* Posts by Mark Wallace

31 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right

Mark Wallace


Did you take a special course on how to make the written word unreadable?

Try writing with your brain, not your crotch.

UK artists seek 'luvvie levy' on new gadgets to make up for all the media that consumers access online

Mark Wallace

Why tax tech?

Some people eat while listening to music, and some people sit down -- so why not tax food or chairs?

Hell, why not give ALL your money to pop singers? They're obviously the most worthy people in the world -- I mean, can you name one who hasn't won the Nobel Peace Prize, or come up with a medical advance that's saved millions of lives?

Relying on plain-text email is a 'barrier to entry' for kernel development, says Linux Foundation board member

Mark Wallace

Should have known better than to let MS get involved.

In a few months, they'll be demanding baby-blocks, ribbons, and live tiles, just you wait and see.

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Mark Wallace

Re: Unfortunate ...

Yours is a classic case of mistakenly believing that you know what you want better than programmers do.

Every programmer knows that programmers are the smartest people on the planet, and that anyone who disagrees with them about absolutely anything is a complete idiot (even other programmers).

They even have a term for your mistaken belief: "YAGNI" ("You Ain't Gonna Need It"), and I'm sure that if you tell the FF programmers that you need MetaTask, they will be happy to correct you.

And if you think that they should have waited until they had an actiual, working browser, before releasing it, well you're obviously wrong again -- it's only other programmers who have to release working software (if they don't want to get endlessly and publicly bitched at by netscape/firefox programmers),

Their attitude is why netscape lost the browser wars, and why I'm on the verge of giving up on using the desktop version of FF (netscape's illegitimate child) for the second time -- its programmers decided that nesting "Close other tabs" and "Close tabs to the right" under "Close multiple tabs" is what I want.

That's a little thing by comparison, to be sure, but it reminds me of their unwarranted arrogance each of the fifty-or-so times a day I have to make that extra mouse-move and click.

Fortunately, what we don't have is a shortage of other browsers to choose from.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

Mark Wallace

Re: Proudly ignorant

an important thing is to expunge language that the majority of ordinary folk from a particular section of society find objectionable


If people have no use for a word, they don't use it, and it drops out of use (we have hundreds of such words, in English).

The very idea that words can or should be expunged from a language is straight out of George Orwell. The society he wrote about that controls language that way comprised a handful of masters and everyone else was a slave.

Only a regime that repressive would consider expunging words from a language because the regime's masters don't like them.

The purpose of language is to communicate; it is entirely neutral in all matters human. If people use it to communicate hatred, it's not the language's fault.

Look up sayings about bathwater and babies.

Mark Wallace

Re: Lovely.

All very rational, except...

"Primary" and "secondary" are only useful if there IS a hierarchy. Most master-slave relationships are one demands and the other supplies -- that's not an hierarchical relationship.

"Blacklist" and "whitelist" have been in the language for centuries, but not quite as long as the words "black" and "white", and not used nearly as much, though.

So, since "black" and "white" are obviously more frequent and longer-term offenders, and therefore much more offensive, they should be "cancelled" from the language first.

Never forget that there's a grey area between [cancelled] and [cancelled].

Mark Wallace

Looks like someone really wants a trickcyc list

(Legally and peacefully) petitioning for the removal of statues of @rseholes is highly commendable.

"Cancelling" words from a language is arrogant stupidity at its most crass.

... And the flocker isn't even a native-English speaker!

Let's start making amendments to the Finnish language! (We can start by "cancelling" about a dozen noun cases!)

I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

Mark Wallace

Re: The more I listen to the EU...

Why is everyone so surprised that the biggest problem with AI is an all-but total lack of intelligent people trying to sell it?

Saw that coming a mile off, I did (and I didn't need AI binoculars to do so).

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

Mark Wallace

All you need is a simple script...

That runs overnight, and cycles through all the "bad" passwords, trying to log into the account of every user in the organisation.

If it succeeds in logging in, it can do all kinds of nice things to encourage the errant user to repalce the password with a decent one.

I'll leave the definition of "nice things" up to you lot -- mine is far too evil.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Mark Wallace

They must be extraordinarily incompetent!

I mean, I've watched oodles of US TV shows where the heroes hack into secure systems and break encryption with no more trouble than unlocking a door that isn't fitted with a lock!

Maybe the Five Eyes need better spyglasses.

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Mark Wallace

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

"Don't bother, Dia's pretty bad.

Have a look at yEd instead if you really must do diagramming on Linux."

Or Libre Office. Libre Draw can create and edit Visio (.vsd*) files.

You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows

Mark Wallace

Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

"The FILE- NEW just opens a blank document in the normal template and instead you need to either chose FILE -TEMPLATES and chose one"

Um, File - New - Templates, select a template, and double-click it or click Open.

We applied to Google's €150m journalism fund – here's what we sent in

Mark Wallace

I hate to state the obvious, but...

Given that:

• Google is an American corporation.

• Americans* just don't get satire, irony, sarcasm, sardonicism, etc.

