* Posts by jfm

37 posts • joined 7 May 2015

You know Facebook has an image problem when major nonprofits start turning down donations over political lies


Re: I must express my opposition to this

It may be reluctant, because he's probably saying "I do not want to lose the company's protected status with respect to liability"

Are you misunderstanding §230 of the CDA? It was passed specifically to protect information services from liability in general for external content, AND to allow them to edit or censor some content without creating such liability for all content. Short of the law being changed, nothing Facebook do or don't do can create liability or remove the protection. (Obviously there are exceptions, eg for illegal content.)

Now you've done it: Cyber attack targeted Australian brewery 'n' dairy biz Lion


Re: Also deals in milk as well as alcohol

Dunno, but it's not a feel-good story…

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style


Re: The past is another counttry.

SU bars were usually cheaper, yes—but not at Edinburgh in the '80s. The Students' Association (non-NUS-affiliated) had a policy of selling beer at pub prices and using the proceeds to subsidise cheap hot meals, so when you'd gone through your grant cheque ("What's green and takes 3 hours to drink?"), you could eat for next to nothing at the Student Centre.

Baby, I swear it's déjà vu: TalkTalk customers unable to opt out of ISP's ad-jacking DNS – just like six years ago


Re: Switch provider, and refuse payment

Agreed re driving tests. I recently (for reasons of emigration and bureaucracy) had to sit a local driving test. I walked into the driving school, said "I've been driving for 30 years but I need to learn to pass the test", and did exactly what I was told until I did pass. (The instructor said I was a much easier student than the younger learner-drivers, who don't listen.)

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?


"Some 49 per cent are checking whether you've tested for drug and alcohol abuse."

Saw this years ago on Usenet:

"First time I've gotten a programming job that required a drug test. I was worried they were going to say "you don't have enough LSD in your system to do Unix programming". -- Paul Tomblin in a.s.r

As pressure builds over .org sell-off, internet governance bodies fall back into familiar pattern: Silence


Re: Oh really?

I'm in South Africa and paying in ZAR for a .org I've owned for going on 15 years. I can assure you that any large increase will be extremely painful.

20% of UK businesses would rather axe their contractors than deal with IR35 – survey


Re: Dangers of moving from outside to inside IR35

Yes, I remember as a university sysadmin we were talking to a security vendor and having to explain patiently that at a university with several thousand inquisitive students, most of the threats to our network were internal.

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block


Re: Yay!

There's also The World's Shortest Political Quiz (arranged as a diamond rather than a square).

Linux Journal runs shutdown -h now for a second time: Mag editor fires parting shot at proprietary software


Just how many editors, desktops, filesystems, etc. do you really want/need?

One (of each) — but not necessarily the one you chose.

IBM torches Big Tech's get-out-of-jail-free card, says websites should be held responsible for netizen-posted content


Re: how about stick to the original intent of 230

As I replied to someone else who claimed this a few months ago:

This is nonsense. Stratton Oakmont v Prodigy, decided in May 1995, was the court case that found that editorial control by a service provider changed them from a distributor of information, without liability, into a publisher with liability. Within months (Feb '96) section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was passed to /prevent/ service providers from becoming liable if they screened or moderated content, and indeed encourage them to do so.

In other words, you've got section 230 exactly backwards.

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames


Re: Dolt

I'm assuming the Gold status is for quantity, not quality.

Exclusive: Windows for Workgroups terror the Tartan Bandit confesses all to The Register


Re: Changing Wallpaper can have career enhancing effects

Inverting the sense of mouse movements isn't nearly as bad as rotating by 90° — mouse up moves cursor left &c.

Amazon agrees to stop selling toxic jewelry, school supplies to kids, coughs up some couch change ($700,000)


Re: "I've been a customer of theirs since 1999 when they only sold books"

However, Chinese companies have already been found guilty of putting lead into almost everything under sun, including milk formula.

I hadn't heard about lead but I do know about melamine being added to formula and petfood because it was detected as additional protein by protein-content testing. (I believe the tests now used can tell the difference).

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?


In South Africa, many parking payment machines accept your parking ticket for cancellation, and your debit/credit card for payment. They have one card slot. After 17 years here I'm just about over the brief panic every time I use one (how does it remember which card to rewrite? Especially since it takes both, processes them and then returns them, all through the same single slot).

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript


Re: Ambivalence of complexity

Indeed. Hence the name of a group I ran for a while in Durban, The Programmer's Art, which combined meetings to discuss programming languages and paradigms with frequent pub visits. We never worked out whether we were Artists or Artisans but we had fun debating it over beers.

A quick cup of coffee leaves production manager in fits and a cleaner in tears


Or skilful application of an angle-grinder to the earth pin of a white plug (allegedly).

User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily... right?


Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

South Africa uses a plug with the same pin pattern as a UK plug but with cylindrical pins. A plug for a protected circuit is red and has the top of the earth pin ground flat. The socket fitting is also red and the earth hole has the same flat-topped part-circular shape so that a standard white plug won't go in. I've even seen installations with two protected circuits, red and blue, with the plane at different angles.

