* Posts by msknight

1359 posts • joined 28 May 2013


Firefox 105 is here, and it's faster and more memory-frugal


Re: Vertical Tabs

When you give it a run, please do report back on how annoying the forced automatic updates are, and the lack of a button to turn them off.

Firefox devs believe it is their task to ensure everyone is updated, all the time, and ignoring the pop up eventually makes Firefox refuse to load anything in a new tab until you've restarted Firefox (and then had to reload all your tabs) ... and no, there is no option in the config: either, because they've removed that as well.

This is the Firefox devs attitude, because I've been there and had that conversation with them... and switched to Vivaldi.

Document Foundation starts charging €8.99 for 'free' LibreOffice


Re: Windows S store has been charging for some time

Thanks for the information.

When I encountered this, and attempted to change his machine out of S mode a few years ago, it did want to charge. However, I'll speak with him again when I'm next called to give him a hand, and try this. He could do with a local word processor but without the subscription.

It's possible that it might charge for a lower version of windows, like home, so I'll definitely chase this up.


Windows S store has been charging for some time

I was asked to help someone out a while ago, and he'd bought the S version of Windows where everything has to be installed via the store, until you pay like £50 to remove the restrictions. Libre Office was in there at something like, £8. No clue where the cash went, ie. Microsoft or what, but it's not news to me.

Demand for software experts pushes tech salaries higher in UK


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

But the "forced change" required is to force women to enter engineering professions against their personal preference?

That is approaching the argument from the wrong side and placing the onus on the women's choices, rather than when it actually lies... the men's choice to keep them out. That's the change that's being forced.

I'm sorry but trying to deflect the argument to being the women's issue is a classic argument to deflect against the men's attitude, and that kind of argument fails at the first hurdle, every time.

I'm done with this subject, because the outcome is plain, as I've already detailed.


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

Sadly, seeing the posts and the relation of upvotes against downvotes, it looks like there are many in the industry who would rather it stay that way and not change.

It does seem like the majority of the downvotes have been added while the USA has been awake, so it may be possible to read that they are more conservative than Europe on this issue; something which, if true, would not surprise me.

A long way to go... but change is coming. Slowly.


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

If you wish to take that point to Professor Joel, feel free. It would be interesting to hear what she would have to say. I had a very brief e-mail exchange with her. I have no doubt she'd respond to a genuinely worded query.


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

It does start by describing the differences between male brains and female brains, and then ends by saying there aren't any differences.

What is shows is that while there are physical differences, they have no practical meaning; because some of the most critical differences are not even, in themselves, static... they are open to change during the persons life... and that stress applied at various points during gestation, have an effect on the individual brain; so that each of us is a unique person... and that further drives the nail into the argument of brain sex.... sex has nothing to do with the brain.


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

I've seen a number of things in my years. It's not only the individual, it's those around them.

I had a woman from one supplier actually break down on my shoulder because one man at her office was very vocal about how women shouldn't be in I.T. and he made her life a misery; and he did this in full view of every one else in their office. No one stood up for her.

I left my last job because my new colleague (at the same level as me) with only five years basic experience in I.T. wouldn't listen to anything I told him; even down to the fact that the MAC address of the physical interface on a laptop being different to the physical interface on the docking station. (When I offered to prove it to him, he tried to prevent me showing him) He always had to have things explained to him by a man before he'd listen. The leader above us bullied me out of my job; I left a report with the HR department with evidence, but I don't think they've done anything since then. Why he hated me so much, I don't know. But he was also able to change everyone's opinions about me which lead to the manager above him accusing me of, "not getting it." ... you tell me how I'm supposed to make a change when faced with that sort of environment.

You want to see more women in male dominated fields? Then stop driving them out. You can't drive women out of these jobs and then turn around and ask, "Where are they?"


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

I agree that men and women are different.

Men and women may be different, but not in the aspect of mental capability and performance in the field of I.T. I posted a few posts above a video from a respected neuroscientist that there is no such thing as a male or female brain.

I also posted to a piece of writing that I did which, while primarily dealing with the subject of transsexuality, went into the social pressures that we all face.

I could easily start listing the women who made a large contribution to our own field of work and how many were airbrushed out of I.T. history, but that is now easier to search for than ever before; because this is starting to be undone and people's contributions are coming forward.

