* Posts by HandleAlreadyTaken

68 posts • joined 27 Oct 2016

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We're suing Google for harvesting our personal info even though we opted out of Chrome sync – netizens

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Their outlook

>Not going a way mad, just going away where you can not find me.

Hah, joke's on you. They can find you anywhere.

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: It's quite clear where the money is:

>Sell the software for £0 and charge for support, retraining and consultancy

I think this business model creates all the wrong incentives.

- in order to sell support, the product must *need* support - if the software is stable and rock solid, companies will see that and save on support they never need to use.

- to make money from retraining users, the software must change so much between versions that normal users can't just install the new version and become productive by themselves.

- if you want to sell consultancy services, the product must be difficult to use - or at least, difficult to use efficiently; that also discourages the developer from writing sufficient documentation and/or tools.

- if you want to sell tailored extensions to companies, you'll have to deal with other folks, who haven't invested any time or effort in writing the software but can take your code, study it, then declare themselves experts and undercut you in the extensions market. To maintain some competitive advantage over them, your code must be difficult and obfuscated enough that they can't discover all the details by simply examining it.

If you reverse the model, and take money upfront, but offer cheap or free support (maybe as a warranty), then all the incentives are reversed: support becomes a cost, so you want your product to be as solid as possible, easy to use, easy to upgrade and consistent over upgrades (because upgrades are the way you, the developer get more money). People to write extensions and plugins on top of your software are now driving more sales, so they become helpers, not competition.

Microsoft drops a little surprise thank-you gift for sitting through Build: The source for GW-BASIC

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Only 45 years late?

>I skipped on MS Basic till VB5.

But did you really? If you used BASIC on a Commodore (PET all the way to the 128), an Apple (II+ forwards), a TRS-80, any of the MSX machines, a Thompson or Olivetti, or even an Altair 8080, then you used a BASIC written or licensed from Microsoft.

I/O, I/O, new Android soon on show: What's coming up at Google's dev conference

HandleAlreadyTaken

I/O, I/O, new Android soon

This really makes me think of Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! for some reason...

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: The problem is not Oracle (for once)

>What BSD makes it "freer" to do is steal code and falsely claim ownership of if.

Bullshit. Utter bullshit.

If developer A releases some code under a BSD license, nobody can claim ownership over that code. Developer B can modify or extend A's code, and may choose not to release his changes to all and sundry, but he can't claim ownership over A's code. A third party, C, can still use the original code released by A with no restrictions. What B gets is the freedom to choose how to release his code.

GPL advocates like you are the choosing beggar subset of third parties, bellyaching because A didn't force B to give them his (B's) code as well. To obfuscate the issue, they take a page from Orwell's book and redefine "freedom" to mean "more restrictions" and "free" as in "taking away choices".

You could perhaps argue that the GPL promotes sharing, or that it creates a more vibrant ecosystem - and that may be true. The kind of word games you're trying instead doesn't hold though.

Amazon: Trump photon-torpedoed our $10bn JEDI dream because he hates CEO Jeff Bezos

HandleAlreadyTaken

>immediately after any head of government ended their tenure, a formal investigation were to be started as a matter of routine to determine whether any criminal offences were committed by their government whilst in power

Terry Pratchett has an even better solution:

“We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?’

‘Why?’

‘It saves time.”

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

HandleAlreadyTaken

Fun with assembly

My first job was in the data center of a building company, who had a PDP-11 clone, running RSX-11. The data center team consisted of a number of data input operators, and a couple of IT guys that handled system administration, running the accounting and inventory suites, and sometimes writing some small custom programs for the data input people. Having too much time on my hands, I went and studied PDP-11 assembly and the OS system calls. I thus discovered that, when the ABO (ABORT) command is issued for a program, the OS calls a particular entry point into the program - and, using assembly, one could hook into the system call and return a code that rejected the abort.

The evil plan was thus hatched; I wrote a small program that wrapped the "Dungeon" game; when the wrapper was run, it started the real game, but remained resident. Every few minutes, the program would write a line to the console ("Hello, this is the teaser") and would beep. When the operator tried to abort the teaser, it would reply with an angry message and refuse to quit. I was still a nice guy then, so I added a solution: if the operator ran ABO three times, the teaser would exit (after complaining bitterly about feeling unloved).

I gave the tape with the Dungeon game and my wrapper to a friend in a sister company; he ran the wrapper, and ended up beeped every few minutes. He didn't discover the 3 times ABORT trick; instead he turned off the console and went to play the game on a different one. Other folks in the team (his team was bigger then ours) saw him playing Dungeon, and tried it too, with the same result - my friend told me the afternoon ended up with all consoles beeping randomly ("it was like birds singing", he said), and they finally rebooted the computer to get rid of all the teaser instances.

