* Posts by David Gosnell

941 posts • joined 19 Jun 2007


Amazon says it's all social media's fault for letting fake review schemes thrive

David Gosnell

Re: Is this the same Amazon...

I can see the room for confusion here.

What about when they offer almost the entire purchase price back as a reward, and coach you towards those magic five stars before obliging?

David Gosnell

Is this the same Amazon...

... who pop thinly-veiled review invitation cards into their shipping boxes for "fulfilled by" orders, tacitly condoning the practice?

China says its first Mars rover Zhurong has landed on the Red Planet

David Gosnell

Re: BBC posted impressive footage of the landing...

Link to BBC thumbnail for anyone interested and with an account on another dodgy superpower.

David Gosnell

BBC posted impressive footage of the landing...

... until someone with half a brain got into the office in the morning and pulled it for obvious reasons. About as real as the Beijing Olympics fireworks.

Revealed: The military radar system swiped from aerospace biz, leaked online by Clop ransomware gang

David Gosnell


LowKey cool: This web app will tweak your photos to flummox facial-recognition systems, apparently

David Gosnell

Reverse the example images...

... and they could be "before and after" samples for a top plastic surgeon specialising in acid attack victims.

NHS COVID-19 app is trying to tell Android users something but buggy notification appears stuck on 'Loading...' screen

David Gosnell

Re: Google Play Services

It's in the phone settings, not the app. Go to Settings, Google, Covid-19 Exposure Notifications, top right menu, Exposure checks and authenticate. Click on a time for the details, such as they are.

The app itself I think only logs the QR check-ins.

David Gosnell

Re: Google Play Services

Just did a kill and restart on the app, and finally got an exposure check logged in the Google back-end at 13:55. So might now be working.

David Gosnell

Google Play Services

So it's looking most likely that it's a change in Google Play Services, given that there was an update to that overnight. Now, what's the betting that Google forewarned NHSx (and Denmark's equivalent, based on LosD's comment) but no-one took any action?

For now, the message has gone from my phone without any intervention, but the Google back-end confirms there have been no syncs since yesterday evening so the lack of any further messages is only a placebo of workingness.

Buggy chkdsk in Windows update that caused boot failures and damaged file systems has been fixed

David Gosnell

Re: Connected?

I think you confuse a "wondering" question with a "seeking specific help" question.

David Gosnell


Connected with the unexpected boot-time "repair" my (SSD) PC carried out the other day? No obvious ill effects manifested as yet.

Retired engineer confesses to role in sliding Microsoft Bob onto millions of XP install CDs

David Gosnell

Comic Sans

If I remember rightly, Bob was the original bearer of the delightfully timeless Comic Sans font.

Also pioneered TFA logins (truly f*** all), with invitation to change your password if you'd obviously forgotten it.

Test and Trace chief Dido Harding prompted to self-isolate by NHS COVID-19 app

David Gosnell

Re: Suggestion...

Not Serco though; this is a popular myth now widely debunked. I believe they have a lot to do with the manual tracing programme but not the app, which is completely separately operated (to the chagrin of the government).

Officially, the following were involved with the app:

Accenture, Alan Turing Institute, NHS Digital, NHSx, Oxford University, VMware Pivotal Lab and Zuhlke Engineering, plus the National Cyber Security Centre.

David Gosnell

Only advisory

Of course, the app is only advisory, unlike any call you get from an actual human successfully able to feign being from the government. But I guess she has no practical choice having staked recovering her reputation on this crock.

England's COVID-tracking app finally goes live after 6 months of work – including backpedal on how to handle data

David Gosnell

Re: Compulsion or not

I gather Matt Hancock belatedly rescinded the Department of Health's wishful statement, presumably under pressure to actually be honest.

David Gosnell

If they included kids, the system would melt down and the entire country would be in isolation. The government knows that (they really do not understand school transmission, and are using this term as a test, basically) so best avoid it, huh. Same principle applied to NHS nursing staff testing, with management refusing to allow it in many areas because they knew Covid was endemic and they'd lose all their staff to isolation.

David Gosnell

Re: Is the QR code check part of the app in a legal requirement for venues?

Any data gathered via the QR coding cannot be pinpointed to an individual (supposedly), and therefore, according to the entirely advisory nature of the app as defined in its privacy policy, cannot be used as the basis of a mandatory isolation instruction, so I'm sure the government would rather we continued supplying our full contact details where at all possible.

David Gosnell

Compulsion or not

Needless to say, confusion over the level of compulsion with this thing, with the app's privacy policy making it very clear that everything it recommends is advisory, but the Department of Health saying you can theoretically be fined for not following it (even though it's a voluntary app and supposedly anonymised anyway). With the venue QR coding added in (also anonymised) as an alternative to paper records, this is going to take a lot of the wind out of the control-freak government's sails of enforcement. No wonder they weren't happy with Apple and Google's restrictions, and it wasn't just about the lack of access to Bluetooth rangefinding.

