* Posts by Jean Le PHARMACIEN

212 posts • joined 5 Aug 2011


Facebook's greatest misses: The five nastiest bits from recent leaks


From the outset....

10 mins of thought would expose the bullying; name calling; spitefulness this platform could produce. The web equivalent of a school playground in an english prep school

Unfortunately, oversight and moderation were and are absent. The "Lord of The Flies" is being played out for real (and I loathed that book as a teen in English class) with caualties for all to see.

Where, when and how will it end?

Personally I hope Zuck's servers are irretrievably trashed (ransomeware?), Zyck is banned from such similar enterprises from now on and the world decides that "social network software" is actually antisocial

Unvaccinated and working at Apple? Prepare for COVID-19 testing 'every time' you step in the office



I "had" to have 'flu vaccine when I worked as I was visiting clinician on a 17 bed ITU; 14 bed Max Care Unit possibly on odd days to Renal Transplant Unit.

My directorate did not force vaccination but I would not be permitted to any patient facing role. Bit difficult in a 900 bed hospital

On the other hand, how would you feel about me being at your bedside/your relatives bedside unvaccinated? In a hospital filling with seasonal flu??

People pass 'flu (and Covid-19) by proximity. More contact istances; with more people possibly ill with/infectious spread disease. Indescriminately i.e. colleagues; visitors;

Reg scribe spends week being watched by government Bluetooth wristband, emerges to more surveillance


Re: I'll be tracked almost everywhere I go...

We are just about to back to UK to see family/friends. We've been in France sunce December and here in rural France almost everyone seems to be following mask wearing in shoos and markets; using the TousCovid app (as are we).

86,% of pop over 12 years fully vaccinated and 2/3 of 12-17s fully vaccinated.

Having spoken to family/friends we are a bit apprehensive about the free-for-all it seems to be.

On the other hand, we may not be allowed in! Wife's (French) vaccination pass is in her maiden name (usual in official forms here) and we have heard that Border Force has refused entry to women in this situation...

Every Little Helps: Former Tesco boss Dave Lewis to advise UK govt on supply chains


Will it be " green advice" ?

Because that's the colour of the meat every time I've bought from Tesco (opened on day of purchase 10min walk from local TescoEXTRA x 3 occaisions)

If they cannot get that right, how "good" will his contribution be?

We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage


"my internet is down"

said my wife. Tablet, no Facebooky.

Quick check revealed BBC.CO.Uk was fine *as was everything else but Facebook*

Me: "Internet fine, all Facebook AWOL"

(did check my pihole hadnt gone AWOL though - has a habit of this every few months...)

Wife couldn't FB any friends or message them. I refuse FB on any of my PCs or phone so all my comms were (email and SMS) were OK.

Wish FB had permanently imploded.

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?


Re: Doubting Hervé's measuring

Our (german) dishwasher reached retirement i.e. a set number of repairs before we restarted on replacing the first item that broke.

* I * built our kitchen leaving very adequate space for dishwasher but didnt observe plasterer had simply skimmed over the old lime plaster > cue VERY tight fit for integrated dishwasher (weeks after he had run away)

Reading the possible replacement dishwasher specs (same make) I find the integrated versions are 5mm narrower than 'build under'...i.e. they fit easily but the 'build under' would be incredibly tight...

Moral: Read your specs CAREFULLY and even more important; watch what your plasterer gets up to

So I’ve scripted a life-saving routine. Pah. What really matters is the icon I give it


Re: French Delivery

Yes, the "undeliverable, return to sender" or "error in address" which magically corrects itself over the next week

Yes, La Poste ARE "THE MAN" (or rather Mme La Poste for us)

Our problems is that we are 1.5hrs drive from the departmental courier depots in Bourges, and nobody wants to drive out to deliver. If we are lucky it might make it to the nearest town 12km away, otherwise one 21km away (yes UPS, that's YOU aka Universally Providing S**t-service)

Why tell the doctor where it hurts, when you could use emoji instead?


