* Posts by zapgadget

45 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Oct 2012

HP exec says quiet part out loud when it comes to locking in print customers


Moving away from inkjet

Everyone I know has given up on inkjet printers. As we print less often the nozzles dry up and cause problems. Even on the wonderful Epson ecotanks. We give up on colour printing and just buy a Brother black and white laser printer. Then, however infrequently we print, it just works, and is fantastically inexpensive to run.

Douglas Adams was right: Telephone sanitizers are terrible human beings


Re: BT v Kelly

Here in France we can already tell you what happens when fibre is the norm. A technician comes along to the cabinet to connect a new subscriber, sees there are no ports free and so disconnects one at random and plugs the new subscriber in.

Rinse and repeat.

I'll see your data loss and raise you a security policy violation


Re: To be fair...

Tell me about it. When I moved to France and discovered that unfurnished meant no kitchen units either, I built a temporary kitchen from the moving boxes and duct tape. Lasted two years.

Fear not, White House chatted to OpenAI and pals, and they promised to make AI safe


Re: So, Tesla isn't on the list?

You didn't notice the film in 2005? Or you just don't consider it worthy? I thought Slartibartfast was rather good.


LibreOffice 7.5 update: A great time to jump on this FOSS productivity suite


Re: LO lost me

I just checked. Copy pastes didn't crash for me when they did in the past. On 10.15.7. YMMV


Fixing corrupt MS Office files

I used to work in an international standards body, creating 1000+ page documents in MS-Word with track changes (for the 100+ people in different companies working on the document).

Of course, we had fairly regular corrupt files, which had the potential to destroy man-years of work.

My go-to process for un-corrupting was always import to OpenOffice (at the time), save as native file format. Close the program, restart, open the newly saved doc, save as MS-Word.

It never failed.

I did enjoy pointing this out to the Microsoft reps in the meetings.

An IT emergency during a festive visit to the in-laws? So sorry, everyone, I need to step out for a while


Re: Sometimes bringing your work laptop on a trip pays off

My boss ended up commenting that I always "went upon holiday to remote, no-cell-service areas", to which I would respond "yep!". Even if I was at home doing DIY.

Here's something communism is good at: Making smartphones less annoying


Re: What's in a name?

Soon to be the Former United Kingdom...

Musk bans private-plane-tracking @Elonjet on Twitter, threatens legal action


Using twitter gives Musk your location

If you dig into the privacy settings you can turn off location-based advertising but you cannot stop twitter from having your location.

The best you can do is restrict location permission on your phone, but that won't stop IP-based location inference.

What's good for the goose.

Of course, by not using twitter...

Raspberry Pi hires former spy gadget-maker who baked devices into surveillance ops


I was on Mastodon as it ahppened

There was a lot of "stop using Raspberry Pi's" mostly from American people using the hashtag #ACAB

I went and looked it up - "All Cops are B******ds"

Seems a little un-nuanced.

Clearly a case of a specific crowd getting upset, as the ex-policeman was hired, and announced back in June.

But in general, a bit of arseholery on both sides.

Neuralink's AI brain chip could be in humans within six months claims Elon Musk


For two decades...

... I've said "Microsoft Teleport for Windows, after you".

The same applies here.

OVHCloud results show its November price hike will be a nice little earner


Yeah, but no

I'm not bothering to push back, but we just took out the contract with the replacement hosting service. OVH's price hike was just the trigger that pushed us over the edge, reminding us to take action. Their support has been going downhill for years. Our OVH contract expires in February. It will not be renewed.

When the expert speaker at an NFT tech panel goes rogue

IT Angle


"a little bit of nothing attached to another little bit of nothing."

Come now, cryptographically attached to another little bit of nothing.


So it's not just me.

I'm still trying to see how NFTs aren't an utterly brilliant pyramid scheme. Brilliant because there isn't even anything to sell.

Windows 10 still growing, but Win 11 had another bad month, says AdDuplex


I've never seen a PC which says it *CAN* upgrade to Win 11. There's always something.

How to keep a support contract: Make the user think they solved the problem


Re: Melting

I once fixed my Austin Maestro ECU by resoldering all the joints. The MOT garage owner offered me a job on the spot when I told him how my car was now passing the test.

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence


Re: IoUT - Internet of Useless Things

It's been done. Internet of Shit

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you


Re: Ah, a first time user

You need to dig into the mechanical keyboard crowd. I have a keyboard with hot-swappable mechanical keys, so I can choose travel, downforce, clickityness etc. I am but a debutante in this field but it gets seriously geeky. Try searching for "mechanical keyboard" on Aliexpress just to get a feel for the insanity.

Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software


How did they 'acquire' it?

Just how did Muse Group 'aquire' Audacity. It's open source. What did they purchase? From whom?

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes


Application firewall

This made me wake up and get an application firewall, Blocks all outgoing connections from any app I choose.

https://radiosilenceapp.com is what I chose for Mac. There are other options for Linux and Windows.

