* Posts by simonlb

246 posts • joined 13 Nov 2015

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Papa don't breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

simonlb

Re: Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

I had the misfortune to have to eat one of their pizzas once...

It was honestly the worst pizza I've ever tasted. Absolute garbage.

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant

simonlb

Re: You know what

Well for a liquid molten salt reactor the design is inherently stable so a complete failure of all the cooling systems will not result in a meltdown. Also, the fuel burn - the actual amount of fuel which used - for a molten salt reactor is in the region of 98%, compared to at most 3% for every water cooled plutonium fueled reactor ever built.

Added to that the fact the molten salt reactors can use just about any existing nuclear waste with minimal processing so you have a ready made fule source that can be almost completely used up and requires minimal reprocessing when done. Current estimates are that with the existing stockpiles of nuclear waste which will be highly radioactive for thousands of years would provide fuel for molten salt reactors for in excess of 25,000 years.

I'd suggest you do some research as there is plenty of verified information out there to confirm the significant benefits of molten salt reactors over anything else currently in use.

Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries

simonlb
Mushroom

And this is why companies that do this without clearly explaining exactly why these changes are being made, how they will provide tangible benefits to the end user and making it optional should have punitive damages levelled against them.

Justifiy it, but make it optional with no penalties for opting out.

Hard cheese: Stilton snap shared via EncroChat leads to drug dealer's downfall

simonlb

Yeah, you've got to hand it to them!

How much would you pay me to develop a COVID tracking app that actually works? Ah, thought so: nothing

simonlb
Thumb Up

I Wish I could Upvote The Whole Article

Dabbsy, I'm probably in a minority here, but if I could upvote the article I would, just on the strength of you having a link to Saints and Liars by Gary Numan. A truly brilliant track from an epic album.

You, Sir, have taste.

LG intranet leaks suggest internal firesale of unsold, unreleased smartphones as biz exits the mobile market

simonlb

Re: I had one of the HP Touchpads

Had to chuck out my Touchpad a couple of years ago as I did a factory reset which does a 'phone-home' to the HP servers which HP had just happened to turn off a couple of years previously. Because it couldn't connect it completely bricked it.

Eufycam Wi-Fi security cameras streamed video feeds from other people's homes

simonlb
FAIL

Re: A spokesperson for Anker told us...

And until you have a specific IoT device protocol which is inherently secure, fully maintained and adopted as the industry standard, all these IoT devices are a complete pile of shit and not worth bothering with.

I just happened to be looking at some WiFi webcams over the weekend and they all seem to want you to download an app, register a new account with the vendor and then set up the camera via their servers. One even sent you a QR code you had to hold up to the camera to get it to register itself and connect. None that I could see had an app you could install on your phone and then connect to the camera locally over your own network and then configure it - you had to have an account and go via the vendors servers. That's a complete fail from my perspective.

Microsoft says Outlook hit by 'email visibility issues' – as in, they're blank

simonlb

Re: Need for testing

"chunks of data gone" - Is that all the unnecessary HTML crap, just leaving them in plain text? Asking for a friend.

Ofcom says no price controls on full-fibre broadband until 2031, giving BT's Openreach the kick to 'build like fury'

simonlb

There's no need for this

I'm sure they could scrap HS2 and allocate some £30Billion to Openreach to get the job done. Seriously, after the past 12 months who absolutely needs to get to London 30-minutes earlier just to attend a meeting when you can do it from home?

Pressure builds on Nominet as members demand to know leadership's contingency plans for when they’re fired

simonlb
FAIL

If only...

If only they'd acted in the best interests of the organisation, it's members and customers, instead of being a bunch of self-serving, money grubbing twats this wouldn't have happened.

