An Old 'Un...
But still worth linking to, any time that W3W idiocy is mentioned:
209 posts • joined 24 Feb 2016
But still worth linking to, any time that W3W idiocy is mentioned:
Another happy £25 MiBand 4 user. For the price, I think it's a great wee gadget --especially when you compare it to the ridiculous cost of Apple or Samsung smart watches. It does all the fitness stuff [counts steps, measures sleep & heart rate, pairs with Strava etc.] and I can also link it to various apps on my phone to see who's ringing when a call comes in, preview incoming texts and Telegram messages etc.
My biggest complaints with it are that:
* The on-screen text is microscopic in places, with no font size adjustment anywhere. So, while I get previews of the content of incoming messages, by the time I've myopically squinted at the 2 or 3 pt text and deciphered the first few words, the alert has disappeared again.
* My other major bug-bear is that the watch interface uses the idiotic US MM-DD-YYYY date format with, again, no way to change this. Luckily the level of irritation this causes me is mitigated slightly by the fact the date is literally too small for me to read. It must be less than 1mm high.
BTW: regarding the various apps available to pair with the device. There is the official Xiaomi MiFit one but many people [myself included] prefer an alternative app called Zepp. This is designed for another brand of fitness band. But the company has been bought by Xiaomi so the app is compatible with the MiBands too. Hopefully both apps will be rolled into one in future, to avoid this confusion. As the reviewer points out, the band can only be paired with one app at a time.
Incidentally, I also found the initial Bluetooth pairing a pain to set up. But, once established, I've never had any problems with the pairing being lost, during the many months I've had the band. Maybe the Zepp app is better than the Xiaomi one, in this regard?
Well done China!
...and well done El Reg for actually covering this story! (and in a positive way). Reading the rest of the western media, you'd be forgiven for not knowing this mission had even taken place. It seems the "new bogeyman" is only newsworthy if the news in question is painting China in a negative light.
I'd love to read more about this kind of technically pioneering mission —only the 3rd country ever to have returned material from the moon, and all done entirely remotely. But it looks like I'll either have to learn to read Chinese, or wait til NASA or Elon Musk do something similar, before I see the fawning western media pay any attention.
I'm probably going to get downvoted into oblivion here because 'FOSS' and all that. But I think The Gimp is an awful programme. It's bloated. It's clunky. It's really unintuitive. Maybe I've been spoiled by having had access to Photoshop since it came on a single floppy disc, but I've never understood the love The Gimp gets from the open source community. OK. 10 out of 10 for trying to produce a free alternative to Photoshop. But maybe 3 or 4 out of 10 for the end result.
BTW: If you're looking for a free alternative to Photoshop, check out Photopea.com. Pretty much a clone of Photoshop that runs in your browser. One of the most impressive web apps I've ever seen. It's got ads which you can pay to remove, or just use something like uBlock Origin to hide them, if they offend thine eye.
They're quite capable of completely fucking up access to their increasingly disfunctional site, all by themselves.
Since about the past month or two, every time I try to do anything on the site which involves changing something [ie. ending a listing, editing a typo in one of my listings, etc] I get presented with a stinking reCaptcha then, after solving that, a login screen, then another reCaptcha, then another login screen.... etc. etc. rinse and repeat until either the heat death of the universe or my laptop getting thrown through the frigging window.
What makes all of this a thousand times more irritating is that eBay [like Amazon] is one of those sites which greets you by name, allows you to navigate all through your account and perform all manner of actions until you try to do one certain thing.. at which point, it suddenly decides you're a complete stranger who it's never seen before and torments you with untold logins, reCaptchas and other annoyances, until you want to scream.
* The phone was made by Fairphone
* The OS was made by LineageOS
* The replacement Google services were made by MicroG
So what exactly did the /e/ foundation do.. apart from bundle those other people's work together and get the tech press fawning over them, as if they'd invented all this liberating stuff themselves?
I'm running it on my old HTC M8, which I use for listening to 'stuff' on. It's OK and pretty nippy and stable.
But a bit annoying that /e/ itself comes with a load of apps which cannot be uninstalled, without resorting to ADB or something like Titanium Backup --especially given the founders' criticisms of Google for likewise having uninstallable bloatware.
