* Posts by Dog11

92 posts • joined 28 Aug 2010

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Worst of CES Awards: The least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable

Dog11
Alert

Re: It is an all out war on ownership by the bilionaires

Lawmakers' only job should be to make laws, and the potential targets of those laws must not be allowed any influence.

The problem is, that might be you, objectiing to a proposed law that would require demolishing your house. It's very difficult to construct the right dividing line. Should your council be allowed to advocate to lawmakers that all houses in your area be painted green? How about object to plans to replace them with a toxic waste dump?

Dog11

Related to #5, you've got to trust that the server will not do an update (perhaps a "security update") that in any way changes the algorithm it uses to generate results.

Dog11
Big Brother

Re: "the marginal cost of sharing and making copies of things is pretty close to zero"

30% is the traditional retailer mark-up. For goods that the retailer must first purchase with their own money, without being certain the goods will sell. For retailers who maintain a bricks & mortar store and perhaps a warehouse to hold their stock, hire sales clerks, buy insurance, deal with recalls, and collect and submit taxes (in LeftPondia there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of differing and sometimes overlapping tax jurisdictions, yes of course that's inefficient and confusing).

Mozilla founder blasts browser maker for accepting 'planet incinerating' cryptocurrency donations

Dog11

Re: Cryptocurrencies are a scam?

> According to my Iranian friend Iran’s not as stable a country as everyone would like it to be either.

Since 6 January 2021, we've seen that the USA isn't as stable as everyone would like, as well.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Dog11

Re: Colour me impressed...

Depends on what you're comparing NTSC to. For OTA antenna video and marginal signal strength, it just degraded, where digital would have been completely unusable. (I grew up with B&W TV down in a valley, with 2 TV stations visible through heavy snow. It was still good enough to watch Emma Peel.)

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it

Dog11
Facepalm

Re: Despising the company/customer loyalty

Ah, Virgin has adopted the American way. Our big vendors of consumer services (in this arena, ATT, Verizon, Comcast, CenturyLink or whatever name they're going by this week, etc.) are pretty much all like that. Your only hope is to find a small company that has not yet achieved monopoly or arrogance.

Swooping in to claim the glory while the On Call engineer stands baffled

Dog11

Re: Hands On

Translates for Left--Pondians as "Vice-Grips".

Server errors plague app used by Tesla drivers to unlock their MuskMobiles

Dog11

Re: For the record...

Non Tesla owner question. If you have the keycard, what's the benefit of a paired phone?

Dog11

Re: 'In gear' vs 'handbrake on'

Leaving it in gear (or "park") mostly works. But if you park on an incline, and your front (assuming FWD) wheels are sitting on ice, and the day warms up to above freezing, it'll slide downhill if the handbrake isn't also on. Ask me how I know. Well, I guess if the rear wheels are also on ice, it'll slide anyhow. But I wouldn't think a little rust on the disks would prevent releasing the pads, though it does make for noisy brakes until you've worn the rust off the disks.

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes

Dog11
Mushroom

Re: Positive signals

Much the same for the US F102 interceptors in the late 1950s. Their task was to fly west on afterburner (very fast, fuel hog) to meet the Russian bombers, shoot them down until they ran out of missles. At that point they wouldn't have enough fuel to return home, so they were to end their mission by ramming a final bomber.

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom

Dog11
WTF?

Re: Way Back...

Not necessarily redundant (unless you were going to spring for hardware and training for the typing pool). Otherwise letters would go to the typing pool as illegible scrawls. Though a good typist who knew the terminology and the authors could often fake it, improving grammar in the process.

Pulling down a partition or knocking through a door does not necessarily make for a properly connected workspace

Dog11
Flame

Re: I remember Grandma's houses wiring

Eh, my knob & tube was replaced. By single strand bitumen & cloth insulated wires (the multiconductor cable that left-pond calls "Romex" had apparently not yet been invented). House retrofitted with electric in maybe the 1920s (original lighting was gas). Since construction c. 1900 it has seen much inventive work by mechanics and such. More recent addons by electricians and pretenders of various vintages. (One private inspector said "that brand of panel (maybe what Brits call consumer unit? holds all the circuit breakers) is only used by DIY, not electricians). I am normally competent (have done new-house wiring elsewhere unofficially) but don't dare touch any of this stuff. If you disturb it, the insulation starts falling off. But I've lived here 30 years, give it another 20 and I'll be beyond caring what happens.

What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

Dog11

Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

Vivaldi hurts my eyes, and I'm not willing to spend the time to customize it so it doesn't. Pale Moon is a good fork from what Firefox used to be, And the UI doesn't keep changing lika a kalidoscope. Works for me.

