* Posts by Graham 32

162 posts • joined 9 Jun 2011


Bitcoin value jumps as PayPal says it will accept cryptocurrencies... once it has the kinks worked out

Graham 32

Re: "The Kinks" being ownership

It's like a bank then. The blockchain might not consider you the owner. Ownership is more a legal concept.

Graham 32

So the only thing you have bought with bitcoin is another type of money. You are a currency speculator. Admittedly one who has done well so far. I sense you were meaning to disagree with the OP, but your post supports the argument there isn't much use for bitcoin.

Run Windows on a Chromebook: All the details. Not so fast, home user...

Graham 32

Re: the pricing is $69.99 per user per annum

Business users don't by second hand.

Has Apple abandoned CUPS, the Linux's world's widely used open-source printing system? Seems so

Graham 32

Re: will drop PPD file support soon

My impression is the heavy lifting isn't so heavy any more so it can be done by the printer. Printing from mobile devices is increasingly important so moving most of the work off the client makes it easier to support a range of clients.

Selling hardware on a pay-per-use or subscription model is a 'lie' created by marketing bods

Graham 32

Re: A big problem with opex ...

Depends how the licensing works. If it's paying to have access then yes you need to keep paying regardless. If it's paying for the usage then no.

Example: I pay my ISP a flat rate for access to the internet. In recent months I've been working from home a lot more, using a lot more data, but I pay the same amount. My mobile is on a pay-as-you-go model. I'm going out a lot less nowadays so using much less data and saving money. But if my landline fails and I have to use mobile data... ouch!

The real difference is that if you buy on capex you can make a decision to defer the next upgrade. eg replace laptops every 5 years instead of every 4 years. Instant saving for the buyer, instant penalty for the seller. There's no deferring on opex.

Wisepay 'outage' is actually the school meal payments biz trying to stop an intruder from stealing customer card details

Graham 32

"investigating alternative payment methods" I suggest using the nationwide token-based system bearing pictures of the Queen.

I hope kids aren't forced to use cashless these days. It sounds like a sneaky attempt to shut down the local sweet shop.

Oh, and they probably cry "you can't use contaminated cash in these uncertain/challenging/difficult times".

A decades-old lesson on not inserting Excel where it doesn't belong

Graham 32

Re: Thingies cat

It's the government's fault.

If I purchase something from a shop and it's faulty, I return it to the shop. "You'll need to contact the manufacturer" will be met with a swift "I bought it from you. My contract is with you."

I get a chance to vote for the government. I pay tax to the government. If they spend my tax money hiring incompetent people it's still the government's fault.

Who watches the watchers? Samsung does so it can fling ads at owners of its smart TVs

Graham 32

Not connecting the TV isn't enough

The same effect can be achieved by not connecting a smart TV to the internet

They don't need an internet connection on the TV to know what you watch: https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/22/facebook-wants-hide-inaudible-messages-tv-ads-force-phone-record-audio-7652112/

.uk registry operator Nominet responds to renewed criticism – by silencing its critics

Graham 32

> they would probably just nationalize it and put Baroness Harding in charge.

If it keeps her away from other things I'd consider it a win.

Ports in a storm: The Matebook 14 won't set your world on fire, but it's still a half-decent laptop

Graham 32

Re: d****k measuring contest ?

> Would a 17''-er be the best ever possible laptop ?

Yes... *IF* it managed to have the same overall size, weight and battery life of the 14". On laptops it's a compromise all the time. On the desktop no one is asking for 14" monitors.

The Honor MagicBook Pro looks nice, runs like a dream, and isn't too expensive either. What more could you want?

Graham 32

Re: It's in The Book.

How about the related Huawei Matebook X Pro with a 13.9" 3:2 screen . Although it is more pricey than the Honor.

Graham 32

Re: Decimated

Naah, that's decamated.

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Graham 32

Re: Perhaps

Emails with one-time passcodes that expire in a few minutes are more than enough reason for instant email.

Sitting there mashing refresh going "no... no... no... no... got it!" is annoying.

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

Graham 32

Re: R.I.P. Synology

but that still doesn't explain ...

But that doesn't explain why you chose this story to make the comment. Easy mistake to make. They are Chinese (I assume syno is meant to be like sino) just not the same Chinese.

Graham 32

Re: R.I.P. Synology

Synology are Taiwanese. (ROC not PRC)

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Graham 32

Can this be exploited from the WAN side or just the LAN? If it's only the LAN side then you'll need a malicious device on the network and that depends on how secure your stuff is. If you keep away from IoT junk and don't try to download a whole app store then you might be ok. Less diligent family members will increase the risk. If it can be exploited on the WAN side then let the router meet the bin ASAP.