Really, I think it's pretty much just a more user-friendly version of LineageOS, with all the same benefits and failings.
Yes. My initial "Oh this is good for cryptos!" reaction to the PayPal announcement quickly gave way to wondering what the catch was.
Given that PayPal won't even let you [for example] withdraw your own Euros to your own bank account held in Euros, if you live in UK, without hitting you with a usurious double currency exchange fee*, I wasn't expecting their crypto dealings to be any less user unfriendly. And, reading the detail of their announcement pretty soon confirmed this.
From a purely selfish point of view, as a holder of a few cryptos, I'm just hoping that enough people won't bother to read the 'small print' for long enough to keep the momentum of this upturn in the crypto market going for a bit yet.
*[and don't even get me started with trying to get dollars out of your non-US PayPal account, without being right royally shafted.]
You're doing better than me. About 4 or 5 years ago I bought a couple of hundred £££s worth every now and then over the space of about a year Mixed bag of cryptos. Total invested around £2000.
I've never got round to trying the buying and selling and trying to make profit from the rises and falls of the market. I've just HODLed [as they say in crypto land].
When the crypto boom of a few years ago happened my portfolio was, at one stage, worth just over £17,000. I decided to hold on 'just a wee bit longer' and see if I could get it to a nice round £20,000 and, of course, as is the usual wy with me and Lady Luck, the market crashed and I was back to where I started, within a few days.
Since then my digital nest egg has fluctuated at much lower levels. It has gone as low as £1800 and as high as £6000 but never scaled those dizzy heights again. At the moment, on the back of the PayPal announcement, I'm hovering around £5200. I know I'll never see the heady days of £17,000 again but I'm hoping it might push up to around £7500. Then I'll be tempted to bail out and look on the bright side that I have at least tripled my initial investment in the space of about 4 or 5 years.
BTW: I'm not a big lottery player. I'll buy a ticket the odd time, if there's a massive rollover or suchlike. To date my winnings over the entire period of the lottery's existence amount to precisely zero. So, my gamble on cryptos has thus far ben infinitely more successful.
>"cryptocurrencies" offer no advantages over money unless you are a criminal.
..or unless you're one of those people who thinks that the state doesn't have a god-given right to know; where and who every penny you possess came from, where and who every penny you possess goes to and when and what every penny you possess is spent on.
I was under the impression that SailfishOS only ran on phones specially built for it. But people in the comments are mentioning running it on different [originally Android] phones. So, is there actually a repo of SailfishOS downloads for compatible devices somewhere, that can be flashed with Sailfish?
All's I can find on their website are lots of hipster 'calls to action' and sliding in and out photographs, which is all very pretty but there's nothing I can see that actually tells me how to get my hands on the damned OS.
The first job I was given on my first day as the new graphics guy, at a company I worked for back in the 90s, was to resize a folder of several hundred images to 640x480 pixels each [back when that was considered 'screen resolution'], for use on their CDROM software.
Boss says. "I need these all done by Thursday. Do you think you can manage that?"
"I should be able to" I assure him.
Ten minutes later, after he's left the room, I'm idly reading the intarwebs while, in the background, Photoshop's "Automate" feature is swiftly batch processing the entire folder of images in a few minutes.
The fact that you could automate Photoshop was a secret I guarded jealously from my non-graphically minded colleagues, during my entire employment there. If someone hove into view while a batch was processing, a quick click on the 'Pause' button and some ostentatious manual editing until they went away again made sure My reputation for being able to work through huge amounts of files with impressive speed remained untarnished.
>The "all employee" type emails were part of the problem...
Many aeons ago I worked for a UK software company that had its head office in Australia. At least a few times a week, we'd get emails [which had obviously just been sent to all employees] from HQ in Melbourne, telling us such vital information as "There are doughnuts available in the kitchen..." or "Someone has left their wallet in the meeting room...".
So, in order to return the favour, one day I replied to one of these emails writing "Simon has just gone to the toilet. No news yet as to whether it will be a number one or a number two!"
I later got called into the boss's office where [trying hard to look stern and not snigger] he told me he'd received an angry email from Aussie HQ demanding to know why the UK office was informing the higher echelons of company management about our toilet habits.