Anonymous: We've leaked disk images stolen from far-right-friendly web host Epik

Dog11

Anonymous Coward

"Free speech...has never, however, been unbounded. Everyone agrees that you can't shout fire in a crowded theatre, or post classes of obscene images, or advocate terrorism. "

No, "everyone" does not agree. You can't falsely shout fire. Some of us don't give a crap about what classes of obscene image you post, so long as they're not in the El Reg comments. And the problem with advocating terrorism is, that's always defined by the government in a way that excludes their own acts (e.g. drone rocket attack on automobile containing family with many small kids doesn't count, assassinations don't count if they're done by government employees, etc.).

In any case, in the US "free speech" is (in theory) free from government interference, but that doesn't mean that any private party is obliged to aid your saying it.

So I’ve scripted a life-saving routine. Pah. What really matters is the icon I give it

Dog11
Holmes

I believe some cities in Japan did likewise, issued consecutive numbers as buildings were built. I expect that when there were only a handful of buildings, it seemed perfectly logical. And now that there's a lot of buildings, it's too late to change.

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

Dog11
Childcatcher

Re: This is confusing

"I fail to understand why so many people in America have to describe themselves as though they are still a national of whichever country they or their parents migrated from"

As an American, I have no idea. Perhaps it's because most of us descend from immigrants (the real history of America was with the original inhabitants, but they are marginalized and don't count). As a country, we don't have much history. Perhaps it's because few other tribal groups are options, clans etc. didn't transplant en masse. So we have ersatz clans, much like football fans do. Perhaps it's an attempt to have pedigrees. We mostly don't know much about our ancestors who are more than a few generations removed, those ties were broken when they immigrated.

Don't you (wherever "you" are) create real or imagined ties to the past? Do they go back before, say, 1800?

Go to L: A man of the cloth faces keyboard conundrum

Dog11

What? You have to look at the keyboard when you type? That was the first thing the teacher beat out of us, when I learned.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Dog11

Re: The knob......

I have great respect for the ingenuity that secretaries can provide, when sufficiently motivated.

Dog11
Go

Re: The light..

@JG The idea is probably low cost, only a few pennies to add. Put a neon indicator across the switch contacts, If the switch is off, there will be mains voltage between the contacts.and it will light up. If the switch is on, the neon gets bypassed.

Linus Torvalds tells kernel list poster to 'SHUT THE HELL UP' for saying COVID-19 vaccines create 'new humanoid race'

Dog11

Re: Man makes idiotic statement on a mailing list...

Any post that includes the phrase "virtue signaling" or "SJW" automatically goes into the dustbin.

FBI paid renegade developer $180k for backdoored AN0M chat app that brought down drug underworld

Dog11
Big Brother

Re: Just think and consider for a moment ...

Zero, according to the police. It might even be true, but the police would say that regardless. Or maybe they're assuming that there are so many laws that no one can go through the day without violating at least one of them.

Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs

Dog11
Boffin

Re: Hardware dongles?

At one point, I was accused of spamming Google's captcha because I was on a crowded network. If that happens, you have no method of bypassing it and just have to wait an hour and hope for the best when you try again.

That happens to me periodically, but I'm on a VPN and just switch to another VPN server (if I can do so without interrupting anything else my computer is doing), or to a different browser that bypasses the VPN..

Tor users, beware: 'Scheme flooding' technique may be used to deanonymize you

Dog11
Holmes

Re: Pretty unreliable

I tried 5 different browsers (Edge, Firefox, Vivaldi, Brave, Pale Moon). Edge and Brave returned the same fingerprint, Vivaldi and Firefox gave different fingerprints, Pale Moon hung wanting to know what app to open the Skype bit with. All seemed to think I had Skype (I don't), and Spotify was popular (don't have that, either). Firefox thought I had all 24 of the apps tested. So the demo isn't very threatening. Yet.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

Dog11

Re: Where’s The Effing Ignition Lock!?

That was nice, but for its ancestor Saab 93, the starter was a T-handle under the center of the dash. Right next to the little chain that could pull up a window shade between the grille and the radiator, to make it warm up faster.

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off

Dog11
Big Brother

Re: Two wrongs do not make a right: three lefts do

But 3 rights makes a left. The US's J. Edgar Hoover required his chauffeur to do that. Whle it's tempting to ascribe the habit to his political preferences, it was because they'd once turned left and been hit by another car. (the US reins of power weren't in the hands of the rational 60 years ago, either).

