* Posts by Oh Homer

1134 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Oct 2013


Either the FBI is recruiting in Iran – or some govt Google ad buyers are getting a lousy deal

Oh Homer

I can just imagine...

An Iranian steel worker and an Italian porn star sitting next to each other in the FBI's recruitment office.


Meta sued by privacy group over pay up or click OK model

Oh Homer

Cambridge Analytica

Yes, remember them?

People seem to have very short memories.

I dumped Facebook the moment I realised it was being used by Farage and various other highly dubious interests, from places as far afield as the US and Saudi, as a tool to sabotage the EU and line their own pockets.

The fact that they subsequently won, and got away with it scot free, did not exactly improve my opinion of them.

There was a tsunami of outrage, then ... silence. Followed by amnesia, apparently.

Why the hell is anybody still using Facebook?


USENET, the OG social network, rises again like a text-only phoenix

Oh Homer

Long form discourse

I realise that having an actual conversation using complete sentences is a bit passé, although some people on Reddit have been accused of trying.

Sadly, by the time I finally discovered Reddit, it had already degenerated into a shithole filled with incomprehensible degens and tin-pot dictator mods, the latter of whom take a perverse pleasure in enforcing entirely unwritten rules, or in other words just making up shit as they go. Which is, frankly, pretty much every social network platform these days.

Just look at YouTube, for example. The latest case I heard about is a thirty-something YouTuber who is being constantly demonetised because, according to the divine algorithm, she's a child, and children hosting YouTube channels is verboten ... or something.

A lot of Usenet is also moderated, of course, but from what I remember with significantly more sanity. However, personally I'd rather be the judge of what I do or don't get to read, and unlike every web-based social network out there, Usenet clients actually provide the tools necessary to do that ... properly.

The only thing launched for Amazon's Project Kuiper is a lawsuit

Oh Homer


Bezos is probably worried that Mr. X's rocket will randomly brake half way up.

Meta can call Llama 2 open source as much as it likes, but that doesn't mean it is

Oh Homer

OSI vs FSF definition

If you actually read the OSI definition here (https://opensource.org/osd/), and don't worry because it's refreshingly concise, it's remarkably similar to the FSF definition.

Although I completely agree that "open" is too vague, and is therefore vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse.

I also completely understand that Raymond was trying to distance himself and the community from what he perceived as a sort of quasi-religious extremism, but the word he settled on was a very poor choice IMO.

"Open" is merely a state that exposes the contents, and therefore makes those contents visible. There's nothing in that which confers any rights, and that's a crucial omission. If I leave my front door open, you can see inside my house, but that does not somehow give you the right to enter my property.

Freedom, OTOH, explicitly confers rights. As the Llama 2 community has discovered, this discrepancy makes a big difference.

The other problem is that neither OSI nor FSF have any legal power to police the misuse of the words "open" or "free", so you can expect the professional liars at megacorps to peddle whatever bullshit they want with complete impunity.

The best we can do is complain about this blatant propaganda, and hope that somebody with the power to do something about it actually cares.

Mozilla so sorry for intrusive Firefox VPN popup ad

Oh Homer
Big Brother

Hobson's Choice

Honestly, Google and Mozilla are as bad as each other, just for different reasons.

With Mozilla, you have to contend with their ridiculous "release early, release often, break always" mentality, where they obsessively remove features that everyone likes, while adding features nobody wants.

With Google, it's an endless battle for control of the web - Google at one end trying to stuff you like a foie gras goose with spam, and you at the other frantically trying to stop them.

At least Firefox still supports Manifest V2, unlike Google, and therefore you might actually be able to stem the torrent of spam currently headed towards Chrome users.

Firefox 106 will let you type directly into browser PDFs

Oh Homer

Re: Editing PDFs

Nice try, but then I'd be scolded for violating our "paperless office" environmental policy.

My job is basically, dig a hole, don't put your dirt in Boss #1's yard, then Boss #2 asks why I put dirt in his yard, and tells me to refill the hole, thus enraging Boss #1. But instead of a shovel and dirt, it's a PC and PDFs.

