* Posts by Lee D

3851 posts • joined 14 Feb 2013

Tesla Megapack battery ignites at substation after less than 6 months

Lee D

You mean contain something that's heating enough to catch fire and become an explosion risk necessitating shutting off nearby roads, in a small, airtight container?

There's a word for that. Bomb. Now with added shrapnel.

Lee D

Re: Look to Dinorwig

Sounds like you need a small battery pack capable of powering for 30 seconds, and something far, far, far, far cheaper to actually take over.

Not difficult. Standard practice in IT datacentres, for example. UPS in racks and in the aisles, just enough for the generators to start up and stabilise.

This is like suggesting you have enough UPS to just run the whole place for an extended outage, which is a bit ridiculous from a cost, maintenance and value point of view.

Microsoft rolls out stealthy updates for 365 Apps

Lee D

Sure. What could go wrong?

G7 countries beat UK in worldwide broadband speed test again

Lee D

I've been on 4G for four years, the entire house. Because the broadband was utter tosh, and I can throw a stone from my bedroom window and hit a major London town.

BT offered me only a guaranteed FOUR Mbps. I told them to stuff it, never even bothered to activate the phone line. Literally no other suppliers of service available.

Been running off 4G ever since, including IoT, streaming media server and CCTV.

BT guy knocked on the door a few months back and promised me that everything was upgraded now and I could get "up to 50Mbps". I did a Speedtest, from my mobile, on my phone's 4G and then did it again on my house Wifi, which was running off a 4G stick. Beat them both times.

"Oh, but usage..." - unlimited.

"Oh, but cost." - £18 a month, barely more than your most basic line rental, let alone broadband package.

Someone needs to properly kill off the Openreach/BT monopoly, because it's still around and holding everything back still.

Moving to a new house the other day - same. I just have 4G both ends until I complete my move and watch the cameras of one place while I'm at the other place, and stream content from my media player from the old house every night. And that's actually a very rural place.

I was seriously considering Starlink if that wasn't going to work, but it has to be bad to make me use a Musk product by choice.

Microsoft: Outlook desktop app crashing due to missing identity setting

Lee D

Sounds like their usual quality, to be honest.

I hate Outlook with a vengeance, it's not even a particularly great email or calendaring client and it really only has two things to do: email and calendaring!

I don't get the obsession with it and I would be happy to never have to manage it again and haven't used it personally for years now.

The whole profile-on-the-local-machine thing is so archaic too, it really needs to just die and become nothing more than a small cache of the server content that in the case of problems, one click and you start afresh from server-only data.

And programs that forcibly integrate with it or MAPI should be shot on sight. It's the only kindness you can afford them.

Upgrading what might be the world's oldest running Linux install

Lee D

Re: Minesweeper

Spoken to the guy, he's a nice bloke, works for ARM.

Lee D

'Tain't broke, don't fix it.

More surprising is that chiark as a naming still goes to just one server, rather than some kind of DNS round-robin even if it incorporates the earlier names (referring directly to a server is generally a bad idea if that server then dies...)

But, again, I suppose that it's working so why play with it?

I always have a dedicated server to do my stuff, only ever cheap junk from OVH or Kimsufi - lets you have an outside server to test things from, lets you provide services acts as a proxy in many regards (my websites are mostly reverse-proxied from that well-known, static IP, always-on server back to an (isolated) internal network over VPN so that you don't need hole punching and port-forwarding and TLS/SSL and other things, for instance Let'sEncrypt on my internal servers would be a nightmare to configure, but if I have the dedicated server LetsEncrypt and reverse proxy, then there's always a server online to handle all the renewals for everything, but the back-end is also encrypted and secure without having to pass ACME tests directly), and just keeps going. They usually get to about 5 or 6 years old before there's some cheaper deal involved and I migrate and upgrade across to the new server, but otherwise I just leave them running. Things tend to just keep running nowadays, I have to say.

I'm not sure I'd be doing that level of constant upgrade because problems do creep in and I've done it several times (e.g. Ubuntu 10.04 -> 20.04 in stages) and run into problems half-way through that take an age to resolve, and at that point I'd rather clean-install and prove to myself that I have everything that I need properly recorded to recreate the configuration from scratch anyway, rather than just rely on constantly bringing forward some archaic config that I don't remember how it worked or what insecure old defaults it may still be using.

Vivaldi email client released 7 years after first announcement

Lee D

Re: I loved the Opera mail client

Same.

