* Posts by Paradroid

140 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jan 2011


Ex-White House CIO tells The Reg: TikTok ban may be diplomatic disaster


Not sure why you're being downvoted, perhaps it's your final comment, but I think you're absolutely correct on the first point. Theresa Payton is wrong to be concerned about the repercussions of banning TikTok because that already happened a long time ago. Google left China because it wasn't worth it for what they were being forced to do. Facebook tried to get in and never got anywhere despite being run by the worlds biggest sycophant.

Researchers remotely exploit devices used to manage safe aircraft landings and takeoffs


Re: Backup solution?

He won't manage to save the first plane down but that one's always full of British folk so it doesn't really matter.

Mozilla slams Microsoft for using dark patterns to drive Windows users toward Edge


Outlook for Android had a shameful popup that looked like a system card, asking which browser to open links in. It made out like it was possible to just select Edge, when in reality it would have triggered a download due to not even being installed.

I made sure to uninstall Outlook from my phone, and migrate my paid Exchange service. I'm sure MS doesn't care about my £80 a year sub, but I felt a lot better.

Windows 11 unable to escape the shadow of Windows 10


Re: It's not the hardware requirements!

If that's your experience of using it then I won't disagree with you, but I see it the other way round. Why would users be positive about a new UI if they can't even run it? And aside from the UI changes, is there really enough to convince people to go out and buy a new computer? Of course not.

You are 100% right that the aggressive advertising and disrespect of user preferences is a major turnoff though. I blew away the partition and went with Fedora, can't be bothered with it all any more.


As usual, a problem of their own creation

If I understand the Windows licensing model correctly, Windows 11 upgrades are free, but they collect a licence fee when new hardware is sold. You can see where I'm going here.

It was said that the artificially restrictive hardware requirements were to help PC vendors sell more hardware, but it's at least as much about Microsoft bringing revenue in.

Just CHARGE MONEY for Windows upgrades like the good old days. Then you can let it run on any reasonably modern hardware. There is a condition of course - if it's paid software, stop milking users with aggressive pushes for data grabbing apps and complimentary services. Offer them, but once a user makes their decision, leave them alone.

Musk tells advertisers to 'go f**k' themselves as $44B X gamble spirals into chaos


Re: The interview is lengthy...

Exactly right. People are reading the quotes and thinking it's just him being a dick as usual. But watch the video of the interview and this is clearly a different person to the one from ten or perhaps five years ago.

He used to be inspirational in the early days, and this sudden shift to hard-line political views always seemed odd. But there's a huge mental health decline right there to see, just from the way he talks.

Firefox slow to load YouTube? Just another front in Google's war on ad blockers


Hope a link isn't unwelcome but this ad-block situation has prompted an epic deconstruction of Google by Cory Doctorow:


It's both depressing reading and also uplifting to see someone do such a clear analysis of what's likely going on.

Google dragged to UK watchdog over Chrome's upcoming IP address cloaking


Re: This Makes Me Feel Dirty

This is exactly how I'm looking at it. Google looks like they're protecting users privacy but actually they're closing the door on the independent advertising industry, which they can do when they build the tracking directly into Chrome.

The good old Privacy Sandbox. It isn't private and it isn't secure.

UK may demand tech world tell it about upcoming security features


They always trot out CSA and terrorism as excuses to stomp all over everyone's privacy, working on the idea that nobody would dare object.

In quest to defeat Euro red-tape, Apple said it had three Safari browsers – not one


Playing devil's advocate...

I don't know if the regulations permit this level of flexibility but it's fair to say that Safari doesn't have an monopoly on macOS.

But to try and argue the toss with iOS/iPadOS Safari is comical given that even if you choose another browser it's still a skin over safari.

It was in the news a few weeks ago that Apple were set to argue on iMessage as well. Shameful again.

Microsoft calls time on Windows Insider MVP program


Feedback no longer required

Windows is being mined for services profit and data collection. They're never going to get anything but negative feedback from that, so why bother.

The iPhone 15 has a Goldilocks issue: Too big or too small. Maybe a case will make it just right


Re: While the world slowly turns n burns.

No offense to your brother but lots of us called this one a long time ago. The iPhone 6 was pretty neat back in 2014. Since then they did the X which was new and shiny. The rest have been completely iterative.

Beneath Microsoft's Surface event, AI spreads everywhere


Who asked for this?

We've had similar assistants in desktop OS for years and nobody uses them.

