* Posts by The Sprocket

86 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2011


Firefox points the way to eradicating one of the rudest words online: PDF

The Sprocket

Re: I don't mind PDFs

This comes from a career Designer/Art Director:

PDFs were never intended to be used on 'phones'. They were intended to be an exchange file that preserved formatting in various forms of communication, often intended for some form of print. There is no uninspired 'responsive design' aspect to PDFs like there is for webpages. So, that said—choose the right tool for the right job. Your 200 page PDF in best viewed on a desktop/laptop. I find my iPad works just fine for that as well. Consider turning the thing sideways as well if you want the immediate content larger.

Face it—phones have limitations and can't be used for everything, and work best as a phone.

The Sprocket

Re: I don't mind PDFs

With just a PDF reader, editing is do-able, but 'saving' is verboten—UNLESS the recipient has PDF editing software AND knows how to use it. Outside of that, PDFs are generally less likely to be fiddled with than a '.docx' document.

The Sprocket

Re: I don't mind PDFs

Pretty much agreed. Professionally designed documents, created by someone who understands typography and line-lengths for readability, is more often to be found in the 'PDF world' as opposed to the web one. I agree with your paper viewpoint too. Regrettably, the web-world has just turned into a sch!tt-show due to the persistent accommodation of the 'smartphone' at the primarily level.

Apple redecorates its iPhone prison to appease Europe

The Sprocket

Agreed 100%

I agree 100%, brother. Me too!

The Sprocket

I'm fine with the way Apple operates. I went through the 90's downloading software/shareware/freeware from all sorts of places, mainly magazine CD-ROMs. I never had issues, but some of my colleagues had a few. Viruses, poorly written keystroke loggers, etc.

Face it—it is Apple's business and if developers/consumers don't like the way it is run, just go elsewhere. I'm sure the Android 'leaky sieve' would love to have you. I appreciate Apple's vigilance in keeping 'the bad guys' out and away. As far as developers are concerned—Microsoft and Apple have always had various regulations that MUST be adhered to.

Sorry to disappoint the 'freedom' crowd. Blame the bad guys.

EU wants to make undersea internet cables more resilient

The Sprocket

Re: Undersea Defence

I would say that is ONE interesting defense idea worth following up. I wonder if any other EU members have any other practical solutions. As others have said here, it would be a challenging problem to, essentially, case-harden these undersea cables.

I know from my reading last week that Iceland is particularly concerned (read: shitting their pants), as their various servers are in Ireland and are connected by two undersea cables. (I think there maybe a third, but where it is escapes me at the moment). Russian 'research vessels' have been identified 'snooping around'.

We all know how vital the internet is, and know what WE do when our ISP goes down for an hour or two at home. Yes—this is a serious challenge I hope finds an answer.

Google Chrome coders really, truly, absolutely ready to cull third-party cookies from 2024

The Sprocket

Re: I have this browser open to read El Reg and nothing else

It's a right-click option. I use it routinely.

Apple finally pro giving Pro iPads these Pro apps

The Sprocket

Re: Media

Yes—fine for short subjects that may also be now and again frequency. Not sure how happy I'd be paying a monthly subscription for what could end up being 'occasional use'. As a professional career Designer, I dumped Adobe for Affinity (Serif) for that very reason (although none of it is being used on my iPad Pro). Super happy I did too!

Microsoft begs you not to ditch Edge on Google's own Chrome download page

The Sprocket

Re: This isn't that new


Apple complains UK watchdog wants to make iOS a 'clone' of Android

The Sprocket

Re: Apple - the anti-choice champion

"Safari is the browser that you use for downloading Firefox, isn't it?"

On a laptop, yes. But not on an iPhone/iPad. Firefox is on the App Store, and one uses the App Store app on your iPhone/iPad to download it. AND there are a few versions of Firefox there.

The Sprocket

"Why should the UK watchdog destroy competition by making them both work the same way?"


Apple perfects vendor lock-in with home security kit

The Sprocket

Re: Quick question

Agreed 100%. Same boat.