I championed Vivaldi purely because they were supposed to be doing the email client, and it's just far too late.

For the majority of that 7 years there was NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of it, even when asked.

I'm still not even sure whether/if it can import my old Opera mailboxes properly with 20+ years of email in them.

But having had to find an alternate for SEVEN YEARS, it's really too late now.

But, hey, in that time they updated the application icon for Vivaldi about 6 or 7 times and kept adding junk nobody wanted to the Start Screen, and took years to get to the point where you could drag-drop bookmarks around in it.

Irony is: 7 years ago I would have PAID for what current Vivaldi is, with the Chrome engine of that day, and an email client even vaguely usable at that time.

Microsoft-backed robovans to deliver grub in London

Lee D

"Just throw more data at it, that'll do it!"

The death-knell of every AI system for the last 40 years.

Microsoft patches the patch that broke Windows authentication

Lee D

It's not a "patch" if it does 10 unrelated things and breaks domain controllers.

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment

Lee D

Half our machines can't upgrade, and the new start menu sucks and we can't use OpenShell any more at all.

Sorry, no advantage whatsoever to that kind of massive upheaval and testing just to otherwise run the exact same programmes.

Inkscape adds multi-page support with v1.2 update

Lee D

TIFF was industry-standard at one point.

As was .doc (not .docx).

As was .bmp

As was .wav

As was .rm

As was WordPerfect

As was Lotus 1-2-3

As was .gif for static images

As was MPEG-1, then MPEG-2...

As was .pcx

....

....

Progress happens.

Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests

Lee D

Re: Tricky technology

Gouranga!

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

Lee D

I ran a Linux desktop for 10 years, ironically while managing Windows networks for a living.

I stayed with Windows for 7, 8 (yep, even 8) and now 10.

And I look at 10 and what 11 is becoming and am seriously considering Linux again.

The only real reason I've found to stay on Windows is games. And Steam Deck / Proton are currently proving what I've known all along - Linux can run "Windows-only" games faster than Windows can, and in a much simpler fashion and without being weighed down with a ton of legacy junk just to run a game. We just finally have the tools and hardware to prove it, and that's coming from someone who's owned copies of Crossover Office for as long as it's existed.

My next desktop "move" (which doesn't happen often in my personal life) will likely be to Linux again, and then virtualising Windows, the flip of what I currently do and harking back to the past.

I actually used to use Slackware as my desktop and Ubuntu on servers... because of the reasons hinted at in this article... Slackware does exactly what I damn well tell it, but Ubuntu just made it nice and quick to get something secure and working when you want headless setups.

Windows 11 is literally pushing me off Windows, and Steam Deck / Proton are pulling me towards Linux again.

Microsoft backtracks on lack of easy Windows browser choice

Lee D

Nobody wants Edge.

And as Edge is effectively Chrome nowadays, why do you care, Microsoft?

Just take the damn order I gave you and stop trying to persuade me to use the one app that's pre-installed and which I automatically totally ignore and install an alternative IMMEDIATELY and SPECIFICALLY to replace it instead.

Take the hint. It's my damn machine. And I don't want Edge.

Microsoft hikes prices for non-profit customers, ends on-prem software grants

Lee D

Re: well yes, but...

"Using SQL Server as a nonprofit is probably a mistake."

Every single school in the country.

Granted, they've moved towards hosted web versions, but pretty much every school MIS is ultimately SQL server on the backend, as well as most of the financial systems.

5G frequencies won't interfere with airliners here, UK and EU aviation regulators say

Lee D

Re: Told to turn off?

If you had to rely on individual passengers turning off their phones in order to not crash the plane, there's no way you'd be allowed to have a phone anywhere near a plane and you'd be scanned for them before you set foot near them.

The interference is minimal and fleeting and non-critical or it wouldn't be licensed in the first place.

Bitcoin 'inventor' will face forgery claims over his Satoshi Nakamoto proof, rules High Court

Lee D

If he's just a single person:

I would hazard a guess that rather than having a publicly-known and well-advertised Bitcoin wallet, so everyone in the world was watching what you spend it on and where it goes, that someone like Nakamoto would have instead created a far more anonymous and private wallet at some later point (probably the point that Bitcoin looked like it was about to take off, rather than the day-one test of the software when they made Block 0 or whatever), been mining to that wallet for a long time as well, and would have been living off that since 2011 when they realised it was more than enough to live off for the rest of their life.

