* Posts by big_D

5238 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Happy privacy action day in California: If you don't have 'Do not sell my information' in your website footer, you need to read this story right now

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Facepalm

Re: he criticized the slow enforcement of Europe’s GDPR

And when the EU does take action under GDPR, it is targeting US megacorps...

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Re: Of course there is an alternative

It depends, if you sell something, you have to record the name of the buyer, for online sales, and that information has to be kept for tax purposes.

There is a big difference between data that has to be collected to run a business and data collected to profile visitors and to sell that data to a third party.

Even if you request deletion of data, there are certain categories where financial, tax,public record or other laws take precedent and that information will not be deleted on request or has to be kept for a certain period, has stricter rules regarding its removal etc. At least under GDPR.

Never knowingly under-digitally transformed: Retailer John Lewis outsources tech function to Wipro

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Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

I know one person, back in the early 90s, he'd been with the company over 40 years. They outsourced and the outsourcer looked for voluntary redundancies after a year, as they were forcing people onto new contracts.

He took voluntary redundancy / early retirement, which gave him well over a years salary as compensation. Then the company noticed that he was responsible for around 30 systems at the old client, and was the only person with any knowledge of them. He came back a month later as a contractor for 18 months to train up a replacement!

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Re: Madness

It is a way of "pivoting skills". You outsource the current IT department, then swap to new technologies and the outsourcer brings in the right staff for the new technology, whilst sidelining and eventually getting rid of the "dead wood", instead of trying to get them trained up on the new, or even asking if they are interested in retraining.

I've seen it done. I've also seen it backfire on more than one occasion.

Things that happen every four years: Olympic Games, Presidential elections, and now new Mac ransomware

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40 UKP?

I thought Apple users were supposed to be wealthier than users of other platforms, in general, yet the ransom seems to be a pittance, compared to other ransomware I've seen.

LibreOffice slips out another 7.0 beta: Spreadsheets close gap with Excel while macOS users treated to new icons

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Re: Input of accents on mac

That makes sense. By 2 keypresses, I was thinking ⌥e, not ⌥e e. The same as compose keys on DEC PCs and terminals.

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Re: Input of accents on mac

How did it know which accent to use, with just 2 keystrokes? úùüû? éèê? etc.

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Because the providers go where their clients are, not where they can go. And the clients go where the software is...

It is a vicious circle. We have add-ins for our telephone system and they work with 32-bit MS Office and 32-bit MS Office only. The telephone system manufacturer isn't interested in 64-bit or LibreOffice, because they have a 32-bit client already and most of their customers use 32-bit MS Office, those that don't will miss out on the functionality.

Same for the DMS system.

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

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If you haven't written the code yourself, it isn't trustworthy.

If you wrote it yourself, you only have yourself to blame when it isn't trustworthy.

The first thing you should be doing with these imported modules is running your own security tests on it, before letting it anywhere near a public server. The problem is, most projects are now importing so much code this is not practical.

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

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Price...

The $2.50 a portion sounds about right.

My wife works at a local after school care centre and they get around $2 - $2.50 per child per day for lunch and "tea-time snack". The lunchtime meal is delivered by a local catering service. Sometimes it is good, but often bland, tasteless or downright repulsive - she gets to bring home leftovers now and then.

CSI: Amazon.com coming soon to a screen near you

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Re: Hit where it hurts

c't magazine seems to run a quarterly report about fake products on Amazon and FleaBay. Lately it has been "2TB" micro-SD cards (8GB cards with manipulated firmware) and similar products that look like the original, only not... SunDisk Evo or Samsong Extreme.

California Attorney General asks judge to force Lyft and Uber to classify drivers as employees – or else

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Re: Radio Rentals

It depends on where you are. Here, in Germany, the local council define the rates that can be charged and all vehicles must have a geeichte (calibrated) meter device that is connected to the tacho/wheels and does a distance and time calculation of the fare. You can't charge a deviation from the standard fare.

The calibration seal needs to be current and the controllers can pull a cab at any time and order it to be re-calibrated. Anybody offering fares has to have such a device, otherwise they face heavy fines. (There are exceptions, such as limosuine services that rent out chauffered vehicles by the hour / day.)

You also need a professional driving license in Germany, otherwise you cannot get commercial insurance (and private vehicle insurance is null-and-void if you are carrying paying passengers).

One of the reasons that Uber got into trouble over here - they weren't ensuring that their drivers had the correct license and therefore most were driving illegally in "uninsured" vehicles, at least when they were on the clock.

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay

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Re: An sensible response, indeed

And if the whole press and blogosphere ignored their rantings...

If the only press was that companies refused to pay and the childish rants were ignored completely in the press, on social media etc. they wouldn't get the publicity they so obviously crave.

Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop duke it out: Only Electron left standing

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Re: "transition from Classic Skype to something more modern"

It is like Teams and VSCode, they all are incredibly lardy applications, being based on Electron.

The world is going mad.

What did it take for stubborn IBM to fix flaws in its Data Risk Manager security software? Someone dropping zero-days

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Re: IBM

I always though it was Incredible Bloody Mindedness.

Big Tech on the hook for billions in back taxes after US Supreme Court rejects Altera stock options case hearing

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Pint

Re: just a reminder

Hear, hear! Have a locally brewed pint.

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Facepalm

It will cost us money...

challenged it in court, arguing that "the amount of money at stake is enormous."

That has never been a valid defence in any case I've heard of, where the IRS or equivalent is concerned...

Release the pressure: Win16 support arrives for version 3.2 of Free Pascal

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Re: Granny pix

I did some Lightspeed Pascal on the Mac, back at the end of the 80s. I haven't used it since then.

VMware and Office for Mac need patching, Microsoft can scan your firmware, and Anonymous takes credit for Atlanta police hacks

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Holmes

What's good for the goose.

"The solution is simple – deplatform CCP officials and propagandists who consistently spread lies," said McCaul, the lead Republican on the Committee.

How about deplatforming all politicians (worldwide) who consistently spread lies?

Ex-director cops community service after 5,000-file deletion spree on company Dropbox

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Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

Dropbox is only a backup if you have the original data somewhere and push it at regular intervals to Dropbox, even then, it is questionable, whether that constitutes a real backup. If you are using Dropbox as your primary storage, it isn't a backup.

The 3-2-1 rule applies.

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Facepalm

Re: So... the headline should be

Backups anyone?

Google isn't even trying to not be creepy: 'Continuous Match Mode' in Assistant will listen to everything until it's disabled

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Re: GDPR issue??

Illegal in many parts of Europe, you have to get permission or at least warn people that they are entering a monitored area. For example, in Germany, you cannot use a camera that monitors your driveway, if it can see the pavement or the road outside or if it records people approaching your front door.

If you live in a block of flats, you can't use something like a Ring doorbell, if the camera is facing a public area (E.g. common hallway). You can use a camera in "private" areas (i.e. areas you would not expect a visitor to use to approach your residence - garden, rooms inside the house). But you have to have clearly visible warning signs, there are also very strict laws on how long your can retain such material.

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Re: GDPR

Google needs the written consent of all those that are being listened to, so it is their duty to get that consent, before they enable Continuous Match Mode in the presence of other people - or warn them and let them leave.

Also, at least in Germany, the laws regarding recording of conversations is very restrictive. You can only record someone if you tell them in advance that you will be recording, if they refuse, you cannot record. You may also only use the recording for a single specific purpose. If you say it is for training purposes only, you can't then use the recording to prove breach of contract, for example. Likewise, if Google say they are using it for the purposes of Google Assistant, they can't use it for marketing, advertising AI research etc.

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With voice commands, once the command has been processed, the recording should be deleted.

Once the service is disabled, all remaining PII would have to be deleted.

Winter is coming, and with it the UK's COVID-19 contact-tracing app – though health minister says it's not a priority

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Re: The German one seems to work

It has no effect for anyone tested positive.

It was never supposed to. It is there to help others who may have come into contact with the infected person.

But, I agree with the rest of your post completely. Looking at the rest of the world, we don't seem to be doing too badly - let's just hope there aren't too many Westfleisch and Tönnies out there, waiting to whop the statistics in the arse.

I have an image of Clemmens Tönnies sitting in the boardroom laughing as the Westfleisch story broke, then not actually doing anything, until the smile was wiped from his face this week...

Having worked in the meat industry for around a decade (software supplier to slaughter houses and meat processig plants), I've seen the conditions in small and large slaughterhouses (but not Tönnies). I know a couple of "honest" companies that used local workers, but the pressure put on them by the discounters to push down prices and the shareholders to turn a profit means that most of the big ones have resorted to "importing" cheap labour out of the former East Block and putting them up in rundown flats, where they share beds (the workers on shift swap places with those going off shift) in many cases.

We have become so accustomed to cheap meat that many are no longer willing to pay for quality meat and/or eat less meat, like we used to. As a child, I grew up in a middle-class family and we had meat probably 4 - 5 days a week, although that was often a roast on Sunday and leftovers the next day or two. My wife's family had meat 1 - 2 days a week. Now, even poor families have meat most days of the week. But the quality of the meat has sunk dramatically and the price is unrealistically low, in Germany.

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Re: The German one seems to work

They aren't supposed to replace testing. The whole point is that they make life easier / the process quicker once you have been tested positive.