• Anything an American* doesn't understand is considered as a threat to his ability to bullsh1t his way to the top, so those who do understand it are treated as enemies.

A man is judged by the quality of his enemies.

El Reg must be a pretty damned good guy.

* The ones from the USA, that is. Canadian, Brazilian, Guatemalan, etc. Americans exhibit no such disability/psychopathy.

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

Mark Wallace

"Trump accepted the denial of the former KGB officer, adding there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote."

Translation: Putin demonstrated how Russia's interference had made Trump win, and Trump wants him to do it again.

Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

Mark Wallace

My morning coffee is half empty if it's someone else's turn to make a fresh pot.

If it's my turn, it's half full.

That's why I rightfully say that my opinion on the half-full/half-empty thing is pragmatic.

'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Mark Wallace

If it's fibre all the way to the African swallow's nest, then it's fibre!

Stop yer moaning!

Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme

Mark Wallace

It's a crime, that's what it is!

... Which is why they're getting away with it.

Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto

Mark Wallace

Windows 10 would have been good for the one-time pads.

Use it once; never even want to use it again.

Bonkers Azure bookings give Microsoft a record-breaking $110bn year

Mark Wallace

"after some dismal acquisitions like Nokia"

It wasn't a dismal acquisition; it was a very good one.

It was what they did with Nokia after the acquisition that was a total fuster-cluck.

And their long-term visions of "One Windows!" and "Mobile First!" are the causes of the total cock-ups that are the windows-8 segment of windows 10, the effluent interface, the crippling of desktop functionality in MS office, etc, as they rushed to give every machine (including those with multiple 24" plus monitors) a smartphone UI.

When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't

Mark Wallace

So it's clearly a back door, but they're saying it's a front door?

They've obviously got it upside-down, or something.

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

Mark Wallace

Re: "Silver in gold"

Your description reminded me of Star Trek 'Gold Pressed Latinum'


What came to my mind was The Wild, Wild, West

Great minds obviously think alike -- of very silly TV show concepts.

Mark Wallace

Re: Not the part of the civil service I work in

"not everything in the civil service is late or over budget"

Wow, this really is turning into a discussion about theories with no supporing evidence!

Mark Wallace

Re: The other suspicious claim

"They also claimed a sample was still super conductive at 77°C but they could not find the critical temperature because it was higher than the limit of their equipment. The equipment mentioned in the paper works up to 400K (127°C)."

Sure, but that's not the weakest link in their equipment.

ipads don't do well above 70°.

Mark Wallace

Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

"The vast nuclear furnace in the sky will be visible between five forty seven a.m. and eight twenty two p.m. Viewers are advised to take necessary steps to shield themselves from its carcinogenic rays."

Be fair: the Sun is only the world's second biggest cause of cancer -- oxygen beats it by a mile.

But that's probably our fault, for letting Frenchmen into recording studios.

Mark Wallace

Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

"you can't turn it off and on again as it's not on or off"

But have you tried?

Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die

Mark Wallace

Re: The more I listen to the EU...

What a thoroughly daft thing to say.

When the UK leaves the EU, it will stop being part of the EU, and will therefore have as much right to take part in the EU's decision-making and governace as Russia, Patagonia, and Mars have.

Conversely, the UK will not be bound to accept any governance from the EU, Russia, Patagonia, or Mars.

How you can interpret the UK's desire to interfere with the decision-making and governance of the EU as "the EU trying to have its cake and eat it", I have absolutely no idea.

Your interpretation is so upside-down that I can only assume you arrived a it under the table.

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

Mark Wallace

Re: This is why sensible people choose Windows...


What has Microsoft ever done for us?!?

Mark Wallace

Re: Motivated by ego

@ John Brown

True enough, but I fear that the problem is becoming more one of self-aggrandising organisations trying to control access to and use of "free" software, when it is the developers of the software who should have the loudest voice.

I.e. they should ask the devs whether they want to pursue a case, before trying to up their personal kudos prosecuting it.

Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Mark Wallace

Re: What happens if...

So what we now have is a good way of getting out of paying babysitting fees -- just give the babysitter your netflix password, and have her arrested before paying her.


Evil grain-speculating OVERLORDS will starve us ALL

Mark Wallace

Utter Bollocks

So what you're saying is that even though hundreds of thousands of normal, innocent people's lives were ruined by the greedy few who caused the recent housing crash, those who caused the crash are saints, because what they really wanted to do was bring down the price of housing, which was going too high?

They screwed billions out of ordinary Joes as an act of kindness, because the Joes needed their lives to be ruined, right?

The argument you put (not very lucidly or well, by the way) has been put time and time again -- but only ever by people who want to get rich at the expense of other people.

Greed is /Never/ a good thing, because a way has never been found to stop it becoming excessive -- the more you get, the more you want; and the brakes don't work.

Well, I just hope that the next crash -- which might well be caused by people who read your words and take them to heart -- doesn't leave /You/ as one of the people who loses his home, his livelihood, and his family because of it.

No. I take that back.

I hope that the next one /Does/ get you. Maybe that way you'll learn.