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us

Dog11

Re: Keep on AdBlocking

> - Not using Chrome or any browser based on Chrome

Pale Moon. It's a fork from Firefox. And the GUI doesn't keep changing..

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

Dog11
Flame

Re: Failing switches?

throw that antique wood-burner away and get a Weller before you burn your house down.

Nah. Soldering irons (which is what I'd call them when they weigh a pound or so and are a foot long, too big with too much heat for electronic use) don't have switches. Nor do soldering pencils (which is what I'd call the small low-wattage ones similar to a wood-burner), unless maybe they connect to a temperature controller that has a switch. The only real danger is forgetting they're still hot and getting burned. Soldering guns like the Weller or Wen have trigger switches.

Dog11

Re: My favourite

I think they used tiny amounts of tritium to trigger the ionisation

I used to make neon sign stuff, and we didn't need radioactives to make them light up, even though the electrodes were a number of feet apart and around several corners, unlike a NE-2 where the electrodes are a couple of mm apart. We didn't need heated electrodes like in a fluorescent tube, which is just an argon flavor of "neon" lamp with a coating that glows, to get them started, either. Though we did introduce a tiny bit of mercury before sealing them up, and use ballasts that provided anywhere from 6KV to 40KV,

The engineer lurking behind the curtain: Musical monitors on a meagre IT budget

Dog11

Re: Screen trick

Ah yes. I once had an obnoxious regular (HR mgr for a client) who instructed for a particular computer 'leave the hard drive on my desk'. So I maliciously did just that. She was even more pissed off, but the business manager thought it was funny. OTOH, I didn't work there much longer.

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village

Dog11
Boffin

Re: More to the point

RFI transmission field strength is proportional to the inverse-square of the distance

Only for a point source. One of the takeaways from my college physics class many years ago. A (infinite, but who's counting?) line source falls proportional to distance. A plane source doesn't fall off at all. In this case, if the RF is going out via a wire (mains, cable, telephone), it's a line source until it gets stopped by something (transformer, filter, whatever). Hard to direction find on, too.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

Dog11

Letters, because that gives you a larger character set, and more permutations. In the US, plates are provided by 55 (or so) subdivisions (states, territories, DC) and they all have different rules. Where I was a kid, 2 letters identified the county and 4 digits. Where I am now, the pattern was "ZZZ 999" until they used that up, and switched to "001 AAA". That's enough permutations to last over 7 years, the maximum lifetime of a plate. Except for custom plates, the numbers and letters are always segregated.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

Dog11

Re: I remember when voice-activated assistants like Alexa first started rolling out...

...and the story made the local TV news. Where the newsreader recited the "Alexa, buy this" line. Turns out in a lot of houses, Alexa lives within earshot of the TV.

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

Dog11
Holmes

Re: Oxymoron alert

"While cleaning up a directory, I was annoyed by two files persistently listed, "." and "..".

I finally typed del .. & pressing enter...... nothing"

I had a client who was a neatnik that did that. I had no idea it was even possible (surely there would be klaxons blaring and dire warnings, no?... no). We did recover, but it was a long time ago and my memory is droppiong bits. Probably with UNERASE and a good deal of puzzling what the first letter of each filename should be (MSDOS would replace that character with a placeholder to signify that the file was erased).

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Dog11
Flame

Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

"That takes me back around four decades, to Apple ][s with crappy monitors which got very static and gave me a facial rash"

I was working in a place that had IBM Displaywriters, and one of the secretaries complained that hers gave her a rash on her arms. Whether it was the static itself, or the dust that it collected, or psychosomatic, adding a filter over the CRT made of conductive glass that was grounded stopped the complaints.

Re the showers of sparks, I never did see that, though occasionally a monitor died with a faint burning smell. But I wasn't present the day that the cat who slept on top of my 21" monitor got attacked by another cat and lost control of her bladder. Diagnosis on that one was by smell, too.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

Dog11

Re: Thoroughly deserved

A "significant level of punishment" is clearly the only language police understand, as well. And they're appalled when one of theirs is occasionally charged for their crime, even though convictions are rare.

But it would be poetic justice if the arsonist and the former cop end up as cellmates.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

Dog11
Boffin

Re: Funny that

Eh, I had one client who accidently switched the default language of Windows. To Hangul (Korean). Fortunately, all the windows system stuff works the same, and if you've done settings enough you can figure how to change it even if you can't read any of the options.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

Dog11

Re: Not quite Windows

Personally, I always liked the error messages in haiku form:

Chaos reigns within.

Reflect, repent, and reboot.

Order shall return.