2011 is, oddly, when Bitcoin was worth exactly $1. How many wallets had, say, 100,000 BTC in them by 2011? You could live a few years off $100,000, especially if you kept mining and then stayed living like that until the price went insane you become a millionaire anyway. I don't know how many large wallets there would have been at that point but I would reckon it would be far easier to be lost in the noise by then, and just transfer funds from some earlier wallets, say, to a new anonymised one and spend as required without the world watching what you're doing.

At least, if he is a person, and had any sense, that's what I would have done.

And if you're already a multi-millionaire, basically retired and able to do whatever you like, and you know you have "emergency" access to billions upon billions if you ever desperately needed it... I can see why you wouldn't want it to be well known, why you wouldn't want to be tapping away at developing software any more, wouldn't want to be in the public eye, and wouldn't really care about having to access those billions unless you absolutely need to.

Chances are he quietly cashed out and retired in 2011, having literally years worth of head-start on every other Bitcoin miner that existed, and the cash to buy hardware to literally become one of the largest casual miners for over a decade, undetected.

Spar shops across northern England shut after cyber attack hits payment processing abilities

Lee D

Re: Anger diversion...

Zero in 20 years.

What the hell are you guys doing to have to replace your credit cards?

Are we talking theft? Destruction? Compromise?

Because I've been mostly cashless since about 2000 and entirely since 2009 or so and never had to do anything with my credit cards.

Lee D

Re: Cash Is King

Something like 45% of people using cash during the pandemic in the UK were refused at some point.

Sorry, but your paper money is not the solution.

The solution is a robust electronic system with - shock, horror - a failover system that can process payments, your ONLY source of income. Your most business-critical system. Your bread-and-butter.

But no, rather than issue stores with a bunch of iZettles for use in such circumstances, even if it costs you an extra % on the processing fee, Spar would rather be entirely offline whenever their system is down and unable to serve a single customer.

Electronic money is all there will be in the future. Money laundering laws have seen to that. Put cash under your mattress and then try to pay it into your bank in bulk? They legally need to know where that came from, which means you have to prove it.

Given that 90% of your bills will be direct-debit or card-based anyway (unless your really do walk up to British Gas counters and try to pay in cash still), I'm afraid you're already entirely reliant on electronic banking, and it will only ever "get worse".

I live a cashless life, and I've given my daughter (who lives in Spain) a child's credit card. Everyone laughed. Pandemic hit. They can send her money from another country, we can track her spending from across the continent, and her Christmas gifts are basically impossible to send her without - as happened on her birthday - almost €300 of collective customs charges, or an awful lot of disputes and hassle. This Christmas, she's getting electronic money on her card from all... including the stalwart grandparents who keep hoarding their cash thinking that helps them.

My daughter is not going to understand people using cash in her future. You're literally in a technological dead-end, like lamp-lighters, horse-drawn-carriages and faxes. You can admit it, or you can pretend it hasn't already happened. Because unless I'm very much mistaken here, I bet that the majority of your gas, electricity, telephone, Internet, rent/mortgage, council tax, entertainment, car tax, car insurance, etc. are done electronically. I bet you even use card when paying for your petrol, because I see vanishingly few people ever using cash.

Galileo satnav system gets two new somewhat confusing satellites

Lee D

Given that they gave it to a company that's never launched a navigation satellite, and whose existing satellites are entirely suitable for navigation purposes, the same as ever:

They took their money, kept quiet, and did nothing.

Assange psychiatrist misled judge over parentage of his kids, US tells High Court

Lee D

Re: Putting Assange aside.

Depression does not mean that you can commit a crime and excuse yourself from justice, either.

South Korean telco goes down, blames DDoS attack, later admits its BGP broke

Lee D

Re: if anyone from KT is reading this

*cough*

https://ready.chair6.net/?url=theregister.co.uk

*cough*

WhatsApp to offer end-to-end encrypted backups in iCloud, Google Drive with user-managed keys

Lee D

Cool.

Tell me when they honour my data opt-out for sharing my stuff with Facebook which I do not want to ever happen, even briefly.

Their only option for me when I complained to them officially was "email us - to an insecure email address - the exact data that you don't want us to store to prove that it's you".

I have a complaint in with the ICO about it.

At that point, I'll think about giving them my Google account tokens/data.

Paperless office? 2.8 trillion pages printed in 2020, down by 14% or 450 billion sheets

Lee D

I have a 21 year old printer. I use it a couple of times a year.

