* Posts by mistersaxon

115 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jul 2012


Sodium ion batteries: Yet another innovation poised to be dominated by China


DoE - the youth award scheme is behind this? That's truly amazing if so.


Re: New tech

To be blunt though, the Chinese don't acknowledge our patent system at all so you have to wonder why we would acknowledge theirs. The issue is much more that we will need to steal all their research and tech knowledge to make any kind of an attempt to catch up with their lead at this point. And that is much harder to do than you'd like to think, because Western tech knowledge leaks into China through the many factories, but it really doesn't come the other way so much.

John Deere now considers VMs to be legacy tech, Ethernet and Wi-Fi on the brink


Re: What they actually mean is...

The difference is I have to carry round the hardware even if I don't buy it. It has weight, costs fuel to move and costs money to make (which ultimately I will be paying for). I'd like to charge them for displaying their logo honestly, if that's their attitude.

And BMW earn special ire for charging £300 to "activate" CarPlay (or equivalent) as though their standard dashboard is good enough. Does anyone else charge to activate CarPlay?

EU tells Meta it can't paywall privacy


Re: And how would that work?

It would look like Tumblr on the whole which makes suggestions for accounts (not posts) based on tags you have used on your posts, or you can search for tags and add those as separate feeds. Instagram *could* do that but the sparseness of the feed for new users would "put people off". I mean yes, it might, so have a decent onboarding process for new users - it's really not hard. Mastodon feeds are the same as well.

Open source versus Microsoft: The new rebellion begins


Re: If LibreOffice provided anything even approaching an alternative to 365 in functionality ...

If you want to draw pretty pictures without Visio then draw.io is worth a look. It is definitely functional and can potentially read the Visio shape libraries that a lot of companies have created.

Ad agency boss owned two Ferraris but wouldn't buy a real server


Re: Been there, done that.

Bet they billed for the licenses though, just didn’t buy them.



3 hours of downtime including maintenance windows? Because cloud maintenance windows are usually counted as downtime if they cause disruption - and they can and do.

PostgreSQL pioneer's latest brainchild promises time travel to dodge ransomware


Nothing new here

An embedded d/b in the OS ? Well isn’t that IBM i ? (Or what used to known as AS/400 last century!)

And does this OS have a fully object-oriented structure as well? If not I have an idea about what their next “brainwave” might be…

McDonald's ordering system suffers McFlurry of tech troubles


Re: Table service

Blimey, it’s Geoff! You still on Cix?

Dumping us into ad tier of Prime Video when we paid for ad-free is 'unfair' – lawsuit


Re: Question is...

Do you use Kindle Unlimited? It’s a decent benefit as are the free books of the month (or 99p) but that comes at a cost to the author I understand, so a lot of their add-ons don’t even cost them that much.

But I really use Prime for the delivery and so do many so expect to see that go soon - switched to the Prime Day delivery option and next-day will be extra per order or a plus tier.

In its tantrum with Europe, Apple broke web apps in iOS 17 beta, still hasn't fixed them


Re: a dev

No, it’s usually out of ignorance or laziness… or unjustified fear.

Cory Doctorow has a plan to wipe away the enshittification of tech


The Enshittification of Everything

Let's not kid ourselves, all this - not just tech, but all of it - is due to the weird shareholder mentality that growth is only ever reflected in an increasing share price, which in turn comes from a desire to own without consequence. If shareholders were forbidden from selling for, say, a year, they would HAVE to focus on getting a company to turn a real profit that could be paid as dividends. Sadly, that just leads to asset stripping or Murders and Acquisitions and nowhere is there any plan to genuinely deliver value to customers in return for their money.

The System Is Broken and billionaires break it faster and harder than anyone else. Grab your knife and fork folks, it's time to Eat the Rich. Not your well-off neighbour, but the ones with the yachts that cost more than your housing estate, let alone your house. Heck, a cutoff for consumption of a billion and up would be enough to turn this around.

Amazon Ring sounds death knell for surveillance as a service


Re: Are these pervy doorbells mandatory?

When my mother-in-law was being harassed by rogue traders the Ring doorbell visibly upset them and discouraged them, and footage from the camera which we sent to the police at their request was used to prosecute the vile leeches in question.

Will AI take our jobs? That's what everyone is talking about at Davos right now


Where have we heard this before?

"CEOs believe generative AI will make their companies more efficient, but more energy is needed to power the tech."

Is this not just the backstory of "The Matrix"? I mean, yes, it is, but that makes a change from the latest IT Big Idea being the backstory of "Terminator" at least...

While we fire the boss, can you lock him out of the network?


Re: The customer is always right ...

That ONLY applies to matters of personal taste - if the customer wants a wide-brimmed turquoise hat and a flamingo-pink coat then don't argue with them, let them have it. That's where and why the remark was coined and should not be taken to apply to any other matters in the store, including such things as whether the customer gets a discount, payment terms, is allowed to defame staff or demand "compensation" for imagined slights, etc etc.

