* Posts by veti

3118 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

veti Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 did especially well

Windows 8.1 is Windows 9. Joke's on you if you missed it, it was the last "good" Windows release.

Really. If the 'Metro' thing annoys you too much, install Classic Start Menu. Then you'll have the speed and security of Windows 10, the control and customisability of Windows 7, and extended support to January 2023.

veti Silver badge

Re: What's next for Windows 10?

If your business model relies on you being able to sell a fully operational PC for $300...

... how is that Microsoft's problem?

You want to serve the market segment of People With No Money? Good on you, best of luck with that, let us know how it goes. We'll be over here selling PCs for $1000, and we anticipate no shortage of customers at that price point.

Defuse census outrage with independent oversight of data-handling

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Re: Optional

As I understand it (and I admit, I had the same misgiving when I saw the article's terminology), it's not suggesting that the 'data broker' actually hold any data itself. All it has to do is provide a secure 'cloud' platform for other people to hold data, and give them the tools to manage access to it and the rules for using them. There's no reason why the broker itself would ever need to access that data - indeed, it'd be better if they have no way to decrypt it at all.

"Connecting census data with other records is unnecessary" ... yee-eess, unless you want to, y'know, USE the census data for something. Like projecting future road use, capacity for public services such as schools, parks, libraries, demographic projections - you know, the things that are the whole purpose of having a census in the first place.

You are, of course, quite right that there's no earthly reason why personally identifiable information should be stored with census data. Last time I filled in a census form I don't think it even asked for names, although I don't know what the Australian census collects.

How many zero-day vulns is Uncle Sam sitting on? Not as many as you think, apparently

veti Silver badge

Re: Failure to responsibly disclose is one definition...

Nobody, and I mean that literally in the sense of "not one sentient human being in the entire history of ever", has ever tried to claim with a straight face that government agencies don't do anything shady.

Australian spooks' email guide banishes MS Word macros, JavaScript

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"Converting attachments to another file type" - and how exactly do you do that without opening the frigging attachment first? If they just said "delete all Office documents unopened" that would at least be coherent, even if it's not very practical.

Honestly, the best protection against macro viruses now is to be running an up to date version of Word. It won't run macros unless you, the user, explicitly enable them.

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

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Re: Wait until you see the next generation fighter...

You're missing the point. If you make it "cheaper", then you get less money. By definition.

Whose interest is that in? Certainly not yours. Nor yet the armed services procurement people, because their boilerplate funding proposal says "Whatever It Takes" - and the more they spend, the more important they are. Only the poor old taxpayer would gain, and they are so distracted by every other issue you can imagine that the chances of their vote being swayed by this issue are infinitesimal.

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

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Re: @Ivan4 - Wow.

I'm not familiar with GNUCash, but if it's anything like ProjectLibre I can only be thankful for that.

Like OpenOffice and LibreOffice: it's only a substitute if your use-case involves the word "workaround" a lot.

veti Silver badge

Re: Come on you MS Fans

Steam on Linux might one day take away the last excuse for home use. But it is not this day.

The list looks impressive, right up to the moment you try to search for a specific game you actually want to play.

Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

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Re: Citation?

Espionage is "legal" in so far as it's not against the law of the country committing it.

The law of the country it's being committed against, however, is another matter entirely.

The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

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@ Kumar2012

Immigration and Nationality Act 101(a)(42): err, that defines what a "refugee" is. The only 'religious test' established there is, it says it is possible to be a refugee if you are fleeing persecution on religious grounds.

I'm not clear what you're trying to establish with that reference.

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

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Re: Tu use Hillary's own words...

"What difference does it make?" - well, if you're OK with Putin - who is at this point basically Lex Luthor - trying to influence the US presidential elections, then not much, I guess.

Me, if I were American I wouldn't care for that one bit.

Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

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Nunno, clearly what we need is a government-issued identity card. Isn't that just what the Home Office has been telling us since Michael Howard's day?