In work, I am the IT Manager. I print once in a blue moon and ALWAYS for other people.

I see no reason to be printing this amount of stuff, and for COVID we eliminated huge rafts of paperwork and literally nobody cared that we'd done so. It's all now recorded electronically, so you have far better proof and ability to process and forward the forms that would normally have to be paper. The paper went, people thought it worked better, now people don't give it a second thought. We could have done that at any time.

Same as working from home.

In terms of stuff I receive on paper at home, I literally get one paper form from my local council a year, everything else is junk mail. No bills, no statements, etc. It's all electronic. Filed. Stored forever. Easily comparable. Easily available any time I like.

It's time we just owned up to it and stopped printing, because we only print because OTHER PEOPLE think they must have it on paper for some reason.

Early Skype developer Jaan Tallinn splashes cash in latest funding for Matrix-based instant messenger Element

Lee D

Re: Fizzled out

At that stage, you're either a) in a legally-unenforceable area or b) already in an inescapable dictatorship anyway.

I can't get in trouble for having uTorrent on my laptop any more than this software.

And, if it's done anywhere vaguely NEAR sensibly enough, it will be virtually impossible to distinguish the traffic from any other HTTPS session (and likely nodes will be running on things like AWS which means even trying to block the major endpoints will be useless).

I have no fear of someone making a piece of software that would be "illegal" to have on my laptop. There are no laws for that whatsoever. It's the actions you use that software to do that matter.

Microsoft has a workaround for 'HiveNightmare' flaw: Nuke your shadow copies from orbit

Lee D

Re: That counter must be bored.

Nah, it just keeps overflowing because they forgot the bounds check, it's only vulnerable one in every 65,535 Windows Updates. So about twice a day.

How many Brits have deleted life-saving track and trace app from their phones? No idea, junior minister tells MPs

Lee D

Re: The greatest hoax ever

You have not even glanced at an all-deaths graph, and it's quite clear that you haven't.

Almost every country in the world has a spike this year for deaths of all-causes (NZ may be the exception, can't think why THAT would be....).

So either everyone suddenly started dying of all the existing causes and mysterious unknown new ones, for no discernible reason at all, or COVID kills people. I know which one Occam would prefer.

Lee D

Hands up who never installed in the first place, knowing what government IT is like, and that this was a Serco job and nothing to do with the NHS?

All hands on Steam Deck: Fancy a handheld Linux PC that runs Windows apps, sports a custom AMD Zen APU and a touch screen?

Lee D

Re: My wallet is worried

The Portals - guaranteed. They've had SteamOS/Linux versions forever and its way within this device's power.

KSP - I really couldn't see any reason why not.

Deffo worth putting down the reservation fee, I think, especially as if you don't buy the console when it's released, you get the fee back into your Steam wallet anyway.

Linux kernel sheds legacy IDE support, but driver-dominated 5.14 rc1 still grows

Lee D

Today I learned that NVMe over TCP is a thing.

And that all my IDE knowledge and old hardware is now officially obsolete (when Linux starts removing support, you know it's time to give it up).

Oracle files $7m copyright claim against NEC's US limb over 'unreported royalties' from database distribution

Lee D

People still use Oracle?

More fool them.

Isn't their entire business model being to make licensing as difficult and obtuse as possible hoping to trap you in an audit?

Microsoft struggles to wake from PrintNightmare: Latest print spooler patch can be bypassed, researchers say

Lee D

Okay, the existence of the bug doesn't worry me. Things like that happen.

The nature of a quick fix not being sufficient doesn't worry me. They were on an emergency schedule, I would hope, so they needed to push something out.

What worries me is the thinking process behind "Hey, we'll just check if it's a remote file by looking for an initial character string in the filename".

That's a worrying, and dangerous, view of the thinking of whoever was responsible for fixing it. That's not how you patch a major worldwide security problem, not even on an emergency rapid scale.

And then you have the entire "your servers are vulnerable because they all run Print Spooler Service 24/7 by default, even if you don't have a printer, and it'll be totally open to the local net" thinking.

The initial bug may well be forgivable, but the CLASS of bug - in both the first place, and in the patch - are unforgiveable.