I do hate the way that piece of advice for sales staff has been taken and turned into a cudgel to be used against any member of staff, anywhere, at any time, for any reason.

NHS England published heavily redacted Palantir contract as festivities began


Re: The NHS Federated Data Platform and Palantir: 7 key risks

Palantir is a company that thinks everyone is stupid. Their name itself is a blatant taunt to privacy activists…

I say this because Palantir is a reference from Lord of the Rings, and refers specifically to a group of magical artefacts that were created with good intentions to enable global communications and were transformed by Sauron into a tool for mind control and surveillance. If that is an accident I’ll eat my hat.

Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights


Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

Since when was a corporation covered by the first amendment? Corporations can’t talk!

'Return to Office' declared dead


Re: Stick

Unionise. It’s just that simple.

And it certainly won’t hurt to untaboo talking about how much you earn. Managers rely on the fact that people just Don’t Talk About Their Wages (and it’s illegal to forbid this in a contract, though they do try) whereas it would be very enlightening to have that sort of info at annual review time.

So much for CAPTCHA then – bots can complete them quicker than humans


Re: I got rejected on one

“Click all the squares containing pixels representing images of traffic lights”

Bomb scare causes mass evacuation at DEF CON


Mind bomb - nice!

I appreciated the the sub-heading. Thanks for reminding me that all my aspirations have shrivelled in the sun too.

Get your staff's consent before you monitor them, tech inquiry warns


Re: "and freed them up to focus on more sophisticated tasks beyond the scope of automation"

Amazon Warehouse goods finally reaching their proper level of utility...

Arc: A radical fresh take on the web browser


Why the fuck do they think I'm opening a new window?

Presumably they think you want to look at it so opening it where you are already looking is not a bad guess.

More annoyingly, why are half the functions and options for most applications STILL on the top bar and not in the app (or vice versa)? And why is there no keyboard shortcut to get to the top bar menu items as a rule. I don't always want to move my hands off the keyboard to grab a mouse or trackpad for a click to activate menus (or, I actually NEVER want to do this, and even if I did, I'd like the option not to have to).

Google's next big idea for browser security looks like another freedom grab to some


This is about Ad Nauseam isn’t it?

The plug-in that randomly clicks ad elements everywhere you go, making targeting and ad history effectively useless looks like they are just talking about it and then tried to claim their proposal would actually stop cheating in games etc etc.

Moral of story, it’s just about making sure you can’t block ads or “misuse” them. Get Ad Nauseam now and let’s see if we can make Google go bust before Christmas.

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



Pretty sure “moving forward” is just plain English unless it somehow gets egregiously misused. I’ve never heard it mean anything other than, well, moving forward. Sometimes not physically, only temporally but still…

And “double click”? I’m quite surprised that is considered jargon as the mouse paradigm is pretty baked in to the computer experience. Perhaps it needs to be updated to “double tap” to reflect the touch screen/ mobile world but I can see that causing more confusion rather than less. And not in a good way.

And I’m a bit shocked that “revert” didn’t make the list at all. Do people actually now think it simply means “reply” (which is how I see it used)? I gather this is common usage in India for some reason but revert =/= reply so why use it as though the words were the same? And if it did mean “reply” well we still have the actual word “reply” and that is shorter to type. If offered a revert in mail I tend to query it - am I picking a low hill to die on?

Kids these days, eh?

Keir Starmer's techno-fix for the NHS: Déjà vu disaster or brave new blunder?


John Armitage - who dat?

I mean I googled him and Wikipedia is not very informative but it's not clear how he is linked to any private healthcare company or companies. Do you have a source?

His giving to Labour, Sir Keir and Wes "Shadow Health" Streeting is provocative but if I'm going to make trouble with this information I'd like it to be detailed and specific trouble, you know?

Meanwhile you acknowledge that Labour are a somewhat less shite version of the Tories and that we deserve better - well, guess what? In this brave new world "slightly less shite" is the new "better" and since there isn't a perfect answer we'd better start incrementally, right? Or are you arguing that "somewhat worse than Labour" Tories are a better alternative than Labour? What we really need is an end to FPTP electoral systems and some proper PR so we get grown-up government that is suddenly a real job that takes work and skill, as that will weed out the current large crop of narcissistic buffoons and self-stuffing lawyers, neither of which groups really appreciates either compromise or hard work. We might even end up with an effective government that takes practical and pragmatic steps to improve the country in achievable ways - now wouldn't *that* be something?

Proliferation of AI weapons among non-state actors 'could be impossible to stop'


Re: Orthogonal approach: local tech and education

“New Musks” is the Bad End we are trying to avoid tho.

