* Posts by Ian 55

1033 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Feb 2010


Microsoft's bug bounty turns 10. Are these kinds of rewards making code more secure?

Ian 55

"We've paid $63m over 10 years, $60m in the past 5"

That says you were seriously underpaying in the first five or your products have become a lot worse or, most probably, both.

UK's cookie crumble: Data watchdog serves up tougher recipe for consent banners

Ian 55


The problem is that the stats are usually completely wrong because of things like click fraud.

When I used to buy advertising, I could call the print publications I wanted to advertise in, negotiate a good price and be sure that they shifted so many print copies of something I knew my targets would read and the ad would appear in just the pages they would look at.

If I bought advertising online now, I'd doubtless..

.. end up next to something praising Hitler on Twitter

.. pay for something 'seen' by the webspider bots of a Chinese search engine company

.. encourage a site whose owner doesn't have 'enabling genocide' as one of his biggest regrets, despite having done just that

.. be blocked by anyone with a clue.

Ian 55

Re: 30 days to get compliant with tracking rules or face enforcement action

In the 19th C, Punch suggested that a rash of insurance companies failing could be stopped by announcing that all the directors of the next one to fail would be hanged.

Worth trying, once updated a bit.

Ian 55

Re: Next should be non consentual email

I left NatWest after their IT failed around 2012 and customers' payments were missing for a couple of days. I was glad I had when they had similar problems again and again.

I recently took the £200 bribe to try them again, and it quickly became clear that £200 wasn't enough in exchange for the pain. The NatWest experience was bad and it's now *terrible*.

Ditch them.

First Direct's phone service is great and they'll bribe you to switch. Starling's app is great and they do not need to bribe people to switch. Other banks exist.

Revamped Raspberry Pi OS boasts Wayland desktop and improved imager tool

Ian 55

It worked for Apple...

Still does.

Linux will soon offer switchable x86-32 binary support

Ian 55

Re: "one with 32-bit support and another without"

Hmm, depends on what you want to do. Take away the games played through Steam and I don't think I have anything that needs the 32-bit libraries.

But it depends on what you think is legacy cruft, and gamers are going to want to game on their new hardware, not just their 'legacy' kit.

Ian 55

There would be a (very small) program

.. to do that in any distro worth the name.

Or have it as a GRUB option for the distro's boot options, instead of just 'yadistro' / 'yadistro (recovery mode)'.

Winklevoss twins back in hot water after NY AG sues over $1B cryptocurrency fraud

Ian 55

Re: What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted ?

The usual fault of reporting is to say "invested" when "gambled" would be more accurate, but the regulators allowed companies like these to call it an "investment".

Ian 55

Re: Crypto Currency

Not so much 'faith in government' as 'faith in the ability of government to raise income via taxes, by force if necessary'.

Mozilla's midlife crisis has taken it from web pioneer to Google's weird neighbor

Ian 55

Re: Ooh, you can access Slack via Thunderbird

Never having tried IM in Thunderbird, I was thinking that libPurple was used by it.

I'd use Pigdin but not the official app, so thanks again..

Ian 55

I was upset at losing a couple of addons when XUL was ditched

TabMixPlus was one, obviously.

But they've been replaced by others that together do more or less the same thing, and the experience of using Firefox with addons craps all over the Edge or Chrome experience I get somewhere I have no choice.

Ian 55

Ooh, you can access Slack via Thunderbird

Worth reading just to discover that.

Ian 55

Re: Self-reinforcing

I have several browsers for different things:

Opera - built-in VPN that works fine for the little region-locked stuff I want

Chromium - the handful of sites that won't work in Firefox

Firefox - everything else. NoScript + uBlock Origin + tree style tab + various other addons make this by far the best experience 99% of the time.

PhD student guilty of 3D-printing 'kamikaze' drone for Islamic State terrorists

Ian 55

Re: Not the brightest tool in the shed.

Labour have declared that, since they won't change lots of other things, Sunak will be kept on as PM should they win...

Ian 55

Application form = blackmail material?

I don't know what the dropout rate is between expressing interest in joining a jihad and starting to murder people, but I suspect it's not low.

Knowing that there is a filled out IS application form that they could, if they wanted, forward to your local anti-terrorism police must come in handy to keep the figures down.

