* Posts by simonlb

407 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Nov 2015


Swedish Tesla strike goes international as Norwegian and Danish unions join in


Re: I'm actually on Musk's side on this

"I just don't like anything which creates a lords and peasants sort of thing,"

The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one. That's exactly why anyone working for Musk should be in a union; so that when the capricious Lord in charge decides on a whim to do something arbitrary and 'all you peasant workers can either jump to it or leave', they have some form of protection. Unions aren't about fighting employers, they are about protecting the employees working for employers so that they can do their job properly without having to worry about their employer unfairly canning them for 'reasons.' That said, I'd never work for Musk even if I were in a union because the guys a toxic shitbag who's cultivated this fake aura and cult of being a genius when he really is not.

Microsoft issues deadline for end of Windows 10 support – it's pay to play for security


Re: Need the EU to step up…

There really is no reason for the junking of hundreds of millions of PCs, just because of the whims of Microsoft.

Exactly this. And no-one even questions why a desktop operating system is so overwhelmingly bloated with so much additional, useless crap rammed into it whilst missing things that are actually useful. We just accept it, upgrade our machine as necessary, install and move on. I haven't missed using Windows on my home machines now for well over seven years.

'Return to Office' declared dead


Re: There it is

Personally, I think the one main driver which helped working from home to succeed so well during the pandemic was the availability of (mostly) good, reliable broadband, and it's arguable that if the pandemic had hit even two years earlier nowhere near as many people would have been able to work remotely. Of course now things are going 'back-to normal', employers need to justify why their staff have to go into an office if there is no physical need for it. Before, we hardly even thought about it, but now it's a legitimate question as we each have to justify those commuting costs.

Sysadmin's favorite collection of infallible utilities failed … foully


Re: Cleanliness can have its downsides

Similar one for me: When doing 2nd line support 20-odd years ago I had to work with someone who had somehow blagged their position presumably by outright lying and never having been asked any actual technical questions in her interview. One day she's trying to remotely sort out a client's PC running XP when she puts them on hold and asks everyone across our bank of desks, "Is it ok if I delete pagefile.sys on their machine? It's taking up a lot of space." Cue everyone stopping what they are doing and looking up at her, then looking at each other, speechless.

America's ambitious Artemis III likely to miss 2025 Moon landing date, auditors sigh


Re: No-one..

Several Concordes flew with people on board for 31 years before a major weakness was exposed

My understanding of the risk of damage to the wings from tyres shredding after hitting runway debris on Concorde was identified shortly after it went into service and the manufacturers developed a guard to retrofit onto the main undercarriage to deflect debris away from the wings. It wasn't mandatory to install, but British Airways installed them anyway. Air France didn't.

UEFI flaws allow bootkits to pwn potentially hundreds of devices using images


Re: Blimey....

Seriously, what is the point of creating a 'secure' method to bootup a system if that 'secure' method arbitrarily picks up any random shit from a folder and uses it without performing any security checks whatsoever? That is not just a fail, it's a fucking huge fail. And no-one saw this coming?

HP printer software turns up uninvited on Windows systems


Re: Maybe there's an HP device visible from wifi or bluetooth?

One of my neighbors had a Rivian, and it seemed to be offering at least three different bluetooth opportunities to connect.

Oh, if I knew any hackers I'd invite them round for a couple of days to go to town on that and see just how much damage they could do. I think a large parasitic drain to continually discharge the batteries would be the ultimate goal, but I'm open to suggestions.

Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness


Re: Every single time

If the guy didn't have the basic intelligence to check and see if he'd plugged the connector into the correct port then he should have had the laptop taken off him and given an abacus to play with instead. As he'd already had a demo of how to connect it all up it had been proven to work and the guy should have at least made some attempt at checking whatever he could. I know plenty of people who are not IT savvy in the slightest, but would have taken the time to look at the ports that were present and try plugging the cable into any ports that looked likely to be the right shape or colour (if that was a thing at that time).

Ukraine cyber spies claim Putin's planes are in peril as sanctions bite


Re: "the civil aviation sector of terrorist Russia"

looking at buying Russian, Chinese or jointly developed aircraft instead

I'm not 100% on this and happy to be corrected, but I suspect that Boeing and Airbus each produce more aircraft each week than any given Russian manufacturer produces in a year, so I don't think they are too concerned. Also, the 800-odd western manufactured aircraft Russia seized at the start of this are theirs to keep because no-one will ever trust any maintenance records for just one of those aircraft after it was seized, so Russia won't be able to sell them on later, and they can only cannibalise so many of them to keep the rest flying. And with extremely limited availability of spares for their existing aircraft due to the sanctions, it really isn't looking too good for them at all.

