* Posts by Ian Easson

56 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Sep 2012


'5G for Five Eyes!' US senator tells Parliamentarians the world would be better without Huawei

Ian Easson

The world will be a much better place if the Five Eyes disappeared.

They are there to spy on you. Are you happy with that?

Microsoft expands AI features in Office, but are they any good? Mixed, according to our vulture

Ian Easson

Re: Not off to a great start...

No, it has the commas just right. You're wrong.

Soz telcos you're 'low priority' post-Brexit, says leaked gov doc

Ian Easson

The big story....

Is that the Conservative government is prioritizing industries by the damage they will suffer post-Brexit.

Not economic damage, of course. Political damage to the Conservatives.

Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Ian Easson

Concept cars

Have you ever, ever in your life seen a concept car whose concepts have ever made it to market?

Nor me.

Microsoft's maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia data

Ian Easson

All mapping software depends on external data

So, what's your point?

Theranos bins two years of test results

Ian Easson

Re: How to get in on these scams

Including Kissinger.

He must be really, really desperate in his final years for a few extra bucks from being a director.

Ian Easson

You would know because...

government agencies like the NHS are held to a far higher standard than for-profit companies like the one in question.

Dear Windows, OS X folks: Update Flash now. Or kill it. Killing it works

Ian Easson

Doesn't work

Flash stopped working for me yesterday, on all sites.

Details: Windows 10, both IE and Edge browsers.

So I went to the adobe help site for flash. It told me they can't determine what version of flash I am running. They said:

- I either don't have flash installed, or

- It is disabled.

Following their recommended procedure, I determined that flash is indeed installed and it is enabled. (Just as an experiment, I disabled it and re-enabled it.. No help.)

The next solution they suggested was to turn off ActiveX filtering on a site-by-site basis. I tried it. It didn't work.

The final proposed solution was to upgrade to the latest version.

When I went to their web site for this, it told me that flash is integrated into my browser, so I don't need to update it!

Colour me frustrated.

(And by the way, Adobe offers no support for flash other than their user forums.)

Fifth time's the charm as SpaceX pops satellite into orbit

Ian Easson

Failure IS an option

As Musk said, if you don't fail, you are not trying to succeed!

PC sales will rise again, predicts Intel, but tablets are toast

Ian Easson

Re: Trust

The biometric data is stored in your local PC, not in the cloud or with Microsoft.

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Ian Easson


"And just about everyone installs recommended updates automatically because Microsoft insists on it."

Nope, they don't. Prove your accusation by citing actual facts.

(People have options; they have choices.)

And besides, Microsoft doesn't "insist" on it. You just made that up, because for some reason you don't like it!

Mars water discovery is a liberal-muslim plot, cry moist conspiracy theorists

Ian Easson

Re: Mars is Red!

It isn't sarcasm.

He believes it, and the right-wing conspiracy nuts in the US literally believe everything he says.

If you haven't figured this out by now, you need to go to the back of the class.

Windows 10 growth flattens out to 30 per cent per week

Ian Easson

Only 30% a week?

A new browser grows its base by *only* 30% a week (and now at 50 million users after only two weeks), and you're putting it down?

Talk about bias!

Epson: Cheap printers, expensive ink? Let's turn that upside down

Ian Easson

Pay now ... Pay later .. a Little Later

Your choice.

Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

Ian Easson

Windows 10 offers a browser choice

... as has had many past versions of Windows.

Where have you been the last 20 years?

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Ian Easson

Re: Nomen est omen


"Vegetable" is a biological term that has been grossly misused as a culinary term.

For example, the following are biological fruits (because they contain embedded seeds), although in common culinary terms most people mistakenly believe them to be vegetables:

- Tomatoes

- Eggplant

- Cucumbers

The reason for this misidentification is that most people associate "fruits" with things that are "sweet".

Microsoft U-turns on 'free' Windows 10 upgrade promise for ALL previewers

Ian Easson

Ballmer drove out those people who believed in silos.

I.e., every executive who didn't want to cooperate with other executives for the overall good the corporation.

20 years ago this week, Microsoft just about killed Australian PC manufacturing

Ian Easson

Re: Wangaratta *snigger*

"PCs are STILL blighted by the Windows + preloaded crap thing"

Well, pre-laded crap applications (from the OEM) are still in existence.

But mandatory pre-loaded Windows on a PC disappeared over 15 years ago.

Or did you not notice?

New Windows 10 Build 10122 aims to fix file association hijacking

Ian Easson

Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

They never eliminated it at all in 1995. It's still there, in 2015..

In File Explorer, choose Organize>Folder and Search Options. In the dialog box that pops up, go to the View tab. Then uncheck the item "Hide Extensions for Known File types".

KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

Ian Easson

Re: SpaceX Booster Recovery Saga

SpaceX is profitable, and has been for several years now.

Pumping billions into data centres won't guarantee you an empire

Ian Easson

The Laughing Curve?

