* Posts by aks

430 posts • joined 16 May 2015


Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

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Using CSV? That's far dumber and open to misinterpretation than Excel's default of interpreting text strings as dates or numbers using Standard format rather than Text.

Use Tab-separated files rather than CSV wherever possible.

First rule of Ransomware Club is do not pay the ransom, but it looks like Carlson Wagonlit Travel didn't get the memo

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"I still contend that any non-sovereign government backed currency is a scam and waiting to be unloaded onto the next sucker"

I'm not sure why you regard sovereign government backed currency as not being a scam.. If it quacks like a duck ...

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected

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Re: Artificial Idiocy

My pet rock is offended by your derogatory insinuation! How very dare you!!

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Re: 100% foolproof gender identification method

Would I lie to you‽

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Re: why even bother ?

The sellers (maybe creators) of these tools want to identify the individual by many categories, not simply sex/gender. Age, profession, nationality, language, residence, income, political preference etc. They will happily sell their wares to advertisers even though all the evidence shows that the contents and topic of the webpage being viewed is a much better identifier of that individual's interests.

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Re: Work with facts

Sex and gender were the same until recently.

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The complaint seems confused

The tool is being criticised for being rubbish at accurately identifying gender. This may well be true but does it predict better than random? This might have value to advertisers. It would presumably be capable of improvement but can never be 100%.

The second criticism is that it dares to ignore the current agenda that gender doesn't exist and is a purely social construct. Advertisers don't care, they want to sell to anybody with money and if the tool could identify the individual's personal opinions and self-image they'd be willing to pay for that.

If you think you've got problems, pal, spare a thought for these boffins baffled by 'oddball' meteorites

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Re: Weird objects showing signs of being both Melty and Non-melty origin?

That's why you're advised not to pick up a freshly-fallen meteorite, not because it's hot but because it's very very cold.

Nominet shakes up system for expiring .uk domains, just happens to choose one that will make it £millions. Again

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Re: Nominet needs to go

Non-profit organisations are created to fill the pockets of the directors as there are no shareholders to hold them to account and no profits to generate taxable income.

If you can read this, your Windows 10 2004 PC really is connected to the internet no matter what the OS claims

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I've certainly experienced very similar symptoms to those described but when looking in the registry using regedit, the parameter is at another level down and the option is already activated.



Windows 10 Pro, Version 20H2, OS Build 19042.388

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

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Re: "HR" - there's your problem.

You left out Diamond. ;)

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Re: How did they learn he was Dalit?

I remember the old anecdote about the guy in Northern Ireland who was approached by a gang and challenged by the question of "are you Protestant or Catholic?". His answer that he was an atheist resulted in the question "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".

Hats off to the brave 7%ers who dived into the Windows 10 May 2020 Update within a month of release

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Re: Printing fail yet again!

I don't remember quite how but I tamed my New Folder page quite quickly, starting with the Focused option.

It now has a very clean look, showing only the Microsoft icon+name, the Search box, and my eight favourites. No extensions.

Running Windows 10 Pro, 20H2, build 19042.330.

University of California San Francisco pays ransomware gang $1.14m as BBC publishes 'dark web negotiations'

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Never negotiate

Simply make it a criminal offence to cooperate with these criminals. Certainly to contact such people except as part of a police operation.

They're doing it to make money. Deny them the money, it only encourages them.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

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Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

Mussolini was a Fascist which was corporatist socialism. The state ruled.

Hitler was a National Socialist not a Fascist. The state ruled.

Stalin was an International Socialist. The state ruled.

When war was declared by the UK it was because Hitler and Stalin agreed to invade Poland together.

The normal term at the time to describe these three was Totalitarians.

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

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Re: I expect that I will be downvoted...

Likewise with my Microsoft Lumia 950 XL from 2015.

Updated until the end of December 2019. Apps still updating. WhatsApp dropped support at that point but Telegram works fine.

Removable battery, USB-C, 3.5 inch audio jack, 20 Megapixel camera, Dual SIM, 32GB.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

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Re: Oh dear...poor use of symbols and units



Franco-German cloud framework floated to protect European's data from foreign tech firms slurpage

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Re: Free Trade

This seems to be designed to benefit France and Germany. The other 25 will get crumbs.