IT sent the intern to sort out the nasty VP who was too important to bother with backups


Re: "She would never accept the explanation"

I'd have shown them exactly what the issue was and referred them to facilities (or whoever provided the office furniture) and say they'd need to request a custom desk as their 'standard' one couldn't handle her 'Professional' keyboard.


Unimportant Important People

In my previous job supporting the email system for one of the UK government departments there was a person classed as a 'VIP' who thought themselves much, much more important than everyone else and was absolutely paranoid about their emails and was convinced their mailbox needed to be backed up separately. Despite the email system being hosted on a forest of Exchange 2003 servers in stretched clusters connected to EMC DMX3000 sans and backed up every night, they insisted that wasn't enough and eventually, after making a tremendous fuss, an automated export of her mailbox was set up for every evening and a step added to the morning checks to confirm that it had completed successfully. I disagreed with us having to do this but was overruled as the directive had come 'from the client' so we had to do it, and the export was done nightly for a good few years.

Eventually, we got a note that this person had left the organisation, so after a quick couple of emails to get confirmation I took great pleasure in disabling the nightly mailbox export, deleting the PST file from the server and updating the morning checks to remove the confirmation step for the export.

In case you are wondering, you probably won't be surprised to learn the mailbox export was never needed.

OpenCart owner turns air blue after researcher discloses serious vuln


Re: So... if I read this right...

Perhaps he should change his name to Wayne Kerr.

BOFH: Groundbreaking discovery or patently obvious trolling?


The New and Improved "Bovine Adjustment Implement"

Is he repurposing his barbecue igniter to make a more powerful cattle prod?

Firefox slow to load YouTube? Just another front in Google's war on ad blockers


Re: This is not the first time this has "accidently" happened

I started experiencing this about 4 weeks ago - using FF with Adblock Plus - up to 20 seconds of blank screen with a spinning bagel before the video starts. This is usually after Google have changed something and Adblock Plus takes about a week or so update and bypass the wait. It's slightly frustrating but I'd would rather watch a blank screen for 20 seconds than any advert. Looks to have sorted itself out now though.

As I've started advocating on here recently, Google and all these streaming services need to heavily revise their subscription rates down to a much, much lower level to make it a no-brainer for people to sign up. If a service is cheap as chips as well as ad free, people will be much more likely a pay for it. And especially for Google and YT, if I have a subscription I never want to see ANY adverts.

Binance and CEO admit financial crimes, billions coughed up to US govt


Yeah, I'm sure I'm missing something here. So they knowingly broke multiple laws, have openly admitted to it and processed around $1B to people in sanctioned countries but no one is going to jail? Although no fraud is mentioned here, there is definitely something fishy about the conclusion of this. I mean, my understanding of the US is that if you make even a slight 'mistake' on your tax return the IRS get quite annoyed with you.

What's really going on with Chrome's June crackdown on extensions – and why your ad blocker may or may not work


Re: Time to unleash AI on adverts?

When that fails, YouTube will go behind a paywall.

Well if they offered a subscription to both YouTube and YouTube Music for only $2.50 a month with absolutely no adverts at all they'd almost certainly get millions of subscribers happy to pay them that for literally years. Unfortunately though, the entire entertainment industry seems to have decided that a minimum of $10+ a month is the entry price for their subscription services, but when you consider how much you'd have to pay monthly for each service - YT, Netflix, Disney+, Discovery, Apple TV etc. - it's just unsustainable and those prices become a barrier to entry so people just won't pay and that is a lost sale potentially for years.

Either the industry starts being less greedy and start pricing things realistically (perhaps similarly to how FRAND works with patents), or the majority of users will just not pay to use their services but will use a VPN along with ad blockers and other software to access those services - or at least content ripped from them - for free.

Wish you could sing like Charli XCX or possess any musical talent? YouTube AI might make that happen


Re: Who?

I must admit I've heard of a couple of those 'artists' and the talent is indeed variable. Whether AI makes them sound any better is going to be highly subjective and an interesting experiment. I just hope they don't extend it and start creating fake content from Coldplay or U2. No one should have to contend with that shit.

Want a Cybertruck? You're stuck with it for a year, says Tesla


"Could they do more to make people not want to buy one?"

The fact that you could be the second, third, fourth or even fifth owner of a Tesla vehicle and you will have to go to them and pay full price for replacement of the entire battery pack should it have any issues (no alternatives, it's the whole pack or nothing), as well as their ability to arbitrarily remotely disable and lock you out of your vehicle for whatever reason whenever they feel like it, means that you'd be a complete idiot to consider buying one. You've paid for a vehicle but the critical parts are permanently controlled by a company run by a capricious and vain lunatic. Caveat Emptor.