F**k emojis

OK, I'll bite

I HATE emojis, imbecilic, impenetrable.

I, apparently, cannot discriminate

a. what they are (i.e.picture)

b. what the one I HAVE identified means.

How about WRITE IT IN ENGLISH (or your chosen language)

They are too tied to "under 30yrs of age" memes/cultural norms/"hipness"

FFS "txt speak" was bad enough...

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key


Re: The backlash seems to be building nicely though

Buy one, seriously

Bought washer and a drier in 1993, replaced washer in 2017 as high speed spin was noisy ( tech said 6mo to fail).

Repairs: Replaced electro water inlet valve in 2015 ( washer worked but filled slowly)

Drier replaced in 2019: repairs none until 2017 when I (me!) replaced door lock/interlock -30 mins total). Only replaced as wife and I live 700 miles from house and kinder to our son who lives with it to replace.

All replaced with Miele; (our experiences match our friends)

PPS both machines survived 10+ years washing lacrosse kit including armour...


Re: Only half the story

Our Miele washer did a fit and refused to work. Its a 1999 model, over 1000 euro to replace.

Apparently issue was worn out shocks on drum causes motor to spin up/down as it hits case causing fuse on mainboard to blow.

Cue online manual, screwdriver and torx bits

Sent board off to pro electronics guy to replace broken relay and circular fuse (45 €) and me with ratchet/extension bits to replace shocks (with OEM rated ones) whilst waiting for mainboard. Replaced shocks through front panel (machine weighs 90kg) as per tech guide.

Result: 20 yr old washer now works pefectly for another 10+ years (our last Miele did 26 yrs with only one 30 min fix)

Thats repairability

30 years of Linux: OS was successful because of how it was licensed, says Red Hat


25+ years and counting for me...

I came to Linux one night in 2016. I pushed the 'reset' button on my PC halfway through a bare metal Win98 install (3.5hrs in and counting)

Linux cames a cover CD from a UK PC magazine and I had it fully up and internet connected in 45mins

It's been "good enough" since then to be my main PC OS, (Windows been relegated to a VM box for at least 15 yrs)

All power to Linux for the future

You MUST present your official ID (but only the one that's really easy to fake)


I raise you a plastic sleeve

Like you M Dabbs, I have my "pass sanitaire" saved in multiple (accessible to me) places and a couple of paper copies to boot.

One thing, you missed buying some A6 vinyl sleeves for your paper copies...(Amazon.fr sells packs of 10 livraison à domicile)

Bon courage!

Toodle pip! etc.

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points


How smug are you!

I travel 34miles each way to work, over 3 busy motorways.

On at least 3 occaisions over last 3 years I've been stuck for 2+ hrs in 'closed motorway' dur to accidents; in winter

How's your EV now?

Before you say "change your workplace" - you try getting a specialist NHS post in techung hospital within 8 miles of home


Re: its not just the public charging

Yes , thank you. I'm one of those in a terraced house and it's a dual carriageway outside my front garden. No drive. Where do I charge my leccy car?

Or do I (we) become the disenfranchised wrt transport

"sorry chum, You're Shanks Pony or the bus. No transport out if the rain for you"

Dang vaccines dented our bottom line in the connected home sector, says Netgear


Reliability reputation impacts Getgear..

From my experience of last few years (home networks) I've had two ProSafe switches die at 18mo and spare ones (boxed new) DOA on opening to use. I've now dumped rest of kit as unreliable/unsage (security) and told everyone I know, why.

Not that any listens to me re IT amongst my friends (glazed expressions)

Oh, and by the way, "impacts" is in the title as a protest :

1. improper use when "affects" is better description

2. if everything is IMPACTED the word loses significance and er..impact

3. journos in supposedly upmarket newspapers and TV stations who should know better, have taken to throwing about

UK govt draws a blank over vaccine certification app – no really, the report is half-empty


Here in the EU...

