* Posts by Willie T

36 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jun 2010

Renewables are cheaper than coal in all but one US location

Willie T

Re: But El Trumpo says...

"venture into the wilderness"? I live in a very suburban part of the United States and we have several bald eagle nests in this area, frequently they fly over my backyard at treetop level. We also have scores and scores of windmill farms just a few miles away on farmland (where they don't interfere at all with the crops being grown all around them) and the bald eagles seem to be thriving and growing in numbers every year.

If a particular animal species was literally being driven to extinction by something, like the pesticides that have been banned because they caused bird eggs to fail to hatch, that would be one thing. But we have for generations allowed things that kill some animals indiscriminately - as long as the numbers are low and the benefit outweighs the harm (in public opinion): airplanes, automobiles, coal plants, etc.

So, don't blame tree-hugging eco-freaks for accepting bird deaths for clean energy, this trade-off has been going on for generations before anyone cared about the environment.

Willie T

I know you don't like it, but...

Easy to say government subsidies are making renewable more competitive and cry foul. But the fact is the subsidies are for investing in renewables and for switching costs, not for ongoing operations. Renewables became more efficient cost-wise than coal some time ago, with major improvements in technology and materials as well as cost improvements from scale. But the cost of swapping out coal has always been prohibitive. So, the subsidies remove that barrier.

You can be in love with coal, hate renewables, believe all the FUD around the switch, but it is simple economics tied to public policy. If a majority of people think we need to reduce burning coal to fight pollution and slow climate change (they do) and if public policy wonks have determined it will take government investment through tax breaks to make that happen (they have) then we get where we are today. In the future energy will cost less at the point of generation and will save other intangible costs in health benefits of cleaner air. Unless you happen to be one of the unlucky ones to get that "windmill cancer" our former President (sic) warned us about.

Microsoft, GitHub, OpenAI urge judge to bin Copilot code rip-off case

Willie T

Really depends on the code generated, doesn't it?

If the answer you get back is a copy of something fed to the learning algorithm then it could be a violation of the license terms, depending on what those terms are. But if it is a solution based on the aggregate learning of ingesting multiple similar solutions then I don't see the problem - but then again I'm not a copyright lawyer.

How is this different from what every developer does in the age of the Internet: you get assigned to create a new function, you don't have it in your pre-existing library, you search the Internet for examples and then write something similar using what you find as a guide. Of course you can't copy/paste the found code into a commercial application - unless the license says you can.

Experts warn of steep increase in Java costs under changes to Oracle license regime

Willie T
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After years of security folks trying to kill off Java for security reasons, finally Oracle is doing it for us! Now, if they would only take on Adobe next...

Appeals court already under fire for upholding Texas no-content-moderation law

Willie T

Typical conservative “victim”

…assuming only their comments are being moderated by those liberal (yeah, right) social media companies. If they only knew how many times my comments suggesting they do something unnatural to their own bodies were blocked by automatic moderation!

Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use

Willie T

Free lunch?

Why does everyone on the Internet insist on services they get being free? You all realize that even with free services the company providing them is getting something in return from you.

Yahoo mail is my “junk mail”, it is my oldest mailbox (dating back to mid 90s) and I use it exclusively for things that require an email address and I don’t want to give out one of my other ones. Still, I pay $20 a year for the “ad free” version so I can read it from my favorite email client.

Same as paying for an annual O365 family subscription - I’d rather give someone a small amount of $ and know what the cost is vs. getting something for free and wondering what I gave up in the terms of service.

Microsoft prepares for its staff to return to Washington sites

Willie T

The New Normal

With a few exceptions, I don't think business will ever be back to 2019 "normal". Although working from home was getting to be more and more acceptable before COVID, this has really opened up a lot of eyes on the topic. Also, I will say what others have said: If you have an employee who is slacking off at home, probably they were slacking off in the office too. Easier to measure quantity & quality of work rather than how much time you spend sitting in a cubicle (or spare bedroom).

As for me, my work for 8 years before COVID consisted of traveling nearly every week of the year to a customer site Sunday evening and flying back home Thursday evening. It was considered impossible to do my job without sitting next to the customer in a conference room. Now, 2 years later, we are not even planning to include travel budgets in new contracts, unless the customer absolutely insists on it. Most are happy to save the $ now that they see we can accomplish the same work for less expense.

How to polish the bottom line? Microsoft makes it really hard to claim expenses, say staffers

Willie T


Total rubbish. Talk about taking a grain of sand and polishing it into a pearl - well done Reg!

I have worked in corporate IT for over 35 years, in all of those roles I did extensive travel and filled out numerous expense reports. I’ve seen the spectrum from reasonably efficient to utterly infuriating.

The last 10 years I have been with Microsoft in a role where I have expenses to claim almost every week. I have never used an expense system that is easier to use, simpler or more efficient use of my time to satisfy the requirements for accurate reporting.