Bright spark techie knew the drill and used it to install a power line, but couldn't outsmart an odd electrician


Not Unusual

It is not unusual, in the UK at least, where there is a light switch next to a doorway, for the electrician to run their cables behind the architrave on the door frame then up to the ceiling from the top of the door. The reasoning is that is saves time by not having to chase out the plaster all the way to the ceiling. Not sure if that has been banned in the current UK regulations now though.

What 'Antoine' should have done is at least take the front of the plug socket off to see which way the cables were coming from, or better still, pay to have a qualified electrician do the job.

Wanted: Driver for rocket-powered Bloodhound Land Speed Record car


Well if funding is an issue they should rebrand the whole enterprise as a dodgy PPE vendor and the UK government will be literally throwing a few hundred million quid and a couple of life peerages in their direction.

YouTube cares less for your privacy than its revenues


Their Own Worst Enemy

It's like running an app that asks you to disable your firewall; that app is never run again. Please disable my ad blocker? Sure, if you stop pushing turds through my digital letterbox.

It's not so much the addition of an advert to a video you want to watch, it's the increasing number of adverts rammed into the videos. Time was when you'd have an ad you could skip past after 5 seconds at the start of the video, but now it seems to be two adverts to start with and a load more throughout the video which just get in the way, which is why people started using ad blockers.

YouTube (and others) need to rethink their whole strategy on this and be sensible: I'm not averse to a subscription model for a service I use but it's the cost that dictates whether I use it, and these companies seem to think that $10/£10 (or more) a month is a reasonable entry price. It isn't, it is way too much and could easily be half or a quarter of that while still allowing them to make a profit. I would happily pay $2.50/£2.50 a month for YouTube to be ad free and would allow it through my ad blocker, but unfortunately the corporate greed with these companies is so rampant they wouldn't go for such a low subscription price which is a shame as the cost to set up and collect a subscription is exactly the same. What do you want: A minority paying a high subscription fee whilst also having to try and block millions of machines using and blockers to avoid embedded adverts, or a majority of reasonably happy subscribers paying a dirt cheap subscription each month? Or I'll put it another way: $2.50/£2.50 a month every month for a few million subscribers for potentially years, is much more that $0/£0 a month from no-one.

Microsoft pins hopes on AI once again – this time to patch up Swiss cheese security

Thumb Up

Re: Use defensive programming

And that's always been the issue with Windows - security was an afterthought and their basic permissions model was way too relaxed meaning there were numerous security holes by default they then had to close. Personally, I think the whole design of Windows has been crap from day one and should have been completely redone properly around the time they were working on XP.

IBM to scrap 401(k) matching, offer something else instead


Re: They still do 401(k) matching? How quaint.

The problem was twofold -- the pension pot grew in some industries so fast that by the 1990s it represented a huge chunk of liquidity. This was just too tempting so that got absorbed into the corporate financial structure and so what emerged was a lot of 'underfunded liabilities'......enough to cause some corporations (airlines) to declare bankruptcy.

And this is why pensions need to be much more heavily regulated and all contributions ring-fenced so the fund cannot be raided or subverted for other means, including being invested in large real estate developments or even crypto. There were quite a few cases in the UK 20-odd years ago where the pension fund collapsed completely or where defined benefit plans had to be closed because there wasn't the money left to pay out. This affected thousands of people across the UK but I don't remember anyone being taken to court or going to jail for the mismanagement.

Meanwhile, thousands of people were left with a significantly reduced pension pot or no pension at all.

Microsoft calls time on Windows Insider MVP program


Re: a distinct lack of exciting features to test during the Windows 11 era

My suggestion would be: Under Control Panel -> Themes -> Desktop UI -> a list that comprises of:

  • Windows 2000 (Classic)
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8*
  • Windows 8.1*
*Requires reboot and touchscreen

After nine servers he worked on failed, techie imagined next career as beach vendor


Re: Sorry, is it just me ?

Clearly this was the damaged database and the source of the errors.

Well obviously it wasn't clear or he wouldn't have removed eDirectory from eight other servers first. After the third server he really should have put his hand up and escalated to a higher level for assistance with the issue.

World checks it's not April 1 as Apple signals support for full US right-to-repair rule


Re: "They use third-party parts"

Apple phones are the more up market option

If their current prices are "up-market", I hate to think what their premium pricing would be like.

Word turns 40: From 'new kid on the block' to 'I can't believe it's not bloatware'


Re: That sounds about right...