Particularly if not actually killing people or trying launching your drone still gets you a life sentence.

Raspberry Pi 5 revealed, and it should satisfy your need for speed

Ian 55

Re: HW Video Decoding

And presumably dropping it means saving some pennies too?

Ian 55

It's slightly annoying that it's been announced..

..really not that long after individuals could actually buy Pi 4s again but apart from that, it's all good stuff.

You only used the audio port if you were desperate - having a low spec audio out was a design compromise and everyone who wanted better used the HDMI out or one of the excellent HAT audio solutions.

I'd love to know what the actual demand for two HDMI outs is vs high quality audio out via a 3.5mm jack is though.

Ian 55

Re: Lost the plot

Well, it depends on what the project is. Some things need lots of RAM, some will happily run on an Arduino Duo.

Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 hits beta with reassuringly little drama

Ian 55

Security updates?

At one point, LMDE's repositories noticeably lagged behind the upstream ones, with the result that published security updates could take days or weeks (or was it even months in some cases?) to become available.

Memory tells me that this affected things like Firefox. Oops.

Is this still the case?

GNU turns 40: Stallman's baby still not ready for prime time, but hey, there's cake

Ian 55

Re: A Complicated Man

That says quite a lot about you...

With version 117, Firefox finally speaks Chrome's translation language

Ian 55

Re: I use it everyday.

It also doesn't crash when you have five thousand or so tabs open.

Ian 55

Re: FF convert

Stop digging.

The altering of URLs to replace afliate links with their own ones was the absolute deal breaker for using Brave.

They did it once, we're caught, and did it again from memory, but once should have been enough for anyone.

USENET, the OG social network, rises again like a text-only phoenix

Ian 55

Re: _Bottom_ posted?

On every newsgroup, though?

Either he didn't or I had really good filters back then.

Ian 55

Is there anywhere giving free access to the alt.binary newsgroups

Asking for a friend, just in case they still have good stuff.

Sparkling fresh updates to Ubuntu, Mint and Zorin on way

Ian 55

Re: They could

Here the question is would Zorin say 'fine' to losing whatever money they get from the paid for versions?

Ian 55

Re: Linux developers do NOT want to acknowledge THEIR *VERY REAL PROBLEM*...

When I was using Ubuntu, the six monthly updated versions were very good - each time, things got better.

Then Unity happened.

Brave cuts ties with Bing to offer its own image and video search results

Ian 55

Re: A pity about …

Even more of a pity that it has been caught changing affiliate links in crypto URLs to its own affiliate ones. More than once.

Middleweight champ MX Linux 23 delivers knockout punch

Ian 55

Re: this shoggoth of a startup daemon


The UK politics equivalent would be that there are plenty of people who didn't think the system was working for them. The 'solution' we ended up with was Brexit.

Arc: A radical fresh take on the web browser

Ian 55

Re: Off topic

I've probably got around five thousand tabs open at the moment.

Ian 55

Re: Off topic

Quite right! I have a number of scripts that save me plenty of time.

I also have some that didn't. Some made things worse, per xkcd 1319.

Knowing which will be the end result is - to me at least - similar to the halting problem. Most of the time, you can look at it and go 'yeah, reasonably easy' or 'nah, too many possible inputs', but especially when you're relying on someone upstream not to change their output or what input they want, you can get caught out.

Ian 55

Re: Off topic

Instead of doing sums in a spreadsheet model on a calculator and then entering the results manually* a power user wants to be able to program some macros to save 0.1% of the time in entering some figures. Unfortunately, the macros contain a fencepost error, the results are wrong, and the company risks going bust as a result..

Someone who the IT department think is a pain, but not because they have to be shown the on/off switch every day like most other pains.

That sort of person.

* I know a manager with a ten figure budget who does this for anything more complicated than summing a column of figures.

Creator of the Unix Sysadmin Song explains he just wanted to liven up a textbook

Ian 55

You'll regret it

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

Allowing systemd onto your kit summed up perfectly.

Ian 55

Not if they're in a 16-bit program.

Musk's X tries to win advertisers back with discounts

Ian 55

Re: Watching Musk run this into the ground...

The problem with https://substack.com/app-link/post?publication_id=8982&post_id=135448974 is that it isn't rude enough about Musk.

