* Posts by trapper

32 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Dec 2014

Halfords slapped on wrist for breaching email marketing laws


Re: One of those places

We have that here in the States also. Solution? My Yahoo spamcatcher email address - which I visit monthly for a mass deletion. If they insist on a phone number, I give them the number for our State Attorney General's local office. One cheesy fraud deserves another.

Reviving a classic: ThinkPad modder rattles tin to fund new motherboard for 2008's T60 and T61 series of laptops


Re: Display

Ha! I did exactly the same, and it works just fine. Talk about tough? I bought it new, originally for my biz because I wanted something rugged. Some years later it and the bag it was in survived a house fire and firehosing followed by three days in a freezing garage. The bag was melted and ruined. I poured the water out of the T60, yanked the drive and the battery and put it near a heating register. A week later, I reassembled it - and OMG, it fired right up! And it is still going, and I can't bear to part with it and I'm going to check out those mobos if they ever become available.

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere


Big Monitor

I ran through all the menus on my Samsung, carefully gelding it so it cannot access the internet. This did not bother me - it's a really lousy internet platform anyhow. I'd already built a nice little I-5 powered ITX machine that fit on a bookshelf. Like most ITX mobos, it had wireless connectivity. That connects to my home router, and an HDMI cable connects to the Sammie. At ten feet away, who cares if the display is only 1080p? A wireless keyboard and mouse completes the package. I could have cheaped out using an old laptop with a busted screen, but I didn't happen to have one. I buy from Amazon a lot, so I have Amazon Prime Video included in my Amazon Prime package. Of course they're keeping track of me - any business keeps track of its customers. I've also included a couple of their Channels to customize the specific stuff we want to see. Oh, and I'm running Mint Linux on the ITX box, with Firefox and uBlock Origin and DuckDuckGo. And I tidy up with BleachBit frequently.

So Samsung gets nowhere with me. The only ads I see are when we're streaming a local broadcast station, which same we'd have had to watch even on a 1950's B & W CRT.

Reason 3,995 to hold off on that Windows 11 upgrade: Iffy performance on AMD silicon


Re: Good to see

Already did that and mostly don't miss M$ at all. Welcome to common sense!

Want to check out Windows 11 but don't want to buy a new PC? Here's how to bypass the hardware requirements


Re: 2025

Oh gosh, I did that when Win7 hit EOL - 8 & 8.1 sucked; 10 was a hard-to-dodge imposition with crowdsourced QC, the cheapskates. Just like 10, Redmond has stepped on its own crank with golf shoes and insists on stepping on mine. No. No. Have 4 machines here, all running Mint Linux. Only real problems I've had are with printer drivers and GPU drivers that don't work as well as their counterparts do in a Windows installation. Win7 is on another drive with the internet access turned off, accessible via Restart/F8 to run, clicking in Computer to mount & access drive contents. Duh. I have what I need.

Massive 3D catzilla gets crowds purring in busy Shinjuku district of Tokyo


Re: The Japanese…

Komatsu forklift-mounted scoop and dump truck, right?

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes


Re: Depressing

I dumped Windows for Linux when Windows made my gorge rise. I have now dumped Audacity too. Sorry, .ru. Software that is "synonymous with spying on its users" is 1. more profitable to own and 2. so common that people have become used to it. Sheep are for wool, mutton and lamb chops. Are we?

Not one of the 12 steps: Rehab patients' details exposed in publicly visible database



That mistake has violated BOTH State and Federal confidentiality laws pertaining especially to chemical dependency treatment. It can also lead to the program losing its license to operate, and if any professional treatment staff were involved, their licenses to practice. Even if the program gets off with a warning, it can expect stepped-up State inspections and problems with insurers. This is a major, major headache.

Lip-reading smart speakers: Just what no one always wanted


I'm one, and I'm laughing hysterically. Speech reading depends on context + partially-heard speech sounds + (to get accurate) knowing the other's individual speech quirks + prediction + likelihood-testing. What you SEE is integrated into a whole that includes all of the above; then there's a bit of trained neurological synesthesia and out comes hearing. Sort-of. My wife and I have fun when I tell her what I think she mumbled and she cracks up at the garble. And here I'm all trained and so forth. I'll believe a machine can do it when it successfully "hears" a mumbler with an accent, foreign-language word order and misphrasing and a droopy mustache covering half his mouth.

Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio



Yes, a perpetual beta with new gnarly parts added every few months. By and by MS may go full-Adobe and offer Windows OS-As-A-Service for a monthly fee. Q: If you drag your Windows folder to your Recycle Bin, will Win10 do an Ouroboros and swallow itself? Whee!

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre


Not Really

Having worked on gas mains, leaking and otherwise in a previous incarnation, I can assure you that only a very ancient, rusted-out one is vulnerable to a pickaxe. But a trenching machine...or a backhoe...that's different. BTW, I once helped drive a 1 1/2" gas pipe squarely through an underground telephone cable, knocking out service to portions of two adjacent states. It was fascinating to see service trucks and company carsful of engineers screech in from all points of the compass, form a seething knot and bicker about who was entitled to scream at whom.

