* Posts by Nelbert Noggins

161 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Nov 2012


ChatGPT, write a report about database glitches that crashed you today

Nelbert Noggins

Re: ChatGPT - help me write

Maybe Arthur asked it how to make tea

Google's Pichai tells underlings exec bonuses will be clipped

Nelbert Noggins

30,000 managers in 187,000 staff?

I can see a prime target for where those 12,000 redundancies should hit and could well save them even more money than the ones they’re likely getting rid of.

British monarchy goes after Twitter, alleges rent not paid for UK base

Nelbert Noggins

Re: The fundamental problem with the business

I would expect it’s related to some outdated view point that may still exist in advertising companies and some look at us, aren’t we amazing nose thumbing.

I did some work at a client many years ago, who was an ad agency with contracts for global brands. Most of their workforce and actual design/production work was done 250 miles away from their small, fancy London office, but the London address was seen as vital to be taken seriously in the industry and for the sales team to schmooze their clients. They had a similar office in Switzerland.

I doubt the advertising industry has changed that much in the years since then.

Hey, online pharmacies: Quit spreading around everyone's data already

Nelbert Noggins

Re: URIs visited

The site names themselves seem like a red flag and best avoided.

Sound more like the dodgy names used in email spam than legitimate websites to me.

Nelbert Noggins

“Google last year pledged to update its location history system so that visits to medical clinics and similarly sensitive places are automatically deleted.”

So the big black holes highlighted by mapping the location history will stand out like a sore thumb?

Sounds about as useful as putting a “nothing to see here” sign over the area.

Twitter tweaks third-party app rules to ban third-party apps

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Leeching off a leech

Don’t understand the downvotes, maybe it’s just the wording.

If your business relies on a single supplier, whether that’s for virtual or physical goods/services, then you either have a major flaw in your business plan or accept your survival has a single point of failure outside your control

Twitterific has been around since 2007 and isn’t a charity or operating on donations and has had 9 years to ensure they have a working business that could survive a supplier loss.

If your contract with your paying clients allows them to request a refund because you aren’t providing the service/product you sold them, why shouldn’t they?

Feel Luckey, punk? Oculus designer builds VR murder headset

Nelbert Noggins

How long before the US DoD starts supplying its current ‘friends’ military hardware which requires a new improved headset operators must use?

Got to have a plan for the day they unfriend them.

Strong support for Snap and Ubuntu Core as Canonical meet IRL

Nelbert Noggins

And how many of those downloads are because people opened Ubuntu’s version of the store/discover/whatever it’s called, searched for steam and Ubuntu returned their snap version as the default?

It’s a pointless metric because people who aren’t knowledgeable about .deb, snap, ppa repos will just take the path of least resistance to get steam

Canonical should just accept it’s not wanted, drop it and join the rest with flatpaks. I guarantee nobody will want to resurrect it like they did with unity. Unfortunately as mentioned this will be about walled gardens, control and money. After their inject adverts backfired on them they need something else to cling on to for future monetisation attempts

Unlucky for some: Meta chops 13% of global workforce

Nelbert Noggins

I think a large part of the explosion wasn't so much about the not believing he'd stick to employment laws, but the whole way it was done. As more details came out he's clearly got the firing in order with local laws, but as usual was a dick about how he did it.

Closing offices, ex-employee's reporting their machine was wiping before they had even received an email, waking up to find out you were fired because it happened while you were asleep, etc...

Zuk's announcement seems to show a level of empathy he's not known for, maybe he's been doing a Musk and having a smoke, or maybe Meta's PR team weren't fired and could put together a better worded announcement about the redundancies and package, highlighting they'd thought a bit first and not wanting to end up on global news broadcasts for being completely heartless dicks.

It's not good that any company needs to mention employee's will still have access to email to communicate after their remote machines are wiped, but after the way twitter handle things I expect most companies will now.

As already mentioned, the severance is above and beyond legal requirements, certainly here in the UK.