The Sprocket

Yeah, agreed. Then I look at all the neighbourhoods where RFID key fobs for cars have been tampered with inside houses from a van on the street to gain access to said parked cars. This 'over digitization' for the sake of convenience and/or cool factor is pure madness. Re-direct the efforts, Apple (et al).

We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to

The Sprocket

Re: The 2013 MacbookAir was the last good one :(

Actually, the 2017-2019 13" Macbook Air 7,2 was able to do ALL that and a bit more. Happy as a clam with mine. Love the upgradeable / replaceable SSD and battery as well as the Magsafe connector. Maybe you want to upgrade a small bit?

NASA scrubs Artemis SLS Moon rocket launch

The Sprocket

Re: 200% trust in NASA

Also seconded. 100% support since the days of John Glenn!

Central bank: Crypto 'derives value based on make believe', threatens financial stability

The Sprocket

Re: I agree

While that is true, essentially national currencies are traditionally more stable, and overseen with a responsibility towards the well-being of said nation.

Crypto is private, and has no regulations or oversight whatsoever. Hence, the opening statement: Crypto 'derives value based on make believe' rings very true. I absolutely refuse to endorse it, or go near it in its current state. I see it as currency for the dark web and criminals.

Now, tell me that the G20 has come up with an 'international currency' that operates similar to crypto, but is much more stable and has iron-clad G20 oversight, there may be more of a mainstream appetite for the concept then—especially from the business world.

Just my 2¢ worth.

NASA circles August in its diary to put Artemis I capsule in Moon orbit

The Sprocket

Re: Pathetic

I'd prefer we'd leave the Moon alone and put energies into robotics well beyond.

Whatever hit the Moon in March, it left this weird double crater

The Sprocket

Does it really matter?

One odd impact crater caused by Chinese space junk. For decades humanity has been trashing up space and there are increasing amounts of junk in orbit. The moon already has a notable amount of left junk, and Mars is now being trashed up as well. And NOBODY seems to care. Just like here on Earth. Nobody really cares unless there is negative political impact, or a nasty financial one. And those who do believe we should be picking up after ourselves are just viewed as 'enviro-lefty-kooks'.

So I see one double impact crater. Does it really matter? Nobody apparently gives a toss.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla agree on something: Make web dev lives easier

The Sprocket

Re: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Oh, gawd—yes. As one who was responsible for in-house online design (enterprise & consumer) I saw that shite all the time from outside vendors who management would contract without our knowledge (f#$k !). So many times we'd be asked by internal stakeholders to redesign/rebuild the entire disaster. Thankfully, I had a crack-on team who were able to rise to the challenge. The downside was trying to keep it under wraps from management that their 'wunderkind' vendor had caulked up. But that was the CIOs job, not mine.

Use Zoom on a Mac? You might want to check your microphone usage

The Sprocket

I can see this as a real concern for businesses who blindly trust Zoom as they discuss confidential matters.

But for myself, who is retired, all Zoom will be getting is mindless rabble from a bunch of p!ssed up old yobs who periodically group for a virtual pub night and yak on endlessly about our favourite 80's bands (LOL!!)

The Sprocket

Re: Watching the watchers watch the watchers watch

They are useful.

As soon as you’re connected to the Internet, applications can potentially send whatever they want to wherever they want. Most often they do this to your benefit. But sometimes, like in case of tracking software, trojans or other malware, they don’t. But you don’t notice anything, because all of this happens invisibly under the hood.. While this may edge into the tin-foil hat crew, it's not a bad idea if one is concerned to that degree. I've been thinking myself of installing Li'l Snitch for the last 20 years. I'm still thinking about it, but I'm a cheap SOB yet I could afford it easily. And as we know, these programs like Li'l Snitch can turn off the offending programs ability to 'call home'.

Personally, I don't see them as absurd as you do. To each his own.

Machine needs more Learning: Google Drive dings single-character files for copyright infringement

The Sprocket

Not likely

Given the absurdity of this, I'd like to copyright the '@' symbol. (Might get away with it in the nation of Nauru.)

