* Posts by Peter Prof Fox

276 posts • joined 20 Jan 2014

Page:

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

Peter Prof Fox

Funny misapplication of technology

Shouldn't it be the robot monitoring the human? DON'T rules are a lot easier to specify than fancy situation recognition. "If you speed once more Dave then you'll be reported to the police." "Why is your foot still n the throttle when there's red lights ahead?" "Get off your sodding phone." "You have noticed that Fire Engine with flashing blue lights haven't you?" But nag-bots aren't sexy. The UK government is in thrall to the hype.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

Peter Prof Fox
Thumb Down

Out of the box...

New win devices come with rafts of dubious bloatware and practically uninstallable anti-virus. Most people don't seem to notice, then get scared when you say "let's remove this and this and this. To see if that makes it faster." Linux is much more start with a bare shell and add the bits you want. Also there's no pressure to register/activate/give an email address, or worse some id to 'improve' the experience.

If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code

Peter Prof Fox
Boffin

Assembler, machine-code and PAPER

Voice from another age here. We knew that any code was difficult to follow if it became lengthy, So we spent ages writing with things called pens on a thing called paper to design and document smaller and smaller modules until they were nugget size. Some rooms were walled with whiteboard and had assembler/machine code in screeds and cartouche flow-chart snippets.

In-line documentation is like having architectural plans in each room on a room by room basis. "This room is a meeting room for up to six people with a projector." and so on. I'm worried that the lack of skills in top-down design, lack of understanding the whole and undercurrents and lack of practice of creating a whole (sub)system picture has an even worse impact when people become unfamiliar with reading specifications and rush off to play with toys.

PS We need a grey-beard icon.

Never mind the Panic button – there's a key to Compose yourself

Peter Prof Fox

A much better method is single-key cycling

Because you tend to use a few 'accent' or 'adapted' characters frequently, even to chess symbols, it's easy to get used to pressing the base character and then (say) F8 a number of times. 2 then F8 will give you squared. e then F8 gives é, pressing F8 again gives ê and again gives è and so on. You might want these sets in combination. The magic thing is that if you get it wrong then put the cursor on the incorrect character and cycle, through the base character if necessary, to the one you want.

The learning curve is short and simple. The sequence Base - Accent - Accent say will give you your frequently used character decoration or symbol. For a UK keyboard £[F8] gives a euro. Automatic after a couple of times if you need euros. £▶€▶£, $▶¢▶$, c▶©▶c (Those arrows were ">-F8.)

It's far more complicated to describe than use. Free of course. http://vulpeculox.net/ax/index.htm

(Sadly, I don't know how to make a Linux keyboard driver, but the innards of the system are incredibly simple.)

Cryptocurrency 'rug pulls' cheated investors out of $8bn in 2021 – report

Peter Prof Fox
Facepalm

Gosh!

Would you accept my 10-Frufru banknote from the Bank of Ohmygiddyaunt?

What happened to sense? It used to be common.

Midwest tornado destroys Amazon warehouse, killing six after worker 'told not to leave'

Peter Prof Fox

Lessons 'will be learned'

I hope so.

Except for some reason I guess big corporations fancy lessons/laws/taxes/humanity don't apply to them.

How is it that ENORMOUS corporations with INCREDIBLE resources don't have the common sense CARE to get serious about safety until it's too late?

New UK product security law won't be undercut by rogue traders upping and vanishing, government boasts

Peter Prof Fox

Real person not needed

Anyone following the shambles that is the regulation of shell companies and LLPs in Private Eye will know that no checking goes on.

Why machine-learning chatbots find it difficult to respond to idioms, metaphors, rhetorical questions, sarcasm

Peter Prof Fox

Who cares?

The 'conversation' I've seen on social media seems to involve a lot of having to explain to actual people that certain messages were full of slippery ball bearings. Pointed irony and sarcasm are 'whoosh' over many people's heads. Of course that's the good reason for those of us with a grasp of communication to drown the ant-brains with more. Anyway Good People, keep Tickling the Tortoise.

