* Posts by WolfFan

1262 posts • joined 16 Dec 2014


BT wins networking contract for UK nuclear site Sellafield

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Every time I see that pic I’m reminded of

Gerry Anderson’s puppet shows. In particular, Captain Scarlet and Stingray. Either Anderson was very good at building believable sets or the guys at Sellafield made their stuff look like a 1960s kiddie tv show.

Wanted: Season 2 of UFO. Sigh. Instead we got Space 1999 and utter shambles. The puppets on Thunderbirds were better actors than the ‘stars’ on Space 1999…

Parallels increases prices with Desktop version 18

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Re: Never again

I literally just got an email from Parallels asking me to download my *free* copy of Parallels Desktop 18. It’s chock full of features that I will never use, not least its integration with X-boxes.

Microsoft tightens Edge security for less visited websites

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Please stop saying

That there are only five Edge users. There are probably as many as ten, possibly even a dozen.

Google's ChromeOS Flex turned my old MacBook into new frustrations

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I’ll take that MacBook off your hands

It’s newer than my main Mac desktop machine at home…

Fights, floods, and fortunes when cloud giants roll into town

This post has been deleted by a moderator

China's Xiaomi teases tech to control smart homes with brain waves

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Reality has caught up with movie magic. Way back when, Clint Eastwood played a pilot shanghied into, ah, borrowing a new Ruskie fighter aircraft, which used thought control… in Russian. Why do I suspect that this thing would want commands in Chinese unless you went to a lot of trouble to ‘train’ it? (And would probably send the Chinese version of the command home to the Pooh Bear?)

There is not sufficient no-ness in the world to describe my attitude towards this thing.

Why the end of Optane is bad news for all IT

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Re: Drums

And sometimes the drums would, errm, stick. Allegedly there were multiple examples of US Navy A-6 aircraft making attacks above Hanoi and having the drums on their computers stick, so the Bomb/Nav guy would kick the computer to try to unstick the drum while the pilot lined up his approach. And, of course, while the North Vietnamese expressed their true joy at having the USN pop over for a visit. Unsticking the drum by kicking it gave a whole new meaning to booting the computer up.

Computer glitches harmed 'nearly 150' patients after Oracle Cerner system go-live

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Why, oh why, didn’t the software flag this kind of thing with something like “I don’t know what that is” and give the user a chance to fix it? I seem to have been taught about sanitizing my inputs back when I first learned programming, in FORTRAN IV and 77, and Pascal, mumbly decades ago. When 16 kB was a lot of RAM. (Hell, _4 kB_ was a lot of RAM) Just dumping input to trash without telling anyone was a Major No-No.

DARPA seeks portable muon-making machine to see through almost anything

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Many years ago I played Traveller a lot, and my fav weapon was the meson gun… There’s nothing like kicking a lot of muons at an enemy ship, have them pass right through armour, shields, whatever, and decay in a blast of gammas…

UK lays world's longest autonomous drone superhighway

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Both HM Gov and BT?

Obviously the song will be ‘All Screwed Up’.

Suspected Gozi malware gang 'CIO' extradited to US on fraud, hacking charges

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Re: Another one bites the dust

Feh. He’s Romanian/Latvian. Putin’s boyz would have upped the ‘fee’ for ‘protecting’ him, and may have thrown him to the Feds anyway. He’s not actually Russian, after all.

Demand for smartphones is drying up

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The telcos are upset

I have an ‘older’ phone; it has 4G, not 5G. It’s paid for, the battery is doing well, it works well enough for me. T-mob wants everyone to go to 5G. They’re pushing hard to replace my working phone, an iPhone SE 2nd gen, with a 5G capable phone, preferably a iPhone 13. There’s a reason why I got the SE in the first place. Hint: other phones are too damn big and cost too damn much. I might go with a SE 3rd gen, basically iPhone 12 guts in a smaller, cheaper, case, but not until this phone has problems. By which time there’ll probably be a SE 4th, or even 5th, gen. Or maybe sense will return to the cell phone industry and there might be a flagship phone actually smaller than a set of encyclopedias. I’m not holding my breath waiting.