You're actually basing this pseudo-analysis on the "Laughing Curve" (aka the Laffer Curve):

- Which doesn't exist, because it is just a bunch of randomly scattered data points

- Was actually created in 1974 by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and his deputy press secretary Grace-Marie Arnett (reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve)


Microsoft enlists web security pariah Adobe to help build Internet Explorer-killer Spartan

Ian Easson

This is the new Microsoft

Let your partners in, but not so much they can destroy the whole foundation.

Make up your mind: Microsoft puts a bullet in Internet Explorer after all

Ian Easson

Re: This is a good idea

So, Mr. Helpman, you seem to be happy with the idea of Microsoft abandoning 90% of all Windows enterprise customers?

You may be, but Microsoft cannot afford to be as a corporation.

End of story.

Ian Easson

This is a good idea

Now, you (either as an individual or an organization) have a clear choice with regard to Microsoft browsers:

- Future-looking standards-compliant (Spartan), or

- Backwards-looking compatible (IE)

Windows 10 will ship with both, and you can make your choice.

Russia's Putin IT spend in reverse gear, fast

Ian Easson

Russia is collapsing...

Just as the Soviet Union before it collapsed, and for many of the same reasons.

It will not be over in a day, a week, a month, or a year. But it will eventually be over.

But this is an extremely dangerous process, not just for Russians but for all of us.

Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

Ian Easson

Re: Is this intended to be a permanent fixture?

Er, none of his ideas turning a profit???

How about PayPal, SpaceX, or Tesla?

If in doubt, blow $4bn: IBM says it will fatten up on cloud, mobile, Big Data cake by 2018

Ian Easson

IBM has been trying to get back to relevance for years

Most recently, the latest buzzwords.. The Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, and so on.

Maybe they will succeed. Maybe they won't.

But judged by their track record of the last few decades, they won't.

Just my opinion.

Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

Ian Easson

Last minute revisions are just that...

Anyone who has ever worked on a detailed document of hundreds of pages knows you don't publish the daily drafts.

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Ian Easson

Not an attack on open source

"But Morris said that the idea of starting with open source didn't last long in Redmond because Microsoft wanted to control its own code."

He didn't say that at all, not at all. That's just your spin on what he really said, which is the need for speed of delivering an interoperable engine faster, as he said in the very next sentence of your post:

"Given the engineering effort required, we found that we could deliver an interoperability focused engine to customers significantly faster if we started from our own engine (especially if unshackled from legacy compatibility concerns), rather than building up a new browser around an open-source engine.,"

Say cheese! Europe's antitrust chief has Google boss in her sights – reports

Ian Easson

Why is Google being given preferential treatment?

After all, both Intel and Microsoft had to pay Billions of dollars to resolve their anti-trust behaviour with Europe.

Samb-AAAHH! Scary remote execution vuln spotted in Windows-Linux interop code

Ian Easson

Another Open Source security problem

What the hey?

But, but, there are MILLIONS of eyes scrutinizing all Open Source software every day, finding vulnerabilities within minutes, and reliable patches are available within a day or so...

In your dreams, buddy.

Antares apocalypse: Orbital points finger at turbopump FAIL

Ian Easson

Some perspective on this

Yes, the engines were "refurbished".

But, consider that:

- They were designed and built in the 1960's, for the failed lunar mission by the Soviet Union (the only flights of which spectacularly exploded)

- They were refurbished and renamed by a Ukrainian company in the 1990's

- Orbital bought some of the limited supply of them, because they had no engines or rockets of their own.

- Orbital outsourced all other aspects of their efforts. They were at best a systems integrator.

When you put these facts together with Orbital's lack of experience in rockets, you have to wonder why NASA awarded them a contract in the first place.

This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO

Ian Easson

This is an ideological post opposed to an ideological book.

Choose your morality.

Then decide.

Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Ian Easson

Any of the above


FCC boss Wheeler: Lack of broadband choice is screwing Americans

Ian Easson

US is far behind the technology curve in IT Infrastructure

The real reason is not competition.

It is that the US, as a nation, is nowadays far less advanced than most other advanced Western and Asian countries in terms of IT infrastructure.

We can debate why this is so, but you cannot deny the fact.

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Ian Easson

So, someone encounters a small bug in a word processor (Word) having to do with scrolling, reports it to the producer (Microsoft), producer acknowledges it is a bug and promises to fix it soon, and then the person declares the product to be ”a tyrant of the imagination” and bemoans its use in the publishing world..

Overreaction, anyone?

Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Ian Easson

Re: No Surprise

Yes, you are indeed missing something.

The "hiatus" in global warming the last decade or so has now been scientifically explained, independently by researchers in Australia and in Canada.

As most of us know by now, the average yearly global temperature is predicted, to about 90+% accuracy, by the level of CO2 in the air. But there are two other factors that moderate this secular trend: Oceanic currents (e.g., El Nino) and major volcanic events. These two last factors have impacts that last anywhere from 2 to 10 or more years, and then die out.