There is never a good way of announcing layoffs and in the run up to christmas with living costs spiralling nobody looks good for it, but there are ways of announcing and breaking the news which don't involve setting fire to everything you touch.

Microsoft mulls cheap PCs supported by ads, subs

Nelbert Noggins

Re: PiHole

Or they'll just continue the current trend of tracking endpoints and put the ad-slinging endpoints behind the same domain name as the necessary endpoints, so trying to block ads stops the OS working.

MS aren't the only guilty party for this.

Nelbert Noggins

Re: @AC - And good luck with that lockdown

If you look at the global support pages of the major OEMs you'll find they have non-windows SKU's

Just because the US/UK/Western Europe accepts a market where a non-windows machine is limited or hard to buy, that isn't true everywhere. Your friendly search site and PC manufacture website doing their hardest to make sure you land on their local region helps with the charade.

Off the top of my head, HP, Dell, Lenovo, not 100% about Acer + Asus all have SKUs with FreeDOS and Windows versions of the same hardware. This isn't 1 or 2 specific models, this is a wide range of their models. HP, for example, do this for all-in-ones, mini pcs, desktops and laptops including their Omen Gaming brand.

The public voted with their wallet and the corporations sell what people will buy.

The Western world has been a sucker for a long time, accepting what the corporations decide/steamroll/lobby and if no government/regulatory body stops it, the general public just pay the extra.

This goes way back, not just in PCs either, while the music/video industry was demonising divx dvd players and mp3s in the western world, those same companies were shipping dvd players with divx support and even retailing mp3 filled CDs of their albums on shelf beside regular CD versions.

Windows 11 runs on fewer than 1 in 6 PCs

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Windows 11 chose not to accept me.

So far having fTPM disabled on my perfectly capable amd machine has been enough to keep MS deciding I'm not worthy or need nagging.

Even better was the recent announcement about no more 'feature' releases for W10, just security until the EOL date.

I'm hoping by then Valve's current push of steamdeck and proton means my only need for windows can finally go away :)

Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you

Nelbert Noggins

Alternatively, the language isn’t ageist, it’s that those of us with a few years around the industry understand what the bollocks phrases are hiding and don’t bother applying.

When your advert reads we have not got a clue what we’re doing or who we want to hire and our pay is so low we claim it’s competitive, nobody with a clue would apply unless completely desperate

Psst. Hey kid. Want a lipstick? Huawei slips new earbuds into cosmetics case

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Still surprised

For meeting use maybe look at some bone conducting headphones.

I have a pair of airshockz that have an all day battery, hang on the ear, and are all day comfortable.

No use for music listening other than as background music, but because they don't cover or obstruct the ears can listen to music using normal speaker in the room.

Unexpected side effect was even with limited hearing due to a cold can hear fine with them being bone conducting.

Ex-org? Not at all! Three and a half years after X.Org Server 1.20, 1.21 is released

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Refresh rates

And probably something to do with Ubuntu and many games still using xwayland to run, especially if using wine/proton.

Unless you have an Nvidia card, from what I was reading Wayland, Nvidia and gaming is a bit of a mess atm. How it all changes as Nvidia used to be the goto option for 3d on Linux and amd was the mess.

I recently experimented with arch and fedora to see if I could get rid of windows on my gaming pc.

Didn't have any frame rate limiting issues or other problems with wayland, just usual level of wine/proton support and games using proprietary codecs, eg media foundation.

Next year after steamos 3 is released I'll investigate again, but for now there's too much messing around with my game libraries and the multiple stores to be able to just switch on and play.

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

Nelbert Noggins

Re: the BBC worries about these things

No idea whether it changed but the strangest part of the iPlayer account when all my devices eventually said I needed an account to view, was it wanted to create a BBC store account, not an iPlayer account.

Sorry, there is no reason my viewing habits need to be connected to the shop I never use so never signed up.

I think it was around this time I saw c4 presenting at one of the early Aws events in London.

They were talking about how Aws had helped reduce the cost and time of their c4 player data harvesting.

