* Posts by msknight

1162 posts • joined 28 May 2013


GO on then: Facebook's Oculus to axe its entry-level VR headset



"Our end goal is to bring VR to as many people as possible," ... support in Linux still lacking. This is one person still not having VR brought to them. I would love to play Alex. Not happening in Penguin land though. At least, not easily. I'd also love to play Overload (which I have, as a time honoured Descent fan) but that's not happening either.

Police and NHS urge British public not to call 101 and 111 non-emergency numbers after behind-the-scenes kit failure


Re: Vodafone mess up again?

The hampster is probably following the rest of us in lockdown purgatory. It has likely developed an unhealthy addition to alcohol and that's what probably caused it to fall off the wheel. This was likely preceeded by a drop in power as the hampster lost momentum by running side to side, as if it was going home from the pub.

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?


I have an original Jolla Sailfish phone from 2013

...Still receiving updates and still working.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist


Now if only....

...the FBI put the same kind of effort into nabbing a certain orange haired individual resident at an address which is well known to everyone, whose crimes are a damn sight more serious than barbecuing a few cop cars.

Facebook caves to Australia's call for explanations of News Feed algo changes


I'll give the Australians this...

They are willing to take some of the difficult choices and put up with the hardship for the longer goal.

If push came to shive, I wouldn't be surprised if the Australians told FB to sling their hook alltogether. if anyone would do it, it's them.

Looking for a new IT gig? Here are vacancies around the world for developers, cloud engineers, infosec analysts, Jira admin, and more


Any plans to do the reverse?

Even if it was a list of name, job title, area and linkedin URL? Like...

Michelle Knight - Infrastructure Engineer - Sussex - https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellesusanknight/

Memory, all alone doing all right. Samsung dreams of the old days, life was beautiful then. Hopes punters remember happiness is a new telly


Happiness is not a new telly

Bought a new Samsung TV and most of the amazing automatic stuff only works if all the other amazing automatic stuff is also made by Samsung.

Funny that.

US threatens to turf out four Chinese telcos amid concerns over national security... and COVID-19, doctors, schools, jobs, communists, etc



Ban Chinese companies from operating, and then go and use Zoom. Am I missing something?

Cortana, why are you still here? Microsoft makes the long-suffering assistant chattier for more countries with new Windows 10 build


But if you ask it to convert a gill...

...will it know if you mean a UK gill or a US gill ?

Video game cloud streaming shaken up as Nvidia loses more big names, Microsoft readies its market killer


This is just too volatile

I'm not putting my money in something as volatile as this. $5 or $10 a month soon adds up. I've got friends who have ended up reviewing what they're paying for and cutting subscriptions.The monthly fee actually made them feel like they should be using the services so that they were getting their monies worth. Just like the gym memberships that were never used. And at some point, its unsustainable.

I've got three BBC B micros and 4 Original Xboxes. I'm happy :-)

Internet use up 40 per cent in San Francisco Bay Area – but you know what’s even higher? Yep, alcohol, weed use


Re: Makes sense

"I never thought my hands would see more alcohol than my mouth."

India tech firms warned not to abuse their exceptions to national coronavirus lockdown


Fat chance

A friend of mine worked in the electrical supply industry. He recounted the Indian mentality of risking their lives to reverse the live lines to their meters with the attitude that it was the respnsibility of the electric companies to catch them.

I coudl detail more, but the upshot is that if you think the UK was bad to ignore BoJo's orders, in India disobediance would likely be considered the norm.

One bar owner complied with the "distance of door from pavement" ruling by creating a snaking customer path outside the entrance. Ingenious. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/25/alcohol-ruling-drives-indian-bar-goers-round-bends

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging


How about supermarkets...

...two moderate chicken breasts - £8

Oh-so-generous ransomware crooks vow to hold back from health organisations during COVID-19 crisis


Re: Look at the super markets.

The whole thing is utterly bonkers. People are doing shopping for the older generation, who have been told to isolate for months... and because of comminuty drives to help their neighbours, people are getting more than a weekly shop for their own family, as they are now shopping for vulnerable members of their own communities as well.

Net result, no one knows how much who is buying, for whom.

Whenever our village gets cut off from the water supply, the water companies helpfully drop off a pallet of bottled water on the common. So people grab what they can... but some people are being greedy gits and others grab a six pack or two, and distribute them among the neighbours, some of whom can't get out of their homes and would otherwise go without.... but at the point of walking up and grabbing a couple of packs... no one knows the intentions of any particular individual. Either way... all the bottles are gone in minutes.