Oh Homer

Editing PDFs

Apparently I'm the only person in our company with Acrobat Pro (personal copy), so up to now it's been left up to me to modify any PDFs where the original Doc is mysteriously missing.

It's mostly contacts, that require somebody's name and signature inserted, and sometimes the dates or specific terms need changed.

Mere "annotation" doesn't cut it, as often stuff actually has to be removed.

It's a pain in the ass, tbh, but the corporate mindset has a pathological aversion to editable documents, yet otoh they keep passing me uneditable documents to edit.

I once took it on my own initiative to recreate a PDF from scratch in Word. That didn't go down well. I got a 10 minute lecture about policy compliance. They literally just want uneditable documents, and they want me to edit them.

YouTube loves recommending conservative vids regardless of your beliefs

Oh Homer

Re: You're not obliged to watch their suggestions

No but I've found that I'm constantly being led towards content/creators I don't like.

I think the issue is that the algorithm is conflating academic interest with support. What I research and what I agree with are not even remotely connected.

Now you might argue that if the algorithm detects a pattern in my research, it's right to conclude that I will naturally want more of the same, but the problem is that it doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between content that's dryly analysing a subject, and content that's fanatically endorsing it.

And yes it probably is true that left wingers are more likely to play on both sides of the fence, specifically because of our more academic tendencies. Whereas right wingers tend more towards wilful ignorance and dogmatism. So it isn't really surprising that the algorithm is skewed to the right.

Laugh all you want. There will be a year of the Linux desktop

Oh Homer

re: Windows 2000 capable hardware

Just "web browser capable hardware" would do it, frankly.

Our entire business is run on cloud services, accessed via a browser. Literally everything, from accounting to customer support. Nobody here has even heard of Active Directory (except me, the resident geek).

Every PC at this company runs whatever version of Windows it shipped with, plus Chrome.

Local storage requirements are basically zero. With the right login, we can access everything from any of those PCs. Add any new device at any location in our business, and it's fully operational without installing anything, other than Chrome and the right login.

Any system goes titsup, we don't even bother wasting time with a diagnosis, we just redeploy from a standard image, or pull another box out of the warehouse as a last resort.

We could literally run bare-bones kiosk systems with barely any operating system and a browser, and we'd not notice even the slightest difference.

For us, the OS is literally irrelevant. It's just a delivery vehicle for the browser, which in turn is just a vehicle for cloud services.

OK so what happens when the internet goes down?

Well the reality is that, without various forms of internet-based coms, and especially electronic payments, there wouldn't be much for us to do anyway, at least nothing that generates any actual revenue.

So worrying about the internet going down is like not buying a car because sometimes the roads are flooded by freak weather. Only worse, because typically public roads don't come with guaranteed Service Level Agreements and compensation packages.

Of course, this whole line of reasoning falls apart if you have permanently crap internet, like I do at home. I can barely stream a 480p YouTube video, much less an entire operating system plus AAA games. So for home users like me, and there are plenty of us out there, DaaS is nothing but a distant dream.

Nvidia admits mistake, 'unlaunches' 12GB RTX 4080

Oh Homer

Unlaunch My Card

I love that song.

Semiconductor average lead time breaks half-year barrier

Oh Homer

Welcome to the Tech Apocalypse

At this rate, the garage-full of outdated tech that I've hoarded over the decades, might end up being more useful than I could have ever dared to imagine.

Google makes outdated apps less accessible on Play Store

Oh Homer

Re: Necessary abandonware

"I have plenty of Abandonware on my PCs that can no longer be found"

The difference is that you can still run that abandonware on your fully updated PC, potentially decades after it was abandoned, even if that requires using the likes of dosbox or similar.

And you don't have to contend with Microsoft arbitrarily hitting a killswitch that deliberately disables software just because it's "too old".

Sure, there are compatibility issues, but that's not quite the same thing as being deliberately blocked. And unlike Android, you can easily work around those compatibility issues.

So where is the Android compatibility layer that will keep all my abandonware running in perpetuity, like on Windows?