FYI Russia is totally hacking the West's labs in search of COVID-19 vaccine files, say UK, US, Canada cyber-spies

David Gosnell


.... we should start treating this global crisis as, well, you know, a global crisis, with a global solution?

As others have commented elsewhere, we (well everyone apart from Boris and his crazy gang) don't give a flying one about having "world-beating" anything, just an end to this damned thing whatever it takes.

Bricks and mortar chemists take down Indian contact-tracing website

David Gosnell

At least they HAD an app

No further text.

'VPs shouldn't go publicly rogue'... XML co-author Tim Bray quits AWS after Amazon fires COVID-19 whistleblowers

David Gosnell

Re: You can buy books online from other sites.

> In case you hadn't noticed, Amazon is not a bookseller and hasn't been for a *long* time.

To some extent, it never has been. I remember years ago when they made a thumping loss on book sales - as I suspect they still do, because they can afford to put dedicated sellers out of business despite their bit of pocket-money support for real bookshops recently. In spite of selling books (and more lately everything under the sun) being their perceived purpose to Joe Public, they never really expected to make a penny selling any physical product, with the real focus on services and technology licensing.

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home

David Gosnell

Visions of a lackey tapping out 50,000,000 messages on his T9 keypad

Messages arrived over the course of at least 4 or 5 hours. Good thing it was just a deadly virus, not a nuclear missile winging its way - even a pretend one like Hawaii had.

Never thought we'd write this headline: Under Siege Steven Seagal is not Above The Law, must fork out $314,000 after boosting crypto-coin biz

David Gosnell

But he can say his mate Vlad's name like a boss.


Vendor-bender LibreOffice kicks out 6.4: Community project feel, though now with added auto-█████ tool

David Gosnell


Curiously, my 6.2 installation isn't even picking up on there being a 6.3 release...

6.4 in fairness is an early-adopter release and as such not generally pushed at users, but surprised not to be offered 6.3 automatically.

There are already Chinese components in your pocket – so why fret about 5G gear?

David Gosnell

Trade spat

This is not, and never has been, about technology and security. It's just a silly trade spat that the orange buffoon expects all his allies to side with him on.

In tribute to Galaxy Note 7, BBC iPlayer support goes up in flames for some Samsung TVs

David Gosnell

Possible licensing error

As one affected, been keeping close track of this over the last 24 hours. One recurring theme from those chatting with Samsung seems to allude to a possibly expired licensing agreement. Also suggestion of a working patch in 3 to 4 days, in which regard Samsung were rather unhelpful publishing a new support page that (for now) basically echoed the useless advice message on iPlayer itself. But at least Samsung are on the case.

Any finger will do? Samsung Galaxy S10 with a screen protector reportedly easy to fool

David Gosnell

In other words....

Samsung blamed the screen protector until they realised that the same (obviously) happened with their own, not being endowed with magical qualities. What's the betting you could unlock such a phone with a pork chipolata, keeping it clean?

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still

David Gosnell

Two pesos (approx 8p)

I remember a charming story when I was little called "Two pesos for Catalina". Half a century on, who'd have thought the title would be so prescient of the worth of what should be a market-leading operating system?

Take the bus... to get some new cables: Raspberry Pi 4s are a bit picky about USB-Cs

David Gosnell

Re: Let me get this straight

Power may be the real reason for the new connector, but how many USB chargers are actually fully making use of this new capacity? Certainly Samsung are not yet shipping high power chargers with all their USB-C equipped devices, so to the end user it certainly seems like change for change's sake, and justified with hypocritical nonsense about saving polar bears and shizz.

Most of the micro USB connectors I have have some kind of tactile keying for orientation (either an indent or ridges), and those that don't (thankfully all white) I've sharpied. High tech solution huh? As for three attempts to plug in? Absolutely. I considered 2 to be a fair average...

David Gosnell

Let me get this straight

So, the new cable introduced because we needed a new harmonised standard and the one that every single sane device was using already wasn't good enough just because you usually had to try twice to plug it in, isn't actually harmonised at all, and far from reducing cable clutter (which it never did, thanks to the above, even by design) is actually now confusing the waters still further. Have I missed anything?

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

David Gosnell

Fat fingers?

Seems to be a bit of an issue with the typo-ridden company, even down to their chosen name.

Remember the Nominet £100m dot-uk windfall it claims doesn't exist? Well, it's already begun

David Gosnell

Re: Unsurprisingly, as a partner company, 1&1 have just followed suit

They've done some, but not all, of mine.

My primary domain is done, dated 4th June 2019 on whois. So they've been up to this for a few weeks.

David Gosnell

Unsurprisingly, as a partner company, 1&1 have just followed suit

Email just in:

"In order to extend the protection period for you, 1&1 IONOS has registered all of the .uk domain names, which you have not already secured yourself. This will ensure that your .uk domain name will not be registered by anyone except you until 2020."

Curioser and curioser: Little Mars rover sniffs out highest ever levels of methane

David Gosnell

Error error!

"Musk posted an image of the Moon during a solar eclipse confusingly tagged with the slogan Occupy Mars"

If you're going to point out a glaring error, don't make another one in so doing. Lunar eclipse, that should be.

