* Posts by James O'Shea

1631 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Linus Torvalds tells kernel list poster to 'SHUT THE HELL UP' for saying COVID-19 vaccines create 'new humanoid race'

James O'Shea

Re: The echo chamber at work...

Thalidomide _is_ perfectly safe... if you're not pregnant. Specifically, if you're not at a specific stage of pregnancy. So it's perfectly safe for 50% of the adult population 100% of the time, and for the other 50% 90+% of the time. It's hideously unsafe for the last few, though. Or rather for the fetuses the last few are carrying.

Seriously, look up aspirin and penicillin. If either of them had been first proposed in a modern testing environment, neither would have been approved. They'd never get past the animal testing, one kills guinea pigs and one blinds rabbits. (I don't remember which, and reading about it was too depressing so I'm not digging up the article again.) Penicillin is fatal to a small percentage of humans, and will make another small percentage very sick indeed.A lot of people have problems with aspirin (I'm one of them...) And yet both of them are still in use... (I can handle low-dosages of aspirin. Some others can't even do that.)

There's a long list of drugs which will cause problems in a small percentage of people. A very long list. (Any diabetics out there? Let me just mention metformin. And that one is by no means the most egregious example...)

'Vaccine hesitancy' _is_ irrational.

James O'Shea

Go, Linus, go

Hit 'im again. Harder. [gets popcorn].

Silly twit doesn't know how lucky he is that Linus lit him up, not me. One of my nieces died, at only 25, of covid crap. I get VERY ANNOYED with anti-vaxxer idiots.

At the office, we provided transport, in company vehicles, on company time, to sites doing mass vaccinations. And then we set up our own mass vaccination. Those who aren't vaccinated have been advised that they may not be allowed on premises; a lot of work is from home, but not all of it. If you need to be on prem, you need to be vaccinated. You need to work on prem but don't want to be vaccinated? Start looking for another job, mate, you're not gonna be here for long. This is a Right To Work state, and we can fire anyone, at any time, for any reason or no reason at all, so long as the person isn't one of the Protected Categories. Anti-vaxxers ain't on the list. We checked.

We had some refuse to go when we sent the company vehicles to pick them up and take them to be vaccinated; so long as they're working from home, we don't care. They're not getting into the building, though.

US Patent Office to take only DOCX in future – or PDFs if you pay extra

James O'Shea

Not if the original document has tables, or captioned figures or even just more than one column per page. Almost all OCR has serious trouble with tables and columns. Inserting a scanned in, not OCRed, picture of a page is worse. Unless the pic is high res, the text in it will be blurry... which is why the pic has to be high res just to OCR it. And you're at the mercy of whatever ink/toner was used, and what kind of paper, and how old it is. Extracting text from that mess is very difficult.

Apple patches iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, kitchen-sinkOS bugs said to be exploited in the wild

James O'Shea

Re: WatchOS

She's lucky. My Apple Watch (which I did NOT buy, it was a purchase for me by someone who should have had more sense but whom it would be unsafe to insult by not using the damn thing) updated. Battery life promptly died. This morning it was 21%; I charged it to 99%... and within a few hours it was down to 81%. And falling rapidly.

Does anyone know how to remove an 'update'?

James O'Shea

Re: My hunting camera is safe...

It hunts Tories. Particularly it hunts Tories in indoor situations involving riding crops, chains, riding boots, foxes, fox hounds, and hunt ponies. RMS would approve.

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?

James O'Shea

Re: Apple really has done an amazing job here...

Errr... people like HR shouldn't have anything saved locally, they should all be connected to something on a server or two. Which means that if they need to re-image a drive because some HR twit has done something stupid, then nothing was lost, except the HR twits' (and the tech who has to apply the fix) time.

And I rather expect that the HR twits in question would have to bring their borked box in so it could be looked at. At which point it's no longer off-site.

Now, if the HR twit put something onto local storage and then borked the box, well that come under "How sad, too bad, you just lost the lot, don't ever do that again." Certainly it's a termination offense _here_ if someone manages to store files locally instead of on the server where they're supposed to be. We go to a _lot_ of trouble to make local storage difficult, precisely so users can't say that they didn't know and did it by accident. YMMV. That's _remote_ storage, in _our_ cloud, not using other clouds; 3rd-party clouds (note plural) are backup, not active storage. And they supplement, but do not replace, tape. Lots and lots and lots of tape. Accounting has, on occasion, asked why we need to still have tape in this modern era of cloud storage. Our answer is that we'll happily remove their data from future tape backups, and indeed we'll drop tape completely if they'll agree that we're not liable for any missing data. They shut up. In the old days we backed up each desktop, and, if connected at the time that the backup app ran its sweep, each laptop. Now we just back up the servers and NAS and such. Anything on local systems isn't touched. We do run sweeps to see if someone is putting something locally, and periodically find files, usually porn, mostly boring porn, though one sale guy had some really spectacular stuff. He is no longer with us.