Just had (tiday) my second AZ vaccine in France.

Received my French/EU proof of vaccination at the session

Scanned proof into my "AntiCovid" app (acts as passport)

Downloaded my "colourful" version of paper form from my Ameli.fr (aka NHS) account onto phone, my PC and my (non Google) cloud.

Also on my "Doctolib" appt booking account.

Why is the UK struggling so much with this?

(Declaration: until 2017 worked in NHS hospitals since 1986)

Whatever you've been doing during lockdown, you better stop it right now


Re: "Stinky microwave lunch"

Thats *bad* andouillette. Provenance is all. Even is sold as AAAAA* is no guarantee

Good ones do not smell of or taste of anything faecal.

As a connoisseur of over 30 yrs, had two recently (Figeac and Gravelines ) that were very good. Almost as good as our local brasserie (in La Châtre)

*Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique

Dealing with the pandemic by drinking and swearing? Boffins say you're not alone


Re: The 5 rules of problematic drinking

In the '80s and early '90s there were far fewer cirrhosis patients in extremis. Men in UK regularly drank 4pints in a night at pubs and hence exceeded the current 'maximum' - and had do e so for many years.

Something changed in the 90s. From observation, nutrition in 'drinkers' went downhill in quality; large volunes of cheap vodka (l1.5-2 LITRES per day mixed with 9% "cider" ("White Lightening") became the usual history.

Simple "units" is not the full story here. There's much more going on but "units/week" is an easy message to push

Linux 5.13 hits rc5, isn’t yet calm, Linus Torvalds is only mildly perturbed


Re: Still brickin'...

I've been running Linux since 1996 from bare metal installs to upgrades on everything from HP thin clients to Xeon powered rack servers.

I've had one upgrade fail but thanks to the /home partition no issues.

I've built PCs since 1987 and installed Win 3.1 (from building the MSDEX driver + boot floppy) to Win 10 x 15 times (last time a week ago).

I'm not an IT pro or even in anything "IT".

I run Linux at home and used Win 7-10 at work

In my 'limited' experience, Linux has rescued a borked Win install/installation x20+ times. Windows has never done that in reverse.

I have more issues with Windows + hardware than Linux (I've never bought Win pre installed as all my PC/server are second hand)

So if I can manage this, how is it your experience is so different? Are you still in the 1990s?

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful


Old mobile phone...

We use an retired mobile phone...

Yatse andoid app controls Kodi on "TV" (= thin client running LibreELEC to old Eizo monitor).

No BluRay as all DVD stuff is ripped onto our TVHeadend server in the basement (as is music)

Live TV via TVH to the Kodi player.

Yatse allows creating "custom commands" so we have one to "turn off" "TV" (DPMS command)

Mobile also connects to landline phone via wifi+VoiceBridge app+device (simplified PSTN to ethernet adapter)

My wife's not that IT literate but copes with it all admirably (even worked out that Yatse app controls similar system in bedroom so can start that up remotely from living room before heading upstairs)

What happens when back-flipping futuristic robot technology meets capitalism? Yeah, it’s warehouse work


specter et al

the specter of unionized


I think that may be a "spectre" as opposed to an (in)specter or "inspector" as in Clouseau...

Grotesque soundbyte alert: UK government opens wallet to help rural areas get 'gigafit'


Re: Alternatively ...

We are on FTTC and ...no idea where cabinet is as there is no big green block on pavement nearby (there is a new Virgin one but its only 18 mo old)

At <1mile from exchange our 30Mb service averages, *reliably* 52Mb.

Its a street of 1890's terraces. Contention with SKY et al gives them under 20Mb (I've checked independent sources)

*Reliable* 50Mb is good enough I find.

Where is the will to rip up a 140yr old street with electric cables from 1948 (I have seen them myself-bloody good condition after unwrapping), gas from 1890s, water from same and AIO sewers...