Australia facepalms as Facebook blocks bookstores, sport, health services instead of just news

simonlb
Facepalm

Facebook 'offers superior micro-targeting services'

WTAF? From my experience there is absolutely no relevance between anything I have ever shown an interest in or liked on Faceache and any of the adverts in either the side panel or rammed into my timeline. Completely random and irrelevant ads are just shoved in the relevant placeholders with the label 'sponsored' tagged to them. The ones shoved in my timeline always get reported as either 'Violence' or 'Sexually inappropriate' which some days can be time consuming but it does make me feel better.

We know it's hard to get your kicks at work – just do it away from a wall switch powering anything important

simonlb

Reminds me of an odd thing I came across many years ago with the PC for one of the office admins. It was a HP Vectra running NT4 Desktop with a 17" CRT sat on top, both of which were plugged into a power strip on the back of the desk. The admin would turn the PC on every morning and shut it down every night, just like everyone else in the office.

Every couple of months though, the PC would refuse to power on and appear completely dead. Swap the power plugs over at the back of the PC and monitor and the monitor would power on but the PC would remain completely dead. However, unplug the power cables at the power strip at the back of the desk and swap them over there and the PC would power on, boot up and run fine with the monitor also working fine! And it would do this every two months or so. People thought I was joking when I told them, until it happened the next time and I'd let them swap the power cables over and see for themselves. No-one could explain it.

Legacy IT kit is behind 80% of UK taxman's pandemic costs, says spending watchdog

simonlb

Re: Well if the UK didn't have archaic tax codes written by KPMG, PWC, and, Co.

Agreed, our tax system seems overly convoluted and is probably well overdue a thorough overhaul from top to bottom. Mind you it'd be even better if HMRC just collected the money owed from everyone instead of cutting deals with big companies to let them off a few £Billlion, like they did with Vodafone a while back.

So what can we expect from a Joe Biden White House when it comes to tech? We'll try to answer that right now

simonlb

Re: Project fear mark III

No, he gave it away by mentioning the word 'patriot.'

Watchdog urges Tesla to recall 158,000 Model S, X cars to fix knackered NAND flash that borks safety features

simonlb

User replaceable? Come on, this is the automotive version of Apple so nothing will ever be user replaceable. You can arrange to take it to one of their designated 'service centers' and have it replaced for a nominal fee of around $5,000, and at that price they'll be doing you a favour mate.

This product is terrible. Can you deliver it in 20 years’ time when it becomes popular?

simonlb

Virgin's Tivo box remote looks like someone shoved as many buttons as they could find into a blunderbuss barrel and fired the lot at a lump of black plastic at point blank range.

Trump fires cybersecurity boss Chris Krebs for doing his job: Securing the election and telling the truth about it

simonlb
Headmaster

Re: Projection

Surely you mean Gerrymandering?

Edinburgh Woollen Mill ransomware claim: Crims demand cash from target in administration

simonlb

Ugly pullovers? You're not kidding, it was like a mashup of Val Doonican's and Des O'Connors wardrobes. (If you are under 45 years old please refer to YouTube for suitable evidence of these fashion atrocities.)

GitHub restores DMCA-hit youtube-dl code repo after source patched to counter RIAA's takedown demand

simonlb

Re: Youtube

Tom Scott posted this recently and it's pretty interesting.

No such thing as a Three lunch: Hutchinson CK to sell tower biz to Cellnex

simonlb

Re: surprised

I persevered with 3 for years because they were by far the cheapest but the coverage of any decent phone signal was piss poor wherever I went and fluctuated wildly whenever there was a signal. Hardly ever got a 4G signal but even with a 3G signal if I went more than six feet inside a building the signal would vanish. Lost count of the number of times me and my wife would be sat in a pub watching everyone around us using their phones when ours were effectively paperweights.

Switched to Voxi (run by Vodafone) in January and haven't looked back; get a decent signal just about everywhere - even in shops and pubs - and they run rolling one month contracts. Currently you can get 12Gb of data, unlimited calls, texts and picture messages, unlimited use of social media apps and roaming across Europe for only £12 a month.