Of course once a year you come upon an edge case where you need to ask a few questions to get it right, so maybe that was the situation that prompted the original post. But then again, the poster even admitted this is just not a strength of theirs.

Oh well, should have expected nothing less from you on a slow news day. :)

Microsoft revenue up by a fifth as world shuffles through the pandemic into the metaverse

Willie T


“ when the Titanic capsized, half of it was at it's all-time highest elevation and at that point turning it around wouldn't of changed much”

Possibly the worst analogy of all time.

How about: Nadella has patched the hole in the Titanic, upgraded the engines and installed a hydrofoil - ship is flying along at top speed now.

There, fixed it for you!

Microsoft previews $3-a-user Defender for small biz types

Willie T

"The future is in AI and heuristic detection of virus behavior patterns."

You clearly know very little about how Defender works.

Love or hate your IT dept, money talks – and tech workers are getting more of it

Willie T

Re: Laugh

So "Big IT corporations make billions... 150k salaries are scraps given the value they get out of the workers"? I think the reason you haven't started your own business is you have no clue how business works.

I work for one of those "Big IT corporations". I am paid a good sum more than 150k. My benefit package is fantastic. This is not to brag, just to say that I know how much my total compensation package (including all overhead) costs my employer. And since my role is working in services where we are billed out by the hour, I also know just how much my employer is profiting from my work. Given the costs they have to assume to keep me working (sales, management, HR) and a reasonable return for investors, I happen to think the whole arrangement is quite fair. Certainly happier than some of my acquaintances who run their own business, work themselves to death, hoping someday it might blossom into something that pays them well enough to retire on.

To each their own, I'll stick with getting screwed over by my Big IT employer.

NFTs not annoying enough? Now they come with wallet-emptying malware

Willie T

Bring on the Sniper Bots!

I'm all for autonomous sniper robots, if we can have them directed by a bot net that only targets ransomware operators.

(joking... well, mostly)

Willie T

Re: What took them so NFTing long?

Or, as I have heard it put, "A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place."

The swift in-person response is part of the service (and nothing to do with the thing I broke while trying to help you)

Willie T

Hence the reason for AdminSDHolder

The whole "locking yourself out of the room you've left the keys in" problem is why the AdminSDHolder object and SDProp process exists in Active Directory. Certain built-in accounts can't be de-privileged because the OS just stamps their privileged back again on a regular basis. I'm guessing before that was in place Microsoft support engineers fielded a few calls from admins in tears.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Willie T

This is news?

Must be a slow news day? This has been the standard for electronic documents for years now. As a tech guy in my 50s I was taught typing with 2 spaces following end of sentence. It has been many years since I was rudely corrected by a millennial editing my docs that I was hopelessly behind the curve. And I believe Word has been flagging my accidental double-spaces as typos for some time now.

But don't let this discourage the MS haters from piling on - enjoy yourselves :-)

Join us on our new journey, says Wunderlist – as it vanishes down the Microsoft plughole

Willie T

"Microsoft wants to be Google and Apple"

You realize that on the consumer side Google & Apple have been eating Microsoft's lunch with integrated and locked down ecosystems? The Windows Store is the response to the Apple Store. Your Microsoft Account is so you can sync data across all apps - just like your Google Account. Of course it is going to be integrated into everything else Microsoft, that is the power of an ecosystem. And if it doesn't also have hooks into open standards and support use with competing platforms it will die. This is reality today whether you get your app from Apple, Google or Microsoft. And that independent app you love will get bought out by one of them if gets too popular and they can't code a better version. Welcome to 2019!

Chef melts under heat, will 86 future deals with family-separating US immigration agencies

Willie T

Re: Screw Chef

I don't believe for a minute you are a sysadmin who will now stop using Chef. What I do believe is you are a political troll that is trying to make it look like this is going to hurt the company financially. I don't think they give a rats ass whether you use their software or not - clearly large contracts like this are what they are live on. Most likely they made a business decision that - barring a few idiots like yourself - most customers would be more likely to do business with them if they didn't have this stain on their reputation.

Imagine an Upside Down world where a vastly inferior OS went on to dominate... Stranger Things have happened

Willie T

Re: We are in the crazy universe.

Sorry but I ran OS/2 Server as a plant LAN admin for 2 years. As soon as I was allowed I "sensibly" switched to Netware. And eventually, when NT 3.51 was available as a server O/S, we migrated to that. All the application support & GUI goodness (& a bit more buggy than Netware) but infinitely more stable than the crap-tastic OS/2.

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user

Willie T

"for the Rolex wearers" - spot on my friend! Both require you to pay much more than something is actually worth to get a product that is good but not nearly as good as it's reputation and can be beat by less expensive competitors. In other words, people who care more about appearance than practicality.

