* Posts by Twilight

79 posts • joined 11 Nov 2010


UK formally abandons Europe’s Unified Patent Court, Germany plans to move forward nevertheless


Re: You cannot patent an idea

Except that he was in the US and there have been some monumentally stupid patent decisions in courts here. There are plenty of examples of a patent being "xxx on a computer" or "xxx on a wireless device (phone)" where xxx was a well-known concept that have held up for a while (still?) and cost tons of money in court fees and settlements.

As the FCC finally starts tackling its dreadful broadband maps, Georgia reveals just how bad they are


I live in a close-in suburb of a major city but my options are highly limited. I'm sure I show up as fibre served because one provider offers fiber service at $300+/month. There are two reasonable fibre services about 1 mile and 2 miles from my residence but they are slow to expand outwards. Less than 5 miles away is an area served by 5-6 fibre services.

I don't understand why providers are allowed to ALL roll out fibre service in the same relatively small areas and ignore everywhere else. I know they claim that, if they don't, they will lose out on customers but wouldn't they actually gain more customers by rolling fibre out to an un(der)-served area (not meaning rural but even suburbs or other parts of cities)?

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world



Try actually doing some research. A lot of the destruction of black neighborhoods was NOT done by black protesters or rioters. The initial riots in Minneapolis were started by a Caucasian dressed in a gas mask and other gear/clothing to conceal his identity (the gas mask was the same model as used by the St Paul police but is also available to the public (for $300+)). A lot of the rioting and violence was perpetrated by white supremacists.

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


Re: It may be a US "standard", but...

But that's not configurable. What if I want it to flag a single space after full stop as an error?


Re: I don't care whether you use 2 spaces or not...

For dates, the only sane answer is ISO format (yyyy-mm-dd). There's no ambiguity and everyone understands what it means.

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account


I understand this problem for some services. However, it makes no sense for Trello. As the subject of the article pointed out, the boards are associated with an email address (not just with the account) so it should be trivial for Trello to separate which ones are personal vs work.

US judge puts Amazon's challenge to Pentagon JEDI deal into force stasis


Re: Inconceivable

AWS (not sure about Azure) has gov-only zones so JEDI should only be competing with other gov projects for resources.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file


Win95/98 was good. I vaguely recall liking the "classic" theme in Windows XP a little better (the "new" XP UI/theme was pretty bad) - it's possible I did extra tweaking with PowerToys (I so miss the original set of those). I liked Windows 7 but it required some extra installs to fix the worst bits of changes.

I *HATE* the flat design and current color-schemes that seem to be so in-vogue right now.

Forcing us to get consent before selling browser histories violates our free speech, US ISPs claim


Re: Stop the Press

You would think so. However, I can't remember the last time I heard about any executives or board members going to jail for their company breaking the law.

Quick, get the popcorn: Amazon Web Services says Microsoft's benchmarks for Azure are a load of stripe


SQL on EC2? Really?

My first thought was why benchmark SQL on EC2? SQL will (I think) always be cheaper on RDS and should perform the same. Of course, that assumes SQL means a SQL RDBMS and not specifically SQL Server (which may have to be run on EC2 if it is not an RDS option (can't remember off-hand and can't be bother to bring up AWS to check))...

Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard


Re: Contradicting information...

Maybe it's just me but I've never had an Apple (or good third-party) cable (old 40-pin or Lightning) go bad. My wife had one super-cheap (eg non-Apple, non-good-3rd-party) Lightning cable go bad.


There are already multiple companies making good lightning cables. I have cables from at least two other companies that are better (longer, tougher, and some have L-plugs on the USB side) and cheaper than official Apple cables. I have no idea if they licensed from Apple or reverse-engineered the interface...

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


Re: Famous truths...

You do get warranty repairs for free during the warranty period. You only have to pay for "oops" repairs (in other words, you dropped it, your dog ate it, or whatever).