Worse is my final 50m is from a pole...

Repeat for most of urban UK

This Netgear SOHO switch has 15 – count 'em! – vulns, which means you need to upgrade the firmware... now


Re: Press vendor for answers...

I've had Draytek AP 900s/902s which were good but I lacked the network management appliance (forget the model) so managing via http over a private VPN from 700 miles awsy was a pain...

Support was good when sn AP902 decided to curl up its 5ghz output - never did get it fixed - just dead even after multiple tftp firmware flashes

Using Unifi now - mainly because management at distance has been easier, UNC can be on your own hardware and I could run UVC cameras at same location on same hardware (yes. I know, Unifi Protect has complicated this)


Press vendor for answers...

Good luck with that.

Keeping on top of vulns costs money and Netgear seemingly won't spend.

I used to have several of these models but sold them due to lack of confidence in updates (i.e. none)

Problem is, whom/which manufacturers who produce good kit can you trust (at a consumer/"pro-sumer" level)?

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab


Re: And the EU still can't understand why the UK left.

Re your subnote 2; I, for one, are QUITE sure there would have been an outcry in the right wing press demanding that UK impounded vaccines destined for the EU and headlines of "EU killing UK pensioners"

Boris would then appear at his "coronavirus briefing" and announce that EU-headed vaccines would be retained and used in UK

Under that pile of spare keys and obsolete cables is an IoT device: Samsung pushes useful retirement project for older phones


My old Motos...

Use mine as remote controls for the Kodi boxes masquerading as TVs round the house.

As a bonus, they can run my MPD music server, let me track network status at my UK address 700 miles away and even act act as wireless phones round house thanks to PSTN to wifi bridge...

International Space Station scores powerup with solar panels that 'roll out like a tape measure'


Re: There you are resting in you cucoon

Damm you beat me to that one...


Wonder if there's a "stop" button as on more expensive tape measures...

If you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat app


Re: Account deleted

I have been pilloried by my wife and all my friends for refusing WA - my reasoning "its owned by the Zuck and I'm not touching it"

"But you are cutting yourself off from the group"

Seems I am right, again. When FB came out, I looked and decided it was a perfect bullying tool for teenagers and gave lots of personal info to some unaccountable private company.

Still not on FB.

Steer VERY clear of anything to do with FB, (and the Murdoch's for that matter)

Google Mail outage: Did you see that error message last night? Why the 'account does not exist' response is a worry


Insecure validation or...

Had this last night and couldn't send anything (but could receive). Apparently message was that I had insecure verification (I normally use K9 on my phone).

This morning, all OK. Anything from Google? Nope. Unless you know where to look.

Gmail refuses to send to my wanadoo.fr or orange.fr addresses. This is a problem for anything US linked (Paypal, eBay) so I am locked out under 2FA

Time to get a 'proper' email address/provider and uae Gmail as my spam catcher...

Scotch eggs ascend to the 'substantial meal' pantheon as means to pop to pub for a pint during pernicious pandemic


First mistake, went to "Spooners".

Only Wetherspoons worth going to is in Lime Street Station, even then, its not the greatest experience


Re: Why do you need rules?

My 78yr old uncle had 2 days slight breathlessness

He has type 2 diabetes (in remission) and is overweight (but less than in 2019)

Recovered fully within the week.

Only other person I know who has had it was also of similar age and outcome.

This is not to dismiss those who who have been seriously ill or have died. However, to claim "it will kill you" is overblown

It "could make you seriously unwell and may kill you" is closer to the truth

For my part, I've had "proper" 'flu 5 times in my life. Each time has been a week in bed delerious followed by bilateral pneumonia requiring 2 weeks antibiotics. I have no chronic conditions but my 'flu experience is not the same as others but dont go round telling people 'flu will kill you' (it MAY)

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe


Re: Rechargeable batteries and also "non-supported hardware"

My Braun shaver has a replaceable battery. One screw to release - which is one of reasons why I bought it.