James O'Shea

Re: Apple really has done an amazing job here...

Now three downvotes, no comment. Quite interesting.

James O'Shea

Re: Apple really has done an amazing job here...

Interesting. Two downvotes as of time of posting, but no comment to say what they fond objectionable. Hmm. 'Tis a puzzlement.

US Army develops natural-language voice-command AI for robots, tanks, etc. For search'n'rescue. For now

James O'Shea

Re: IFF needed

Johnny Foreigner doesn't know English. And has a funny accent.

James O'Shea

Re: Turn 45 degrees

I was just about to point out that the typical NCO uses variations on 'fuck', 'shit', 'cock', and 'cunt' (but especially 'fuck') roughly every second word. Marines and sailors tend towards two of three words. I can recall a long service chief petty officer having a little discussion with a new recruit in which five of six words were from the above list. (The recruit had managed to do the impossible, and had broken a Mk VIII* torpedo. The original Mk VIII entered service in 1927. That's One Nine Two Seven. They are commonly considered to be unbreakable.. except this boy managed. The CPO was... annoyed. The rest of us stood well clear of blast range.) (Note that Mk VIII* torps launched from a British nuke sub sank General Belgrano in 1982, being considered to be way more reliable than newer fish. The Navy never throws anything away. They probably still have cutlasses suitable for arming boarding parties still around.)

We seem to have materialized in a universe in which Barney the Purple Dinosaur is designing iPhones for Apple

James O'Shea

Prepare to die, heretic. There is but one true iPope: the almighty iSteve. The iTim is merely his prophet.

Onward, Apple soldiers, marching as to war

With the chair of the iSteve going on before

Jobs, the royal Master, leads against the foe

Forward into battle see His banners go

(Who, me? Unimpressed? Whatever gave you that idea? I was hoping for a 16" MBP to replace my current ancient laptop. I guess my credit card stays in my wallet. And the 16" MBP had better not have strange colours if/when it appears.)

Would be so cool if everyone normalized these pesky data leaks, says data-leaking Facebook in leaked memo

James O'Shea

time for some joy


Let's just say that the guys behind The Joy of Tech are NOT fans of Facebook or Zuckerbgorg.

Seeing a robot dog tagging along with NYPD officers after an arrest stuns New Yorkers

James O'Shea

Re: RoboCopDog

'R2D2', eh? El Reg had best watch out. The Mouse has been known to sue for less than this.

A keyboard? How quaint: Logitech and Baidu link arms to make an AI-enabled, voice-transcribing mouse

James O'Shea

Re: So where does the speech recognition happen ?

A good way to find out would be to mention 'Tiananmen Square'.

You go first, I'll watch.

Apple extends Find My support to third-party vendors including Belkin, Dutch bike maker VanMoof, and Chipolo

James O'Shea

Pointing this out may prove detrimental to one's health. Getting a tracker app to point it out for her is much more survivable.

Director, deputy director, CTO of Free Software Foundation quit after Stallman installation

James O'Shea

A lot of people ignore the bad sides of their heroes. We see this with supporters of Trump. We see this with supporters of Farage.

We see this with supporters of RMS.

James O'Shea

Irrelevant. The list of those who were thoroughly repellant human beings with which I would not go near on a personal level but who were very good at what they did is a long one. Wagner was a thoroughly evil man; he was also an extremely talented composer who wrote some of the greatest works of the late 19th century. We should boycott The Ring Cycle because Wagner was a sick puppy? Ford was a fascist; his methods revolutionized industry in the US and the world. We should boycott anything made by assembly line methods, especially cars, particularly Fords, because Ford was a racist ant-semite? Newton stole credit for other's work, most notably the calculus. We should ignore the laws of motion or gravitation because he was an unscrupulous thieving bastard?

YHes, Stallman has done a lot of work which is of great benefit to a lot of people. And yes, he is not someone I'd willingly associate with. Not after his remarks about 14-year-olds, as noted upthread here. And yes, if I had been contributing money to the FSF, I'd stop doing that. I would not like to have my money contributing to him. The bad outweighs the good, in my opinion. Yours may differ. I would not dream of preventing you from supporting him, just as I would not dream of stopping opera fans from going to see some Wagner. But I'm not supporting him.

