* Posts by Graham 32

241 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jun 2011


Fresh version of Windows user-friendly Zorin OS arrives to tempt the Linux-wary

Graham 32

I see it uses AI to both pad out emails with waffle and uses AI to summarize emails, removing the waffle. If we all just agree to send succinct emails we wouldn't need AI.

You're not imagining things – USB memory sticks are getting worse

Graham 32

Re: Stoprot

There is also par2

Meta's ad-free scheme dares you to buy your privacy back, one euro at a time

Graham 32

Re: $9.99/$12.99 a month?

Definitely a con. The price is similar to streaming services but those services have make/buy content. Meta gets its content for free from its users.

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

Graham 32

Re: Phones are lovely but they'd be much better without cameras

Agree about the camera bump. One thing the Google Pixel gets right is having a horizontal lump so it will sit on a table ok. I guess most phone designers never test on-table usage.

As for the backs, something with a bit of friction would be nice. Glass-backed phones love sliding everywhere. Mine will not stay on the arm of my sofa, even if it takes a few minutes before it moves. Perhaps a "skin" will fix it. (I've never used a phone case because if I wanted a bulkier phone I'd just buy a cheaper one.)

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

Graham 32

Re: unpopular opinion: no, WFH and WFO are not the same.

They are all expensive. Sitting in a noisy office is expensive, writing documentation is expensive, muddling through is expensive. Which one is cheapest depends on the situation. The reason muddling through often wins over documentation is because it defers the effort until it's needed - how very agile(!)

Graham 32

Re: unpopular opinion: no, WFH and WFO are not the same.

The osmosis stuff is still training, albeit informal. As for documentation, the company has to pay someone to write it. The things that make WFH work well aren't free.

Millions of Gigabyte PC motherboards backdoored? What's the actual score?

Graham 32

Re: How do we defend against this? - Linux edition

Came to the comments with the same question. David 132's post above suggests it's the OS that pulls the file from UEFI. The article makes it sound like UEFI is pushing the file to disk. If it's a pull system then I'm less worried. Linux would have to implement it, the motherboard would have to ship with a Linux version of the file, and Linux would have to ignore all sensible security checks such as asking the user if it's ok. That's just not Linux's style. Some clarity about the mechanism would help.

Hyundai and Kia issue software upgrades to thwart killer TikTok car theft hack

Graham 32

Re: Wait.... they did not have that?

Mitsubishi also had the Pajero. It was the Shogun in the UK, but we had so many Japanese imports the Pajeros seemed just as common. North America and Spanish speaking countries called it the Montero. Wikipedia explains why Pajero wasn't a global name.

Another RAC staffer nabbed for storing, sharing car crash data

Graham 32

What about the claims companies?

I doubt this is being done for fun. Have the claims companies involved been investigated? I expect they have paid for this information and knew it was coming through an illegitimate channel. They should be fined too.

Those low-code tools devs love so much? They'll grow 20% in 2023, says Gartner

Graham 32

Re: Dumbing down

If it's any good someone will make an open source equivalent and, being free, it will become the dominant tool.

Linus Torvalds to kernel devs: Grow up and stop pulling all-nighters just before deadline

Graham 32

I didn't ask any questions.

Graham 32

If most of the commits are undoing earlier commits then the end result may be a small review. Although any change with lots of reverts along the way should be a sign that close scrutiny is required.

For new code, and even if following the lots of small commits strategy, 1m41 is a crazy short time for review. Seems Linus is a "if it compiles it ships" kind of reviewer. I hope there are others doing the real reviews.

Firefox 105 is here, and it's faster and more memory-frugal

Graham 32

Re: My gripe

New Reddit. It's the wysiwyg editor. Switching to markdown mode gets around it, but every so often I forget. It's a right PITA.

IBM wins National Savings & Investment bank tech and ops deal

Graham 32

Re: A scam?

The value of your investment may go down. Neither guaranteed to keep up with inflation nor guaranteed to be better than NS&I's interest rates. So back to your original question: the point of NS&I's savings accounts to is to increase your money in a risk-free way.

Thunderbird 102 gets a major facelift, Matrix chat support

Graham 32

Re: Still no sensible layout for a widescreen

The third column is the mail content. So obviously not doing it right, in your view.

Graham 32

Still no sensible layout for a widescreen

The 3 column "vertical view" layout still thinks the email should cram the subject, sender, date and various icons on a single line. Many other mail apps split this across 2 or 3 lines to make it readable. Thunderbird's email list needs so much width it only works in "classic view" with the email list above the mail content, and that layout has been looking silly since people started using widescreen monitors.

Open source body quits GitHub, urges you to do the same

Graham 32

Re: Hold on a second

The full sentence from the blog post is: "Launching a for-profit product that disrespects the FOSS community in the way Copilot does simply makes the weight of GitHub's bad behavior too much to bear."

So it's more the *nature* of the for-profit product, not for-profit per se.

