* Posts by goodjudge

125 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Nov 2011


Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support


Re: Guy was an arse BUT..

"I wouldn't put it past him to be the one to pull the cord loose."

In my much younger days, though when I should still have known better, I called IT support having done (I thought) all the proper checks including the socket. His 5-second investigation found that the two-part power cable dangled under the desk and I'd accidentally kicked the connection loose. Yes, I was suitably apologetic.


"I've found myself trying to resize a window someone was sharing on Teams..."

or trying to scroll through a document because I can read it faster than the sharer...

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean AI's not after you


"CEO Philip Jansen said in May: “For a company like BT there is a huge opportunity to use AI to be more efficient"


"CEO Philip Jansen said in May: “For a board of management like BT there is a huge opportunity to use AI so as to be able to sack lots of costly minions and make more money for the board in share options and bonuses because we met our cost-reduction targets. Long term company future? Who cares. I'm richer than you'll ever be."

Woman jailed after RentaHitman.com assassin turned out to be – surprise – FBI


Re: I hate to say this, but it's sad that there are homo sapiens so f'in stupid

"Nobody ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the human race" (attributed to various)

Where do people feel most at risk of being pwned? The pub


Re: Leading questions or a fair and balanced enquiry?

Re: "Are any of these surveys worth reporting?"

The ONLY relevant line in that article is "Research from service provider NordVPN, carried out by survey company Cint". It's just an ad. Publicity depts in all sorts of companies are well known for dreaming up headlines then creating a "report" and follow-up "press release" that matches the desired outcome.

EU threatens X with DSA penalties over spread of Israel-Hamas disinformation


Re: You forgot...


Oracle at Europe's largest council didn't foresee bankruptcy


I'm interested in this bit

"The report went on to say: "This is what members gave officers approval for through Cabinet papers in July 2019 and March 2021. However, officers evolved the approach towards adapting the system – meaning that Oracle was customized to meet the council's existing business processes. This shift in emphasis (from adoption to adaptation) has severely impacted upon the council's ability to properly implement the Oracle system.""

Does that mean staff were resistant to change and tried to make the software do 'the old way' when it wasn't designed that way, and the customisation broke things elsewhere? Or did councillors sign off on something that didn't work for the staff's actual needs, and couldn't do so without extensive customisation, which was never going to work within the wider programme? I know which one my money's on.

Britcoin or Britcon? Bank of England grilled on Digital Pound privacy concerns


Re: I call big hairy bollocks

Exactly. What is the government doing about the banks closing branches and thereby removing easy access to cash across vast swathes of the country? Where the only option becomes a cash machine in a convenience store that charges you £2 a time for the 'privilege' of having your own money? Absolutely naff all, that's what. Because they want that control.

If you like to play along with the illusion of privacy, smart devices are a dumb idea


Re: Why would a Washing Machine require my Date of Birth ...

"Why do I need an app to do any of that???"

But... but... what happens if you did steps 1 and 2 and you meant to set the timer for it to start 2 hours before you were due to return home from work (or wherever) but you realised part way through the day that you'd forgotten, or your planned arrival time changed one way or the other. Then it's absolutely *essential* that you should be able to log in from the train / the pub to change the settings. I can't believe our civilisation has lasted so long without this facility.

Japanese supermarket watches you shop so AI can suggest more stuff to buy


What I don't understand is how it's going to prompt / direct you?

It specifically says "in-store" customers. With an app at home it's obvious, but surely you don't walk round a real Tesco with the Tesco app open on your phone? Are they going to put chips and speakers in the basket / trolley handles? Or a cacophony of tannoy announcements? Or have Japanese supermarkets dispensed wholly with staff and everyone has to carry those little scanners to tot up their bill as they go, which will be adapted to also issue the instructions?

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time


Not guilty

The only one of those phrases - in the first paragraph or the lower lists - that I recall using in real life is "double click", and only then when teaching someone how to using a programme feature. How did it become manglement-speak? If anyone does start using those phrases in my presence I just assume they're a tosser and switch off until they can revert to plain English.

This has reminded me of one such meeting a decade or more ago where a senior bod in the organisation was instructing us minions how to write to other senior bods. "Be direct, don't use jargon", he said. Great, though blindingly obvious. Then in the next breath, "for example, don't say "do", say "expedite"". FFS!

New York City latest to sue Hyundai and Kia claiming their cars are too easy to steal


"We emphasize the States because "Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold in the European and Canadian markets incorporate vehicle immobilizers, because regulations there expressly require them. It is only in the United States that Hyundai and Kia have chosen to sacrifice public safety for profits," the complaint claims."

Hang on, I thought the US view was that governmental interfering in the commercial market = Soshulizm!?!?!!, not The American Way, and that what 'the market' provides must be therefore perfect otherwise consumers would not have bought it.