Reply-All storm flares as email announcing privacy policy puts 500 addresses in the 'To' field, not 'BCC'

Graham 32

Re: mail client

I know in my workplace, the "everyone" email address is over-used for all sorts of junk, and I've warned about the "feature-creep" of such facilities many times. As people get used to receiving them, and sending them, you'll get misuse of them, then someone will Reply-All by mistake, and you'll have a huge spam problem, then everyone will ignore/filter those emails because they're now junk, then they'll miss an important message, then everyone will get told to read ALL emails, then you'll wonder why nobody has any time, and so on...

This. And then the boss decides that email doesn't work and everyone must use Slack for all internal communication.

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

Graham 32

Re: Purity Spiral

Some good points there but... wow that's a hard read. To pick one example: "A purity spiral propagates itself through the tipping points of preference falsification". It's as if the author is trying to show off their prog rock lyric writing skills. Probably a fan of Fish-era Marillion.

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law

Graham 32

For Firefox there's CookieAutoDelete and Forget Me Not. They might also exist for Chrome.

UK intel committee on Russia: Social media firms should remove state disinformation. What was that, MI5? ████████?

Graham 32

Re: seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum

It's more that you have to tell people their opinions are not their own and they are puppets of some nasty foreign bogeyman. Such influences exists in all elections on all sides. How much influence is too much? It's a messy subject.

BTW there's an excellent series on the BBC at the moment about the Murdoch family. Just saying.

Brit retailer John Lewis to catapult 111 tech bods over to Capgemini weeks after dumping 244 on Wipro

Graham 32

That's because people learn how to do stuff by doing. Knowledge transfer is just the theory.

When I turned 17 I already knew how to operate a car. Wheel, pedals, stick, quite easy really. I knew most of the rules of the road too. Then I got my provisional license and discovered just how tricky it all is. Takes quite a bit of practise to get it right.

Smile? Not bloody likely: Day 6 of wobbly services and still no hint to UK online bank's customers about what's actually wrong

Graham 32

Re: one egg in one basket

It's not just the cards. It's phones now too. I have an account where I must install their app to generate one-time login codes. Annoyingly, the app can only be active on one phone at a time. So if the phone dies I have to jump through hoops to deregister the phone before I'm permitted to put it on another. I imagine it's things like taking proof of ID into a branch so nothing rapid and certainly not possible if abroad on holiday.

With the new 2FA stuff all the banks are doing I've realised my phone is a single point of failure. I need a second phone and a probably second phone number to cover me for a predictable phone failure disaster.

Ah lovely, here's something you can do with those Raspberry Pis, NUC PCs in the bottom of the drawer: Run Ubuntu Appliances on them

Graham 32

Re: Odd one.

I think it means the NextcloudPi maintainers could use this instead and stop worrying so much about keeping the OS layer up to date. ie it's a platform to make getting into the IoT space easier and more secure. Although it will need to have broader device support to grow beyond the hobbyist market.

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

Graham 32

"To its credit, Google is trying to simplify the process of delivering Android updates FOR VENDORS." [Emphasis added]

That's the problem right there. As the article points out, the vendors aren't interested.

To test its security mid-pandemic, GitLab tried phishing its own work-from-home staff. 1 in 5 fell for it

Graham 32

Because the marketing droid sees everything as marketing, even the domain name. The IT dept probably said "FFS!" but couldn't get it overturned. And I'm sure if you asked they would say "security is our top priority".

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

Graham 32

For many years it's been popular to wear masks in parts of Asia. So this has already been thought about. I can only find recent references but I'm sure I saw something about facial recognition with masks being possible several months back. Here's a recent story: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-facial-recognition-idUSKBN20W0WL

Prepare to have your shonky password hygiene shamed by Firefox 76

Graham 32

Re: Floating video window

I think that's the website's own feature. The Firefox's PiP is something you have to click on to activate.

Academics demand answers from NHS over potential data timebomb ticking inside new UK contact-tracing app

Graham 32

> So come up with a way of collecting this data which is so important at this moment in time.

Apple and Google have already come up with a way that doesn't required it to be collected.

Honor MagicBook 14: Nice keyboard and ports aplenty – but with a webcam forever fixed on all of your chins

Graham 32

bezel-hugging 1080p FHD display?

Is the display bezel-hugging? The images on Amazon and Argos suggest it suffers from the common problem of a widescreen display in a much squarer lid, so a huge bezel at the bottom of the screen. However, on those sites the logo on the lower bezel says "MagicBook" - did they change it between review samples and launch? - whereas the image in the article shows "HONOR" and looks reasonably thin but it's not clear what angle the screen is at. A few more snaps would have helped.

The popup camera made some sense on the Huawei Matebook X Pro because the screen pretty much filled the lid. When there's so much empty space in the lid, moving the screen down by a few mm to put the camera at the top would be better.

And is the screen gloss or matte? It looks like it's matte, which for me makes it much more desirable.