What's lacking is a form of emergency distribution protocol in a world where everyone automatically thinks the worse of everybody else. But who wants to actually take on that responsibility?

Perhaps we should go back to ration books?

Broadband providers can now flog Openreach's new IP voice network in bid to ditch UK's copper phone lines by 2025


Assuming no one has stolen the batteries. https://www.silicon.co.uk/workspace/fibre-cabinets-at-risk-of-battery-theft-70017

"Fibre to the cabinet is “one of the biggest mistakes humanity has made” former BT exec tells the House of Lords"


I suppose that will depend if they allow things like soft clients on laptops and mobiles.

It's only a game: Lara Croft won't save enterprise tech – but Jet Set Willy could


MiSTer is a modest success

At the MiST project brought the Atari to the FPGA, the MiSTer project is worth looking into. Some people are now selling assembled and pre-programmed units complete with expansion boards... all build on the FPGA to run arcade systems as well as vintage consoles and home computers. It's breathtaking to see what's being done by some dedicated people.

Firefox now defaults to DNS-over-HTTPS for US netizens and some are dischuffed about this


Thank goodness we can turn it off...

...otherwise how would we resolve internal DNS queries for our own machines.

Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months


Office 365 is 2 years

That'll cause a nice piece of trouble.

Don't tell us to go Huawei, Chinese ambassadors tell UK and France


"Huawei is a private-owned company, nothing to do with the Chinese government.."

...and nobody believes them. I wonder why.

Google says its latest chatbot is the most human-like ever – trained on our species' best works: 341GB of social media


That does it...

All my emails will now be done in Wenglish to google to be sure from now on boyo; won't it, you see.

Little grouse on the prairie: IBM's AI facial-recognition training dataset gets it in trouble... in Illinois


Re: "using photos of millions of people in Illinois without informing them"

> Well, in IBM's defense, it got the photos, not the addresses . . .

Not a defense IMHO. They know which accounts they scraped the photos from. They just didn't care to go to the bother of asking permission; they just scraped away.

Is it a make-up mirror? Is it a tiny frisbee? No, it's the bonkers Cyrcle Phone, with its TWO headphone jacks


On the plus side...

...you don't need to rotate the phone when you're looking at landscape or portrait images.

I wonder if it has a camera and, if so, does it take circular pictures?


Re: Dead on arrival

Careful. After all, they dug up the ET cartridges.

Google scolded for depriving the poor of privacy as Chinese malware bundled on phones for hard-up Americans


Re: A lesson for chinese data grabbers

"Speak for yourself."

I'm speaking generally. As a species.

Individuals like you and me, think the same.


A lesson for chinese data grabbers

It seems to me that we in the west are perfectly happy if our data is being slurped by our own guys. When it's the chinese, however, it goes to a different level.

The lesson for china is simply to buy out a western company and everyone will be fine. Actually, they already seem to be doing that.

As for who the lawyers go after, I can't see them going after the chinest agencies that actually wrote and installed the malware before the phones were shipped. Who else CAN they hit?

Having trouble finding a job in your 40s? Study shows some bosses like job applicants... up until they see dates of birth


I do wonder how much of a part the agency plays in this.

There was a job near me that ticked most of the boxes... but it didn't even get to interview stage.

The employer was actively inclusive/diversive and after researching them I was really interested in not only the job, but them as well... and I would have been a tick box for their diversity stats as well. But not even an interview.

I do believe that there should be a legal requirement that there is confirmation as to whether the CV was actually put forward to the potential employer for their consideration in the first place. I'm blind beyond the agent, and that is a serious concern I have.


I'm in for an interesting time.

I passed 50 last year and I'm just about to look for another Infrastructure job in Sussex. Just got my new interview suit and about to get my hair done. I've got experience and another 17 years to give an employer before I'm officially out to pasture.

Guess I'm screwed then.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


I don't believe this is honest

They don't make or lose money from repairs because, if various videos and stings are to be beleived, they tell the customer that the unit can't be repaired and get them to buy a new one instead.

By forcing people to go to apple, they effectively rob actual repair people to ... actually repair things.

Section 230 supporters turn on it, its critics rely on it. Up is down, black is white in the crazy world of US law


Re: The law of Unintended Consequences applies....

YouTube is already taking action on this.

It has forced creators to specify whether their content is suitable for children or not. That is a mandatory setting which creators have to set... (either channel-wide or per-video) but I didn't see a clear time line for this.