Guilty: Sister and brother who over-ordered hundreds of MacBooks for university and sold the kit for millions

James O'Shea

Heh. Y'all have never, umm, 'associated', with the right people. One place I worked at, the guys in Stores were _notorious_. One gentleman had what appeared to be company utility poles (it was an electric utility) and company street lights and even company pole-mounted transformer casings in his house. The company fired him and started criminal proceedings. The problem was... they could not prove that any of the items had actually ever been company property; none had any company ID numbers, and, more important, nothing was, officially, missing from Stores. They had to give him his job back. Everyone _knew_ that he was stealing the place blind. Proving it was a whole separate thing.

The most spectacular thing that the pirates in Stores ever did was when 12 new company cars, for very senior management, arrived.. but only ten were checked in and no-one ever saw the other two again. Senior management was Extremely Annoyed(tm).

My department was sited next door to Stores. The nearest company canteen was at Stores, and we'd sometimes go over there for lunch. We would keep a hand on our wallets when we did...

Apple's app transparency rules: Google's privacy labels for Chrome and Search on iOS highlighted by DuckDuckGo

James O'Shea

Re: Reading this comment infers an acceptance of my terms and conditions.

The Nazis murdered 11 to 13 million in assorted camps, death and otherwise. 5-7 million were Jews. Gypsies, homosexuals, socialists, communists, and Slavs, particularly Russians, were the rest.

Asahi's plan for Linux on Apple's new silicon shows Cupertino has gone back to basics with iOS booting

James O'Shea

Serious questions

1. Why would anyone spend the kind of money necessary to buy one of the M1 Macs and then nuke the warranty by erasing the drive and installing a Linux?

2. Related to above... given the limited disk (really SSD) space (256 or 512 GB, expandable to a max of 2 TB very expensively at point of purchase, not expandable afterwards except by using external USB or Thunderbolt drives), is there a way to create a separate Linux partition and install a bootloader of some type so that users could dual-boot Linux and macOS? I rather suspect that Boot Camp ain't gonna work, and it wasn't that fond of Linux on Intel hardware in the first place. At least it wasn't fond of Linux on Intel hardware sometime after Apple started supporting Win 10 in Boot Camp, not in my experience, anyway.

3. Allegedly there will be versions of VMWare and Parallels for Apple Silicon, Real Soon Now. (I'm not holding my breath waiting.) Wouldn't it be better to run a Linux in a VM? That's how I have Mint and Ubuntu running on various Intel Macs right now. Frankly, I got tired of trying to get Boot Camp to work properly with Linux (it has problems with Win 10, but at least Apple says they're fixing those, they're ignoring Linux in Boot Camp completely, so far as I can tell. Corrections welcome. Not holding my breath waiting for those, either.) and just lit up a VM. I did the same for Win 10. Dual booting is annoying, VMs are slower but more efficient unless I need the full power of the machine... and if I need the full power of the machine to do something macOS can't or won't do, getting a non-Apple system, usually by buying parts and building it myself for my personal use or speccing out a serious business system from a serious vendor (that is, not HP or Dell) for the office, would be more efficient. I'm currently typing this on a hand-built Win 10 system, which started as a Win 7 system in 2012. It was fairly powerful in 2012 but is starting to show its age and will be replaced by a new build system some time this year.

4. What will they do when Apple changes the (undocumented) boot system, which I'm absolutely certain they will? I'll put up serious money that there will soon be a M2 or some other evolution of the M1, and that things will change re booting the new system.

Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death

James O'Shea

Re: Drivers crashing the OS

MS did exactly that, at least three times over the last 20 years. They first screwed things up with XP. That was back when they went totally into deepest cloud-coocooland; you see, that big hunk of metal and plastic on the desk isn't the printer, it's the print device. The printer is the software. Really. The printer is independent of the print device; in theory, you can take a spooled print job from one print system and copy it to another, and it'll print. If the first print system had a greyscale print device, you might even be able to get colour if the second is a colour print device. (Good luck actually getting that to happen...) They did this with Won XP, then rebuilt stuff for Vista; that's why a bunch of print devices stopped working with Vista. I had a nice little HP inkjet which worked with XP and Mac OS X Leopard and died on impact with Vista and Snow Leopard. They fiddled some more with Win 10; some older inkjets died with Win10. The printer vendors (HP, the bastards) simply said that certain older printers were no longer supported. The HP printer which got broken by Vista was then less than two years old. It was replaced by a Brother inkjet, because I knew that my Brother laser which had worked with XP and Leopard still worked with Vista and Snow Leopard. Thje Brother laser is still working with Win 10 and Catalina, my Macs can't run Big Sur...