She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

veti Silver badge

Re: @CrazyOldCatMan (Been there, done that...)

Since Scott Adams quite openly begs for his readers to send anecdotes from their office to serve as fodder for his strips - it's not entirely surprising that he seems to have spies everywhere.

That's because he does, in fact, have spies everywhere. In direct proportion to the level of his own readership among the employee base.

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

veti Silver badge

Re: Nahh, the old Star Trek was for nerds...

Movie makers have been hijacking pre-existing franchises and dumbing them down for as long as movies have been a thing. Early example.

Moral: don't expect anything else of movies. Certainly not of any movie that has the word "franchise" attached, however tangentially. Artists are creative, they don't want to spend their time splashing about in someone else's imagination. Everyone associated with the Star Trek franchise since Gene Roddenberry died has been a bought-and-paid-for hack, nothing more.

EFF declares anti-piracy DMCA unconstitutional in new legal showdown

veti Silver badge

I am so, so glad that someone coherent has finally stood up and said exactly what is wrong with DRM in general, and the DMCA in particular.

I made this point to the NZ parliament, almost ten years ago now, and it got translated into a clause that specifically excludes legal protection for measures that overstep their bounds:

for the avoidance of doubt, does not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that, in the normal course of operation, it only controls any access to a work for non-infringing purposes (for example, it does not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that it controls geographic market segmentation by preventing the playback in New Zealand of a non-infringing copy of a work)

... which is a legal formulation I'd like to commend to our American cousins.

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

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Shurely shome mishtake

More people shopped on Amazon than played Pokemon Go?

Stack Overflow takes on technical documentation

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Re: Excellent news

Well, yes... except that it presumably means Microsoft will now abandon all attempt to provide their own documentation, in the same way as they've already handed "support" over to online communities (including Stack Overflow, for developer tools).

It's just a cost-cutting exercise for them.

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

veti Silver badge

Re: QR Codes are still around....

And there's the problem, right there. QR codes in the west have only ever really been used for advertising. We've become accustomed to seeing it as an invitation to "scan this if you want to see more ads".

Not very surprisingly, not a lot of people take up that invitation.

We've always seen it as a machine-optically-readable version of a URL. But it really doesn't have to be. It can convey (exchange) all sorts of information that's got nothing to do with web browsing, and it sounds as if the Chinese have realised this. Good on them.

Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

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Re: Well, here's your problem

I so want a 'semi-autonomous' car that screams 'DO SOMETHING' at me now.

Preferably in the voice of Plankton's "wife", Karen, from Spongebob.

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

veti Silver badge

Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

I don't know how many times I'm gonna have to repeat this...

Windows on a phone is a really nice system. I, and many other users (as of last year, it had a double-digit market share in my country) greatly prefer it to either iOS or Android.

What Microsoft did that I don't understand was, stop making Nokias. The Nokia brand was by far its best ticket into the phone market. Whey they stopped shipping those, their sales went from "very low" to "virtually nonexistent". And how that can have come as a surprise to anyone, has me fair betwattled.

Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

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Re: Can I just check I have this right..

Well, ideally, you'd be including a UK organisation because that organisation had the best people and experience for the work you want to do.

If it doesn't, then why include it? If the answer is "just to qualify for EU funding", then that would explain a lot about the generally glacial pace of EU R&D over the past 30 years.

On the other hand - if it does have that expertise, then you'd be an idiot to exclude it just because the political status of the UK is likely to change.

This is a positive thing, folks. It's one less factor distorting the award of money based on arbitrary political rules instead of - well, any real reason.

veti Silver badge

Re: It's the law, isn't it

This is precisely the kind of thing that needs to be negotiated. You know, in the negotiations.

My suggestion would be, Britain continues paying its bit - maybe overpaying, slightly - for programs that include UK researchers and are already underway at the time of Brexit. When those programs eventually wind down, the payments stop and the government of whatever's-left-of Britain at that time can start running its own R&D subsidies.