But as long as people continue to perpetuate biases, such as giving the job to the person who they think is most likely to think as they do (reinforcement) rather than challenge them, (the much harder road) in whatever field it is... then the goal of giving the job to the person most suitable for the job itself, will not be achieved.

Changing people's minds has been difficult; there are people who don't want their minds changed. There is no other way to deal with those people other than to make laws and enforce them... because they don't want change and won't listen to evidence.


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

There is proof, research and evidence.

Professor Daphna Joel..

Since 2003, Joel has served as the head of the psychobiology department at Tel Aviv University, and in 2013 was appointed chair of the PhD committee of the School of Psychological Sciences.

The whole thing does get a little mushy in the middle, but there you go.


We are each individuals. Remove the social pressures and then see where people go.

If you want more, then I wrote something here - http://msknight.com/loas/?p=1551 - go down to the point about a third of the way down, "So where did the black/white (or pink/blue) binary come from?"


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

Also, dare I suggest that it's possible that women are often more suited to certain jobs, like nursing or nursery nursing, because they tend to prefer doing that?

That kind of viewpoint is exactly the kind of attitude that must be torn into shreds and consigned to the history books or else we will never achieve the point where any individual, regardless, can achieve their best in the field which they have natural skills and temperament.


Re: Diversity should be a consequence, not a goal.

I don't think it's a bandwagon.

There's a circular pattern of dominated jobs, eg nurses were predominantly female. It's taken time for male nurses to come into the profession in any numbers. It's all about breaking the circle and the only easy place to break that circle is to set a diversity goal (whether sex/race/whatever) and once things level up in the sector, the overall image of the profession should change so that the career seems like an open choice for everyone, and not seen as the purview of a particular sex/race/whatever... at which point the goals become mute.

But this takes time, and along the way there are people who actively try and get in the way of the process because they simply like things the way they are and don't want to see things change.

Cyberattack brings down InterContinental Hotels' booking systems


Re: Can't be bothered to spend money on IT

I'm not even sure there could be disruption from a local council attack. Money flows are automated.

They are automated by systems inside the local councils. Revenues and Benefits systems, RevBen for short. Take those out and little moves. There is a push to cloud, but being resisted because of the cost and with very few suppliers/systems to chose from for RevBen software, things are always being pushed.

State sponsored attacks aren't usually about the money. They're about crippling social ability to function, hitting morale, etc.


Re: Can't be bothered to spend money on IT

I have to admit that I can't fully understand what's going on.

Local government, if targeted by hackers, could create serious disruption. People's housing benefit not getting paid, tax not collected (and thus not forwarded to other bodies) civil services impacted... and yet the rate of councils being attacked seems minimal, apart from one or two high profile over the years. I would have thought they would be much more likely to be the target of state attacks.

And yet here we are, with international companies, with oodles more resources... getting hit. What are small local councils getting right, that international companies are getting wrong?

Where I used to work, around 400 employees only a fraction of which were in I.T., we had a few close calls but didn't get taken out like some of these other companies.

Windows 10 business refresh will revive PC shipments


Win 10 has life left

Personally I believe there is another few years life in Windows 10 before organisations look to upgrade. The last few years I've seen organisations buying SSD drives and more RAM, and upgrading their desktops for faster performance. Some replaced desktops with laptops thanks to the pandemic. They'll want to get more years out of that investment first, before buying new kit, I believe.

With the impact of cost of living having the potential to drive businesses to the wall (the overall trend of business opening/closing is still downward) and advertiser spending slowing to the degree that the likes of Meta are squeaking a little... I think the sales over the next twelve months will be worse than the figures quoted by another 50% on top of what they've already forecast. Unless governments step in to save the day; for which there's still time.

Cloudflare tries to explain why it protects far-right forums that stalk and harass victims


Re: Weaver and Caraballo are wrong, but why let subtlety get in the way of hyperbole

Thank you most kindly for the discussion.

If the hosting company restricted customers needing cloudflare to particular host servers, and those who didn't on others, then I believe that might be a feasible way around the issue.

I see what you're saying about the domain name, but it is possible to use a domain registered in another country and point the records to Cloudflare services... thus making it difficult for law enforcement to act against domain names very easily. Indeed if the victim is in another country again, then that requires different countries law enforcement to talk/act together and that all adds to the time.

I believe that if the hosting companies knew that they would be named by cloudflare, then they wouldn't take on toxic web sites and would be cautious in dealing with people who have history of running similar web sites that were shut down; stopping them from having a second bite of the cherry. Prevention being better than cure, etc.