France have clearly insisted that this must be based in a French speaking country (Belgium) as they did when setting up Brussels + Strasbourg as headquarters of the EEC/EC/EU.

I can't see Poland being given a look-in but they'll be forced to comply and to pay.

No more installing Microsoft's Chromium-centered Edge by hand: Windows 10 will do it for you automatically

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Re: I like it

On the new Edge > Settings > Privacy and services >


Clear browsing data

This includes history, passwords, cookies and more. Only data from this profile will be deleted. Manage your data

Clear browsing data now

Choose what to clear

Choose what to clear every time you close the browser


Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

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Re: But what about...

Amazon is focused on selling new books. It also now owns Abebooks which is focused on second-hand books. You can find almost anything there.

Looking for Isaac Asimov on abebooks.co.uk finds:

Books (37,241)

Magazines & Periodicals (1,830)

Comics (7)

Filtering those, I find 190 first edition, signed, with dust-jacket available.

Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'

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In the video, there's a human about 100 yards in advance of the truck who's attempting to wave down the car.

Neither the human nor the car seem to take any notice.

Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'

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Wikipedia says different. United States customary units


They are same as Imperial measurements for length but different for some other units such as volume.

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You need to use the IEC standard binary prefixes for such numbers.


Filezilla allows you to select the notation.

A one terabyte drive will be 1,000,000,00 bytes.

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Re: the key words "figures in billions"

Billions don't come into it. As the article says, the missing wards are "figures in millions".

You seem to be off on a tangent, interesting though that is.

After 30 years of searching, astroboffins finally detect the universe's 'missing matter' – using fast radio bursts

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If they've now found a lot of missing matter, rather thinly spread but cumulatively significant, does that mean that the ratio of matter to that of dark energy and dark matter needs to be adjusted?

Rich Communication Services: Nobody uses it, nobody wants it, but analysts reckon it's on the verge of a breakthrough

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I assume the mobile service providers would only be interested if they can charge separately for RCS, as they do with MMS.

If it's simply counted as data and efficient, the existing apps such as Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp etc could use it as a common layer in the way XML was touted as being the solution to business data exchange.

China to test digital version of its currency at 2022 Winter Olympics

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Re: Why the uproar ?

So much data is being gathered on all of us from so many sources, including the strong push to stop cash as a medium of exchange. All current governments have the ability to track everything people do but there's so much data that processing it is only being done currently for people of interest.

In future, wholesale profiling of all individuals becomes feasible. The compute power required is not there yet but it will come.

Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent

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Re: Junior Customer Engineer

Back when I started using IBM 360/30 and 360/50 machines, I was told that the big red "Emergency Stop" was not a graceful shutdown but a "pull out the plug, someone's being electrocuted!" procedure.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police

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Re: And the moral of this story is ...

He may or may not have had anything at all on his phone.

He refused on a matter of principle against such a "fishing expedition" and on the assumption that his phone had been sanitised, it's more likely simply to generate sympathy from his supporters.

Any way, that's what I'd do in his boots (that don't fit me, by the way).

Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

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I assume that Microsoft have looked at the usage numbers for Outlook 365 in each of these languages and found that the number of users was tiny on iOS, less than the cost of translation and support.

I also assume that they continue to support those languages for Outlook 365 on Windows.

By comparison, many of my favourite freeware/shareware programs invite crowd-sourcers to contribute translations.

LibreOffice have provided the tools to localise the product into unsupported language.


I wonder if the new Microsoft could move toward this model of internationalisation/localisation (i18n/l10n).

OnePlus to disable camera colour feature with pervy tendencies in latest flagship smartphone

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This has been known of for normal cameras since at least the 1950's.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

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Re: In a world, where smartphones aren't shitty PCs

Microsoft 950XL is still my phone and it works extremely well.

HERE maps are fine. They've been adopted by car manufacturers, so they have a lot of support.

