* Posts by Ken Moorhouse

4020 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

Giving Windows total recall of everything a user does is a privacy minefield

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table

A carpenter should be good at database work, knowing all about joinery.

Windows users left to fend for themselves after BitLocker patch bungle

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: This is where managed vendors come in ...

I would read that as "we don't feel competent enough to do it for you".

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: a band-aid kludge

Trouble is that when the error needs to appear, it will be suppressed.

Google all at sea over rising tide of robo-spam

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


Google have built themselves an unassailable moat. Barriers to enter the market are now too high. The problem is the amount of money that is invested in a company to start it up and maintain. This money is provided by companies that just want to make more money. Nothing wrong with making money per se, but when it is the only goal, with no intention of improving the community, or society in general, then there needs to be push-back against that. You've heard the expression "money talks"? Well, it shouldn't (and this is part of the problem with politics too, but that's another story). There is a corollary to money that is beginning to appear above the parapet, and that is the environmental cost of electricity. Users are not considering the amount of electricity that gets used in performing their searches, it is an infinite resource to them, but it is becoming an issue to the point where some areas are rationing this commodity to data centre providers, particularly where AI is part of the underlying traffic.

At some point there has to be some manual process to break what is effectively a feedback loop. Everything nowadays is about automation. We've reached the stage where automation has gone too far.

What should be done now is to encourage new entrants into the search market that have access to the domain name registries, as opposed to relying on search engine results. This to enable them to contact registrants to kick-start alternatives to Google. Yes, I do know about Domain Tasting and Domain Kiting. That's another thing: anything involving entry into "The System" using bulk sign-up with a free exploitation period needs to be outlawed. Perhaps new entrants can pick up the "Do No Evil" mantle from where it was conveniently forgotten about...

Microsoft claims it didn't mean to inject Copilot into Windows Server 2022 this week

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Rename it to "CrapPlot"

Surely Copulate is more appropriate?

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: application package was a whole 8Kb.


The libraries that do the heavy lifting are already embedded in the OS. All that's needed to activate the foot-soldiers is the "Big Red Button" OnClick event.

Outlook.com trips over Google's spam blocking rules

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Talking of workarounds: has anyone ever tried...

v=spf1 ip4: ~all


What strange beauty is this? Microsoft commits to two more non-subscription Office editions

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


A bit of history here:-


There was a time when I suspect developers thought they should use CUA to cover their arses (CUA), but MS has blown a hole through that laudable concept.

The referred to article mentions "walk-up-and-use". Now the mantra seems to be "walk-up-and-be-confused".

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: maybe it's time Word Processors got smart enough to fix this sort of stuff

(cough) WordPerfect (cough)

I went through a phase of training most admin staff at a few London hospitals in how to do things properly. Nowadays nobody seems to care anymore.

Don't encourage a Microsoft product to be "smart" (why do you need a leading zero on that phone number?).

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: it tends to screw up the formatting.

Yes but that can also happen with Word between versions.

I used to have a customer that did vast quantities of educational material housed in ring-binders. When the content changed, in theory only the pages with the change would be sent out (the page footer contained version info). When they moved between versions of Word they often ended up having to print everything out each time. They wouldn't have had that problem if they'd stuck to WordPerfect.

Virgin Media sets up 'smart poles' next to cabinets to boost mobile network capacity

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: "digital electricity" technology

Does exist.

All you need is the right carpet and the right shoes. Walk around a bit, then get close enough to your victim and point at them.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

color matched with the street cabinet beside it

Grey is not good.

ISTR an experiment was carried out where ne'er do wells tended to congregate around cabinets like these with their laughing gas canisters. Apparently painting the cabinets pink reduced the tendency to use them as a place to hang out.

Developers beware, Microsoft's domain shakeup is coming soon

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

ICANN should have told Microsoft...

ICANN should have told Microsoft they can use micros-1 as users have suffered for years with 8 characters and it is now payback time. Plus they probably can't be trusted to limit their urls to the de facto limit of 2048 characters.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Dear Scammer

Please update your evil emails to reflect this change.

Thank you!


Cop shop rapped for 'completely avoidable' web form blunder

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Your email has been entered into a prize draw...

1st prize is a holiday to Rwanda.


Who would be a whistleblower if this is the way confidential correspondence is handled?

McDonald's ordering system suffers McFlurry of tech troubles

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: McDonalds now offer table service

Aha, that's where the fault lies. Someone, somewhere said something about Dropping a Table.

Copilot can't stop emitting violent, sexual images, says Microsoft whistleblower

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: what can distract male drivers

I've heard that the pedestrian crossing just by 16 Pont Street was an accident black spot.

Less so now, since Agent Provocateur moved out.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: AI is a mirror

ELReg still hasn't got a x10 upvote button.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

AI has developed a human malady...


Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Anyone. Anywhere. Any Device

This is where their other mantra, particularly the Extinguish bit, would have come in helpful.