Apple may have to cough up $1bn to Brits in latest iPhone Batterygate claim

Graham 32

Re: Lawyers getting rich here

It depends what your priorities are. Some may want the phone to run slower so they don't have to charge it more often as the battery ages. Others may be happy to tolerate more frequent charging as long as the apps continue run at the same performance level.

I think most users would expect the latter as that's a natural consequence of ageing batteries - they just don't last as long as new ones. The issue here is an iOS update changed that decision, was undocumented, and Apple took an active decision to degrade performance and by how much. If they'd just made it an optional feature it would have been seen as a great innovation.

Rivals aren't convinced by Microsoft's one-click default browser change

Graham 32

Re: The Most Down Voted Post Ever

I see that as a reason to hate Google, not Edge.

The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility

Graham 32

"At the beginning of the last decade, such a minor tragedy would have been rated as #firstworldproblems"

And the first example of it now being a serious issue? "My smart lights, gone dumb, stay dimmed"

Boys outnumber girls 6 to 1 in UK compsci classes

Graham 32

Re: Problem?

I think Aoyagi is going with the view where equality means "equal opportunity" and you're going with the view where equality means the statistics must reflect the general population. Both views have their problems and, no, I don't have a solution.

Microsoft proposes type syntax for JavaScript

Graham 32

Re: The "I don't need types because I know" crowd

Agree, but I'd be even more strict. If the program is bigger than one screen it benefits from typing. And if there's more than one developer it's essential. Find type bugs can be painful.

It's really the same argument as why you should use meaningful variable names instead of a/b/c/d: It is quicker to write a line of code if you have fewer key presses. It is not a quicker way to write code.

The zero-password future can't come soon enough

Graham 32

1 and 3 are both asking about the future. Replace those with "has an export option" and you can migrate when something else becomes a better solution.

BitConnect boss accused of $2.4bn crypto-Ponzi fraud has disappeared

Graham 32

Re: All cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes

I recently heard the term "bigger fool schemes". It's any scheme where you only make money if you can find a bigger fool than you.

I don't think crypto is a Ponzi scheme, but crypto, NFTs, and Ponzis, are all in the bigger fool group.

New York Times outlays seven-figure sum for 1,900 lines of JavaScript – yes, we mean Wordle

Graham 32

Re: How long before 1,900 lines becomes 19,000

Being pretty matters. The social media "guff" allows users to easily advertise the site to other people. I read elsewhere it had 45 million visitors in January. That's the reason for the valuation. The number of lines of code is irrelevant.

Epoch-alypse now: BBC iPlayer flaunts 2038 cutoff date, gives infrastructure game away

Graham 32

"seven seconds after pi o'clock"?

Never heard of it before. The internet took be to the Afrikaans version of Wikipedia which says

> In Engels word daar van "pi o'clock" gepraat, wat 3:14:15 voorstel.

I get the idea.

Scam, pyramid scheme, environmental disaster: Vivaldi boss shares his thoughts on crypto-coins

Graham 32

Re: Wall Street?

> In theory the value of each dollar (or whatever) should be backed by economic activity in the country, but because of the magic of fractional reserve (banks can lend 10 X as much money as they hold deposits), there is far more money than economic activity backing it up.

I see transactions as activity. A bank note itself doesn't represent activity.

Fractional reserve banking creates more activity without creating more money. In the same way putting a room on Airbnb can create more renting without creating more rooms.

Logitech Signature M650: A mouse that will barely emit a squeak or a clickety-click

Graham 32

Re: Stop with the handedness!

Happy 5000 user here too. It's a big mouse which fits my (left) hand much better than the super tiny mice most people produce these days. Has a good weight to it too.

It does pick up some dirt on the side/back rubber part but hasn't gone sticky on me like some other devices. I've had a few of these mice too. The rubber on the wheel is what fails for me: one stretched and I had to cut it and glue it to the plastic wheel. Another the rubber just crumbled after a few years. Latest one about 5 years old and still problem free.

Re other comments here about sweaty hands causing the stickiness problem on rubberised surfaces: I had a rubberised cdrom drive that went consistently sticky all over, so the stickiness can happen on parts that are never/rarely touched.

Log4j doesn't just blow a hole in your servers, it's reopening that can of worms: Is Big Biz exploiting open source?

Graham 32

Re: Don't forget the other bugs introduced by copy-n-paste software

My current project has a node component where the build generates 2GB of data in about 300k files. The final output is a zip of 12.5MB. And doing this on NTFS makes cleaning the build painfully slow.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14s: Impressively average, which is how corporate buyers like it

Graham 32

Matte screen?

> The display on our model was not a touch-screen, but did have an anti-glare coating

Is it a matte screen then? Looks like it from the photos, but I wonder when so many words are used to avoid saying "matte".

A tiny island nation has put the rights to .tv up for grabs – but what’s this? Problematic contract clauses? Again?

Graham 32

Re: Do it yourself

It gets outsourced because it's unlikely the government has its own experts. That's true in most countries, and Tuvalu has a population roughly the same size as Oakham.

What do iOS and Android have in common? Their apps suck at privacy, boffins say

Graham 32

Re: Firefox...