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday


Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

My T60 was in a house fire. The fire melted the bag around it, after which it was fire-hosed and then frozen. Two days later, I retrieved it. I thawed it, cut the remnants of the bag away, removed the HDD, the optical drive, the battery and the RAM, wiped everything down, and let it all dry in a warm room for three days. I reassembled it - and it booted. I then used it without incident for another two years before installing Linux to deal with the now-slow-and-antiquated hardware. I wanted a tank for my business - and I got one. This is one rugged laptop!

Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid


Re: Basque complication

The Catalans have wanted their independence since before 1540; they fought and lost a couple of wars over it. The Basques have had theirs curtailed (such as it was) since 1839. Nothing new here, folks, "Spain" is and has long been a conglomerate of peoples, some of whom never wanted to be totally submerged in a whole and have been fighting it for centuries. And no, Madrid doesn't want anything that might give the Basque Separatists ideas - they fight back with bombings. ICANN has one foot in a can of worms here.

Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge


Re: Manifesto for the incompetent

Well said, Vic. The basic research on this was done long ago - see John Holland's work. Quick explanation at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_Codes An effective manager (good at his job and likes it) will probably have an Enterprising score as one of his three highest. He'll need enough Realistic/Investigative/Conventional to function in an IT environment, plus a high Social score because he'll be required to work closely with multiple people whom he cannot pre-select. A wonderfully good computer engineer, on the other hand, does not require either Social or Enterprising personality characteristics or any desire for those. He may actually be on the autism spectrum and still be a demon on the machines. Making him a manager so he can be paid more is a recipe for disaster. Here I am speaking about polar opposites - most are not that extreme, but certainly having only one path to high pay, respect, tolerance and organizational value - MANAGERIAL - is foolish. I strongly suspect that managerial types, like everyone else, simply value their own managerial tribe members most. Much of the above applies to any field of work, which is one reason why we have so many miserable square pegs in round holes.

Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry


Re: It is the apps tied to ActiveX that cause the problems

Four or five years ago I was supporting CNC milling machines that ran from custom DOS commands loaded by 3 1/2 inch floppies or a serial cable. Good machines, but antiquated controls. The machine mfr. wanted the contents of the Royal Mint to upgrade the control hardware. I solved it with a dedicated and isolated Win7 box running Win 98SE on MS Virtual PC. It was a bit of a PITA but it worked on the cheap, same as the owners. Cheap, secure functionality means thought, glue, string, duct tape and monitoring to ensure the duct tape remains stuck down. No duct tape means spending large amounts of money. Refusing both means WannaCrypt.

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles


Re: Pass

Saw it coming, and refused to buy either Alexa or their VR goggles. Google and Facebook are at least ad-supported services, so although their aggressive ad-pushing policies are gag-worthy, they are still understandable. Amazon sells goods. They don't need outside ad revenue. The propeller beanie with the attached webcam they slap on my head when I enter their store is enough. No ads, Jeff. No ads.

Riverbed slurps Xirrus to take SD-WAN all the way to Wi-Fi


Wi-Fi Inspector

At least they're still giving away free copies of Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector! Handy app, that.

Philando Castile death-by-cop vid mysteriously vanishes from Facebook


Re: America

I'm a 70 year-old white American, and I'm telling you that America has ALWAYS been a police state. The police just aren't allowed to beat people as much as they used to.

Right now our police are heavily militarized. If you're stopped by a policeman, it's best to treat him like an unstable, heavily-armed psychotic. Say, "Yes sir" and "No sir" and consider yourself to be looking down a gun barrel at all times. They will kill or injure you and you or your survivors will have no recourse.

A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden


Re: Not sure it's your brain Dabsy

As an old deafie, I suggest enjoying the ride and frequently smiling. It's every bit as entertaining as Dragon Blotter, without the arrest risk but with a tonic free dose of bizarre.

Microsoft half-bricks Asus Windows 7 PCs with UEFI boot glitch


Re: Secure boot

Fixing the UEFI BIOS by disabling secure boot (setting it to "Other OS") worked, BUT:

That still left me with two notices that appeared at boot, both of which I had to click through. One said, <Asus Setup C:\Users\******\AppData\Local\Temp\211540Log.iniis lost> and the other was identical except that it referenced 211241Log.iniis lost>.

More Googling suggested entering Task Scheduler and deleting or disabling the i-21 entries. I did so and disabled them both; upon reboot both notices were gone and did not return. Whee! Note I went to Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Task Scheduler, not Task Manager.


Re: and so it begins

No it isn't. You don't find a UEFI Bios on older machines. Mine was borked on a one-year-old ASUS mobo, courtesy of M$.


Re: Secure boot

Because the #$&^% board's BIOS sets itself up that way by default when installed. I know all too well - I was one of the ones borked by that stinking update and I had to haul out my laptop and Google furiously to discover what had happened and how to correct it.