Microsoft Teams: The good, the bad, and the ugly


It could be a good tool but, right now, it has WAY too many issues. Search doesn't work. Wiki functionality is horrible (or was that in Sharepoint). Linking from one thing to another is way harder than it should be. Web apps could be better done separately rather than in Teams. Sharepoint integration is just odd - things you would think would integrate don't and things you wouldn't expect do. etc...

Whistleblowing saboteur costs us $167m bellows Tesla’s accountant


Re: Are you f**king kidding me?

You need a lot more than that. You can turn a petrol car into a BAD electric car by replacing the engine. For a good electric car, you need to design it from the ground up as electric. Tesla has done this and is known for it. I think a few e-cars from primarily petrol vehicle companies have been as well.

Personally, if fast charging stations were more prevalent and the range per charge was 2-3 times what it currently is, I would absolutely get a purpose-built electric vehicle (very possibly a Tesla).

Regardless on if you like Tesla or not, the Model S is pretty universally regarded as one of the best vehicles available (in the US anyway). Of course, the S does cost just a *tad* more than the 3...

US regulators push back against White House plan to police social media censorship


I would love to see the US return to some form of sanity. The "far left" are what used to be called centrists. The middle has moved so far right it's not funny. Way too many people are (somehow) convinced to vote against their own self-interest (ex many people who benefit from the ACA have been convinced to vote for politicians that want to get rid of it). Only in the US do we have health care that is getting more and more expensive with quality getting worse and worse (we now have the highest prices with the worst quality of care in all categories among first-world countries).


Re: nothing can eclipse the constitution. Nothing.

Absolutely no shooters in the US have used assault rifles - those are fully automatic military weapons that have been illegal (without a class III federal license) for decades. The shooters have used so-called "assault weapons" which are nothing more than semi-auto hunting rifles that look like assault rifles. I have no issue with effective gun control but I haven't seen any such thing in at least 20 years proposed in the US. Outlawing "assault weapons" does absolutely nothing without outlawing other rifles with the same characteristics (primarily other semi-auto rifles with the same magazine capacity). It's similar to the law that went through after the Las Vegas shooting - it outlawed bump stocks but did nothing for the other 2-4 devices that do the same thing.

Apple is a filthy AWS, Azure, Google reseller, gripe punters: iPhone giant accused of hiding iCloud's real backend


This is definitely a case that deserves to be thrown out (not sure of the legalities but it should be). As long as Apple provides good encryption (not that hard), it doesn't matter if the data is stored on AWS, Google, directly on iCloud, or whatever.

Crunch time: It's all fun and video games until you're being pressured into working for free


Nothing new here. This has been common practice in the gaming industry for at least 25 years. It's a large part of the reason I never worked for a games company.

Apple loses FaceTime patent appeal again. And again. And again. And again. And again... yes, it's the fifth time


So much wrong with VirnetX

First, they are clearly patent trolls. That *SHOULD* mean they lose any case they bring (but, of course, it doesn't)...

Then there's the matter of their patents that were upheld. I don't actually see *ANYTHING* novel in one of them. The other is novel only in that it combines five blindingly obvious things into one "system". I fail to understand why these patents were (re)found to be valid. Then again, I am frequently shocked by what patents are actually upheld - sometimes, it seems the patent reviews are done by a group of monkeys and then the courts rely on the monkeys to determine if they should have been approved in the first place.

Oracle goes on for 50 pages about why it thinks the Pentagon's $10bn JEDI cloud contract stinks


As others have said, this is basically Oracle whining about not being awarded part of the contract (they know there's no way they could get the whole thing).

At one time Oracle was king but those days are long gone. These days, Oracle is only marginally better than Sybase (which basically hasn't seen much development since SAP took them over).

Gonna be so cool when we finally get into space, float among the stars, work out every day, inject testosterone...


Re: Any side effects ...

Or more frequently in smaller doses. The closer together the shots, the less variance in testosterone levels. Anything less often than once per week and you get fairly large swings in level.