My Mail app allows me to joint to each of my email providers through POP3 or IMAP, so there's no problem. There will be a huge number of apps available from various stores. China will make sure of that. The China market alone will convince app authors to place their products there, as well as in Google and Apple stores. Should be an easy port to another Android. The necessary libraries will become available with familiar API's.

The author of this article seems to expect everything to look exactly the same as Google's offering.

Openreach boss denies BT selling stake in UK's national broadband plumber

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Re: More money into UK Plc

BT is a publicly traded company. Who knows what percentage of the current shareholders are foreign individuals, companies, or sovereign wealth funds.

Its headquarters are in the UK, that's all.

BT and Openreach's operations are dominated by UK business and customers, so that's not likely to change.

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source

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Re: Exterminate! Exterminate!

Nobody was force to use IE. It was given away as part of Windows.

The complaint was from companies who wanted to sell copies of their own browsers.

Nowadays, nobody sells browsers; they're given away and make money in other ways.

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Re: History repeats; full of examples...

If you don't like their product, don't buy it. Simples.

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Re: My Hope

What's in it for them? I assume you're not asking for Office to be sold on Linux. I also assume that you don't want to pay Microsoft for such a version of Windows.

Only relatively simple apps can make money being ported to Linux as it would be impossible to support anything complex for each and every Linux build. That can only work if it's open source and can be rebuilt and tweaked for the target platform. As a professional developer and supporter, I'd run a mile.

BTW, I happily use LibreOffice and have almost never paid for software, using many of the freeware ones available. Yes, I've built software for more operating systems and their variants than I care to remember. That goes double for variants of SQL dialects on everthing from mainframes to DOS to Windows 10.

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Re: So...

Why would I LOVE my operating system, computer, desk, chair etc? It's only compulsory for Apple. For the rest of us, it's something we use, like a kettle or a bicycle.

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

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Re: When will it be the year

With LibreOffice available on Linux, why would you want to pay to put Microsoft Office on it?

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

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Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

Fortunately, that's where I live. Non-homogenised milk that occasionally is difficult to pour until you poke a hole through the yellow cream that's blocking it. </smug>

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When I lived in the USA in the 1980's (and it may still be true) one asked for coffee with or without.

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Traffic lights in the UK were traditionally labelled as red, amber, green.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

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A place I worked at twenty years ago had scaffolding at one side of the building.

During the night, naughty people broke in through the first floor windows and proceeded to steal the keyboards. Presumably these were younsters who thought the machine was the keyboard, which joined to a TV. They left the CRT's and that other box that didn't seem to do anything useful.

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

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Re: What's Really Behind This?

I fully agree with your comments regarding the guys who go out in the boats and the infrastructure that achieves such marvelous results. The top level within the organisation (which operates in the whole of Britain and Ireland) has been criticised in the recent past for using the funds for non-lifesaving purposes. I have no insight into the accuracy or relevance of these criticisms but we do need to separate out the people at the sharp end from the other people in the back office before giving carte-blanche approval.

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Re: Now charities are doomed to never turn a profit.

Charities do not make a profit, they have a surplus (terminology rather than meaning).

What many of the larger charities do is hoard that surplus. There are supposed to be upper limits but some very well known ones seem to have vast resources that would cover their running costs for a very long time.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI

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I'm sure he would spam the USPO if filing for a patent was free. Each application costs serious money.

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Re: Plus ca change

Not only Edison and Louis Le Prince but also and Edison and Swan.


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Re: Its all binary

A number is not an invention‽ You mean you're denying the validity of all crypto-currencies‽‽

We're going on a vuln hunt. We're going catch a big one: Researchers find Windows bugs dominate – but fixes are fast

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Re: Howabout a breakdown of OS vs Browser bugs maybe?

Easy solution. Don't use them to connect to the internet.

Which is your preferred safe browser, in that case?

EU wouldn't! Uncle Sam brandishes 'up to 100%' tariffs over France's Digital Services Tax

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Re: Wrong argument

The EU have not been asked. This is a unilateral French decision which if they succeed, they will push to be made EU law.

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Re: Wrong argument

What's this word "right"? You'll be saying it's not "fair" next.

Companies don't do right or fair. Correctly run companies do "legal".



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