Crypto miners aren't honest about power use – time for a crackdown

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Re: So What ?

That would be evolution in action. Crypto miners are obviously more fit to exist than your parents. For one thing, they’ve already reproduced: you. You’re old enough to be an El Reg commentard, so they are now redundant.

[exists, with a copy of PTerry’s Complete Diskworld on the iPad in my coat pocket.]

Microsoft tests CD ripping for Media Player in Windows 11

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Eagle. Or maybe vulture.

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Re: Centred start

Apple had the Apple menu button centered in the menu bar in the OS X Public Beta. The screaming was loud. The Apple menu button went back to its traditional location and has stayed there ever since.

The OS X Public Beta was over two decades ago. MS can’t learn from the mistakes of others.

Microsoft 365 patches for Windows 7 to end in 2023

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Ok. I hate to say it, given the problems with round-tripping between MS Office and LibreOffice, but it really might be time to dump MS Office once and for all. We’ve tried before, had problems switched back, but this time we might just stick with LO. We’d still have to work around the problems with complex documents, but that may just be the way things are.

Near-undetectable malware linked to Russia's Cozy Bear

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Re: Click at your peril

I’ve had that happen, to me and my guys. The request goes to the back of the queue. Interestingly enough, either the user in question never has contacted my ‘superior’ or said superior hasn’t bothered to say anything to me. And, amazingly, the user hasn’t contacted me when it’s one of my guys.

The policy is clear. Certain file types are not allowed as attachments. Period. End of story. Send it as one of the approved file formats, or send it as a link to a cloudy thing… and there are ways to secure cloudy things, too.

And if a user figures a way to get past our file type blocks, which has happened, and insists on playing with the file and dumps malware on the system, that’s a termination offense… and that’s happened, too.

Users around here no longer demand that unauthorized file types be allowed in. Imagine that.

UK, South Korea strike data-sharing pact

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Re: Use LibreOffice

If it’s as good as LO’s MS Office importer, you‘ll end with a mangled document unless the document was fairly simple. Complex documents, with tables, borders, and such, don’t transfer well from MS Word to LO. I wouldn’t expect LO to do much better with a product from a smaller vendor.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: Easy but naughty solution.

That would depend on if you want to get thumped.

Korean and Japanese are somewhat similar in many ways. Koreans and Japanese are related. Telling either group anything of the sort is an excellent way of getting both groups really annoyed with you. The only quicker way to get in really big trouble really fast that I know of is to mention the similarities between Croats, Serbs, and Bosnians. Except that way you have three groups mad at you.

Rufus and ExplorerPatcher: Tools to remove Windows 11 TPM pain and more

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Re: Desktop on OneDrive by default?

It’s not just MS, unfortunately. Epson’s support site has problems with Firefox but works with Edge. Haven’t tried Chrome, as that wasn’t installed on the machine I need to install some Epson drivers onto.

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Re: Thanks Rufus

Some of us still have XP machines. Just because MS dropped support doesn’t mean that the machine stopped working.

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Re: What about Windows Updates?

“Apple and Google already require accounts to make use of the majority of features on an iDevice or Android device “, eh? Interesting. I haven’t used an Android phone or tablet for anything in years, but when I did have Android, which was so dire that I switched to iOS and never went back (Honeycomb on a very low end phone from T-Mob. It was incredibly bad, locking up without warning, losing calls, generally being a total pain in the ass). Perhaps it’s changed. I do know that I can use the majority of the features on iOS without an Apple account as one of my phones has a couple of little red badges indicating that I haven’t completed setup, mostly that there ain’t no AppleID. Phone still does everything I need it to do. It’s a company phone.

Is computer vision the cure for school shootings? Likely not

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It’s illegal to have a fully automatic weapon without a proper license and has been for more than a century. You can’t get a license for a chaingun, period. Anyone trying to carry a chaingun around Walmart will quickly become either a guest of the Sheriffs Office or a permanent resident of a graveyard.