(TtT is a great bogus business bullshit phrase to use in meetings. Drop it into the sludge and watch the buzz-phrase jockeys pretend they know what you mean.)

If it's going to rain within the next 90 mins, this very British AI system can warn you

Peter Prof Fox
FAIL

Re: Helpful solution to DIRECTION of rain

What a surprise that as a Met Office person you can't see what's missing from your example. Those patches or rain could be moving in any direction. What use is that for predicting the next hour or so? None at all. Hence the two snapshots compared. Everything is fine at the Met Office...

Peter Prof Fox

Helpful solution to DIRECTION of rain

I'm rain averse. But if looking at a metoffice rain radar I can't tell what direction the rain is moving.

SOLVED! By the power of less than 200 lines of good old javascript you can see for yourself in a so-obvious-no-wonder-the met-office-aren't-interested way.

Here is my bench-top prototype. https://vulpeculox.net/misc/jsjq/rain/index.htm

It's the end of the world as we know it, and we should feel fine

Peter Prof Fox

Some rotten foundations and missing bits

No. We don't have everything we need. Not by a long chalk. Pioneers and innovators are still needed. It's not a matter of polishing the edges and adding some shiny trim.

* How about date/times that understand 'Not yet' and 'September 2021' or '31st January 2020 plus one month'. (https://vulpeculox.net/day/index.htm)

* How about instant access to cells in spreadsheet files as if it was a database?

* How about single key accents and special characters. i.e. using the same key for all modifications? (http://vulpeculox.net/ax/index.htm)

* How about backup software that anyone can use reliably?

* How about a calculator that spots errors by 'understanding' the compute?

* How about database sanitising that management can understand and businesses can implement?

* How about weeding the wrong and obsolete technical 'documentation' and trouble-shooting pages sloshing around the web?

* How about web search engines that allow you to exclude aggregation and recommendation sites. For example look for a place only to be swamped by poorly curated junk or Trip Advisor twaddle or properties or 'news'. If I want say 'electrical supplies' then I'm perfectly capable of typing that in. Search Engine - he say you can have all the other junk because we think it's popular.

It's great we have stuff that mostly 'just works'. It's sad that the ace minds of yesteryear have been replaced by the 'anyone can do it' brigade. eg Track-n-trace. There's very little quality in IT projects. Planning? Experience? Knowledge? Problem-solving at the design stage? Bring back limited resources where you had to work really hard in your head to get the essentials into the system.

Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it

Peter Prof Fox
FAIL

Evidence m'lud...

If the police can hack an account willy-nilly, including changing content, then I put it to you that any 'evidence' is planted.

Open-source software starts with developers, but there are other important contributors, too. Who exactly? Good question

Peter Prof Fox

Teaching collaboration

Should it not be de-rigueur that university-level students are taught collaboration as an important part of how to function in a rich environment? The open source-ness isn't important but knowing how to ask nicely, contribute and be a valued part of a software society are.

Think you can solve the UK's electric vehicle charging point puzzle? The Ordnance Survey wants to hear about it

Peter Prof Fox

Parking time and charging time mismatch

A lot of cars spend a lot of time parked. That seems fine until you realise it means one charging unit per car and a great deal of unused infrastructure. Suppose my car is parked at my home for 12 hours each night. In a garage I can hook up some wires and leave it. But as for public charging points... If the charge time on most days is say 2 hours, then that's 10 hours when it is occupying a charging unit doing absolutely nothing. Of course I could get up at 1am and move it (where?) to allow somebody else access.

Many residential streets don't have room for cars, let alone charging infrastructure.

One solution might be to have lots of charging at workplaces, but somehow I can't see that happening except in the few places with dedicated employee parking taking a tasty government subsidy.

Apple's bright idea for CSAM scanning could start 'persecution on a global basis' – 90+ civil rights groups

Peter Prof Fox

What if say Ford or Toyota...