*checks this post carefully* ;-)

It's alive! Hands on with Microsoft's Chromium Edge browser

David Gosnell

As I noted previously...

It'll all be tied in with their Windows 10S locked down browser model. They want people to love 10S and walled gardens, but know that Edge has been the kicker up until now, prompting many users to opt out if they ever bought the product at all. With Chromium behind it, they can push this angle much more confidently, and therefore lucratively - and probably even remove the opt-out option in the process.

It's coooming: Windows 10 October 2018 Update adoption slows ahead of the next release

David Gosnell


I must have mine configured wrong...

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

David Gosnell

Re: Counter stalled?!

Ah, I see someone above reckoned there was a 15 minute update; seems quite possible. The site operators probably should say as much though, to prevent reckless re-loading... Now turned 3 million anyway.

David Gosnell

Counter stalled?!

I see the counter on the petition has now stopped altogether, just shy of 3 million. Apparently a large part of the problem yesterday was people sitting on the site watching the figure mushrooming. But now it's been jammed at 2,971,394 for quite a while, across multiple browsers. Assuming the signatures haven't stopped, and the site doesn't appear to be otherwise broken, goodness only knows what the real total is now.

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

David Gosnell

Crock of shipt?!

Not really JavaScript's fault though. Just another length of rope for lazy devs. Can just as easily blame bad application of any of the core web technologies.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

David Gosnell

Gosh, can still just about remember the dial-up and negotiation tones, especially distinctive with all their numbers inevitably ending '666'.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

David Gosnell

Windows 10S

They'll no doubt be hoping this will help promote locked-down desktop ecosystems like Windows 10S, with monetisation being a spin-off (if not primary) benefit. With the shift towards so much being browser-based these days, that will suit most non-power users, but relying on their buggy and inconsistent (speaking as a suffering developer) proprietary engine was a major hindrance for take-up and demanded the one-off convert-to-Pro backstop offered to customers unwitting enough to fall for 10S thus far. They'll be able to push it much more confidently now, for better or worse.

Yet another mega-leak: 100 million Quora accounts compromised by system invaders

David Gosnell

Re: I tried to cancel my membership a while back...

Nah, not me I'm afraid.

David Gosnell

I tried to cancel my membership a while back...

...due to their underhand pushing of mobile users to their app, and today got emailed about this. I'm sure the risk is theoretical, but, y'know.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

David Gosnell

Forced Edge

This will help with the PR side of Microsoft's push towards forcing Edge on to users, as seen with links from their email client and of course the entire locked-down ecosystem of Windows 10S. At least now they can be perceived as pushing a desirable engine that is compatible with the de facto standard. As a developer, I've certainly been pleased to see Edge resolve many of IE's woes, but there are still some lurking horrors that I will not be at all sad to see the back of.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

David Gosnell

SMETS1 lock-in

Can I reasonably assume the lock-in was designed into the standard for SMETS1, in order to appease the major "suppliers"? It seems more than coincidental that the roll-out came at the same time as the explosive growth of smaller leaner suppliers, and the market leaders will have been sh*t scared of the investment they would waste (or ultimately be spending on behalf of competitors with no capital to invest in infrastructure) if their efforts proved to be too easily portable. Now the market's settled down a bit, bingo, time for SMETS2. Might even think about it now, certainly wasn't going to touch with a bargepole thus far.

Android fans get fat November security patch bundle – if the networks or mobe makers are kind enough to let 'em have it

David Gosnell

GDPR update

My old S5 Mini got a mysterious and unspecified "GDPR update" earlier this year. I rather doubt that was anything other than a legal requirement (not that any other of our devices got anything) but it seemingly buggered up a few other things on the way, so can always hope there might be another surprise one to come if Samsung have a conscience.

FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

David Gosnell

"Users will forget to turn security back on after loading a non-play store app."

As far as I know, default behaviour is to allow sideloading to be authorised as a one-off action. Quite a neat way of doing it, so you can consciously install a specific APK from an alternative source but not, in fact, leave the facility enabled for less intentional or malicious subsequent downloading.

Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei

David Gosnell

"threat of SIM-only subscribers"

That'll be the baked in battery then. Forced obsolescence – and don't go arguing about waterproofing etc. My phone manages a user-replaceable battery and IP67 rating.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

David Gosnell

Consumers probably have "four or five devices" that do WhatsApp already

Not officially. WhatsApp officially works only on one's primary phone, the account being tied to its phone number. You can synchronise a web app view from a desktop/laptop, but they've made it intentionally awkward to do the same from a tablet. There are of course workarounds for all this, involving number fakers and whatnot, but not for the faint-hearted.

Sub-Prime: Amazon's big day marred by server crashes, staff strikes

David Gosnell

Fools and their money evidently not quite so easily parted

Prime Day is all about getting new Prime subscriptions, very little about unrepeatable bargains. Don't hear so much about Prime Plus One Month Day, when all those forgotten subscriptions start charging, and end up costing considerably more than the amount "saved" on the original purchase.



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