It is an aid for the people who have to do the contract tracing after a positive test result. Or rather, in the German app's case, the user captures the QR-code they get with the test results and upload the contact information they have and other users of the app who have come into contact with them (<2M for >10 min.) will be notified that someone in their vicinity was tested positive within the last 14 days and it is recommended that they get themselves tested as well.

You don't know who was infected, where or when, just that you had contact with a verified case of Corona. It is then up to you, whether you take it seriously or not.

You don't have to use the app, and you don't have to get yourself tested or even check to see if anyone you "met" was infected. That is all optional.

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Re: Well that aged well

Germany rolled theirs out this week, it took about 1.5 - 2 months for the Robert Koch Institute to get it written and tested.

At Mozilla VPN stands for Vague Product News: Foundation reveals security product will launch eventually, with temporary pricing, in unspecified places

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WireGuard

Well, at least it is an up-to-date, standards based offering.

Chrome extensions are 'the new rootkit' say researchers linking surveillance campaign to Israeli registrar Galcomm

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Re: Maturity.

99% of our work is still on local applications.

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

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I've been pleasantly surprised with my last 2 phones. My Huawei received updates 30 days behind Google's official release schedule, which, after my Galaxy 3S and htc Sensation (1 - 2 updates over 3 years). I upgraded to a Samsung S20+ this year and, so far, they have had the updates available within 3 days of Google announcing them.

Let's hope they really have turned a corner and will continue to provide them for the promised 3 years at the same rate.

Not as good as Fairphone, but a huge step forward to where they were a few years ago.

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app

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Re: Email already passé?

Yes. WhatsApp loads the contacts onto their US servers and shares it with Facebook. That isn't allowed under GDPR.

Signal, on the other hand checks contracts against a hash, AFAIK.

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Re: Email already passé?

My Gmail account is just a collecting ground for site registrations that are unimportant and where I suspect it will be bombarded with spam.

Everything else goes to one of my "real" email addresses.

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Re: Email already passé?

The problem with Slack/Teams/Hangouts etc. and FB/WA is that they are all siloed. You have to be on that service.

For example, WhatsApp breaks GDPR and is theoretically illegal to use in Europe (although millions still do). So we use Signal and Threema, but their penetration is small, compared to WA.

For Slack and Teams, when it is internal communication, as long as the user has Teams etc. you can communicate with them. External is more error prone and makes people jump through hoops.

Email is universal. All servers"speak the same language".

Not so nice, we investigated them twice: EU opens double whammy of inquiries into Apple's biz practices

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Re: I don’t quite understand this

It is more like Pirelli being charged 30% for selling their tyres through the Ford dealer and not being able to inform the customer that they could buy the tyres for 30% less down the street.

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

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Re: Not me...

Except, a good quality keyboard, like those used on the terminal, would cost a couple of hundred dollars, heck, an equivalent keyboard mass-produced these days still costs between $100 and $300.

Then you have the high quality display, that could display 132 columns compressed or 80 normal. Most PCs of that era either used a telly (32 columns) or you had to provide your own monitor.

Don't forget, an IBM PC at that time would cost several thousand dollars ($4K?), didn't have a graphics card, monitor, floppy disk drive or keyboard - they were all extras - and had 64KB RAM. All "optional" extras.

Terminals weren't cheap, but they also weren't that expensive, compared to "professional" computers.

They were also on the COCOM list, you couldn't sell a VT100 to the East Block, it was advanced technology! We had a lightning strike and around 400 VT100s died. We had to get them all "professionally destroyed" and a government official came down to witness the deed and sign a certificate to say they had been destroyed (we used the car-compactor and shredder of the scrapyard next to the factory).

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Not me...

And related here before. A fellow programmer was the proud recipient of the first VT1000 in the company. This was an X-Terminal (i.e. X-Windows terminal) at a time when the rest of us were on VT100 or VT220 terminals or DEC Rainbow PCs. It had a "huge" 17" display and, most importantly, it ran X over thin coax Ethernet.

Our programmer did some demonstrations for those of us not so lucky to have such an object of desire. He showed off xEyes, a pair of eyeballs in a window that followed the mouse pointer around the screen. Gales of laughter. Then I asked if it could instance more than one copy... He dutifully filled up the monitor with over 50 copies of xEyes, very carefully placing each one. The VT1000 was stuttering a bit by then. Then he quickly moved the mouse around the screen in random directions. The first couple of eyes kept up for a brief few frames...

Then the VT1000 stuttered to a halt.

Then the VAX on wich the xEyes were running stuttered to a halt.

Then the network collapsed.

Over a hundred eyes and very quick mouse movements were too much for the VAX and for coax Ethernet running at 10mbps.

Windows Server to require TPM2.0 and Secure boot by default in future release

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Re: Well now....