This is especially ironic given that Android is a Java-like virtual machine, where you're supposed to be able to "write once, run anywhere" forever.

Well, I guess not.

Oh Homer

Necessary abandonware

Unfortunately a solid 50% of everything on my Android phone is probably abandonware at this point, despite my best efforts to find acceptable replacements over the years.

That includes the launcher itself (in my case the original, now abandoned version of Apex, before the new owners destroyed it).

I guess this is the inevitable consequence of making software development too accessible, by dumbing it down to the level that opportunistic kiddies dump their one-hit-wonders into the app store, before losing interest and running away.

So what will smartphone users do once the only apps they actually want to use have been essentially blocked by Google?

Go back to using PCs, I guess.

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right

Oh Homer

Save the planet, daaahling!

I'm not so naive as to think we can continue raping and pillaging planet Earth without dire consequences, I'm just a bit fed up being at the top of the pile of sacrificial lambs, while the wolves are allowed to continue roaming free.

Seriously, just let me have my goddamn gaming PC already, and go pester the actual contributors to California's groundwater problem.

Will my owning a Potato PC somehow magically stop California's mindless, greedy, hedonistic agricultural industry from relentlessly sucking the groundwater dry?

My best guess would be no, that this problem will only be "solved" once the parasitic humans responsible finally succeed in destroying the source of their own existence, and finally yeet themselves.

Good riddance, but please leave me and my previous gaming PC out of it.

Mayday! Mayday! Microsoft has settled on a build and Windows 10 21H1 is inbound

Oh Homer

I'm so glad...

... that Microsoft keeps pushing spam "updates" to my fully purchased operating system.

Erm, what exactly did I pay for, again?

Openreach out and hike prices on legacy fixed-line products: Broadband plumber pulls trigger after Ofcom gives the nod

Oh Homer

That's me fscked again, then

Greetings from what has apparently been designated as the last muddy outpost in Blighty scheduled to receive fibre broadband, probably several decades after every other household in the country.

I look forward to the prospect of subsidising everyone else's gloriously high speed internet, while I remain involuntarily stuck on "broadband" speeds roughly comparable to using 2 tin cans connected by a piece of string.

As the proud owner of an "Exchange Only" line, in the middle of a vast wilderness populated only by myself, a geriatric postmaster, and several sheep, I suppose I should be accustomed to paying through the nose for services I'm denied the privilege of enjoying, such as any form of public transportation, public road maintenance, or even a council dustbin, so this latest move fits perfectly.

I shall now begin a Patreon campaign to fund moving home to an inner-city slum, so I can reap the rewards of a 21st century lifestyle.

The silicon supply chain crunch is worrying. Now comes a critical concern: A coffee shortage

Oh Homer

And so it ends

Whoda thunk that the Extinction Level Event that ends humanity will not be a deep impact of stupidly large space boulders, an invasion of morbidly curious aliens armed with suspiciously familiar looking plumbing and kitchen utensils, or the comparatively banal option of nuclear war, but it will in fact be a deficit of coffee running through our increasingly pulsating veins?

The movie "I am Legend" suddenly makes a lot more sense.

Cloud builders hoover up 60% of ALL servers sold in 2020 as enterprise bit barns left to sweat

Oh Homer

To paraphrase

Not my server, not my data.

License to thrill: Ahead of v13.0, the FreeBSD team talks about Linux and the completed toolchain project that changes everything

Oh Homer

Re: anonymous coward

"The heck with freedoms, look how beautifully engineered our system is."

Pretty much, yes.

I'm far more interested in the craftsmanship of a tool than what people may choose to use it for. Whereas I can exercise control over the design of the tool, I can have no reasonable expectation of control over the people who use it, much less how they choose to use it. Nor should I aspire to such control in principle.

Personally, I find the general question of "freedumb" to be more than just misguided, it's actually sinister. The people whining loudest about it tend to have the most sinister motives.

Oh Homer

Faith no more

I used to be a GPL purist, which is funny because I actually started out as a UNIX (Ultrix) guy, more interested in UNIX engineering principles than political idealism.