What if motor manufacturers built-in tracking systems? Great for tracking down speeders (good) but also great for who attended what rave or political meeting. Where data is banked against the time it might be 'needed' by some enforcement agency, there is no opportunity to defend the most obvious defence "My car may have been there but so what?" Joe McCarthy lives! According to our records (sorry citizen, you can't get a complete copy of what we (and our partners) hold on you) you're a heterodox recidivist. Your car can be as good as a fingerprint even if it is another driver. As AI gets more prevalent (I didn't say more sophisticated) there will be many more false connections and it will be up to YOU to come up with a defence against a fluffy snowstorm of 'evidence'.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns

Peter Prof Fox

A stalking-horse for copyright protection

I have a copy (of uncertain provenance) of that iconic 1977s session by the Five-aside-archers with Beetle Wulvis on Bass Guitar. Sony Music just happen to have signed a hoover-up contract with somebody who claims to have some derived title to the tracks. In England they might sue me under copyright law but if it wasn't currently for sale they can't show a loss so that's two-fingers to them. (They have to demonstrate a loss.) But with other (c) enforcement regimes there are other consequences. Furthermore, having and playing (in England) is neither a crime or a civil tort unless they can prove I'm not entitled. (For example my copy came from Big Joey Frobisher himself.) But in this new world YOU HAVE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL ON YOUR DEVICE! GO TO JAIL. DO NOT PASS GO. is the default position these mega corporations expect us to accept.

Stack Overflow survey: Microsoft IDEs dominate, GCP and Azure battle behind AWS

Peter Prof Fox

VSC doesn't tell me how to edit

We like our editors to be our hearths and our home. A familiar and threat-free place where we can do scrimshaw, knit, make poker-work pipe racks, train hamsters or whatever. Sometimes we go out hunting the Java dragon or COBOL monster or have a git-knot to untie. So we go, from our base into rough territory. But we are confident because we have weapons at our fingertips, ready after a nanosecond of reflex alt-ctrl-slash-bodge or whatever.

After dozens of editors (especially notepad++ over the years), I'm now using VSC. It doesn't tell me how to edit. (Actually it does; but I found how to switch-off all the annoying prompts for things my fingers know after all these years.) There's a huge amount of cleverness going on inside. So, out of the box it is missing features or intrusive. But those things can be fixed.

The 'code' bit of VSC is important in that it assumes you're actively coding not just hacking a config file or scanning a log file. There's always that ghost of Clippy pointing out spelling mistakes from another universe.

Survey of astronomers and geophysicists shines a light on 'bleak' systemic bullying

Peter Prof Fox

Did they do another test?

I'm 100% against bullying and abuses of assumed power. But did they ask the question: "Those of you who have been working for less than a year...Do you feel bullied?"

There's a big difference between 'Bullying cultures are allowed to exist' and 'Bullies target women/disabled/etcetera.'

An important point to remember is that people who feel they're being picked-on assume it doesn't happen to others. It's a victim's mentality that the aggressor catches on to and exploits.

Hundreds of irate UK Parliamentary staffers sue IPSA over 2017 salary spreadsheet publication snafu

Peter Prof Fox

The judge is wrong

Fred Smith of 22 Acacia Avenue might be 'harmless', but it's an instant prompt to look up his entry in the wild data. So it's not just the name and address being spread around.

How to use Google's new dependency mapping tool to find security flaws buried in your projects

Peter Prof Fox

One leaf out of a whole tree.

I know most people can't be bothered but what about using the information to prune library bloat. For example, suppose my Hello World application uses some date library which uses some internationalisation library which uses some foo and some bar. Except that my HW only actually uses one API call from the date library which only uses one API call from the internationalisation library. No matter, there are 100 extra routines lurking in my code. So surely I'd want to spend a Friday afternoon cutting out the tiny bit I do need, or rewriting etc. to avoid the date library overhead. Then I have a much more manageable development environment with fewer risks of being struck by a wild issue from out of the Wide Blue Yonder. (Plus other benefits.) Perhaps somebody could invent an 'optimising compiler' for or 'standard library internal dependency map reader/writer'.