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade


Reasons for delay?

Does anyone know if some of the hold-ups are due to inter-service rivalry or competing requests? The late Lewis Page of this parish wrote a book on defence procurement which included how the first of these was a big factor in project over-runs and bloat. Have the police tried to pull rank over the fire service, or do the brigade have genuine needs or "ooh! shiny!" want lists that would hinder the ambulance service?

Utah outlaws kids' social media addiction, sets digital curfew


Re: While I do not agree with 99% of...

"Equally there is the moral stuff. Some parents couldn't give a shit if their 12 year olds smoke. Others recoil in horror at the idea of their 15 year old going on a "date" to the cinema or whatever."

And then there's the type of parent that thinks a 500 year old statue, generally regarded as one of the pinnacles of Western classical art, representing a biblical subject no less, is nothing more than pr0n.


China crisis is a TikToking time bomb


I needed a laugh this morning

"The difference is the extensive legal framework protecting Western citizens and companies from state security overreach. Imperfect and constantly stretched as it is, the law is on our side."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Yes, the UK is supposedly not allowed to spy on its own citizens. Same in the US. But there is nothing preventing them setting up in each other's countries (Menwith Hill, anyone?) then exchanging data.

£2B in UK taxpayer cash later, and still no Emergency Services Network


"ancient pre-Roman Celtic gods and goddesses"

As opposed to modern pre-Roman or modern Celtic? (No responses from Glasgow footie fans please).

Anyway, what could be more 'science fiction and fantasy' than a national government IT project?

'Major' news: Microsoft slips Bing chatbot shortcut into Windows 11


Sometimes it helps to be an IT dinosaur

with a home PC, not a laptop, where the camera and mic are only plugged in for making occasional calls to friends abroad then unplugged again straight after.

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs


MPs and tractors, anyone?

see title

Europe wants Airbnb and pals to cough up rental property logs


Re: Thankfully we are out

All businesses have to follow the necessary legislation for their sector. In the case of holiday lets, hotels, B+Bs, that's meant to protect the guests. It's hardly the government "poking its nose in". Setting up a business without following the industry rules or declaring income for tax purposes makes them no different from those market stalls flogging "Guci" bags or "Ro1exes".

Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process


Remember when Photobucket was free and used by millions, then they suddenly introduced fees?

Yeah, that went well...

The world was promised 'cloud magic'. So much for that fairy tale


The headlines today: "ooh, new shiny" does not match up to the ads

Now sports...

People still seem to think their fancy cars are fully self-driving


Quelle surprise

"After years of news stories where driver assistance systems are called "self-driving cars", a study by the US-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests motorists continue to use their vehicles as though they are fully self-driving."


How CIA betrayed informants with shoddy front websites built for covert comms


"Investigative research group Bellingcat"

= security service asset Bellingcat. Even if you believe their supposed 'independent' origin story, if they were then they aren't now.

Girls Who Code books 'banned' in some US classrooms


Re: The last sentence of the article has it.

"There's some irony that the apparent 'flash point' for this ridiculous ban is a mailing list touching on abortion and trans rights. Is that not the 'left' wanting to make other people behave a certain way"

I can only interpret this as meaning you actually believe "the left" (whoever that means) are actively trying to turn people trans or make them have abortions. If so, further words fail me.

To preserve Earth's treasures, digital silence is golden


Social media killed that wise old saying "just because you can, it doesn't mean you should".

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down


Re: I have no problem with this.

"I also discovered that not speeding doesn't make much difference to journey times and is a lot more relaxing."

And it reduces your fuel consumption. The motorway section of my daily commute is 6 miles. One day, years ago, I suddenly realised that belting along at 70, silently (sometimes) wishing that everyone would get out of my way, took 6 minutes whereas doing 60 in the outside line with occasional overtaking took just one minute more, was cheaper, put less stress on the car and myself, and gave me another minute of listening to whatever fine music I'd selected. It was a no-brainer that I've stuck to ever since.

It seems there are a few petrol-heads on this message board systematically down-voting everyone that suggests 'not speeding' is easy to do and the right thing to do.

Elon Musk 'buying Manchester United' football club


"Whether Musk is serious or not is impossible to divine"

As always, he's not buying <latest thing>, he's buying acres of publicity at a miniscule cost.

Tories spar over UK's delayed Online Safety Bill


Re: I'm surprised

Nadir Dorries

Twitter sues Musk: He can't just 'change his mind, trash the company, walk away'


Where's the Harry Hill icon? "There's only one way to settle this...."