Oh dear, Universal Windows Platform: Microsoft says 'no plans to release WinUI 3 for UWP in a stable way'

Lee D

And this is why I don't program Windows desktop apps any more:

"WinUI is the native UI platform for Windows 10 and Windows 11," said Microsoft program manager Ana Wishnoff. She explained that "WinUI 2 is the 2nd generation of the native UX stack in Windows. It's built for UWP apps. WinUI 3 is a new 3rd generation of the native UX stack in Windows. It consolidates the UX technologies previously built into Windows into a single decoupled framework that ships as part of the Windows App SDK, previously known as Project Reunion."

What a mess, not to mention the junk that is .NET Framework.

This shite is all going to be carried forward for 20-25 years in the name of compatibility.

Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it

Lee D

Re: Yay money laundering!

It's already difficult to move money from your bank into or out of any of the major Bitcoin etc. exchanges.

They're not stupid, they know what's coming.

When I withdrew the last dregs of my Bitcoin, I had to do so by sending it to a third-party website who sent me an Amazon voucher... well dodgy! But it worked out.

Trying to withdraw to my full-validated, only UK bank account as a UK citizen, the transactions were just automatically refused. And I remember years ago when I was trying to buy them and credit card / debit card were refused at the bank end, not the other end.

My original Bitcoins were obtained by a third-party escrow site where you give the site £50 and then someone later sends you some Bitcoin and you confirm the transaction, then they release the money. Because the people selling Bitcoins have to use dodgy third-party means and were jumping onto anything like PingIt or any new service as soon as they launched to get there before they caught onto how they were using it.

I'm not sure how people are trading in cryptocurrencies for cash, to be honest, at least in the UK. It's quite a tricky thing to do, and far from anonymous. It's entirely reliant on taking a risk on unknown, and pretty untraceable, third-parties, companies registered in the Cayman Islands, etc.

If you want to trade in crypto, do it via an investment vehicle of some kind. You still make the money, but they take all the risk. Well, most of the risk. There's still a risk that one day what they're doing will collapse because of some new money-laundering rule, but at least you stand a chance of getting some of your money back. I wouldn't invest in Bitcoin etc. directly in this day and age.

Lee D

Re: How untraceable, exactly?

Not $2bn worth of untraceable, that's for sure.

For a tiny percentage of that, you could employ the resources needed to trace those transactions privately, I'm damn sure the governments can do it if they are interested enough.

Google bestows improved device management tools, authentication options on Chrome OS admins

Lee D

I have managed over a thousand Chromebooks for schools. They're really pretty good.

"Against that backdrop, eight years seems almost optimistic."

Quite. Three-four years is about average for REALLY GOOD private school kids. In state schools, I'd give it a year or two! Eight years is a long time.

It's sad, though, that it's taken all this time to realise that the way to secure a user terminal is to stop it being a general purpose OS for the user, run as a limited user, don't allow background services and software installs, and just run things through an interpreted browser. We've finally come back to the unprivileged user interface terminal that I've wanted for decades as a network manager, because that's all a user needs.

And if it's compromised (which I have yet to ever witness!) you get control of... a crappy old Chromebook that accesses everything vital over HTTPS on remote servers anyway, so it can't do very much damage at all.

Loving them. Just wish I could explain to staff that, no, you can't "just install" things on them, I'm not pushing every Chrome extension known to man to them (if it lets you "read all website data", it's simply never going near my network), and no you can't "take control" of them so you can look at every kid's screen all the time and manipulate them remotely (maybe in certain limited circumstances, but modern OS just shouldn't allow that and often don't).

They're great things, but they're great things for schools because someone sat, thought about it, and said "We'll just give a highly controlled browser that allows no other software whatsoever" - because you can turn off the Android features and the Linux developer access, and it's just Chrome. And that's all 99% of people need for most things. Hell, our kids video-edit live in the browser with them.

UK watchdog fines biz £130k for 900,000+ direct marketing calls to folk who had opted out

Lee D

Why would you go out of your way to try to contact people who expressly tell you that they don't want you to contact them, and don't want to do business with you? I can't understand the mentality.

Approach me without consent and I will blacklist your company and any service you offer.

Do so in a non-innocent manner, and I will literally go out of my way to report your company (to places like the TPS, etc.) and get you in trouble.

So why would you bother? I simply can't believe that enough people who were on the TPS already then said "Oh, yes, so you're phoning unsolicited even though I've specifically opted-out of such communication and it's illegal, but now that you mention it, I *do* need my roof doing and I won't hold it against you at all" to make it profitable to do so.

"Hey, we have a list of people who literally don't want to do business with you"... I know! I'll ring them all and piss them off, that'll get me more business!