What does Twitter's new logo really represent?

Ian 55
Thumb Up

Re: Let's hope it stops the hate comments

The tragedy is that he didn't want to see the Titanic close up...

Windows XP activation algorithm cracked, keygen now works on Linux

Ian 55

250 discs

I suspect it was a US government spec that software they buy be available in the format.

Mint 21.2 is desktop Linux without the faff

Ian 55

Re: "Pretty" Considered As Unimportant!!

It did, but for some of us it did so far too late.

Jury orders Google to pay $340M patent-infringement damages over Chromecast

Ian 55

'Stick your penis in this' toys go back further than that.

The novel step in the Fleshlight is really the material.

Virgin Galactic finally gets its first paying customers to edge of space

Ian 55

Re: Day trip

Still waiting for the revenge of a Martian civilization to start destroying various prestige projects too...

Linux Mint cuts slice of 'Victoria' as 21.2 beta lands with dash of fresh Cinnamon

Ian 55

Re: Thank you!

I find it really interesting that I don't like a vertical task bar.

Maybe the experience of Unity on a netbook has scarred me, or maybe it's having a screen that's 'only' 1920x1080 and liking that width for browser tab trees or having two documents side by side.

Ian 55

Re: Thank you!

100 YouTube tabs.. dunno.

About 4,000 open tabs in Firefox, including about a dozen YouTube, it manages.

Google asks websites to kindly not break its shiny new targeted-advertising API

Ian 55

Whoever thought you couldn't monetize an interest in 'equestrian'

.. has never owned a horse.

My favourite spotted magazine cover story was something in some pony publication along the lines of 'why you NEED another horse'.

Rocky Linux claims to have found 'path forward' from CentOS source purge

Ian 55

If only they had done this a few years earlier

Say just before unleashing systemd on the world.

Ian 55

Re: It's just Linux vs BSD, again

To be fair, making money off using/stealing other people's work and then getting upset when other people do it to you is a Great American Tradition.

See the history of Hollywood for a start.

Ubuntu 23.04 'Lunar Lobster' beta is here in all its glitchy glory

Ian 55

Re: 22 trashed my lenovo

Did you go via 20.04? Skipping an LTS version isn't the supported route.

Feds seize $112m in cryptocurrency linked to 'pig-butchering' finance scams

Ian 55

Re: It's called Pig Butchering for a reason

There's an advanced fee scam around becoming a male escort for the ladies.

With the occasional exception that would go out of business quickly, all the 'agencies' pretending there was a market - in reality, almost all clients for male escorts are other men - were, and for all I know still are, scams. The victim would be told there was a booking waiting for him in the next day or two, and all he had to do was pay a fee upfront for 'insurance' or 'checks' or whatever. As soon as that was paid, 'Oh, she's cancelled' and that would be the last they ever heard from the 'agency'.

Some victims rang where I used to work to see if they could get any of the money back.

I think the record for the number of times someone was scammed in exactly the same way before they called was eight. "EIGHT?!?"

Ian 55

Re: Where do I contact JZ, pleeeeeeze?

Depending on how good your spam filters are, you may well get emails saying "Yeah, you were scammed by that Nigerian prince or whoever, but I can get your money back.. for only a small fee".

Google boffins pull back more of the curtain hiding TPU v4 secrets

Ian 55

I was looking forward to..

.. a story about Turbo Pascal Units, as introduced with TP4 back in 1987.

As WP says, these were "tightly linked to the internal structures of the compiler, rather than standard .OBJ linkable files. This improved compilation and linkage times, but meant that .TPU files could not be linked with the output of other languages or even used with different releases of Turbo Pascal unless recompiled from source."

AI-generated art can be copyrighted, say US officials – with a catch

Ian 55

Re: Copyright-Worthy Human Element

It would help if they had the 'before' version as well, of course.

Ian 55

Re: Realistically this is less of an issue than people make out...

"If I take a photo of the Mona Lisa, I hold the Copyright on that photo."

It depends. Specifically, it depends on where you are and what else is in the photo.

If you just take a picture of the Mona Lisa on the wall, plenty of places will not think there is enough creative input to create a new copyright work.

Galleries selling reproductions of works in their collection would obviously prefer it were otherwise, but they haven't been rich enough to get the laws in countries like this changed.