Back then they were talking 10 million items of data per day to analyse and that was before c4 wanted login accounts.

I'm sure the BBC will have been doing similar analysis so they have definitely enjoyed making hay while the sun shines.

Now maybe they feel public opinion is turning against the daily ransacking of data and want to get ahead of things.

Alternatively the R&D guys are just continuing to do interesting things, but it doesn't mean the organisation will care enough to implement it

Fukushima studies show wildlife is doing nicely without humans, thank you very much

Nelbert Noggins

Sounds similar to Chernobyl in terms of local natural recovery. Remove the people, nature regains control and the wildlife thrives.

It's a shame it takes catastrophic events like this to show and get people to understand how the world could/should be.

I guess all will be forgotten again once the selfie generation tourists start returning.

GNOME 41: Slick with heaps of new features for users and devs – but annoyances remain

Nelbert Noggins

Re: The real question is...

Unfortunately, shortly before release the repos holding the source code will be destroyed to make way for a new super version control system which bypasses all the short comings of the existing one.

Or at a probability of 8,767,128 to 1 against it'll suddenly turn into a bowl of petunias miles above the planet.

GitLab all set to go public as revenues – and losses – rise

Nelbert Noggins

Or k8s even, missed the edit window

Nelbert Noggins

I'd expect a large part of it, like many companies, goes on staffing. Gitlab have 1300+ staff spread out all over the world, with all the various legal requirements for hiring and paying in so many countries.

Don't know if they still do, but they used to have fully public prometheus dashboards for their infra (no login required) and I expect many people would be surprised how lean the hosting environment was.

Obviously there is a raft of internal private infra not publically shown in dashboards.

With k6s and dynamic hosting I expect they understand minimising their Azure and Google cloud costs

Having their handbooks, code repos etc published and out in the open for public viewing they were a useful source for 'oh that's how they build it' automate it, template it as a reference for ideas and learning

Google’s made-for-India cut of Android and the one phone that runs it delayed by chip shortages, testing

Nelbert Noggins

Optimised for who is probably the better question.

Jio or the Indian government? when a company who have links with the government request 'optimising' a handset while dangling 300+ million potential new users Google aren't going to refuse adding the appropriate optimisations.

Like the cost of doing business in China, I'm sure Google would have no qualms doing the required optimising to get access to the market.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Nelbert Noggins

Guess that wouldn't have also got the record for first take-off from inside a tunnel though.

Maybe next time could do a loop coming out the first tunnel and then fly through them both full length

Samsung's foldables fall to more realistic prices and harden up

Nelbert Noggins

Not outrageous? Hahaha...

Is the next article going to revisit the apple stand and wheels and suggest that the $1000/$700 price tag on them is very reasonable?

Vivo X60 Pro: Branding was plastered all over the Euros, but does the phone perform better than the English team?

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Size?

Agree, I went from a Lenovo p2 to a ZenFone 6.

Keen retail pricing, dual SIM, SD card, so close to stock you wouldn't notice android, and kept the week long battery life. I hardy use a phone camera, nevermind the front facing one so the flip camera was better to me than the pop-up ones.

At the time it looked like it might convince Asus to expand their UK offerings.

Unfortunately the 7 and then 8 turned out to be more expensive and removed the odd feature or two.

Reminds me a little of Nokia of old. Occasionally a well spec'd sensibly priced phone would escape into the wild. That was clearly noticed because it's replacement would be a lower spec/features but higher price.

What's CNAME of your game? This DNS-based tracking defies your browser privacy defenses

Nelbert Noggins

Quite a few companies have been doing this for years.

Some also put scripts required for the site to work on the same subdomain the tracking beacons/code uses so you have to allow access to the subdomain.

What's probably more surprising these days is how many companies don't do it already.

Unless something drastic happens that costs the companies significant money, the whole thing is just an arms race. Every time we patch the holes in the walls, another crack appears to let the data stream out into the small number of data oceans, who can then mix it all around between them for financial gain.