Russia starts playing by the rules: FSB busts 14 REvil ransomware suspects

The Sprocket

Yup. Smells like theatre to me as well.

We're number two! Microsoft's Edge browser slips past Firefox in latest set of NetMarketShare figures

The Sprocket

Re: Why the decline of Firefox?

Yup. Killed off the last of Google's junk last year. Nice to be free and not witholding to them.

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere

The Sprocket

Used to be so easy . . .

TV used to be so easy. Turn on via remote, channel up, and fall asleep. Now my rogue smart TV is getting into my bank card's smartchip by bridging from my iPad, MacBook and finally through my radio. I'll be wiped of funds by tomorrow morning.

I give up. I hate 21st century TV.

Opera browser tries to make sweet music for the ears of Chromebook users

The Sprocket

A change of the search engine choice wasn't taking after 4-5 tries (as well as restarting all sorts of things to clear the original selection) so Opera on my MacBook Air got the bin. That was short-lived.

Back to Firefox.

Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware

The Sprocket

Re: Truth in Advertising

Hmmmm . . . 15 years later. World has gotten mega-nastier since then.

Ad tech ruined the web – and PDF files are here to save it, allegedly

The Sprocket

Re: Flash!

Bwahahaha! Back to the Future.

The Sprocket

Re: Adobe

The Mac version of LibreOffice does a fine job of creating PDFs.

The Sprocket

Re: Dunning-Kruger

". . . of what could (and often should) be a static page." Agreed 100%

That IS light and responsive. I designed sites like that in the late 90's with Adobe PageMill for 640/800 pages.I loved it!! God, I miss those days.

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like

The Sprocket

Answer—probably. It's Microsoft. *yawn*

Google's FLoC flies into headwinds as internet ad industry braces for instability

The Sprocket

Re: It's imperative that the new technology ... allows for legally compliant data-sharing

"You wanna see the cutting edge? Try a casino's surveillance network."

Do you know how much dough casinos put into their surveillance? FAR MORE that what the average retail chain wants to put in—and pay to administer constantly.

The Sprocket

Re: It's imperative that the new technology ... allows for legally compliant data-sharing

Hmmmmm . . . not quite. Digital stalking can garner a lot of information about a person to a much greater degree than a security camera ANYWHERE can. Security cameras only capture your face, and may capture your movements within a store. Information that is not captured and stored in a databank like digital stalking can be. Unless you interact with checkout at the brick-and-mortar location, you are still invisible. Use cash at the checkout and you may remain so.

Not really the same comparison.

Report commissioned by Google says Google isn't to blame for the death of print news

The Sprocket

This isn't a new story. The handwriting has been on the wall since the late 90's. And the news biz has done precious little except reluctantly getting online, and having their lunch eaten. Well all know that paywalls suck, especially when ALL the content is there. But maybe a selection of 4-8 stories, in an abbreviated form can be accessed? Perhaps the ones the various media outlets promote on social media. Why? It looks like a fair compromise and a 'meeting in the middle'. The rest can be paywalled if one enters from any other place other than a social media channel. Just a thought.

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

The Sprocket

Re: Qualifications before being allowed to use a laptop

CORRECT. I've been saying that for eons.

Basics like how to attach a JPEG to email, adjust the size of ones browser window, enlarge or reduce type on a web page, etc, etc, etc.

And upon failing, a simple series of tutorials to remedy the issues. But I can now hear the excuses . . .

"I'm too busy—and besides my kid knows more about that interweb and computers than I do."

The Sprocket

The Obvious not being so Obvious even after 20+ years

Mine has been discovering that people STILL (over the last 20 years) have no idea that a web browser in a laptop/desktop environment can be made narrower/smaller by just grabbing the lower right corner and pulling it in. I suspect this has accounted for a large amount of 'why' we ended up with 'responsive design'. (The other reason, of course, would be people's obsession of trying to do everything on a fondlephone)

Apple sent my data to the FBI, says boss of controversial research paper trove Sci-Hub

The Sprocket

Re: "You have NO privacy. Get over it"


Pakistan cut off Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Telegram – for just four hours

The Sprocket

They could still use Parler and Signal. I trust those operate in that part of the world.