D'aw! They still have hope! Interns make a song and dance of their summer at Microsoft

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Microsoft Interns?

Well, a Microsoft intern makes about $7100 per month (ignoring all other perks, like free laptops or whatnot); I expect lots of people would be glad to be as miserable as they are...

Q. If machine learning is so smart, how come AI models are such racist, sexist homophobes? A. Humans really suck

HandleAlreadyTaken

> If the input data set is not carefully screened then obviously it will contain biases, which in turn will influence the models. Screening of the input dataset might not be an option because of the sheer volume of data required.

If you intentionally filter the input data to get a particular result, then you'll get the result you want to get - it's a tautology. However the resulting model will be useless.

The correct procedure is not to screen the input data at all - on the contrary, you should ensure your data collection procedure is as thorough and unbiased as possible, so that it doesn't unintentionally introduce bias. If the volume of data is large enough, outliers will be averaged out, and then your model has the best chance to match reality.

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

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Changing Wallpaper can have career enhancing effects

A colleague had set his desktop background to a photo of him with his wife, on a bridge. He left the machine unlocked once, so I replaced the photo with a photoshopped version, with his wife removed (the background being foliage, the clone tool did a pretty good job).

The next day, when he turned on his machine, we all assured him his wife was only gone to do some shopping and will be back soon.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: The only conspiracy

>Which book?

He said, didn't he? The good one.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: A cynic would say

>Damnit, all analogies on tech web sites are meant to involve cars.

...it's like you've spent the last few years calling the barman a Leyland Mini, but still expect him to sell you beer at a discount.

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Google are cunts

>If you dont like it fuck off and never use a google service again

If only it were that simple... Unfortunately, Google will not stop tracking you, no matter whether you use their services or not. There is no way to opt out of the stalking - online or in real life.

Any number of non-Google web sites (such as, to pick a completely random example, theregister.co.uk) will call google-analytics.com, googletagservices.com, googleapis.com, gstatic.com, or who knows what other Google properties, and snitch on you. At least in the USA, Google buys or otherwise collects more than two thirds of the credit card transactions you make in brick and mortar stores. Any breath you take, any move you make, they'll be watching you.

Big Red's big pay gap: $13,000 gulf between male and female Oracle staffers – reports

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: All else being equal...

The numbers I saw bandied around the internet put the difference between male and female wages between 10% and 30% (allegedly for the same work). Especially in labor-heavy businesses, having a 10 to 30 percent lower cost is a crushing advantage over the competition. So why don't all-female (including HR) companies simply out-compete the sexist ones?

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m

HandleAlreadyTaken

Tiny mammoth

>Mammoth fine...

Not much of a mammoth though. The law allows a maximum fine proportional to the company's income (up to 4%) - but 50 million is not even 0.05% of Google's annual income. They can find this much in their other pants.

As to the zoological classification, if a fine of 4% is the mammoth (weighing say 5 tons), then 0.05% corresponds to about 60 kg - so this is at most a small sheep fine.

IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Changes staying the same

Here's a French site, which also provides the source of the quotation (journalist Alphonse Karr): https://www.histoire-en-citations.fr/citations/Karr-plus-ca-change-plus-c-est-la-meme-chose

Linux reaches the big five (point) oh

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: 3.23 & 4.21

>3.23 & 4.21

Personally, I prefer 25 Or 6 To 4

Corel – yeah, as in CorelDraw – looks in its Xmas stocking and discovers... Parallels

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: "WordPerfect was the original dominant wordprocessor on MS Windows"

>Windows spelled its end, because it couldn't adapt to the new GUI quickly enough.

I was a hardcore user of WordPerfect under DOS (I still believe WP 5.1 is the pinnacle of word processors), at the point where I had pretty much all key combinations (with Shift, Ctrl and Alt too) already burned down to muscle memory.

When I had to switch to Windows, I found, much to my surprise, that most of the key combos didn't work anymore in WP for Windows. However, they did work with the WP compatibility mode of Word for Windows! I had to switch to Word because, ironically, it was a better WordPerfect than WordPerfect.

Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don't call back when asked for evidence

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

>A "beowolf" has several meanings - one of which deals with clusters of processing/data nodes.

You're thinking about a Beowulf cluster. A "beowolf" is a wolf designed by Bang & Olufsen. Very slim and stylish, but at a price above industry average.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Electricity

>IT related songs

I like Bad Religion's "I Love My Computer"; it reminds me of the better, more innocent days before Google and Facebook...

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: our banknotes have poetry on them

>Maybe one day we’ll capture a fighting machine, learn how it works

The chances of anything coming from that are a million to one, I say...

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Nothing like trashing a product

You look more like a flooring inspector.