Windows 10 failing to patch properly? You are most definitely not alone

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: They keep releasing newer versions with the same KB name

Are they worried they might exceed the largest integer that the KnowledgeBase can handle?

Who here remembers the problem with PST's going oversize?

I think I've just answered my own question.

It's that most wonderful time of the year when tech cannot handle the date

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: post 100 times to a junk thread over in the user forums

No need. Just post a throw away comment in a thread about Brexit and that will keep you busy for a while...

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: why we benefit from changing the clocks for summer time

The "solution" I keep banging on about is to do a one-off move of the clocks by half an hour in spring or autumn, then leave them forever like that. Will work for anywhere there is Daylight Saving. One reason why it might not be liked as a solution is that GMT will then only exist as a virtual reference point for those of us in Blighty. Another tradition consigned to history.

Ok there will be a big upheaval initially, but in the long run... Perhaps the apocalypse is so near that it is not worth the effort.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Which is exactly the sort of cavalier attitude that caused the Y2K situation in the first place

A previous employer of mine had massive budgets for software, but not hardware (software being the "in" thing). So we had to be really careful with hardware resources (memory, disk space, CPU performance). In the real-time* situation we were coding, performng one IF THEN test rather than two or more allowed critical time dependent operations to be performed within strict time constraints. I suggested collapsing two tests down into one by using a 'magic number' of 31/12/1999 to compare against, on the understanding that the hardware would be upgraded prior to the millennium. This was accepted by management and was well documented (backside covered? Check).

Another problem with many applications is that they use different concepts of time. We used 2-second time. This was to fit into whatever data-width we were lumbered with at the time. I forget where the baseline was set, but we regularly converted to/from 2-second time into normal time to interface with reality. So we had to concoct our own library to do these things.

*These being typical applications that could have caused big Y2K problems.

Cybercrims: When we hit IT, they sometimes pay, but when we hit OT... jackpot

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: What does OT stand for here?

It also could be interpreted as Overtime without affecting the sentiments expressed.

'How do I reset my router' isn't in LLM corpuses. An alliance of telcos wants to change that

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Procedure to reset your Router

1. Switch off Router.

Oh, you seem to have gone off-line...

London's famous BT Tower will become a hotel after £275M sale

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Bad form to be responding to my own comment


Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Bad form to be responding to my own comment

Why not?

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: OS maos

Hmmm, I suppose some areas of UK might look like mayonaise when portrayed on a map.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: the lift was really fast on the way up

Was it even faster on the way down?

Funny enough, if you really want to see an iconic lift, go to Northampton...


Read the para starting "From the time it was built" about free-fall testing.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

RE: the bottom of the tower is reached along a pokey, dull little alley

It was an Official Secret for a while though...


Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

The Wi-Fi is down. Hello?

The cursor keeps whirring round and round.

Hang on, the whole building's moving.

Microsoft retires Azure IoT Central retirement announcement

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: You have to write it first...

Unless they've introduced a 'random mystery topic' in ChatGPT.

Remember all those programs that give you a "thought for the day"? This is the next generation.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

...the cost of Microsoft retiring the platform could be huge...

That's never stopped them from doing so in the past.

ChatGPT starts spouting nonsense in 'unexpected responses' shocker

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Probably finally ingested the lyrics to Close to the Edge

I think you are on [to] something there.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: One human CAN explain the reasoning for its answers to another human.

Hmm, I can't disagree with the word "can" there, but it's not the whole story by any means (no reason to downvote though).

I cast my mind back to Friends Reunited when one of my fellow classmates wrote to me and asked me if I remembered our schoolteacher's reaction to the picture I drew in response to her asking the class to draw a dinosaur. Everyone else drew a big dinosaur that filled a sheet of paper. I drew a diddy little one in the top corner and incurred her wrath accordingly. "Why did you do that, you silly boy?" I do remember the incident clearly but to this day I cannot explain why I did what I did, even though I knew I would get multiple slaps with a 12" ruler. Maybe explains why Graham ended up in a much more rewarding occupation than me.

Someone had to say it: Scientists propose AI apocalypse kill switches

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Is not humanity responsible for the 'scorched earth’ outcome ...

I think that is covered by this para:-

"We know too what can happen when these doctrines collide: physical conflict."

Yes it is, but AI has the capability to incite conflict where none is evident. I believe Jim Morrison studied such phenomena and whipped audiences into riotous frenzy via his on-stage behaviour. This is now possible, on-tap at your local keyboard (pun intended).

Something I've noticed a lot which dates back to the pandemic is that people seem to have lost the ability to think in a self-critical way. Typified by the phrase "Computer Says No". Instead of people taking responsibility for their own thoughts and actions they are increasingly encouraged to delegate them to a computer. In doing so they absolve themselves of guilt. The guilty party for their motives is some nebulous being that could be considered to be a proxy for $deity, but maybe in reality a humble programmer working to a flawed spec. AI is simply an extension to this absolution process.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

The reason AI is fundamentally a bad thing...