It worked though. We stopped getting the irrelevant round robin emails from HQ, after that.
>Toast bread under grill, one side only a little bit....
What, in Ireland we call 'English Toast'
Proper toast should be grilled brown on both sides. Then buttered and put back under the grill til the butter bubbles and melts in a bit. None of this namby-pamby half-cold, half-grilled nonsense with greasy dollops of only partially melted butter on top --yeucch!
[and, of course the bread in question should be Veda  ]
I know El Reg has been going to the dogs and getting more and more American for a while now but, 'Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches'! What the actual feck is that about?
Peanut butter is just about bearable on toast . Bananas have no business between slices of bread, at all.
The only reason I root my Android phones is so I can add a firewall, customise the hosts file and install a system level excrement filter.... sorry, I mean "adblocker".
Until such time as Google allow me that basic level of user-control, there's no way I could stomach using an un-rooted Android phone.
>>One flaw in your argument is the assumption that a leftwing socialist such as Corbyn would automatically have been friendly to Russia
Not so much "friendly" to Russia as "less hostile" and less beholden to the US.
>>The alternative hypothesis is that Putin would like to destabilise the EU, and by having one of the EU's more powerful members being significantly out of step with the others
That depends on your definition of "weaken". It could be argued that, minus the eternal division and wrangling of the UK, the EU will actually be stronger and more united.
>>[EU countries] ...who mostly are classified as leftwing socialist-leaning)...
That may be true for the 'old school' western European EU countries. Quite a few of the former eastern bloc ones [Poland, Czech & Hungary spring to mind] are decidedly not left leaning these days and seem to be trying to outdo the UK in their froth-lipped condemnation of everything Russian and willingness to bend over for the US.
>>The ISC is working on a report about Russian involvement in the last few General Elections (all won by the Conservatives).
I don't understand. If the implication is that Russia interfered in order to secure successive Tory victories; why would it be in Russia's interests to have a rightwing anti-Russian government in UK when, in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn, they could have had a relatively Russia-friendly leftwing socialist one instead?
[Same applies to the supposed Russian involvement in getting Trump elected. Sure, it could be argued that Russia wants US & UK to elect lunatic right-wing incompetents to office, to destroy their countries from within. But, while in office, those rightwing governments can still inflict a lot of economic damage on Russia. It doesn't really seem like much of a winning strategy].
UK: How high?
[Rinse and repeat ad nauseam]
It never begins to amaze me how the UK is so much America's lickspittle that successive British governments are literally willing to sabotage their own economy & security, just to please their American masters. These are the same people who, seemingly without a trace of irony, spout phrases like "Taking back control", in relation to leaving the EU.
>>..In my opinion what keeps the Western democracies awake at night is the uncomfortable truth that China is a successful communist country...
That's because China is too big and makes too much 'stuff' we need, for the normal US strategy to work. Namely:
* $BadCountry adopts form of government US doesn't approve of
* US imposes sanctions on $BadCountry and/or blockades
* US bullies all its lickspittle allies into doing likewise
* $BadCountry's economy disintegrates and people starve
* US points at state of $BadCountry' economy and says [Nelson Muntz voice] "Ha! Ha! $BadCountry-ism doesn't work. Look at the state of their economy. They can't even feed their own people!"
Which leaves at least this reporter asking; "If the US is so confident that $BadCountry-ism doesn't work. why don't they just leave it to fall apart by itself, instead of forcing the issue, forcing their lickspittle allies to tag along and generally ramping up the antagonism against someone, somewhere in the world ALL the fucking time?"
What is it about the psyche of the USA, that you have always got to have an enemy?
Oh god. After all this time, are people still suggesting that lunacy as a good idea?
To be equally fair to the users; I think it's pretty safe to assume that SmugMug looked over the figures very carefully before buying. They'd have known what the outgoings were and obviously banked on being able to blackmail enough users into upgrading after the lifetime 1TB accounts were got rid of—which, in spite of SmugMug's dishonest statements beforehand, was obviously the plan all along—to make the purchase profitable.
The fact their scheme has so obviously failed is poetic justice at its finest.