This is slightly different but will it matter? It'll probably generate dubious content but that can easily be done already by opening a browser window

Typical Microsoft approach - no vision whatsoever. Throw in the latest crap just to be first, and hope someone likes it.

What most people want from a desktop OS is pretty simple. Good windowing and task management, high efficiency with great battery life. Seamless updates. Respect user preferences and keep data secure.

Good news though, Fedora 39 is out next month.

Florida man insists he didn't violate the law by keeping Top Secret docs


Re: A well written article

Scrolled the serious and gloomy comments to see if someone else noticed this, it really is a brilliant article. Not naming the guy once - genius.

FCA mulls listing rules after Hauser blames 'Brexit idiocy' for Arm's New York IPO


Re: Herman Hauser and his views

Cameron was a reckless idiot for risking it all on a referendum to win the election. However, it was Johnson who threw his support behind it and that's what took it over the line. Suddenly you didn't have to be a Farage thrall to vote leave. And of course, Johnson did it purely for self-gain

Another cloud provider runs to shelter from Microsoft's licensing practices



I don't hate Microsoft but they've always been incredibly greedy. Whatever they have is not enough, which leads to aggressive tactics (pushing Edge), and wild kneejerk reactions like turning Windows into a tablet OS because the iPad.

The Azure DevOps tools really frustrate me when I have to use them. Just enough functionality to make Azure look good to managers, architects, and rule of one zealots, but a pain to use for devs.

It's not always an option but if this country is going to be successful we really need to start buying home grown tech, like Germany just did with Nextcloud.

Central UK govt awards £12M+ contract to leave Google Workspace for Microsoft 365


Re: O365 isn’t radically better.

I'd upvote you twice if I could. Google is of course not perfect but Workspace is incredibly streamlined and easy to manage. In comparison the Office admin portal or whatever it's called this week is a total joke.

This move is classic rule of one thinking where the only thing that matters is having one system. To hell with user satisfaction and productivity.

As a side note the reason I moved from O365 to Workspace is because Microsoft decided to throw up a fake default browser popup in their Android Outlook client to try and trick users into installing Edge. Theres a way to respectfully cross-promote products and that is not it.


Re: Why did it split into two in the first place? Answer enclosed

They had two systems because someone had taste and knew Office 365 was a pile of crap.

AmigaOS 3.2.2 released for those feeling nostalgic


Re: A4000

Yes I had an Amiga Technologies A1200 with Blizzard accelerator, 2.5" HDD and a great WHDLoad setup. Regret selling it but it was worth good money that was needed for something else.

Windows 11 still not winning the OS popularity contest


I'd argue it's the best release since Windows 7 rather than the worst since ME. Windows 10 was ok but still had quite a bit of the failed Windows 8 interface kicking around, and some really primitive UI that made it look like Microsoft couldn't afford a design department. Windows 11 is a lot more polished and consistent.

It's not perfect - the new start menu was initially very limited, and the hardware requirements are frustrating, but on the right machine, it's a really nice OS.


Take a look at that new centred start menu on an ultra-wide monitor, it's a big improvement. I'm currently using a client laptop running Windows 10 and would love to get it upgraded to 11 just for this feature.

Businesses should dump Windows for the Linux desktop


Really depends on the role

I'm a frontend developer, which is one of the most platform-indepedent roles, so it doesn't really matter which OS I use. Although *nix works better so Windows is at a disadvantage (without using WSL).

But how many roles are like that? Many businesses still lock information away in proprietary file formats like Office, and for that, despite there being options available, Windows is strongest.

In my role, Windows actually has the worst software support. It lacks the lovely indie apps of the Mac, and the inbuilt package management of Linux. Ironic given the dominance of Windows in the 90s for software.

Twitter sues Musk: He can't just 'change his mind, trash the company, walk away'


Re: Why aren't Twitter happy

"Musk came in with an offer so high". Awesome pun - even if unintended!

Microsoft backtracks on lack of easy Windows browser choice


Re: For some values of "default"

Yes I'm sure they've kept that behaviour. And in my opinion it's a bug. Why should users have to waste resources firing up Edge for some links if they've chosen to use a different browser and already have it running. There's just no excuse.

File Explorer fiasco: Window to Microsoft's mixed-up motivations


Re: Irritation and security flaws are an intentional feature

You jest but I actually want this option - with a more reasonable price tag of course! Microsoft, please let me pay you per year or per release for a well-maintained, private, secure, ad-free operating system. Oh and it needs to get out my way on choice of web browser, and let me log in with a local account.