This is the military – you can't just delete your history like you're 15


laptop resales

I've told this one before, but in the 00s a friend asked me to look at the laptop his housemate wanted to sell him to see if it was worth the money. I switched it on and almost immediately saw how slow it was running. I checked the disk drive and it was almost full so I ran a search for files over X Mb. Back came a long list of videos, many with titles including things like "lolita" and "babysitter". I / we did NOT open any, I just told him that if any were really dodgy then the IP might have been traced and eventually someone official might come knocking. He didn't buy the laptop.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs


Re: The curse of overchoice

"Ever bought a car? Are you sure you got the right one?"

But all cars have a steering wheel, 4 wheels, the same handbrake, gear system and pedals in the same place (except no clutch on an automatic), the same essential dashboard info, window, light and wiper controls generally in the same place. None of the bells and whistles - parking sensors, entertainment systems, trim - are relevant to anyone putting in the key or pressing the button to start driving. Anyone can understand engine size and MPG ratings. Then it just comes down to what looks nice and feels good in a test drive. No-one exept petrol-heads need to know or care about torque points or optimum RPMs, or to open the bonnet except to top up the windscreen washer.

Similarly, for a Windows home user, you switch your new computer on, type your name and location, it does all the rest for you in under an hour inc. some compulsory re-starts for any updates since the time it was built and the time you switched it on. Then that's it forever, except some occasional automated updates.

As far as I can tell, Linux is none of that, or if it is that simple then it's drowned in tech-speak that will continue to stop the vast majority of people from even looking. Kernel. Forking. GNU. Shell. Even a lot of the product names - the main exception being Mint - look "techy". A few from the article: openSUSE, UbuntuDDE, Ubuntu Kylin, Xfce. What Linux needs is a Gates-type figure who can turn all of this into both plain and marketable language.

Random quote from the article: "The AmigaOS desktop, Workbench, already has a FOSS relative called Ambient, from MorphOS, as does the all-FOSS AROS in the form of Wanderer." I rest my case.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


Re: ... and to a racing driver, F1 isn't hard, either

"But then I find Windows to be a largely a hard to use mess - why can't I arrange the menu, for example."

But why do you want to re-arrange a menu? 99% of users don't. I customised my Quick Access Toolbar in Word and Excel because I use both programmes a lot, I know how to customise, and it makes my life a bit easier, but most of my colleagues barely use, or need to use, more than bold and underline in Word and they only read Excel, not input.

Other examples further up are red herrings too. E.g. the one about guitars: it doesn't matter if you pick up a Gibson, Flying V or nylon string acoustic. If you can form an A chord it plays an A chord, and you can do that from the moment you pick it up, like Windows (OK, I admit, the installation routine asks for your name and country location), rather than having to know "how to burn an ISO image to a USB stick, rebooting your computer from it, playing with it to make sure it works". That last bit is especially why it's still not for the mass market. The guitar equivalent is alternate tunings and swapping out the pick-ups, but the vast majority of players don't care and don't need to care.

I would like to try Linux but every 'simple' guide I've read to how install and run it has decended into jargon and acronyms within a couple of paragraphs with no explanations, just an assumption that you will know what they mean. This article and a lot of the comments just continue the theme.

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office


Re: Business as usual

"I've mostly stuck to smaller companies since, and have seen a smattering of good and bad managers. Smaller companies tend to have fewer places for inept or toxic people to hide."

Problem is when the inept AND toxic manager owns the small company... Not that I speak from bitter experience, oh no sir.

Nothing's working, and I've checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault


Re: I think that step is optional

Circa 2000, everyone's getting online, lots are buying domain names, lots of them can't cope with how to set up an Outlook / O. Express mailbox, even with the most basic instructions provided. A helldesk colleague regularly resorted to: "Don't do anything unless I tell you to. OK, click this. Now write that in the field. Now... WHAT? NO I DIDN'T TELL YOU TO DO THAT. DON'T DO ANYTHING UNLESS I TELL YOU". Thankfully he did it in such a way that he never got complaints.


Re: Printer Cartridge

I once had a much shorter journey for the same thing - about 50 meters - but the difference was I was working in a IT company so it might have been expected that all employees had at least a basic understanding of How Things Work.

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


Re: Public view

"I saw one user fire up IE. It defaulted to Bing. In the Bing search box they'd type "Google". Then in the Google search box they'd enter the URL of the site they wanted to go to"

'Google' is most searched word on Bing, Google says


In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done


Re: Ah Elite !

"Have you tried Oolite?"

I tried it a while ago and it looked good but after years of intensive playing of Elite in the 80s (only got to Deadly though) my fingers automatically fell into A/S/X and <> and refused to work properly in the Oolite keyboard configuration.

I bought a floppy disk release for Win95 that I've copied onto successive computers since, and it still runs on Win7, but it's not as good as the BBC cassette version.

Guntrader breach perp: I don't think it's a crime to dump 111k people's details online in Google Earth format


Re: Stupid is as stupid does.