'Thousands' at Meta face layoffs this week


They're doing it because the shareholders think cutting costs will increase the EPS / dividend / EBITDA / other shareholder-y BS. The shareholders "have a doody" (they're American you know) to their funds to "maximise returns" although they don't know how many of their shareholders they are trying to get fired right now, nor do they "have a doody" (they're still American at this point, even though their allegiance is to the dollar not the flag) not to put a burden on the state by dumping loads of people into economic peril or disaster (which - even in the US of A costs the taxpayers actual money)*.

*these shareholders are not taxpayers in any significant way of course. If they were they'd be more careful, but not paying tax is "cost cutting" in the same way as firing tens of thousands of people is.

Techies try to bypass damaged UPS, send 380V into air traffic system


It's just a silly phase I'm going through...

Worked in a building where they made several offices into one open plan. That was how they discovered that some of the sockets were wired on one phase and some on another, after connecting a PC to one phase and the printer to the other...

But generally the worst electrical foul-ups I've come across have been where a UPS is the cause: one that decided to put 400V on the output, another that switched the power to the IBM mini off and on every 30 seconds and one that thought "hold my beer" and just flat out burst into flames - and that one was a room UPS. The fire brigade chopped the cables with a (heavily insulated) axe and pushed it out of the computer room into the yard because it was on wheels and they decided that was the easiest thing to do, and who am I to argue with a fireman holding an axe?

If you're lucky your UPS will fail to a safe state but it's more luck than design I feel. (and yes I know I'm being very very selective and that UPSes have saved WAY more bacon than they have flame-grilled - including mine. And yet I still have nightmares about the 20A circuit breaker that jammed half-open when a bulb blew out and tripped it and it burst into flames in my garage.)

Equinix would offer more liquid cooling but struggles without standards


Re: China Syndrome // server equivilent?

The question is what is the weight loading limit, whatever the floor is made of. Some IBM racks weigh 250kg or more EMPTY. Weight is already an issue in DCs…

Investor tells Google: Cut costs now and stop paying staff so much


Re: "not labor intensive"

They want Google to turn out like IBM. If they can’t see why that’s a bad idea it’s because the view is very limited when your head is up your own back passage.

IBM stock buybacks, sell-off of every possible subsidiary, lack of investment in R&D, short-sighted M&A policy* and their attempts to prune back employee wages and benefits, plus layoffs have all proven that driving down the “bottom line” in an attempt to increase dividend income (NOT share price) is a self-limiting plan as it affects the top line just as much as the bottom, possibly more so.

*still think they should have bought Sun instead of letting a major competitor have it.

Voyager 1 data corrupted by onboard computer that 'stopped working years ago'


Re: 70's Tech

Just resurrected a Quad303/33 system which is actually 60's tech, though it really needed wiring and cleaning more than major surgery. Sounds good though...

Doctor gave patients the wrong test results due to 'printer problems'



The urology department definitely take the piss though.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up


Re: Honesty kills

In the interest of accuracy it's *chef's kiss* with an apostrophe to indicate that it is the (trademark) kiss of a chef, otherwise you are implicating a couple of chefs in something they don't necessarily consent to.

Keep your cables tidy. You never know when someone might need some wine


Re: fail - over?

Rounded down

Remember the humanoid Tesla robot? It's ready for September reveal, says Musk


Re: Yeah right

The other 10% of the time YOU HAVE TO DO IT. You don't just let the damn car CRASH unless you are a particularly dumb person who values their "principles"* over their life.

(* "Dammit, it says Full Self-Drive so by God it ought to do it! I'll be damned if I'll turn the steering wheel to save my own goddamn life when I paid a lotta money to have car do it!" is actually too long and profane to go on most headstones but otherwise that's what it would say)

Google Cloud growth slows, losses grow, bosses unworried


Re: So they lost less than a billion over $69.7 billion in revenue

Nobody can make over 100% of their profit doing anything. "Taxable" profit sure, that's a moveable feast for the lawyers and accountants to pick over, like seagulls following a trawler or sharks swarming over spilled chum, but "profit" is a thing - you can't have more than 100% of it no matter how big or small it is, except in comparison to something else.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything


Re: UV check lamps

You know what the UV lamp is for right? The notes have their value printed in UV ink so just making the paper glow a bit wouldn’t be an issue. Unless you’re saying you washed out the UV ink?

Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems


Umm… apprenticeship?

This is what you’re describing - you get them working while they’re learning so they and you both know what you’re getting into. One of my kids is doing this at Rutherford Appleton and there aren’t many cooler, geekier places to work.

That emoji may not mean what you think it means


Re: "there are 3,633 emoji in the standard at time of writing"

Are we all still ok with the 3.5” floppy as an icon for “save” (or “write to disk” or “commit work up to this point” or whatever you understand happens when you click that icon)?