Re: Weaver and Caraballo are wrong, but why let subtlety get in the way of hyperbole

It's an interesting discussion, and one I think the industry/politicians/police need to have and bottom out.

The equivalent of a secure lock on a gate with no fence either side, is not necessarily the situation. A firewall at the recipients end that ditches all packets except those from Cloudflare should certainly hold against the kind of vigilante band of people that might want to attack... but even then, a notice as to who the end host is would be enough to be able to make progress without having to reveal a precise IP address.

After all, the only people I can see benefiting from this is people who know that they're likely to breach/host breaches of various laws before they even set up their forums. After all, if the people running the forums didn't allow this kind of conversation to happen on the services they run, then we wouldn't be having this discussion now. Open to being corrected on this, of course.


Re: Weaver and Caraballo are wrong, but why let subtlety get in the way of hyperbole

Well not really. If the details of the customer are known, then the DDoS protection is ineffective because the attackers will just bypass Cloudflare and DDoS the customer directly instead.

They'd have to DDoS the whole hosting company with all IP's that they operate, and the hosting company can firewall any incoming traffic that isn't from cloudflare. Not practical, so I don't accept that as defence of not saying who the customer is.


Re: Weaver and Caraballo are wrong, but why let subtlety get in the way of hyperbole

There's nothing stopping Cloudflare from making it known who the customer is, while they still enjoy the protection against DDoS, etc. The two are not mutually exclusive. The fact that it requires an extra step to make a lawful request to Cloudflare first, exacerbates the issue.

The argument put forward that Cloudflare is a carrier is also a problem, because in telephone, email, etc. the party responsible can be identified. (caller ID, IP address, etc.) In the case of Cloudflare, it's not so straightforward and they are then a party to the issue at hand by dint of protection of the identity... and then adding time to the speed of progress.

So if you say advocating for a more expeditious legal process, wouldn't you say Cloudflare making public knowledge who is behind/hosting the site would be a step forward in that?


Re: Weaver and Caraballo are wrong, but why let subtlety get in the way of hyperbole

My main grievance is that they are protecting the people from being identified. I believe that with Cloudflare's protection, it's not possible to identify the actual hosting company and thus preventing legal process being served. It's also protecting the actual hosting company's reputation by keeping them out of the firing line, and that's prolonging any proper legal action, I believe.


Re: Weaver and Caraballo are wrong, but why let subtlety get in the way of hyperbole

For the most part, I actually agree with you, even as a trans person who has been on the receiving end of hate over the years.

However, the key problem which hasn't been solved... in many arenas, not just this one... is that the legal process takes a considerable amount of time. In that time, people have died, companies have gone bust, the consequences have reached points which can never be undone even if the courts find in favour of the injured party.

Cloudflare, and others like them, can't plead innocent here IMHO. The site is actively engaging in harassment with the aim, (of some of its users) of getting people to commit suicide. This goes well beyond freedom of speech and Cloudflare has no defence, in my eyes, for not dropping this site like a hot potato.

Google Play to ban Android VPN apps from interfering with ads


Re: Personally I won't use either Google Android or Apple iOS.

I use Sailfish, for what it's worth. Official version with dalvik support for side loading android apps.

Apple says 2017 MacBooks don't have FlexGate defect. Aussie tribunal orders a fix anyway


Re: Why Do They Insist On Blatantly Denying Anything Is Wrong?

A capitalist would say that this is how they are among the richest companies on the planet. By not actually spending it putting things right and instead forcing customers to spend even more money. The capitalist would pat them on the back and say, "Keep it up!"


Re: Apparently

He's opening and closing it wrong :-)

Chromebooks are here to stay thanks to COVID, even though shipments crashed: IDC


Tie them into your back end... ooh er.

Tie them into the back end and they'll have to continue buying your product. (perhaps less so for Google than others, maybe)

Except I think that this cost of living crisis, if prolonged, will likely see the worst damage. Let's see the figures in a twelve month and see where things are at then.

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did


Re: Dubbed Content

Don't... please... I bought the DVDs.

Pentester says he broke into datacenter via hidden route running behind toilets


Re: This is just taking the piss.

The pen tester was flush with success after throwing this one in the bowl. Security really got the toilet brush-off and had to disinfect the situation once they had recovered from turning yellow with rage at the leak that had occurred.

Sony responds to inflation with $3,700 gold-plated 'Walkman'


I'll stick with my Astell and Kern.