As a result of these factors, every 20 to 50 years, there is a "hiatus" that temporarily halts the upward climb in average global temperatures. The latest one has recently been shown to be completely consistent with this phenomenon.

Of course, it has been seized upon by the oil industry and their cadre of climate change deniers to attempt to discredit science.

Here's a small reference to get you started:


Power BI: Office 365 just got more intelligent

Ian Easson

Re: Wikipedia? Really?

Microsoft doesn't pull data from Wikipedia and feed it into this product. It allows you to pull data from various online sources, and at your option, analyze it.

That's right, MICROSOFT is an ANDROID vendor after Nokia gobble

Ian Easson

Re: nothing new

No, Microsoft's beef about Linux has always been about its GNU license, not about the software, and not about it being open source. That was the basis of Ballmer's famous comment that software distributed under the GNU license, like Linux, was a "cancer".

Of course, Linux or open software fanbois would have you believe otherwise.

Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age

Ian Easson

What are we going to do when the super-solar flare arrives?

Sometime in the next several decades or a bit more - on a probabilistic basis - there is going to be a ginormous solar flare aimed at the Earth. It is expected to fry all electrical systems (including all computers and all of the Internet) for one to two years.

What will the world do then?

Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

Ian Easson

Re: @AC

There are a number of misunderstandings in your comments on Microsoft word's math capabilities. I'll just correct one, and give you a few links for the rest.

You obviously like entering your equations in linear format. In Word, just type Alt+=, and then type in a representation of your math in a linear form. It is somewhat Tex-like, but with the following differences: (1) It is more concise (and thus faster to type); (2) It is easier to learn; and (3) It is a lot more readable.

The linear format is defined in "Unicode Technical note 28". It's author, Murray Sargent III, has a blog on the Math capabilities of Office at http://blogs.msdn.com/murrays/rss.xml.

Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

Ian Easson


So, tell me.

Did the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment issue a fatwa many years ago, telling Muslims that they should not be suicide bombers, because it was against the Koran to kill yourself?

MEPs demand answers from EU antitrust chief about planned Google search biz deal

Ian Easson

Why is Google Getting Special Treatment?

I don't get it.

Both Microsoft and Intel had to cough up billions in fines for PAST indiscretions in Europe, in addition to changing their business practices. But Google gets to only change it business practices, with no multi-billion fine for its past behavior?

Rockstar swells Spherix patent portfolio with 100 new licenses

Ian Easson

Your assertion in this post that the recent conflict between Rockstar and Google has anything to do with Android is totally, absolutely, 100% false. You think you would have the integrity to check the facts before publishing this post, instead of re-echoing what the echo chamber says.

The patents involved all have to do with search, not Android.

Here's a reference:


Richard Stallman decides Emacs should go WYSIWYG

Ian Easson

Stallman is a total Luddite.

He doesn't use a PC anything less than a decade old (because it might compromise his "open software" philosophy), and he doesn't use the Internet at all (he asks his friends to surf on his behalf, and then send him the results via email).

Why should anyone pay any attention whatsoever to his pronouncements?

Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Ian Easson

Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

This is the only thing wrong with your otherwise good post.

It was only 2-3 years after XP came on line that it really began to take off. That was about the time of SP2.

And, let us not forget, Windows XP SP2 (with its total reworking on the security infrastructure of Windows) was in fact a quite new version of Windows, not at all a service pack. Microsoft merely called it a free service pack so that everyone would upgrade to the new, more secure, version of Windows.

Microsoft legal beagle calls for patent reform cooperation

Ian Easson

Quite Sensible: Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater

There are many reasons to criticize the current patent system in advanced economies.

The knee-jerk reaction is to simply get rid of patents, or, to get rid of them in certain specific areas of innovation (most typically, software).

Regardless of whether or not you agree with Microsoft's latest suggestions, I think that the worst thing that could be done is to eliminate patents altogether, or to eliminate them for certain broad types of innovation.

Microsoft needs to keep visible under waves of Blue

Ian Easson

It's tick-tock all over again

I suspect the best analogy for what Microsoft is doing is Intel's "Tick-Tock" approach.

They release a new version of Windows (and all other software, like Office) in the Fall. Then, a year later, they significantly update it. It's a free "Feature Pack" (as opposed to a "Service Pack" that just fixes bugs).

Then. the next year, two years after the release, they come out with a new release (which, of course, you have to pay to upgrade to).

Simple, and far more oriented to the consumer market than the enterprise market.

Analyst says vendors offer pretend reference customers

Ian Easson

Microsoft's "Contoso" is not a fake company

It is designed as an archetype of a major company that uses Microsoft technologies, a hypothetical example. Everyone who knows anything about IT knows this.

To suggest that it is a fictitious company that Microsoft refers to, like the other companies that are referred to in this article, can only be an attempt to slur Microsoft. Readers of this article should understand the motivations (or ignorance) of the author.