* Posts by ColonelClaw

436 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Apr 2010


Tired techie 'fixed' a server, blamed Microsoft, and got away with it


Did the name of this software possibly rhyme with DMeaner? I'd be interested to know

Sorry Pat, but it's looking like Arm PCs are inevitable


Is Pat's speech writer Steve Ballmer?

Apple's iPhone 12 woes spread as Belgium, Germany, Netherlands weigh in


Hell of a coincidence that this news comes out on the day of a new model launch.

I personally have an iPhone12 Mini. Ordinarily I'd be happy to keep using it for another 3 years at least, but now I somehow find myself browsing Apple's web site for a replacement.

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding


I'm wondering...

...is Brewster's Millions Elon's favourite film?

Metaverses are flopping – hard – says Gartner


I'd really rather not wear anything on my head if I can avoid it. I already have to wear glasses at work now (eyesight isn't what it used to be), and I hate it. A headset? Forget it.

Singapore tells its people: Go forth and block those ads



It's been a long time since I last looked into which Ad blocker is the best. Many years ago I installed UBlock Origin on my Firefox, and I've been using it ever since. Is it still any good? Is there a better alternative that people here can recommend?

I'd also be interested to know if there are any decent Ad Blockers for iOS and iPadOS. Didn't Apple do something to reduce their effectiveness a while back?

Intel kills $700M liquid cooling lab amid chip slump


Anyone ever worked with fully-immersed kit? What happens when it goes wrong? Do you have to retrieve the bits and let it all dry out? Or get into a rubber suit and dive in?

Seems awfully messy to me

Palantir's Covid-era UK health contract extended without competition


Why do I get this feeling that a current Tory MP will be landing a shiny new job at Palantir after the next election?

What did Unix fans learn from the end of Unix workstations?


Not that I'm precious, or anything, but I would always run a quick 'hinv' on the SGI workstations whenever I switched offices, and craftily coerce my way onto the best machine.

UK bans Chinese CCTV cameras on 'sensitive' government sites


Devil's Advocate

Putting aside politics, what do people here think are the chances that Chinese-made CCTV cameras have a built-in government-mandated backdoor? I'm asking from a purely technical point of view.

Personally I think it's obviously possible, but I suspect keeping it from being discovered would be extremely hard. Given enough time, I feel it would be found, sooner or later. And then there's the human point of view i.e. you have to keep everyone involved sworn to silence for the rest of their lives. It's a tough ask.

As for exploiting the security of the absolutly shite software they tend to ship with (I have plenty of painful experience as an end-user here), I would say that would be by far the easiest attack vector for any government to exploit. So why bother with a backdoor at all? If it was discovered the ramifications would be enourmous.

Only iPhone 15 Pro models will have higher data transfer speeds on USB-C – analyst


This got me thinking, when was the last time I actually transferred anything at all over a cable to my phone? I charge it one of those magnetic mats most of the time, and transfer everything by wifi. Does the transfer speed of the cable matter a great deal?

Logitech, that canary in PC coal mine, just fell off its perch


At the height of the Covid lockdown I purchased one of their web cams for 90 quid. It was the only one available pretty much anywhere. You can now buy the exact same model for 30 quid, along with about a million other different web cams. You'll forgive me if I don't shed a tear for their current predicament.

FreeBSD 13.1 is out for everything from PowerPC to x86-64



Do Apple still use bits of FreeBSD in OSX? If so, what sort of things?

OpenShell has been working on a classic replacement for Windows 11's Start menu


An anecdotal observation

In my office when I build a new PC, or rebuild an old one, I always give my empoyees the option of the natve Start Menu or OpenShell. Every single person has chosen OpenShell.

Meg Whitman – former HP and eBay CEO – nominated as US ambassador to Kenya


Having travelled, and even lived, in Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, if I'm being honest, I'm not sure that Kenya would be top of my list of places to live on this incredible continent. Mind-you I'm probably slightly prejudiced, having been robbed on two occasions within the space of three weeks there!

On second thoughts, this is Meg Whitman we're talking about...

Project Union: Microsoft releases Windows App SDK 1.0, developers try to puzzle it out


Honestly I'm kind-of surprised that Push Notifications weren't the first feature to be implimented. That's if current MS apps are anything to go by.

Microsoft's problem child, Windows 11, is here. Will you run it? Can you run it? Do you even WANT to run it?


Settings/Control Panel

What's the deal with the weird Settings living side-by-side with Control Panel panel thing we've been having to live with up until now? Did MS take the opportunity granted by a Full Version Upgrade to take one out the back and put it out of it's misery?