Injections are much more consistent. Dermal absorption of testosterone varies widely between individuals (my skin does not absorb testosterone well at all).

Alexa, are you profiting from the illegal storage and analysis of kids' voice commands?


I'm willing to bet permission for recordings is buried in the Amazon Alexa agreements you have to "read" (yeah, right) and click "accept".

I don't understand why Amazon needs to store the actual recordings though. Voice print can be done without the recordings. Database of lots of info can be done without the recordings. Why does having the recordings benefit Amazon?

IT pro screwed out of unused vacation pay, bonus by HPE after judge rules: The law is a mess but it's still the law


Re: Beware spinoffs; they allow HR policy changes

I took this to mean he was an employee and the contract is the employment agreement (which is a contract).

Hours before Congress backs robocall blocking law, guess what the FCC boss suddenly decides?


I'm just shocked that Pai is making it even more obvious that he's just a shill for big telecom. Okay, not really - he's made it pretty obvious even before he became commissioner.

As the article notes, this is the standard industry (any industry) practice when they have a shill in a key office - throw up some nearly useless "rules" that later get watered down even more in order to avoid any actual laws being passed that might interfere with profits.

Put a stop to these damn robocalls! Dozens of US state attorneys general fire rocket up FCC's ass


Re: AT&T

The DoNotCall list is actually very effective - at blocking legitimate tele-marketers (which is important). However, it does absolutely nothing at blocking scams as they don't care because they are already doing something illegal (so violating DoNotCall is meaningless).

This move by Dropbox will reduce users' files to tiers: Rarely, regularly accessed data now kept separate


Re: Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

$100/year is extortionate? I guess we have very different ideas of unreasonable pricing. I only have about 4 GB of data on DropBox but I have no issue paying $100/year for the service. No issues with data retention on DropBox but I do backup all my DropBox data.

Fee, Fi, bring your own one... Google opens up Project Fi to mobes built by Apple, LG, Samsung


no WiFi calling on iPhone?

I fail to understand the lack of support for WiFi calling on iPhones. My iPhone currently has WiFi calling with AT&T. And why no international hotspots for iPhones? That seems to make even less sense.


Re: Good news

>>>I've used Fi for several years, but I've never recommended it to my friends because the phones have been so flippin' expensive. This is good news.<<<

Generally true but the Moto models were much cheaper than all the others.

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Re: But that wouldn't bring three thousand million, seven hundred and sixty-eight deleted files back

>>> Oh "shock horror" doing a quick sync/backup before updating?

How exactly do you do that when Microsoft can and does arbitrarily decide when your machine should be updated. I've gone down in the morning to find my laptop rebooted after an update overnight (with no prior notice that it was going to be done that night) and I've gotten notices that Windows 10 was updating "right now" to "improve Windows". I have also sometimes gotten "there's an update pending - do you want to update now?" to which I almost always delay a little to let other people find as many issues as possible.


Re: Why even touch user folders? Onedrive

How about Microsoft decouple OneDrive? I have absolutely no need for a OneDrive update (or at all). OneDrive is inferior to DropBox or many other solutions.

US govt confirms FCC's broadband speeds and feeds stats are garbage


Mine is accurate as to who but seems iffy on the bandwidth. I live in an urban area (inner suburb of large metro) and my choices are:

Comcast (they deserve all the hate) listed as 250/25 Mbps - maybe if you live right next to the CO

CenturyLink (if anything, worse than Comcast) listed as 20/1 Mbps (about right)

Nextera (wireless) listed as 6/6 Mbps (no idea - too slow to check out)

and multiple satellite providers which might work for streaming but not work or gaming

So, in reality, we have a choice of 1 (Comcast). We're in the process of dumping Comcast phone and cable tv but really have no choice on internet.

The most ironic part is they just ran two fiber bundles through our front yard for the high school (way more than 1 school needs) but we can't pay to have fiber run to our house.