Bad software crashed Boeings. Now it appears the company lacked a singular software supremo

simonlb
Headmaster

Re: Hari Seldon

Pretty sure it was Salvor Hardin who said it.

The perils of building a career on YouTube: Guitar teacher's channel nearly deleted after music publisher complains

simonlb

Re: Isn't this a grey area?

This YouTube video from Tom Scott is worth a watch as it covers it in depth.

Microsoft adds 'Here's what we may have broken' screen to Windows 10 Insider PCs

simonlb
FAIL

Start Menu?

Oh yes, I remember that. Was very useful until they completely fucked it up after Win7.

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

simonlb
Unhappy

Still Overpriced

For a set of castors it's still stupid money. You'd be better off getting a custom skateboard and strapping the computer to that. Would also look way cooler.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

simonlb

Re: Nope

Except when Windows 2000 decided it wanted to make you wait a minute after clicking on Shut Down before it actually bothered to shut down and you had to reinstall SP4 to fix it.

Used to have to do that twice a week on my system.

After 84 years, Japan's Olympus shutters its camera biz, flogs it to private equity – smartphones are just too good

simonlb

Re: Sorry to see them go...

Yeah, remember when I was kid David Bailey advertising the Olympus Trip. End of an era.

Tens of millions of Internet-of-Things, network-connected gizmos at risk of remote hijacking? Computer, engage shocked mode

simonlb

Re: Just another reason

Wait, you have to book a time to go to the tip in Hampshire? And I thought that going to the doctor was a faff. Unless the Hampshire tip is a tourist attraction...

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

simonlb
Facepalm

Been There, Had That

In my previous job as an email administrator we had a request to add a server to our email relay for a new project that was under development that would generate and send email notifications to senior staff within our customers company. As part of the request process it was asked how many specific messages were likely to be generated per day by the new system, and the answer given to us was 'around 200'. The request was approved and on the agreed Friday I night added the server ip address to the message relay on our Ironport cluster, ready for the project manager and a couple of developers to do some testing on the Saturday.

As the on-call person that weekend I get a call around 9.00pm on Saturday from my manager saying a large number of our customers senior staff had received multiple copies of the same email throughout the day on their smartphones and can I 'find out what the hell is going on?'

I duly login and check the Ironport logs and find that the new server added to the relay the night before had sent out around 100,000 messages during the day so I immediately removed it from the relay, updated my incident ticket with the details and added that until the project manager could fully explain why this had happened we would not be relaying messages for the project any time soon.

On the Monday the project manager sheepishly admitted that they had done some testing on the Saturday that had completed correctly but after he had gone home the second developer stayed on run some more test scripts unauthorised and had left them running but hadn't checked them thoroughly first, and due to a bug they were churning out blocks of messages at regular intervals.

The developer got a bollocking for using unauthorised and untested scripts, the server was added back into the mail relay and shortly thereafter the project went live without a hitch.

Wailing Wednesday follows Patch Tuesday as versions of Windows 10 stop playing nicely with plugged-in printers

simonlb
FAIL

Re: Borksoft

Yet another thing that has worked pretty well for 20-odd years gets broken by Microsoft with yet another update. FFS Microsoft, when will you sort your shit out, hire some competent developers and do some proper QA like you used to do?

This all just reinforces my belief that the whole design of Windows from NT onwards has been fundamentally broken and just gets worse as time goes on.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

simonlb
WTF?

Re: Colin Wilson 2 - Apple have got this right!

They give themselves permission to install some essential tool, and its still there years later - even after they're long gone and their laptop's being used by someone else.

Whoa there! I'd expect any PC or laptop that is being reused to be reimaged with the current corporate OS build before being handed out to another employee. Not doing that is just asking for trouble, especially if you have users classed as 'developers' who can install pretty much anything they like.

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

simonlb
Thumb Down

Oh FFS!