Oh, and free accounts weren't a complete one way street anyway. Flickr puts adverts on free accounts. So, presumably they do generate some income
Before SmugMug bought Flickr, Flickr used to have free 'Lifetime' accounts with 1TB storage.[as well as paid unlimited storage Pro accounts].
When news got out that SmugMug were going to buy Flickr, many Flickr users raised concerns about what would happen to these free accounts. In response, SmugMug put out one of those weasely duplicitous statements, beloved of politicians the world over; "We have no immediate plans to make any changes..."
I'm sure you can guess the rest. Within about 5 minutes of getting their feet under the Flickr boardroom table, SmugMug announced that the free accounts were henceforth being limited to 1000 photos and if you wanted to keep the rest of your 'stuff' in Flickr, you were going to have to start coughing up $50 a year.
As SmugMug's grovelling email shows, enough people were pissed off about this to vote with their feet and bid SmugFlickrMug a cherry two-fingered farewell, rather than be blackmailed into staying. So FlickMuggerSmug have now been forced to get out the being bowl.
Ain't Karma a bitch?!
[Icon = ex-Flickr users, dizzy with hysterical laughter]
I can't find the source now but I thought I read somewhere a while back that 'those in the know about these things' didn't rate Signal too highly from a security standpoint, as it uses a "roll your own" encryption algo —which is generally considered to be a silly idea.
Same half-remembered source led me to using Wire [wire.com] when looking for an encrypted messenger as being: 1: Swiss based, 2: Uses tried & tested encryption algos, 3: Also open source
I'm not saying Wire is perfect [the mobile apps, especially, have bugs which have persisted for years] but it's pretty usable. I'm just wondering if Signal would have been a better choice?
I was part of the Spacedrop from the start, having been a Keybase user for a couple of years. I agree this Spacedrop has been a fiasco, but putting all the blame on people who just signed up to Keybase because of the Spacedrop is a bit unfair. Keybase have behaved despicably throughout the whole process.
1: Keybase promised to distribute 2 billion Lumens, beginning in Sept and repeating every month until they were all gone. In reality there were only 3 Spacedrops; one in Sept, one in Nov and this last one in Dec. The October Spacedrop was cancelled due to large numbers of dodgy signups. And now the entire Spacedrop has been cancelled, after the Dec giveaway, with barely 300 million of the promised 2 billion Lumens given away.
Where have the remaining 1,7 billion Lumens ended up, I wonder? No doubt in a few bulging wallets belonging to people high up in Keybase.
2: Keybase actively encouraged Keybase users to "tell their friends and family" about the Spacedrop and also relaxed their initial restriction that the Spacedrop was only open to existing Keybase users with a Github account dating from before the Spacedrop was announced. So it's a bit rich of Keybase to basically say "Hey! Want some free money? All you need is a mobile phone number. Oh, and tell all your friends and family too!" and then act all surprised when lots of people take them up on their offer.
3: Keybase have completely ignored their users throughout this whole process. After the Spacedrop was up and running, the Keybase app was requiring people follow various verification procedures to qualify for the Spacedrop. It would then congratulate them for being qualified for the Spacedrop, before subsequently telling them they were ineligible, when they actually tried to sign up for it.
Keybase's Github account was full of dozens of 'Issues' about this [and not all from bandwagon-jumping scammers] with people asking what the hell was going on and posting various error logs from the app. Keybase did not issue one single response to any of these Issues. Instead contenting themselves with the [very] occasional smarmy blog post about how great the Spacedrop was and [again] encouraging everyone to tell their family and friends about it –even whilst presumably being snowed under at the time with scamming sign-ups, which they've since proved they were unable to prevent.
4: Keybase themselves were completely to blame for cocking this whole thing up. They've shown incredible stupidity in behaving like a man standing in the middle of the road waving fistfuls of money about shouting "Who wants some?!" and then wondering why he gets mugged.
5: After the cock-up, the way Keybase 'resolved' things was even worse. First cancelling the Oct Spacedrop and then cancelling the whole thing in December. So because they hadn't the wit or gumption to filter out the scamming signups, the honest folks get shafted [as usual!].
