spent it on a TV. 2) Hmm..actually, you got me there.

Among those pardoned by Trump this week: Software maker ex-CEO who admitted hacking into rivals' systems

tfewster Silver badge

Terry Pratchett developed that idea to its ultimate conclusion in The Last Continent:

“We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?”


“It saves time.”

Don't Flip out or anything, but the 'flexible glass display' on Samsung's latest pholdable doesn't behave like glass

tfewster Silver badge

Generally you would be entitled to a refund or repair if a product doesn't perform as advertised, but you don't get to keep it as well as the cash back. However, if you agree that if you drop the phone and the "glass" doesn't break, you'll pay Samsung for a replacement screen anyway...then I expect they would be flexible on repairs.

Good news: Neural network says 11 asteroids thought to be harmless may hit Earth. Bad news: They are not due to arrive for hundreds of years

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Sounds like ...

Sounds more like Amazon AI/ML: You were hit by an 80m nickel-iron asteroid; Would you like to be hit by an 80m chondrite asteroid?

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

Close - it's 70 miles


You, FCC, tell us again why cities are only allowed to charge rich telcos $270 to attach 5G tech to utility poles?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Remember...

Was "slight-of-hand" a clever reference to Trumps supposedly slight (small) hands, or did you mean "sleight"? sleight-vs-slight

tfewster Silver badge

> The judge interrupted him: “So how did you get to $270?” We're still waiting for an answer.

Because if it costs a city more than $270 per cell "to run through the process to approve and install" they're a bloated bureaucracy? Also bear in mind that:

- It's an annual fee. If the city lose out initially, they'll make it up later.

- Economies of scale. It's likely to be 100+ sites/applications, that can be processed en masse.

- If the citizens want 5G, they're not going to be happy with the city pushing the costs up.

Unusually, the FCC seems to be doing its job here, lowering the barriers to tech rollout.

Of course I could be wrong. The FCC is notoriously business-friendly, maybe the flat-fee model stinks.

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps

tfewster Silver badge

Re: I have a simpler and lower cost solution

The bin lorries drive down our road once a week.

- The driver stays in the cab. Maybe they could make a quick note of knackered roads? Assuming they're not required to be constantly monitoring the other operators.

- An operator might turn an ankle in a pothole. So they're incentivised to make their working environment safer ;-)

Canadian insurer paid for ransomware decryptor. Now it's hunting the scum down

tfewster Silver badge

Title unclear - which scumbags are we talking about?

I got the gist of the article, that scumbags are taking money off "victims", but I'm not clear whether the scumbags in question are:

- The ones collecting the insurance premiums and then complaining when they have to pay out on a bet?

- The ones being too cheap to protect their business with backups (in which case the true victims would be their customers)?

- Or the talented, hard-working software entrepreneurs who saw a market opening and took it?

BOFH: When was the last time someone said these exact words to you: You are the sunshine of my life?

tfewster Silver badge

He was polite - he said "Please fuck off"

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too

tfewster Silver badge

Re: OpenOffice

Plus one twat who had "pong - you sent a message" enabled. And keyclick feedback, just in case he'd forgotten that he just pressed a fucking key on a physical fucking keyboard.

Wow - that was 10 years ago, and remembering it still triggers me.

One-time Brexit Secretary David Davis demands Mike Lynch's extradition to US be halted

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Differences in law

"innocent unless proven guilty", surely?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: "they'd have to be drunk because most people can tell the difference between left and right"

True dat - I've done it myself - After 6 weeks in Spain driving a UK-spec Land Rover on the right hand side, I came back to the UK. The following morning, hopped in the Landy at 7am to get some milk and drove half a mile on the RHS of an empty road before I realised something wasn't quite right...

If you look at Google maps, the Croughton air base exit is on to a narrow B-road, which runs straight for about 400 yards (in both directions) before a bend. Easy to "automatically" get on the wrong side of an unmarked road, and reports state that the "accident"* happened 400 yards from the base exit. I've not seen it stated anywhere, but it seems likely that:

- The accident happened on the blind bend.

- That the road near the exit wasn't marked "Keep left".

* "Accident" as in not intentional. So the charge should be "Driving without due care and attention" rather than "Dangerous driving".

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Would you trust a USA court ...

I've seen enough Hollywood films to know that Brits are always the bad guys.



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