Word didn't win. Office won. It was the first bundle, the rest were all late or had confused branding (SmartSuite, Borland Office, WordPerfect Office, etc)

I had to use SmartSuite at work shortly before the company went over to Office. IIRC, the SmartSuite equivalent of Publisher (might had been Freelance) used raster graphics rather than bitmaps and these were scalable which was brilliant when creating a newsletter or flyer as there was no pixilation so looked quite professional when printed.

Has Office ever offered or supported anything similar?

CEO Satya Nadella thinks Microsoft hung up on Windows Phone too soon


Re: I beg to differ

Imagine an HP phone, or a IBM phone......

There was an HP Phone: The Palm 3. It used WebOS and was singularly the worst UI I have ever come across on any phone. However, on the HP Touchpad it ran really well.

Windows 11: The number you have dialed has been disconnected


Re: Amen

The only progress MS can really do now with Windows is to provide a decent and easily customisable UI to replace the abortions they've nailed on since Win8. Themes are not a new thing and XP had an option to change to 'Classic mode' which reverted to a Win 2000 desktop, so why don't MS just offer a free 2000, XP, Win7, Vista (or Win8/8.1 if you really want to) theme that gives you a choice of a properly functioning desktop that is easy to use, intuitive and actually works? You should not need to run a search to find a locally installed application on your PC, it should be in the menu with everything else, arranged logically and easily accessible. Not the woeful mess you have to fight with today.

Yes I know someone will pop up now and say, "Use this app to fix it.", but that should not be necessary. MS, get your shit together and give your product customers a choice, they've paid for the bloody OS so give them a sensible option here.

Winklevoss twins back in hot water after NY AG sues over $1B cryptocurrency fraud


Re: social media platform then known as Twitter

let the readers suggest a special symbol for it

Poop emoji anyone?


Re: What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted ?

"Are you going to be able to give us our money any time soon? I am crying all day. I am 73 years old and without that money I am doomed."

No sympathy here. Although that is a fair bit of cash, unless someone held a gun to her head to force her to participate, then she needs to accept responsibility for her actions and that she will almost certainly never see that money again. The same as everyone else who got scammed and is now well out of pocket.

Crypto is a scam pure and simple, but there seems to be no end of idiots who keep throwing money at schemes related to it.

Never gamble more than you can afford to lose.

Brit competition regulator will make or break Vodafone and Three union


Re: 5G?

I don't know about Three's 5G performance but my own personal experience of them a few years ago was that although I could stand on a street corner in the centre of town and get five 4G bars of reception on my handset, as soon as I went more than two feet inside any building these always disappeared completely. I could be sat right next to the window at the front of a pub or restaurant and have absolutely zero phone of internet connectivity, and this was consistent wherever I went.

I've never had that issue once since moving to Vodafone. However, YMMV.

Microsoft gives unexpected tutorial on how to install Linux


Or she could stay on Win7 and avoid all that pain in the first place.

ASUS thinks outside the 4″ x 4″ box with plans for custom NUCs


Re: Tired

Self-service kiosks... Let me think...

For buying a railway ticket? Probably ok (although there should still be staff present you can ask if the machine is out of order or just doesn't sell the type of ticket you want.)

For scanning, bagging and paying for my groceries because the supermarket has gone so far down the late-stage capitalism route that they will only pay to have one member of staff available who checks your receipt as you leave the premises? Absofuckinglutely not!

Co-founder of collapsed crypto biz Three Arrows cuffed at airport


Ponzi, Ponzi, Ponzi

fallen crypto business failed crypto ponzi scheme Three Arrows Capital.


Cryptocoin Ponzi scheme AirBit Club co-founder jailed


Yep, definitely a Ponzi scheme

co-founded AirBit Club in late 2015, marketing it as a cryptocurrency multi-level marketing opportunity

MLM's are by definition, a ponzi scheme.

Seriously, if you have any spare money that's burning a hole in your pocket and that you are hell bent on getting rid of investing, just go to a casino and play on the roulette table until your either flat broke or bored. Or burn it. Or chuck it in my direction, I'm sure I can find a use for it.

Car industry pleads for delay to post-Brexit tariffs on EVs


Re: I'll be sticking with petrol (or diesel) for my next car.

if a battery module fails, it can be replaced for hundreds rather than thousands

Can any Tesla owners on here validate this claim?

Mastodon makes a major move amid Musk's multiple messes


Re: Shame about Mastodon

Others will expand and thrive, not to become the dominant, and only, king beast owned by some detestable billionaire of a dubious nature.

Nothing dubious about it, Musk is truly detestable and has worked hard to gain that reputation.