Windows Phone users beg Pokémon Go creators for attention

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Re: no chance on win mobile

Pokemon Go requires geolocation enabled. If you've ever used your Nokia for navigation, you'll know what that means for the whole "days instead of hours" battery life thing.

veti Silver badge

Re: There are dozens of us, DOZENS!!!

I'm just saying No to Android and iOS. There, that's my individuality asserted.

Theresa or Teresa May? Twitter confuses nude model and new PM

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Re: It's not just Twitter

Yep, Google's "helpful" parsing of search results jumped the shark long ago. I think it's actually impossible to perform many searches now, as Google simply won't believe you want them.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just twitter?

Too right. Is it too late to nominate Teresa for the job?

Win 10 Anniversary: 'We're beginning to check in final code' says Microsoft

veti Silver badge

Re: There is absolutely no way

In other words, Windows 7, but with Windows 10 inner performance improvements, but no spyware, no failed UI experiments....

It's called Windows 8.1.

No, really. Check it out. It's got the stability, performance and security improvements of W10, but you can turn off the spyware and control your own update cycle. And for all the hate directed at Metro, you can live with it for the few occasions when it actually appears. Well, I can.

Gartner: Brexit cluster-fsck has ballsed up our spending forecast

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Brexit must be a gift to forecasters

For the next year, they've got a simple go-to excuse for why nothing has worked out the way they said it would.

It's an ill wind.

Australian Information Industries Association*: you're not the future of democracy, so please shut up

veti Silver badge

Re: Picking and choosing

The price per vote will tumble if, and only if, the system as delivered is perfect and never needs to change.

If, on the other hand, it works like every other major IT project in the history of ever, the price will just go on accumulating for as long as the system is in use.

veti Silver badge

Re: definition of "better".

It's obvious. "Better" means, "would funnel more money into the pockets of those who pay the report authors' salaries". Viz, the tech industry.

I suppose there's no way to criminalise the release of self-serving bullshit "studies", but can we at least ridicule them a bit more?

UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

veti Silver badge

Re: You're missing the point

@chris121254: perhaps you missed all the spadework that's already been put in to Step 2.

It's been a pornographer's wet dream for over a decade, and thanks to the gullibility, or is it corruptibility, of UK lawmakers, the UK is blazing the trail.

veti Silver badge

You're missing the point

This legislation is being pushed as hard as possible (ooo err) by what is called, without as far as I can tell a trace of irony, the "adult entertainment industry".

Step 1: Outlaw providing porn to minors. A lot of people support this, mostly because they haven't thought through what it means.

Step 2: Implement the Great Firewall of Bri^H^H^HEngland&Wales, although to be honest Scotland and NI are if anything even more prudish in this regard so they'll probably be on board too.

Step 3: Block all pr0n sites that don't require proper age verification, which means a credit card number.

Step 4: Bingo! No more free pr0n in the UK! from now on, You Will Pay for your grumbles. As an added bonus, all the transactions will be identifiable and traceable. Won't that be nice?

Post Brexit EU will spend 'stability and peace' budget funding Chinese war drones

veti Silver badge

Yes, and?

This is how Britain preserved the peace of the world, mostly successfully, for a century before the Americans took over. And the Americans did precisely the same.

Look, if you want peace, somebody has to enforce it. If the central government has no teeth - well, if you're very, very lucky and privileged in your geography, history and politics, you get Costa Rica, but more likely you get Somalia or Afghanistan.

One way of "keeping peace" is to put your own soldiers in there. But that's - unfashionable, now. Also, not at all by coincidence, hideously dangerous and ruinously expensive. Or you can try to trick, cajole, shame or bribe another country into doing it for you, but that has most of the same drawbacks plus the fact that you have no direct control over what they do, because their goals are different from yours.