James O'Shea

Re: This is rather roundabout

Which Brother laser would that be? My HL-2070N, purchased in 2005 for $135, still works.

17 years since release, iMac G5 finally gets an upgrade after tinkerer shoves M1 Mac Mini inside

James O'Shea

Re: potentially warranty-voiding

Ah... it's the warranty on the new, M1-powered, system which was used to provide the new guts for the old iMac which will be void...

GPS jamming around Cyprus gives our air traffic controllers a headache, says Eurocontrol

James O'Shea

Re: The blocker needs a present

Multiple ways.

1 Many (most? all?) modern radar-guided air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles have a home-on-jam mode. This tends to make the life of an airborne jamming system exciting, but short. Have the civilian aircraft, or the air traffic controllers, have a word with the local military. If said military aren't the ones doing the jamming, they may elect to have a SHOOTEX. If they are the ones doing the jamming, then... oops.

2 There are dedicated anti-radiation missiles, such as HARM and ALARM. Where the AAMs and SAMs primarily hunt airborne targets, ARMs primarily hunt surface targets. HARMs are fast enough to go for air targets, too. They specifically hunt emitters. Including jammers.

3 GPS systems are _supposed_ to detect GPS emitters. Just include some extra logic in the seeker head avionics. "IF emitter is NOT in orbit AND IF emitter is stronger than cell phone THEN set collision course AND send 'Banzai!' over voice comms frequencies." (Other available words and phrases to replace 'Banzai' include 'Hell waits for thee' and 'God send the right'.)

The sooner AI stops trying to mimic human intelligence, the better – as there isn't any

James O'Shea

Re: Ah yes, Artificial Stereotyping.

Did Francine get a medal?

First Verizon, now T-Mobile: US carrier suggests folks use 2G to save battery

James O'Shea


I had been about to replace my old iPhone SE this weekend, but my main reason for doing so is that after 5 years the battery is not in the best of conditions. 'Battery Health' shows 86%. It still works, but no longer can handle serious use without getting dangerously low on power by the end of a day. (When new, I could get one and a half to two days out of a charge, three if I was conservative.) It seems that a nice new iPhone 12 would deliver similar performance... which makes me wonder how it'll behave when _it_ is five years old.

Yo! Apple! There's a problem here...

I may investigate one of those battery pack things. Or I may just live with the SE until the iPhone 13, with, one hopes, a bigger, better battery, shows up. It's not as if my area is overburdened with 5G signal at the current time, so the battery issue won't, probably, be that big a deal... except when I _am_ near a 5G tower and need the speed, whereupon the battery will drain at max rate knots. Probably when I can't stop to charge it.

Bah. Humbug.

Malware monsters target Apple’s M1 silicon with ‘Silver Sparrow’

James O'Shea

Re: This cannot be true!!!

I find the depth of the Apple hate to be most interesting, At time of posting, 13 downvotes to the post I'm replying to... and not one person addresses the central point: there were under 30,000 infections, out of an unknown number of million possible targets. Recall that there were variants vor Intel-powered Macs as well as the M1 variant. This malware attack is barely a ripple in a teacup, but some posters are gloating tover the Apple fail. Frtankly, this kind of thing is why I have long ceased to take anything posted on El Reg about Apple, especially but not limited to anything posted by commentards, seriously.

Unleash the downvotes. It will merely confirm what I say. Especially if commentards continue to not address the central point.

If you really must have Edge on your Apple M1 silicon, there's a compatible stable build for Microsoft's browser

James O'Shea

Re: "version 90.0.782.0"

They copied it from one of those IPv4 addresses which can be seen on bad cop shows.

James O'Shea

Re: Its got to be better than Safari

Err... no. Safari has its problems, but is simply vasly superior to MSIE and Edge. Recall that there used to be a version of MSIE for Mac... which died at v5.something, a Very Long Time Ago, in part because the primitive version of Safari at that time was better than MSIE. (Web browsers available for Mac at the time included MSIE, Safari, Firefox, and OmniWeb; OW was better than the others, but also was, allegedly, payware if you used it past a certain date. Or something, it's been a while and once I discovered that they wanted cash I dumped it into the Trash. Irt was better, but not that much better. Netscape Navigator may still have been around as well.) I used mostly Firefox on Macs for years, then found myself using Safari more and more and it's now my main browser on Macs. Firefox remains my main browser on Windows and Linux.