Google's Pixel 6 fingerprint reader is rubbish because of 'enhanced security algorithms'


Firm enough press? I find it needs that. Have to press harder than I expect to press on glass, but it likes it


Re: How is this even a thing in 2021?

But is easily defeated by a face mask. And the official workaround is to spend nearly £400 on an Apple Watch


When the S10 launched some reviewers complained about the in-display fingerprint sensor being slow. I've owned an S10+ for nearly two years and have no idea what they're talking about.

Came very close to replacing my phone with a Pixel 6 Pro, but what bothered me more was losing a basic face unlock feature. Having basic face unlock and the fingerprint sensor for biometrics is my favourite setup by far

Facebook posts job ad for 10,000 'high-skilled' roles to 'build the metaverse' – and they'll all be based in the EU


No, Mark

When I watched Ready Player One, I saw the scenes of people wearing VR headsets as a dystopian nightmare. Bizarrely, Zuck seems to have watched it and thought "this is the future, we have to build it". Let's hope he doesn't get round to watching Squid Game.

Apple warns sideloading iOS apps will ruin everything


Re: Law of unintended consequences

A car analogy? Well, you don't have to take your car back to the franchise dealers for a service to maintain your warranty. Although it took government intervention for that to happen.

New GNOME Human Interface Guidelines now official – and obviously some people hate it


Sticking up for Gnome 40

I'm going to defend Gnome 40. Was running PopOS happily but with 21.04, found myself unhappy with the increasing divergence from Gnome 3, and the glitches. Switched to Fedora and am loving the vanilla Gnome 40 experience. Slick and easy to use, with very few pain points.

I agree with the criticism of weird UI simplification, and covering the title bar with controls is an annoyance too, but this is a trend across all OS at the moment. Instead of going deeper on the things that make desktop better than mobile, designers are attempting to make desktop as limited as mobile.

As it stands now, I rate Gnome 40 higher than macOS since they tried to make it look like an iPad with Big Sur.

Apple aptly calls its wireless over-the-ear headphones the AirPods Max – as in, maximum damage to your wallet


Are they serious?

Never mind the price (which does appear outrageous on the face of it), what about the styling?

One of the nice side-effects of paying premium prices for products is that as well as performance, you expect to get premium design. The sort of design that says the owner has taste, like the Bowers and Wilkins range. This latest Apple effort looks like headphones from Smyths Toys. The red/pink colour in particular is horrendous.

The other thing is performance. When the HomePod launched there was a bunch of people who thought the traditional hifi industry had just been made obsolete the way Palm and Nokia were in 2007. Which turned out not to be true of course. It's surely the same here - are these really going to sound massively better than B&W and the Sony WH-100XM4? It's possible I admit, but doubtful.

Chuck Yeager, sound barrier pioneer pilot, dies at 97


Re: To boldly go where no man has gone before

Chuck Yeager's Air Combat was one of my favourites too, played it for hours on end. On a 286 I seem to remember.

Chuck is a legend, sad to see him go, but at least he lived a long, full life and leaves behind a great legacy.

Apple now Arm'd to the teeth: MacBook Air and Pro, Mac mini to be powered by custom M1 chips rather than Intel


Good time to buy Apple shares

Their profit margins on these machines must be very nice. Saving hundreds of dollars by ditching Intel processors, keeping the same basic RAM and SSD specs, omitting various supporting chips, and not passing a penny of saving on to the customer.

Blazor: Full stack C# and Microsoft's pitch for ASP.NET Web Form diehards


Is anyone really going to use this?

For a public web site with accessibility and search engine considerations this is not the right technology. For apps there's big, established players like React, Angular and Vue.

I understand the point that Blazor means C# developers can build web sites without any JavaScript knowledge, but how often is that the right option compared to skilling your devs up in JS, or hiring some front end devs on a permanent or temporary basis. Occasionally maybe, but not often

Microsoft tells staff work-from-home is now ‘standard’ – with caveats galore


Re: Commuting

It's not about where a person works it's about their skills and approach to problem-solving that are the real value.

Apple's T2 custom secure boot chip is not only insecure, it cannot be fixed without replacing the silicon


Re: Surprised?