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

HandleAlreadyTaken

Yeah

That's not creepy at all...

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: To some MSDOS was an major leap forward.

>Kids today can still have all the joys of working constrained bare metal on the Raspberry Pi GPU

They could, but I don't think it's as interesting to young people anymore. Around the time of the ZX-81 there was a certain energy, a certain excitement in tinkering with microprocessors, which I don't think still exist. Now it's mostly a trade, not a passion.

It's the way of the world: building your own ham radio, or stereo amplifier, or getting some old broken car and rebuilding it in your backyard used to be fun activities, if you were geeky enough. They have become unfashionable, just like building your own computer, writing your own low level code or playing World of Warcraft.

Mozilla changes Firefox policy from ‘do not track’ to ‘will not track’

HandleAlreadyTaken

AFAIK (please correct me if I'm wrong), since switching away from Yahoo as a default search provider last year, Mozilla gets a majority of its income from Google. I wonder: does this new tough anti-tracking policy also apply to Google trackers? If it does, will it still be worth it for Google to keep financing the Mozilla Foundation?

Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Case sensor

>First HD I had in my own PC was 20MB

God yes, same here. The version of DOS I had couldn't even conceive such a large volume could exist, so I had to split the disk in a 16 MB and a 4 MB partition.

And I managed to play "The Secret of Monkey Island" all the way through, even though my 8086 PC only had a CGA graphics card *and* a green on black monochrome monitor. At some point in the game, the player gets a list of ingredients he needs to collect, written with multicolored characters. On the 4 color CGA display, different colors were merged, so the writing wasn't recognizable - only a few pixels of each letter could be seen. I didn't even realize it was just an issue with my bottom of the barrel display. I thought it was another puzzle, and the list was intentionally written in some secret alphabet - and cheerfully spent some quality time decoding it.

Fun times!

Oh, fore putt's sake: Golf org PGA bunkered up by ransomware attack just days before tournament

HandleAlreadyTaken

The servers were fine, but the firewalls weren't: they got a hole in one.

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Here's a PEP

IMPLICIT INTEGER (A,Z), REAL*8 (I,J,K,L,M,N)

A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Killer App

>[Access not being available on Linux] may not be such a bad thing. [...] in so many cases the result far exceeds what Access was intended for, and really should been written as a "proper" application.

Agreed, but for each case where the business needs end up outgrowing Access, there must be tens or hundreds of cases where somebody who may not be a full-time developer was able to put together a small Access app that does what they need quickly and cheaply.

I sometimes need to fix something small in the house - I'm not a professional plumber, and I don't have a set of professional tools; this doesn't stop me from replacing the occasional gasket, using some generic screwdriver or wrench I happen to have around. And I disagree with the idea that wrenches shouldn't be available to non-professional plumbers because they're sometimes not the right tool for the job.

Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

HandleAlreadyTaken

>watching an actor trying to emote

Seems to have worked for Clint Eastwood who, according to Sergio Leone, managed just two expressions: one with a hat and one without a hat.

Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Nothing new here

From a Romanian friend, here's a catastrophically bad Google translation: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ro&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gustos.ro%2Fretete-culinare%2Fchec-cu-nuci-si-rahat.html&edit-text=

"Rahat" is the Romanian word for Turkish delight. It is also an euphemism for excrement. Google chooses the idiom instead of the main meaning, with hilarious results.

On the same page, Google's advice to " do the dick test to check if it's baking" should instead suggest to "do the toothpick test"..

The strife of Brian: Why doomed Intel boss's ex86 may not be the real reason for his hasty exit

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: They could have used the "He said Jehova" excuse instead

Context doesn't matter to the offence culture. You can even get sacked if you don't use the N word at all, but say something that sounds similar to uneducated ears - see not one, but repeated examples here . I can understand why somebody would be wary.

James Damore's labor complaint went over about as well as his trash diversity manifesto

HandleAlreadyTaken

>They literally asked for feedback on their diversity and hiring policies following a training session.

"I want someone to tell me", Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched to them all prayerfully. "If any of it is my fault, I want to be told."

"He wants someone to tell him," Clevinger said.

"He wants everyone to keep still, idiot," Yossarian answered.

"Didn't you hear him?" Clevinger argued.

"I heard him," Yossarian replied. "I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us."

"I won't punish you", Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore.

"He says he won't punish me", said Clevinger.

"He'll castrate you," said Yosarrian.

"I swear I won't punish you," said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. "I'll be grateful to the man who tells me the truth."

"He'll hate you", said Yossarian. "To his dying day he'll hate you."

Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: x8, x 4, x2

>Can [gasoline] burn IN water (not on, IN)?

I have some bad news about the environment where automobiles run for you...

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: x8, x 4, x2

>Lithium burns nicely

I have some bad news about gasoline for you...