Tab minimalists look away: Vivaldi introduces two-level tab stacks

Nelbert Noggins


That's where reopen recently closed browser window comes in handy.

I tend to have a few tabs open for things to read later, especially when it's been a bugger to find in the first place.

When the tabs get so small that it's roulette if clicking will open the tab or close it it's usually time to close a few.

Microsoft's Surface Duo cops 1 repairability point for each of its screens: That's 2/10

Nelbert Noggins

The phone will still outlast Microsoft's interest in supporting yet another mobile OS venture.

APEX predator? Chinese phone-flinger Vivo teases upcoming concept phone

Nelbert Noggins

The Asus ZenFone 6 works for me.

Hardly use a front camera and the mechanism stays solidly in place in the rear facing position.

The 180 degree rotation makes panoramic shots trivial if you ever want to take them.

Amazon squares up to Walmart over boycott calls: Talk sh!t, get hit

Nelbert Noggins

It's no secret that Amazon Retail is a client of Amazon AWS, or that Retail are involved in testing new services before they are public on AWS.

They are also not the biggest client Amazon AWS have.

It seems a no brainer that Retail operate making no profit while AWS is making the money when Retail need to pay AWS for services. Doesn't seem that to the arrangements other companies have with paying IP royalties to another company they own.

Fasthosts' week to forget: 4-day virtual server summer bummer

Nelbert Noggins

So knowing how bad they are and how hacked off your clients get, why are you still using them and keep using them?

From the sounds of it you would have made your clients happier if you'd moved their systems to a reliable provider who can actually provide services and support at the level you need. Admittedly that will probably increase the costs... but happy customer or knowingly providing a service that hacks off your clients... wonder which would be better

BT and Plusnet most moaned about broadband providers. Again

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Plusnet customer service - watch out for Plusnet mobile's inability to port over your old number

Thanks for the warning, I was about to try porting my 3 number in.

I'm not sure how much will actually be down to Plusnet yet as Plusnet mobile is EE's Life Mobile MVNO. It seems unlikely they will have ported all the systems over to Plusnet yet. More like BT shuffling it's latest acquisitions around. Or maybe the EE purchase required splitting off Life Mobile, so they sold it to themselves.

And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Nelbert Noggins

Re: is it 20 years since Xerox PARC proposed "ubiquitous computing"

Will they do so with a slightly smug sounding "woosh"

I'd be more worried when the lifts that only stay on the lowest floor arrive

BlackBerry DTEK60: An elegant flagship for grown-ups

Nelbert Noggins

I find I type more accurately and faster with the Priv keyboard than any of the touchscreen only keyboards I've used on various phones over the years

I also don't lost the bottom part of the screen in slack/whatsapp/skype/email/txt messaging apps and the swipe up word completion on the Priv keyboard works really well.

Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second summary

Nelbert Noggins

This isn't even just an IOT problem, the mindset for insecure devices has existing long before IOT.

Anyone who has hacked around on the average satellite or terrestrial tv box, for example, knows security doesn't come into the design. WTF does everything on a TV receiver need to run as root? This hasn't changed since adding and ethernet port and all the streaming features, telemetry, tablet/phone apps for remote control and casting.

The consumer, and arguably whole, embedded market is a mess and needs addressing end to end... including the system on a chip SDKs which are buggy and not updated regularly, to the development teams running everything as root with remote access, to the update mechanisms on such devices.

While the chips are now being put into devices which get internet connected many of the working practices, design and development is still thinking the way it did when they were isolated without any network connection.

OTA updates or bricking the devices aren't a magic solution, because if the rewards are worth it, the firmware can be captured, examined and flaws found and exploited so they don't trigger alerts. That happens even with devices that have a small group of uses because the manufacturer has stopped supporting the device or they want to add new features the manufacturer won't. Brick the devices and watch US and European companies go bust very quickly as consumers just stop buying devices with internet connections that can use their subscription services.

For your average consumer knowing which devices are secure and which aren't is impossible to determine. Buying locally isn't any guarantee of security.