Please, if you would, detail the 'rubbish'. And why you think that it's 'rubbish'. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong and simply haven't noticed.

Loser Trump is no longer useful to Twitter, entire account deleted over fears he'll whip up more mayhem

James O'Shea

Re: An elephant in the room

Racist... sorta.He thought that there three tiers of humanity: Englishmen, other Britons and members of the Empire and Commonwealth (in that order...) and everybody else. A black or Indian who was from the Empire was obviously superior to one of those lesser folks without the law from outside of the Empire and Commonwealth. And that especially included Frenchmen and Americans, save for those sufficiently enlightened as to join the Empire. Admittedly, black/Indian Empire subjects were at the bottom of the heap of Empire subjects, but they were still better than anyone from elsewhere.

James O'Shea

Re: An elephant in the room


1 I last set foot in the UK in 1977. I have been an American citizen for literal decades now.

2 damn few Americans 'defended' Britain in WWII. There were a few volunteers, mostly in the RAF, and some serving naval personnel, notably 'observers' in maritime patrol aircraft (the first Navy Cross of the war was awarded to a USN officer serving as an 'observer' in an RAF long-range patrol aircraft which had a bit of an argument with a U-boat; the pilot and co-pilot were among the casualties, the 'observer' finished the attack, sank the u-boat, and brought the aircraft home, desapite being wounded himself) and the crews of USN ships on Armed Neutrality Patrol (USS Rueben James was sunk by a u-boat while on ANP off Iceland in September 1941; she was neither the first nor the last USN ship to engage u-boats while on ANP). The majority of the Americans in Britain were there to _attack_ Naziland; the 8th and 9th Army Air Forces, and the Army troops who went across the Channel. That noted bigot, Ernest King, pulled American naval forces (including the largest and most powerful ASW ships in the world, the 'Secretary' class cutters of the USCG) from the North Atlantic because he didn't want American ships to be under British command. He was fine with _Australian_ ships being under _American_ command, which lead directly to HMAS Canberra being sunk due to massive American incompetence; there would be a reason which there have been American ships named 'Canberra'. (Another Australian cruiser was part of the gun line at Suriago Strait; she was NOT the ship which caused the majority of American casualties in that action by raining fire down on an American destroyer, that would have been an American cruiser.)

3 Churchill and Roosevelt concentrated on the Nazis first because:

3a the Nazis were the most dangerous

3b Churchill & Roosevelt were (correctly) afraid of the consequences of leaving mainland Europe to be a private fight between the Nazis and the Soviets. Not least Churchill feared the consequences for morale among the various French, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Czech.and Polish units operating under British command; the Czech and Polish aircrews in the RAF were among the most effective, two Polish ASW ships were in the top 5 most effective, behind ships from Frederic John Walker's escort group, on the Atlantic; the Secretary cutters were the biggest ASW ships but not the best. Churchill _really_ didn't want to be seen as abandoning those men's countries.

3c Italy waa also in Europe, concentrating on Europe got a two-fer. (Actually, more, as Hungary, Romania, Finland, and Bulgaria were also Nazi allies; Japan had to be content with Thailand.)

4 no, Australia could not have been lost. Japan lacked the sealift to mount an invasion of Australia, just as they would have had serious problems getting to Hawaii. Japan could have _hurt_ Australia, badly, but actually taking it would have been a fantasy-land scenario right up there with the Nazis getting across the Channel.

5 Britain outlawed the slave trade in the first decade of the 19th century. One of the causes of the War of 1812 was British interference with American shipping attempting to run slaves across the Atlantic. Britain went so far as to declare that slavers were, for the purposes of law at sea, pirates, and subject to the same penalties as pirates when caught by the RN. That is, to be hung by the neck untill deasd, dead, dead. The US objected. Britain said 'come and stop us'.