I mostly agree with you that Apple are not out to prevent other OSs being installed as Apple haters are making out, but the T2 chip was quite a hassle for Linux to work round and was only possible because of the desire of a lot of people. Not much chance of getting anything less common than Linux (e.g. BSD, Heroku) running unless you're prepared to run it off an external drive.

Since the EU won't share all its toys, UK Space Agency fires up fund to support more international collaboration


"The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want" (Michael Gove)

Not one to be outdone by Microsoft, Apple's cloud fell over too. Unlike Microsoft, it hasn't said what happened


It's a miserable, dull day here in the UK

But "At one point even the System Status page reportedly fell over." brightened it up a lots. Thanks for the laugh El Reg.

Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond


Re: The value of Windows is in the API

"The value of Windows is in the API" is 100% right, not sure why you're being downvoted. Have a +1


Re: Okaaayyy

I agree that Edge is a red herring here, but the the idea still makes sense to me. A cheap Windows PC could be even cheaper if Windows became free or almost-free, because the cost of developing it was slashed by switching to Linux with a thin layer over the top.


Re: Opposite will happen

I think WSL/2 is actually the start of it. The parasite its going to eat the host.


I've been convinced of this for some time

I wrote an article about a very similar theory a few years ago, no proof though sorry (on an old blog site that got taken down). The idea for the article came from noticing how much virtualisation is already going on with the Xbox One, a platform that obviously cannot afford poor performance. While Microsoft doesn't always make the right decisions around UI, their ability to write seriously impressive system code has never been in doubt in my mind. So it seems highly likely that we will see Windows morph into a Linux kernel, with maybe a couple of virtualisation layers (one for Windows/Xbox games and another for legacy apps), with a Windows-style UI over the top.

I'm convinced that there are people inside of Microsoft looking at what's being spent to maintain the core Windows OS, who are not impressed. That same opinion is probably behind some of the more aggressive marketing in the OS these days.m And with the performance gap that now exists between Windows and Linux, the writing is on the wall.

(Edit: found an archive of the article, a bit out of date now, but just my claim above doesn't sound like BS) https://web.archive.org/web/20180905111053/http://www.blitterandtwisted.com/2017/02/future-of-windows-linux-and-a-built-in-xbox.html)

Das Keyboard 4C TKL: Plucky mechanical contender strikes happy medium between typing feel and clackety-clack joy


Black lettering on black keys

I've got a black Topre keyboard, and had a choice of white or black lettering. Thought it would be big and clever to go for black lettering but I do find myself regretting it at times, in certain lighting conditions (e.g. home office) it's not easy to read at all.


It's probably the other way round. I code and don't use a number pad, so tenkeyless is ideal for me. People who don't code are likely to spend more time in office tools like Excel, where it becomes useful.


For plenty people, a tenkeyless keyboard is a great option.

The review says it's ideal for smaller desks, but this misses a much more important advantage - it puts your mouse or trackball much closer to your keyboard. Also I like it because it makes it easier to centre the qwerty part of my keyboard up with my screen, which my OCD seems to require. While still keeping my trackball close enough.


Re: @ Mr Cumberdale

That is exactly what a tenkeyless layout gives you. It's a full sized layout with arrow keys, extra editing keys, but no numeric keypad.

Another week, another dual-screen phone, this time a T-shaped LG thingamy


Re: The Robin Reliant of mobes!

As a kid who spent time being driven around in a Scimitar (probably listening to Dire Straits), I agree.

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


Re: The point ?

There's definitely a difference of approach between Microsoft and Sony.

On the Microsoft side there's no such thing as an Xbox exclusive any more, because they release everything on PC now too (a.k.a Microsoft exclusive). So their game engines have to be scalable, and therefore a bit more abstract from the hardware.

On the Sony side, they have always made the PS3 and PS4 punch above their weight with first party exclusives because those developers know exactly what hardware they are dealing with. And we've already seen some impressive PS5 tech demos like Unreal and Ratchet and Clank, which benefit from the custom SSD.

I prefer the Sony approach, but arguably it's going to get less relevant over time if they continue with PC ports of their games.

Huawei set to exit server, storage, networking business in the UK


Re: Not so fast

Yes. Even the accommodating and level-headed EU is now criticising China and their one-sided relationship with the rest of the world.

I am no fan of Trump by any means but do wonder if anyone else would have taken aim at China in the (blunt) way he did. Cameron and Osborne certainly didn't. Alongside the chaos Trump has caused domestically and globally, he may well be remembered as a sort of necessary evil with regard to changing the narrative on China.