Ransomware scumbags leak Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX documents after contractor refuses to pay

Dog11

Re: Pity

make nuclear weapons obsolete, so that the United States can have something better, with which to effect regime change in Russia and China

We badly need to effect regime change in the United States and the UK, too.

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

Dog11
Go

Re: Beware survival bias

In my experience, 8" floppies were far more reliable than 5.25, and vastly more than 3.5. They would remain usable after physical damage that would kill a 3.5. I never had read problems even when the disk was 10 years old. (I really should dig the hardware and disks out of the attic and see how they've held up 25 years later, but probably the electrolytics and the rubber bits have gone bad.) I think the big difference is that 8" has much fatter (and thus more redundant) tracks.

Google product boss cuffed on suspicion of murder after his Microsoft manager wife goes missing, woman's body found, during Hawaii trip

Dog11
Holmes

Re: Well done The Register for not ignoring the question of feminicide in the world

Most people who are killed, are killed by people they know. Killers are far less likely to have a beef (real or imaginary) with strangers. I don't doubt that women come out on the wrong side of killings by intimate partners/family members, though.

A Notepad nightmare leaves sysadmin with something totally unprintable

Dog11

Re: Support ticket

Muscle memory. Your fingers know that you need to hit "save & exit" to avoid losing work. If your brain knows better, it will start screaming at you a nanosecond after you've clicked or depressed the key.

Dog11
WTF?

Re: That triggered a memory...

I had a neatnik client who tidied up his drive by deleting junk files, including "." (and maybe ".."). It had never occurred to me that was even possible. Fortunately, at that point he wasn't able to overwrite the erased files..

Where's our data, Google? Chrome 79 update 'a catastrophe' for Android devs with WebView apps

Dog11

You mean, store backup to a server when a connection becomes available, the same as the typical PC program (MSWord etc.) does?

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Dog11
Alert

Re: Knob and Tube

Eh, that's normal for old US houses. Mine was built before electricity (the walls had gas jets for light). Then came knob & tube. Then upgraded to individual wires (no cables) insulated with bitumen (or rubber, now it's just a brittle black material) and fabric, the stuff that when iit gets old all the insulation falls off if you disturb it, and a single neutral cleverly serving several circuits. Connections twisted together and (I think) soldered, wrapped with friction tape. Then Romex (2-wire cable). Only later was work done with plastic sheathed cable with a ground wire (and sometimes surface-mount conduit). Somebody added a ground wire to some of the fixtures, stapled to the woodwork and going who knows where. The K&T is gone now, and the gas pipes disconnected, but everything else I disturb as little as possible, so far so good. I'm banking on the fact that CFL/LED illumination has significantly reduced the load to save me.

Bad news: 'Unblockable' web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much

Dog11

Re: Come the revolution...

SpaceX has been designated as prime contractor for the B ark.

Can't you hear me knocking? But I installed a smart knocker

Dog11

Re: The joys of automation...

A physical lock with an old fashioned brass key that could get picked

You must have a higher class of burglar than we do. Here, the height of sophistication is to check to see if the doors or windows are unlocked, before just smashing things until they're in. They once smashed a window in my truck to break in, without noticing that the door wasn't locked. Stole a GPS that I'd paid $10 for at a rummage sale.

Judge shoots down Trump admin's efforts to allow folks to post shoddy 3D printer gun blueprints online

Dog11

Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

In the US, if you can't buy a gun legitimately...

You can buy an "80% lower" (the lower receiver is what is deemed to be "the gun", and 80% completed counts only as a chunk of metal) that will require a bit more do-it-yourself machining to complete. There is no restriction on purchasing that, or any of the rest of the parts. You might not be able to legally possess the finished product, but who's to know? Or, you can buy a black powder gun (think reproductions of 19th century revolvers), which doesn't count as a gun either. But in all honesty, it likely wouldn't be difficult to find a proper factory-made gun, perhaps purchased from a private party who doesn't ask too many questions.

In a lot of other countries those angles may not work, though..

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look

Dog11
Mushroom

Re: Been there. Done that.

Back in MSDOS days, I had a client who was a neatnik. He deleted all the junk files, including the ones named "." and "..". It had never occurred to me that would even be possible.

Dog11
Holmes

Re: Been there. Done that.

Functional grouping of icons. I do that myself. With 88 desktop icons, you need a system. Security, utilities, video editing, sound editing, graphics, communications all have their own cluster. No digging through layers to find them. Besides, if I don't have the icons in front of me, I forget I have the programs, some of which I might use only once a year. It's like desk drawers, anything that goes into a drawer leaves the known universe. And yes, I do have a program (I will NOT call it "an app") to restore the icons to their proper positions after Microsoft randomly rearranges them.

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