There are some really crap budget phones out there. Vodafone's Smart Ultra 7 isn't

Nelbert Noggins

Or just skip all the voda branded bits and buy the Alcatel Pop 4S, which I think is the same phone, if you really must have one. Seemed to get average reviews in Europe though.

Cost a little bit extra but then it will be network and sim free

Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Nelbert Noggins

Re: This....

"fluffy_bunny2.6" sounds a good choice... will it work on my Priv? ;)

Accountancy software firm Sage breached in apparent insider attack

Nelbert Noggins

Cloud, own servers in DC, own servers in Office are somewhat irrelevant when the leak came from an active employee account.

They might want to address their internal security policies and account privileges across all the networks pretty quickly... although it'll be cold comfort for existing clients.

Latest Androids have 'god mode' hack hole, thanks to Qualcomm

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Nexus OK?

Just the CVE-2016-5340 remaining as outstanding on the Priv.

Whether BlackBerry will push it early or leave it until next months round-up we shall see.

Microsoft GitHubs BotBuilder framework behind Tay chatbot

Nelbert Noggins

And here I thought it was TLA funded to get their bot personalities trained up properly to take over from whoever is voted in as president. The Trump training seemed to have worked.

If they took Tay, the new IBM neural processor and put them in a custom commission of the Japanese Tourist Info Bots nobody would notice.

They need an alternative now Jim Henson isn't around to build them.

We suck at backups. So let's not have a single point of failure any more

Nelbert Noggins

Re: Hmm

If that is really the excuse provided by the sysadmins, then your first step should be fire them and hire good ones on appropriate salaries.

Permissions and security being difficult should never be a get out clause for the sysadmins

Earth wobbles on axis as Google rebrands

Nelbert Noggins

It's obvious why this has happened now. As a subsidiary of Alphabet it was time for a new logo, brand, image, business cards and expensive lunch discussing the whale and joss-stick budget just so it's clear to people they're a new company and not just a paperwork/legal/tax re-jig of the same old monster

Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill

Nelbert Noggins

Except he did do something stupid, he had keys with the ability to spin up servers in his source. It doesn't matter whether it's a public or private repo on github, he handed the security of his keys to an external party who has no liability if they are abused.

This is after the very public announcements and warnings from both GitHub and Amazon about storing keys in code.

If the keys are for his application to do something he should either be using temporary tokens, IAM roles, or a restricted IAM account and if necessary pulling the values in from a config file/runtime insertion not storing them in code.

Given how often sites are hacked these days and both companies specifically warn not to store keys in your source, not to mention that AWS provide alternative programmatic ways and examples to use their services, it doesn't really matter if you are using a public or private repo... there is no excuse other than sloppiness or ignorance for storing keys in the repository with the code.

Microsoft pushes us closer to the Edge: Test new web browser now in free Windows 10 VMs

Nelbert Noggins

One of the biggest problems with Edge for me is the removal of the Tracking Protection that was in IE and no plugin available to replace it.

Webpages explode in a mass of adverts and crap I'd forgotten how bad it was to not have an ad-blocker of some sort running. On my Win 10 work machine I've stopped using Edge because of the lack of ad-blocking. When I need IE it's IE 11 I use.

Sick of politicians robo-calling you? Bin your landline, says the FCC

Nelbert Noggins

Re: I'm not buying this...

That sounds like the people who used to call me to discuss my expired mobile contract or who come to the door and their opening line is "Don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you anything"

Do they really expect people to believe they are just bored and fancy a chat to pass the time?

One sales drone wouldn't accept that by requiring me to pay line rental the "free internet and calls" that myself, my neighbours and others in this area were qualified to receive weren't actually free, because it required me to pay the company he was selling for some money. He insisted he wasn't trying to sell me anything because we were entitled to "free internet and calls"

Dumb MongoDB admins spew 600 TERABYTES of unauthenticated data

Nelbert Noggins

Re: нет!