I wasn't aware that fox hunters carried guns on their horses. Obviously there is some overlap on the venn diagram of fox hunters, game shooters and other shooters, but there will also be plenty outside it. As far as I'm aware the majority of shooters aren't hunters.

United Nations calls for moratorium on sale of surveillance tech like NSO Group's Pegasus


Re: Oi!

You forgot to say "please".

Subcontractors working on CityFibre's £45m Derby rollout threaten to 'rip up tarmac' in dispute over payments


Also wood and many other building materials. Reasons that I've seen include:

1) Covid shutting down suppliers, manufacturers and container ports around the world.

2) Brexit - both the obvious, and also suppliers building up stocks for the 2 Brexit "deadlines" that came and went, in case of post-Brexit shortages, which led to price falls due to over-supply, so then Covid lockdowns gave a lot of people the chance to do a lot more DIY than usual at lower prices than usual, so the warehouses emptied and couldn't easily be refilled.

3) the Ever-Given stranding causing delays to other shipping.

4) HS2 getting first dibs on UK imports.

From what I've been told, there is not going to be a return to normal across the materials supply industry for a long time to come.

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects


No mention of...

... most ministers having the attention span of a gnat, always wanting to make their name by some sort of 'revolution', i.e. changing or ditching everything their predecessor was doing, whilst knowing they probably won't be in post for long anyway and the next bugger will do the same to them, and certainly not interested in anything at all beyond the next election. National-scale IT development takes time to create and much longer to have an effect in society. There are no vote-friendly headlines in that.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item


Re: Always an important consideration

"There was an article here on El Reg the other day talking about right clicking the taskbar to get the task manager being second nature. I always use the Ctrl-Shift-Esc combo, others might use Ctrl-Alt-Del and then select the task manager option."

I missed the article and, despite X years of computer use spent learning as many shortcuts as I could, I had no idea about right-clicking the taskbar. Until now it was always C-A-D. Thanks for improving my day.

We've been shown time and again that strong encryption puts crims behind bars, so why do politicos hate it?


Re: Red herring

Indeed. Per title, "strong encryption puts crims behind bars, so why do politicos hate it": because the holy grail is the ability to snoop on anyone, any time, anywhere. That is and will always be far more important than targetting actual crims 'now'.

For example, some current teenagers or pre-teens will become the Julian Assange / Peter Tatchell / Chelsea Manning of 2035 and some people in power (by no means just the government) would love to have a decade or more of their electronic history to browse through, selectively present to the public, and hang them with. Think of last week's 'scandal' of an England cricketer dropped from the team for one offensive tweet sent years ago when he was a dumb teenager, then magnify. (Mr Orwell had an apposite phrase about boots and faces, I believe)

Missing GOV.UK web link potentially cost taxpayers £50m as civil servants are forced to shuffle paper forms


"To be fair to Patel"?

That's not something you read often. Are we talking about the same Priti "would deport her own parents" Patel? And as for the opinions of the Extremely Rich People Who Are Highly Tax Efficient (at hiding their money in Bermuda, the Caymans and similar) Alliance - well, 'nuff said.

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'


Re: I heard...

That was the original story I heard too, but both the volume and range have expanded since then.

There's been years of campaigning against police retention of data from those who are interviewed then released (or to use a technical term, "innocent"), or from mass 'round up the usual suspects' attacks on demonstrations. (Anyone remember kettling?) The police / government response was not much more sophisticated than "No. Shan't. Remember Ian Huntley?", despite him and that case being a red herring in this context. A lot of people will not be unhappy that those records have now been lost due to an admin SNAFU. Losing actual criminal records and those for investigations in progress is a little more serious.

US govt ups minimum H-1B tech salaries to $208,000 a year, more than startups can hope to afford, say VCs


Tsk tsk

You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition: "... system from which you came."

Luke Skywalker used to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 on Tatooine. But Star Wars: Squadrons misses the mark


Re: I have no interest in multiplayer

I looked into Oolite years ago but couldn't get my hands around it - literally. I played the BBC version (to death, or at least to Deadly level); all you needed for the most part was A, S, X, < and >, my fingers went automatically into position even after several decades and... Oolite uses different keys and I couldn't face being a beginner again. Maybe it's time to reconsider.

Joystick? Whassat?

Iran sent threatening pro-Trump emails to American Democrats, Russia close behind, says US intelligence


Eurasia has always been at war with East Asia.


Don't look here, nothing to see here. Look over there. No, there. No, ...


Re: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

"BLM are far left."

Er, no, they really, really aren't. Unless your definition of "far left" includes not wanting police officers to kill people in the street or shoot children in their own home for the lulz and not wanting them to escape all legal consequences if they do those things, in which case call me Mao.

UK tech supply chain in dark over Brexit preparations months ahead of final heave-ho


It's almost as if

there was no plan and no plan to have a plan. Surely that can't be right?