US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes


Re: Yo! Yank ... Er ....

Basing taxes on zip code does not work. Zip codes do not align to the boundaries necessary to determine local sales tax. My zip code (in most databases) incorrectly places me in an adjacent city that has a higher sales tax. I know of one zip code that is split across 3-4 cities (with at least 1 having a different sales tax). To properly determine locale in the US, you need the full address (not just the zip).

Max Schrems is back: Facebook, Google hit with GDPR complaint


Given that Facebook and Google both pay for their "free" services by doing things with your personal data, I seriously doubt they will ever comply with GDPR in a way that most people want. If they allow people to opt out of their slurping of data then the alternative will likely be a paid service (instead of "free") - personally, I'd be happy to pay a reasonable amount for Google to have GDPR-compliant data usage (however, I'm in the US so I probably won't have that option).

Gmail is secure. Netflix is secure. Together they're a phishing threat


I would be perfectly happy to have gmail stop ignoring dots in email addresses IF all sites actually supported valid email addresses with + in them. It still baffles me the number of email validators on many sites (including government sites) that claim + is not a valid character in an email address.

Over the years, I've gotten lots of emails for lots of people that clearly typo'd their email (and not just a dot difference). I've gotten email from lawyers, order details for an artist in CA, email from doctors, and many other probably important emails. In some cases, I did attempt to notify the sender to the error if it seemed important. By far the most annoying was somebody signing up for a TON of payday loan sites using my email address (fortunately Google sent most of them to spam even without me doing anything).

Man who gave interviews about his crimes asks court to delete Google results


I often like EU law but the whole RTBF is ridiculous. If the original sources exist then it makes absolutely no sense to force Google to remove links to them (for many reasons). If the original sources were taken down or edited and Google still linked them then there would certainly be a case against Google. RTBF is absolutely editing history.

Also, curious, a lot of websites use Google search internally. Would RTBF ruling against Google mean that these sites would not even be able to return results for articles on their own site (assuming they are in the EU)?

Uber: Ah yeah, we pay women drivers less than men. We can explain!


"You're stating your personal opinion as if it were objective fact. It isn't -- it's just your opinion. My opinion is that both types of drivers are annoying, but the aggressive ones are far more so. And it's the aggressive ones who are more likely to endanger my physical well-being."

Actually, you are provably wrong on this one. There have been several studies recently that have shown that the too-slow, hesitant driver is actually far more likely to cause accidents than the aggressive, too-fast driver. Here's a link for a UK article on it http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016721/Slow-drivers-dangerous-roads-cause-crashes.html

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs


Microsoft used to give much better information on each patch (and I would read it and select which ones to install). I think this was on XP - I would even "hide" some updates which would prevent them from being installed or showing up in the list again.

Unfortunately, at some point, Microsoft apparently decided users didn't need to know what the patch was actually fixing and stopped giving any sort of information that would allow us to choose.

Robocall crackdown, choked Lifelines, and pole-climbing: Your new FCC rules roundup


Re: Wait, what?

Robocalls are not illegal in the US. There are restrictions placed on them that are often ignored illegally (most often in my experience is that a robocaller must have a fully automated way to be placed on a do-not-call list (eg "press 9 to be removed from our list")).

Google says broader right to be forgotten is 'serious assault' on freedom


I have to mostly side with Google on this one. If the information is provably false then it should be removed everywhere (including Google). If it is something else, it should be left to a court (similar to expunging records). The very tricky part still comes down to differences in national laws - there are certainly corrupt countries where a court would order information expunged that most other countries would say should be kept and available.

This is something that certainly needs to be addressed but I don't think the current "right to be forgotten" laws in the EU are the correct way to do it.

Another complicating factor is international corporations. Google is (or at least started as) a US corporation but they have branches all over the world. In that case, does only the EU branches/divisions have to follow EU "right to be forgotten"? That seems complicated but may be the most straight-forward approach (I believe Google already does some changes based on country).