Post-lunch snooze plans dashed as the UK tests its Emergency Alerts... again

Lee D

Yeah, ask the Americans about that.

As I said... 3am alerts for a missing vulnerable adult 600 miles away, in a category that you can't turn off.

If they can't keep their testing silent (there's no need for a test to actually alert a user, just have the handset acknowledge or display a message is fine), I don't hold out any hope that they'll categorise future alerts correctly (e.g. exactly like the Americans haven't done).

Lee D

That's alright, because the first time I get one of those, my 4G SIM goes into the 4G router I can carry in my pocket and my phone goes into wifi only / no-SIM mode.

Still get data, still get texts, can still make calls (VoIP, etc.) but won't be bothered by other people's "tests", alerts or anything else because the router literally doesn't have a method to alert me (no speaker).

If you keep it for absolute and targeted emergencies, we're good. If we start getting that "wake the entire nation at 3am because of a vulnerable adult who's gone on a bus ride on their own" nonsense like America get, you can alert the inside of a silicon chip as far as I'm concerned.

Tech contractor loses IR35 tribunal appeal: 'Right' to substitute didn't mean he could, say judges

Lee D

Re: Yet another push for us to all go work at Tesco

"that's more complicated for the client, who then becomes an employer for 3-6 months"

Gosh, if only they could afford to have an HR department when they're paying the guy £450 a day.

Seriously, it's a tax dodge. I don't care if it's temporary, part-time or whatever else. Pay the damn tax.

"I only work for clients for 3 months and then move on" does not somehow make you magically exempt to paying roughly the same amount of tax on that income as someone who's in the job for 4 months or gets sacked after a week.

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

Lee D

If someone can just put a USB stick in your system and do bad things, it's already insecure and you need to fix that.

Give me a (tax) break: UK broadband plumber Openreach to almost double the number of rural premises to receive FTTP

Lee D

Re: It's hard to say this...

Meanwhile, just outside a MAJOR town inside the M25, literally a stone's throw from the huge town centre, surrounded by big posh houses and a main road, I gave up trying to get a landline and just bought a 4G stick and an unlimited data contract instead.

Not only is it cheaper to run each month, there's no contract, no install costs, and I can chop and change SIMs as much as I like if I'm unhappy. Oh, and it doesn't charge £160 + VAT which BT want to charge me to activate a landline, and they will only guarantee 4Mbps down, 1Mbps up (WHAT?! This is the 2020's!). My 4G gets 50 down and about 30 up consistently throughout the entire day including peak periods and I know that's just the local 4G because 5 minutes down the road in work the same SIM in the same device gets way more.

I know that some of the rollout is focusing on getting people SOMETHING while other parts are focused on improving what's there, but it's ridiculous in 2021 to be giving those kinds of prices and speeds when a wireless 4G connection outclasses it in every respect.

Meanwhile my parents on the other side of London, again in the middle of a HUGE town, their "wifi" (as they call it) is so terrible that I literally cannot log into a gaming service (e.g. Steam or Epic) because it just times out and throws you out of the game. They do not have a filter of any kind, the connection is just atrocious and they're paying quite a lot for it. Stuck my phone on 4G, hotspotted to it over wifi, got a better and more reliable connection instantly, played online for hours.

There needs to be a moving minimum standard, whether that's 8, 24, 100Mbps or whatever. It needs to evolve every year (so now the minimum is 115 or whatever), and they need to be judged on their compliance with it regularly. They know if the line is syncing at 10 or 12 Mbps, they don't need us to report it or independent companies to have to run apps and test boxes. And they only get their "subsidy" for any customer who is getting the minimum. And then set a ratio on "real world" versus line rate so they can't fudge the numbers.

And it has to be stated that every year, say, a 1% greater percentage of their customers must attain that target, including at least X% of new customers that had no connection before. This year 90%. Next year 91%. Next year 92%.

And then they wouldn't be able to "drop" people who technically have FTTC or whatever down to nothing shortly after installed, they'd have to keep improving the speed even after install, while wiring up those with nothing, etc.

App Tracking: Apps plead for users to press allow, but 85% of Apple iOS consumers are not opting in

Lee D

Strange that. When I get the choice, I don't want it.

It's almost like when you force it on me without a choice, I didn't want it either.