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?

Graham 32

Re: how do google and apple install these new APIs?

I think Apple's phones get updates for a quite a long time, several years, so if it covers more then 60% of the userbase it will be enough. For Android I assume it'll be an update to the Google Play Services app rather than the core operating system.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband

Graham 32

Re: Drying

"blow upwards"... Depends on the model.

There's the Dyson Airblade, possible mk2, which you put your hands in and I guess will force some air upwards. And then there's the Dyson Airblade V which just blows down... it's the one with the permanent puddle on floor beneath.

Microsoft brings the pane: You'll be looking at Xamarin and React Native to design apps for dual-screen gizmos

Graham 32

I don't get it either. Seems like a solution looking for a problem. If they want to push for deeper integration between devices just do a clone of KDE Connect with a full suite of plugins for every MS app. Some of MS's Android apps are really nice and making it easier to switch between the two devices working on the same document/photo/etc would be real boon.

Crypto-upstart subpoenas Glassdoor to unmask ex-staff believed to be behind negative reviews. EFF joins the fray

Graham 32

Re: Business Model

> Kraken does not know if the people that left the reviews are ex-employees who signed a non-disparagement contract taking away their legal right to speech.

From the article:

> In June last year, Payward sent a letter to multiple former employees demanding that whoever was responsible for posting reviews of the company on Glassdoor remove them. The individual represented by the EFF, referred to as J. Doe, deleted the posts at issue after the email was sent.

Assuming this is all about the same post I think Payward have reasonable suspicion the person is one of those emailed. IANAL so I can't say if that suspicion is of any legal value.

If I had made posts like that and then received a request to delete I would do absolutely nothing. How many other people received the request? For all I know the company could be doing a Coleen Rooney on me.

Is Chrome really secretly stalking you across Google sites using per-install ID numbers? We reveal the truth

Graham 32

Re: 3/4 OT, or my brief encounter with chrome

Why do you need an offline installer for software that needs a network connection? I get it for software that need never contact the internet. For something that contacts the internet, whatever nasty you think might be in the installer could be in the main app also.

Tip for the future: use VirtualBox to test out untrusted software. Reset VM back to previous state after the test.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device

Graham 32

Re: The many failure modes of Tesco

And the Auto Checkout* in the larger stores is designed so I have put my basket and packed shopping at a height somewhere around my kneecaps. Forcing the back-ache inducing repetition of bend down, pick item, straighten up, beep, bend down, pack, straighten up. In the smaller stores the shelf height is much higher so I doubt it's a design for those in wheelchairs. I'm not freakishly tall either.

The very best self service is in some Waitrose stores where it's just a bench in front of the machine and... no weight measurement, no "unexpected item". It's so fast to use. But at their prices I don't make it a regular experience.

* is "Auto Checkout" an industry name? I've always known it as Self Service. Although I can't think of ever having seen it on a sign - could well be there but I blank it out.

Not call, dude: UK govt says guaranteed surcharge-free EU roaming will end after Brexit transition period. Brits left at the mercy of networks

Graham 32

Re: Transition Period?

Well, Boris is supposed to be dead in a ditch, but that didn't happen either. Being a bit late on another self-imposed deadline will be forgotten by the next election. A "unmanaged no deal" comes with all sorts of risks that won't be forgotten, even if it's just a national shortage of avocados... and if it's toilet paper it'll be remembered a loooong time.

Boris has, rather annoyingly, proven that he is very good at (his personal) long-term strategy. Getting a second term is probably in that strategy.

Graham 32

Re: Transition Period?

Yup. In calm times when Article 50 was written it was thought a country would need 2 years to plan leaving, presumably with no deal. In calm(-ish) times we said we'd use those 2 years to negotiate a deal instead, but as the deal won't be known until the end we'll take another 2 years to plan a transition to that deal.

So as we head towards any deadline on a negotiation we should expect, whatever the outcome, that we will get more time for government and businesses to plan for implementing it.

Virtual reality is a bonkers fad that no one takes seriously but anyway, here's someone to tell us to worry about hackers

Graham 32

Re: A fad?

It depends on your definition of mainstream but I'll play devil's advocate and argue it's still a long way off.

When there's a console that comes with the headset and lots of content at launch then it might get there. Until then VR will remain more of a niche because of the Catch 22 where there needs to be plenty of games to sell the hardware and people need the hardware for the games to sell.

It needs a company to go all in, make enough content that demands a VR headset and be sure enough users have one. I'm thinking of how the Wii popularised the wand controller. Without that sort of commitment VR will be another 3DTV. Even the wand controllers seem niche these days but at least they're cheap so it's not a killer expense

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons

Graham 32

Re: A fool and his money are soon... unhooked.