Over the years, I found it harder and harder to consolidate these two increasingly opposing principles. Not that there's anything intrinsically about the GPL that compels such licensed software to violate UNIX principles, that's just the pit that Linux fell into, or more accurately was pushed into, mainly by Red Hat and the Poettering cabal.

Systemd pretty much single-handedly cured me of whatever little GPL idealism I had. When it comes down to a choice between "enforced freedom" or proper engineering principles, I know what's more important.

USA adds China’s top chipmaker to list of companies American money can’t legally buy a slice of

Oh Homer

Here we go again...

The Yanks desperately trying to shore up their failing economy using a hopeless strategy, under the guise of "national security".

If it really wants to be competitive, maybe it could try, erm, you know, actually making stuff, without gouging customers.

But nope, clearly it's easier to run a protection racket than reopen factories.

Make America Broke Again!

Spending Review: We spy a stray £60m – is that all you can spare to help 5G market recover from UK kicking out Huawei?

Oh Homer

re: tedious

Nope, seems spot on to me.

The UK 5g infrastructure has been fscked because of completely unsubstantiated hysteria peddled by a pathological liar.

The question is, will Boris now have the balls to admit he never really wanted to do this in the first place, now that he no longer has to appease the Orange loser?

You might want to look Huawei now: Smartphone market returns to growth as Chinese giant's shipments plunge

Oh Homer

Let's pretend

Let's pretend that the Yanks' entirely unsubstantiated bullshit has a tiny kernel of truth ... frankly I'd rather be spied on by a Chinese government with zero power to act on whatever it discovers about me, than be spied on by the NSA, extradited without prima facie evidence or even so much as an explanation, then tortured at Guantanamo Bay in violation of the United Nations convention. For example.

Please explain how China is a greater threat to me than America.

This was never about security, it was only ever about the US economy.

Right to repair? At least you still have the right to despair: Camera modules cannot be swapped on the iPhone 12

Oh Homer

Vote with your wallet

Not defending Apple - I despise them and everything they stand for with every fibre of my being - but consumers need to stop rewarding bad behaviour by persistently buying anti-consumer products.

If any given anti-consumer measure is industry wide, then stop buying that type of product entirely, and make sure the companies know exactly why.

It's not like any of these shiny toys are actually necessary for survival, and in any case the companies in question will soon back down once they see their precious bottom line swirling down the toilet.

As long as we continue supporting these gangsters, we only have ourselves to blame.

Big Tech’s Asian lobby says nations shouldn’t go it alone on tech taxes

Oh Homer

In other words

"We're committed to ensuring that only the little guy pays taxes, while the one-percenters make out like bandits."

Business as usual, then.

When Huawei leaves, the UK doesn't lead in 5G, says new report commissioned by... er... Huawei

Oh Homer

Re: Where's the proof?

Ever heard of the US intelligence agencies' National Security Letter?

Or in other words: You should also be aware of the laws in America that compel every American citizen and company to assist in national security or intelligence work. This should concern you if represent clients that work in or with America.

There, FTFY.

However, is this odious legal requirement actual proof that, e.g. Facebook is spying on Chinese citizens at the behest of the NSA, secretly, under a gag order imposed by the legal terms of a National Security Letter?

Or is it just a case of "well they could do that if they wanted to".

And would this sinister power wielded by the NSA be tantamount to all the "proof" the Chinese government needs to justify outlawing Facebook in China?

Having the power to do something in principle is not somehow proof that this power is actually being abused. You should really learn the difference.

So, like I said, where's the proof?

Oh Homer

Where's the proof?

18 billion is a lot of money to flush down the toilet on the basis of completely unsubstantiated paranoia.

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Oh Homer

Re: Updates vs Upgrades

I guess the semantics are subjective, but I always assumed an "update" comprised bug fixes, and an "upgrade" was about adding new features.

In any case, the latest Firefox is neither. It may or may not be a technical improvement, but functionally it's a clusterfsck.

Oh Homer

Re: Unfortunate ...