Soldering tabs on battery is another matter... (hint: you can buy them with tabs already soldered)

Amazon's ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors' Wi-Fi if needed – and it's opt-out


I'm out...

I am just in the process of ripping out my (2) Ring devices due to poor performance (wrt notification speed/timeliness) and installing a home hosted server/camera system. Home internet is a 50/13 mbs upload/download link which according to my SamKnows box is unbelievably robust.

Reading this, I think I am making a *good* decision - sadly I know how to build a NVR system in under an hour but most people will take the "plug'n'play" option Amazon (Google/ANother) offer.

Be afraid/worried...

Frenchman who wanted to 'smash a guy's face in' fined €135 – despite correctly filling out paperwork stating why he left home during lockdown


Re: France = Prison

wow, just...


I think you DO have a problem. Approaching 60k deaths in UK and you think that "confinements" to protect others and ultimately, your nearest and dearest and a national health system, are "prison"?

Apologies: made a mistake, US doesnt have a "universal healthcare" system so there isnt one to overload.

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse


Trackballs rock!...

I suffer from RSI following years of mouse use snd poor posture in NHS - "spend on the patients"

I have found even a grotesque Kensington trackball helps.

Now have a wireless Logitech trackball (forget the model but even linux reports battery level) which I love. My wife hates it, Interestingly, she's fine with linux desktop ("it's just a computer") but not the mouse

X.Org is now pretty much an ex-org: Maintainer declares the open-source windowing system largely abandoned


Hope someone/everyone sits up...

As a non-techie/coder type...I've used Linux since 1996 on ALL my pcs in the home. I now live 9mnths of the year in France but still have a house (in which our son lives) in UK. I have a self built VPN between the two. About once per month I invariably find I need to run graphical app in UK on my French desktop 750 miles away.

Tried to do this using Wayland but it seems I need to transmit a whole desktop! As my French link is rural broadband @13mps this just isn't an option. Using X over SSH works a treat. Evwry time.

Until Wayland can do all X is capable of, we need to mobilise and support X

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



I used to work in a large (1000 bed) NHS Teaching Hospital. My (Clinical) manager used email to alert all (professional clinical) staff to the new 'targets' - usually a couple of times a day. As I was ward based and CBA logging in to ward Windows P C's (worked for the hospital for nearly 20yrs and logging in synced 20 years of email to your now local profile - thanks IT dept) I appeared to 'not read my emails' and was harried/persecuted for it by said manager

Actually I did; just used the OWA (web access for those too young) which required no local login on the 12+ wards I would visit per day. Of course, this didn't send 'read' receipts/requests that my manager attached to *every* email he sent - including the "cakes are in the staffroom" sort.

It's now safe to turn off your computer shop: Microsoft to shutter its bricks-and-mortar retail locations worldwide


Re: Track record

The reason they fail is that many of the "products" were spoilers of other products.

- WinCE to compete against Psion/EPOC

- The drive compression fiasco

- The Sendo issue where MS (who engaged Sendo) gave the designs to a Chinese company

- what happened to the FoxPro database after MS bought the company? (hint: killed as competed with Access)

- What happened to the Autoroute software after MS bought NextBase?

Let's not even get started on the whole Anti-Linux war

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time


Re: Fax will never die!

I think you'll find pharmacies haveen ordering your medicines from wholesalers via electronic transfer (not fax!) For over 35yrs. It's the GP to pharmacy bit that's been missing...(think private business NHS contractor=GP Practice communicating with private business NHS contractor=pharmacy) which was The bit the NHS had to sort.

Paging technology providers: £3m is on the table to replace archaic NHS comms network


Re: The NHS - uniquely the same

"Fixed people out the front"

Clearly you haven't worked in the NHS long enough"

That should say "slightly less broken out the front"

The vast majority of NHS in-patients I've met have chronic long term problems with multiple admissions per year. As they get older and their conditions progress (adding complications and new unrelated problems on the Way) the stays get longer.