I say this having recently switched to an iPhone 7 myself (US carrier had a buy-one-get-one promotion) and I am thoroughly unimpressed. I finally joined the cult to get a device where all apps are available & full featured, plus it works with everything I want to integrate it with. This is much more due to the popularity of the phone than it is to any design or feature advantage. I'll keep using mine until it dies, gets dropped or stolen. No interest in the X, even at half the price.

Missed patch caused Equifax data breach

Willie T


And people thought Microsoft was awful for forcing automatic patching on end users. If only they could do that to their corporate customers.

Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

Willie T

Someone must have published one of the April 1st articles early as this is obviously a joke. Everyone knows that Apple products "just work" and never require users to fiddle with such mundane things as settings, cache, cookies, etc. And crash? Never!

This is obviously a story about a Windows user that someone replaced all the references for IE & PC with Safari and MacBook. After all, we know nothing on those crappy Windows machines ever works and they crash constantly - every version, including all future ones.

Windows 10 bombshell: Microsoft to KILL OFF Patch Tuesday

Willie T

Training recommended?

@gollux - If you are responsible for a Windows 2012 R2 server and it is installing patches and rebooting overnight without your knowledge or approval then perhaps you should consider some basic training on the O/S you are managing.

I had a co-worker who often used a phrase in meetings (going way back to the Windows NT days) to describe the difference between machines that blue-screened frequently compared to ones that ran for months at a time with no issues: "Any idiot can run setup.exe". If you are moderately educated as to the capabilities of your OS and best practices for operations you will have much more success regardless of which flavor you choose to run.

Cisco boss Chambers: It's our fault H-1B visa shakeup is struggling

Willie T

My experience has been the same

I will qualify by saying nothing is true 100% of the time. I have worked with very competent folks here on H1b visas. And I have worked with citizens who are recent college graduates that couldn't pass the basic HW/SW A+ certification. That said...

I can give you the names of 6 college graduates from the last 3 years (relatives & children of friends) with IT degrees that were very competent, just lacking experience. Searching for months, applying everywhere, no offers. Forced to take a non-tech job to pay the bills.

In the same time period I have worked with 3 times that many H1b workers who don't have an effing clue. You are literally teaching them Computers 101 concepts in trying to work with them. I know they graduated from some sort of technical training in their home country to qualify for the job but there is no way they have the same level of education as a 4 year degree from most American universities. And I have seen the legally required postings showing that a job is being granted to a H1b visa with the requisite language showing the salary and stating it is customary for the title and area -- even though it is 70% or less what the job would normally pay.

I have absolutely no objection to a qualified foreign worker coming to the U.S. to do a job. In fact let all the migrants come across our southern border and do jobs for minimum wage that no American is willing to do for that pay. No worries. But stop lying to us and saying you need to bring in skilled people to do IT jobs because not enough Americans have the skills required. If you really need these people so badly then don't saddle them with the "slave" conditions of H1b -- let them come over and do whatever job they want, no restrictions or company lock-in. That should quickly get their wages up to a proper level and put an end to this nonsense.

What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

Willie T

Re: "That connection is symbolic of the partnership we will forge..."

"hp couldn't afford the ink cartridges"

We have a winner!

Google: Go ahead, XP stalwarts, keep on using Chrome safely all YEAR

Willie T

"I remember people complaining when Windows came on 7 3.5" floppies and what memory hog it was."

Need to knock the cobwebs off of your bias. You are remembering Windows from the late 90s. A bit has changed since then, you might want to read up.

Yes, many of the machines running XP (especially the ones that were already old tech when XP was released) won't run Win7, at least not with any decent performance. After that you are as wrong as can be. Windows 7 actually had performance improvements over Vista. Better benchmarks on the same hardware. And anything that was W7 certified would run Win8. In fact the official qualification for a machine to be certified to run W8 was if it was certified to Win7. No promises from MS yet but all indications show the same will probably be true for W10 - any box running W7 or W8 today will be able to run W10 just fine. Truth is that Intel's worst nightmare is Microsoft actually building more efficient OS upgrades (while still stuffing in more features & security). Why should I buy new hardware when my 5 year old PC runs the new OS just fine?

You gave a very valid point for so many home computers not upgrading from XP, then proceeded to slam W7/8/10 on a point that had no merit.

Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

Willie T


How many of the folks posting here have an actual IT career? At a company of more than a dozen employees or so? And do they actual read and/or comprehend the article or do they just see "Microsoft" and go off with their clubs to begin the bashing?

Nothing suggests that the new "social" features in Office will be the same as Facebook, Twitter or any other time wasting social network. Other than the click bait title the article makes it clear that the concept is to allow users to "socialize" work efforts. In other words, if I am about to begin work on a new project I can scan the internal social sites or put out a query to see if anyone else has done something similar. If I remember seeing something about a recent document in a past email I can search for it easier even if it was not shared with me.