You still control your computer today. Don't put up with crap like this.

Vissles V84: Mechanical keyboard hits all the right buttons for Mac power users



I just got a Keychron C2. Full keyboard. Defaults to Mac, switchable to windows, and no-solder swappable keyswitches. I'm running Gateron brown right now, which seems nice, but can change if I feel like it. Less than £65 for the fancy RGB backlight one (which I already switched to white)

BOFH: I'm so pleased to be on the call, Boss. No, of course this isn't a recording


BOFH is so good for my mental health.

I reckon a BOFH article is as good for me as a Friday lunchtime beer. Thanks El Reg

Déjà bork: BSOD fairy pays key-cutting kiosk another visit


In the early 90's I once unlocked my mates Alfa Romeo with a 2p coin.

GitLab scans its customers' source code, finds it's as fragile as you'd expect


Or, just an idea...

The "security professionals" could do the world a favour and fix the bugs instead of just exposing them?

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you



as in "if it's not broken yet, we'll fix that in the next mandatory update".

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump


Re: Suggestion

They should probably vape it, to be certain.

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

Thumb Up

Re: A code

Once you grok bistromatics, you can grok anything

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


This is why...

I build my IoT stuff with Raspberry Pi's and Arduinos. In such a way that I don't need a company to keep them alive.

I choose when my kit goes obsolete, not some bloody bean-counter.

Alexa Conversations: Amazon's AI assistant is about to get a whole lot more like Clippy

Black Helicopters

Re: Ghastly

The good news is Alexa can be told to "shut the f^$% up" and it understands. Needs some AI to work out what it shouldn't be doing to get that response though.

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway


Re: Time for a firmware update?

Except in Houston, Texas, where I distinctly remember having to swerve across seven lanes of traffic to make a junction.

Thousands of misconfigured 3D printers on interwebz run risk of sabotage


Oh for &*^&*$£%^$%^ sake!

Security warning. SSH can be installed on a system that has stupid usernames and passwords, rendering it insecure. That doesn't make it SSH's fault.

In the case of Octoprint, you have to really go some to make it accessible.

Google Chrome update to label HTTP-only sites insecure within WEEKS


Re: It's not "browsing" anymore..

Yep. I tried setting a network printer to use HTTPS, and it created a self-signed certificate which Chrome and Firefox refused to connect to. I had to set it back to HTTP...

How to stealthily poison neural network chips in the supply chain


Read "The Butlerian Jihad" from the Dune Saga.

Not that it mentions the implications of strong AI or anything...

Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years


Re: Obligatory Hitchhiker reference...

What's the guarantee on the red paint?

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration


Re: UK gov impact studies (again)

As JimmyPage said above, the govt doesn't seem to do evidence-based policymaking. Which makes me wonder about, well, everything they've ever done.

If they're not doing things because there is evidence that they work, why are they doing things?


Re: Let's just accept that the UK

The clues in the name "conservatives". They don't like new things.

No one saw it coming: Rubin's Essential phone considered anything but


Re: Google Play reports a mere 50,000 download of Essential's Camera app

Ah, you just gave away your age by thinking that smartphones are still used for phone calls.

It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude


Explored in he classic move “Cherry 2000”

SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again


Nuke it from orbit...

It's the only way to be sure.

15 'could it be aliens?' fast radio bursts observed in one night


Re: I am Appalled and Outraged!

* I thought lunchtime was doubly variable?

Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace


Re: get ready for “what's your e-mail address?” from counter staff

I give out a variation of spamfromcompany@mydomain

Works just fine.

OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?


Fun at conferences

I gave the keynote at an IoT Hackathon earlier this year, and at one point was talking about unconventional attack vectors. Saying loudly into the mic "OK, Google, dial 0898..." was enough to get a lot of worried people reaching into their pockets to stop their phones from dialling.

I was kind, and chose a non-existent number.

Yahoo! chief! Marissa! Mayer! stings! Bing! in! ad! bling! fling! win!


Yahoo still exists?

I had forgotten that yahoo was still a thing.

They seem to come to life periodically to buy one of my favourite services and kill it without trace. Astrid anyone? It would be OK if they invested and expanded, but all that seems to happen is a vague announcement about improving yahoo services, and the cool service closes without even a yahoo equivalent. It's like a malevolent jealous aunt shooting dead the suitors of her young niece.

Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe


Microsoft Teleport for Windows...

"After You"

Sorry, I've been saying this for years. I'll get my coat.

Apple squeaks over revenue estimates, misses earnings target

Thumb Down

Re: I would say one thing...

Agree. As a long-time Mac laptop user, I have upgraded over time all of my Macs, extending the life.

I like the enhanced resolution of the Retina, but I am simply not prepared to buy a sealed-unit laptop where I can't upgrade the RAM or storage.