Hong Kong authorities cuff six in connection with floundering crypto platform JPEX


Not Another Crypto Ponzi Scheme

... expressed his belief that investors should only consider licensed crypto outfits

... expressed his belief that investors should only consider licensed crypto outfits avoiding this shit like the plague. FTFY.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows


Strange, I have two machines I use at home running the latest version of Linux Mint, one with MATE and one with Cinnamon and both see my network connected Canon printer (printer, mind, not all-in-one) as soon as they boot up and I have never had any issues printing either documents or photos. No driver installation necessary, it just works. However, the Win7 VM I use on one of the machines required having the printer drivers installed, but that was expected.

Printing under Linux may have been problematic a few years ago but it's much, much better these days, and I've never had any issues when using multiple different printers with it over the past seven years.

BMW deems drivers worthy of warmth, ends heated car seat subscription


Re: connected services as a strategic imperative and a driver of future revenue

If this trend is to become the new norm, my concern is how much of the battery capacity on future electric vehicles will be wasted just lugging all these 'extras' around if I have no need to use them. So far, I've never missed not having heated seats in any car I have ever owned, so I'd want the unheated seats fitted as they will weight less. Also, what is the impact on your available range when using heated seats? YMMV, but I see this as yet another obstacle to mass adoption of electric cars.

Windows File Explorer gets nostalgic speed boost thanks to one weird bug


Stopping automatic indexing of any external USB storage devices that are plugged in would probably also help.

Mozilla calls cars from 25 automakers 'data privacy nightmares on wheels'


Re: It just keeps getting better

The one thing that I would have expected this data gathering to be used for - providing telematics and sensor data to insurance companies for accident investigation - is not even mentioned here. Why the hell do they need to log or store anything else? I'm pretty sure (within the EU at least) this will be given short shrift and outlawed quite quickly.

Why these cloud-connected 3D printers started making junk all by themselves


More Vendor Bullshit

its printers "can only reach a maximum temperature of around 400°C [752°F]," a temperature it assured is too low to start a fire.

There's a piece of classic literature called 'Fahrenheit 451' , where the clue is in the title. A temperature of 752F is more than enough to start a fire.

And cloud connected by default as well? FFS why?

Internet Archive sued by record labels as battle with book publishers intensifies


Re: "artists such as Frank Sinatra .." etc

Yes, the double standards shown here are laughable. However, under copyright law some of these recordings (or the vinyl or cylinder they were recorded from) will still be covered by copyright, which in the UK is 70 years from the date of the death of the last creator. The US copyright is different, but some of the infringement claims will probably still be valid.

Maker of Chrome extension with 300,000+ users tells of constant pressure to sell out


Re: "Our focus is on user privacy"

I'd expect the line before that one to contain the words, "Without prejudice". Otherwise it means absolutely nothing.

Millions of people's data stolen because web devs forget to check access perms


Re: Web devs forget to check access perms :o

developers implement secure-by-design principles at each stage of the software development process

Configure applications to deny access by default and ensure the application performs authentication and authorization checks for every request to modify data, delete data, and access sensitive data

This is critical for anything IoT related and I'll keep saying it. Until there is an inherently secure by design, vendor agnostic, industry standard protocol specifically designed for anything IoT then I will avoid all this crap like the plague as it is not yet fit for purpose.

I'm waiting for the screams of anguish and outrage when whole swathes of Hive and Nest devices are unceremoniously taken offline remotely or bricked when the command and control servers are turned off when the relevant vendors deem them obsolete or too much of a burden to support. Think that won't happen?

Want to live dangerously? Try running Windows XP in 2023


Re: Chromium 86 based browser for XP

Adding a start-up sound to the end of your DOS startup enabled you to walk away and get a cup of coffee while your machine started, coming back when the start sound played.

My understanding is that from Windows 2000 onward, Microsoft gave priority to displaying a login screen as soon as possible during bootup rather than waiting until all the relevant startup items (Services, processes, AV software etc.) had completed their tasks. That's why, even to this day, you enter your login credentials as soon as the login is displayed and can still have to wait two minutes or more before getting a usable desktop displayed. Yeah, you have a login prompt, but until Windows had finished with all it's startup nonsense you can't actually do anything.

Reviewers who marvel about how quick Windows displays the login prompt on a given system really are missing this.

Someone just blew over $190k on a 4GB first-gen iPhone


Re: A fool and their money

It isn't crypto, so will still retain some tangible value as it isn't part of a Ponzi scheme.

First of Tesla's 'bulletproof' Cybertrucks clunks off production line


Are people seriously buying these?

Musk cited component shortages as the reason why production had been pushed back

Was it actually components? Or was it not enough tools putting a deposit down?