Near-undetectable malware linked to Russia's Cozy Bear


Re: Cunning ?

The ISO is just a file system and a way to get past the Outlook automatic filter for executable types. I want to know more about this so-called undetectable malware that gets installed by the OneDrive updater? But this all looks like Office allowing executables in a document format (again/still). Add ISO to your blocked file types on mail and move on…

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI


Re: If LaMDA is sentient.. it is psychopathic...

... and what did the researcher reply? "Me too LamDA, me too!" ?

TBF, for many conversations harvested from the internet, a lack of compassion and a willingness to wish people dead is a big factor in making even a language processing NN respond that it feels nothing at the news of deaths of others. Training data makes the most enormous difference to the output and trying to homogenise "human conversation" (boldly assuming they bothered translating from other languages into English and that those translations were remotely accurate, so that they could claim to be sampling across the spectrum of human existence, to say nothing of human experience) is a fool's errand.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them


I think the idea he needed goats to get goats' milk on his plane is ... excessive. I mean these people are excessive: the whole idea of private planes is excess writ large but even so.

Intolerance to cow's milk can happen to anyone - my brother had it as a child, had to have goats' milk - I tried it, wasn't keen, didn't feel sorry for him because 'Brother' - and we just got on with our lives. We did not have to buy a goat...

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies


Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

Would you trust *Barclays* with it? They’re all owned by members of the same damned clubs and schools apart from the foreign-owned ones like FB et al and they are all as bad as each other.

IBM Consulting assimilates cloud firm for Azure expertise


It's called IBM Cloud - our branding is so pervasive and subtle that you use it without being able to help yourself! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cower before the might of the IBM marketing machine!! We called one of our operating systems "i" - just a lower-case i so that you CAN'T EVEN GOOGLE IT. FEAR US, PUNY HUMANS!!

No defence for outdated defenders as consumer AV nears RIP


Re: "thrived in enterprise"

...and on the users who think their business computer is a home computer that don't have to pay for: shopping online, bringing in docs and even photos to print on USB sticks (or email), posting to SocMed and so on. And don't forget the torrenters who like(d) to use corporate bandwidth.

Now most, if not all, of that is typically utterly banned on modern business machines but the "need for A/V" remains. And VPN profiling that insists any non-company PC connecting to a corporate network with a VPN has a certain level of a/v protection pretty much guarantees that this requirement for home A/V will persist - even on Mac and Linux, neither of which arguably really need it either.

The way I see it, it's the "Stupid Tax" we all have to pay.

Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently


Re: @Len - Forget technology

Nobody (let me repeat that - NOBODY) is "reliant" on FB or Twitter. Neither platform provides anything essential to life. In fact I would say that both provide something that is detrimental to life overall, even if you don't use the platform (because of the environmental impact).

But, as others have already noted, the issue is basically that in a "decentralised" world (of Samsung and iPhone mainly) is still gatekept(?) by the OS suppliers. And besides all that, a truly decentralised (==Libertarian) world is one where barter is the only realistic means of exchange. It's anti-social in the most basic sense of the word, and none of us are actually really ready for that.

Log4j RCE: Emergency patch issued to plug critical auth-free code execution hole in widely used logging utility


Re: A failure of forethought.

TBH the idea that patching a logging service would need production DOWNTIME is beyond ridiculous.

Bit like a PDF viewer app patch needing a system restart and who'd code something *that* dumb...?

England's Data Guardian warns of plans to grant police access to patient data


Re: It's a bit late now

My MP is a Tory lapdog, angling for a cabinet post (whereas I wouldn't trust him in a drinks cabinet, let alone a government one).

tl;dr he won't lift a finger to oppose the government because he's an entitled, self-interested twat and, sadly, he has a safe seat filled with landowners and old people who "just trust the Tories". Armed insurrection might get rid of him (or gout) but the democratic systems will never achieve it.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the BBC stage a very British coup to rescue our data from Facebook and friends



Metro is owned by the BBCs (commercial) competition of course so can they really claim to be accurate and unbiased?

(Of course they *can* claim that - and they do - but it's another lie)

Apple's iPhone computer vision has the potential to preserve privacy but also break it completely


Re: It's simpler than that

...because let's face it, one very simple way to copy images is to take a photo of them. No USB sticks required, no bluetooth or wifi, heck, you wouldn't even use a phone necessarily. So having on-board scanning for known CSAM is a simple way to stop that happening on phones. I suspect it's an edge case but it will stop it.

You'd like to think this means it makes it harder for users and distributors of CSAM to use their phones for the tasks and hence will drive down the volume of this material but I suspect it will only drive up the desire for rooted phones while eating away at the privacy of regular people for little to no benefit to them OR law enforcement against CSA. It will make a useful testbed for looking for other kinds of images or media.