NASA's Perseverance rover nabs two Martian rock samples for scientists on Earth to study one day


Having recently played through Hideo Kojima's magnum opus Metal Gear Solid V - The Phantom Pain, this article has got me thinking, could some version of the Fulton Extraction System be used on future Mars missions?

Microsoft releases Windows 11 Insider Preview, attempts to defend labyrinth of hardware requirements


So, if Win11 doesn't support PCs older than 2015 (or whatever the year is, I have no idea), then does that mean that MS has taken the opportunity to strip out all of the old legacy code and drivers, thus slimming the OS down to a lean and mean athlete? That would be an actual positive!

I'm not holding my breath...

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009



So if the backup computer hasn't been turned on since 2009, and the main computer is borked, then how do they turn on the backup computer and put it in charge? Wouldn't that require... a working computer? Or is there another computer that controls the computers? If so, I hope it works!

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


Ah, the memories. The ZX-81 was also my first encounter with a computer, my grandfather bought one soon after they first came out. He was a former codebreaker for the Admiralty during WW2, and university professor at Manchester where they had a machine he described as being as large as a room. I still feel particularly sad that he never got to see how modern computing turned out, as he died in 1987.

The one thing that sticks in my mind with the ZX-81 was typing in and running the code for something called "Life", which generated some really interesting (blocky) patterns that evolved over time. It left a huge impression on me, and helped make me into the geek I am today!

Microsoft tells Biden administration to adopt Australia’s pay-for-news plan


"at a time when left-of-centre media outlets already stands accused of wilful falsifications and bias"

Er, pretty sure the right-wing media outlets (Fox News etc) make all the others look like complete amateurs when it comes to wilfully making up complete bollocks?

Intel CEO Bob Swan is stepping down to be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger


Re: Good Lord, he's still alive ?

Not only is he still alive, but he looks about 45 years old. If I didn't know better I'd swear he was a vampire

Back to the Fuchsia, part IV: Google's in-development OS now open to community contributions


From their web site...

"Fuchsia is an open source effort to create a production-grade operating system that prioritizes security, updatability, and performance."

Odd that they don't mention privacy.

Microsoft to charge $200 for 32 GPU cores, sliver of CPU clockspeed, 6GB RAM, 512GB SSD... and a Blu-Ray player


I was just about to post the exact same thing. I would take 60fps at 1080p over 30fps at 4k every single time. Or any res at 30fps.

Framerate > resolution

60 fps absolute minimum.

Rant over.

Apple to Epic: Sue me? No, sue you, pal!


I know it's not possible, but...

In this case I think the best outcome would be for both sides to lose.

For goodness sake, just grow up the lot of you (etc, etc)

Intel couldn't shrink to 7nm on time – but it was able to reduce one thing: Its chief engineer's employment


This right here is why I will never understand the markets; they fire the person responsible for years of mismanagement and incompetence, and their share price goes DOWN?

Incredible artifact – or vital component after civilization ends? Rare Nazi Enigma M4 box sells for £350,000


Out of interest, does anyone know how easy or hard it would be to crack Enigma today using, say, an average office PC?

Document? Library? A new kind of component? Microsoft had a hard time explaining what its Fluid Framework is



Has anyone ever come across a solution looking for a problem more than this? Answers below please!

I'm going to get in early with Clippy, The Ribbon, Win8 Start Menu, XBox Kinect. Hmmm, there appears to be a common factor.

International space station connects 100Mbps symmetric space laser ethernet using Sony optical disc tech


I bet the sysadmin for the Japanese module has suddenly and unexpectedly found him/herself to be the most popular person on the ISS.

"$1000 for the wifi password, did you say?"

SE's baaaack: Apple flings out iPhone SE 2020, priced at £419


If I'm understanding benchmarks correctly, you're getting the best phone CPU and GPU currently available for just over 400 quid. That's genuinely good value, and completely bizarre that it's coming from Apple.

NASA reveals the new wavy Martian wheels it thinks can crush the red planet


I don't know if it's important, but as well as all the points mentioned here already, I notice that Mars is much larger than the Moon, and must therefore have considerably more gravity. Add to that the 899kg weight of the rover itself (nuclear-powered craft can't be lightweight) vs the lightweight 209kg moon rover, and we're dealing with quite a different proposition.

NSO Group: Facebook tried to license our spyware to snoop on its own addicts – the same spyware it's suing us over


Re: Anti-Popcorn?

For some reason I am reminded of the time Fayed and the Hamiltons were in court suing each other over something or other. All I can remember thinking is surely there has to be a way they can both lose?