There's no place like GNOME: System 76 introduces COSMIC desktop GUI for its Pop!_OS Linux

The Sprocket

Tossers and OS wars. How 1996.

Facebook says dump of 533m accounts is old news. But my date of birth, name, etc haven't changed in years, Zuck

The Sprocket

How did you know they wanted your 'real' name? FB has no database that has your email and real name attached. You could seriously called yourself 'I.P. Daily' and gotten away with it. The only problem is your pals wouldn't recognize you.

The Sprocket

Re: FraudBook

I remember signing up for Facebook (business purposes) I gave them false info to shut them up. Fake DOB, no phone, and fake location. My name and email is near-everywhere anyhow, but one can't do anything with that. I don't know why people think they have to be so honest with these data slurpers. My Twatter account is even sparser, and fake-ier. LOL!

Ready, at anytime, to pull the plug on the lot of them, frankly.

Apple emits patches for iOS, macOS, Safari, etc to stop dodgy websites hijacking people's gadgets

The Sprocket

Thanx for the heads-up. Sorted.

Apple faces app store payments fight in Arizona, Throttlegate suit in Portugal

The Sprocket

Naw . . . gave this a second thought after I signed in and realized—I don't give a toss anymore. These two horses are a bloody pulp.

Mozilla Firefox keeps cookies kosher with quarantine scheme, 86s third-party cookies in new browser build

The Sprocket

Re: "Google [..] are racing to develop various Privacy Sandbox proposals"

Works for me . . . for now.

Apple slapped with €60m lawsuit from Italian consumer rights org for slowing down CPUs in old iPhones

The Sprocket

Really . . .

Various forms of this has been going on in the electronics industry since I remember when getting in around 1993. In those days it was new computer gear released 6 months after you bought yours that was twice as fast and two-thirds the cost. Consumer outrage ensued!!! Lawsuits were rampant, as were the accusations.

Then it was updates of OS's that sucked machine performance that required more ultra-expensive memory that some couldn't (or couldn't afford to) install, or sucked up the puny hard drive space. Follow that with Apple's insistence of changing from '040 to PPC to Intel, and today, to M1. That can sideline perfectly good hardware in a short period of time due to dwindling updates to software for the old system.

While I have lived through it, I can't say I like it, but that's the reality of the electronics world. I applaud the Briggs & Stratton business model, and I know of a few like that in my world outside of digital 'stuff', but I can hardly expect a 1998 Apple G3 Wallstreet to be fully functional, AND serviceable, in today's world. I think this Apple battery thing is really overblown by a lot of folks who haven't yet faced the reality of the electronics world. And I might add, Apple isn't alone in this battery thing.

Would I like to be able to field-strip my MacBook Air (which is pretty easy already) and add in a new M1 chip to continue. You bet I would! Do I think for a second Apple is going to be a stand-up firm and accommodate me? Nope.

That's it. It's over. It's really over. From today, Adobe Flash Player no longer works. We're free. We can just leave

The Sprocket

Re: Best thing to happen...


Apple's M1: the fastest and bestest ever silicon = revolution? Nah, there's far more interesting stuff happening in tech that matters to everyone

The Sprocket

Indeed they are. Perhaps to the chagrin of some.

I used Macs through the 1990's, 2000's, etc., because I was working in the ad agency world, so postscript was standard. Today, I still use Macs, and I my MacBook Air is smooth. But every now and again, I will fire up my . . . PowerBook 3400c and it runs wonderfully as well (800 x 600). With 16mbs of RAM. Yes, they CAN last a long time.

The Sprocket

* Yawwwwn *

Heard this whining in the transition of '040 to PPC to Intel, and now M1. Here we go again.

My M1/Intel Affinity Software updates run smooth as silk.