The problem with recommending alternative browsers, every time Mozilla screws up, is that invariably the main reason users are complaining is because their addons are broken, and switching to another browser really won't help them.

In my case it's MetaMask, a cryptocurrency wallet, and as far as I know Firefox is the only mobile browser supported ... or rather it was until today.

Let me be crystal clear, Mozilla: your browser is utterly useless to me unless it supports the addons I need. It's literally just a delivery vehicle for my addons. The browser itself is irrelevant. I don't want Firefox, I want MetaMask. The sole reason I use Firefox is because it's the only mobile browser supported by MetaMask and the other addons I need. Period.

If you break the API, and thus break the addons, you've created something that is about as useful to me as a chocolate teapot. I'm sure the technical improvements under the hood are impressive, but that means nothing when the sole reason for using that browser is something that no longer works.

I'm also trying to figure out why you blatantly lied about it not being possible to roll back to a working version, especially since you host that and all previous versions on your own ftp site. I just tried it. It works. Why wouldn't it?

Sorry Mozilla, but the "release early, release often, break always" strategy just isn't working.

Things that make you go zoom: Huawei rolls out pictastic P40 phones, no Google Play Store in sight

Oh Homer
Black Helicopters

In a word, no

But you can do it for $749.00. In about 6 months time. Maybe.

But frankly, why bother?

The whole point of a smartphone is convenience. Take away the convenience and you might as well just go back to dumb phones. A phone without SafetyNet is basically useless to me. No banking apps, no Google Pay, hell even the bus timetable app refuses to run. I've tried hacks like Magisk but it's a game of leapfrog with Google and the banks, so ultimately it's a losing battle.

The top 3 apps I use are all Google: YouTube, Maps and Search, in that order. And BTW that's on both smartphones and the desktop. That, combined with SafetyNet restrictions, means I'm basically Google's bitch, so I may as well suck it up and let them compile whatever data they want on me. It's not like I'm going to die from a fatal case of "Google spying". In fact, as I sit here, I can't imagine a single negative consequence of allowing Google to know that I watched PewdiePie, listened to Eminem, then bought a USB cable on Amazon. What exactly could Google do to me armed with that data, that would in any way cause me harm?


So yeah, rooting and modding and hacking in general is an interesting exercise, and of course taking steps to protect yourself from genuine threats is essential, but this ain't one of them.

Surprise! Plans for a Brexit version of the EU's Galileo have been delayed

Oh Homer

"This year we are launching our new ... Space Council"

Yeah, and that is the only thing you will ever launch, my little Nazi former friends.

Maybe you could ask your equally Nazi soul mates across the Atlantic to plant a Union Jack on the moon, if they ever stop spending money on warfare long enough to save up for the trip.

Who's got the WD-40? Owners of Motorola's rebooted Razr whinge about creaky hinge

Oh Homer

And the award goes to...

I nominate this for the First World Problem Award 2020.

Creaky phone?


Trivial backdoor found in firmware for Chinese-built net-connected video recorders

Oh Homer

Re: Never mind China...

And of course the NSA spied (and is probably still spying) on the entire population of the US, including visiting dignitaries from the EU. Not to mention all the other spying it does elsewhere.

What's that you say? China does it too?


Cheap as chips? Not for much longer, analysts reckon, after rough year for memory makers

Oh Homer

So let me get this straight...

Manufacturers are shifting more boxes than ever, specifically because prices have finally reached sane levels, and meanwhile they continue to make billions in profit.

And this is a problem because ... it's Y billion instead of X billion.

[Checks bank account]

Excuse me while I get out the world's smallest violin.

GitLab can proclaim diversity all it likes, but it seems to have a real problem keeping women on staff or in management

Oh Homer

A problem that solves itself, surely

As a staunch socialist, you might expect that I'd be eagerly in favour of enforcing diversity in the private sector.