Very true. IOT is really a service purchased as a product. ie all the money up front for an unspecified period of service, so there's no incentive for the provider to keep the service going. If Sonos kit was £30 and a monthly subscription I'd be more inclined to believe it will keep working (although I bet TCO would be too high for a stingy git like me).

I spy, with my little satellite AI, something beginning with 'North American image-analysis code embargo'

Graham 32

Re: Ridiculous

If privately funded it would be dumb to develop this stuff in the US. The article says the US government has been funding a lot of this research and for those contracts I assume it's a requirement to be in the US.

Samsung’s aspirational Galaxy Chromebook: Shell out $1k for a fast beaut (and remember to try Linux if you're into that)

Graham 32

Re: "which is designed to reduce eye-strain"

... and a glossy screen.

EA boots Linux gamers out of multiplayer Battlefield V, Penguinistas respond by demanding crippling boycott

Graham 32

Re: Few things jump out

Yes. And there's support for a LOT of games these days. It's really improved in recent years. I guess it's because many games are written using cross-platform engines like Unity that it's now a lot easier to make a Linux version.

The so-called AAA games tend to lack Linux support probably because those games are competing with their bespoke graphic engines that take a lot of optimization. So if that's your thing you won't be using Linux anytime soon. I prefer strategy games and I reckon 75% of what I'd like to play has native Linux support. I don't have enough free time to play everything I'd like, so it just removes a few options.

Huawei's P40 and P40 Pro handsets will not ship with Google Mobile Services, Richard Yu confirms

Graham 32

Dreaded hole-punch

"Both phones are rumoured to use hole-punch displays, rather than the dreaded notch"

Hole-punch cameras are dreaded too. They're both pretty much the same, it's just the hole-punch has a tiny sliver of screen round the other side of the camera that is completely unusable.

Newly born Firefox 71 emerges from its den – with its own VPN and some privacy tricks

Graham 32

Re: please read the actual post

Wow! I thought I ran with a lot of tabs open (often 50 or more). You're in the hundreds and maybe topping a 1000 at times. That's definitely in the league where that's so rare the developers aren't going to spend time supporting it.

I doubt you look at every tab every day, there isn't enough time. I guess you're using them more as bookmarks or task recording (ie an open tab is a reminder to do something). Of course you *could* switch to using bookmarks instead but I know what a pain it can be to change your workflow when you already have a way of working.

I'd recommend trying a tab unloader addon such Auto Tab Discard.


I've been using it for a while on a laptop to help battery saving and hasn't impeded me at all. It unloads tabs that haven't been looked at in a while (user-definable timeframe), and so killing background scripts which you probably don't care about and freeing up memory. You can whitelist pages for things you want to keep running, eg webmail. Going to the tab will (re)load the page, so a little slower than if it was already loaded, that's the trade-off.

Nokia 2.3: HMD flings out €109 budget 'droid with a 2-day battery

Graham 32

I see the website says "AI-assisted 2-day battery life". It's as if they want to regain the top spot on https://dontkillmyapp.com/

(If it wasn't for the info on that website I would have ditched my Nokia 6.1 work properly. When I set an alarm to wake me up in the morning I expect it to bloody work! Stupid app-killing aside, it's a good phone.)

Mozilla locks nosy Avast, AVG extensions out of Firefox store amid row over web privacy

Graham 32

URL history?

"It is necessary for this service to collect the URL history to deliver its expected functionality."

Why the history? I would have thought the current page would be enough. (Although if used for long enough they effectively have the history anyway.)

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

Graham 32

Re: I'm forced to wonder

If you're logged into a site like a bank, then yes they will keep your session short. It is far from rare. Cookies for tracking will be much longer lived.

For example, going The Register's homepage sets a cookie called __cfduid with an expiry one month in the future. So without taking some other action to remove the cookie you'd need to avoid the site for a month to break the tracking.

Graham 32

Re: I'm forced to wonder

I think this is tied to the browser session. My session lasts for days, weeks sometimes. It only gets interrupted by browser updates and OS updates demanding a reboot.

As mentioned further down, use the Cookie AutoDelete addon in Firefox. With this addon the session ends, and cookies deleted, a few seconds after you close the last tab on that site or navigate away.

I wouldn't be too surprised if Firefox add something like this as a native feature soon.

Chrome OS: Yo dawg, I heard you like desktops so we put a workspace in your workspace

Graham 32

Re: More slurping

KDE Connect can already do this for "tel:" links. Click the number in the browser and it offers to send it to your phone. There's a Gnome equivalent for those such inclined.

Three UK does it again: Random folk on network website are still seeing others' account data

Graham 32

Also note from the article that you didn't have to log in to see someone else's details. So there could be non-customers who could see customer details. And some of those non-customers could have reported it too.

Of course they find the smallest number they can and carefully word the press release to say only that number.



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