'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Never going to happen.

>For the simple reason that Google et al are American companies, and if they got broken up it would mean the US would lose real dominance of the Internet.

That would imply that congresscritters care about America. Watching their activities, it doesn't seem to be the case. You're right however that it won't happen, but for a different reason. Google, well aware its whole business model is based on shaky moral and legal grounds, are on track to become the biggest spender on lobbying in the USA. As long as they keep their shopping bag full of congressmen, Google is in no danger of legislative action.

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Standing

>The GPL, unlike the MIT license, protects against people adding a small thing to an open-source program that might become necessary to use it - thus taking it out of being usable in its open-source form.

What are you talking about? If party A releases something under a MIT license, and party B adds some small thing to it, do you honestly believe party C can't use A's code anymore? If so, you have absolutely no understanding of how things work.

Windows on ARM: It's nearly here (again)

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: LOL

>>...vulnerabilities patched in Chrome OS!"

>There's the operative word, right there.

I'll venture to say that the operative word is "vulnerabilities".

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Google is Evil

Don't assume Google doesn't know about you just because searches for your name come up with nothing. You have no access to their internal databases . If you could search those, you may find a lot of stuff under your Google Advertising ID. You might find out it's correlated to your home computer's MAC address, to your phone UDID and phone number, to your credit card transactions, probably your travel history (from locations of IP addresses or cell phone towers) and web access history (from Google's DNS servers) - plus who knows what else.

French senator demands public inquiry into Microsoft military deal

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Apparently

> Toutes vos bases appartiennent à Microsoft

Meuh non, meuh non.

Toutes vos base sont appartiennent à Microsoft.

Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: That's a weird orbit

From the images, it passed very close to the Sun - deep within the orbit of Mercury. Statistically, given the size of the Universe, that looks really unlikely. If it was an alien spacecraft, it may have used the close passage for a gravity assist maneuver - keep into a mind we only saw it on its way out, and the incoming path is extrapolated. If it was just a space rock, either we were really lucky, or there are orders of magnitude more such objects passing through the Solar system, but somehow we failed to see any until now.

HMRC boss defends shift to AWS, says they got 50% knocked off

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Of course not

You mean something like this https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/containers/ ?

Three words: Synthetic gene circuit. Self-assembling bacteria build pressure sensor

HandleAlreadyTaken

These are things man was not meant to know!

>The phrase "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" is obviously lost on these scientists.

"Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."

— Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein

The power JavaScript: 'Gandalf of JS' Wirfs-Brock on ECMAscript 2017

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Gandalf of JS

Javascript?

Fly, you fools!

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: "They looked for the password on the CD . . ."

>Need to log in to a user's workstation? The password is 1: Under the keyboard, 2: On a post-it stuck to the monitor or, if you're very lucky, written on a notepad in the top drawer under the desk.

And this can be fine, if you understand your security threat; if your attacker has physical access to your office, you have bigger problems. Passwords under keyboards can't be read by hackers in Russia or China, which are in most cases the bigger risk.

Add the fact that many companies with bad understanding of security require passwords to be at least 75 characters long, contain mixed case letters, digits, and at least two wingdings, and be changed every full moon and you can't reasonably expect users to memorize them.

Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

HandleAlreadyTaken

> they try to scupper any hopes for MS's AWS services

I heard they'll be putting spyware on all new Google iPhones too!

Weird white dwarf pulsar baffles boffins as its pulsating pattern changes over decades

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: a teaspoon ... would weigh 15 tons.

You have those slightly completely reversed though

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_versus_weight

Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

>I think Dirk Gently was the best book Adams wrote.

I agree - and I believe it shows Adams' evolution as a writer paralleled Pratchett's in some ways. They both started with gag-driven works, with little or no characterization, and with no plot to speak of beyond a flimsy framework to hang gags to - that's particularly the case for Adams' Hitchhiker books, but also for the first few Discworld books (especially the Rincewind the Wizzard series). As they both matured as writers, their later books become less dependent on gags, the plots become interesting in themselves, and the characters grow deeper and better fleshed.

Pratchett grew immeasurably as a writer - amazingly, without losing his humor; his later books are still laugh out loud funny. I think the Dirk Gently books show Adams was following a similar path. It's a tragedy Adams died so young; I think his best work was still ahead of him.

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

HandleAlreadyTaken
Thumb Down

Re: Get an nVidia shield (or your box of choice)

Doesn't the nVidia shield require a Google account? If I have to be spied on, I'd rather have it done by Samsung than by tracking masters Google.

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

HandleAlreadyTaken

Re: Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

>Poopy face

While this reply is certainly more cogent and well argued than your article, I still can't help feeling it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi to be utterly convincing.

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