You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that



I have 35 username/password combos or passwords. I have a flash drive with a physical read/write switch. If I can't remember a password, the drive comes out. So far, nobody's noticed. There's also an SD card with a cabled reader - everybody knows what a flash drive looks like, not so many a reader. They only come out when I'm stumped and nobody's looking. Look, every security yob in the world is so focused on his own local security he rejects any notion that a dozen or so of his fellows elsewhere have joined him in making my life difficult. Consequently I'll subvert the jerk every time I can get away with it. I'm here to work, not make him happy, and keeping my things secure is my responsibility.

Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee


Been there. Done that. Learned from it. Lesson One: Some employers are predators. That's their business model. They will not share the carcass. Employees get the bones to gnaw if the employer fancies himself generous. Lesson Two: Nobody would give me cheese with my whine. That hurt. I could fantasize eventual promotion for keeping the job, but it never happened. So much for fantasy. As my crude old granny used to say, "Wish in one hand and s**t in the other and see which hand has the most in it." The solution was to look for a better job on my employer's time. Anyone paying minimum wage is doing so because a. he's almost broke, b. he considers you next to useless, c. he thinks you're a member of a group with severely limited employment options (elderly, very young, poorly educated, handicapped, poor ability to speak English, etc.) and therefore he can get away with shorting your share. So, LEAVE. And no, don't try to bite him on the butt on the way out. He's bigger than you.

The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died



My T60 was in a house fire. The bag was melted around it and then it was fire-hosed. Then the dripping mess was tossed out of the house onto a heap of rubbish on my lawn and frozen overnight. I cut it out of the bag, popped the DVD drive, the battery and the HD, wiped it down and set it aside to dry for several days. Then I reassembled it and it booted right up. That was two years ago, and it's still running fine. I bought it new because I wanted a tank. I got one! That's one tough laptop.

Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels


Re: Encryption

OK, I sent a link to the above article to PBS Newshour, urged them to read it, urged them to disseminate it to staff, urged them to read more EL Reg articles on the topic, and then start asking the bloviators on both sides the necessary pointed questions. SOMEBODY in the news media has to start the ball rolling since this pig-ignorance is trending toward equally ignorant public policy making. Every so often an issue aired on PBS gets picked up by bigger media; let's hope.

Y'know how airlines never explain delays? United's bug bounty works the same way


Not surprised. See song, "United Breaks Guitars."

Microsoft Windows 7 Pro: Halloween Horror for PC makers next year


I grabbed a copy of GWX Control Panel, ran it on my Win7 Pro system, and the forced Win10 aggravations went away (for now, at least). Best of all, it's immediately reversible if you change your mind later.

Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email


I'm using my Yahoo address for anyone or anything I don't know. If it gets immediately spammed, I know thereby to not use that company again. I look at my Yahoo a couple of times per week and do five minutes of mass deletions. Easy-peasy. I also run CCleaner after every excursion to anyplace that might want to spam me. Good-bye cookies... good-bye Adobe objects, etc. I only use my other e-mail addresses for places and people who have demonstrated by their actions that they don't spam me. Result: my regular e-mail is spam-free. Oh yeah, and I'm using Duck Duck Go with Privacy Badger running. Works a treat!

Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning


Anarchist's Cookbook

I used to own a copy - thought it was fascinating until I got to the section describing how to make nitroglycerine at home. That was when I put the book back on my bookshelf and never bothered with it again. "Laminating yourself across the kitchen" is an apt description of the likely outcome, which severely compromised any curiosity I might have felt about the rest of the book. No, Diane F., your concern is misplaced. This book appeals to ignorance and amateurism, not professional hell-raising. Thermite? I learned about that in high-school chemistry and later used it for spot-welding sacrificial anodes to gas pipes. No big deal.

Never escape the boss again: Salesforce tracks down your best people any time, any place


Re: Possible problem....

Revealing age here - has anyone heard of the "Peter Principle?" A corollary states that work flows to a competent person until he is overwhelmed and becomes incompetent. See: "The software, due out later this year, routes sales and support work to the agent best capable of handling the job, for example routing certain high-value customers or those with specific technical needs to the right staff."

This will make the "... agent best capable" eligible for promotion to management and a continuing, lasting career of frenzied incompetence until taking early retirement for health reasons and to raise vicunas in a delightfully rural cow pasture. Whee!

FCC says taxpayer-bankrolled bumpkin broadband must be at least 10Mbps


Re: Let's hope

One year ago I lived in a city with a population of 396K. I had AT&T DSL service, the fastest they had available. It was verified 4.7 Mbps down, 1.2 up. It cost $35/month. I could theoretically have paid for faster service, but two different installers told me that my area infrastructure would not actually support any faster speed. Today I live in a bumpkin township, population 8.5K, and have Time-Warner cable internet. I pay $60/month for verified 30-32 Mbps down, 5.7 Mbps up. So, for 1.4 times the money I get at least 6.4 times the download speed. And oh yes, I used my own modem and router - no rental. If AT&T cries, I'm deaf to it.