On the face of it, this is now shifting responsibility to the creators for classification, rather than relying on automated systems, or small armies of people in different countries (and thereby different social standards) to rate videos.

Whether such an action will save YouTube from being sued if a creator makes an incorrect classification on their video... is open for debate... but it does shift the goalposts away from YouTube a little.

Whether Faceache can achieve the same, however, is another matter.

Nix to the mix: Chrome to block passive HTTP content swirled into HTTPS pages


Smaller sites get penalised

As I'm on a shared host, if I engage the free certificate that the hosting provider offers via my cpanel, some things like PHP, will break. At least that's what the warning said. So... silly little warnings in the chrome bar, or completely non-functioning site. hmmm.... difficult choice.

'Ridiculous, rubbish, outrageous, complete bollocks': Just some reviews for Amazon's corporate contribution to Blighty's coffers


A few of us at work are already using Amazon to the minimum needed

There's legal/illegal, and moral/immoral.

A few of us at work are not impressed with Amazon and only use them as a last ditch point when we can't get things anywhere else.

Some of that failure is down to other retailers being behind the game and having problems with their internet frontages.

I have talked with some people who have complained bitterly about Amazon's tax avoidance and I've postulated, "So you're not using them any more then." "Oh yes, I use them a lot." .... Doh.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


I have to admit...

...that as a BDSM practitioner, the software being called GIMP has caused more than a few issues in my and neighbouring dungeons.

The errors and miscommunications that have come about, "resizing," "snapping," and most commonly, "cropping," have resulted in more things being bruised than just egos.

Unfortunately I do envisage a period of more pain and discomfort as the discussion will now inevitably turn to "The GIMP was forked." and a few people will inevitably go off in as much of a flutter as their chains will let them, and we'll have to calm down the poor dears.

Am I joking? ... You'll never know.

Want an ethical smartphone? Fairphone 3 is on the way – but tiny market share suggests few care


If it does Sailfish... I'm in

By the time I was ready for Fairphone, they'd sold out. The Fairphone 2 could run Sailfish (which I've been using since 2013 as my daily driver) ... and if that's the case with the 3, then I'll likely be picking one of these up next year.

My god, it's full of tsars: A gun-toting Russian humanoid robot is on its way to the International Space Station


Sounds more like Hector to me

Saturn 3 was a scary movie and when I saw this robot, Hector immediately sprung to mind.

Summer vacations put an end to rampant desktop crimewave


Just an observation

I currently have six ballpoints of various descriptions on my desk.. not counting those that are peaking out at me from a desk tidy.

This puzzles me because I write with a Blackwing Palamino.

Lesson learned... if you don't want anyone to nick your pen... use a pencil :-)

There is, of course, another method of saving your precious writing implements from going walkies... ensure that the main suspects of said thefts see you prominently chewing the ends of your writing implements.

Industry reps told the UK taxman everything wrong with extending IR35. What happened next will astound you


Re: Huh?

Good point... however, you can only pay voluntary NI payments to fill gaps in your own contributions that cover the previous 6 years ... so I still don't know of an arbitrary way to throw money at government accountants. Other than literally... of course.



You must be eligible to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions for the time that the contributions cover.

You can usually only pay for gaps in your National Insurance record from the past 6 years.

You can sometimes pay for gaps from more than 6 years ago depending on your age."


Re: Huh?

They just refund you the overpaid tax the following year.

Your'e dealing with accountants, so stop being a troll.


Re: Huh?

> Then why don't you pay 100% of your spare cash as tax? Or better, pay from your not spare cash? You can eat beans and give the rest to others.

Already told you. They won't take it.


Re: Can someone clarify something please?

Very good points.

Yes, the government decides how much of our taxes to pay in. But we do have a ballot box cross we can bring to bear on them if they don't fund it properly... as will be the case in the next general election I feel.

True, it will be mixed in with a wide variety of other subjects, weights and balances.

Actually, HMRC are not obliging in that regard. They take their pound of flesh and nothing more. I am on PAYE for my day job, and I'm an unsuccessful author on the side. So unsuccessful, in fact, that I give them my earnings (I can earn an extra £3,000 a year on top of my PAYE before having to go completely self filing) ... and I've had rebates. Go figure.

Yes... I'm that unsuccessful.

Morality does change from person to person... very true... so I suppose you could call it the morality of the majority, and those using off shore bank accounts quickly feel the force of shame from society at large.