It's all too common unfortunately with cloud systems. A scary amount of Cloud servers have any port used by a service open to the entire internet, assuming someone has even bothered to put specific ports and not just all ports.

Too much Kool-Aid and people without any background in Ops/Architect/Security believe they can do devops without an ops person because it's just a few clicks in a browser or a cli command to get a server running.

It's only going to get worse as the number of people with a cloud ops/architect/security experience decrease. Especially amongst dev driven teams and startups who believe ops/architects/security is a roadblock and they can do it themselves because they are 'devops' experts. Until they are shown all the issues and then suddenly it's the companies fault for not hiring an ops person for their 'devops' world.

Time for a brutal TELLY-OFF: Android TV versus Firefox OS

Nelbert Noggins

Re: The thing to remember about Smart TVs...


But you will have to use them/be affected by them because AndroidTV/WebOS/FirefoxOS don't appear to be just overlays or an extra source anymore, it looks like they're running the whole thing. If they aren't then the Sony reviewed should let you watch TV regardless of whether the AndroidTV needs an update, which doesn't seem to be the case.

I realise I have requirements very different to normal buyers, which means I'll have to look at panels aimed at custom installers, the professional display market or pc monitors if they actually get priced sensibly at large sizes this time, because it will be the only way to get a quality panel without all the crap I don't want or need interfering with my normal use of the display.

Nelbert Noggins

Re: The thing to remember about Smart TVs...

Doesn't even need to be that to break it. Try when the TV Maker decides that TV range is too old and stops paying the license/royalty that allows them to have the app running on that model.

Yes, the TV Makers pay to have some of the apps/catchup services enabled on their tvs/online hubs.

Windows RT on life support: Microsoft vows it won't pull the plug

Nelbert Noggins

Considering that the Raspberry Pi 2 and the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, both of which have Arm 7 based processors are listed as Windows 10 IOT dev boards, it shouldn't be that hard for MS to get Win 10 Desktop running on the Arm based hardware. The core OS is already being compiled against Arm.


Qualcomm also announced Win 10 Mobile will run on it's Snapdragon 210 reference designs for phones, which no doubt will also be Arm cores.

I suspect that the Windows 10 Desktop on Arm isn't a priority for MS and with Intel Atom tablets becoming so common they're targeting Win 10 IOT and Mobile at Arm, with Win 10 Desktop for Tablets and PCs. I doubt the RT machines will ever see Win 10 and MS would prefer they end up fading away, rather than porting the remaining parts of Win 10 Desktop to Arm at the moment.

Pray for AMD

Nelbert Noggins

"AMD CPUs and GPUs are only worthwhile in low end desktops and media centres"

I agree about the desktops, but for media centres no. Not unless you mean a Windows media centre. Or have AMD finally joined the modern world and managed to get their Linux drivers doing more than 2.0 PCM over HDMI? I don't know because they couldn't bother sorting it out for too many years, so I gave up with AMD GPU parts for Linux.

I tried to build a media centre with a fanless AMD fusion e-350 mini-itx board when it came out. That is when I found out the only audio coming out of HDMI to the receiver under Linux was 2.0 PCM. That is as much use as a frog on acid for building a low power media centre.

It's a shame because instead of the fanless mini-itx e350/fusion boards ending up in media centre systems, the Atom/Ion based systems cleaned house. Even Intel IGP processors can stream multi channel HD Audio via HDMI/Display Port.

Have AMD managed it yet? I'm not wasting money on a low powered, fanless (if they exist) AMD A/E/C-whatever chip to find out when I know an Intel Celeron based HP 260, Chromebox, NUC/Brix will just work.

After their bright spot in the past of getting the price/performance ratio right and 64 bit support on x86 early, especially with the Opterons. The HE multi-core Opterons with HyperTransport were ahead of the Xeons around at the time and in DC usage where performance per watt = $$$ they were important.

Unfortunately AMD seemed to stumble and then become a 'remember us' company, in a constant state of catch up, trying to use price as the main selling point, but not managing to keep the performance high enough to make the savings worth while. :(