The reason AI is fundamentally a bad thing is that it is not wired in the same way that humans are.

Humans depend for their survival on following certain "rules". Quick searches reveal that Christianity has 10, the Quran cites 75, Buddhism has its precepts, Jews hit the jackpot with 613, etc. Breaking these rules will land you with loss of freedom, ostracism from society and in some religions, death. We know that we have to abide by these rules to achieve long-term evolutionary success that underpins all of these man-specified rules, regardless of religion.

We know too what can happen when these doctrines collide: physical conflict.

By contrast, how many of these rules does AI have? None. So if we follow advice given to us by AI systems humanity will run into trouble. Hence the alarm when a study was carried out that AI played out a 'wargame' scenario with a 'scorched earth' outcome.

AI does not care what rules are in place. It might advise breaking rules because it has access to better probabilistic analysis of overall outcome when comparing the scenarios of following or breaking rules. Humanity doesn't tend to break rules in the same way as it does not have the benefit of an overall strategy. Humans are tempted to break rules for spontaneous reasons and it is fear that acts as a deterrent on those actions. AI does things by cold, hard analysis only. Furthermore, AI will exploit the fact that humanity will follow rules, and will know how humans will ordinarily respond.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: AI Kill Switch

ISTR there was some streaming service which had payment vulnerabilities whereby people could easily bypass payment by following instructions on the internet.

I believe that its revenue stream was reinstated by its provider by getting users to download a series of updates which looked innocuous in themselves, but were in fact part of a grand plan to seize control back when everyone had installed the updates.

Can anyone here remember the details/provide a useful link?

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: The Next Big Thing

Maybe the solution is to launch denial of service attacks on AI machines. This could take the form of false statements such as 1 + 1 = 3. Unfortunately it is going to take a lot of ingenuity for an AI to accept something which it already "knows" to be false, so a "virtual story" would need to be constructed which uses considerable resources and ultimately has no substance. Arguably, think of the idea behind Hesse's Glass Bead Game as a suitable starting point, but with no linkages to reality which the AI system can latch onto for concrete reference purposes.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: The Next Big Thing

Problem is that The Next Big Thing is for AI to emulate the way the Internet works i.e., to mesh AI machines together in such a way that they are resilient to disruption.

Reading the plot for Colussus (see 1st post), people will be tempted to connect AI machines together to see what happens, but become overwhelmed by the consequences.

This needs to be nipped in the bud right now, for humanity's sake.

Going with the flow makes AI better at solving coding problems

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


A possible issue with bullet point flow is that there could be scope for doing something in a roundabout way between two steps. For example, if you were to perform a sort, and don't specify how it should do it, an inappropriate sort algorithm could be used. Solution there is to add an extra step into the bullet point flow. So really this is not much different than doing a flowchart and fleshing out the details when needed.

Half of polled infosec pros say their degree was less than useful for real-world work

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Applications Programming

Applications Programming is, I feel, often neglected as far as its role in InfoSec is concerned. How many programmers are taught to program without considering what happens when spurious parameters are input into a program? Luckily the lecturer who taught us programming on my degree course got us to focus on validity checks as much as the algorithms for carrying out the assignments we were set.

It would be interesing to hear what other commentard's experiences are of this in their formal programming training.

Moving to Windows 11 is so easy! You just need to buy a PC that supports it!

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: For all the tired jokes people make

Whenever anyone mentions BSA to me, the "B" has wings on it.

The aural trademark was just as distinctive though.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: toddler tantrum v Feeding the Troll

With 158 comments on here at time of writing, there would appear to be some dispute as to whether Windows 11 is fullfilling its role as a grown-up Operating System.

This article gives some insight as to the role of an Operating System:-


PS I'm not a downvoter of any of your comments.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: For all the tired jokes people make

It amuses me immensely that Micosoft have versions of its operating system that have a suffix of POS.

Ironically some of those products are actually quite good compared to those currently being produced.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Learning new things helps prevent things like dementia in old age

I've spent my entire life learning new things. Many of the achievements in my work career have been involved with development of new things.

Unfortunately technology is at the point where the "learning" process makes me wonder whether I am suffering from dementia because the "improvements" generally put forward as milestones to mark progress look like retrogressions to my mind. In my view technology should be used to push down solid foundations from which industry, commerce, education can progress. Windows role should be such a foundation, it is not, it is trying to be something which it is not, and if history is a guide, never will be.

As I approach my 70's I feel it far better for me to exercise my brain learning to play the piano... however badly that may be to my neighbours.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: previously hidden behind menus

The reason why WordPerfect was so successful, sorry, one of the reasons WordPerfect was so successful, was that it introduced the user to a new feature when that user was ready to use that feature. If a letter needed to be written that didn't need fancy features, why bombard the user and confuse them?