Re: Can someone clarify something please?

That's where another moral issue comes in.

The case where everyone works as hard as possible... earns as much as they can, and then old age comes along, or an unexpected accident or illness happens, and private health care sucks their bank account dry.

Now... ensuring that some of that money goes into the NHS (where only the uber rich could afford all the bills) to provide care for you in your hour of need ... sounds like value for money to me. So why avoid tax? I'm not talking on the legal basis here... but the moral one. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right.

That's what flumouxes me about the people who don't want to fund social support systems and want to keep everything for themselves. It only takes something unexpected to wipe it all out at today's prices.


Re: Can someone clarify something please?

I see what you're saying.

So the question in my mind is... with that amount of contractors, should they have/need that number legitimately, or are we looking at large scale negotiated avoidance of the trappings of permanent employees? ... hypothetical question, I don't know the answer.

Basically, we're moving into the realms of morality.


Re: Can someone clarify something please?

In other words... there's nothing wrong with the gig economy... as long as it really is the gig economy and a person really is "gigging."

When the gig economy is used to work around employment laws/protections/etc. is when there's a problem.


Re: Can someone clarify something please?

The contractor taking this risk while doing contracts is perfectly acceptable. But when they are doing the same job for a long period of time, then this is people (contractor/employer) effectively undermining the employee protections by negotiation.

If employee protections were open to negotiation, rather than being mandated by law, then it could theoretically turn the whole job market into anarchy where everything is open to negotiation including holidays (or not) maternity pay (or not) paternal leave (or not) and all the other things we take for granted.

This is primarily why I see merit in the government putting their foot down on this... all be it through the tax system... not so much for getting more tax from people... but for preventing the employment market from negotiating its way around laws and weakening employment legislation.


Re: Can someone clarify something please?

That becomes the point.

If you're working for a company that writes phones apps for lots of different companies, then you should be an employee of that company.

If you're writing phone apps for lots of different companies, then you're a contractor or self employed.

That's the thing that I'm having problems seeing... if you're a contractor and you're working for the same company for a year, doing the same work throughout that period, then you shouldn't be a contractor... you should be an employee.

If you're doing different jobs/roles even though they are within the same "customer" then that's not something an employee would do... hence a contractor is the correct status.

To my mind, an employee wouldn't be looking for a new job every six months... unless something had gone seriously wrong at their various places of work.


Can someone clarify something please?

It was my understanding that one of the key tests for being in IR35 is if you were contracting for the same customer for above a certain length of time.

In the public sector this kicked in a while ago and we are currently in a state of transition with contractors filling the holes while a series of new permanent jobs have gone out for advertising.

The opportunity to claim the perks of being a business (tax refunds, allowances, etc.) that are not open to permanent employees, while effectively "being" an employee to all intents and purposes (long time in the same position, with no other customers to speak of) is where the tax man seems to be targetting.

From a lay outsiders perspective, this comes across as people who have been using self-employed status to claim tax benefits, being upset about being forced to be employees and unable to use these advantages. - (the same going for employers who have saved the benefits of the social responsibility to employees, eg, pensions, holidays, etc.)

So... what am I missing here?

Facebook: The future is private! So private, we designed some handy new fingercams for y'all!


What kind of action does it take...

...when detecting a rapid and lasting up and down (or in out) motion?

"Coor, it's dark in'ere."

Scots NHS symptom checker pings Facebook, Google and other ad peddlers



"We identify unique visits, but not individuals"

To do that, they must be recording IP's, which ... didn't someone somewhere recently determine that the IP was personally identifiable information?


..well, they could do cookies, I suppose.

Stop using that MacBook Pro RIGHT NOW, says Uncle Sam: Loyalists suffer burns, smoke inhalation and worse – those crappy keyboards


Re: Not having a 'Plan B' is madness

7 P's


Planning and






I believe it came from the UK military.

Apple sued over fondleslab death blaze: iPad battery blamed for deadly New Jersey apartment fire


Apple's design is slipping

Watching Louis Rosmann's videos of Apple's board design, it doesn't surprise me. The most obvious example is where there used to be a ground line on the macbook display ribbons, between the high voltage and signal wires... but they did away with that line, meaning that the signal traces were being melted by the close proximity to the higher voltage trace on occasions.

I can't work out why Apple, of all companies, hasn't corrected design elements like this after being called out by the likes of Rossman.

There's a chance that this fire wasn't a fault of the battery itself, but the design of the device. Grab the popcorn, this is going to be a good one.



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