5a slavery was abolished in British territories starting in 1833; there was to have been a period of 'apprenticeship' for 5 years, but mostly the now ex-slaves departed en masse. This had consequences; in the Caribbean, British planters imported, successively, workers from Madeira and the Azores (didn't work, is a major reason why there are a lot of people with Portuguese and Spanish names in Jamaica and the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean); Syria/Lebanon (didn't work; that's how Eddie Seaga's ancestors got to Jamaica, with major consequences in 20th century politics in the region); from China (didn't work, except to get lots of Overseas Chinese to places they would never have got on their own); and from India (didn't work, just got lots of Indians to Jamaica and especially Trinidad and Guyana; there's a reason why the West Indies cricket team had men with names like 'Ramadeen' and 'Kanhai' ) and finally to try to make things difficult for the ex-slaves and their descendants (didn't work; see further Paul Bogle and the Morant Bay Rebellion, and Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley and the trades union movements. There would be a reason why politics in the region is dominated by parties which grew out of unions. The only thing more bolshie than a Jamaican cane cutter is a Guyanese cane cutter...) And, oh, in southern Africa the British abolition of slavery directly caused the Great Trek when the Boers went north to escape British tyranny and to keep their slaves. Meanwhile, the US fought a civil war to end slavery... and ton this day there are some who _still_ carry the battle ensign of the Army of Northern Virginia. Including idiots among those who stormed the Capitol building. (And they're doubly or even triply idiots; the actual ensign was _never_ the flag of the Confederacy, and was _square_, not rectangular. The idiots can't even get _that_ right.)

James O'Shea

Re: An elephant in the room

Seriously, you need to conduct a little research.

1 The war loans were, mostly, paid back. The UK went to a great deal of trouble to pay them back.

2 The US sent 50 overage, WWI-vintage, destroyers to the UK in return for bases on British territory. These bases included the locations of what are now the international airports in Trinidad (Piarco; there's a _reason_ why the main highway from Port of Spain to Piarco is the _Churchill-Roosevelt_ Highway); Barbados (Grantly Adams); St Lucia (Hewanorra); and probably others, I've only gone to those three, plus Vernam Field in Jamaica, now a motor vehicle raceway. The most famous of the ex-American destroyers was HMS Campleton, expended blowing up the Normandie Docks during Operation Chariot, the Greatest Raid of All. (5 VCs were awarded...)

3 Das Reich wasn't coming across the Channel. Panzers can't swim, and they didn't have anything even barely resembling the sealift required for an invasion.

4 You _do_ know that two of the five beaches at Normandy in 1944 were taken by British forces and a third by Canadians, don't you? Unlike the Nazis, the British Commonwealth and Empire _did_ have the sealift to mount an invasion.

5 if the US isn't in the war, that means that the Japanese backed off... which means that the Australians, the Indians, the New Zealanders, and all the rest of the Empire are available to go after Naziland. Instead of two American beaches, there would probably have been an Australian and an Indian beach, with the Kiwis tagging along with the Aussies.

James O'Shea

Re: An elephant in the room

Even the president can't authorize the use of nukes by himself, unless there is an emergency. The Air Force general in command of the bombers (and it would have to be bombers, ICBMs and SLBMs would have to be retargeted and in any case unscheduled missile launches would make the Russians and Chinese very nervous) would want the go order authorized by at least one other member of National Command Authority. The guys who actually fly the bombers would be looking for Emergency War Orders and after events dating back to the days of Bill Clinton will not be dropping anything anywhere, especially on American territory, without explicit, direct, orders... and even then they'd wonder why an AC-130 or some F-16s didn't go in instead.

James O'Shea

Re: An elephant in the room

That's why TACAMO and NMCC exist... and authorized substitutes for them. If there's an emergency, pre-existing Emergency War Orders go out, and the nukes fly. No emergency? You need proper authorization, and that means at least two of National Command Authority.

James O'Shea

I'd like to play a nice game of chess

Not NORAD. NORAD's the defense guys. They have no links to the subs, the bombers, or the land-based missiles, despite what you might have seen in Holyweird pieces of fluff like War Games. NORAD's only comment would be. to say that there weren't any inbounds detected at this time.

It used to be that if the headquarters of SAC, in Omaha, Nebraska, got removed from the command network, launch authority would go to whoever had duty as Alice in the Looking Glass aircraft, but Alice is grounded now that there are no more Looking Glass aircraft; instead. launch command authority goes to the US Navy's TACAMO ('TAke Charge And Move Out') aircraft of which one is over the Atlantic and one over the Pacific at all times; another bit of Holyweird fluff, By Dawn's Early Light, was set in the days when Looking Glass still flew. James Earl Jones was Alice, Martin Landau was the president, and the Russians were obnoxious. In the absence of inbound vampires (hostile missiles are 'vampires' in USN-speak) the TACAMOs will probably request authorization before giving the order to launch, and no one man, not even the president, can authorize a launch by himself unless there's an emergency, where 'emergency' is someone at the National Military Command Center in Washington saying something like "Vampire, vampire, many vampires inbound, confidence is high" and NORAD confirming that, TACAMO won't give the go order without at least two members of National Command Authority saying so. The Prez is just one. The Veep is another, as is the SecDef, the SecState, and either the chairman or all, I can't remember which and can't be arsed to look it up, of the Joint Chiefs. Does anyone actually think that any of them would go with the Prez on this? And this is the one thing that he _can't_ just order, even as commander in chief. And if he just fires the Joint Chiefs, etc, when they won't back him, TACAMO isn't going to take orders from substitutes when there's no emergency. He could fire the guys in the TACAMO aircraft, but they'd just return to base, and their reliefs would also just sit on their hands. What's he going to do, fire the entire USN? The land-based missiles, bombers, and subs will sit unless they get Emergency War Orders from a valid, authorized, source: TACAMO or NMCC or a valid substitute. What is likely toi happen is that someone at NMCC calls the Veep and asks about the 25th Amendment while someone else calls the Marines at 8th and I in DC and a Marine battalion goes and sits on DJT until President-for-less-than-two-weeks Pence (or, if Pence is fired, Pelosi...) tells them to let him up.