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too


Re: What a sad state of mind

The real problem is with the credit agencies. Many companies consider lawsuits as "cost of business". However, this breach at Equifax exposed 143 million sets of PII that will be valuable to criminals for years/decades. Equifax (and the other credit bureaus) need to be held to a MUCH higher standard than Bob's Software Company. The damages assessed on Equifax from this breach should be WAY more than enough to bury the company permanently. Of course, I think the odds of that actually happening are pretty low. :(

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff


I'm not sure why the article is unclear on why Firefox has lost market share. Continuously changing UI, dropping full plugin support, plus (my personal reason I dropped Firefox) continuing to use a single monolithic process (rather than a process per tab as Chrome does which is more secure and much less likely to crash the whole browser).

Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe



This honestly makes no sense. I really hope Google does win on appeal. A comparison shopping service is nothing more than a generic search engine with filters and aggregation. Does the EU actually employ anyone in the courts that understands technology? Comparison shopping was a completely logical (and obvious) extension of Google's general search engine. It may or may not be a separate "market" (whatever that means) but it is the same technology so why wouldn't Google promote its comparison shopping in search? It does the same with Image Search and that is no different (if anything Image Search is more different than comparison shopping from generic search).

Europe seeks company to monitor Google's algorithm in €10m deal


really? this is what they nail Google for?

There are very likely things Google should be nailed for but I don't think this is one. They are penalizing Google for promoting its search engine in its search engine. Comparison shopping/pricing sites are nothing more than targeted search engines. It's no different than penalizing Google for promoting Google Image Search in its Google search results (if anything, Froogle is closer the the core Google engine than Image Search is).

That apple.com link you clicked on? Yeah, it's actually Russian


It's interesting that Chrome 57 is broken. I found a note on the Chromium project that Chrome 51+ should display punycode (rather than the IDN characters) if latin is mixed with either cyrillic or greek (or cyrillic and greek are mixed). Apparently this isn't actually happening (never actually implemented? bug?).

It's also rather disappointing that Chrome has no way to turn off the display of non-english characters in URLs (it's not a fix but it would be far safer for me since I very rarely go to any sites with non-english URLs).

'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss


Re: At the risk of sounding controversial...

>>>This is just business. Build a product. Promote the product effectively. Grow the business. Eat up or destroy the competition. If you're clever, gain monopoly status (or get close to it). If Google had used underhanded tactics to take down Streetmap then fair enough, there's a case to answer. But simply promoting its own product over the competition, on its own website? I'd say that's just tough titties.<<<

Nope. Actually this is exactly what the laws are SUPPOSED to prevent. Google clearly had (and has) the dominant search engine. They (according to Streetmap) used this position to then promote another completely different area of their business to the detriment of (supposedly) superior companies in that area of business.

Assuming what Streetmap is saying is true, this is basically exactly what Microsoft lost its antitrust case for (bundling IE (and other software) into Windows for no reason other than to promote its own product at the expense of other companies because it had the dominant OS).

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious


Re: Couldn't have put it better...

Actualy, Chrome is the #1 browser because it works the best. It has the best speed, the best security, and a robust plugin system (though not as good as Firefox (at least used to be - I stopped using Firefox as my primary browser years ago due to its shortcomings)).

Trump decides Breitbart chair Bannon knows more about natsec than actual professionals


Re: familiar behavior

There are rumors (possibly proof too - I haven't looked hard) that Trump has business interests in the not mentioned countries.

Most of the ones not mentioned are ones that would create a massive headache for State if Trump included them (so maybe he did talk to someone that gave him some good advice). I can't see it going well if he included Saudi Arabia or Egypt (or others).

Zuck quits anti-social Hawaiian land title lawsuit


Re: Of couse, the "sacred Hawaiian land" claims are bogus

How exactly are the sacred Hawaiian lands claim bogus? There have been people on Hawaii for a millennia or more. That's plenty of time to develop sacred lands and such.



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