Let me say that again: it is illegal to own/operate a machine gun in the United States without a very specific license and has been for a long time. Any fully automatic firearms used without a license are illegal. This does not stop criminals from modifying legal weapons or otherwise obtaining fully automatic weapons, but changing the law won’t make them any more illegal than they already are. Go ahead. Ban them. You better ban machine shops; Afghani weapons makers make AKs with the same tools others use to make truck parts. Are you really saying that the average Yankee redneck can’t build a weapon that it has been shown that Afghans in caves can? Really?

First steps into the world of thought leadership: What could go wrong?

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Re: It's been a long time ...

He’s annoyed because English monkeys actually like being spanked.

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Re: zoo

And Tories aren’t smart enough to be monkeys.

Trouble hiring? Consider loosening your remote work policy

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Re: Outside IR-35

I do ‘adjunct instruction’ for a local college. They gave me a Surface device, configured with full Active Directory settings, totally under the control of their IT. (Hint: it was a major pain to get non-school email set up in MS Outlook, and I needed that to be able to email stuff to myself, thanks to other ‘security’ settings.) I use it just for school stuff, remote instruction and such. I also have an ancient Dell laptop, semi-retired, and a new Lenovo, which I use for laptop things other than school stuff. I used to use the Dell for school stuff, IT department hated it, I suspect that they couldn’t do certain things on it, and that is why I got the Surface. Note that IT noticed that I never connect the Surface to my home net, I have a nice little hotspot from Verizon just for that unit. Gee. I wonder how they knew, and why they cared. And, yes, there is a piece of tape over the camera and microphone. And it’s turned off and in a bag when not in use.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio: Too edgy for comfort?

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Re: I wonder what the U in USB stands for...


‘Unable to connect.’


‘Utterly borked.’

UK Home Office signs order to extradite Julian Assange to US

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If I were Joe Biden

I’d just park Saint Julian in a nice Club Fed type Federal facility and let moss grow over him. When his lawyers file a Speedy Trial motion, point out that there are complications due to the long drawn out extradition process, mostly due to him, and that the trial will be held as soon as possible. When he’s spent roughly the same time inside as Bradley/Chelsea Manning, drop all charges for humanitarian reasons and deport him to Oz. No muss, no fuss, no expensive trial. And being parked in a Club Fed isn’t exactly hard time.

Now, if he were silly enough to escape from, or even attempt to escape from, the Club Fed, then drop the hammer on him, hard. And that would be a new offense, not linked to whatever he was extradited for, so any promises made at the time of extradition would no longer be binding. Hell, I wouldn’t put it past the Feds if they left a door open and unguarded just to see what he did…

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

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Hmm. Mine can. It has the built in Calculator app from Apple, and it has the HP-15C emulator that I installed and usually use, because I still have my original HP-15C from the early 1980s. Still works, too. Unlike certain newer HP products. RPN forever!

Musk can't tweet about Tesla without lawyer approval – and he's still fighting to end that

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Re: Anyone else getting the sense that his attention is starting to wander?

How awful do you have to be, if you’re the richest man in the world, and _still_ can’t keep the girl?

Bill Gates says NFTs '100% based on greater fool theory' amid crypto cataclysm

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He’s right.

And the blockchain brigade will be very upset with him.

Nothing says 2022 quite like this remote-controlled machine gun drone

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Re: Cutting the cable

Presumably there would also be a security detachment waiting for irritating Russkies.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: Cutting the cable

If I were the Russians, I’d cut the cable, then strap some explosives to the drone, and send some boys with a remote detonator, hanging back a bit.

Of course, if I were the Ukrainians, I’d have a few drones near my position, with the scopes and the machine guns, waiting for semi smart Russians. Or send the drones out in pairs, covering each other.

Internet Explorer 11 limps to the end of Windows 10 road

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I’ll take a guess and say ‘zero’. There’re several reasons why I have some XP machines around here. One is that some ancient things need IE 6. Yes, really. I betcha that there will be a lot of things that need IE 6 or some ancient Java or something similar… and the something similar might need IE 6. Because, well, reasons. Me, I have some ancient hardware which still works and which would cost $150k or more to replace, which ain’t happening until said hardware dies. And which won’t work with Windows beyond XP. I suspect that there are lots of people who have similar problems.