Trump silenced online: Facebook, Twitter etc balk at insurrection, shut the door after horse bolts and nearly burns down the stable

James O'Shea

Re: Not his finest hour

He would be a genius in a stable. Or maybe not.

Not just Microsoft: Auth turns out to be a point of failure for Google's cloud, too

James O'Shea

Re: Thanks be to God

Too close.

James O'Shea

Re: Thanks be to God

She does such a cracking good job that she needs a promotion. No longer should she be a mere Baroness. No, she should be a _Duchess_. I do believe that the Duke of York is currently between engagements. They deserve each other. And then the newly hitched pair should be sent to be co-Governors of the Falklands.

Australia mostly sticks to its guns in final plan to make Google and Facebook pay news publishers

James O'Shea

Re: Not the first time

Should Germany, for example, fire up anti-trust, the sonic boom you hear would be Google switching off Google.de. Users inside Germany could, I suppose, use Google.com, but specifically German items may be buried in the search. Similarly, if France, or, indeed, the entire EU, attempted to fire up anti-trust, I see Google simply pulling the plug in France/the EU. It's not as if they can't make billions from the entire rest of the planet.

Personally, I use Firefox, not Chrome, and DuckDuckGo, not Google search. I no longer have Gmail, mostly due to shenanigans Google pulled. (They wanted me to use their 'secure' app. I declined, and used Apple Mail on Macs and iDevices, and Outlook on Windows, and attempted Thunderbird on Linux. Google said that they weren't sure that they could verify that I was the person who owned the multiple Gmail accounts in question, all four of them, and locked them down. I had complete backups of all mail and contacts, so I got new email accounts, contacted everyone who had the old contacts, and drove on. I'm not feeling the love for Google.) Google is big. Google is evil. Google can live without newspapers in Germany, Spain, or Australia a lot better than the papers can live without Google.

Beloved US telco Verizon puts arm around Nokia, Microsoft, preps enterprise 5G for Europe, APAC

James O'Shea

Veriscum, beloved?!

There's sarcasm, and then there's sarcasm, and then there's _this_. The only reason why Verizon isn't the worst telco in the US is because AT&T exists. The only reason why AT&T isn't the worst telco in the world is because Cable & Wireless exists. (Sorta.) Veriscum is certainly attempting to take both titles, and may yet succeed.

LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice's 20th anniversary parade, tells rival project to 'do the right thing' and die

James O'Shea

Re: Probably a license issue

VLC, among others, seem to have no problems.

Confirmed: Barnes & Noble hacked, systems taken offline for days, miscreants may have swiped personal info

James O'Shea

Re: UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

I once got one ebook on Kobo, because for reasons the author felt were good he refused to let it on Apple or Amazon (he has since relented, for Apple. Still hates Amazon, though). I was not impressed. I never got another book from Kobo, and when the author allowed his work to be on Apple I bought all his other stuff there. Has Kobo become usable?

James O'Shea

Nook, snook

I bailed from Nook many years ago when B&N:

1 killed the Nook in the UK, making me nervous about Nook's future

2 killed the Nook non-Windows Store app, effectively killing Nook on my Win 7 systems

3 killed the Nook app on Macs, period.

I declined to download the Windows Store version for Win 10 as I don't have a Windows Store login and have no desire to get one. And I lacked confidence in Nook's future. I deleted Nook from my iOS devices, in part because I lacked confidence in Nook's future and because I was thoroughly annoyed at their killing Nook for Mac and Nook for non-Windows Store without warning. I had very little Nook content, all of which was, thankfully, downloaded on Win 7 and Mac systems. Withe the death of non-Win Store and Mac Nook, B&N couldn't delete my content (they tried...) and in any case I had backups. I de-DRMed all B&N content (usually in calibre) and fed it to other ebook reader systems, including caibre, Apple's iBooks, and Marvin on iOS. I find it facinating that B&N could no longer afford to support non-Win Store Windows and Mac, but could, somehow, support iOS (badly, Nook on iOS had numerous bugs which I'd reported over a period of years but which were never fixed, not while I still had a copy installed, anyway) and Android (don't use Droid, a FanDroid might have an opinion on Nook there.)