If Keybase really had no way of stopping scammers signing up, they should have done the honourable thing and rolled back the Spacedrop beneficiary list until it was as originally intended; existing users with existing Github accounts prior to the announcement date and just continued to distribute the remaining Lumens to those people. Instead they've spat the dummy, pocketed the remaining 1,7 billion Lumens themselves and are now left looking like a bunch of untrustworthy incompetent idiots, presiding over a tawdry bait and switch exercise.
Will the ban actually prevent anyone using a Huawei device from accessing a Google service (eg. Gmail) or just prevent them from downloading the official Google apps to do so? I suspect the latter as the first would seem impossible to police. In which case there are better alternatives out there.
The ban might actually provide a bit of a boost to other software developers, if it prompts users to look beyond the Google offerings that came with their phone and seek out some alternatives. In most cases, the alternatives are far better.
For email, try AquaMail. Easily handles my many email addresses split across Gmail, own domains using Google's mailservers, Yandex and own domains using Yandex's mailservers.
OSMAnd+ provides as good mapping as Google Maps (better in remote and off-road areas), is much more customiseable and you can download entire country maps to your phone, without pissing about with Google Maps's silly area selection download. And its navigation is pretty decent, lthough it lacks the Googley stuff like weather and nearest junk food shop listings.
Wire is an encrypted messaging/video-calling/VOIP app, offering everything Hangouts (or whatever Google's offering is called this week) does.
Yandex browser or Kiwi browser are Chrome but with added support for extensions
PulseSMS is text messaging with built in backup and the ability to send and receive SMS through your phone from your laptop.
I've been predicting for years now that, as 3D rendering gets more lifelike and AI gets better at this kind of interpolation, the obvious culmination of mixing the two is going to be in the movie industry. Why bother paying hundreds of millions to the zzz-elebs of today when, for a fraction of the amount, you can have a walking talking, virtually indistinguishable from life, legend from the past appearing in your lattest blockbuster?
Humphrey Bogart, Marleine Dietrich, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, etc. etc....
Their careers have only just begun!
>>so much more convenient.
What would be convenient would be if El Reg allowed people to compose posts using Markdown or even [god help us!] BBcode, instead of this continued insistence on having to use prehistoric HTML. Who the feck can be arsed adding 'proper' links, formatting, etc. when it involves that much typing?!
"...At least the Amis don't steal copyrighted information from European companies or engage in state supported piracy, spying and hacking on the scale China does for years now...."
How soon we forget:
That's always worked for me. In my experience, there are two types of boozer:
TYPE A –will throw up there and then, once the stage of having drunk too much is reached. As this often involves puking in pubs, clubs or over other people's carpets, parents or pets, the TYPE A boozer, as s/he ages and matures, learns to avoid such public embarrassments by usually managing to stop drinking just before the room begins to spin and vomiting becomes inevitable.
The TYPE B boozer on the other hand, never throws up on the actual night. So s/he can drink and drink until barely able to stand and still want more. However, the TYPE B boozer will then spend most of the next day throwing their ring up and generally feeling like death.
In our house, I am a TYPE A and the missus is a TYPE B. So it makes for some interesting boozing sessions. At the first hint of a room spin, I'll think "Uh-oh! I'll puke if I have any more" and will switch to fizzy water. Whereas the missus has no inner cut-off switch at all and will drink for as long as someone puts a fresh glass in front of her.
Next day usually involves me bustling round the house feeling completely fine, while she lies on the sofa cocooned under a duvet, only emerging briefly every half hour or so to throw up in a basin.
"...Micro-shaft has DOUBLED DOWN on..."
One of many many stupid American phrases which make me want to head-butt holes in walls. How the fuck do you Double DOWN on something. Doubling by it's very nature means there's twice as much of whatever it was, as there was before. So it's Doubling UP.
And don't get me started on "I could care less", "awesome" or "reach out"!
I've lost count of the number of times I've seen companies whose website has a company domain name but whose company email addresses are @gmail, @yahoo, @aol, @btconnect.... etc. etc. I always wonder who they hired to setup their website that either didn't tell them or didn't know that, having the domain name, they could now use it for their email accounts too.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021