Great on desktop Firefox but it's not one of the few permitted addons for Android Firefox.

Boffins unveil SSD-Insider++, promise ransomware detection and recovery right in your storage

Graham 32

Re: "detecting infections and reverting unexpected encryption"

You'd better have that software running all the time. If it's not there while, say, encrypting a drive for the first time it's likely the whole drive will be corrupted. Of course, anyone doing that would take a backup first.

ProtonMail deletes 'we don't log your IP' boast from website after French climate activist reportedly arrested

Graham 32

By default...

> By default, we do not keep any IP logs

"By default" covers what happened. Watch out for the weasel words. However, they now don't even say that. Are they now compelled to log all IP addresses?

Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain

Graham 32

Re: No surprise there...

I remember that too. Looks like a recent judgement has gone in favour of the company that fixes the machines cheaper than the preferred supplier:


Apple's bright idea for CSAM scanning could start 'persecution on a global basis' – 90+ civil rights groups

Graham 32

Re: Apple has learned a lot from China

Isn't it more a case of "Apple won't pay you for product placement if you let the bad guys use iPhones"?

It's not like every car manufacturer has to approve the use of their vehicles in films.

I know the 90s were a different time but I doubt Jaguar approved "For men who'd like hand jobs from beautiful women they hardly know." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzyNPoI17rE

Apple says its CSAM scan code can be verified by researchers. Corellium starts throwing out dollar bills

Graham 32

Re: This system can't scan for "Winnie the Pooh"

"can be" being the important phrase. Some journos have suggested this csam move is a precursor to full iCloud encryption with user-owned keys.

Apple's iPhone computer vision has the potential to preserve privacy but also break it completely

Graham 32

There are a few. And those I've seen recommend, without irony, you buy a Pixel phone to install it on.

Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?

Graham 32

Re: Nice fonts

They removed the ability to disable proton in this release. All it does for me is change the background colour of the tab/title bar. It's less annoying in the "Compact (not supported)" mode.

Graham 32

Nice fonts

My employer, an MS shop, forced the MS SSO stuff on us a few months ago. I tried Chrome, Edge and Vivaldi and all suck at font rendering. ClearType settings are ignored. Many pages (but strangely not all) use greyscale anti-aliasing with many lines being two pixels of grey and others being one pixel of black. Slack being a big offender. El Reg looks good though. Maybe if I had a 4K screen I wouldn't care but at 2K it's a mess. Thought it was just me until I saw a screenshot from a colleague and their fonts were awful too. Edge has an experimental option to improve things a bit, so MS sees room for improvement.

I may have to put up with the stupid buttons-for-tabs UI Firefox has cooked up, but at least my eyes can have a rest as I'm back on Firefox.

We can't believe people use browsers to manage their passwords, says maker of password management tools

Graham 32

Or just cross-machine. How to sync the gnome keychain? (I wouldn't be surprised if Apple can sync theirs)

Google killed desktop Drive and replaced it with two apps. Now it’s killing those, and Drive for desktop is returning

Graham 32

Re: Google - great at search...

Google sucks less than Microsoft.

As someone who works at a former Google shop which was acquired by a MS shop, I miss the Google apps.

Treaty of Roam finally in ashes: O2 cracks, joins rivals, adds data roaming charges for heavy users in EU

Graham 32

Re: As Soon As They Could...

Another person who doesn't know the difference between O and 0.

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

Graham 32

Re: I want to like Firefox

You should head over to the Firefox subreddit. They've been shouting this for months (cos 99% of people there seem to run the bleeding edge nightly build as their daily browser.)

Apple announces lossless HD audio at no extra cost, then Amazon Music does too. The ball is now in Spotify's court

Graham 32

Re: Since it is lossless

No plastic to be manufactured or delivered.

Microsoft loves Linux – as in, it loves Linux users running Linux desktop apps on Windows PCs

Graham 32

Re: Yes, of course

For personal use LibreOffice is good enough. If at work, where sharing files is important, using the cloud-based stuff is so much nicer then email files back and forth. Most, but sadly not quite all, of my colleagues use the cloud stuff appropriately. Old habits die hard.

UK.gov wants mobile makers to declare death dates for their new devices from launch

Graham 32

Best before and use by dates on food are clearly shown. Copy-paste that legislation. Done.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 4 now includes AMD options for biz customers, boasts up to 19 hours of battery life

Graham 32

Re: Square screen, central touchpad. Nice.

Which model is that?

Graham 32

Square screen, central touchpad. Nice.

Like all the top end laptops it has a squarer screen and no numberpad to give a central touchpad. Why don't cheaper brands don't do this*? Dropping a numberpad should save money and it's hardly like 13"/15" panels need to be 16:9 cos they're also used in TVs.

Now if they'd just use a matte screen it'd be perfect. Losing the touchscreen is no loss IMHO, my work laptop has it, it's a gimmick.

*Edit: 13-14" laptops have no numberpad, but at 15"+ it's hard to find a sub-£1k laptop without one.