New IETF draft reveals Egyptians invented pyramids to sharpen razor blades

Peter Prof Fox

A useful project

Although it may not have worked to sharpen razor blades, it got you (and me) interested in experimenting and actually trying something for ourselves. Was there something in our set-up that wasn't quite right. How do you actually make a pyramid? Is sellotape or compass direction going to interfere with the 'forces'. When you give up you're able to face loonies with confidence, and tell them if it's so easy they why don't they show you a working system.

In a world where opinions smother facts, actual experiments are fresh air. For your pleasure I enclose a link to a page I wrote long before Google existed. https://vulpeculox.net/misc/try.htm Seven easy to do-it-yourself experiments which are quirky know-all bait.

The Microsoft Authenticator extension in the Chrome store wasn't actually made by Microsoft. Oops, Google

Peter Prof Fox

qui authenticators et authenticas reddat?

An age old question.

NHS-backed org reacted to GitHub leak disclosure with legal threats and police call, complains IT pro

Peter Prof Fox
Trollface

Learn from the ransomeware bods...

Step 1 : Find security cockup (Document but don't retain data.)

Step 2 : Inform lax organisation "I've found a whopping hole in your system. £5,000 for more info."

Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs

Peter Prof Fox
FAIL

Shortcut that faulty tech-bloat

That Cloudflare 'solution' is 'We once had some humanish behaviour and accepted it. Now the same source of keystrokes(verified by some e-key) is calling again.' So, fool the system once and you have unlimited free access. So (a)pointless (b)coach-and-horses fail.

This is the same as giving Cloudflare an 'I am not a bot password.' That is easier to think about. It means (a) somehow I proved I wasn't a bot once (b) I 'remembered' my not-a-bot password. Same coach-and-horses fail.

Back to the drawing board. My solution is a microphone that listens for "I AM NOT A FUCKING BOT GET ON WITH IT!"

Accidentally wiped an app's directory? Hey, just play the 'unscheduled maintenance' card. Now you're a hero

Peter Prof Fox

Word Perfect is still the best

You'll need WP 8 from 1997 and a virtual Win XP machine.

When things don't turn out exactly right just look at the embedded codes with a single key. Hey presto!

I write write a quarter of a million words a year on mine. Don't get me started on the alternatives!

(If somebody wants to collaborate, then make sure they agree to do all the formatting on Word or Libre Office etc.)

'A massive middle finger': Open-source audio fans up in arms after Audacity opts to add telemetry capture

Peter Prof Fox

bug =/= crash. Crash goies into the pit.

If my app gives 5 when I input 2 + 2. That's a bug. It will never get reported by automatic methods to base.

My app shares a service with other apps on my system. That service is updated to a version which my app doesn't work with. Some time later the app crashes. Now what happens? There's some cringe-worthy 'oops' screen which doesn't help me fix the issue. Auto-crash-reporter sends some data to base but does somebody on different continent email me with the answer? No.

I'd be happier with 'Raise a support ticket' rather than 'all your data belong to us' approach. I know Audacity is free, but a let us know, or 'let us know how you worked around this poking and hoping through year's-old stack-exchange articles' would be better.

Yahoo! and! AOL! sold! for! $5bn! as! Verizon! abandons! media! empire! dreams!

Peter Prof Fox
Pint

Pay me. I can pee over a hundred yards.

Well, like sawing a woman in half, I haven't actually done it but I'm willing to try. Cash up front.

There are some things we humans do that are bonkers: Believe in Gods. Assume programs will work. Pretend that support required will be minimal. Discount the need for documentation. I can understand how some cryptocurrencies might work. Why is there so much free Covid testing in the UK in supermarket car parks? Because it is 50% accurate. (50% of actual +ves reported) Toss a coin.