The only other way - note, only other way - is to pick a local team who will do the job for you, and support them. This is far cheaper, more acceptable to voters just about everywhere, and much more sustainable. But of course it means you have to let the local team set their own agenda, like the mujahedin in Afghanistan.

The only time it seriously backfires is when you badly misjudge the local team and find yourself supporting someone really nasty. And we've all done that, the French and Germans as well as the British and Americans.

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

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Re: Bollocks

So who decides if the notice is "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements"?

Basically, the Germans, although everyone else in Europe can put a fair bit of pressure on them (and by the looks of things so far, that pressure will mostly be in favour of Brexit). A British court may provide a figleaf to either side, but it's up to the Europeans whether they want to respect that figleaf. Ripping it off and throwing it in the gutter is a perfectly viable option for them.

Data protection, Brexit and campaigners: Privacy policy? Eh?

veti Silver badge

Note to author

If you're going to write in the first person, signing your name would be a nice touch. "Amberhawk Training" doesn't sound like anyone I'm likely to meet in a pub.

Also, the painting of "NationBuilder" as a data controller is unconvincing. Seriously, does there exist, anywhere in the world, a company that won't "disclose customer data... if required to do so by law or subpoena”? Without a lot more detail on specifically what "customer data" may be disclosed, this is not nearly enough information to call them a "data controller".

Maybe they'll just disclose the billing contact name and address of the Leave campaign (after all, that's their customer, right?)

Sterling's post-Brexit dollar woes are forcing up tech kit prices

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Re: and yet still

@Mephistro: nice strategic use of cutoff points there. If you look at the 1-week chart (the link you posted) sure enough, it shows that the euro is very slightly higher against the dollar than it was immediately after the referendum.

If you look at that same timescale, you'd say that the pound has dropped less than 1%:


But if you look at the one-month charts for both, I don't think you'll have any difficulty picking out the referendum results being announced:



Of course, if you take a slightly longer view, you'll see this is far from the worst thing that's happened to sterling, even in the last ten years:


The pound dropped by 25% in 1992, when it exited the ERM. It dropped by more than 30% during the 1970s. It's dropped just 10% since the referendum; even if it's got another 10% to go before it levels out, this is still not a really world-class shock.

Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren

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Big companies are abusing their position

In other news, water is still wet.

NRA guns down 38,000 Surge.sh sites in anti-parody spray-and-pray

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Re: Misleading

"Name-calling and journalism don't really mix" - maybe not on your planet, but here on Earth they've been inseparable for at least 200 years.

"Why should they [respond]?" Because lots of news outlets, not just El Reg, is running a story about them. Normal PR practice would be to issue a statement.

Sure, very likely the "parody" was a trademark violation. But trademarks aren't covered by the DMCA, and they're not normally subject to any regime of "takedown notice". The proper place to pursue that case is in the courts, not pulling the plug on an entire domain.

Facebook crushes Belgian attempt to ban tracking of non-users

veti Silver badge

Re: re: jurisdiction

There's a difference between the data that a website displays (on your computer, in your country), what it stores (as cookies, also on your computer and in your country), and what it processes and stores itself (on its servers, in some completely different country).

I can imagine the jurisdictional arguments getting quite involved.

No means no: Windows 10 nagware's red X will stop update – Microsoft

veti Silver badge

It's different, because dismissing the dialogue box does not mean "OK" (something that, according to Microsoft's own UI design rules for Windows, should NEVER EVER have been allowed to happen in the first place). Also because there is - if you actually read the message in full - a transparent way to cancel the whole thing, which there wasn't in the previous generation.

Too little, too late. ("Having to read the message in full" is still a pretty outrageous requirement.) But it is something.

Brexit and data protection: A period of shock and reflection

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Re: 5 eyes will not be happy

You don't imagine 5 eyes will have less access to European data now, do you? If anything they'll be better off, with GCHQ relieved of the need to think about fig leaves.