It's as if MS has now decided to follow Samsung's policy of ramming as much non-removable crapware into it's products just because they can. MS should really be focusing their efforts on fixing the broken abortion of a UI they've nailed onto Win10 or even providing the option to use an alternate one like previous versions of Windows did. Oh, and removing all the unnecessary telemetry. Not a comprehensive list I know but it would be a start.

DBA locked in police-guarded COVID-19-quarantine hotel for the last week shares his story with The Register

simonlb
Meh

And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

I'm glad the DBA and his partner look to be ok and will be able to go home soon, but the quarantine is one one the main reasons Australia is right on top of controlling the spread of Coronavirus and has had a death rate a few orders of magnitude less than the UK.

Mandatory quarantine for all people arriving in the country is also something the UK government have singularly failed to do which is complete madness, and with the garbled and incoherent announcement from Boris last night we will see another spike in the confirmed cases in about three weeks which will set the whole country back at least another two months. I can see this outbreak will rumble along in the UK until November due to our governments complete lack of decisive and responsible action in controlling the Pandemic here. It's like they don't give a shit about anyone else in the country.

O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge

simonlb

Re: Ha ha

I jumped ship to 3 and haven't looked back.

Is this the same company as Three, whose 3G and 4G signals seem unable to penetrate anything more substantial than a tent? After years of putting up with that I moved to Vodafone five months ago and I can finally get a usable internet connection on my mobile inside a building. Even in pubs (when they were a thing.)

Assange should be furloughed from Belmarsh prison, says human rights org. Here's a thought: He could stay with friends!

simonlb
WTF?

Re: Sure...

"If Assange contracts COVID-19 and dies, the UK government will be accused of deliberately and methodically killing Julian Assange."

WTAF? Why is this twat always portrayed as the victim and all the facts around as to why he is actually in prison just conveniently ignored every single time? He has proven to be completely untrustworthy and a flight risk so he should stay right where he is for as long as necessary until the legal process is complete.

The only thing furloughed here is the common sense and logic from the brains of Assange's supporters. I'm pretty sure under the current UK Covid-19 emergency legislation these supporters could be sectioned due to their tenuous grip on reality.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

simonlb
FAIL

I hope they lose and have punitive damages levelled against them too.

To use the car analogy here, the fact a car manufacturer recommends that you use a certain brand of engine oil to lubricate the engine, you don't have to use that brand. It is irrelevant how much they spend on R+D every day to develop their engines, the brand of oil you use after YOU have bought the car is entirely your own choice.

The argument about the quality of non-genuine inks might have had some validity 20 years ago, but not now - I've had a number of Canon printers and currently run an Epson printer and they have all worked quite happily using non-genuine ink cartridges and I have been unable to notice a reduction in printer performance or print quality.

Seeing as how the printer manufacturers make their inks on an industrial scale I find it hard to believe that a couple of tablespoons of ink costs £25 when a non-genuine ink costs the equivalent of £4, so the only explanation for the extortionate prices they charge you is pure greed. Perhaps if they spent a few quid extra improving the build quality of their printers and priced the ink as the consumable it is rather than as a luxury item then people might be more inclined to buy genuine ink cartridges in preference to non-genuine. Not going to hold my breath on that though.

Patently dogged: Apple unleashes lawyers to slash $454m patent rip-off bill – even after Supreme Court snub

simonlb
FAIL

Re: I wonder.

Totally vexatious. Smack them with punitive damages with a no appeal clause so they shut up, pay up and go away.

Move fast and break stuff, Windows Terminal style: Final update before release will nix your carefully crafted settings

simonlb
Terminator

Re: How about a poll?

another name for the zeroth floor of a building

Just like the Zeroth Law of Robotics, as defined by R Giskard Reventlov

simonlb

Re: How about a poll?

Zero is the logical place to start: You measure electricity from zero volts and you measure altitude from sea level and go up or down from there. Ignoring zero and starting at one makes no sense as the first number in any counting system - binary, octal, decimal, hex - is always zero.