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near

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Re: Does anyone need more justification

Safari isn’t on Windows

Behind Big Tech's big privacy heist: Deliberate obfuscation

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For the Apple haters…

It seems that, according to the article, Amazon is #1, Meta is #2, Google is #3 & 4, Meta is #5, and Google is #6. This means that Apple can’t be higher than #7. They, however, get equal billing with Amazon, Meta, and Google. Hmm. One wonders where Microsoft places, and how Yahoo does.


Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

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Re: "just works"

My main monitor has a big LG on it and works just fine… my other monitor has a big HP on it, and works just fine. Both are 1920x1080 24” class units. Neither is new. Mac is a Mac mini 2012, using the HDMI and the DP ports.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: Now Do an Article About the Top Ten Linux Apps

The GIMP has severe user interface problems. It is markedly inferior to, for example, Graphic Converter, in many ways; GC is Mac shareware which has been around since 1992. It started out as simply converting one graphic format to another, but now it does MUCH more. (User since 1994. Paid-up user since 1995. Still using it for my bit-map image needs.) Frankly, the GIMP is a bad joke compared to GC, if only because the GIMP takes a Very Long Time to load where GC is immediate, and the GIMP’s UI looks as though it was thrown together at the last minute while GC’s interface shows some thought… and no, it’s not just Photoshop warmed over. I used to use Photoshop for heavy duty image playing, but now go with Affinity Photo because I will not pay the Adobe sharecropper tax. For light stuff I use GC.

There is, so far as I can see, no direct equivalent to GC on Windows or Linux. The nearest would probably be InfranView, on Windows, and that’s not quite the same. Note that both GC and IV are developed by German devs. Must be something in the water.

Cops' Killer Bee stings credential-stealing scammer

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Nigerian princes

Are finally getting their royal accommodations.

Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns

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Bah, humbug

I am currently an adjunct instructor at a local community college. The IT people there are, umm, somewhat anal-retentive. Us faculty and staff must change passwords every 90 days; hashes for old passwords are kept for 36 password changes, or 9 years. Passwords must be at least 10 characters, at least one of which must be a lower case letter, an upper case letter, a number, and a symbol. Students must change passwords at the start of a new semester. Multi Factor Authentication is provided using the MS Authenticator app on smartphones, tablets, Win10 boxes, or Macs. If I log into Canvas (the Learning Management System) on any browser, on Mac, Windows, phone or tablet, I must authenticate. If I log into Workday, I must authenticate… even if I use a tab on the same browser as the Canvas login. If I log into webmail, again I must authenticate. The authentication lasts for 8 hours, or until I log in with a different browser, including a different browser on the same machine, whichever is the shorter. I must then authenticate again. For each service. Logging in to a school computer on the school network does NOT log you into services, you must authenticate for each. Now, the password is the same for all services, but not for anything external; logging into the textbook site uses the school ID, but a completely different password. If someone got my credentials they would also have to get my MFA stuff, and school passwords would be useless for non-school logins.

Meanwhile, I used to do adjunct work for a different community college. I haven’t been there for six years. My credentials still work. I had a truly amazing amount of email.

Some school IT people are BOFH level. Some are Boss level. Or lower.

Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers

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Re: Biggest takeaway?

Hmm. At least Boy George can read. Unlike, for example, the Orange One.

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

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Re: Dogs

Unless you’re the girl.

China reveals its top five sources of online fraud

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Oh, yeah. So you mandate personal name first, family name last, eh? Good luck with that in most of East Asia. And, I think, Hungary. There may be others. And then there’s many Spanish-speaking countries, where a proper name officially includes your mother’s patronymic. And places like Indonesia, where it’s common to have just one name. And places ranging from England to India where the alleged ‘family’ name derives from some ancestor’s occupation; ‘Smith’ and ‘Patel’ (‘Farmer’) are common. Or where the name comes from a location; pretty much every noble title plus a vast number of common names have those.