... it not only has a headphone jack, but a balanced headphone jack as well.

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI


I suppose....

A more fitting test for AI would be if it initiated a conversation rather than just responding to input.

Inside the RSAC expo: Buzzword bingo and the bear in the room


"that are predominatly visited to find gifts to bring home to the kids. "

A friend of mine, who is an expo veteran, calls them, "Gizzits." ... as in Give us it.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


Re: Too good is bad

" I like the sound of that room..." ... Ahhhh! I see what you did there.


Too good is bad

Personally, I believe that too pure a result, is where the problem is...


"NOBODY HAS BEEN able to stay in the Anechoic Chamber in Minneapolis for longer than 45 minutes. Why? Because inside the world’s quietest room noise doesn’t bounce off the walls as normal – creating an absence of sound that disturbs visitors to the point of hallucination."

There is a point where reaching perfection actually annoys us.

I appreciate that every point in the system introduces artefacts, whatever they may be. There is a point where I can't tell a high, "resolution," mp3 file from a flac file. So what makes the difference? I actually prefer different sources depending on what I'm listening to. A'capella and orchestral I'll usually buy on CD and listen on a valve amp. Rock, pop, etc. I'll go for vinyl. Odd sources I'll buy on cassette and be quite happy listening via an integrated amp.

TLDR: There's no one authoritative, best, source. It depends on too many variables and it's all subjective anyway.

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well


Re: It all comes down to money

Beg to differ... page 1 on this where Windows 10 Enterprise is included with a 365 license...


...and that's my point. If you get a desktop enterprise OS license with your 365 license, then why go through the pain of buying extra licenses and support for a different desktop OS.


It all comes down to money

Personally, having a Windows desktop license bundled in with the whatever-it-is-these-days microsoft user license, means that Windows on the corporate desktop is the path of least resistance.

If Microsoft separate out the Windows license and starts charging for that separately, then the impact might be enough to make some corporations look at putting the effort into switching to a Linux desktop.

That's my belief, anyway.

Tech hiring freeze doesn't mean people won't leave


The industry of infrastructure as a whole has changed

I'm a traditional sort of person. Tin arrives at the door, I unbox it, rack it, patch it, run it then at the end of its life I see it out the door; plus all the networking, backup, storage and all that. However, my look for another position seems to be fruitless.

Firstly, I can't go into London, which is where there seem to be people screaming for skills and have been doing so for months. I've lost track of how long I've been getting e-mails titled, "10,000 infrastructure jobs in London." I care for my Mother, so I need to be within a limited distance from home, so there's that.

However, the jobs coming through are all "remote"and wanting cloud skills. Not only that, but the wages on offer are on a par with NHS wages... and those wages are actually lower than many local government positions, presumably using the working from home line to get away with paying less.

I can't see things remaining like this for too long. Something's got to give.

Logitech's MX Mechanical keyboard, Master 3S mouse


Handy, then, that Logitech appears to have all bases covered?

Only if the software runs on Linux. If not, then I can't use it.

Broadcom's stated strategy ignores most VMware customers


But it's a winning strategy.

It'll win them a terrible reputation in no time at all. - Oh, sorry... too late!

Clearview AI fined millions in the UK: No 'lawful reason' to collect Brits' images


Re: Public images.

Yes you do. Journalism has an exemption to GDPR



Re: Public images.

I don't understand the thumb downs but it's a free world I guess...


In order to sell your photos to a media library or to use your photos to promote or sell products or services, you will often be required to obtain a signed model release form from any identifiable person featuring in the image. Although it is not illegal in the UK to take an identifiable photo of a person in a public place, media libraries and agencies often require you to have had permission to take the photos regardless."



Re: Public images.

There is, I believe a caveat to that which is whether you are using the picture for profit or not. If yes, then you should have the permission of the people in the picture, whether or not you are standing on public ground when you take the image.

Surf the web from your parked Renault: Vivaldi comes to OpenR


Re: I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.

Just for the record, this is part of what they had to say about my request to have an update disable option in the settings menu...

"I'm afraid that we've already considered this and made the decision that this option does not belong on the Firefox Settings page. It's simply too dangerous. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people regularly run untrusted and/or malicious code and expect their browser to allow that code to execute, but also to protect them from it. Doing this absolutely requires having updates installed regularly. Putting the setting in a place that requires some technical knowledge to set it helps limit its use to people that understand the importance of updating regularly."