Unfortunately, I'm not just socialist, I also have the affliction of logic, and logic dictates that:

  • Commercial entities exist solely for the purpose of making a profit
  • If as a society we are going to accept the profit motive, we must also accept that commercial entities be allowed to succeed or fail as a consequence of their own policies
  • If those policies are unacceptable to the majority, then those commercial entities should fail as a consequence of their unpopularity, otherwise the majority must take responsibility for continuing to support a company whose policies they find unacceptable

In other words, if the democratic majority dislikes a company's policies, then they should vote with their wallets, otherwise they are complicit.

Yes, this is very much a classical liberal view, and not at all socialist, but it's also a pragmatic view in a society that is clearly also not really socialist, except when it suits them. Play by the rules, or stop playing the game. Personally I'd rather do the latter, but I'm in a minority, so the best I can do is point out the hypocrisy of playing a game whose rules you don't like, and hope that somebody besides myself notices this glaring contradiction.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device

Oh Homer

Re: pick the freshest produce

I used to be the sort of person who reached all the way to the back of the shelf, to get the newest items with the longest sell-by/use-by dates. Until I realised what a selfish bastard I was, and the fact that my selfishness was actually contributing to global waste.

So now, as a matter of principle, I always choose the oldest produce, provided it's still in date (which it must be by law anyway). And frankly I'd even buy the "out-of-date" stuff if I could, because those sell-by dates are set extremely conservatively, and the fact is that most of it is still perfectly safe and palatable even after that date.

I rarely notice much difference, and I highly doubt that anyone else would either, if they're being honest. There have been a couple of exceptions, such as chicken that turned out to be rather smelly once I opened it up, but the shop replaced it without argument, so no loss there.

So frankly I would much rather that the pickers were fulfilling my online orders with the older (but still in date) stock, as anything else is socially irresponsible.

Oh Homer

Handheld shopping...

Or what I like to call a "smartphone".

Has the added benefit that I don't actually need to be anywhere near the shop at the time, or even out of bed.

May I be the first to welcome Tesco to the 21st century ... once they actually get here.

Indie VPN WireGuard gets the Torvalds seal of approval with inclusion in Linux kernel 5.6

Oh Homer

VPN subversion

Yup, we're all "terrorists" now, hacking the planet from behind the Iron curtain of encrypted tunnels, spreading our subversive agenda.


It wasn't that long ago that using a VPN, or even knowing about the existence of such a thing, lay exclusively within the realm of geeks, nae Übergeeks. Well OK, and remote office workers. In fact I'm pretty sure I recall mutterings to the effect that VPN and all forms of encryption were on the verge of being criminalized ... any day now.

Now it's virtually impossible to even watch a YouTube video without being spammed by one VPN slinger or another. Everybody's doing it, it seems.

I guess that whole Snoopers' Charter, warrantless mass surveillance, anti-piracy, anti-terrorism thing seriously backfired. Rather than putting a lid on it, it had the exact opposite effect, and now everyone and their pooch is digging tunnels under Big Brother's house.

Finally something to smile about.

You're always a day Huawei: UK to decide whether to ban Chinese firm's kit from 5G networks tomorrow

Oh Homer

Re: officially atheist

Well I was being a tad disingenuous, but my question was not entirely rhetorical.

Regardless of cultural differences, and the Yanks' long-standing hysterical paranoia over, well, frankly anything not American, you'd think they'd at least have the acumen to suck it up and just get on with it out of economic necessity. Moreover, the fact that the Chinese are such significant trading partners, which the Yanks benefit from significantly, makes the Yanks' hostility seem not only irrational but utterly hypocritical.

In other words, if the Yanks hate the Chinese so much, stop trading with them, put up or shut up, and quit whining.

Of course, we all know why they will never do that.

Hypocritical bastards.

Oh Homer

Yellow Devil

Maybe somebody can explain this mystery, but why exactly are we even considering what amounts to sanctions against a country (yes, this is really about the Chinese government, not a company) that we've never been at war with, which we freely accept £45 billion worth of imports from every year, and which stands to gain nothing from damaging our diplomatic and economic relations, by means of spying, nuking, or any other hostile act?

Now repeat the above paragraph, but substitute £45 billion with $558 billion, then ask the same question of the megalomaniacal Trump regime.