London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange


It's untrue that his behaviour, if proved, is rape only in Sweden. You can't be extradited except for conduct which is an offence in both countries. The extradition hearing in London found that the alleged behaviour would be an offence under English law as well. He lost several appeals against the decision, taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy shortly after losing his final appeal.

Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion


Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

No. Google "doctrine of speciality" (or specialty for leftpondians). Extradition in international treaties prohibits adding any charges beyond those in the application for extradition.

Wondering why 'Devin Nunes herp-face' was trending online? Here's the 411: House rep sues Twitter for all the rude stuff tweeted about him


Re: But he actually has a case...

This is nonsense. Stratton Oakmont v Prodigy, decided in May 1995, was the court case that found that editorial control by a service provider changed them from a distributor of information, without liability, into a publisher with liability. Within months (Feb '96) section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was passed to prevent service providers from becoming liable if they screened or moderated content, and indeed encourage them to do so.

The safe harbour provision is 230(c)(1) which reads:

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow


Re: took the day off

Written in Perl by any chance?

Spending watchdog points finger at Capita for 1,300 shortfall in British Army rookies


Re: TBF...

Billy Connolly (who was with 15 PARA for a while) summed this up well in this song, "Sergeant, Where's Mine".

OK Google, what is African ISP Main One, and how did it manage to route your traffic into China through Russia?


Re: Just a reminder


Well slap my ass and call me Judy, Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 is just as hard to fix as the old one


Re: Green Credentials

Surely the justification for the glue is ease of recycling? Instead of lots of fiddly little screws, you just pop the thing in an oven so that the glue melts and it drops neatly into a pile of recyclable components. That's the story anyway.

Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design


Just to extend the quote and violently agree:

they can slot in these sorts of interesting elements as required on the day, and making it clear what's important to readers…

If you want to know what's important to me, ask me: don't try to tell me.

FWIW, what's important to me is all the stories, in chronological order.

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism


Actor/Actress [was Re: Correct translation]

This sort of thing led, more years ago than I care to remember, to the following correction in the Guardian:

A rigid application of the Guardian style guide caused us to say of Carlo Ponti in his obituary, page 34, January 11, that in his early career he was "already a man with a good eye for pretty actors…". This was one of those occasions when the word "actresses" might have been used.

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die


Re: You don't cancel a successful program

I think it was Simon Slavin, years ago, who said that Microsoft is a cross between the Borg and the Ferengi. Unfortunately they use the Borg to do their marketing and the Ferengi to do their programming.

HTC U12 Life: Notchless, reasonably priced and proper buttons? Oh joy


Re: Gets out key spec list needed for me to upgrade...

6) Security & OS updates?

Should be #1. When the Moto g5 was released I bought one to replace my original Moto g. It was supplied with Android 7.0 and has had no version updates and only occasional security updates in the 18 months since its launch.

I won't be buying Lenovo/Motorola again.

The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?


Looking at the new homepage on a Moto 5g in Chrome. It's hopeless: have you actually viewed it on a phone?

There is not a single headline visible: just an ad covering half the screen, and the top part of the image for the first story. The font on the first 5 or so stories is way too large and just wastes screen space. In the remaining stories with images, the image is too big, taking up half the width of the box with the text crammed into the other half almost as an afterthought. The boxes are ugly, and between them and the wide linespacing there's a general sense, again, of wasted screen space.

Clicking through to the archive is like a breath of fresh air: headlines and stories with no faffing about.

Please, try reading the page on a phone and then reconsider the design.

Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside


I've seen problem reports (especially networking issues like "The Internet is down!") referred to as Layer 8 problems.

OK, deep breath, relax... Let's have a sober look at these 'ere annoying AMD chip security flaws


Viceroy Research? The one who shorted Capitec Bank in South Africa and then claimed Capitec's financial statements were false and they were a loan shark heading for insolvency? And then when the Reserve Bank and the national Treasury said they had no concerns about Capitec, doubled down and said they'd both accepted the supposedly false accounts at face value, and would discover Viceroy was right and put Capitec into receivership if only they did a proper audit? That Viceroy Research?

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?


Re: Dates

NATO did (and presumably still does) have a different convention. Things didn't happen at midnight, they happened at 2359 (or less commonly, at 0001).

Capita contract probed after thousands of clinical letters stuffed in a drawer somewhere


Re: ICO angle

The proverbial version is a ton. 112 hundredweight.

20 hundredweight. 112lb in a cwt.

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe


Yes - I heard, years ago, the almost-instaneous time interval between hitting ENTER and realising you shouldn't've described as an ohnosecond.

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration


Re: UK gov impact studies (again)

I forget where I first heard it but I think the expression you need is "policy-based evidence-making".

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks


Re: 'be at 20C by 06:30' @AC

Sensing whether a space is in use and saving energy accordingly is not always straightforward. Many years ago, my battalion was training for a deployment. This involved lectures to 600 people, and the only sufficiently large space was the gym.

Some bright spark had improved the energy efficiency of the gym by installing movement-controlled lighting - after all, people are always moving in a gym, aren't they?

Thankfully the Regimental Sergeant-Major had a solution to the problem of sudden darkness 5 minutes into each lecture: instead of the usual barracks-cleaning and other punishment details, the day's defaulters were lined up at the back of the gym to do PT and keep the lights on.


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