"Our goal was not to make it unable to be done, but to make it a little harder than just clicking a button in preferences. We had too many people that clicked the button without understanding what it was and just never got updates. You certainly can turn off updates, you just have to put more effort into it."

Yes... let's read that again... "We had too many people that clicked the button without understanding what it was and just never got updates."

If you want to look up the whole conversation, it's bug 1756397


Re: I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.

Unfortunately, there are two update streams. One via package manager and Firefox has its own update stream. So even when I do an apt-get, (which is cron'd overnight) Firefox then does its own thing anyway and even when I managed to turn off the firefox update engine, I couldn't turn off the nag engine that would nag me every few hours, it seemed like.


Re: I can understand why.

No, it doesn't work, unfortunately. Part of the problem was that I was researching on the internet and none of it was working, which was why I logged a bug report in the first place. Firefox devs said they deliberately made it very hard for people to turn off updates automatically. (this is in Linux) ... and it did get a bit more complicated than this, because for Mint updates are supposed to come with the package manager and Firefox devs said that Mint devs should have put the file in as part of the Mint build... but it was all actually outside the point that Firefox devs were making decisions on behalf of the users and that they were right to have that attitude.

There is an argument that they've got a point, and that's fair enough. It's their show and their hard work. So I stopped using it.

I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.


I can understand why.

Recently I had a bit of a discussion with Firefox devs about issues that I was having in Firefox.. namely the amount of patch nagging, forced restarts after patches had been applied in the background (couldn't even open a new tab without being forced to restart Firefox - this was happening every few days and I was tearing my hair out at the end) and the removal of the option in the menus, to turn off automatic patching. This was the last in a number of issues which broke the camels back.

I mean, I was getting up in the morning, sitting down at my workstation and wanting to see what had happened in the world overnight, only to be forced to do yet another firefox restart (and I have a fair few tabs open) ... and that was before I'd had my first cup of tea, which is probably me at my worst mood! :-)

Their attitude was that Firefox must be patched, that normal users are not to be trusted with a menu option and that in order to achieve turning off automatic patching, you had to make a profile file somewhere. Even then, it failed to turn off the nagging and I went to Vivaldi and after a bit of a learning curve am finding it pretty much the same in terms of user experience, except that there's no nagging now. (obviously I had to do the usual stuff like limit the cache size, turn on the window border, etc.)

I personally believe that Firefox's devs taking the attitude that they alone know what's best for the users is going to be an increasing barrier going forward. Which is a bit of a shame IMHO. Vivaldi and others are likely to keep winning results like this.

Europe moves closer to stricter cybersecurity standards, reporting regs


No IPv6

I did a search of the document for IPv6 and didn't find anything of it, yet it is one of the things that has been touted to increase traceability, if not security per-se eg. Belgium's insistence on reducing CGNat to 16 per IP which then drove faster IPv6 adoption.

I'd really love to know to what extent IPv6 is already being used and whether the trigger will ever be pulled on the death of IPv4. The whole subject just seems to be a bit of a black hole.

Phishing operation hits NHS email accounts to harvest Microsoft credentials


Too little, too late.

The NHS was already promised £350 million a day, and that never materialised. That was also painted on the side of a bus no less, not a paltry e-mail. Don't think many will fall for a poultry £2 mill.

$10b National Security Agency contract re-awarded to AWS


It wouldn't surprise me...

...if this isn't over yet.

"We asked Microsoft for its reaction to the award. The company has yet to respond." ... give them chance to stop choking on their iced tea first.

There are nearly half a billion active users of Start news feed, says Microsoft


Fixed it for you

"There are nearly half a billion users who don't know how to turn off Start news feed, says Microsoft"

Elon Musk's latest launch: An unsolicited Twitter takeover


Re: If my offer is not accepted....

Pointless comment because no body asked him to make an offer in the first place. I can see more people being inclined to say, "Pi** off" rather than say, "Nah, give me more money." and Twitter could well be worth more. It hit 66.11 6 months ago, so his offer seems a bit of a low ball to me. If I was a shareholder and that was his offer, I'd tell him to shove it.


If my offer is not accepted....

"Give me what I want, or I'll sell my shares and you can watch the value of your shares plummet." ... that's serious toys out of pram territory which shows exactly why he shouldn't be the head of a social media company. But then, we have Zuckermuck... so... what a world we live in.



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