And you know New Zealand is another of the 5, right?

Be warned, there's no clotted cream down here.

Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick... Hang on. They're back

veti Silver badge

Yep, and waterfall would be great if only we could have a tightly nailed down and comprehensive spec.

Sadly, not one developer in a hundred - no, make that one in ten thousand - has ever seen one of those, or would recognise it if they did. So the other 9,999 will end up delivering shit.

US House to vote on whether poor people need mobile phones

veti Silver badge

@Dave Hilling

"Most people would be completely happy with a middle ground."

Newsflash: the middle ground is where you are now. Pretty much by definition.

Are you completely happy? No, because you think it should be somewhere else. Like most of your contemporaries. The only think you can't agree on is where, specifically, it should be. And so you end up with a compromise solution that makes nobody "completely happy".

This is how politics works. And how it's supposed to work, this is by design. I don't think Trump supporters (note, I'm not saying you're a Trump supporter, I neither know nor care whether you are or not) understand this: they think politics is a consumer business, where you decide what you want then find the company to provide it.

It's not.

Before you give up on conventional politics, reflect: the only known alternative to "compromise" is called "war".

Oz 'gifted education' program pitching WiFi, vax scare stories

veti Silver badge

How much did they pay?

Oddly enough, reputable groups aren't exactly queuing up to provide educational materials to Victorian schools. Something to do with the budget being pitiful, and being crowded out by people willing to provide stuff for free provided it's not vetted too closely...

And so you get crap.

Inevitable consequence of public tendering with "price" as the deciding factor.

Ransomware scum build weapon from JavaScript

veti Silver badge

Re: One tiny step, MS... one tiny step and you blow it.

Yep, this was the big one, the time they failed security forever. And why? What possible gain is there in hiding extensions?

The only - only - half-way plausible answer I can think of is, to make the computer's action less transparent to users. So instead of ".doc files open in Word", now the user is trained to know "files with a Word icon open in Word". How the computer knows to show a Word icon - is deliberately obfuscated.

Either because MS didn't want to burden the poor user's brain with technical details - or because they wanted Windows to look "smarter" than it really is. I know which one I'd bet on as the larger reason.

London Mayor election day bug forced staff to query vote DB by hand

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Re: If it sounds dodgy, it is dodgy

While I agree that open source is important, that's not going to make it anything like "equivalently transparent". How many people are qualified to read and fully understand the source code?

And the compiler?

And the OS it runs on?

And the hardware the OS is installed on?

If you don't understand all of that, how can you be confident you really know what it's doing?

The only really, meaningfully "transparent" system is the one where people sort bits of paper into piles, and count them. In front of as many witnesses as can be bothered to turn up. Anything else is a huge loss in transparency.

Non-US encryption is 'theoretical,' claims CIA chief in backdoor debate

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This is a trial balloon. Nobody thinks "mandatory backdoors" is going to pass. Brennan and Wyden are both going through the motions because it's their job, but there's no point getting excited about it.

We're being distracted from something, the question is: what? TTIP? Safe harbor?

Lone hacker claims to have broken into US Democrat servers

veti Silver badge

"... much of the data within the files is several years old"

Sounds pretty authentic to me. Lots of organisations will hoard countless old versions of files on their main server, while (depending on their own competence) using only up-to-date versions for actual operations.

If there are old files - well, it's far from conclusive, but it is consistent with the "hacked DNC server" story.

'I am not a lizard' Zuckerberg proclaims in public Q&A

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Note to Jerry Seinfeld

Butlers don't open doors, unless the house is lamentably under-staffed. Porters or footmen do that. A butler's job is to manage all the other household staff.


Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

veti Silver badge

By "rudimentary understanding of gravity"...

... I gather they mean, "things fall down".

A more reasonable way of putting it would be that cats understand the concept of "containers". But I don't think that's news to anyone who's ever shared a home with a cat.


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