Same in many production environments. I used to work for a software company that used software to control PLCs. From the time of receiving an RFID tag on a meat hook, the software had around 20 milliseconds to tell the PLC which lane to push the tag to, before it reached the switch.

Facebook boffins bake robo-code converter to take the pain out of shifting between C++, Java, Python

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Re: "faster and...more maintainable"

Except optimization and readability / maintainability are not mutually exclusive. You can optimize maintainable code and still have it be maintainable.

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Facepalm

Re: "faster and...more maintainable"

Niches, such as desktop computing or web applications... Yes, very little need for optimization there.

As someone who spent a lot of their programming career firefighting poorly optimized code, I can tell you that code optimization is very important and optimizing code and writing human readable code are no mutually exclusive, just that human readable doesn't automatically make it fast to execute.

I've worked on desktop projects that, for example, have reduced the runtime of a financial data collection system from 22 hours to 2 hours on a PC, multiply that up by hundreds of accountants around the world and the fact that it locked the whole PC up for those 22 hours, so they couldn't do anything else, the time invested in optimizing that paid for itself within a month.

Likewise, I've worked on web projects, where the load balanced servers and back-end database would collapse under the load of 250 simultaneous transactions, after a few hours of optimization, the same server configuration didn't break a sweat with over 1,000 simultaneous transactions. Those few hours of work were a lot cheaper than throwing 4 times the hardware at the problem.

I can give dozens of other examples.

Logitech Zone Wireless: Swanky headset means business, but that also means it comes with a hefty price tag

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Re: £175?

For a professional, workplace wireless headset, that price is about average.

At work, we use Jabras and they range from around 120UKP to around 300UKP.

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Re: The earpads will fall apart after 18months

We use the Jabro Pro DECT headsets. The ear cushions pop over the ear piece and can be replaced - useful for work headsets, which can change owner over their lifetime.

And DECT is a great solution for workplace headsets. The range and lack of interference makes them very good value.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

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Re: Memories

I bought a Gateway 2000 P90 with 16MB EDO RAM. The supplied memory checking tool started spitting out errors when I tested it after delivery. I contacted Gateway and they put another 16MB EDO in the post. I installed that and re-ran the tests, same result.

I ran the PC for a week or so, until the engineer turned up, with 32MB, what a luxury! It ran stably and flawlessly.

The engineer had a new motherboard and he swapped the old one out. Memory test threw up the same errors... It turns out that the P90 was the first Gateway PC to use EDO memory and the testing program didn't understand EDO, so reported every memory location as faulty! Ah well, back to 16MB it was.

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That was my first thought as well. 8MB - 32MB, yes, believable, 2GB? No way.

Arm wrestle round two: Chinese outpost says it's fired the replacement CEO foisted on it by HQ

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Re: First thing I thought of

It sounds like they have the support of Hopu Investment, if they have more than 2%, that is a majority.

This is internal company politics and we are only getting the public facing bit of the iceberg.

Windoze 10: New levels of tedium reached with latest Insider build while 'stable' release still a bit wonky

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Re: Windows 10 2004. Certainly seems a bit wonky + Older Nvidia Driver Workaround.

I've been running it for 2 weeks on my ThinkPad, only for Lenovo to announce yesterday that you shouldn't update your ThinkPad... My T480 is running fine, even though it is listed as not recommended.

I'm guessing it has to do with the Thunderbolt problem.

Ex-Dell distributor in Lebanon ignored ban on suing US tech giant. Now four directors have been sentenced to prison in the UK

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Thanks, I missed that bit. That makes sense.

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Paris Hilton

Dispute between a Lebanese company and an American company over supply and sales in Lebanon... Surely the case should be heard either in the US or in the Lebanon?

Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

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Re: DEC Fortran

Microsoft was selling a BASIC compiler throughout the 80s. Many computers came with BASIC interpreters built into ROM, including the original IBM PC (standard configuration was a cassette port and BASICA in ROM, no floppy drive - well, and no keyboard or display either, everything was extra).

But Microsoft also sold a compiler for CP/M and MS-DOS. We had code that ran on HP-125 (CP/M), HP-150 (MS-DOS), HP Vectra (sort of IBM compatible, only not very, MS-DOS) and IBM PCs (PC-DOS). All were compiled using Microsoft's BASIC compiler and you had to replace the header file, which contain the definitions (strings with escape codes) for accessing the screen (moving the cursor, clearing the screen, inverse video, bold etc.) for each platform.

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere

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Re: Thanks Rasmus!

I went for an interview for a web development job in 2008. I had never used PHP. The night before, I sat down and wrote a quick "hello world" script. It was so straight forward, after years of C, Java, VB etc. that I got the job and was productive in a couple of hours.

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