Which? warns that more than 2 million Brits are on old and insecure routers – wagging a finger at Huawei-made kit

Lee D

I've always binned the ISP router immediately, and then put in one of my own. There are literal standards for this, and any router of the supported ADSL/VDSL etc. standard is better than whatever junk they give you and then never update (and I'll update on MY schedule, thanks, not yours).

But to be honest, it's almost always easier to double-insulate and have a modem / modem-mode router going through to your real router (that firewalls off the other and provides LAN / Wifi etc.). Everything past my router I should be assuming is sniffable/compromisable anyway. The problem is I don't want stuff on my network sniffing and talking out and the only way to do that is to put a real barrier / firewall between the two. No, my ISP should not be deciding what can/can't happen on my local network, so they shouldn't be running my Wifi or my only "network switch" in their router that they control.

Currently, though, it's actually cheaper, faster and easier in my location to run a 4G modem direct into my own router. They can't update the firmware, they can't control what it does, and it still goes through my years-old firewall setup (with UPnP gateway features DISABLED from day one). And I just assume that everything outside my router is sniffing everything I do (e.g. DNSCrypt, VPN, HTTPS, etc.). You'd have to compromise the 4G modem, then you'd have to use that to attack the Internet side of my router, compromise that too, and then you'd have to get into my isolated VLANs to get close to my devices. And all my CCTV, home-automation, etc. junk is on a separate VLAN and SSID.

And then you'd have to get past the software firewall on my laptops etc. which is default-deny and treats the Wifi as an untrusted network on each device. And you wouldn't be able to use a DNS compromise as nothing refers to an outside DNS server anywhere along the way and results are verified.

I'm not saying it's invincible by any means but just running an ISP-controlled-router as your sole network-management device is just handing people who can't get into the 21st Century the keys to all your computers.

WTH are NFTs? Here is the token, there is the Beeple....

Lee D

For reference:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/20/child-abuse-imagery-bitcoin-blockchain-illegal-content

Lee D

Literally already been done, there is some (highly) illegal stuff stored in the Bitcoin etc. blockchains already and there's nothing you can do about it, which - yes - makes their legality of ownership of a copy of the blockchain questionable, and is permanently fixed in that branch of the blockchain forever.

When something is unmoderated, it will be abused.

When something is anonymous, it will be abused.

When something is unregulated, it will be abused.

The blockchains are already completely ignoring that problem.

It doesn't even matter whether it's the CSS decryption key or the most illegal kinds of pornography, if someone can get it in there, thereby using it as a third-party anonymous distribution method, then they will.

As pandemic buying continues, Chromebook shipments soared 275% in Q1, says analyst

Lee D

Re: Beats me why.

Been working in schools and deploying Chromebooks for 7 years in their thousands. Chances of a device actually stopping working because Google switched it off: 0%. Chances of it being broke in between: 10%. Chances of the Chromebook being deemed obsolete on the asset registers before you get there: 100%

Pretty much any business or school has a 4-year replacement programme for devices like that, so who cares if it stops working in year 5/6/7. But, pretty much, they don't - Google only seem to stop the cheap Chinese junk, they still push updates for anything major-brand.

And given the price of them, I'd far rather buy you a new Chromebook every year than a new laptop every four years.

Ofcom 5G auction ends with UK carriers spending £23m for choice spectrum positionings

Lee D

Re: Remember the 3G spectrum auction of 2020?

Or you could read the article and see they spent over a billion just on getting this far before this auction - and that's when they are still allowed to keep/reuse their 3G/4G spectrum for the most part.

This is a billion-dollar industry, and the frequency allocations are critical to customer satisfaction in terms of coverage and speed. The company behind Three alone is worth 10's of billions of dollars just by itself, not counting what money actually goes through it in the average year and is spent on actually providing its service.

It costs £5m per kilometre of undersea cable, for instance, so there is far, far, far more expenditure in dropping a few fibres between countries than the entire telecoms spectrum.

They wouldn't be paying this money if they didn't think they'd be getting it back, or if they could skimp on it and still beat their competitors.

Microsoft joins Bytecode Alliance to advance WebAssembly – aka the thing that lets you run compiled C/C++/Rust code in browsers

Lee D

It's pretty cool. I love being able to target C99 and OpenGL at a browser target, with deep pointer arithmetic and tricks, and yet little code modification, you can do some amazing things with it.

But what will happen is that they'll "accelerate" it by removing the memory safety, or exposing devices or DMA to it, or something else stupid in order to gain on a benchmark, and then we'll all be back to square one where we might as well all be running Flash again.

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