Brit brainiacs say they've cracked non-volatile RAM that uses 100 times less power

Oh Homer

Non-volatile ram

I had a non-volatile ram once. I called him Yoda, mostly due to his voice. Instead of butting me out of his way, he'd just stand there patiently staring me down, like he was trying to move me with The Force. I suspect he may have been the result of a bizarre military experiment.

Microsoft: 14 January patch was the last for Windows 7. Also Microsoft: Actually...

Oh Homer

Re: flat as a pancake

So which part qualifies as the Maple syrup?

Oh Homer

Re: Windows 10 just seems to get worse

Not trolling, just genuinely interested, as I don't see anything bad here.

The only annoyance I've come across so far is the fact that I can't use the OneDrive desktop client without changing my Windows logon to a Microsoft account.

Yes, I have a Microsoft account, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be able to use OneDrive, but the fact is I prefer not to log in to a local machine using remote credentials, if for no better reason than the fact that the Internet in this muddy backwater only seems to work on a part time basis.

I got around this by installing RaiDrive, which is handy because it actually supports a lot of Cloud services, including Google, MEGA and an SFTP to my own domain. But still, I do find it annoying that Microsoft is attempting to force my hand.

They do the same thing with Skype, but only if you use the client from the Microsoft Store. If you download the proper desktop client directly from Skype, you're not forced to change your Windows login. I could find no equivalent desktop app for OneDrive, other than replacing it with RaiDrive.

But that's literally all I have to complain about Windows 10. Everything else has been smooth as butter.

Oh Homer
Paris Hilton

Re: it's all curable, and worth it

I assume the ads are the result of using an unlicensed copy of Windows.

I wouldn't know, as I bought a legitimate OEM key for five quid off eBay.

I also don't use the fuggly Win10 start menu, where I assume most of these mysterious ads live, as I've replaced it with Classic Shell.

As for updates, for me this all happens silently and without any drama. I've never needed to block one, and never suffered the consequences. I'm barely even aware that updates are happening.

This certainly wasn't the case with Win7. Keeping b0rked updates away from that OS was a major battle. But assuming you could keep all that junk out, 7 was mostly OK. I've not encountered anything even remotely like that with 10.

Oh Homer


After the horrifying double fiasco of WinME and Vista, I could understand people clinging to XP. I was one of them. Hell, we all were (except Mac and Linux purists).

Then 7 came along, and it was like a more stable, more secure, better looking version of XP. The clinging recommenced.

Windows 10 is no Vista, in fact I've grown to like it, after replacing that hideous "Flat UI" with third-party alternatives (most notably "Classic Shell"). There's no question that this is the most drama-free version of Windows I've ever used, and that's really my only criteria.

But I can see how 7 users might still balk at the prospect of 10's sheer out-of-the-box fuggliness, not to mention all that Microsoft spyware. Believe me, it's all curable, and worth it, at least for the Windows part of your computing life. For everything else there's Linux (or, increasingly, Android).

Windows takes a tumble in the land of the Big Mac and Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Oh Homer

Re: Tasteless bacon

I think I can solve that mystery. The problem is that all the actual flavour of any given food is locked into hydrophobic molecules, and thus can only be released in the presence of the aforementioned artery-choking fat, which sadly in the case of nearly all Stupormarket® meat these days is almost entirely absent.

The sad fact is that fat-free is, pretty much by definition, tasteless.

It may be a bit of a challenge, given that they're now virtually extinct, but try to find an actual butcher shop, and ask specifically for untrimmed bacon, preferably with a lot of marbling (i.e. lots of fat on the inside, not just a thick wad of it under the rind).

Feel free to conservatively trim the rind, but leave all the fat. Your taste buds will thank you. You'll die in your 50s, but at least you'll die with a big smile on your face. That's my plan, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Oh Homer

To be fair

While we're on the subject of fairness, I've eased off my criticism of "junk food" in recent years, as it's become increasingly clear that pretty much all "pre-made" food (i.e. not grown in your allotment) is essentially junk anyway, especially the stuff labelled "healthy". Not to mention the fact that the Powers That Be® constantly flip-flop between claiming something is an essential elixir of life and, basically, it'll kill you. In other words, I no longer know what to believe, so I have to assume that all claims, one way or the other, are just speculative bullshit.