So the world is full of bogus deals, but why do BILLIONS get thrown at a few trademarks? I haven't seen many Equity Funds investing in Hansom Cabs, stagecoaches, semaphores, fleets of narrow boats, 8-track-tapes, transistor radios and penny-farthings.

Why?

Emotet malware self-destructs after cops deliver time-bomb DLL to infected Windows PCs

Peter Prof Fox
Thumb Up

Tin foil hats

Why isn't there a vaccine against paranoia?

Dang it! The service I was offering to clean the Emotet malware for $$$ is now stymied. I'll have to sue the Government for ruining my business. It's not their job to do for free what business can charge for. It's communism I tell you!

In the UK we already have secret surveillance that can't be referred to in court when evidence is being produced. (Not the evidence that can't be referred to but the fact that it was obtained by secret methods with absolutely no proper scrutiny or challenge.) So worries about state interference might seem justified, but in this case some clever so-and-so had the bright idea for getting the malware to uninstall itself. Remember that the state-actors already had control of the command infrastructure, so they could have used that for naughty purposes. Which would you rather have. Well done whoever thought of this for a neat hack.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre recommends password generation idea suggested by El Reg commenter

Peter Prof Fox

Calm down

For many uses 3 words that are easy to remember is fine. (But don't make it a phrase

like MY,LITTLE,SECRET ) Lots of applications don't need nuclear-bomb level protection.

Global tat supply line clogged as Suez Canal authorities come to aid of wedged 18-brontosaurus container ship

Peter Prof Fox

Re: It Was The Dread Simoon

Worst of all is the Kardashian

It might start out as the gentle zephyr of the North Westerly Kim but don't be lulled into a false sense of security.

Millimetre-sized masses: Physics boffins measure smallest known gravitational field (so far)

Peter Prof Fox

From which we can conclude

If the Earth was made of bees it would be about 20,000 Km in diameter.

I think that rules out the possibility that the Earth is made of bees.

So it appears some of you really don't want us to use the word 'hacker' when we really mean 'criminal'

Peter Prof Fox

...-boffin

Boffin is a plus-karma word. Can't we find something like techo-whizz or uber-boffin for the white hats (white-boffin?).

The best I can invent for a 'black-boffin' is Techneredowell.. Maybe 'shark' has the right sound to be mixed in.

The trouble with labelling people is that it leaves the verb 'to hack' in the wild. Fix and build versus Break or Steal? (Also a 'bungler' for well-meaning hackers.)

More work needed.

GPS jamming around Cyprus gives our air traffic controllers a headache, says Eurocontrol

Peter Prof Fox

TITSUP

Terrible Interference To Suddenly Upset Pilots

UK watchdog fines two firms £270k for cold-calling 531,000 people who had opted out

Peter Prof Fox

Re: Reporting calls

Solution is a simple '1471' type number to report nuisances.

Phone numbers may be spoofed but billing information gets a much higher degree of protection.

Say three annoyed people dial 1-2-2-1 after a nuisance call. Hey what! Does that go into somebody's spreadsheet at the ICO or whoever? NO! It goes into a real time reporting system via your phone company who knows who the upstream billable company is. So the cost of that origin's dialings being dealt with by your company are now doubled (say). More nuisance calls are reported and so the cost per call at the time of calling increases. Robocalls or whatever.

Automated calls are not the only nuisance calls though. So 1-2-2-1 should have a menu of annoying and threatening issues to respond to. eg 1 for Threats and pervs, 2 for scammy IT support, 3 for etc..

Microsoft says it found 1,000-plus developers' fingerprints on the SolarWinds attack

Peter Prof Fox
WTF?

...And your lucky colour is puce.

4.5K lines of core code and 1000 different developers identified. So supposedly a handful of lines of code is enough of a 'DNA sample' to distinguish one developer from another. How does that work? (None of them ever linted of course.) Perhaps they put their names in the in-line comments? // And a big shout-out to Vladimir Ruskyname for his trapdoor.