We even know them as "such and such is back"

"But they only left 3 wks ago..."

Electronic health records firm Epic Bristol bags £454m in UK deals as creaking care sector chases digital transformation


Re: Hmm


Remote patient data? Pffft

I spent the last 10yrs of my NHS secondary care trying to call up remote data on patients admitted to our ITU

Try asking patient with an ET tube in situ...

Try asking the traumatised next of kin


Try asking their GP..("closed until Thursday 10am; send us a secure fax: "you're from where?"

We DO need a proper, joined up NHS patient system like yesterday.

Sadly no one seems to ask users or care; apart from pocketing the cash

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: Never understood this


Over past 8+yes have found that second hand (ex corporate) Dell ultrasharp monitor + Thin client + Kodi sorts most obselence problems (and runs to c 100GBP on first and only purchase)

Some Brits reckon broadband got worse after lockdown – but that's just what happens when you're online 12 hours straight



I'm on EE - copper from cabinet to the house (c100m). 3/4 mile from exchange.

Only on 50Mb (which is fast enough for me). No chance of faster as no VM here and exchange is on opposite of Victorian town centre

Speed and latency haven't moved - unlike friends on VM cable and Sky connections

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app


Re: I want to punch Matt Hancock

Careful, I have met the 'original' Rimmer whom the character was based on. Yes, he is a complete A@se an w@n#er

Know his brother too, ( of the original 'Rimmer'), quite opinionated but admits his older brother is a complete A@se..

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42


I remember...

Stumbling into this on Radio 4 when I was in my A-level years. Couldn't believe it- incredible mental picture of the universe. Recorded them all to compact cassette. As we were in our final A-level year and post exams, I took some into class to play in our "free" periods - and then found out from the puzzled expressions of my form mates that they really didnt get it.

At all.

Their loss.

Recently downloaded them all again and they still sound great and they're still fresh. (Didn't like the TV series as the visuals didn't match my imagined universe). Also loved Steven Moore as Marvin. Just perfect

Happy times.

Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months


Thanks Apple for that

My home camera system requires a browser which will ignore local unsafe connections (i.e. my home network) to use control panel. Alternative is build/use my own private certs (to avoid all the red "Danger" flags/pop-ups). Clearly LE is a bit ott for local network and it's a PITA doing own certs but worth it if you can create long lived private ones

This just kills value of self signing for local network use. All I need now is for Chrome based browsers to withdraw the local_unsafe_sites flag (or whatever correct name is).

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees


If this was a car

I cannot believe how many times journos have criticised cars for lack of cupholders. Personally, any chance of usually hot liquid in a car on road could spell serious injury to occupants/loss of control. I.e. no cupholders for front seat car occupants in my view

Aircraft: ditto plus 100-300 people at risk. If you need a drink (and let's not forget how predictable turbulence is) not at the controls. Cockpit seats are not wetrooms

Sounds harsh, but car and truck drivers should not be drinking at the controls and there's lots of sensitive electronics in modern cars/trucks

Privacy activists beg Google to ban un-removable bloatware from Android


How about removing Google Assistant for a start?

Impossible to disable; seems very adept a re-assigning itself revoked permissions.

Then move on to Google Now launcher with the always-present search bar on screen. Also not possible to disable / remove the search bar,...

Hey kids! Ditch that LCD and get ready for the retro CRT world of Windows Terminal


Re: "/" in paths?

Yup, noticed that too. Methinks Midnight Commander on a Linux box or Linux looking at an MS box

Hyphens of mass destruction: When a clumsy finger meant the end for hundreds of jobs


Re: SCO Unix

Wow, just realised I read that as "suppose that a bit of Poettering about in the future will change it sooner or later" as it still made sense....



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