Mind you, the Americans seem to insist on calling the first floor of a building the second floor so I can see why they may get confused about it...

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

simonlb

Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

Putting pineapple on a pizza is like putting anchovies on ice cream - a perverse level of sickness that no one ever needs to experience. And remember, just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Ever.

Pepperoni on the other hand.....

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

simonlb

Re: These are wheely gweat!

Nearly £600 for four fucking castors? I've now come to the conclusion Apple have a company sweepstake going on each time they make something to see just how much some idiots will pay for them. It's just like seeing the prices on some of the truly horrific looking 'luxury' watches in Harrods.

UK big five carriers bin wired broadband download quotas for as long as we're all stuck indoors

simonlb

Re: Stupidest Idea EVER!!

They are removing quotas, not stopping traffic shaping and throttling.Do try to keep up.

Apple grudgingly opens up its check book, pays VirnetX $454m in patent royalties after a decade of wrangling

simonlb
Stop

Hopefully, One Day...

Hopefully, one day someone will revise the legal process so that if you have already lost a case twice and insist on appealing again to drag out the process (like Apple and numerous others like to do), there is an additional clause put in so that if you lose the case a third time you are classed as a 'Vexatious Litigant' and any payments already awarded against you are doubled with an additional punitive sum also added (call it a 'cease and desist' payment) and no further appeals or lawsuits relating to this now closed case can ever be brought again.

Two years late, but upgrade wave finally washes a billion folk onto Windows 10 as its Android phone waits in the wings

simonlb

Re: How many chose to buy it?

Being completely honest, the only version of Windows I ever willingly paid for was 7 because at the time it was worth it and I liked it. Over time though, the constant updates became a pain and after avoiding GWX and a whole stack of other 'updates' which were designed to push you to installing 10, subsequent updates seemed to break random stuff for no good reason. As I could see no alternative I moved to Linux and am perfectly happy there.

I still use Win7 in a VM (with internet disabled) and grudgingly installed 10 in a VM last week - it truly is an absolutely abysmal UI and the whole experience is just awful. Just giving it a Win7 mode would be at least 1000 times better. Personally, my initial hatred of 10 is thoroughly vindicated now. Paid for or free - I still would never use Win10 as the main OS for any of my home PC's.

Microsoft throws a bone to those unable to leave the past behind: .NET 5 support on the way for Visual Basic

simonlb

Re: v5?

And there was also MSDOS v4 which was bad. MS do have prior form with versioning numbers.

Stuck at home? Need something to keep busy with? Microsoft has 115 ideas – including an awful SMBv3 security hole to worry about

simonlb

Or they've already been hacked and someone has stolen them!

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

simonlb

Re: Barclays don't dogfood their IT

Does this particular family member also click on links in random emails from eBay, Amazon and Paypal to login and confirm their details? The day I start taking IT security instructions from my bank is the day I chuck all my computers in the bin and buy an abacus.

Uber takes a downer as ride-sharing app service crashes

simonlb

Re: Uber's cut?

Portland, Oregon?

Portland, Maine?

Portland Bill?

Enquiring minds need to know.

Computer, deactivate self-destruct system requirement, says Sonos... were it on a starship in space, and not a smart-speaker slinger

simonlb
FAIL

"designed to help customers transition from legacy products to modern Sonos experiences"

Trying to give existing customers an incentive to upgrade transition to newer kit is good, but doing it by essentially destroying the kit they already own is not. All Sonos have done here is to piss people off and make themselves look idiots. I'm happy to avoid ever buying any of their overpriced stuff now and positively welcome the experience.

Cumulative Update 2 for Microsoft SQL Server 2019 breaks SQL Server Agent

simonlb
FAIL

Re: SNAFU usual Microsoft ..

I'm surprised MS aren't trying to fob people off by saying it's a vendor issue and not their problem to fix, like they did when they broke networking in Windows 10.

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