Someone tried to poison a Florida city by hijacking its water treatment plant via TeamViewer, says sheriff

Peter Prof Fox

Eh?

So the local user had opened Team Viewer? For why if they didn't expect remote control to take over?

Or TV is on all the time in which case what was the on-site user looking at if they weren't expecting anything. If they were doing something then the naughty remote person would have quietly tiptoed away until after the end of shift.

It's a long time since I used TV, but doesn't it assume all the current user's privileges? Good for lots of purposes, but surely in a case like this you want a VPN with logs and properly restricted user rights.

If the naughty remote person was a serious hacker won't they have fiddled with the system to give them TV starting say on Monday nights at 9:30? or some other back door? The tone of the statement is that eagle-eyed staff spotted a trivial attempt so 'nothing to see here'. Good for the head's-up, well done for admitting the security failure, well done for having safety nets, but clearly there's other stuff going on and I guess no attempt at catching the NRP.

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard

Peter Prof Fox

When <i>something</i> goes bang

Having moved house I needed to rebuild my small office. Nearly everything to be wired through a 'cooker switch'. I did lots of custom wiring to be clever and have eg. a dimmer control for my foot warmer in easy reach. One merry morning I switch on at the master and there's an almighty bang and a flash. Whoops! All off again and see which PSU has gone. I can smell 'electrical'. Sniff-sniff PC1. Possibly. Sniff-sniff PC2. More likely. It turns out that there isn't a trace of smoke on any PC PSU. After gingerly powering up the naked PCs they work fine. Suspicion turns to my custom wiring, but nothing there. Both screens are still working. Umm. Life returns to nervous normal when, a few days later, there's a repeat. Definitely a flash. Definitely electrical. PCs fine. Aha! Screens. I thought I could smell electrical so started a long job of dismembering a screen. Nothing to see and after the fuse was replaced all was working again. The oomph of the bang convinced me it must be a PC PSU so I ordered a replacement and held my breath each time I switched on. After a take everything apart, put it back together in the light of a couple of week's experience, I was tinkering with something else, connected to a different circuit via a 4-way. BANG! Hey! How did that happen? Then I saw it. A fine spray of soot and copper across the worktop. From a white cable. With a tiny black hole torn in it. This cable wasn't overloaded, twisted, bent, squashed, nailed, folded or otherwise maltreated; it had just decided after 20 years of use to short internally. Moral of the story: Bangs DO leave smoke stains but it's easy to fool your nose into smelling it when it isn't there. Odd.

UK Cabinet Office spokesman tells House of Lords: We're not being complacent about impact of SolarWinds hack

Peter Prof Fox

Meh

I thought Government plans were kept on the back of a fag packet. They 'lose' those all the time and just jot down something new as they're told. You know, "Schools MUST reopen for one day before Christmas."

Over long US weekend, GitHub HR boss quit after firing Jewish staffer who warned Nazis were at the Capitol

Peter Prof Fox

* genuine answer

Private Eye. Fortnightly. Funny as well as satirical. Investigative journalism that makes you care about uninteresting things you'd never heard about.

Peter Prof Fox

A waft of warm air

So has 'head of HR' been properly sacked or just shuffled to somewhere else in Microsoft?

So has the person who moaned been investigated for knowingly smearing religious faith?

So perhaps the management can tell us:

(a) Lessons learned

(b) How to reclaim trust with (at least) those who complained at the original decision.

It's been a day or so and nope, we still can't wrap our head around why GitHub would fire someone for saying Nazis were storming the US Capitol

Peter Prof Fox

Management

Management with too much time on their hands and too few braincells in their heads is bound to lead to dysfunctional decision-making. Clearly they didn't weigh up the consequences of alternatives. Who said the sky will fall in if we 'do nothing'? Watch them hide behind 'procedures'. Yeah... How about the 'procedures' derived from 'employee safety'. Those delicate traceries of tissue should be fun to audit.