Now I just eat whatever. Mostly bacon butties. I've often wondered why there has never been a multinational "Bacon R Us" in the vein of MacDs, Hell, it'd be my No1 feeding trough, if it ever happened. Seriously. Sod those utterly tasteless, virtually fat-free patties of minced beef from Hamburg. Give me huge wads of artery-choking bacon any time. Really, any time. Wake me up at 3AM on a Tuesday, if you like, just make sure you come bearing huge pallets of bacon butties, shrinkwrapped for freshness.

As for the arguably inappropriate use of Windows for, well, pretty much anything other than the PC Desktop, meh! I used to care. I used to stand on my upturned (and now empty) bacon box and scream obscenities at anyone daring to suggest using Windows for display terminals etc., spitting bacon bits onto the crowd (of one ... typically a bemused policeman) as I vented my spleen. But once I realised how much precious bacon I was wasting, in my futile efforts to bring salvation to the unwashed masses, I just gave up and went back to eating bacon full time, thus guaranteeing a short but blissful life.

I mean seriously, who wants to live forever anyway, especially without bacon? This irrational obsession with immortality is ill-conceived. An eternity without bacon isn't a good quality of life, it's a cruel and unusual torture. You might as well say wouldn't it be great to live for 200 years, where every day I have someone driving knitting needles through my eyeballs, while hedgehogs chew on my testicles. Well no actually it wouldn't, now that I think about it.

So bring on the greasemongers, and super-size me!

AI 'more profound than fire', Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai tells rich folks' talking shop

Oh Homer

Internet 2.0

Can't remember which article (there's probably been a few), but I seem to recall a few commentaries to the effect that the Internet didn't quite turn out to be the utopia it was expected to be. Yes, there's a few plus points, take El Reg for example, but if we're being brutally honest it's probably an overall negative. Between fake news, Cambridge Analytica style manipulation, paywalls, identity theft, ransomware, spam, adware, e-commerce globalisation destroying small businesses and the high street, data harvesting, privacy violation, NSA warrantless mass surveillance, and the cesspool of human scum that anonymously pervades social networks, the Internet isn't really all it's cracked up to be.

I have a feeling that AI will be a similar story, except this time we're jaded enough to anticipate the dangers in advance.

Mostly I suspect it'll just end up being used for more precisely targetted spam, via profiling. And of course that same profiling will inevitably be abused by paranoid three-letter agencies to target "terrorists" (i.e. anyone who dares to disagree with our Corporatocratic regime's increasingly Draconian policies).

As for positive use cases, I'm not hopeful.

'I am done with open source': Developer of Rust Actix web framework quits, appoints new maintainer

Oh Homer

Re: Apathetic hobbyist or community contributer

Actually you're both right, depending on the motive.

It's certainly legitimate for someone to apathetically dump the end result of their personal itch-scratching exercise into the public domain, in a half-baked act of philanthropy. I'm sure that is how at least some open source projects begin life. In such cases, expecting the original author to spend days carefully crafting policy documents is not very realistic.

However, it's far more common for open source to begin for more pragmatic reasons, where the license is chosen specifically to encourage community contributions, to distribute the workload among many, in terms of both developer contributions and public scrutiny. In such cases, the community surrounding that project is certainly no peanut gallery, and you absolutely need to listen to what they're telling you, assuming you wish to continue receiving their contributions, that is.

In this case, it seems that Kim started out as one of the latter, then ended up as one of the former.

It happens. Many open source projects see a lot of leadership changes due to irresolvable conflicts of interests, where tempers fray and people storm out. Exactly the same thing happens with proprietary software development too, of course, except behind closed doors, so we rarely get to hear the details.

Whether or not there's any benefit to seeing developers air their dirty laundry in public is debatable, but it's certainly entertaining.