Are people really that daft that they believed the new Office features were going to allow us to follow the personal lives of our co-workers? Really? It is a productivity enhancement. The managers that buy into these enhancements aren't quite as stupid as you think they are. The goal is to bring the concept of social networks to work, not the silliness. Sheesh.

Look out, Earth! Here comes China Operating System (aka Linux)

Willie T


Only thing funny about this is your total ignorance of the relative security of current versions of operating systems. Windows Server 2008 R2 was very secure and WS 2012 is leaps and bounds ahead of any flavor of Linux in that regard. Either you don't work in the industry or if you do I feel sorry for the folks who are writing your check as they should really invest in someone who keeps up with current tech.

Amazon won't break into sweat about Google's cloud. Yet

Willie T

Already there, Mate!

Do a search on "Azure Hybrid Cloud". Existing tech and one that MS is using as a primary selling point to customers. I believe VMWare may be heading in that direction but right now Microsoft is in a category of one in being able to seemlessly integrate your on-prem and cloudy bits. Paris, in recognition of her "integration" skills.

VCDX: The elite certification just 105 people hold

Willie T

This is news?

Microsoft has a similar certification for some time now, the Microsoft Certified Architect. All of the details listed on the VMware cert are nearly verbatim what is required for the MCA: years of experience, multiple lower level certs, a major project that you can present and defend to a screening panel, etc. It is also a very rare cert only held by the top level folks in these specialties it is offered in.

I guess their PR department isn't as good as VMware when it comes to getting articles posted in El Reg.

Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

Willie T

Such a display of business acumen!

Amazing to me that Microsoft could be one of the most successful and valuable companies on the planet and yet in one fell swoop (Windows 8): fail to do any market research, completely fail on the design of their product, not pay any attention to what consumers or business wants in an O/S, miss the mark entirely on the direction of user interface and produce software that is slow, buggy and full of security holes all while spending tons of time and millions of dollars on development. Stunning!

Or maybe the people posting comments here are a bunch of uninformed morons who will bash anything Microsoft does regardless of the good reviews, excellent performance benchmarks and glowing reports from security experts on Windows 8. Hmm, which scenario is more likely? I mean really, as much as you would all like to see them fail do you really believe everything you are saying? Or just going for cheap laughs?

Willie T

Re: I'm shocked that Microsoft isn't fighting for the use of the "Metro" trademark

Also consider the possibility that MS may have had a good case in court but decided it was not worth offending a (potentially) large customer.

UK.gov gives nod to .scot

Willie T

New porn domain?

For posting revealing pictures of men in kilts? up.scot

Android out-runs Windows Phone 7 on price comparison site

Willie T
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Good try, but...

Just because your original post and the reply above were completely reasonable and logical, don't expect everyone to take them so. Discussing MS with many people is like discussing Satan with a devout Christian. It is all black & white and their mind is made up way before the discussion begins.

After 25+ years in technology I find it a good indicator of someone's experience and over all knowledge of the field: most of the folks who have been around for a while have a much more practical view of ALL technologies. And those few old-timers that are still fanatical about the whole thing? Well, there are crazies in every profession. :-)

Microsoft confirms Russian pill-pusher attack on its network

Willie T


As a friend, former co-worker and fellow Windows engineer was fond of saying "Any idiot can run Setup!"

I am certain the percentage of Windows back office systems being installed by idiots is much higher than Linux. I've worked with a lot of Linux admins and by and large they are some smart folks. Thank goodness I get to compete against the Windows guys for jobs. :-)


(fixing Windows for 20+ years and loving it!)

Steve Jobs carried 'ninja throwing stars' in hand luggage

Willie T

California, our version of the "nanny state"

This is why I don't live in California. Beautiful weather, crazy people. When they outlaw silly things like nunchaku and shuriken what's next? Rocks? Just look up microstamping of ammunition to see how far out of touch that state is with reality.

Ballmer, black turtlenecks, and Microsoft's next big idea

Willie T

Ah, Young Grasshopper...

If you had started in the I/T field 25 years ago when the dominant players were IBM OS2, Novell Netware, WordPerfect & Lotus, everyone was doing development with Borland tools and no one ran critical business apps on anything but a mainframe you would show a little more wisdom instead of blind hate for anything Microsoft.

Yes, MS has entered a few markets only to flounder, fail and pull out. But they have had just as many where they went from upstart to dominant player - through innovation, aquisition or just plain determination to keep improving until they came out on top. And lets not forget that Apple did not invent the GUI, the MP3 player, the smart phone or the idea of a small tablet computer. Much like Microsoft they saw an market niche with potential growth and tried to make a better product. Competition is good.

Will the Zune, Windows 7 phone or XBox dominate or fade away? No way to be sure, but I wouldn't be scheduling any dances on Microsoft's grave just yet.