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty

Peter Prof Fox

Re: Cold breeze

Sorry to educate you:

Some people have chronic poor circulation. It's not at all rare. 'Socks' is like shouting louder to a deaf person. At this very moment I have my feet on a 200w tubular heater driven through a dimmer switch. The soles of my feet are now warm but my knees are icy. I might have to set the 650w 'silent' fan heater going.

Trump administration says Russia behind SolarWinds hack. Trump himself begs to differ

Peter Prof Fox

That tweet is real?

Not a parody? Not an impressionist? I've done my best to avoid the splutterings of Duck Turd so I seem to have missed a great thread of couldn'tmakeituptertainment.

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech

Peter Prof Fox

Re: Hasn't been too bad here

1) Shiny new thing arrives.

2) Take opportunity of disruption to 'tidy' desk. Put papers etc into bottom of box.

3) No matter how small the box, the cat will have a new home.

Everyone happy...

...Until the 'watch dog' (hear cat?) timer realises the fridge door is overdue for opening.

Exonerated: First subpostmasters cleared of criminal convictions in Post Office Horizon scandal

Peter Prof Fox

Make the film!

Hollywood, where are you?

Little people fighting back.

Most media deaf, dumb and blind. -- Hurrah for exceptions, especially Private Eye

And the best bit is they can portray these evil LIVING people where the facts are pretty straight forward.

Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft's creepy Productivity Score

Peter Prof Fox

Measure what exactly?

Oh good our surveillance dashboard shows Bloggs has just spent three hours on [so-called productivity tool]. That shows it must be making a difference to productivity. Possibly negatively when he doesn't know how to use it properly, is using it for the wrong thing, is getting in a right fury at the sodding straight-jacket, and isn't allowed to 'be productive' with a tool he's been using effectively for years.

Gosh! Look was a good communicator Smith is. Constantly interrupting people because he doesn't understand simple instructions is worth a gold star. Give the monkey another peanut.

It appears this 'productivity measurement' is the opposite. How much time and effort is diverted from actually producing things.

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse

Peter Prof Fox

No brainer

It's always exactly where you left it, so no need to fumble for it after keyboarding.

Never runs out of space.

It actually fits the (right) hand. Rest you hand on it while browsing and scrolling etc.

The pointer doesn't move as you get hold of it.

The pointer doesn't move as you shuffle your papers.

It keeps its orientation so you don't have to adapt every time.

Rest your elbow on the chair arm while reaching for it and using it.

If the cat lays down on your computer bench it doesn't click anywhere randomly.

Also, when the cat is in in 'just in case you'd forgotten your friend, it's nearly lunch time' mood, taking an interest in the human's activities, 'what's this do?' doesn't result in a game of poke the movey-mouse.

The MX570 has an issue with the micro switches under the buttons failing after a few years of use, but otherwise is robust enough for general use.

When even a power-cycle fandango cannot save your Windows desktop

Peter Prof Fox

How do you shut down Windows?

I remember being rather cross that there was no way to shut this fancy software down. In desperation I tried clicking on START.

Trump fires cybersecurity boss Chris Krebs for doing his job: Securing the election and telling the truth about it

Peter Prof Fox

Come to watch the lunatic

For part of the 17th century the Bedlam Hospital (Roughly London lunatic asylum) allowed and encouraged the public to come and look at the patients. It was one way to raise funds. That sort of thing is terribly frowned upon nowadays... But I have no qualms about buffoons in power being mercilessly mocked. Let's not hurt harmless lunatics but the 'Napoleons of the 21st century' should be jeered into oblivion.

The revolution will not be televised because my television has been radicalised

Peter Prof Fox

Better still

Do away with it completely. Off buttons are a HUGE first step for people but after you've been TV free for a few months and you see something, then you'll be amazed at how even 'quality' programmes are contrived.

Also add a 'chainsaw' button for chopping off the waving arms and gesturing hands of reporters who stand in front of what's interesting or pretend there's something interesting behind.

As for 'sport'! Sport is something you do while something you watch is entertainment.

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