And then there would be writing systems. Latin alphabet, with/without accents and assorted weird Eastern Euro things. And weird Northern Euro things. And weird German things. And combinations of the above. And then there’s Cyrillic. And Hebrew (no vowels). And Arabic. (also no vowels. And both get written right to left.) And don’t get me started on Urdu, Hindi, Thai, Korean… And then there’s Chinese, a whole different concept right there, especially as ‘Chinese’ is really at least six languages which use the same writing system.

It gets worse. Half of China would have names based on a dozen names. A fifth of Korea shares ‘Kim’. (There’s a bloody reason why at one point the president of South Korea was named Kim, and was no relation whatsoever to the Great/Dear/Young Leaders in North Korea…) About half of Korea uses six names for ‘family’ names. And, for fun, Japanese, which can be written three different official ways. (When you mess it up, Japanese people will just nod politely, mere gaijin aren’t expected to understand how true people do things.)

And then there are clan (and variants of clans) names.

And, of course, there are names which change, depending… well, depending on just about anything, depending on where and when. And names based on physical characteristics. (Eric the Red, Rolf Walker) And names based on past behavior. (Bugsy Siegel…)

How ICE became a $2.8b domestic surveillance agency

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Re: 218 million customers

At least five commentards seem to have forgotten that the Orange One’s grandpa was illegal…

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Re: 218 million customers

Well, a certain Orange One with a dead muskrat on his head certainly is…

Outlook bombards Safari users with endless downloads

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Re: Reason #12769

I only use live.outlook.com because certain people, including, unfortunately, the office, use Exchange/Office365/Microsoft365. I now have _four_ Outlook accounts. Personally, I will be getting my own domain and emails Real Soon Now.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: Reason #12769

Interesting. I was never able to log into more than one account at a time without problems. And after some time usually 24 hours, unlike MS’s crap which was typically 30 minutes, I would get logged out and have to log back in.

That said, it’s been a while since I had a Gmail account. Google hated my using ‘less secure’ clients, such as Apple Mail and Outlook, and decided that they weren’t sure that I was me and locked one account. I promptly killed the others and went elsewhere.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: Reason #12769

And, oh, if Outlook causes your Mac to slow to a crawl… I usually use a 2012 Mac mini. Outlook is fine there. And on an even older iMac. I should be getting a nice new M1 Mac Real Soon Now.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: Reason #12769

Webmail is annoying.

1. Most webmail systems, including MS, time you out relatively quickly. A mail client is live 24/7. Webmail with 2FA is a major pain to log into. One webmail system I must use logs out after 30 minutes of ‘inactivity’ and requires 2FA EVERY SINGLE TIME that I log in. For some reason I don’t log in very often. This means that email sits there for days/weeks until I get around to logging back in.

2. Every webmail system that I have tried allows only one account to be live at once. You must log out the live account before you can check mail in another. I have three Office Live accounts and used to have three Gmail accounts. All of them would be live in my mail clients, including Outlook and Apple Mail. I really hate logging out and logging back in, over and over and over. In theory I could have different accounts live in different browsers, but in fact trying that causes both MS and Google to get all paranoid; there’s a reason why I no longer have Gmail accounts.

3. Webmail makes it difficult to turn off HTML and pix and the like. My clients run with max security, including no HTML. They are far more secure than webmail.

4. Certain organizations insist on webmail and make it difficult to use a client. One organization that I must deal with insists that if I use a client, I must give the all kinds of power, including the ability to remote wipe the device. This ain’t ever happening. This means that I use their email quite rarely, because it’s a major pain to log into their webmail. (See point 1 above) I associate webmail with assholes, those idiots aren’t the only ones to have that attitude they’re just the only ones that I have to put up with.

Samsung unveils hardened SD card that can last 16 years if you treat it right

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16 years ago

Floppies were still a thing. I built a WinBox which had a floppy drive specifically to load certain drivers on installing XP, particularly the drivers for the optical drive, which for some reason didn’t ship on CD.

Hell, optical drives were still a thing. When was the last time that you saw either a floppy or an optical drive on a new laptop? Looks at BluRay burner attached to laptop via _two_ USB plugs…



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