At one point I was in the local brick-and-mortar B&N at least once a week, buying books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, other things. I had one of their little loyalty cards and earned lots of discounts for all the purchasing I did.I haven't set foot in a B&N store since last year, just before Christmas, and I didn't buy anything then, I haven't bought anything from B&N in nearly two years now. I buy ebooks, mostly, and I buy from Apple and Amazon, mostly. I used to buy DVDs from Best Buy; they're killing their DVD shelving. Congrats, B&N, you sent a lot of business to Apple and Amazon. (Best Buy is doing the same...)

Let's see how long they last before they go bust.

It's that time of the year when Apple convinces you last year's iPhones weren't quite magical enough, so buy this new 5G iPhone 12 instead

James O'Shea

Same here. Or I may wait until next year and get a 13. Apple says my SE is worth $30 as a trade-in, so I expect that it'll just be my spare phone.

The battery is at 87% of full capacity nd at this point I don't think that it's cost-effective to replace the battery, so I may get a replacement before the 13 comes out. If I do, it may be a X, the price just came down. I'll probably go with the mini, though. Not for the 5H, I couldn't care less about that,

not with the alleged 5G coverage locally, but because of the smaller form factor.

We;ll see come December or January.

Beware, drone fliers, of Scotland's black-headed gulls. For they will tear your craft from Mother Nature's skies

James O'Shea

Re: Once upon and Lands End...

Gulls: winged pirates.

James O'Shea


That pic's not of a black _backed_ gull; it doesn't, well, have a black back. It could be a black _headed_ gull.

Jokes about overly hormoned teenagers will be treated with the contempt they deserve.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets

James O'Shea

Re: I get it

Modern Jazz was going to _start_ as a Mac product, to be moved to Win 3.x. It was abandoned. 1-2-3 for Windows and Mac was very, very, VERY late. It's not MS's fault that Lotus was late. And when Win 95 and NT came out, those who had Win 3.x and/or Mac applications up and running had an advantage to getting them on the new systems, so Lotus being late to Mac and Win 3.x bit Lotus _twice_.

And, oh... I recall there being swarms of word processors and databases and spreadsheets for Mac and Win 3.x. Excel was in the lead, but Word was not. And Access didn't exist. (Still doesn't on Macs; FileMaker Pro kicks its ass, and MS knows it and won't even try to compete.) Some of the other word processors (Nisus on Macs, for one) are still with us. Word Perfect came to Macs with lots of hype, and died a horrible death not due to MS machinations but due to massive incompetence on the parts of, successively, Word Perfect Corp, Novell, and Corel. I had a copy of Word Perfect for Mac, it did things that no other word processor, on any platform, was able to do at the time. Shame about how management screwed things up, starting with an insane marketing campaign and ending by _requiring_ users to _pay_ for certain updates (yes, plural) before being able to get the 'free' update to make certain features work with versions of Mac OS beyond 7.5.x.... and this after previous management had given those updates away... For a while WP for Mac was available for free from the vendor's site. Then they tried to charge for it. Then they just pulled it. It still worked into the early days of OS X, until Apple killed Classic, you just couldn't get updates and by that time other word processors had passed it by...

It's simply a fact that Excel wound up ruling because there sumply wasn't any competition worthy of the name. The big vendors ignored Mac and Win 3.x, and paid for it when 95 and NT arrived. Many small vendors who went to the small ponds of Mac and Win 3 are still around, making money, selling product; Lotus no longer exists as a separate company, and neither does Borland, Word Perfect Corp, and a host of other larger operations. It's not MS who killed them, it's their management.

James O'Shea

Re: I get it

so.. you're saying that Lotus didn't fuck up Jazz and didn't kill Modern Jazz, eh? That they didn't wait until the 1990s to try to move 1-2-3?

Right. It's all MS's fault. Sure it is.

Former antivirus baron John McAfee collared, faces extradition to America on tax evasion, securities allegations

James O'Shea

Re: Tsk

Impossible. BoJo doesn't have a dick, not anymore, it's in DJT's pocket.

James O'Shea

Always remember to back up...


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