Microsoft Teams gets off to a wobbly start as the world and its cat starts working from home


IE Flashbacks

Teams - is that the thing I didn't ask for that's mysteriously appeared on every PC on my network? And after you uninstall it, it comes back the next day?

To be serious for a moment, it took me a while to figure out how to permanently get rid of it. Not cool, Microsoft.

Adobe and Slack report buoyant revenues, but is that a COVID-19 iceberg ahead?


Time to buy shares in TeamViewer?

I would expect that this is to be a good time to be in remote desktop software business.

It's calculated Apple leak time: Cheaper iPhone, laptops with proper keyboards, and, oh, a Tile competitor


Re: Tile ?

And definitely not used to track your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend etc etc?

It's a billion-ton, 14-million-mile long mysterious alien formation – and Earth is heading right into it


I wonder if the catastrophic event that happened a couple of thousand years ago was visible to the naked eye if you were in the vicinity of, say, Bethlehem?

MacOS 'Catalina' 10.15 comes packed with exclusive security fixes – gee, thanks, Apple



I found a very handy free app (donationware) that scans for 32-bit apps on your mac, grab it here:


It's by a long-time developer, so is likely to be trustworthy.

Lucas Pope: Indie games visionary makes pen-pushing feel like an exciting career choice


Couldn't agree more with this article - especially the bit about spaffing way too much cash on gaming hardware that gets completely underutilised; I have a 2080Ti, and trust me, The Binding of Isaac runs like a dream on it.

Switch about to get real: Openreach bod on the challenge of shuttering UK's copper phone lines


"But certainly 2025 is the end date."

Not for one second can I see this statement come back to haunt him.

Adobe results show it is still creaming those subscriptions but its share price fell – why?


Pedant Alert

Sorry to be a pedantic git, but as someone who uses Photoshop and After Effects for a living, I thought I'd point out "And what would you use instead of After Effects?" is actually incorrect; it's the one part of the CC suite that actually has decent professional competition. Key rivals are Nuke and Fusion, two packages that are highly regarded by their user base.

But yes, in the case of Photoshop, for how I use it at least, there's nothing that comes even close. Alas.

Eggheads have found a positive link between the number of racist tweets and the number of racist hate crimes in US cities


Just out of interest

I don't suppose they found a hotspot around the area of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA?

How do you like dem Windows, Apple? July opening for Microsoft's first store in Blighty


"There are now around 90 stores in the US, seven in Canada, one in Australia and one in Puerto Rico"

Someone high up in Microsoft's retail department has family/a boyfriend/a girlfriend in Puerto Rico.

'Evolution of the PC ecosystem'? Microsoft's 'modern' OS reminds us of the Windows RT days


(Bullshit) BINGO!

When two tribes go to war... Intel, AMD tease new chips at Computex: Your spin-free summary


"Onto the Zen 2.0 third-generation 7nm Ryzen 7 processors"

What is it with tech companies and their bizarre naming schemes? No doubt they have their reasons, but generally '2.0' and 'third-generation' in the same name is just going to confuse the average punter.

Cocaine, psychedelics, DMT? They sure knew how to party 1,000 years ago: Archaeologists make startling discovery


Re: Not really sure why this surprised anyone ?

And also coming in cultivated around the 8000 years ago mark is the humble grape. Could have been for eating them raw? Or perhaps producing some lovely raisins?

Nah, it was for getting hammered.


iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?


By some strange coincidence you could replace 'Apple iPhone' with 'Nvidia RTX cards' and the prediction would still be correct!

Hubris, eh?

Are you a Windows 1 in 10 (1809)? Or a mighty 80 percenter (1803)?



Exactly my experience too. For whatever reason, even if I go to Windows Update and repeatedly spam the Check for Updates button, it doesn't give it to me. Can't say I'm hugely bothered, but it's definitely still not available for absolutely everyone.

If you ever felt like you needed to carry 4TB of data around, Toshiba's got you covered


Re: This has been available for a while

I think what you all have in common is the randomness of, er, randomness.

I've bought about 15 MyPassports, and 2 or maybe 3 have failed, so I guess you can add that to the sample.

If you want to talk about proper fail, ALL 8 of the 2TB hard drives in my SAS RAID enclosure for video editing have failed over the years! But then again, they do get properly pounded 24/7

What's big, blue, and short on Intel? The supercomputer world's podium: USA tops Top500 with IBM Power9


"the most powerful UK supercomputer was the Cray XC40 installation at the Meteorological Office in Exeter"

Ah nice. I wonder what they use it for?